Showing posts with label Rome. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rome. Show all posts

9 Mar 2017

Columban Fr Charles Duster RIP


Fr Charles Duster (15 September 1934 - 7 March 2017)

Father Charlie was born on 15 September 1934 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA, where his parents Charles Henry Duster ['DOOster'] and Cleo Catherine Handley Duster owned and operated a supermarket. He has an older brother William C. Duster (Audrey) of Littleton, Colorado, a sister Mrs Robert Enns (Katie) of Fort Pierce, Florida, and eleven nieces and nephews and their families. His older sister, Margaret Jeanne Duster, died in 1972.

19 Jul 2016

Close to Heaven: Breathtaking​, Outdoor Vatican Statues

Famous Bernini angel sculpture on San Angelo bridge
 in Rome, Italy
 Many statues of the outdoor statues in Rome are on the top of churches, seen only from a  distance. The statues are huge (up to 20ft/6m) with some details sculpted at a larger scale to make them visible.

26 Sep 2014

"He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went." Sunday Reflections, 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

St Matthew, El Greco,1610-14
Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) 
Gospel Matthew 21:28-32 (New Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition: Canada

Jesus said to the chief priest and the elders of the people:
“What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?” continue>
The above scene, at the Coliseum in Rome, comes shortly before the end of the 1983 made-for-TV move, The Scarlet and the Black, which tells the true World War II story of Vatican-based Irish priest Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty, known as 'The Vatican Pimpernel' and played here by Gregory Peck, and Colonel Herbert Kappler, head of the Gestapo in Rome during the Nazi occupation from September 1943 till June 1944, played by Christopher Plummer. The priest has managed to save the lives of many Allied soldiers and others, getting under the skin of Kappler  Full post here.

10 Aug 2012

'I am the bread of life.' Sunday Reflections, 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B


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The Charity of St Lawrence, Bernardo Strozzi, painted 1639-40

Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)

Readings(Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) 

Gospel John 6:41-51 (Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition)

The Jews then murmured at Jesus, because he said, "I am the bread which came down from heaven." They said, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, 'I have come down from heaven'?" Jesus answered them, "Do not murmur among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Every one who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. Not that any one has seen the Father except him who is from God; he has seen the Father. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh."

Full post here.

7 Aug 2012

Rome, AD 258; Mosul, Iraq, AD 2007



Today the Church honours St Sixtus II and Companions, martyred in Rome on 6 August AD 258. Sixtus had been pope for just under a year. We can read about the deaths of these martyrs in the Office of Readings which includes an extract from a letter of St Cyprian: Know that Sixtus and four of the deacons were beheaded in the cemetery on 6 August. Moreover, the Prefects of the City are pursuing the persecution relentlessly; if any suspected Christians are brought before them they will be executed and their property confiscated. The six deacons were Januarius, Vincentius, Magnus, Stephanus, Felicissimus and Agapitus. Four days later the great St Laurence of Rome, another deacon, was martyred.

The names of Sts Sixtus, Cyprian and Laurence appear in the Roman Canon (Eucharistic Prayer I).

I wonder did St Cyprian, as he wrote, have any inkling of the fact that he too would be beheaded in the same persecution under the Emperor Valerian, on 14 September that same year? He is honoured on 16 September.

Fr Ragheed Ganni (20 January 1972 - 3 June 2007)

On 4 June 2007 AsiaNews reported the killing of Father Ragheed Ganni and three sub-deacons the day before in Mosul, Iraq. In Sunday Reflections for last Sunday I wrote about this, as I have done a number of times before. Father Ragheed's companions were Basman Yousef DaudWahid Hanna Isho, and Gassan Isam BidawedThe AsiaNews - Father Ragheed had been a regualr contributor - report says,'They were young men alive with faith, who accompanied their parish priests every more, risking their lives for their belief in Christ', their friends tell.  Suddenly, at the corner of the road, their car is blocked by unknown armed men militants who order the woman (the wife of one of them) to distance herself from the others and then, in cold blood, shoot the remaining passengers, repeatedly.  The aggressor’s then booby trapped the car with explosives; with the aim of further carnage should anyone near the car to recover the bodies.  In the immediate aftermath of the attack, the bodies remained, abandoned on the city street, because no one dared to approach.  It was only towards ten pm (Local time) that security forces finally defused the explosives allowing corpses to be recovered.  They now lie in repose in the Church of the Holy Spirit.

The bishops of Iraq said, It is a most heinous crime that any person of proper conscience would reject.  The authors carried out a most horrible act against God, against humanity, against their own brothers who were peace loving citizens, as well as men of religion who always offered their prayers to God the Almighty for security and stability in Iraq.

One of those bishops was Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho of Mosul, whose secretary Father Ragheed was. I wonder did he have any inkling that nine months later, on 13 March 2008, his murdered body would be found?

Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho (20 November 1942 - February or March 2008)


The singer in the video is Father Ragheed and the hymn, in Arabic, is one to our Blessed Mother. The recording was played during his funeral procession.

In the subject of the post I deliberately used 'AD', from the Latin Anno Domini, 'in the year of the Lord' and is placed before the year. I cannot abide the 'politically correct' 'CE', which can mean the 'Christian Era' but really means 'Common Era'. Common to whom?

AD 258 in Rome and AD 2007 in Mosul, both years of martyrs for Jesus Christ, both very definitely Years of the Lord.

Collect for the optional memorial of Saint sixtus II, Pope, and Companions, Martyrs

By the power of the Holy Spirit, 
we pray, almighty God, 
make us docile in believing the faith 
and courageous in confessing it, 
just as you granted Saint Sixtus and his companions that they might lay down their lives for the sake of your word and in witness to Jesus.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, 
one God, for ever and ever.

I pray to Father Ragheed every day, as part of a litany of mostly Irish saints, blesseds and candidates for beatification, for a renewal of faith of persons close to me.

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