Karol, a man become pope. - Part 2 of 5.

Post for priests, who Our Lady, is teaching me, to love. In spite of myself.

'The babe in my womb leaped for joy'

The Visitation , El Greco, painted 1610-13 El Greco captures the swirling dance of life in today's gospel. When the babe in Elizabeth's womb, St John the Baptist, leaped for joy upon the arrival of his cousin Jesus, in the womb of Mary. St Luke tells us twice that the infant in Elizabeth's womb leaped. My friend Lala below, feeding her friend Jordan, wasn't a source of joy to her mother when she was born 31 years ago. Her mother, probably in great distress but perhaps with hope in her heart, left her newborn baby in a garbage pail where she was found and taken to the orphanage of the Daughters of Charity in Cebu City. today she lives in the L'Arche community in Cainta, Rizal, part of the great urban sprawl of Metro Manila. Lala is certainly a source of joy to all who know her. Jordan, born with multiple disabilities, has been in the L'Arche community for most of his life. While Lala didn't have to go 'with haste into the hill country' to take c

"Gratitude" by Father Joseph C. Martin


A Wonderful Blog

I have just discovered this excellent blog by a Ukranian Eastern-Rite Catholic priest-monk. Take a look.

44th Ordination Anniversary

The graves of martyrs in front of the  Pietá in Regina Martyrum (Queen of Martyrs) Church near Plotenzee Prison, Berlin, where many were executed by the Nazis, including   Fr Alfred Delp SJ . Today is the 44th anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood in St Mary's Pro-Cathedral, Dublin, my native city. Three days ago I posted about   Fr Alfred Delp SJ , martyred by the Nazis on 2 February 1945. While doing research for that I came across a sermon he gave on the Sacrament of Holy Orders, one of a series on the Seven Sacraments in Munich in the autumn of 1941. I found it on the   website of The Ignatius Press . From the website of The Ignatius Press Here is the text of the sermon with some parts   highlighted  and   [comments]   added. Holy Orders | by Fr. Alfred Delp, S.J. | Preached in Munich, Autumn 1941 "Let the grace that is in you through the laying on of hands be rekindled." (2 Timothy 1:8) ...First: In that great moment of our life when we go to be orda

Think twice about dropping your donation into that Salvation Army kettle!

As a social worker in the eighties, I worked extensively with the Salvation Army, so I had a positive image of their good works,  and regularly donated to their kettle campaign each Christmas. This all changed this week when Anita Crane, a reporter for World Net Daily sent me the Salvation Army's policy on abortion. It has loopholes which are unacceptable, too many babies fall through.  "The Salvation Army believes in the sanctity of human life. Humankind was created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). All people – without exception – are of value to him, holding a special place in his creation (Psalm 8:5), irrespective of age, gender, race, religion, health or social status, or their potential for achievement." But it also states, "A serious commitment to the protection and care of the unborn calls us to a commitment to the prevention of unwanted pregnancy through means such as  access to reliable birth control , safety in relationships, and societal respect of w

All things are possible

Do you ever think you just can’t do it... whatever ‘it’ is? Life seems impossible sometimes, doesn’t it? There is so much to do, and you’re just one person. It’s easy to fall into hopelessness, especially when you hear all the stories about abortion clinic atrocities, political scandals, and young women being crushed in elevators. It was hearing about that poor woman in an elevator from a friend in New York City where it happened, that I tried to formulate an answer to the ‘why me’ or ‘why does God let this happen’ question. I didn’t manage to formulate anything that didn’t contain the usual phrases about free choice, redemptive suffering, and unknown silver linings. Granted, we use those phrases over and over again because they are true and theologically sound, yet I was unsatisfied. My Big Apple friend was really struggling – not with his faith, which is sound – but with the temptation to become cynical. I wrestled with this puzzle for days to no good end. And then God came thr

Saved From Typhoon Flood Waters: Please Pray for the People of Dumaguete City

Among the news you read in won't read in thee aftermath of the Typhoon Sendong that hit southern Phillipines is the miraculous story of my brother's newborn nephew, Brennan Kyle Alcantara. Read more here...

Devastation in southern Philippines

 Tropical storm 'Washi', Philippine name 'Sendong', devastated two major cities in northern Mindanao in the early hours of yesterday morning, Saturday, 17 December, killing hundreds of people. The two cities, Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, are very familiar to me and to many Columbans. We still have a house in Cagayan de Oro and a parish in the city, and at one time worked in all of the parishes in the Diocese of Iligan, including those in the city. Mindanao isn't a small island. It is larger than Ireland. The storm was initially forecast to strike the island of Negros, expected to affect Bacolod City where I live. But it changed course and hit an area of Mindanao that rarely if ever experiences a typhoon or tropical storm. Some friends were directly affected but nobody that I know, as far as I am aware, was killed. The home of one of our household staff in the Columban house in Cagayan de Oro was very badly damaged. He and hiw family are now staying in the Colum

Where's The Catholic Mom Bloggers?

In support of our Catholic Mom Bloggers. We have one in our parish. Her name is Dianna. She is an emergency room nurse,  a mother of four, with another on the way. Dianna is a member of our pastoral council and recently started a Moms Club in our parish for mothers of children under five. Moms and their children have  activities several times a month for morning play dates, story times and field trips. Moms periodically meet up for Mom's Night's Out. Dianna blogs over at The Kennedy Adventures! . Go girls! I admire you all. Deacon Gerry By Jennifer Fulwiler Earlier this week Babble released its list of the  Top Mom Blogs of 2011 , and my email inbox has been abuzz ever since. My friends and I have been reading mommy blogs since we first became parents, and so we took great interest in this collection. First, we all agreed that Babble did a good job: These are definitely the most popular “mommy blogs” in the English-speaking world. But then someone pointed out:  Hey, wait

An Advent Voice of Hope from Nazi Germany: Fr Alfred Delp SJ

Fr Alfred Delp SJ, 5 September 1907 - 2 February 1945 Stamp issued in West Germany 1964 I used to own a copy of The Prison Meditations of Alfred Delp SJ but lost it somewhere along the way while being transferred from one place to another. Jenny Howell, of the Center for Christian Ethics, Baylor University, Waco, Texas, writes her reflections on these writings here . She uses the title under which Father Delp's writings have been more recently published by Ignatius Press, Advent of the Heart: Seasonal Sermons and Prison Writings .  I was born in Ireland on Hitler's birthday in 1943, just two years before World War II ended. Though independent Ireland wasn't involved directly in that conflict I have often wondered how the profoundly anti-Christian and anti-human Nazism took hold in a country that produced so many great saints and creators of beauty such as Beethoven, led by a man from the country that gave birth to Haydn and Mozart. (I once met a man in rural Kentucky wh

‘Let what you have said be done to me.’ Sunday Reflections, 4th Sunday of Advent Year B

Annunciation , El Greco, painted 1596-1600 Readings   (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Gospel Luke 1:26-38 (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. He went in and said to her, 'Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you.' She was deeply disturbed by these words and asked herself what this greeting could mean, but the angel said to her, 'Mary, do not be afraid; you have won God's favour. Listen! You are to conceive and bear a son, and you must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the House of Jacob for ever and his reign will have no end.' Mary said to the angel, 'But how can