“‘Seek ye therefore first the Kingdom of God, and His justice, and all these things shall be added unto you’ (Matthew 6:33). The Church’s mission is to save souls. Evil, in this world, comes from sin. Not from income disparity or “climate change”. The solution is: Evangelization. Conversion.” ~Dr. Anca-Maria Cernea
Advent is concerned with that very connection between memory and hope which is so necessary to man. Advent’s intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely, the memory of the God who became a child. This is a healing memory; it brings hope. The purpose of the Church’s year is continually to rehearse her great history of memories, to awaken the heart’s memory so that it can discern the star of hope. … It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope. ~Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Seek That Which Is Above
The greatest grace God can give someone is to send him a trial he cannot bear with his own powers—-and then sustain him with His grace so he may endure to the end and be saved. ~St. Justin Martyr, 100AD-165AD
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor– and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness. ~Opening quote from the Thanksgiving Proclamation signed by George Washington, President of the United States of America, October 3, 1789
The Lord looks at us. He looks at us first. My experience is what I feel in front of the tabernacle, when I go in the evening to pray before the Lord. Sometimes I nod off for a while; this is true, for the strain of the day more or less makes [me] fall asleep, but he understands. I feel great comfort when I think of the Lord looking at me. We think we have to pray and talk, talk, talk. . . . No! Let the Lord look at you. When he looks at us, he gives us strength and helps us to bear witness to him. ~Pope Francis, May 18, 2013
Bishop-elect Steven Lopes
Here is the text of the statement made by Bishop-elect Lopes during the press conference after the announcement that Pope Francis had appointed Msgr Lopes as 1st Bishop of The Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter.
November 24, 2015
Praised be Jesus Christ!
It is with humility and in a spirit of obedience to our Lord that I accept this appointment to serve as Bishop of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Trusting in the intercession of Our Lady, the consciousness of my limitations yields to gratitude, hope, and joy.
I am grateful for the ecumenical vision of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who reminded us that unity of faith allows for vibrant diversity in the expression of that faith. I am grateful for the fatherly care Pope Francis continues to show for the Ordinariates, born from the rich patrimony of English Catholicism. Indeed, in the approval of the new Missal for the celebration of Mass, in the careful consideration of clergy who desire to join us, and in the appointment of the first Ordinariate Bishop, Pope Francis is making this model of communion-in-diversity ever more concrete.
Monsignor Jeffrey Steenson has been for me an outstanding example of wisdom, graciousness, and evangelical zeal. He truly has the heart of a Priest and I am confident that all of the faithful and clergy of the Ordinariate join me in saying: Thank you. We could not have asked for a better leader to lay the foundations for the Ordinariate in the United States and Canada.
Through my work at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, I have come to know firsthand the Priests and communities of this Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. They have a passion for the communion of the Church and for the truth of the Gospel as contained in Sacred Scripture and Tradition that fills me with hope. I see the vitality that the Ordinariate brings to the Universal Church, and I know that there is a bright future ahead.
It is a great joy and privilege to be joined to this Particular Church under the patronage of St. Peter and to share in its mission of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I stand among women and men for whom “Catholic communion” is no abstract concept. They have sacrificed for it. They have displayed courage and fortitude in favor of it. They have thrown wide open the doors of their hearts to the infinite possibilities of what God’s grace can accomplish in and through them. It can and should move the heart of every Catholic to witness this amazing courage and this vitality in our Church.
So here we stand, together, in this thing with a peculiar name, “Ordinariate,” but with a dynamism and beauty all its own. It is the Lord who has accomplished this in his Church, and great are the works of the Lord!
~ Rev. Msgr. Steven J. Lopes
Bishop-elect of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter
“Neither suffering nor serious illness, neither the exhausting ministerial activity, frequently carried out in difficult and dangerous circumstances, could stifle the radiating and contagious joy which he brought to his life for Christ and which nothing could take away. Indeed, the deepest root of self-sacrificing surrender for the lowly was his passionate love for Jesus Christ and his ardent desire to be conformed to him, even unto death.” ~Pope John Paul II, at the beatification of Blessed Miguel Pro on September 25, 1988.
On the Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin, the Church offers special thanks for all the men and women who have answered the Lord’s call to serve him in monastic, cloistered, and contemplative life.
“On this occasion, we thank the Lord for the gift of the vocation of men and women who, in monasteries and hermitages, have dedicated their lives to God. .. Let us not be remiss in our duty of spiritual and material closeness to them, in order that [they] might be able to fulfill their important mission of prayer and silent work.” ~Pope Francis, General Audience, November 18, 2015
Please pray for the youth, chaperones, religious women and men, clergy and behind-the-scenes staff from the Diocese of Portland, Maine and beyond who will be participating in Journey 2015 this weekend. Pray that God Who is rich in mercy will flood their hearts and minds with Eucharistic joy!