Postage for Pakistan and other parts of the planet

Friday, November 29, 2013

An easy (free!) way to promote the cause of Fr. Aloysius Ellacuria, C.M.F.

Please register for THE FATIMA PROTOCOL: "Fr. Aloysius in his own words" on Dec 1, 2013 1:00 PM PST at:

Webinar participants will discuss the new book, "The Fatima Protocol". This is the first in a webinar series addressing growing interest in Father Aloysius, his life and his work. This series is part of a campaign for the promotion of the upcoming cause of sainthood for Fr. Aloysius.

1. "The Fatima Protocol" highlights what happened in 1971, it's significance for Fr. Aloysius, and, more importantly, its meaning for us today. Each episode in our webinar series is based on the writings of Fr. Aloysius Ellacuria, C.M.F. Participants receive a link to download the resources for the webinar beforehand. Our series uncovers the most fascinating period in the history of the Church - the transition that took place just after the Vatican Council. Discover how Fr. Aloysius addresses the transition, and his secret for challenges we are facing today.

2. Availability of the hardback copy of The Fatima Protocol will be shortly before Christmas 2013. Webinar participants will receive a special offer to acquire the book before it is officially released.

3. During the webinar we will discuss our strategy for the upcoming campaign for the cause of sainthood for Fr. Aloysius.

Additional information about the book, "The Fatima Protocol" is available at the following link:

Please register for the webinar soon, since we have a webinar limit of 100 participants. Once you register, you will receive login credentials for Sunday's event which takes place from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm Pacific Time.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Book review: The Miracle of Father Kapaun: Priest, soldier, and Korean War hero

Most people have never heard of Fr. Emil (eh-meal) Kapaun (kah-PAWN). That is a tragic shame.

Many have heard of Abner Doubleday. They know of the Red Baron. They're familiar with Sgt. York. They know of Ernie Pyle. They know of President Kennedy's World War II heroics, and all with due cause.

But this man who saved dozens of men on the battlefield and hundreds under the most inhumane conditions after thousands were imprisoned in the freezing far north of North Korea, give them that name -- Fr. Emil Kapaun -- and they'll go deer-in-the-headlights on you. Blank stares. Uncomprehending stares. Really unfortunate stares.

Unfortunate because this man was Doubleday, the Red Baron, Sgt. York, Ernie Pyle, JFK, Chuck Yeager, and then some on steroids. His exploits are so astounding, so superhuman as to be unbelievable.

Until now, there has not been a single, comprehensive source for Fr. Kapaun's story, the tale of this man who in April 2013 was posthumously and finally awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest decoration for any member of the military. Now there is, and praise God for it.

The Miracle of Father Kapaun: Priest, soldier, and Korean War hero is based off a series of articles written by Wichita Eagle reporter Roy Wenzl and a photographer from the same publication, Travis Heying. In a way that moves you along and is in many places gripping, you learn this war-hero-over-all-war-heroes' story. You learn of the miracles his intercession has allegedly wrought.

More to the point, though, you learn what a miracle this man was in and of himself. Words fail me in my effort to express just how well done this book is. Of course, it would be somewhat like a painter creating a portrait of Cindy Crawford. The model is so good, anyone with any degree of skill could do a passable job. But let's not take away anything from either Wenzl or Heying. They have done a top notch job of bringing this story to life.

Ignatius Press has published this wonderful work ($19.95, 160 pp., hardcover). You can find it at your local Catholic bookstore by going to Type in your zip code, determine how far you'd like to drive (anywhere from 5-100 miles), and hit "Search." Or order it from any bookseller, just preferably one that's brick and mortar.

As I told my son today, if you don't read this book, you're really missing out.

Dear God, may Fr. Kapaun pray for us now and always.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Saints News for October

Teenage Italian Martyr Beatified 

The Church beatified a 14-year-old martyr on October 5. Rolando Rivi was a seminarian in Modena, Italy, whom communists kidnapped and beat to death. 

Here’s the interesting thing: He did nothing to elicit his martyrdom. All he did was walk down the street wearing his cassock. However, in the post-War period, when the anti-clerical Reds were particularly strong and vocal about their hatred for all things Catholic, that simple act was enough.  

His parents and others had warned him that with the communists out in force, it was not prudent to wear the cassock. But Rolando said he saw no reason why he shouldn’t wear it because it “is the sign that I belong to Jesus.” 

In his October 6 Angelus address, Pope Francis said of Bl. Rolando, “Let us thank God for this young martyr, a heroic witness of the Gospel. And how many youth of 14 years today have before their eyes this example: a courageous youth who knew where he was going, who knew the love of Jesus in his heart and gave his life for Him. A fine example for the youth!”

Pope Declares New Saint, and Makes a New Canadian Venerable 

On October 9, Pope Francis declared an Italian blessed as a saint. Angela da Foligno lived from 1248 to 1309. She was a wife and mother who lived a life divorced from God when one day, St. Francis appeared to her in a dream calling her to repentance. From that point on, she withdrew from the world, and when her family died, she founded an order. The order was unique at the time because its women weren’t cloistered. Instead, they led a life of service to the needy. St. Angela is most remembered, however, for her spiritual writings. Especially noteworthy is her autobiography, Memorial. 

That same day, he declared venerable Bishop Pio Alberto Del Corona, an Italian who lived from 1837 to 1912 and founded the Dominican Sisters of the Holy Spirit; Attilio Luciano Giordani (1913-72), and Italian layman, father, and Salesian Cooperator, Sister Maria Eleonora Giorgi (1882-1945), an Italian religious sister of the Sisters Servants of Our Lady of Sorrows, Amato Ronconi (1226-92), an Italian layman, Secular Franciscan and founder of a hospice for the poor in Rimini, Italy, Sister Marie Elisabeth Turgeon (1840-81), a Canadian and foundress of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, and Sister Maria Jane Wilson (1840-1916), an Indian religious who founded the Franciscan Sisters of Our Lady of Victories. 

According to Canada’s Catholic Register, “The now Venerable Marie Elisabeth died of tuberculosis at the age of 41, but before her death she had founded a teaching order and extended basic education to children in remote villages in rural Quebec. [Today the order has] 360 religious sisters active in Canada, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and the United States.” 

Additionally, the Pope also signed off on a miracle attributed to the intercession of the Servant of God Maria Assunta Caterina Marchetti, the Italian co-foundress of the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of St. Charles (1871-1948). This means she will soon become a blessed. 

Yet More Spanish Martyrs Beatified   

On October 13, in the city of Tarragona, Spain, the Church beatified the Servant of God Maria of Montserrat (nee Josepha Pilar García y Solanas) and 8 Companions, professed nuns of the Order of the Minims of St. Francis di Paola, plus Lucrezia García y Solanas, a laywoman and widow, who were killed in hatred of the Faith during the Spanish Civil War on July 23, 1936. Lucrezia was the sister of Maria de Monserrat. 

Hungarian Martyr Beatified 

On October 19, István Sandor, a Salesian monk executed by Hungary’s communist regime in 1953, was declared beatified. This means he is definitely in heaven and is only one miracle away from canonization.  

When Hungary’s communist regime outlawed all religious orders in 1950, including the Salesians, Sandor ignore this and continued his ministry. The communists learned of this, and although Sandor could have easily fled, he decided he could not abandon his flock. Still, he avoided detection for roughly two years before finally being arrested, tried, and executed. 

US Priest’s Cause Moves to Rome 

On Wednesday, October 30, a Mass took place at the Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel in Loretto, PA, to commemorate the closing of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown’s investigation into the beatification cause of the Servant of God Fr. Demetrius Gallitzin. 

A Russian prince, Gallitzin was born into the Russian Orthodox Church but became Catholic at age 17. At 22, he came to America, entered the seminary, and received ordination three years later, making him one of the first priests to take Holy Orders on American soil.  

He was sent to the area around Loretto and was so untiring in his missionary efforts, he became known as the Apostle of the Alleghenies.  

His cause now moves to Rome where the Congregation for the Causes of Saints will study whether he lived a life of heroic virtue.

Saints news for September

Romanian martyr beatified in Bucharest

On August 31, Angelo Cardinal Amato, prefect for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints beatified Msgr. Vladimir Ghika, a priest martyred by the Romanian communist government.

Monsignor was beatified at a Mass attended by 10,000 people, who came out to remember the man who resisted government efforts to make all Catholics reject the pope by becoming members of the state-sponsored Romanian Orthodox Church.

As Cardinal Amato noted in his homily, “Catholics were humiliated, their property confiscated, bishops and priests were imprisoned and killed, seminarians were tortured, lay Christians were forced to renounce the Catholic faith, monks were dispersed, schools and churches were closed and seized, religious liberty was suppressed.”

Msgr. Ghika, who was a member of the Romanian royal family and a convert from Orthodoxy, used his wealth to care for the needy in Paris, where he was ordained as a priest.

He returned to his homeland, however, after the outbreak of World War II to minister to Polish refugees following Germany’s invasion of Poland. He also found a way to guard Jews from deportation to the death camps.

Although, he could have returned to France following the War, he decided to stay in Romania, despite his being doubly worthy of persecution, being both a royal and a Catholic.

In 1952, at age 79, the communists imprisoned him, and he spent his time in prison serving and witnessing to his fellow inmates.

He died two years later on May 16 following the brutal treatment of the secret police, including being electrocuted with cattle prods, treatment which caused his partial loss of hearing and sight.

Modern Italian woman beatified

On September 7, Angelo Cardinal Amato, prefect for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints beatified an Italian laywoman who tirelessly worked to relieve the distress and suffering of the poor and sick.

Maria Bolognesi (1924-80) was born illegitimate and grew up impoverished. Her father physically abused her, and her mom blasphemed God and the Faith. Demons tempted her, and yet she held close to God, who gave her mystical experiences, which redoubled her love for Him. This she expressed in caring for the “poor, orphans, and sick.”

Read more here.

Argentine diocesan priest beatified

On Saturday, September 14, in Córdoba, Argentina, Angelo Cardinal Amato, prefect for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints beatified Fr. José Gabriel Brochero (1840-1914), a cowboy priest who gone blind and become leprous by the time of his death.

The Italian news agency ANSA (Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata) reported, “the gaucho priest was indefatigable when traveling in the remote mountainous areas around Córdoba to bring the word of the Catholic Church to the people, as well as when he used to help build houses, churches, schools, post offices, dams, roads, and telegraph networks.”

Catholic World News reports that Pope Francis, who is himself Argentinian, praised Blessed José Gabriel in a letter to Archbishop Jose Maria Arancedo of Santa Fe, the president of the Argentine bishops’ conference, which was made public on the date of the beatification ceremony. The Pontiff characterized the “gaucho priest” as a “shepherd who had the smell of his sheep.”

First Prince Edward Island bishop’s cause opens

The beatification cause for the late Angus MacEachern, the first bishop for Canada’s Prince Edward Island, has been opened. Many believe this step is “long overdue.”

In 1790, then-Fr. MacEachern emigrated to Canada at age 31 with his family. For the next four decades and with almost no financial support, he labored as a worker in the Lord’s vineyard there on the Island. What made him remarkable in the eyes of people even today was his resilience, his dedication, and his love for the gospel and people’s souls. He alsoo founded “the first institute of higher learning on PEI, and the first such Catholic institution in Atlantic Canada.”

One could say he was the apostle of eastern Canada because he was so pivotal in establishing the Church in that part of the country.

Church beatifies Italian Franciscan

On Sunday, September 22, Fra Tommaso da Olera, OFM Cap, a 17th century Capuchin, received beatification at the cathedral in Bergamo, Italy.

He was illiterate upon entering the order as a lay brother, but eventually, his wisdom and judgment made him a preferred advisor to various noblemen in Austria and Bavaria, where he was stationed. He was also a great preacher, making understandable those parts of the Gospels that many have a hard time comprehending.

Pius XII Understood Controversy Would Follow Him

A priest acquaintance of Ven. Pius XII has said that the World War II-era Pope knew people would question his actions concerning the Jews and the Holocaust.

Nonetheless, says Fr. Peter Gumpel, who was an investigator for the late pontiff’s beatification cause, Pope Pius went to his death believing he had done the right thing.

Even during the War, some within and outside the Vatican criticized the Holy Father for not enough action. Nonetheless, over 800,000 Jews were saved from death by Pius XII’s actions, and Jewish luminaries from Israel’s first female Prime Minister Golda Meir to Albert Einstein to Rome’s Chief Rabbi during the War lauded His Holiness for the things he did to save their coreligionists from certain death.

Fr. Kapaun’s Inspirational Story Doesn’t Equal Sainthood, Vatican Investigator Says

Many people find the story of the Servant of God Father Emil Kapaun inspiring and a great example of the Good Shepherd who gives his life for his flock.

Yet last week, Italian lawyer Andrea Ambrosi, who conducts sainthood investigations for the Vatican, went to Wichita, Kansas, to further investigate the late Army chaplain’s sainthood cause, and said the priest’s inspirational life is not enough on its own to merit sainthood.

What will be just as if not more important is answering the question: Was Kapaun a martyr for the Faith?

Ambrosi says after years of intense review, he is ready to say that Fr. Kapaun was indeed a martyr. His findings will go into a report that will be finished sometime before spring 2014.

However, the martyrdom bar is very high, and just because Ambrosi is recommending the Church recognize Father’s status as a martyr does not mean others will agree.

Remember, if it is conclusively decided by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints that someone was a martyr, that person automatically qualifies for beatification. It means that person is irrefutably in heaven. They would still need a miracle, however, to qualify for canonization.

Keep in mind that a beatified person -- or a beato -- is considered a saint, but their veneration is historically limited to a local church, say in a diocese or even a monastery. Canonization is a recognition by the universal Church that this person should be venerated and emulated.

Croatian Priest Beatified

This past Sunday, the Servant of God Miroslav Bulesic was formally beatified as a martyr in Pula, Croatia. The beatification ceremony was attended by the entire Croatian episcopate, 670-plus priests, and an estimated 17,000 congregants.
Bl. Miroslav died at age 27 in 1947 because communists took issue with his administering the sacraments, and they beat him one day relentlessly. When that didn’t kill him, they cut his throat.

Advertisements on this page

If memory serves, the word "advertisement" in French means "warning." Judging by an ad I saw on this page just now, I would echo to this, "Amen."

The ad in question says Mormons believe Jesus is the Savior of the world. True. Their theology does teach this.

However, one cannot say they are Christians. Why? Because Christians -- in order to be such -- must be Trinitarian. That is, they must believe in one God in three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Mormons will profess belief in each of these, but they do not believe they are all One. Jesus is the Son of God the Father, but He is not, in the words of the Nicene Creed, "consubstantial" (i.e., one) with Him. Also, and in the same respect, they neither believe what the Eastern Orthodox or the Latin Church believe about the Holy Spirit.

Ergo, they are not Christians. Buyer beware. Our Lord spoke about false prophets. This is just another example of what He meant. The Mormons are basically modern day Gnostics and Arians.

RIP to a true son of the Church

Today we learn that the soul of Domenico Cardinal Bartolucci has departed this world to meet its maker. What? You mean his name isn't familiar to you? Don't feel bad. His presence was an obscure one, and made even more so by the persecution he suffered late in his career.

You see, as director of the Sistine Choir, he insisted on -- gasp! -- having the most beautiful, traditional music possible. Arguably, he helped keep Gregorian chant and polyphony alive within the Vatican. For this, the modernist influences within the papal household, particularly the liturgical department, had him summarily dismissed. You can read more about the controversy here.

However, he was, to use a communist term, "rehabilitated" when Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI raised him to the dignity of cardinal.

His funeral takes places today (maybe even at this moment?). Please say a prayer for the happy repose of his soul, possibly this one: Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and all the souls of the faithfully departed rest in peace.

RIP to a true son of the Church.