Friday, November 6, 2020

STRESS IN THE WORK PLACE- A PATRON

 

 


I don’t care who you are or what your work is, there is always some stress. Psychologists tell us that a certain amount of stress in our lives is good, as it basically keeps us going by challenging us.  But too much stress?  In these days of an on-going pandemic, it can be too much for the best of us.  So who can we turn to?

 

ST. WALTER of PONTOISE  was an 11th-century Benedictine monk who is recognized today as the patron saint of people experiencing job-related stress. He himself experienced his fair share of job-related stress. He longed for a life of solitude, but he kept being appointed to leadership positions in his community. 

St. Walter, born in France was an intelligent and devout man, becoming a professor of philosophy and rhetoric. He then felt called to the religious life and become a Benedictine monk at Rebais-en-Brie.

 King Philip noticed his natural abilities and appointed him abbot of a monastery in Pontoise against his will. Walter didn’t have much of a choice, so he obediently accepted his new position.

Life wasn’t easy as the discipline at the monastery when he arrived was horrid. Because of his dedication to monastic life, many of the monks were angry, so  they captured and imprisoned him. He was eventually released and resumed the work he began, devoting himself more to prayer, asking God to grant him the strength to persevere. 


St. Walter fled several times from the monastery because he couldn’t deal with the stress of the situation. 

At one point, Walter left his position at Pontoise to become a monk at Cluny under Hugh  (St. Hugh (d. 1109), sometimes called Hugh the Great, was the Abbot of Cluny from 1049 until his death. He was one of the most influential leaders of the monastic orders from the Middle Ages.) but he was forced to return to Pontoise.  

A story told of him, was that he once took the road to Touraine and hid himself on an island in the Loire, before being led back to the abbey. He also escaped to an oratory near Tours dedicated to Sts. Cosmas and Damian before being recognized by a pilgrim there. Poor man, he just never gave up  trying to avoid his  duties. 

He even fled as far as Rome, delivering a written letter of resignation to Pope Gregory VII, but the Holy Father turned him back and said he was forbidden to run away from his monastery ever again.


After coming back to Pontoise, Walter worked hard to combat corruption and the lack of discipline among his monks and the clergy of the region. He faced the same ordeals of St. Benedictine in the early monasteries he was put in charge of.

With grace, St. Walter embraced his responsibilities using his God-given talents. St. Walter is a good intercessor to help you get through any stress that work is causing for you.

Monday, November 2, 2020

NO COINCIDENCES IN HEAVEN- A FRIEND OF THE NEW BLESSED McGIVNEY

 

As I like to say, there are no coincidents in heaven.  We have just celebrated the beatification of Father Michael McGivney  and someone  who had a great devotion to him, has passed to the Father- all too soon for many, as he was only 45 years old. Shortly before he passed away, a relic of Bl. McGivney was laid upon his chest, as those in the hospital room sang the Salve Regina.

 


ANDREW THOMAS WALTHER, president and chief operating officer of EWTN News, died Sunday evening in New Haven, Connecticut. Remembered first as a loving husband and father, in his life’s work he was dedicated to serving the Catholic Church and defending persecuted religious minorities throughout the world. 

Only in June of this year, did he take on these responsibilities and was soon after diagnosed with leukemia. During the course of his treatment, Andrew continued to lead the EWTN News team and to serve both his family and the Church.

“Andrew Walther’s death is a source of great sadness for all of us at EWTN and for me personally. Although Andrew had only been in his role as President and Chief Operating Officer of EWTN News since June, he had already accomplished so much. He had also been a friend and collaborator for many years before joining the Network. His death is a great loss for all who knew him, for EWTN and for the Church,” Michael Warsaw, chief executive officer and EWTN board chairman, remembered Nov. 2.

For 15 years, until his death Andrew worked for the Knights of Columbus, where he was Vice President for Communications and Strategic Planning. He served as an advisor to Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, while overseeing numerous initiatives for the Knight, including a pandemic response campaign earlier this year and other crisis response projects.

With his wife, Maureen, he co-authored “The Knights of Columbus: An Illustrated History,” a book released this year.

Andrew's work on behalf of Middle Eastern Christians  was especially close to his heart. He played an essential role in a Knights of Columbus effort to assist persecuted and refugee Christians, through a fund that has distributed more than $20 million in aid, especially in Syria, Iraq, and the surrounding region. This offered on-the-ground assistance to Christians rebuilding lives, churches, and  towns destroyed by ISIS, including an effort to completely rebuild the Iraqi town of Karamles on the Nineveh Plain. His work in the region has been widely praised by bishops and other Christian leaders across the Middle East.

Born in California  in 1974, he attended  the University of Southern California (USC) where he earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in Classics. He taught writing for several years, and was recognized with the university’s Excellency in Teaching Award.

“He was a man of deep faith and extraordinary gifts who always used his talents to serve others. He leaves behind a tremendous legacy that includes years of service to the Church, to the cause of persecuted Christians around the globe and to building up the culture of life. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Maureen and their four young children. He was a tremendous man and a wonderful friend whom I will miss greatly. That his death came on the Solemnity of All Saints is a great consolation to us all,” Warsaw recalled.

He and his wife Maureen  married in 2010 and are the parents of four children. It is fitting that we remember him especially on this day of All Souls.


Friday, October 30, 2020

ALL SOULS DAY IN A PANDEMIC

How do we keep great feasts of the year in the midst of a pandemic, which seems to be on the rise worldwide? The Church helps us by giving new regulations  to help us stay safe.

Plenary or full indulgences traditionally obtained during the first week of November for the souls of the faithful in purgatory can now be gained throughout the entire month of November, the Vatican said.

                                                       All Souls Day - Jakub Schikaneder- Czech (d. 1924)

Traditionally, the faithful could receive a full indulgence each day from Nov. 1 to Nov. 8 when they visited a cemetery to pray for the departed and fulfilled other conditions, and, in particular, when they went to a church or an oratory to pray Nov. 2, All Souls' Day.

Also, those who are ill or homebound and would not be able to physically visit a church or cemetery in the prescribed timeframe still will be able to receive a plenary indulgence when meeting certain conditions, the Apostolic Penitentiary, a Vatican tribunal that deals with matters of conscience, said in a notice recently released.

The new provisions were made after a number of bishops asked for guidance as to how the faithful could perform the works required for receiving a plenary indulgence given the ongoing pandemic and restrictions in many parts of the world limiting the number of people who can gather in one place.

Bishops' conferences in countries where large numbers of faithful traditionally go to confession, attend Mass and visit cemeteries during the week had asked how the faithful could be accommodated given COVID-19 restrictions or in the case that a member of the faithful was ill, in isolation or in quarantine, the cardinal said.

Those who cannot leave their homes or residence for "serious reasons," which includes government restrictions during a pandemic, he said, also can receive a plenary indulgence after reciting specific prayers for the deceased or reflecting on a Gospel reading designated for Masses of the dead before an image of Jesus or the Blessed Virgin Mary, or by performing a work of mercy.

In all cases, one also must fulfill the normal requirements set by the church for all plenary indulgences, which demonstrate a resolve to turn away from sin and convert to God. Those conditions include: having a spirit detached from sin; going to confession as soon as possible; receiving the Eucharist as soon as possible; praying for the pope's intentions; and being united spiritually with all the faithful.

“Have we any right to take it strange, if, in this English land, the spring-time of the Church should turn out to be an English spring, an uncertain, anxious time of hope and fear, of joy and suffering,—of bright promise and budding hopes, yet withal, of keen blasts, and cold showers, and sudden storms?”

                                             St. John Henry Newman, Second Spring Sermon, 1852

 

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

NEW BLESSED - CLOSE TO HOME

 


The last couple of years have seen a bit of a boom in American saint making. Before the beatification of Bl Stanley Rother in September 2017, no American-born man had yet risen to the distinction of Blessed in the Catholic Church. But with Father  McGivney's beatification, he will become the fourth American-born male Blessed (or fifth depending on when Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s beatification takes place!).

Our Mother Therese (past Prioress) was born and raised near Hartford, Connecticut, so has always had a devotion to FATHER MICHAEL McGIVNEY.

We relate to so many Knights of Columbas in our area, that we all feel we too  have a personal connection to this soon to become blessed priest.

A devoted parish priest of the Archdiocese of Hartford, Father McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus 138 years ago in order to serve the spiritual and material needs of Catholic men and their families.

“Father McGivney was ahead of his time in enhancing the laity's role in the Church and inspiring the laity to put their faith into action in countless ways,” Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson said. “Today, his spirit continues to shape the extraordinary charitable work of Knights as they continue to serve those on the margins of society as he served widows and orphans in the 1880s.”

“By permission of our Rt. Rev. Bishop, and in accordance with an Act of the Legislature of the State of Connecticut, we have formed an organization under the name of the Knights of Columbus,” he wrote in April 1882 to a long list of parish priests in Connecticut. He saw the fledgling Order as addressing a pressing need of the Catholic Church in America, and concluded with an earnest request: “that you will exert your influence in the formation of a Council in your parish.”

In May of 2020, following extensive investigations by Vatican medical experts and theologians, Pope Francis confirmed that Mikey Schachle, an unborn child with Down Syndrome, was miraculously cured of fetal hydrops, an uncommon and typically fatal condition, after the intercession of Father McGivney.

 The recognition of this miracle led the way to his beatification, which will occur on October 31.

Friday, October 23, 2020

DETROIT- RISING FROM THE ASHES


We all know the plight of the great city of Detroit.  Friends told us that in the past few  years things have been looking up, more building, more repairs, more business moving in, more jobs, but the pandemic has changed this forward movement. At present the city needs all the help it can get  and a possible  intercessor is FATHER  GABRIEL RICHARD, a 19th century priest who wrote Detroit's official city motto: Speramus meliora; resurget cineribus ("We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes.")


The Basilica of Ste. Anne de Detroit has started the process toward sainthood for  him and a guild that will study the life and materials of Father Richard has started, which hopefully will find sufficient evidence for his cause to be opened.  

Archbishop Allen Vigneron has said: "Fr. Richard was a zealous pastor whose missionary heart guided all that he did. At a time when we in the Archdiocese are coming to a renewed awareness of our missionary vocation, I am grateful that we are able to raise up Fr. Richard as a model and inspiration for our mission today."


"It is particularly poignant now, amid the difficulties of the pandemic, to be starting on this journey studying the life of a beloved pastor who died while caring for the sick," said Monsignor Charles Kosanke, current rector of the Basilica of Ste. Anne. "Father Gabriel Richard left an indelible mark on all of Michigan, from the life-saving ministries of his parish to the immeasurable contributions of those who have attended and taught at the University of Michigan."

Gabriel Richard was born in La Ville de Saintes, France (1767)  and entered the seminary in Angers in 1784 and was ordained on 15 October 1790. In 1792, he emigrated to Baltimore, Maryland. He taught mathematics at St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore, until being assigned by Bishop John Carroll  (First Bishop of the US) to do missionary work to the Indians in the Northwest Territory. He was first stationed in what is now Kaskaskia, Illinois, and later in Detroit, Michigan. Fr. Richard was a priest of the Society of Saint-Sulpice.

Fr. Richard organized the shipment of food aid to the city from neighboring farms in order to alleviate a food crisis following the loss of the city's supply of livestock and grain.

 Together with Chief Justice Augustus B. Woodward, Father Richard was a co-founder of the Catholepistemiad of Michigania (which would later be renamed the University of Michigan), authorized by the legislature in 1817. He served as its Vice-President from 1817 to 1821. Following the reorganization of the University in 1821, he was appointed to its Board of Trustees and served until his death, while ministering to the sick during a cholera epidemic. Not only a good intercessor for Detroit, but for all of us in this pandemic mess!


(Bust- Tim Hinkle)   


Wednesday, October 21, 2020

NEWEST SAINT FOR YOUTH

 

CARLOS ACUTIS,  who was beatified in Assisi Oct. 10, is an example of a teen who used the internet to “influence” people to draw closer to God, his mother, Antonia Salzano, said.

“Carlo was able to use social media and especially the internet as an ‘influencer’ for God.”

 Carlo  (see Blog  De. 2013) was 15 when he died from leukemia in 2006. He was a computer whiz who taught himself how to program and created a website cataloging the world’s Eucharistic miracles.

Growing up in the center of Milan, Carlo had a deep love for the Eucharist. He never missed daily Mass and adoration. He also prayed the rosary frequently and went to confession every week.

From age 11, he started helping out teaching catechism to kids at his parish, and he was always helping the poor and homeless in his neighborhood.

His mother said Carlo lived ordinary things in an extraordinary way.

“Obviously, being a boy of our times, he experienced what all the young people of his generation have -- so, computers, video games, football, school, friends...” These things might feel common to us,  “he managed to transform it into the extraordinary.” 

Like many teens, Carlo liked to play video games. His mom said he could teach young people today about how to properly enjoy them and other technology, without falling prey to the pitfalls of internet and social media use.

“Because he understood that they were potentially very harmful, very dangerous, he wanted to be the master of these means, not a slave,” she said. Her son practiced the virtue of temperance, she explained, so he “imposed on himself a maximum of one hour per week to use these means of communication.”

“So for Carlo, for sure the first point is to teach young people to have temperance, that is, to understand the need to maintain the proper autonomy and the need to be always able to say ‘no, enough,’ to not become a slave.” 

“Carlo reminds us of what is most important. The most important thing is to put God in the first place in our life.”   May he be as big an influence on the youth of today as is Bl. Georgio Frassati.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

SOURCE OF ALL LIFE

  


The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

The Eucharist is “the source and summit of the Christian life. The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward It. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ Himself, our Pasch.

 The Eucharist is the efficacious sign and sublime cause of that communion in the divine life and that unity of the People of God by which the Church is kept in being. It is the culmination both of God’s action sanctifying the world in Christ and of the worship men offer to Christ and through Him to the Father in the Holy Spirit.

Finally, by the Eucharistic celebration we already unite ourselves with the heavenly liturgy and anticipate eternal life, when God will be all in all. (CCC  1324-26)

  
 Svitozar Nenyuk- USA