Sunday, July 24, 2016

JESUIT AMONG THE NATIVES



Another amazing and interesting Jesuit for consideration is BROTHER VICENTE CANAS (1939- 1987)  a Spanish  missionary and Jesuit brother, who is credited with making the first peaceful contact with the Enawene NaweIndian tribe in Brazil in 1974. He lived with them for over ten years, adopting their way of life and helping them with necessary medical supplies. Due to his help, this indigenous people rebounded from a low 97 individuals to a population of over 430. Similar to Chico Mendes and Wilson Pinheiro, he died at the hands of cattle ranchers who are destroying the Amazon Rainfores.

Brother Canas helped the Enawene Nawe secure lands they considered necessary for their survival. In spite of receiving death threats from land owners and cattle ranchers, he successfully lobbied the Brazilian government for the territory to be officially granted for use by the tribe.
The tribe was campaigning for the use of a tract of land known as the Rio Preto, an important fishing area, which was omitted from inclusion in their original territory. They received numerous death threats from the local cattle ranchers subsequent to their lobbying.
The cultural survival of the Enawene Nawe is under constant threat. Their most pressing problem is the location of 5 mini hydroelectric generators located in the Juruena River, which is decreasing the native fish population. Because of this, the performing of the celebrated Yakwa festival may soon become impossible, putting at risk the heart of their rich religious tradition.
The Rio Preto (Adawina/Adowina) region has still not been demarcated, despite many years of work by the Enawene Nawe and a local indigenist NGO, OPAN (Operação Amazonia Nativa).
These threats are because of what Brother Vicente (Kiwxi) saw all those years ago - colonization of the state of Mato Grosso and Amazonia by soya mono-culturalists led by the Maggi family.

In 1987, a group of ranchers entered the home of Brother Vicente, near the village of the Enawene Nawe tribe, and stabbed him to death. Subsequently, the investigation into his murder was marred by corruption and incompetence and none of the 6 suspected murderers people were initially charged.
Nineteen years after his murder, the trial of those accused of killing him began in Cuiabá, capital of Mato Grosso state. The landmark trial began on the 24th of October 2006 and as of this date, the outcome has not been determined. Three men, which include the former police chief are finally on trial. Two of the other accused murderers have long since died and a third man has been deemed "too old" to stand trial.
Brother Vicente Canas Costa was born on October 22, 1939 in Alborea in Albacete, Spain. He entered the Jesuits on April 21, 1961 and quickly became the head of the Provincial Jesuit Brothers of Aragón, who were subsequently directed to travel to Brazil. He arrived in Brazil on January 19, 1966 and worked with both the Beiço-de-pau and the Miky indigenous tribes, watching as their populations were decimated due to contact with Europeans and the illnesses the Europeans brought. After taking his final vows on August 15, 1975, he first came into contact with the “Benedictines of the forest,” or the Enawenê-Nawê Indians. He began living with them in an attempt to protect their land and provide healthcare to them in 1977.
Brother Vicente was found dead on May 16, 1987 in his cabin next to the Juruema River in the state of Mato Grosso in Brazil. He was stabbed to death by people who desired the land of the Enawenê-Nawê and realized that they would never obtain it while Brother Vicente was alive to defend it. His estimated date of death was April 6, 1987. His murderers, have still not been brought to justice.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

ANOTHER JESUIT BLESSED


Recently I did the Blog on. Alfred Delp, SJ. In the biography it mentions BL. RUPERT MAYER one of Father Alfred’s mentors. He was born on 23 January 1876 in Stuttgart, Germany. On completing his secondary education he told his father he wanted to be a Jesuit. His father suggested he get ordained first and enter the Jesuits later, if that was still his wish. Rupert took this advice studying philosophy and theology before completing his final year at the seminary in Rottenburg. He was ordained on 2 May 1899 and celebrated his first Mass two days later.

He served for a year as a curate in Spaichingen before entering the Jesuit novitiate at Feldkirch in Austria on 1 Oct 1900. Following his novitiate, he went to the Netherlands for further studies between 1906 and 1911. He then traveled through Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands, preaching missions in many parishes. 

Bl. Rupert’s real apostolate began when he was transferred to Munich in 1912. There he devoted the rest of his 31 years to migrants who came to the city from farms and small towns looking for a job and a place to stay. He was totally committed to their needs- collecting food and clothing, looking for jobs and places for them to live. He also helped them preserve their Christian faith in a city which was rapidly becoming secular. 


With the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, Bl. Rupert at first offered his services to a camp hospital. But later was made Field Captain and travelled together with his men to France, Poland and Romania which brought him to the front line of battle. His courage and solidarity with his men became legendary. He was with them in the trenches and stayed with the dying to the very end. His courage was infectious and gave hope to his men in appalling conditions. In Dec. 1915 he was awarded the Iron Cross for bravery, a rare honor for a chaplain. His army career ended abruptly in 1916 when a badly broken leg had to be amputated. 

Military Chaplain

By the time he had fully recovered the war was over (1918) and he returned to Munich doing all he could to help people get back to a normal life. In November 1921 he became director of a Marian Congregation (Sodality of Our Lady) for men and within nine years its membership had grown to 7,000, coming from 53 different parishes. This meant that Bl. Rupert had to give up to 70 talks a month to reach all of them. For the convenience of travelers, he introduced Sunday Masses in 1925 at the main railway station. He himself would celebrate the earliest Masses, beginning at 3.10 a.m. In time, it could be said that the whole city of Munich had become his parish.

With huge social problems developing in Germany after World War I, Munich saw the rise of Communist and other social movements. Bl. Rupert took a close interest in these. He attended their meetings and even addressed them. His aim was to highlight Christian principles and to point out the fallacies in other speakers’ ideas which could mislead people. He was one of the first to recognize the dangers of  Hitler and Nazism challenging Nazi policy with Christian principles. It was inevitable that he would come in conflict with the Nazi movement.

When Hitler became chancellor of the Reich in 1933, he began to shut down church-affiliated schools and began a campaign to discredit the religious orders. Preaching in St Michael’s Church in downtown Munich, Bl. Rupert denounced these moves. As a very influential voice in the city, the Nazis could not allow him to continue his attacks on them. On 16 May 1937, the Gestapo ordered Bl. Rupert to stop speaking in public places. This he did but continued to preach in church. Two weeks later he was arrested and put in prison for six weeks. At his trial he was found guilty but given a suspended sentence. He then obeyed his superiors’ orders to remain silent but the Nazis took advantage of this to defame him in public. His superiors then allowed him to preach again in order to defend himself against the Nazis’ slanderous attacks. He was arrested six months later and served his formerly suspended sentence in Landsberg prison for five months. Then a general amnesty made it possible for him to return to Munich and work quietly in small discussion groups.



However, he was still seen as a threat and so was arrested again in November 1940 on the pretext that he had cooperated in a royalist movement. Now 63 years old, Rupert was sent to the notorious Oranienburg-Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin. After a few months, his health had deteriorated so badly that it was feared he might die in the camp and be seen as a martyr. So he was sent to stay in the beautiful Benedictine Abbey in Ettal, in the Bavarian Alps. Bl. Rupert spent his time there in prayer, leaving his future in the Lord’s hands. He remained in the abbey for almost six years until freed by American forces in May 1945.

He at once returned to Munich, where he received a hero’s welcome, and took up his pastoral work at St. Michael’s. However, the years in prison and the camp had undermined his health. On 1 Nov 1945 Bl. Rupert was celebrant at the 8 a.m. Mass on the feast of All Saints in St Michael’s. He had just read the Gospel and began preaching on the Christian’s duty to imitate the saints, when he had a stroke and collapsed. Facing the congregation,”The Lord… the Lord… the Lord…” were his last words. He died shortly afterwards. He was 69 years old. He was buried in the Jesuit cemetery in Pullach, outside Munich but his remains were later brought back to the city and interred in the crypt of the Burgersaal, the church next to St Michael’s, where the men’s sodality regularly met.




With St. Benedicta of the Cross

In 1956, Pope Pius XII, who had personally known Rupert Mayer during his time as papal nuncio in Munich, awarded him the title Servant of God. Rupert Mayer was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 3 May 1987 in Munich. His grave was visited by Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, whose parents had venerated him. He is remembered for his staunch opposition to Nazi inhumanity and for his selfless dedication in helping the poor.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

JESUIT LEADER FOR JUSTICE


Continuing with the theme of great Jesuits I give you one of my favorites, a man of astute insight and humility
PEDRO ARRUPE, SJ, was the 28th Superior General of the Society of Jesus, leading the Society in the realities of serving the Church and people in the post-Vatican II world. Father Arrupe was a man of great spiritual depth who was committed to justice. 

Father Arrupe was born in the Basque region of Spain in 1907. After some years of medical training, he entered the Jesuits in 1927. In 1932, the Republican government in Spain expelled the Jesuits from the country. Father Arrupe continued his studies in Belgium, Holland, and the United States. After being ordained, he was sent to Japan in 1938 where he hoped to work as a missionary for the rest of his life.

After the December 7, 1941, bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Japanese security forces arrested Father Arrupe on suspicion of espionage. He was kept in solitary confinement. He described the privation and uncertainty he suffered as he waited for the disposition of his case. He missed celebrating the Eucharist most of all. In the midst of his suffering, Father Arrupe experienced a special moment of grace. On Christmas night, 1941, he heard a group of people gathering outside his cell door. He could not see them and wondered if the time of his execution had come.

“Suddenly, above the murmur that was reaching me, there arose a soft, sweet, consoling Christmas carol, one of the songs which I had myself taught to my Christians. I was unable to contain myself. I burst into tears. They were my Christians who, heedless of the danger of being themselves imprisoned, had come to console me.” (Pedro Arrupe: Essential Writings, Kevin Burke, Maryknoll)

After the few minutes of song, Father Arrupe reflected in the presence of Jesus, who would soon descend onto the altar during the Christmas celebration: “I felt that he also descended into my heart, and that night I made the best spiritual communion of all my life.”

When the security forces came after 33 days to release him from captivity, he was convinced that they were coming to execute him. The experience of captivity filled him with a deep inner calm founded on a radical trust in God.

Father Arrupe moved to Nagatsuka, on the outskirts of Hiroshima, where he resumed his duties as the master of novices for the Japanese mission. On August 6, 1945, he heard the sirens wail as a single American B-29 bomber flew over the city. He did not think much of it and expected to hear the all-clear siren soon. Instead he heard an enormous explosion and felt the concussion that blew in the doors and windows of his residence.
Moving outside Father Arrupe and his colleagues saw the first of the 200,000 casualties of the atomic bomb. Walking up the hill they saw the city of Hiroshima turning into a lake of fire.

Father Arrupe decided to use his medical training to help whomever he could. He and his colleagues were able to give aide to 150 victims. Knowing nothing of the dangers of atomic radiation, they were perplexed and distressed at the many deaths of people who seemed to have no external injuries. He and his fellow Jesuits had only the most basic food and medical supplies and had to care for people without anesthetics or modern drugs. Nevertheless, of the 150 people whom they were able to take in, only one boy died from the effects of his injuries.

When visiting a Jesuit province in Latin America, Pedro Arrupe celebrated the Mass in a suburban slum, the poorest in the region. He was moved by the attentiveness and respect with which the people celebrated the Mass. His hands trembled as he distributed communion and watched the tears fall from the faces of the communicants.

Afterwards, one man invited Father Arrupe to his home. The man’s home was a half-falling shack. The man seated him in a rickety chair and invited Father Arrupe to observe the setting sun with him. After the sun went down, the man explained that he was so grateful for what Father had brought to the community. The man wanted to share the only gift he had, the opportunity to share in the beautiful setting sun.

Father Arrupe reflected, “He gave me his hand. As I was leaving, I thought: ‘I have met very few hearts that are so kind.’”

Pedro Arrupe was serving as the Superior of the Jesuits’ Japanese Province when he was elected Superior General of the Society of Jesus in 1965. He held the position until 1983.

As the 28th Superior, or “Father General,” it was his task to guide the community through the changes following Vatican II. He was most concerned that the Jesuits make a commitment to addressing the needs of the poor. His work resulted in the decree from the 32nd General Congregation, Our Mission Today: The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice, passed in 1975. This led the Jesuits, especially in Latin America, to work in practical ways with the poor. In spite of threats against their lives - threats that led to the murder of six priests in El Salvador in 1989 - the Jesuits continued their justice work with the poor, with Father Arrupe’s support.

His belief in justice informed his understanding of the goal of Jesuit education. He said:
Today our prime educational objective must be to form men-and-women-for-others; men and women who will live not for themselves but for God and his Christ—for the God-human who lived and died for all the world; men and women who cannot even conceive of love of God which does not include love for the least of their neighbors; men and women completely convinced that love of God which does not issue in justice for others is a farce. 

In 1981 Father Arrupe suffered a debilitating stroke. An appointee named by Pope John Paul II served as interim superior until 1983, when Father Arrupe was forced to resign. He was wheeled in to the opening session of the 33rd General Congregation, and his final prayer was read to the community.

"More than ever I find myself in the hands of God. This is what I have wanted all my life from my youth. But now there is a difference; the initiative is entirely with God. It is indeed a profound spiritual experience to know and feel myself so totally in God’s hands."






 


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

OBLATE ARTIST

Some interesting art for the feast of St. Benedict by a Benedictine Oblate, one who influenced Catholic art in the USA.

Born in 1920 in St. Paul, FRANK KACMARIK won a scholarship to the Minneapolis School of Art, where his painting and typography courses had a lifelong influence on him.

Frank entered St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota in 1941. His mentor was an Austrian monk who inspired him to regard his artwork as an authentic ministry. When he left the monastery to serve in World War II, he was stationed in Western Europe, where he observed the magnificent cathedrals, monasteries, and museums.

Add caption

He eventually studied further both at MCAD and in Paris, returning in 1950 to teach at St. John's. While there, he worked with the great Bauhaus architect Marcel Breuer on the design of the landmark Abbey church. He and Marcel became close friends, and Marcel designed a home and studio for Frank in St. Paul, refusing payment for the work.

Frank won over sixty national and international awards in book design and the graphic arts. He had a widespread influence in church design and communications after the liberalizations of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65).




His own collection of fine and rare books, manuscripts, fine art prints, and religious art objects, which he called Arca Atrium, "The Ark of the Arts"—was donated. to St. John's as a scholarly resource.prints

MCAD awarded Kacmarcik an Alumni Achievement Award in 1999. He died in 2004.

Monday, July 11, 2016

ST. BENEDICT AND THE LITURGY

Dennis Marx, OSB- Mt Angel Abbey, OR


It is unfortunate that no contemporary biography was written of a man who has exercised the greatest influence on monasticism in the West. SAINT BENEDICT is well recognized in the later Dialogues of St. Gregory, but these are sketches to illustrate miraculous elements of his career.

St. Benedict was born into a distinguished family in central Italy, studied at Rome and early in life was drawn to the monastic life. At first he became a hermit, leaving a depressing world—pagan armies on the march, the Church torn by schism, people suffering from war, morality at a low ebb (sounds like a world we know today).

He soon realized that he could not live a hidden life in a small town any better than in a large city, so he withdrew to a cave high in the mountains for three years. Some monks chose him as their leader for a while, but found his strictness not to their taste. Still, the shift from hermit to community life had begun for him. He had an idea of gathering various families of monks into one “Grand Monastery” to give them the benefit of unity, fraternity, permanent worship in one house. Finally he began to build what was to become one of the most famous monasteries in the world—Monte Cassino, commanding three narrow valleys running toward the mountains north of Naples.

The Rule that gradually developed prescribed a life of liturgical prayer, study, manual labor and living together in community under a common father (abbot). Benedictine asceticism is known for its moderation, and Benedictine charity has always shown concern for the people in the surrounding countryside. In the course of the Middle Ages, all monasticism in the West was gradually brought under the Rule of St. Benedict.


The Church has been blessed through Benedictine devotion to the liturgy, not only in its actual celebration with rich and proper ceremony in the great abbeys, but also through the scholarly studies of many of its members. Liturgy is sometimes confused with guitars or choirs, Latin or Bach. We should be grateful to those who both preserve and adapt the genuine tradition of worship in the Church.
“Rightly, then, the liturgy is considered as an exercise of the priestly office of Jesus Christ. In the liturgy the sanctification of man is manifested by signs perceptible to the senses...; in the liturgy full public worship is performed by the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, that is, by the Head and his members.

From this it follows that every liturgical celebration, because it is an action of Christ the priest and of his Body the Church, is a sacred action, surpassing all others” (Vatican II, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 7).

Friday, July 8, 2016

NEW CALIFORNIA SAINT

It is always a joy to find someone up for sainthood who lived in our lifetime and so close to home!
BISHOP ALPHONSE GALLEGOS (1931-1991), O.A.R., was a Roman Catholic bishop who was declared Venerable this week by Pope Francis. He was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico where his father was a carpenter, and his mother a homemaker caring for their 11 children. He had a twin brother, Eloy, grew up in Watts, California and attended Manual Arts High School was confirmed by then auxiliary bishop Timothy Manning. 

Venerable Alphonse attended Rockhurst University in Kansas City, graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas College in California (where several of our interns went to college)  and St. John's University in New York and Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. While a seminarian in Suffern, New York, his superiors learned that  Venerable Gallegos was born with a severe myopic condition. He had eye surgery prior to entering the seminary but wore "Coke bottle thick glasses and was nearly blind.

Venerable Alphonse was ordained for the Augustinian Recollects on May 24, 1958. From 1970 to 1979 he served as pastor of San Miguel and Cristo Rey parishes in the Los Angeles diocese. He was transferred to Sacramento where he served from 1979 to 1981 as the first director of the Division of Hispanic Affairs of the California Catholic Conference.
On August 24, 1981, Pope John Paul II appointed Venerable Alphonses auxiliary bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento, California as the titular bishop of Sasabe. He was ordained bishop on November 4, 1981 by Bishop Francis Quinn of San Francisco, who confirmed me (he was the uncle of one of my classmates, thus came to Los Angeles to confirm us).
On Oct. 6, 1991, Venerable Alphonse died when he was struck by a car by the side of the road while returning to Sacramento from Gridley, California.  Because he was known as "the bishop of the barrio" approximately 300 lowrider cars drove in a procession before the bishop’s funeral Mass at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. The bishop was considered as an unofficial chaplain to lowriders and migrant workers..
He was a Knight and supporter of the unborn and in 1997, the city of Sacramento erected a statue of the bishop and named the surrounding square area in his memory.

On March 25, 2010, his remains were transferred to the parish he resided in as an auxiliary bishop. This parish is the Sanctuary of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, to whom he had a great devotion. 





Wednesday, July 6, 2016

TODAY'S YOUTH CELEBRATE



This month we had our local youth here to help with haying, building and praying. Some will be going to Poland at the end of the month for WYD and then on to other shrines in Europe such as Lourdes in France and  Santiago de Compostela in Spain. We know from the past that the youth never return the same. The experience is life changing for them. We pray this year's youth have the same deepening of their faith. Having visited Kraków some years ago (and attending early morning Mass in the Cathedral of Pope  St. John Paul II), I can say that this burial site of many saints is a wondrous place to visit and pray in.
WORLD YOUTH DAY 2016 (WYD 2016) is an international Catholic event focused on faith and youth, due to be celebrated from July 25–31, 2016 in Kraków, Poland, organized by the Catholic Church.
Pope Francis announced at the end of the closing Mass of the previous World Youth Day 2013 in Rio de Janeiro that Kraków, Poland will be the venue for World Youth Day 2016. This will be the second World Youth Day hosted by Poland, the first being the World Youth Day 1991 held in Czestochowa.  World Youth Day began with Pope  St. John Paul II's invitation to young people in 1984 to come to Rome for Palm Sunday. More than 300,000 turned out for the celebration. The following year coincided with the United Nations International Year of Youth. Then on December 20, the Holy Father announced the first official WYD meeting for 1986. The 2016 World Youth Day in Kraków will mark 30-years since first official World Youth Day gathering.
Kraków
World Youth Day played a special role in Pope St. John Paul II's papacy, and both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis have carried on the World Youth Days instituted by the saint – as a symbol of hope for young people. 2.5 million people are expected.
According to Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz, Metropolitan Bishop of the Diocese of Kraków, World Youth Day 2016 will be particularly significant as a tribute to Pope St. John Paul II, founder of the World Youth Day, as Kraków was his home. As he is such a popular saint in Poland, canonized on 27 April 2014, Cardinal Dziwisz said that the news of hosting another World Youth Day in Poland has been met with "enthusiasm", and all Catholic dioceses in Poland will be supporting the event. 
Special activities will relate to the Saint's devotion to the Merciful Jesus (Divine Mercy) based on St. Mary Faustina Kowalska’s apparitions and message. 
Wawel Cathedral

“God, merciful Father,
in your Son, Jesus Christ, you have revealed your love
and poured it out upon us in the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, 
We entrust to you today the destiny of the world and of every man and woman”. 
We entrust to you in a special way 
young people of every language, people and nation:
guide and protect them as they walk the complex paths of the world today
and give them the grace to reap abundant fruits 
from their experience of the Krakow World Youth Day.
Heavenly Father, 
grant that we may bear witness to your mercy.
Teach us how to convey the faith to those in doubt,
hope to those who are discouraged,
love to those who feel indifferent, 
forgiveness to those who have done wrong
and joy to those who are unhappy.
Allow the spark of merciful love 
that you have enkindled within us 
become a fire that can transform hearts 
and renew the face of the earth.

Mary, Mother of Mercy, pray for us.
Saint John Paul II, pray for us.
Saint Faustina, pray for us.