Tuesday, May 28, 2019


Tomorrow is the first time we celebrate  the feast of ST. POPE PAUL VI.  He had a great devotion to Our Blessed Mother and here is his prayer to her.

Van Eyck- L'Agneau Mystique (detail)

O Mary,
look upon the church,
look upon the most responsible members
of the Mystical Body of Christ
gathered about you to thank you
and to celebrate you as their Mystical Mother.

O Mary,
bless the great assembly of the hierarchical church,
which also gives birth to brothers and sisters of Christ,
the firstborn among redeemed humankind.

O Mary,
grant that this church of Christ,
in defining itself,
will acknowledge you as its most chosen mother, 
daughter, and sister,
as well as its incomparable model,
its glory, its joy, and its hope.
We ask you now
that we may be made worthy of honoring you
because of who you are
and because of what you do
in the wondrous and loving plan of salvation.
Grant that we may praise you, 
O holy Virgin!

O Mary,
look upon us who are your children,
look upon us who are brothers and sisters,
disciples and apostles and continuation of Jesus.
Make us aware of our vocation and our mission;
may we not be unworthy to take on,
in our priesthood, 
in our word,
in the offering of our life
for the faithful entrusted to us,
the representation and personification of Christ.
O you who are full of grace,
grant that the priesthood that honors you
may itself also be holy and immaculate.

O Mary,
we pray to you
for our Christian brothers and sisters
who are still separated
from our Catholic family.
See how a glorious group of them
celebrate your cult with fidelity and love.
See also how among another group,
who are so intent on calling themselves Christians,
there now dawns the remembrance
and the veneration of you,
O most holy Lady.
Call these children of yours to the one unity
under your motherly and heavenly aid.

O Mary,
look upon all mankind,
this modern world in which 
the Divine Will calls us to live and work.
It is a world that has turned its back 
on the light of Christ;
then it fears and bemoans the frightening shadows
that its actions have created on all sides.
May your most human voice,
O most beautiful of virgins,
O most worthy of mothers,
O blessed among women,
invited the world to turn its eyes
toward the life that is the light of man,
toward you who are the precursor-lamp of Christ,
Who is the sole and the highest Light of the world.
Implore for the world
the true understanding of its own existence;
implore for the world
the joy of living as the creation of God
and hence the desire and the capacity
to converse, by prayer, with its Maker,
whose mysterious and blesses image
it reflects within itself.

Implore for the world
the grace to esteem everything as the gift of God
and hence the virtue to work with generosity
and to make use of such gifts wisely and providently.
Implore peace for the world.
Fashion brothers and sisters
out of persons who are so divided.
Guide us to a more ordered and peaceful society.
For those who are suffering,
today there are so many and ever new ones,
afflicted by current misfortunes,
obtain solace;
and for the dead, obtain eternal rest.
Show yourself a mother to us;
this is our prayer,
O clement, O loving, 
O sweet Virgin Mary!


Sunday, May 26, 2019


 Auxiliary Bishop Robert E. Barron of Los Angeles said his new book addressing the church’s sexual abuse crisis and urging Catholics to “stay and fight for the body of Christ” comes from his “pastor’s heart.”
“It is simply my statement coming out of my whole life as a  Catholic - 33 years as a priest, almost four years as a bishop,” he said in a podcast posted on YouTube May 13. The release date of his book “Letter to a Suffering Church: A Bishop Speaks on the Sexual Abuse Crisis.” The book was published by Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, which was founded by Bishop Barron. He gave an overview of the 125-page book in the podcast with Brandon Vogt, Word on Fire’s content director.
It is his attempt, he explained, to respond to the pastoral needs of Catholics demoralized by the abuse crisis and who are grieving over what it is doing to the church. He said he wants to give them encouragement and hope and show “that there is a clear path forward for us today.”
 In the podcast, Vogt tells viewers that Word on Fire’s goal “is to get this book out to as many Catholics as possible and to do that we’re trying to make it as cost effective as possible.”
Bishop Barron said that as the Los Angeles Archdiocese’s regional bishop for the Santa Barbara area, he has seen firsthand the grief of many Catholics over the abuse scandal. In the wake of the scandal over former Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick last summer and fall, as he visited parishes in his region, many people “came up to me not so much in anger but in deep grief, I would say, with tears in their eyes, in grief over the church.”
There are five chapters titled: “The Devil’s Masterpiece,” “Light from Scripture,” “We Have Been Here Before,” “Why Should We Stay” and “The Way Forward.” There is a concluding section followed by a “Prayer for a Suffering Church.”
U.S. residents can get one copy free by going to the website wordonfireshow.com/letter. Recipients must cover shipping and handling; the site also has instructions for a digital download for those outside of the United States.
Vogt added that parishes and Catholic groups that order 20 or more copies can get them for $1 apiece with free shipping. Other resources include a parish “launch kit,” an FAQ for priests and parish staff, and a five-part video series by Bishop Barron.
Asked his response to a recent Gallup poll revealing that 37 percent of Catholics are considering leaving the church due to the sexual abuse crisis, Bishop Barron said in the podcast that “it broke my heart … but there is never a good reason to leave the church.”

“I understand emotionally, I understand why people feel deep frustration. I feel it,” said, “but there’s never a good reason to absent oneself from the font of grace, to leave the mystical [body] of Jesus [no matter] how badly church people behave or how grave the sin is on the part of church people.”
He added: “My prayer is that these reflections might encourage Catholics who are attempting to navigate today in very choppy waters.”

Saturday, May 25, 2019


The youth of today need more  and more examples of goodness and a deep love of Christ and of neighbor.   The next young woman being considered for sainthood lived what looked to be  a normal teenager's life, yet beneath the surface was a hidden life in Christ.

SERVANT of GOD CLARITA SEGURA born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on May 15, 1978, was the youngest and only girl in a family with six children.  As a child she was independent and docile, with a strong and obedient temperament, generous and detached from her things. She lived in today's world without isolating herself, but without becoming contaminated with its pleasures.

Her plan was to study, marry, have children and form a Catholic family. After God and her family, there were her many friends whom she loved. She was a natural leader among her peers, yet she always tried not to be judgmental but to have respect for everyone.

She was very funny, with a healthy joy. She had a great love for everyone and a solid interior life that made her attractive to all who knew her,  seeing her as a young woman with  moral principles.

Her relationship with God was totally personal.
Once she said to Him: "The only thing I would need is to be able to hug You and thank You for everything You do for me"

She also had a special devotion to the Virgin Mother expressed in her active participation in the pilgrimages to Luján and San Nicolás. 

Two months before her 17th birthday, she was stricken with a virus that went to the heart. Her illness lasted only 15 days, and although very painful, she never complained.

" Although she lived for a short time it was as if she had lived a very long time . " She wrote: " I think Diosito that I can not complain about anything absolutely since I have so much more than I should ...".

"She lived her faith with great intensity and inwardly ...]She trusted in God, she prayed daily, a custom she acquired as a child. I remember that when I was very small, she asked me every night to pray in her bed before falling asleep. " Juan Segura, her brother

“Everything she planned, all her dreams, were impregnated by God. One of the things I saw in her was that she was very clear about what was most important in her life and what was her ideal. And in her approach to people, what she most wanted was to bring them closer to God.” Cecilia Legerén, Coordinator of Catechesis at Los Robles School .

Wednesday, May 22, 2019


These days I find it hard to even read Catholic news due to the way Bishops, priests and religious are addressed.  In my days of writing, there were standards of respect.  I have in the past done a Blog on women being called “guys” (Blog 8/26/15) . Interestingly enough, young women today do not like to be called ”ladies”  but they have no problem with guys”?  Are we just not thinking straight?

I recently read an article on Bishop Robert Barron (see previous Blog)  and the writer (from the Catholic News Agency) kept referring to him as Barron. So getting off my soapbox, I decided to do a little research.

According to  Marian Therese Horvat, Ph.D.
“the tumultuous and leveling aftermath of Vatican II spelled a death to formalities in the religious sphere. Priests, monks and sisters began to adopt the ways of a world that were becoming increasingly vulgar and egalitarian. Distinguishing titles and marks of respect were considered alienating and only for old-fashioned “establishment” people who were afraid to embrace the “signs of the times.” 

Protocal  states:
When writing about a Bishop he should be referred to as  His Excellency, The Right Reverend Robert Barron, Bishop of Santa Barbara.

A priest should be addressed with his full name: The Reverend  Father James Smith or Father James Smith.  If he is a religious the initials of his order are added, as S.J.  for a Jesuit.  Would you greet Father after Mass ad say “good morning Smith”?

A religious woman should be addressed Sister Benedict Jones, OSB. or in the case of an enclosed nun often the title Mother is used, hence Mother Hildegard George, OSB.

I am making it my mission to write to some of the so-called Catholic news people and give them some hints regarding proper Catholic writing! Perhaps if we begin to have more respect for those who represent Christ to us, there will be an increase in respect for all in our society!


Sunday, May 19, 2019


One of my favorite people, Bishop Robert Barron of Los Angeles Archdiocese, recently gave the Commencement address at Thomas Aquinas College in California.  Some of our favorite interns have graduated from this great school of learning.  Here in part are some of the Bishop’s words from his talk, titled “Greatness of Soul”. Note his emphasis on daily Holy Hour.

But it is my conviction that this is not the time to leave; this is the time to fight. And here I call upon every magnanimous graduate sitting here before me today. Fight by entering the priesthood or religious life and live up to the dignity of your calling; fight by your very holiness of life, becoming the saint that God wants you to become; fight by doing a Holy Hour every day for the purification of the Church; fight by calling for real reform; fight by insisting that the guilty be held accountable; fight by doing the corporal and spiritual works of mercy; fight by evangelizing in your everyday life; fight by ordering your life according to the virtues; fight by playing your priestly role in the sacrifice of the Mass.

And more to it, fight by sanctifying your family, your workplace, the market, the political arena, the world of high finance, the realms of sports and entertainment. In other words, be what the Church is supposed to be in the world. In the second book of Samuel, we hear that David’s corruption with Bathsheba commenced precisely when the King, instead of going on campaign as was his wont, lingered at home, indulging his private desires. As Pope Francis has often reminded us, when the Church fails to go on campaign, when it turns in on itself, corruption is never far behind. Don’t wait for other reformers to arise; this is your moment to meet this crucial moral challenge. And no pusillanimous people need apply!

Thursday, May 16, 2019


Sharing a birthday with me  (December 12, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe) is a soon to become Spanish saint. (see BLOG 8/19/2017)
On May 18 in Madrid, GUADALUPE ORTIZ de LANDAZURI a laywoman, will become the first numerary of Opus Dei to be beatified. A chemist, university teacher, and close associate of St. Josemaría Escrivá, she was known for her strong character, big heart, and cheerfulness.

Opus Dei was made a personal prelature by St. John Paul II in 1982. It was founded by St. Josemaría in 1928 and teaches that everyone is called to personal holiness in and through their ordinary lives.
Bl. Guadalupe met St. Josemaria in 1944. She later said, “I had the very clear idea that God was speaking to me through that priest.” From that point she felt a calling to serve Christ through her life and work, and several months later, at the age of 27, she became a numerary  (someone who makes  herself fully available to the work of the prelature).
In 1950, St. Josemaria asked her to bring Opus Dei to Mexico. While there, she enrolled in a doctoral program in chemical sciences. She and her associates emphasized concern for the poor and service to the Church and society.
Among the initiatives they spearheaded was a mobile medical clinic which went home-to-home in the poorest neighborhoods providing free care and medicine. She also promoted education among poor, indigenous Mexicans.
Six years later she was asked to go to Rome, but not long after arriving she began to suffer conditions of a heart condition which meant she had to return to Spain. Despite the symptoms of the condition, including tiredness from walking and climbing stairs, she never complained.
She was known to make frequent visits to the Blessed Sacrament to speak with Christ and was also devoted to friends and students and those with whom she lived.
In 1975, doctors decided to operate on her heart. The operation, at the university clinic in Navarra, was successful, but several days afterward she died..

Her brother and sister-in-law  are also up for canonization- 
(Venerable Eduardo Landazuri and Venerable Laura Otaeguri-  BLOGS  8/2017)

Monday, May 13, 2019


The next young woman being considered for canonization could become the patron saint of young people with eye disorders. 

SERVANT OF GOD REBECA ROCAMORA NADAL  was born in 1975 in Granja Rocamora, a tiny village south of the Spanish province of Alicante. One of four children, Rebecca grew up in a profoundly religious environment She was  a typical child but, at the same time mature and reflective, with a marked inclination for the spiritual life.

At  age 10, a pituitary tumor gave her an insidious form of diabetes, causing ocular paralysis.  The ordeal of radiotherapy  did not alter her sunny disposition, but rather she gave courage to other children in the hospital.  She developed a great love of  Our Lady and gratitude for her suffering even when  the therapy weakened her body.

 At  age 16 she become a catechist, preparing children for their first  Communion with much joy and enthusiasm. As a true lover of Jesus, she succeeded in infecting the little ones with her same love.

Rebeca grew to like sports, crafts, books and adventure films, music, dancing, as any young woman of her age, yet she delighted in making others happy.

In 1995 she was diagnosed with  a tumor  on the optic nerve, which was to prove fatal.   She became bed-ridden  yet still managed  to transmit peace and serenity to anyone who approached her, even more than before. For this reason, whoever visited her  left  consoled. “Faith in the Holy Cross is my strength", she would say. The cross united her more and more to God and to the desire to accept His Will.  Daily Mass was celebrated in her room. She dies at the age of 20.

Today she is still remembered in her region of Spain as the "smiling catechist".

Friday, May 10, 2019


SERVANT of GOD MARIACRISTINA CELLA MOCELLIN was born in Monza, Italy on August 18, 1969, the first child of Giuseppe Cella and Caterina Smaniotto, followed by her brother Daniele. 

While attending the "Regina Pacis" linguistic high school in Cusano Milanino, she began to consider the possibility of joining the Sisters of Charity of Saint Joan Antide Thouret, whom she knew in the parish. In the summer of 1985, on vacation in Valstagna (Vicenza), she met Carlo Mocellin. Their friendship soon became love.   

She recognized that her true vocation was to form a "truly Christian" family, and in August 1986, she and Carlo became engaged.

Just a year after the engagement, a tumor appeared on her left thigh, but the couple did not let this hinder their plans. Her treatments were successful, so on February 2, 1991 they were married. The new family established their residence in Carpanè, in the Veneto region, the area where Carlos came from.  Ten months later  their son,  Francesco was born,  followed a year and a half  later by their daughter Lucia.

In the autumn of 1993,  while pregnant with her third child, Maria Cristina was again attacked by the tumor, at the same point where it occurred five years earlier. She and Carlo decided that she would have surgery, but not do the chemotherapy, in order to save the life of their unborn child.  After the birth of Riccardo, on 28 July,  she undertook medical treatments, which were not as successful as before. 

Due to the delay of treatment, the tumor proved fatal. The words of her diary, a sign of constant and progressive growth in faith and humanity, exude an irrepressible love, making  her last days serene.. 

Preparing to accept, once again, God's will, the young mother prepared to leave her loved ones , which she did October 22, 1995, in Bassano del Grappa.

Her testimony, in particular through a letter she had left for Riccardo, began to circulate among the faithful and led to the opening, in the diocese of Padua, of the canonical process for ascertaining his heroic virtues. 

Certainly this brave young woman followed in the footsteps of another great Italian saint, Gianna Molla, who gave her own life that her child would have life.