October 20, 2012 – Around the World in 1000 Words

What a roller coaster week for us Cardinal fans.  First we were down 6-0 to Washington only to somehow pull out a victory, then we grab the first game from the Giants before laying an egg in Game 2, then we win the next two at home to set up a win last night in Game 5, only to lay another egg.  So now we head back to San Francisco where we must win one of the next two games.  WHEW!  One thing about being a Cardinal fan – you don’t have to worry about getting any EKG’s or stress tests for your heart.  You know it is in good shape if you can withstand these games.  I suppose that’s one advantage to being a Cub fan – you know what the outcome is going to be so there is no reason to get excited and stressed out.  So we have a day to recover and get our heart rhythms back in line before we go to Game 6, and hopefully then to a re-match of the 2006 World Series against Detroit.

Also another sports note: Congratulations to the Chester Yellow Jackets football team which finished 9-0 for their first undefeated regular season in school history!  Good luck to them as they enter the playoffs next week.

OK, normally I try to keep these blogs at around 1000 words, and normally I do not succeed.  I have already blown about 230 words and have not gotten to any Catholic subject yet, so I’m just going to hit on a few things and try to stay within my limits.  First, I was pleased to see that the Vatican has approved insertion of the optional memorial to Blessed John Paul II in the liturgical calendar of the dioceses of the United States.  Liturgical prayers and readings have also been provided for this feast, which will occur each year on October 22.  These prayers and readings can be found at this link:

http://www.usccb.org/about/leadership/holy-see/pope-john-paul-ii/memorial-of-blessed-john-paul-ii.cfm

Tomorrow (October 21) is a special day as Pope Benedict XVI will canonize seven new saints, including two American women: Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha and Blessed Sister Marianne Cope.  Kateri Tekakwitha, informally known as Lily of the Mohawks (1656 – April 17, 1680), was an AlgonquinMohawk Catholic virgin and religious laywoman. Born in present-day New York, she survived smallpox and was orphaned as a child, then baptized as a Roman Catholic and settled for the last years of her life at the Jesuit mission village of Kahnawake, south of Montreal in New France.  Tekakwitha professed a vow of virginity until her death at the age of 24. Known for her virtue of chastity and corporal mortification of the flesh, as well as being shunned by her tribe for her religious conversion to Catholicism, she is the first Native American woman to be venerated in the Roman Catholic Church.  Sister Marianne Cope, also known as the Blessed Marianne of Molokai, (23 January 1838 – 9 August 1918) was a Roman Catholic Religious Sister and a member of the Sisters of Saint Francis of Syracuse, New York. Known for her charitable works and virtuous deeds, she spent many years caring for the lepers on the island of Molokai, Hawaii.  Despite direct contact with the patients over many years, Cope was not afflicted by the disease, considered by some faithful to be miraculous.

As a part of the Year of Faith, the Synod on the New Evangelization continues at the Vatican.  Many presentations have been heard, and it has now reached the stage in which there will be group discussion and a set of recommendations will be made to Pope Benedict XVI as to how to proceed with our evangelization efforts from this point on.  Donald Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, D.C., has written a comprehensive summary of what has been presented at the Synod thus far.  It is rather lengthy, so I will just point out a few things that stuck out to me:

1)      The responsibility to evangelize is not just that of the clergy and religious.  Every disciple of Jesus has an important role in spreading the faith.  We are given a personal calling to be evangelizers through our Baptism.

2)      Many of the presenters expressed concern about the continuing growing influence of secularism in our culture and how that has caused people to be indifferent to religion.  We must face the challenges of a world that is looking elsewhere besides God for inspiration.  Even countries with a long Christian tradition are seeing a growth in ignorance of the faith.

3)      The church must maintain the ability to carry out works of charity and love, especially in the areas of social justice, service, health care and education.  This is part of our identity and influences others to carry out works of charity.

4)      Parishes will play a key role in the new evangelization, since this is where for the most part the life of the Church unfolds and where catechesis takes place.  Catechists will also play a key role in the New Evangelization as they have the role of communicating the faith to young people.  They must be given the resources and assistance needed to carry out this important ministry.

5)      The role of the family is vital as it is the instrument by which the faith is passed on.   Encouragement must be given to family life, particularly today when it is suffering so much under the pressures of the new secular vision of reality.

There is much more to be had from the article.  Here is the link to it:

http://www.romereports.com/palio/cardinal-wuerl-summarizes-synod-discussions-english-7989.html

Finally, I did not get a chance to watch the Al Smith dinner the other night in which both Presidential candidates were present with Timothy Cardinal Dolan.  The dinner is an annual fundraiser for Catholic Charities.  Al Smith was a governor of New York and the first Catholic Presidential candidate.  I didn’t particularly care what the candidates said, but Cardinal Dolan was in usual fine form.  A couple of his best comments were:

“Governor Romney, thank you for being up here sitting next to me; although I must confess I was secretly hoping the Republican candidate would be Governor Christie, because I sure would have looked good sitting next to him!

Mr. President I trust you’ll be able to report to Mrs. Obama that I ate my vegetables and salad.  If she had been “first lady” instead of Mamie Eisenhower when I was growing up in the 50’s, I wouldn’t be in this shape!”

Here is a link to the full video of his speech:

Well, I’ve surpassed my 1000 word quota again.  I’ll only charge you for the first 1000, the rest are free.  Have a great week.  GO CARDINALS!  GO RAMS!  Peace.

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