Wednesday, March 19, 2014

O Glorious Saint Joseph....

Of all the saints on the Liturgical Calendar, aside from Jesus and Mary, by far the greatest saint is “Glorious Saint Joseph”. He indeed is in a category by himself!  The theologians classify the greatness of those in glory with the following titles: “Latria”, which means adoration that we give to the Blessed Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  “Hyperdulia” given to the Blessed Virgin Mary means the highest veneration.  “Dulia”, given to the saints, implies veneration.  Finally, Glorious Saint Joseph is rightly given “Protodulia”, meaning that among the saints he is given first place; “Proto” means first!

Saint Bernadine of Siena expounds upon the reason for this theological hierarchy. In simple terms, this Franciscan Doctor of the Church asserts that God gives special graces commensurate or corresponding to the specific office or mission given to the individual.

Husband and wife married sacramentally have the sacramental grace of Matrimony to grow in mutual love for each other as well as to procreate children for the Kingdom of God. Priests, through Holy Orders, can grow daily in sanctity by preaching the Word of God and administering with joy the Sacraments to the People of God. God gives graces corresponding to the state of life!

Therefore, in the case of Glorious Saint Joseph, God entrusted this greatest of all saints with two sublime missions; one mission even greater than the other. First, St. Joseph God called to be the spouse (husband) of the Queen of the angels and saints, the Blessed Virgin Mary. How sublime!   However, God the Father entrusted Glorious Saint Joseph with an even more exalted and sublime mission—namely, the Office of being the “Foster Father” of the Son of the living God, Jesus, and the Son of the eternal Father!!!! This is even more sublime, ineffable, beyond the ability of human words to express!

Therefore, with this double mission and vocation, God obviously poured a super-abundance of graces into the heart, mind and soul of Glorious Saint Joseph!

The titles given to Glorious Saint Joseph express a literary and poetic beauty that is exalted:  “Renowned offspring of David, Light of Patriarchs, Spouse of the Mother of God, Foster Father of the Son of God, Diligent Protector of Christ, Head of the Holy Family, Guardian of virgins, Pillar of families, Solace of the wretched, Hope of the sick, terror of demons, Protector of Holy Church….

St. Teresa of Avila praying to St. Joseph
Saint Teresa of Avila who extolled the power of Saint Joseph and thanked him for saving her life, said that she never knew of any time in which Saint Joseph did not help her and immediately! One of the most pertinent titles for Saint Joseph, so important with so many crises in the modern world is Saint Joseph, patron of fathers. Let us briefly highlight the sublime virtues that Saint Joseph expressed and lived out in a concrete and daily basis as father.

Jesus, Mary, and St. Joseph
1.    REPRESENTATION OF GOD THE FATHER.   Glorious Saint Joseph was called to mirror and reflect God the Father to Jesus His Son.  Although indeed a very tall order to say the least, all fathers must strive with all of the energy in their wills to pattern their lives after Saint Joseph and strive to reflect and image to their children the Father---“Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be they name…”

2.    PRESENCE!  Today we suffer from the complex and confusion of the “Drop out Dad”. We might even call it the “Drop out Dad syndrome”! Divorce, adultery, alcoholism, and  being a workaholic--- all too many Dads suffer from these serious manifestations that result in the neglect of their family and children!  This results in the Dad not being present to his children, either physically, morally, spiritually or emotionally! This then is tantamount to wounding children who most likely will perpetuate this vicious cycle with their own children. Not so with good Saint Joseph! He was constantly present to God his Father and this overflowed in an abundant river of warm, loving, tender, strong presence to his spouse and to His Child! In imitation of St. Joseph, the  Father, may fathers be totally present to their children! It can be done and it must be done so as to transform the world!

The Holy Family and work
3.     TENDERNESS.   Many fathers today are cold, mean, calculating, abrupt, sharp and cutting in word and gesture thereby resulting in provoking and planting a dreadful fear in their children!  Pope Francis reminds us the importance of tenderness in dealing with others in his words and actions—especially to the poorest of the poor.   From the heart and life of Saint Joseph emanated and exuded an infinite river of tenderness, kindness, meekness, gentleness, mercy and compassion. What a joy just to be in his loving presence! Being tender is not lacking manliness but a true manifestation of a dimension of manliness present in the very heart of God the Father, reflected in the Parable of the Prodigal Son and the person of God the Father.

St. Joseph strong and protecting the Holy Family
4.    FIRMNESS AND STRENGTH.  It might seem paradoxical that Saint Joseph represented the epitome of gentleness, but at the same time he radiated manliness, firmness, courage and strength worthy of the highest admiration! Read the Gospels! The long trek to Bethlehem with all the trials and inclement weather challenges; rejection upon arrival and acceptance;  the long, tiring and dangerous flight into Egypt to save his wife and child and providing for them until the death of Herod.  A weak-minded, soft and sensual, much less effeminate man would have collapsed like a house of cards when confronted with any of these hard and challenging situations! Not so with saint Joseph the strong and manly saint! Children desperately need both tenderness and firmness in their fathers—a harmonious balance of these opposite virtues! May Saint Joseph intercede for our fathers right now!

The Flight into Egypt
5.    FAITHFUL TILL THE END.  More than ever today we need individuals that are faithful to their word, their commitment, their vocation and mission! Despite the many obstacles presented in the Gospels, and many other incidents not recorded, Saint Joseph was faithful from start to finish. All too many men today when confronted with painful trials bail out or simply jump ship! Drinking, porn. drugs, gambling, and a plethora of vices fathers succumb to instead of biting the bullet, placing their nose to the grindstone, and plowing through the heavy snow storms of life. Fathers must meditate upon the life, actions, examples and the person of great Saint Joseph. Fathers should consecrate themselves to Glorious Saint Joseph. Fathers should pray to Saint Joseph, imitate Saint Joseph and love Saint Joseph. If all the fathers in the world would take Glorious Saint Joseph as model and guide, the world, the families and the society as a whole would be rapidly transformed. Glorious Saint Joseph, Spouse of Mary and Foster Father of Jesus, the Son of God, pray for us now and at the hour of our death. Amen!


Pope Francis celebrates the Feast of St Joseph with special greetings for all fathers

2014-03-19 Vatican Radio(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday celebrated the Feast of St. Joseph pointing out that he is a model for all fathers and educators.
Speaking to the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the General Audience, the Pope’s catechesis focused on three aspects pertaining to the life and mission of St Joseph: as the “guardian” of the Holy Family; as the teacher and educator of the young Jesus; and as a guide who helped Jesus respond to the working of the Holy Spirit.
And speaking off the cuff, the Pope sent special greetings to all the fathers of the world, thanking them for what they do with their children. "Be close to your children" - the Pope said - "they need you. Just as St. Joseph was close to Jesus in his physical, psychological and spiritual growth, you too must be guardians in age, wisdom and grace".
listen to the report by Linda Bordoni...

Please find below the synopsis in English of the Pope’s catechesis:

Dear Brothers and Sisters: Today, we celebrate the feast of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Virgin Mary and Patron of the universal Church. Saint Joseph is venerated as the “guardian” of the Holy Family, and in this role he serves as a model for all fathers and educators. Joseph watched over Jesus’ human development – his growth, as Saint Luke tells us, “in wisdom, age and grace” (2:52). We think of how Joseph, as the carpenter of Nazareth, taught the young Jesus his trade and the value of work. Joseph also quietly imparted to Jesus that wisdom which consists above all in reverence for the Lord, prayer and fidelity to his word, and obedience to his will. Joseph’s paternal example helped Jesus to grow, on a human level, in his understanding and appreciation of his unique relationship to his heavenly Father. With Our Lady, Joseph guided the young Jesus as he responded to the working of the Holy Spirit in his heart and in his life. By his example and prayers, may Saint Joseph be a sure guide to all parents, priests and teachers charged with the education of our young.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Pope Francis: 1st Anniversary as Pope

(Vatican Radio) St. Peter’s Square was a sea of humanity – citizens, out-of-towners & foreigners, everyone suddenly alike a pilgrim - and late afternoon had given way to twilight, and now, night had fallen over the city of Rome. Then, suddenly, at 7:05 PM Rome Time, smoke appeared from the top of the stove-pipe chimney erected above the Sistine Chapel. Gray at first, and emerging by starts, the smoke in short order began to pour forth in great billows – unmistakably white, now – the traditional signal that the cardinals in conclave had elected a new bishop of Rome, and that their choice had accepted his election – but the bells that all had been told to expect in confirmation of the signal had yet to be heard. When they did come, Vatican Radio’s Susy Hodges made the call, live on air. Listen:

Fr. Michael Rogers, SJ, who was a deacon just a few months shy of priestly ordination on that day, had been in the Vatican Radio studios earlier in the day, for the black smoke at the end of the inconclusive morning session. Now, he was in the Square. “None of us expected it would actually happen that night,” he recently recalled in a conversation with Vatican Radio looking back on the heady days of the papal transition period that culminated in the first-ever election of one of his confreres to the See of Peter.

A year on, and the Church and the world are still feeling the “Francis Effect” – a phenomenon as palpably real as it is difficult to quantify or qualify. “I think it’s a matter of excitement,” Fr. Rogers SJ offered, adding, “I think it’s a matter of recapturing imaginations.” Asked about the attempt among some in communications media to construct a narrative of opposition between the papacy of Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, Fr. Rogers SJ said that the facts tell a quite different story: of deep continuity rooted in mutual affection and esteem. “You look at these two men, and it is clear that these two men are friends,” he said.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Archbishop Sample on the Liturgy

Ok, I am not a Latin Mass fanatic, but I deeply appreciate both forms of the liturgy; Ordinary and Extraordinary. Archbishop Sample gives the finest homily on the liturgy I have ever heard. Please watch!!!!!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Fulton Sheen Miracle Approved

Medical Experts Approve Miracle Attributed to Fulton Sheen's Prayers
Board of Theologians Will Now Review Case in Next Step of Canonization Process

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 06, 2014 ( - The seven-member board of medical experts that advises the Congregation for Saints' Causes unanimously recognized as miraculous the healing of a stillborn baby, attributed to the intercession of Venerable Fulton Sheen.

Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria, Illinois, who is president of the Archbishop Fulton Sheen Foundation, received word early today about the medical experts' approval.

The case involved a still born baby born in September 2010. For over an hour the child demonstrated no signs of life as medical professionals attempted every possible life saving procedure, while the child's parents and loved ones began immediately to seek the intercession of Fulton Sheen.

After 61 minutes the baby was restored to full life and made a full recovery. The child, now three years old, continues in good health.

Today's decision affirms that the team of Vatican medical experts can find no natural explanation for the child's healing.

The case will next be reviewed by a board of theologians. With their approval the case could move on to the cardinals and bishops who advise the Pope on these matters. Finally, the miracle would be presented to Pope Francis who would then officially affirm that God performed a miracle through the intercession of Fulton Sheen.

There is no timeline as to when these next steps might move forward.

"Today is a significant step in the Cause for the Beatification and Canonization of our beloved Fulton Sheen, a priest of Peoria and a Son of the Heartland who went on to change the world. There are many more steps ahead and more prayers are needed. But today is a good reason to rejoice," commented Bishop Jenky.

Fulton Sheen was born May 8, 1895, in El Paso, Illinois, outside of Peoria. His family moved to Peoria so that Fulton and his brothers could attend Catholic school. He grew up in the parish of the Cathedral of St. Mary where he was an altar server and later ordained a priest of the Diocese of Peoria. After advanced studies and service as a parish priest in the city of Peoria, Fulton Sheen was a professor of philosophy and religion at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.

In the 1930s he became a popular radio personality and later a TV pioneer. His weekly TV program, "Life is Worth Living" eventually reached 30 million viewers and won an Emmy award for outstanding TV program.

From 1950-1966, Bishop Sheen was the national director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith in the United States, the Church's primary missionary apostolate. In 1966, he was named Bishop of Rochester of New York where he served until his retirement in 1969, when he was named honorary Archbishop by Pope Paul VI. Fulton Sheen died at the entrance to his private chapel in his New York City apartment on December 9, 1979.