A Commentary on The Book of Psalms, translated from the Latin of Saint Robert Bellarmine by the Very Reverend John O’Sullivan, D.D., Archdeacon of Kerry. First printed in 1886 by James Duffy & Co., Dublin & London. Reprinted in 1999 by Preserving Christian Publication, P.O. Box 221, Boonville, NY 13309; (315) 942-6617; http://www.pcpbooks.com/; firstname.lastname@example.org. ISBN 978-0-9802084-4-3. 9.5”X12” hardcover, 382 pages, with marker ribbon. $56.00.
The Psalms are a major part of the Church’s liturgy, enriching both the Mass (both forms) and the Divine Office (both forms), and especially the latter. If we think in only human terms, it’s beyond amazing that these Songs written by King David so many centuries ago are still so meaningful, so enriching in the Catholic Church today. However, we would err seriously if we were to think of anything in the Bible in purely human terms. When we remember that the entire Bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit, we realize that everything in that holy book is timeless.
Thus, when we read the Psalms today, they speak to us, just as they did to the Jews of David’s time. In fact, they speak more clearly now, because they speak so often and so deeply about the Christ, Whose life, death, and resurrection are historic realities to us, whereas they were only a Promise to the ancient Jews. Since these Psalms are not only still significant today but also such beautiful poetry, the Church has wisely included them in Her liturgy. In a most enchanting way, they have been speaking Truth to those who read or hear them for all these many centuries. In a way, that tends to prove the validity of the faith we put in their divine inspiration.
Although we can understand their spiritual messages better today, nevertheless, without some guidance, we cannot understand their historical settings as well as did the ancient Jews. What was happening in David’s life as he wrote each Psalm, and how did these events affect his writing? For example, some were written during the revolt of his son, Absalom, which must have colored David’s thinking and moods.
Then, too, we can’t understand certain now-obsolete figures of speech David used. For example, in Psalm 57, David wrote, “Before your thorns could know the briar, he swalloweth them up, as alive, in his wrath.” The Jews of those days understood this perfectly, but we need help.
To explain the historical background of the Psalms and their sometimes obscure figures of speech, several biblical scholars have written commentaries. Of these, that of St. Robert Bellarmine is generally considered the clearest, the most exhaustive, the most expressive, ergo the best.
Down through the centuries, his Commentary has been translated into just about every language, so that all people everywhere could read it. This PCP edition was first translated and published in Ireland in the 19th century. Its clear and inspiring translation has been widely used throughout the English-speaking world ever since. PCP has gone to great effort and expense to reprint it in a sturdy and luxurious volume worthy of such a magnificent work. The book is hard-bound with a gold-embossed maroon cloth cover, a maroon marking ribbon, all wrapped under a maroon dust jacket with tasteful illustrations front and back. In addition to the regular text, PCP has included a brief biography of St. Robert Bellarmine.
A copy of this book belongs in the library of every Catholic who attends Mass (either form) frequently, who says the Divine Office (either form), and/or who reads the Bible regularly. But it belongs not only in these people’s libraries. No, this generously proportioned volume belongs mostly lying open on their laps!
Pope Repeals SSPX Excommunications
Catholic Family News
Saturday, January 24, 2009 Document repealing excommunications
Letter of the Superior General of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X
Catholic Schools Buck Trend With Growth
The Newton Kansan
Posted Jan 22, 2009 @ 10:12 AM
On Monday, the New York Times chronicled a crisis for Catholic schools — enrollment is dwindling.
Dwindling, it seems, everywhere but three places in the United States. The Wichita Diocese, which includes St. Mary Catholic School, is one of those three places.
“Sometimes we don’t see the blessing that we have here,” said Phillip Stutey, principal of St. Mary.
Next week, he hopes people will see. It’s National Catholic Schools Week, with a host of activities at St. Mary and schools throughout the diocese.
“Catholic schools are not a stereotypical private school,” said Bob Voboril, superintendent of schools for the Wichita Diocese. “We don’t serve only the elite, upper income population. We serve a very diverse group of young people — socio-economically, and ethnically. Schools like St. Mary are every bit as diverse as Newton Public Schools, which I hold in high regard.”
To break the stereotype, the Wichita parish did something radical.
Instead of charging tuition, the diocese turned to parishes to support the schools, making it possible for parishioners to send their children to school without paying large fees.
“We have very strong parishes, and they are committed to stewardship,” Voboril said. “We ask the entire parish, or in Newton, the two parishes, to support and provide for the school so all the catholic families children can attend. They don’t have to pay $3,000, $4,000 or $5,000 to attend. ... That sets us apart from most non-public school systems in the United States.”
The Wichita Diocese had a campaign since 1985, asking its 120,000 parishioners to tithe as much as 8 percent of household income to its ministries, which include 39 schools.
That has allowed the schools to eliminate tuition.
“Its getting back to the roots of ‘all are welcome.’” Stutey said. “If you are part of the diocese and contribute to the parish by time, talent and treasure, then you can send you kids to school. It’s not only the parents with money that can go to our schools.”
Stutey said in most places Catholic schools, and private schools in general, have become a place only the wealthy can send their children.
Changing that has allowed the Wichita diocese schools to buck the nationwide trend. More than 2,000 parochial schools have closed since 1990. According to the National Catholic Educational Association, between the 2000 and the 2008 school years there were 1,267 schools that closed (15.5 percent). The number of students declined by 382,125 (14.4 percent). The most seriously impacted have been elementary schools.
While that has happened, the Wichita Diocese enrollment is approaching a 40-year high of 11,000.
“Something that may be a surprise to people is the Catholic schools in this diocese are the eighth largest school system in the state of Kansas — public and not public,” Voboril said. “We serve more than 2,400 children who come from an ethnic minority. ... We have more than 1,800 students with Individual Education Plan programs. Most people would not expect that from a non-public school system.”
Individual Education Plans serve students with special needs.
Father Edmond Kline offered a Mass of Thanksgiving to mark the anniversary and a dinner was held in the parish hall. Father Paul Oborny was a special guest of the parish.
Because of parish growth, a new church was built next to the original building and on Oct. 29, 1995, Bishop Eugene J. Gerber with the help of Father Oborny offered the Mass of Dedication. This new church housed class rooms for religious education classes.Early in 2008, Father Nicholas Voelker was able to start building a new rectory for St. Rose. It was completed in June. Father Voelker was transferred to Hutchinson before it was completed and Father Edmond Kline has been the first priest to live there.
The Catholic Church in Morris County
The history of Catholicism in Morris County dates back to the year 1541, when Father Juan Padilla, a Franciscan priest, accompanied Coronado on his journey to Kansas. Father Padilla became a missionary among the Quivira Indians who were living in the area. He was martyred during this time.
With the settlement of white men to this Indian area came a priest who was know to many as the hermit. In the early spring of 1863, Father Matteo Baccanlini, an Italian, arrived in Council Grove, the last important stop on the Santa Fe Trail. He set up meager housekeeping in a depression of rock on a hill above Council Grove near where the Belfry Bell now stands. He kept to himself and played his mandolin. He also ministered to the needs of the few Catholics living here at the time. He slipped away as silently as he came and continued down the Santa Fe Trail.