(Untitled) by Emmet Kaufman
submitted by James Spencer
Bloggers note: Mr. James Spencer emailed this to me and writes "I first heard this poem in a sermon by Fr. Ivan Eck many years ago. He was kind enough to send me a copy, which I've had posted in my office ever since."
Forty nine years ago today Marian Llamas gave birth to a puny little boy (that's me!)...and the rest is history! In honor of that occasion, I thought this post was appropriate.
I think my soul is a tame old duck,
dabbling around in the barnyard muck,
Fat and lazy with useless wings,
But sometimes when the north wind sings,
And the wild ones hurtle overhead,
It remembers something lost and dead,
And cocks a wary bewildered eye,
And makes a feeble attempt to fly.
It's fairly content with the state it's in,But it isn't the duck it might have been.
Please Pray for Priests
we pray that the Blessed Mother
wrap her mantle around your priests
and through her intercession
strengthen them for their ministry.
We pray that Mary will guide your priests
to follow her own words,
“Do whatever He tells you” (Jn 2:5).
May your priests have the heart of St. Joseph,
Mary’s most chaste spouse.
May the Blessed Mother’s own pierced heart
inspire them to embrace
all who suffer at the foot of the cross.
May your priests be holy,
filled with the fire of your love
seeking nothing but your greater glory
and the salvation of souls.
Saint John Vianney, pray for us.
By Kris Dmytrenko
June 15, 2009
TORONTO, Canada, JUNE 15, 2009 (Zenit.org).- An announcement that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will now oversee discussions with the Society of St. Pius X is imminent, says the society's general superior.
Bishop Bernard Fellay revealed to ZENIT that the congregation told him to expect the publication of a statement issued "motu proprio" (on his own initiative) by Benedict XVI on the new structure of Ecclesia Dei before June 20.
The bishop confirmed that he met June 5 with Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. During a visit today to Toronto, the general superior explained that the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, established precisely to oversee the process of healing the society's separation from the Church, will remain a distinct entity within the Church's dicastery for doctrinal matters.
"According to what we have heard," noted the bishop, "most probably, one of the monsignors of the congregation will be the executive head of Ecclesia Dei. So it will be very tightly united with the congregation."
Along with three other bishops ordained by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1988 without Vatican approval, Bishop Fellay had been automatically excommunicated, only to have the penalty lifted in January by Benedict XVI.
The Society of St. Pius X still lacks the canonical status required for the legitimate exercise of ministry, which, according to the Pontiff in a letter sent in March to all the Church's bishops, will only be granted when the society accepts the authority of the Second Vatican Council, along with the magisterial teachings of popes since the council.
Since 2000, the pontifical commission has been led by Cardinal Dario Castrillón Hoyos, whom Bishop Fellay describes as "very friendly" to the society. The bishop shared that, even after his June 5 meeting with Cardinal Levada, he remains unsure how the expected changes will affect negotiations with the Vatican.
"I don’t know [Cardinal Levada] enough to really answer the question. […] When we were received it was very courteous. He was gentle. […] I don’t frankly know what and if there will be a real change."
Most pressing for the new Ecclesia Dei leadership will be averting a new series of excommunications. On June 27, Lefebvrite Bishop Alfonso de Galaretta is scheduled to ordain three priests and three deacons in the society's Zaitzkofen seminary in Bavaria, Germany. Bishop Gerard Muller of Regensburg has warned the society that, until the issue of canonical status is resolved, the ordinations lack proper authorization and would thus merit disciplinary action.
"Our bishop is waiting for Rome to advise on how to respond," said diocesan spokesperson Jakub Schotz earlier this month. "But it will almost certainly result in excommunication for these priests and the bishop who ordains them."
Bishop Fellay counters that the Society of St. Pius X already delayed subdiaconate ordinations in Regensburg earlier this year, and that he believes that the Vatican now "has no basic problems" with the upcoming priestly ordinations.
"We cannot just now say, 'stop breathing,'" he argues in defense of the society's continued administration of the sacraments. "We need to breathe. And, definitely, if the Pope was so good to take away the excommunications, that mean he doesn’t want us now to die."
The society is planning to proceed with the ordinations, despite Bishop Fellay’s concern that new excommunications could "jeopardize everything" and derail the society’s discussions with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Central to those talks will be the society's unambiguous condemnations of the Second Vatican Council, particularly in reference to the council’s affirmations of religious liberty, ecumenism and the separation of Church and state.
While the Swiss-born superior general prefers to resolve these doctrinal issues before he accepts canonical status in the Church, he insists that he is open to reaching a provisional compromise position with the Vatican.
"If Rome gives us enough guarantee, so to say, of survival, I think probably we would certainly consider it," he said. "We have no problem with the Church recognizing us, of course."
Jubilee Year for Priests Announced by the Vatican
Pope Benedict XVI announced that the universal Church will celebrate a Jubilee Year of the Priest, beginning June 19th, 2009, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and celebrating the 150th anniversary of the death of the saintly Cure D’Ars.
It is my personal experience of 25 years this month living inside of the Church in novitiates, seminaries, pontifical universities, parishes, and chancery offices that we are always in need of renewal and energizing in every vocation, more so than ever in the priesthood. The Holy Father knows this, as do a great many of us priests. So, beginning June 19, 2009 we’ll try to move toward this goal of strengthening and energizing the priesthood. This happens one priest at a time. Holiness is an individual work in process for all of us, the priest included.
The patron saint of parish priests, St. John Mary Vianney, should be used as a model in principle, remembering that every man or woman must be a person of their time. Nonetheless, there are principles and practices that transcend time and space. These we should know and exercise. The preeminence of prayer and the spiritual life must come first for the priest—or any practicing Catholic for that matter.
St. John Vianney prayed long hours before the Blessed Sacrament. That was the “secret” of his “success.” Jesus in the Eucharist must be the heart of the priest’s life, the Holy Spirit is the breath that breathes life into his ministry. A simple life, not unfamiliar with penance and sacrifice is also fundamental for apostolic fruitfulness.
Jesus, the High Priest, gave us all his own Mother to be our spiritual mother. Every priest that would bear fruit that endures must accept the gift of Mary the Mother of Priests as his own spiritual mother. This cannot be over emphasized. A failure to do it in these times results in almost certain failure for the Catholic priest.
Pray for your priests more than ever this Year of the Priest. In many cases there is poor morale, little camaraderie, isolation, and loneliness in the life of the priest. Encourage your priests and remember a little kindness and understanding goes a long way. Priests are human beings, like other human beings, with the same weaknesses and strengths. This year think about the life of priests and how you can contribute to their perseverance and holiness in a most noble vocation. Help your priest get to Heaven by your kindness and your prayers. You will never be sorry that you did.
God bless you,
Fr. John Corapi
Vatican to Investigate Possible Miracle for Sainthood Cause of Father Kaupin
Sunday's Wichita Eagle has a story about an apparently miraculous recovery of a young Kansan man after a pole vaulting accident last October.
After the man's accident, a great many people quickly prayed for the intercession of Father Emil Kapaun, a priest who served in the Korean War. Fr. Kapaun's cause for sainthood was opened in 2008. The priest was a native of Pilsen, Kansas. (More information about Father Kapaun here).
Highlights from the story:
Colwich, KS--People in Colwich like to touch Chase Kear's arm or his shoulder with their fingers. Or they hug him. "Miracle Man," they say. "Let me touch the miracle." With anybody else in Colwich, this would be just talk. But it's not just talk to the Vatican. Prompted in part by what the Kear family has said publicly, and partly by a preliminary investigation begun by the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, a Vatican investigator named Andrea Ambrosi will arrive from Italy in Wichita on Friday.
He will investigate on behalf of the church in Rome whether 20-year-old Chase Kear's survival qualifies as a miracle; whether he survived a severe head injury last year in part because his family and hundreds of friends successfully prayed thousands of prayers to the soul of Father Emil Kapaun, a U.S. Army chaplain from Pilsen, Kan., who died a hero in the Korean War.
[ . . .]
Soldiers came out of prisoner-of-war camps in 1953 with incredible stories about Kapaun's heroism and faith. Across Kansas, his memory is kept alive at Wichita's Kapaun Mount Carmel High School, in his hometown of Pilsen and elsewhere.
Kapaun is so well-known and so highly regarded by area Catholics that the diocese has received other reports of miracles involving Kapaun, Hotze said. Ambrosi on Friday will consult area physicians in at least three such cases, including Chase's, Hotze said.
Only two American-born people have ever been canonized as saints. For sainthood, the church will require at least one and possibly two miracles be proven on Kapaun's behalf, depending on whether he died a martyr, something the church is also trying to determine.
Among people that Ambrosi will consult on Friday will be Chase's neurosurgeon, Raymond Grundmeyer, who said in a brief e-mail last week that he considers Chase's survival a miracle.
If Ambrosi's report concurs, more church officials would still have to evaluate the case, but it would further a cause that Kapaun's fellow prisoners of war and Catholic Church officials have carried on for years: to persuade the church to declare Father Kapaun a saint.
[. . .]
[The neurosurgeon] said last week, it was "a miracle."
The family agrees. Only a few weeks after Chase broke his skull, he walked out of a rehabilitation hospital, shaken but alive.
His near-complete recovery stunned all the doctors involved, Paul and Paula Kear said.
"Chase survived in part because hundreds of people prayed to Father Emil Kapaun to intercede on his behalf," Paula Kear said.
"It was absolutely a miracle."
Chase himself says he has little memory of what happened. For interested visitors, he will calmly part his thick hair with his fingers and show the long semi-circular scar that traverses much of the right side of his scalp.
He's working a summer job and plans to coach the pole-vaulters at the Hutchinson Community College. He misses vaulting; he's grateful to Grundmeyer [the neurosurgeon] and Kapaun.
"So how does it feel to be a miracle?" his mother asked him last week.
"It feels pretty cool," he said.
[. . .]
Kapaun was a chaplain assigned to the U.S. Army's Eighth Cavalry regiment, which was surrounded and overrun by the Chinese army in North Korea in October and November 1951.
Kapaun became a hero, rescuing wounded soldiers from the battlefield and risking death by preventing Chinese executions of wounded Americans too injured to walk.
He became a hero again in prison camp, stealing food for prisoners, ministering to the sick, saying the rosary for soldiers, defying guards' attempts to indoctrinate soldiers, making pots and pans out of roofing tin so that soldiers could boil snow into drinking water and boil lice out of their filthy clothing.
Hundreds of American prisoners died in the camp of exposure or starvation or illness that first winter. The Chinese guards did nothing to tend Kapaun when he became sick; he died in May 1951, two years before the war ended.
Soldiers who survived have praised Kapaun for decades; some of them have said he deserved not only sainthood but the Medal of Honor, in addition to the lesser Distinguished Service Cross the Army awarded him after his death.
Father Kapaun, ora pro nobis.