Monday, August 7, 2017
Greetings, Dear Brothers and Sisters, Franciscans of The Glory of [Yahweh] The Most High!
Happy Transfiguration Day! Let's be mindful on this radiant solemnity that the dazzlingly luminous glory of Yahweh the Most High was made manifest to chosen witnesses on this transfiguring day when the Father audibly and visibly proclaimed his beloved son's splendor and authority.
Let's also be mindful that we, too, have been named as chosen witnesses in our time and place, and that we are not simply a cluster of Franciscans among an indistinguishable array of others worldwide. For, as our very rule (#20) proclaims, all Franciscan fraternities
"...have THEIR OWN MORAL PERSONALITY in the Church..."
Our moral personality is formed from the mystery of the Glory of Yahweh. Our Glory-saturated personality is exposed for exploration and contemplation, among other times and places, in specific moments designated by Holy Mother Church in her order of the Liturgical Year. Today is one such moment.
So, Happy Transfiguration Day, dear mirrors of the most luminous, most holy, Most High!
May we respond to today's graces with mindfulness, that we might be more perfect reflections of Yahweh's manifest holiness, his transformingly radiant Glory.
For his greater glory,
Pax et bonum
Saturday, June 17, 2017
The 5 Prayers Revealed at Fatima
The apparition of an angel and Our Lady to three poor children in Fatima, Portugal in the early 20th century is one of the most famous miracles in the Catholic world. This year we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the completion of those apparitions. The children received many messages, mostly calling for personal conversion and prayer, as well as the words of 5 new prayers. The first prayer is one many Catholics are likely already familiar with, but the other 4 are not as well-known. Here are the 5 prayers given to the children at Fatima:
1) The Fatima Prayer/Decade Prayer: “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy. Amen.” Mary told the children that people should add this prayer to the end of each decade of the Rosary.
2) The Pardon Prayer: “My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love Thee! I beg pardon for all those that do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love Thee.” This prayer was given to the children by the angel that visited them in 1916, the year before Mary appeared to them.
3) The Angel’s Prayer: “O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary I beg the conversion of poor sinners.” This is another prayer given to them by the angel. There was a Eucharistic host and chalice suspended in the air, and the angel led them in kneeling before it and praying this prayer.
4) The Eucharistic Prayer: “Most Holy Trinity, I adore Thee! My God, my God, I love Thee in the Most Blessed Sacrament.” When Mary appeared to the children for the first time on May 13, 1917, she said, “You will have much to suffer, but the grace of God will be your comfort.” According to Lucia, one of the children, a bright light shone all around them, and without thinking about it, they all started reciting this prayer.
5) The Sacrifice Prayer: “O Jesus, it is for the love of Thee, in reparation for the offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and for the conversion of poor sinners [that I do this].” Mary gave the children this prayer, as well as the Fatima Prayer/Decade Prayer, on June 13th, 1917. The prayer is meant to be recited when you are offering up suffering to God.
Pax et bonum
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Padre Pio: The True Story Chapter 10
At this point, Padre Pio wished to die – he even asked permission to die. Why might he have wanted this? How might this fit in with holiness?
What lesson does Padre Pio’s experiences with Annitta Rodote teach about prayer?
Padre Pio finally arrived at St. Giovanini Rotondo. For a while he served as a teacher – apparently not a good one in the conventional sense. How was he effective, though?
Once again, Padre Pio began to gather a group of women as his “daughters.” What was his appeal to them? Why did he not seem to have many spiritual “sons.”?
Padre Pio continued to be troubled by health issues – but they did keep him out of the army. What lesson about God’s ways can this teach us?
Overall, what lessons does this chapter teach us as Franciscans today?
Pax et bonum
Saturday, April 8, 2017
Saturday, March 11, 2017
To the Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Pope Saint John Paul II
Submitted by: Sally Lynch, OFS
From a homily delivered by the Holy Father on the vigil of Pentecost,
to members of the Renewal in the Spirit (Charismatic Renewal)
about “Burning Bush” on May 29, 2004.
“Veni, Creator Spiritus!” On the Solemnity of Pentecost, the whole Church raises unanimously this song…The Mystical Body of Christ, spread throughout the world, invokes the Spirit from whom it receives life, the vital breath that animates its being and its action…
Thanks to the Charismatic Movement, many Christians, men and women, youths and adults, have rediscovered Pentecost as a living and present reality in their daily life. I desire that the spirituality of Pentecost be spread in the Church, as a renewed thrust in prayer, holiness, communion and proclamation. In this connection, I encourage the initiative called “Burning Bush”, promoted by Renewal in the Spirit. It is about incessant adoration, day and night, before the Most Holy Sacrament; and invitation to the faithful “to return to the Cenacle” so that, united in the contemplation of the Eucharistic mystery, they intercede for the full unity of Christians and the conversion of sinners. I sincerely desire that this initiative lead many to rediscover the gifts of the Spirit, which have their source in Pentecost…
Dear brothers and sisters! This afternoon’s celebration reminds me of the memorable meeting with the ecclesial movements and new communities on the vigil of Pentecost six years ago. It was an extraordinary manifestation of the unity of the Church, in the richness and variety of charisms, which the Holy Spirit infuses in abundance. I energetically repeat what I said on that occasion: The ecclesial movements and new communities are a “providential answer”, “inspired by the Holy Spirit” given the present need of the new evangelization, for which “mature Christian personalities” and “strong Christian communities” are needed.
For this reason I also say to you: “Open yourselves with docility to the gifts of the Spirit! Receive with gratitude and obedience the charisms that the Holy Spirit does not cease to offer! Do not forget that all the charisms are given for the common good, that is, for the benefit of the whole Church!”
“Veni, Creator Spiritus!” Among us, with raised hands, is praying the Virgin Mother of Christ and of the Church, Together with her, let us implore and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, light of truth, strength of authentic peace. We do so with the words of the antiphon in the Magnificat… (For vespers of the eve of Pentecost): “Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of thy faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of thy love: you who, in the variety of human languages, gather people in one faith, Alleluia!”
“Sante Spiritus, Veni!”
Pax et bonum
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
We held a shortened day of recollection Saturday for Secular Franciscans at St. Leo's in Hilton. Father Anthony Baetzold of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal lead the retreat, celebrating Mass, hearing confessions, and conducting a Benediction Holy Hour. And David Valenzuela, who had been with the Friars, but has felt called to serve outside the order (while still working with it when he can), led the music.
But the highlight of the day was the presence of two Sisters of Life.
Sister Mary Loretta Graffeo (above)
and Sister Veronica Sullivan shared the history of the order and their ministry.
They were created in 1991 by Cardinal John O'Connor in New York. They take the three traditional vows that women religious take - Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience - but also take a fourth vow: To protect and enhance the sacredness of human life. As such, they work with women in crisis pregnancies and individuals affected by abortion, run retreats, evangelize and work with the Respect Life in New York.
Sister Veronica said the ministry with pregnant women is not intended to humiliate them, but rather "to restore their God-given dignity."
The order is growing, There are now more than 100 sisters, and many others in formation. The average age of the sisters is 34. Yes, average age. Many older congregations don't even have a single member that young. But the growth of the Sisters of Life is typical of congregations that embrace Church traditions - including the wearing of a habit.
They were delightful, and full of joy. Indeed, as Sister Mary said, "There is no Sister of Life without joy."
Pax et bonum
Sunday, February 19, 2017
Brothers and sisters, greetings and great peace always….
Minister Ray Porzio OFS of St. Marianne Cope Fraternity located in Syracuse, informed me that the Servant of God, Brother Joseph Dutton OSF whose cause for sainthood was opened in 2015 by Bishop Silva of Honolulu was a member of their Fraternity in Syracuse. (Born in Vermont) He was a Civil War veteran who later in his life became a Catholic and a penitent. He worked alongside Saints Father Damien and Mother Marianne Cope. Although he never left Kalaupapa or Molokai (after arriving there to help), Mother Marianne arranged for him to become a Secular Franciscan in the Syracuse Fraternity.
That Syracuse Fraternity is so very blessed with a Saint (Mother Marianne Cope) and now the Servant of God Joseph Dutton OSF.
Let us shower Heaven with our prayers so the title of “Saint” will be accorded to our brother Secular Franciscan Joseph Dutton.
Great peace and abundant blessings to all,
Al Picogna, OFS, Regional Minister
Pax et bonum