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March 4, 2015

Catholic Events in Connecticut

20th Annual Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Our Lady of Pompeii Church, 355 Foxon Road, East Haven

9 week novena beginning on Wednesday, March 4, 7:00 p.m.


Liturgy Symposium | Hugo Mendez @ Yale Divinity School
Date: Monday, March 2, 2015, 4:30 pm to  5:30pm
Location: Marquand Chapel, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven



Vocation Retreat —March 6-8, 2015

The Dominican Sisters of Peace welcome single, Catholic women, ages 18-45 to this vocation retreat designed to explore consecrated life in the Order of Preachers —the Dominicans. Come and learn about the Dominican Sisters of Peace while experiencing elements of Dominican prayer and community life. Retreat ants will gather at 2320 Airport Drive, Columbus, OH from 6:00 pm, Friday, March 6 until Noon, Sunday, March 8. To register, or for more information please contact Sister Pat Twohill (call or text): 860-436-8430 or email: The Dominican Sisters of Peace have a formation house at St Stanislaus Convent (Eld Street, New Haven).


Women’s Conference Series —Lent 2015

+Gratitude is the First Beatitude: I was Born to Sing for You: March 12
+Trust: Easier Said Than Done: From Songs of Sorrow to Songs of Joy: March 26 

Time: 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Location: RC Mission Center, Legion of Christ College, 475 Oak Avenue, Cheshire, CT
Info: Minerva Dibildox: 203-707-3889 (cell);


A celebration of Sacred Scripture

Dr Thomas Groome, a professor at Boston College, will be giving a free presentation on sharing and teaching the Bible in everyday life. The workshop is Sunday, March 8, Noon to 4:30 p.m., at St Thomas Seminary (467 Bloomfield Ave., Bloomfield).

The workshop is free but pre-registration is requested by March 3. Light refreshments will be provided. To register: call Jill Costa at 860-242-5573


Do you know someone who is suffering carrying the grief of a past abortion? Hope and healing are possible and God’s mercy endures forever. The Sisters of Life will be hosting a Day of Prayer and Healing on Saturday March 21, 2015. 

For confidential registration please call the Sisters of Life at (866)-575-0075 (toll free) or email


The First Annual Catholic Men's Conference will be held on Saturday, March 21st at the Fordham Rose Hill campus in the Bronx.  The theme of this year's conference is, "Men, Be Who You Are!" 

Come experience a prayerful, life changing day for men of all ages featuring talks by His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York, Damon Owens, a renowned public speaker and strong proponent of the Catholic faith, and Joe Klecko, former all-star New York Jets defensive lineman. 

To register and for more information, visit  All talks during the day will be fully translated into Spanish. 

There is free admission for priests, religious, seminarians, and deacons.  Spots are limited to 550 men (over half full already) so if you are interested, please register soon!


Lenten Mission — March 22, 23, 24 at 7:00 p.m. @ three parishes

Preacher: Father Jordan Lenaghan, O.P., Catholic Chaplain at Quinnipiac University

March 22 at Our Lady of Pompeii Church (355 Foxon Rd, East Haven)
March 23 at St Monica Church (1331 Middletown Avenue, Northford)
March 24 at St Augustine Church (30 Caputo Road, North Branford)

Priests will be available for confessions after the talk on March 24.


Lenten Mission —Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. @ the Cathedral of St Joseph

March 5: Fr Timothy Hickey (Pastor, St Christopher Church): “Lent with the Venerable Servant of God Michael J. McGivney”

March 12: Fr José Mercado (Pastor, St Augustine & St Anne-Immaculate Conception; Dir., Office of Hispanic Ministries): “If Only You Knew:  Loved by God”

March 19: Msgr David Liptak (Executive Director, The Catholic Transcript): “Saint Joseph:  A Silent Guide”

Cathedral of Saint Joseph, 140 Farmington Avenue, Hartford, CT  —860-249-8431

****(parking behind the Church on Asylum Avenue or in the Archdiocesan lot on Farmington Avenue)


GOSPEL OF LIFE SOCIETY meets the second Sat. of the month (March 14) at St. Mary Parish, Norwalk, at 10 am after the 9 am Pro-Life Mass. Physician Assisted Suicide will be the topic. 

For more info, contact Eileen Bianchini: 203.847.5727 or


World Meeting of Families Connecticut Workshop

In preparation for Pope Francis' visit to the World Meeting of Families in September, a Connecticut workshop will be held on Saturday March 14 at 1 PM at the Knights of Columbus Museum, 1 State St., New Haven.  The keynote speaker will be Damon Owens, Executive Director, The Theology of the Body Institute, Philadelphia.  The cost is $20. For more information or to reserve a seat, please contact Norm Chouinard at 203-217-3930 or

Normand Chouinard
St. Hedwig Retreat Team Leader
St. Hedwig Retreats (Facebook)
@ChouinardN (Twitter)


Women’s Retreat: “Mary, A Model for the Modern Woman” will be held the weekend of March 27-29, at St. Edmund’s Retreat Center, Enders Island, Mystic, with retreat director Fran Fraleigh Karpiej, OFS, of Sharing Christ Ministry.

Registration open until Fri., March 6. For more info, or to register, call St. Edmund’s, 860.536.0565, ext. 110, or visit


Save the Date: White Mass —Honoring the service and ministry of health care professions

Principal Celebrant: The Most Reverend Leonard P. Blair, S.T.D.
Sunday, April 26, 2015 at 12:00 NoonSt. Mary Church, 5 Hillhouse Avenue, New Haven, CT 06511

Luncheon to follow at:
The Graduate Club, 155 Elm Street, New Haven, CT

Keynote address: Archbishop Leonard P. Blair
Luncheon and reception: $30.00 per person
Reservations may be made through the Chancery Office of Archdiocese of Hartford. Please contact Marion Valenti

Email:; Telephone: 860-541-6491 ext. 168


The 22nd annual White Mass and breakfast honoring health care professionals will be held on Sunday, April 12, at 8:30 am at St. Aloysius Church in New Canaan.

The Mass, open to the general public, will be celebrated by Bishop Frank J. Caggiano. Breakfast will follow at Woodway Country Club in Darien.

Father Kevin FitzGerald, S.J., associate professor of bioethics at Georgetown University’s School of Medicine and an expert in ethical issues related to cloning and genetic testing, will be the featured speaker.

All healthcare workers and their guests are invited to attend the White Mass. Breakfast tickets: $35. For more info and tickets, contact Debbie Charles: 203.416.1352 or dcharles@


Diocese of Norwich —Office of Prison Ministry
A Restorative Justice Forum with panel discussion led by Award-Winning Director, Leslie Neale
at Christ the King Church Hall, Old Lyme on April 25, 2015, 10am-1pm

Screening of Documentary Unlikely Friends Screening and Panel Discussion Explores Forgiveness, Friendship, Between Victims of Brutal Crimes and Perpetrators

To purchase tickets to the screening of Unlikely Friends please call 1.860.848.2237, ext. 211
Pre-Registration is Required.

For more information on Unlikely Friends and to view the trailer, please visit:


St. Dunstan and St. Peter Claver are hosting a Catholic Heart Workcamp in Hartford this coming summer.

This is the camp that we, at St. Dunstan,  have taken our youth group to for the past ten or so years. I will be the camp manager here in Hartford. This camp continues to be a fantastic opportunity to have our teens serve in various communities; the camp also provides a great night time program full of praise and worship and faith-building activities.

I need to find 40 + worksites in the Greater Hartford area so that I can place the teens and adults in the community to serve. We will do anything from house rehabilitation, (painting, not like the Property Brothers or anything), child care, elder care, meal centers, pantries, soup kitchens, VBS’s, anything. 

Gina Raymond
St. Dunstan, Youth Minister
St. Mary Simsbury, Math Teacher

‘Deny yourself’ so that Christ is followed. ‘Discipline the body;’ do not cling to enticements; love fasting. Relieve the lot of the poor, ‘cloth the naked, visit the sick,’ bury the dead. Come to the aid of the person in trouble; console the afflicted.

-- Rule of Saint Benedict 4.10-19 (from the chapter on the tools of good works)


TONIGHT: Our Lady of Perpetual Help Novena (9 Wednesdays)

The novena is prayed in the context of an Eucharistic holy hour with various preachers.

Our Lady of Pompeii Church, 355 Foxon Road, East Haven
Info: 203-469-0764


Theology on Tap: “Finding the Church (by the scenic route…)”
Thursday, March 5, 7:00 p.m.
@ Backstage, 84 Main Street, Torrington

Guest speaker: Nicole Stacy (from the Family Institute of CT)

Sponsored by the Torrington Cluster of Roman Catholic Parishes


Stolen Lives: A Gospel Response to Human Trafficking

Join us on Saturday, March 7, for an informative and eye-opening workshop, "Stolen Lives: A Gospel Response to Human Trafficking," at St. James Church, 767 Elm Street, Rocky Hill. Featuring two local trafficking specialists, William Rivera, Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Immigration Practice for the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, and Alicia Kinsman, Managing Attorney for the legal immigration program at the International Institute of Connecticut, the workshop will focus on the current human trafficking crisis within the state of Connecticut, in our own local towns and cities.

Learn more about how to recognize the signs of children at risk, and what YOU can do to aid in the fight against Human Trafficking.

The FREE workshop will run from 9 am - 12 noon (registration at 8:30) and is open to all. To register call OCSJM at (203) 777-7279 or send an email to


A Creighton Fertility Care Practitioner training will be held from May 2-9, 2015 in Darien, CT at the Guesthouse of the Sisters of St. Birgitta. 

Suitable applicants include nurses, physicians, and pro lifers interested in teaching a method of Natural Family Planning that has medical applications for infertility and gynecology issues (medical background not necessary, but a plus).  Auditors are welcome as well to understand how this program can be marketed in their communities.

Space is available too for those looking for a private retreat in the company of an inspirational group of pro lifers...

For more information: Dorothy Dugandzic, CFCP; Tel: 718-842-2598 or email:


The parish mission is being preached by Father Jordan Lenaghan this year. He will help answer these and other questions of a lived faith. Father Jordan will be preaching a three-day parish mission on the Eight Beatitudes. Our parish mission is three days in three locations at 7:00 p.m.:

Sunday, March 22, at Our Lady of Pompeii Church, East Haven
Monday, March 23, at Saint Monica’s Church, Northford
Tuesday, March 24, at Saint Augustine’s Church, North Branford.

Priests will be available for confession on Tuesday night. Please join us for this great time of prayer.

To benefit the Franciscan Life Center, outpatient mental health, and Franciscan Home Care and Hospice Care, home health care and hospice care services.

Sunday Dinner at Avanti Restaurant
Sunday, April 12, 2015
11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
34 River Road
Meriden, Connecticut 06451

Reservations required: 203-440-9990; or call 203-237-8084


Franciscan Life Center Educational Opportunities presented by Thomas Finn, Ph.D.
Parenting Classes - March 16 and 23, 2015, for parents with children 13 years of age and younger, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.  Cost $40.00/person or $60.00/couple. 
Anxiety Workshops - April 7, 14, 21, 28 and May 5 and 19, 2015, offering tools to help overcome fear and to relieve stress, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.  Cost:  $40.00/session.
Helping Children Overcome Anxiety – April 18, 2015, a day-long program offering children and parents the tools for managing anxiety effectively.  Dr. Finn will incorporate problem-solving techniques including high and low ropes course elements.  Cost:  $120.00/family. 

For specific details or to register visit or call 203-237-8084.
Franciscan Life Center, 271 Finch Avenue, Meriden, CT 06451

Answering the Call: Service & Charity in the Civil War 
March 14 ‐ Sept. 20, 2015 
K of C Museum exhibit looks at ministry & medical care in Civil War 
The Knights of Columbus Museum marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War’s end with an exhibition profiling various military and civilian support figures during the four‐ year conflict (1861‐1865). Answering the Call opens March 14, 2015 with a focus on religious ministry and medical care for soldiers, as well as a history of the 9th Connecticut, a volunteer infantry regiment whose members were predominantly of Irish ancestry, many of whom were from New Haven. 
The exhibition is on view through Sept. 20, 2015 and includes: 
A Civil War timeline 
Civil War uniform and swords 
More than 150 images, from period photography to modern artwork 
Interactive displays with biographies, monuments, battle stories and a quiz 
Letters from the battlefield 
A reproduction shelter tent and chapel
The museum is located at 1 State Street in New Haven and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with free admission and on‐site parking. For more information call 203‐865‐0400 or visit


Contributor: Paul A. Zalonski
Catholic Connecticut
255 Foxon Hill Road
East Haven, CT 06513-1216 USA
Email Paul:
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**Paul is the Catholic Events Contributor for Connecticut Catholic Corner**

Traditional Latin Mass in Connecticut

I've recently been corresponding with Donald Mongeau
Chairman of Una Voce right here in Enfield, Connecticut.  Here is what Mr. Mongeau asked me to share with my blog readers...(be sure to check out the links below).


Connecticut Catholics are finding the Traditional Latin Mass within the safety, and bosom of the Holy Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church continues to serve the needs of Her children:
St Martha Roman Catholic Church in Enfield Ct. is an excellent example, of Catholics working in union with the parish staff, and local ordinary to preserve the Traditional Latin Mass for the faithful that desire to worship God in it.
St Martha`s Parish has many wonderful things going for it. They have a Catholic school, as well as a dedicated Parish Staff, along with a chapter of the Knights of Columbus.

The parish is diverse in all that it offers today`s Catholic. The Parish also offers both forms of Holy Mass for her children. The Ordinary {English Mass} and Extraordinary {Traditional Latin Mass}.

As a member of the parish, I don`t think I would be out of line to suggest that : St Martha`s is a good model for successful Catholic Parishes.
St Martha`s in Enfield Ct has had the ExtraOrdinary Rite of Mass {Traditional Latin Mass} for over 5 years, with a community that could swell to near 200 souls.

Recently the long time Administrator Fr. McElheron left the parish to join another religious order within the heart of the Catholic Church.

A new Administrator Reverend Cornelius Kelechi was put in place to serve the parish.

The Catholic Family at St. Martha has found a pastor of souls in Fr. Kelechi.

To the Credit of the Parish Staff ,and the Pastoral care given to St Martha`s children by Archbishop Leonard Blair through his very capable staff {thank you Msgr. Schmitz}

The Latin Mass community concerns, during the transition over their future, has been eased greatly.

Lesson learned:
We have found a new closeness within our parish, and the Traditional Latin Mass continues to grow, within the safety of Holy Mother Church.
The parish staff along with the Bishops, should always be the 1st direction Catholics should take, to address their needs and concerns.
Mostly to have Faith in God, and His Holy Bride; The Catholic Church. She continues to provide for Her children.

We invite all that are looking for the Traditional Latin Mass to look 1st and always within your very own diocese. We at St Martha have found them to be very supportive, contrary to rumors, and the like that tend to find traction on the internet.

In Closing:
Pray for the Pope, and our Bishops
In the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Donald Mongeau
Chairman Una Voce Enfield Ct
Link for St. Martha Parish

link for Latin Mass news for Enfield Ct. { St. Martha`s}


February 27, 2015

Giving up porn for Lent

"The spiritual combat in which we kill our passions to put on the new man is the most difficult struggle of all. We must never weary of this combat, but fight the holy fight fervently and perseveringly." - St. Nilus

Has anyone given up porn for lent?  That's not just pornographic movies or magazines, its also "romance" books filled with sex scenes- books and movies like "50 Shades of Grey".

I can't help but wonder how many Catholics filled the movie theater THE FIRST WEEKEND of Lent to watch the pornographic "50 Shades of Grey" on the big screen.

Couldn't give it up even for Lent, eh?

Porn in all its forms, is addicting.

I've got my own story with the porn found in women's "romance" novels.

I gave up "romance" books when I became Catholic- actually along my way to becoming Catholic.  Prior to that, I had been reading "romance" books since I was a pre-teen and never thought twice about it. No one in my Baptist faith ever bothered to mention that women's "romance" books were not in keeping with our Christian faith.

The women in my family watched soap operas (only one of them read "romance" books).  So growing up and seeing the "romance" displayed on soap operas was my first exposure to "romance" - totally corrupt of course.  No child should be raised thinking Luke raping Laura (General Hospital) was the beginning of their "romance" and eventual marriage.  But that is all I knew of "romance" as a young child.  Books didn't come into play until my pre-teen years.

"Romance" book reading started innocently enough with me.  When I was in 8th grade I read "Gone With the Wind" and I was hooked on books that mixed history with romance.  The cover of "Gone with the Wind" was my template for locating other books to read (until I began to find my favorite authors).  If the cover had Fabio on it, I read it.  Little did I know at that time, the "historical romance" section of the book store included books loaded with graphic sex scenes.  I can still remember the FIRST "historic romance" book I read - because it was SO shocking to me as a young pre-teen it was burnt into my mind and to this day (decades later) I can still recall the story, the cover and of course the sex scenes in that book.  I read hundreds after that one and those are a blur, but the first one sticks.  My view of sex had been completely corrupted by "romance" books and my view of adult romantic relationships had been corrupted by soap operas.

My Mother, once said to me as a pre-teen, "You're too young to read that" -which only indicated to me that in a few years I would be old enough to pick the book back up again and then read it.  So that's what I did- for years.  I read "romance" books daily.  My friends and I would swap books, spend weekends at some book warehouse spending our part-time job money on romance books.  I never left home without a "romance" book stuffed in my purse.

Some time ago, Katrina at The Crescat wrote a post about a "romance" book that had been turned into a mini series. In one of the comments I briefly mentioned my own involvement with "romance" books.  Years ago, long before I was Catholic or even thought of being Catholic I had another blog.  A successful book/movie reviewing blog which focused mainly on "romance" books.  For years I wrote reviews for "romance" publishers and authors- they sent me free books and swag and I offered give-aways of free "romance" merchandise- I even created a template and header for an "exotic romance" author I had befriended.  I made lots of friends with "romance" authors who wrote "soft porn" romance and "erotic romance".  We were friends outside of blogging.  We shared about our lives, husbands, children, work etc.  I knew these women as friends.  Anything they or their publishers sent to me I would read and review for them.  These are well known authors who've sold millions of books.

That all began to change when I started my journey into the Catholic faith.  I hadn't viewed reading "romance" as sinful in anyway.  To me, "its just fiction" was how I looked at it.  I never considered it to be harmful.  It was a hobby.  I read books because it was fun and my friends and I enjoyed the "romance" in them.  Just as I had spent time cross-stitching or bible reading or collecting shells at the beach, reading romance was just another past-time to me.  It was something to do with whatever free time I had. I never thought I was spending my time in sin by reading "romance" books because my view of "romance" had been so corrupted at a young age I was blinded to it.

It was when I began (unknowingly at the time) my journey towards the Catholic faith that how I viewed things changed.  I began to question what I was reading and watching on television.  I asked myself more and more "Is this the sort of entertainment I should be entertaining myself with?"  

The guilt came.  No longer was it fun to read or review these books.  It felt wrong.  I felt guilty.  I thought, "Would I discuss this book with Jesus?  Would I sit down and watch this movie with Jesus if he walked into my house right now?"

No way!  I would HIDE the books and turn off the TV.

Then I knew.  What I had been doing for years was wrong.

I closed down the book blog, said goodbye to all the publishers, authors and other people I had met and befriended in the "romance" world.  I filled garbage bags with books and DVD's from my house and tossed them in the trash along with all the "romance" swag I had accumulated over the years.  Autographed books and photographs went too.

I completely cleansed my house of everything that was associated with "romance" books and movies.  But I couldn't cleanse my mind of what I had taken in.  Sadly, that was there to stay.  You can't get innocence back once it's lost.  Be very careful what example you're setting for your own children!

A few Catholic blogs, including Katrina over at The Crescat shared a video this week, by Russell Brand about porn and how destructive it is to people.

Because porn is such a huge problem for all people, women (especially all those women reading and watching "50 Shades of Grey") and children (horrible), I thought, I too would share this video on my blog.

If you're a Catholic woman still reading "romance" books, won't you please consider giving it up?

How about starting with this Lent?  It's not too late!

Go to confession and toss out all the books and start over and don't go back when Lent is over!

Give up all forms of pornography forever!

In Christ,

Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner

Catholic Catechism:

2354 Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense. Civil authorities should prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials.

2396 Among the sins gravely contrary to chastity are masturbation, fornication, pornography, and homosexual practices.


February 25, 2015

EWTN Press Release: Len Marino Named VP of Creative Services

EWTN Names Len Marino 
Vice President of Creative Services

Irondale, AL (EWTN) – EWTN Global Catholic Network has named Len Marino to the post of Vice President of Creative Services. In this newly created role, Marino will assume senior management responsibility for a consolidated Creative Services Division, which will include the Network’s Creative Services and On-Air Promotions Departments.

“Len is clearly a dynamic and capable leader who brings a wealth of experience, talent and wisdom to EWTN,” said EWTN Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Michael P. Warsaw. “The consolidation of these areas into a single creative group will enable us to expand upon the tremendous work that has already been done in these areas and to bring more focus to our efforts to build a greater engagement with the Network’s global brand and our mission.”

Marino’s career began on Madison Avenue and spans more than 35 years with stops at CNN Creative Services, Starz, Encore and Hallmark Entertainment Networks. He’s worked with the Muppets and helped launch a number of networks including Encore’s Multiplex, Kermit and The Hallmark Channel. He’s had his own creative shop for the past 14 years. Marino’s latest projects include creative and on-air promotion for WeatherNation as well a series of advertising campaigns and branding initiatives for EWTN.

Marino is a devout Catholic and 4th degree member of the Knights of Columbus. Marino and Lorna, his wife of 31 years, will be relocating to Birmingham from Denver in the next few weeks. The couple has a grown daughter and two feisty terriers. Marino is an alumnus of Tulane University in New Orleans and St. Mary’s High School in his native New York.

“I feel blessed to be able to contribute to the evangelization efforts of EWTN as it continues its global expansion,” Marino said. “Five years ago, I had a series of life-changing events that put me on a path to a deeper understanding of my Catholic faith. Over the past months, I have enjoyed working with the Creative team at the Network and I look forward to using the experiences I have been privileged to have over my lifetime for EWTN and its mission.”

EWTN Global Catholic Network, in its 34th year, is available in over 238 million television households in more than 140 countries and territories. With its direct broadcast satellite television and radio services, AM & FM radio networks, worldwide short-wave radio station, Internet website, electronic and print news services, and publishing arm, EWTN is the largest religious media network in the world.

February 19, 2015

Pope Benedict XVI and the SSPX

Apparently, some don't like that I hold the personal opinion that the SSPX are in schism with the Catholic Church.  I'm OK with that.  

What I am doing today is showing (in part) WHY I believe as I do.  I refer to the words of Pope Benedict XVI himself for my views...


 Dear Brothers in the Episcopal Ministry!  The remission of the excommunication of the four Bishops consecrated in 1988 by Archbishop Lefebvre without a mandate of the Holy See has for many reasons caused, both within and beyond the Catholic Church, a discussion more heated than any we have seen for a long time. Many Bishops felt perplexed by an event which came about unexpectedly and was difficult to view positively in the light of the issues and tasks facing the Church today. Even though many Bishops and members of the faithful were disposed in principle to take a positive view of the Pope’s concern for reconciliation, the question remained whether such a gesture was fitting in view of the genuinely urgent demands of the life of faith in our time. Some groups, on the other hand, openly accused the Pope of wanting to turn back the clock to before the Council: as a result, an avalanche of protests was unleashed, whose bitterness laid bare wounds deeper than those of the present moment. I therefore feel obliged to offer you, dear Brothers, a word of clarification, which ought to help you understand the concerns which led me and the competent offices of the Holy See to take this step. In this way I hope to contribute to peace in the Church.
An unforeseen mishap for me was the fact that the Williamson case came on top of the remission of the excommunication. The discreet gesture of mercy towards four Bishops ordained validly but not legitimately suddenly appeared as something completely different: as the repudiation of reconciliation between Christians and Jews, and thus as the reversal of what the Council had laid down in this regard to guide the Church’s path. A gesture of reconciliation with an ecclesial group engaged in a process of separation thus turned into its very antithesis: an apparent step backwards with regard to all the steps of reconciliation between Christians and Jews taken since the Council – steps which my own work as a theologian had sought from the beginning to take part in and support. That this overlapping of two opposed processes took place and momentarily upset peace between Christians and Jews, as well as peace within the Church, is something which I can only deeply deplore. I have been told that consulting the information available on the internet would have made it possible to perceive the problem early on. I have learned the lesson that in the future in the Holy See we will have to pay greater attention to that source of news. I was saddened by the fact that even Catholics who, after all, might have had a better knowledge of the situation, thought they had to attack me with open hostility. Precisely for this reason I thank all the more our Jewish friends, who quickly helped to clear up the misunderstanding and to restore the atmosphere of friendship and trust which – as in the days of Pope John Paul II – has also existed throughout my pontificate and, thank God, continues to exist.
Another mistake, which I deeply regret, is the fact that the extent and limits of the provision of 21 January 2009 were not clearly and adequately explained at the moment of its publication. The excommunication affects individuals, not institutions. An episcopal ordination lacking a pontifical mandate raises the danger of a schism, since it jeopardizes the unity of the College of Bishops with the Pope. Consequently the Church must react by employing her most severe punishment – excommunication – with the aim of calling those thus punished to repent and to return to unity. Twenty years after the ordinations, this goal has sadly not yet been attained. The remission of the excommunication has the same aim as that of the punishment: namely, to invite the four Bishops once more to return. This gesture was possible once the interested parties had expressed their recognition in principle of the Pope and his authority as Pastor, albeit with some reservations in the area of obedience to his doctrinal authority and to the authority of the Council. Here I return to the distinction between individuals and institutions. The remission of the excommunication was a measure taken in the field of ecclesiastical discipline: the individuals were freed from the burden of conscience constituted by the most serious of ecclesiastical penalties. This disciplinary level needs to be distinguished from the doctrinal level. The fact that the Society of Saint Pius X does not possess a canonical status in the Church is not, in the end, based on disciplinary but on doctrinal reasons. As long as the Society does not have a canonical status in the Church, its ministers do not exercise legitimate ministries in the Church. There needs to be a distinction, then, between the disciplinary level, which deals with individuals as such, and the doctrinal level, at which ministry and institution are involved. In order to make this clear once again: until the doctrinal questions are clarified, the Society has no canonical status in the Church, and its ministers – even though they have been freed of the ecclesiastical penalty – do not legitimately exercise any ministry in the Church.
In light of this situation, it is my intention henceforth to join the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" – the body which has been competent since 1988 for those communities and persons who, coming from the Society of Saint Pius X or from similar groups, wish to return to full communion with the Pope – to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. This will make it clear that the problems now to be addressed are essentially doctrinal in nature and concern primarily the acceptance of the Second Vatican Council and the post-conciliar magisterium of the Popes. The collegial bodies with which the Congregation studies questions which arise (especially the ordinary Wednesday meeting of Cardinals and the annual or biennial Plenary Session) ensure the involvement of the Prefects of the different Roman Congregations and representatives from the world’s Bishops in the process of decision-making. The Church’s teaching authority cannot be frozen in the year 1962 – this must be quite clear to the Society. But some of those who put themselves forward as great defenders of the Council also need to be reminded that Vatican II embraces the entire doctrinal history of the Church. Anyone who wishes to be obedient to the Council has to accept the faith professed over the centuries, and cannot sever the roots from which the tree draws its life.
I hope, dear Brothers, that this serves to clarify the positive significance and also the limits of the provision of 21 January 2009. But the question still remains: Was this measure needed? Was it really a priority? Aren’t other things perhaps more important? Of course there are more important and urgent matters. I believe that I set forth clearly the priorities of my pontificate in the addresses which I gave at its beginning. Everything that I said then continues unchanged as my plan of action. The first priority for the Successor of Peter was laid down by the Lord in the Upper Room in the clearest of terms: "You… strengthen your brothers" (Lk 22:32). Peter himself formulated this priority anew in his first Letter: "Always be prepared to make a defence to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you" (1 Pet 3:15). In our days, when in vast areas of the world the faith is in danger of dying out like a flame which no longer has fuel, the overriding priority is to make God present in this world and to show men and women the way to God. Not just any god, but the God who spoke on Sinai; to that God whose face we recognize in a love which presses "to the end" (cf. Jn13:1) – in Jesus Christ, crucified and risen. The real problem at this moment of our history is that God is disappearing from the human horizon, and, with the dimming of the light which comes from God, humanity is losing its bearings, with increasingly evident destructive effects.
Leading men and women to God, to the God who speaks in the Bible: this is the supreme and fundamental priority of the Church and of the Successor of Peter at the present time. A logical consequence of this is that we must have at heart the unity of all believers. Their disunity, their disagreement among themselves, calls into question the credibility of their talk of God. Hence the effort to promote a common witness by Christians to their faith – ecumenism – is part of the supreme priority. Added to this is the need for all those who believe in God to join in seeking peace, to attempt to draw closer to one another, and to journey together, even with their differing images of God, towards the source of Light – this is interreligious dialogue. Whoever proclaims that God is Love "to the end" has to bear witness to love: in loving devotion to the suffering, in the rejection of hatred and enmity – this is the social dimension of the Christian faith, of which I spoke in the Encyclical Deus Caritas Est.
So if the arduous task of working for faith, hope and love in the world is presently (and, in various ways, always) the Church’s real priority, then part of this is also made up of acts of reconciliation, small and not so small. That the quiet gesture of extending a hand gave rise to a huge uproar, and thus became exactly the opposite of a gesture of reconciliation, is a fact which we must accept. But I ask now: Was it, and is it, truly wrong in this case to meet half-way the brother who "has something against you" (cf.Mt 5:23ff.) and to seek reconciliation? Should not civil society also try to forestall forms of extremism and to incorporate their eventual adherents – to the extent possible – in the great currents shaping social life, and thus avoid their being segregated, with all its consequences? Can it be completely mistaken to work to break down obstinacy and narrowness, and to make space for what is positive and retrievable for the whole? I myself saw, in the years after 1988, how the return of communities which had been separated from Rome changed their interior attitudes; I saw how returning to the bigger and broader Church enabled them to move beyond one-sided positions and broke down rigidity so that positive energies could emerge for the whole. Can we be totally indifferent about a community which has 491 priests, 215 seminarians, 6 seminaries, 88 schools, 2 university-level institutes, 117 religious brothers, 164 religious sisters and thousands of lay faithful? Should we casually let them drift farther from the Church? I think for example of the 491 priests. We cannot know how mixed their motives may be. All the same, I do not think that they would have chosen the priesthood if, alongside various distorted and unhealthy elements, they did not have a love for Christ and a desire to proclaim him and, with him, the living God. Can we simply exclude them, as representatives of a radical fringe, from our pursuit of reconciliation and unity? What would then become of them?
Certainly, for some time now, and once again on this specific occasion, we have heard from some representatives of that community many unpleasant things – arrogance and presumptuousness, an obsession with one-sided positions, etc. Yet to tell the truth, I must add that I have also received a number of touching testimonials of gratitude which clearly showed an openness of heart. But should not the great Church also allow herself to be generous in the knowledge of her great breadth, in the knowledge of the promise made to her? Should not we, as good educators, also be capable of overlooking various faults and making every effort to open up broader vistas? And should we not admit that some unpleasant things have also emerged in Church circles? At times one gets the impression that our society needs to have at least one group to which no tolerance may be shown; which one can easily attack and hate. And should someone dare to approach them – in this case the Pope – he too loses any right to tolerance; he too can be treated hatefully, without misgiving or restraint.
Dear Brothers, during the days when I first had the idea of writing this letter, by chance, during a visit to the Roman Seminary, I had to interpret and comment on Galatians 5:13-15. I was surprised at the directness with which that passage speaks to us about the present moment: "Do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself’. But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another." I am always tempted to see these words as another of the rhetorical excesses which we occasionally find in Saint Paul. To some extent that may also be the case. But sad to say, this "biting and devouring" also exists in the Church today, as expression of a poorly understood freedom. Should we be surprised that we too are no better than the Galatians? That at the very least we are threatened by the same temptations? That we must always learn anew the proper use of freedom? And that we must always learn anew the supreme priority, which is love? The day I spoke about this at the Major Seminary, the feast of Our Lady of Trust was being celebrated in Rome. And so it is: Mary teaches us trust. She leads us to her Son, in whom all of us can put our trust. He will be our guide – even in turbulent times. And so I would like to offer heartfelt thanks to all the many Bishops who have lately offered me touching tokens of trust and affection, and above all assured me of their prayers. My thanks also go to all the faithful who in these days have given me testimony of their constant fidelity to the Successor of Saint Peter. May the Lord protect all of us and guide our steps along the way of peace. This is the prayer that rises up instinctively from my heart at the beginning of this Lent, a liturgical season particularly suited to interior purification, one which invites all of us to look with renewed hope to the light which awaits us at Easter. 
With a special Apostolic Blessing, I remain
Yours in the Lord,
BENEDICTUS PP. XVI    From the Vatican, 10 March 2009


That's really all I've got to say on this topic unless something new comes up.

God bless!

In Christ,

Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner


From the Office of the Congregation for Bishops, 1 July 1988.
Monsignor Marcel Lefebvre, Archbishop-Bishop Emeritus of Tulle, notwithstanding the formal canonical warning of 17 June last and the repeated appeals to desist from his intention, has performed a schismatical act by the episcopal consecration of four priests, without pontifical mandate and contrary to the will of the Supreme Pontiff, and has therefore incurred the penalty envisaged by Canon 1364, paragraph 1, and canon 1382 of the Code of Canon Law.
Having taken account of all the juridical effects, I declare that the above-mentioned Monsignor Marcel Lefebvre, and Bernard Pellay, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Richard Williamson and Alfonso de Galarreta have incurred <ipso facto> excommunication <latae sententiae> reserved to the Apostolic See.
Moreover, I declare that Monsignor Antonio de Castro Mayer, Bishop emeritus of Campos, since he took part directly in the liturgical celebration as co-consecrator and adhered publicly to the schismatical act, has incurred excommunication <latae sententiae> as envisaged by canon 1364, paragraph 1.
The priests and faithful are warned not to support the schism of Monsignor Lefebvre, otherwise they shall incur <ipso facto> the very grave penalty of excommunication.
From the Office of the Congregation for Bishops, 1 July 1988.
Bernardinus Card. Gantin Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops

EWTN Press Release: EWTN to encore "The Crusades"

Fact Check: EWTN To Encore ‘The Crusades’

       Irondale, AL (EWTN) – At the National Prayer Breakfast, President Barack Obama set off a firestorm of controversy when he said: “”[R]emember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.”
       Is what the President said accurate? Find out the truth when the EWTN Global Catholic Network re-airs its blockbuster mini-series, “The Crusades.” (Airs 6:30 p.m. ET, Tuesday through Friday, Feb. 24 – 27 on EWTN.) This powerful four-part series, shot on location in seven countries, gives viewers a well-rounded understanding of an important historical event, which continues to have repercussions in our own time.
       Each episode of this timely and important mini-series features original dramatizations, an original musical soundtrack recorded in Europe, and three pre-eminent, world-renowned Crusader scholars, together for the first time! They include Professor Jonathan Phillips, Professor of Crusading History at the University of London; Professor Jonathan Riley-Smith of Cambridge University, widely regarded as Britain’s leading historian on the Crusades; and Professor Thomas F. Madden, chair of the Department of History at St. Louis University, a widely recognized expert not only on the Crusades, but on Christian-Muslim conflict.
       Viewers will also enjoy the many locales in which the series was shot: Istanbul; Turkey; Israel, including Jerusalem; France, Austria, England, Spain and Slovakia.
       Here’s a series overview:
  • Episode 1: A look at the history and reasons for the Crusades, which were originally known as “armed pilgrimages” because they sought to protect pilgrims visiting the Holy Land against Muslim conquerors.
  • Episode 2: A look at the Crusader States, which were set up by the Crusader hierarchy after the miraculous success of the First Crusade; the formation of Military Orders such as the Knights Templars; the re-conquest of the Iberian Peninsula, as well as the rise of Sultan Saladin and his conquest of Jerusalem.
  • Episode 3: A look at the Third Crusade, which was led by King Richard the Lionheart of England, King Philip of France and German Emperor Fredrick Barbarossa; the famous meeting between St. Francis of Assisi and Sultan Al-Kamil; and the role that devotion to the Apostle James and the Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela played in Crusader successes.
  • Episode 4: A look at the failures and successes of the Crusades and their legacy, including the role of St. Louis IX, the rise of the Ottoman Empire; the epic Battle of Lepanto, a turning point in the war, and a triumph of faith; the final Christian victory in the Iberian Peninsula, and the loss of the Holy Land, in particular, Jerusalem.
       If you are at all concerned about world affairs, you will not want to miss this important series. We suggest you mount a Crusade to get your family and friends to watch this important week of programming on EWTN!
       And stay tuned: EWTN is currently filming another documentary mini-series on the Inquisition!

       EWTN Global Catholic Network, in its 34th year, is available in over 238 million television households in more than 140 countries and territories. With its direct broadcast satellite television and radio services, AM & FM radio networks, worldwide short-wave radio station, Internet website, electronic and print news services, and publishing arm, EWTN is the largest religious media network in the world.

Vatican: Woohoo! Front and center dissenting gay activists!

Once more, this papacy has caused scandal to the faithful (and by “faithful” I mean devout practicing Catholics who accept Church teaching) by giving a dissenting group of homosexual activists a VIP seat in St. Peter’s Square during a papal audience with the “Who am I to judge” Pope Francis.

Quote: A prominent American Catholic gay rights group was given VIP treatment for the first time at an audience with Pope Francis on Wednesday, a move members saw as a sign of change in the Roman Catholic Church.“This is a sign of movement that’s due to the Francis effect,” said Sister Jeannine Gramick, co-founder of New Ways Ministry, which ministers to homosexual Catholics and promotes gay rights in the 1.2 billion-member Church.Gramick and executive director Francis DeBernardo led a pilgrimage of 50 homosexual Catholics to the audience in St. Peter’s Square.They told Reuters in an interview afterwards that when the group came to Rome on Catholic pilgrimages during the papacies of Francis’s predecessors John Paul and Benedict, “they just ignored us”.This time, a U.S. bishop and a top Vatican official backed their request and they sat in a front section with dignitaries and special Catholic groups. As the pope passed, they sang “All Are Welcome,” a hymn symbolising their desire for a more inclusive Church.

How nice (not!) that a U.S. Bishop and top Vatican official (would like to know who that is) supported the request to give dissenting Catholics who support mortal sin and flaunt it (sin of scandal) a special VIP place at the Vatican.   

And these dissenting ‘catholics’ sing a protestant song (“All are welcome” see link below for more on that little gem) to push their desire for the Church to welcome mortal sin and redefine it.  

Clearly, some Bishops and “top Vatican officials” DO support mortal sin and we’ve learned from the Synod on the family last fall that there is a deep evil desire within the Church to do just that-redefine what is and isn’t sin.  Thank our dear Lord that He sent the Holy Spirit to protect the Church from not only the evil outside the Church, but also the evil disgusting men inside the Church who work to destroy Her from the inside.  They will not succeed in destroying the Church, so there NEVER any need for Catholics to run out of the Church Jesus Christ founded for something else that “looks” like His Bride.  Christ wasn’t a polygamist- he has only One Bride. 

I am a big fan of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich and have been for many years.  I think she would completely understand what devout Catholics today are suffering because of the current state of the Church: 
QuoteSister Emmerich lived during one of the saddest and least glorious periods of the Church's history, when revolution triumphed, impiety flourished, and several of the fairest provinces of its domain were overrun by infidels and cast into such ruinous condition that the Faith seemed about to be completely extinguished. Her mission in part seems to have been by her prayers and sufferings to aid in restoring Church discipline, especially in Westphalia, and at the same time to strengthen at least the little ones of the flock in their belief. Besides all this she saved many souls and recalled to the Christian world that the supernatural is around about it to a degree sometimes forgotten. A rumour that the body was stolen caused her grave to be opened six weeks after her death. The body was found fresh, without any sign of corruption. In 1892 the process of her beatification was introduced by the Bishop of Münster.

Our Lord gave Emmerich a lifetime of amazing visisions and among those visions include the attempted destruction and then restoration of the Church.  I thought I would share today, one of Emmerich’s visions for two reasons 1) I am reading Emmerich again as part of my Lenten plan (I always make a Lenten plan) and 2) because I think some might find comfort in this vision- especially those who are considering leaving the Church for something else that merely resembles the Church.

“[Dec. 27th] I saw St. Peter’s.  A great crowd of men were trying to pull it down whilst others constantly built it up again.  Lines connected these men one with another and with others throughout the world.  I was amazed at their perfect understanding.  The demolishers, mostly apostates and members of different sects, broke off whole pieces and worked according to rules and instructions.  They wore white aprons bound with blue riband.  In them were pockets and they had trowels stuck in their belts.  The costumes of the others were various.  There were among the demolishers distinguished men wearing uniforms and crosses.  They did not work themselves, but they marked out on the wall with a trowel where and how it should be torn down.  To my horror, I saw among them Catholic priests. 
Whenever the workmen did not know how to go on, they went to a certain one in their party.  He had a large book, which seemed to contain the whole plan of the building and the way to destroy it.  They marked out exactly with a trowel the parts to be attacked, and they soon came down.  They worked quietly and confidently, but slyly, furtively, and warily.

I saw the Pope praying, surrounded by false friends who often did the very opposite of what he had ordered, and I saw a little black fellow (a laic) laboring actively against the Church.  Whilst it was thus being pulled down on one side, it was rebuilt on the other, but not very zealously. 
I saw many clergy whom I knew.  The Vicar-General gives me great joy.  He went to and fro, coolly giving orders for the repairing of the injured parts.  I saw my confessor dragging a huge stone by a roundabout way.  I saw others carelessly saying their breviary and, now and then, bringing a little stone under their cloaks or giving it to another as asomething very rare.  They seemed to have neither confidence, earnestness, nor method.  They hardly knew what was going on.  It was lamentable! 
Soon the whole front of the Church was down; the sanctuary alone stood.  I was very much troubled and kept thinking, “Where is the man with the red mantle and white banner whom I used to see standing on the Church to protect it?” [Interesting to note: earlier in her writings Emmerich identifies this “man with the red mantle” as St. Michael the Archangel- some suggest he is no longer seen atop the Church because the St. Michael prayer is no longer said at the end of Mass, in Emmerich’s vision of December 30, right after this vision of the Church being restored by a new pope, she once more sees Michael atop the Church] 
Then I saw a most majestic lady floating over the great square before the Church.  Her wide mantle fell over her arms as she arose gently on high, until she stood upon the cupola and spread it over the Church like golden rays.  The destroyers were taking a short repose, and when they returned they could in no way approach the space covered by the mantle. 
On the opposite side, the repairs progressed with incrediable activity.  There came men, old, crippled, long-forgotten, followed by vigorous young people, men, women, children, ecclesiastic and lay, and the edifice was soon restored.
Then I saw a new Pope coming in procession, younger and far sterner looking than his predecessor.  He was received with pomp!  He appeared about to consecrate the church.  But I heard a voice proclaiming it unnecessary as the Blessed Sacrament had not been disturbed.
The same voice said that they should solemnly celebrate a double feast, a universal jubilee and the restoration of the Church.

The Pope, before the feast began instructed his officers to drive out from the assembled faithful a crowd of the clergy both high and low, and then I saw them going out, scolding and grumbling.  Then the Holy Father took into his service others, ecclesiastic and lay.  Now commenced the grand solemnity in St. Peter’s.  The men in white aprons worked on when they thought themselves unobserved, silently, cunningly, though rather timidly.”  [Quote from ‘The Life of Anne Catherine Emmerich” by the Very Reverend Carl. E. Schomoger, C.SS.R., Volume I, pages 564-566]

Again I say, stick with the ONLY Church Jesus Christ created on earth no matter who the pope is or what evil the clergy are doing.  The Church belongs to Christ and He will sustain Her through all attacks- inside and outside the Church.   We are called “the faithful” IF and when we actually REMAIN faithful to Her. 

“To whom shall we go Lord?  You have the words of eternal life.” asked Saint Peter in John 6, and Jesus answered “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve?  Yet one of you is a devil.”

There were devils in the Church when Christ founded Her, and there are devils in the Church now. 

To whom shall we go?  There is nowhere else but Christ’s Holy Catholic Church.  Remain faithful by remaining in Her through all Her tribulations.  Don’t let evil men inside the Church chase you out- that’s the devils hope and plan for you.  He delights when people leave Christ’s Church.  Be faithful!  Remain inside Christ's Church.

In Christ,

Julie @ Connecticut Catholic Corner

Link to Bishop’s letter on “All Are Welcome” protestant hymn:

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