Skip to comments.How to be a Catholic
Posted on 12/23/2003 10:21:26 AM PST by NYer
| How to be a Catholic
by The National Catholic Register
| December 12, 2003 / Pope John Paul II outlined a clear program for the future of the Church in his 2001 apostolic letter Novo Millennio Ineunte (At the Beginning of the New Millennium).
His plan is brilliant in its simplicity: promote Sunday Mass, confession, prayer and community service. These four things are easy to promote and life-changing.
To help Catholics take up the Holy Fathers challenge The National Catholic Register has produced four guides in Adobe Acrobat .pdf format for you to download, print out and pass on.
Click here to download the Acrobat reader for free.
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The Register has also put together these simple text confession guides: Children and Adults
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If you would like to subscribe to the National Catholic Register and get four weeks free please click here.
In a short time Christmas will be here! Christmas can be an exciting and fulfilling time for us. We know that the holiday season brings certain feelings of loneliness as well. We miss those who have died. We miss those who will not be Home for Christmas.
As Church families we prepare for Christmas as well. We pray in a special way for those who have died. We look forward in a special way to greet family members and parishioners who will be Home for Christmas. We also prepare to celebrate with those who seem to attend Church only at Christmas and other Holidays.
Statistics tell us that a large majority of those who do not attend Church regularly would return if they were asked. Reasons for staying away are many. Some simply have gotten out of the habit of attending and a little extra sleep is nice. For others there might be misunderstandings of Church teachings and policies. Some might feel they are unwelcome to attend due to invalid marriages or other similar issues. Others might have been hurt by the Church, a parishioner or our parish family. Some might have a fear of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Others might have struggles with their faith and may not know how to come for help. Some might feel embarrassed to return after a period of absence. Lack of attendance does not mean they no longer think of the Church or that they do not wish to return. Sometimes they simply need to know they are missed and have a graceful opportunity to return.
Part of our Christian Mission is Evangelization. We are to reach out in faith and welcome others. I would like us to consider an Evangelization project. I'm sure you know of someone who no longer attends Church or does so infrequently. Perhaps you have heard someone speak of faith difficulties they might be having. Certainly, the best thing to do is to approach that person and let them know what you are feeling. Tell them you miss them and would welcome their return. Offer to attend Church or a Parish Activity with them. Help them to obtain any assistance they might need from the Church.
Take a few minutes to consider those you "miss" when you attend Church. Let's keep them in your prayers. Consider how you might invite them to return. You might invite them by adapting part of this letter, sending an e-mail, making a phone call or any of a number of creative ways of letting them know you'd be happy to see them come Home for Christmas.
Perhaps you yourself have become more distant from the Church. Let me apologize for anything the Church may have done to harm you. Feel free to contact me too, to help you start the kind of dialogue that can heal the wounds. Consider attending a Church near you this Christmas! Last year a number of our "cyber-parishioners" expressed gratitude for our group and the fact that they read the Christmas readings and homily at our Web Site and "felt" like they belonged to a Church for the first time in a long while. That makes me so happy! It's even nicer though, to gather with our sisters and brothers and praise and thank God together. Perhaps many of us will do that this year!
If you've been sent to this Web Page by a friend, we hope you aren't offended. I hope you don't see it as meddling, but as a simple loving invitation. It's often not easy, even for family members and friends, to talk about topics like this one. I hope you consider their effort a positive and loving gesture. Perhaps their invitation and your visit can open a conversation that can be nice for both of you.
Please don't be judgmental of anybody or pressure others to do what they don't want to do. Just provide a welcome and an open door if that seems appropriate. Let them know when Services are held as well. Christmas is always nicer when everybody's home. Let's pray that many may come "Home for Christmas!"
Christmas Eve Masses here at Holy Family are at 5:15 PM, 8:00 PM and at Midnight. Masses Christmas Day are at 8:30 AM and 10:30 AM. May God continue to bless you and those you love, and keep you safe!
Visit our new Evangelization Web Site, too:
Welcome back Dr Steve.
C'mon, this is outrageous, and you must know it if you have ever written to the diocese. Clearly it is a complete waste of time to write to the diocese. None of my letters have even been acknowledged, none the less answered. I used to live in the Boston diocese where I wrote several letters to Cardinal Law that were never acknowledged. Once after I wrote a follow-up saying, "At least you could acknowledge receipt of my previous letter, it wasn't anonymous," I got back a form letter saying "Your concerns have been forwarded to your local deanery." But I didn't even get the form letter until I complained.
And it wasn't only me. Just a couple weeks ago the priest who refused to implement the outrageous program "Talking about Touching" said that none of his letters to the chancery were ever even acknowledged. And he's a PASTOR! The new archbishop finally responded after the story was making headlines in the Boston newspapers and Michael Rose was reporting on it.
If you live in a typical New Mass parish, there is only thing you can do to "make things better": leave! Go someplace where you will be given the true Catholic faith. The alternative is to stay and watch the faith of your children be insidiously destroyed. There is nothing you can do in that situation to improve things other than leaving, because the only solution is grace, and there is no grace to be gotten in a parish that is making a mockery out of the Catholic faith.
WRONG! Perhaps you were not on my ping list last year when I shared my letter asking for feedback on an impending abuse by my pastor. At the time, at my pastor's own request, I was teaching a Confirmation class. One night, the DRE (Director for Rel. Ed.), opened the classroom door, stuck her head in and asked for 'volunteers' to perform a liturgical dance on the feast of St. Lucy. That same week, our diocesan newspaper ran a full page story on another diocesan parish where liturgical dance had grown so popular with the youth that they were planning to videotape their performances and export these to parishes across the US.
Long story short, I spoke with the DRE and gave her a copy of the bishop's directives that banned liturgical dance. She was stunned! (hint ... the pastor had planted this idea in her head). I thought the self-explanatory documents had ended the situation. Not so. The following week, she once again stuck her head through the door to call out the volunteers from the previous week. I went to the pastor. He spoke about the Srs. of St. Joseph in the Provincial House (where he is their spiritual director) and how they dance at all the masses. It was now my turn to be shocked.
The following week, the 'confirmandi' were brought to confession in preparation for Christmas. When some hesitated, I got in line ... with the pastor. When it was my turn, I made my confession which included my shock at him 'using' catholic youth to promote a practice that was banned by the USCCB. He smiled and suggested that perhaps a better term was 'liturgical movement'. That was it! I wrote to the Diocesan Office for Liturgy and Divine Worship. Before doing so, I gathered together all documentation pertinent to the topic and quoted it in my letter. In their response, the diocese initially supported the pastor, citing some arcane document on 'multi-culturalism'. Undeterred, I wrote back. Latham NY is far removed from anything even remotely resembling a multi-cultural community. More specifically, I cited Vatican II documentation to support my argument and sealed the final paragraph by quoting Canon Law - "Every catholic is entitled to a valid mass".
In their response, they tried to "wiggle" their way out of their initial admission. Final determination - NO liturgical dance at my parish! My pastor was fit to be tied but cancelled the 'planned' liturgical dance at the Christmas Eve vigil mass. I'm not done with him! There are still two other abuses to be addressed, one of which renders the Sunday masses illicit.
KNOW YOUR FACTS! Document everything - dates, times, names - leave nothing out. Next, refer to this link and use those resources in your letter. Trust me, you will grab attention. And, if that doesn't resolve the issue, go higher. If you must contact the Vatican to deal with abuse, then write to:
Cardinal Francis Arinze
Prefect - Congregation for Divine Worship
Piazza Pio XII, 10
Vatican City (Europe) 00120
Need help writing a letter that grabs attention, DO NOT HESITATE to ask me. I will be more than happy to help you out. Cardinal Arinze has been a guest on EWTN's "World Over Live" with Raymond Arroyo. He has no qualms about taking bishops and/or priests to task for denying catholics their rights, under Canon Law.
ROFL!! That eliminates two bishops who are good friends here in NY - Albany bishop Howard Hubbard and Rochester bishop Matthew Clark. There is an active competition between them insofar as who can wreak the most damage.
Hubbard is proud to have unleashed one of his priests, Fr. Dr. Richard Vosko, a/k/a "the wreakovator". Vosko has just been awarded the 2003 award from the Georgetown Center for Liturgy in Washington, DC for contributions to the liturgical life of the church. He was cited for his "visionary, courageous and influential work" in assisting american parishes with building and renovating worship spaces. Here is an example of "his vision". (He practiced in the Albany diocese before extending his wrecking ball across the US and the world). This one is tame by comparison to his more recent "inspiratioins".
Assumption/St. Paul Church,
Mechanicville, New York
Not to be outdone, bishop Clark in Rochester has set the souls of many catholics on fire with his ongoing renovations throughout the diocese, especially Sacred Heard cathedral, where Bishop Sheen once preached. (I will try to post some pictures. For some reason, these pix don't always translate into FR land.)
"The Rite of Rededication of the Church and Annonting of the Altar" by Bishop Matthew H. Clark, Sunday 2/18/01, St. Ambrose Church, Rochester NY
The altar table cloth was then danced down the aisle by two "vestal girls". (an alternative term for liturgical dance?)
Having spread the "gleeful news" up and down the aisles, the "vestal girls" gathered in the center aisle and "joyfully" twirled their way to the baptismal font. where they deposited their incense at the font, which was a "focal point" of this "rededication"
The rededicated "many a buck" baptismal font, where the babbling brook of chlorinated water flows. NBC reported cost of $800,000 to move tabernacle, remove relics, round pews, and build "daily Mass chapel" where baptistry was. Somebody said we could have spent that on scholarships for inner city kids to attend Catholic schools. She was told to "lighten up".
The source web site was constructed by one very angry catholic who has made it his mission to document ALL the events in the Rochester diocese. A must visit