|Cover of Recording of
Depression era songs
We are creatures of our history. Everything around us effects us – for better or for worse. It’s strange how events can change the tenor, even the entire view of our lives.
I remember well my parents speaking about the Great Depression with the Stock Market Crash of October, 1929, and it’s toll on everything – from finances to family living, from food to entertainment. I vividly remember my mother speaking about the challenges of her own farm family of eleven children and what they had to do in order to survive.
The Great Depression apparently cast a pall over much of life as did our recent national financial breakdown, the residue of both perhaps still impinging on our national psyche. Yet problems should not always result in losing hope or lessening our motivation to meet the challenges and therein become stronger.
Even if Mary had not uttered a single word, everything was eloquently expressed by her tears.
I recently heard a story about a toddler just four years of age. He lived next door to an old man who had just lost his wife to whom he had been married for many years. One day, the child saw the man sitting on his front porch, weeping. Without hesitation the little boy walked over to the older gentleman, and gave him a long hug. Afterwards when his mother asked him what he had said to the old man, the boy replied, "I couldn’t say anything! I just helped him cry."
We appropriately attach great importance to the words that the Beautiful Lady of La Salette addressed to Melanie and Maximin on September 19, 1846. Following the apparition, it was remarkable that these two unschooled children would be able to repeat, word-for-word, her formal French, despite the fact that they only knew their native dialect!
|Second Station: Jesus
takes up his cross
We have a wonderful tradition here at St. Ann’s Parish in Marietta, GA, ministered by the La Salette Missionaries along with our staff of lay professionals. The St. Ann’s Players usually present the Living Stations of the Cross for our parishioners just prior to Holy Week. It is always an exciting and inspirational moment for all of us.
When interviewed and asked to relive the memories and successes of having participated in all 16 previous performances of the “Living Stations of the Cross,” retiring Director/Actor/Scriptwriter, Pete Borden, of the St. Ann’s Players replied, “It’s almost like a special, separate lifetime of emotions, experiences and blessings.”
In fact, he felt he could practically recall and write the entire history of the spiritual drama in an essay or book. It’s a typical response from this “man for all seasons,” also well-known throughout the Atlanta theatre community as a playwright, author, producer, and promoter.
The “Living Stations,” which follow the last few days of Christ’s life, did not skip a beat this year, despite Pete handing over his Director’s Chair (along with that of his co-Director, Sue Borden, his wife).
|Conclave in the Sistine Chapel,
about the elect Pope Francis
As any student of the history of the Catholic Church knows, the Catholic Church has not only grown and changed over the centuries but has also had its challenges from within and outside of the Church. In other words, it’s difficult to keep our Church family together and “on the same page.”
With the substantial changes she has experienced over just the past 100 years, the “barque of St. Peter” has survived some hurricanes on this sea of life – including the recent cases of sexual abuse by clergy and others.
The cardinals, in their preparations for and in their experience within the conclave which elected Francis, apparently discussed many key challenges which needed to be faced head-on. They chose our Pope Francis ready and capable of dealing with them.
Listen to the words of the prophet Isaiah: “But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, Jacob, and formed you, Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name: you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1). God says: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you.” No matter how I emphasize these words, they bring comfort and joy.
When I think about how fear rules and destroys our lives, I am amazed at how little I pay attention to or even listen to God. I come to this point in my life where I just might be ready to finally listen to and trust in God. I am thankful today for the Prophet Isaiah who has brought this message to my attention.
When we receive the sacrament of Confirmation, our soul receives the seal of the Holy Spirit. This seal is permanent. In celebration of this, we have gifts bestowed upon at this time – gifts like wisdom, knowledge, understanding, courage, counsel (the ability to make right judgment), reverence, and wonder and awe in the presence of God!
As Catholics we are called to find ways that each of us can work with our dioceses and communities to address the evil of modern day slavery. One way in which you can do this is to...
“Shepherd” stand for: Stop Human Trafficking And Exploitation, Protect, Help, Empower, And Restore Dignity)
To learn more about human trafficking, visit the USCCB web site.
Lead a gathering or pray on your own for victims of this crime, the law enforcement and justice professionals working to stop it, and the social service organizations helping survivors. Reflect on their experiences, pray for their emotional, physical, and spiritual healing, and make a personal commitment to combating this evil.
Editor: An interview was held by Pope Francis, answering questions from a group of Belgian young people. They were accompanied by Bp. Lucas Van Looy of Ghent. The group of Belgian young people included a non-believer who said she was inspired by the words of Pope Francis.
|Pope with youth in Cagliari, the capital,
on the southern coast of Sardinia
When the young people began by asking the Pope why he accepted this interview, he replied that he considered it highly valuable to speak about the concerns of the young.
The Pope was then asked: “Are you happy? And why?”
“Absolutely, absolutely (laughing) I’m happy! And it’s a tranquil happiness because at this age one no longer has the same happiness of a young person, there’s a difference. There’s a certain interior peace, a strong sense of peace, of happiness, that comes with age. But it’s a road that has always had problems. Even now there are problems but this happiness doesn’t go away because of the problems. No, it sees the problems, suffers because of them and then goes forward, it does something to resolve them and goes ahead. But in the depth of my heart there is this peace and happiness. It’s truly a grace from God, for me. It’s a grace and it’s not through my own merit.”
VATICAN, April 27, 2014 (CNA/EWTN News) - In a packed St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on Divine Mercy Sunday, Pope Francis officially declared former pontiffs John Paul II and John XXIII as Saints.
“For the honor of the Blessed Trinity, the exaltation of the Catholic faith and the increase of the Christian life, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ and of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul and having sought the council of many of our brother Bishops, we declare and define Blessed John XXIII and John Paul II be Saints,” Pope Francis exclaimed April 27 as the crowds cheered.
|Resurrection of Christ by Louis
Comfort Tiffany, 1898
In his 1981 book, My Grandfather's War, William D. Mathieson tells of a Canadian World War II veteran of the trenches walking down the street of his home town. A passerby saw his empty sleeve and began to commiserate with him for the loss of his arm. "I didn't lose it," replied the veteran, "I gave it."
The gospels make it a point to show that Christ's life was not taken from him. He gave it. "No one takes it (my life) from me, but I lay it down of my own accord" (John 10:18), said Christ.
It was given. It would have been sad indeed, if a gift such as the life of God, the Passion and the Resurrection of the Lord, had been a grudging gift, God, as it were, counting the days and the sufferings, asking the Father exactly how much giving would it take to bring about the Redemption of humankind..
|Fr. Jack Nuelle, M.S.,
Executive Director of
the U.S. Catholic
In a recent “Periodic Paper”, Fr. Stephen Bevans, SVD, states that “the 1971 Synod of Bishops made a direct link between preaching the gospel and working for justice.” It intrigued me enough to go back and reread that 1971 document, Justice in the World, which states:
“The Church has received from Christ the mission of preaching the Gospel message, which contains … a subsequent demand for justice in the world… She [the Church] has a proper and specific responsibility which is identified with her mission of giving witness before the world of the need for love and justice contained in the Gospel message, a witness to be carried out in Church institutions themselves and in the lives of Christians” (#36, emphasis added).
So much in that document, written in 1971, still remains pertinent today. How many issues, if they had been given adequate attention, effort and resources then, would no longer be burning matters for us today?
Even small donations help us to continue to Make Mary's message known.
Our Community: The Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette are deeply rooted in the Apparition of Our Lady of La Salette which occurred near the hamlet of La Salette in southeastern France on Sept. 19, 1846. The Missionaries were founded in 1852 by Bp. Philbert de Bruillard, Bishop of Grenoble, France, and presently serve in some 25 countries.
Our Province: The Province of Mary, Mother of the Americas, was founded in 2000AD and is one of several provinces in the congregation. The members of this Province serve mainly in the countries of Canada, the United States and the Region of Argentina/Bolivia.
Our Mission: Our La Salette ministry of reconciliation responds to the broad vision given by Mary at La Salette as well as in response to the needs of the Church. As reconcilers, we together with the laity take seriously Mary’s mandate: “You will make (Mary’s) message known to all (her) people.”