CNA STAFF, Mar 7, 2010 (CNA) - On March 10, the universal Church will celebrate the life of Saint John Ogilvie, a former Calvinist who was martyred in Scotland during the Protestant Reformation.
St. John Ogilvie was born of a noble Scottish family in 1579 and was raised a Calvinist. The wealth of his family allowed him to be educated on the continent, and there he became exposed to the religious conflict of the Reformation and Counter Reformation.
After studying both sides he decided to become a Catholic, in part because of his respect for the martyrs and saints. St. John attended a variety of Catholic educational institutions and soon discovered a call to join the Jesuits. After his admission to the Society, John petitioned to return to Scotland and work to convert its citizens.
John's petition was accepted, and he began his work, focusing on the conversion of members of the nobility. However, he was met with great resistance and went back to mainland Europe.
After a brief rest, he returned to Scotland to engage and convert the common people. He was greatly successful, but found many enemies in Protestant England. Eventually he was betrayed and turned into the authorities as a Catholic and insurrectionist. After a long imprisonment in which he was repeatedly tortured, St. John was tried on the charges of treason and was convicted after three trials.
While in captivity, he refused to reveal the names of other Catholics. The saint was martyred in 1615 at the age of 36 after he was sentenced to death by hanging.
Jackson, Miss., Mar 7, 2010 (CNA) - Father Benjamín Piovan, pastor of St. Michael Parish in Saltillo, Mexico, traveled to Mississippi recently to talk with Bishop Joseph Latino about a movement among the people of Saltillo to have a Mississippi priest declared a saint.
The priest, Father Quinn, 66, died of a heart attack in Saltillo on Jan. 9, 1997. He had been pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish since January 1969.
Bishop Latino said Father Piovan asked his approval to print a prayer card asking God to eventually declare Father Quinn a saint.
The bishop told Father Piovan he doesn’t have any problem encouraging the people of the Diocese of Jackson to pray for Father Quinn. But, Bishop Latino said, according to Canon Law seeking sainthood for an individual is requested by the local ordinary, the bishop of the Diocese of Saltillo, José Raul Vera López.
Father Piovan also informed Bishop Latino of documentation he has obtained about a miracle attributed to Father Quinn.
On Nov. 21, 2009, the Diocese of Saltillo celebrated a Mass to observe the 40th anniversary of the coming of Father Quinn to Saltillo. During Mass, Bishop Francisco Villalobos, who was the Bishop of Saltillo during Father Quinn’s years there, spoke about the sanctity of the priest.
And this year, on Jan. 7, Father Piovan celebrated a Mass at St. Michael Church in Saltillo to mark the 13th anniversary of Father Quinn’s death. During Mass, several people gave testimonies about cures they credited to his intersession.
The grounds where the Diocese of Saltillo plans to build a new St. Michael Church in memory of Father Quinn were blessed the same day. An altar in the church, that will have a capacity to seat 400 people, will be dedicated in Father Quinn’s honor. This altar will contain the names of all those who contribute to the construction of the new church.
Mexican journalist Jesús Salas Cortés is writing a book about Father Quinn’s life and ministry in Saltillo and is planning to publish it later this year.
During his ministry in Saltillo, Father Quinn built 15 chapels of which seven are now parishes.
Following Father Quinn’s death, the diocesan mission, sponsored by the Diocese of Jackson and the Diocese of Biloxi, moved its base-mission from Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish to St. Michael Parish.
Printed with permission from Mississippi Catholic, newspaper for the Diocese of Jackson.
Rome, Italy, Mar 7, 2010 (CNA) -
On Thursday, the Von Hildebrand Legacy Project announced a list of speakers who will be presenting at its upcoming conference in Rome.
“We are privileged to have twelve wonderful plenary speakers, each of whom represents a particular tradition, background, academic discipline, and point of view,” said John Henry Crosby, founder of the the Von Hildebrand Legacy Project on Thursday.
“The majority are philosophers, of course, but we have also invited theologians, churchmen, political figures, public intellectuals, and those who represent the creative imagination.”
Speakers at the upcoming event include Alice von Hildebrand, Rocco Buttiglione, Roberta Green Ahmanson, John F. Crosby, Charles Morerod OP, Michael Waldstein, Joseph Bottum, Hanna-Barbara Gerl-Falkovitz, Michael Novak, Robert Spaemann, Josef Seifert and John Zizioulas.
The conference will be held from May 27-29 at the University of Santa Croce (Holy Cross) in Rome, to celebrate the renowned 20th century philosopher, Dietrich von Hildebrand, and to explore one of his seminal works “The Nature of Love.” The book was published in English for the first time last year.
“Our conference,” John Henry Crosby told CNA on Jan. 22, “seeks to explore the question, 'what is love?'”
“We want to think deeply about what love is, what it is not, and how we can all learn to live it more deeply,” he added.
The Hildebrand Legacy Project was founded in 2004 by John Henry Crosby with the help of his father, Franciscan University professor John F. Crosby, Dr. Alice von Hildebrand and friend Anthony Gualandri as an initiative “to promote the thought and spirit of Dietrich Von Hildebrand by preserving his memory and disseminating his writings, especially in the English speaking world.”
Durban, South Africa, Mar 7, 2010 (CNA) -
Less than 100 days before the 2010 Football World Cup in South Africa, the Catholic bishops of the country have launched a website that delivers Catholic information relevant to the event. Planned for the site is a “virtual chapel” where soccer fans can leave prayer intentions for their teams.
The website, produced by the South African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SABC), will regularly publish news and information about churches and communities near the competition stadiums. It also explains the activities of the Catholic Church and the importance of sports in African cultures.
The just-launched website, www.ChurchOnTheBall.com, opens with a graphical menu showing a soccer stadium during a game. In the distant stands, fans hold a large banner that reads “Fans for Jesus.”
A letter from Archbishop of Durban Cardinal Wilifrid Napier introduced the website. He wrote that the World Cup offers a “unique opportunity” since it is the first to be held in Africa.
“This is an opportunity to highlight the important role that sport plays in our African cultures. Sport requires patience, perseverance, respect ... all values which our societies, and particularly Africa, much need! All values that the Church does not cease to advocate: Charity, dialogue with other religions and cultures, love of neighbor … ”
“Let us seize this opportunity to offer the world an example of a living church and sports,” Cardinal Napier continued. “Let us not be afraid to move forward, as often recalled John Paul II. Let us not be afraid to go full tilt, with faith and courage as athletes!”
In addition to spiritual information, the cardinal explained, the site contains reflections on sports and the Church, human trafficking, and HIV/AIDS.
The website’s “virtual chapel” will feature virtual candles that can be lit for a R10 donation, about $1.34. The donations will be used for charity projects within the South African Church.
Rome, Italy, Mar 7, 2010 (CNA/EWTN News) -
On Sunday morning, the Holy Father celebrated Mass at St. John of the Cross, a parish located in the northern part of Rome. In his first visit to the relatively new church, Pope Benedict reminded the congregation that they are "co-responsible" for the Church and her mission.
The Holy Father presided over the Eucharistic celebration on the third Sunday of Lent on his visit to the church, which was consecrated in 2001. He exhorted the people “to make this church a place where you can better listen to the Lord, who speaks to you in Sacred Scripture," he said, calling it the "life giving center" of the community.
Addressing the involvement of the lay faithful, he urged them to not only be "collaborators" in their roles ... but to be "corresponsible for the being and action of the Church."
Benedict XVI told the families and youth to become involved in the announcement of the Gospel, not waiting for others to bring messages that "don't lead to life," but to make themselves "missionaries of Christ" for others. In going out into different areas of the community, he added, they can educate people to pray and to live life as a gift from God.
Referring to Jesus' message of conversion in Sunday's Gospel, Pope Benedict emphasized that we are all invited by God to change ourselves by thinking and living according to the Gospel, making corrections to our ways of praying, acting and working in relation to others.
"Jesus directs this call to us with urgency," explained the Holy Father, "...because he is worried for our good, our happiness and our salvation."
"For our part, we should respond to him with a sincere interior effort, asking him to make us" realize the aspects of our lives where we are called to repentance.
The Holy Father concluded by highlighting the Lenten invitation to each one of us "to recognize the mystery of God that makes itself present in our lives."
"We remain in the contemplation of this mystery … to better understand the mystery of Lent." He then emphasized the necessity of living "individually and as a community in perennial conversion, so as to be a 'constant epiphany' in the world of the living God, who liberates and saves for love."
Pope Benedict XVI was joined by a number of clergy on the occasion, including Cardinal Vicar of Rome Agostino Vallini and parish priest Fr. Enrico Gemma.
Vatican City, Mar 7, 2010 (CNA/EWTN News) -
Following his visit to the Roman parish of St. John of the Cross on Sunday, the Holy Father returned to the Apostolic Palace for the Angelus. In his remarks, the Pope underscored the need to see suffering as an opportunity to bring about "a greater good."
As God appears to Moses in the form of the burning bush, said Benedict XVI reflecting on Sunday's Liturgy, he also reveals himself in different ways in the lives of each of us. "To be be able to recognize his presence, however, it's necessary that we bring ourselves to his side with knowledge of our misery and with profound respect."
Otherwise, the Pope said, "we render ourselves incapable of finding him and entering into communion with him."
In this light, he repeated St. Paul's observation that God does not reveal himself to those who are "pervaded by arrogance and thoughtlessness, but to those who are poor and humble before him."
The Holy Father then turned to the Gospel from Luke which takes place following the deaths of some Galileans who were killed by Pontius Pilate, and others who died when the tower of Siloam collapsed.
Pope Benedict said that "Jesus proclaims the innocence of God, who is good and cannot want evil" as the people in the reading attribute the deaths in the community to divine punishment.
"Do you think that they also were greater transgressors than all the men living in Jerusalem?" asked Jesus in the Gospel. "No, I tell you. But if you do not repent, you will all perish similarly.”
In these words, taught the Pope, Jesus invites the perspective of conversion: "misfortunes (and) mournful events should not arouse curiosity or investigation for possible culprits in us, but they should represent occasions to reflect, to win over the illusion of being able to live without God, and to reinforce, with the help of the Lord, the commitment to changing (our) lives."
God, in his fullness of mercy, said Pope Benedict, never stops calling us to come back, to grow in his love, to "concretely" help our neighbors and to live in the joy of grace.
The possibility of conversion, “demands that we learn to read the facts of life in the perspective of the faith, encouraged also by the holy fear of God."
In the midst of suffering and mourning, "true wisdom," concluded the Pope, is being able to realize "the precariousness of existence and reading the human story with the eyes of God, who, wishing always and only the good of his children, for an inscrutable design of his love, sometimes permits us to be tested by pain to guide them to a greater good.
The Holy Father prayed for the aid of Most Holy Mary to bring all Christians back to the Lord and to support us in "our decision to renounce evil and accept with faith the will of God in our lives."