Archive of June 17, 2012

Home enthronement enriches Catholics’ faith

Davenport, Iowa, Jun 17, 2012 (CNA) - The premise is simple: Place images of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary in your home as a reminder of their centrality to family life, and renew your devotion to Christ and his Blessed Mother.

It’s called home enthronement, and cluster parishes in Hills, Lone Tree and Nichols are embracing the practice.

St. Joseph’s in Hills and St. Mary parishes in Lone Tree and Nichols, Iowa gave a total of 150 home enthronement packets to Mass attendees the weekend of May 26-27. Catholics also spoke at those Masses about how the devotion has enriched their spiritual lives.

Since enthroning their home, spouses Terry and Mona Ball were inspired to set aside time daily to pray together — and haven’t missed a date. Their fellow Hills parishioner Emy Rivera was moved to set aside an extra hour each week to pray, and she feels more peaceful and joyful as a result.

The enthronement ceremonies the Catholics took part in involved a blessing, prayer and promise to dedicate one’s home and self to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary.

“The Enthronement is more than a blessing of the Sacred Heart picture for the home,” reads a ceremony guide produced by the Priests of the Sacred Heart.

“It is the dedication of a person and family to the Divine Heart of Jesus, for us to live in union with him by love, grace and obedience to his Commandments. The Enthronement brings countless graces and blessings, as enumerated in the Twelve Great Promises he made to Saint Margaret Mary.”

In the visions of 17th-century French nun and mystic Margaret Mary Alacoque, Jesus promised graces, peace, consolation, blessings, mercy and more to people devoted to his Sacred Heart.

For Rivera, the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus that hangs in her living room is a reminder to thank him for his sacrifice. She said she offers a prayer of gratitude each time she passes by the picture.

“I got the enthronement because of what Jesus did for us — he died for our sins. That was an act of divine love and kindness.”

To share her love for Christ, she invited her pastor, Father Bill Kneemiller; friends; Knights of Columbus; and fellow parishioners to her and her husband Leon Van Horn’s home enthronement ceremony March 11.

Fr. Kneemiller said the practice is about inviting Christ into the center of a home, a place often occupied by TVs and other distractions that can promote unchristian messages.

“If our Catholic faith is not lived in the home, it has little effect on our lives,” the priest said. He suggested reading about the saints, and said that even with families’ busy schedules, there is still time to offer meal prayers or say a decade of the rosary.

He was introduced to home enthronement by Terry Ball, who heard about it from the Knights of Columbus of St. Wenceslaus Parish in Iowa City.

Those Knights brought the devotion to their parish in 2009 after searching for a program to strengthen the faith of men and, by extension, their families, Gary Sieren said. He belongs to Council 14385 at St. Wenceslaus.

He and fellow Knight David Fetzer are working to promote home enthronement statewide, Sieren said.

Ball said part of the enthronement is committing to a spiritual devotion of your choice. For about a month, he and Mona have observed a daily time of prayer together in their kitchen, where images of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary hang. “This is a powerful spiritual tool,” Ball said.

Fr. Kneemiller said another couple is praying together for the first time since embracing the home enthronement devotion.

“Our homes need the enthronement to bring us the grace to deal with whatever happens in our lives and our homes,” said Hills parishioner Kay Evans.

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Posted with permission from the Catholic Messenger, official newspaper for the Diocese of Davenport, Iowa.

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Real Catholic TV service removes 'Catholic' from new name

Detroit, Mich., Jun 17, 2012 (CNA) - The online network known as Real Catholic TV will omit the term “Catholic” in its new name, after a dispute with the Archdiocese of Detroit about its right to use the term under canon law.

Michael Voris, host of the network's feature “The Vortex,” said in a June 12 video that Real Catholic TV was changing its name to “ChurchMilitant.TV.” Inspiration for the name came from a recent address by Pope Benedict XVI, reflecting on the value of the ancient term for the Church on earth.

During that May 22 address, the Pope said that the Latin phrase “ecclesia militans,” referring to the faithful who are striving toward salvation, “bears truth in itself” and reflects the need “to enter into battle with evil.”

Voris said the name was chosen to signify the organization’s opposition to the “indifference and lukewarmness” that he sees “both outside, and inside some quarters – many quarters – within the Church.”

Along with its new name, ChurchMilitant.TV also has a new TV studio, which Voris promised would be “a bastion, a fort, a fortress on the battlefield, from which great volleys are hurled against the ancient enemy.”

During its time as “Real Catholic TV,” the apostolate was told by the Archdiocese of Detroit that it did not have permission to describe itself as “Catholic.” The Roman Catholic Church's current Code of Canon Law states that “no undertaking is to claim the name 'Catholic'” without authorization.

Voris, the network's senior executive producer, said in December 2011 that the Archbishop of Detroit did not have authority over Real Catholic TV. The organization is owned and headquartered elsewhere, although its content has been produced within the Detroit archdiocese.

“The Vortex” has been criticized over its host's remarks on Judaism and the validity of modern democracy. In April 2011, the Diocese of Scranton barred Voris from speaking in its parishes and facilities, saying his “extreme positions on other faiths” were “not appropriate.”

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Church remembers poet-bishop St. Paulinus of Nola on June 22

Denver, Colo., Jun 17, 2012 (CNA/EWTN News) - On June 22, the Catholic Church remembers Saint Paulinus of Nola, who gave up his life in politics to become a monk, a bishop, and a revered Christian poet of the 5th century.

In a December 2007 general audience on St. Paulinus, Pope Benedict XVI remarked on the saint's artistic gifts, which inspired “songs of faith and love in which the daily history of small and great events is seen as a history of salvation, a history of God with us.”

The poet-bishop's ministry, Pope Benedict said, was also “distinguished by special attention to the poor” – confirming his legacy as “a bishop with a great heart who knew how to make himself close to his people in the sorrowful trials of the barbarian invasions” during the 5th century.

Born at Bordeaux in present-day France during 354, Paulinus came from an illustrious family in the Roman imperial province of Aquitania. He received his literary education from the renowned poet and professor Ausonius, and eventually rose to the rank of governor in the Italian province of Campania.

Not yet baptized or a believer in Christ, Paulinus was nonetheless struck by the Campanians' devotion to the martyr Saint Felix at his local shrine. He took the initiative to build a road for pilgrims, as well as a hospice for the poor near the site of Felix's veneration.

But Paulinus grew dissatisfied with his civil position, leaving Campania and returning to his native region from 380 to 390. He also married a Spanish Catholic woman named Therasia. She, along with Bishop Delphinus of Bordeaux, and St. Martin the Bishop of Tours, guided him toward conversion.

Paulinus and his brother were baptized on the same day by Delphinus. But it was not long into his life as a Christian, that two shattering upheavals took place. Paulinus' infant son died shortly after birth; and when Paulinus' brother also died, he was accused in his murder.

After these catastrophes, Paulinus and Therasia mutually agreed to embrace monasticism, living in poverty and chastity. Around 390, they both moved to Spain. Approximately five years after his change of residence and lifestyle, the residents of Barcelona arranged for Paulinus' ordination as a priest.

During 395 he returned to the Italian city of Nola, where he and his wife both continued to live in chastity as monks. Paulinus made important contributions to the local church, particularly in the construction of basilicas. In 409, the monk was consecrated as the city's bishop.

Paulinus served as the Bishop of Nola for two decades. His gifts as a poet and composer of hymns were matched by his knowledge of Scripture, generosity toward the poor, and devotion to the saints who had preceded him – especially St. Felix, whose intercession he regarded as central to his conversion.

Praised by the likes of St. Augustine and St. Jerome for the depth of his conversion to Christ, the Bishop of Nola was regarded as a saint even before his death on the evening of June 22, 431.

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Parables show God's transforming power, Pope teaches

Vatican City, Jun 17, 2012 (CNA/EWTN News) - God is the prime mover in the story of salvation, Pope Benedict XVI taught on June 17, as he discussed Christ's parables about the similarity between the Kingdom of God and the growth of seeds.

“The message is clear,” the Pope told pilgrims in his midday Angelus address. “The Kingdom of God, even if it requires our cooperation, is firstly a gift of the Lord, a grace that precedes man and his works.” 

“Our small force, apparently impotent before the problems of the world, if placed in that of God is not afraid of obstacles, because it is certain of the victory of the Lord.”

This is “the miracle of God’s love” that should make us “optimistic, despite the difficulties, sufferings and evil that we encounter,” he said.

The Pope was dwelling upon two of Christ’s parables as recounted in Sunday's Scripture readings from the Gospel of St. Mark. In the first, a seed is sown and then grows by itself while the farmer sleeps, while in the second the tiny mustard seed grows to become “the greatest of all shrubs.”

Pilgrims gathered in a sunny St. Peter’s Square heard an explanation of the first parable, as referring to “the mystery of creation and redemption, the fruitful work of God in history” that will conclude with Jesus' assured victory at the end of time.

“Every Christian, then, knows that he must do all he can, but that the final results depend on God,” said the Pope, suggesting that “this knowledge will sustain his daily labors, especially in difficult situations.”

The parable reminded Pope Benedict of the advice given by the 16th century founder of the Society of Jesus, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, who told his followers to “act as if everything depended on you, knowing well that in reality everything depends on God.”

Meanwhile, in the parable of the mustard seed, Christ speaks of a plant whose strength stems from its initial smallness.

So too with the kingdom of God, the Pope said, which is a “humanly small reality, composed from those poor in heart, from those who are not confident in their own strength but in the love of God, from those not important in the eyes of the world.”

Yet it is in their lives that “the power of Christ” breaks through “and transforms what is apparently insignificant.”

The Pope concluded his Angelus address by leading pilgrims in the midday Marian prayer, before addressing the crowds in various languages and, finally, imparting his apostolic blessing.

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