Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Pope Tweets!!!!!

Today, Pope Benedict XVI launched the Vatican's first multimedia news portal, which is also designed for mobile devices.

“We are trying to give everybody an opportunity to have Vatican news immediately in a modern and accessible way, using new technology,” said Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

One of the most notable new features of http://www.news.va/ will be its integration with social networks, and a design geared toward mobile devices such as the iPad. “This is a new approach for us,” Archbishop Celli noted.

The new information source will highlight the Pope's travels, acts and teachings. It will also contain statements released by various departments of the Vatican, news developments from local churches worldwide and information about other important global developments.

In related news, Pope Benedict XVI tweeted for the first time today.  His first tweet read: "Dear Friends, I just launched News.va Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI".

Monday, June 27, 2011

Through Failure to Freedom

Is it wrong of me to post an article about failure on the day grades are posted?

This is an excellent article that discusses how sometimes failure is the right path to success; it uses JK Rowling, Conan O'Brien, Fr. James Martin SJ, and St. Ignatius of Loyola as examples (that's a random group of people).

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

June 21 - Feast Day of St. Aloysius Gonzaga

You every wonder where Gonzaga University, the NCAA basketball power house, got its name?  Well, its after this saint --  St. Aloysius Gonzaga.

Here is a short bio:
St. Aloysius was born in Castiglione, Italy. The first words St. Aloysius spoke were the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. He was destined for the military by his father (who was in service to Philip II), but by the age of 9 Aloysius had decided on a religious life, and made a vow of perpetual virginity. To safeguard himself from possible temptation, he would keep his eyes persistently downcast in the presence of women. St. Charles Borromeo gave him his first Holy Communion. A kidney disease prevented St. Aloysius from a full social life for a while, so he spent his time in prayer and reading the lives of the saints. Although he was appointed a page in Spain, St. Aloysius kept up his many devotions and austerities, and was quite resolved to become a Jesuit. His family eventually moved back to Italy, where he taught catechism to the poor. When he was 18, he joined the Jesuits, after finally breaking down his father, who had refused his entrance into the order. He served in a hospital during the plague of 1587 in Milan, and died from it at the age of 23, after receiving the last rites from St. Robert Bellarmine. The last word he spoke was the Holy Name of Jesus. St. Robert wrote the Life of St. Aloysius.
Here is a link to a really good reflection on the life of St. Aloysius: Click here

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Father's Day Prayer

God, bless all the fathers (grandfathers, Godfathers, soon-to-be-fathers, etc.) in the world.

Guide them to be good role models and loving to all their children.

Help them to be a father like You are. Give them grace and patience to handle situations in a loving way.

A Father's Prayer

A Father's Prayer
by General Douglas MacArthur
(May 1952)

Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough
To know when he is weak and brave enough
to face himself when he is afraid;
One who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat,
And humble, and gentle in victory.

Build me a son whose wishes will not take the place of deeds; A son who will know Thee – and that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge.

Lead him, I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here, let him learn to stand up in the storm; here let him learn compassion for those that fail.

Build me a son whose heart will be clear, whose goal will be high, a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men, one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.

And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously. Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom,
and the meekness of true strength.

Then I, his father, will dare to whisper, “I have not lived in vain.”

Pentecost in 2 Minutes

Monday, June 6, 2011

Who Cares About the Saints?

Last week I posted about a recommended book for the summer, My Life with the Saints by James Martin, SJ.  As a companion to the book, Loyola Productions and James Martin, SJ have created a video series entitled Who Cares About the Saints?.  The series is incredibly well done and highlights the life of each one of the saints in the book.

Here are some of the videos:


St. Francis

Who Cares About the Saints? (St. Francis) from Loyola Productions on Vimeo.

St. Peter

Who Cares About the Saints? (St. Peter) from Loyola Productions on Vimeo.


Who Cares About the Saints? - Mary from Loyola Productions on Vimeo.

St. Ignatius

Who Cares About the Saints?...Ignatius from Loyola Productions on Vimeo.

Therese of Lisieux

Who Cares About the Saints? (Therese of Lisieux) from Loyola Productions on Vimeo.

Thomas Merton

Who Cares about the Saints? (Thomas Merton) from Loyola Productions on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Today Show in Rome

Archbishop Timothy Dolan gives the Today Show's Al Roker and Matt Lauer a tour of Rome and St. Peter's Basilica.

Other Clips from the Today Show in Rome

Other clips can be found here: Today Show Video Clips

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Confession Video

Below is a good video on the history, purpose and practice of the Sacrament of Recollection, the website it appears on described it as:

Face it, the Sacrament of Reconciliation is a mystery to many, Catholic and non-Catholic alike. What is the real purpose of this sacrament? Why must a priest be involved? Doesn't God already know my shortcomings? How can Jesus really forgive me?

Fr. Paul Campbell, S.J., tackles these issues and illuminates this sacrament through its evolution in the church. Drawing on his own experience and those of his fellow priests, Fr. Campbell discusses the difficulties many face in understanding, accepting and participating in this sacrament.”

Jesuits On... Reconciliation from Loyola Productions on Vimeo.

What is a Patron Saint?

This is a really good and simple article on “What is a Patron Saint" from a series of articles and Q&A’s entitled “Catholic 101.”  The series was created by the USCCB as a way for Catholics and non-Catholics to gain a better understanding of the beliefs, practices and rituals of the Catholic Church.

Catholic 101's website can be found here

What is a Patron Saint? can be found here


Catholic Sisters and the American Civil War

This is a really interesting column written by Pat McNamara, a Catholic Historian, on how despite the anti-Catholic feelings in the country at the time, Catholic nuns were extremely active as nurses on both sides of the Civil War.
An excerpt:
“On the battlefields and in the hospitals, soldiers on both sides of the Civil War owed their consolation, and sometimes their limbs or their very lives, to the Catholic Nun.”