Tuesday, December 31, 2013

End of the Year and Happy New Year

For many years, a New Year’s Eve custom was the singing of the Te Deum a Latin hymn of praise and thanks to God for all the graces of the year which soon to leave us. We each can make our own Litany for all the graces of this past year: for our life, our health, for the opportunities to attend Mass and receive Holy Communion, for the graces of absolution in the sacrament of reconciliation. WE thank God for good friends, for supportive families, for beautiful scenes, for joyfilled entertainment, for good books and movies. I thank God too for the good I received from our friends and relatives who passed into eternal life this year. Two of my sisters, a brother-in-law, and our uncle died in 2013. Each of them left many good examples of generosity, and devotion to their families. We thank god too for negative events which purified us, strengthened us, and taught us--even if we did not "like" them. In the Church, we received a new Pope as we honor Pope Emeritus Benedict. The two Popes together published the encyclical, The Light of Faith. Now Pope Francis has gifted us with his own document: The Joy of the Gospel. It is ready to ship or to pick up at our Pauline books & Media Centers. Happy reading in 2014! 2014 also marks a special anniversary for the Pauline Family: 100 years of existence. The actual anniversary date is August 20. On that date in 1914 Reverend James Alberione gathered two young men into what was called the Typography School in Alba, northern Italy. The School soon became a seminary for the education of the members of the newly born Society of St. Paul. The Society’s aim was to use the press as a means of evangelization. As media blossomed, so the Pauline Society was to adapt each modern means of communication for the gospel message. Happy Anniversary to all Paulines! In the early years of the Pauline foundations, everything was lacking--except faith in God's loving providence. Money was scarce, bills piled up, deadlines loomed waiting to be met. It was then that Father Alberione (now blessed Alberione) together with his assistant, Father Timothy Giaccardo (composed a prayer of confidence in God. It reads more as a "contract" with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It is called the Pact or Secret of Success. In my next blog I will provide The Pact.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Hunger for Bread for Body and Soul

 At this noon hour I want to share with all my readers the prayer to end world hunger: Here is the campaign prayer to be prayed at noon on Tuesday, December 10, 2013:

O God, you entrusted to us the fruits of all creation so that we might care for the earth and be nourished with its bounty. You sent us your Son to share our very flesh and blood and to teach us your Law of Love. Through His death and resurrection, we have been formed into one human family. Jesus showed great concern for those who had no food – even transforming five loaves and two fish into a banquet that served five thousand 
and many more.

We come before you, O God, conscious of our faults and failures, but full of hope, to share food with all members in this global family. Through your wisdom, inspire leaders of government and of business, as well as all the world’s citizens, to find just, and charitable solutions to end hunger by assuring that all people enjoy the right to food.

Thus we pray, O God, that when we present ourselves for Divine Judgment, we can proclaim ourselves as “One Human Family” with “Food for All”. AMEN


In our work as Daughters of St. Paul we strive to abolish spiritual hunger too. I remember years ago meeting an elderly Japanese lady who told me, "I just met Jesus Christ." I did not ask her age, but I think she was at least in her 80's. That is when it struck me that there are millions who have never really heard about Jesus. Pope Francis' new Exhortation the Joy of the Gospel tells us how to alleviate that hunger for Jesus that many people have.

Last night in Alexandria, Virginia the Daughters of St. Paul Choir gave an outstanding musical night of evangelism. None of the songs were scolding people nor did they make fun of Santa (After all Santa is truly "Saint" Nicholas, a real man, a real and holy bishop who did give to the poor.) 

Our Choir Traveled Many Miles and Long Hours to Sing in Alexandria VA

There are some "religious" people who refer to the saved and the unsaved. The feast of Christmas which we are about to celebrate on December 25 celebrates the coming of Christ, born of Mary, to save the entire human race. He went on to preach, suffer and rise from the dead to save all. While there is life there is always hope. As long as one's breath clouds a little mirror Jesus is always offering his saving grace. As Francis Thompson wrote, Jesus is truly the Hound of Heaven who pursues souls "Down the nights and down the days, and down the many labyrinthine ways." As the Gospel of Matthew assures us, Jesus is the Good Shepherd who leaves the righteous 99 sheep to find even one wayward sheep. May we pray today to abolish world hunger and to satisfy the hungers of human hearts starving for goodness, beauty and lasting truth.
 
Sister Fey Rocks a Gospel Number at
St. Joseph Church in Alexandria, Virginia

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

St. Francis Xavier and Us

This third day of Advent is also the feast of the Jesuit missionary saint, Francis Xavier. Francis was one of the original band of young men who joined the Company of Jesus. They became known world wide as the Jesuits. When Francis was a student with the older man, the ex-soldier, Ignatius of Loyola, he was fun loving, and carefree. Ignatius kept reminding Francis that there was more to life than fun. "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, yet suffer the loss of his soul?" When Francis finally gave in and turned his life totally over to God, he gave all his talents to the Lord too. Francis sent to India at first where he converted many--it is said hundreds of thousands to Christ. He converted the songs the men at the docks used into musical Bible lessons. He prayed intensely and worked just as intensely. He lived as a poor man among the poor. Then he moved on to Japan. There he dressed as a Japanese in a more elegant and acceptable style. After all he was an ambassador for Christ. Francis lived out St. Paul's words: "I have made myself all things to all people, so as to win some for Christ." Francis wanted to preach to the Chinese, but his strength was consumed and he died off the coast of China. Pope Francis wants us Christians to be evangelizers, to reach out to our neighbors with the gospel message and with our witness.The Daughters of St. Paul publishing house, Pauline Books and Media, will be printing the pope's apostolic exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel. It is expected to be ready by January.
Another way to evangelize our culture is though music. The Daughters of St. Paul on the US east coast begin tonight to sing in concert to prepare folks for a happy Christmas.
See the www.pauline.org web site for locations nearest you. This link provides locations and times: https://www.facebook.com/DSPchoir/events

Have a blessed continuation of this season when we celebrate God's coming to us as a true man, a real human being who loves each of us.