The Holy Father also asked that leaders’ response be consonant with the spirit and requirements of solidarity, taking into account the needs of the poorest people and future generations. The Holy Father’s appeal came after the traditional prayer of Marian devotion, ahead of which he spoke about the new liturgical season of Advent, which began this weekend with First Sunday Vespers. It was a theme to which he returned in his English-language remarks, as well:
I offer a warm welcome to the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at this Angelus prayer. Today, the Church begins the celebration of Advent, which marks the beginning of a new liturgical year and our spiritual preparation for the celebration of Christmas. Let us heed the message in today’s Gospel by entering prayerfully into this holy season, so that we may be ready to greet Jesus Christ, who is God with us. I wish you all a good Sunday. May God bless all of you!
RADIO VATICANA REPORTS: Advent is the first season of the new liturgical year. It is a period of penance and preparation for the Second Coming of Christ, and for the celebration of his Nativity, on Christmas Day.
Msgr. Brown has worked at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith since 1994, and is the Adjunct Secretary of the International Theological Commission. He studied History as an undergraduate at the University of Notre Dame, and afterwards went on read Theology at Oxford University, and did Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto. Furthermore, he gained a doctorate in Sacramental Theology from the Pontifical Athenaeum Sant'Anselmo in Rome.
The Irish Government gave its approval at a Cabinet meeting November 23. Dublin has been without a papal representative since the former Nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza was recalled to Rome for consultations in July.
The Irish government, which announced the closure of its embassy to the Holy See last month for economic reasons, has sent the Vatican its nomination for a non-resident Ambassador.
The mainstream media loves controversy, even if they have to embellish it
CATHOLIC ONLINE REPORT: The new translation of the Missal is a gift to the Church, bringing English-speaking Catholics back to a liturgy that is more unified linguistically with the rest of the Church while sharpening our theological language. Whatever the doomsayers are trying as insinuate, this is not "changing" the Mass but, rather, fixing it - getting it more in sync with the rest of the Catholic world.
Many mainstream religion writers have tried to make the introduction of the new text a watershed moment in the Church where parishioners are going to walk out the doors over the drastic changes being made. Whether intentional or simply sensation-driven, such observations are far from accurate and completely miss the reason for the changes.
Camping at the doorstep of a few bishops who are critical of the new translation, they try to paint a horrific picture of what is going to take place. Beyond the standard attack on phrases like "And with your spirit," the finger is pointed at words like "consubstantial," "ineffable," "incarnate," "oblation," "ignominy" and "unvanquished."
"This is not the way we talk every day," they cry out.
This is true and much to the point. The new Mass text is not trying to take the liturgy to the picnic table in the backyard but to the Upper Room for the Last Supper.
As a Catholic, I take such criticism as an insult. In a sense the critics are saying, "We need to keep the liturgy dumbed down. Today the church is filled with ignorant people."
To the critics we should cry out, "I've got a dictionary!" If we need to find out what a words means we can look it up. We will be able, with an informed mind then, to encounter a liturgy that intends to more accurately take us into the presence of our Lord.
Throughout history the Church has always reminded us "lex orandi, lex credendi est," which means "the way we worship is the way we believe." Liturgy is not about talking with your neighbor over the fence but talking to and about God. This demands theological language that accurately expresses the fullness of the Christian faith.
The phrase "lex vivendi" is sometimes added to this, which implies that the end result will see seen in the way we live.
If we wanted to perpetuate the idea of a vernacular liturgy, in a next edition, when the priest says, "The Lord be with you," we could respond, "Back at ya!" or "Way!!" Much more up-to-date than "and also with you." Not only would we be contemporary but we would have drifted even farther from the true meaning of this liturgical exchange.
The new Missal is a gift to the Church, bringing English-speaking Catholics back to a liturgy that is more unified linguistically with the rest of the Church while sharpening our theological language.
Whatever the doomsayers are trying as insinuate, this is not "changing" the Mass but, rather, fixing it - getting it more in sync with the rest of the Catholic world.
For example, this will be the first time in 40 years, the Church will be in greater unity for worship.
The English Mass, as with Spanish, French, Italian or any other language, is a translation of the Latin Mass, theMissale Romanum. The previous English translation used a technique called "dynamic equivalence," which captures the overall meaning of a phrase in modern usage rather than translating the actual words. The problem with this is that the essential meaning of the text can be lost.
Let me give you an example of how dynamic equivalence can work using a Biblical text of the Annunciation - "Hail Mary Full of Grace, the Lord is with you." Translators, using this technique, could come back with "Hello lucky lady! God likes you."
In the Mass, the response in Latin, as well as other languages has always been "And with your spirit." Numerous articles have been written recently explaining why those words are important.
Now, the English-speaking world will be able to join with everyone else in saying the exact same thing. For the first-time in decades the Church will be in step with each other; there will be greater unity in our worship, not just with "And with your spirit," but in so many other places.
The same will be true with the creed. From its very origin, the creed has always begun, "I believe." The English-speaking Church, however, has said, "We believe." Beginning on the First Sunday of Advent we will join with everyone else and proclaim, "I believe." The "we" of the creed is still present because we are saying it together but the "I" indicates a personal ownership and embrace of the faith. I believe!
There are many other areas we could cover in terms of Biblical accuracy, etc. These points have been so well covered in other stories that there is no necessity to repeat them here.
The most important thing for Catholics this weekend is how we enter into the Mass not how much more do we need to know about it. All the catechesis in the world is not going to make a difference if the heart is not prepared to embrace it.
The mainstream media is hoping we will enter the Mass with anger and resentment that the big bad church has taken away something we like. Such feelings, kindled by the fact that things will seem different, can lead to a disastrous conclusion.
No doubt some reporters will even be staked out in front of churches, ready to pounce on the horror stories they can pull out of parishioners.
As a convert to the faith, I find the intent to initiate some hysteria somewhat comical. While I was raised in the Anglican tradition, I spent some years as a Wesleyan Methodist pastor before returning to my Anglican roots.
As Evangelicals, we prided ourselves in not being bound to a standard liturgical practice that dominated us from week-to-week. We could change things up to keep the people engaged. We could move things around; nothing was sacred - or at least I thought so until I tried moving the sermon to a different part of the worship service.
Part of my return to the liturgical-sacramental world came through a book by C.S. Lewis entitled, "Letters to Malcolm Chiefly on Prayer." In the first chapter - which was on liturgy - Lewis reminded his colleague, "our Lord said 'Feed my sheep,' not 'Experiment on my rats.'"
Following those words of admonition to the Apostle Peter, the Church has always deemed it critical to provide a liturgy that would feed not be an experiment. It was also understood that the term liturgy meant "the work of the people" not the work FOR the people. The Mass is not done for us but through us - His priest and His people - the laity.
Years ago I remember hearing a teacher say, "If this were a theater, the priest would be the actor, God would be the prompter and we would be the audience. But this is worship. The priest and people are the actors, the liturgy is the prompter and God is the audience."
The liturgy of the Mass involves our rituals, ceremonies and words that form the whole of our devotion to the Lord who is saving us. We enter into a drama that is unfolding before us; a drama of salvation history where the Lord dwells among His people and shares His words with them. He then confirms His words through His actions, offering salvation to the world through His Body and Blood.
It's all about the heart. We are worshiping our God.
A conference organized by the diocese of Saigon in memory of the martyrs canonized by Blessed John Paul II. Card. J.B. Phạm Minh Mẫn, "" The greatest miracle connected to the canonization of 117 martyrs of Vietnam is the existence and growth of the Church of Vietnam. "
ASIA NEWS REPORT: Ho Chi Minh City (AsiaNews) - Catholics in Vietnam are commemorating the 117 martyrs of their country canonized by Blessed John Paul II on 19 June 1988. A small part of the over 130 thousand Catholics killed for witnessing to their faith during the persecution carried out by Vietnamese kings. From November 21 to 26, the diocese of Saigon is holding a conference, attended by 180 people: 58 priests, 27 religious and 95 lay people in parishes. Before Mass celebrating the feast of the martyrs, on Nov. 24, Cardinal JB Phạm Minh Mẫn expressed his feelings to pilgrims, during a meeting at the seminary of St. Joseph: "The greatest miracle connected to the canonization of 117 martyrs of Vietnam is the existence and growth of the Church of Vietnam."
The cardinal said that "the blood of martyrs is the seed of faith that God has continued to pour on our country in many historical periods of difficulty and change. There is not only the blood of the martyrs, but also the sweat and tears of Catholic families, communities, and our ancestors in Vietnam. All you have sacrificed to serve God, the Church and society. Today we show our gratitude to the martyrs of Vietnam and our ancestors, and pray God for the Church today, asking God to give us water from the spring, the seeds for the growth of the Church and society in the present and future " .
Card. Phạm Minh Mẫn also spoke at the conference, stressing that "everyone should reflect on and identify the obstacles in the way of renewal, examine the root causes and find a way out of this vicious circle, that prevents communion from expanding both in the Church and society. The aim is to bring the Gospel values and human life in to family, social, economic and political life today. This is the way to take part in the mission of the New Evangelization, and accompany Jesus in service to life and the development of the human family. "
Auxiliary Bishop Peter Nguyễn Văn Khảm preached on the feast of the Martyrs of Vietnam. He emphasized that "commemorating the martyrs of Vietnam is not only a way to show respect for their sanctity, but also to promote a spirit of martyrdom like theirs. Being present means being brave martyrs, witnessing to the Good News of God and showing the love of Jesus in every circumstance. "
Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese REPORT
24 Nov 2011
In two weeks' time the construction of a state-of-the-art multi-purpose hall-gymnasium and four light-filled spacious classrooms will be completed at Enfield's St Joseph's Primary School.
The completion of the work at St Joseph's also marks the end to the Archdiocese of Sydney's $300 million program that has transformed 113 Sydney Catholic primary and secondary schools as part of the Federal Government's BER (Building the Education Revolution) stimulus scheme.
The BER program continues to receive harsh criticism with accusations of a lack of planning, inflexible attitudes by state bureaucracies, cost overruns, delays, rorting and budget blowouts.
But this has not been the case with Sydney's Catholic schools which thanks to prudent management by the Archdiocese of Sydney, Catholic Education Office (CEO) and project managers, Bovis Lend Lease, now boast 49 brand new libraries, 64 all-purpose halls, 17 Covered Outdoor Learning Areas (COLAs), 218 ultra modern classrooms equipped with whiteboards and IT facilities, and 34 cutting-edge science labs.
At St Joseph's primary school, principal, Michael McGovern has nothing but praise for the scheme and the way it has been implemented by the Archdiocese and CEO.
Before any work began, he says, extensive consultations were held not only with the school and the staff, but with parents, the parish and local community as well. Through this consultation process, the priorities of the school and exactly what was needed were determined. The school's gymnasium-hall and classrooms were then custom-designed and built, following Archdiocese guidelines that insisted only durable easy to maintain materials be used. The Archdiocese also emphasised the importance of sustainability, cross ventilation and the additions of solar panels to provide energy and tanks for rainwater harvesting.
"The hall and classrooms have been built with high windows, louvers and large doors so there is always superb air flow and light," he says.
Mr McGovern is also delighted with the large gymnasium hall which not only provides full shade protection to the children during Sydney's harsh summer months, but has been designed so that it can be used by the community as well in hours outside those of the normal school day.
"To say we are very pleased with the design and quality of the workmanship on the classrooms and in our new hall is an understatement. And when the new buildings are in use when school reopens in February next year, our teaching facilities will be absolutely fabulous."
The work at St Joseph's primary will end about the time the school breaks for Christmas but by the time the 470 youngsters begin or return to school in February next year, the old demountable classrooms will no longer be on site and preparations for celebrations and a blessing of the new school area will be well underway.
Although state governments continue to be blasted for cost overruns and the building of halls or libraries that were not needed, the way BER has been implemented at Catholic schools has been widely praised, and at schools within the Archdiocese of Sydney have not only come in on time but on budget.
The manner in which Catholic schools used funds from the BER has been constantly held up as an example of good management, particularly by the Orgill Taskforce which handed in its report on the implementation of the Government's multi-billion dollar BER stimulus scheme in July.
The Orgill Report found that the cost to NSW state schools to build halls, COLAS, classrooms, libraries, labs and other improvements under the BER scheme were almost 50 percent higher than those built at Catholic schools. The Report also found that despite the large discrepancy in costs, there was no difference in quality. In fact in some cases Catholic schools were ahead of the game constructing permanent custom-built classrooms rather than the pre-fab classrooms erected at state schools.
Under the Federal Government's BER stimulus package, funds were allocated on a per capita student basis. But unlike the states which stuck to the amounts ear-marked for each school on its student numbers, the Archdiocese of Sydney put its $300 million BER allocation into a central pool. Then after consultations with its 120 schools, principals and staff, as well as the surrounding community, it was decided to use the BER where need was greatest. Obtaining endorsements from wealthier Catholic schools in affluent suburbs such as Mosman and Rose Bay which have active Parents and Friends Associations, the BER funds were allocated to schools in struggling areas which had higher than average unemployment. Funds also went to schools that had simply become outdated, rundown and in desperate need of renewal to bring them into the 21st Century and the vast changes that have come with information technology.
Each of the 113 Catholic primary and secondary schools then had its requirements and priorities custom designed by architects and purpose built.
"The Catholic system is the ideal way of running a program like BER," said Robert Leece, Infrastructure Coordinator General for the NSW National Building and Jobs Plan Taskforce, earlier this year. Praising the Catholic system for its management of BER, he said the Catholic schools' policy of pooling funds and tailoring the program to each individual school's needs had proved far more successful and efficient than rigid one-size-fits-all approach adopted by the states.
Feast: November 27
Isaiah 63: 16 - 17, 19
|16||For thou art our Father, though Abraham does not know us and Israel does not acknowledge us; thou, O LORD, art our Father, our Redeemer from of old is thy name.|
|17||O LORD, why dost thou make us err from thy ways and harden our heart, so that we fear thee not? Return for the sake of thy servants, the tribes of thy heritage.|
|19||We have become like those over whom thou hast never ruled, like those who are not called by thy name.|
64: 2 - 7