Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Homily, etc. at Mass Today

I attended the opening Mass of the University of Notre Dame today, kicking off another academic year in style, and prayer.

I have a few thoughts, while still fresh in my mind, about the homily and the remarks of the provost at mass.

The homily was themed on the "journey" we are all on, and the remarks by the provost were themed on leadership. There was not a lot of substance to them, but there was a lot of "look at how awesome we are at ND."

There was one thing I heard that appeared in both speeches, the topic that brings me here today. Fr. Jenkins said something along the lines of how we are here to "engage the culture" and to "seek the Truth". This is one of the hallmarks of the University, the seeking of the Truth. In the Homily, we heard the point that the Holy Spirit only inspired the followers of Jesus. They weren't given the Truth in the fullness, or something along those lines. Provost Burish then, for a bit, expounded on the theme. What I heard him say was that we were here to seek after the Truth together, as an institution, so that then we would be able to decide for ourselves on it.

This left a funny taste in my mouth. Perhaps I'm reading something into it, and I probably heard it in a way that was not intended by the speakers, but the focus seemed to be on the seeking and not on the finding. There is a Truth, and that Truth is Jesus Christ! There are things which are objectively True, likewise there are things which are objectively immoral. The role of a Catholic school, and in fact, the whole true Catholic intellectual tradition is to impart that Truth which is known, and develop minds based on those Truths to evaluate the world. There are many things which are not completely objective. We can consider the case of health care; good people can disagree on the way we should undertake health care reform, but nobody can morally say we should see to a support of abortion, for instance, in a health care reform package. A Catholic education should form students in the principles of objective morality so they can then evaluate the merits of various choices based on those objective principles, and so they can rightly oppose those things which violate some objective Truth.

I wonder if anyone else there heard it the same way I did.

Bishop D'Arcy in America Magazine

Bishop D'Arcy, the ordinary of the Diocese which encompass us here at Notre Dame, wrote an article which will appear on the cover of the August 31 issue of America magazine. [Source] I present the whole article here with some modest emphasis and [comments] italics are in the original.Link
As summer plays itself out on the beautiful campus by the lake where the young Holy Cross priest, Edward Sorin, C.S.C., pitched his camp 177 years ago and began his great adventure, we must clarify the situation that so sundered the church last spring: What it is all about and what it is not about.

It is not about President Obama. He will do some good things as president and other things with which, as Catholics, we will strongly disagree. It is ever so among presidents, and most political leaders.

It is not about Democrats versus Republicans, nor was it a replay of the recent general election.

It is not about whether it is appropriate for the president of the United States to speak at Notre Dame or any great Catholic university on the pressing issues of the day. This is what universities do. No bishop should try to prevent that.

The response, so intense and widespread, is not about what this journal called “sectarian Catholicism.” Rather, the response of the faithful derives directly from the Gospel. In Matthew’s words, “Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good works, and glorify your heavenly Father” (5:13). [He is making sure we know that these things, though presented by various media sources, Catholic and secular, are NOT the issue at hand]

Public Witness

[Three good questions]

[1] Does a Catholic university have the responsibility to give witness to the Catholic faith and to the consequences of that faith by its actions and decisions—especially by a decision to confer its highest honor? [2] If not, what is the meaning of a life of faith? [3] And how can a Catholic institution expect its students to live by faith in the difficult decisions that will confront them in a culture often opposed to the Gospel?

Pope Benedict XVI, himself a former university professor, made his position clear when he spoke to Catholic educators in Washington, D.C., on April 17, 2008:

Teachers and administrators, whether in universities or schools, have the duty and privilege to ensure that students receive instruction in Catholic doctrine and practice. This requires that public witness to the way of Christ, as found in the Gospel and upheld by the Church’s magisterium, shapes all aspects of an institution’s life, both inside and outside the classroom.

In its decision to give its highest honor to a president who has repeatedly opposed even the smallest legal protection of the child in the womb, did Notre Dame surrender the responsibility that Pope Benedict believes Catholic universities have to give public witness to the truths revealed by God and taught by the church? [He leaves a lot of rhetorical thinking questions in this article for the reader to ponder.]

Another serious question of witness and moral responsibility before the Notre Dame administration concerns its sponsorship over several years of a sad and immoral play, offensive to the dignity of women, which many call pornographic, and which an increasing number of Catholic universities have cancelled, “The Vagina Monologues,” by Eve Ensler.

Although he spoke eloquently about the importance of dialogue with the president of the United States, the president of Notre Dame chose not to dialogue with his bishop on these two matters[!!!], both pastoral and both with serious ramifications for the care of souls, which is the core responsibility of the local bishop. Both decisions were shared with me after they were made and, in the case of the honorary degree, after President Obama had accepted. For the past 24 years, it has been my privilege to serve as the bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. [This is an important statement to the article:] During this time, I have never interfered in the internal governance of Notre Dame or any other institution of higher learning within the diocese. However, as the teacher and shepherd in this diocese,[These are important words] it is my responsibility to encourage all institutions, including our beloved University of Notre Dame, to give public witness to the fullness of Catholic faith. The diocesan bishop must ask whether a Catholic institution compromises its obligation to give public witness by placing prestige over truth. The bishop must be concerned that Catholic institutions do not succumb to the secular culture, making decisions that appear to many, including ordinary Catholics, as a surrender to a culture opposed to the truth about life and love.

The Local Bishop

The failure to dialogue with the bishop brings a second series of questions. What is the relationship of the Catholic university to the local bishop? No relationship? Someone who occasionally offers Mass on campus? Someone who sits on the platform at graduation? Or is the bishop the teacher in the diocese, responsible for souls, including the souls of students—in this case, the students at Notre Dame? Does the responsibility of the bishop to teach, to govern and to sanctify end at the gate of the university? In the spirit of Ex Corde Ecclesiae, which places the primary responsibility on the institution, I am proposing these questions for the university.

Prof. John Cavadini has addressed the questions about the relationship of the university and the bishop in an especially insightful manner. He is chair of the theology department and an expert on the early church, with a special interest in St. Augustine. His remarks were a response to Father Jenkins’s rationale for presenting the play mentioned above.

The statement of our President [Father Jenkins] barely mentions the Church. It is as though the mere mention of a relationship with the Church has become so alien to our ways of thinking and so offensive to our quest for a disembodied “excellence” that it has become impolite to mention it at all. There is no Catholic identity apart from the affiliation with the Church. And again, I do not mean an imaginary Church we sometimes might wish existed, but the concrete, visible communion of “hierarchic and charismatic gifts,” “at once holy and always in need of purification,” in which “each bishop represents his own church and all of [the bishops] together with the Pope represent the whole Church...” (Lumen Gentium, Nos. 4, 8, 23).

The ancient Gnostic heresy developed an elitist intellectual tradition which eschewed connection to the “fleshly” church of the bishop and devalued or spiritualized the sacraments. Are we in danger of developing a gnosticized version of the “Catholic intellectual tradition,” one which floats free of any norming connection and so free of any concrete claim to Catholic identity?

The full letter can be found on the Web site of the Notre Dame student newspaper, The Observer: www.ndsmcobserver.com.

It has been a great privilege and a source of joy to be associated with Notre Dame in the past 24 years as bishop. In so many ways, it is a splendid place. Part of this is because of the exemplary young men and women who come there from throughout the country. It is also because of its great spiritual traditions. The lines of young people preparing to receive the sacrament of reconciliation at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, the Masses in the residence halls, the prayerful liturgy at the basilica and the service of so many young people before and after graduation in Catholic education and catechetics, and in service to the poor in this country and overseas, is a credit to the university and a source of great hope. The theology department has grown in academic excellence over the years, strengthened by the successful recruiting of professors outstanding in scholarship, in their knowledge of the tradition and in their own living of the Catholic faith. This growth is well known to Pope Benedict XVI. It is notable that a vast majority has been willing to seek and accept the mandatum from the local bishop. [There is still room for improvement in these areas.]

Developments on Campus

Yet the questions about the relationship of the university as a whole to the church still stand, and what happened on campus leading up to and during the graduation is significant for the present debate about Catholic higher education. I released a statement on Good Friday, asking the Catholic people and others of good will not to attend demonstrations by those who had come avowedly to “create a circus.” I referred to appropriate and acceptable responses within the Notre Dame community led by students. Titled “ND Response,” and drawing a significant number of professors, these responses were marked by prayer and church teaching, and they were orderly.

This journal and others in the media, Catholic and secular, reporting from afar, failed to make a distinction between the extremists on the one hand, and students and those who joined them in the last 48 hours before graduation. This latter group responded with prayer and substantive disagreement. They cooperated with university authorities. [There seems to be a theme going, last post I reported on Archbishop Chaput taking The Tablet to task over their reporting of the health care issues, and here, Bishop D'Arcy is pointing out the failures of America in reporting on the Notre Dame Scandal.]

In this time of crisis at the university, these students and professors, with the instinct of faith, turned to the bishop for guidance, encouragement and prayer. This had nothing to do with John Michael D’Arcy. It was related to their understanding of the episcopal office—a place you should be able to count on for the truth, as Irenaeus contended in the second century when he encountered the Gnostics.

I attended the Baccalaureate Mass the day before graduation, for the 25th time, speaking after holy Communion, as I always do. Then I led an evening rosary at the Grotto with students, adults and a number of professors. We then went to a chapel on campus. It was packed for a whole night of prayer and eucharistic adoration.

It was my intention not to be on campus during graduation day. I had so informed Father Jenkins and the student leadership, with whom I was in touch nearly every day. This is the kind of deference and respect I have shown to the Notre Dame administration, to three Notre Dame presidents, over the years. I found it an increasingly sad time, and I was convinced that there were no winners, but I was wrong.

As graduation drew near, I knew I should be with the students. It was only right that the bishop be with them, for they were on the side of truth, and their demonstration was disciplined, rooted in prayer and substantive. I told the pro-life rally, several thousand people on a lovely May day, that they were the true heroes. Despite the personal costs to themselves and their families, they chose to give public witness to the Catholic faith contrary to the example of a powerful, international university, against which they were respectfully but firmly in disagreement. Among those in attendance were many who work daily at crisis pregnancy centers on behalf of life.

The Silent Board

In the midst of the crisis at Notre Dame, the board of trustees came to campus in April for their long-scheduled spring meeting. They said nothing. When the meeting was completed, they made no statement and gave no advice. In an age when transparency is urged as a way of life on and off campus, they chose not to enter the conversation going on all around them and shaking the university to its roots. We learned nothing about their discussions.

I firmly believe that the board of trustees must take up its responsibility afresh, with appropriate study and prayer. They also must understand the seriousness of the present moment. This requires spiritual and intellectual formation on the part of the men and women of industry, business and technology who make up the majority of the board. Financial generosity is no longer sufficient for membership on the boards of great universities, if indeed it ever was. The responsibility of university boards is great, and decisions must not be made by a few. Like bishops, they are asked to leave politics and ambition at the door, and make serious decisions before God. In the case of Notre Dame, they owe it to the Congregation of Holy Cross, which has turned this magnificent place over to a predominately lay board; they owe it to the students who have not yet come; they owe it to the intrepid missionary priest, Edward Sorin, C.S.C., and the Holy Cross religious who built this magnificent place out of the wilderness. They owe it to Mary, the Mother of God, who has always been honored here. Let us pray that they will take this responsibility with greater seriousness and in a truly Catholic spirit.

Critical Questions

As bishops, we must be teachers and pastors. In that spirit, I would respectfully put these questions to the Catholic universities in the diocese I serve and to other Catholic universities.

[1] Do you consider it a responsibility in your public statements, in your life as a university and in your actions, including your public awards, to give witness to the Catholic faith in all its fullness?

[2] What is your relationship to the church and, specifically, to the local bishop and his pastoral authority as defined by the Second Vatican Council?

[3] Finally, a more fundamental question: Where will the great Catholic universities search for a guiding light in the years ahead? Will it be the Land O’Lakes Statement or Ex Corde Ecclesiae? [This is really important, and something I have posted about before. Catholic institutions are at a crossroads, and this is the time where people need to choose sides. The two statements are, for the most part, opposed to each other, and one of them comes directly from the office of the Papacy.] The first comes from a frantic time, [July, 1967, frantic indeed] with finances as the driving force. Its understanding of freedom is defensive, absolutist and narrow. It never mentions Christ and barely mentions the truth. The second text, Ex Corde Ecclesiae, speaks constantly of truth and the pursuit of truth. It speaks of freedom in the broader, Catholic philosophical and theological tradition, as linked to the common good, to the rights of others and always subject to truth. Unlike Land O’Lakes, it is communal, reflective of the developments since Vatican II, and it speaks with a language enlightened by the Holy Spirit. [It came from the Vicar of Christ, after all.]

On these three questions, I respectfully submit, rests the future of Catholic higher education in this country and so much else.

There is little more that I could say to improve this. I bet a personal letter version of this has been sent to the office of Fr. Jenkins, and any other Catholic schools around. So far, there is nothing posted on the Archdiocese website concerning this, no additional statements. God bless our Bishop.

[UPDATE: 08/25/2009 23:09]
Fr. Z has made a post on an this article. I quote here from one of the commenters [a catechist] on his site:
We probably won’t ever know, but it strikes me that perhaps this was originally addressed to the Fellows, and then submitted to “America”. Just speculation, but it would make sense. Lots of sense, were I the bishop.
I hadn't thought of that, but that might be a good place to see to it that the targets of this letter read it.

Chaput takes The Tablet to task

Archbishop Chaput has recently written an article challenging an editorial written in the publication The Tablet, a Catholic weekly in the UK. To give you an idea of the issues at hand, the title of the editorial was "US Bishops must back Obama", and dealt with the, so-called "Obamacare" health care reform plan. Let's take a look, with my emphasis and [comment]:

Last week a British Catholic journal, in an editorial titled "U.S. bishops must back Obama," claimed that America's bishops "have so far concentrated on a specifically Catholic issue - making sure state-funded health care does not include abortion - rather than the more general principle of the common good." [It is unfortunate that I tire of this phrase, because of its misuse among some.]

It went on to say that if U.S. Catholic leaders would get over their parochial preoccupations, "they could play a central role in salvaging Mr. Obama's health-care programme."

The editorial has value [I'm not so sure...] for several reasons. First, it proves once again that people don't need to actually live in the United States to have unhelpful and badly informed opinions about our domestic issues. Second, some of the same pious voices that once criticized U.S. Catholics for supporting a previous president now sound very much like acolytes of a new president. Third, abortion is not, and has never been, a "specifically Catholic issue," and the editors know it. And fourth, the growing misuse of Catholic "common ground" and "common good" language in the current health-care debate can only stem from one of two sources: ignorance or cynicism. [It's as if he read my mind on this one.]

No system that allows or helps fund - no matter how subtly or indirectly -- the killing of unborn children, or discrimination against the elderly and persons with special needs, can bill itself as "common ground." Doing so is a lie. [I would say it is part of the "progressive" and "modern" plans to usurp the language, and change the meaning of words, to hoodwink the masses. Consider what is now called "freedom" and "right" as compared to years ago.]

On the same day the British journal released its editorial, I got an email from a young couple on the east coast whose second child was born with Down syndrome. The mother's words deserve a wider audience:

[Here, he goes on to share this story, of a child who "'consumes' a lot of health care." I add the final paragraph here for context]

We are unsure and uneasy about how this might change. We worry that we, and Magdalena's siblings, will somehow be cut out of the process down the line when her health issues are sure to pile up. I can't forget that this is the same president [Obama] who made a distasteful joke about the Special Olympics. He apologized through a spokesman . . . [but] I truly believe that the people around him don't know -- or don't care to know -- the value and blessedness of a child with special needs. And I don't trust them to mold policy that accounts for my daughter in all of her humanity or puts "value" on her life.

Of course, President Obama isn't the first leader to make clumsy gaffes. Anyone can make similar mistakes over the course of a career. And the special needs community is as divided about proposed health-care reforms as everyone else.

Some might claim that the young mother quoted here has misread the intent and content of Washington's plans. That can be argued. But what's most striking about the young mother's email -- and I believe warranted -- is the parental distrust behind her words. She's already well acquainted, from direct experience, with how hard it is to deal with government-related programs and to secure public resources and services for her child. In fact, I've heard from enough intelligent, worried parents of children with special needs here in Colorado to know that many feel the current health-care proposals pressed by Washington are troubling and untrustworthy.

Health-care reform is vital. That's why America's bishops have supported it so vigorously for decades. They still do. But fast-tracking a flawed, complex effort this fall, in the face of so many growing and serious concerns, is bad policy. It's not only imprudent; it's also dangerous. As Sioux City's Bishop R. Walker Nickless wrote last week, "no health-care reform is better than the wrong sort of health-care reform." [This is the perennial drum-beat of the modern political system. More below.]

If Congress and the White House want to genuinely serve the health-care needs of the American public, they need to slow down, listen to people's concerns more honestly -- and learn what the "common good" really means.

What we hear in politics these days is, "Now! Now! Now! There can be no waiting, because this change/reform/action is so important that if we wait, we will be doomed!" We heard it in the various bailout bills, and we hear it again here. We heard it over global warming, and we will hear it again. There are two reasons I can come up with why this "doomsday approach" to legislating is being used. First, there is the fact that the government has limited money and attention to spend on various topics, and so the one that is most pressing will get the most money, simple economics (or manipulation). Second, there is the more dangerous aspect, which is the desire to sneak through legislation with less popular measures in it because it will take too long to fix the unpopular parts of the bill.

This, I am sure, is what is happening with the health care reform bill. The legislators have made up their mind what they want to see in the bill, and under the guise of urgency have been pushing this plan forward. The thing is, this isn't Calcutta, people aren't dying in the street. Do we need some kind of reform; sure. Is the status quo so bad that we can't continue as a nation; I don't think so.

Archbishop Chaput did a good job, I think, dealing with the arguments put forward by The Tablet.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Arinze on Liturgy

I recently read an article which discussed the Homily by Francis Cardinal Arinze at the closing of the plenary assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences. I quote first from the article.

Cardinal Arinze exhorted the continent’s bishops to follow the Church’s norms for liturgical inculturation, so that “the local Church will be spared questionable or downright mistaken innovations and idiosyncrasies of some enthusiastic cleric whose fertile imaginations invents something on Saturday night and whose uninformed zeal forces this innovation on the innocent congregation on Sunday morning.”

“Dance in particular needs to be critically examined because most dances draw attention to the performers and offer enjoyment,” he continued. “People come to Mass, not for recreation but, to adore God, to praise and thank him, to ask pardon for their sins, and to request other spiritual and temporal needs. The monasteries may be of help in how graceful body movements can become prayer.”
Digging deeper, I was able to find the actual text of the homily, unfortunately in PDF format only. It is a good read, and I recommend reading the whole thing. Here I extract some of the most salient bits. (My emphasis and [comments])
Adoration manifests itself in such gestures in genuflection, deep bow, kneeling, prostration and silence in the presence of the Lord. Asian cultures have a deep sense of the sacred and transcendent. Reverence in Asia to civil authorities sometimes shows itself in clasped hands, kneeling, bows, prostration and walking away while facing a dignitary. It should not be too difficult to bring and elevate this cultural value to honour our Eucharistic Jesus. The fashion in some parts of the world of not installing kneelers in churches should not be copied by the Church in Asia. The Holy Eucharist is the summit of the sacred in our worship.

The ars celebrandi is the art of proper celebration. It is a fruit of faithful adherence to liturgical norms in all their richness and assistants. When the Eucharistic celebration is properly carried out, it manifests the Eucharistic faith of the Church; it nourishes the faith of the participants; and it sends them home on fire to live and share the faith.

The way in which Holy Communion is distributed should be clearly indicated and monitored and individual idiosyncrasies should not be allowed. In the Latin Rite, only concelebrating priests take Holy Communion. Everyone else is given, be the person cleric or lay. It is not right that the priest discard any of the vestments just because the climate is hot or humid. If necessary, the Bishop can arrange the use of lighter cloth. It is altogether unacceptable that the celebrant will opt for local dress in the place of universally approved Mass vestments or use baskets, or wine glasses to distribute the Holy Eucharist. This is inculturation wrongly understood.

If these directives are followed, the local Church will be spared [a good way to put it] questionable or downright mistaken innovations and idiosyncrasies of some enthusiastic cleric whose fertile imagination invents something on Saturday night and whose uninformed zeal forces this innovation on the innocent congregation on Sunday morning. [Doesn't it feel like that sometimes?]

Dance in particular needs to be critically examined because most dances draw attention to the performers and offer enjoyment. [The casual reader will note that he is pointing out that this is a bad thing.]

People come to Mass, not for recreation but, to adore God, to praise and thank him, to ask pardon for their sins, and to request other spiritual and temporal needs. The monasteries may be of help in how graceful body movements can become prayer. The Colombo statement quoted above remarks: “When pastoral zeal combines with cultural and religious sensitivity, new ground is broken. On the contrary, hasty and un‐reflected changes weaken or damage the religious significance and life‐transforming power of worship” (Colombo Statement, 6).
I think this should be more widely read than simply among the Asian Bishops.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Reform Group Not Catholic

A group using the name "Catholic" but seems to be advocating for things like the ordination of women is NOT part of the Catholic Church, so warns Archbishop Neinstedt of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

The group, the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (CCCR) is planning to hold a “synod” at an undisclosed location within the archdiocese on September 18, 2010. The theme will be “Claiming Our Place at the Table.”

On its website, the group explains its “Understanding of Church [sic]” as a “communion of communities” based upon “acceptance.” It professes support for the “fundamental equality of all members,” participation and collaboration, a “dialogical spirit” and a “Prophetic/prophetic sign.”

The website announces a “major fundraiser” for the “synod,” held in Lake Elmo, Minnesota on Thursday, with Maryknoll priest Fr. Roy Bourgeois. The announcement says he will share his perspective on “the social injustices within Roman Catholicism” and will offer a vision of the “emerging church.”

Last year Fr. Bourgeois was excommunicated for publicly dissenting from Catholic teaching by advocating the "ordination" of women.

He has described the “exclusion of women from the priesthood” as an injustice comparable to the injustice he has opposed in the School of the Americas, a controversial U.S. training program for Latin American military leaders. He has also compared Catholic teaching on women’s ordination to the segregation of African-Americans in his home state of Louisiana.

“Moreover, the Archdiocese wishes to lovingly caution those members of the faithful participating in the ‘work/study groups’ and intending to attend the synod of the potential that the issues on which CCCR will seek reform are magisterial teachings of the Church, and are therefore to be believed by divine and catholic faith,” the statement continued.

The archdiocese reminded the Catholic faithful that contrary doctrines ought to be shunned, while the faith and morals proposed “definitively” by the Magisterium of the Church should be embraced, safeguarded and expounded.

This is what Bishops need to do, unfortunately. In order to safeguard the faith, they must warn the faithful when there are others who claim the name of the Church, but teach things contrary to the Truth. I like how he specifically points out that these issues, at least some of them, have been definitively taught by the Magisterium.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Novena to St. John Vianney - Day 9


O Holy Priest of Ars, your precious remains are contained in a magnificent reliquary, the donation from the priests of France. But this earthly glory is only a very pale image of the unspeakable glory which you are enjoying with God. During the time you were on earth, you used to repeat in your dejected hours, 'one will rest in the other life." It is done, you are in eternal peace, and eternal happiness.
I desire to follow you one day. Until then, I hear you saying to me:
"You should work and fight as long as you are in the world."
Teach me then to work for the salvation of my soul, to spread the good news and good example and to do good towards those around me in order that I will receive the happiness of the Elect with you.
Holy Priest of Ars, I have confidence in your intercession. Pray for me during this novena especially for ... (mention silently your special intentions).
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

O St John Vianney, Patron of Priests, pray for us and for all priests!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Novena to St. John Vianney - Day 8


O Holy Priest of Ars, a witness of your life made this magnificent praise of you:
'We would have taken him for an angel in a mortal body."
You so edified others: the modesty and the exquisite purity radiated from your body. With such charm and with such enthusiasm you preached to others about these beautiful virtues which you said resembled the perfume of a vineyard in bloom.
Please I beg you to join your entreaties to those of Mary Immaculate and Saint Philomena in order that I guard always, as God asks me, the purity of my heart. You, who have directed so many souls towards the heights of virtue, defend me in temptations and obtain for me the strength to conquer them.
Holy Priest of Ars, I have confidence in your intercession. Pray for me during this novena especially for ... (mention silently your special intentions).
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

O St John Vianney, Patron of Priests, pray for us and for all priests!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Novena to St. John Vianney - Day 7


O Holy Priest of Ars, the infamous attacks of the devil which you had to suffer and the trials which disheartened you by fatigue would not make you give up the sublime task of converting souls. The devil came to you for many years to disturb your short rest but you won because of mortification and prayers.
Powerful protector, you know the temptor's desire to harm my baptized and believing soul. He would have me sin, by rejecting the Holy Sacraments and the life of virtue. But good Saint of Ars dispel from me the traces of the enemy.
Holy Priest of Ars, I have confidence in your intercession. Pray for me during this novena especially for ... (mention silently your special intentions).
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

O St John Vianney, Patron of Priests, pray for us and for all priests!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Novena to St. John Vianney - Day 6


O Holy Priest of Ars, whose only comfort in this world was the real presence of Jesus in the tabernacle, was it not your great joy to distribute the Eucharist to the pilgrims who visited you? You refused Communion to the souls who refused to reform but to souls of goodwill you opened wide the doors of the Eucharistic Feast.
You, who each day at Holy Mass received Holy Communion with great loves, give me some of your fervor. With freedom from mortal sin, obtain for me a sincere desire to profit from receiving Holy Communion.
Holy Priest of Ars, I have confidence in your intercession. Pray for me during this novena especially for... (mention silently your special intentions).
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

O St John Vianney, Patron of Priests, pray for us and for all priests!