''I never would have lapsed if I had known the Traditional Mass was available to me in my teenage years'' - Philip Dillon (Aged 27)
Torch of The Faith News on Wednesday 20 August 2014 - 11:47:57 | by admin
We've mentioned a few times that we have met and heard about a growing number of young people being converted - and reverted - by encountering orthodox catechesis and the Traditional Latin Mass. Whenever we have drawn attention to these graces, we have pointed out the importance of the Traditional Latin Mass for the New Evangelization.
We were therefore delighted to discover that a letter bearing witness to this phenomenon has been printed in Hexham and Newcastle's diocesan newspaper, Northern Cross. The letter is so clear - and moving - that we include it here in its entirety:-
I am a twenty-seven year old lay Catholic of the parish of SS. Cuthbert and Joseph in North Sheilds. Both my paternal and maternal grandfathers were Catholic but most of my family is Protestant albeit in name only. I attended St. Joseph's R.C. primary school as a child, and of my own volition I converted to Catholicism because I wanted to make my First Holy Communion with my Catholic cousins. In 1995, I was baptized, made my First Confession, and received Holy Communion. Sadly, I fell away from the practice of the Faith in my teenage years. In 2007, through the grace of God, I went through a conversion experience. I began praying the Rosary, reading the Catechism and watching the Eternal Word Television Network. At around this time, I watched a video on YouTube of the Traditional Latin Mass narrated by Archbishop Fulton Sheen. The solemnity and reverence of the Traditional Rite was deeply moving and I decided to attend Mass for the first time in ten years.
The next Sunday, I attended the Extraordinary Form Mass at St. Dominic's in Byker. The Usus Antiquior was completely foreign to me, but I was awestruck by the beauty of the prayers, the solemnity of the worship, and the devotion of the people. The quiet prayerfulness of the Liturgy allowed me to fully participate in the Mass as I placed myself at the foot of the Cross with Our Blessed Mother and the Beloved Disciple. The prayers of the Mass enlightened my understanding and inflamed my love for Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. I became conscious of the infinite Majesty of God and I also became painfully aware of my own sinfulness. When the Mass ended, I resolved to change my life and embrace the Faith I lost in my teenage years.
The Traditional Mass is the reason I began living the Sacramental life. I continue to attend this Mass at St. Joseph's in Gateshead. As a child I attended the Mass of Paul VI, but the Missal of 1962 brought me back into the Church. The Old Mass is solely responsible for my adult conversion; in fact, I would never have lapsed if I had known this Mass was available to me in my teenage years. My experience is fairly common. The proliferation of Juventutum groups around the world and the many vocations to Traditional congregations and Priestly Fraternities attests to the fact that a lot of young Catholics are deeply attached to the riches contained in the Roman Missal promulgated by Pope St. John XXIII. The Traditional Latin Liturgy also has a presence at World Youth Day. It is my fervent belief that the Traditional Latin Liturgy is a vitally important part of the New Evangelization, and I am grateful for our bishop's continued support of this liturgy and am certain that it will quietly call many lapsed Catholics home and bring about new conversions!
We have no idea whether Philip Dillon will ever read this article. Nevertheless, we are delighted by his letter and deeply encouraged by it. It rings so true with our own experiences, which we described in two articles, on February 18th and 22nd 2014, entitled Faith... Addiction... Tradition... Parts 1 and 2. Philip's experiences also resound with those of other young adults that we have met and also read about in the last few years.
We will speak more of this in the near future. For now, let us give thanks to God and pray that more people will be given access to the Traditional Latin Mass and that this will bring a rich harvest of souls home to Jesus Christ and His Holy Church. On this 100th Anniversary of Pope St. Pius X's death, let us follow his and St. Paul's lead and ''Restore All Things in Christ!''
Please Pray for the Holy Father and His Family
Torch of The Faith News on Tuesday 19 August 2014 - 20:52:05 | by admin
Please pray for the Holy Father and for his family this night. Various news sources are reporting that his nephew's family have been involved in a serious road traffic accident in Argentina.
Emanuel Bergolio has been badly hurt in a car crash in the Cordoba area of Argentina. Tragically his wife Valeria Carmona (39) and their two children Jose (2), and Antonio (8 months), have been killed.
Papal spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi has asked people to share with the Holy Father's grief by uniting with him in prayer.
Tomorrow's date marks exactly one month since Pope Francis' friend Tony Palmer was killed in a motorcycle incident in Kent.
Please intercede for the Holy Father and his family to Our Lady of Sorrows. Please also keep praying for the Holy Church in these times.
Pope Francis Prayed for Victims of Abortion in Korea
Torch of The Faith News on Tuesday 19 August 2014 - 15:22:27 | by admin
Many pro-lifers have been encouraged to see that Pope Francis prayed in a memorial for the victims of abortion, during his recent visit to South Korea. This is the first time that a reigning pontiff has prayed in such a place of memorial for aborted babies.
Health authorities in South Korea estimate that around 340,000 babies are killed by abortion each year. This represents almost half of the known number of conceptions of new babies in that nation. In reality, the figure may be even higher because this number does not include the abortions being carried out on unmarried women. With 1.25 births for every woman, South Korea has one of the lowest fertility rates in the whole world.
The memorial which the Holy Father visited is in the grounds of the House of Hope. This was established in 1976 by Fr. John Oh, as a place of care and refuge for disabled people and orphans. The prayer garden was established by the priests who serve there. It includes a statue of the Holy Family and hundreds of white crosses to symbolise those killed in the womb.
Even though so many babies are killed all over the world by abortion, it is sadly only too rare to see such memorials. This makes the visit of the Holy Father such an important occasion.
When we were at Franciscan University of Steubenville, the campus had a Tomb of the Unborn next to a replica of St. Francis' Portiuncula chapel. Whilst 24-hour Eucharistic Adoration continues in the chapel, a permanent flame burns by the tomb to honour the victims of abortion. The tomb itself contains the mortal remains of Clare, Francis, Agnes, Jeremiah and Michael, who were all victims of abortion.
A couple of miles away is the parish of Holy Family. The parish has also dedicated a memorial in its grounds to remember all the babies who are killed by abortion. The memorial describes this as 'The SIN of our nation...'
We also know that, in 2008, Fr. Morty O'Shea had such a memorial installed and blessed in the churchyard of his parish of St. Mary's in Carmarthen. At the time, Fr. Morty described the memorial as 'a solitary and prophetic witness to the abortion holocaust that continues in our midst... There is no reason why such a memorial could not be erected outside the front of any church.' As far as we know, this was the first such memorial in the whole of the UK.
In October 2008, we reflected that such memorials in parishes would not only honour the dead, but could also reinvigorate pro-life outreach and, if sensitively placed and constructed, could also provide an important place of reference and prayer to any women seeking reconciliation and healing from abortion.
How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization - And Why It Matters
Torch of The Faith News on Monday 18 August 2014 - 12:45:35 | by admin
We've been pleasantly surprised to discover that our local library has stocked a copy of Professor Thomas E. Woods' book How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization.
Professor Woods laments the fact that large numbers of young people have been conditioned, through the media and popular culture, to associate the Catholic Church with corruption. He notes that this is exacerbated by high school and college courses which suggest that the Catholic Church brought only ignorance, intellectual repression and strict conformity. He highlights a book called Second Messiah as a typical example of this phenomenon. The authors of this text erroneously claim: 'Everything that was good and proper was despised and all branches of human achievement were ignored in the name of Jesus Christ.' This kind of blasphemy is an insult to God and the Church. It can also serve to close the minds - and gradually the hearts - of uninformed young people to the saving Person of Jesus Christ and His Holy Church.
In a series of accessible and engaging chapters, Professor Woods dispels the myth - indeed the lie - which is so frequently spread through contemporary education systems with regard to the Catholic Church. Through the solid facts and historical research of his book, Professor Woods shows that 'civilization', rather than 'corruption', has been the enduring hallmark of the Catholic Church.
In addition to discussing the remarkable contributions made by the Church in the fields of art, architecture, literature and music, Professor Woods demonstrates; that modern science was born in the Catholic Church; how the popular understanding of the Galileo affair is wrong; the fact that Catholic priests developed the idea of the free-market economy five hundred years before Adam Smith; how Western law grew out of Church canon law; how the idea of formulated human 'rights' also grew out of canon law, long before the influence of John Locke or Thomas Jefferson; that the Church's commitment to the poor - both in its spirit and its sheer scope - was something new in the Western world and represented a dramatic improvement over the standards of classical antiquity; and how the West was humanized by the Church's insistence on the sacredness of all human life.
How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization is an important resource to help clear some of the 'stones' which may be blocking the minds and hearts of catechumens, young parishioners and family members from receiving the Good News of Jesus Christ and His Church. It is also a helpful resource for going deeper into the subject matter through its bibliographical references to such great authors as Christopher Dawson, Etienne Gilson, David Knowles and Erwin Panofsky. As such it would prove helpful to parish priests, teachers, home-schooling families, and indeed to all parents who are concerned to hand on the truth to their children.
In a concluding chapter, Professor Woods contrasts the glories of Christendom with the descent into atheistic nihilism; which has typified recent centuries and now holds sway throughout the West. Professor Woods notices the paradox, which we have mentioned before, that the importance of the Church to Western civilization is sometimes made clearer in comparison to the spiritual collapse of our culture.
Professor Woods quotes Jude Dougherty, the dean emeritus of the School of Philosophy at Catholic University, who reflects: 'Without a metaphysical recognition of the transcendent... Man himself becomes the measure, unaccountable to an objective order. Life itself is empty and without purpose.' Professor Woods explores briefly the negative impact this androcentric worldview has had, by considering its corrosive impacts on art, literature, music and philosophy.
Professor Woods notes that a key practical result of this loss of the Faith has been the dramatic reduction in childbirth. Today, Europe no longer even believes in itself enough to continue through replacement levels of children. He also recalls the fact that the EU constitution could not bring itself to even acknowledge the continent's Catholic heritage. As a result Woods laments: 'Many of the great cathedrals that once testified to the religious convictions of a people have in our own day become like museum pieces, interesting curiosities in an unbelieving world.'
At the end of the book, Professor Woods quotes the French philosopher, Simone Weil: 'I am not a Catholic'... 'but I consider that the Christian idea, which has its roots in Greek thought and in the course of the centuries has nourished all of our European civilization, as something that one cannot renounce without becoming degraded.'
How much more this is the case, when we know that the Christian idea is more than just a concept. The heart of the Church is a Person; Jesus Christ, the God-Man. He is the One, Who came to save us from our sins - and from the eternal fires of Hell which they deserve - and to lead us into eternal communion with the Blessed Trinity by means of His Church. Without Jesus Christ and the Church He founded, we risk more than degradation or the loss of a temporal civilization. Such losses are only a sign of the eternal spiritual devastation which we may face.
Professor Woods believes that the West is learning its lessons the hard way. We must pray that these will be learned and acted on whilst there is still time.
Assumpta est Maria in Caelum!
Torch of The Faith News on Friday 15 August 2014 - 15:02:29 | by admin
Today, the Catholic Church celebrates the great feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is a Holy Day of Obligation.
'Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of Original Sin, when the course of Her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that She might be the more fully conformed to Her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death' (Pope Pius XII: Munificentissimus Deus, 1950).
The Blessed Virgin Mary is the pre-eminent member of the Church. Sacred Scripture and Tradition testify to Her inseparable union with Her Son, Jesus Christ the Lord, and to His mission. The unique closeness of Her bond and union with Him was not weakened at the end of Her own earthly life. As Mother of the Redeemer, intimately associated with Him, body and soul, in His saving life and death, Mary now shares body and soul in His heavenly glory.
This is a unique privilege. All of the other saints in Heaven await the Final Judgement for the re-union of their soul with their glorified body.
The Blessed Virign Mary, the pre-eminent member of the Church, is totally united in Heaven with Jesus Christ, Her Head. She is the model, type and personification of the Church. In Her, the Church has already reached its promised perfection and goal.
These facts are enormously important and encouraging for us in the Church Militant on earth. Let us consider some practical outcomes for us:-
1. The Blessed Virgin Mary's full participation in the Resurrection of Her Son, demonstrates to us that the attainment of Heaven is, by God's grace, possible for us too. The pre-eminent member of the Church is already there, body and soul, in Heaven. We are travelling towards that final destination. There are four aspects which we can prayerfully reflect on:-
A). Our Lady, being in Heaven, shows us that this is possible. Therefore, we too can make it if we also say ''Yes'' to God through faithful unity with Christ in His Church.
B). Our Lady is in Heaven interceding powerfully for us to make it there also. This can encourage us and help us to pray to Her with our problems and aspirations.
C). She encourages us to keep moving forward towards our heavenly goal. Canon Albert Shaw, on Merseyside, used to speak of this in terms of Our Lady looking back down a steep and rugged mountain and calling us on, whilst pointing out to us the pitfalls and dangers that we face. By praying the Rosary and practicing the True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, we can enter more surefootedly into the dynamic of Her guidance and support. Whatever mountain you are climbing right now is necessary for your salvation and sanctification. Even if you feel that you have fallen in a ditch by the wayside, call on Our Lady to help and guide you. In this way the climb will become fruitful and lead to the summit of Heaven.
D). Keeping our focus on Heaven, helps us to remember that this life is not all that there is. We will weigh the things of this world with a healthy understanding of the bigger picture. Focusing on the goal of Heaven can help us to avoid sin and the descent into Hell.
2. The fact that Our Blessed Lady is Assumed, body and soul, into Heaven testifies to the body and soul unity of the human person and its high dignity in Christ. There are three aspects worth reflecting on in light of this also.
A). This is why the killing of baptized Christians in Iraq - and the fact that Western leaders and media are generally turning a blind eye to the atrocities committed against them - is particularly offensive to God.
B). We see again why the Church affirms the dignity of the human person. The goodness of the human person, created in the image of God, and redeemed through baptism and faithful sacramental life in Christ, rules out abortion, euthanasia, suicide, murder and unjust treatment of persons.
C). The goodness and dignity of the human person help us to recognise the problems with body piercing, body 'modification' and the kinds of extreme tattooing which prevail in Western nations today.
On this day we celebrate Mary's Assumption into Heaven, body and soul, and the hope this gives us for our own final peace with Her and with God in Heaven. Let us praise God for these wonders and pray the Mass with recollection and joy. It is also a custom on great Marian feasts to ask Our Lady to aid one's loved ones in Purgatory with the special graces granted on Her feasts. It is also good to enjoy some pleasant food and drink to mark the occasion too!
Assumpta est Maria in Caelum!
The Ongoing Advance of Stonewall
Torch of The Faith News on Thursday 14 August 2014 - 12:55:05 | by admin
Michael Cashman MEP, one of the co-founders of Stonewall, the group vigorously pushing the homosexualist ideology in the UK, has been named to the House of Lords by British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Anthony Ozimic, the communications manager for SPUC, told Life Site News that the British Government is sending a clear signal of its continuing committment to the objectives of 'the LGBT movement'. He added: 'Mr. Cashman's record of virulent campaigning against life and family will not have gone unnoticed by those involved in his appointment, especially David Cameron, who shares much of Mr. Cashman's agenda.'
Mr. Cashman furthered the homosexualist agenda in the late 1980's, by playing Colin Russell in the BBC soap-opera EastEnders. The fictional character lived in a homosexual relationship and portrayed a 'homosexual kiss' before an estimated 17-million viewers in 1989. This was the first time any such thing had been seen on British television and there was much disgust and resistance to it at that time. The storylines portraying Colin Russell as a kind-hearted and down to earth 'yuppie' can be recognised as another element in the long-term and sophisticated programme to gradually alter public perceptions and engineer consent.
Since his TV fame, Mr Cashman has continued to further the homosexualist ideology. He helped to establish Stonewall; took a lead in pressuring that group to make the 'redefinition of marriage' one of its lead policies; registered a 'Civil Partnership' with another man in 2006; joined in the Warsaw 'Gay Pride' March; and protested against international corporations which sponsored the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. He has also worked as an MEP and as 'Labour Spokesperson on Human Rights'. In 2013, the Establishment appointed him as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).
The undermining of natural marriage and the family is continuing apace. This will only increase through the placing of former Stonewall members in key places of influence. Luke Tryl, former Head of Education at Stonewall, was recently named a personal advisor to the new Equalities Minister and Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan.
If the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales and the Catholic Education Service (CES) are at all interested in handing on the Deposit of Faith to the next generation, and in equipping young British Catholics to counter false worldviews, then some clear strategy must be developed, as soon as possible, to respond to these developing threats to education, marriage and family. In light of the ongoing employment, by both the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales and the CES, of former MP Greg Pope, the un-orthodox educational policies of recent years, and the faulty catechetical materials still being used in most places, this seems somewhat unlikely in the near future.
Holy Michael -Protect and defend us!
Torch of The Faith News on Tuesday 12 August 2014 - 19:12:31 | by admin
Pope St. Pius X described Modernism as the synthesis of all heresies and warned that it had got into the very veins and heart of the Church. Nobody can be in any doubt that this perfidious disease is causing great harm to many souls today. A particular aspect of this problem is the growing dominance of a false irenicism in relationships with separated Christian communities and members of other religions. This is something which we are reflecting on at home in great depth at present.
For now, it is important for all Catholics to be reappraised of the mystery of Christus Totus. Already described in the ancient writings of St. Augustine and Pope St. Gregory the Great, this refers to the fact that Jesus Christ and His Church are One. The Church does not need to be joined to any other ecclesial communities in order to become more fully Herself. Not at all. This is because the Catholic Church, founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ on St. Peter and the Apostles, is already fully the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church in Her essence. The Catholic Church is one with Christ. She is His Mystical Body. True ecumenism in the Tradition of the Church has always aimed at bringing separated brethren into the fullness of the True Faith, in the communion of the Catholic Church, for the sake of their salvation and sanctification.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church points to this central mystery of the Faith in CCC 795: 'Christ and His Church thus together make up the whole Christ (Christus Totus). The Church is one with Christ.'
This is one of the first principles for Catholics to understand, believe and live from. It is also foundational to any genuine dialogue with separated Christians. As this is such a fundamental truth, we offer it here for you to prayerfully contemplate and to use as the basis for discerning the events happening in our days.
We will need to speak further on these important issues.
Keep the Faith!
''When it comes to Christians, there is a false modesty to talk about and defend their rights.'' - Msgr. Tomasi.
Torch of The Faith News on Tuesday 12 August 2014 - 13:19:38 | by admin
Msgr. Silvano Maria Tomasi, Permanent Observer to the United Nations Office in Geneva, spoke to Vatican Radio on Sunday about the plight of the persecuted Christians in Iraq.
Some of his comments underline the point we made in our last article, about the reporting on the mainstream media in the UK. For example, although the late BBC news on Sunday night at last, briefly, highlighted Chaldean Catholic refugees and their bishop, the reports on the BBC's main news last night again focused almost exclusively on the troubles being endured by the Yazidi. In conclusion, the newsreader spoke of the sufferings of Yazidis 'and other minorities.' This evasive phrase ignores the dramatic scale of anti-Christian persecution and displacement that is occuring every day in Iraq; there are now thought to be around 200,000 Christian refugees seeking shelter and protection. When Catholicism is not being attacked in the media, it is often kept from sight, as though the Catholic Church never existed or shaped our civilization. Such selective blindness should awaken us to the dangers we will one day face here in the 'liberal' West.
Msgr. Tomasi stated to Vatican Radio: 'It is obvious that there is an urgent need to physically defend Christians in Northern Iraq, provide humanitarian aid - food, water - because children are dying, the old are dying for lack of food aid. We must act now before it's too late. A humanitarian intervention is required from the reality of these tens of thousands of Christians and other minorities in the Ninevah Plain, which had to escape with nothing... only the clothes they were wearing. They urgently need to be helped. The military action, perhaps at this time, is necessary, but it seems to me also urgent to make sure that those who provide weapons and money to the fundamentalists, the countries that tacitly support them, are out and stop this kind of support, which eventually does no good for Christians or Muslims...
... It is a new tragedy in the Middle East, where the basic human rights of many people and entire communities are violated. We are facing a very difficult situation: on one hand we have these fundamentalist jihadists, who in the name of a Caliphate that they want to set up, they are destroying and killing without mercy and, secondly, a certain indifference on the part of the Western world. When it comes to Christians, in fact, there is a false modesty to talk about and defend their rights. So it is a moment when the voice of conscience should be clear.'
Let us not be silent when the Mystical Body of Christ is being crucified. Please keep interceding for our brothers and sisters in Christ and for all who are suffering from Islamist terror.
''Something Should Be Done to Save This People'' - Patriarch Sako
Torch of The Faith News on Sunday 10 August 2014 - 21:32:10 | by admin
We have just viewed some extremely traumatic photographs on the Catholic Online website. The site claims that the images show Christian victims of the Islamic State 'IS' (formerly known as ISIS). The images are so distressing that we will only post the one above. This is said to be of men who were given the choice to convert to Islam or die.
Caution: the content of the following two paragraphs is very distressing. Although we are not showing the images, we think it necessary to highlight what is happening to Christians in Iraq. This is especially important because the mainstream media is largely ignoring the plight of Christians in the overall picture. Even Church leaders seem unaware of the full gravity of this situation. What else could explain their limited response? The pictures that we have seen are sickening. They purport to show Christian women who have been murdered. There is also a disgusting image of a woman being forcibly bled to death from a throat wound. Another horrific picture shows a beautiful little child in a knitted hat with three rifles pointing into the child's face. Catholic Online believes that this was taken just prior to the poor baby being murdered. There are also shocking images of men who have been beheaded and crucified.
These types of anti-Christian killing are certainly occuring on a wide scale in Iraq. Due to the need to care for elderly relatives, the sick and very small children, not everyone was able to flee from ISIS in the captured areas. Mark Arabo, a Chaldean-American businessman told CNN news on Friday, that Christian children were beheaded in Mosul and had their heads stuck on poles in the park. Andrew White, the Anglican vicar of Bagdhad, said that a child he had baptized several years ago had recently been cut in half by ISIS militants. He has seen other things that are so bad that he will not speak of them. Survivors of the Islamist raids speak of Christian men being murdered and Christian women being raped.
Chaldean Catholic Fr. Paolo Thabit Mekko, of Qaraqosh, had been helping Christian refugees from Mosul to access electricity and clean water. On Thursday night, the Kurdish defenders of Qaraqosh withdrew and he had to flee from the Islamists with tens of thousands of Christians. He has told Vatican Insider that 'a river of terrorized people' had to leave everything they owned and escape to Kurdistan in cars, buses and even carts. He said that members of the IS Caliphate would be robbing the empty homes as they had in Mosul.
The Chaldean Catholic Patriarch, Louis Raphael Sako, has issued another urgent statement. He says that there are 70,000 displaced Christians in Erbil and 60,000 in Dohuk. In Mosul and the areas bordering the Kurdistan region: 'the churches are deserted and desecrated; five bishops are out of their bishoprics; the priests and nuns left their missions and institutions leaving everything behind; the families have fled with their children abandoning everything else! This level of disaster is extreme.'
Patriarch Sako notes that the humanitarian situation of the refugees is getting rapidly worse in terms of food, water, medicine and shelter. He laments the lack of organized planning for the future housing, employment and educational needs of the displaced people. He is also concerned that the US military intervention does not demonstrate any strategy to dry up the manpower and fuel resources of the Islamists. It also leaves little hope for the liberation of Mosul and the Ninevah Plain.
The mainstream media in the UK has largely overlooked the plight of the Christians in Iraq. Whilst it is good that the terror and thirst being suffered by the Yazidi families on Mount Sinjar has been highlighted - around 15 people each day are dying of thirst there whilst trying to avoid brutal execution or forced conversion - the suffering of Christians is mentioned only in passing. There has been little if any engagement with the fact that an anti-Christian genocide has been taking place in the invaded areas. Neither has there been any discussion of the desecration of Christian churches and monasteries.
The Holy Father, Pope Francis, has spoken of the situation in his Sunday Angelus in Rome. He has also sent monies to Iraq. Tomorrow Cardinal Fernando Filoni will depart for Iraq as a special papal envoy. Most Catholic parishes in England and Wales were meant to be offering a bidding prayer for the situation during Sunday Masses today.
However, we must consider the fact that Islamists are slaughtering and raping Catholics, other Christians and members of other religions on a huge scale. Indeed, the Chaldean Catholic Church, which has ancient roots dating to the first centuries after the Incarnation, is being expunged from the map. At least 130,000 Christians, mainly Chaldean Catholics, have been displaced and forced to flee for their lives, losing their churches, homes, jobs and all their property. In fact, some estimates suggest that around 150,000 people were displaced from the Christian city of Qaraqosh alone. Can we really believe that enough is being done? If you had seen the pictures which we viewed earlier, then you could not believe that to be so. The Christians of Iraq need much more practical help and prayer.
We conclude with the final words of Patriach Sako, which formed the title to this article: 'Something should be done to save this people that have their history in this land from their beginnings.' Let us beg the Lord for our suffering Christian brothers and sisters.
Men's Climb of Reparation - Croagh Patrick, Co. Mayo, Ireland - 23rd August
Torch of The Faith News on Saturday 09 August 2014 - 14:33:16 | by admin
Two weeks today, HLI Ireland will host the second 'Men's Pilgrimage of Reparation for Life' on Croagh Patrick.
This presents a great opportunity for Catholic men to join together in a day of reparation, prayer, camaraderie, challenges and laughs. Men from all over Ireland and beyond are encouraged to join in this event as part of the overall effort to turn the tide in the pro-life battle.
Men are invited to meet at the Statue of Our Blessed Lady in Murrisk carpark, in Westport, on Saturday 23rd August. The Holy Rosary will be prayed there at 10.45 am. Then the men will climb to the top of Croagh Patrick, where the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will be offered in St. Patrick's Oratory.
Last year, around 50 men joined in for the day of reparation. Some of the men shared deep and powerful things about their own past failings in the abortion crisis. Some of the men explained, at the time, that the event had given them a great and privileged opportunity to do reparation of this nature.
We've said before that men must take responsibility for their past sins by sincere repentance, a good Confession and penance. Bishops, priests and husbands must act as true fathers and leaders in order to rebuild a truly Christian civilization. This calls for the rejection of abortion, contraception, fornication, pornography, harmful entertainments and of faulty educational/catechetical programmes. It also requires that men respect, protect and nurture the women and children entrusted to them in God's Providence. To live out their Christian vocation, men and families also flourish best when they are supported by others with shared faith and ideals. This can be hard to achieve in a secularized culture. It is therefore very heartening to see HLI Ireland providing this opportunity to men again.
To build the camaraderie and public witness of this event, men are encouraged to wear the official pro-life T-shirt. These are available by calling 094 93 75993 in good time for the event. There will be time for sharing food and laughs together at the bottom of the mountain.
The theme this year is: For what we have done and what we have failed to do. Please pray for the success of this event and join up if you can.