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Sunday, May 31, 2009

World's Oldest Student Is Baptized at 90, Embraced Christianity After Learning to Read Bible

I wish it were President Obama or pro-abort politicians like Biden, Pelosi, et al.

News courtesy of Zenit.org


NAIROBI, Kenya.- The world-record-breaking oldest primary school student, a Kenyan great-grandfather, was baptized after he learned to read the Bible.

Kimani Ng'ang'a Maruge, the Guinness World Record holder for being the oldest person to enter primary school at age 84, was baptized Sunday at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Kariobangi, east of Nairobi, Ecumenical News International reported Monday.

Now 90 years old (In Hitler's time, he would have been shot! Too old, nothing to contribute to society.), Maruge chose the baptismal name "Stephen" as he stated, "I commit my life to God, from now until the end." (Never too late Joe Biden to correct your ways!)

"I decided to be baptized after reading the Bible," he explained.

In a wheelchair due to stomach cancer, the new Catholic added: "I read the Bible and came across the name Stephen. This is a name for those who have endured hardships like me."

Father Paulino Mondo, Holy Trinity pastor, affirmed that the schooling helped Maruge to read and understand the Bible, and pass all his catechism tests.

Maruge enrolled in school due to the government's introduction of free primary education in 2003. Two of his 30 grandchildren attend the same school.

He addressed the U.N. Millennium Development Summit in Sep. 2005 in New York on the importance of free primary education.

Maruge continued schooling despite being forced to a refugee camp due to post-election violence in 2008, and later relocation to a senior citizen retirement home.

The Kenyan's story will be told in a Hollywood-produced film, titled "The First Grader," which is currently being produced.

Yuck!


The cloth used to make this hideous chasuble is probably piña fiber, the same material used for the national dress of the Philippines, the barong tagalog. My take on this vestment? Read the TITLE OF THIS POST!!!

Cardinal not using pallium in ordination Mass ?!

This is an ordination presided by the cardinal-archbishop of Manila, Gaudencio Rosales. What is wrong in the picture? He is not wearing his pallium! I have seen photos of the cardinal a number of times not wearing his pallium during ordinations. Some of the photos of the archdiocese's website are not available anymore. Here is an entry regarding the use of the pallium from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

"The pope may use the pallium at any time. Others, even archbishops, may use it only in their respective dioceses, and there only on the days and occasions designated in the "Pontificale" (Christmas, the Circumcision, and other specified great feasts; during the conferring of Holy Orders, the consecration of abbots, etc.), unless its use is extended by a special privilege."


Another proof that the cardinal knows less of liturgical norms and leaves it up to the dynamic duo of Chupungco-Diwa to take care of the liturgical "creativity". Hmmmm...

Benedictine Influence in the Philippines: Sign of Hope?

The New Liturgical Movement posted a news about the Benedictine influence in the altar arrangement for the anniversary Mass celebrated by the holy cardinal archbishop of Cebu, Ricardo Vidal. Here is the link. Interesting read are the comments posted one of which belong to me. I am entering the comments I made on the site below:

Cardinal Vidal was very vocal among his fellow bishops about his praise and support of Summorum Pontificum. This was shared to me by a priest who was present during one of the meetings the cardinal was present at in Manila. However, we see little hope for Cardinal Rosales to be supportive of the Motu Propio for the following reasons:

He is not interested in the liturgy. Ever since he took over the Archdiocese of Manila, his main concern in his social fund raising drive, Pondo ng Pinoy. He left the care of the liturgy to two notoriously anti-TLM priests, Anscar Chupungco, OSB, and Genaro Diwa. Proof? Visit the archdiocese's website and the only news you get are "liturgical news". These two priests are making a living of forcing altar servers, lectors, EMHCs, and choir directors with endless "updating" seminars which always comes with a price tag. Required reading for those who took the seminars? The books or pamphlets written by the two.

Liturgical renewal in the Philippines is still a far-fetched reality. When Bugnini forced down our throats the reforms of the Mass, the Philippines was still celebrating the TLM. Cardinal Santos was not celebrating the Novus Ordo until the papal visit of Paul VI. With Summorum PontificumCardinal Vidal was very vocal among his fellow bishops about his praise and support of Summorum Pontificum. This was shared to me by a priest who was present during one of the meetings the cardinal was present at in Manila. However, we see little hope for Cardinal Rosales to be supportive of the Motu Propio for the following reason:

He is not interested in the liturgy. Ever since he took over the Archdiocese of Manila, his main concern in his social fund raising drive, Pondo ng Pinoy. He left the care of the liturgy to two notoriously anti-TLM priests, Anscar Chupungco, OSB, and Genaro Diwa. Proof? Visit the archdiocese's website and the only news you get are "liturgical news". These two priests are making a living of forcing altar servers, lectors, EMHCs, and choir directors with endless "updating" seminars which always comes with a price tag. Required reading for those who took the seminars? The books or pamphlets written by the two.

Liturgical renewal in the Philippines is still a far-fetched reality. When Bugnini forced down our throats the reforms of the Mass, the Philippines was still celebrating the TLM. Cardinal Santos was not celebrating the Novus Ordo until the papal visit of Paul VI. With Summorum Pontificum, we see a handful of bishops and priests openly supporting the return of the sense of the sacred in our worship as Catholics. We can only hope and pray for the spread of the sense of the sacred in the Catholic Church in the Philippines.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sad but true. The cause of the death of a TLM priest

I heard from very close friends of a Filipino priest who is one of a very few who are devoted to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass of how the holy priest died. Sadly, it was with a broken heart. Here is the account of one of his friends who he talked with before the very untimely demise of the priest.

The priest was called by his bishop for a meeting. The priest had no idea why his bishop called him. He later shared that his bishop is ordering him to stop celebrating the EF even though the Holy Father liberalized its celebration with his Motu Propio, Summorum Pontificum. The priest did not elaborate what the bishop said but he went home and told the story with a very heavy heart. A few hours later, the priest suffered a massive stroke which eventually led to his untimely death a day after.

As if it were not enough, his fellow priests who celebrated his Requiem refused priests who know how to celebrate the EF Mass, to offer the EF Mass for the repose of the late priest.

The funeral Mass was celebrated using the Ordinary Form.

Now I cannot find the words as to why the bishop and his priests are rabidly against the EF. I'll stop typing lest I begin sinning. Pray for the eternal repose of the priest. Pray that the bishop and his priests. Pray for the return of the sense of the sacred in the liturgy.

P.S.: This happened in the Philippines just recently among Filipinos (bishops and priests).

Sunday, May 24, 2009

It's all about the money

Everybody knew it all along. It's all about the money. They don't care about the population. Contraceptives are all about the money.

Church hits ‘foreign funding’ for birth control bill

MANILA, May 23, 2009—The Roman Catholic Church hierarchy is taking offense at the foreign intervention for a more aggressive population control program in the country.
Archbishop Paciano Aniceto, Commission on Family and Life head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), tagged the “resurgence” of international funding agencies as “unethical”.

He cited the following: the US-AID, the European Commission, Australia’s Agency for International Development and even Agencia Espańola de Cooperacion Internacional of Spain.
The funding goes to the maternal health and population management program, a multilateral-funded program in several decades after the government’s suspension of more active population control programs due the pressure of the Catholic Church.

According to the archbishop, these agencies are also key players in pressuring lawmakers to pass a controversial “reproductive health” bill while linking increased aid to its passage.
“Unmindful of the already sharply decreasing rate of population growth in the Philippines after 39 years of unrelenting and well funded population control programs, still these international birth control groups foist upon our country their agenda for population reduction to a level that courts national peril,” he said.

Aniceto said billions of pesos have been committed and earmarked for release in the coming months, whereby funds will continue to be channeled to local government units and NGOs.
At a UN meeting on population decline, the Philippines was listed among 74 countries as "intermediate-level fertility." The meeting noted that if current trends persisted, those countries were expected to reach below replacement fertility levels.

The prelate said developments will threaten economic security in such countries with the first impact being felt in health and welfare systems.

He lamented that hefty funding which should be spent for authentic maternal, infant and child care, basic hygienic systems and measures are instead poured into contraceptives and birth control devices.

“Is this good for economic development?” asked Aniceto.
Foreign funding agencies claimed they are concerned with the fast growth rate of the Philippine population.

With this scenario, funding agencies believe it will be difficult for the government to address poverty and achieve sustainable economic growth unless an effective population management program is implemented.

The head of the delegation of the European Commission in the Philippines, Ambassador Alistair MacDonald, reportedly has intervened in a contentions legislative debate, pushing Filipino lawmakers to pass the RH bill.

Speaking at a forum sponsored by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to promote the Reproductive Health Care Act of 2008 in Manila recently, MacDonald chided the legislators for failing to pass the bill.

He called the “provision of effective and accessible” reproductive health services “a responsibility of the State towards the people of the Philippines.”
Australia-AID and Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional, the global aid agency of Spain's socialist government also called for passage of the bill at the UNFPA forum. (Roy Lagarde)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Curse of Abortion

A beautiful entry from a new Catholic blog I am following: http://www.historicalchristian.com/


Saddest Irony: Family of Abortion Provider Dies in Plane Crash Next to "Tomb of the Unborn" (link)

You've all heard about the small plane that crashed in a cemetery in Montana that killed seven children and seven adults. What the news reports don't tell you: most of the children and adults on board were family members of the owner of the nation's largest private abortion provider, Family Planning Associates of California.

They also don't tell you that the cemetery is the Catholic Holy Cross Cemetery, which contains a "Tomb of the Unborn" - a memorial to unborn babies killed by abortion, where local residents pray the rosary for the unborn and to end abortion.

They also don't tell you that the home of the owner, Irving Moore "Bud" Feldkamp III, has been the site of many abortion protests, where the main message to him has been "think of your children" - and he has now lost nine children, including two daughters, two sons-in-law, and five grandchildren.

Oh, saddest irony of ironies. I don't wish this on him. But I pray that somehow the grace of God will get through to him - that the loss of his own children will open his eyes to the loss of all the children that he has profited from, and break and change his heart.

The whole story is here. Read it, and pray for the soul of this man, his wife, their children, and the souls of all children killed by abortion.

----------------------

UPDATE: I just learned something else: my husband used to go to Butte, the site of the crash, on business. He is familiar with the little town and the cemetery where the crash occurred. He just told me that it is a very devout Irish Catholic community - and also the site of Our Lady of the Rockies, a giant statue of Mary, at 90 feet the largest Madonna statue in the US and the second largest statue of any kind, on top of a mountain overlooking the town.

It was built by volunteers, to honor women, above all mothers. What can I say. The irony, and the tragedy, only deepens. I pray that Mary was there to gather them all up - especially the children. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.


I could not agree more with Aimee. We do not wish any ill to fall upon abortionists but must they wait for something tragic to happen to them to realize their grave mistakes?

Photos from the Pahiyas Festival


This beautiful house is one of the frequented ones during the Pahiyas Festival. The house is covered with straw hats, rice grains, even young rice seedling (found in the roof gutters), and an assortment of veggies.

GAME TIME!!!!


FIND THE STATUE OF ST. ISIDORE THE FARMER.

Guess what this is?



Nope its not a children's mass, nor is it Lego or Barney having a mall tour.

Its a Good Friday Liturgy celebrated with altar girls and a hideous attempt to be like Picasso mural behind the sanctuary. This atrocity happened in a church in...Vienna. Guess who the archbishop in that city is. His Eminence, Christoph Cardinal Schönborn

Guess the Liturgical Color Game


Ok contestants... Can you name this vestment in... one note?

DING.... uhhmm......UGH?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Images from the Pahiyas Festival: WIN A MILLION DOLLARS!!!

As promised, I am publishing some photos I took from my visit to the Lucban Pahiyas Festival last May 15, 2009. This is interior of the centuries old church in Lucban, dedicated under the patronage of San Luis Obispo.

Here's the historical marker of the church



Here is the 10 ft statue of San Luis Obispo.



This is the main sanctuary. The new retablo features the images of the Immaculate Conception (left), Resurrected Christ (center), and St. Joseph (right). You can see a huge crucifix on the rightmost part of the frame of the photo. The altar is made of... glass (ugh!)



Here are photos of the two side altars. The left side altar has the image of the Resurrected Christ (again) because we are still in the Easter season. They also have a statue of St. Peter carrying the keys and a triple-armed papal staff. That screen behind St. Peter is for the LCD projector. I don't know the title of the Madonna and Child.


The right side altar has a shrine for our Lady, St. Paul with his sword and St. Isidore the Farmer, whose image rests on a beautifully decorated shrine.


Now here's the MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION.... (drum roll please!)

WHERE'S THE TABERNACLE?!?!?

What the?!?!

This statement below comes from the Editor-in-chief of the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, Gian Maria Vian and her explanation today to Paulo Rodari, a Vatican analyst for the daily “Il Riformista”.

Vian said, “Let me be clear, L’Osservatore stands where the American bishops are: we consider abortion a disaster. We must promote, always and at every level a ‘culture of life’.”

“What I want to stress is that yesterday, on this precise and very delicate issue, the President said that the approval of the new law on abortion is not a priority of his administration. The fact that he said that is very reassuring to me. It also underlines my own clear belief: Obama is not a pro-abortion president,” he told Rodari. (WHAT THE %^$#@!^@&!)


I think I have an idea why he said that... she is a history and sociology classmate of.... DAN BROWN!!! TADAAANNN!!!

Bloggers: A marching order from the Pope


God bless the Holy Father!

Pope Calls for Internet Evangelists

Vatican City, May 20, 2009 (CNA).- Pope Benedict XVI is calling upon young people to evangelize using the Internet as the Church prepares to celebrate the World Day for Social Communications.

At the end of his Wednesday general audience, the Holy Father launched an appeal asking that cyberspace be a place that promotes a "culture of respect, dialogue and authentic friendship where the values of truth, harmony and understanding can flourish."

Speaking English, the Holy Father recalled how in his message for this year's celebrations, "I am inviting all those who make use of the new technologies of communication, especially the young, to utilize them in a positive way and to realize the great potential of these means to build up bonds of friendship and solidarity that can contribute to a better world.

"Young people in particular, I appeal to you: bear witness to your faith through the digital world!" the Pope urged.

"Employ these new technologies to make the Gospel known, so that the Good News of God’s infinite love for all people, will resound in new ways across our increasingly technological world!"

The World Day for Social Communications will be held on Sunday, May 24 this year.



Now this is worth the while to have a blog....

Thursday, May 21, 2009

How AIDS is spread in Africa

I can't help but find something to counter the claims of the Mrs Bruni-Sarkozy, wife the French president, about being a lapsed Catholic because the Pope is not too attuned with the changing times. I dug up this article about AIDS in Africa. Read below and discover how a group advocating condom use suggests the best solution to combat AIDS.

African wife-beaters urged to practice "safe-sox"


The Association of Compassionate Christian Caregivers today severely criticized traditional Catholic teaching on marital "love" and called upon the churches to encourage wife-beating Africans to take the "prudent, practical steps" to reduce the risk of HIV infection when assailing their spouses.

"The science is not in doubt" says Fizzy Osbourne, spokesman for the International Planned Widowhood Federation, "all the evidence shows that bare fists used to pummel infected spouses cause skin ruptures that increase the rate of transmission to the uninfected partner."

AIDS experts advise uninfected wife-beaters to don leather bag-mitts—ideally on top of and in addition to standard latex gloves—before striking their HIV-positive wives. Knuckle abrasion and random laceration can be reduced by as much as 94%, which significantly decreases exposure of the aggressor to contaminated blood.

Pre-nuptial workshops in many parts of Africa also instruct future husbands in low-risk striking techniques (Safe-Socks). Most external bleeding ensues from straight punches delivered to the angular parts of the face, especially the eyebrows, teeth, and nasal cartilage. Hooks, uppercuts, and body-punches, on the other hand, rarely break the skin and therefore seldom cause bleeding of the kind that can spatter onto the "active" partner and put him at risk of infection.

Scientists and other specialists in AIDS transmission are dismayed that Vatican ultra-conservatives continue to ignore their findings and insist that all persons—even unlettered Angolans and even when HIV-negative—refrain in all circumstances from acts of physical violence against their spouses.

"Preaching charity will NOT solve the problem!" says Osbourne. "We need to work with the reality of where these people are. These are Africans, for God’s sake, not persons capable of understanding and following a moral norm. It is irresponsible of the Pope to teach otherwise."

The ACCC was joined by Zero Population Growth and Prof Josef Fritzl in accusing the Catholic Church of "increasing death" by its insistence on charity. "It’s about the children," sniffed Fritzl. "I believe all children deserve a father. Yet how many thousands of fathers have died and left orphans behind them—simply because they were frightened by the Church into leaving off their gloves when thumping the old woman?


http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/otr.cfm?id=4955


Spot the not!




Can you spot what's wrong in this photo?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A lapsed Catholic first lady accuses the Pope why she...lapsed

There is an article in the Telegraph about Carla Bruni, the first lady of France, and the third wife of French president Nicolas Sarkozy. She claims that because of the Pope's stand against AIDS in Africa (remember that off-tangent quote by the anti-Catholic Western media against the Pope?), she has allowed her faith to lapse.

Mrs Bruni-Sarkozy said: "I was born Catholic, I was baptised, but in my life I feel profoundly secular.

"I find that the controversy coming from the Pope's message – albeit distorted by the media – is very damaging.

"In Africa it's often Church people who look after sick people. It's astonishing to see the difference between the theory and the reality.

"I think the Church should evolve on this issue. It presents the condom as a contraceptive which, incidentally, it forbids, although it is the only existing protection," she told Femme Actuelle, the women's magazine.


She once said that she is easily "bored with monogamy", and that "love lasts a long time, but burning desire — two to three weeks." and "I'm monogamous from time to time, but I prefer polygamy and polyandry." (Time Magazine, vol. 170, n. 26/27, 31 December 2007 – 7 January 2008)

Now, would you consider this a statement from a lapse Catholic or from someone who champions condom use because they are simply too promiscuous? And she's blaming the pope's recent statements for her lapse?! Excuses...

You can read her diatribe against the Holy Father by clicking this link:

I would LOOOVE to hear from you!

I was looking at the number of people reading my blog and I'm happy to find out that there are quite a number of people from around the world visiting my blog. I would definitely would love to hear what you have to say about my blog, my posts and anything you would like to share or for me to post. Just click on the comment field below each post and I promise strict confidentiality if you want to remain anonymous. Thank you very much and God bless you always! Pax vobiscum!

Divide and conquer: The Masons are at work

MANILA, Philippines—Archbishop Oscar Cruz (this bishop is soooo highly opinionated. It's rare not to see him in the news, everyday!) has issued instructions to shun Gawad Kalinga (GK), a civic group whose initiatives to build shelter for the poor have come under fire for receiving donations from advocates of population control—a policy opposed by the Catholic Church. (Divide and conquer!)

The directive from the outspoken Lingayen-Dagupan prelate—the strongest on the issue from a ranking official of the Church hierarchy—was issued to parishes and chaplaincies in Pangasinan.

It came after the Couples for Christ International Council (CFC-IC) cut its ties with the GK recently.

Cruz said in his circular, which appeared on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) website, that the CFC-IC action would allow the GK to function as a nonreligious organization.

“In this particular regard, it would be right and prudent for you and me to have nothing to do with the Gawad Kalinga—directly or indirectly—in the event that such goes to your respective parishes or chaplaincies,” Cruz said.

“[This] in no way means that the said civic entity is altogether bad or something the like. Yet, pastoral prudence dictates the above advisory,” he said. (Will he or other bishops in the Philippines issue an advisory regarding: liturgical abuse... liturgical dancers? Eucharistic abuse...communion in the hand?)

Gawad Kalinga is an advocacy group engaged in building decent housing for the impoverished, a program hailed here and abroad. (It's the Catholic equivalent of Habitat for Humanity. The Knights of Columbus do similar projects but it does not get media attention though. But you can see it here in the official KofC website www.kofc.org) Until recently, it was a part of the activities of the CFC.

Persons involved with CFC and the GK have had serious disagreements, including the housing advocacy being open to donations from groups promoting population management that the Catholic hierarchy opposes. (Driving a wedge among Catholics, the same tactics the Obama Administration is doing in the US. But as I have heard from some CFC members, politicians and business leaders who are Freemasons are leading the charge against the Catholic identity of GK.)

Antonio Meloto, GK executive director, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that there was no severing of ties with the CFC-IC. There may be an independence of governance, but there remains an “interdependence of members” of the two groups, he said. (Hmm. PR spin.)

Meloto indicated that the Catholic hierarchy should continue to be part of his group’s activities.

“Gawad Kalinga is the pearl of the Catholic church. It is an expression of what has been preached,” he said in a telephone interview.

Meloto said CFC members continued to serve on the GK board despite what he described as a realignment in leadership.

Cruz told the Inquirer that he issued the circular to make it clear that the Catholic Church no longer had any connection with the GK following its disassociation from the CFC.

The prelate said the CFC had the “pontifical imprimatur of Rome.” With no more connection to the CFC, Cruz said the GK also ceased to be a Church-based organization.

“It is already a civic group,” he said, comparing GK to the Rotary and Lions clubs.

“It’s good if Gawad Kalinga does well. But if it does something bad, the Church might get involved.”

But Cruz clarified: “Individually, any one without reference to faith, without reference to creed, everyone [is] free to join Gawad Kalinga.”

In his text statement, Meloto said: “There is greater solidarity between CFC and Gawad Kalinga in our work of bringing Filipinos out of poverty."

“This is the mission of every Catholic and every Filipino, and we will work with the government, the business community, the academe, civic organizations, Catholic groups like Bukas-loob sa Diyos, Focolare, Knights of Columbus, Cursillo, Magis Deo, Ligaya ng Panginoon, Bo Sanchez’s Light of Jesus, and Catholic schools and parishes here and abroad. (But these groups are still identified with the Church. Not like GK.)

“There is a change in the board of Gawad Kalinga, but all of the members are CFC, except Ateneo president Fr. Ben Nebres. I am a devout Catholic and an active leader of the CFC.”

Earlier in Batangas, Lipa Archishop [sic] Ramon Arguelles expressed regret over the severed CFC-IC and GK ties.

Arguelles, the CBCP news website said, insisted that GK projects in his archdiocese continued to be administered by the CFC as a “prime result of CFC’s pledge to renew families worldwide.”

“I am convinced that the GK should continue and become a more effective social arm of the CFC firmly rooted in and reflective of the Catholic faith and practices without prejudice, though, to the CFC-GK’s commendable work of sharing God’s blessings with non-Catholics and non-Christians,” he said.

Arguelles said GK activities outside CFC direction were neither allowed nor recognized by the Lipa Archdiocese.

“Evidently, the GKs in Batangas are prohibited to have anything to do with institutions whose policies contradict the Church’s teachings,” he said.

CBCP news said Arguelles was referring to institutions like the Habitat for Humanity, Pfizer, the Population Commission and others. The groups are known to promote population management that the Catholic leadership opposes.

The CFC-IC, a lay organization, early this month announced the breakaway to allow GK to expand its work as a nonreligious organization.

“While CFC is pursuing the fullness of the mission, GK is focused on nation-building and poverty alleviation, which necessitate that it mainstreams and partners with all sectors of society. It is even poised to enter non-Christian countries (such as India, Indonesia and the Middle East) as a nonreligious organization,” CFC executive director Joe Tale said on the CBCP website.

“[As such], there has been honest divergence of opinions [from] these fundamental differences. We have tried to resolve these … However, despite our common best efforts and intentions, unity continues to be elusive under the present structure,” he added.

Tale said the CFC would continue with its pro-poor ministry even with the decision.


- Yeah. And whoever made the decision just want the Catholic character of GK out of the picture. Can you imagine the Missionaries of Charity of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta doing its charity work and then losing its Catholic identity? Well, I know some congregations (mainly of missionary priests) in Latin America who still call themselves Catholic yet prefers do work on liberation theology and social action instead of offering the sacraments. One priest I talked with said, "You cannot feed the hungry with just the Bible and the Mass." Geez!

Bishop says CBCP position against Reproductive Health Bill remains

MANILA, May 17, 2009—The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ (CBCP) position on the controversial reproductive health bill pending at the House of Representatives will remain unchanged.

Sorsogon Bishop Arturo M. Bastes, SVD, in an interview with Catholic-run Veritas 846, said “the CBCP will not change its position on the RH bill because its provisions are anti-family and anti-life.”

He added had he been in Manila, he would join other people in protest.

“No priest is in favor as our lay leaders of family and life apostolate are totally against the bill because it goes against the teachings of the church,” he added.

He explained the bill is against the teachings of the Catholic church “especially protecting life in abortion” and people have been told of the involved issues.

He called on Veritas 846 listeners to unite in opposing the bill because its approval would bring more misery to the population.

“Isa itong panganib sa lahat,” (This is a danger to all.) he added. He went on to say the bill is ably supported by 1st world countries that go contrary to the interests of the people from 3rd world countries like the Philippines.

“Should the measure be approved, the Philippines will be like Japan and some European countries in a matter of decades, wala ng mga tao,” the 65-year old prelate said.

He added he will call on his flock not to vote for lawmakers who will support the reproductive health bill. “That’s the least we can do,” he further said.

In a related development, Couples for Christ’s-Foundation for Family and Life’s Pro-Life Program Director Xavier Padilla said they will join the Knights of Columbus (yeah, our brotherhood is unwavering in this stand for life!) in forming a mass-based coalition against the controversial reproductive health bill.

In a separate interview over Veritas 846, Padilla said they are into education, informing their members of the need to make representations with their district congressmen.

“Kailangan po nating magsalita at kailangan tayong marinig sa ating pananaw sa RH bill,” Padilla said. (We need to speak up and we need our voices to be heard regarding our views on the RH bill)

Padilla said they will campaign against lawmakers who will support the Reproductive Health Bill in the 2010 elections. (Melo Acuña)


- At least the bishops of the Philippines, even though they are not that active in promoting liturgical discipline, are still conservative in the defense of life.

I recall one time when I was watching the evening news when a congressman got irate after receiving a note from a lawyer watching from the gallery. Allegedly, the note given to the congressman insinuated that he declare a non-quorum on that session day so that any opposition to the Reproductive Healthcare Bill will be stopped even for a day. The congressman had the lawyer expelled from the session hall. Interestingly, the lawyer (a young woman) is representing a multinational pharmaceutical company in the Philippines selling... intravenous contraceptives.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Alec Baldwin's 'mail-order bride' joke draws flak

“Truly insensitive and uncalled for.”

This was the statement issued by actor-turned-politician Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla on the statement of Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin about getting a mail-order bride in the Philippines.

“Alec Baldwin's recent statement that he is thinking about getting a mail-order bride from the Philippines is truly insensitive and uncalled for. For him, it is funny but to the millions of Filipinos, it is mockery. Bad joke, not worth laughing,” Revilla said in a press statement Sunday.

The “30 Rock” actor was recently interviewed on "The Late Show with David Letterman."

Baldwin was asked by Lettermen if he ever considered having a big family for himself.

“I love to have more kids. I think about getting a Filipina mail-order bride or a Russian one. I'm 51," Baldwin remarked.

Revilla reminded Baldwin that as a celebrity, he should be “more prudent in issuing statements.”

“Kung pagbabatayan natin ang pagiging arogante ni Alec Baldwin, kahit sino pa ang magiging bride nito, malamang na mamalasin. Subukan niyang pumunta dito sa Pilipinas nang maghalo ang balat sa tinalupan,” the senator said.

Revilla warned the actor that the country has a law against “mail-order bride schemes.”

"Apparently, he is not aware that here in the Philippines we don't tolerate mail order bride schemes that is why we enacted the Republic Ac 6955 or the Anti- Mail Order Bride Law," Revilla said.

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/pinoy-migration/05/18/09/alec-baldwins-mail-order-bride-joke-draws-flak


If you want to be funny, don't do it at the expense of another person, race or culture's expense. I think in American TV, this one is protected by freedom of expression. But to say something against blacks, gays, abortion, Obama...you are tagged a racist and bigot. But if it is against any of those, like crack a joke at expense of pro-lifers, Catholics, Asians especially Filipinos...it's just that, a joke.

There have been a couple of racist remarks aimed at Filipinos that hugged the headlines lately. Click the links below:

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/pinoy-migration/04/01/09/dfa-says-hk-writer-has-apologized-tv

https://abs-cbnnews.com/pinoy-migration/10/15/08/bbc-apologizes-anti-pinay-comedy-sketch

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Read and Compare: Rite of Blessing of Salt and Water

Below are the prayers for the blessing of water (which obviously will become Holy Water after it has been blessed by the priest. Compare and contrast.


1962 Rituale Romanum

Sign of the Cross
V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R. Who has made heaven and earth.

(Then the priest continues:)

Salt made by God, I purge you of evil,
by the living God, by the true God, by the holy God,
by God who ordered by the mouth of the prophet Eliseus
that you be mixed with water to heal the latter's sterility.
Become now the salt of exorcism for the salvation of the faithful,
that all tasting you may receive health of soul and body.
From wherever you are sprinkled
let there flee away all appearance of devilish deceit,
and wickedness and cunning.
Let every unclean spirit be commanded by Him
who is to come to judge the living and the dead
and the world by fire.

R. Amen.

Almighty and everlasting God,
we humbly beg of Your measureless mercy to bless this salt
that You have made and given mankind to use.
Sanctify it in Your loving kindness,
so that all who partake of it may receive health of both mind and body.
Grant that whatever is touched or sprinkled by it
may be preserved from uncleanness,
and from every assault of the wicked foe,
through our Lord Jesus Christ.

R. Amen.

(Exorcism of the water. The priest says:)

Water made by God, I purge you, too, of evil,
in the name of God the Father almighty,
in the name of Jesus Christ His Son our Lord,
and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Become now water blessed to banish all power of the enemy,
and to conquer and dispel that enemy himself with his fallen angels,
by the power of the same Lord Jesus Christ,
who shall come to judge the living and the dead
and the world by fire.

R. Amen.

Let us pray.

O God, for the salvation of mankind
You have built Your greatest sacraments on this substance of water.
Give a kindly hearing to our prayers,
and pour out the power of Your blessing on this element,
now prepared for our many kinds of purifications.
Grant that this, Your creature,
may receive power by divine grace,
in serving Your mysteries,
to drive away evil spirits, and dispel diseases.
Grant that everything in the homes or other buildings of the faithful
that is sprinkled with this water
may be freed of all uncleanness,
and be freed from harm.
Let no harmful spirit abide here,
nor breath of corruption approach,
and may all the snares of our hidden enemy vanish.
If there be anything which threatens
either the health or the peace of those living there,
may the sprinkling of this water put it to flight.
Grant that the well-being sought by calling on Your holy name
may be defended from all attacks,
through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.


V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with your spirit.

Let us pray.

O God, You are the origin of unshakable power,
the King of an unconquerable dynasty,
and a ruler ever magnificent in triumphs.
It is You that hold in check the forces of the hostile power,
You that vanquish the rage of the roaring foe,
You that scatter far and wide the snares of the enemy.
Trembling and bowing before You,
we ask of You and we beg, O Lord,
that You behold with favor this mixture of salt and water,
to regard it with kindness,
and to bless it with the breath of Your tireless love.
Grant that wherever it is sprinkled at the invocation of Your holy name,
the attacks of the unclean spirit may be banished,
and the fear of the fatal serpent be kept far away.
Let the presence of the Holy Spirit within us,
who humbly implore Your mercy,
be everywhere granted,
through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and is King and God with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit for ever and ever.

R.Amen.



This is from the New Rite of Blessing of Water (Collectio Rituum)

Sign of the Cross

Priest: May God who has given us a new birth in Christ by water and the Holy Spirit be with you all.
R: And also with you

The priest continues...

P: By this blessing of water, we recall the sacrament of baptism in which by water and the Holy Spirit we were reborn. Everytime we are sprinkled with this water or we use it in making the sign of the cross upon entering the church and in our prayer at home, we give thanks to God for his gifts beyond human telling and we implore his help so that we may live up to the sacrament which we have received by faith.

Reading from the Gospel according to John (7:37-39)

Prayer of Blessing
P: Let us pray. Lord, holy Father, look upon us who were redeemed though your Son and were reborn at the baptismal font and grant that those who would be sprinkled by this water may be renewed in body and mind and may offer you pure service through Christ our Lord together with the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.

If salt is added, the priest blesses the salt using the following prayer:
P: Almight God, we ask you to bless + this salt as once you blessed the salt scattered over the water by the prophet Elisha. Wherever this salt and water are sprinkled, drive away the power of evil and protect us always by the presence of your Holy Spirit. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

(He adds the salt to the water and sprinkles the water to the people as he says:
P: Let this water call to mind our baptism into Christ, who by his death and resurrectionhas redeemed us. Amen.




If you are going to Notre Dame to sprinkle holy water on the ND officials who invited Obama, which prayers would you prefer the priest would use to bless the water and salt so these can be used to exorcize these officials and even Obama himself? Was there something wrong with the old rite that it needs to be revised? Or is this the Obama-type of change? Change for the sake of changing because old or traditional = Evil, Bad?

I am no theologian but I know my catechism. And I know the difference between the white and black. The old rite calls for God's blessing upon the water and salt as a potent weapon against the Enemy while the new rite asks God's blessing that we may be renewed in body and mind.

Huh?

Fortunately for us all, Summorum Pontificum, the wonderful motu propio gift of our Holy Father, Benedict XVI (ad multos annos!) allowed priests to use the old liturgical books (including the old rite of blessing of water and salt) and the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, which was called the Latin Tridentine Mass or the Mass of the Ages. Show the old rite to your priest and ask him to bless your water and salt using this prayer.

Obama Political Operators Trying To Divide Catholics, Analyst Claims

Denver, Colo., May 15, 2009 (CNA).- Saying that Notre Dame is acting as if it is not a member of the local Church in its response to the controversy, Catholic commentator George Weigel has charged that "political operators" in the Obama administration are trying to divide Catholics from their bishops by co-opting Catholic intellectuals and their institutions. (They are succeeding by the looks of it. Unfortunately, there are those who claim to be Catholics who are also on the side of those working to divide Catholics like Kmiec, Richard McBrien, who unfortunately is still a priest and a theologian at... wait! Notre Dame?!?!)

In his May 13 column in the Denver Catholic Register, Weigel noted Boston College theology professor Fr. Kenneth Himes’ charge that there is a "political game" going on in the dispute over the University of Notre Dame’s commencement invitation to President Barack Obama.

Fr. Hines had commented in a Boston Globe story about former Ambassador to the Vatican Mary Ann Glendon’s decision to decline Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal.

He granted that some "well-meaning people" think Notre Dame has given away its Catholic identity. However, he also warned of a "political game" which results in demonizing those who disagree with you, questioning their integrity and character, and branding them as "moral poison." (See the trend?)

"Some people have simply reduced Catholicism to the abortion issue, and consequently, they have simply launched a crusade to bar anything from Catholic institutions that smacks of any sort of open conversation," he said in the Boston Globe.

Responding to Fr. Himes, Weigel said if Fr. Hines was referring to the leading critics of President Obama’s Notre Dame honors, the priest was "perilously close" to committing calumny.

"Yes, there are self-serving nuts in the forest, some of whom have seized the Obama/Notre Dame issue for their own purposes," Weigel said. "But why does Father Himes waste time bashing fringe crazies? Why not engage the arguments of the serious critics?"

Weigel cited as one such critic Notre Dame graduate Prof. Russell Hittinger, a professor of Catholic Studies at the University of Tulsa.

Hittinger has said that Notre Dame has adopted a "purely American low-church" position of institutional autonomy by acting as if its local bishop is not worthy of attention.

The Obama controversy, Hittinger said, has nothing to do with academic freedom or ecclesiastical supervision but is "ecclesiological all the way down." (and of natural moral law!)

"What Church is Notre Dame ‘in,’ if any?" Hittinger asked. "Notre Dame is speaking and acting as though it were not a member of the local Church, let alone Rome."

Weigel said this comment was "exactly right," alleging that the actual "political game" is being played by "very smart political operators" in the Obama administration.

He charged that these operators, noting the presidential election results, have sensed the possibility of "driving a wedge through the Catholic community in America, dividing Catholics from their bishops and thus securing the majority Catholic vote."

Weigel said they are targeting Catholic intellectuals and their institutions and journals, which he described as "the soft underbelly" of Catholic resistance to the Obama administration’s "radical agenda."

"It’s a clever move on the political chessboard, and barring extraordinary actions from the bishops, it will likely meet with considerable success," Weigel continued.

He closed by again reiterating the question: "Just what Church are Notre Dame and its supporters ‘in,’ anyway?" (The Church of Obama?)

Catholic Leaders Want Anti-Catholic Obama Advisor Removed

Washington D.C., May 15, 2009 (CNA).- A group of twenty Catholic and conservative leaders have written a letter to President Barack Obama protesting the appointment to his faith-based advisory council of a man they say is "a virulent anti-Catholic bigot." The letter lamented the president’s "failure to act" and called on him to remove the appointee.

The letter concerned Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships appointee Harry Knox (pictured at left), who had described the Knights of Columbus as an "army of oppression" for supporting California’s Proposition 8. (Well, in America you are a bigot if you are against: blacks, Jews, gay marriage, but to be anti-Catholic, anything that the Church stands for... you are protected by "Freedom of Expression")

Signatories to the letter included L. Brent Bozell III of the Media Research Center, American Life League President Judie Brown, Catholic League President Bill Donohue, Notre Dame Law Professor Emeritus Charles Rice, and conservative leader Phyllis Schlafly. (God bless them for standing up to the truth.)

Noting President Obama’s claim that the Council would "bring everyone together – from both the secular and faith-based communities," the group’s letter voiced concerns about Knox.

The letter said Knox, a former licensed Methodist minister who is a leader with the homosexual activist group Human Rights Campaign (HRC), is "the hate-filled antithesis of this noble objective."

In the past, Knox had attacked Pope Benedict and some Catholic bishops as "discredited leaders" because of their opposition to same-sex "marriage."

Though saying the Knights of Columbus had done good works, he nevertheless characterized its members as "foot soldiers of a discredited army of oppression" (huh? I fight against the murder of the innocent and the defenseless and he calls me part of an army of oppression? Who's oppressing who? You encourage mothers to kill their own child inside their wombs and you call yourself a champion of human rights?!? Yeah... right...) because of the Catholic charitable fraternity’s support for the successful California ballot measure Proposition 8.

Proposition 8 restored the definition of marriage to being between a man and a woman.

In their letter to President Obama, the group said they assumed President Obama and his Administration were previously unaware of Knox’s "deplorable, abusive attitude towards the Church and Pope Benedict XVI." Referring to recent press reports exposing what they said was Knox’s "loathsome and clearly bigoted rhetoric," the signatories said there was now no excuse for inaction.

"As Catholics, we call on you to remove Mr. Knox from his position and to formally disassociate yourself from his militant anti-Catholicism. Failure to do so will result in the tainting of your Faith-Based Council—and indeed, your entire administration—as anti-Catholic," the group said. (Well let's see what Clark Ke... uhrm, Mr. Obama does. Can't wait for the spin that White House spokesman, Mr. Gibbs, (no not the Pirates of the Carribean Gibbs) will say. He makes me laugh out laud for every response he made regarding the ND scandal.)
Brothers and sister, if we are not against the new persecution of the Church, the time when Christians were fed to the lions for not being "in with the times" like the worship of Caesar (today we call this Obama-mania), the murder of the innocents...then I don't know how to call it.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Valedictorian of Notre Dame Class of 2009

Is really this woman the valedictorian of her class? Listen to what she has to say about the visit of Obama and the conferment of the honorary doctorate.





If she's valedictorian, I'll be twice a valedictorian by being more Catholic than she is. She does not even know the real definition of a Catholic. Catholic Identity crisis as Fr. Z says. She'll be working in Africa?!?! Maybe she'll have something to say about condoms.

Thank the Lord of Life that Bishop Samuel Aquila said what has to be said and I quote:

“Certainly NARAL or Planned Parenthood would never invite Benedict XVI, much less extend an award to him.” - Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo, ND

Sad story... is it because of the Freemasons?

Sad story....


CFC-GK split dismays prelate (from cbcpnews.com)

LIPA, Batangas, May 14, 2009—The decision of the Couples for Christ International Council (CFC-IC) to relinquish control over the Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation Inc. (GK) will open the pro-poor housing advocacy group to tie-up opportunities with institutions whose policies contradict the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Thus says Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles as he aired regret over the recent breakup between the leadership ranks of CFC-IC and GK, purportedly aimed to allow the housing advocacy group to operate as a non-religious organization distinct from CFC.

Saying the turn of events is “deeply regrettable,” Arguelles firmly insisted that all GK projects, at least in his archdiocese, must still be administered by the CFC, adding that CFC should maintain its control and participation in GK’s “noble task of forming communities of people for the total renewal of families.”

“I had obstinately held that GK should persist in showing itself as a prime result of CFC’s pledge to renew families worldwide. I am convinced that GK should continue and become more effective social arm of the CFC firmly rooted in and reflective of the Catholic faith and practices without prejudice, though, to CFC-GK’s commendable work of sharing God’s blessings with non-Catholics and non-Christians,” said Arguelles.

As such, Arguelles directed Ped Suministrado, the provincial director of the CFC here, to echo his encouragement to the CFC and GK communities within Batangas.

“As archbishop of Lipa, I invoke the CFCs to vow to obey the Church authorities. I give the order that all GKs in the Archdiocese of Lipa that is in the whole province of Batangas must be administered by the CFC and continue as a CFC ministry to reach out to our poorer brothers and sisters.

“Let it be totally clear that GKs outside the CFC direction is not allowed nor recognized by the Lipa Archdiocese. Evidently, GKs in Batangas are prohibited to have anything to do with institutions whose policies contradict the Church’s teachings,” the prelate said, referring to institutions like Habitat for Humanity, Pfizer, and the Population Commission, among others. (Kris Bayos)


Gawad Kalinga shelters a lot of homeless people much like what Habitat for Humanity is doing but Gawad Kalinga is the social action arm of the Catholic charismatic group Couples for Christ (CFC). CFC was founded in the Philippines and has spread all over the world. Too sad to hear that they are splitting up. Last I heard from some GK and CFC members that there are some powerful government and business leaders trying to impose that GK be not "too much Catholic", liek having Catholic chapels within each village. If this were true, I won't be surprised since some of those business leaders mentioned to me are well-known Masons of the Philippines!!! Isn't this the same group who barks religious liberty and freedom? Now they have penetrated a Catholic group driving a wedge between them just like how Obama drove one through the Notre Shame honorary doctorate and the Georgetown speech.

Beware of the Freemasons!

Lots of posts coming

Just came back from a 2 day trip to Lucban, Quezon for the Pahiyas Festival in honor of St. Isidore the Farmer, aka San Isidro Labrador. Lots of great photos too. Will be posting them soon.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Just wondering...

Dan Brown wrote a novel involving Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church, I am just wondering... when will he write one that involves... Muhammad..., Buddha..., Moses... or... Barack Obama. Just wondering. Anyway, as Brown asserts, his works are all accurate and well-researched and "99 percent true". Hmm... What do you think?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Why watching ‘Angels and Demons’ is not as "harmless" as Vatican newspaper says

I read that L’Osservatore Romano published an editorial calling the movie based on the book by Harvard symbologist and pseudo-historian Dan Brown, Angels and Demons, “harmless”. Now let us put things in the proper perspective by quoting two articles from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The numbers constitute the entry number in the Catechism.

1868 Sin is a personal act. Moreover, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them:
  • By participating directly and voluntarily in them;
  • By ordering, advising, praising or approving them;
  • By not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so;
  • By protecting evil doers.
1869 Thus sin makes men accomplices of one another and causes concupiscence, violence and injustice to reign among them. Sin gives rise to social situations and institutions that are contrary to the divine goodness. “Structures of sin” are the expression and effect of personal sins. They lead their victims to do evil in their turn. In an analogous sense, they constitute a “social sin”

So, you go watch the movie based on a book by Dan Brown, you get entertained. Maybe had a grand time playing “Catch the factual inaccuracies in Angels and Demons game”, where do you think the money you paid to watch the money would end up? Yes… with…Dan Brown. So you end up being part of Dan Brown’s list of benefactors. You end up financing his future novels against the Catholic Church, against Christ.

This man left his job as a teacher to write books that impugn the Holy Name of Jesus, malign the Catholic Church, makes us look fools as if we do not know our history and geography. Every hard earned penny you spend to buy his books, to watch the movie about them, fuels his passion to make a living out of lies, insults, calumny and just plain dumbness and stupidity.

Don’t waste your time and money to support this whack job. Or better yet, if you are concerned with the eternal salvation of your soul, don’t watch the movie, don’t buy the book. Give the money to the poor and needy.

Let us put it this way. If you knew that Osama bin Laden owns the gasoline station in the neighbourhood, would you have your gas refill there?

But some would say “Its entertainment. I’m not saying that I am supporting Dan Brown. I just came to see the movie to be entertained.” Yeah right. Sounds like the commencement speech and honorary doctorate is not “a political statement or an endorsement of policy.” And that the “University and I are unequivocally committed to the sanctity of human life and to its protection from conception to natural death.” Yeah… right…

Sin of omission…

Uniquely Pinoy: FLORES DE MAYO


Flores de Mayo (Flowers of May) is a Catholic festival held only in the Philippines in May. It is held in honor of the Virgin Mary. Almost all towns of the Philippines celebrate their fiesta in honor of their particular patron saint (even though it is not the liturgical feast of the saint.) This is also called the Sagala, a religious-historical beauty pageant-parade held in many cities, towns and even in small communities. Local beauties and even many movie and television personalities participate in this event. This festival was introduced by the Spaniards in the Philippines and has since become part of Filipino traditions identified with youth, love and romance. This parade remains a religious event.

The procession commemorates the search of the Holy Cross by Queen Helena (Reyna Elena) and her son, the newly converted emperor Constantine the Great. After the Holy Cross was found in Jerusalem and brought back to Rome, there was a joyful celebration for thanksgiving.

This colorful pageant parade is arranged in this order:

1. Methuselah- he is bearded, bent with age, riding a cart looking preoccupied with toasting some grains of sand in a pan over a fire. This is a reminder that all that glitters will end up as dust like that which he is toasting.

2. Reyna Banderada - a young lady dressed in a long red gown carrying a yellow triangular flag. She represents the arrival of Christianity.

3. Aetas - represents the animist Filipinos prior to the islands' conversion to Christianity by the Spanish.

4. Reyna Mora (Queen Moor) - represents the Filipinos who converted to Islam, which arrived in the Philippines two centuries before Christianity.

5. Reyna Fe (Queen Faith) - symbolizes the virtue of faith,the first of the theological virtues. She carries a cross.

6. Reyna Esperanza (Queen Hope) - symbolizes the virtue of hope, the second theological virtue. She carries an anchor.

7. Reyna Caridad (Queen Charity)- symbolizes the virtue of charity, the third theological virtue. She carries a red-coloured heart.

8. Reyna Abogada (Queen Lawyer) - the defender of the poor and the oppressed, she wears a black graduation cap and gown (toga) and carries a large book.

9. Reyna Sentenciada (Queen Convicted) - has her slim hands bound by a rope, she stands for the innocents who have been unjustly convicted. She is accompanied by two Roman soldiers.

10. Reyna Justicia (Queen Justice) - a personification of the "Mirror of Justice", she carries a weighing scale and a sword.

11. Reyna Judith (Queen Judith) - represents the biblical widow Judith of Bethulia who saved her city from the Assyrians by slaying the cruel Holofernes. She carries the head of her victim in one hand and a sword in the other.

12. Reyna Sheba (Queen Sheba) - represents the Queen of Sheba, who visited King Solomon and was overwhelmed by his wisdom, power and riches. She carries a jewelry box.

13. Reyna Esther - the Jewish queen of Persia who spared her people from death at the hands of Haman through her timely intervention with King Xerxes. She carries a scepter.

14. Samaritana (The Female Samaritan) - the woman whom Christ spoke to at the well. She carries a jug on her shoulder.

15. Veronica - the woman who wiped the face of Jesus; bears a veil imprinted with the three faces of Jesus.

16. Tres Marias(The Three Marys)- each Mary holds an attribute associated with her:

a. Mary of Magdala - a bottle of perfume;

b. The Virgin Mary - a handkerchief;

c. Mary, the mother of James - a bottle of oil.

17. Marian - each figure alludes to a title of the Virgin Mary or is associated with her.

a. A-V-E--M-A-R-I-A - eight "angels"- girls all wearing long white dresses and wings- each holding a letter to complete the word "AVE MARIA."

b. Divina Pastora (Divine Shepherdess) - a shepherdess' staff.

c. Reyna de las Estrellas (Queen of the Stars) - a wand with a star.

d. Rosa Mystica(Mystical Rose)- a bouquet of roses.

e. Reyna Paz (Queen of Peace) - the symbol of peace.

f. Reyna de las Propetas (Queen of the Prophets)- an hourglass.

g. Reyna del Cielo (Queen of Heaven)- a flower; has two little "angels" accompanying her.

h. Reyna de las Virgines (Queen of the Virgins) - a rosary; also accompanied by two little "angels".

i. Reyna de las Flores (Queen of the Flowers) - a bouquet of flowers.

18. Reyna Elena (Queen Helena) - the last member of the procession, she represents Saint Helena, legendary finder of the True Cross; this is signified by the small cross she carries in her arms. The role is usually awarded to the most beautiful girl in the procession. For the Santacruzan to be more exciting, the identity of the maiden playing Reyna Elena is kept a secret until the day of the parade.

a. Constantine - the escort of Reyna Elena, he is a young boy wearing the barong tagalog. He represents the Emperor Constantine. See sample photos by clicking here: http://www.geocities.com/santacruzan4life/index2.htm

The procession is then followed by the steady beat of the rondalla, playing and singing the Hail Mary in Spanish ("Dios Te Salve"). Usually the last at the parade is a caroza bearing the image of the Virgin Mary or of the Holy Cross while devotees walking with the procession hold lighted candles in their hands and sing the prayer as they go along.

Recently, a homosexual-transvestite celebrity Rustom Padilla now known as BB Gandanghari joined a Santacruzan of almost homosexual men parading the streets in flowing gown. This caused the bishop of the diocese of Caloocan, Most. Rev. Deogracias Iñiguez and even other bishops of the Philippines to ban this travesty of the religious festival. See this link from a fellow Filipino Catholic blogger http://kiapokspika.blogspot.com/2009/05/bunch-of-nos-for-gay-santacruzan.html

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Saint of the Day: St. Pancratius

Legend tells us he was born at the end of the third century and brought up by an uncle in Rome after the death of his parents. Both he and his uncle became Christians. Pancras was beheaded in 304 during Diocletian's persecution. He was only 14 years old.

St. Pancratius was buried in a cemetery, which was later named after him. He is especially venerated in England because of the Benedictine monk Augustine of Canterbury, who dedicated his first church in England after Pancras. The relics of St. Pancras were presented as a gift the king of Northumberland.

I grew up in a province with a chapel of this boy saint. And I must say, his story left an impression on me on how to be brave and steadfast in the Faith. His image is shown holding a book with the Latin words "Venite Ad Me et Ego dabo vobis omnia bona." which means "Come to me and I will give you all that is good." This text I believe came from Genesis 45:18. The Saint is shown with his right index finger pointing heaven ward suggesting that the promise in the open book he is holding comes from God. He is cloaked in a red cape similar to that of a centurion. He is also holding a palm leaf, indicating that he died a martyr.

These prayers implore St. Pancratius to intercede with God in our behalf. Also known as St. Pancras, he is the patron saint for the children. My grandmother (lola in Pilipino) and auntie (tita in Pilipino) told me that St. Pancratius is especially called upon by those seeking for work or a source of livelihood.


A Prayer To St. Pancratius
(Feast – May 12)



PRAYER TO THE ETERNAL FATHER

I BELIEVE, Heavenly Father, All that Faith teaches,
And in that Faith I wish to live and die.

Through the intercession of St. Pancratius
grant us good health to fulfill our duties.


(Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be)



PRAYER TO GOD THE SON

Our good Jesus, Grant me the virtue of Hope
In your promises, In the same measure
That St. Pancratius always trusted
In your Providence, So that I may,
Through his intercession, Obtain work and success
In all my undertakings.

(Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be)



PRAYER TO THE HOLY SPIRIT

Grant me the virtue of Charity That I may love God
Above all things, And my neighbor
For the love of God, As St. Pancratious did.

Through his intercession, I hope to obtain this grace
And that of being free from adversities
And from ill-intentioned persons.

(Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be)



CONCLUDING PRAYER

O GLORIOUS St. Pancratius, I beg you to obtain for me
All the graces that I need, But especially health and work,
So that I may appear before you To thank God
For the favors I received Through your powerful intercession.

Amen.
(Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be)

Uniquely Pinoy: Pahiyas Festival


In a couple of days, I will be heading to Southern Luzon to attend the beautiful Pahiyas Festival. It is a colorful feast in honor of St Isidore the Farmer, the patron saint of farmers, as a thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest. Houses along selected streets of Lucban are decorated with agricultural produce. One of the very uniquely Lucban decor of the festival is the kiping, a wafer made of rice, ground, mixed with water and coloring and the paste spread on the leaves of an indigenous plant. These are steamed and cooled. The "cookie" is carefully stripped of the leaf and left to cool. These are then woven to decorate their homes.

The streets where the procession of the image of St. Isidore will pass are the ones usually decorated. The municipal government sponsors a contest for the most beautifully decorated houses. Corporate sponsors gang up on the chance to be a sponsor. The organizers do not invite sponsors. The sponsors beg to be part of the festival. I should know. A friend is a member of the organizing committee.

The main procession, judging and awarding is held on May 15, the feast of the saint. For more traditional pinoy fiesta eye candy. To learn more of the Pahiyas Festival go to http://www.pahiyasfestival.com/home/

Monday, May 11, 2009

Archbishop Burke Urges Patriotism in Sacramental Life, Calls Notre Dame's Honor of Obama the Greatest Scandal

WASHINGTON, D.C., MAY 8, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Archbishop Raymond Burke is encouraging Catholics to practice patriotism within the Church, [4th degree Knights practice this virtue] drawing strength from the sacraments to fuel efforts to transform the country.

The prelate, head of the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signature and former archbishop of St. Louis, affirmed this today at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C.

He stated that "the most treasured gift which we as citizens of the United States of America can offer to our country is a faithful Catholic life." [faithful Catholic citizenship is the call to all Catholics]

The archbishop continued: "It is the gift which, even though it has often been misunderstood, has brought great strength to our nation, from the time of its founding. Today more than ever, our nation is in need of Catholics who know their faith deeply and express their faith, with integrity, by their daily living."

He noted that it is God who gives us, in the Church, "the grace to practice patriotism as a fundamental expression of the bond of charity which we have, in him, with our fellow citizens."

Though there has been a lot of political language focusing on "change" recently, Archbishop Burke affirmed, "the change which brings hope can only be the renewal of our nation in the divine love which respects the inviolable dignity of every human life, from the moment of its inception to the moment of natural death, and which creates and gives growth to new human life through the love of man and woman in marriage."[smack! Abp. Burke sums the Obama-change issues (abortion, gay marriage) in one statement.]

"Any hope which is incoherent with the great hope is truly illusory and can never bring forth justice and its fruit, peace, for our nation and world," he added.

The prelate acknowledged, "In the battle for the protection of the right to life and for the safeguarding of the integrity of marriage and the family in our nation, we are easily tempted to give way to discouragement."

He continued: "And it would be right to do so, if the outcome of the battle depended upon us alone. But it does not.

"Christ is with us always in the Church and, in a particular way, in the struggle to restore the respect for the right to life of all of our brothers and sisters, especially those who are helpless and who have the first title to our care, and to safeguard the integrity of marriage and the family."

The archbishop urged his listeners: "If we are serious about our patriotic duty, then we must pray every day for our leaders, especially our president, and our nation." [Obama does need our prayers. Even if I live here in the Far East, Obama is idolized here by some Filipinos because of...hmmm...let me see... oh yes, Change. Change to abomination. God enlighten my countrymen.]

He also encouraged a more fervent practice of "fasting and abstinence for the conversion of our lives and the transformation of our society."

"At every Mass, we should offer special prayers for our nation and her leaders, in order that the culture of death may be overcome and a civilization of love may be steadfastly advanced," Archbishop Burke urged. [I suggest the prayer to St. Michael to Archangel after Mass because Satan is working overtime to tell us to pursue your own happiness no matter if you violate natural and divine law. I even carry the medal of St. Benedict. Get thee behind me, Satan!]
He added: "All Catholics throughout the nation should take part in Eucharistic adoration and in the praying of the rosary for the restoration of the respect for human life and for the safeguarding of the integrity of the family." [Filipino Catholics are devout in keeping vigil in adoration chapels in their churches. I went last Saturday at the Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila (I'll blog about this later.) to pray for my own intentions, the restoration of our Catholic identity and prayed for my zchat friends and readers of my blog. If only Catholics would see the treasure they can get from Eucharistic Adoration! I just don't understand those who call themselves "liturgical inculturators" would butcher the altar, take the tabernacle off the center of the altar or sanctuary and place it in a side altar. Is that the way you treat your King? Well, obviously the priest feels he MUST be the center of attention of the Mass and not the Eucharistic King present in the Tabernacle in the center of the Altar.]

The prelate emphasized, "In a culture marked by widespread and grave confusion and error about the most fundamental teachings of the moral law, our Catholic schools and universities must be beacons of truth and right conduct."

He stated that the "granting of an honorary doctorate at Notre Dame University to our president who is as aggressively advancing an anti-life and anti-family agenda is a source of the gravest scandal." [If you gain the whole world and lose your soul in the process... Pray for Fr. Jenkins and the ND Trustees.]

The archbishop explained: "In a culture which embraces an agenda of death, Catholics and Catholic institutions are necessarily counter-cultural.

"If we as individuals or our Catholic institutions are not willing to accept the burdens and the suffering necessarily involved in calling our culture to reform, then we are not worthy of the name Catholic." [when will they take that adjective away from Notre Dame?]

"Let us not give way to discouragement in our exercise of patriotism but rather be confident of the essential contribution which our Catholic faith makes to the life of our nation," the prelate said.

He concluded, "May the courage and strength which comes to us from the Sacred Heart of Jesus enlighten our minds to see more clearly the gravity of the situation of our nation and inflame our hearts to do our part to transform the life of our nation, in accord with the natural moral law, that is, with what is just and serves the good of all."

- God bless Archbishop Burke. Red Hat for him soon!

Is Mary Competition for Christ?

Here is beautiful reflection courtesy of vivificat1.blogspot.com/

Is Mary Competition for Christ?

Father Nicolas Schwizer

Cross of Unity 1. Mary leads us to Jesus. We first have to respond to some fears and criticisms regarding Marian piety: Many fear that Mary separates from Christ…..that she is “competition” for Christ…..that she places herself as a “screen” between God and us. At the origin of that fear, there are usually negative experiences caused by off-the-track practices of Marian piety or false focuses on the person of Mary. Such fears do not correspond to the reality desired by God and proclaimed by the Church in her life and in her doctrine.

2. Do what He tells you. John Paul II said: “Mary was truly united to Christ. Not many of her words are preserved in the Bible, but the ones which are take us anew to her Son and to His word. At Cana of Galilee, she addressed the servants with these words: “Do whatever He tells you.” She continues giving us this same message.

“Do whatever He tells you” are the last words of the Virgin preserved in the Gospel. They are, therefore, as if they were her testament. They are words directed not only to the servants at the wedding, but to men and women for all times. They contain the total desire, experience and mission of Mary: to lead us to identify with Christ.

3. Mary is at the center. We all know: that Mary is not the center of our faith…..she is not the true reason for our confidence…..She is not the final aim of our love – rather it is Jesus Christ and with Him, the Triune God. But, we believe She forms part of the mysteries which are central to our faith. Without being the center, Mary is at the center. We believe that Mary, because of her unique position in salvation history, also has a special position in our personal salvation history.

4. The normal way. For us, Mary is the normal way to Jesus Christ. The Fathers of the Church have previously stated: The way by which Christ came to man should also be the way by which we should come to Christ, and Christ came to us through the Virgin. When we give Mary a privileged place in our hearts and we entrust ourselves to her education, then we are on the way to her Son. She then leads us to Christ and the Triune God.

5. The easiest, shortest, and surest way. Mary is not only the normal way to Christ. She is, according to the words of Pope St. Pius X, also the easiest, shortest and surest way to Christ.

Marian devotion is one of God’s greatest gifts to mankind: this is manifested by the great enthusiasm with which the image of the Virgin has been received everywhere, and if we love the Virgin so much, then we are already loving Christ.

This is one of the mysterious laws of love. True love implies and includes love for everything and for all who love the beloved. Therefore, love for Mary is extended and becomes – sooner or later – love for Christ.

6. The most fruitful way. Mary is also and lastly, the most fruitful way to Christ. Pope St. Pius X tells us beautifully: “The Blessed Mother gives us vital knowledge of Christ.”

7. It is Mary’s charisma, feminine and maternal charisma: to vitally make the persons of the Trinity approachable…..to give us familiarity with the supernatural world…..to make the Church a home…..to make man a brother. This charisma explains the strength and the rootedness of Marian devotion in the people.

8. The example of the great Saints. The great Saints of all times affirm and prove with their lives, the truth and the importance of this classic way THROUGH MARY TO JESUS. Hardly without exception, they have been men and women of great Marian devotion. Many of them have even consecrated themselves to the Virgin and She, the Virgin, without a doubt, has led them to her Son, even to the height of sanctity.

9. Mary is the land for the encounter with Christ. All the love we give to the Blessed Virgin, She gives to the Lord, and in this way our love finds, through Mary, the easiest, shortest, surest, and most fruitful way to Jesus Christ and God.

Questions for reflection

1. What is Mary for me?

2. Which is my favorite prayer to Mary?

3. What does the phrase “Through Mary to Jesus” tell me?

Here we go.

Well here is my first post as a blogger and it was not an easy experience.

I was trying to create a blog site via wordpress and lo and behold I cannot create my account (pinoycatholic.wordpress.com) because someone else has already created the account! Grrr! Well, he/she/it beat me to the draw. So here I am using blogspot (not that blogspot is a second choice site) to create my very first blog entry.

Hope you spend a little of your very precious time to read the posts of this Filipino Catholic Dad and know and appreciate our Faith, brought down to us by the Apostles, witnessed by the shedding of the blood of the Holy Martyrs and lived out with joyous piety by the saints of the ages and continuous to this day through our beloved Holy Father, Benedict XVI.

It is through the Faith that I will offer my reflections on life(read the description of the blog and you'll get the point), what it is to be a Filipino Catholic, son, husband, father, Knight of Columbus, son of the Eternal Father, prodigal brother purchased by the Son's precious Blood and contemplative of the Paraclete's counsels.

To the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer my life, thoughts, joys actions and my entire being and this blog (of course.)

Vivat Jesus!