Thursday, March 16, 2006

John Paul II's cause now has its own publication, "Totus Tuus"

The site for the publication of "Totus Tuus" is "Causa di Beatificazione e di Canonizzazione di Giovanni Paolo II". Details follow:

Totus Tuus official monthly publication on the cause for the beatification and canonisation of the Servant of God John Paul II

Rome (Fides Service) - The cause for the beatification and canonisation of the Servant of God John Paul II has its own official monthly publication Totus Tuus issued by the Vicariate of Rome. The cause for the beatification and canonisation of the late Pope was officially opened on 28 June 2005 in the cathedral of Rome, the Basilica of St John Lateran. The news had been announced six week earlier on May 13 by Pope Benedict XVI at an audience with the clergy of Rome in St John’s. The cause was opened thanks to a special dispensation which swayed the Canon Law rule that a period of five years after the death must pass before a cause may be opened.

Totus tuus will offer documentation, analysis and information on the cause for the beatification and canonisation of the Servant of God John Paul II for which the postulator is Fr. Slawomir Oder. The publication will also serve as a means of connection of all the people anxious to see the cause reach its conclusion and are offering support in material and prayer. The first issue will be distributed free of charge on request to Already 25,000 copies have been requested. Tutus Tuus is available in Polish, English, Italian and Spanish and soon in French, Russian and Chinese.

The Postulator receives an endless stream of letters from children, mothers, couples written by hearts filled with faith, written to testify the holiness of the life of John Paul II and graces obtained through his intercession. A few of the most poignant messages will be included in the magazine, as well as drawings, poetry, postcards and letters found in St Peter’s Square the morning after the Pope’s death or on his tomb during this first year since his passing to the house of the Father. (S.L.) (Agenzia Fides 16/3/2006 - Righe 21, parole 304)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Pope might be preparing first social encyclical, "Labor Domini"

Pope Benedict could be preparing his first social encyclical

Vatican City, Mar. 15, 2006 (CNA) - Sources close the Holy See have indicated that Pope Benedict XVI is preparing his first social encyclical, which may be entitled “Labor Domini,” or, “The Work of the Lord.”

According to the report, which has not yet been officially confirmed by the Holy See, the encyclical would present a Christian vision of human work and address the importance of work for society. Likewise, it would explore the necessity and duty of the human person to work in some capacity.

A central theme of the document looks to be work as a participation in the creative action of God and, as a consequence, a means of sanctification. It may also address the challenges of “neo-liberalism” and of a lack of solidarity in the world. Sources add that the document would probably not be issued until at least Christmas

Monday, March 13, 2006

Review of Father Walter Ciszek's life for possible sainthood to start Tuesday

Father Ciszek's writings, especially "He Leadeth Me" and "With God in Russia" are testaments of his patience during suffering. His life is a true witness to God's love and mercy.

Monday, 13 March 2006

Vatican to begin review of Ciszek for sainthood

Sunday, 12 March 2006

The Diocese of Allentown is asking the Vatican to canonize a Shenandoah priest who survived more than two decades of imprisonment in the Soviet Union.

The diocese sent three crates of materials concerning the Rev. Walter Ciszek’s life to Rome two weeks ago. The crates included six cardboard boxes that contained things such as sworn testimony from 45 witnesses and thousands of typed pages of his writings and meditations.

The documents reportedly took 16 years to compile. The Vatican is slated to review them beginning Tuesday.

“They arrived last week,” Sister Albertine of the Father Walter Ciszek Prayer League in Shenandoah said Saturday night. “We got official word they are there.”

“That is good because it means the church has recognized that Father Walter is a person worth looking more deeply into to determine whether he should be canonized as a saint,” Sister Albertine added.

The sister further said the diocese’s Monsignor Anthony Muntone is on his way to Rome to open the boxes for examination this week. She added this was the first step in the process.

“The packages have to be opened in his presence,” Sister Albertine said.
She added that the crates and other packages had to be sealed and had to arrive untampered.

“We had to send copies of his documents – both published and unpublished – that will prove in his writings he led a heroically virtuous life,” Sister Albertine said. “The documents that were sent in contain that proof.”

“We had a great deal of his unpublished writings – from things such as retreats and mailings – that people were gracious enough to give to the cause,” Elaine Cusat of Hazleton, who is involved in the drive, said.

Born in Shenandoah in 1904, Ciszek was ordained in Rome in 1937 and sent to Poland that year. But when Nazi Germany overran the country, he and his parish fled to the Soviet Union.

There, he was arrested by the Soviet secret police, at the time called the NKVD (later renamed the KGB), and charged first with being a Nazi spy – a common charge regarding anyone who’d been in territory once controlled by the Nazis under Stalin’s USSR – then with being a spy for the Vatican.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

CBS's Pope biopic smashes box office records in Poland


The cinema release of US TV network CBS' acclaimed POPE JOHN PAUL II biopic has smashed box office records in the late pontiff's native Poland. The film, POPE JOHN PAUL II, which stars CARY ELWES and JON VOIGHT as the younger and older KAROL WOJTYLA, has shot to the top of the Polish box office becoming the first movie to break $1 million (GBP588,200) in three days. The movie was critically acclaimed when it hit TV screens in America last year (05). The film is expected to rule the box office in Poland up to the first anniversary of the Pope's death next month (08APR06). Ironically, the film that held the record as Poland's biggest box office boom was another Pope John Paul II biopic, KAROL IN POLAND, which grossed $7.4 million (GBP4.3 million) last year (05).
09/03/2006 21:31

Saturday, March 11, 2006

More information unearthed about assassination attempt on John Paul II

Soviets 'behind pope shooting'

Thursday, March 2, 2006; Posted: 8:55 a.m. EST (13:55 GMT)

ROME, Italy (AP) -- An Italian parliamentary commission has concluded that the Soviet Union was behind the 1981 attempt to kill Pope John Paul II, a theory long alleged but never proved.

"This commission believes, beyond any reasonable doubt, that the leaders of the Soviet Union took the initiative to eliminate the pope Karol Wojtyla," said a draft of the commission's report, a copy of which was made available Thursday to The Associated Press. Wojtyla was John Paul's Polish name.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Pope supports perpetual Eucharistic adoration in Rome Diocese

Pope Backs Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration

Particularly in Rome Diocese

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 9, 2006 ( Benedict XVI has supported an initiative to offer the possibility of perpetual Eucharistic adoration in churches of the Rome Diocese.

The Pope expressed his enthusiasm for this initiative during his meeting March 2 with Roman parish priests, as reflected in his conversation with them. A text of the conversation was subsequently published in Italian by the Vatican.

Father Alberto Pacini, rector of the Church of St. Anastasia on the Pallatine Hill -- which has had perpetual Eucharistic adoration for the past five years -- made this proposal to the Pope.

The experience of this parish has led other churches to follow its example. St. Anastasia's has also become the headquarters of a movement of Eucharistic evangelization.

"My proposal, my suggestion, my desire, my aspiration would be that each of the five sectors of Rome have perpetual Eucharistic adoration," said Father Pacini.

The Holy Father thanked the priest for the information and for his efforts in promoting this initiative, describing "perpetual adoration" as "a neurological point of the life of faith in Rome."

"This proposal to create five places of perpetual adoration in the five sectors of the diocese of Rome, I place confidently in the hands of the Cardinal Vicar" Camillo Ruini, the Pope added, glancing at the cardinal.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Pope dons ear buds --- chronicles of "the Pope and his iPod"

What Would Jesus Listen To?
March 09, 2006

NY Post reports the new Pope has an iPod Nano filled with classical tunes, religious music, and Tapes 'N Tapes (kidding).

Presented to him by staffers at Vatican Radio (is that on Sirius or something?), the back is inscribed "To his Holiness, Benedict XVI," Just like Stereogum's. In accepting the gift, his Holiness noted "computer technology is the future."

Lame. You know John Paul II at least had Joshua Tree on his.


Pope unwinds with his iPod
March 08 2006 at 05:24PM

The Vatican - The Pope likes to unwind by listening to his iPod.

Pope Benedict XVI was given an iPod Nano as a present by staff at Vatican Radio.

Officials have loaded it with religious music, plus pieces by Beethoven, Mozart and Chopin.

He has been spotted around the Vatican using his iPod and distinctive white earphones.

According to The Sun a spokesperson said: "He is very pleased with the iPod. The Holy Father likes to unwind listening to it and is of the opinion that this sort of technology is the future."

The Queen, President Bush and Tony Blair all own an iPod. -

Benedict becomes first pope to don earbuds

VATICAN CITY, March 8 (UPI) -- Pope Benedict XVI has become to the first pontiff to don earbuds after being given an iPod Nano as a gift from the staff of Vatican Radio.

Benedict visited the station March 3 to mark its 75th anniversary. Station staff gave him the gift already loaded with his favorite tracks of religious music, plus pieces by Beethoven, Mozart and Chopin, the Catholic News Service reported.

Once the pope, who is also a pianist, gets the hang of the device's trademark click wheel, he will be able to relive the historical papal transition of April 2005. On the player, the radio's German program included a mix of news and interviews done during the death of Pope John Paul II, the conclave and the election of Pope Benedict.

A papal spokesman told The Sun the pope "is very pleased" with the gift.

"The Holy Father likes to unwind listening to it and is of the opinion that this sort of technology is the future," the spokesman said.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

When battling evil, hold the cross high

The enemy is never happy when we try to come closer to Christ, especially during Lent. That said, however, we must determine not to let him deflect us from our purpose---to become fully refreshed and renewed in Christ:



In times of difficulty, hold high the cross. It is a message for Lent and for a time of fierce spiritual warfare.

When there is suffering, follow Jesus. Follow Him to resurrection. When there are repeated problems, tackle those problems with His precious Blood.

Hold the cross high -- literally.

If you have faith, nothing can stand before it.

This is important because when there is evil there can be bad "luck." There can be mishaps. There can be tragedy.

"My family was involved in about 18 serious accidents, none of which was their fault," notes Berneice DeWitt of Hugoton, Kansas. "No serious injuries, thank God. I read in a book where a nun told a priest that people kept hitting her in her car, also not her fault. The priest told her to get a St. Benedict medal and have a priest bless it with the special exorcism blessing for that medal and keep it with her. I got a number of the blessed medals, one to hang from the rear view mirror in each vehicle and one to keep with them. In about 15 years we have had only a couple of minor incidents. When that blessing is put on the medal it is the highest ranking medal in the Church."

Are we doing the same? Are we protecting our loved ones?

Note that in Exodus the Lord gave instructions to Moses for making a special holy oil -- an anointing oil -- which was to be used for blessing the tabernacle and its furniture. In Leviticus 8:1-12 (as one expert pointed out), it tells us that "Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the tabernacle and all that was in it, and sanctified them. He sprinkled some of it on the altar seven times, anointed the altar and all its utensils, and the laver and its base, to sanctify them." He also used it on Aaron's head.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

"The Cenacle of The Divine Mercy," a new EWTN series, made to be part of Lenten devotions

This announcement comes from Fr. Joseph MIC of the Association of Marian Helpers:

Dear Friends,

Join us Friday, March 3, as we launch an exciting new television series with our friends on Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) — the Cenacle of The Divine Mercy.

Featuring our own Fr. Joseph Roesch, MIC, and Dr. Bryan Thatcher, Director of Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy, the Cenacle of The Divine Mercy was filmed at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, MA. This 13-week teaching series will feature such topics as The Divine Mercy, Mary, the Mother of Mercy, St. Faustina, and Pope John Paul II.

The first episode will debut Friday, March 3, at 2:30 pm (EST) and re-air on Monday, March 6 at 6:30 am. (A new program will air each Friday at 2:30 pm.)

Lesson plans for each show may be downloaded at

We hope that you will make Cenacle of The Divine Mercy part of your Lenten devotional exercises.

Jesus I trust in You!

Fr. Joseph, MIC
Director, Association of Marian Helpers

Eden Hill
Stockbridge, MA 01263


Visit us online:

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

In Ash Wednesday homily Pope stresses reading God's Word and spiritual combat

Pope Benedict XVI during the general audience explains the significance of Lent: “It is urgent to listen again to the Gospel, the word of truth, so Christians may grow in awareness of the truth received, live it and bear witness to it.”

Vatican City (Fides Service) - Today Ash Wednesday in his address during his weekly general audience to thousands of visitors gathered in St Peter’s Square Pope Benedict XVI dwelt on the significance of the Season of Lent. “This is the opportune time in which the Church calls Christians to be more aware of Christ’s act of redemption and to live baptism more profoundly - the Pope said Santo Padre -. In fact in this liturgical season from the very beginning in order to strengthen its faith the People of God has always nourished itself abundantly with Word of God, retracing the whole history of creation and redemption.”

The Pope recalled that Lent lasts for forty days and calls to mind certain events in the life of Ancient Israel and he said: “The season of Lent is an invitation to relive with Jesus the forty days he spent in the desert praying and fasting before undertaking his public ministry. Today we too with Christians all over the world start a path of reflection and prayer and turn spiritually towards Calvary, meditating the central mysteries of our faith. Doing this we prepare to experience, after the mystery of the Cross, the joy of the Lord’s Resurrection”.

Then Pope Benedict XVI mentioned the solemn distribution of blessed ashes and the two meaningful phrases with which it is accompanied “a pressing appeal to recognise our sinfulness and return to God”. Since the life of the Christian is founded on and nourished by the Word of God the Pope said: “In the trials of every day and in every temptation the secret of victory lies in listening to the Word of truth and rejecting with conviction mistruth and evil. It is urgent to listen again to the Gospel, word of truth, so Christians may grow in awareness of the truth received and may live it and bear witness to it. It is to this that Lent draws us, offering us an ascetic liturgical path, helping us to open our eyes to our weakness and open our heart to the merciful love of Christ”. Lent is the opportune moment to convert our hearts to love by adopting the Lord’s “attitude of compassion and mercy” towards the poor and the abandoned. (S.L.) (Ag! enzia Fides 1/3/2006, righe 27, parole 388)

See the Pope's address

Pope emphasizes spiritual combat during Lent

Mar. 01 ( - Christians have a duty to "oppose evil with good, lies with the truth, and hatred with love," Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) said in an Ash Wednesday homily.

The Holy Father presided at a traditional Roman observance of Ash Wednesday, leading a penitential procession from the church of St. Anselm to the basilica of Santa Sabina, for Mass and the distribution of ashes. In his homily he said that the Lenten season reminds Christians that spiritual life is a form of combat "in which the weapons of prayer, fasting, and penance must be used." The ascetic life of the penitential season should be followed "with humility and patience, generosity and perseverance," the Pontiff continued. By developing an interior attitude of humility and self-sacrifice, he said, Christians become "witnesses and apostles of peace."

The decision to embrace a life of penance reflects the believer's determination to imitate Christ, who embraced the Cross, the Pope said. He added that the devotion to God which we cultivate during Lent should naturally produce an impulse to help neighbors in need. "True love leads to actions that exclude no one," he said. Pope Benedict remarked that the procession through the streets of Rome is symbolic of a "personal and communal pilgrimage of conversion" during the season of Lent. He encouraged the faithful to follow another ancient Roman custom by making the "stations" of Lent, visiting different designated churches each day to pray before the relics of the martyrs of Rome. "Despite the centuries that have passed these rituals still hold their value," the Pope said, "because they remind us how important it is, even in our day, to accept the teachings of Jesus without compromise."