POPE IN TURKEY - OFFERS MASS AT HOME OF VIRGIN MOTHER MARY
Wednesday, November 29th, 2006
The first day of Pope Benedict XVI in the Muslim country of Turkey went well. He was greeted by officials of the country and treated as a head of State.
On Wednesday, November 29 the Pope offered the Sacrifice of the Mass at the home of the Virgin Mary - at Ephesus where it is believed the Apostle John took her to live with him. Near the ruins of the home is a spring with many believing the flowing waters have miraculous powers. It is also held by some that Our Blessed Mother died here but another tradition holds that she died at Jerusalem.
There are 70,000,000 people in the country of Turkey, mostly Muslim.
There are 65,000 Orthodox Christians, 20,000 Roman Catholics, 3,500 Protestants, 23,000 Jewish. Muslim countries lack reciprocality when it comes to giving Christians rights to worship publicly, own their own churches, etc. Yet, in Western countries, including Italy where there are over a million Muslims - they have the same rights of freedom as do the Christians to worship publicly and build their mosques.
On his first day in Turkey Pope Benedict called upon all religious leaders of all faiths everywhere to “Utterly refuse” to support any form of violence.
Pray for the Pope in Turkey - Muslim Country -
Monday, November 27th, 2006
The Pope is in Turkey this week, primarily to meet with the Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople in Istanbul. November 30, the Feast of St. Andrew, brother of St. Peter is the day of their meeting. This vitally important meeting - for a Catholic-Orthodox dialogue, is a major step in healing the break between the Eastern and Western Churches. The Pope will be in Turkey until December 1.
The Patriarch of Constantinople has a prestigious position of honor among Orthodox - based in history even if the country with the greatest number of Orthodox are in Russia today. Everything in preparation for the historic meeting of Bartholomew and Benedict XVI was going well. Then after Benedict’s September 12 speech at Regensburg - where he quoted a Byzantine emperor’s condemnation of Islam spreading religion by the sword - many in the Muslim world became infuriated - thanks to the secular media that looks for the sensational and quotes things out of context. 27 leading Muslim leaders however who actually read the total academic address intended for a University audience - recently presented a letter of understanding to Pope Benedict XVI. That did not stop 25,000 Muslims gathering in a crowd last Sunday to protest the Pope coming to Turkey. The number of protesters was growing. Yet, Pope Benedict in fact is opening doors, not only with the Orthodox but dialogue with intellectual and reasonable Muslim leaders. There are worries about the safety of the Pope this week.
Our Blessed Mother has intervened before regarding Muslim and Christian conflicts, such as at the battle of Lepanto which centuries ago kept Europe Christian. This week especially let us pray the Rosary for Christian Unity with Orthodox and reasonable and balanced relations with the Muslim world.
EVERYDAY IS “THANKSGIVING DAY”
Sunday, November 19th, 2006
Even though I clutch my blanket and growl when the alarm rings each morning, THANK YOU LORD, that I can hear. There are many who are deaf.
Even though I keep my eyes tightly closed against the morning light as long as possible, THANK YOU LORD, That I can see. There are many who are blind.
Even though I huddle in my bed and put off the effort of rising, THANK YOU, LORD, that I have the strength to rise. There are many who are bedridden and cannot walk.
Even though the first hour of my day is hectic, when socks are lost, toast is burned and tempers are short, THANK YOU, LORD, for my family. There are many who are lonely and many who are homeless.
Even though our breakfast table never looks like the pictures in magazines and the menu is at times unbalanced, THANK YOU, LORD for the food we have. There are millions who go hungry.
Even though the routine of my work is often monotonous, THANK YOU, LORD, for the opportunity to work. There are may who have no job and many who are physically unable to work.
Even though I grumble and bemoan my fate from day to day and wish my circumstances were not so modest, THANK YOU, LORD, for the gift of life. In the United States alone millions have been deprived of life by abortion before seeing the light of day, and day of birth.
THANK YOU, LORD, for the fullness of true faith and for being surrounded by people of faith with the same Christian faith and moral values. Many are confused and have no idea of the extent of true faith and the divine Powers Jesus Christ gave to His Church which are present yet today, THANKSGIVING DAY. THANK YOU LORD.
YES, EVERYDAY IS THANKSGIVING DAY. For every day in my parish church - there is offered the Holy Eucharist Sacrifice of the Mass - which perpetuates Calvary’s Sacrifice and brings me the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of my Lord and Savior, JESUS CHRIST.
AT THE LAST SUPPER, TAKING INTO HIS HOLY AND VENERABLE HANDS, THE BREAD, THE WINE, JESUS SAID: “THIS IS MY BODY. …. THIS IS MY BLOOD. …”
And so from the very beginning of Christianity the Fathers of the Church called what we do at and about the Catholic altar - the “Eucharist.” - EUCHARIST is a Greek word for THANKSGIVING.
OUR LORD, JESUS CHRIST gave thanks as man to Our Heavenly Father - by His every act of worship and praise. The climatic act was His death on the Cross which redeemed the world. By it He re-opened the gates of heaven to mankind. The act of worship, of adoration of the Savior, - that offering of His death on the Cross - that was an INFINITE act of THANKSGIVING.
Now in gratitude, Christ Jesus, God become Man, STILL willingly offers His Body, Blood and Soul back into the hands of the Father, thanking GOD THE FATHER for the privilege of taking on a human life and being able thereby to redeem mankind by having a human body to offer in Sacrifice.
EVERYDAY IS THANKSGIVING DAY - for every day many THROUGHOUT THE WORLD participate daily in the Sacrifice of the Mass, in celebrating the Eucharist WHICH GIVES THANKS TO GOD, IN, WITH, AND THROUGH JESUS CHRIST. THANK YOU LORD for giving me AND THE THOUSANDS ASSOCIATED WITH THE FATIMA FAMILY APOSTOLATE INTERNATIONAL - IN THE USA - AND OTHER COUNTRIES - the gift of the Catholic Faith. THANK YOU LORD JESUS CHRIST - for now into my 52nd Year as a Catholic Priest - still to be able to offer EVERY DAY here at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament (Hanceville, Alabama) the Infinite Act of THANKSGIVING. EVERYDAY IS THANKSGIVING DAY.
A blessed Thanksgiving - from FATHER ROBERT J. FOX and the FATIMA FAMILY APOSTOLATE INTERNATIONAL.
Bishops Renew Consecration to Our Patroness of the United States of America - The Immaculate Conception
Friday, November 10th, 2006
At Noon, November 11, 2006, the Papal Nuncio to the United States at the Sacrifice of the Mass concelebrated at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC - together with the USA Bishops - renewed the Consecration of our country to Our Patroness - The Immaculate Conception. May each one of us make the same offering in our hearts frequently. Below is the Renewed Consecration:
PRAYER FOR RENEWAL OF CONSECRATION TO OUR PATRONESS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
Most Holy Trinity: Our Father in Heaven, who chose Mary as the fairest of your daughters; Holy Spirit, who chose Mary as Your spouse; God the Son, who chose Mary as Your Mother; in union with Mary, we adore your majesty and acknowledge Your supreme, eternal dominion and authority.
Most Holy Trinity, we put the United States of America into the hands of Mary Immaculate in order that she may present the country to you. Through her we wish to thank you for the great resources of this land and for the freedom, which has been its heritage. Through the intercession of Mary, have mercy on the Catholic Church in America. Grant us peace. Have mercy on our president and on all the officers of our government. Grant us a fruitful economy born of justice and charity. Have mercy on capital and industry and labor. Protect the family life of the nation. Guard the precious gift of many religious vocations. Through the intercession of our Mother, have mercy on the sick, the poor, the tempted, sinner - on all who are in need.
Mary, Immaculate Virgin, Our Mother, Patroness of our land, we praise you and honor you and give our country and ourselves to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. O Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary pierced by the sword of sorrow prophesized by Simeon save us from degeneration, disaster and war. Protest us from all harm, O Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, you who bore the sufferings of your Son in the depths of your heart be our Advocate. Pray for us, that acting always according to your will and the Will of your Divine Son, we may live and die pleasing to God. Amen.
“HOW TO BE A HAPPY PRIEST” IS IMPORTANT FOR ALL CATHOLICS
Saturday, November 4th, 2006
I’M ANXIOUS TO PLACE THIS NOTICE ON MY WEBSITE because I want to share with you that we just received a request from the Archdiocese of New York for one thousand (1000) of my little booklet, “HOW TO BE A HAPPY PRIEST.” They will then be sent to each priest in the Archdiocese. Recently another Archdiocese requested enough for each of its priests and placed them in its mailings to priests.
You see the Christian Family Outreach prints and then distributes these booklets freely. And they will send any number free of charge, for any who request them PROVIDED the one requesting will in conscience take the responsibility to see that they are actually given to people to read, especially to young men aspiring to the priesthood, to those whom it seems may have a priestly vocation, to seminarians, and to any priest already ordained.
Lay people need such information to read also - so as to know how to encourage priests in this time in history when the priesthood is so under attack.
I also gave the pamphlet this day to a priest professor from one of our well known seminaries after that priest concelebrated Mass with me here at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama.
The Bishop of the Diocese in which the booklet on the priesthood is printed, after reading it, gave permission for its circulation.
WHEN I WROTE THE BOOKLET “HOW TO BE A HAPPY PRIEST” - I HAD NO IDEA THAT MANY THOUSANDS WOULD CIRCULATE IN THE UNITED STATES AND BEYOND and be read by thousands of priests and lay people.
YOU MAY REQUEST A FREE COPY (COPIES) FROM CHRISTIAN FAMILY OUTREACH 558 P. R. 131 FRANKLIN, LA 70538. PHONE 337-836 - 9454.
From All Saints to All Souls - to Thanksgiving - to HOLY DAYS
Thursday, November 2nd, 2006
I was able, besides the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, to attend two ALL SAINTS DAY celebrations with children and young people dressed as Saints. Together there were at least one hundred children at these HOLY CELEBRATIONS THIS YEAR 2006. They even gave me the honor the evening of ALL SAINTS DAY during the festivities to lead the LITANY OF ALL SAINTS.
After just over 50 years as a Catholic Priest my heart is lifted up to see good parents having large families and passing on a true Catholic Culture to the next generation. Such I see in good Catholic families living in the miles around the SHRINE OF THE MOST BLESSED SACRAMENT near Hanceville, Alabama where I offer the holy Sacrifice of the Mass each day, and 11 AM Sundays in the large lower Church. I call it my underground Church.
AT THESE SAINTS DAY CELEBRATIONS WITH YOUNG PEOPLE I even noticed one was dressed as Archbishop Sheen whose cause is advancing but who is not yet beatified. It was pleasing to see St. Pd. Pio among the Saints the children imitated and of course St. John Vianney , Patron Saint of Parish Priests. It was all these persons and more who especially challenged me with admiration for them and an attempt to imitate them when I was struggling as a young man toward Christ’s holy priesthood. Of course the children included women Saints, again some of my favorites, St Teresa of Jesus, St. Therese of Lisieux (Little Flower), St. Faustina, Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, etc. Maybe by next year they’ll include Pope John Paul II. Maybe one will think to come as MARY, THE QUEEN OF SAINTS.
Well ALL SOULS DAY and the MONTH OF NOVEMBER when we should especially remember to pray for the souls of the deceased is always dear to me. In my 52ND year as a priest of Jesus Christ I know that the day I’ll be included in the prayers for ALL THE POOR SOULS is not far off. Those Poor Souls cannot help themselves in Purgatory for their days of meriting are over. We can help them by our daily prayers, offering our holy Masses, sacrifices for them to enter heaven. THE FAMILY I GREW UP IN ALWAYS CONCLUDED ITS FAMILY PRAYERS WITH THE ADDED PRAYER FOR THE POOR SOULS.
DO YOU MAKE THE SIGN OF THE CROSS WHEN EVER YOU PASS A CEMETERY, WHETHER IT BE A CATHOLIC OR PUBLIC CEMETERY AND THEN OFFER A PRAYER FOR THE POOR SOULS? PEOPLE DO THAT WHERE I LIVE. IF IT IS A CEMETERY FOR THE BAPTISTS OR OTHER NON-CATHOLICS - IT MAKES TO US - NO DIFFERENCE. WE PRAY FOR THE SOULS OF ALL THOSE BURIED BECAUSE THOSE WHO DON’T BELIEVE IN PURGATORY FAIL TO PRAY FOR THE SUFFERINGS SOULS IN PURGATORY - A SERIOUS OBLIGATION WHICH WE CATHOLICS HAVE.
There has to be joy among the POOR SUFFERINGS SOULS IN PURGATORY - for they know they’ll enter heaven one day. Purgatory is not an antechamber of hell. It is a place of cleansing, of being made perfect before we can enter heaven and behold the beatific vision of the Blessed Trinity. St. Catherine of Genoa wrote: “Apart from the happiness of the Saints in heaven, I think there is no joy comparable to that of the souls in purgatory.” This is credible for the POOR SOULS IN PURGATORY know for certain they’ll see God “face to face” after their purgation period. WE CAN HELP THOSE POOR SOULS. THEY CANNOT HELP THEMSELVES.
Well! I’m also looking toward THANKSGIVING DAY. Secular society has de-christianized our great Christian feasts of Christmas and Easter and some call THANKSGIVING DAY - “turkey day” and some have attempted not to use the word “Christmas” but “Holiday” trees and even HAPPY HOLIDAYS rather than “Merry Christmas.” It is all part of a deliberate de-Christianization of our great country. Well some decades ago already Christmas cards and greetings were sent with notations such as “Happy Holidays” and many Christians were sleeping, not realizing where it was leading to. If they had said “HAPPY HOLYDAYS I could have tolerated it, even been grateful for it. I always wrote “MARY CHRISTMAS for Merry Christmas” in my greetings. It was not a slip of the pen.
So let us prepare for a real SPIRITUAL THANKSGIVING to ALMIGHTY GOD for all His blessings as we then go on from there during Advent to PREPARE FOR THE HOLY DAYS OF THE ENTIRE CHRISTMAS SEASON.
Please don’t let anyone get by with saying simply “holiday tree” or “happy holidays” but respond, “Oh! you mean Christmas tree, to decorate our homes in honor of the birthday of Jesus Christ, our Lord, God and Savior….” Or, “You must mean the happy HOLY DAYS FROM CHRISTMAS EVE THROUGH THE FEASTS OF THE HOLY FAMILY AND THE EPIPHANY AND THE BAPTISM OF JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD, GOD AND SAVIOR. Those are favorite Holy Days for me too.”