Sunday, 26 December 2010
Monday, 20 December 2010
More news of Father Mark, on my Oasis blog tomorrow.
Wednesday, 8 December 2010
Sunday, 5 December 2010
Sunday, 28 November 2010
Sunday, 14 November 2010
Tuesday, 9 November 2010
Monday, 8 November 2010
Sunday, 7 November 2010
Sunday, 31 October 2010
Sunday, 24 October 2010
Sunday, 17 October 2010
Tuesday, 12 October 2010
God bless all priests, and their spiritual mothers and friends of this blog.
In Christo pro Papa
Thursday, 30 September 2010
God bless you all.
Wednesday, 29 September 2010
or Denis Kyabaggu at:
The information includes a pdf printable sheet, ideal for copying and putting at the back of your church. The 'fast' does not have to be from food or drink , but from TV, speech, cigarettes etc.
Do please consider contributing to this offering to Our Lady for her sons.
Friday, 24 September 2010
Tuesday, 14 September 2010
Thursday, 9 September 2010
Wednesday, 8 September 2010
Friday, 3 September 2010
Tuesday, 31 August 2010
Saturday, 28 August 2010
Monday, 16 August 2010
Terrible computer problems which I hope will be fixed next Monday afternoon. No further posts here until after that.
Sunday, 15 August 2010
Have a happy and blessed Solemnity everyone.
Next post, a video in support of priestly celibacy, to follow almost immediately.
Sunday, 8 August 2010
Saturday, 7 August 2010
Members of the new contingent take the solemn oath that should it be necessary they will lay down their lives in defence of the Pope.
Next video tomorrow monning: The newly sworn-in members of the Guard meet Benedict XVI with their parents and other close family members.
Does living in the Vatican strengthen or weaken a vocation?
Father answered with a smile:
" Of course, seeing so many priests lessens your interest in becoming a priest, but it may also inspire a young man to seek out his vocational path...A person who is already asking himself if he has a vocation is not frightened. On the contrary, sometimes it happens that a young man arrives here without deep faith, wishing just to make an experience of life, and he discovers something he did not expect....."
Even though the Guards accept the religious dimension, the retreats and the Sunday Mass, and of course the very serious oath they take, they do not all arrive in Rome with a strong faith.
Fr. de Raemy describes the mix:
"Each one is surprised by the other one. The convinced one is surprised to meet someone who is less convinced, and the less convinced is afraid of the one he finds too convinced."
And then on the subject of the annual Lenten Retreat:
"Some of the Guards would like to do it in a much deeper way. One of the recruits, a quite convinced young man who lived for two years in a community in Switzerland but now asks himself if he is not more fit for marriage, came here to have the time to decide, and told me that for him it was difficult to combine his desire to give space for prayer with group solidarity. Many in the group just wanted to meet and chat."
What does Fr de Raemy do of he notices that one of the Guards is thinking of the priesthood?
"It depends on the individual case. Some perhaps say nothing and consider it a secret to keep, and do not want to be influenced. Others may talk openly about it, but they do not always ask me for specific help. But most of all, they have many questions about the faith. I can tell you about one in particular. When I arrived he contacted me immediately and wanted to talk. He had a project for his professional formation after the service, and talked to me at least once a week. I realised that he truly was a true searcher for God, a monk, that he wanted to know why he was in the world, the meaning of the world, he wanted to find the purity of the relationship to God. A transparent person, I never met any other young man like him. I told him you are made for the monastery. He went for two months to a monastery in Switzerkand, and now he is a novice and he is happy."
Here is a link to an interview with a Swiss Guard which I found on the Net quite independently of the ITA article, acknowledged at the beginning of this series of posts. At the time of the article's going to press there were in the Guard: one candidate for the priesthood, plus one in process of discernment, and two others who are open to discussing a religious vocation. "It is a good percentage," says Fr de Raemy. "Compared to the difficult situation in Switzerland, this is the group which produces the most vocations."
Aside from telling me more about the Swiss Guard themselves, I valued this article because it shows, without that particular intention, how important and complex is the calling of Chaplain to these young men.
God bless the Swiss Guard and their chaplain. Our Lady of Good Counsel, pray for them.
(I hope that Videos of the Guard will follow in the next two posts.)
Friday, 6 August 2010
Before his arrival in the Vatican in September 2006, Fr de Raemy had studied in Rome at the Angelicum and Gregorian Universites and had done pastoral work as a Parish Priest. He had of course also done his Swiss military service. In the Guard he holds the rank of colonel but his strong commitment to young people makes him, as chaplain to the Guards, sensituve to the problemsof the young men in his spiritual care. In some cases they have left Switzerland for the first time.
Fr de Raemy is very honest on this subject and one senses the great care with which he chose his words: 'In Switzerland there are problems in the formation of priests, especially in German-speaking Switzerland..........for this reason, many study in other countries, and it is a pity because there is the risk that our dioceses lose their vocations................In Switzerland there is a stong tension between the traditionalists and those who are closer to the Protestant world and see the priest simply as an expert on theology. The parish priests are NOT chosen by the bishops but by a council of laymen, who do NOY have to be practising Catholics. (my caps.) Sone are faithful and loyal to Rome, others less. For this reason, when these young men come to Rome, they can learn the correct balance.'
(And one of our English Bishops has said that he feels emasculated by Summorum Pontificum!!!!)
Fr de Rsemy says that the best occasion to impart a little catechesis, and to understand the spirituality of the Guards, is during their first weeks in Rome. 'I propose to them to visit the tomb of St. Peter to understand why we are right here, and not 20 miles away.'
Spiritual and Pastoral activity of members of the Guard:
There is a retreat each Lent and an annual pilgrimage to Lourdes in May and the Guards have the opportunity to express religious commitment through various missionary and devotional activities. 'Each year they collect funds through sales and auctions for a specific project, and some of them go personally to bring the funds to the chosen missions. Others organise pilgrimagestogether with the chaplain to Italian sanctuaries........others attend nearby parishes or the youth centre of San Lorenzo a few yards from St. Peter's, of join Roman youth in Eucharistic Adoration in the church of Sant'Agnes in Piazza Novona on Thursday evenings.'
Tomorrow I'll devote a Part 3 to Fr de Raemy's answers to questions about individual attitudes to faith and vocation amongst the Guard.
Thursday, 5 August 2010
The Pontifical Swiss Guard corps was 504 years old this year. New recruits are sworn in each year at a ceremony which takes place on May 6, commemorating the date in 1527, when twenty-one years after the foundation of the Guard, 147 Swiss soldiers died defending the Pope during an attack on Rome. Today the Corps numbers 100 young Swiss men , who are all Catholics, have done their military service and have no troubles with the law'.
'THERE ARE NOT MANY, JUST ONE OR TWO EACH YEAR, BUT THANKS TO THEM, THE PONTIFICAL SWISS GUARD HAS THE HIGHEST PERCENTAGE OF VOCATIONS OF ANY GROUP IN ALL OF SWITZERLAND.' (my caps.)
In 2008 one of them was studying Theology at the Austrian Monastery of Heiligenkreutz, and when the Holy father visited the monastery in 2007, the young guard was allowed to wear his uniform outside the Vatican. When on duty in Rome he 'serves as a deacon in important celebrations in the Pontifical Parish of Sant'Anna in the Vatican'.
'The Pope himself, during the celebration of the Guard's fifth centenary, said that service in the Swiss Guard may be a chance for greater commitment to the Church for these young men.
The ITV article is based around an interview with the chaplain of the Guard, Alain de Raemy (more of whose background and ministry in Part II). But beyond the few guards who aspire to the priesthood or consecrated life, Fr. de Raemy speaks powerfully of the value of service in the Swiss Guard, particularly since often young Swiss people see only a negative image of the life of the Church: 'Here, we have a unique opportuniy to see the vitality of the Universal Church. Some say they are surprised to see so many people, and especially young people, at the Pope's audiences..............One of them who recently went back to Switzerland after three years, told me that he now has new inner strength to answer when people criticize the pope or the Vatican. He says he is now able to answer with courage and conviction.'
Fr. de Raemy sees the three year stint of Swiss Guard service as a vocation in itself and preached as follows during the 2007 ceremony for the oath of new recruits: 'To sacrifice your life does not only mean to die, but also to offer your time and energy day after day for the Vicar of Christ, for the Church: this is a true vocation!'
In Part II more about Fr de Raemy as promised, about religious vocations amongst the Guard and some interesting facts about Swiss Catholicism.
Saturday, 31 July 2010
Father Z reports on the death and possible toruture of the priest in Mexico at WDTPRS.
Friday, 30 July 2010
By all means priests should have an outlet for their opinions but in the list of stated aims some very 'pointed' language is used. I'll leave it for readers to form their own opinion of what this micht lead to.
Tuesday, 27 July 2010
Fr. Blake's initiative: English and Welsh priests' open letter in support of Pope Benedict's visit to UK.
Fr. Blake has posted again today and when I last looked 20 priests had signed the letter. If you are a priest listed in the English/Welsh Catholic directory and have not yet seen Fr Blake's posts, please do go over there and consider signing.
If you are an English or Welsh member of the lay faithful I implore you to approach your own parish priest about this initiative. If he doesn't have the Internet, I'm sure responses would reach Fr Ray Blake by writing to him 'snail mail' at St Mary Magdalen Catholic Church. Brighton.
In the meantime, God bless and strengthen Fr. Blake and all the priests who have already signed the letter. May there be many, many more before the dawning of September 16.
In Christo pro Papa
Thursday, 22 July 2010
It is constantly stated that there is no point in just turning up. You have to have a ticket, pre-pay at least £25.00 for the privilege, and travel in a Parish or Diocesan group, even if your Parish is in walking distance of the Papal venue.. It is now clear and has been admitted by the organisers, that Security is the priority that has produced this situation. I can understand that, but at the same time, the whole situation is galling (and I mean that in its proper sense). How terrible for a priest to have to enact such an artificial and restrictive separation of members of his flock. How sad and painful for him and them. How deeply troubling for us all.
Yes, security must be the main concern, but I find it absolutely impossible to agree with the official line being put out by 'the authorities', that this visit is going to make UK Catholics feel an increased confiedence that they are a free and accepted part of their society, if they have to be corraled, herded and protected in this way, all the time wondering about the very safety of their chief shepherd.
I beg you to pray for us.
In Christo pro Papa
Wednesday, 21 July 2010
"Protect the Holy Father, through Prayer, Truth, and the Law."
Saturday, 10 July 2010
However, having read Father Mark's post today, about Priests who have come to hate their own Priesthood, (see Vultus Christi) I have more than enough to occupy me.
Tomorrow is St. Benedict's day. Have a happy and holy feast everyone. May St. Benedict intercede for all his sons and daughters, particularly for our dear Holy Father who bears his name, and for that dear Benedictine in Tulsa.
Will post again as soon as it seems right.
In Christo pro Papa
Sunday, 4 July 2010
EWTN at 8am UK time (3.30am US ET with encore at 12 noon)
For interesting background to this Papal visit see:
(The doctor failed to visit as promised on Thursday and has not contacted me. Am still not at all well and will be ringing him tomorrow.)
Wednesday, 30 June 2010
Sunday, 27 June 2010
In Christo pro Papa
Tuesday, 22 June 2010
Tuesday, 15 June 2010
Thursday, 10 June 2010
1. Yesterday morning kto tv began a joyful series of 'flash' news items which have included brief interviews with French speaking priests currently in Rome . There are over 700 of them, including 30 bishops. (Does anyone know how many priests from England, Wales and Scotland are there? I've just checked the E & W Conference site and there is nothing readily to be found about this three days of events. My apologies if it is there and I just haven't been able to ferret it out.)
Three features stand out in the interviews with the French priests: first their love for and gratitude to Pope Benedict, second their fraternal joy in being together in such large numbers, and third their commitment to a deep internal renewal of their priestly vows and sense of mission, individually and as a body.
Yesterday one of them spoke of an accidental meeting with another priest on the Roman metro and of how wonderful it was for them to chat to each other in French.
In the evening flash the Bishop of Pontoise described the 760-strong march of French Priests along the Appian Way before Vespers at St. John Lateran. The bishop said that during the march he had met a young priest from Provence who normally lives and works alone. The bishop then recounted the joy on that young priest's face at being with so many of his brothers.
This morning the interview was with a priest from Gabon. When asked why he had come to Rome, he said that he had responded to Pope Benedict's invitation as a cry from the heart. In the difficult times we have been going through, the Pope himself has need of comfort in his mission. "I have come to show the Pope how much I love him and how much I love the Church." He concluded by avowing that he wished to renew his own sense of mission, and that it will bear fruit in his own country.
And this afternoon a priest from Togo was asked why he had come. Referring to Pope Benedict, he said, "Because Papa called me." Had this been a year of interior renewal for him? "Yes." And what will remain for him now the year is ending? "Joy in being a priest."
As for us, over at 'Clerical Reform' our vocation is mentioned with gratitude; and at yesterday's General Audience the Holy Father invited the faithful throughout the world to participate with prayer in these closing events.
Have a holy vigil everyone.
In Christo pro Papa
2. Yesterday afternoon in the Paul VI Audience hall Cardinal Bertone addressed several thousand of the priests. For a report on this please see the Zenit report
Monday, 7 June 2010
Secondly, I omitted to mention in my last post that my PCED correspondent also said, "We do not know what initiative(s) the Holy Father may take in the closing of the Year for Priests." This encouraged me to continue praying that he may do something special in any case. We now know that in Fatima he consecrated all priests to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the spoken prayer with which he did it was very special indeed. (He even mentioned the many who are consecrated to spiritual motherhood of priests.) In a very important respect, what he did was much more than I had asked for in the letter that never reached him. On the other hand, having this added invocation in the Litany, would be a perpetual reminder of the Year of the Priest and of his consecration in Fatima, a reminder to us all to continue to pray to Our Blessed Mother for all our priests.
Finally a word about the Holy Father's continued promotion of modern communication. The Vatican has moved amazingly rapidly over the past year in response to his lead. However, they have tended to concentrate on outgoing information, and appear to have done little yet about streamlining RECEPTION of information and responding to it. If the response to my letter, and the explanation I received, are anything to go by, Secretariat officials are still operating an old-fashioned system, which does not cope at all satisfactorily with the increased amount of mail received by the Holy Father, and which has the effect of making the flock feel cut off from their shepherd who has inspired them in the first place. Perhaps the next twelve months will see them giving some attention to this side of the communication process. As for emails, those of us who have tried that system to contact the Holy Father, only do so now to register their support for him. There is absolutely no point in asking questions or making suggestions because you simply will not receive a reply.
As for the General Audience epsilon, I never miss it!!!! God bless and thanks again.
Tuesday, 1 June 2010
Based on what my contact tells me, here is a brief description of how the Holy Father's daily mountain of incoming mail is filtered by the Secretariat of State. In a case like mine, where a suggestion is being made, the letter will not get past the Assessor (No. 3 in the pecking order) unless there have been several thousand, if not millions of letters suggesting the same thing. If you do break through this barrier your letter goes to the Substitute (No. 2) and beyond that, to the Secretary of State himself (No. 1). I apologise to those of you who already know of this system. I repeat it here only because I know that it will be news to some of you. (All this being said, the Holy Father seems to know how much support he receives in his mail, and therefore without any proof at all, I think the system must divide letters into pro and anti, so I know you will not stop writing to tell him how much you pray for him, support him and love him.)
Of course there has to be a system of this kind. It would be ridiculously naive to imagine that the Holy Father sees every letter that is written to him. The problem is that the reply I received from the Assessor did not even mention my suggestion. So therefore I must assume that mine was the only letter of its kind. I am left utterly in the dark about whether that assumption is correct. Fortunately I know that prayer and penance is the only true and reliable recourse. Nevertheless I felt driven, as one of their resutlts, to write the letter, in which I said as much. I did what I felt I must do. It has come to nothing for the time being and I accept that with no difficulty at all and continue to pray all the while that this addition willl be made to the Litany.
My contact acknowledges that he is a mere official at the PCED and although he is himself of longstanding in that capacity, and sympathetic to my request, he is painfully honest that he cannot help me to further the cause, because he has absolutely no hope at all, in his position, of getting through to the Holy Father. He hopes that I may receive a more positive and authoritative response from Archbishop Piacenza at the Congregation for Clergy. (As yet I have heard nothing from the Congregation.) His reply to me was gentle, kind and painstaking. I have replied, letting him know of my gratitude and that he has made a friend for life. (We are more or less the same age.) And that I believe is the most important thing.
In Christo pro Papa
Saturday, 29 May 2010
Tuesday, 25 May 2010
There are 14,000 diocesan priests in France and the study found that 7,ooo of them have reached their 75th birthday and beyond, many of them being in advanced old age.
As for the ratio of priests to people, the national average has been worked out at one priest to every 5,200 inhabitants.
The situation in some urban dioceses is critical, for instance Bordeaux, Montpellier, and the suburbs of Paris, with for example at St. Denis, in the latter, one priest to 20,00 inhabitants.
Faced with this situation and the crisis of lack of vocations, the dioceses are calling upon non-incardinated, many of whom are not French; on Deacons; and on ordained members of religious orders. As an example at Pontoise which has 181 priests, there are 51 foreign priests (mostly Polish), 68 are from Religious Orders and only 62 are incardinated to Pontoise.
There does not seem to be any mention of the Traditional Fraternities in full communion with the Church, and which are flourishing in many parts of France, notably the FSSP (not to be confused with the SSPX). It would be disingenuous of me to give the impression that I don't know that the French Bishops' Conference seems largely against the idea of receiving any help from that quarter.
Please spare a prayer for France, the Church's "eldest daughter".
Monday, 24 May 2010
Sunday, 16 May 2010
Thursday, 13 May 2010
Thank you Holy Father, and to Father Mark for making the text available so quickly.
Saturday, 8 May 2010
In the run-up to the end of the Year for Priests, some time ago the Holy Father said he was 'eager' to devote some of his weekly General Audiences to the three marks of the priesthood, - Teaching, Sanctifying and Governing. He began with the first aspect on April 14th and continued this last Wednesday with the second. (Full texts available at the Holy See Site) The third will in likelihood be delayed at least until May 26th because of his visit to Portugal next week, and he will probably devote his Audience of May 19th to a report on this trip. He who hath ears to hear, let him hear!
Two futher items:
Zenit report on Fr Popieluszko: his priesthood and patriotism; and 3,000 priests make pilgrimage to Czestoch0wa
I read somewhere recently that the requirement that all priests should offer Mass and recite the Breviary daily, had been abolished. Somehow I missed said abolition. When did it happen? Can anyone clarify?
Friday, 30 April 2010
2. Priests not immune from temptation, preaches Fr dal Covolo in Rome homily
Thursday, 29 April 2010
"I know my own and my own know me." Yes indeed.
(Having trouble with the link to Catholic Culture.org, where I read about this. I'm afraid you'll just have to trust me until I can sort it.)
Thursday, 22 April 2010
But this Wednesday, the priests of Rome were there too, accompanied by priests from other countries including the United States, and the Holy Father had a special message for them. Zenit interviewed some of them afterwards. If you have already read the report linked above, you will have found it a consolation in these difficult times. If you have not, then please do not miss it.
In Christo pro Papa
Thursday, 15 April 2010
Pope Benedict catechises on the Priesthood, urges Priests to come to Rome Fr. Perini on changing the face of your parish;
In a separate communication, via Cardinal Hummes, he has repeated his invitation to priests to come to Rome in early June and fill St. Peter's Square at the closing ceremonies of the Sacerdotal Year. See here
Father Perini is a Parish Priest in Milan. Read his interview here
Sunday, 11 April 2010
Tuesday, 6 April 2010
In Christo pro Papa
Sunday, 4 April 2010
Friday, 2 April 2010
Please note printer-friendly format in the righthand menu of the Zenit site.
With my prayers for you all,
In Christo pro Papa
Saturday, 27 March 2010
Fr Cantalamessa's homily is here and Fr Bux's Meditation is here
With my prayers for a holy Holy Week
In Christo pro Papa
Tuesday, 23 March 2010
Laments Priests with a "lack of spiritual content" .......because they put their social work before their spiritual life".
"Archbishop Eijk of Utrecht voiced his concern......when he gave an address with the title 'Between the Spiritual Vocation and the Social Role' at a conference held held this month in the Pontifical Lateran University on the occasion of the Year for Priests."
A full report is here.
Saturday, 20 March 2010
Tuesday, 16 March 2010
Pope Benedict XVI: Two recent addresses on aspects of priesthood; Fr. Cantalamessa's 2nd Lenten Homily
"It is necessary to turn to the Confessional."
Go here for a translation of the address Pope Benedict delivered upon receiving in audience participants of the course promoted by the Apostolic Penitentiary.
2a) Address to Priesthood Congress organised by the Congregation for Clergy. Vatican City March 12 2010
"There is a great need for priests that speak of God."
Link to translation here.
2b) On the above "Hermeneutic of Priestly Continuity" Fr Mark writes on Vultus Christi:
"I was inspired to offer a little commentary on the brilliant address that the Holy Father gave this morning to the International Theological Conference 'Fidelity of Christ; Fidelity of the Priest' organised by the Congregation for Clergy."
Thank you as always Father, for breaking the address into helpfully headed sections and then giving your comment on each one.
Go to Vultus Christi to read in full.
3. Fr. Cantalamessa's 2nd Lenten Homily given Friday March 12 in the presence of the Holy Father.
"Christ Offered Himself to God"
To read English Translation go here
Saturday, 13 March 2010
Thursday, 11 March 2010
For the St. Joseph Novena go here
In a more recent post entitled "In Our Struggle with the Powers of Darkness", Father concentrates on the figure of another Joseph, our Holy Father Pope Benedict, and records "the impression that. as the Year of the Priesthood draws to a close, the forces of evil are trying desperately to discredit the Holy Father and to disfigure the face of the Church. Days of shame and darkness have come upon Our Lord's beloved priests in so many countries........"
Oh how many Catholics do we all know, perhaps ourselves included, who feel the same, and with it a terrible sense of impotence. But Father suggests that there is in fact a cause for hope, and invites us to pray the St. Joseph Novena "for the Joseph whom God has set over the household of His Church: Pope Benedict XVI....................... It is no coincidence that in these days of battle against the powers of darkness, the Successor of Peter bears the name of Joseph, protector of the universal Church. The providential designs of God are often revealed in such details."
Father then recommends the prayer to St. Joseph written by Pope Leo XIII and quotes it in full. (see link to article above.) It is he says "perhaps more suitable today that when it was written". We can, as is done in many places, add it at the end of our Rosaries, and for good measure, incorporate in into the Novena as well.
As I always say when begging people's prayers for Our Holy Father, if you offer those prayers, you not only support him personally, but you pray as he does, for all Our Lord's beloved priests.
Tuesday, 9 March 2010
"It is not too much to say that Pope Benedict's entire programme for the Year for Priests is contained in Fr Miller's outstanding book." Dr J. Mirus (review author at Catholic Culture)
And today's articles of interest:
1. Vatican Teaches Young Priests How to Hear Confession.
This week-long course which began yesterday, is being run by the Apostolic Penitentiary. Pope Benedict will address participants at the end of the week. Further description here.
2. Is Priestly Celibacy Psychologically Dangerous?
Interview with Psychiatrist and Professor. See here
Saturday, 6 March 2010
Father Jose Tous 1811-71 who died whilst celebrating Mass is to be beatified in Barcelona on October 25.
Carmen Elena Villa writes from Rome, "It is said that the life of Father Jose Tous was a continuous Mass. Perhaps that is why he was called to heaven precisely as he celebrated Mass, right after the consecration." Read her full article here
Vocation boom follows World Youth Day in Sydney
The archdiocese is seeing a record number of young men entering its seminary. Vocations to religious life have risen as well, following a pattern that has been observed in other archdioceses that have hosted the WYD events. For link to further details go here
Making space for God in a Communications world - Priest-Blogger Tells His Experience of Evangelisation
Fr Tamayo admits that being on Facebook means he sometimes has to endure "rather irreverent jokes". But he said the most gratifying part of evengelisation through the media is hearing someone say they've been converted or found clarity reading his words. Fr recently gave an interview during which he reflected on Benedict XVI's message for this year's World Day of Social Communications, which focuses on priests' use of the media.
Here's the link to the full interview.
For the Holy Father and the Roman Curia
Father Cantalamessa: Why Christianity is like no other...
Explains what makes Grace hard to accept
Go here for a full report on Father's first Lenten sermon given yesterdayin the presence of Pope Benedict and the Curia. Further Sermons will follow March 12 and 26. March 19 is omitted because of the celebration of St. Joseph's feast.
On Sunday, that is tormorrow, kto will televise live coverage of the Holy Father's visit to the Roman Parish of St John of the Cross. 9am European time, (8am in the UK). Angelus at the usual time and repeat videos available on the channel later in the day.
Wednesday, 3 March 2010
"LECTIO DIVINA" DELIVERED TO THE PARISH PRIESTS OF ROME ON RECEIVING THEM in audience at the Vatican February 18.
Part 1 "The Priest's Mission is to be a Mediator, a Bridge that Connects" See here
Part 2 "Being a Servant of the Eucharist is....a Depth of the Priestly Mystery" See here
POPE REACHES OUT TO PRIESTS AND SEMINARIANS
Vatican Newspaper Underlines how Pope Benedict fulfils his Pastoral Role
Read this highly recommended critique here
Pope Benedict thanks Fr Enrico for Lenten Retreat on Renewal of Priesthood. See here
Monday, 1 March 2010
Saturday, 27 February 2010
A highly recommended article by Fr Massimo Canisasca, clearly a priest after the heart of Pope Benedict. His writing bears the hall marks of one who has been listening and learning from our Holy Father for some considerable time. Go here to read it.
Tuesday, 23 February 2010
The following articles are at Zenit - link at bottom of bloglist or here
Articles: 28403 'A Peek at the Pope's Retreat'; 28404 'Twin Priests'; 28407 'Priest Killed in Mexico'; 28410 'The Priest in the Offertory of the Mass'; 28427 'The Pope is a Model for Living Lent'.
Friday, 19 February 2010
We were given very little warning, just under two hours to be exact, although a notice had been put in the village shop window in the morning (in amongst all the Lotto adverts), which we had missed. Fortunately our attention was drawn to it in the late afternoon and we were able to go.
A new priest has been assigned to our Canton and will have the care of 24 paishes, including ours! What an assignment! He is very young and I think may be a Dominican on loan to the Diocese. Please pray for him. His name is Fr Florian Marchand. In spite of the large number of parishes, he told us after Mass that he is determined to get to them all on a regular rota, so our next Mass will be sometime round about Easter. When you have lived in a village for all this time and had thought that Mass would never be celebrated here again, his assurance was music to the ears. I wished him a happy Year of the Priest and his eyes lit up. We are still walking on the air of joy and thanksgiving. What a wonderful gift from Our Lord, His Blessed Mother and Saint Bernadette with which to begin Lent.
More details as time allows.
Tuesday, 16 February 2010
With my prayers that you all will have a blessed Ash Wednesday and a holy and fruitful Lent,
Saturday, 13 February 2010
Father has prepared three other plans which are also very attractive, but I thought that this one may be of specific interest to spiritual mothers and friends. Go here for link to details of all the plans and click the title of your choice to access the file you wish to read or print.
Mantilla twitch to Fr Finigan for alerting me to this on 'The Hermeneutic of Continuity'.
Thursday, 11 February 2010
" A Vietnamese priest imprisoned for his human-rights advocacy is in 'rapidly deteriorating condition, according to the US Commission on Religious Freedom. Father Thadeus Nguyen Van Ly, who was sentenced to an 8-year prison term in 2007 because of his involvement in a democracy movement, has now spent 16 of his 61 years in jail. Thye American human rights group called attention to his plight as a way of highlighting Vietnames violations against civil liberties and religious freedom."
Please go here for a report from Asia News.
Wednesday, 10 February 2010
Tuesday, 9 February 2010
1. "Mounting German Abuse Scandal: nearly 100 Church workers suspected"
Source: Catholic Culture, whose report gives link to three others on the matter. Access them all here
2. "Dublin's Archbishop Martin rejects complaints about his stand on abuse"
Source: also at Catholic Culture, whose report links to accounts in the Irish Independent and the Belfast Telegraph. See here
Both items bear today's date.
Monday, 8 February 2010
The major impetus in this plea to the Holy Father, is the fervent desire that the spirit of this Year of the Priest, should be perpetually represented before Our Lady in her Litany.
Saturday, 6 February 2010
Friday, 5 February 2010
Wednesday, 3 February 2010
Russel's mother Joyce has also been a dear friend since 1964 and who showed me unstinting and tireless compassion and Christian love during a very dark period of my own life. I knew before Christmas that Joyce was very ill. Nevertheless, it was still a terrible shock to receive news from Russell this morning that she died on January 25th. The news came by post because he had tried to contact me via my old, now cancelled freeserve address. He tells me: "Joyce's Requiem Mass will be on February 9 at 1.45pm at St. Mary's Church, Stanwell, Middlesex." He knows I will not be able to attend but asks for my prayers. He continues that after Christmas Joyce had refused any further chemo or invasive treatment. "She knew what she wanted and trusted that God would call her in His own good time."
I would be most grateful if you would offer a prayer for Joyce and for her grieving Russell.
In the meantime I don't intend to post here again until Friday.
Monday, 1 February 2010
Thank you Father Barron; Father McBrien please listen.
Sunday, 31 January 2010
She has updated me as to the activities in one of the local Catholic primary schools. Apparently all the teachers have been asked to choose a priest to whom their class will send cards, promising him that they are praying for him. It's been suggested that they show the children a picture of the priest and talk to them about his life and the work he does in his parish. One teacher has already produced her own cards for the younger children to colour in and another will suggest to the older children that they write their own message inside the card.
I pray that these ideas will spread throughout the Catholic Primary schools of the United Kingdom and beyond, and I thank my 'sister' for approaching this school in Birmingham.
Meanwhile in Rome today after the Angelus the young spokesperson for about 5,000 youngsters present in the square below, told the Holy Father, "Papa, we love you."
Friday, 29 January 2010
This morning I received a sample pack from my sister in Birmingham (St John Fisher) . I am most grateful to her. Follow the link to see what the pack consists of. I'm now wearing my 'pray for a priest bracelet' which acts as a constant reminder to pray with and for my spiritual sons, and my spiritual fathers.. If you order 5 packs or more, they are only $1.
Thursday, 28 January 2010
During the afternoons I make my spiritual Adoration and Communion. I'll be going to Father's 'virtual chapel' for about an hour very shortly now. This virtual chapel is a wonderful idea, especially for people who are unable to get to church as often as they would like. Thank you Father and Suzanne in Australia who works so hard for TSW to reach us all.
Wednesday, 27 January 2010
" A fascinating journey that explores the mission of the priest, narrates the vocation of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, presents the patron saint of priests, the Cure d'Ars, explains the ordination ritual, and takes the audience from an international seminary in Rome to the place of the first Eucharist, the Cenacle in Jerusalem. A personal testimony on the very call that unites Cardinals like Joseph Zen (China),Ocar Rdriques Maradiaga (Honduras), Julian Herranz (Spain), and Francis Arinze (Nigeria) to tell how they discovered their priestly vocation. The special report includes an interview with Cardinal Claudio Hummes, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy and chief organiser of the Year for Priests."
Contact Caterina Giobbio at firstname.lastname@example.org
Her phone number is 0039 02 58 30 59 49. I assume one omits the zero after the international code, if calling from outside Italy.
Tuesday, 26 January 2010
Monday, 25 January 2010
The first has a school connection which is excellent http://www.cardsforpriests.org
The second is http://www.alterchristi.com
Thanks to my 'sister' at St. John Fisher, birmingham, UK, for sending thsese in.
Sunday, 24 January 2010
This blog is not the place to go more deeply into our situation. If I post on these matters in any detail, my musings will be found on my Oasis blog. And even there, I tend to put prayer first, as you will see from my current post - "The Eve of the English Welsh Ad limina: Prayer before Punditry" l beg you to go there and join me in praying the special Litany that I've composed for the Holy Father, our bishops and the flock in England and Wales. (Link in sidebar here to 'Thoughts from an Oasis....")
Thank you for your time spent in reading this. God bless all here.
Friday, 22 January 2010
Twice daily Rosary
The (separate) ad limina visits to the Pope by the English & Welsh, and Scottish bishops. The E & W one begins on next Monday. Have not yet found date for the Scots' one. One site said it would follow immediately after the E & W one, and another, that it would take place later in the month of February.
Our Holy Father's intentions, health and well being
The same in regard to Father Mark Kirby and matters concerning his Cenacle of the Holy Face Monastery in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
All priests, but especially those who are wrongfully imprisoned, and those whose hearts are cold towards Our Lord in His presence in the tabernacle.
Spiritual Mothers everywhere, especially my readers, followers and friends of this blog.
APOLOGIES FOR BREVITY. NEXT POST ON SUNDAY EVENING
Thursday, 21 January 2010
Thank you Holy Father for sharing this with all of us. Please God, you and we may celebrate with joy and thanksgiving, your 60th anniversary of priesthood on June 29th next year.
Ad multos annos!
Wednesday, 20 January 2010
"I would like a community devited ti tge cintemplation of God's face to be formed to experience the presence of Jesus Christ and sing His praises."
Also at the very end Sister tells us that a Russian recently visited the Sanctuary and bought three images of the Holy Face, painted on glass. She has since heard that one of these is to be given to the Patriarch of Moscow. It is comforting to know that both our Pope and the Patriarch will now have a personal copy.
Sister was also asked how she felt about passing her life in contemplation of the Holy Face at Manoppello. Here is her reply:
"At first I did not intend to stay here seeking the Holy Face. I think that Jesus used my life to carry out His plan, which I was completely unaware of and of which I was a modest instrument. In my opinion, God intended to reveal His son to His poor children of the 21st century; He sought and found people to help Him carry out His plan, knowingly or unknowingly. As for me, I can only thank thosewho gace me their help along this journey with their means and their highest spiritual vision and those who supported me with their prayers. "
Sister then goes on to speak further about the unique nature of the Holy Face on the Veil:
"While the Eucharist can be celebrated everywhere - for this reason I wouldn't have left my monastery in Germany, since Jesus is present in the Eucharist everywhere - with the Manoppello Veil, He does even more: He manifests Himself. "
(Sister clearly believes that the face on the Veil IS truly that of Our Lord, and in her case that it is the face of Our Lord after His resurrection, and further, as I suggested in a previous post, that somehow, and in a way which we may never know, this true Face was imprinted on the Veil and then because it is God's will, it has survived to the present day.
I'm not sure whether the interview was in German, Italian or English, but if in Italian, perhaps it is the translation into "He does even more:" which gives the impression that Sister thinks the Veil is more important than the Eucharistic presence of Jesus. I really find it difficult to believe she would have wanted to give that impression. Or perhaps Sister was not speaking her native German and that is how such an impression could be given. Perhaps Father Mark could shed light on how well Sister speaks English or Italian. Even if the Face on the Veil IS truly that of Jesus, it is just that, the human Face He had when he dwelt among us. It surely cannot be claimed, like the Blessed Sacrament, to contain, His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. Of course, whether one believes it is the True Face imprinted there by some divine artistry, or that it was humanly wrought in a way not yet discovered, the contemplation of that Face should lead us to deeper adoration of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, to a greater longing to be united with Him in Holy Communion, and inspire us to greater faith in Our Lord's Presence and a more profound recollection, before, during and after our reception of the Sacrament.
However she continues:
"The first commandment ......is loving God. Love means worship and contemplation. I can do this here; it is always possible to worship and contemplate God in spirit. Yet God Incarnate has a unique , which I can only contemplate here at Manoppello."
Readers may not want to know what I feel about the Holy Face at Manoppello, but on balance I think it would be an evasion not to tell you. I tend to the belief that it is the True Face of Our Lord but at what point between His Passion and Ascension into heaven, I do not know and am happy to remain in that ignorance for as long as the Lord wills; I admire Sister Blandina beyond measure and am grateful to her for her long years of patient, devoted and productive research and study; and I am convinced there is a relation between the images on the Shroud and on the Veil (Even on the several pictures of both that I have, I can recognize this. ) Moreover, it wasn't the fact that the Holy Father visited Mannoppello that has helped my conviction. No, that was achieved by his mien and what he said whilst there. Should I ever have the remotest opportunity, I will visit the Sanctuary taking with me the mental images of that mien, and a copy of what he said. My pigrimage would be to the end that the Veil at Manoppello will lead me, and all of us to a deeper faith in, and contemplative adoration of, Our Lord in his Eucharistic presence, His Eucharistic Face. And most importantly as a spiritual mother, my prayer would be for priests, particularly those who have grown cold toward Him in the tabernacles of the world, and those who argue that Eucharistic Adoration and/or Exposition is unnecessary, irrelevant, and a backward step. Most of us pray thus for priests each day in any case, but to do so before the Blessed Sacrament and the Holy Face at Manoppello would be something unutterably special.
Tuesday, 19 January 2010
Difficulties that faced Sister Blandina:
As Sister says, these "came from the fact that it is impossible to recognise the face of the Manoppello Veil in the Holy Shroud while is is sometimes possible to recognise the face of the Shroud in the image of Manoppello, for example, in the shadow. In my opinion this dissimilitude is traceable to the fact that the Shroud shows the face of Jesus dead, whereas the Manoppello Veil shows the face of Jesus risen from the dead."
Sister was then asked whether it is dangerous to say to modern man that there is an authentic image of the Resurrected Lord. She replied:
"Yes, but we must say it. Also we must say that the Holy Face is the document providing evidence of Jesus' resurrection in the same way as the Shroud proves His passion and death on the cross. In my opinion the image on the Manoppello Veil cannot be Jesus face before death, since though it definitely shows the face of a living person, it is a face bearing the marks of death."
At this point in all humility I would have liked to have asked her to describe those marks in a little more detail. The Shroud shows the whole body, whilst the Veil image shows only the face. If there are marks of the Crown of Thorns, those were inflicted before the crucifixion; if there is a bruise on the left hand side of the nose, there are many points during the Passion when this could have been sustained. Can sister bring evidence to prove that the face of the person on the Manoppello Veil suffered death by crucifixion? Without such proof could, not one be forgiven for thinking that it may after all be the 'Veronica Veil', or since that is widely thought to be legend, a veil that was used at some point during the Passion to wipe the face of our Beloved Jesus before His crucifixion?
It may seem a strange thing to say but I think of the Holy Face at Manoppello, as I have always felt about the Shroud of Turin. Science may never prove that either of them is, or is not, the true Holy image of Our Lord. That doesn't matter either. My belief is that both images have been preserved because it is God's will that we may see them, and thus be drawn to contemplate and adore the human form and face of our Lord. But contemplation and adoration function at other deeper levels, as I believe our Holy Father was indicating in his addresses when he visited Manoppello. The Shroud and the Veil are holy and should be venerated so that they may help us to approach and perhaps reach those deeper levels.
All the above is not to say anything at all against the dedication of Sister Blandina. Far from it. In the final post of this 'Holy Face' series, I'll consider the final part of the interview with Sister about her own vocation, and I think you will see what I mean.
I have to go shopping now and it is a horrible wrench to leave the subject. I may edit and add to this post later.
Monday, 18 January 2010
It's in French but I think you'll find that it won't impede the understanding of non-Francophones.
Sister Blandina Paschalis Schloman:
1943 Born at Karisbad-Aich , Germany
1962 Left school and joined Missionary Sisters of Jesus' Precious Blood
1965 Specialises in mosaic painting and Conducts her first study of the Holy Shroud of Turin
1966 Begins study of Pharmaceutics at University of Wurzburg and Bonn
1973 Enters the Trappist order
1976 Begins the study of Icons in France
1979 Is shown a photograph of the Holy Face of Manoppello in a magazine. It is the first time she has seen or heard of it.
1984 She contacts tow Holy Shroud specialists. begins a comparative study of the Shroud and the Manoppello Face
1991 Produces first superimpositions of the two images.
1998 She exhibits 27 panels known collectively as 'Face of Faces. these show the coincidence ot the images on the Shroud and on the Veil. The panels are now on display at Manoppello and I do hope the Holy Father had time to visit them when he was there in 2006.
Sister's reaction on first seeing the magazine photograph: "I didn't even want to look at it, as I believed that the only image of Christ's face was that of the Holy Shroud (I had read all the German Literature about it.) Yet I was deeply impressed by the look of that face and, in compliance of what I felt to be Jesus' will. I eventually resolved to find out whether that image was in any way related to the Lord."
From the article that accompanied the photograph Sister learned that the Shroud and Veil images were the same size. She cotinues: "Obstinate as I was, I tried to disprove that statement. So I begain to study this subject which easily fitted in with my new activity of icon painting. As I compared the two images, I realised they referred to the same person.
Sister proved, at least to her own satisfaction, that the images on Shroud and Veil showed the same asymmetry. and so she began to think that the face on the Veil was also the Face of Christ. Speaking in 2009 she says "Throughout these years I've done nothing but compare the two images with new photographs and photocopies." Further she says, that in 1991 she was "able to notice the coincidence of the wounds and other details: in other words, the two images showed the same person."
Next post: Difficulties, dangers and Sister's present convictions about the Veil at Manoppello.
Sunday, 17 January 2010
Has the visit of Pope Benedict affected the number of pilgrims visiting the Sanctuary of the Holy Face?
Most definitely, yes. On the date of his visit, Yahoo news gave the annual number of pilgrims at around 250,ooo. In the ITV interview Fr Carmine Cucinelli the Sanctuary's Rector, said that in the year preceding the interview (2008-9) 600,000 souls had made the pilgrimage.
Where do the pilgrims come from?
Before the Pope's visit the Holy Face at Manoppello was little known, even in Italy. Many Italians were surprised to hear of its existence. Now, it is world famous and people come from 'America and other countries like the Philippines'. The most impressive national cohort is definitely the Polish one. Never a day goes by without the arrival of at least one coach-load of Polish pilgrims and on many days there are three or four Polish coaches. Fr Cucinelli remebers one day when there were seven.
What further developments have there been which indicate increased interest in the Holy Face? People have begun to write in asking for images and picture postcards. For this reason information on the Sanctuary and its religious meaning has been translated into 10 languages and a four language website has been set up. Here's the link again: http://voltosanto.it
Are there any books on the subject?
Yes there are three, by Paul Badde, Sister Blandina and Fr Pfeiffer respectively but according to Fr Cucinelli they are only published in Germany. Come on Ignatius Press! Please do something about this!
Has any research been conducted recently?
1. Researchers from L'Aquila University carried out surveys with an infrared ray camera. At the time of the interview results were awaited. (No mention is made of the earthquake which perhaps may have destroyed these results.)
2. The director of the Audiovisual Technique and Image Semiotics at Gdansk University in Poland has taken pictures that prove the veil is not a painting. A Raman laser survey has been carried out. this makes use of a graph to identify the components of the material analysed. This has been twice applied to the veil bearing the Holy Face and each time the result has been the same: only the protein of watered silk is present on the points analysed.
Does this fully confirm that the Veil is not a painting?
Here is Father Cucinelli's answer in full: "Definitely: it's not a painting since there's no trace of minerals or other substances. The exam detected only one protein which is in all likelihood that of watered silk. Another survey has been carried out too: a specialist from the National Council of Research took three-dimensional photographs to detect the thickness and the numbers of layers of the Veil. We are waiting for the results, which will certainly be of great interest."
Has the case holding the veil ever been opene?
No, in order to avoid the risk of damaging the veil.
Have their been other decelopments as a result of Pope Benedict's visit?
Yes. When he went there, our Holy Father raised the Sanctuary to the status of basilica. This means that a Plenary Indulgence can be gained by visiting the Sanctuary on any of the following days (there are others, please make enquiries at the Sanctuary website, or by writing a letter.)
1. Festivals related to the Holy Face -third Sunday of May and August 6th .
2. Festivals related to the Holy Father - Feb 22 St. Peter's Chair; June 29 SS Peter & Paul; April April 19 Anniversary of Pope Benedict's election; September 22 Anniversary of the raising of the Sanctuary to basilica status.
How has this affected the life and work of the Franciscan community who are keepers of the Sanctuary?
Fr Cucinelli's reply: "Two friars stay in the church all day long to receive the pilgrims (our community is now made up of six priests). The arrival of so many pilgrims has considerably increased the work of our confessors. Our only problem is languages, as our community is made up of Italian friars who speak some English and Spanish, but we need speakers of other languages like Polish."
A prayer for help from Polish speaking priests is implicit in Father's last sentence, and indeed a prayer for vocations to his community. I'm sure that Spiritual Mothers and their friends will want to bear this in mind.
Next post will be about Sister Blandina's life and contribution to the life of the Sanctuary. It will also report some of her recent thoughts and convictions about the Holy Face image itself.
Saturday, 16 January 2010
The veil is believed to have been in Manoppello since 1506 and was donated to the Sanctuary in 1638. Our Holy Father's visit was the highlight of 500th anniversary celebrations which went on all year in 2006. I believe he is the first Pope ever to have visited the shrine.
I've been unable to find other footage of the visit but Joan Lewis gives an outline of the occasion (see link in earlier post). On arrival outside the small shrine Pope Benedict was greeted by a crowd of about 7,000 faithful. In a brief speech before going inside, he told them:
"I see that the Church is a large family. Wherever the Pope goes the family meets with great joy. For me this is a sign of lively faith, of communion and of the peace that faith creates, and I am deeply grateful to you for this welcome." In closing, he revisited and explained his opening perception.
"As the Psalms say, we are all 'seeking the Face of the Lord'. And this is also the meaning of my Visit. Let us seek together to know the Face of the Lord even better, and in the Face of the Lord let us find this impetus of love and peace which also reveals to us the path of our life."
After the Holy Father went into the Shrine, the events shown in the video took place. He was then presented with gifts and addressed the assembly of priests, seminarians and those in consecrated life. Joan Lewis rightly points out, ".....the Pope did not state - nor has the Church - that the icon (?*) is indeed the face of the Saviour". (*my question mark). No, he did not, but as usual drew a deeper meaning and taught a deeper lesson. (You can read his entire address by googling 'Pope Benedict XVI Speeches'. Choose the site of the Holy See and when you reach it, click and scroll until you come to September 1st, 2006.)
Here are extracts from the first paragraph:
"First of all, I must once again say a heartfelt 'thank you' for this welcome............for the expression of your friendship and for the deeply meaningful gifts: the Face of Christ venerated here, for me, for my house,.................... I simply want to thank the Lord for today's simple family meeting in a place where we can meditate on the mystery of divine love, contemplating the image of the Holy Face."
Then comes a hint perhaps that the visit had not been widely publicised. in accordance with the Pope's express wishes. He thanked those present for "the dedication and discretion with which you have supported my private pilgrimage, which nevertheless as an ecclesial pilgrimage cannot be entirely private."
The clergy and religious present were then especially thanked and given a beautiful message.
"You are people whom I like to think of as in love with Christ, attracted by him and determined to make your own life a continous quest for his Holy Face." This struck a deep chord in me, because it is how I 'like the think' of Pope Benedict himself.
Having been unable to find footage of this speech being delivered, I cannot know how much was read from a script and how much was an extempore departure. However, the Holy Father goes on: "During my pause for prayer just now, I was thinking of the first two Apostles who, urged by John the Baptist, followed Jesus to the banks of the Jordan River........." He then spends a further two pages, in fact the majority of his address, expounding to them the details of his own meditation before the Holy Face. It is an astounding privilege to know and learn from what the Holy Father was thinking as he gazed at the Manoppello image. I implore you to read it in full but will allow myself one final quote here. In reference to the Psalmist's 'clean hands and a pure heart', our Holy Father said, "Clean hands, that is a life illumined by the truth of love that overcomes indifference, doubt, falsehood and selfishness; and pure hearts are essential too, hearts enraptured by divine beauty, as the little Teresa of Lisieux says in her prayer to the Holy Face, hearts stamped with the hallmark of the Face of Christ.
Dear priests, if the holiness of the Face of Christ remains impressed within you, pastors of Christ's flock, do not fear: the faithful entrusted to your care will also be infected with it and transformed."
The immediate effects of the Manoppello visit are in the Holy Father's own words and behaviour. And the influence of both, mark his Pontificate in a most unambivalent way. In the next post on this subject I'll look at the subsequent and consequent effects of his visit on the shrine at Manoppello itself, and also at some recent research discoveries concerning the veil image, as reported in the ITV article which inspired this series of posts.
Friday, 15 January 2010
When you've seen the video I hope you'll agree I was wise to wait.
Thursday, 14 January 2010
this second one will lead you to the blog of Raymond Frost;
and this third, to a column in 'Joan's Rome' site on EWTN.
Fr Mark Kirby, who incidentally inaugurated his 'Vultus Christi' blog on the same day as the Pope's visit, later made a pilgrimage to Manoppello and posted about it on February 2, 2007.
If you are unfamiliar with the above items, I do recommend that you read them before continuing here.
Immediately below, I mention three matters, before going on to consider the spiritual impact (at the time and since) of the Holy Face, and of the Holy Father's veneration of it.
1. Among the comments on the report, you will find one which dismisses any claim as to the 'Face' being similar to the one on the Shroud of Turin, because of the absence of a moustache on the former. Actually, the picture reproduced in the recent 'Inside the Vatican' article, certainly does show a moustache. Yes, it is faint, like the beard, but it is definitely there.
2."Pope Benedict became curious about this image when, as Cardinal Ratzinger, he was given a photo of the face that had been taken by a fellow German, Cardinal Joachim Meisner .........just before the start of the 2005 conclave." (See above link to 'Joan's Rome', EWTN.)
3. Doctor Robert Moynihan, editor of ITV has visited the 'Holy Face', but the current article is by Wlodzimierz Redzioch who returned to Manoppello three years after the Pope's visit to find out what has changed since then and whether further research has been done into the Veil. The article takes the shape of interviews, in question and answer format, with Fr Cucinelli, the rector of the sanctuary and Sr Blandina, a German Trappist nun who lives there as a hermit.
The interviews provide satisfying answers to his quest, and ours.
First I would like to consider the immediate impact of the Pope's visit, for himself and for those who gathered around him on that occasion. I hope to attempt this in another post tomorrow.