Friday, November 21, 2014

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SOLEMNITIES, FEASTS AND MEMORIALS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

Feast is a general term for the days celebrated commemorating the important events in the lives of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the saints. These feasts are not just ordinary feasts, they have special elements. One of these elements is that they serve as very important reminders to Christians how God loves His people and how His power prevails over Satan. The feasts of saints remind Christians how these saints triumphantly offered their lives in the service of God.

There are three types of feasts: Solemnities, Feasts and Memorials 

1. Solemnity is a celebration of utmost importance, the highest rank of all feasts. It is identified in the Catholic calendar with a capital letter S. Solemnities are like Sunday celebrations wherein the Gloria and the Creed are being prayed.

2. Feast is a celebration next in rank after Solemnity. It is identified in the calendar with a capital letter F. The Gloria is prayed but not the Creed.

3. Memorials are of the lowest rank. There are two types of Memorials: the Obligatory Memorial and the Optional Memorial. 

     a. Obligatory Memorials must be observed but the Gloria is not prayed on this day. It is identified in the Catholic calendar with a capital letter M.

      b. Optional Memorials is identified in the calendar with a small letter m. The observance of this memorial is not required.

Solemnities

- Epiphany of the Lord
- Resurrection of the Lord
- Ascension of the Lord
- Pentecost
- Holy Trinity
- Body and Blood of Christ
- Sacred Heart of Jesus
- Christ the King

January 1 - Mary, Mother of God
March 19 - St. Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary
March 25 - Annunciation
June 24 - Birth of St. John the Baptist
June 29 - Saints Peter and Paul, apostles
August 15 - Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
November 1 - All Saints
December 8 - Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
December 25 - Birth of our Lord

Feasts

- Baptism of the Lord
- Holy Family

January 25 - Conversion of Saint Paul
February 2 - Presentation of the Lord
February 22 - Chair of Saint Peter, apostle
April 25 - Saint Mark the Evangelist
May 3 - Saints Philip and James, apostles
May 14 - Saint Matthias, apostle
May 31 - Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to St. Elizabeth
July 3 - Saint Thomas, apostle
July 25 - Saint James, apostle
August 6 - Transfiguration of the Lord
August 10 - Saint Lawrence, deacon and martyr
August 24 - Saint Bartholomew, apostle
September 8 - Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary
September 14 - Triumph of the Holy Cross
September 21 - Saint Matthew, apostle and evangelist
September 29 - Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, archangels
October 18 - Saint Luke, evangelist
October 28 - Saint Simon and Saint Jude, apostles
November 9 - Dedication of the Lateran Basilica
November 30 - Saint Andrew, apostle
December 26 - Saint Stephen, first martyr
December 27 - Saint John, apostle and evangelist
December 28 - Holy Innocents, martyr

Obligatory Memorials

Immaculate Heart of Mary

January 2 - Saints Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen
January 17 - Saint Anthony of Egypt
January 21 - Saint Agnes
January 24 - Saint Frances de Sales
January 26 - Saints Timothy and Titus
January 28 - Saint Thomas Aquinas
January 31 - Saint John Bosco
February 5 - Saint Agatha
February 6 - Saint Paul Miki and Companions
February 10 - Saint Scholastica
February 14 - Saints Cyril and Methodius
February 23 - Saint Polycarp
March 7 - Saints Perpetua and Felicity
April 7 -Saint John Baptist de la Salle
April 11 - Saint Stanislaus
April 29 - Saint Catherine of Sienna
May 2 - Saint Athanasius
May 26 - Saint Philip Neri
June 1 - Saint Justin 
June 3 - Saint Charles Lwanga and companions
June 5 - Saint Boniface
June 11 - Saint Barnabas, apostle
June 13 - Saint Anthony of Padua
June 21 - Saint Aloysius Gonzaga
June 28 - Saint Irenaeus
July 11 - Saint Benedict
July 15 - Saint Bonaventure
July 22 - Saint Mary Magdalene
July 26 - Saints Joaquim and Anne, parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary
July 29 - Saint Martha
July 31 - Saint Ignatius of Loyola
August 1 - Saint Alphosus Maria de Liguori 
August 4 - Saint John Mary Vianney 
August 8 - Saint Dominic
August 11 - Saint Clare
August 14 - Saint Maximillian Mary Kolbe
August 20 - Saint Bernard of Clairvaux
August 21 - Saint Pius X
August 22 - Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary
August 27 - Saint Monica, mother of Saint Augustine of Hippo
August 28 - Saint Augustine of Hippo
August 29 - The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist
September 3 - Saint Gregory the Great
September 13 - Saint John Chrysostom
September 15 - Our Lady of Sorrows
September 16 - Saints Cornelius and Cyprian
September 20 - Saint Andrew Kim Taegon and 
                        Saint Paul Chong Hasang and companions
September 23 - Saint Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio)
September 27 - Saint Vincent de Paul
September 30 - Saint Jerome
October 1 -Saint Therese of the Child Jesus
October 2 - Guardian Angels
October 4 - Saint Francis of Assisi
October 7 - Our Lady of the Rosary
October 15 - Saint Teresa of Avila
October 17 - Saint Ignatius of Antioch
November 4 - Saint Charles Borromeo
November 10 - Saint Leo the Great
November 11 - Saint Martin of Tours
November 12 - Saint Josaphat
November 17 - Saint Elizabeth of Hungary
November 21 - Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
November 22 - Saint Cecilia
November 24 - Saint Andrew Dung Lac and companions
December 3 - Saint Francis Xavier 
December 7 - Saint Ambrose
December 13 - Saint Lucy of Syracuse
December 14 - Saint John of the Cross










Wednesday, February 5, 2014

AMERICA'S ABORTION RATE DECREASES

Pregnant Woman Prostrate, Lying on the G by Black Photo Studio, on Flickr
cc photo by Cristi Sebastian Photography on flickr

Good news to all of us who are pro-life. Last February 3, 2014, Guttmacher Institute, an organization that works to advance reproductive health including abortion rights, and a former research arm of Planned Parenthood, reported on their site that "U.S. Abortion Rate Hits Lowest Level Since 1973".

The all-time highest abortion rate in the U.S. was in 1981 with 29.3 abortions per 1,000 women, but in 2011, the abortion rate was 16.9 per 1,000 women aged 15-44, which was a drop of 13%. Guttmacher also reported that the number of abortion providers decreased by 4% and the number of abortion clinics dropped by 1%.

There was no concrete reason for the decrease of the abortion rate, but it was believed that the 106 pro-life laws enacted in 2008 to 2011 with the majority of the laws went into effect in late 2011 had something to do with the decline of the abortion rate.

I believe that this is the result of consistent prayers by those who value life. Let's just keep on praying and praying. God is working behind the scenes and He's not finished yet.

Monday, January 20, 2014

THE CHURCH'S NEW CARDINALS

Just recently, Pope Francis announced the names of the new cardinals to be formally instated at an assembly of cardinals led by the Pope called Consistory on February 22, 2014, the Feast of the chair of St. Peter.

The new cardinals:

Archbishop Pietro Parolin - Italy
Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri - Italy
Archbishop-Bishop emeritus Gerhard Ludwig Müller - Germany
Archbishop Beniamino Stella - Italy
Archbishop Vincent Nichols - Great Britain
Archbishop Leopoldo José Brenes - Nicaragua
Archbishop Gérald Cyprien Lacroix - Canada
Archbishop Jean-Pierre Kutwa - Ivory Coast
Archbishop Orani Joäo Tempesta - Brazil
Archbishop Gualtiero Bassetti - Italy
Archbishop Mario Aurelio Poli - Argentina
Archbishop Andrew Yeom Soo Jung - South Korea
Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati Andrello - Chile
Archbishop Philippe Nakellentuba Ouédraogo - Burkina Faso
Archbishop Orlando B. Quevedo - Philippines
Bishop Chibly Langiois - Haiti
Archbishop Loris Francesco Capovilla - Italy
Archbishop emeritus Fernando Sebastian Aguilar - Spain
Archbishop emeritus Kelvin Edward Felix - St. Lucia

Source: 

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

CHOICE TWEETS FROM POPE FRANCIS FOR THE YEAR 2013

With the popularity of online social networking services such as Twitter, Vatican decided to use twitter to communicate further with the people around the world especially with the Catholics. So they created a twitter account - https://twitter.com/pontifex - for the Supreme Pontiff. The first pope who used the account was Pope Benedict XVI. But now he is replaced by Pope Francis.

Pope Francis started tweeting on March 17, 2013. As of December 31, the pope has over three million four hundred thousand followers worldwide, and these numbers are growing each minute.

Here are some of the tweets of Pope Francis that I find enlightening, inspiring and interesting with their corresponding dates:

Note:
Click the dates and you will be linked to the actual tweets of Pope Francis.

True power is service. The Pope must serve all people, especially the poor, the weak, the vulnerable. 

Support your priests with your love and prayers, that they may always be shepherds after Christ's heart.

Accept the risen Jesus into your life. Even if you have been far away, take a small step towards him: he awaits you with open arms.

How beautiful is the gaze with which Jesus regards us - how full of tenderness! Let us never lose trust in the patience and mercy of God.

Let us not forget: if we are to proclaim the gospel of Jesus, our lives must bear witness to what we preach.

Dear young people, do not bury your talents, the gifts that God has given you! Do not be afraid to dream of great things!

How marvelous it would be if, at the end of the day, each of us could say: today I have performed an act of charity towards others!

Dear young friends, learn from St. Joseph. He went through difficult times, but he always trusted, and he knew how to overcome adversity.

It would be a good idea, during May, for families to say the Rosary together. Prayer strengthens family life.

It is God who gives life. Let us respect and love human life, especially vulnerable life in a mother's womb.

We cannot be part-time Christians! We should seek to live our faith at every moment of every day.

On the feast of Mary Help of Christians, I join the Catholics in China who trust in the protection of Our Lady of Sheshan and I pray for them.

Miracles happen. But prayer is needed! Prayer that is courageous, struggling and persevering, not prayer that is mere formality.

We all have in our hearts some areas of unbelief. Let us say to the Lord: I believe! Help my unbelief.

Sometimes we know what we have to do, but we lack the courage to do it. Let us learn from Mary how to make decisions, trusting in the Lord.

With the "culture of waste", human life is no longer considered the primary value to be respected and protected.

Let the Church always be a place of mercy and hope, where everyone is welcomed, loved and forgiven.

Are you angry with someone? Pray for that person. That is what Christian love is. 

Christians are always full of hope; they should never get discouraged.

If we wish to follow Christ closely, we cannot choose an easy, quiet life. It will be a demanding life, but full of joy.

Never forget, young friends: The Virgin Mary is our Mother and with her help we can remain faithful to Christ.

May sports always be a means of exchange of growth, never of violence and hate.

Don't be afraid to ask God for forgiveness. He never tires of forgiving us. God is pure mercy.

With utmost firmness, I condemn the use of chemical weapons.

We ought never to lose hope. God overwhelms us with his grace. If we keep asking.

Jesus is the sun and Mary is the dawn announcing his rising. 

September 15, 2013
Seeking happiness in material things is a sure way of being unhappy.

God's forgiveness is stronger than any sin.

When we encounter the cross, we turn to Mary: Give us the strength, Mary our Mother, to accept and embrace the Cross!

Dear young people, do not be afraid of making decisive choices in life. Have faith; the Lord will not abandon you!

October 17, 2013
Our prayer cannot be reduced to an hour on Sundays. It is important to have a daily relationship with the Lord.

October 29, 2013
If money and material things become the center of our lives, they seize us and make us slaves.

November 9, 2013
I ask all of you to join me in prayer for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda especially those in the beloved islands of the Philippines.

To be saints is not a privilege for a few, but a vocation for everyone. 

November 29, 2013
It is hard to forgive others. Lord, grand us your mercy, so that we can always forgive.

December 14, 2013
This is Christian hope: that the future is in God's hands.








Sunday, December 29, 2013

POPE FRANCIS: TIME'S PERSON OF THE YEAR

My personal copy

Last December 11, 2013, Time magazine named Pope Francis as the 2013 Person of the Year (formerly Man of the Year). This is not the first time that a Supreme Pontiff was accorded with such honor. In 1962, Pope John XXIII was Time's Man of the Year, while Pope John Paul II was Time's Man of the Year in 1994. Interestingly, Pope Francis is scheduled to canonize his two predecessors next year. 

Why Time chose Pope Francis?

According to Time, Pope Francis has quickly captured the world's attention in just nine months in office.

     "And in a very short time, a vast, global, ecumenical audience has shown a hunger to follow him. For pulling the papacy out of the palace and into the streets, for committing the world's largest church to confronting its deepest needs and for balancing judgment with mercy, Pope Francis is TIME's 2013 Person of the Year." 
- Nancy Gibbs, Time

Aside from being Time's Person of the Year, he is also the most well regarded religious figure in America. According to CNN Polling Director Keating Holland, the Pope's approval rating is high in America; three in four Americans view him favorably.

Last November 12, Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-editor reported that Pope Francis is the most talked-about person on the planet according to the 14th annual survey from the Global Language Monitor.

And the most unexpected of all, even atheists admire him for his unpretentious humility, simplicity and closeness to people from all walks of life, especially the poorest of the poor and the needy.

Personally, for me, Pope Francis has sincerely showed God's mercy and kindness to the world most particularly to those who are in most need of mercy and kindness. Instead of being a leader, he is more of a loving father not just to Catholics but to everyone regardless of who they are, and that's what makes him Person of the Year