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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Feast of St. Andrew

Today is the Feast Day of St. Andrew, the Patron Saint of fishermen and of Scotland. Why Scotland?

From this website:

"St. Andrew is said to have been responsible for spreading the tenets of the Christian religion though Asia Minor and Greece. Tradition suggests that St. Andrew was put to death by the Romans in Patras, Southern Greece by being pinned to a cross (crucified). The diagonal shape of this cross is said to be the basis for the Cross of St. Andrew which appears on the Scottish Flag.

St. Andrews bones were entombed, and around 300 years later were moved by Emperor Constantine (the Great) to his new capital Constantinople (now Istambul in Turkey). Legend suggests that a Greek Monk (although others describe him as an Irish assistant of St. Columba) called St. Rule (or St. Regulus) was warned in a dream that St. Andrews remains were to be moved and was directed by an angel to take those of the remains which he could to the "ends of the earth" for safe-keeping. St. Rule dutifully followed these directions, removing a tooth, an arm bone, a kneecap and some fingers from St. Andrew's tomb and transporting these as far away as he could. Scotland was close to the extremities of the know world at that time and it was here that St. Rule was shipwrecked with his precious cargo.

St. Rule is said to have come ashore at a Pictish settlement on the East Coast of Scotland and this later became St. Andrews. Thus the association of St. Andrew with Scotland was said to have begun."

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Monday, November 27, 2006

Knights of Columbus "Spiritual Pilgrimage"

The Knights of Columbus are encouraging everyone to participate in a Spiritual Pilgrimage to pray for the safety of Pope Benedict XVI while he visits Turkey.

This is interesting, from Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson :

“We will ask Our Lady of Fatima to intercede for the pope during this journey,” Anderson continued. “Mary is regarded with special esteem by people of the Islamic faith, and this is especially true under her title Our Lady of Fatima, since Fatima was the name of the prophet Mohammed’s daughter.”

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Is the Pope Getting In To The Holiday Spirit?

Not exactly. The hat is called a "camuaro" and was commonly worn during mediaeval times to keep warm. It's made of red wool or velvet with ermine trim. The camuaro has been part of the papal wardrobe since the 12th Century. Cardinals also wore camuaros (without the trim) until 1464 when it became exclusively a papal lid. The last Pope to be seen in public wearing the camuaro was Pope John XXIII in 1963 until Pope Benedict XVI revived the tradition last year. Posted by Picasa

The Saturno

In warmer months, the Pope may don a Saturno. It's called that because it (supposedly) is reminiscent of the rings of Saturn. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Cathedrale Christ-Roi

We usually think of cathedrals as beautiful, reverential, solemn, and dignified places. But sometimes a cathedral can be downright ugly. Take for example the Cathedral of Christ the King in Gaspe, Canada. Please. Posted by Picasa

Cathedral of the Good Shepherd

Back to the cathedral stuff...the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd is located in Singapore. It holds the relics of St. Laurent-Marie-Joseph Imbert, the first Roman Cathoic priest to visit Singapore. One of the interesting things about attending Mass here is that instead of shaking hands, everyone just bows to each other. On the down side - no air conditioning. Singapore lies one degree from the equator and the daily temperatures year round are between 90 and 75 degrees. The lowest temperature EVER recorded in Singapore was 69 degrees. The average humidity is near 85%. It makes for a sticky time... Posted by Picasa

What Are We Thankful For?

I asked my class to list the things that they are thankful for during our last class. So what are they thankful for? These things:

Parents, grandparents, sisters and brothers, cousins, nephews, life, Mass, Father Federico, soccer, pets, home, school, health, food, and PSR (yeah, well I think there might have been some sucking up going on there).

And last but not least - pig. Not pigs, not a pig, not my pig. Just pig.


Two for the Price of One!

Today is the Feast Day of TWO St. Catherines!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Learning Latin

To prepare for the loosening of restrictions in the use of the Tridentine Mass, May I recommend this to help improve your Latin?

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Birthday, Cardinal Baum!

Cardinal William Wakefield Baum celebrated his 80th birthday on Tuesday. His first posting after ascending to bishop was Springfield-Cape Girardeau in 1970. According to Rocco Palmo, "In accord with the norms of law and the constitution of Paul VI Ingravescentem aetatem, Baum's remaining curial memberships cease today, as does his prerogative of participating in another conclave. A frequent traveler between Rome and DC, he's likely celebrating the day at his primo Roman apartment overlooking St Peter's Square, his longtime, ubiquitous aide Msgr Jim Gillen ever dutifully behind-the-scenes.

Baum's superannuation leaves the number of voting cardinals at 115. Given Benedict XVI's keenness to keep the number at the Pauline limit of 120, and to keep the full complement regularly topped off, look for a consistory sometime in the late spring or early summer, by which time the number of cardinal-electors will fall to 107, just on account of more princes of the church hitting the big 8-0." Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 20, 2006

If They Were in the Comics...

Here's what they'd look like if they were in an Archie comic book (do they still have those?). Posted by Picasa

Here's Our Class! All Smarter Than Average!

From left to right: Rebecca Mitchell, Bailey Flamm, Mary Blakley, Nathan Sweitzer, Savannah Eck, and Sarah Coleman. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Today's Class November 19

Class will begin, as usual, with a discussion of the readings for today's Mass. You can find the readings here. We will talk about the Feast Day of St. Cecilia (November 22).

Last class, we talked about the seasons of the Church. In discussing Advent, we talked about preparing for the coming of Christ - not just the birth of Christ, but also at the final judgement. Today's gospel is relevant to our discussion of Advent - it ends with ""But of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."

We then will discuss Thanksgiving and what it means to a Catholic. We will review the types of prayers we as Catholics can offer. Of course, one type of prayer is a a prayer of thanksgiving (which ties in rather neatly, don't you think?).

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Notre Dame vs Army Today at 1:30PM


Cathedra Romana

This is the Papal Cathedra (or Cathedra Romana), which is situated in the Basilica of St.John Lateran. Like all basilica, it is dedicated to the Most Holy Savior, but is also dedicated to St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist who are considered as co-patrons. Posted by Picasa

St. Peter's Basilica

The calendar shows that today is the Feast of the Basilicas of St. Peter and Paul. Interestingly, there is a Basilica of St. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia, but the feast is talking about the basilicas in Rome.

St. Peter's (see photo) is supposedly where St. Peter is buried, although there is nothing in the New Testament to suggest St. Peter was ever in Rome. I learned something new...a cathedra is Latin for "chair" and it is believed that a part of the cathedra from which St. Peter led the Church is built into the altar. The place where the cathedra (the symbol of teaching authority in the Catholic Church) resides is called a cathedral. This is no longer the Papal cathedra. Of course, now I have to try to find a photo of the Pope's cathedra. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Another Brick in the Wall

Pope Benedict XVI celebrated the Church's World Day of Migrants and Refugees this week. During a press conference after the event, Cardinal Retano Martino said that the building of a fence along the U.S./Mexico border was part of an "inhuman program."

Asked if the U.S.-Mexican fence was the wrong thing to do, Martino said: "Yes, that's exactly what it is."

OK, kids! It's time for a pop quiz!


Hint #1 It forms the western and southern boundry of a famous city state.

Hint # 2 It was built by order of Pope Leo IV in the year 852 to keep out marauding Muslims.

Hint #3 This is what it looks like from outer space.

Give up? OK, one more hint...Cardinal Martino has seen it MANY TIMES!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

St. Frances Cabrini

Yesterday was the feast day of an American saint, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini. As you hopefully remember from our class discussion about American Saints, St. Frances Cabrini was born in Italy and came to the United States to work with the large Italian immigrant population. She became an American citizen in 1909 and died in Chicago in 1917. She is the Patron Saint of Immigrants.

She was the first non-martyred American Saint.

Do you remember the other American Saints?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Diocese of Belleville

The Diocese of Belleville web site is here. I have also put a link for it over there! On the right!

Vatican Observatory

Did you know that the Vatican has its own observatory? It does! You can learn about it here.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Reading and Psalms

You can prepare for Mass by reading in ADVANCE here. That way, our class will be able to discuss the readings even if you haven't been to Mass yet!

Catholic Calendar

Did you ever wonder how I know whose Feast Day is coming up? It's easy to find out. Just click here. You can read a little about the saints and find other very interesting stuff.

The first blog entry

A test for the blog.