Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Catholic Acting Studio in Hollywood

After reading a copy of the latest issue of The Pauline Cooperator magazine, Karla from the new Catholic Acting Studio "Holywood" called me in Boston. She explained that members of this studio want to live and practice a Catholic spiritual life that is intergral to their work/mission as actors. The Pauline Charism encountered through the magazine reflected what they were looking for - and it already exists! When their first symposium was announced as being held at the Sisters Disciples of the Divine Master Liturgical Center we both knew the Spirit was on double-time. Karla and I actually connected on February 5th, the day Mother Thecla entered eternal life. My prayer to Mother Thecla that morning during Mass was for direction in our call to live the charism with the laity. After I called Sr Lucille at the Liturgical Center she told me that the sisters had just placed the magazine on the counter while Karla was contracting use of the premises. We all know that this is a work of the Spirit. Thank you for your prayers. 

Sr Margaret

Friday, February 19, 2010

Lent: Crossing the Desert

Lent is like crossing the desert...

In his Ash Wednesday homily, the Pope stressed that the "absolute certainty" of God's love sustained Christ during the forty days he spent in the Judean desert. "That long time of silence and fasting for him was a complete abandonment to the Father and to His plan of love. (...) Going into the desert (...) meant voluntarily exposing himself to the enemy's attacks, to temptation" (...) and "entering into battle with him on the open field, defying him without any weapon other than his infinite trust in the Father's omnipotent love."

"Adam was expelled from the earthly paradise, the symbol of communion with God", the pontiff said. "Now, in order to return to that communion and thus to eternal life we must pass through the desert, the test of faith. Not alone but with Jesus (...) who proceeds us and who has already conquered in the fight against the spirit of evil. This is the meaning of Lent, the liturgical time that, each year, invites us to renew our decision to follow Christ on the path of humility in order to participate in his victory over sin and death."

It is from this perspective that we understand the penitential sign of the ashes, the Holy Father explained. "Essentially, they are a gesture of humility that means: I recognize myself for what I am, a fragile creature made of earth and destined to return to the earth, but also made in the image of God and destined to return to Him. Dust, yes, but dust that is loved and shaped by His love (...) capable of recognizing His voice and responding to Him; free and thus also capable of disobeying, of giving in to the temptation of pride and self-sufficiency."

"Sin", Benedict XVI stated, "basically consists in disobeying God, in a lack of love. (...) The first act of justice is recognizing one's own iniquity (...) rooted at the heart of each person (...) An expression of penitence is only worthy in God's eyes if it is the sign of a sincerely repentant heart. (...) The true reward is not the admiration of others but friendship with God and the grace that derives from Him, the grace that gives peace and the strength to do good."

"In Christ's heart, at the center of His human and divine person, the entire drama of freedom was wagered in decisive and definitive terms. God brought His plan of salvation to its ultimate consequences, remaining faithful in His love even at the expense of delivering His only Son to death. (...) Thanks to Christ's action we can enter in to the "greater" justice, which is the justice of love."

"Lent enlarges our horizon, orients us toward eternal life (...) it makes us to understand the relativity of earthly goods and thus enables us to make the necessary renunciations, frees us to do good." the Holy Father concluded.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lent Openness to Divine Love


VATICAN CITY, 17 FEB 2010 (VIS) - "Today, Ash Wednesday, we begin the Lenten path that lasts forty days and which leads us to the joy of the Lord's Easter", the Pope said at the beginning of his catechesis during today's general audience, celebrated in the Paul VI Audience Hall.

Recalling the formula, "Convert and Believe in the Gospel", the Holy Father affirmed that "conversion means changing the direction of the path of our lives. (...) It is going against the current when the "current" is a superficial, incoherent, and illusory way of life that often drag us down, making us slaves of evil or prisoners of moral mediocrity. Nevertheless, through conversion we tend to the highest measure of Christian life, we trust in the living and personal Gospel who is Jesus Christ. He is the final goal and the profound path of conversion, the path that we are all called to travel in our lives, allowing ourselves to be illuminated with his light and sustained by his strength, which moves our steps".

"'Convert and believe in the Gospel' is not just the beginning of the Christian life, but the accompaniment of all our steps, renewing and penetrating all aspects of our lives. Each day is a moment of favour and grace, (...) even when there is no lack of difficulties, weariness, and missteps, when we are tempted to abandon the path that follows Christ and retreat into ourselves and our selfishness without paying attention to the need to keep ourselves open to the love of God in Christ in order to live the very logic of justice and love".

Benedict XVI emphasized that "faced with the innate fear of our end, and most of all in the context of a culture that tends in many ways to censure reality and the human experience of death, the Lenten liturgy reminds us of, on the one hand, death, inviting us to reality and wisdom, but on the other hand encourages us especially to grasp and live the unexpected newness that the Christian faith reveals in the reality of death itself".

"The human being", he continued, "is dust and to dust it will return, but it is dust that is precious in God's eyes because He created humanity, destining us to immortality. (...) Jesus the Lord also wanted to freely share in human frailty with each person, above all through his death on the cross. But it was precisely this death, full of his love for the Father and for humanity, that was the way of glorious resurrection, the means by which Christ became the source of grace given to all who believe in Him and participate in the same divine life".

The Pope highlighted that the distribution of ashes "is an invitation to spend the time during Lent as a more aware and more intense immersion in the paschal mystery of Christ, in his death and resurrection, through participation in the Eucharist and a life of charity that is born of the Eucharist and which finds its fulfilment in it. "With the distribution of ashes", he concluded, "we renew our commitment to follow Jesus, letting ourselves be transformed by his paschal mystery so that we may conquer evil and do good, so that we can let our 'old selves', tied to sin, die and let the 'new person' be born, transformed by the grace of God".

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Celebrating our Blessings on Mardi Gras

Orpheus. Endymion. Thoth. Bacchus. These are not names you would immediately associate with the Catholic Faith. Yet, in New Orleans, these Greek & Roman gods find themselves caught in the middle of a very Catholic celebration... something we call Mardi Gras. ....

The word Carnival actually comes from the combination of two Latin words: "Carne" and "Vale." Carne means meat. Vale means "good-bye." So the term "Carnival" really means "good-bye meat!" Catholics abstain from meat on Fridays in Lent. And Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are days of fasting. No meat.
can't begin to tell you what the Saints' victory means for the City of New Orleans (and for all of South Louisiana for that matter). It is something you just have to experience. The sense of celebration in the air is palpable. And the streets are flooded with people. Ash Wednesday is going to be more than just an end of Mardi Gras and the beginning of Lent. In a very real way it is going to symbolize a return to normalcy after two weeks of intense celebration of the New Orleans Saints. We will not forget the victory. But one can celebrate for only so long. It can't go on like this forever. And I think that's the point of Mardi Gras: to celebrate intensely the blessings in our lives, and then to return to the daily grind of our lives with a renewed sense of gratitude... and joy!

....As we say down here in South Louisiana, Laissez les bon temps roulez! Let the good times roll!

Jeff Young is an expert and contributing writer for iibloom. Jeff is the Catholic Foodie. He produces the Catholic Foodie blog and podcast at In his spare time, Jeff teaches Religion and Spanish at St. Paul's in Covington, LA.

Read the full article:

Friday, February 12, 2010

Media and the Unconscious Mind

Curt Hanke, in a recent post on Advertizing Age weblog wrote:

"Humans have absolutely no idea how they actually make decisions. There. I said it"

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sr. Neville Christine's First Profession

Congratulating Sr Neville Christine as she offers her entire life to Jesus in the Daughters of St Paul. Blessed Alberione wrote: "What is religious profession? It is the profession of love, of perfect love which gives God everything, loving God with all one's energies, all one's mind and all one's heart."

Sr. Neville chose this theme for her profession card and booklet: "For me to love is Christ" (Phil. 1:21)

Pictured here with her mom attending from Cameroon, Africa.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Renew Vocation of the Laity

"Initiatives to promote vocations must be accompanied by sustained catechesis among the faithful about the true meaning of priesthood. Emphasise the indispensable role of the priest in the Church's life, above all in providing the Eucharist by which the Church herself receives life."

"Hand in hand with a proper appreciation of the priest's role is a correct understanding of the specific vocation of the laity, as it emerged from Vatican Council II, the vision of the Council was that wherever the lay faithful live out their baptismal vocation - in the family, at home, at work - they are actively participating in the Church's mission to sanctify the world. A renewed focus on lay apostolate will help to ... give a strong impetus to the task of evangelizing society."
Benedict XVI

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Mother Thecla Twitter and Renewing Kerrygma Twitter

For the anniversary of Mother Thecla's death her twitter account will be reactivated:

Also my account, originally opened as a test, gained followers - will officially begin "everyday evangelilzation posts":

If you don't twitter or follow twitter at least you can take a look at these sites. Maybe you will want to tweet for the gospel! Let me know when you begin so I can follow your tweets.

Sr Margaret Charles


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Monday, February 1, 2010

Meeting of the General Governments of the Pauline Family

XXVIII Meeting of the General Governments of the Pauline Family
Ariccia, Italy 7-10 January 2010 
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
            This year too we received the gift of being able to get together at Ariccia (Pauline Retreat House in Italy) for the annual meeting of the General Governments of the Pauline Family–an appointment that prolonged in time the wealth of the Pauline Year and that we lived in a spirit of gratitude for the precious heritage passed on to all of us by our Founder: “To be St. Paul alive today.” Paul is truly an inexhaustible apostle; an apostle and mystic, and it was this perspective of his fascinating personality that we focused on during these days.
            Our meeting gave us the chance to not only study and reflect together, but also to evaluate, program and even make a joyous pilgrimage in spite of the rain. We wanted to live this pilgrimage in a fraternal spirit, taking advantage of this time together to offer our best wishes to our Pauline brothers, who are preparing to celebrate their 9th General Chapter and conclude their term of office. What place was more suitable for our pilgrimage than Pozzuoli, the seaport near Naples where the Apostle Paul stopped for a week on his adventurous journey to Rome? We retraced his footsteps physically by following a piece of the Via Appia, the main artery of Imperial Rome–a road Paul traveled in chains, apparently defeated, but with new evangelization projects already budding in his heart.
            Below is a more systematic account of the fruit of our days.
Paul, Mystic and Apostle
            In continuity with the theme we reflected on last year, Bible scholar Antonio Pitta offered us a number of tips for reading Paul’s many-faceted personality so as to grasp the features of his mysticism, which was marked by a personal relationship with Christ (cf. Ga. 2:19, 20; Phil. 1). This mysticism did not consist of exceptional experiences but of normal, everyday ones, lived in a communal and ecclesial context.
            Like our Father St. Paul, we feel compelled to continue the progressive and dynamic process of conformity that leads us to live in Christ and truly become apostles. There is no “before” and “after”: the deeper the experience of Christ, the more one feels the urgency of mission. Revelation and communication, mysticism and apostolate, are the inseparable dimensions of a single experience. 
Fr. Alberione: Interpreter of Paul, Mystic and Apostle 
            PDDM Sr. Micaela Monetti’s well-constructed talk centered on the characteristics of Pauline mysticism as these are revealed in Fr. Alberione’s life and some of his writings: Donec Formetur Christus in Vobis (1933), Abundantes Divitiae Gratiae Suae (1954), and Ut Perfectus Sit Homo Dei (1960).
            It was very interesting to discover how the Founder invites us to read St. Paul in his existential unity as a mystic and apostle, and how Alberione’s life can be read taking as a point of departure some of the fundamental characteristics of Paul’s mysticism, namely: the primacy of grace; history as the place of divine revelation; the Trinitarian and ecclesial dimensions of the Christian experience; communion with the Lord; the awareness of having been chosen by God; living “in Christ”; faith and the eschatological dimension, and suffering embraced for the sake of the apostolate. Even Primo Maestro’s extraordinary experience of “naked faith” during his serious illness back in 1923 reveals his profound harmony with the Apostle.
            We are all very conscious of the mandate we received from both Paul and Fr. Alberione to live and give Jesus Christ, Way, Truth and Life to the world. We must live in Jesus Christ to the point that he alone “lives, thinks, works, loves, wills, prays, suffers, dies and rises again in us” (cf. DF 64). 
Information from the Various Congregations
            In keeping with what is by now our time-tested style, each Congregation then told the rest of us about some of its current initiatives or others that will be carried out in the near future. Among these, we would like to entrust to the prayers of the whole Pauline Family the upcoming General Chapter of the Society of St. Paul, which will be held in the Divine Master Retreat House in Ariccia, Italy. The Chapter, which begins on 25 April, will focus on the theme: “Rekindle the Gift You Have Received. Creative Fidelity to a Hundred Years of Pauline Charism.” 
Centennial of the Foundation of the PF
            We are already looking ahead to a very important event: the Centennial of the Foundation of the Pauline Family (20 August 2014), which will offer us a wonderful chance to celebrate the “abundant riches” the Lord has poured out on us throughout our history and share this wealth with the Church. Like the Beatification of our Founder, the Centennial is a unique opportunity for us to get to know and make known Fr. Alberione and the Pauline charism, involving the laity, communicators and young people in this gift of grace that took root nearly a hundred years ago in a small Piedmontese zone known as the Langhe and that today has grown into a huge tree that reaches all the world’s continents.
            We have programmed a three-year period of preparation for this event, which will officially begin on 20 August 2011 and end on 20 August 1914. 
Course of Formation on the Charism of the Pauline Family
            The “Charism Course,” now in its 13th year, is at this point a well-developed fruit of the meetings of the General Government. To date, this course has formed 329 sisters and brothers (including one Gabrielite), from 35 different countries and various Institutes of the Pauline Family. In these years, the course has progressively improved on the levels of content and organization and has fostered the growth of a common sense of Family in our “Pauline world.”
            The members of the Course’s General Management and Executive Teams were presented with observations and suggestions to help this initiative respond ever-better to its pre-set goals and to the situations of its students. 
            We leave the Divine Master Retreat House with hearts that are more “Pauline,” fired by a greater desire to “do something” for the masses of humanity in every part of the world entrusted to our care as apostles of the Gospel.
            May St. Paul enable us to continue our journey in “his spirit” (cf. AD 93). May he help us come to an ever-clearer grasp of our identity and enrich our every action, effort and initiative with great apostolic fecundity.
            With affectionate best wishes in Christ, Master and Shepherd, 
The Participants in the XXVIII Meeting
of the General Governments of the Pauline Family