Christmas Message ACBC President, Archbishop Philip Wilson 18 December 2008
One of the interesting aspects of the world economic crisis is how it seems to have surprised so many people, including the economic experts, in its size and scale. Day after day, pages of newsprint and hours of broadcast time are devoted to analysis of what went wrong and how it can be rectified. All of us, from the Chairman of the US Federal Reserve to the person on the street, are trying to make sense of it all.
One thing we do know about this crisis is that it affects us all in varying ways. As stocks crash, businesses and industries fail, governments seek to respond and individuals and families tighten the purse strings to prepare for what looks like a bumpy road ahead. Many people have watched the bottom fall out of their retirement nest-egg, others have had savings locked up by financial institutions and, even as interest rates fall, families are keeping a wary eye on their job security and their mortgage commitments. Read more here: http://www.fides.org/eng/documents/AUSTRALIA_Christmas_Message.doc
How important it is to pray for our priests, especially during the busiest seasons of our Church such as the Advent and Christmas! With fervent and joyful hearts, we pray...
“Father Bruno’s PRAYER FOR PRIESTS” 1925
O almighty and eternal God, look upon the face of Your Christ, and for love of Him who is the eternal High-priest, have pity on your priests. Remember, O most compassionate God, that they are but weak and frail human beings. Stir up in them the grace of their vocation which in them by the imposition of the Bishop’s hands. Keep them close to You, lest the enemy prevail against them, so that they may never do anything in the slightest degree unworthy of their sublime vocation.
O Jesus, I pray You for Your faithful and fervent priests; for Your unfaithful and tepid priests; for You priests laboring at home or abroad in distant mission fields; for Your tempted priests; for Your lonely and desolate priests; for Your sick priests; for Your aged priests, for Your dying priests; for the souls of Your priests in purgatory.
But above all I commend to You the priests dearest to me: the priest who baptized me; the priest who absolved me from my sins; the priest at whose Masses I assisted and who have me Your Body and Blood in Holy Communion; the priest who taught and instructed me or helped me and encourage me; all the priest to whom I am indebted in any other way, particularly . . . O Jesus, keep them all close to Your heart, and bless them abundantly in time and in eternity. Amen
To add: Please pray for Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP, PhD.
Check out Fr. John Speekman's homily and reflection for this first week of Advent. He clearly outlines for us the progression of God's desire and calling for us to be more attentive, vigilant and to be a participant in that calling.
If you subscribed to Catholic Greetings Free E-cards, which I had, you would have received the letter below sent by Fr. Dan. Here is their website and all e-cards are free.
In 1219, at the height of the Fifth Crusade, St. Francis of Assisi sailed across the Mediterranean. He arranged a meeting in Damietta, Egypt, with Sultan Malek al-Kamil, commander of the Muslim forces. St. Francis, being an excellent communicator, believed that by engaging the influential sultan in conversation about peace they might bring an end to the long conflict raging between the Europeans and the Muslims. Francis crossed the battle lines unarmed and met with the enemy general. Both men were deeply touched by that meeting.
In 1996, we founded AmericanCatholic.org to continue that tradition of dialogue in the spirit of Sts. Francis, Clare and Anthony. Thanks to your generosity, we’ve been able to operate our Web sites and e-newsletters that so many find helpful in living a more fully human and Christian life. This year, OnceCatholic.org, a pastoral site for lapsed Catholics, cost us $4,793 to staff and maintain. “Ask a Franciscan,” a page dedicated to answering Catholics’ questions about their faith, will cost $5,761 in operating expenses in 2008.
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This year, we’ve provided in-person reporting on Pope Benedict XVI’s U.S. visit, an online column from the Vatican by Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington during the special world Synod of Bishops on Scripture and special coverage on the Year of St. Paul. We provided new e-greetings, and many thousands of you have enjoyed sending them to one another. And, of course, one of our most popular pages is “Saint of the Day.”
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We wish you all the blessings of the Advent season as we prepare for the coming of the Lord in our midst.
Peace and good, Fr. Dan Kroger, O.F.M.Publisher, St. Anthony Messenger Press and Franciscan Communications