Grata Franciscus Pontifex – Karibu Papa Francis

Grata Franciscus Pontifex – Karibu Papa Francis  That was the headline today, published in Latin and Swahili, from one of Kenya’s main newspapers, welcoming Pope Francis on his first trip to Africa.  Our Holy Father was received in Nairobi today, beginning his intense three-country tour of Kenya, Uganda and the Central African Republic, which will conclude on Monday.  The Vatican has said that his itinerary for visiting the Central African Republic is subject to change, or even cancellation, depending on the situation there, where violence between Muslims and Christians has been particularly brutal.  On the flight to Kenya this morning, when asked by a reporter if he had security concerns, the pope joked that was more worried about mosquito bites.

Please pray for the safety of our Holy Father, and for a fruitful visit.  The Church is thriving in Africa, and millions of faithful are expected to turn out for his visit.  Here is the official prayer from the Kenyan bishops, which they have asked all the faithful to pray:

Almighty and ever-living father, You chose your servant Pope Francis as the successor of Apostle Peter and Shepard of your flock.

Look favourably, we pray, on his pastoral visit to our nation Kenya. Inspire us to receive him well.

May your Holy Spirit enlighten our minds and hearts to be generous and receptive to his message and encouragement.

Grant that he may be for us, your people, a visible bond of unity which brings healing and reconciliation, love and peace; So that in you, the Shepard of Souls, all may know the truth and attain eternal life. 


Click here for the Pope’s address to the Nairobi State House.

Christ the King


Pilate said to Jesus,
“Are you the King of the Jews?”
Jesus answered, “Do you say this on your own
or have others told you about me?”
Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I?
Your own nation and the chief priests handed you over to me.
What have you done?”
Jesus answered, “My kingdom does not belong to this world.
If my kingdom did belong to this world,
my attendants would be fighting
to keep me from being handed over to the Jews.
But as it is, my kingdom is not here.”
So Pilate said to him, “Then you are a king?”
Jesus answered, “You say I am a king.
For this I was born and for this I came into the world,
to testify to the truth.
Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”

-Today’s Gospel Reading from JN 18:33B-37


 On this beautiful feast of Christ the King, let us think about the King Whom we are called to serve.  What does it really mean to be a servant of this King? Pope Benedict says “Participation in Jesus’ lordship is verified concretely only in sharing in his abasement, with the Cross.”

See emerge now clearly, dear Brothers, the first and fundamental message that the Word of God says to us today: to me, Successor of Peter, and to you, cardinals. It calls us to be with Jesus, like Mary, and not to ask him to come down from the cross, but to stay there with Him. And this, in regard to our ministry, we must do not only for ourselves, but for the whole Church, for all the People of God. We know from the Gospels that the cross was the critical point of the faith of Simon Peter and of the other Apostles. It is clear and it could not be otherwise: they were men and they thought “as men”: they could not tolerate the idea of a crucified Messiah. Peter’s conversion was realized fully when he gave up trying to “save” Jesus and accepted being saved by Him. He gave up wanting to save Jesus from the cross and accepted being saved by his cross. “I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren” (Luke 22:32), says the Lord. Peter’s ministry consists altogether in his faith, a faith that Jesus recognizes immediately, from the beginning, as genuine, as a gift from the heavenly Father; but a faith that must go through the scandal of the cross, to become authentic, truly “Christian,” to become “rock” on which Jesus can build his Church. Participation in Jesus’ lordship is verified concretely only in sharing in his abasement, with the Cross. My ministry also, dear Brothers, and, consequently, also yours, consists altogether in faith. Jesus can build his Church on us the more he finds in us that true, paschal faith, that faith that does not want to make Jesus come down from the Cross, but entrusts itself to Him on the Cross. In this connection the authentic place of the Vicar of Christ is on the Cross, to persist in the obedience of the Cross.

Homily of Pope Benedict XVI on the Solemnity of Christ the King, November 23, 2010

The Holy Father was speaking to the newly created cardinals, but his message applies to each one of us, who are called, in love, to become joyful servants of Christ the King, Lord of the Universe.  He is Lord of all, and while everyone and everything is subject to Him, we are gifted with free will to embrace His Kingship or to reject it.

Prayers for Paris

9190483_f520As more details unfold from Paris, we pray for those who have been killed in the terror attacks, for those injured, and for all who are suffering.

Prayer for Victims of Terrorism

Loving God,
Welcome into your arms the victims of violence and terrorism.
Comfort their families and all who grieve for them.
Help us in our fear and uncertainty,
And bless us with the knowledge that we are secure in your love.
Strengthen all those who work for peace,
And may the peace the world cannot give reign in our hearts.  Amen.

In 1638, King Louis XIII consecrated himself, his family and the nation of France to Our Lady of the Assumption, as a way to thank her in advance for the birth of an heir to the throne (his wife was two months pregnant at the time, and she did give birth to a son, the future Louis XIV).  Here is part of the royal edict consecrating France to Our Lady: Continue reading

In One Communion Ever Knit

[Oops, sorry, this post is one day late, so happy belated All Saints’]Saints, Giovanni del Biondo, 1367

For all thy saints, O Lord,
who strove in thee to live,
who followed thee. obeyed, adored,
our grateful hymn receive,

For all thy saints, O Lord,
who strove in thee to die,
who counted thee their great reward,
accept our thankful cry.

Jesus, thy name we bless,
and humbly pray that we
may follow them in holiness
to live and die in thee.

Thine earthly members fit
to join thy saints above,
in one communion ever knit,
one fellowship of love.

All praise to Thee, O Lord,
the Father and the Son,
and Holy Spirit, bond of love,
while endless ages run.  Amen.

Happy All Saints’, everyone!  We just love this feast day, celebrating all our heavenly friends, known and unknown, and asking their intercession.  As always, we draw a saint’s name on this day, a helper to turn to throughout the year, and to learn more about.  Technology makes this so easy, and we love Jennifer Fulweiler’s Saint’s Name Generator.  Please click the link and let a member of the Church triumphant choose you!

The saints who chose us this year range from well-known to unheard of (at least by us):

  • Sr. Grace Marie – Bl. Marie Rose Durocher
  • Sr. Elizabeth Marie – St. Dorothea of Montau
  • Sr. Mary Peter – St. John Vianney


In addition to the ordinary blessings of this wonderful feast day, we also had the extra-ordinary blessing of having Fr. Kevin Peek, of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, celebrate Mass in our chapel this morning.  Sr. Mary Peter met him many years ago in Atlanta, and when we saw him at Mass yesterday she couldn’t believe it.  Thank you, Father, for your reverent celebration of the Mass and your beautiful homily.

Requiescat in Pace, Fr. Jacques Daley, OSB

fatherdaleyOn Sunday morning, a dear friend of ours passed away after battling cancer for several years.  Please pray for the repose of the soul of Fr. Jacques Daley, OSB, a member of St. Vincent’s Archabbey in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.  Fr. Jacques had been a friend of the monastery for many years.  He had three series on EWTN, and was well known for his love of St. Therese.  He was very devoted to Eucharistic Adoration and Our Lady.  We will miss him dearly – Fr. Jacques had a special gift of joy and humor, united with deep spirituality, and we are most grateful to Our Lord for his life, his priesthood, and his friendship.

You can read his obituary here.

Here is a video St. Vincent’s posted yesterday, of Fr. Jacques recounting his vocation story.

O God, Thou didst raise Thy servant, Jacques, to the sacred priesthood of Jesus Christ, according to the Order of Melchisedech, giving him the sublime power to offer the Eternal Sacrifice, to bring the Body and Blood of Thy Son Jesus Christ down upon the altar, and to absolve the sins of men in Thine own Holy Name. We beseech Thee to reward his faithfulness and to forget his faults, admitting him speedily into Thy Holy Presence, there to enjoy forever the recompense of his labours. This we ask through Jesus Christ Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.