Friday, September 30, 2011

The Hunted Hunting Dog

Speaking of Canada in the last post, class, here's our picture of the day from Canada.

Ladies and gentlemen, this picture is a reminder of what the vigilant teacher of the Faith, symbolized by this hunting dog, should NOT be.

"Oh, Canada!"

Lesson learned.  Class dismissed.

Mr. P.'s Choice for "Teacher of the Month Award" (Sept. 2011)

It gives me great pleasure to announce Mr. P.'s Blog "Teacher of the Month Award" for September 2011.

He has most likely reached more people online than he would preaching a single homily from a pulpit.

For his priestly presence bringing the Gospel to the blogosphere world, this month's "Teacher of the Month Award" for September 2011 is a priest-blogger selected by the Pope to become the youngest bishop in Canada and, at the time of this blog, the second youngest bishop in the world!  "Put out in to the deep."  His name is Father -- ahem -- I mean, Bishop Thomas Dowd.  

His blog can be found HERE.

He was a priest for only 10 years when called to the episcopacy and ordained at age 40, one day shy of his 41st birthday.

I have to say it's the first time I've seen a living bishop born during the 1970s.  I wonder if he's the first bishop born in the 70s.

More from the archdiocese website can be found HERE, including his engagement with post-modern culture.

Congratulations and we'll see you on cyberspace, Your Excellency, and ad multos annos!

Class dismissed.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Filipinos in Rome

Be The Straw: My Filipino Identity: A statue of San Lorenzo Ruiz - a gift from Blessed John Paul II - found in the Sentro Pilipino in Rome. A few months ago, as we were tou...

The Real Jedis

I just HAD to post this as the photo of the day!!  These are Catholic priests and bishops from the Eastern Catholic Churches.


"Indeed, the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword..." (Heb. 4:12).

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"40 Days for Life" in California (By the Numbers)

40 Days for Life is a community-based campaign that draws attention to the evil of abortion through the use of a three-point program:
  • Prayer and fasting
  • Constant vigil
  • Community outreach

40 Days for Life takes a determined, peaceful approach to showing local communities the consequences of abortion in their own neighborhoods, for their own friends and families. It puts into action a desire to cooperate with God in the carrying out of His plan for the end of abortion in America.
The 40-day campaign tracks Biblical history, where God used 40-day periods to transform individuals, communities ... and the entire world. From Noah in the flood to Moses on the mountain to the disciples after Christ's resurrection, it is clear that God sees the transformative value of His people accepting and meeting a 40-day challenge.

Vision and mission
40 Days for Life is a focused pro-life campaign with a vision to access God’s power through prayer, fasting, and peaceful vigil to end abortion in America.
The mission of the campaign is to bring together the body of Christ in a spirit of unity during a focused 40 day campaign of prayer, fasting, and peaceful activism, with the purpose of repentance, to seek God’s favor to turn hearts and minds from a culture of death to a culture of life, thus bringing an end to abortion in America.


Here’s a quick rundown on the largest 40 Days for Life campaign yet, which will be conducted from September 28 to November 6:
  • 291 locations (the most ever, and this number may still go up by a few as we work through a few final application details!)
  • 48 US states — plus Washington, DC and Puerto Rico
  • 7 Canadian provinces
  • Australia, England, Spain and — for the first time — Germany and Argentina
  • Many NEW cities … 46 first-time campaigns
The full list of locations for the 40 Days for Life campaign has just been posted at:

In Northern California (within the territory of 6 dioceses), there are 10 locations:

Sacramento Diocese: Vallejo, Fairfield, Vacaville, Sacramento, Chico
Santa Rosa Diocese: Napa, Santa Rosa
Oakland Diocese: Hayward
Stockton Diocese: Stockton
San Jose Diocese: San Jose
San Francisco Archdiocese:---

Pray!  Fast!  Give alms!

Rap Artist Seminarian Celebrates the Feast of St. Lorenzo Ruiz

These seminarians from St. Patrick's Seminary & University in Menlo Park, CA decided to make this video to celebrate the Feast of St. Lorenzo Ruiz of Manila.

If you've never been to a seminary before, you can see the background of what a seminary looks like.  A seminary is a place where Catholic priests are formed for service.  They receive extensive and specialized training before they are ordained.

For more information, on St. Lorenzo Ruiz's life, click HERE

He is known for saying this following:

Isa akong Katoliko at buong pusong tinatanggap ang kamatayan para sa Panginoon, kung ako man ay may sanlibong buhay, lahat ng iyon ay iaalay ko sa Kanya.
TRANSLATION: "I am a Catholic and wholeheartedly accept death for the Lord; if I have a thousand lives, all of them I will offer to Him."

I've also heard another phrase: "I would rather die a thousand deaths than renounce my Faith."


It's great to always see canonized married saints!

Here's a list of San Lorenzo Ruiz's companions (source can be found HERE):

St. Lorenzo Ruiz and Companions by Lourdes Oben Santos (1981)

DOMINGO Domingo Ibanez , Spanish, Dominican priest . Born in Reginato (San Sebastian ), son of the Province of Spain to his affiliation with the Rosary Province . In Manila teaches at the College of St. Thomas and preach the Gospel in different parts of the Philippines . Went to Japan in 1623, where he worked incognito . Denounced by a Christian apostate is imprisoned and executed. Played an important role as the Vicar Provincial of the mission. It retains some of his letters. Age , 44.

FRANCISCO SHOYEMON , Japanese, cooperator Dominican . Companion of Fr Domingo Ibanez . Arrested in 1633, the Dominican habit in jail. He was killed alongside his spiritual father.

SANTIAGO KYUSHEI Tomonaga DE SANTA MARIA , Japanese, Dominican priest . family noble Christian Kyudetsu studying with the Jesuits in Nagasaki. Expelled from Japan in 1614 as a catechist. In Manila became a priest , a missionary in Taiwan , returns to his homeland in 1632 , in order to help their fellow Christians. He is arrested and tortured, killed, "because religious and propagated the faith " . It is the oldest of the group: 51.

MIGUEL KUROBIOYE , Japanese , lay catechist. Companion of Fr Santa Maria , OP, is imprisoned and tortured, he revealed the hiding place of P. of Santa Maria. Repentant, goes with him to martyrdom , confessing their faith.

LUCAS ALONSO DEI . SPIRIT HOLY , Spanish, Dominican priest . Born in Carracedo (Astorga ) , a Dominican of the Province of Spain , passed the Rosary Province in 1617. Professor at the Colegio de Santo Tomas in Manila , missionary Cagayan in 1623 went to Japan where he worked with great courage and risked their lives for ten years. Arrested in Osaka in 1633 , was tortured and martyred in Nagasaki. Age , 39.

MATEO KOHIOYE DEL ROSARIO , Japanese , born in Arima. Catechist and assistant B. Lucas Alonso, a novice of the Order. Arrested in Osaka in 1633 , rejects any proposal for money and endured horrible torture and remain faithful to Christ until his death. He was 18 .

1634 (October -November)

MAGDALENA DE NAGASAKI , Japanese, tertiary Augustinian and Dominican . Daughter of martyred Christians , is devoted to God and spiritually guided by the Augustinian Recollect and then the Dominican Ansalone . After the arrest of Father Ansalone , she presented to the emergency proclaimed Christian . Tortured in a cruel, firm in her faith , is hung from the gallows where he remained alive for thirteen days.

NAVY OMURA , Japan. In 1626 he joined the Dominican Third Order , being a great help to the missionaries. Arrested in 1634 and submitted to shameful humiliation and finally led to the stake , giving a sublime example of "strong woman . "

JACINTO JORDAN Ansalon , Italian, Dominican priest . Native S. Stefano Quisquina (Agrigento ), son of the Province of Sicily, passed to the Holy Rosary Province . In the Philippines , he worked among the poor and sick . In 1632 he went to Japan , where he worked for two years. Arrested in 1634 , supports strongly torture, and is hung from the gallows. Age , 36 years.

THOMAS HIOJI NISHI DE SAN JACINTO , Japanese, Dominican priest . Son of martyred Christians of Hirado , and pupil of the Jesuits' College . Expelled from their country by persecution, emigrated to Manila in 1614 . Student at the College of St. Thomas , moved to missions Taiwan , returning later to his homeland in full religious persecution. Among great perils for five years. Arrested , tortured and sentenced to death. Age , 44.

1637 (September)

In 1636 the Dominicans in Manila organized an expedition of volunteers to help Christians in Japan. When they reached the island of Okinawa were arrested and kept in prison more than a year before being transferred and sentenced to death by the tribunal of Nagasaki. They are:

ANTONIO GONZALEZ , Spanish, Dominican priest . Natural de León , is a Dominican in the Province of Spain and then passed to the Holy Rosary Province and moved to Manila in 1631 , where he will be professor and rector of St. Thomas , being a man of much prayer and penance. In 1636 a group of missionaries to Japan , where he is promptly arrested and dies in jail after a year , worn out by the tortures . Age, 45 years.

WILLIAM Courtet or TAKE S. SUNDAY, French Dominican priest . Born in Sérignan (Montpellier ) , family noble , he became a Dominican in the Congregation Reformed of San Luis, goes to the Holy Rosary Province and moved to the Philippines, in 1634 , where he is professor at the Colegio de Santo Tomás. In Japan died from torture singing praise to the Virgin of the Rosary , reciting psalms. Age , 47.

MIGUEL DE AOZARAZA , Spanish, Dominican priest . Natural Oñate ( Guipúzcoa ), enter as a Dominican in the province of Spain and then passed to the Holy Rosary Province . In the Philippines working at Mission Bataan ( Luzon) . He refused to give his faith and accepted with joy tremendous suffering. Age , 39.

VICENTE SCHIWOZUKA DE LA CRUZ, Japanese, Dominican priest . family Christian , a pupil of the Jesuits' College and a catechist. In 1614 he was expelled from Japan for being a Christian . In Manila became a priest and worked among the Japanese exiles . Before returning to his homeland with the P. Gonzalez, the Dominican habit in 1636. After a year in prison and tortured him to apostatize , but he soon goes to the classmates road gallows , professing their faith.

LAZARUS OF KYOTO, Japan , secular . He contracted leprosy and was deported with other lepers in the Philippines. In 1636 he joined as a guide and interpreter Fr Gonzalez, not withstanding torture, deny for a few hours but then repented and died for Christ with others.

Lorenzo Ruiz , Filipino, layman. Born in Binondo (Manila ) Chinese father and Filipino mother . Educated by the Dominicans and assistant their , becoming a member of the Confraternity of the Rosary. He married and fathered three children. Involved in a dark bloody event , joined the group P. Order to escape. He was arrested and declared himself ready to give life a thousand times by Christ. He is the first martyr of the Philippines.

Miracle proposed for Canonization

Occurred in Manila in 1983 through the group in favor of Cecilia Alegria Policarpio , child of two years, cured completely and permanently cerebral palsy anatomical and functional , with no effective therapy. The miracle was recognized by Pope John Paul II on June 1, 1987.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"Two Hearts That Beat as One"

Endless Love  (1994)

This song just kept popping up in my heart whenever I thought about the Twin Hearts of Jesus and Mary these past few weeks.

The line that especially struck me was "Two hearts / Two hearts that beat as one..."

I am reminded of how, according to a pious tradition, it is said that Mary wanted to die along with her Son as He was dying on the Cross.  It is said that she, being the ever-obedient handmaid, accepted God's will that she not die.

The infant Church needed her to remain.

Of course, this is not recorded in the Scriptures.  But there is artistic license taken in The Passion of the Christ (2004).  In this movie, Mary asks her Son to die with him as He hung for three hours on the Cross.

At that point, the Crucified gave her over to John when He said, "Woman, behold your son."  And to the disciple whom He loved, "Behold your mother."  Now that is in the Scriptures.

How great was her agony!  Her heart united with His!  What love!  I am unworthy to even pen (blog) how to capture it in writing.

Maybe that's why John's Gospel -- or any Gospel -- for that matter "hides" the Woman.  They cannot capture the profundity of the love between Mother and Son.

Who would dare even attempt to capture what should be mysterious?  You know what I mean?  It's like when you try to explain something really deep to someone, but in the very act of explaining it it doesn't do justice to the emotion of the heart.  Therefore, it is better left unsaid or unwritten.

It is respected and veiled.

I know you know what I'm talking about 'cause we've all had those moments.

How can people not honor her for having undergone such a holy event with the Son of God?

We honor other people for undergoing incredible human tragedies.  But we don't honor her enough!

O, Sorrowful Mother, Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!


Luther Vandross and Mariah Carey seem like decent artists.  The lyrics to Endless Love (1994), based on the original Endless Love (1981) by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross, are below.

If you want to enjoy the lyrics, click the "Read more" link below and play the song above.

Endless love.

That's what life's all about.

That's all that matters at the end of life.


In fact, that's your HW: Love.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Rumor of "Catholic Underground" Coming to the Bay Area! 'Sup, yo?!

That's right, class, you heard it here.  There's talk about CU coming to the San Francisco Bay Area!

Check out this Spoken Word by Fr. Agostino Torres, CFR!  Ohhhhhhh man, being Catholic is just toooooo, too, toooooo cool!

Here's a second clip foreshadowing great things to come:

Location: TBA

Stay tuned.
Franciscan friars
Fr. Agostino Torres, CFR

Br. Agostino Torres, CFR

Class dismissed.

Young Adult Catechist Society (YACS) & Some Points from the General Directory for Catechesis (GDC) on Catechist Formation

Here's the Facebook link to the Society:

Maris Stella, pray for us.

Also, here are some points to highlight from the General Directory for Catechesis (1997) regarding the formation of catechists.  They are taken from GDC 33, 232-233 and 235.  To full the GDC document in its entirety, click HERE.

Some challenges for catechesis
33. In order to express its vitality and to be efficacious, catechesis today…needs to consider as its primary task the preparation and formation of catechists in the deep riches of the faith. 

Various types of catechists particularly necessary today
232. The figure of the catechist in the Church, has different modes, just as, the needs of catechesis are varied. ... Every local Church, by analysing her own cultural and religious situation, will discover her own needs and will realistically foster those kinds of catechists which she needs. The organization and orientation of the formation of catechists is a fundamental responsibility.

Pastoral care of catechists in a Particular Church
233. To ensure the working of the catechetical ministry in a local Church, it is fundamental to have adequate pastoral care of catechists. Several elements must be kept in mind in this respect. Indeed efforts must be made…to organize adequately the formation of catechists, both in relation to basic training and continuing formation.

Nature and purpose of the formation of catechists
235. Formation seeks to enable catechists to transmit the Gospel to those who desire to entrust themselves to Jesus Christ. The purpose of formation, therefore, is to make the catechist capable of communicating: "The summit and centre of catechetical formation lies in an aptitude and ability to communicate the Gospel message". *(See GDC footnote below.)

The christocentric purpose of catechesis, which emphasizes the communion of the convert with Jesus Christ, permeates all aspects of the formation of catechists (CT 21).  This aim is nothing other than to lead the catechist to know how to animate a catechetical journey of which, the necessary stages are: the proclamation of Jesus Christ; making known his life by setting it in the context of salvation history; explanation of the mystery of the Son of God, made man for us; and finally to help the catechumen, or those being catechized, to identify with Jesus Christ through the sacraments of initiation. (Cf. CT 20; St Augustine, De catechizandis rudibus, I, chap. 4, n. 8; CCL 46, 128-129.)  With continuing catechesis, the catechist merely tries to deepen these basic elements. This christological perspective touches directly upon the identity of the catechist and his preparation. "The unity and harmony of the catechist must be read in this christocentric light and built around a profound familiarity with Christ and the Father, in the Spirit" (Cf. CT 21b).

*Footnote from GDC 235: Two things need to be underlined in this synodal contribution taken from Catechesi Tradendae: the preoccupation to take into account a pastoral problem ("I insist on the necessity of an organic and systematic Christian education because for diverse reasons there has been a tendency to minimize its importance"), and the fact of considering the organic nature of catechesis as the principal characteristic connoting it.

On a lighter note, enjoy this video and quote on Jedi training:

"Only a fully trained Jedi Knight, with the Force as his ally, will conquer Vader and his Emperor. If you end your training now - if you choose the quick and easy path as Vader did - you will become an agent of evil." - Master Yoda from Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Prayer for Vocations in Diocese of Sacramento & Other Ways to Promote a Culture of Vocations

Prayer for Vocations

Loving God, You speak to us
and nourish us through the
life of this church community.

In the name of Jesus, we ask you
to send your Spirit to us so that
men and women among us, young
and old, will respond to your call to
service and leadership in the Church.

We pray, especially, in our day, for
those who hear your invitation to
be a priest, sister, brother, or deacon.

May those who are opening their hearts
and minds to your call be encouraged
and strengthened through our enthusiasm
in your service. 


HW: Check out the diocesan website for more information on how to promote a culture of vocations HERE.

"Come Follow Me" by James Harwood

Class dismissed.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Caravaggio's Famous Paintings on St. Matthew

Today, we celebrate the Feast of St. Matthew the Evangelist.

He was one of the Twelve Apostles.

For you visual learners, here are two famous paintings on St. Matthew completed by Caravaggio between 1599-1600:

The Calling of Saint Matthew
A key point in the painting is Matthew's personal encounter with Jesus as seen in the light that shines on Matthew.  For more information, click HERE.

The second visual for today is The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew, also completed between 1599-1600:

The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew
A key point for the painting is that it seems, at first glance, to focus on Matthew's half-naked murderer.  Evil seems to take center stage.  However, the real central point of the painting is Matthew, not the murderer.  Matthew seems to resist his murderer with his right hand but a deeper look reveals that it is really a transformation of his resistance to acceptance of the palm of martyrdom, which the angel above places in the same right hand.

When the Twelve Apostles were dispersed throughout the world, it is said that Matthew was sent to either Ethiopia or Iran.

For more information on the Dispersion of the Apostles, click HERE.

St. Matthew, pray for us!

HW: Read the Gospel of Matthew.

Class dismissed.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

New Translation of Mass Reflection #3: Gloria

Regarding the Gloria, there are 4 key translation updates in the Third Roman Missal for our purposes here.  New versions are in bold and underlined below.

1.) The new translation will say: "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to people of good will."

The previous translation: "Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth."

Reflection: The biblical foundations for this line are from Lk. 2.  This is the birth of Jesus.  Angels appeared to shepherds tending their flock glorifying God.

First point: peace.  There seems to be more of a more spiritual sense of the word "peace" as an interior quality in the new translation use of Lk. 2.  While indeed we should seek world peace on earth (particularly through the period of peace through the Immaculate Heart of Mary as spoken of by Our Lady of Fatima), a general peace to his people on earth can connote an external socio-political peace as it is used in the old translation.  The peace of God is not the same as the peace of men. 

Second point: the term "people of good will" receives the emphasis more than God's "people on earth".  God's People -- or People of God -- has a unique sense and meaning in the Old Testament.  For the old covenant, it means the Chosen Race of Israel; for the new covenant, as Vatican II mentioned in Lumen Gentium, it is the baptized New People of God in the Church, the New Israel.  Thus, the People of God are not the same as "people of good will".  There are people of good will who are not necessarily part of the Church or the old Israel.  People of good will typically are those who have not yet heard of Christ yet seek the truth in the dictates of their consciences.

2.) The new translation uses a litany of praises instead of just the following:

"Lord God,
heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you,
we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory."

The old translation above had  3 acts of the Church glorifying God followed by 3 (maybe 4) titles for God.

The new translation has 5 acts of the Church glorifying God followed by 4 titles for God.  It says:

"We praise you,
we bless you,
we adore you,
we glorify you,
we give you thanks for your great glory,
Lord God, 
heavenly King,
O God,
almighty Father."

Reflection: This new translation shows the litany of praises and glory for God the Father that is intended to have a sense of being long.  We adore you!  We glorify you!  Et cetera.

When earthly kings are given titles and names, their titles and names are so long....on purpose.  For example, they aren't just a regular "Joe Smith" that you grab a beer with on the weekend, but rather they are "your honorable, excellent, magistrate of the great palace Joseph Smith of some grand land or powerful order of this or that."  You get the idea.

When we are in love with someone for the first time, we rave constantly about them and give them so many honorific titles and honors and just speak the world of them, don't we?  For example, we say something like she is beautiful, wonderful, intelligent, talented, etc.  We just don't leave it at one summarizing word.  We use tons of statements to describe this person's beauty.

One doesn't stop honoring that person over and over and over.  And over and over.  And over.

The idea is kind of the same in the Gloria.

We glorify God since we are a Church in love with the Father.  We give Him glory.

3.) The third update is "Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son, Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father...," instead of  "Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God..."


First, "Only Begotten Son" expresses the ancient description of the Son's relationship with the Father.  The Son is the Only Begotten Son.  Even though there is a Pauline sense of us being a "son of God" or even a "daughter of God," we are God's son or daughter by adoption.  Jesus is the "Only Begotten Son," not by adoption like us, but because of who He is as the Father's unique Son.

This describes Jesus's divinity.

Notice how "Only" and "Begotten" are capitalized instead of lower-cased.  This capitalization gives added meaning to the Person of Jesus Christ in relation to His Father.  For us men and women of the world, we have a lower-cased status.  Jesus is the Only Begotten Son of the Father.

No other human being can ever say this.  The new translation highlights Him -- Jesus -- more than us adopted sons and daughters of the Father.  We are not "Only Begotten" because this is reserved for Jesus Christ.

Jesus is Son of the Father the way no one else is a Son of the Father.

4.) The 4th reflection pertains to the following:

"you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us;
you take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father,
have mercy on us."

Compare the new Third Roman Missal with the translation from the previous Roman Missal which was:

"you take away the sin of the world, have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father,
receive our prayer."

Other than the new lines which are obvious, what is not so obvious to a cursory reading is that the new translation is the plural "sins of the world"  instead of the singular "sin of the world".

Reflection: There are two meanings between "sins" of the world vs. "sin" of the world.

The sins of the world are the individual sins of each person, whereas the singular sin of the world is the collective united sin of the world.  Yes, Jesus takes away the sin of the world, but in this translation the reflection is on Jesus taking away the individual sins of each human person in the world.


I recently heard the Gloria sung using the Third Roman Missal.  For the majority of us who attend Mass in the Ordinary Form (Novus Ordo), it will sound odd at first singing/chanting it.  But in time, we will acclimate to it.

Glory to God!

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!

For the Greater Glory of God!

HW: Study the new translations.  Love the Holy Mass!

Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to people of good will. We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you, we give you thanks for your great glory, Lord God, heavenly King, O God, almighty Father.
Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
Son of the Father,
you take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us;
you take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Class dismissed.