Category Archives: Communion & Liberation

Archbishop Dolan prays for Giussani, thanks Communion & Liberation, gives us the logic of Lent

Tomorrow is the 5th anniversary of death of the great priest and founder of Communion & Liberation, Monsignor Luigi Giussani. More on that later. However, the NY community of Communion & Liberation gathered at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral for the Sacrifice of the Mass celebrated by the Archbishop, Timothy M. Dolan. Among those in the sanctuary were Bishop William McCormack (retired auxiliary bishop of NY celebrating 51 years a priest today) and Bishop Gerald Walsh (NY auxiliary bishop and rector of Saint Joseph’s Seminary), Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete, Carmelite Father Eugene and Father Daniel O’Reilly with the seminarians from Dunwoodie and the collegians from St John Neumann Seminary Residence.

A few times in the course of the Mass and following, Dolan expressed his gratitude for the presence and witness of Communion and Liberation in the Archdiocese of NY. Today’s Mass joins many others around the USA and in others parts of the world praying for Giussani and for the good of the movement. See where Mass is being offered here.

Jesus is tempted.jpg

In his homily, Archbishop Dolan reminded us of the deadly sins that cut us off from God, the Church community, others and ourselves. The gospel for today (Lk 4) is a stark reminder is that the Lord was tempted, but didn’t capitulate to the temptations demonstrating a supreme trust in His Father. This he did by speaking of the Logic of Lent: the pilgrimage during the season of Lent is a movement away from sin and sinful tendencies inching toward life with the Trinity, the living God. In order for us to live holiness of life we need to live as those Christ matters, as though the truth the Church teaches does, in fact, set us free. We are made for communion, interpersonal relationships first with God and then with each other; selfishness and pride divides us. Ultimately, we have to take seriously the Scriptural warrants for life with God: purity of heart, humility of personality. The Christian life is not “my will be done,” but it’s the other way around, “Thy will be done, God.’
How do we decapitate sin? How do we live more intently this time of faith in Christ?
The 3 ancient Christian practices:
1. Prayer: the posture is the recollection that without God nothing is possible
2. Penance: self-denial to curb the human drive to disordered pleasures
3. Charity: mercy and self-gift as acts of love to live in a dignified way as God wants us to live.
When we do our part in self-emptying ourselves of sinful tendencies, God does His part in giving us what we need: true and lasting happiness.
The proffered the hope that Msgr. Luigi Giussani would be made a Doctor of the Church. I hope the Archbishop’s words were heard in heaven!
A 12th century anthem was sung at the Preparation of the Altar at Mass, “Ave Regina Caelorum,” musically arranged by Gregor Aichinger. Typically this hymn is sung after Compline from the feast of the Presentation of the Lord until Holy Thursday. A version of the text in English follows:
Hail, Queen of Heaven!
Hail, Mistress of Angels!
Hail, root, hail portal,
From which the Light for the world has Risen.
Rejoice, glorious Virgin,
Beautiful above all others.
Farewell, most gracious,
And pray for us to Christ.
A fitting reminder of the beauty of Mary, Mother of God and her role as intercessor for us before her son, Jesus. May she also intercede for Msgr. Luigi Giussani and for Communion and Liberation.

Way of the Cross, Good Friday, 2010 –NY Communion & Liberation

Way of the Cross 2010.jpg

Man has an inexhaustible desire for the Infinite

Why does faith still have any chance at all?… Because
it corresponds to the nature of man…. Man possesses an inextinguishable
, full of nostalgia, for an infinite. None of the attempted answers
will do; only the God who himself became finite in order to tear open our
finitude and lead us into the wide spaces of his infinity, only he corresponds
to the question of our being. That is why, even today, Christian faith will
come to seek out man again

Joseph Ratzinger

Now, with our failing muscles,
with our exhaustion, with our propensity for melancholy, with this strange
masochism that life tends to favor nowadays, or with this indifference and
cynicism that life produces nowadays as a way of avoiding the suffering of an
excessive and unwanted fatigue, how could we ever accept ourselves and others
in the name of a discourse? We cannot sustain love for ourselves unless Christ
is a presence, as a mother is a presence for her child. Unless Christ is a
presence now
– now! – I cannot love myself now and I cannot love you now.

(quoted from the Communion & Liberation Christmas poster, 2009)

Rule of Saint Benedict

St Benedict giving the Rule.jpgThe monks of Saint Benedict’s Abbey have put on their
website Father Boniface Verheyen’s translation of the Rule of Saint Benedict. The monks at this Abbey have a terrific college and get a steady stream of vocations. This year they have 7 novices: three for Kansas and four for Brazil.

I would recommend reading a chapter a day or a portion of it since some chapters are longer than others. My recommendation echoes to significant voices:

Christ present!
The Christian announcement is that God became one of us and is present here,
and gathers us together into one body, and through this unity, His presence is
made perceivable. This is the heart of the Benedictine message of the
earliest times. Well, this also defines the entire message of our Movement,
and this is why we feel Benedictine history to be the history to which we
are closest
~Monsignor Luigi Giussani, Founder of  Communion and

Familiarity with the Word, which the Benedictine Rule guarantees by
reserving much time for it in the daily schedule, will not fail to instill
serene trust, to cast aside false security and to root in the soul a vivid
sense of the total lordship of God. The monk is thus protected from convenient
or utilitarian interpretations of Scripture and brought to an ever deeper
awareness of human weakness, in which God’s power shines brightly.
~Pope John
Paul II

New York Encounter 2010

Each year Communion & Liberation gathers for the
National Diaconia over the ML King weekend.  In addition to prayer and
Mass, there are the conferences and opportunity to meet friends and focus on
the work of living the path proposed by Msgr. Giussani. All the events have the purpose of meeting Christ, working on the gift of holiness and deepening our companionship. No CL event is truly a
CL event without a cultural component, hence, there number of public events
will accompany this weekend. This is what we call “New York
Encounter,” the ‘Rimini Meeting’s little brother’. The proposed program is NY Encounter 2010.pdf; please consider the possibility of a weekend of culture and beauty in

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
coat of arms



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