Category Archives: Sacred Liturgy & Sacraments

Deaf Catholics: finding room for the deaf in the Church

From a recent Zenit news article, I learned something that I never knew before: “It is estimated that there are 1.3 million deaf Catholics,
and the Vatican is intent on ensuring that they can fully participate in the
Church.” Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski,
president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry, gave this statistic at his department’s 24th international conference meeting this week in Rome. The conference’s theme is “Ephphata: the Deaf
Person in the Life of the Church.”

“The prelate,” according to Zenit said, “estimated that in developed countries, one child
out of 1,000 is deaf, but the problem is more serious in poor countries, where
80% of the world’s deaf live. In these cases, deafness is often the result of
insufficient medical care and lack of medication.” He indicated “the need to help people with
this impairment, precisely as ‘the world has begun to overcome the
prejudices and superstitions linked to physical disability.'”

A liturgical resource for helping the deaf is Joan Blake’s Signing the Scriptures:

Year AYear BYear C

Plus, there’s the DVD Tips and Techniques for Signing the Scriptures.

Bishops approve translations of last five sections of Roman Missal

BALTIMORE (CNS) — The U.S. bishops approved the English
translation and U.S. adaptations of five final sections of the Roman Missal in
voting on the second day of their annual fall general assembly in Baltimore.
With overwhelming majority votes, the bishops approved translations of the
proper of the saints, specific prayers to each saint in the universal
liturgical calendar; the commons, general prayers for celebrating saints listed
in the “Roman Martyrology”; the Roman Missal supplement; the U.S.
propers, a collection of orations and formularies for feasts and memorials
particular to the U.S. liturgical calendar; and U.S. adaptations to the Roman
. There was some debate on the floor about a separate piece of the
translations — the antiphons — which has not come to the bishops for
consideration, but instead has advanced through the Vatican’s approval
procedures without the consultation of the English-language bishops’
conferences around the world. But the final five sections of the missal before
the bishops passed with minimal discussion and only a handful of proposed
amendments to the texts. The Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship now must
grant its “recognitio,” or approval, to allow the translations to

Read Father John Zuhlsdorf’s perspective on the liturgical translation
issue passed today. As Father Z said, it’s over!

Dedication of the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran

Lateran Basiclica with St Francis.jpgO God, who out of living and chosen stones builds up an everlasting dwelling-place for Thy majesty: help Thy people, who humbly pray to Thee, and whatever material room Thy Church may set apart for Thy worship, let it bring also spiritual increase.

(Post-Communion prayer)
We celebrate the dedication of this Church as the seat of the Bishop of Rome from which all other pastoral authority is derived. We honor the anniversary of a church’s dedication because a church gives full voice to the sacred Liturgy. The feast of the dedication gives full acceptance and capacity to live the ancient theological principle, legem credendi lex statuat supplicandi (the law of belief given through the law of prayer, or even more of short-hand, the law of prayer is the law of belief).

Blessing of Water in Honor of Saint Willibrord

St Willibrord3.jpgA tradition on the day which the liturgical memorial of Saint Willibrord is celebrated is the blessing of water. As we know, Catholics use the natural world to “hook” on to the supernatural world. That is, the Incarnation of the Word came into human history to hallow creation and for the redemption of the world. The Church sensing this, has organically developed blessings of things and people to lead us into the deeper reality of our faith looking toward salvation. The opening prayer for the Mass of Saint Willibrord may be found here, and ritual for the blessing of water follows.

Saint Willibrord (d. 738) freed a home haunted by an evil spirit through the use of water blessed by him.

V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.

R. Who made heaven and earth.

Thou creature water, I purge thee of evil by the living + God, by the holy + God, that thou mayest become a saving remedy for body and soul, through Him Who shall come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen.

Let us pray.

Bless, + O Lord, this water as a remedy for repulsing the foe of mankind, and send down on it they Holy Spirit, so empowered by heaven it may drive out both sickness and the worst enemy of all, and be a source of health to all who drink thereof. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us pray.

O Lord Almighty! Bless + this water which thou has granted for mankind’s use in washing away all guilt of sin, so that, through invoking upon it thy holy name, it may prove an unfailing and divine remedy whatever it is sprinkled or used for drink. Let this water serve to wash away every impurity, and to bestow by thy beneficence health of body and soul upon all who use it, through Him Who shall come to judge the living and the dead and world of fire. Amen.

Let us pray.

O Lord, the Father Almighty! Bless + this creature of water that it become a saving means for humankind in removing all evil of body and soul and in expelling all harmful influence of the enemy. And grant that, through invoking thy holy name, we may possess in it a safeguard for our corporal and spiritual well-being. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us pray.

O God, Who has appointed illustrious promoters of the true faith for the various nations; grant, we beseech thee, that all who come seeking the intercession of our holy teacher, Saint Willibrord, may experience the joy of good health here on earth and prosperity and the glory of beatitude in the life to come. Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forevermore. Amen.

May the blessing of almighty God, Father, Son + and Holy Spirit come upon this water and remain for all time. Amen.

Honoring the dead, the companionship of saints–the Catholic way

Holy Rood Cem.jpg

… while we visit cemeteries, let us remember that there, in
the tombs, only the mortal remains of our loved ones rest, while awaiting the
final resurrection. Their souls — as Scripture says — already “are in
the hand of God” (Wisdom 3:1). Hence, the most appropriate and effective
way to honor them is to pray for them, offering acts of faith, hope and
. In union with the Eucharistic sacrifice, we can intercede for their
eternal salvation
, and experience the most profound communion while awaiting to
be reunited again, to enjoy forever the love that created us and redeemed us.

… how beautiful and consoling is the communion of saints! It is a
reality that infuses a different dimension to our whole life. We are never
alone! We form part of a spiritual “company” in which profound
solidarity reigns: the good of each one is for the benefit of all and, vice
versa, the common happiness is radiated in each one
. It is a mystery that, in a
certain measure, we can already experience in this world, in the family, in
friendship, especially in the spiritual community of the Church. May Mary Most
Holy help us to walk swiftly on the way of sanctity and show herself a Mother
of mercy for the souls of the deceased. (Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus Address, November 2, 2009)

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]
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