Tag Archives: Communion and Liberation

Good Friday Way of the Cross over the Brooklyn Bridge connected with closeness & prayers of Pope Benedict

The Secretariat of State of the Holy See has asked me
to convey the following message:


Way of the Cross 2010.jpg

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI sends greetings
and the assurance of closeness in prayer to all attending the Good Friday
Stations of the Cross organized by Communion and Liberation in New York City
and in the other cities throughout the United States. It is his hope that by
accompanying the Redeemer along the path leading to calvary they will draw ever
closer to Him in His loving obedience to the Father’s Will and His redemptive
solidarity with suffering humanity, and be led to deeper conversion, more fervent
faith and generous commitment to the spread of God’s kingdom of reconciliation,
justice and peace. Commending all present to the intercession of Our Lady of
Sorrows, the Holy Father cordially imparts his apostolic blessing as a pledge
of Easter joy and hope.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone
Secretary of State

With prayerful
good wishes, I remain

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Archbishop Pietro Sambi Apostolic
Nuncio

NB:

There is a plenary indulgence granted to the faithful who

1. devoutly assist at the adoration of the Cross in the solemn liturgical action of Good Friday; or

2. personally make the pious Way of the Cross, or devoutly unite themselves to the Way of the Cross while it is being led by the Supreme Pontiff and broadcast live on television or radio.

Luigi Giussani, led by Christ –recalls Archbishop Prendergast for Communion & Liberation-Canada

Around the world in past 2 weeks Communion and Liberation’s Schools of Community have been praying for the good of Communion and Liberation while remembering the fifth anniversary of death of Monsignor Luigi Giussani. In the Archdiocese of Ottawa last Monday (February 22) Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, SJ celebrated Mass for CL-Ottawa and here is a portion of his homily. One of the touching points in His Grace’s homily is the phrase, “to follow Christ.” The same phrase I used for my coat of arms; see above.

Five years ago today, Don Luigi Giussani, the founder of a movement that came to be known as Communion and Liberation was called home to God by the Lord Jesus Christ. Cardinal Ratzinger, our present pope was sent by Pope John Paul II as his legate to the funeral ceremony in Milan. On that occasion, he testified to the way in which Don Giussani had allowed himself to be led by Christ in a loving relationship from his earliest years, just as Peter had from the moment of his first encounter with Jesus: “This love affair with Christ, this love story which is the whole of his life, was however far from every superficial enthusiasm, from every vague romanticism. Really seeing Christ, he knew that to encounter Christ means to follow Christ. This encounter is a road, a journey, a journey that passes also-as we heard in the psalm-through the ‘valley of darkness.’ In the Gospel, we heard of the last darkness of Christ’s suffering, of the apparent absence of God, when the world’s Sun was eclipsed. He knew that to follow is to pass through a ‘valley of darkness,’ to take the way of the cross, and to live all
the same in true joy.”

St. Francis Xavier expressed this in a lovely poem, “O Deus, Ego Amo Te,” translated touchingly by his brother Jesuit, the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins:

O GOD, I love thee, I love thee-
Not out of hope of heaven for me
Nor fearing not to love and be
In the everlasting burning.

Thou, thou, my Jesus, after me
Didst reach thine arms out dying,
For my sake sufferedst nails, and lance,
Mocked and marred countenance,

Sorrows passing number,
Sweat and care and cumber,
Yea and death, and this for me,
And thou couldst see me sinning:

Then I, why should not I love thee,
Jesu, so much in love with me?
Not for heaven’s sake;
not to be out of hell by loving thee;

Not for any gains I see;
But just the way that thou didst me
I do love and I will love thee:
What must I love thee, Lord, for then?

For being my king and God. Amen.

Is a Strong Priesthood In the World’s Future? asks Massimo Camisasca

Massimo Camisasca.jpgOn February 26th Zenit published an article by Father Massimo Camisasca looking at what he considers to be the pillars (prayer & Liturgy) of priestly reform in the Catholic Church. Reading a bit of Church history recently there’s been a lot to consider when thinking about the state of the Catholic Church viz. the rise of Portestantism and then the decline of the Christian religion in some parts of the US and the world. Father Massimo Camisasca is the founder and superior general of the Priestly Fraternity of the Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo. The Fraternity was founded in 1985 and recognized as a Society of Apostolic Life in 1999.

 

Statistical data of the past 30 years reveals an increase of 5% more diocesan priests worldwide, compared with an increase of 48% more baptized persons.
 
This alone could explain the question in the title of my latest book, “Padre ci saranno ancora sacerdoti nel futuro della Chiesa?” (Father, Will There Still Be Priests in the Future of the Church?) — a theme that underlies the entire text.
 
However, even more than the number of priests, the Church is interested in the truth of their experience. For reasons connected with my work as superior of a fraternity of missionaries, I travel throughout the world and am in contact with the most diverse realities. And, meeting with priests of different regions, I note that many of them experience difficulties not so much of an ideological type as of an emotional order.
 
Why is it that today the priestly life — which has made thousands of men happy and contributed enormously to the spiritual growth of humanity — is going through such a profound qualitative crisis?
 
My [Italian-language] book stems from this question. It is an attempt to rethink the life of a priest from its roots.

Rebirth
 
The regeneration of priestly life is one of the conditions for the new flowering of Christianity in Europe, and more generally, in our jaded West (Asia and Africa merit separate treatment).
 
I have attempted to trace the path for a rebirth returning to the fundamentals of the priesthood. I find one of those fundamentals in prayer.
 
Today many priests lose themselves in action, in the infinite number of activities and preoccupations that entrap them. For the action of each one of us to always be a source of nourishment, it must be constantly redirected to our relationship with Christ. And the place of our relationship with Christ is prayer, inseparable from silence.
 
Silence, prayer, reflection and study are the answer to one of the evils that afflict the figure of the priest: activism, which remains on the surface of things and absorbs the time of our energies and our feelings. Instead, action that stems from charity introduces us in the work of God, who precedes and exceeds us.

Liturgy
 
Another pillar of the renewal of priestly life is the liturgy. I say this following the teaching of the Pope. I am not ruled by the desire to accommodate myself to a current, but by a profound conviction that is born from experience.
 
If the priest does not rediscover the true meaning of the liturgy in his life, he cannot find himself.
 
Surmounting the process of trivialization, which we have witnesses in the last 30 years, it is necessary to return to that “fons et origo” that the Second Vatican Council identifies in the liturgy.
 
When it is faithful to the one who instituted it, when it is lived in all its rigorous totality and is attentive to the tradition of the Church, the liturgy is the place of education to communion.
 
The protagonist of the liturgy is Christ. By living the liturgy, we can enter into the life of God, and only thus can we priests be an effective company of men.
 
In the third place, the emotional question is central in the life of a priest. Loneliness is the other great evil that today afflicts thousands of priests.
 
Only by discovering himself a son can the priest be a father.

Friendship is a positive experience in a person’s emotional life. In the Church there is still much fear of friendship. Pathologies are not channeled if one is not helped to develop a healthy life.
 
Unhealthy and negative friendships, which because of this are not proper friendships, must not close us off from the essential value of these bonds of preference that open us to the love of others and help us to understand who God is.

Luigi Giussani: the 5th anniversary of death

LGiussani and Rose.jpgFive years ago today Monsignor Luigi Giussani died after suffering the effects of Parkinson’s Disease. I continue to miss his voice and witness to faith we profess in Christ.

O God, the Lord of mercies, grant to the soul of Thy servant Luigi Giussani, priest, whose anniversary we are keeping, a place of refreshment, rest and happiness and the glory of Thy Light.
Pope John Paul IIs personal letter on man and work of Luigi Giussani.
Here is Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s homily for Monsignor Giussani on February 24, 2005.

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.

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]yahoo.com.
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