Tag Archives: faith

The Madeleine turns 100

The Madeleine.jpgUtah’s Catholics are celebrating a 100 years of the Catholic cathedral’s presence in a state long known as a haven for Mormons. The mother church of the diocese, The Cathedral of the Madeleine, is 100 years old. While history shows us that Franciscan missionaries preached and celebrated Mass as early as 1776, this celebration concretizes a presence in a house of prayer that has celebrated the sacraments unto salvation.

Catholics on the East coast of the USA or perhaps anywhere else other than Utah will wonder why I am bringing this story more attention. Isn’t the Madeleine’s anniversary a local festivity? Yes and no. Certainly the Catholics of the Diocese of Salt Lake City are remembering the graces and challenges of living their Christian faith there which obviously includes a witness to Christ. Well, it is obvious to me that every claim to witnessing to Christ is not of equal importance if we don’t point to Jesus as the origin of our happiness, the fact of being the Bread of Life and being THE way, the truth and the life. But all of us ought to be celebrating the fact that Christ has made Himself known to His people there. The theology and practice of the Catholic Church is know deeply that what affects Utah’s Catholic community affects us; being Catholic means that we are part of a Church, therefore a companionship of people announcing the the Presence of Salvation today. The Church thinks this is so with the presence of the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine for the Faith who unites all of us with the Holy Father. That is, the beauty of the Catholic faith is its true universality.

Faith roots the relationship with God

Never a day goes by that I don’t ask the question about my faith and my life of faith. I doubt any serious Christian would go through life without asking the same: How does my faith impact my relationship with God and vice verse? Do I live in certain intimacy with the divine nature? Do others see God in me as I relate to them? How credible a witness am I of Jesus Christ and His Good News?

Without faith it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews
11:6). Faith is the foundation of our relations with God. For the man without
faith, God has no meaning, no value, no place in his life. On the contrary, the
more lively our faith is, the more God enters into our life, until finally he
becomes our all, the one great reality for; which we live, and the One for whom
we courageously face sorrow and death. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if
we die, we die to the Lord (Romans 14:8). Those who dedicate themselves to the
spiritual life do not lack faith; but often our faith is not alive and concrete
enough to make us always see God in everything, which would give us the sense
of his fundamental, transcendent and eternal reality that infinitely surpasses
all earthly realities
. In practice we do not reflect sufficiently on the truth
that to be a believer is a pure gift of God, not due to any personal merit. God
is both the object of faith and the giver of faith; it is he who infuses into
us the desire to know him and to believe in him and who makes us capable of the
act of believing.

Divine Intimacy, Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, OCD

Pope writes to conference on Women

In a letter of greeting to Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino the Pope on the occasion of the “Life, Family, Development: The Role of Women in the Promotion of Human Rights,” conference which took place week in the Vatican he wrote of that Christianity is life giving, and not full of despair in front of reality and that following John Paul insight, there is a new feminism informed by the Gospel that has the power to change people.

I am pleased to extend cordial greetings to you and to all those taking part in the International Conference on the theme “Life, Family and Development: the Role of Women in the Promotion of Human Rights.” This event, sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, with the cooperation of the World Women’s Alliance for Life and Family, the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations and other associations, is an exemplary response to my predecessor Pope John Paul II’s call for a “new feminism” with the power to transform culture, imbuing it with a decisive respect for life (cf. Evangelium Vitae, 98-99).

Every day we learn of further ways in which life is compromised, particularly in its most vulnerable stages. While justice demands that these be decried as a violation of human rights, they must also evoke a positive and proactive response. The recognition and appreciation of God’s plan for women in the transmission of life and the nurturing of children is a constructive step in this direction. Beyond this, and given the distinctive influence of women in society, they must be encouraged to embrace the opportunity to uphold the dignity of life through their involvement in education and their participation in political and civic life. Indeed, because they have been gifted by the Creator with a unique “capacity for the other,” women have a crucial part to play in the promotion of human rights, for without their voice the social fabric of society would be weakened (cf. Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Collaboration of Men and Women in the Church and in the World, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 13). As you reflect on the role of women in the promotion of human rights, I invite you to keep in mind a task to which I have drawn attention on several occasions: namely, to correct any misconception that Christianity is simply a collection of commandments and prohibitions. The Gospel is a message of joy which encourages men and women to delight in spousal love; far from stifling it, Christian faith and ethics make it healthy, strong and truly free. This is the exact meaning of the Ten Commandments: they are not a series of “noes” but a great “yes” to love and to life (cf. Address to the Participants at the Ecclesial Convention of the Diocese of Rome, 5 June 2006).

It is my sincere hope that your discussions over these next two days will translate into concrete initiatives that safeguard the indispensable role of the family in the integral development of the human person and of society as a whole. The genius of women to mobilize and organize endows them with the skills and motivation to develop ever-expanding networks for sharing experiences and generating new ideas. The accomplishments of WWALF and the UMOFC/WUCWO are an outstanding example of this, and I encourage their members to persevere in their generous service to society. May the sphere of your influence continue to grow at regional, national and international levels for the advancement of human rights based on the strong foundation of marriage and family.

I once more extend best wishes for the success of this conference and my prayers for the continuing mission of the participating organizations. Invoking the intercession of Mary, “the symbol and the most perfect realization of the Church” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 570), I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing.



PS: a video clip on the Pope’s remarks the other on women

Foundation of Subsidiarity: enriching the cultural-scientific discourse based on the dignity of the person

GVittadini.jpgLast autumn, www.ilsussidiario.net
, an internet news portal edited by the Foundation of Subsidiarity directed by Giorgio Vittadini, sponsored a special “On the Spot” section with articles from US-based writers on aspects of the presidential election. This was a start for what will now be a new regular English-language section of the site.

Fnd Subsid.jpgThe editors are happy to announce the birth of the English section of the daily “Il Sussidiario” divided in three sections: Politics & Society, Economy & Finance, Culture, Religion & Science.

Add this link to your favorites:


The “On the Spot” section will feature news and opinion pieces on all aspects of life in the USA and English speaking countries, with our particular judgment on events. (N.B. Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete writes a column every week). It will include interviews and articles from experts as well as regular reporters.

Looking for writers. There is a need to produce at least two or three original articles weekly of about 450-650 words. In addition, some of the articles would be translated into Italian for a daily audience of 3000 people.

If you would like to join us in this venture, please write to clairityrose@gmail.com.

Americans with no religion

The AP is reporting a decline of Americans indentifying with organized religion. Really, this is not new news but it seems to be in the media more these days. The story

I tend to think that Americans, like other nations, may not identify with a particular religion yet have some sort of “religious” belief(s), some of them strange. I’m unconvinced at this time that Americans give up totally on some vague sense of faith as they might give up on the practice of the faith. We have our work cut out for proposing the beauty of Christ.

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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