Utah’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.
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
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,
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.
BENEDICTUS PP. XVI
PS: a video clip on the Pope’s remarks the other on women
PS: a video clip on the Pope’s remarks the other on women
Last 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.
The 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.
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The “On the Spot” section will feature news and opinion pieces on all aspects of life in the
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.