Be proud that you’re a Catholic

Excerpts of an article written by non-Catholic Sam Miller – a prominent Cleveland Jewish businessman:   
”Why would newspapers carry on a vendetta on one of the most important institutions that we have today in the  United States  , namely the Catholic Church?
 
Do you know – the Catholic Church educates 2.6 million students everyday at the cost to that Church of 10 billion dollars, and a savings on the other hand to the American taxpayer of 18 billion dollars. The graduates go on to graduate studies at the rate of 92%.
 
The Church has 230 colleges and universities in the  U.S.  with an enrollment of 700,000 students.

The Catholic Church has a non-profit hospital system of 637 hospitals, which account for hospital treatment of 1 out of every 5 people – not just Catholics – in the  United States  today
 
But the press is vindictive and trying to totally denigrate in every way the Catholic Church in this country. They have blamed the disease of pedophilia on the Catholic Church, which is as irresponsible as blaming adultery on the institution of marriage.
 
Let me give you some figures that Catholics should know and remember. For example, 12% of the 300 Protestant clergy surveyed admitted to sexual intercourse with a parishioner; 38% acknowledged other inappropriate sexual contact in a study by the  United   Methodist   Church  , 41.8% of clergy women reported unwanted sexual behavior; 17% of laywomen have been sexually harassed.
Meanwhile, 1.7% of the Catholic clergy has been found guilty of pedophilia. 10% of the Protestant ministers have been found guilty of pedophilia. This is not a Catholic Problem.
 
A study of American priests showed that most are happy in the priesthood and find it even better than they had expected, and that most, if given the choice, would choose to be priests again in face of all this obnoxious PR the church has been receiving.
 
The Catholic Church is bleeding from self-inflicted wounds. The agony that Catholics have felt and suffered is not necessarily the fault of the Church. You have been hurt by a small number of wayward priests that have probably been totally weeded out by now.
 
Walk with your shoulders high and you head higher. Be a proud member of the most important non-governmental agency in the  United States . Then remember what Jeremiah said: ‘Stand by the roads, and look and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is and walk in it, and find rest for your souls’.  Be proud to speak up for your faith with pride and reverence and learn what your Church does for all other religions. 
 
Be proud that you’re a Catholic.”

Source: medjugorje.net

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“May the Virgin Mary help us so that, guided by the Holy Spirit, we live this time of grace with joy and fruit.”

Here is a part of the address Benedict XVI gave on Feb. 21, 2010 before and after praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

Pope Benedict XVI entrusted his spiritual exercises that started today to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, asking her to pray that Lent be a time lived “with joy and fruit.”

Pope Benedict XVI said a “basic teaching” for us: “If we carry the Word of God in our heart and in our mind, if it enters into our lives, if we have confidence in God, we can reject any sort of deception of the Tempter.”

Thus, the Pope said, Lent can be considered a long retreat, “during which we return to ourselves and listen to God’s voice to overcome the temptations of the Evil One and find the truth of our being. It is a time, we could say, of spiritual ‘contest’ to live together with Jesus, not with pride and presumption, but using the weapons of faith, that is, prayer, listening to God’s Word and penance.”

Following this itinerary, the Holy Father suggested, “we will be able to celebrate Easter in truth, ready to renew the promises of our baptism.”

He concluded: “May the Virgin Mary help us so that, guided by the Holy Spirit, we live this time of grace with joy and fruit. May she especially intercede for me and my co-workers in the Roman Curia since this evening we will begin our retreat.”

Prayer of the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, as he starts his week-long Lenten retreat, February 21, 2010.

Hollywood Star Jim Caviezel returns to Medjugorje

Jim and his wife are currently in Medjugorje. Caviezel played the role of Jesus in the film “The Passion of the Christ” which was released in 2004.  Jim and his wife Kerri visit Medjugorje often.  As reported on www.medjugorje.net , “I know he has been here before but still, seeing him at mass this morning was quite a surprise. He has been quite a trooper standing up for his faith and visiting Medjugorje again is just encouragement for all of us to stand up for our faith no matter who and what we are.”

Feast of Our Lady Lourdes

The first apparition occurred February 11, 1858. There were eighteen in all; the last took place July 16, of the same year. Bernadette often fell into an ecstasy during these apparitions, as was witnessed by the hundreds who attended the later visions, though no one except Bernadette ever saw or heard the apparition.
The mysterious vision Bernadette saw in the hollow of the rock Massabielle, where she and friends had gone to gather firewood, was that of a young and beautiful lady. “Lovelier than I have ever seen” said the child. She described the Lady as clothed in white, with a blue ribbon sash and a Rosary handing from her right arm. Now and then the apparition spoke to Bernadette.

One day, the Lady told the girl to drink of a mysterious fountain within the grotto itself, the existence of which was unknown, and of which there was no sign. But Bernadette scratched at the ground, and a spring immediately bubbled up and soon gushed forth. On another occasion the apparition bade Bernadette go and tell the priests she wished a chapel to be built on the spot and processions to be made to the grotto. At first the clergy were incredulous. The priest said he would not believe it unless the apparition gave Bernadette her name. After another apparition, Bernadette reported that the Lady told her, “I am the Immaculate Conception”. Though the girl was unfamiliar with the term, the Pope had declared the doctrine of the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary in 1854.

Four years after Bernadette’s visions, in 1862, the bishop of the diocese declared the faithful “justified in believing the reality of the apparition” of Our Lady. A basilica was built upon the rock of Massabielle by M. Peyramale, the parish priest. In 1873 the great “national” French pilgrimages were inaugurated. Three years later the basilica was consecrated and the statue solemnly crowned. In 1883 the foundation stone of another church was laid, as the first was no longer large enough. It was built at the foot of the basilica and was consecrated in 1901 and called the Church of the Rosary. Pope Leo XIII authorized a special office and a Mass, in commemoration of the apparition, and in 1907 Pius X extended the observance of this feast to the entire Church; it is now observed on February 11.

According to the crownofstars blog : The statue of Our Lady seen in St James’ church in Medjugorje is of Our Lady of Lourdes, and was restored in 1986. In 2005, it was given a new crown, designed by the Spanish artist, Angel Maria Garcia Alvarez, to mark the 24th anniversary of the apparitions in Medjugorje.  

“love the Madonna and pray the Rosary, for the Rosary is the weapon against the evils of the world.”~Padre Pio

“My healing from Gambling & Alcohol in Medjugorje”

Arthur McCluskey recounts his story and how he came to reassess his life radically due to his experiences in Bosnia.

Seven years ago, Arthur reluctantly went to Medjugorje. A series of events took place that week which irreversibly changed his life. These events he shares with us in this testimony. It is the story of two mothers, the Mother in Heaven and his mother on Earth, the Rosary, with the melting of hearts, followed by conversion. Some of the events that took place seem very strange. However, the reader is not asked to accept or reject, but to understand that he shares these private revelations with us. The result is that Arthur is a very changed man. He no longer takes alcohol and has stopped gambling. His experiences suggest that we can be freed from whatever enslaves us through conversion to God.

Click here to download his story

http://www.helperscharity.com/medjugorje.pdf