Joyful Longing for Christ this Advent



Advent: a season of contemplation and pondering. Never to be missed when God allows the movement of time to caution us to dance to its softer pace -- that we may anticipate well his coming!

What are you reading this Advent? This is an important question. For as we delve into the time in our Church when we need to slow down, we need to be replenished -- deeply -- with words that will bring us the joy of looking forward to meeting Christ. He shall come, no doubt!

When he's finally come we want to be found ready and worthy of his loving presence. For the meantime, he looks forward to being with us. He longs to be with us.

Have we made any efforts to prepare, to slow our movements, to relish in the moments of longing for the Beloved? For as he longs to be with us we, too, should be impassioned with a great longing to be with him.

For good books to read this Advent, visit the Daughters of St. Paul.

A most joyful Advent to all!

(Picture is taken from
Catholic Mom in Hawai'i. Thank you, Esther G!)


Thanks for the New Roman Missal!

Dear Pauline Friends and Family,

Thanks be to God for launching us all into the New Roman Missal.  We all turned a new page today First Sunday of Advent 2011 -- beautiful liturgy at Church of the Holy Family - United Nations Parish.


May God bless you and all your loved ones always.

In case you need related resources, you might want to see Pauline Books and Media Center.

Best regards.

Respectfully,
Margie Skeels

Happy Blessed James Alberione Feast Day - 26 Nov. 2011

Dear Pauline Friends and Family,



May God grant you all abundant blessings on the occasion of Feast Day of Blessed James Alberione.  Amen.



Primo Maestro taught us that our Pauline Family was born from the Blessed Sacrament.  This refers to the grace-filled evening of 31 December 1900 & morning of 1 January 1901 when for 4 hours Blessed James Alberione worshiped the Blessed Sacrament in the Cathedral of Alba, in obedience to Pope Leo XIII who requested prayers for the new century.  Blessed Alberione was enlightened with a mission that led to the establishment of the Pauline Family.  

Indeed, we continue to draw graces from the Blessed Sacrament or Holy Eucharist.  When we completed the celebration of Mass on Sunday, 6 Nov. 2011 at St. Thecla's Retreat House in Boston, the tabernacle was left empty after the Daughters of St. Paul and the Pauline Cooperators received Holy Communion from Father Riley.



We had opportunity to worship the Blessed Sacrament.  We were treated to wonderful conferences prepared by Sr. Anne Flanagan on how to live with a penitent heart and learn about the historical background of and upcoming beautiful changes embodied in the New Roman Missal.  We had a rewarding time singing a hymn to St. Paul.  Next step:  We move forward incorporated into the Body of Jesus Christ Our Lord to humbly attempt to accomplish in our small ways the apostolate handed down by Blessed Alberione to place the media of social communication at the service of the Gospel and of human progress.

Jesus Master, Way, Truth and Life, have mercy on us.



Blessed James Alberione gave to the Church of today his life and the many lives of Pauline Family members -- men, women, priests, brothers, sisters and laity.  Glory to God and peace to man.



Mary, Queen of Apostles, pray for us.

Respectfully,
Margie Skeels
Pauline Cooperator

POPE TO ITALIAN CARITAS: BE A SIGN OF CHRIST'S CHARITY: VIS article

Dear Pauline Friends & Family,

The beautiful weather in New York City today is just one of the million reasons for us to celebrate Thanksgiving Day!  Many thanks to God for the grateful pilgrims in the 1620's who started to recognize the bountiful harvest from Divine Providence.

With grateful heart, I also wish to share today's article (shown below) from the Vatican Information Service re the message of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to Italian Caritas.  Our Supreme Pontiff is quite inspiring.  His messages are dotted with actionable "gems".

May God send us the Holy Spirit to show us a way to act & play our individual & collective role/s so we can respond with courageous hearts & carry the light of the Church to those areas where we encounter darkness and may God empower us to "be a sign of Christ's charity" in our small ways.  Amen.

VIS article:
QUOTE

POPE TO ITALIAN CARITAS: BE A SIGN OF CHRIST'S CHARITY

VATICAN CITY, 24 NOV 2011 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, Benedict XVI received participants in a meeting organised by Italian Caritas to celebrate its fortieth anniversary. In his address, the Pope recalled how Caritas "has an important role to play in educating communities, families and civil society, where the Church is called to shed her light. This involves taking responsibility for educating people to the good life of the Gospel, and that life is good only if it includes the witness of charity".

  "Never abandon this educational role, even when the journey becomes difficult and your efforts seem to bear no fruit. Undertake your duties while remaining faithful to the Church and respecting the identity of your institutions, using the instruments that history has given you and those which 'the inventiveness of charity' - as Blessed John Paul II said - will suggest to you in the future".

  "A work of charity speaks of God, it announces a hope and induces us to ask questions". Such works "are born of the faith. They are works of the Church, expressions of her concern for those who suffer most. They are educational acts because they help the poor to grow in dignity, Christian communities to follow Christ and civil society to shoulder its obligations. Let us recall the teaching of Vatican Council II: 'demands of justice [must] be satisfied lest the giving of what is due in justice be represented as the offering of a charitable gift'. The Church's humble and concrete service does not seek to substitute, even less to assuage, collective and civil conscience, but accompanies them with a spirit of sincere collaboration, and with due concern for autonomy and subsidiarity".

  "Charity requires an open mind", the Holy Father went on. "Responding to need means not only giving bread to the hungry, but also asking ourselves about the reasons for their hunger, using the gaze of Jesus Who could see the profound truth of the people around Him. In this perspective, our modern times are calling you to ask yourselves about the way you work for charity. Our thoughts cannot but go to the vast world of migration. Natural calamities and wars often create emergencies. The global economic crisis is a another sign of the times which calls for the courage of fraternity. The gap between the north and south of the world, and the wounded human dignity of so many people, call for a charity able to expand in concentric circles from the small economic systems to the great. Increasing poverty, the weakening of families, and the uncertainty faced by the young all point to the risk of diminishing hope.

  "Humankind needs not only benefactors", the Pope added, "but also humble practical people who, like Jesus, stand alongside their brothers and sisters and share their fatigue. In a word, humanity is looking for signs of hope. The source of our hope is in the Lord. This is why we need Caritas, not to delegate it with the responsibility for charitable service, but for it to be a sign of Christ's charity, a sign that brings hope".
AC/                                                                                                   VIS 20111124 (530)
 UNQUOTE


Did you find the actionable "gems" in Pope Benedict XVI's message to Italian Caritas?  Key:  In the VIS article above, find out what Jesus would do today.

There are many "actors" in the world who play important roles to bring the Gospel and there are a myriad of ways to bring hope to people in many nations.  The Pauline Family, founded by Blessed James Alberione, also strives to bring the good life of the Gospel.  See:  Discover Hope with Daughters of St. Paul.

May God bestow abundant graces to the followers of Jesus Divine Master, Way, Truth and Life and may God be glorified by the humble works of Blessed James Alberione and the apostolate work of the 10 Pauline institutes he founded in Italy which have grown like a tree with branches in many nations around the world.  Amen.  

Jesus, Master, Way, Truth and Life, have mercy on us.
Mary, Queen of Apostles, pray for us.
St. Paul the Apostle, pray for us.
Blessed James Alberione, pray for us.  (Feast Day:  Nov. 26)
Venerable Mother Thecla Merlo, pray for us.  (Feast Day:  Jan. 22)
Blessed Timothy Giaccardo, pray for us.  (Feast Day:  Oct. 22)
Sr. Scholastica Rivata, Servant of God, pray for us. (13 March 1993)
Venerable Canon Francesco Chiesa, pray for us. (Proclaimed venerable:  11 Dec. 1987)
Venerable Maggiorino Vigolungo, pray for us.  (Proclaimed venerable:  28 March 1988)
Venerable Fratel Andrea Maria Borello, pray for us.  (Proclaimed venerable:  3 March 1990)

Wishing you all the best!

Respectfully,
Margie Skeels
Pauline Cooperator

HUMAN LIFE AND DIGNITY MUST ALWAYS BE DEFENDED: VIS Article


Dear Pauline Friends & Family,

Happy Thanksgiving!

A million thanks to God for the gift of life.  The Vatican Information Service article below brings to our attention ongoing Conference & work on the legacy of Blessed John Paul II's teaching on the Gospel of Life &  mentions the "Church doctrine on matters regarding the primary and fundamental value of the life of each human being throughout its trajectory; that is, from conception until natural end."  Let us pray.  May God grant noble men and women abundant grace of understanding, sustaining and respecting God's loving gift of human life and increase the circle of defenders of human life and dignity, through Jesus Christ Our Lord.  Amen.

QUOTE
HUMAN LIFE AND DIGNITY MUST ALWAYS BE DEFENDED

VATICAN CITY, 22 NOV 2011 (VIS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office the presentation took place of the twenty-sixth international conference organised by the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care. The conference will have as its theme: "Health Pastoral Care, Serving Life in the Light of the Magisterium of Blessed John Paul II", and is due to be held in the Vatican from 24 to 26 November.

  During this morning's presentation, Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care, noted that the conference aims to ensure that "Blessed John Paul II's teaching on the Gospel of Life, and the translation of that teaching into pastoral activity by the Church, call pastoral care operatives, healthcare workers and all men and women of good will to love and serve life, especially when it is weak and suffering". He also expressed the hope that the conference would "celebrate the sacredness of life and the dignity of the person, which must be defended in all circumstances".

  The theme chosen for this twenty-sixth international conference is inspired by "the profound veneration" which healthcare workers feel for John Paul II, Archbishop Zimowski explained, He also highlighted the late Pontiff's lifelong concern for the sick, expressed in both words and actions. Indeed, it was John Paul II who established the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care, as well as the World Day of the Sick and the Good Samaritan Foundation.

  The conference will include "lectures, testimonies and theological-pastoral experiences inspired by John Paul II's teachings on the Christian value of suffering and the Gospel of Life. These will be examined from an interdisciplinary perspective", the archbishop said. On the first day a ceremony will be held in honour of John Paul II, with contributions from Cardinal Fiorenzo Angelini and Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, respectively president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care and former secretary to John Paul II.

  The conference will be attended by many groups of faithful active in the field of healthcare, and by representatives from other Churches and religious confessions including Rev. Stavros Kofinas of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Rev. Alfred Krauth of the Lutheran Church. Six ambassadors to the Holy See and forty-two prelates will also be present. In all there will be 685 participants from seventy countries.

  The international conference, which will be preceded by a meeting of bishops with responsibility for health pastoral care, will also include a concert entitled "The Cross, Mercy and Glory" organised in honour of Benedict XVI and focusing on the figure of Blessed John Paul II, to be held in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall on 25 November.

  For his part Fr. Augusto Chendi M.I., under secretary of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care, explained how the council contributes to health training through its Charter for Healthcare Workers, "which contains a summary of Church doctrine on matters regarding the primary and fundamental value of the life of each human being throughout its trajectory; that is, from conception until natural end". The Charter, which dates from 1995, is currently being updated to include John Paul II's subsequent Magisterium and that of Benedict XVI, as well as the ethical questions that have arisen with the progress of medicine and biology. The new Charter is almost ready and will soon be available in various languages.

  Also participating in today's press conference were Bishop Valentin Pozaic S.J., auxiliary of Zagreb, Croatia; Msgr. Jean-Marie Mate Musivi Mupendawatu, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care; Msgr. Jacques Suaudeau, consultor of the council, and Sr. Myriam Castelli F.S.P., a journalist with RAI International.
CON-AVA/                                                                                      VIS 20111122 (610)
UNQUOTE

Many thanks to Blessed John Paul II for his courage, faith, hope and love which he shared with us in a myriad of ways.  By attaching his seal of approval, he showed us that holiness is attainable through the many causes of canonization in which he elevated candidates to the ranks of Servants of God, Venerables, Blesseds, Martyrs and Saints who lived exemplary lives in many nations.  A million thanks to God for the many graces of granting such wisdom to recognize the saints who lived in different generations and who despite human limitations have received through their prayers the grace of multiplying their efforts to give glory to God and to lead us to Jesus Christ, Our Lord, Master, Way, Truth and Life.  Amen. 

Dear God, Many thanks for the shepherds in our Christian Churches around the world, most especially His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church.  Please continue to bestow your abundant graces to them & to all their sheep.  Our Lady of Peace, pray for us.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Respectfully,
Margie Skeels
Pauline Cooperator - NYC

Novena in Honor of Blessed James Alberione - November 17 to 25

Dear Pauline Friends & Family,

Let's join together in honoring our Founder Blessed James Alberione with our prayer offerings as we move onwards to his anniversary.

O Mary, Queen of Apostles and Queen of Peace, please pray to Jesus Christ, Our Lord, for the cause of canonization of Blessed James Alberione. Amen. Glory be to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Blessed James Alberione, Venerable Mother Thecla Merlo, Mother Paula Cordero, FSP


Novena in Honor of Blessed James Alberione

Nov. 17
Introduction
Today we begin the novena in honor of Blessed James Alberione, whom John Paul II called “the first apostle of the new evangelization.” In gratitude we thank the Lord for raising him up—for our sake and that of our world. We thank him for having answered the Master’s call, as the first Apostles did. In this Morning Prayer, we ask him to help us open ourselves to the Spirit, who continually evangelizes us and draws us to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, the Apostle of the Father.

Readings
 Christian Prayer, p. 623,
 Liturgy of the Pauline Family, p. 179
 The following text: In John Paul II’s words, Blessed James Alberione is “the first apostle of the new evangelization.” Not only because he used modern media to proclaim the Gospel, but because, like Paul at the dawn of Christianity, he heralded in his person and his message the central call of the Gospel: total configuration with Christ the Master, a personal, life-changing, lifelong encounter with Christ. His reference was always the Gospel and he insisted that everyone of us read it in order to live it—a novelty at the turn of the last century. His lodestar was the primacy of Christ. His journey was a personal relationship with Christ and a burning desire that the whole world would join him on that journey.
This is the meaning of the new evangelization, outlined in the lineamenta for next year’s Synod of Bishops. With this novena, we are in a way initiating our own community’s preparation for that event. We entrust to Primo Maestro our own desire to witness to the saving love and truth of Jesus Christ with what the lineamenta calls new “ardour, methods, and expression.”
Yes, in the words of our founder that we just read, “The love for the Gospel is the sign and characteristic of persons whom God designates for great enterprises.”

Canticle of Zechariah
Antiphon: LPF, p. 184

Concluding Prayer: LPF, p. 183

Nov. 18—Dedication of the Churches of Sts. Peter and Paul
Readings
Christian Prayer, p. 1346
LPF, p. 180
Lineamenta: The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith, n. 6:
“The new evangelization is a frame of mind, a courageous manner of acting and Christianity’s capacity to know how to read and interpret the new situations in human history which, in recent decades, have become the places to proclaim and witness to the Gospel….These sectors concern society, cultures, economics, civic life, and religion….
“…Our third great sector…[is] the means of social communications, which, while today providing great possibilities for the Church, also represents one of her greatest challenges….In this sector, the new evangelization means that Christians need to show boldness in these ‘new aeropaghi,’ where they live everyday, and find the means and approaches to ensure that the Church’s patrimony in education and knowledge, safeguarded by the Christian tradition, has a part to play in these ultra-modern places.”

Canticle of Zechariah
Antiphon: LPF, p. 184

Concluding Prayer: LPF, p. 183

Nov. 19
Readings
Christian Prayer, p. 655
Liturgy of the Pauline Family, p. 180
Lineamenta, n. 6:
“The first sector calling for the new evangelization is culture. In our times we find ourselves in an era of a profound secularism….in which God is completely or partially left out of life and human consciousness…. [This] can be seen in the daily lives of many Christians, who are oftentimes influenced, if not completely conditioned, by the culture of images with its models and opposing forces. Temptations to superficiality and self-centredness, arising from a predominating hedonistic and consumer-oriented mentality, are not easily overcome. The “death of God” announced decades ago by so many intellectuals has given way to an unproductive cult of the individual….
“At the same time, some regions of the world are showing signs of a promising religious reawakening.”

Canticle of Zechariah
Antiphon: LPF, p. 184

Concluding Prayer: LPF, p. 183

Nov. 20—Solemnity of Christ the King
Christian Prayer, p. 523

Readings
Christian Prayer, p. 524
Liturgy of the Pauline Family, p. 180
Lineamenta, n. 15, 22:
“The agent for transmitting the faith is the entire Church which manifests itself in the local Churches, where proclamation, transmission and the lived experience of the Gospel are realized…. The Spirit gathers believers into communities that fervently live their faith, a faith which is nourished through listening to the teaching of the apostles, through the Eucharist and through the communities’ life of unselfish service to proclaiming the Kingdom of God…. In these communities, the faithful are gathered together by the preaching of the Gospel of Christ, and the celebration of the mystery of the Lord's Supper, so that ‘by the food and blood of the Lord's body the whole brotherhood may be joined together’.”
“The new evangelization, then, which is primarily a task to be done and a spiritual challenge, is the responsibility of all Christians who are in serious pursuit of holiness.”

Canticle of Zechariah
Antiphon: LPF, p. 184

Intercessions
Add the following:
“In thanksgiving for the life of Sr. Mary Aparecida on this, her anniversary. May she rest in the kingdom of light and peace.”

Concluding Prayer: LPF, p. 183

Nov. 21—Presentation of Mary (optional memorial)
Christian Prayer, p. 686

Readings
Christian Prayer, p. 690
Liturgy of the Pauline Family, p. 180
Lineamenta, n. 13, 23:
“The synod fathers gave particular attention to proclaiming the Word of God to future generations. ‘Often we encounter in them a spontaneous openness to hearing the Word of God and a sincere desire to know Jesus....Concern for young people calls for courage and clarity in the message we proclaim…witnesses and teachers who can walk with them,.…[and] approaches to Christian initiation which, through listening to the Word, celebrating the Eucharist and the communal living of love and fellowship, will lead to a growth in faith.’”
“The first evangelization began on the day of Pentecost, when the Apostles, gathered together in prayer with the Mother of Christ, received the Holy Spirit. In this way, Mary, who according to the words of the Archangel is "full of grace", was present during apostolic evangelization and continues to be present in those places where the successors of the Apostles strive to proclaim the Gospel.”

Canticle of Zechariah
Antiphon: LPF, p. 184

Concluding Prayer: LPF, p. 183

Nov. 22—St. Cecilia (Memorial)
Readings
Christian Prayer, p. 706
Liturgy of the Pauline Family, p. 181
Lineamenta, n. 7:
“Reread the present moment in light of the Christian gift of hope. Relearning the meaning of hope leads Christians to discover what they can offer in their world of encounters, experiences and dialoguing with others, what they can share in the process and how they can better express this hope which leads to perseverance. The new sectors which call us into dialogue require turning a critical eye towards our manner of life, our thinking, our values and our means of communication. At the same time, the occasion must also serve as a self-evaluation of Christianity today, which must repeatedly learn to understand itself, beginning from its roots.”

Canticle of Zechariah
Antiphon: LPF, p. 184

Concluding Prayer: LPF, p. 183

Nov. 23
Readings
Christian Prayer, p. 723
Liturgy of the Pauline Family, p. 181
Lineamenta, n. 11:
“St. Paul the Apostle presents himself as an ‘apostle set apart for the Gospel of God’ (Rom 1:1; 1 Cor 1:17)…. In referring to the Gospel, we must not think of it only as a book or a set of teachings. The Gospel is much more; it is a living and efficacious Word, which accomplishes what it says. It is not so much a system of articles of faith and moral precepts, much less a political programme, but a person: Jesus Christ, the definitive Word of God, who became man. The Gospel is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. However, not only does the Gospel have Jesus Christ as its content; but even more, through the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ is also the promoter and the centre of its proclamation and transmission. Consequently, the goal of the transmission of the faith is the realization of a personal encounter with Jesus Christ, in the Spirit, thereby leading to an experiencing of his Father and our Father.”

Canticle of Zechariah
Antiphon: LPF, p. 184

Concluding Prayer: LPF, p. 183

Nov. 25
Use as an introduction to prayer: Liturgy of the Pauline Family, p. 182

Readings
Christian Prayer, p. 758
Lineamenta, nn. 6, 13:
Through migration “our societies are experiencing an unprecedented encounter and mixing of cultures….In such a situation, the new evangelization can provide the opportunity no longer to perceive the Church's mission as a north-south or west-east dynamic but one which transcends the geographic confines of past missionary activity. Today, all five continents are fields of missionary activity. We must also seek to understand the sectors and places in life where faith is absent, not simply as a result of drifting from the faith but from never having encountered it. Transcending the geographic confines of former missionary activity means having the capacity to raise the question of God at every moment in the encounters created by the mixing and rebuilding of the fabric of society….”
“Migrants must not simply be evangelized but be trained themselves to be evangelizing agents.”

Canticle of Zechariah
Antiphon: LPF, p. 184

Concluding Prayer: LPF, p. 183

Join us>  Discover Hope with Daughters of St. Paul!  Please see www.pauline.org

Many thanks. May God bless you and your loved ones always.

Respectfully,
Margie Skeels
Pauline Cooperator