June 27, 2008
June 23, 2008
The Pope made the announcement during his homily, transmitted by satellite from the Vatican to thousands of faithful gathered on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec, for the closing Mass of the 49th International Eucharistic Congress, held in that Canadian city from 15 to 22 June. The Eucharistic celebration was presided by Cardinal Jozef Tomko, pontifical legate and president emeritus of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses.
Commenting on the theme of the congress - "The Eucharist: gift of God for the life of the world" - the Holy Father said: "The Eucharist is our most precious treasure. ... It is the Sacrament par excellence ... It contains all the mystery of our salvation, it is the source and the summit of the
activity and the life of the Church."
"It is, then," he continued, "particularly important that pastors and faithful should always seek a more profound understanding of this great Sacrament. Each will thus be able to strengthen his faith and better achieve his mission in the Church and in the world, recalling the fecundity of the Eucharist for his personal life, and for the life of the Church and the world."
"Participation in the Eucharist", said Pope Benedict, "does not distance us from our fellow man; quite the contrary, being the most exalted expression of God's love, it calls us to commit ourselves alongside our brothers and sisters to facing the challenges of the present and to making the planet a pleasant place to live. To this end, we must struggle tirelessly so that all people may be respected from conception to natural death, that our rich societies may welcome the poorest and restore their dignity, that everyone may feed themselves and their family, and that peace and justice may shine out on all continents."
The Pope, who had been speaking French, then pronounced a few words in English: "I sincerely hope that this Congress will serve as an appeal to all the faithful to make a similar commitment to a renewal of Eucharistic catechesis, so that they themselves will gain a genuine Eucharistic awareness and will in turn teach children and young people to recognise the central mystery of faith and build their lives around it."
Read the entire Vatican Information Service story here.
"In today's Gospel," he said, "we find two invitations from Jesus: on the one hand, 'to have no fear' of men, and on the other 'to fear' God. Thus we are stimulated to reflect on the difference that exists between human fears and fear of God. Fear is a natural aspect of life. From childhood we experience forms of fear that then reveal themselves as imaginary and disappear; later other fears emerge which have specific roots in reality, these must be faced and overcome with human commitment and trust in God.
"But," the Pope added, "there exists - and above all today - a deeper form of fear, an existential fear, which sometimes spills over into anguish. It is born of a sense of emptiness, associated with a certain culture that is permeated with widespread theoretical and practical nihilism. Faced with the broad ... panorama of human fears, the Word of God is clear: those who 'fear' God 'are not afraid.' Fear of God, which Scripture defines as 'the beginning of true hope,' means to have faith in Him, and sacred respect for His authority over life and over the world."
"Those who fear God are serene even amidst the storms because God, as Jesus revealed to us, is a Father full of mercy and goodness. Those who love Him are not afraid. ... Believers, then, are afraid of nothing, because they know they are in the hands of God, they know that evil and the irrational will not have the last word, but that the one Lord of the world and of life is Christ, the Word of God incarnate."
Finally, the Pope turned his attention to St. Paul who, "strong in the presence of Christ and comforted by His love, did not even fear martyrdom."
Then, recalling that on June 28 he will inaugurate a Jubilee Year commemorating the 2,000th anniversary of the birth of the Apostle of the Gentiles, the Holy Father concluded: "May this great spiritual and pastoral event also arouse in us a renewed faith in Jesus Christ Who calls us to announce and bear witness to His Gospel, without fear."
June 19, 2008
June 17, 2008
This year’s jubilarians include:
- Father Michael L. Maher, 60 years
- Father Joseph W. Roach, 60 years
- Father Richard C. Ratajczak, 50 years
- Father Joseph D. Ryan, 50 years
- Father Peter J. Gaspeny, 25 years
SAGINAW – Bishop Robert J. Carlson has announced the following pastoral assignments for the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw, each effective July 1:
Carol Hale from staff at St. John the Evangelist Parish, Essexville, to pastoral administrator for St. Paul the Apostle Parish, Ithaca, and St. Martin de Porres Parish, Perrinton.
Father Robert Howe from pastor for St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Shepherd, St. Leo Parish, Winn, and St. Patrick Parish, Irishtown, to pastor for Sacred Heart Parish, Bad Axe, St. Joseph Parish, Rapson, and Most Holy Trinity Parish, Smith Corners.
The Catholic Diocese of Saginaw includes 106 parishes and 26 schools located across 11 mid-Michigan counties.
June 13, 2008
That's because 97.7 percent of them met or exceeded state standards on the Michigan Educational Assessment Program social studies test - more than any other Catholic school in Michigan, making them No. 1 in the state.
June 11, 2008
Father Welsmiller was born on March 5, 1917 in Saginaw, son of Frances (Lengst) and Frederick Welsmiller. He was baptized at Sacred Heart Parish in Saginaw and attended Sacred Heart and St. Mary Cathedral schools in Saginaw.
He studied for the priesthood at St. Joseph Seminary in Grand Rapids, St. Mary Seminary in Baltimore, Md., and Our Lady of Angels Seminary (Niagara University) in New York. He was ordained on June 3, 1944 by Bishop William F. Murphy at St. Mary Cathedral.
Within the Diocese of Saginaw, Father Welsmiller served as chaplain of St. Mary’s Hospital in Saginaw and as assistant pastor at SS. Peter & Paul Parish in Saginaw, St. Bernard Parish in Alpena and SS. Peter & Paul Parish in Ruth.
In 1951, he left Michigan to take residence in a warmer and dryer climate due to health reasons and ministered in California and Florida.
In 1973, he founded the Casa San José home for orphans and homeless, abused, and disadvantaged children ages 2 to 17. He served as the home’s director for more than 25 years.
Father Welsmiller’s funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 12, 2008 at St. Bernard Parish in Holmes Beach, Fla. He will be buried near his parents at the Skyway Memorial Gardens in Palmetto, Fla.
Memorial donations may be made to the St. Joseph Family Foundation, 2412 Clark Ave., Bradenton, FL 34207, to benefit Casa San José.
(In the photo: Father Welsmiller is seen with a group of children at the Casa San José de los Huerfanos orphanage in Colima, Mexico, in 1994.)