Editor’s note: The following homily was preached by the Reverend Peter M. J. Stravinskas on August 3, 2020 in honor of St. Dominic (liturgically commemorated on August 4 [EF] and August 8 [OF]) at the […]
On his visit to our college a number of years ago, the Jesuit scholar Father Koterski mentioned a book that he described as the ‘most influential he has ever read’, his fellow Jesuit’s Father Paul Quay’s “The Mystery Hidden for Ages in God”. Upon his effusive recommendation, I made a resolve to read the book, and this article, adapted from a talk I recently offered, is my attempt to describe its contents and mission.
True to his word, the book is, amongst many adjectives one could bring to bear, influential. It is also erudite, broad, comprehensive, insightful, systematic, and, yes, from a Jesuit, highly orthodox. I found myself agreeing almost all the way through, perhaps not agreeing with all, but with most.
I must confess that it is difficult in such a summary to know what to leave out. Father Quay’s book is 425 pages long, with small print, lots of footnotes, and dense prose. Some bits are difficult going, other quite easy and readable, but all of it theologically, philosophically and culturally rich.
Denver Newsroom, Aug 3, 2020 / 07:15 pm (CNA).-
A former board member of a progressive Catholic political advocacy organization said Monday the group’s former executive director, who is now vying for a Congressional seat in Tennessee, defrauded the organization and eventually left it bankrupt.
“I’m speaking publicly now, with very little interest in scoring points. I’m simply here to speak on the record, to establish a fact pattern, to help explain to the public the disappointing experience I have had with Chris Hale,” said James Salt, a former board member of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, in a livestream announcement Aug. 3.
Saint John Mary Vianney, the “Cure of Ars, Patron of priests, was enamored of the Eucharist and a master of penance. Among others, he received the gift of tears. With his sanctity already in life, he moved the Europe of his time.”
Benedict XVI declared in 2009 a “Year for Priests, which extended from June of that year to June of 2010, giving this admirable Saint as an example for priests. The Pontiff made a panegyric of this humble parish priest who arrived at Ars saying: “My God, grant me the conversion of my parish. I accept to suffer all that You will during my whole life,” bearing his yearning until the end. The Pope wished to remind the ordained ministers to be holy priests during the commemorative celebration of the 150th anniversary of Father Vianney’s death. His touching trajectory of love reflected his extraordinary passion for the divine. He was an apostle who touched the heart of hundreds of thousands of people with his virtue, in the silence of his offering and embrace of the cross, contemplating the Eucharist, enveloped in tears.
He was born in Dardilly, France on May 8, 1786, when the Revolution as starting and its influence was felt in Catholic homes such as his, which marked his childhood. The pious practices that his whole family was obliged to carry out clandestinely, also marked his First Communion: he received It at night in a haystack. He helped his family with field tasks and taking care of cattle. However, he wanted to be a priest at all cost and, although his father was opposed, he succeeded in beginning his studies. The formators recognized his virtue, but he was calamitous in regard to his studies. Discouraged at having to leave the Seminary, he begged for alms to cover the cost of his pilgrimage to the tomb of Saint Francis Regis. He left there with the conviction he would be a priest despite his limitation.
“The parish of Tananukwe includes five villages and a population of 560 families. The majority of the people in this area are Christian, with a strong Catholic presence”. Father Pius Kyan speaks to Agenzia Fides in Italian while showing the small church of Santa Teresa where he has been carrying out apostolic service for four years. He manages a thriving and numerous Catholic reality in the region a few kilometers from Loikaw, capital of the Burmese State of Kayah, where two-thirds of the population is Christian and where Catholics are an important presence: just by looking at the landscape, full of churches and chapels, more common than pagodas and mosques. “Our relations with all the other religious communities are good and based on dialogue”, says the parish priest.
Covid-19, although the State of Kayah has not registered a single case of Coronavirus (less than 350 across the country, with six deaths), is still an emergency and the guard is held high: “We celebrate mass with only five faithful at a time, to respect the rules imposed by the authorities, to avoid gatherings. A few days ago I went to a funeral, but only to give a blessing to the body and give spiritual comfort to the family. I visit the villages every month but then I only move in emergencies such as to give the last rites”.
Ordained a priest in 2012, Father Pius, 38, studied in Monza, near Milan: “A year to learn Italian and then four years of theology … a struggle. I wouldn’t mind going back to Italy to have a pastoral experience outside Myanmar. But I don’t want to go to a big city. I like places like this, where it is possible to have a direct relationship and a truly personal relationship with the faithful”. Behind the church, there is a school, with its small campus, a volleyball field, and 17 students who receive the support of the parish, otherwise, they could not afford their studies. “We are also building a new church now”, he says.
The campaign for solidarity: “United for health and life. We are all Gran Vallegrande” takes place led by three Redemptorist priests, with the support of the Evangelical churches, the Medical College, and the press union, which aims to reach one million Bolivians and many others.
Due to the health crisis that Bolivia is going through and for the positive cases of Covid-19 that increase every day in the department of Santa Cruz, in order to guarantee the health and well-being of the province of Vallegrande, of the Valleys of Santa Cruz, and taking into account that the hospital is a point of reference for the entire province and the valleys, the decision to join forces was taken, with God’s blessing, to organize, launch and carry out a solidarity campaign in support of the health system.
“After listening to the local medical college about the needs that our hospital requires to fight this pandemic and what will come after it, this campaign is designed and focused on the goal of creating a Covid-19 test laboratory and an oxygen plant for the hospital”, explained the note sent to Fides.
Homily Our compassionate Father wants to increase the good things in your life and work healing in your heart.