My friend, the devil is not
greatly afraid of the discipline and other instruments of penance. That
which beats him is the curtailment of one’s food, drink and sleep. There
is nothing the devil fears more, consequently, nothing is more pleasing
to God. St John Vianney
Message from the Manager
the sixtieth edition of our newsletter. Since January you have been
receiving a monthly email in a new format. As this is a trial it
would be appreciated if you would provide your feedback. Please take
a few minutes to email us and let us know if you find it easier to
read or any comments that would help provide you with a better
understanding and access to good Catholic materials that will support
your Faith. A printed copy will be sent every three months to all our
readers who do not receive it by email.
An interesting story – CNFRI have proudly supplied a statue of St
Barbara for the main western road access to and from Sydney!
Recently a lady telephoned our centre, sounding urgent, and
wanting to purchase a tall statue of St Barbara. She had tried
several Catholic outlets without success, and explained that that she
needed the statue urgently for a “mining venture”, because the
workers would not enter the tunnel until the patron saint of miners
was present. We were able to arrange for overnight freight, and
the statue was picked up the next day. A Perspex case was
quickly made, the statue was blessed and is now in the tunnel.
Little did we know that this “mining venture” will be the main City
West Link tunnel! So in years to come, if you are one of the
thousands of motorists who will use this tunnel daily, pray to St
Barbara because you are in her safe hands!
Easter is the greatest Feast of the Church Year. Despite all the
chaos in Australia and the turmoil in the world we can take heart in the
wonder of God’s undying love for us. It is incredible to think that
Christ died for us and then rose from the dead to save us. Divine
Mercy Sunday follows Easter Sunday and in this year of Mercy we hope
that our supporters will take the opportunity to celebrate and spread
the message that Christ gave St Faustina even more specially than in
other years. There is a selection of books, booklets CDs and DVDs
below to help us realise that wonder in this beautiful season.
May God bless all our readers during this joyful Easter season.
Easter Greeting Cards
Easter is the greatest feast of the Church Year. There is a lovely range
of cards from $1.90 - $3.90 to send to those relatives and friends who
are unable to visit you at this special time of the year or to give to
those who are too old for chocolate eggs! Easter Greeting Cards
The True Meaning of Easter by Fulton Sheen CD
In this CD Archbishop Fulton Sheen presents his reflections on the
Passion, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord. The True Meaning of Easter $5.00
Seven Last Sayings of Christ by Scott Hahn CD
In this revealing presentation Dr Scott Hahn unlocks the deeper
significance of the seven last words Christ spoke before he died. The
words were carefully chosen so that we can better understand the immense
love God has for each person and His plan for salvation. Also available
are The True Meaning of Easter by Archbishop Fulton Sheen, and The
Christmas and Easter Story, excerpts from Truth and Life, the Dramatized
The Seven Last Words by Fulton Sheen
Though it was written over eighty years ago, few books can match it for
either a Lenten retreat or spiritual reading. Also available is the book,
The Seven Last Words by Rev. Fr. Christopher Rengers, in which the author
shows that Christ’s words were not just for those stationed at the foot
of the cross but for all generations to come. Other books available are,
Characters of the Passion by Fulton Sheen, and The Cross and the
Beatitudes by Fulton Sheen.
Easter at Ephesus CD
The choir of the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles will make Easter
even more heavenly with their Easter at Ephesus CD. We have kept these
CDs at last year’s price as the cases have been slightly damaged in
transit from the USA.
Brother Francis 10: He is Risen DVD
Brother Francis is always full of joy and even more so as he instructs
children about the splendour of Christ’s Resurrection. The corresponding
Colouring and Activity Book reinforces the lessons learnt in the DVD.
From the Brother Francis Reading and Colouring Book Series we have The
Resurrection. Also available is the very simple My First Easter Colouring
Book and from St Joseph’s Colouring Books: Easter Colouring Book.
The Story of Easter Carry-Me-Along Board Book
This colourful book teaches children about what happened to Jesus at
Easter. With its handle and appealing illustrations, it is very popular
with children 1-4years old. The Easter Story by Rev Jude Winkler suits
children 3-12 years old, Easter Board Book is also another popular book
for younger children. The Easter Sticker Book gives the 4-8 year old
plenty to do during Holy Week. The 6-10 year old will love the
challenging puzzles in Easter Activity Fun.
Easter Homilies of Benedict XVI
These addresses selected by CTS are taken from his Easter sermons and are
very profound. They have been described as the highlights of Pope
Benedict XVI’s Magisterium. Witness to the Risen Christ, a small
booklet from CTS, is a series of addresses by Pope Francis that will help
us renew our Faith during the Easter season.
The Divine Mercy and St Faustina by Andrew Witco
CTS has produced this small easily understood booklet to help us
understand St Faustina, the image of Divine Mercy and the message of
Christ’s Divine Mercy for us, $7. Also available is the Divine Mercy
Prayer Book by the Marian Fathers $7, and The Divine Mercy Message and
Devotion, $8.20, the large print edition is $11.95.
7 Secrets of Divine Mercy by Vinny Flynn
Vinny Flynn has worked with the world’s most respected Divine Mercy
experts, Fr Michalenko and Fr Kosicki to write his latest book, 7 Secrets
of Divine Mercy. Described by Fr Michael Burbidge as brilliant, the
author offers an invitation and a road map so that Divine Mercy, the
overflow of love from the Holy Trinity, can transform our lives. Also
available from the same author are 7 Secrets of the Eucharist, 7 Secrets
of Confession and 21 Ways to Worship.
7 Secrets of Divine Mercy CD
Vinny Flynn draws from Scripture, the teachings of the Church and the
Diary of St Faustina to fathom the depth of Christ’s Divine Mercy which
our present Pope and his two predecessors described as the heart of the
Christian Faith. Also available is The Saving Power of Divine Mercy by Fr
Jason Brooks (the Divine Mercy is recited at the end of this CD), The
Miracle of Divine Mercy with the Chaplet sung by Kitty Cleveland, Eric
Mahl’s Being All In CD and the CD of The Second Greatest Story Ever Told.
The Fathers of St Joseph Manual
The Fathers of St Joseph is an apostolate which promotes, transmits and
strives to live out the spirituality of fatherhood as exemplified by St
Joseph. The book provides the structure and content to conduct
'mini-retreats' for men in your parish. The mini-retreats aim to
communicate the spirituality of fatherhood in a manner that encourages
and inspires fathers to embrace, engage and be sanctified by their
vocation. The Fathers of St Joseph Manual $36.95
Professor Solomon's Introduction to Philosophy
Professor Solomon, in retirement in country New South Wales, is giving
lessons in the philosophy of St Thomas to the local home-schooled
Catholic children. He has been prevailed on to allow us to
reproduce them in this booklet. We hope that their content will
assist those ignorant of the Church’s philosophy to understand the
reasons underlying her teachings. Professor Solomon's Introduction to Philosopy$15.00
WE need an appropriate parish
“ministry” for girls to serve the congregation in the pews, during Mass and
outside of Mass.
members would complement the ministry for boys who serve
the priest on the sanctuary.
Mass in most parishes would be enhanced by Marian Girls or a “Young
Marian Girls’ Group”. The present groups of altar girls are ready at hand
to supply members for a new ministry.
Sunday Mass, such a group offers more extensive and varied roles than
does the service of Altar Boys on the sanctuary.
it’s for girls only, no boys!
idea has already proved the preferred choice of some groups of altar
girls — even at a time when many Catholics are losing the ability to
spiritualize albeit ordinary acts of service to others.
and female teachers are by no means radical feminists. They have been
enthusiastic for Altar Girls simply because there was nothing else
available. If offered an alternative, most mothers and teachers will
choose it. They want their daughters or pupils to feel ‘special’ and
‘valued’ in the Church community. They are unlikely to be particular
about how it is done.
first aim of such a parish group of Marian Girls would be to glorify God
by the sanctification of its members and service to the congregation.
might pray that some of the altar boys might hear and heed a vocation to
the priesthood, since promoting vocations is enjoined on all (canon
spirituality and prayers could be taken from the Angelus and Our
* Ecce! Behold, the handmaid
of the Lord.
* Fiat Be it done to
me according to thy word.
• Magnificat! My
soul glorifies the Lord.
ACTIVITY 1 — vergers
verger is more than an usher who oversees the interior of a church.
Marian girls will probably like to sit in the front seats as a group,
perhaps in a white uniform with blue accessories. They
and their mothers are good judges.
reverence and deportment would edify the congregation
and guide postures for the lapsed or non-Catholics. They
could have their own Marian Prayers and be available to
lead the Rosary or Liturgy of the Hours
before or after Mass.
could distribute the Sunday Mass bulletins at the door, find
people seats in a crowded church, and help young mothers cope
with small children. Social functions
also have their place.
ACTIVITY 2 — choristers
Girls could form a Choir tutored by an organist. “Lead
choirs” help congregations with Latin chants found in some editions of
the Sunday Missal. Special motets suit Offertory and Communion. Longer
English hymns, e.g. sequences, Gloria and Creed, suit a choir
giving support to a congregation to sing the odd verses in melody, with
the choir alone singing alternate verses in harmony. Choirs like a
challenge, and no one is excluded.
can encourage a diffident congregation with Responses
made confidently, loudly and clearly.
Announcing hymns carefully would give people time to find the right place:
“The entrance hymn is n. 7, Firmly I believe and truly, n. 7” — or
Offertory Hymn, Communion Hymn, “Hymn of Praise after Communion” and the
can be available for the Readings or to make the Petitions
for the Prayer of the Faithful.
could organize the Offertory procession — or even
accompany it with flowers to put near the altar. ACTIVITY 3—
sacristans they would complement the altar boys to set up altar
Decorating the sanctuary is doing something beautiful for
God. Flowers bring people closer to God through the
beauty in His creation. They enhance worship and encourage reverence for
the sacred place. They help everyone rediscover the religious aspects of
beauty and its historic place in Catholic worship.. Girls love flower
arranging and older ladies would be a good guide for them in the work
sacristy and the placement of vases on the sanctuary.
Laundering altar linen, is a great honour, not a chore, and
a privilege once enjoyed by the nuns. There are special prayers for some
items because of its intimate use with the Blessed Sacrament.
Baking altar breads, under strict supervision of the ingredients, is a
suitable ministry for girls, even of primary school age. Rightly they
thrill with deep devotion to know that it is their bread that Our Lord will change into His Body.
parish priest has pastoral authority to start a Marian Girls, and develop
it as he sees fit, with office bearers, meetings, prayer plans. .
Prayer Book and Manual of The Children of Mary remains a
resource for setting high standards and planning recruitment of further
members from the girls of a parish and its schools.
great pastoral charity and prudence is needed. It has been done already.
It can be done again — for the glory of God and sanctification of souls.
And the idea might spread to other parishes.
Future of the Priesthood and Altar
VITAL FOR VOCATIONS
PRIESTS and faithful now realize that we have to make a
stark choice — to help boys discover God’s call to the priesthood OR
to continue with altar girls. It is a matter of one or the other.
is proposed here is directed primarily to parish priests who have
inherited, or themselves mistakenly initiated altar girls. What is needed
is “a way forward”, without any fuss or an angry word or even a tear
shed. Otherwise, as we have seen for the last 40 years, boys
seems that unisex, now dubbed “gender equality”, is linked to deprivation
in psychosexual maturation. Maybe it is due to “a lack” in childhood
relationships with their fathers. Boys and girls need continuing formation
and example of both father and mother in the complementary sexual roles.
feminist agenda insists on unisex. It is an ideology
enforced by dictatorial decree: Hoc volo, sic iubeo, dixi
— “This I wish, thus I command, I have spoken.” They don’t know or can’t
recognize the obvious, that boys and girls are different. It is a dead
end. Experience shows that complementarity, not interchangeability,
do err in their hearts”
Psalm 95 and “There
is a lying spirit in the mouths of all their prophets” 1 Kings 22:22.
is strong link between future priests and youthful service of boys on the
sanctuary. In altar serving, boys can gain that intimacy with Christ to
hear and heed His call to be spiritual fathers to the faithful
and spiritually married to the Church, and to seek entry into
course, the usual vocation for boys is fatherhood of families. Less usual
is the fatherhood of single men in a spiritual fatherhood in the lay
girls will become home-making mothers or spiritual mothers as nuns.
Others embrace the virginal life of spiritual motherhood in the lay
“BUT ALTAR GIRLS ARE PERMITTED”
began from disobedience in the 1970s, like several other less desirable
practices, e.g. Communion in the Hand and received standing.
John Paul II forbade altar girls in Inaestimabile Donum (on
correcting abuses) 1980, n. 18; cf. Blessed Paul VI in the Third
Instruction on the Liturgy 1970 n. 7.
he had assured Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta that there would never
be altar girls. I have a friend (now RIP), who phoned her to confirm
1994, when he was very ill, he was persuaded to implement a particular
exegesis of Canon Law.
on Holy Thursday, 2004, he spoke of “Altar servers... a garden of
priestly vocations... a pre-seminary.” Since women can’t be priests, by
servers he certainly meant the male sex.
some still consider altar girls as normative!
The 1994 CONCESSION VOIDED by it
With the advent of altar girls, the
boys dropped out, so the original concession is no longer valid:
... the Holy See wishes to recall
that it will always be very appropriate to follow the noble
tradition of having boys serve at the altar. As is well known, this has
also led to a reassuring development of priestly vocations.
concession for altar girls, 15-3-1994
BOYS & YOUTH PREFERRED
It is altogether laudable to
maintain the noble custom by which boys or youths, customarily termed servers,
provide service of the altar after the manner of acolytes, and receive
catechesis regarding their function in accordance with their power of
comprehension. Nor should it be forgotten that a great number of
sacred ministers over the course of the centuries have come from among
boys such as these. Associations for them... should be
established or promoted... Girls or women may also be admitted to this
service of the altar, at the discretion of the diocesan Bishop and in
observance of the established norms. Sacrament of Redemption, (2004) n. 47
“associations” are for boys. The last sentence seems to hint that altar
girls were a mistake. Already, in 2001, Cardinal Medina (Congregation of
Divine Worship) said that no priest can be compelled to have altar girls
even in dioceses where they are allowed.
WHERE WILL OUR PRIESTS COME FROM?
Australia now depends on
Asian/African missionary priests. Check! Do their countries have altar
BOYS & GIRLS are not the same
vital roles in life are different, but linked by their complementary
sexuality, whereby all are enriched. Equality and justice demand that
dissimilar things be treated dissimilarly:
They [teachers] should, together
with the parents, make full allowance for the difference of sex
and for the particular role which providence has appointed to each sex
in the family and in society. VCII on Christian Education
GE n. 8(e)
... inalienable right to education
... suitable to the particular destiny of the individuals, adapted
to their ability, sex and natural cultural traditions... (ibid n. I)
ACCEPTING ONE’S SEXUAL IDENTITY
Everyone, man and woman, should
acknowledge and accept his sexual identity. Physical, moral, and
spiritual difference and complementarity are oriented toward the
goods of marriage and the flourishing of family life. The harmony of the
couple and of society depends in part on the way in which the complementarity,
needs, and mutual support between the sexes are lived out. Italics in original '.Catechism
of the Catholic Church n. 2333
WOMEN MINISTERING to Christ &
He [Jesus] went ... preaching and
bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him
and also some women ... who provided for them out of their means.