Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A prayer for voters

Here is a prayer for voters, written by Rev. Daniel Coughlin of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Fr. Coughlin serves as the Chaplain of the House of Representatives.

Almighty and ever–living God, bound in faithful love to Your people, be attentive to our deepest needs; for as a nation we place all our trust in You.

Since election day approaches, we pray for all those who have placed their name before the people; to seal their commitment of public service for the common good. Purify the intentions of those who deserve the public trust. Transform self interest into compassion for Your people, as You make them harbingers of our future.

Empower each voter with Your Spirit; so that as the free people of Your creation they may recognize truth and personal integrity in those they choose. May the representative government they place in service mirror their own commitment to search out the ways of peace with others and establish an economic stability where justice will flourish for all.

May a new era of patriotism dawn upon the United States; a patriotism strong enough to carry us through difficult times and flexible enough to embrace authentic creativity. Drawing upon the resources of university and business, may the legal and social development of Your people help all citizens realize their full potential in Your sight. For Your wisdom is revealed to us and in us both now and forever. Amen.

Hat tip to Rocco.

Advent Morning of Prayer

Advent Morning of Prayer:
Prepare the Way
(Sponsored by the Northern Catechetical Cluster
and the Office of Parish Services)

Thursday, December 4
9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Villa Holy Names, 82 Prospect, Los Gatos, CA 95030

We invite Catechetical Directors and Coordinators, Master Catechists,
Liturgy and Social Justice Coordinators, Youth and Young Adult Coordinators,
Directors of the Catechumenate, and team members

Fr. Joe Fice S.J. will lead us in reflection

Morning hospitality and lunch will be provided
(Please bring your own coffee cup)

Online registration is available at this site.
Please register by Monday, November 24, 2008
Registration fee is $22.00
Make check payable to the Diocese of San Jose
Mail to the Diocese of San Jose, Attention: Iracema Gurbiel
900 Lafayette St. Suite 301, Santa Clara, CA 95050

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Free conference to build a stronger parish - November 13, 2008

On Thursday, November 13, 2008, J.S. Paluch and World Library Publications are sponsoring a FREE day-long event at the new Oakland Cathedral Conference Center and Worship Space. The conference is especially for:
  • catechists and catechumenate (RCIA) ministers,
  • business managers and development directors, and
  • music ministers and all parishioners who love to sing.

They are providing this free day of formation to thank all those in the Bay Area who have supported their company by using their bulletin service and music ministry resources.

Building a Stronger Parish
Thursday, November 13, 2008
10:00a to 3:30p Workshops
7:00p to 9:00p Concert with John Angotti

Cathedral of Christ the Light
Conference Center and Worship Space
180 Grand Avenue, Oakland, CA 94612

Cost: Free! including lunch!

Daytime Workshops:
Apprenticeship: Model for RCIA and All Catechesis (Jerry Galipeau)
Celebrating the Rites of the RCIA (Jerry Galipeau)
Unlocking the Power of your Parish Census Data (Tom Gull)
It's in the Bulletin (Tom Gull)

Evening Concert:
WLP Autumn Song Fest with
John Angotti, Jerry Galipeau,
and friends

RSVP by Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Jennifer Estevez
800-675-5051 or

Click here for a PDF brochure with more information.

Monday, October 06, 2008


What About The Rosary?
Brother John M. Samaha, S.M.

Origin of the Rosary
The Rosary, the blessed beads that quietly slip between our fingers as we pray over the mysteries of Jesus’ redemptive life, has an ancient origin. Most likely it originated in the ancient East, perhaps in India, and not in the medieval West. It was and still is a popular prayer device among the Muslims, who use the Arabic term masbahat , which means to give praise. Devout Muslims used the masbahat in repeating the attributes of God, just as it was used by the early Christian hermits. Following the Crusades the Rosary found its way to the West. The missionary who worked hardest to spread this devotion was Abed El-Ahad, Saint Dominic, and his Dominican companions.

The Rosary became a popular method of prayer and spread quickly in the West during the Middle Ages. For Christians it has always been “the Gospel strung on beads.” It is a simple and easy prayer that can be employed for vocal prayer or silent contemplation by individuals, families, and communities.

Papal Encouragement
Since the 16th century the popes have frequently encouraged the faithful of East and West to pray the Rosary. The first was a Dominican pope, Saint Pius V, who wrote a papal letter about the Rosary in 1569 shortly after the Council of Trent, and instituted the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.

In the late 19th century after the First Vatican Council the illustrious Pope Leo XIII wrote more than ten encyclicals and instructions promoting the use of the Rosary.

To make pastoral applications of the Marian teachings of the Second Vatican Council Pope Paul VI in 1974 authored the apostolic exhortation Devotion to Mary (Marialis Cultus). Paul VI discussed the Rosary at some length as a summary of the Gospel comprised of prayers based on Gospel texts. He urged the faithful to pray the Rosary, and especially recommended the family Rosary in these words:

“We would like now to join our voice to the voices of our predecessors and strongly recommend the prayer of the Rosary in the family…because the Christian family is a family church….If the family neglected this communal prayer, it would lose its character as a Christian family.”

“In addition to the prayer of the Divine Office (Liturgy of the Hours) …the Rosary of the Virgin Mary would be the most preferable communal prayer for the Christian family.”

Pope Paul VI concluded his recommendation by saying: “We would like to repeat that the Rosary is an excellent and magnificent prayer….”

Pope John Paul II, enthusiastic devotee of our Blessed Mother, in 2002 issued a pastoral letter entitled The Rosary of the Virgin Mary, in which he proclaimed October 2002 until October 2003 the Year of the Rosary, and put forth the Luminous Mysteries based on the public life of Jesus.

Our present Holy Father, Benedict XVI, values the prayer of the Rosary as a means of contemplating Jesus with Mary’s eyes. For him pondering the mysteries of the Rosary calms a “restless spirit, allows the soul to settle into tranquility…and grants a vision of God.” He associates the Rosary with consolation and healing, an inner refuge which enfolds us “in the rhythm of the prayer of the whole Church.” “I do it quite simply,” he said, “just as my parents used to pray.”

The Rosary Today
While some Eastern Christians who erroneously consider the Rosary foreign to Eastern spirituality, quite the opposite is the reality. The Rosary is a prayer for all peoples and for all seasons.

Early on, the Rosary was a common method of prayer in the East among Christians and non-Christians. Even though it came to us through Western missionaries, it was and still is an easy and rich method of prayer to help the faithful fathom the mysteries of God along the journey of salvation. And we do so with a special companion, the Mother of God and our Mother. Praying the Rosary, particularly in the family, is an excellent method of bringing us together in the faith under the protection of her who always and everywhere intercedes for all people. Let us spare no effort to remain close to her.

Prayers in time of financial crisis

at FDR Memorial, Washington, DC; photo by Tony the Misfit via FlickrThese prayers by Diana Macalintal first appeared in Today's Parish Minister, 40:6, October 2008.

A Prayer When Money Is Tight

Gracious God,
you tell me to look at the birds in the air
who don't work or sow,
yet they are fed each day by your hand.
But Lord, they can fly where they need to go,
while I still need to put gas in the car.
And you say to look at the flowers in the field
who don't worry about what they will wear,
yet you clothe them in splendor and majesty.
But Lord, lilies might dress up my dinner table,
but they won't feed my hungry family.
Giver of all good gifts,
I know you can't give me wings to fly
or a life free of worry.
So please give me instead
a heart overflowing with trust in you.
Though I may not get all the things that I ask for,
I know you will give me everything that I need.
When money is tight and anxiety is near,
open my heart to give freely of myself
that I might be abundantly rich in you. Amen.

A Prayer When You Have Nothing Left To Give

Lord, I have nothing left to give.
I'm exhausted and worn out.
Yet so many still ask for more.
Grant me that last ounce of strength
that sustained you enough on the cross
to offer one last word of forgiveness,
that I may be gentle with others
and with myself.
And when that too is spent,
help me stay present even in my emptiness,
and let my presence be the first and last gift
I have to give. Amen.