We do indeed need to show joy as Catholics.  

My motto “Be happily and uncomplicatedly Catholic.”

Michael J. Sheehan, Archbishop of SantaFe

Be a catholic Catholic

           catholic def: universal in extent; encompassing all; wide ranging.


Guest Columnist

During the first century of Christianity, the followers of Jesus belonged to the Church of Christ. Then credit for the name change goes to St. Ignatius of Antioch who, before he was martyred in A.D. 115, gave the church a name which defined its purpose. He declared, “Where the bishop appears, there let the people be; just as where Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.”

We Catholics should never forget our prayer power and not be stingy is exercising this gift. For example, every time we are in a public place—a restaurant, airport, riding on a bus or plane—we should take a second to give a silent blessing to all those within our sight. Those recipients of our prayer may be unaware of the source of grace they have just received, and this grace has a boomerang effect for the sender.

Liking two-for-one, I include prayer in the routine things I do each day. For example, each morning I do a stretching exercise consisting of 12 motions. So, while doing it, I bless everyone on the planet. It also refreshes my geography.

This is now it works: I begin at the bottom of South America and sweep up through Central America and Mexico, praying for each soul within this area.

Mentally, next I make a large area bounded on the southeast by Key West, up to New York, then across to San Francisco and down to the California-Mexican border – praying for everyone in this region.

From San Francisco I head north through Seattle, Vancouver and all the way up to Alaska, then across Canada to Newfoundland, and down to New York. This blessed region includes the northern part of our country.

Next I begin at Greenland, go through Iceland, the U.K., Scandinavia and all the way across Russia (the largest country of all). Beginning with France, I sweep down to Greece, then far right to Turkey, north to the Russian border, and back to France. This blessing includes the many countries or Europe.

I lump in the whole African continent beginning at the north with Morocco over to Egypt, down the Nile and Indian Ocean, including Madagascar, South Africa and up the Atlantic coastline. This even includes the pirates in Somalia.

Next, the area covering the countries in the Middle East, beginning with Israel, down to Saudi Arabia and including Pakistan and Afghanistan. Here is especially pray for the miserable time our fellow Christians are having in this region of persecution.

My country, India, deserves its own stretch, because of its record number of Catholic conversions, and the vast number of new priests it is providing for the world.

Next is China, where I remember the one and a half million who have to practice their faith in private. I also pray for the bishop and sixteen priests who are missing, after having been arrested and imprisoned.

The area for Japan goes south to encompass Thailand, down through Malaysia and east to take in the Philippines and all the way to Hawaii.

Finally, I take in Australia and New Zealand. …..This is for all the countries I missed above, and then I add: For the man, woman or child on the planet who is most in need of my prayer. Amen!

As Sister Melannie Syboboda, S.N.D., has written, “Our church has to be more than a loving community of fellow believers. It must be a loving community whose love extends beyond is own members.”

Recommended Readings

  “Loving the Law” in January First Things.

Surpassing Pleasure is a splendid book of poems by John Slater, the pen name for Brother Isaac, an outstanding young (37 years old) Trappist who will be ordained at Catholic University this year. I have had the pleasure of meeting him. He could be our future Thomas Merton.

(not recommended) Man Seeks God by Eric Weiner. It’s entertaining and cutesy, but has little depth.

Five myths about anti-Christian persecution an article by John L  Allen, Jr, a NCR senior correspondent. (If you want a copy, I can e-mail it to you. aljagoe@comcast.net)

Bumper Sticker

I recently saw a Pennsylvania car with a rear bumper sticker stating: I am a Certified Christian. I was so impressed by this that I prepared and have printed a supply of stickers stating: I am a Joyful Catholic. If you have the gumption to put one on your car, let me know how many you want at no cost. Just send me your name and address. aljagoe@comcast.net

Roster of Joyful Catholic Priests

The media loves to publicize bad priests, and we should give recognition to our Joyful Catholic Priests. Send me your recommendation for ones you think merit membership in this splendid group. (aljagoe@comcast.net)

Fr. Robert Aufieri (New York, NY)
Fr. John M. Bauer (Minneapolis, MN)
Fr. Edmund Connors, Katonah, NY                           NEW!

Fr. Paul Duchschere
Fr. Edward Gorman, O.P. (Providence, RI)
Fr. Andrew Gries (Washington, DC)
Msgr. Edward Filardi (Bethesda, MD)
Fr. Raymond Kemp (Washington, DC)
Bishop Joseph N. Latino (Jackson, MS)
Archbishop Jerome Listecki (Milwaukee, MN)
Bishop Dennis Madden (Baltimore, MD)
Fr. Joseph Marini (San Mateo,CA)
Msgr. Joseph Mayo (Salt Lake City, UT)
Fr. John Mericantante (Pahokee, FL)
Msgr. Thomas Modugno (New York,NY)
Fr. Kevin Nelson, (Lantana, FL)
Fr. John O’Donoghue (San Antonio,TX)
Fr. Antony Pulikal (Lntana, Fl)
Fr. James R. Purfield
Fr. Paul S. Quinter (Pittsburg, Pa)                             NEW!
Msg. David Robichcaux, V.F. (New Orleans, LA)
Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi (Mobile, AL)
Msg. Paul L. Rohling (Birmingham, AL)
Fr. David Ross (Lima. OH)
Fr. Matthew Ruhl, S.J. (Kansas City, KS)
Fr. Michael Scanlon (Steubenville, OH)
Fr. Walter J. Szezesny (Buffalo, NY)
Fr. Richard Trout (Sanford, FL)
Fr. Hayden Vaverek (New York, NY)
Fr. Malcolm Sylvester Willoughby, O.P. (Washington, DC)
Canon Stuart Wilson (London, UK)


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