Thursday, April 28, 2016

Louis de Montfort, a saint whose life was the stuff of Hollywood

Tribulation Times

April 28, 2016
(2Co 12:9-10) And he said to me: My grace is sufficient for thee: for power is made perfect in infirmity. Gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. For which cause I please myself in my infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ. For when I am weak, then am I powerful.

NATIONAL CATHOLIC REGISTER21 Things St. Louis de Montfort Said About the Rosary and Marian Devotion

CNAShort Bio Saint Louis-Marie de Monfort
CATHOLIC HERALDLouis de Montfort, a saint whose life was the stuff of Hollywood

A MOMENT WITH MARYHow to recite the Rosary properly

English: A rosary found on board the carrack M...
English: A rosary found on board the carrack Mary Rose. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since faith is the only key which opens up these mysteries for us, we must begin the Rosary by saying the Creed very devoutly, and the stronger our faith the more merit our Rosary will have.

This faith must be lively and informed by charity; in other words, to recite the Rosary properly it is necessary to be in God's grace, or at least seeking it.

This faith must be strong and constant, that is, one must not be looking for sensible devotion and spiritual consolation in the recitation of the Rosary; nor should one give it up because the mind is flooded with countless involuntary distractions, or because one experiences a strange distaste in the soul or an almost continual and oppressive fatigue of the body.

Neither feelings, nor consolation, nor sighs, nor transports, nor the continual attention of the imagination are needed; faith and good intentions are quite enough.

Saint Louis Marie de Montfort
In The Secret of the Rosary, §35

Français : Louis de Monfort, le fondateur des ...
Français : Louis de Monfort, le fondateur des frères St-Gabriel, accompagné d'un des premiers frères qu'il a formé. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From Montfort’s Writings: (Hymn 11: 36-37, 33)

You desire then, Jesus my master,
That I be with you on the cross.
I am content, deign to place me there,
It is for me too much honour by far.
In putting me there, give me your grace
And keep me there by your might,
That I may walk in your footsteps
In suffering most gladly.
I am a poorly polished stone,
Crude and without adornment,
Shape it, Lord, I beg you,
To set it in your building.
I want to suffer in patience,
Cut, shape, strike, slice,
But help my helplessness
And forgive me my sins.
This amazing grace,
This joy in affliction,
We obtain through prayer
We make with humility.
To obtain it, let us pray to Mary;
Through her sorrow-pierced heart
She bestows life
And even the cross of the Lord.

MORECollected Writings of St. Louis Marie de Montfort
Ladder of Divine Ascent excerpt: Step 5- "On painstaking and true repentance"
2. Gather together and come near, all you who have angered God; come and listen to what I expound to you; assemble and see what He has revealed to my soul for your edification. Let us give first place and first honour to the story of the dishonoured yet honoured workers. Let all of us who have suffered an unexpected and inglorious fall listen, watch and act. Rise and be seated, you who through your falls are lying prostrate. Attend, my brothers, attend to my word. Incline your ears, you who wish to be reconciled afresh with God by a true conversion.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Knights of Columbus CEO to Speak on Christian Genocide at Holy-See Sponsored UN Event

English: Carl A. Anderson, Supreme Knight of t...
English: Carl A. Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The emblem of the Knights of Columbus
The emblem of the Knights of Columbus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Knights of Columbus CEO to Speak on Christian Genocide at Holy-See Sponsored UN Event
Carl Anderson to outline steps to end persecution of Christians in the Middle East

Contact: Andrew Walther, 203-824-5412,; Joseph Cullen, 203-800-4923,; both with Knights of Columbus

NEW YORK, April 27, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ -- Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson will be among leading experts gathering at the United Nations this week to examine and help bring an end to the persecution of Christians worldwide.

Anderson will take part in a panel on Thursday, April 28, and will discuss the ongoing genocide in the Middle East and the steps that can be taken to end it. That session is sponsored by the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations. Focusing on "protecting victims of persecution and fostering religious freedom worldwide," the panel will be held in the UN's Economic and Social Council Chamber.

Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Holy See's Permanent Observer to the UN, will open the session with remarks at 10 a.m. Anderson will speak on the first panel. That panel will also include Swedish Member of the European Parliament Lars Adaktusson, who initiated the European Parliament resolution condemning the mass murder of religious minorities by ISIS as genocide, and Thomas Farr, director of the Religious Freedom Project at Georgetown University and an IDC board member.

Since 2014, the Knights of Columbus has raised more than $10.5 million to aid victims of religious persecution in the Middle East since 2014. It has also worked to raise awareness of the ongoing genocide, including via a petition drive urging the US State Department to declare a genocide. The petition drew nearly 150,000 signatures in the days prior to Secretary of State John Kerry's March 17 declaration in favor of a genocide designation.

The Knights also produced a nearly 300-page report that included an exhaustive chronicle of the evidence of genocide against Christians in the region. The report was requested by the U.S. State Department and proved helpful in their determination that genocide was occurring in the region. These efforts were conducted with the help of IDC.

The UN Event is launching the International Congress #WeAreN2016 that is being held in New York from April 28 to 30 and focusing "on defending religious freedom and other human rights: stopping mass atrocities against Christians and other believers." The events will include input from the victims of atrocities in Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Nigeria and other countries. The three day congress is being organized by CitizenGo and MasLibres and is co-sponsored by In Defense of Christians (IDC).

More information on the conference is available at

More information on the Knights of Columbus is available at  

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

From These Stone Walls: Mother Angelica and Gerard Henderson on Spin Down Under

Mother Angelica and Gerard Henderson on Spin Down Under

Mother Angelica and Gerard Henderson on Spin Down Under
Australian Catholic writer Gerard Henderson and his Media Watch Dog blog channel the chutzpah of Mother Angelica to take on a topic shunned by most Catholic media.
The Wall Street Journal is by no stretch of the imagination a newspaper that should be considered “Catholic-friendly.” Nor does it exhibit any evidence of bias against the Catholic Church or Catholic faith. That is all, really, that anyone could ask or expect of a secular newspaper with a global readership. I have consistently found that the Journal covers Catholic news, and most other news, without the media bias that is so blatant in so many other venues. And it does so with respect, not only for the subjects of the news, but for its readers. No, I don’t get a subsidy, or even a discount, for making this claim. It’s just demonstrably true.
On the day I began typing this, for example, the Journal has a moving tribute to Mother Mary Angelica by James R. Hagerty (“Mother Angelica, 1923 – 2016,” April 2-3, 2016). It has a wonderful photograph of her that captured this great woman’s heart and spirit. It captured mine, too. The tribute isn’t pious or “churchy,” but it’s written and portrayed with a respect and courtesy not usually seen in a national secular newspaper (or even one particular national catholic reporter) for any Catholic figure known for fidelity except, perhaps, Pope Francis. Consider this introduction to the Journal piece (print version):
“Mother Mary Angelica grew up in a tough neighborhood and learned entrepreneurial skills before becoming a Catholic nun. She created a global religious television network and tangled with bishops over doctrine. Lesser souls loved her down-to-earth talk.”
I don’t think I realized I was one of those “lesser souls” who much appreciated, and much missed, Mother Angelica’s hands-on presence at EWTN until 2012 when I wrote a post entitled “Father Benedict Groeschel at EWTN: Time for a Moment of Truth.”
The post was in response to the first hard evidence I had seen in many years that anti-Catholic bias was alive and well in the secular media, and its tentacles had compromised the backbones of many in the Catholic press as well. To refresh your memory, in 2012 the elderly Father Groeschel, having never fully recovered from a dreadful accident, made a vague statement in response to the sexual abuse scandal in the priesthood. After only one side of this story mercilessly bludgeoned the U.S. Catholic church in the media for a decade, Father Groeschel suggested that in some instances the real moral collapse may rest with the accuser and not the accused.
He committed what constitutes a sacrilege for the media of the left. He questioned the cause of victimhood, and called for a distinction between true and false claims, and he was attacked for it in secular venues. Some Catholic media recoiled in horror as well, and even scrubbed from their pages the very presence of Father Groeschel.
Was Father Groeschel entirely wrong? Not in hindsight, he wasn’t, and not if you have read recent posts such as “The Lying, Scheming Altar Boy on the Cover of Newsweek,” or JoAnn Wypijewski’s courageous article, “Oscar Hangover Special: Why Spotlight Was a Terrible Film.” Her article is a landmark because Ms. Wypijewski is stirring consciences and calling journalists to be true to their calling on her own side of the media ideological fence.
An ironic truth made clear in my 2012 post about Fr. Groeschel was that most of those both in and outside the Church who took the opportunity to attack him on cue were entirely ignorant of his positions over the previous two decades on the matter of guilty abusers who are priests. There’s no point in repeating it as you can read it yourselves in “Father Benedict Groeschel at EWTN: Time for a Moment of Truth.” I believe Mother Angelica smiles upon that effort.
Now something similar is happening in Australia, and one Catholic writer there has demonstrated the courage to openly confront it. I actually wrote of the early stages of this story in a July 2015 post, “Peter Saunders and Cardinal Pell: A Trial By Media.”
Gerard Henderson is Executive Director of The Sydney Institute, where his blog, Media Watch Dog, can be found. Mr. Henderson has been tracking the work of Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. He credits the Commission for its good work in revealing what has come to be known as “historical” cases of abuse in both churches and secular institutions there. “Historical” in this context means that the cases surfaced decades after abuse is alleged to have taken place, and there is no evidentiary means to either support or dismiss them.
There are forces, however, including among journalists and activists with agendas of their own, who have stifled any distinction between victims and accusers, a trend that flies in the face of every system of law and model of justice in Western Culture. All evidence before the Commission indicates that ‘such ‘abuse is largely a thing of the distant past, but some use it to fuel anti-Catholic moral panic in the present.
But in “George Pell: A Scapegoat at the Altar of Progressivism,” his well-researched article revealing signs of a witch hunt against Australia’s Cardinal George Pell, Gerard Henderson unmasks another interesting reality that some want to suppress. These so-called “historical” abuses appear to have occurred with far less frequency in Australian dioceses that were considered theologically conservative and with bishops that were “less progressive” than others.
The Henderson article reveals troubling signs that the Royal Commission and the Australian news media want to keep that fact below the media radar while targeting Cardinal Pell, not for any complicity in abuse, but for his conservative theology of Church and priesthood. Gerard Henderson stands alone in raising this specter of bias in Australian media.
To its great credit, the influential Australian Catholic magazine, Annals Australasia has reprinted his article, “A Scapegoat at the Altar of Conservatism.” Under a subheading, “The Cardinal and the Kangaroo Court,” both Gerard Henderson and the magazine called the media and the Royal Commission to the same thing they demand of the Church: accountability and transparency:
“The lack of balance in the media’s reporting of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church reflects the fact that many journalists detest Pell’s conservatism. There are disturbing signs that a similar disposition is evident in the Royal Commission, which runs the risk of breaching the division between church and state.”
Anyone who still doubts whether anti-Catholicism remains in American culture need look no further than what the ABC-TV network has been pushing for American audiences. “The Real O’Neals,” a sitcom about a modern Irish-American Catholic family celebrating the emergence of a gay 16-year-old son was summed up in unflattering terms by TV critic Robert Rorke:
“A witless collection of anti-Catholic cliches, the new ABC series takes a talented cast and saddles it with some of the worst material in ages… The first Jesus joke comes about one minute into the premier episode… There’s even a statue of the Virgin Mary above the O’Neal’s toilet bowl… Besides being heavy-handed, the humor is bitter… But Catholics are fair game.” (New York Post, March 1, 2016)
But why are Catholics fair game? It isn’t because of the sexual abuse story in the Catholic Church because that story has been framed in the media with the same anti-Catholic bias
that seems entrenched in Western Culture and long preceded “The Scandal.” The media’s presentation and coverage of Catholic issues and of the Catholic Church continues to be a scandal in it own right. The failure of Catholic media to challenge it, and the caving-in of American Catholics to the “availability bias” built by the media, all add to the weight of scandal.
You can no longer trust the legitimacy or agenda of anything coming out of most of the secular press in the United States on the matter of Catholicism, nor should you accept at face value its coverage of the sexual abuse story as a presentation of truth. That trend to use scandal as a vehicle for attack has spread from America to Australia. Catholics have become “fair game” for entrenched prejudice in a news media that consistently slants left, and I have some hard evidence for that charge.
Commencing on February 15, 2016, USA Today ran a three-day front page “above the fold” account of gross failures in U.S. school systems to protect children from abuse. This had nothing to do with “historical” abuse, but takes place in the here and now. Consecutive daily editions of USA Today carried headlines such as “Teachers Flee Troubled Pasts,” “How Teachers Keep Damaged Careers Afloat,” “A Fragmented State System Puts Children at Risk,” “Teacher Background Checks Flawed,” “Schools Left in Dark on Staff Misdeeds.”
After the series ran, Steve Reilly at USA Today reported that a state-by-state audit is being conducted in the wake of the newspaper’s investigation, and that thousands of names of disciplined or removed teachers are missing from a national database. Massachusetts and New Hampshire – two states at the epicenter of the 2002 Catholic scandal about accused priests – were given “F” grades in USA Today’s 2016 “Dishonor Role” for teacher background checks. What was the point of the media’s moral panic if it didn’t change any culture but the Catholic one?
Then just days after that Front Page investigation went to print, USA Today editors published a jarring demonstration of media bias and hypocrisy. It made me wonder whether these editors were even reading their own newspaper when they had the sheer gall to publish an editorial entitled, “The Church drags its feet on sexual abuse accountability” (USA Today “Our View,” Feb. 26). Then on March 8, gearing up for Holy Week, the editors revisited that editorial with “Church must do more to address sex scandal.” Just three weeks after USA Today’s multi-day expose of rampant abuse and cover-up in the American education system, the paper published this collection of anti-Catholic rants on its Editorial Page:
  • “Spotlight showed how The Boston Globe uncovered … these crimes against humanity.”
  • “I am so damn glad they made that movie. Every parishioner, every priest, brother, nun and all the cardinals, bishops, archbishops and the pope should be forced to watch it.”
  • “The church is afraid of its own men’s club and its lack of credibility in the area of sexuality.”
  • “Thanks to the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests for bringing justice to victims throughout the world.”
  • “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. The Roman Catholic Church as an organization has performed disgracefully.”
Catholic writer Ryan MacDonald sent me a copy of a protest he fired off to USA Today’s “Standards Editor” Brett Jones at It was, of course, entirely ignored. American Catholics who still subscribe to USA Today in light of such bias do more than lend tacit approval to it. They participate in it. They especially participate in it when there are other sources for national and global daily venues that report the news without blatant disregard and disrespect for fidelity among Catholics. Frankly, a daily subscription to The Wall Street Journal, now a national and global paper and no longer just a “business paper,” costs just a few cents a day more than USA Today.
The mob justice that USA Today invited in this exercise has a troubling precedent that I wrote of in “Catholic Scandal and the Third Reich: The Rise and Fall of a Moral Panic.” If you haven’t read that, you might be alarmed by the similarities between what some in the news media now present as “rings true,” and what Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, pulled off in 1939 Germany. It’s scary stuff.
You can help in this challenge to the media in other ways as well. One is to continue to share a link on social media and other venues to this post, and to JoAnn Wypijewski’s very important CounterPunch challenge to the field of journalism, “Oscar Hangover Special: Why ‘Spotlight’ Is a Terrible Film.”
Both justice and Divine Mercy require me to share with you anew that message I received from Servant of God Father John Hardon:
“Our duty as Catholics is to know the truth; to live the truth; to defend the truth; to share the truth with others; and to suffer for the truth.”
This Divine Mandate was why Rita Antoinette Rizzo became Mother Angelica, and it’s why she walked into a Baptist TV studio in Chicago in 1978 and declared, “Lord, I’ve GOT to have one of these!”
Mother Angelica
The post Mother Angelica and Gerard Henderson on Spin Down Under appeared first on These Stone Walls.

Friday, April 01, 2016

Act Now to Save Christians from Genocide‏

Act Now to Save Christians from Genocide
Contact: Lisa Jones, Christian Freedom International (CFI), 800-323-2273
WASHINGTON, April 1, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ -- Contact the State Department and Congress, mobilize your friends, and SIGN THE PETITION now to support Congressman Dana Rohrabacher's "Save Christians from Genocide Act" H.R. 4017
This bill is vitally important to the future of millions of persecuted Christians.
For centuries, millions of Christians have been the victims of religious persecution in numerous countries around the world. However, in recent months brutality against members of the Christian faith in Iraq and Syria has been escalated beyond every historical level by the Islamic terror group ISIS. Christians and Yazidis in Syria and Iraq have been forced from their homes, abducted, tortured, raped and murdered. Throughout a region spanning Iraq, Syria, Libya, Iran and Pakistan ISIS and al-Qaida repeatedly declare their intention to exterminate believers of every other faith.
On Easter Sunday, a most sacred day to Christians everywhere, a Taliban faction in Pakistan sent a suicide bomber into an amusement park full of Christians- mostly women and children--just to make the statement that they are now in the area. 74 people have died and hundreds more were injured. "The target was Christians," spokesman for the faction, Ehsanullah Ehsan reportedly said. "We want to send this message to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that we have entered Lahore."
It is appalling that under the current administration, our government does not consider these grievous acts sufficient to offer the sanctuary of asylum to human beings targeted for death because of their faith in Christ.
Last November, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher introduced legislation that designates Christians, Yazidis, and other religious minorities in the Middle East as targets of genocide. The bill provides for the expedited processing of 'immigrant and refugee status' for such individuals.
According to CFI president Jim Jacobson, "the Obama Administration makes it impossible for persecuted Christians to seek asylum in the U.S. At the same time, the Obama Administration is allowing tens of thousands of Muslims to pour into the country."
Here is the Bill summary written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress:
The Department of Homeland Security shall provide for expedited visa processing and shall ensure that such applications receive first priority among refugee and (family- or employment-based) immigrant applications for an alien who: is a citizen or national of Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Iran, or Libya, or in the case of an alien having no nationality, whose country of last habitual residence was Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Iran, or Libya; is a Christian or Yazidi; and is seeking refugee or immigrant admission to the United States.
"Congress should act immediately to save as many Christians as possible," says Jacobson.
Send Congress, the President, and Secretary of State Kerry the message that Christians suffering genocidal persecution deserve at least the same consideration as other refugees.
Christian Freedom International is a non-denominational 501c3 human rights organization for religious liberty providing real solutions to conditions of human misery caused by religious persecution.
If you haven't already done so, we invite you to learn more about the tragedy of Christian persecution -- and how you can help -- by visiting CFI's website at, or calling 800.323.2273

New TV Ad Highlights Needs of Middle Eastern Christians Facing Genocide and Extinction‏

The emblem of the Knights of Columbus
The emblem of the Knights of Columbus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
New TV Ad Highlights Needs of Middle Eastern Christians Facing Genocide and Extinction
Ad follows State Department's March 17 declaration that ISIS is committing genocide against Christians
Contact: Andrew Walther, 203-752-4253,;  Joe Cullen, 203-415-9314,
NEW HAVEN, Conn., April 1, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ -- A new television commercial from the Knights of Columbus began airing nationwide yesterday, highlighting the ongoing needs faced by Christian victims of genocide in the Middle East. Following, the State Department's recent designation that Christian and other religious minorities face genocide at the hands of ISIS, the U.S. has joined the international consensus on the issue.
However, the commercial points out that persecution and displacement have not abated and the victims remain in dire need of assistance. It quotes Secretary of State John Kerry's March 17 declaration that a genocide is taking place, and that ISIS is "killing Christians because they are Christians."
But as important as the declaration is, the Knights of Columbus makes clear in the ad that the real needs of the people there continue.
"The attacks continue," says the commercial's narrator. "Christians are still being kidnapped, killed and sold into slavery. Relief efforts are sorely needed - your help is sorely needed."
The Knights' commercial concludes with an appeal by Father Douglas Bazi, who heads the Mar Elia refugee center in Kurdistan, and who was himself kidnapped and tortured by terrorists in Iraq. In the commercial, Fr. Bazi notes: "Genocide is an easy word compared to what's happened to my people." He then adds a plea to the viewers:" Help my people and save my people."
The Knights of Columbus began its Christian Refugee Relief Fund in 2014 to aid persecuted Christians and other religious minorities, especially those in Iraq and Syria. To date, nearly $10 million has been raised to provide housing, food, medical aid, education and general relief.
"While we applaud and welcome the genocide designation, it is now vital that we redouble our efforts to assist those who have faced this attempt at exterminating them. The survival of the individuals affected, and of Christianity as a whole in the region, depends in large measure on not turning away now, thinking that ISIS will soon conform to the norms of the international community," said Knights CEO Carl Anderson.
In addition to raising funds, the Knights of Columbus has worked to raise awareness of the persecution via engagement with the media and a petition drive urging the State Department to declare a genocide. The petition drew nearly 150,000 signatures in the days prior to Kerry's announcement.
His rationale for the designation reflected many of the points urged by the Knights and the group In Defense of Christians in its nearly 300-page report made public on March 10.
In testimony in December on Capitol Hill, Supreme Knight Anderson laid out the dangerous, genocidal conditions faced by Christians and others, even within UN refugee camps. Anderson also led a March 10 news conference along with religious leaders, scholars and other experts, pressing for the genocide designation. Four days later, he applauded the unanimous passage by the House of Representatives calling for the genocide declaration and later credited Secretary Kerry for reaching the same conclusion.
The Knights of Columbus is the world's largest Catholic fraternal organization, with nearly 1.9 million members worldwide, and it is one of the most active charitable organizations in the United States. The Knights set a new record for charitable giving in its last fraternal year with donations of more than $173.5 million and 71.5 million hours of service to charitable causes, much of it raised and donated by its more than 15,000 councils.
Additional information is available at
Video: Knights of Columbus Ad Highlights Needs of Middle Eastern Christians Facing Genocide and Extinction

Priest found dead in San Cristobal

 Facebook image Fr. Darwin Antonio Zambrano Gamez
San Cristobal (Agenzia Fides) - "The diocese of San Cristobal has the painful duty to report the tragic death of one of its priests, Fr. Darwin Antonio Zambrano Gamez. According to reports, the death took place on the night of March 30, 2016. His remains were found in a park in the city of San Cristobal in the morning of March 31 and show signs of violence and stab wounds.
The reasons why he was killed are unknown. The competent authorities are conducting investigations into the case. Both the Bishop, and the family and the presbytery of the Diocese expect the investigation to clarify what happened and to know those responsible for this crime, because they must be brought to justice". This is the statement of the Venezuelan Diocese of San Cristobal, sent to Fides, on the tragic death of a diocesan priest.
Fr. Darwin Zambrano Gamez was born on October 24, 1977 and was ordained a priest on July 5, 2010 in the parish of San Agaton of Palmyra. Currently he was assistant pastor in the parish of San José de Bolívar and was known for his spirit of service, humor and constant joy. The funeral will be held on Saturday, April 2 at the church of San Juan Bautista de la Ermita. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 01/04/2016)