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Perspectives Daily – Tuesday, Feb. 14

Tonight on Perspectives we bring you an exclusive walk through Rome with Archbishop Collins just days before the consistory. Also, Archbishop Timothy Dolan talks about the challenges currently facing U.S. Catholics and what the faithful need to do now.

Message for World Day of Prayer for Vocations


Below is Pope Benedict XVI’s message for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. It will be celebrated in the Universal Church on April 29, which is the Fourth Sunday of Easter. The message is dated Oct. 18, however, it was released by the Vatican Feb. 13.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The 49th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, which will be celebrated on 29 April 2012, the Fourth Sunday of Easter, prompts us to meditate on the theme: Vocations, the Gift of the Love of God.

The source of every perfect gift is God who is Love – Deus caritas est: “Whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him” (1Jn 4:16). Sacred Scripture tells the story of this original bond between God and man, which precedes creation itself. Writing to the Christians of the city of Ephesus, Saint Paul raises a hymn of gratitude and praise to the Father who, with infinite benevolence, in the course of the centuries accomplishes his universal plan of salvation, which is a plan of love. In his Son Jesus – Paul states – “he chose us, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him in love” (Eph 1:4). We are loved by God even “before” we come into existence! Moved solely by his unconditional love, he created us “not … out of existing things” (cf. 2Macc 7:28), to bring us into full communion with Him.
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To What Lengths Are We Willing to Go to Encounter Jesus?

Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time – February 19, 2012

The readings for this Sunday are: Isaiah 43:18-19, 20-22, 24-25; 2 Corinthians 1:18-22; Mark 2:1-12

Healing stories in the Gospels are never simply a reversal of physical misfortune. God works through miracles, through political forces, social action, intrigue, personal and societal chaos and daily, ordinary living to pick us up from where we have fallen and redirect us along right pathways. Many aspects of Jesus’ early ministry in Mark’s Gospel are woven together in today’s colourful story of the healing of the paralytic man. The story ends a whole series of healing miracles that began and ended in Capernaum (1:21-2:12). For reasons unknown, Mark tells us that Jesus had relocated his ministry to this fishing village on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee. It was from there that Jesus called five of the disciples.

Today’s story (Mark 2:1-12) makes explicit what has been implied in preceding weeks: In healing the sick and casting out demons, Jesus is manifesting God’s forgiveness of his people’s sins. Sin is often equated with sickness in Scripture (see Psalm 103:3). And today’s Psalm (41) reads like a foretelling of the Gospel scene – the man is helped on his sickbed, healed of his sins, and made able to stand before the Lord forever.

The Via Maris, a major highway, ran through Capernaum from the seacoast to Damascus and on to the east. Yet it was far enough away from Tiberias, the new, predominantly Gentile city where in 25 A.D. Herod Antipas had set up his capital. Capernaum also had a mixed population of fisher-men, farmers, skilled artisans, merchants, tax collectors, etc. It is always important to recall that Jesus established the base of his ministry, not in some remote, back woods area, nor in sleepy Nazareth, but here in a very “cosmopolitan” town that was located at an important geographical, cultural and religious crossroads. [Read more…]

A new song for Edmonton: ‘Put Out Into the Deep’ now online


It’s been only nine months since S+L filmed at St. Joseph Seminary in Edmonton, but in that short period of time the sounds emanating from its chapel have become notably richer. This can be partly attributed to the new voices — as we reported on the S+L blog, enrollment of seminarians increased by 50% for the 2011-12 academic year. Now accompanying this growing choir of priestly candidates is a newly installed pipe organ.

Fr. Shayne Craig, the seminary’s rector, tells the Western Catholic Reporter that the organ arrived some 25 years ahead of schedule. When the seminary campus was rebuilt last year, it was decided that an organ would not be installed right away. A new instrument would cost a half million dollars.

Fortunately, a used organ came on the market after a Mormon church closed in Orleans, Ontario. The seminary acted quickly. Since arriving in its new home on January 17, the organ has been refinished to match its mahogany surroundings.

You won’t see or hear the pipe organ in “Put Out Into the Deep”, Salt + Light’s special production about the new seminary. But you will see its artful synthesis of traditional and modern architecture and its clever integration of elements of the previous seminary. You’ll also meet its architect, Donna Clare, its rector, Fr. Shayne Craig, and the growing ranks of seminarians who are hearing God’s call to the priesthood. The half-hour documentary is available on VD and now streaming online above.