a world at prayer for priests

SacredHeartIconIn 2015, the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (and the World Day of Prayer for Priests) falls on Friday, June 12.

Back in 2011, on the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Vatican Radio released a story about The Christopher Inn International, a developing lay initiative at the service of Catholic bishops and priests. It was an interview with founder and director Joan Johnson, in which she described the origin of the apostolate and some of the plans for its development.

Below is the audio of the Vatican Radio interview that was broadcast back in 2011.

 

Since that time, Christopher Inn International has hosted two pilot programs, both in the spring of 2012. They were extremely well received by the Irish priests who participated. Here is a documentary about the 2012 pilot programs:

Christopher Inn International has not yet acquired property in Ireland. The properties shown on the website (christopherinn.org) are not owned by Christopher Inn, Inc., and are displayed only to demonstrate the kind of property that the organization plans to obtain. This apostolate is presently seeking to: 1) begin the process of acquiring property in Ireland; 2) start an operational endowment; 3) create a scholarship endowment.

To learn more about Joan and the team of CI International, visit the About Us page.

Fr. Walter Ciszek: on the Eucharist

daucau monstrance

in the Nazi labor camp of Daucau, priests gathered scraps of wood to fashion a monstrance that could be used for the adoration of the Eucharist

When I reached the prison camps of Siberia, I learned to my great joy that it was possible to say Mass daily once again. In every camp, the priests and prisoners would go to great lengths, run risks willingly, just to have the consolation of this sacrament. For those who could not get to Mass, we daily consecrated hosts and arranged for the distribution of Communion to those who wished to receive. Our risk of discovery, of course, was greater in the barracks, because of the lack of privacy and the presence of informers. Most often, therefore, we said our daily Mass somewhere at the work site during the noon break. Despite this added hardship, everyone observed a strict Eucharistic fast from the night before, passing up a chance for breakfast and working all morning on an empty stomach. Yet no one complained. In small groups the prisoners would shuffle into the assigned place, and there the priest would say Mass in his working clothes, unwashed, disheveled, bundled up against the cold. We said Mass in drafty storage shacks, or huddled in mud and slush in the corner of a building site foundation of an underground. The intensity of devotion of both priests and prisoners made up for everything; there were no altars, candles, bells, flowers, music, snow-white linens, stained glass or the warmth that even the simplest parish church could offer. Yet in these primitive conditions, the Mass brought you closer to God than anyone might conceivably imagine. The realization of what was happening on the board, box, or stone used in the place of an altar penetrated deep into the soul. Distractions caused by the fear of discovery, which accompanied each saying of the Mass under such conditions, took nothing away from the effect that the tiny bit of bread and few drops of consecrated wine produced upon the soul.

Many a time, as I folded up the handkerchief on which the body of our Lord had lain, and dried the glass or tin cup used as a chalice, the feeling of having performed something tremendously valuable for the people of this Godless country was overpowering. Just the thought of having celebrated Mass here, in this spot, made my journey to the Soviet Union and the sufferings I endured seem totally worthwhile and necessary. No other inspiration could have deepened my faith more, could have given me spiritual courage in greater abundance, than the privilege of saying Mass for these poorest and most deprived members of Christ the Good Shepherd’s flock. I was occasionally overcome with emotion for a moment as I thought of how he had found a way to follow and to feed these lost and straying sheep in this most desolate land. So I never let a day pass without saying Mass; it was my primary concern each new day. I would go to any length, suffer any inconvenience, run any risk to make the bread of life available to these men.

Fr. Walter J Ciszek, SJ – in He Leadeth Me

Pope John Paul I: a man of faith for our time

This looks to be an educational and inspiring conference to kick off the Year of Faith:

The True Pope John Paul I:
A Man of Faith for Our Time
Conference for the Centenary of His Birth (1912 – 2012)

Where:
The Immaculate Conception Center, 7200 Douglaston Parkway, Douglaston (Queens), New York 11362

When:
Friday, October 12, 2012, from 4:45-9 p.m.
Saturday October 13, 10 a.m.- 6 p.m., followed by Mass in the chapel

For too long, we have had to endure the foolish conspiracy theories, the baseless speculation, the many different versions of the “real” Pope John Paul I put forward by those who in reality know nothing about him.

We want to set the record straight and put knowledge of this Pope on a sound historical basis. We want the world to know about the brilliant scholar, the compassionate pastoral bishop, the sparkling writer, the saintly man who was Albino Luciani.

Thanks to Lori Pieper for passing along the tip. Get all the details over at jpicentenary.org.

an evening with The Christopher Inn International

If you’re in the Twin Cities, you are welcome to join the team of The Christopher Inn International (CI International) for a relaxing evening at The Old Log Theater in Excelsior on Tuesday, September 11, 2012, from 7 until 9 pm.

If you’re not familiar with the mission of this lay apostolate at the service of Catholic priests and bishops, the mission statement:

Christopher Inn International is a gift from the faithful to the Church’s priests… a gesture of thanksgiving to God for the gift of the priesthood. It will be a place for Catholic bishops and priests to be refreshed, to engage in ongoing personal formation, and to experience the richness of priestly fraternity on an international scale. Set in the natural beauty of Ireland, a land with a rich history of saints and scholars, the Christopher Inn will provide a serene, spacious and holy place in which priests can deepen their awareness of being configured to Christ for the service of His people.

Over desserts, wine and coffee, you’ll have a chance to learn about the progress and plans of The Christopher Inn International. Please feel free to invite others.

The Old Log Theater is located at 5185 Meadville Street, Excelsior, MN 55331. (map and directions)

Archbishop Chaput’s installation homily

This afternoon, Archbishop Charles Chaput delivered a beautiful homily on the role of the bishop in the life of the Church during the Mass at which he was installed as the Archbishop of Philadelphia.

I’ve added an audio version of the homily to my podcast feed today.

Podcast feed

MP3 version of the homily

PDF of the booklet from the Mass  (includes a biography of Chaput and an interesting explanation of his crest)

UPDATE: A full transcript of his homily and closing remarks is now available.