February 25, 2019

Followers of St. Francis

A Rejuvenated Spirit in the Land of Francis

In his 35 years as a Franciscan priest, Nicholas “Nick ” Mormando, OFM Cap, has ministered in parishes, friaries, schools, retreat centers, and health-care facilities across the United States, including St. Ann’s Parish in Hoboken, New Jersey; Immaculate Conception Parish in Hendersonville, North Carolina; St. Francis Friary in Wilmington, Delaware; and the St. Lawrence Retreat Center in Beacon, New York.

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How Can Jesus Be Blessed by Anyone?

In the Hail Mary, we say, “Blessed is the fruit of your womb. ” Jesus was holy from the very beginning. How can he be blessed by anyone?

That part of the prayer quotes Elizabeth’s greeting to Mary (Lk 1:42b). Elizabeth is not giving a blessing but simply acknowledging a blessing already given by God. If you sneeze and I say, “God bless you, ” I am not the source of that blessing but am simply recognizing that you have already been blessed by God.

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Tempted to Leave the Church

As cradle Catholics, my wife and I are tempted to leave the Catholic Church because of its grossly inadequate response to clerical sexual abuse of minors, which is both a civil crime and a sin. The Church condemns that abuse but protects the abusers by failing to take effective action against them. We have not left the Church because of our deep-seated beliefs in the Catholic faith, but we are struggling and looking for guidance on this issue.

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Still an Apostolic Church?

In light of the agreement between the People’s Republic of China and the Holy See, signed on September 22, 2018, can Catholics still claim to be an apostolic Church?

Yes, they can. A bit of background is helpful here. The provisional agreement referenced above provides for the government to propose names of priests to be appointed bishop, with the final decision to be made by the pope.

This agreement has been under negotiation since 1986.

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Be Present

At the beginning of each year, I try to find a phrase that will challenge me to grow for the next 12 monthsÑphysically, emotionally, and spiritually. The phrase has to be broad enough to allow for various interpretations but also specific enough that it prompts me to take concrete actions.

This year, I chose the following two words: Be present. I wrote them down in my daily planner and my journal and posted them in my bedroom and office. I posted them, well, anywhere I could so that I would have a constant reminder of my promise.

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Film Reviews with Sister Rose

Film reviews by Sister Rose Pacatte, FSP.

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