Monday, April 28, 2014

The Proper Way To Dialogue

When I was a teenager in high school, I took Speech and Government Classes, which was required at the time.  My speech instructor taught us how to dialogue with people while my government instructor taught us how to debate. Dialogue with people involve both speech and body language.  However, over the Internet one cannot see the other person's body language so clarifications are sometimes needed.  It is recommended to ask questions if one is uncertain as to what the other person is saying. Listening is also very important.  Through active listening, one can reduce the amount of misinterpretation.  These are rules that should be adhered to when discussing topics or having a dialogue with persons on the Internet. 

1.  Never resort to name calling or bashing the other person on the Internet.  It is not only bullying, but disrespectful.  The moment the person resorts to name calling or bashing the person is the moment that person has lost the debate or discussion.  As a matter of fact, from what I learned in WYD event recently, a person can sue and even charge the other person for cyberbullying (which is against the law).     

2.  The topic of discussion should always be discussed. The moment one focuses on the poster rather than what the poster says, then the topic of discussion is no longer the topic.  Rather, the original topic becomes lost and forgotten.

3.  In debates or discussions, a person should not simply dismiss the discussion, but refute what the other person says through evidence. 

4.  The person should take responsibility for what they post on the Internet and not make some excuse for their actions.      

Changing Song And Dance

According to the Roman Missal, (which I posted in my last post) it stated: 

The Vigil, by its very nature, "ought to take place at night" (EV, no. 3).  It is not begun before nightfall and should end before daybreak on Easter Sunday.

This time, I placed in bold the words "on Easter Sunday."  Why?  Because apparently, anonymous wrote another comment, and this time the word "MUST" wasn't even an issue.  In other words, he/she started changing his/her song and dance. 

First, anonymous poster asked me to show him/her where in the Roman missal it says that we MUST celebrate the Easter Vigil before the daybreak on Easter Sunday.   As anyone can see from Anonymous' comment here he/she emphasized the word "MUST." Nevertheless, I even provided a dictionary for Anonymous to look up the words "ought" and "should".  If anonymous poster had done that, he/she would have found that the word "should" is synonymous to "must."  

Now, suddenly, he/she started to change the song and dance.  This time, it is not a matter of whether we MUST celebrate the Easter Vigil before daybreak.  Anonymous poster interpreted the Roman Missal as saying that one can end the Easter Vigil at 11:00 p.m.  In other words, he/she appears to see more the words "before daybreak" and ignore "ON Easter Sunday." Somehow, Anonymous interpreted "ON" as to mean the same as "BEFORE" Easter Sunday (which in this case would be Saturday night). How convenient.  And this is the same Anonymous poster I told not to translate in English what is already written in English. 

Dishonesty have no place in true dialogue.   This is the reason why I do not post in Junglewatch.  The mentality there is the same as shown in Anonymous' comment where he/she changes their song and dance theme all the time.  Instead of true, honest, dialogue many of them use name calling and accusations rather than stick to the topic of discussion.        

Christ rose on a Sunday, and the Roman missal specifically said "before daybreak ON Easter Sunday."  The Catholic Church has already determined that Christ rose on a Sunday....NOT on a Saturday.  11:00 p.m. Saturday night is NOT EASTER SUNDAY.  It is not even ON Easter Sunday. The Catholic Church is capable of distinguishing between Saturday and Easter Sunday.  Easter Sunday occurs after midnight.  In the same way, Christmas, December 25th does not start until after midnight. The same goes with New Year. 

As for the Statutes, the Statutes were written FOR the Neocatechumenal Way and its members (although non-members are welcome to read it).  Non-members, however, are not expected to follow it.  Because the Liturgy of the word, the Eucharist, the Easter Vigil, the Reconciliation, and the Kergyma are all mentioned in the Statutes, then we celebrate or follow all that is IN the Statutes. It was the Vatican who approved the Statutes, so if Anonymous has a problem about the Easter Vigil being mentioned in the Statutes of the Way, he/she can take it up with the Vatican. Then again, I wonder if Anonymous knows what "IN" the Statutes means since he/she apparently defined "ON" Easter Sunday as being Saturday night.  

Furthermore, Anonymous admits that calling me deluded and a liar was done out of charity.  Really?  The moment one resorts to name calling rather than sticking to the topic of discussion is the moment one has lost the debate. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Answering Anonymous Poster's Questions.

This is my response to an Anonymous poster's comments with his/her questions that were in my last post found here.    Anonymous' comments are in blue while mine is in black. 

"Our Statutes explains how we are to celebrate the Easter Vigil"
Where do you statutes explain how you are to celebrate the Vigil? 

It is found on pages 35-36 in the Statutes. 

"This same Roman Missal says that the Easter Vigil must be celebrated the night until daybreak on Sunday morning" 
Please provide the quote from the source indicating that the Vigil *must* be celebrated until daybreak.  Can you explain why the Pope's vigil Mass did not go until daybreak? 

The Roman Missal is found in this weblink here.    According to the Roman Missal, (written in red): 

The Vigil, by its very nature, "ought to take place at night" (EV, no. 3).  It is not begun before nightfall and should end before daybreak on Easter Sunday.

(The bold is my emphasis.)  If you cannot comprehend the words "ought" and "should", you may use the internet dictionary I provided for you here.  As for the Pope's vigil mass, you ask why he did not go until daybreak?  If I give you the same answer as the Traditional Catholics in Junglewatch, would that answer satisfy you??  THEIR answer is because he's the Pope and as Pope, he can break all the rules he wants.   

"Also, what you don't know is that the Easter Vigil we celebrate in the Way is one with the parish Easter Vigil."  Because you say it is?  No, you are deluded I'm sorry to say. There is to be one Easter Vigil in the parish, one Paschal candle per church, and you are simply telling lies.   

This is why I don't post in Junglewatch.  Here you are already calling me deluded and accusing me of telling lies rather than discussing the topic of discussion in a civil manner.  The celebrations of the Way (which includes the Eucharist, Reconciliation, and Easter Vigil) is one with the celebrations of the Parish Church.  And this is not because I say so.  It is because the Catholic Church says so.  The Catholic Church has always believed in the "communion of saints".  According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (written in red): 

CCC 950  Communion of the sacraments.  "The fruit of all the sacraments belongs to all the faithful. All the sacraments are links uniting the faithful with one another and binding them to Jesus Christ, and above all Baptism, the gate by which we enter into the Church.  The communion of saints must be understood as the communion of the sacraments....the name 'communion' can be applied to all of them, for they unite us to God...But this name is better suited to the Eucharist than to any other, because it is primarily the Eucharist that brings this communion about."   

In other words, the Catholic Church teaches that we are united as one family of God regardless of whether one parish celebrates at 7:00 p.m. and another parish celebrates at 10:00 p.m.  or whether one Church celebrates in the Philippines and another Church celebrates in Singapore.  We believe and profess that the Church is ONE, holy, catholic, and apostolic. The Catholic Church is one....meaning that it does not matter where you are located.  All Catholics, whevever they are assembled or gathered together in worship, are one, united, and linked to each other through Christ and the Sacraments He instituted. 

The Catholic Church teaches us that through the "communion of saints" death cannot separate us from our brothers and sisters in Heaven and in Purgatory.  We are one with them.  Since death cannot separate us from the Saints in Heaven and the souls in Purgatory, we also know that time and distance cannot separate us from our brothers and sisters on this planet.  All Catholics and their sacred celebrations are all connected to each other. 

To Anonymous Poster Who Thought I Didn't Publish Comments

First of all, I publish your comments, which you posted on different parts of my post.  I apologize for the delay in publishing your comments as I was at the Eucharistic celebration last night and could not respond to your comments until this morning.  At any rate, I will use one of your comments for this post.  You stated here under my post "How Kiko's Words Are Misconstrued."  Your comments are in blue while mine are in black: 

It is true that both Popes JPII and B16 celebrated Mass for the Neocatechumenal Way when they visited; however, both popes were not in favour of the Mass. Pope PJII in his Eucharistic Encyclical and Redemptionis Sacramentum 2003/2004 makes it clear that no one can change the mass without written permission (recognitio) from the Pope. KIKO DOES NOT HAVE THIS. (Kiko also thought he was getting this in January 2012, BUT NEVER DID.)

Th Redemptionis Sacramentum is not a letter written to Kiko; therefore, you cannot use it as if it was a letter written only for Kiko and interpret that to mean that the Pope was against Kiko's mass.  Furthermore, Kiko did obtain permission from Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI, which is the reason he met with them often and even celebrated mass with them in the Neocatechumenal Way.  If Kiko's intention was not to get permission, he would not need to meet with the Pope as he often does.  The media has shown you that Kiko DOES meet and has met with Pope John Paul II, Benedict XVI and even with Pope Francis I. 

Pope Benedict also through Cardinal Arinze in 2005 gave instructions that the Neo's must accept and follow the liturgical books approved by the Church without omitting or adding anything. This included:


Pope Benedict also in January 2006 told them: "Precisely to help the Neocatechumenal Way to render even more effective its evangelizing action in communion with all the people of God, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (Cardinal Arinze) recently imparted to you in my name certain norms concerning the Eucharistic Celebration, after the trial period that the Servant of God John Paul II conceded. I am sure you will attentively observe these norms that reflect what is provided for in the liturgical books approved by the Church

As I already mentioned, the ONLY thing that the Popes have an issue with is how we distribute and receive the Body of Christ SITTING DOWN.  This part was specifically written in Cardinal Arinze's letter. In his letter, he specifically stated (written in red): 

On the manner of receiving holy communion, a period of transition (not exceeding two years) is granted to the Neocatechumenal Way to pass from the widespread manner of receiving Holy Communion in its communities (seated, with a cloth-covered table at the center of the of the church instead of the dedicated altar in the sanctuary) to the normal way in which the entire Church receives Holy Communion.  This means that the Neocatechumenal Way must begin to adopt the manner of distributing the body and blood of Christ that is provided in the liturgical books.  

The bold is my emphasis.  Nowhere in this statement is he saying that he is against the ENTIRE mass, but the manner is which the body of Christ is being distributed and received.  In fact, nowhere in this letter does he even say that he doesn't like the cloth-covered table, the place where the crucifix is placed, the place where the flowers are put, or the use of the Jewish menorah during special celebrations.  In his letter, he emphasized the word "seated" because that is really what the Pope was against and which is not in the liturgical books.  This issue has already been corrected.  The members of the Way now distributes and receives the Body of Christ standing up, which is in accordance to the liturgical books.      

To which Kiko replied:
"We also wish to thank you for the benevolence, mercy, and goodness You have shown to those farthest away in allowing the moving of the sign of peace and in GRANTING A PERIOD OF TWO YEARS FOR THE ADAPTATION OF THE MANNER OF DISTRIBUTING THE COMMUNION OF THE BODY AND THE BLOOD OF THE LORD......where He himself, full of love, has them sit down and comes to serve them "He will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them" (Lk 12:37) In this way, every time WE celebrate the Eucharist WE experience the power this sacrament has to draw them into the Passover of Christ, bringing them from sadness to joy, from darkness to light, from death to life.....
Translation: " WE will not obey. YOU are wrong. We are right."

Do not translate in English what is already in English otherwise you are simply putting in your own English translation.  Nowhere in there is Kiko saying "We will not obey. You are wrong. We are right."  Kiko was referring to Luke 12:37 just as it was written in the letter.  This is what Luke 12:37 says: 

Luke 12:37  "Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching.  Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them.   

 I encourage you and all neo's to read about this, and pray for the Holy Spirit to give you the gift of strength to come against Satan's lies. Many, many good -meaning people are being greatly deceived in regards to what is most important in the Catholic Church - The Eucharist. Take courage and look for the truth; it has been hidden from the NW. Unfortunately, not only the unchurched, but even well-seasoned parishioners are accepting all the NW's liturgical abuses. Please, please, pray for Kiko's conversion. Pray that TRUTH not be suppressed.
The NW, although they now stand as they are given the Body of Christ, they sit immediately down, and wait till all have the Body of Christ in their hands, then they all together WITH THE PRIEST, RECEIVE THE BODY OF CHRIST INTO THEIR MOUTHS - WHILE SITTING DOWN. Not Acceptable. (A NOTE HERE - THE PRIEST IS REQUIRED TO CONSUME BOTH THE BODY AND THE BLOOD BEFORE THE REST GET COMMUNION

There are many liturgies in the Catholic Church.  Why do you see only one of them to be legitimate when the Church recognize so many of them.  The Statutes of the Way have already been approved by the Catholic Church.  The Statutes mentions three things....the Eucharist, the Easter Vigil, and the Reconciliation.  

Our Statutes explains how we are to celebrate the Easter Vigil and others are accusing us of not complying with the Roman missal, which states that there is to be only one Easter Vigil per parish.  Why not bring forth your complaint to the Vatican for violating the Roman Missal for it was the Holy See who approved the Statutes explaining how we are to celebrate the Easter Vigil in the Way.  This same Roman Missal says that the Easter Vigil must be celebrated during the night until daybreak on Sunday morning.  

Before the Neocatechumenal Way was even here on Guam, none of the parish ever celebrated all night long until daybreak Sunday morning.  Easter Vigil in the Parish is three hours long.  So, if the Roman Missal is what you follow, why didn't you complain to the Vatican that every parish only celebrates the Easter Vigil for only three hours, which is in violation of the Roman Missal? I read in Tim Rohr's blogsite all the complaints on the time the Easter Vigil started.  Regardless of whether the parish started on time or not, do you still not consider it a violation because of the time they ended? So, why hasn't anyone brought out the fact that the parish Easter Vigil is three hours long and does not end at daybreak Sunday morning as required by the Roman Missal?   

The Neocatechumenal Way, on the other hand, holds their Easter Vigil celebration all night until daybreak Sunday morning.  Also, what you don't know is that the Easter Vigil we celebrate in the Way is one with the parish Easter Vigil.        

Neocatechumenal Way LEBANON

The Neocatechumenal Way is not only in Israel, but also alive and well in Lebanon.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Way Brings Hope to Bethlehem.

The decreasing number of Christians in the Middle East (especially in Israel) has been a great concern for many Popes.  According to the article below: 

Less that 2 percent of the population of Israel and the Palestinian territories today is Christian, down from more than 7 percent around the time of Israel's independence 65 years ago, according to Naim Ateek, director the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem, a leading Christian think tank. 

Several factors are behind the decline, including the higher birthrates of Jews and Muslims and an exodus driven by continued Israeli-Palestinian violence and better opportunities in the West. In some instances, particularly in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, Christians have been subject to intimidation by a minority of Muslims.

The number of Catholic nuns have also been in decline. In Bethlehem's only orphanage run by nuns, only four aging nuns remain, and the Catholic Church is struggling to replace them.  Similar situations are happening across the Holy land in other orphanages, hospitals, schools, and charities.  In many cases, they had to hire a number of lay people to cover the shortfall.  Even the Franciscan order, the largest and oldest Catholic presence in the Holy land, has seen its numbers dwindled in half in 60 years with an average age of over 50.  However, there is hope. According to the article, whose weblink I provided below: 

The stern, gray monastery and seminary of the Neocatechumenal Way on Domus Galilaeae highlights the changing face of Catholicism.  The 15 year old institution's jewel is a seminary boasting a bronze, life-size statue of Jesus preaching to his disciples as he appears to be floating over the sea. 

Water poured over the Ten Commandments, carved into high walls in Latin and Hebrew.  A fresco of Jesus and his apostles in rich shades of red, gold, blue, and green shone on a church wall. Some 60 people, teenagers, young men and women stood in a circle on a recent day, singing and praying with white-clad priests. 

The Francisans, who oversee some of the Church's most prized properties have been struggling in keeping these lands.  They have handed over land and buildings worth millions of dollars including the property known as Domus Galilaeae to the Neocatechumenal Way, who now runs the area.  The Reverend David Neuhaus goes on to state in the article, "The changes show how the Catholic Church is evolving, rather than fading away.  The church produces new movements to serve new circumstances."

Neocatechumenal Way in Bethlehem

The Neocatechumenal Way  built a monastery beside the Domus Galilaeae International Center, which was inaugurated in 2008 with a gathering of 170 bishops and key figures from the Catholic lay Neocatechumenate.  On the roof, there is a sculpture made by Kiko Arguello, which depicts Jesus and the twelve Apostles during the preaching of the Sermon on the Mount.  The Statue is pictured below: 




Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Mission of the Church

The mission of the Catholic Church has been to go out and spread the Good News (Gospels) baptizing all nations in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  This has always been our mission.  To go out and evangelize, not to stay comfortable in your home.  Heaven is our real home.  Some people complain about the priests going out to evangelize.  They want the priests to stay only in Guam and minister to only the Catholics on Guam.  This is not the plan of Jesus Christ.  Christ instructed His Apostles to go out and to baptize all nations, all that we all become one family of God.  It is a good thing that the Catholic Church is turning toward evangelization for thi

During the Easter announcement, it was proclaimed that we are to continue the Great Mission that was started by Pope Francis.  So, I expect that in the coming weeks ahead, those involved in the catechesis will be letting the community know when and where the Great Mission will take place in their parish.  It was announced at the Easter Announcement that a community was born as a result of the Great Mission.  

The Way has already been in existence for 35 years.  Today, the Neocatechumenal Way is extended to eight hundred dioceses, six thousand parishes, one hundred and five nations and seventeen thousand communities.  Its members are estimated to be about one million.  If God had not intended for the Neocatechumenal Way to exist, it would have fallen many years ago.  If the Way comes from human, it will be destroyed, but if it comes from God, it will not be destroyed.  As the Bible says: 

Acts 5:38-39   So now I tell you, have nothing to do with these men, and let them go.  For if this endeavor or this acitivity is of human origin, it will destroy itself.  But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God."  They were persuaded by him. 

It is not too difficult to enumerate the fruits of the Neocatechumenal Way; families who have reconciled and are open to life and are grateful to the Church, who offer to go and proclaim the Gospels to the ends of the earth, especially in the most dechristianized and poor areas. From these families are now arising a great number of vocations. 

Like Opus Dei, the Neocatechumenal Way has been met with many controversies.  In fact, there is a parallel between Opus Dei and the Neocatechumenal Way.  Based on reports from Spain in 1866-1942, Opus Dei was considered to be "very dangerous for the Church in Spain."  Father Wlodimir Ledochowski described it as having a "secretive character" and saw signs in it of a covert inclination to dominate the world with a form of Christian masonry.  According to its founder, Josemaria Escriva, "Opus Dei is composed of ordinary lay Christians who are taking their baptism-based calling to become holy, as the first Christians did, without in any way being externally distinguished from other citizens of the Roman Empire."  Sound familiar?

The Neocatechumenal Way is also composed of ordinary lay Christians who are taking their baptism-based calling to become holy as the first Christians did.  The founder of Opus Dei was later declared to be a holy saint by the Vatican.  Would Kiko Arguello also be declared a holy saint one day?  



Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Way Follows Catholic Teachings

Those who oppose the Way accuse the Neocatechumenal Way of not teaching Catholic doctrines.  The Way definitely teaches Catholic doctrine.  The Way teaches that in the Eucharist, the bread and wine transforms into the Body and Blood of Christ.  One can even see how reverently those walking in the Way treat the Body of Christ during the Eucharistic celebration. 

The Way also follow Church doctrine on homosexuality, same-sex marriage, contraception, pre-marital sex, abortion, etc.  And yes, it is true that the washing of the feet also symbolizes the forgiveness of sin as well as humility.  Those who oppose the Way accuse the Way of not following Church teaching because we view the washing of the feet as symbolizing the forgiveness of sins.  It is true that those who have hurt a brother can wash the feet of the brother whom they hurt, asking for forgiveness of sins. Those who oppose the Way forget that the metaphor of sin is dirt or filth. 

According to Catholic teaching, the washing of the feet has two significant meanings.  The first meaning is humility and charity.  The second is the forgiveness of sins.  According to Pope Benedict XVI, "The action of the washing of the feet becomes for John the representation of what Jesus' whole life is, His rising from the table, setting aside His garment of glory, bending down to us in the mystery of forgiveness, the service of human life and death....."

Thus, the Way does not go against the teachings of the Church.  It is only that our opponents do not fully comprehend Catholic teaching. 

Meaning of the Washing of the Feet

Easter Agape

As usual, the Easter Vigil in the Way lasted about six hours long.  My favorite song "Shema" is always sung during the Easter Vigil.  After the six hour long vigil, each community has an agape on their own.  The Team Catechists recommends a hotel, restaurant, or a home.  A home is preferable, but it always takes a lot of work to set up.  In addition to setting up the Easter Vigil, the home agape also has to be set up, and the community would go home to prepare the meal.  It's an all-day affair.  Who has the time to sleep?

I was looking forward to the roast turkey and roast lamb that I heard the brothers were going to prepare. In the end, the roast turkey turned out to be roast chicken, and the roast lamb turned out to be roast beef.  I guess no one could find a lamb to slaughter and cook.  Do they even sell lamb in the store?  At any rate, in an agape, table cloths, linen napkins, real silverware, and china dishes were used.  Christ has risen; therefore, it is fitting to use the finest in the agape.  Of course, some people find it more convenient to have the agape in a hotel.  In fact, some communities arranged to have their agape in the hotel; unfortunately, it can be very costly for families despite the hotel discount for children.  A family of five people, for example, can cost more than $100.   

There will be no celebration of the word this week, but the Team Catechists did mention another Great Mission during the Easter announcement.    

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Christ Is Risen!


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Holy Week

It has been a while since I've written on my blogsite.  Holy Week is here.  There's a lot of things to do during Holy Week.  We've been preparing for Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and for the Easter Vigil.  After Easter Vigil, each community has an agape.  The Easter Vigil takes about six or seven hours, so a lot of time and preparation goes into it.  The community I am walking with is having roast turkey and lamb for agape.  Also, Easter Announcement is tonight at the Barrigada Church. 

All these celebrations are done with great care and dignity. Also, we always begin the preparations with prayer.  Even when making the bread to be used for the Eucharist, we begin with prayer.

Monday, April 14, 2014

World Youth Day

Sunday, April 13th was World Youth Day, which was held at San Vicente School and finished at San Vicente Church.  I attended the World Youth Day and listened to the speeches.  I also noticed that most of the people who helped out in this World Youth Day were members of the Neocatechumenal Way.  Not all the youths who attended WYD were walking in the Way, but it's always great to see the involvement of so many youths.  There were also confessions taking place, and it's nice to see many youths lining up for confessions. 

I finally got to see who Jackie Terlaje is.  She made an excellent speech about bullying, and her husband did an outstanding job on suicide.  Much of the topics that were discussed were related to the youth.  Sex was also talked about, and the key speakers of sex were mission families from the Neocatechumenal Way.  From what I understand, Bosco has a job working at the University of Guam.  So, these mission families were not living off government assistance. Like most people, they went looking for a job, contributing to society.  The topics spoken about in the WYD were relevant to teenage issues.  The main speakers were walking in the Way, and the things they spoke about to the youths are align with Catholic teaching.   

At 2:00 p.m., we marched from San Vicente School to the chuch.  After the Mass, the calling was made for young boys interested in joining the priesthood.  It was great to see some of the boys actually answer the call by going up to the altar.  The same was done for young girls who were interested in joining the convent, and there were some girls who also answered the calling by going up to the altar where they received a blessing from the Archbishop.  I don't know if any of those young boys and girls were walking in the Way, but it's good to see the young people answer the call. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Testimonies From the Great Mission On Guam

The following was taken from the Umatuna on April 22, 2013:

The Great Mission on Guam  


Youth and young adults islandwide have been inspired to publicly share their personal experiences of God in their lives at the “Great Mission.” “Be messengers and witnesses of the mercy of God,” said Pope Francis. “Go into the squares and announce Jesus Christ, our Savior.” For the past two Sundays the islandwide communities of the Neo- Catechumenal Way have invited the public to take part in the “Great Mission” for the Sundays of Easter where they will be announcing the Gospel in the public squares around Guam. In each public square, the NeoCatechumenal Communities gather with a pulpit and a cross and create an atmosphere of prayer with songs accompanied by guitars. 

Youth give their testimony of what it means to meet the Risen Lord and there is a brief catechesis on the contents of life with a dialogue: Who is God to you? What is the meaning of life? What is your experience of the Church? Joni Serisola, 30, of Mangilao provided a testimony at the Great Mission which took place in Barrigada. She spoke about how she came to experience God in her life and how she came to know of His love for her. “I spoke about the miracle of my marriage, of my husband having been open to hearing the Good News through the catechesis, the miracle of Sarah, my daughter,” Serisola said. “I was encouraged to terminate the pregnancy because doctors believed it to be ectopic. The fact that having a 2-year old, my 1-year old, Katherine, and another on the way – is not my desire, but His will.” She noted, “Although the world tells me to stop having children because I will suffer, it will be hard and money will be scarce…I look at the children – my concrete reminders of God’s love for me – and I ask myself, ‘How can I say no?’”

“I think the Great Mission is important because, through the testimonies, people can see that God does exist in our lives especially in our suffering,” said 17-year old Joshua Camacho of Yona. Camacho provided a public testimony on his life at the Paseo De Susana in Hagatna. His testimony focused on being the youngest of his family and how he felt that he was expected to do all that his older brothers’ were able to do in regard to being talented like them. He said that he felt that he was being looked down on because he was not able to meet those expectations. “Through a concrete testimony, people are given hope that they are not alone in whatever situation they may be in,” Camacho said. 

Twenty-one year old Tatiana Perez of Pago Bay shared her testimony in the Great Mission held in the village of Santa Rita. “I mentioned how I dated a variety of guys always trying to find the one for me to make me happy,” Perez shared. “God, out of great mercy, has taken me out of different sins, although I am still a great sinner; and with even more love, he has shown me that love and fulfillment does not come from these guys — they come from him.” “God has shown me so much love, to see that all these things that I try to grab love from: my parents, family, friends, guys, achievements, adventures, travel — that these things don’t bring true satisfaction, that true happiness, comes only from God,” Perez said. 

Agat youth, April Quichocho, 21, testified how God has helped her cope with the death of her father and cousins. “The Great Mission is very important in today’s world because many people don’t believe in God,” Quichocho said. “This is why we need to evangelize so we could help save our brothers and sisters in Christ.” Serisola noted, “Our lives are so full of hurt, of pain, and of the desire to be happy, to be loved… What has anybody got to lose to just come and listen?”

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Catholic Priest

If a priest accepts the Neocatechumenal Way in his parish, I'm sure the priest is aware that he will be putting in more work than he usually does.  These are some of the things that a Neocatechumenal priest does:  

  1. In addition to celebrating the regular Mass, he also has to celebrate the Mass of the Neocatechumenal Way, which takes approximately two hours. 
  2. The priest may also celebrate the Word on either Tuesday or Wednesday with the community.  
  3. In addition to the Easter Vigil in the regular parish, the priest would also have an Easter Vigil in the Way, which usually lasts about six or seven hours long.  
  4. The priest would also do missionary work by going in two by twos.  
  5. The priest will also have a monthly convivience with his community. 
  6. The priest would also have reconciliation with his community four times in a year in addition to reconciliation in the parish. 
So, yes, the RMS priest has his work cut out for him.  Therefore, is it not possible that the real reason some priests and bishops are against having the Neocatechumenal Way in their parish is because it entails more work for them?  In my last post, I quoted Father Dougherty who stated that Protestant churches are more open than Catholic Churches.  Protestant pastors were more willing to visit people in their homes than Catholic priests. In the last World Youth Day, Pope Francis criticized the Brazilian church leaders for the mass exodus of Catholic members in their Church, but this problem is not found only in Brazil.  It is found also in the United States, many Latin American countries, and in Europe.  

We know for a fact that the Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons have been going door to door evangelizing.  When was the last time you've had a Catholic knocking on your door to spread the Good News?  I can tell you that I've had many Jehovah Witnesses knocking on my doorsteps and not one single Catholic ever came by.      

Are Catholic priests not supposed to get out of their parish church and go out into the village, getting to know their people in the village?  Are they not supposed to go on missionary work in two by twos?  Why is it that the Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, and Pentecostals are doing what Catholics have been called to do by Christ more than 2000 years ago?  Were the priests and bishops not commanded by God to go out and baptize the nation, and not wait for the nation to come to them for baptism?  Are they not there to serve God and His Church?  

On the other hand, I have seen how happy and contented the RMS priests of the Neocatechumenal Way are.  They don't find themselves alone.  The priests who celebrates with a community finds himself strengthen in his vocation to continually serve his parish.  A priest is married to the Church, and through the community, he has come to know his Church members very well. He grows with them spiritually as he serves them.  

Saturday, April 5, 2014

How Kiko's Words Are Misconstrued

Anti-Catholic websites always publish half-truths and half-lies.  Sometimes, they publish only the things they want you to hear and leave out the things that are pertinent and relevant.  For example, in Junglewatch, we see Kiko's words being miscontrued. 

In Volume 1 of Kiko's Catechetical Directory, he says, "The baptized Christian has already entered into divinity, into the Kingdom of God and can pass to the Eucharist.  The Eucharist is a celestial Eucharist, before the Lamb, the angels and saints.   

Christ came down incarnated as a man.  By becoming man, He shared in our humanity.  The Eucharist was instituted by Christ because He wanted humanity to share in His divinity.  Just as Christ became one with humanity through His incarnation, Christ wanted humanity to become one with God through the Eucharist. 

CCC  1354   In the anamnesis that follows, the Church calls to mind the Passion, resurrection, and glorious return of Christ Jesus, she presents to the Father the offering of his Son which reconciles us with him.  

In the intercessions, the Church indicates that the Eucharist is celebrated in communion with the whole Church in heaven and on earth, the living  and the dead, and in communion with the pastors of the Church, the Pope, the diocesan bishop, his presbyterium and his deacons, and all the bishops of the whole world together with their Churches.    

CCC 1396  The unity of the Mystical Body: the Eucharist makes the Church.  Those who receive the Eucharist are united more closely to Christ.  Through it Christ unites them to all the faithful in one body - the Church, Communion renews, strengthens, and deepens this incorporation into the Church, already achieved by Baptism.  In Baptism, we have been called to form but one body.  The Eucharist fulfills this call:  "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ?  The bread which we break, is it now a participation in the body of Christ?  Because there is one bread, we who ar many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread:"  

If you are the body and members of Christ, then it is your sacrament that is placed on the table of the Lord; it is your sacrament that you receive.   To that which you are you respond "Amen" ("yes, it is true!") and by responding to it you assent to it.  For you hear the words, "the Body of Christ" and respond "Amen."  Be then a member of the Body of Christ that your Amen may be true.  

In Junglewatch, Tim Rohr cited Kiko's statement about the Eucharist and then goes on to cite CCC 1090 in Section 1, Article 1 of the Liturgy.  What he deliberately left out was Section 2, Article 3 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which specifically speaks about the Sacrament of the Eucharist.  Kiko's statement was about the Eucharist, so why was Tim Rohr citing Section 1, Article 1 of the Liturgy in the Catechism and NOT Article 3, which speaks specifically of the Eucharist? Section 1 of the Catechism cites "The Sacramental Economy while Section 2 specifically cites the "The Seven Sacraments of the Church."   

In the Eucharist, the Church in heaven and the Church in earth become one just as we become one with Christ as we receive His body and blood.  Kiko stated that the Eucharist is a celetrial Eucharist before the Lamb, angels and saints because in the Eucharist, it is Christ who presides (CCC 1348), and it is through the Eucharist that the entire mystical body of Christ is united as one Body and through the "communion of saints." 

The mystical body of Christ includes the pilgrim Church on Earth, the triumph Church in God's Heavenly Kingdom, and the suffering Church in Purgatory.  The Eucharist is the highest of all sacraments, and it is the heart of the Catholic Church.  Why the Eucharist?  Because it is through the Eucharist that we become one and united with Christ, sharing in his divinity.   


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Pope Criticize Brazilian Churches for Exodus of Catholics

In the last World Youth Day in Brazil, Pope Francis criticized the Brazilian Catholic Churches for the exodus of millions of Catholic followers to the Protestants. The Catholic Church in Brazil has lost several million followers, especially to Protestant evangelical churches that provide services in jails and slums and often attract new followers. According to Brazilian census data, the number of Catholics decreased from 125 million in 2000 to 123 million in 2010, with the Church's share of the total population dropping from 74% to 65%.  During that same period, the number of evangelical Protestants and Pentecostals has increased from 26 million to 24 million, an increase of 15% to 22% of the population in 2010. 

In the longest and most important speech, Pope Francis drove home a message he has emphasized throughout his first international trip at World Youth Day, the need for priests and young Catholics to shake up the status quo.  In the speech outlining the kind of church that Pope Francis wants, he asked bishops to reflect on why hundreds of thousands of Catholics have left for charismatic-Pentecostal congregations that have grown exponentially in recent decades, particularly in Brazil's slums or favelas, where their charismatic message have been welcomed by the poor. 

"Perhaps the Church appeared too weak, perhaps too distant from their needs, perhaps too poor to respond to their concerns, perhaps too cold, perhaps too caught up with itself, perhaps a prisoner of its own rigid formulas," he said, "Perhaps the world seems to have made the Church a relic of the past unfit for new questions.  Perhaps the Church could speak to people in their infancy but not to those come of age." 

As the Catholic Church continues to lose members in the region with the world's largest Catholic population, the Charismatic Catholic movement stands out as a source of hope.  One of the movement's pioneers was Jesuit Father Edward Dougherty, founder of Brazil's Seculo 21 Catholic satellite television channel.  "Pentecostals talk about the spiritual needs of the people, "Father Dougherty said, "Often their churches, their temples, are more open than the Catholic Churches, and their pastors more willing to visit people in their homes than Catholic clergy are."   As a result of the Charismatic Catholic Movements, many Catholics are returning to the Church.  Some converts are also being won over. 

While Catholicism is increasing in Africa and Asia, the numbers are decreasing in Europe.  Even the number of priestly vocations have declined in Europe.  However, In Finland, the number of priestly vocations are increasing as a result of the Neocatechumenal Way.  According to the Catholic World Report: 

Finland's high statistical ration of seminarians to Catholics is attributable to the controversial presence of a Neocatechumenal Way seminary in the nation's sole diocese of Helsinki.....

For his part, Father Magagna praises "the courage of the bishop of Helsinki, who, without fear, inaugurated a seminary of this type." He attributes the Neocatechumenal Way's success in attracting seminarians to its ability to resist secularization:  

Catholic World Report: Where The Laborers Are Few.



Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Book Order Is In.

The book I ordered finally came in a few days ago.  The book entitled A Hemorrhaging Church: Evangelization And the Neocatechumenal Way.  I browsed through the book and will soon start reading it from start to finish.  At any rate, as I was browsing through it, I would like to copy a section of it on this post.  I will only copy some excerpts from it.  Anyone who is interested in reading the entire book will simply have to purchase the book on their own.  The section is "Why a Weekly Community Eucharist?"  According to the author:  

........It is logical to ask why the Way incorporates a Eucharistic celebration for the small community on Saturday evening.  Why don't those in the community come to Sunday (or Saturday) Mass with the rest of the parish community?  Pope Benedict XVI in his address to the Way in January 2012 states two fundamental reasons:  The Eucharist on Saturday evening responds to the needs of those who have gone far from the Church and the Eucharist on Saturday evening supports the radical nature of those living the Christian life in the Way.  Let us look at each reason in turn,  

First, the Eucharist in small communities helps in a special way those who have been far away from the Church and are just beginning a journey of renewed faith or faith for the first time.  A large celebration with its setting of anonymity for someone who is on the fringe of the faith has an unsettling effect.  Further, there is a loss of "belonging" to the community of the parish because of its relatively large size compared to a small community......

The second reason that the Pope stressed in the significance of the Saturday community Eucharist is that the community is walking on a Way that is quite counter cultural and as such is a radical way of life that needs the support of the Eucharist.  

The celebration in small communities, regulated by the liturgical books, which should be followed faithfully, and with the particular features approved in the Statutes of the Way, has the task of helping those who are undergoing the Neocatechumenal itinerary to receive the grace of being inserted into the saving mystery of Christ, which makes possible a Christian witness capable of assuming the traits of radicality [155]

Now "radicality" is the state of being radical and "radical" relates to the "root, basis, or foundation of something; original, primary" (Oxford English Dictionary"). This focus is important because the "radical nature of the Way is not a nature that is separatist or fundamentalist or divisive as the word is often used in medial language.  In its radicality, the small community of the Way in the parish returns to the root or primary reason for its existence.  That reason is to make Christ present in the World through a radical (original) sign of Christian witness........

A third reason for the Saturday evening Eucharist in small communities is the reality of young people participating in a Eucharist rather than in the hedonist, "hook up" culture that encapsulates so many young people.  The celebration of of the Eucharist in a small community on a Saturday evening (open to all the faithful) is so opposite to our "normal" way of weekend living that it is a point of rejection and a branding of the community as "strange" and apart.  Indeed, the Saturday evening celebration of the Eucharist is a marked departure from the weekend culture.  Yet it is the basis for an original and rooted faith life especially for young people who face a Saturday night live world of sex, drugs, and alcohol.  For a young person to give witness of coming to a Eucharist on a Saturday night is to raise questions on the part of onlookers......"What is going on here?  We see you all gathering each Saturday night and we wonder who you are."  This is precisely the questions that the early Christian communities received and is the beginning of a process of evangelization that builds on the interest engendered by Christian witness. 

,,,,,,,,,For the priest who celebrates with the community, the response is always one of having an experience that strengthens his vocation.  The community Eucharist is not exclusive in the sense that only those who have membership can enter.  It is a celebration that is born out of a community of persons who are walking together to discover the meaning of their Baptism.  In doing so, the community relies on the strength of the Body and Blood of Christ.  Guardini, in the 1930s, raised the question of how many people in the parish at large receive the Eucharist with a community surrounding them or receive Communion solely as individuals.  

With respect to the third objection regarding the orthodoxy of the Eucharist, the liturgy has been recognized by the Church and celebrated by Blessed John Paul Ii and numerous bishops and pastors.  It is a most dignified and holy experience contrary to some who paint it as a kind of group gathered around a table conducting their own ritual........

Sound Familiar?

The Jesuits had a founder.  The name of their founder was Ignatius of Loyola, who turned to religion after he was injured in Pamplona in 1521.  This founder created the Society of Jesus (also known as the Jesuits). Central to the Order's philosophy are the spiritual exercises set down by Loyola, which offer a means for the individuals to learn more about themselves and God through prayer and guidance from a director.  Furthermore, the Jesuits also have a constitution of their own.....a constitution formed by their founder.  Imagine that!  The Society of Jesus had a founder, and their founder wrote a constitution for his Order.   

The Jesuits were also missionaries who traveled to many different countries.  They set up schools and educational centers. Although they take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, Jesuits have historically been viewed with suspicion by fellow Catholics and elsewhere.  There are seen as a group that is a little too independent and a little too powerful.  Although they take vows of poverty and owned nothing, they were capable of building educational centers and doing missionary work.  People wondered where and how did they get all this money to build schools, churches, and do missionary work worldwide.  

These group of Catholics were brutally persecuted by fellow Catholics.  In Elizabethan England, the Jesuits were reviled as the embodiment of the Catholic threat from-within.  They were ruthlessly persecuted and even dragged into the gunpowder plot.  In addition, the Jesuits were also accused of liturgical abuses.  

Some Catholics accused the Jesuits of practicing illicit masses.  For example, in the photo above, they wonder why the bread is already broken into pieces, and some are even speculating whether the bread is unleavened or not.  The allegation for this liturgical abuse is found here.

By the mid to late 18th century, the Order had become so feared and despised that it was suppressed in many parts of the world.....and this suppression was coming from Catholic brothers.  Every work of the Jesuits - their vast missions, their noble colleges, their churches - were all taken from them and destroyed.  They were banished, and their Order was suppressed.  Yet, they remained strong and devout Catholics despite that it was fellow Catholics who suppressed them.  They did not turn against the Catholic Church or against the Pope.  Jesus said that a prophet is never welcome in his home.  Jesus was a Jew who was also not welcomed by fellow Jews. It was not until 1814, when the Society of Jesus was re-established by Pope Pius VII. 

Does all this sound familiar?  Today, God has placed a Jesuit as Pope. Someday, a Redemptoris Mater priest may also become Pope.  :-)  

So, brothers and sisters walking in the Way....take courage and be happy for the persecution we are receiving for God will reward us many times over.