Friday, May 30, 2014

To The Priest Who Wrote The Following On Junglewatch.

This comment was brought to my attention by Cathy on May 30th at 11:36 a.m.  A local priest wrote in Junglewatch regarding a comment that was published under a thread in one of my posts.  His comment is found here. After reading his comment, it is apparent that his comment was not only directed to an anonymous poster, but to me as well.  Therefore, this is my response, and..........if Father, you are reading this, please do not take it as an offense as it is not.

To the priest who wrote in the above weblink in Junglewatch:

Dear Father,

You stated: " But the one thing that a priest has to look forward to is the brotherhood with fellow priests and a strong relationship with our bishop" . At the end of your comment, you also stated:

" I am nearly to the point of tears at this very moment thinking about this situation. I wish I had the courage to tell more, and reveal my name. Unfortunately, I fear the retribution that may follow. I look forward to the day when I can be confident that my pastoral father loves me deeply and truly.

Lord, how I long to feel the warmth of his fatherly embrace".

As a priest and a servant of God, God calls you to seek fellowship with Him and to build a stronger relationship with Him.  He calls you (and each of us) to be holy just as He is holy (Leviticus 9:2)  God is all you will ever need. Christ said to give up mother, father, sister, and brother. He did not say to replace these people with your fellow priests and Bishop. With all due respect, Father, God always comes first. And when you put God first, He will take away your lonliness and bring you happiness. Your fellow priests and Bishop cannot bring you happiness. Only God can bring true happiness because He is the source of all happiness and joy.   

You know the story of the Prodigal son. The younger son was lost and spent all his money, which his father gave him, on frivolous things. Finally, he went back to his father's home. And his father welcomed him back. He gave the younger son a feast and everyone celebrated.

But there is also the elder son. The elder son who never left home and was always with the father. The elder son who was faithful to the father, and who worked with the father side by side. This elder son became angry and jealous because the Father held a feast for the younger son And all that time that he was faithful and working in his father's house, his father did not even give him one feast.

With all due respect, Father, this elder son is YOU.  The elder son wanted to be treated the same as the younger brother and be given a feast. Because he was not given a feast, this elder brother feels unloved by his father. 

God loves you, Father, and if you had experienced this Love from God, it would not matter who rejected you (even if it was your own mother or father). In the communities of the Neocatechumenal Way, there are youths whose fathers had left them to be with another woman, but the Love of God fills them that not even the rejection of their own father destroys them.  Rather, these youths have learned to see their father's weakness and suffering and forgiven him.  If you had experience this Love from God, you would understand why the Apostles went to their deaths singing joyously even when everyone around them was mocking them.  If you experienced the Love of God, it would not matter what negative words were said to you. 

In the Holy Bible, the father said to the elder son, "Everything I have is yours." The father had always loved both his sons. Know first that you are loved by God, and all else will fall into place.   

Interview With Kiko Arguello

The following is an interview with Kiko Arguello, and the weblink is provided.  The questions are placed in bold.  This is the second part of the Interview, which was taken in July, 2008 two months after the Statutes were approved. 

Interview with Neocatechumenal Way 


Q: The liturgical celebrations of the Neocatechumenal Way introduce a series of novelties that, in some cases, have caused friction, such as the change in the moment of the exchange of peace, the way of offering Communion, nocturnal celebrations, and especially the Easter Vigil, in which the celebration lasts until dawn. Could you explain the reason for these changes?
Argüello: These changes aren't novelties, but imply a return to ancient traditions. In the whole of the Eastern Church, the rite of peace takes place after the Prayer of the Faithful, recalling the Gospel phrase that says: "Before presenting your offering at the altar, go and be reconciled with your brother."

Since we are following an ecumenical itinerary open to those who have fallen away from the Church [and] living in a Christian community in which our most profound problems and defects are manifested, the rite of peace, in the presence of the Body of Christ, became conflictive -- people moved around a lot to show forgiveness of each other and to be reconciled with a brother. So we asked if it were possible to move the rite to the present place, as we knew the Ambrosian rite has it, so as not to break the solemnity of the moment of Communion, and this was perfectly understood.

In regard to the Easter Vigil, the Council itself has contributed to its recovery. Many theologians and liturgists have emphasized the importance of this night in which one doesn't sleep, the Easter night of our salvation. The celebration of this night has helped many brothers in Madrid, for example, who would go on vacation after Good Friday -- in Spain those days are holidays -- to live Holy Week in a new way.

In this, as in many other things, we have always acted with good intentions, seeking to help the man of today to rediscover his faith and to live the Gospel.

Q: One of the accusations leveled against the Way is that the communities "live" outside the parish.
Argüello: On the contrary! The Way is born in the parish, lives in it and is at its service. The definitive statutes even indicate that the Masses celebrated by the Neocatechumenal communities are part of the parish's pastoral liturgy and are open to anyone who wishes to participate in them.

Now then, it is very important to live the faith in a small community, where brothers know one another, help each other even financially, and pray together. One of the greatest problems of modern man, which is on the rise, is loneliness.

There are many people living alone in cities. As in the early times of Christianity, the witness of Christians through mutual love is necessary; it is what amazed the pagans, who said: "Look how they love one another." As St. Paul says, the Christian is called to love the other, but especially a brother in the faith.

One must also keep in mind that many people who enter the Way have fallen away from the faith; they are "prodigal children" returning to the house of the Father, and one must be very merciful with them until their faith matures and they can be fully integrated in the parish. Of great importance, in this connection, is the work of parish priests, who must explain this so that suspicions don't arise.

Q: The religious images used in the Way is another element that attracts attention, more so since you are the painter. They are, in fact, icons of Eastern Christian origin, which you have reproduced and contributed to popularize. Why use this type of art and not another?
Argüello: Because a synthesis is necessary, an inculturation of the faith, an aesthetics that is lacking in the West today. It is very important that the Church reflect on the kind of aesthetics it hopes to use to evangelize the world.

In the past, the Church had its aesthetics, in Byzantine, Baroque, Romanesque and Gothic art. Today this doesn't exist. Parishes are built that, aesthetically, have no meaning. The Church is participating in the same cultural disconcert that dominates Western art.

We have understood that it is very important to recover tradition. Until the advent of the Renaissance, the aesthetics of East and West was common, up to Cimabue. A separation begins with Giotto, which has lasted down to our days, and the fundamental reason is that Western art has lost the canon.

Before, an author could not paint sacred art as he wished, because it did not have a merely aesthetic purpose but also that of evangelizing. So it had to adjust to a canon, and this has been kept in the East.

Hence, the recovery of this type of art in the Way responds to two issues: The first, to recover the canon, and the second, to build bridges with the Eastern Church. That is why it is very important for us to know how churches are built, with a defined aesthetics that refers to Eastern art, in which paintings form part of a "mystery crown" that reflects the most important moments of the life of Christ, in which the Eucharist makes heaven present on earth. Little by little, with many difficulties, we have been recovering this.

Q: Does this closeness to the Eastern Church have an ecumenical significance that was not present at the beginning of the Way?
Argüello: Indeed, we are surprised by the miracles we are witnessing. We would never have [thought about] opening seminaries, and we now have some 70, nor would we have thought of the mission "ad gentes."

The Orthodox Church too, which is present in this region, is interested, because they have seen that our catechesis is the same, and they have identified with our aesthetics, perfectly Eastern. They came to see the mural on the Last Judgment that we painted in the Domus Galilaeae and they have felt at home, with the same spirit. They were very surprised and were wondering what is happening in the Catholic Church. And what is happening is simply what Vatican Council II said, the spirit the Pope has -- communion among the Churches.

Q: What is the purpose of the Domus Galilaeae, the house the Way has opened in Galilee, on the Mount of the Beatitudes?
Argüello: This house, built on a plot of the Custody of the Holy Land, is the fruit of a desire to welcome brothers of the communities that were completing the Way -- the last stage of this "baptismal itinerary" is the solemn renewal of the baptismal promises on Easter night before the bishop, after which the entire community goes on pilgrimage for several days to the Holy Land.

However, our expectations are being surpassed also in this, because this house is bringing about an unforeseen bridge of union between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people. This year, around 700 buses full of Jews have come to visit us; they were surprised to see that the Torah, and Ten Commandments are there, in relation with the Beatitudes; that we sing the Shema -- a hymn that highlights the first commandment of God's law in Hebrew: "Listen, Israel, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, thy whole soul, thy whole mind and thy whole strength."

Israel's minister of tourism came to the Domus to meet us and asked why the Way has this love for the Jewish people. I answered that for Christians, the history of the Jewish people was a sort of "catechumenate" that led to Christ, which is why the roots of Christianity are Jewish. John Paul II's words resonate in the Way -- that the Jews are "our elder brothers in the faith," avoiding judging them, given that St. Paul himself explains that a sort of "veil" has been placed over them so that they won't recognize the Messiah until the Gentiles come.

Q: Another characteristic note of the Way is, as you pointed out earlier, its missionary character, with the creation of Redemptoris Mater diocesan missionary seminaries and families on mission. Can you explain what they are?
Argüello: The Redemptoris Mater seminaries are a bishop's diocesan seminaries, with the particularity -- as the former archbishop of Madrid, cardinal Suquia, pointed out -- that the diocese has to breathe "with two lungs, one diocesan and another for the world." In Articles 9-10 of Presbyterorum Ordinis, Vatican Council II states that in the ordination of every priest there must be "solicitude for all the Churches." The Redemptoris Mater seminarians know that they might be sent to any part of the world, wherever bishops request them. However, these seminaries belong to the bishops. We have no authority whatsoever over the clergy.

In regard to families on mission, the initiative arose as a result of the Synod of Bishops of Europe in 1985, when, analyzing the situation of secularization in the West, especially in regard to the destruction of the family, John Paul II surprised the bishops by saying that the Holy Spirit was already answering this need, and that it was necessary to put aside the known models of evangelization and see where the Spirit was inspiring the answer. Since then, families of the Way have gone where bishops have requested them.

Then there is the "mission ad gentes," the "mission among the Gentiles," which has arisen in recent years. The Pope had also spoken about returning to the first apostolic model, born around homes and small communities. We find several of these communities in the Acts of the Apostles, such as the case of Nympha, or Aquilla and Priscilla. In the Way, we have seen that it is very important to return to this model, especially in those places where secularization has erased all traces of Christianity, a new "implantario ecclesiale." As always, it is the bishop who requests this mission. Several families go, accompanied by a priest.

However, there is more. We have also seen the need to send "communities on mission," namely, communities that have completed the Way, that have maturity in the faith, and are sent at the request of the parish priests, to help parishes that are experiencing difficulties. For example, in Rome, 12 communities have been offered to the vicariate to go to the neediest parishes on the outskirts.

Q: The approval of the statutes implies, hence, a point of arrival, but also a point of departure. What's next?
Argüello: What is next is to be able to offer ourselves to bishops, now with the guarantee that this is something of the Church for the new evangelization. What is next now is to encourage a leap forward in the new evangelization, because happiness is to give one's life for men, and this is what we Christians are called to do.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Cardinal Arinze's Letter to Kiko

This is going to be a long and slow post, so I ask for your patience.  It was purposely done this way in a step by step manner for better understanding and to dispel any kind of misinterpretation.

There has been several contentions regarding Cardinal Arinze's letter.  There were six things in that letter that Pope Benedict asked the NCW to do.  Of the six, number 5 is the one that is most controversial.  According to Cardinal Arinze's letter dated December 1, 2005

5.  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 placed at the center 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. let us take a look at the very first sentence in number 5 without the parentethesis, which is: 

On the manner of receiving Holy Communion, a period of transition is granted to the Neocatechumenal Way to pass from the widespread manner of receiving Holy Communion in its communities to the normal way in which the entire Church receives Holy Communion. 

Without the parentethesis, we see clearly that the Pope wants the NCW to change its manner of receiving Holy Communion to the normal way.  And what is the normal way of receiving Holy Communion? It is by standing up.  Also, is there anything in that sentence that says something about kneeling?  No.

The parentethesis gives a more detail account of what the Pope is requesting.  The period of transition is two years.  And this manner in how we receive communion is.......(SEATED, with a cloth-covered table placed at the center of the Church instead of the dedicated alter in the sanctuary).  In other words, the Pope wants members of the NCW to stand, not to sit, when receiving the Body and Blood of Christ because "standing" is how everyone in the Universal Church does it (including the Eastern Catholics).

So, now let's take a look at the second sentence, which states (the bold is my emphasis): 

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.

Is the second sentence saying anything about kneeling?  No.  The topic of the second sentence has to do with the manner of DISTRIBUTING the Body and Blood of Christ.  According to the liturgical books, the priest distributes the Body and Blood of Christ to the faithful standing up (unless of course, the faithful is in a wheelchair).     

Now, let us take a look at what the approved Statutes say: 

For the celebrations of the Eucharist in the small communities the approved liturgical books of the Roman Rite are followed, with the exception of the explicit concessions from the Holy See. (49)   Regarding the distribution of Holy Communion under the two species, the neocatechumens receive it standing, remaining at their place (Article 13, Section 3). let us look at the FIRST sentence, which states: 

For the celebrations of the Eucharist in the small communities the approved liturgical books of the Roman Rite are followed, with the exception of the explicit concessions from the Holy See. (49)

The number (49) is the footnote, which elaborates in more detail what the first sentence wants the NCW to do, so let us look at footnote 49, which states: 

(49) SEE Benedict XVI, Speech to the Neocatechumenal Communities on January 12, 2006 in Notitiae 41 (2005), 554-556; CONGREGATION FOR DIVINE WORSHIP; Letter of December 1, 2005 in Notitiae 41 (2005), 56-565; "Notificication of the Congregation for Divine Worship on celebrations in groups of the Neocatechumenal Way" .......... footnote 49 tells us to SEE Benedict's XVI speech to the Neocatechumenal way on January 12, 2006. Did footnote 49 tell us to SEE the ENTIRE GIRM?  NO.  So, now, let's take a look at that speech, which is found here.  According to that speech (the bold is my emphasis): 

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 recently imparted to you in my name certain norms concerning the Eucharistic Celebrtion, 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. 

So, was there anything in that speech that says something about kneeling?  No. what exactly is this speech saying?  It is referring to a letter imparted to Kiko in the Pope's name that contain certain norms that the NCW was supposed to follow? The Pope's speech specifically said "TO OBSERVE THESE NORMS" that reflect what is in the liturgical books. Did it say that we are to observe ALL NORMS in the GIRM?  NO!  It specifically said "THESE NORMS".   in fact, the Pope stated in his letter "CERTAIN NORMS."  And what are "THESE or CERTAIN NORMS" that we are supposed to be attentive to that is provided in the liturgical books??  

According to the footnote in 49,  it refers to the letter of Cardinal Arinze's letter dated December 1, 2005.  This is the reason why I placed in RED  the letters and dates in footnote 49.  Was there anything in Cardinal Arinze's letter about kneeling?  No.  (SEE the first six paragraphs of this post). 

So, let us complete the entire footnote 49 from where I left off.  It continued on to say:

.......L'Osservatore Romano, December 24, 1988: "The Congregation consents that among the adaptions foreseen by the instruction "Actio Pastoralis", nn. 6-11, the groups of the above-mentioned "Way" may receive communion under two species, always with unleavened bread, and transfer "ad experimentum" the Rite of Peace to after the Prayer of the Faithful. 

So, is there anything in the above quote that says something about kneeling?  No. let us take a look at L'Osservatore Romano, December 24, 1988, which is found here.  According to the document, it stated: 

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments gave notice, through a notification published on the 24 December 1988 edition of L'Osservatore Romano for groups of the Neocatechumenal Way to receive the Eucharist under the forms of both bread and wine and to transfer experimentally the rite of peace to before the offertory.  These changes can be implemented only with the approval of the local bishop. Other changes that such groups have adopted, such as lay preaching at Mass, standing for the Eucharistic prayer, receiving communion while seated, and passing the consecrated chalice from person to person have not been given approval. 

Is there anything in that paragraph that says anything about kneeling?  No.  This was notification given to the Way in 1988.  It is now 2014, and we do not do any lay preaching during Mass nor sit when receiving the Body and Blood of Christ.  We do not even pass the consecrated chalice from person to person.   

The rest of the footnote is self explanatory.  The reason the footnote is there is to explain in detail exactly what the approved Statutes is saying, and it all goes back to Cardinal Arinze's letter.  Was there anything in the six items listed in that letter saying that the NCW was supposed to kneel after the consecration?  No.  So, why do those who are against the NCW want its members to kneel when the Pope never gave us that instruction?  

Now that we have gone over the first sentence of the Statutes Article 13, Section 3, let us look at the second sentence, which stated  (the bold is my emphasis): 

Regarding the distribution of Holy Communion under the two species, the neocatechumens receive it standing, remaining at their place. 

Is there anything in this sentences saying anything about kneeling?  No.  Who does the distribution of the Body and Blood of Christ?  It is the priest.  According to this sentence, what are the members supposed to do when the priest distribute the Body and Blood of Christ to the faithful?  Receive it standing up.  

Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Mass in the NCW, and the only problems he saw were those that he listed in Cardinal Arinze's letter. Was kneeling in any of the list?  No.  If "not kneeling" after the consecration was a problem, it would have been listed in that letter.  However, it was never a problem because we bow after the consecration, and bowing conforms with the universal Church. 

Today, every six items listed in Cardinal Arinze's letter have already been addressed by the NCW.  We are in communion with the Holy See in that we have already followed all the six items listed in Cardinal Arinze's letter.  

Dear Commentors

If you do not see your comments published, it is because I deleted them.  Why?  Because you are asking the same questions over and over and over, and I would only be giving you the same response.  Before you ask your questions, could you kindly read the threads.  Other posters may have already asked the same or similar questions that you have, and all it takes is to read the threads.  Thank you and God bless! 

Monday, May 26, 2014

One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church

Under one of my posts, an anonymous poster asked me to point something to him/her where he/she might understand why the Pope believes it is better not to kneel since in the Neocatechumenal Way, we do not kneel in the Eucharist.

First of all, the Pope does not think that it is better not to kneel. Just because we do not kneel in the Eucharist does not mean that kneeling is not important or less reverent in any way. I explained to the person who made the comment that the Eastern Catholics also do not kneel in their Eucharist. 

The Catholic Church includes BOTH the Latin-rite Church and the Eastern-rite Church that are in communion with the Pope. The Eastern-rite Church have a different liturgy than the Latin-rite Church; nevertheless, their liturgies (which is one of the oldest in Church history) is accepted by the Pope.  Eastern Catholics do not kneel in their Eucharist.  Most of the time, they stand.  Eastern Catholics feel that standing is very reverent.  Of course, this is not to say that kneeling is not reverent.   In the Holy Bible, one can find kneeling, prostrating, and standing in worshipping God. That is the beauty of the one, holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.   

One would also find icons in the Eastern-rite Church.  The Latin-rite Church, on the other hand, uses both icons and statues. Like the Eastern Catholics, members of the Way do not kneel in the Eucharist.  Despite the different liturgies, however, the Church is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.  In fact, the Church never even called herself "Roman Catholic".  Roman Catholic is a modern term.  According to EWTN: 

The English-speaking bishops at the First Vatican Council in 1870, in fact, conducted a vigorous and successful campaign to insure that the term Roman Catholic was nowhere included in any of the Council's official documents about the Church herself, and the term was not included.

Similarly, nowhere in the 16 documents of the Second Vatican Council will you find the term Roman Catholic. Pope Paul VI signed all the documents of the Second Vatican Council as "I, Paul. Bishop of the Catholic Church." Simply that -- Catholic Church. There are references to the Roman curia, the Roman missal, the Roman rite, etc., but when the adjective Roman is applied to the Church herself, it refers to the Diocese of Rome! 

The term Roman Catholic

I don't even call myself "Roman Catholic."  I am a Catholic...period.  That alone says it all.  The beauty about the Catholic Church is that she celebrates a variety of liturgies.  Below is a 33 minute video of the Eastern Catholics in the Byzantine rite. 

Neocatechumenal Way In Florida

MIAMI | To most it is a mystery. To some it seems like a sect. It is not a movement, like Cursillo or the Charismatic Renewal. But it has the approval of popes dating back to Paul VI and including, just last month, Francis. 

One thing is certain: the Neocatechumenal Way definitely moves people to a new life as Christians. 

It is a series of steps — similar to the RCIA, or Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults but lasting much longer — aimed at rekindling the faith in people who have been baptized Catholics. 

Miami’s new auxiliary, Bishop Peter Baldacchino, is a product of the Neocatechumenate, which his family joined when he was 13 in his native Malta. He describes the Way as “small communities of rediscovering the faith.” 

“Once faith is rediscovered, fruits start to grow. We have seen many fruits,” he said.
His vocation is one of them. The growth of the Catholic Church in the Turks and Caicos, where he served for the past 15 years, is another. “Where there was nothing, and where now, thanks be to God, there is something.”

Another “fruit” of the Neocatechumenal Way is an abundance of vocations, because it is a process of formation that encompasses the whole family and attracts young people. 
That abundance of vocations resulted in the establishment of Redemptoris Mater seminaries, where men from different countries study together and are ordained for a particular diocese, but commit themselves to serving in whatever corner of the world they are most needed. 

Bishop Baldacchino, a Malta native, is the first bishop in North America to come from a Redemptoris Mater seminary, and only the third such bishop worldwide. One of his classmates, an Italian from Salerno, is vicar general in Estonia. 
A Redemptoris Mater seminary opened in Miami in December 2011 and currently has 13 seminarians enrolled. One Redemptoris Mater priest already has been ordained for the Archdiocese of Miami, and another will be ordained this May.

The Neocatechumenal Way began in Spain in 1964. Two lay people — Kiko Argüello and Carmen Hernandez — developed it as a method of evangelizing the residents of one of Madrid’s poorest slums. Pope John Paul II hailed the Neocatechumenate as “an itinerary of Christian formation valid for our society and for our time.”

“The catechumenate always existed in the Church,” Bishop Baldacchino explained. “It was the instrument the Church used to turn pagans into Christians. It isn’t magic. It is a process that the Church always had.

“I think it was Paul VI who said that we are living in a time of a new form of paganism, a neo-paganism. And he saw paganism, catechumenate, Christianity; and therefore, neo-paganism, neo-catechumenate, new Christian.”

The Neocatechumenal Way fits perfectly with the need for the “new evangelization” that Pope John Paul II described: Not so much bringing Christ to a world that never knew him, as helping nominally baptized Christians — or cultural Catholics — rediscover the fullness of the Christian faith, and live accordingly.

Sister Enith Montero, a Dominican of the Immaculate Conception who has worked at St. Cecilia Church in Hialeah for many years, said she, too, has seen the fruits of the Way.

The parish closed in 2009 for financial reasons, and re-opened in December 2011 with Father Emanuele De Nigris as pastor. Father De Nigris, a native of Italy, is the product of the Redemptoris Mater seminary in Washington, D.C., and serves as rector of the Redemptoris Mater seminary in Miami, which is based at St. Cecilia.

“It has been transformed,” Sister Montero said of the parish. “From the ashes, now it has life in abundance, a community that is very much alive and committed.”

It’s not comparable to what it was before, she stressed, because the community also was “very active, had many (spiritual) groups,” when she served as director of religious education. “It simply is different.”
Her co-worker, Sister Maria Teresa Flores, put it this way: “There are new people and above all young people, young people who hunger for God.
“These two new priests have raised the community from the ashes,” Sister Montero said. “It’s a new Pentecost.”
Fast facts about the Neocatechumenal Way
  • Founders: Kiko Argüello, a painter, and Carmen Hernandez, a graduate in chemistry and theology, who met in the shanty town of Palomeras Altas, on the outskirts of Madrid, Spain, and developed a program for evangelizing the slum’s residents, many of them gypsies, prostitutes, drunkards and robbers who had no relationship with the Church.
  • 1974: The Congregation for Divine Worship, while preparing the reintroduction of the catechumenate for adults (known as RCIA), publishes a laudatory note, “Praeclarum exemplar,” and settles on the name “Neocatechumenate” to indicate an itinerary of post-baptismal formation for those who are baptized but not sufficiently catechized.
  • May 8, 1974: Neocatechumenal Way is approved by Paul VI during a meeting with Argüello and Hernandez.
  • 1987: John Paul II opens the first Redemptoris Mater seminary in Rome to prepare priests for the New Evangelization; today, there are 100 Redemptoris Mater seminaries worldwide, with almost 2,000 priests already ordained and 2,000 seminarians in formation. Eight of those seminaries are in the U.S., including the one in Miami.
  • 1990: Neocatechumenal Way is recognized by John Paul II as “an itinerary of Catholic formation valid for our society and our time,” and an instrument for the New Evangelization.
  • June 13, 2008: Five Congregations of the Holy See — Doctrine of the Faith, Divine Worship, Bishops, Catholic Education, and Council of the Laity — approve the final statutes of the Neocatechumenal Way
  • Jan. 17, 2011: Pope Benedict XVI approves the “Catechetical Directory of the Neocatechumenal Way.”
  • Families in mission: Neocatechumenal Way sends families to areas on the periphery of cities, often immense slums, to form nuclei of evangelization and small communities that can contain the spread of Protestant sects until priests can be sent and new parishes founded. Currently, there are about 1,000 families in mission all over the world. 
  • Missio ad gentes: Groups consisting of a priest and four or five large families who, at the request of a bishop, receive a mandate to evangelize de-Christianized or pagan areas. There are now 95 missio ad gentes in the world, including six in the U.S. dioceses of Brooklyn, Boston and Philadelphia
  • Feb. 1, 2014: Pope Francis, meeting with about 12,000 members of the Neocatechumenal Way, sends 450 families in mission and 42 new missio ad gentes. 
  • • Today, there are about Neocatechumenal 25,000 communities in 800 dioceses and 6,000 parishes in 124 nations, including 1,000 communities in 300 parishes and 75 U.S. dioceses. 
  • • The Archdiocese of Miami has 30 communities in 8 parishes.

Neocatechumenal Way in Miami


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Pope Confirms Kiko For Five More Years

According to news report on February, 2014, Pope Francis confirmed Kiko Arguello as Consultor for the Pontifical Council for the Laity for five more years.  It is also interesting to note that in 2005, Kiko participated in the Synod of the Eucharist.  Considering that he has participated in this synod shows that Kiko is in communion with the Catholic Church.  According to the news report: 

Pope Francis has confirmed the initiator and leader of the international lay movement the Neocatechumenal Way, as a consultor for the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

Kiko Argüello will serve for a five-year term. This confirmation is in addition to his nomination in 2011 as consultor of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization.

The international leader of the Neocatechumenal Way has belonged to the laity council since his appointment in 1993 by Blessed John Paul II, a nomination that continued for the rest of that pontificate and later on, under Benedict XVI.

Argüello has participated as an Auditor in various Synods in the past several years, the most recent being the Synod on the Eucharist (2005), the Synod on “the Word of God in the life and mission of the Church” (2008) and the Synod on “The New Evangelization for the transmission of the Christian faith” in 2012.

On February 1, Pope Francis received 10,000 people from the Neocatechumenal Way in audience at Paul VI Hall. Due to lack of time, the Holy Father was only able to send out 12 of the 40 new "missio ad gentes" teams destined for Asia. Two weeks later, on February 14th, the Holy Father received Argüello, along with Carmen Hernández and Fr. Mario Pezzi, and the presbyters responsible for the other 28 missio ad gentes who will be working in the evangelization of Europe and the United States.

Pope Francis Confirms Kiko

To Those Asking The Same Questions Over And Over

Three months ago, I spoke about Father Neil Xavier O'Donoghue, who published a letter on the Internet on one of my blogsite found here.   Father Neil has a Ph.D in Liturgy.  His letter answered many questions.  Yet, they still ask the same questions over and over and over.  One of those questions is the NCW around the world the same as the NCW in Guam?  In Father Neil's letter, he stated (the bold is my emphasis):

I have personally attended thousands of Eucharistic celebrations in Neocatechumenal communities in the United States, Canada, Ireland, England, Scotland, France, Germany, Poland, Italy, Spain, Estonia, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Australia, Guam, Saipan, Taiwan and Israel.  All of these Eucharists have been in conformity with the relevant rubrics and used the approved liturgical books of the Roman Rite.   

And they still ask if the manner in how the Way on Guam celebrates the Eucharist universal with the NCW around the world.  Father Neil already admitted that he has attended all these places (which includes Guam), and if there were differences, he would have noted it.  He also admitted in his letter that the Eucharist that the NCW celebrates conforms with the rubrics and approved liturgical books.  And they still ask if the NCW follows the liturgical books.  Others ask "how?"  To this....I would say that he/she would need to take classes in liturgy and not just read the books on their own. It has been shown that there are a vast variety of liturgies celebrated in the Catholic Church, and all these liturgies are accepted by Rome. 

Furthermore, on May 23rd, I posted Fruit of the Second Vatican Council not to show that Kiko received an award, but to show that even the prestigious John Paul II Catholic University is quoted as saying that the Neocatechumenal Way has followed "attentively the directions of the Second Vatican Council, bringing back Christians who have strayed from the ecclesia community to the foundations of the faith that spring from the Bible and from Liturgy." 

Finally, while it is true that there are some bishops and priests who disagree with the Neocatechumenal Way, the important thing is the Pope, who is the Vicar of Christ and Successor of the Apostle Peter.  History shows that priests and Bishops have disagreed in the past, but the Pope always have the final say. The Pope even carries more weight than any of the anti-Catholic websites.  To put it in simple terms, when the Pope approves and endorses the Neocatechumenal Way, this carries more weight.  The Statutes of the Neocatechumenal Way and the Catechetical Directory has been approved by Rome.  The NCW is approved by the Holy See, and that makes us legitimate in the eyes of the Catholic Church.  

It was God who put the Pope in place, and God will not allow the Pope to lead His Church astray.  If there are problems, corrections will be made to ensure unity OR excommunication will be given to those in defiance and who refused to obey.  The history of the Church proves this.  So, one either trust the Pope or not.  One either trust that God is the Head leading His Church or not.  It is pointless to keep asking the same questions over and over when the answer has already been given.  The answer is we follow the instructions of the Pope, who is the Vicar of Christ.  If you do not believe that answer, that is not my problem.  Of course, you can always fly to Rome and schedule an appointment to meet the Pope to ask him.  From what I hear, Pope Francis is a people person and would go out of his way to meet the people rather than stay inside the Vatican.        


Saturday, May 24, 2014

My Response On GIRM 43

This is in response to an anonymous poster who commented in my last post, which is found here.  According to his/her comment (written in red): 

What is in your heart will show in your behavior. 

43 of the GIRM "In the Dioceses of the United States of America, they [the faithful] should kneel beginning after the singing or recitation of the Sanctus (Holy, Holy, Holy) until after the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer except when prevented on occasion by ill health, or for reasons of lack of space, of the large number of people present, or for another reasonable cause."

Another liturgical abuse, discussed in some detail here:

The following is my response: 

GIRM 43 further goes on to say the following (the bold is my emphasis):

However, those who do not kneel ought to make a profound bow when the Priest genuflects after the Consecration.  The faithful kneel after the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) unless the Diocesan Bishop determines otherwise. [Sacrosanctum Concilium 40; Varietates legitimate 41] 

GIRM 43 cites Sacrosanctum Concilium 40, which states (the bold is my emphasis): 

40.  In some places and circumstances, however, an even more radical adaptation of the liturgy is needed, and this entails greater difficulties.  Wherefore: 

1) The competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Art. 22, 2, must, in this matter carefully and prudently consider which elements from the traditions and culture of individuals peoples might appropriately be admitted into divine worship.  Adaptations which are judged to be useful or necessary should then be submitted to the Apostolic See, by whose consent they may be introduced.

2) To ensure that adaptations may be made with all the circumspection which they demand, the Apostolic See will grant power to this same territorial ecclesiastical authority to permit and to direct, as the case requires, the necessary preliminary experiments over a determined period of time among certain groups suited for the purpose.

3) Because liturgical laws often involve special difficulties with respect to adaptation, particularly in mission lands, men who are experts in these matters must be employed to formulate them.   

Sacrosanctum Concilium

The Neocatechumenal Way was in an "ad experimentum" for a period of five years, in which it has become the norm not to kneel, but to stand.  As for the  Varietates legitimate, this is what it stated (the bold is my emphasis): 

54.  For the celebration of the eucharist, the Roman Missal, "while allowing...for legitimate differences and adaptations according to the prescriptions of the Second Vatican Council", must remain "a sign and instrument of unity" [107] of the Roman rite in different languages.  The General Instructions on the Roman Missal foresees that "in accordance with the constitution on the liturgy, each conference of bishops has the power to lay down norms for its own territory that are suited to the traditions and character of peoples, regions and different communities," [108] The same also applies to the gestures and postures of the faithful, [109] the ways in which the altar and the book of the Gospels are venerated, [110] the texts of the opening chants, [111] the song at the preparation of the gifts [112] and the communion song, [113] the rite of peace, [114] conditions regulating communion with the chalice, [115] the materials for the construction of the altar and liturgical furniture, [116] the material and form of sacred vessels, [117] liturgical vestments. [118]  Epscopal conferences can also determine the manner of distributing communion. [119]

Varietates legitimate

As you can see, the GIRM allows certain differences and adaptions to the Eucharist with the permission of the Holy See.  Thus, the Neocatechumenal Way practices a valid liturgy approved by the Holy See.  The Way is not in violation of the GIRM.     

Friday, May 23, 2014

Fruit Of The Second Vatican Council

According to the news report dated  September 5, 2013 (whose weblink I provided below): 

One June 26th, Kiko Arguello received a Laurea Honoris Causa in Sacred Theology from the prestigious John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin (Poland), for his contribution to the renewal of the Church. 

According to the university, the Neocatechmenal way has followed "attentively the directions of the Second Vatican Council, bringing back Christians who have strayed from the ecclesia community to the foundations of the faith that spring from the Bible and from Liturgy." 

Among the reasons for receiving the honorary title, was the "preparation of the mission ad gentes, the active contribution of the Neocatechumenal itinerary, in the encounter between Christianity and Judaism and in the defense of the values of life, of human dignity, of marriage and of the Christian family.

Pope Francis Receives Neocatechumenal Way Initiators

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

God Provides

Once again, the Neocatechumenal Way is out in the public squares evangelizing.  Every community has their own public square, which started after Easter.  If I am not mistaken, a community was even born as a result of the Great Mission.  Going in two by twos was also a great experience.  The first time is always the hardest and the scariest.  But eventually, it gets easier.   

A few years ago, the RMS priests and seminarians also ventured on a serious two by two mission for two weeks.  They started out in Colorado and were assigned to different parts of the United States and Canada.  During those two weeks, they brought no money or luggage.  They have only their bible and passport. Just as Christ sent His disciples in two by twos, telling them not to bring any money with them, so were the RMS priests and seminarians instructed to do the same.  Because they were out on the streets for two weeks without any change of clothes and without showering, some people looked down on them.  Although most of them slept on the streets, no harm came to them.  God provided.   

Some of the stories I heard from these priests were very inspiring.  While on the streets for two weeks without money, they did not starve.  They are a sign showing that God indeed provides.  The reason God took His chosen people, the Israelites, into the desert is to show the world that He can provide them with everything they needed. 

God still provides today as He did with those priests and seminarians who went on a two by two mission without money, food, or luggage.  They only took their passport and bible with them.  For those two weeks, God provided for them, and they came back with interesting stories to tell.