Be Holy, Be Happy!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Message for the Day of Prayer for Priests - May 30, the Feast of the Sacred Heart

Fr. Doug, Fr. Frank, Fr. Mark, Fr. Carl and Fr. Tom
and Msgr. Dunne

Our Apostolic Sodales

Pro Sanctity prays: Oh Lord, give us holy priests!

Pope Benedict speaks...

Message for Day of Prayer for Priests celebrated May 30, the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

... We cannot live, we cannot look at the truth about ourselves without letting ourselves be looked at and generated by Christ in daily Eucharistic Adoration, and the Stabat of Mary, "Woman of the Eucharist," beneath her Son's Cross, is the most significant example of contemplation and adoration of the divine Sacrifice that has been given to us.

... Lastly, the Holy Mother of God remains an indispensable foundation of the whole of priestly life. The relationship with her cannot be resolved in pious devotional practice but is nourished by ceaseless entrustment to the arms of the ever Virgin of the whole of our life, of our ministry in its entirety. Mary Most Holy also leads us, like John, to beneath the Cross of her Son and Our Lord in order to contemplate, with her, God's infinite Love: "He who for us is Life itself descended here and endured our death and slew it by the abundance of his Life" (St. Augustine, Confessiones, IV, 12).

... As a condition for our redemption, for the fulfillment of our humanity, for the Advent of the Incarnation of the Son, God the Father chose to await a Virgin's Fiat to an angel's announcement. Christ decided to entrust, so to speak, his own Life to the loving freedom of the Mother: "She conceived, brought forth, and nourished Christ, she presented him to the Father in the temple, shared her Son's sufferings as he died on the Cross. Thus, in a wholly singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity in the work of the Savior in restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason she is a mother to us in the order of grace" (Lumen Gentium, No. 61).

... Pope St Pius X said: "Every priestly vocation comes from the heart of God but passes through the heart of a mother." This is true with regard to obvious biological motherhood but it is also true of the "birth" of every form of fidelity to the Vocation of Christ. We cannot do without a spiritual motherhood for our priestly life: let us entrust ourselves confidently to the prayer of the whole of Holy Mother Church, to the motherhood of the People, whose pastors we are but to whom are entrusted our custody and holiness; let us ask for this fundamental support.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Saturday, May 24, 2008

St. Bonaventure Parish
Pastor, Fr. Tom Weisbecker, Apostolic Sodalis
Columbus, Nebraska

Thought for the day ... It is true I am nothing in your sight; I have neither strength nor voice, Lord. But when you let your gaze fall upon me, I bloom beneath your grace and love.
Servant of God, Founder Bishop Giaquinta

A blessed day! Margaret Matthew made her final profession of vows as an Internal Apostolic Oblate and Theresa Gabriel made her final profession of promises as a Cooperative in the Institute of the Apostolic Oblates. The members of the Pro Sanctity Family all renewed their commitments: Apostolic Sodales, Social Animators, Apostolic Oblates and Cooperatives! We thank God for the good work that with His grace and strength we were able to accomplish. Our Founder and Our Lady of Trust were certainly in the midst of it all!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Spe Salvi - Mary, Star of Hope - Day 25

Apostolic Oblates renew their vows in Fullerton, California on May 10, 2008. They are wearing their beautiful liturgical gown for the occasion. It is a sign of their consecration, their, contemplation and their union with Mary, the first Apostolic Oblate.

Mary, Star of Hope
25. With a hymn composed in the eighth or ninth century, thus for over a thousand years, the Church has greeted Mary, the Mother of God, as "Star of the Sea": Ave maris stella. Human life is a journey. Towards what destination? How do we find the way? Life is like a voyage on the sea of history, often dark and stormy, a voyage in which we watch for the stars that indicate the route. The true stars of our life are the people who have lived good lives.

Reflection by Msgr. Vaccari
How many people have found Mary to be a light when all else seemed to be darkness? Her star shines brightly, even in the night when nothing else seems to shine. St. Bernard spoke beautifully of trusting our journey of life to Mary, with full confidence that if we did so, we would surely find the safe harbor. Her example and her holiness lead the way, always calling us back to the beauty of her son.

What would we do without the "stars" in our darkness. Their lives shine with holiness and their intercession, their witness and their closeness to the Lord are signs of hope in our dark world

Reflection by Teresa Monaghen a little girl I used to like to surround my bed at night with friends: a place for the guardian angel, Mary, St. Therese, and the many other friends of God who knew me. They stood around me like sentinels, protecting me from harm. I realize now that they have never left me and they not only protect they guide and encourage but at every turn, someone turns up and I realize I am never alone. It is true, we are never alone and if we open the eyes of our hearts we will see the light of holiness that comes from the stars, the saints to help guide our path through this stormy world. Thank you, Lord, I trust in you and your friends! Amen.

Pro Sanctity Movement - Apostolic Oblates
11002 N. 204th St.
Elkhorn, NE 68022

Thought for the day ... G. Giaquinta
Let us sow goodness and holiness, and we will see barren fields bloom.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Pro Sanctity Spirituality Center, Fullerton, California -- May 10, 2008

Br. Joel Lechner, OSM and Renee Jareski, AO
preparing for the Celebration.
A Covenant of Love Renewed in Southern California!

On May 10, 2008, Br. Joel Lechner, O.S.M. led us in a beautiful experience of prayer and in the renewal of our covenant of love with God and our Institute. Members of the Institute of the Apostolic Oblates renewed their vows and promises and Pro Sanctity Family and Friends were present in prayerful support of our journey. Br. Joel inspired us and encouraged us in a reflection on the Covenant during the prayer service where he often quoted our Founder and we would like to repeat a passage he presented for your consideration and meditation here below:

Today, the Lord renews His covenant with us. We experience, all at the same time our nothingness and His power, our sinfulness and His mercy, our mediocrity and His fidelity, our lack of faith and the abundance of grace that not only saves us, but saves others through us. We are aware of the dire inadequacy of our response to His love, but at the same time we perceive that the covenant, in consecration, is a strong and exciting experience. The covenant in consecration is “a vital, not momentary, but constant conclusive….and irreversible response to God” (Bishop Giaquinta – Retreat, The Covenant)

Teresa Monaghen, National Moderator of the Apostolic Oblates


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Spe Salvi - Days 20-24, 2008 Reflections on Hope by Pope Benedict

Day 20. #31 Let us say it once again: the capacity to suffer for the sake of the truth is the measure of humanity. Yet this capacity to suffer depends on the type and extent of the hope that we bear within us and build upon. The saints were able to make the great journey of human existence in the way that Christ had done before them, because they were brimming with great hope.

Reflection by Teresa Monaghen
Brimming with Great Hope! This is the goal of the encyclical to inspire to such a hope that it spills out of us. Hope like this is rarely found, but I have found it in families who have made a choices for life, couples who have made choices for fidelity, professional’s who have made choices for integrity, consecrated who have made choices for faithfulness… the list goes on and each one represents a success story. It is possible and I thank you lord for the everyday saints who have witnessed this to me. I pray to be among them. Amen.

Day 21 #41 Judgement as a setting for learning and practising hope. …"he will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead". From the earliest times, the prospect of the Judgement has influenced Christians in their daily living as a criterion by which to order their present life, as a summons to their conscience, and at the same time as hope in God's justice. Faith in Christ has never looked merely backwards or merely upwards, but always also forwards to the hour of justice that the Lord repeatedly proclaimed.

Reflection by Msgr. Vaccari
In "A Man for All Seasons", King Henry threatens St. Thomas More, warning him to fear his justice. St. Thomas More replies that if it is true justice, he has nothing to fear. The saints show us the greatness of humanity, living with their feet in this world but their eyes and hearts on the next. The judgement of Christ has been promised to us, to help us live a holy life. Everything Christ does is for our holiness and the glory of the Father. We can truly hope in the justice of the Lord, not because we take his mercy for granted, but because he makes all things work together for the good of those he has called.

Day 22. #48 When we ask such a question, we should recall that no man is an island, entire of itself. Our lives are involved with one another, through innumerable interactions they are linked together. No one lives alone. No one sins alone. No one is saved alone. The lives of others continually spill over into mine: in what I think, say, do and achieve. And conversely, my life spills over into that of others: for better and for worse.

Reflection by Teresa Monaghen
Spilling over is a good theme for me, because I am always spilling over something! The Holy Father is not actually referring to my klutzy actions when I actually spill a liquid all over someone I am serving at the table, nor is he referring to the spilling of my thoughts, emotions and even, yes even, complaints over an innocent bystander who is in the wrong place, wrong time. No he is referring to the action of being connected, and how we touch each other, influence each other and most of all encourage each other in hope. I pray that my spilling move away from accidents and move more towards conscious awareness that all that I do has an effect on others, and may it be a good an holy effect and not a negative, whiny hurtful one. Amen.

Day 23. #48 So my prayer for another is not something extraneous to that person, something external, not even after death. In the interconnectedness of Being, my gratitude to the other-my prayer for him-can play a small part in his purification.

Reflection by Msgr. Vaccari
When the paralytic could not reach Jesus, his friends made a hole in the roof of the house and lowered him down. They brought him to Jesus physically, while we can bring one another spiritually in our prayers. In my prayer of petition I bring other people to the Lord, with my own prayers. My heart touches them as well as touches the heart of Christ. Others do this for me, too, by their prayers for me. This brings me new hope every day. I count on the prayer of others, looking forward to their concern and to bringing me to the Lord as I try to bring them.

Day 24. #48 And for that there is no need to convert earthly time into God's time: in the communion of souls simple terrestrial time is superseded. It is never too late to touch the heart of another, nor is it ever in vain. In this way we further clarify an important element of the Christian concept of hope. Our hope is always essentially also hope for others; only thus is it truly hope for me too.

Reflection by Teresa Monaghen

Another Saint in the making that could be added to the Holy Father’s list found in this encyclical is Blessed Damien of Molokai – whose feast day we celebrate, May 9, 2008 – Damien intended to go to the Leper colony on Molokai for a three month term of service but when he arrived and saw the terrible conditions that people lived in he understood the Lord’s call in his life, “I am bent on devoting my life to the lepers. It is absolutely necessary for a priest to live here. The afflicted are coming here by the boatloads.” Damien set to work and did not stop for 16 years. He cleaned, healed, buried, absolved, built homes, set up food supplies and a system for clean water. He was their “father” caring for the needs of the whole person in the fullest sense of the word. He stopped working 3 weeks before he died, afflicted with leprosy. He had become one of them and he gave all for them. Damien allowed the Holy Spirit to form in him the image of Christ. He became Christ for them and in the end, he left them peacefully having great hope that from heaven he could still help, “Leave you without help? Oh, No, if I have any credit with God, I’ll intercede for everyone.” Thank you Damien, you certainly have, and even as recent as last week a second miracle was recognized so that your canonization will go ahead now in a timely fashion. Intercede for all of us Damien, that we too may give of ourselves to those we are called to serve and like you and like Mary, whose heart you were dedicated to, may we find the trust we need to hold nothing back. We say with you to Mary, “Give us trust to become saints for our brothers and sisters”. Amen.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A covenant of love is made...

Diocese of Wichita, Kansas
By Teresa Pauls, A.O.

At a formal Mass on Saturday, May 3, 2008, Teresa Pauls, Parishioner of The Church of the Blessed Sacrament, professed her first formal vows in the Secular Institute of The Institute of Apostolic Oblates for women, which is part of the Pro Sanctity Family (which includes the Pro Sanctity Movement open to all, the Apostolic Sodales for priests and the Social Animators for men). At the Mary, First Disciple Chapel, in the Spiritual Life Center, Teresa answered the call to promote Holiness in everyday life. Mass was con-celebrated by Fr. John Lanzrath, Fr. Dan Lorimer, and Father Pat Malone.

Teresa welcomed the opportunity to make her first profession of vows, including poverty, chastity and obedience and the promise of the Apostolate to The Institute of Apostolic Oblates, a part of the Pro Sanctity Family, which embraces a mission to live and promote the universal call to holiness in everyday life. After four years of formation, and prayerful consideration, Teresa was unanimously and joyously approved to enter into the Institute.

During the celebration of the Mass, Teresa Pauls was invited forward by Teresa Monaghen, the Moderator of Pro Sanctity, to commit to her vows. She was asked, “What is your desire?’” and she responded, “To enter into The Institute of the Apostolic Oblates. Her First profession of vows was made in the presence of Teresa Monaghen, National Moderator, and other members of the Pro Sanctity Family, who traveled from Omaha, NE., as well as Teresa’s father, Gerald Pauls, her brothers and other family members. \

Teresa will continue her Master’s degree studies at Ave Maria University in Pastoral Theology and complete a chaplain residency the following year. Now that she is fully accepted into The Institute, her mission as an External Oblate is to live in her own home, to promote holiness in everyday life. She will renew her vows annually for the next five years, and at the completion of ten years she will profess her final vows.

Her journey towards a vocation began at the age of seventeen, but did not fully mature until she reached the age of thirty eight, when she finally decided to answer the call. In her words, “I discovered that God was bigger then me and no matter how hard I tried to ignore the call, God was ever vigilant in pursuing His desire for my vocation, so I finally decided to fulfill it and have come to discover the meaning of true joy.”

If you feel an interest in promoting the mission of The Pro Sanctity Family, please visit the web site at

Notes from Fr. John Lanzrath’s Homily

A disciple is a follower who listens, trusts, lives, is called. Recall the example of Mary, the First Disciple, pondering the Word of God and Mary’s “yes” to God’s plan. Remember when Mary visited Elizabeth who said, “Blessed are you who trusted that the Lord’s words to you would be fulfilled.” Trust that where God has led you, to this point, and that He will continue to lead you. St. Augustine said, “Trust the past to God’s mercy, trust the present to God’s love, and trust the future to God’s providence.” Live in the present moment. The vows you have made for this year are in the present moment.

Teresa, you are consecrated even when you don’t feel like it; day after day, time after time. Remember what Elizabeth said to Mary: “Blessed are you who trusted that the Lord’s words to you would be fulfilled.” Let this be a beautiful reflection for you the whole year. Do you trust in God? Do we in our country or do we trust in what we have? Mary trusted. We gather that Teresa and all of us will place our trust in God. Mary trusted and followed and we honor her, Holy Mary, Our Blessed Mother.

As the First Disciple, recall her last recorded words: “Do whatever He tells you.” She led more by example than by words. This is the call to discipleship and gives us hope. Let us pray that we, like Mary, will believe that the Lord’s words to us will be fulfilled.


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Spe Salvi - Days 18 &19, 2008 Reflections on Hope by Pope Benedict

II. Action and suffering as settings for learning hope

Day 18. The Kingdom of God is a gift, and precisely because of this, it is great and beautiful, and constitutes the response to our hope. And we cannot-to use the classical expression-"merit" Heaven through our works. Heaven is always more than we could merit, just as being loved is never something "merited", but always a gift. However, even when we are fully aware that Heaven far exceeds what we can merit, it will always be true that our behaviour is not indifferent before God and therefore is not indifferent for the unfolding of history. We can open ourselves and the world and allow God to enter: we can open ourselves to truth, to love, to what is good. This is what the saints did, those who, as "God's fellow workers", contributed to the world's salvation (cf. 1 Cor 3:9; 1 Th 3:2).

Reflection by Msgr. Vaccari
Our Holy Father reminds us of the importance of everything we do before God. God watches and sees our actions, and using them to advance his divine plan. How wonderful it is that we can open ourselves to truth, love and goodness, even after we have failed to do so in the past. It is remarkable that we have so many choices, and that we always have the chance to start again, to try to do better than we did in the past. We can always put ourselves, with God's help, on the road to heaven and move further along on the road than we have been before. In this, there is great hope!Goodness is better than comfort!

Day 19. But in truly great trials, where I must make a definitive decision to place the truth before my own welfare, career and possessions, I need the certitude of that true, great hope of which we have spoken here. For this too we need witnesses—martyrs—who have given themselves totally, so as to show us the way—day after day. We need them if we are to prefer goodness to comfort, even in the little choices we face each day—knowing that this is how we live life to the full.

Reflection by Teresa Monaghen
This is a great and pertinent passage from the encyclical. We need to be able to make the little choices before the big ones will ever come.-goodness over comfort in a world where comfort is a god – at all costs we need comfort says our culture. Oh Lord, show me how to so love goodness that I cannot imagine compromising it! I am a product of our culture too, and have become soft. Amen.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Pope Benedict Spe Salvi - Reflections on Hope - Day 17

Day 17. #34 Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan, in his book of spiritual exercises, tells us that during his life there were long periods when he was unable to pray and that he would hold fast to the texts of the Church's prayer: the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the prayers of the liturgy. Praying must always involve this intermingling of public and personal prayer. This is how we can speak to God and how God speaks to us. In this way we undergo those purifications by which we become open to God and are prepared for the service of our fellow human beings. We become capable of the great hope, and thus we become ministers of hope for others.

Reflection by Msgr. Vaccari
Cardinal Van Thuan was able to pray the prayers of the Church during the most difficult moments of his life. He was able to make his own the prayer of the whole community of believers, who were praying with him, even if he did not know it. When we pray for others, especially those who are suffering, we really support them and help them with our prayers. And when we ourselves are suffering, we can count on the spiritual strength that comes from others in the Church who are praying for us, even if we do not know them by name. Some of the ones who pray for us are in heaven, remembering the difficulties they themselves had while in this world. They are our brothers and sisters in the Lord. The communion of saints is a source of great hope to us, since it is based on Christ and on all of us belonging to Christ.

Reflection by Teresa Monaghen
When we organize Confirmation Retreats we have the young people go through a trust walk, where they are blindfolded and holding hands with about 8 to 10 fellow students. The Leader is God’s representative and takes them on a little walk in the dark. Over the years this exercise has taught me that prayer is a trust walk. We talk to God and listen to Him, but don’t see Him – yet He is really there and He is a real person. He leads and guides us but we most often do not feel Him. Sometimes we are so deeply in the dark that the only thing we can feel is the hand of the person in front of us and behind us and that is what keeps us going.

Oh Lord, Cardinal Van Thuan was on a real trust walk during which the prayer of the community and his blind trust in you kept him going. I pray in thanksgiving for this witness which teaches me that you never abandon us – even when at times it might feel like it. Lord, we trust in you. Amen.