Archive for March, 2020


Prayer in Online Space

As we are presenting more time at home, it’s very easy to become bored. It’s more easy to forget God. We can be carried away by what’s being reported in the media. We as Christians, we need to feed our soul and mind with the appropriate literature. Let’s not forget to pray. Prayer can move mountains!

We are presenting some links which we hope may benefit all our readers.

The Catholic Mass (all of it written down)

http://catholic-resources.org/ChurchDocs/Mass.htm

The prayers recited by priests, religious and lay persons:

https://breviary.net/hours.htm

Where to find the breviary…

https://www.universalis.com/today.htm

http://www.ibreviary.org/en/tools/ibreviary-web.html

Daily Mass:

http://www.vatican.va/content/liturgy/en.html

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCi6JtCVy4XKu4BSG-AE2chg

http://www.catholictv.org/masses/catholictv-mass/masses-live-demand

Documents of the Second Vatican Council [1963-1965] (We do mention it a lot on our blog)

http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/index.htm

Other relevant material:

http://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals.index.html

Stations of the Cross

https://www.catholic.org/prayers/station.php

Mysteries of the Rosary

https://www.catholic.org/prayers/mystery.php

Free courses on the Bible

https://www.catholic.org/bible/

Radio stations

https://streema.com/radios/genre/Catholic

https://tunein.com/radio/Heavens-Road-FM-Catholic-Radio-s185353/

https://tunein.com/radio/Catholic-Talk-c100000603/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_religious_radio_stations

Other links supplied by a reader of our blog. Thanks!

Prayer Resources Creighton University Online Ministries
https://onlineministries.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/online.html 

Faith ND – University of Notre Dame – An Outreach of the ND Alumni Association
http://faith.nd.edu/s/1210/faith/start.aspx?gid=609&pgid=61

Pray As You Go
https://pray-as-you-go.org/

Sacred Space
https://www.sacredspace.ie/
 

Families with Children
Loyola Press Faith Family Fun
https://www.loyolapress.com/our-catholic-faith/family/family-faith-and-fun
  

Prayer Groups sponsored by the Archdiocese of Chicago
Prayer groups (intimate size at 15 people per group) will gather weekly for 30-40 minutes to read and reflect on the Word of God, build community and share prayer intentions.
Sign up here by 5 p.m. on Friday, April 3. 


Book Clubs Sponsored by the Archdiocese of Chicago
Book clubs will gather weekly for approximately 60 minutes to read and reflect on faith and values-based books, articles and other resources.
Sign up here by 5 p.m. on Friday, April 3   


Other helpful Resources United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
http://www.usccb.org/about/communications/usccb-president-reflection-and-prayer-during-coronavirus.cfm

Ronald Rolheiser OMI 
https://ronrolheiser.com/en/#.XoIDk4hKjIU

Spiritual Communion Prayer by Pope Francis   My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart … I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You.

Holy Week Resources

https://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/3788244/Holy_Week_at_Home%20(1).pdf
Celebrating the Eucharist Missalette for Holy Week
https://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/3788244/CE%2052%232__

Palm%20Sunday–Easter%5B1%5D.pdf

An Examen For Life During COVID-19

https://ignatiansolidarity.net/blog/2020/03/14/examen-covid-19/

National Catholic Reporter Feature Series
https://www.ncronline.org/feature-series/coronavirus/stories?tt

I don’t have in mind to become a doctor or else to give medical advice on what to do or how to prevent the coronavirus! Yet as a married priest I can’t help it, in writing about some parallel lines with our basic idea of married priesthood.

Fear. If languages divide us, yet one common language was seen throughout the whole world these last weeks: FEAR. When people are afraid, one is surprised what they might do. The case of the corona beer which clearly has nothing to do with the sickness has been victimised…just because it has the corona name, many people are not buying it any more!!! It’s incredible, yet when fear takes over, common sense goes out!

What did we do as a Catholic Church for so many years? The fear of death and hell has made many people submissive to our teachings. I do know of cases where at the point of death, some people have left all their possessions to the church in the belief that they would have won heaven!! Alas, their children might have gone hungry or became poor in the meantime!

In this context, now I do see why so many people are afraid to share their stories of love with a priest. Fear takes over. Even though we promise to change any details in order to protect their identity. How can we liberate these people from the slavery of fear?

Now I do understand what a friend of mine used to say: fire does not kill many people. Panic does! In fact many people in a fire die because of panic and not of fire in itself! Who hasn’t seen the crowds in the supermarkets where some people came to blows in order to buy basic items? Some psychologists called it the fear of the unknown.

Some people panic when the priest declares himself to be married. They want to stay but their panic takes control and they go to a ‘normal church’ to get married or to get baptised. There isn’t an adult faith. It’s just convenience! They are not born fighters! A married catholic priest is an unknown entity in their religious background! It’s fear of the unknown!

Look how people invaded some supermarkets and bought more than enough portions of basic needs! Some people rightly say that the longest journey in the world is not a geographical destination but rather the I to become WE! The supermarkets gave enough proof that we need to work more on community feeling and understanding. It’s one of the main missing type of work in many parishes! We still find it too difficult to leave behind the factory of sacraments to start community building as a main issue in parish work.

One of the expressions which is has become fashionable is the internet of things. Well, in some countries they have been locked in. It goes without saying that many people have to revert to the internet to spend their time and/or to communicate and/or to buy some necessities. We are experiencing a social experiment where we are practically living just with our family members. All other people are ‘virtual’.

Well, many parishes and priests have been caught on the wrong foot. How many of them can use the internet in order to proclaim the Good News? Although many of them have social media accounts, yet they have never used the internet as a medium for their work! They still relied on churches to meet people. Yet, people, especially the young ones, are practically 24/7 on the internet. Shall the coronavirus scare teach them a lesson to start using the internet more? Can we use it for the married priesthood? This was one of our thoughts at the beginning and it still is. We weren’t allowed space in a ‘normal parish’. We didn’t find it a problem because we already knew that the internet would have gained more popularity. Consequently we would meet more young people online rather than in a ‘normal church’!! One has to note that the internet is not to be used simply as a space for mass or for other lecture type of work!!

Within the virtual world, how can we enhance the sense of community? This is going to be our next challenge. People meet online, easily. Yet it doesn’t turn them into a community. One of them is the exchange of views or ideas. We do need to respect others especially when we do not agree. We can’t call others names! We cannot judge others. We have to see the frail, human face behind the monitor or the written message.

The work of community building is a never ending job. It’s not always full of roses, although even roses have thorns! We need to have more people who believe that as a community we can achieve more and better. One, on his own, cannot achieve much.

Let’s start the ball rolling

It’s time to start. It’s time to move on. It’s time to pass into action. It’s time to show that we mean business. It’s time to be on the offensive.

Why are we writing so? One cannot continue to wait forever! There are people who are asking for more priests. We cannot simply turn our heads in another direction! Communities without priests tend to lose direction. They cannot grow spiritually! They need guidance. They need somebody to show them the way. This is the ultimate reason which pushes us into action. The doctor cannot leave a patient unattended. Jesus himself used the example of the doctor.

Obviously there would be some Catholics who would question our authority if we are doing this according to the canon law. Well, when there is an emergency, nobody would ask for papers. We give what we can to help the injured person. Christ himself broke the law when He spoke with public sinners, women and other persons who were ‘outside’ the community for religious reasons. He cured people on a Saturday etc…..He never broke the law to His advantage but to help others. He felt ok with his conscience! The law is there to serve humanity and not vice versa! Besides we are ordained priests forever. One cannot simple delete or postpone our priesthood. Our mass is valid as that of the Pope because we all received the same Holy Spirit in ordination!

Let’s unite behind our married priests in order to promote our cause. Let’s not waste our time in useless fighting! Let’s concentrate on what keeps us as one movement: married priesthood. Let’s not be so weak so as to leave this community just because of some odd comment. We need to be fighters because when we present our ideas, not all the Catholic community would agree with us. We have to face tough time as we have just recently seen with the present Pope. We lost the fight but not the battle! Time is in our favour as more and more people will join our cause and do their part to convince other Catholics of our mission.

In the meantime, if we can, how about attending mass of a married priest? Here is a link for priests in the US. In Europe one can find this list.