greeting The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.
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"Remember man that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return." The ashes used in this ceremony are made by burning the remains of the palms blessed on the Palm Sunday of the previous year.About Ash Wednesday
The Liturgical Year begins with the season of Advent, a time of penance and preparation for the Christmas season. During Advent, Catholics recognize a joyful anticipation that culminates in the birth of Christ on Christmas. The Christmas season celebrates the birth of Jesus on December 25 and continues until the baptism of our Lord on January 13.
The Advent Wreath symbolizes the Advent period and displays the following colors:
- Green – Life and Growth
- Red – Royalty, Fire, and Martyrdom
- Violet – Expectation, Purification, and Penance
- White – Purity and Triumph
Latin Mass - A Return to Tradition
Misa Latina retorna a la tradícion
Ash Wednesday, the day the Catholic Church practices placing blessed ashes in the sign of a cross on the foreheads of the faith community, marks the first day of Lent. The ashes are the burning remains of the palms blessed on Palm Sunday of the year prior. Faculty can been seen leading the student body in prayer and placing ashes on their foreheads. During Lent, students and staff offer sacrifice and penance as a devotion to Christ.
To help students with this objective, they were sent home with a "Build a Chapel" quarter card. The purpose of the card is to help students sacrifice one quarter a day for Christ to build His Church on earth. The student should either work for the money, one quarter a day for a simple chore, or take it out of his allowance. The quarter and the sacrifice should be a daily routine as part of the Lenten experience. (Example: 40 chores = 40 quarters) Money collected will go into the future "Chapel of the Holy Rosary" fund of the Oratory Schools.
Stations of the Cross
During the Lenten season, Oratory students and faculty can be seen praying the "Stations of the Cross" on the campus grounds. This is a wonderful opportunity for students and staff to take moments in time to reflect on the ultimate suffering and sacrifice made by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
See all photos.
Las Mañanitas at the Oratory Schools
The day before the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, students gather with their teachers in the cafeteria to practice their songs. Students and faculty will gather on her feast day, early morning on Dec. 12, to sing in honor of Our Lady .
Feast of Christ The King
“Pope Pius XI instituted the Feast of Christ the King in 1925 in his encyclical Quas Primas. Pope Pius connected the denial of Christ as king to the rise of secularism. At the time of Quas Primas, secularism was on the rise, and many Christians, even Catholics, were doubting Christ’s authority, as well as the Church’s, and even doubting Christ’s very existence. At the time, Pius XI witnessed the rise of dictatorships in Europe, and saw even Catholics being taken in by these earthly leaders. Just as the Feast of Corpus Christi was instituted when devotion to the Holy Eucharist was at a low point, the Feast of Christ the King was instituted during a time when respect for Christ and the Church was waning, when the feast was most needed. In fact, it is still needed today, as these problems have not vanished, but instead have worsened around the world. Pius hoped the institution of this feast would have the following various effects:
- That nations would see that the Church has the right to freedom, and immunity from the state (see Quas Primas, 32).
- That leaders and nations would see that they are bound to give respect to Christ (see Quas Primas, 31).
- 3. That the faithful would gain strength and courage from the celebration of the feast, as we are reminded that Christ must reign in our hearts, minds, wills, and bodies (see Quas Primas, 33).”
Excerpted from the Catholic Encyclopedia.
El Altar de los Muertos
El altar es el sitio sagrado donde los vivos honran a los muertos. A este lugar se lleva flores, adornos y ofrendas porque la idea es tratar de olvidar, por un solo día, el abismo misterioso que separa la vida de la muerte.
Para los mexicanos el Día de Muertos representa algo más que la veneración de sus difuntos, podría decirse que para ellos, a diferencia de otros latinoamericanos, este día es para celebrar, burlarse, jugar y convivir con la muerte.
See all photos.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Grotto
Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Patroness of America, reminds the Oratory students of her love and her role in the evangelization of the the indigenous people of Mexico and in turn their conversion to Catholocism.
Devoted Mothers of the Divine Mercy
The Oratorian mothers known as the "Devoted Mothers of Divine Mercy" or "DM2", organized a presentation on the message of the image of Divine Mercy as seen by Saint Faustina. They arranged for guest speakers, Mr. and Mrs. Dave Maroni, to speak on the messages of Divine Mercy image as heard by Sister Faustina. It is said that, "she received extraordinary revelations or messages from Our Lord Jesus. Jesus asked Sr. Faustina to record these experiences, which she compiled in notebooks. These notebooks are known today as the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska and the words contained within are God's loving message of Divine Mercy. "
The Chaplet of The Divine Mercy
In 1935, St. Faustina received a vision of an angel sent by God to chastise a certain city. She began to pray for mercy, but her prayers were powerless. Suddenly she saw the Holy Trinity and felt the power of Jesus’ grace within her. At the same time she found herself pleading with God for mercy with words she heard interiorly:
Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world; for the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us. (Diary, 475)
Works of Mercy
Be Merciful as Your Father is Merciful
We are not only to receive the mercy of God, but to use it by being merciful to others through our actions, our words, and our prayers; in other words, we are to practice the Corporal and Spiritual Works (Acts) of Mercy.
The Lord wants us to do these works of mercy, because even the strongest faith is of no use without works.
What are the Works of Mercy?
- Feed the hungry
- Give drink to the thirsty
- Clothe the naked
- Shelter the homeless
- Comfort the prisoners
- Visit the sick
- Bury the dead
- Teach the ignorant
- Pray for the living & dead
- Correct sinners
- Counsel those in doubt
- Console the sorrowful
- Bear wrongs patiently
- Forgive wrongs willingly
See all photos.
The Divine Mercy. Marians of the Immaculate Conception. February 18, 2008.
The Chaplet of The Divine Mercy
Primary students, under the direction of their Coordinator, Ellen Allen and supervised by their teachers, gather in their hallway to pray & sing the "Chaplet of Divine Mercy".
- Begin with the Sign of the Cross, 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.
- Then on the Our Father Beads say the following: Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
- On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following: For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
- Conclude with (three times): Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).
In 1933, God gave Sister Faustina a striking vision of His Mercy, Sister tells us:
"I saw a great light, with God the Father in the midst of it. Between this light and the earth I saw Jesus nailed to the Cross and in such a way that God, wanting to look upon the earth, had to look through Our Lord's wounds and I understood that God blessed the earth for the sake of Jesus."
Of another vision on Sept. 13, 1935, she writes:
"I saw an Angel, the executor of God's wrath... about to strike the earth...I began to beg God earnestly for the world with words which I heard interiorly. As I prayed in this way, I saw the Angel's helplessness, and he could not carry out the just punishment...."
The following day an inner voice taught her to say this prayer on ordinary rosary beads.
Academy Prays the Holy Rosary
On December 12, 2007, the Academy students, under the supervision of Campus Coordinator, Ellen Allen and their teachers, the primary students honored Our Lady of Guadalupe with the Holy Rosary. They prayed and sang in unison as a way of giving thanks to the Mother of God for her tender loving care and for always directing us to her Son, Jesus Christ. Below are some quotes on the Holy Rosary and its importance.
"How beautiful is the family that recites the Rosary every evening" (Pope John Paul II).
"The Rosary is the compendium of the entire Gospel" (Pope Paul VI quoting Pope Pius XII).
St. Louis de Montfort warns us against both the ignorant and scholars who regard the Rosary as something of little importance..."the Rosary is a priceless treasure inspired by God."See all photos.
Answers the Question: What is the “Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice”?
Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Holy Cross Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice is an award of the Roman Catholic Church. The English translation of Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice is "For Church and Pope", and is also known as the "Cross of Honour". The medal was established by Leo XIII on July 17 1888 to commemorate his golden sacerdotal jubilee and was originally bestowed on those women and men who had aided and promoted the jubilee, and by other means assisted in making the jubilee and the Vatican Exposition successful. It is currently given for distinguished service to the church by lay people and clergy. It is the highest medal that can be awarded to the laity by the Papacy.
The medal may be cast in gold, silver or bronze. On the medal is a cross made octangular by fleurs-de-lis fixed in the angles of the cross. The arms of the cross narrow towards the center, with slightly indented ends, approaching the form of the patonce cross. In the center of the cross is a small medal with the image of Leo XIII, the words LEO XIII P. M. ANNO X (tenth year of his pontificate) circle the image. In the center of the opposite side are the papal emblems. In the circle surrounding the emblems the motto PRO DEO ET PONTIFICE (for God and Pope) is stamped. On the reverse side of the medal, the branches of the cross are comets, which, with the fleurs-de-lis, form the coat of arms of the Pecci family. The words, PRIDIE are stamped on the left branch; KAL on the top branch; JANUAR on the right branch; and 1888 at the foot of the cross.
Left: Pope Leo XIII,
256th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church
Right: Father Leo-Francis Daniels C.O., member of the Pharr Oratory St. Philip Neri, received the Papal Medal “Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice”, on October 20, 2007. It was given in recognition of his excellent work, his many years of service to God and the Church, and for his valuable contribution to Catholic education.
December 12 - Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of God
In 1531 a "Lady from Heaven" appeared to a humble Native American at Tepeyac, a hill northwest of what is now Mexico City. An incredible list of miracles, cures and interventions are attributed to Her. Yearly, an estimated 14 million visit her Basilica, making her Mexico City home the most popular Marian shrine and the most visited Catholic sanctuary in the whole world.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church says of the Immaculate Conception of Mary:
490. To become the mother of the Savior, Mary "was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role". The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as "full of grace". In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God's grace.
491. Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, "full of grace" through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1844: "The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin." (Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, 1854.)