26 May 2008

7 year-old girl who escaped death twice is WYD ambassador

Sydney, May 23, 2008 / 04:07 pm (CNA).- Her name is Sophie Delezio, and at eight years old she has already miraculously survived two serious accidents. In spite of suffering burns over 85% of her body, losing both her legs, several fingers and her right ear, she never stopped fighting. This Australian girl has been chosen to be one of World Youth Day 2008’s ambassadors.

At the young age of 3, Sophie was badly injured when a car crashed into her pre-school, trapping her under the burning vehicle. Then in 2006 she was hit by a car as she was crossing the road in her wheelchair.

The story of Sophie is known throughout Australia, as her two accidents led to several national campaigns and the entire country followed her condition for several months.

The Delezio family is convinced that Sophie overcame her grave condition thanks to the intercession of Blessed Mary MacKillop, the Australian nun who is one of the ten patrons of WYD Sydney 2008.

The organizers of WYD have named Sophie ambassador of the event that will take place July 15-20.

“It’s a pleasure for us to be a part of WYD. It’s a way of thanking God and the Church. We have lived through difficult times. Our child was in the hands of doctors and we couldn’t do anything else but pray. We knew there were millions of people praying in Australia for Sophie and for other children,” said Ron, Sophie’s father.

“Faith in Christ and in the Church has given us the strength to keep going and gave Sophie hope in the future” he added.

22 May 2008

Today is the feast of St. Rita of Cascia

O Holy Patroness of those in need, St. Rita, whose pleadings before thy Divine Lord are almost irresistible, who for thy lavishness in granting favors hast been called the Advocate of the Hopeless and even of the Impossible; St. Rita, so humble, so pure, so mortified, so patient and of such compassionate love for thy Crucified Jesus that thou couldst obtain from Him whatsoever thou askest, on account of which all confidently have recourse to thee, expecting, if not alwavs relief, at least comfort; be propitious to our petition, showing thy power with God on behalf of thy suppliant; be lavish to us, as thou hast been in so many wonderful cases, for the greater glory of God, for the spreading of thine own devotion, and for the consolation of those who trust in thee. We promise, if our petition is granted, to glorify, thee by making known thy favor, to bless and sing thy praises forever. Relying then upon thy merits and power before the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we pray: (here mention your request).
Obtain for us our request
By the singular merits of thy childhood,
Bv thy perfect union with the Divine Will,
By thy heroic sufferings during thy married life,
By the consolation thou didst experience at the conversion of thy husband,
By the sacrifice of thy children rather than see them grievously offend God,
By thy miraculous entrance into the convent,
By thy severe penances and thrice daily bloody scourgings,
By the suffering caused by the wound thou didst receive from the thorn of thy Crucified Savior,
By the divine love which consumed thy heart,
By that remarkable devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, on which alone thou didst exist for 4 years,
By the happiness with which thou didst part from thy trials to join thy Divine Spouse,
By the perfect example thou gavest to people of every state of life.
Pray for us, 0 holy St. Rita,
that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray: O God, Who in Thine infinite tenderness hast vouchsafed to regard the prayer of Thy servant, Blessed Rita, and dost grant to her supplication that which is impossible to human foresight, skill and efforts, in reward of her compassionate love and firm reliance on Thy promise, have pity on our adversity and succor us in our calamities, that the unbeliever may know Thou art the recompense of the humble, the defense of the helpless, and the strength of those who trust in Thee, through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

The Miracle of Bella

13 May 2008


May 13, 2008

Pastor John Hagee sent a letter today [click here] to Catholic League president Bill Donohue that effectively ends the dispute the two men have had. Donohue comments as follows:

“After weeks of meeting with various Catholic leaders, and accessing scholarly literature on Catholic-Jewish relations, Pastor John Hagee has demonstrated an improved understanding of the Catholic Church and its history. In his letter to me, Hagee says, ‘I want to express my deep regret for any comments that Catholics have found hurtful.’ He specifically cites his emphasis of ‘the darkest chapters in the history of Catholic and Protestant relations with the Jews,’ and has pledged to provide a more complete and balanced portrayal going forward that will not reinforce mischaracterizations of the Catholic Church. And while he stresses that his invocation of terms like ‘apostate church’ and the ‘great whore’ were never meant by him to describe the Catholic Church, he acknowledges that anti-Catholics have long employed such language.

“The tone of Hagee’s letter is sincere. He wants reconciliation and he has achieved it. Indeed, the Catholic League welcomes his apology. What Hagee has done takes courage and quite frankly I never expected him to demonstrate such sensitivity to our concerns. But he has done just that. Now Catholics, along with Jews, can work with Pastor Hagee in making interfaith relations stronger than ever. Whatever problems we had before are now history. This case is closed.”

Today is the feast of Our Lady of Fatima

Taken from AmericanCatholic.org
Between May 13 and October 13, 1917, three Portuguese children received apparitions of Our Lady at Cova da Iria, near Fatima, a city 110 miles north of Lisbon. (See February 20 entry for Blessed Jacinta and Francisco Marto). Mary asked the children to pray the rosary for world peace, for the end of World War I, for sinners and for the conversion of Russia.

Mary gave the children three secrets. Since Francisco died in 1919 and Jacinta the following year, Lucia, who later became a Carmelite nun, revealed the first secret in 1927, concerning devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The second secret was a vision of hell.

Pope John Paul II directed the Holy See's Secretary of State to reveal the third secret in 2000; it spoke of a 'bishop in white' who was shot by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows into him. Many people linked this to the assassination attempt against Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Square on May 13, 1981.

The feast of Our Lady of Fatima was approved by the local bishop in 1930; it was added to the Church's worldwide calendar in 2002. Sister Lucia died in 2005 at the age of 97.


The message of Fatima is simple: Pray. Unfortunately, some people—not Sister Lucia—have distorted these revelations, making them into an apocalyptic event for which they are now the only reliable interpreters. They have, for example, claimed that Mary's request that the world be consecrated to her has been ignored. Sister Lucia has agreed that Pope John Paul II's public consecration in St. Peter's Square on March 25, 1984, fulfilled Mary's request. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith prepared a June 26, 2000, document explaining the “third secret” (available at www.vatican.va).

Mary is perfectly honored when people generously imitate her response “Let it be done to me as you say” (Luke 1:38). Mary can never be seen as a rival to Jesus or to the Church's teaching authority, as exercised by the college of bishops united with the bishop of Rome.


“Throughout history there have been supernatural apparitions and signs which go to the heart of human events and which, to the surprise of believers and non-believers alike, play their part in the unfolding of history. These manifestations can never contradict the content of faith, and must therefore have their focus in the core of Christ's proclamation: the Father's love which leads men and women to conversion and bestows the grace required to abandon oneself to him with filial devotion. This too is the message of Fatima which, with its urgent call to conversion and penance, draws us to the heart of the Gospel” (The Message of Fatima, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, June 26, 2000).

12 May 2008

From Steve Ray's Blog...Love this testimony! "I turned 14 yrs. old on Sunday!"

Steve Ray's Blog

May 11, 2008 at 12:37 pm · Filed under Family and Kids, Holidays/Feast Days

Pentecost is our anniversary into the Catholic Church. Today I wept again as I remembered God's mercy and faithfulness as he brought us into the fullness of the Catholic Church. Our past as Protestants was like a nursemaid that brought us all the way home to the Church. As a Jew is considered a fullfilled Jew by becoming a Christian, I am now a fulfilled Christian by becoming a Catholic.

At the altar of a Catholic Church 14 years ago some of us were baptized, all of us received confirmation (except little Emily who was only 2 years old at the time), and we received the Body and Blood of our Lord for the first time. Needless to say we were all in tears. We still have the same priest and he gave us his blessing again today on our "birthday" and I was again in tears. Thanks Fr. Ed Fride.

Today as I walked up the isle with my faithful wife Janet and our daughter Emily (now 15) I was again overcome with emotion. "Thank you Lord for making me a Catholic — and my whole family! As I present this bread and wine to you and it is placed on your altar as an offering, so I give all my life, my thoughts, my family, my time, my talents, my failings, my achievement, my ALL to you. Please take it and turn it into yourself. Mold us into saints and a family that brings glory to you!"

When we came into the Church our family numbered six (Janet, myself, Cindy, Jesse, Charlotte and little Emily). Today our family numbers fourteen (son-in-law Ben with Dominic, Damian, and Gianna; daughter-in-law Anna with Joshua, Maria Faustina, and Samuel)–and we just found out another one on the way for Ben and Cindy. Look what God got started :-) and what a great day to celebrate.

Steve Ray will be one of the featured speakers at this year's Eucharistic Congress in Atlanta, Georgia - click here for more information.

07 May 2008


The month of May is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. May 1 through May 11 fall within the liturgical season of Easter, which is represented by the liturgical color white — the color of light, a symbol of joy, purity and innocence (absolute or restored). The last three weeks of the month (beginning the Monday after Pentecost) are in Ordinary Time which is represented by the liturgical color green. This symbol of hope is the color of the sprouting seed and arouses in the faithful the hope of reaping the eternal harvest of heaven, especially the hope of a glorious resurrection.

May 13 - Our Lady of Fatima
May 24 - Our Lady, Help of Christians
May 31 - Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces
May 31 - Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

06 May 2008

Bishop Quinn to hold memorial Mass for 25 aborted babies

Bishop John M. Quinn

Detroit, May 3, 2008 / 06:16 am (CNA).- On Saturday Bishop John Quinn of Detroit will offer a funeral Mass for twenty-five babies whose bodies were recovered from garbage dumpsters behind an abortion clinic.

In March Dr. Monica Migliorino Miller, who heads the group Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, videotaped the contents of several bags of trash removed from the back of a Lathrup Village abortion clinic named Womancare of Southfield. The graphic video shows bloody surgical materials, hypodermic needles, private medical records, and the remains of aborted human babies.

“This is no ordinary funeral,” said Father Frank Pavone, head of Priests for Life, writing in his column on priestsforlife.org. “There are still too many of our fellow citizens who don’t even acknowledge that the people who will be buried this Saturday are people at all. To mourn their deaths publicly, therefore, is not just to honor them, but to sound a wake-up call to our nation that we are living amidst the biggest holocaust of all time.”

He called upon priests to alert their congregations of the burial of these children who were “brutally, legally killed.”

“Abortion has become too abstract,” Father Pavone continued. “The word has lost its meaning. The conceptual knowledge that children are being killed is no longer enough to awaken many people to action. We need the funerals, we need to see the bodies, we need to hear the disgusting details of the abortions in order to be roused out of our moral slumber and end this killing once and for all.”

According to Father Pavone, Alberto Hodari, the head of the abortion clinic where the bodies were found, also threw patient medical records into the dumpster. “Sadly, that is the only issue on which he may get into trouble,” he said.

“When society will punish a man for the pieces of paper he threw in the garbage but excuse him for throwing babies into that same garbage, we have become guilty of straining the gnat and swallowing the camel,” Father Pavone said.

Father Pavone said that two weeks after the funeral, pro-life advocates in Dallas will pray at a grave of 1,300 babies. They have prayed at the grave there for 25 years in a row.

Sam Miller

Sam Miller, prominent Cleveland businessman - Jewish, not Catholic - is fighting mad about the seemingly concentrated effort by the media to disparage the Catholic Church in the United States. The following are excerpts of a speech by well-known Cleveland businessman Mr. Miller at the City Club of Cleveland, given on Thursday, March 6. Even though of the Jewish faith, Miller has been a staunch supporter of the Cleveland Diocese and Bishop Anthony Pilla. It was published in the May-June issue of the Buckeye Bulletin.
Click here for his whole speech

03 May 2008

My sweet Mommy

For those of you who've been wondering how my mom is doing...she's finally home from the hospital! Doing much, much better and resting comfortably in her own bed. We are still waiting on results from the celiac disease test but her colonoscopy checked out fine. She had endoscopy and the findings so far reveal #1 she has a watermelon stomach or GAVE syndrome. #2 her blood pressure medicines were totally wrong. They were counteracting each other. #3 All of the arthritis meds have damaged her stomach.

While she was in the hospital she received 2 pints of blood and at least 2 bags of potassium. She was horribly anemic. That is what was causing the fatigue and inability to breathe. After months of horrible water retention (elephant legs) she received a lot of Lasix and her legs and stomach are now normal. Praise God! Someone finally helped her with that.

I've come to realize now more than ever that doctors are just humans - they make some big mistakes with people. They should not be trusted like they know everything or are perfect. While we won't be pointing any fingers or raising any hell, it is my advice to you to make sure you get second and third opinions when seeking medical help. There are doctors out there who just want to get you in and out and will write prescription after prescription without care or foresight into what drugs work with what and what drugs will actually make you sick. We are lucky that ONE cardiologist noticed that the blood pressure meds she was on in combination with each other were killing her. Try seeing your mom wake up with a BP of 200 over something, seeing her legs ballooned up and knowing that she needed help but no one was helping. They'd just keep putting her on something else. Never knowing what they were doing. (THIS IS ALL MY OPINION) This has gone on for months. She's been tracking her blood pressures for months and sending them into her doctors and they've been seeing her swelling for months NEVER becoming alarmed - just placating her. Pretty sad. Get second and third opinions! Unfortunately all of this micky mouse with Blood Pressure Meds and all the arthritis drugs NSAIDS have pretty much landed her in the hospital. Drugs that are supposed to help her...So sad.

I'll keep you updated on her condition - thank you so much for praying! You are all very special to our family and we know the power of prayer!

02 May 2008

Jim Caviezel and wife respond to God's call, adopt two children

Hollywood, April 30 (CNA).-In an interview with "Christopher Closeup," a radio show for the media apostolate The Christophers, Jim Caviezel described both the deep fear he felt when adopting two children with brain tumors, and the joy he and his wife have received from doing the will of Christ.
Caviezel, best known in Christian circles for his role as Jesus in Mel Gibson's movie, "The Passion of the Christ", has been committed to his Catholic and pro-life beliefs for a while. When he was challenged to prove his faith by adopting a disabled child, he and his wife, Kerri, traveled to China where they adopted a five-year old boy who was living in an orphanage.
Caviezel recalled that he was "completely terrified" at the possibility of adopting a child with a disability, but deep within his soul, he knew that God wanted him to do it.
He compared the fear he felt at the prospect of adopting a child to other "fearful" times in his life. Caviezel explained that in some of the "most important decisions" in his life, he has experienced a "huge fear" and found that he needed to trust God through his faith.
The boy, Bo, had been abandoned on a train as an infant and was raised in the orphanage where they children were told that they did not have a mother. Instead, orphanage workers told them they were born out of the dirt.
Bo also struggled with a brain tumor that threatened his life. Though surgery has not been able to remove the tumor, the Caviezels have been by Bo's side throughout the procedures.
Though there have been difficult times, Caviezel notes that the adoption has been a blessing from God. "The joy that we have from this child, he's like our own…"
Later, the couple decided to adopt another child, a healthy newborn girl. However, before the adoption took place, they met a five year-old girl – also with a brain tumor.
The couple stated that they knew the healthy baby would find a good home, however it was likely that the sick girl would not. They decided to adopt the five year-old and have been blessed ever since.
Caviezel continued by discussing the courage it takes to do the will of Christ and encouraging those who may be scared to do what God is asking. "When you have great fear, that is when you are a Christian…you have no idea the blessings you have coming to you if you take a chance on faith."
Reflecting on his earlier years, Caviezel stated that he has been a coward in the past – one who would run away from the will of Christ that seemed so difficult. "I never want to do that again."
Caviezel added that he prays every day that to have the courage to do the right thing and when considering whether or not to do the will of God, to never take for granted the sacrifices that He made for us.