Archive for the ‘Michael Donohue’ Category

By: Michael Donohue

The Conclave to elect the new pope has begun. At 4:30 p.m. Rome time (11:30 EDT) the cardinals, two by two, chanting the Litany of the Saints, entered the Sistine Chapel in the Apostolic Palace. Now, we keenly feel the  anticipation of the white smoke coming from the Vatican that will indicate that a new pontiff has been selected

This is an exciting time for the universal Church. Many of us would jump at the chance to be in Rome, joining with others in St. Peter’s Square, wondering whether we’d have the opportunity to welcome the new Holy Father. While this isn’t a possibility for most of us, we’re fortunate to live in a digital age that enables the Vatican-philes among us to follow along with the Conclave (well, at least with the parts that aren’t behind closed doors).

While every major news outlet has pieces running daily on the Conclave, I’d recommend the list below for engaging and accurate sources to hear the latest Vatican news:

Here at the Chancery, both in the Communications department and the Arlington Catholic Herald, we are waiting to hear the papal news. If you are looking for a quick update of the latest Conclave news, check out our News and Resources page.

In closing, to borrow a sentiment from Bishop Loverde’s latest column, “The next few weeks will be both historic and momentous for the Universal Church. Hopefully, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we will be celebrating the Resurrection of Our Lord at Easter with a new pontiff in the Chair of St. Peter”

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By: Michael Donohue

On Monday, February 11th, we will not only celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, but also the World Day of the Sick. Vatican Radio reports that Pope Benedict has sanctioned indulgences for this year’s observance:

Pope Benedict XVI has authorized special indulgences for Catholics worldwide on the occasion of the Catholic Church’s World Day of the Sick next month, during this Year of Faith. The annual day is observed on Feb. 11, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, and this Year of Faith it will be observed in a special way from Feb. 7-11 at the Marian shrine of Altötting, in Germany. The theme chosen by Pope Benedict for this 21st World Day of the Sick is: “Go and do likewise,” taken from the Parable of the Good Samaritan in St. Luke’s Gospel.
A decree released on Monday by the Vatican’s Apostolic Penitentiary, which deals with indulgences, said that the indulgences can be obtained by those who after the example of the Good Samaritan, in a spirit of faith and merciful attitude, engage in the service of their suffering brothers, and the sick themselves can obtain indulgences by bearing up the pain and adversity of life, raising their hearts with humble trust to God, giving open witness to faith through the way of the Gospel of suffering. The decree also spells out other ways and conditions for the indulgences. (Source)

Catholic News Service outlines the ways in which the faithful can obtain an indulgence on this occasion.

Bishop Loverde prompts all of us to take this opportunity to unite our sufferings to Christ and offer them as a prayer:

I wish to encourage anyone who is suffering because of illness, especially if it is more painful, or advancing age, or limitations in movement or strength – I encourage each one to join that suffering to the sufferings of Our Lord Jesus Christ. In so doing, he or she is sharing in the Lord’s redemptive work, as Saint Paul reminds us: “In my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of His body, that is, the Church” (cf. Col 1:24). In this way, no suffering is wasted or becomes useless; rather, it becomes a redemptive prayer when united with Christ.”


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[This is the last of three posts on the archangels in celebration of their feast day today, September 29.]

When I was nine, my father gave to me the illustrated Lives of the Saints, edited by Rev. Hugo Hoever, S.O.Cist., which my grandparents had given him as a child of nine in 1957. He wanted me to learn about the lives of some of the holy men and women, young and old, that the Church had recognized as saints over the centuries. I naturally thumbed straight to my namesake, St. Michael. My father was, and remains, amused that I had chosen to focus on a saint who had not ever lived an earthly, corporeal life, and, yet, St. Michael teaches us just as any flesh-and-blood saint.

I was enthralled from the first line of Rev. Hoever’s life:

“The name Michael signifies “Who is like to God,” and was the war cry of the good angels in the battle fought in Heaven against Satan and his followers.”

The Church has honored him from the time of the Apostles, and the archangel is mentioned four times in the Bible in the Book of Daniel, Saint Jude’s Epistle, and the Book of Revelation.

Saint Michael, given free will as any human, chose to obey God and reject the entreaties and blandishments of Satan and his fallen angels, and it was he, as Prince of the Heavenly Host, who opposed them and cast them out. And so, since before we were created, he has been our especial defender, as prince of the Jews in the Old Testament and patron and protector of Christ’s Church to the present day.

Saint Michael’s glorious example to us is a part of what J.R.R. Tolkien called the “true myth” of our Lord Jesus Christ and His all-encompassing love for mankind. Saint Michael has ever assisted Him in the work of creation, and we should not fail to ask for his intercession.

Every night that I am able, I pray with my boys the great prayer to Saint Michael written by Pope Leo XIII in the 19th century near the very end of his long pontificate:

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.

Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.

May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;

and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host -

by the Power of God -

thrust into hell, satan and all evil spirits,

who wander through the world for the ruin of souls.


I encourage you to learn this prayer and rely on this mighty archangel. Happy Michaelmas!

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