Reflections by Patti Murphy Dohn on the Church, family, grief, saints, and hope amidst the storms in our lives... May you always find that God is in the clouds! 

Patti Murphy Dohn retired in 2014 after 33 years of service as Campus Minister, retreat director, and Religion teacher at The John Carroll School in Bel Air, Maryland. Committed to making a difference in the lives of our youth and their families, she has served the school community since 1981. Presently, she continues her ministry through bereavement outreach, coordinating the school's alumni prayer chain, while archiving the school's history.  

Patti was awarded the Medal of Honor in Youth and Young Adult Ministry by the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 2012. She served the Archdiocese on the Screening Board for the Office of Vocations under Cardinal Keeler, Cardinal O'Brien, and Archbishop Lori. She is also a past-board member for the Msgr. O'Dwyer Retreat House in Sparks, MD. and Saint Margaret School in Bel Air.

Along with writing for "The Catholic Review," Patti is a member of the Catholic Press Association, as well as the Catholic Writers Guild and the Associated Church Press. She is available for speaking engagements, consulting, and retreat work.

Patti and her husband George split their time between their homes in Bel Air, Maryland and Singer Island, Palm Beach, Florida.

Email: pattimurphydohn@gmail.com

Twitter: @JCSMinistry

Facebook: Patti Murphy Dohn

Instagram: @PattiMurphyDohn

 God is good!! All the time!!

 

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Beautiful story! thank you for continuing to inspire us Patti.

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God is in the clouds

A World Youth Day Prayer for parents, parishes, and friends




By Patti Murphy Dohn

Their bags are packed, boarding passes are printed, and all those passports are ready to be stamped as our young pilgrims from the Archdiocese of Baltimore and other dioceses around our nation head to the airport.

The occasion?
World Youth Day 2016 in Kraków, Poland, the homeland of Pope Saint John Paul II.

Praying for our WYD pilgrims:

Let us join together each day and offer up this prayer for all those attending this year’s WYD celebration with Pope Francis.

Fashioned on the official prayer from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, this version can be used each day by the parishes and families of our pilgrims. 


A World Youth Day Prayer for parents, parishes, and friends: 
(Based on the World Youth Day Prayer for the United States from USCCB)

God our Father,
Be with our young people on their pilgrim journey of faith.
Give them the grace and courage to step forward
in faith and hope on the road ahead. 

Lord Jesus,
Open their eyes to see Your face in all those they encounter. 
Open their ears to hear Your voice in those who are often ignored. 
Open their hearts that they might be faithful disciples of mercy and truth. 

Holy Spirit,
Transform them. Empower them to give of themselves to the poor;
to welcome the lost; to forgive those who hurt them; 
to comfort those who suffer and are marginalized. 
Bless all those who travel on mission from the United States of America
to Krakow in Poland, Land of Divine Mercy, 
to join the universal Church for World Youth Day.
Bless, too, those who celebrate stateside, united in faith and joy. 
Like the disciples who journeyed up the mountain
to witness the Transfiguration, 
May this experience be an encounter
that strengthens them for their work in the world. 
Through the intercession of Mary, the Immaculate Conception,
patroness of our nation,
May they be worthy witnesses of their faith,
humble representatives of our country,
and inspired missionaries
bringing peace, hope, and mercy into our communities. Amen.

Saint James the Apostle, 
patron of pilgrim travelers, 
pray for them.

Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, 
young faithful witness from our native land, 
pray for them. 

Saint Therese of Lisieux, 
patroness of missionaries and advocate for youth, 
pray for them. 

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, 
man of the beatitudes and patron of young adults, 
pray for them. 

Saint John Paul II, 
son of Poland and patron of World Youth Day, 
pray for them.  

Amen!

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Read more of my reminiscences on World Youth Day:




For more information on World Youth Day: 

1. Visit the World Youth Day page on the website of the U.S. Catholic Bishops;

2. The Catholic Review will provide daily coverage about their experiences in “Pilgrims in Krakow” 


 

July 21, 2016 09:18
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Catholic Throwback Thursday: A brief history of World Youth Day


The logo for the 2016 WYD in Kraków was designed by Monika Rybczyńska: Read about the symbolism in her design here.

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"You are the future of the world, you are the hope of the Church, you are my hope.”
—The greeting of Pope John Paul II to youth during his papal inauguration Mass on October 22, 1978

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In less than two weeks, hundreds of thousands of young people and youth ministers from all over the world will descend upon Kraków, Poland for World Youth Day 2016

The Archdiocese of Baltimore will be represented among the huge crowds. A delegation of 40 young adults, led by Father Matt Buening, Catholic chaplain at Towson University, as well as seminarians Matt Himes and Tyler Kline, will be in attendance. Local teen groups from Mount de Sales Academy and St. Mary’s Church, Annapolis are traveling to Poland as well. 

The Catholic Review will have up-to-date coverage each day from Maureen Cromer, who will blog about her experiences in “Pilgrims in Krakow.”  

Why Kraków?

The homeland of Pope Saint John Paul II is the perfect location for a celebration for World Youth Day (WYD) during this Jubilee Year of Mercy. This year’s theme, which was one of three Beatitude-inspired WYD themes announced by Pope Francis in 2013, is “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy." (Mt 5:7) 


During the 1983-1984 Holy Year of the Redemption (which marked 1950 years after Jesus’s crucifixion, death, and resurrection), as well as the 1985 United Nation’s International Youth Year, Pope John Paul II invited young people to come to Rome to pray with him each year on Palm (Passion) Sunday. Though organizers initially expected about 60,000 to attend, crowds ranged from 250,000 in 1984 to 300,000 in 1985. These youth from many nations, who gathered with the Holy Father at the Vatican, affirmed their desire to be actively connected to Christ and their Catholic faith.  

The next year, in December of 1985, Pope John Paul II announced the institution of local events, which he called “World Youth Days,” to be held on the diocesan level every Palm Sunday, commencing in 1986. The Holy Father would also attend international gatherings for WYD, to be held every two or three years in different countries which he would select. 

Pope John Paul II reflected on these early youth events in his book Crossing the Threshold of Hope (1994):

“No one invented the World Youth Days. It was the young people themselves who created them.  Those days, those encounters, then became something desired by young people throughout the world. Most of the time these Days were something of a surprise for priests, and even bishops, in that they surpassed all their expectations."

International celebrations: 

The first international World Youth Day was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1987. Pope John Paul II also presided over seven more before his death in 2005. They were held in the following locations: 

  • Santiago de Compostela, Spain, 1989;
  • Częstochowa, Poland, 1991;
  • Denver, Colorado, 1993;  
  • Manila, Philippines, 1995;
  • Paris, France, 1997;
  • Rome, 2000 for the Jubilee Year;
  • Toronto, Canada, 2002;



Above: Then-Archbishop of Baltimore William H. Keeler took this photo in the helicopter with Pope John Paul II, who was praying his rosary when he sees the enormous crowd gathered in Cherry Creek State Park for the WYD-Denver closing Mass on Aug. 15, 1993.
He later told the youth there:
“Place your intelligence, your talents, your enthusiasm, your compassion and your fortitude at the service of life.”
(Photo by Archbishop W. H. Keeler)

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To the 800,000 youth gathered at the closing vigil in Toronto in 2002, which would be the last international WYD for Pope John Paul II:

“When, back in 1985, I wanted to start the World Youth Days… I imagined a powerful moment in which the young people of the world could meet Christ, who is eternally young, and could learn from him how to be bearers of the Gospel to other young people. This evening, together with you, I praise God and give thanks to him for the gift bestowed on the Church through the World Youth Days. Millions of young people have taken part, and as a result have become better and more committed Christian witnesses.” 

—Pope John Paul II, July 28, 2002, Toronto

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Pope Benedict and Pope Francis continue the legacy of WYD:

Four months after the death of Pope John Paul II in April 2, 2005, Pope Benedict XVI presided over World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany (August, 2005), followed by Sydney, Australia (2008), and Madrid, Spain (2011).



Pope Benedict greets the crowds after arriving at WYD in Madrid (AP photo).

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Pope Francis, who was elected in March of 2013 after the resignation of Pope Benedict, traveled to Rio de Janeiro just four months later for WYD (July, 2013). At the closing Mass at Copacabana beach, he joyfully announced that he would meet again with youth from all over the world for WYD 2016 in Kraków, Poland, the homeland of now-Saint John Paul II. 




Three million people gathered on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro for the closing Mass of WYD 2013 with Pope Francis.
(Photo: AP/ Felipe Dana)


WYD 2016 in Kraków:

According to Rome Reports, registrations for this upcoming WYD have been received from thousands of youth representing 107 countries, along with more than 10,000 priests, over 800 bishops and almost 50 cardinals. Poland, Italy, France, Spain, and the United States are the five countries with the most registrations. 

As Pope Francis prepares to join our young people in Kraków, organizers are expecting as many as 2 million to attend the overnight vigil and closing Mass on July 31.

These young people who gather in Kraków next week are in for one of the most exhilarating spiritual experiences of their lifetime. Not only will they meet people from around the world, attend catechetical sessions and Mass each day, but they will have countless opportunities to open their hearts to hear God’s call to live a life of mercy as they experience His love in new and profound ways. 

Let’s keep all the youth in our prayers.
God is good!





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Read more of my reminisces on World Youth Day here in:


July 14, 2016 01:59
By Patti Murphy Dohn


This Week in Church History: The 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate and much more




Last week, I started a new feature in "God is in the Clouds":  “This Week in Church History.” 

Here is a look at events which occurred this upcoming week in years past, as well as a glimpse at next week’s highlights:

Historic events that took place over dates in the upcoming week:

October 26, 2011:

Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport, Connecticut (the current Archbishop of Baltimore) called for the defense of “the American legacy of religious liberty” during a hearing before the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. The bishop was addressing Congress in his new role as head of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty.

Read an account of Bishop Lori’s day before Congress from the U.S. Bishops’ website:
 



The transcript of Bishop Lori’s full testimony before Congress can be read here.

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October 28 has great significance:


October 28, 1510:

The birth of St. Francis Borgia, SJ (1510-1572): 
Francis Borgia was the fourth Duke of Gandía (Spain), a Spanish Jesuit priest, and the third Superior General of the Society of Jesus. He expanded the Jesuit order into the Americas and Asia.



Borgia was canonized on June 20, 1670 by Pope Clement X and his feast is celebrated on October 10.
He is the patron saint of Portugal, as well for protection against earthquakes. 

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October 28, 1958: The election of Pope John XXIII:

On this date, Cardinal Angelo Guiseppe Roncalli (1881-1963), the Patriarch of Venice, was elected the 261st pope on the eleventh ballot of the 1958 conclave. The conclave that elected him took place from October 25 to 28, 1958, following the October 9 death of Pope Pius XII whose papacy lasted from 1939 to 1958.

On why he choose the name John:

"We choose John...a name sweet to Us because it is the name of Our father, dear to Us because it is the name of the humble parish church where We were baptized, the solemn name of numberless cathedrals scattered throughout the world, including Our own basilica...We love the name of John because it reminds Us of John the Baptist, precursor of our Lord...and the other John, the disciple and evangelist...Perhaps We can, taking the name of this first series of holy Popes, have something of his sanctity and strength of spirit, even—if God wills it—to the spilling of blood.”

--Excerpt from: Religion: “I Choose John…” from Time Magazine, November 10, 1958 edition.



Newly-elected Pope John XXIII extending his first papal blessing:
(Getty Image: Ullstein Bild)

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October 28, 1965:

2015 is the Golden Anniversary of "Nostra Aetate" (Latin for “In our time”):
This Vatican 2 document was promulgated on this date in 1965 by Pope Paul VI.
  
The document’s formal name is "DECLARATION ON THE RELATION OF THE CHURCH TO NON-CHRISTIAN RELIGIONS." It was passed by a vote of of 2,221 to 88 by the assembled bishops at the Second Vatican Council and was one of the most influential documents issued by the Council Fathers, paving the way for much-improved relations between Jews and Catholics.


50th Anniversary:

The Council of Centers for Jewish-Christian Relations has published “Resources for the 50th Anniversary of Nostra Aetate.” 



(Photo: Courtesy of American Jewish Committee)
March 31, 1963: Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel (Polish-born American rabbi (1907-1972) meeting in New York with Cardinal Augustin Bea, SJ (1881-1968), who shepherded the process of Catholic reflection that led to Nostra Aetate. A leading biblical scholar and ecumenist, Cardinal Bea was the first president of the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity from 1960 until his death in 1972. 

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October 29, 1950:

65 years ago: Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was ordained to the diaconate by Bishop Johannes Baptist Neuhäusler (1888-1973), the auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising. 

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November 1:


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November 1, 1946: 


Pope St. John Paul II was ordained to the priesthood by by Cardinal Adam Stefan Sapieha, the Archbishop of Kraków, just 12 days after becoming a deacon. 

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Looking ahead:

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November 6, 1789:

Baltimore was made the first diocese in the United States on this date in 1789 with Fr. John Carroll, SJ as the first bishop.


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Do you have a special date that you would like me to include?


Be sure to email me:  Pattimurphydohn@gmail.com.


God is good! All the time!

October 25, 2015 10:52
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Catholic Flashback: Remembering the 1978 election of Pope St. John Paul II



October 16, 1978:
The first balcony appearance of newly-elected Pope John Paul II (CNS File Photo)


Where were you on October 16, 1978?

I was between classes at college in Philadelphia when word came through the hallways that white smoke had been seen coming from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel.

After three days of waiting, we finally had a new pope! I rushed to turn on my tiny black and white TV, and watched as the crowds grew in St. Peter’s Square while commentators speculated as to which Italian cardinal might become the 264th leader of the Roman Catholic Church.

I will never forget the announcement in Latin that Cardinal Karol Jozef Wojtyla (1920-2005), at age 58, had been elected as the 263rd successor of St. Peter the Apostle. The news commentators were struggling to figure out who he was, from which country he came, and how to pronounce his name. 

You see, Pope John Paul II was the first non-Italian pope in 455 years. Those reporting on the conclave from both the Catholic and secular press were all  assuming that this new pontiff would also be Italian. Instead, the College of Cardinals elected the Archbishop of Krakow, Poland, who had served in that position since 1963 and who was named a cardinal by Pope Paul VI in 1967.


Ten interesting facts about the election of Pope John Paul II:

1. The Year of Three Popes:

This was the second time in less than eight weeks that Catholics from around the world gathered in front of our televisions to learn the outcome of a papal election. Called the “Year of Three Popes,” 1978 included the death of Blessed Pope Paul VI on August 6, the election of Patriarch of Venice Albino Luciani as Pope John Paul I on August 26, followed by his sudden death 33 days later on September 28. His pontificate is the shortest in our modern era. The Church and the world were stunned by the death of this new pontiff, as the College of Cardinals were called back to Rome for yet another conclave.

2. Who were the electors?

The conclave to elect Pope St. John Paul II began on October 14, 1978. Attending as electors were the 111 members of the College of Cardinals who had not yet reached age 80. 
The geographic breakdown includes: 25 cardinals from Italy, 30 more from other European nations, 12 Africa, 9 from Asia, and 4 from Oceania, 19 from South America, and 12 from North America.

3. The accommodations:

Garry O’Connor described the sparse living conditions of the cardinal-electors in his 2005 book, Universal Father: A Life of Pope John Paul II

“They expected it might take a long time to elect the next pope, while accommodation or cells were cast for by lot--some in poky little offices with unplugged and dead telephones, others in forty-foot high Renaissance reception salons They slept on 'a simple infirmary bed borrowed from the College of Propaganda Fidei; with a red-shaded lamp by the bed which was too faint to read by; a wash basin, soap (made by Donge of Paris) and Kleenex; a bucket for slops; a writing-table with note-paper and an ashtray, a prie-dieu'. Cardinal Siri of Genoa, a leading conservative, said 'It is like being buried alive', but the cautious, gentle Cardinal Hume of Westminster commented, 'Many people criticize the way a conclave is arranged, but it came to me that all these arrangements were symbolic--there was nothing between the cardinals and God. That seemed to me to be right.”
 

4. The voting:

As accounts of the three days of secret proceedings trickled out over the months and years that followed the conclave, we learned that two Italian cardinals, Archbishop of Genoa Giuseppe Siri and Archbishop of Florence Giovanni Benelli were in the forefront in the ballots, but neither was able to go ahead and reach the required two-thirds plus one majority vote (equalling 75 or more necessary for election).

On the second day of voting, Cardinal Wojtyla was suggested as a compromise candidate by Cardinal Franz König (1905-2004), then-Archbishop of Vienna. With a number of supporters from the camps of Cardinals Siri and Benelli, along with most of the American cardinals (led by Cardinal John Krol of Philadelphia), Wojtyla was elected on the eighth ballot with 99 of the 111 votes. 

“With obedience in faith to Christ, my Lord, and with trust in the Mother of Christ and the Church, in spite of great difficulties, I accept.”
—Cardinal Wojtyla upon learning that he had been elected in the 1978 conclave 

5. The new papal name:

Cardinal Wojtyla honored the brief legacy of his predecessor by adopting his name and becoming Pope John Paul II. 
Pope John Paul I had been the first pope to take two names upon his election. He adopted the pontifical names of his two predecessors who led the Church through the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965): Pope John XXIII (1958-1963) and Pope Paul VI (1963-1978).

6. The announcement:

Cardinal Pericle Felici (1911-1982) was the senior Cardinal-Deacon in 1978, and thus had the rare honor of making two papal introductions with the “Habemus papam” announcements for both Popes John Paul I and John Paul II. In the same capacity, Cardinal Felici had the privilege of bestowing to each of them the pallium at their papal inaugurations.

Cardinal Felici made the historic announcement for Pope John Paul II on October 16, 1978 at 7:15 pm from the balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Square:


“Anuntio vobis gaudium magnum:
HABEMUS PAPAM! 
Eminentissimum ac Reverendissimum Dominum,
Dominum Carolum Sanctæ Romanæ Ecclesiæ Cardinalem Wojtyla
Qui sibi nomen imposuit Ioannis Pauli.”

(“I announce to you a great joy:
We have a Pope!
The Most Eminent and Most Reverend Lord,
Lord Karol Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church Wojtyla
Who took himself to the name John Paul.”

Videos:
Watch the announcement for Pope John Paul I here and Pope John Paul II here.


7. Reflections from Cardinal Wojtyla’s priest-secretary:

Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz (born 1939) of Krakow, who had been serving as the priest-secretary of Cardinal Wojtyla since 1966, was with the growing crowds below in St. Peter’s Square awaiting the announcement. 

In an interview with L’Osservatore Romano, he recalled that many of the pilgrims who surrounded him thought the announced name sounded African. He noted that “protocol requires that before speaking, the new Pontiff should bestow a blessing in Latin, but the Polish Pope chose to speak first in Italian with a greeting that was historic: ‘I have been called from a faraway land…If I make a mistake, please correct me.”

Cardinal Dziwisz spoke of his close relationship with Wojtyla since he became his priest-secretary in twelve years prior: “That day (in 1966) I learned to be close to him. I did so for 39 years, first in Krakow and later in Rome. My clothes were soiled with his blood on May 13, 1981.  And I have again recalled the words he wrote for St. Stanislaw, the patron of Poland: ‘If the word does not convert, blood will.’  I was always close to Karol Wojtyla. Me, a priest caressed by a gift and a mystery.” 

8. The first words and blessing of Pope John Paul II:

After the announcement, the newly-elected Holy Father appeared on the balcony and spoke briefly in Italian, instead of the immediately delivering his first Urbi et Orbi blessing:

“Praised be Jesus Christ! Dear brothers and sisters, we are still all very saddened by the death of the very dear Pope John Paul I. And now the most eminent cardinals have called a new bishop of Rome. They called him from a far-away country...far, but always near in the communion of faith and the Christian tradition. I was afraid in receiving this nomination, but I did it in the spirit of obedience to Our Lord and with total trust in his Mother, the Most Holy Madonna. I don't know if I can express myself well in your – in our – Italian language. But if I make a mistake, you will correct me. And so I introduce myself to you all, to confess our common faith, our hope, our trust in the Mother of Christ and of the Church, and also to begin again on this path of history and of the Church with the help of God and with that of men.” 

9. Be Not Afraid!

Later that night, Pope John Paul II ate dinner with the cardinals before retiring to handwrite the homily with his famous words, “Be not afraid. Open wide the doors to Christ.” 


10. Memories from one of the cardinal-electors:

In a 2011 interview with Richard Allen Greene of CNN given the year before his death, 89-year old Cardinal Luis Aponte Martínez (1922-2012), one of only five cardinal-electors from the 1978 conclave who was still alive, shared his memories of the election.

The Archbishop-Emeritus of San Juan, Puerto Rico recalled Wojtyla’s election as the most emotional moment of his life:

"We came to congratulate him, but when (Polish) Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski came to pay his respects, the pope stood up and went to him and embraced him. That for us was a terrific moment. We all cried.”

On electing a Polish pope, Cardinal Aponte noted:

"The electors were taking a chance, but they made a wonderful choice. He had suffered a good deal, he had been a prisoner of the Communists.” Aponte added that it helped his cause "that he came from a suffering country."



Cardinal Luis Aponte Martínez congratulates Pope John Paul II after his election on October 16, 1978
(Photo: Cardinal Aponte Collection)

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Enjoy this 24:50 minute video from CBS News:  “Pope John Paul II: The Surprising Election

https://youtu.be/e-neuwiRdUo


October 15, 2015 02:18
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Countdown to the visit of Pope Francis: Part 3: Papal visit merchandise, memorabilia, souvenirs, and keepsakes



Counting down:

 Just six days until Pope Francis arrives in the USA! 


Papal memorabilia galore:

If you are traveling in the vicinity of the cities that Pope Francis will visit next week, you will likely see lots of displays of souvenirs related to this first apostolic visit to the United States.

Memorabilia vendors are as varied as their offerings. There are official vendors authorized by the various dioceses and the 2015 World Meeting of Families. There are also unofficial outlets, many of which offer cheap trinkets at a low cost to make a fast buck. 
Pope Francis bobble heads, anyone?  

Serious collectors and those who wish to purchase gifts for lasting memories should look toward the official merchandise for sale on the official papal visit websites. These authorized vendors have a vast array of items, including rosaries, medallions, prayer cards, books, artwork, mugs, and apparel with official logos. 

Shop in person:

If you want to take a road trip to Philly in the next week or if you plan to attend either if the papal gatherings on September 26-27, you can shop in person. 

Aramark is the official vendor for the World Meeting of Families and the visit of the Holy Father to Philadelphia. They had a grand opening last Wednesday for their official World Meeting of Families merchandise shop in the Aramark Tower at 1101 Market Street in downtown Philly. 

According to their website, other locations will be open next week during the Congress and papal visit at the convention center, on Independence Mall on September 26, and on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on September 26-27. 

Official vendors will also be on-sight at locations near the papal events in New York City and Washington, D.C. 

Online purchases: 

For online purchases, the official catalog with over 200 commemorative items is available here

Proceeds will benefit the World Meeting of Families - Philadelphia 2015 and the visit of Pope Francis. 

For info on the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, visit their website here

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My collection of papal visit memorabilia:

Being an aficionado of anything related to Church history and the papacy, I have huge collection of papal memorabilia. I am also a Vatican philatelist with an enormous collection of stamp albums, first day covers, postcards, and Vatican yearbooks. 

So it shouldn't surprise you that I have lots of mementos from past papal visits to the United States. I gathered as many items from my collection as I could in 15 minutes and took photos to share. 


Above: From 1965:
Pope Paul VI was the first pontiff to visit our country. Though I didn't participate in this 14-hour visit, I have two books with lots of photographs and excellent coverage.

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Above: Pope St. John Paul II made seven trips to the United States during his 27-year pontificate.
Here are some of the many books that recap his visits.

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Above: 1979: 
The first time I saw Pope John Paul II was in Philadelphia during his very first visit to the USA. The Mass he celebrated on there Wednesday, October 3 was held in the same location where Pope Francis will say Mass on September 27. 

The third trip of his papacy (the first was to the Dominican Republic and Mexico; and the second was to his native Poland), it occurred exactly one year after the conclave which elected this pope who would become a saint.

Though I have a number of keepsakes from that historic week, including items from my volunteer work that week at the on-site Catholic Press office, I have only included three items here:
Souvenir edition of Newsweek magazine, the famous Pope John Paul II collectors edition comic book, and a signed copy of Pope John Paul II: A Festive Profile written by my college professor, Rev. Ludvik Nemec, who was an old friend of the Holy Father. 

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Above: World Youth Day 1993 in Denver was the occasion of another visit of Pope John Paul II. Though I did not attend since I had three young children, one of my John Carroll students, Kristy Manning, JC Class of 1996, won a contest and represented our school. Kristy was especially excited since she was not Catholic and loved our Holy Father. She had a wonderful experience with the youth celebration from St. Margaret Church in Bel Air, and brought me a gift to show her gratitude for my support in encouraging her to apply for the contest. The framed First Day covers, which were hand-stamped daily from August 12-15, were proudly displayed in my classroom and in my Campus Ministry office until I retired from John Carroll last year. When I see them, I think of Kristy and her experiences at World Youth Day with Pope John Paul II!

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Above: The 1995 visit of Pope St. John Paul II to Baltimore was one of the highlights of my life.
And my collection of mementos show it... 
A Religion teacher at John Carroll at that time, I was part of the committee that coordinated the service of our youth as city ambassadors and parade honor guard. 
My service allowed me to participate in the youth concert at Pier Six the night before the papal visit. Performers included Boyz II Men, Michael W. Smith, and Kathy Troccoli. 
The highlight, the Holy Father speaking live to the youth via satellite on the big screen from NYC,
"But the loudest cheer of the evening was reserved for a 75-year-old from Rome who wasn't even there, a transplanted Pole who closed the concert not with a song, but simply by telling the crowd by satellite that he was looking forward to his visit to Baltimore."

Seen from left: The official commentaries book from the Archdiocese of Baltimore, along with the video and the bumper sticker, the next week's edition of The Catholic Review with special section of papal coverage, the Gospel of John which was distributed to those who attended the Mass at Camden Yards, the Mass program and booklet "A Faith-filled Celebration," and the 1996 commemorative calendar.

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Above: Here's the colorful hat that my then-11 year old daughter Meighan got at the youth concert,
along with our Mass tickets, my staff badge, and the tickets, parking pass, and program
for the Departure Ceremony that my then-9 year old son Joseph and I attended at BWI airport
before the Holy Father departed for his return trip to Rome. 
Memories to last a lifetime!

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Above: 2008:
I was proud to lead four buses from our Archdiocese with the Harford County pilgrims who attended the Mass of Pope Benedict XVI at Yankee Stadium on April 15, 2008. The congregation of almost 60,000 people from every state in our country gathered to celebrate the bicentennial anniversary of "the Sees of New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Louisville from the mother See of Baltimore."

Everyone who attended received a packet of materials which included the Gospel of Luke, the Catholic Digest, and a water bottle.

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Above: I collect Mass programs from historic occasions too:
Here's the Mass program from Holy Father Emeritus' Mass at Yankee Stadium and my family's tickets. 

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Above: People give me stuff... 

Over the years I have received a number of gifts of papal and church-related memorabilia from families who just don't know what to do with it anymore and don't want to discard it.

Here's an example of a framed certificate of authenticity from the Archdiocese of New York with a small section of carpet from formed a 1000-foot gold cross on the stage at the October 7, 1995 Mass of Pope John Paul on the Great Lawn of Central Park.

"A procession of 1600 church dignitaries filed over this monumental cross to offer communion to the more than 200,000 faithful who celebrated the historic Mass, the highlight of the Holy Father's 1995 World Tour."

Yes, I have this in my home office.
By all means, send your Church-related collectors' items my way!

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Do you have any interesting papal memorabilia?

I want to hear about it: 
Send me an email to: pattimurphydohn@gmail.com.

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Read more from my series on the upcoming visit of Pope Francis to the United States:


Part 1 includes all the basics that you should know: 

Part 2 includes lots of memories from those who attended or participated in past papal visits to our country:

September 16, 2015 12:32
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Countdown to the visit of Pope Francis to the United States: Part 2: Remembering past papal visits




Just nine days until Pope Francis arrives in the United States:

The excitement continues to build for this historic apostolic visit.

Part of the anticipation has sprung from the sharing of memories by those who have participated in papal visits of the past. Pope Francis is the fourth pontiff to visit our nation. His visit will mark the tenth papal visit.


1. Pope Paul VI was the first pope to visit the United States and the United Nations in 1965;

2. Pope St. John Paul II visited the U.S. seven times:

    a. 1979: Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington and Des Moines, Iowa;

    b. 1981:  Anchorage, Alaska;

    c. 1984: For several hours in Fairbanks, Alaska where he met with President Reagan during a layover;

    d. 1987: Miami, Columbia, South Carolina, New Orleans, San Antonio, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit;

    e. 1993:  Denver for World Youth Day;

    f. 1995: Newark, New Jersey, New York, Baltimore;

    g. 1999: St. Louis; 

3. Pope Benedict XVI visited Washington, DC and New York in April of 2008.


Read more about these papal visits and the meetings with the U.S. president in my March 27, 2014 edition of:

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Looking back to the historic 1995 visit of Pope St. John Paul II to Baltimore:

The 1995 visit of Pope St. John Paul II to our Premier See is among the highlights of the history of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.


My memories:

“The Vicar of Christ had come to us!” 

"There are moments that you know have become etched in your memory forever. That's how I feel every time I look back on the 1995 visit of Pope St. John Paul II to my hometown of Baltimore. 

A Religion teacher at John Carroll at that time, I was part of the committee that coordinated the service of our youth as city ambassadors and parade honor guard. After my early bird service that morning, I met up with my family at Camden Yards for the Mass. 

The excitement of the crowds to see the Holy Father was palpable. I will never forget the cries of joy throughout the stadium when it was announced on the JumboTron that his TWA Shepherd One plane was landing at BWI. We all watched the live video coverage as the plane landed, followed by greetings from a welcoming entourage, and the escorted motorcade procession driving north on I-95 toward us. All eyes were on the JumboTron screen.

When the popemobile entered the stadium and drove slowly along the warning track around the perimeter of the field, there were tears of joy amid the deafening applause. Chants of "John Paul Two, we love you!" filled the air. This was far bigger than any rock concert or public gathering that I have ever seen in person or on television. The Vicar of Christ had come to us! 

As the Holy Father celebrated Mass with Cardinal Keeler and the throngs of cardinals, bishops and priests, I was overcome with incredible gratitude at being able to witness our Church history in the making. 

Undoubtedly, Baltimore, the premier see of Catholic faith in our nation, would never be the same. And I will cherish these memories and those precious hours that I spent in the presence of a saint for all my days. 

Pope St. John Paul II, pray for us!”


~Patti Murphy Dohn has participated in two visits of Pope St. John Paul II (Philadelphia, 1979 and Baltimore, 1995), the 2008 visit of Pope Benedict XVI to NYC, and also took part in Holy Week and Easter liturgies in 2014 with Pope Francis at the Vatican.  


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Fr. C. Doug Kenney greets the Pope John Paul II before Mass began. To the right is Msgr. James Barker, pastor of St. Ignatius Church, Hickory. 


Receiving Holy Communion from a future saint:

Fr. C. Doug Kenney, pastor of St. Peter the Apostle Church in Oakland, recalls the privilege of working backstage and on the sidelines at Oriole Park with Msgr. Jim Barker and Fr. Chuck Wible. They were responsible for the the sacred vessels, vestments, and other necessary supplies for the Holy Father, cardinals, and bishops. (Photo below.)




Fr. Doug chuckles now as he remembers them running short of the green vestments for Ordinary Time. They were two sets short. He shared that when they saw Cardinal John O’Connor, who had arrived in Baltimore on the plane with the Holy Father, they knew they were not going to have enough chasubles…  

So when you see photographs from Baltimore's Papal Mass with Cardinal Keeler and Cardinal Angelo Sodano, then-Vatican Secretary of State, wearing white vestments, you know the back story!

Among Fr. Doug’s best memories was being able to greet the Holy Father and to receive Holy Communion from him. He will never forget that memory from the historic visit to Baltimore of Pope St. John Paul II.



His Eminence Cardinal Keeler greets the Holy Father while wearing a white chasuble

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More memories from Baltimore’s 1995 papal visit: 

“I was so excited to be in the company of our Pope when he was in Baltimore. I may have only been in the stadium seats, but the spiritual feeling was something I will never forget.”  
~ Bernadine Beatty of St. Margaret Parish

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Louise Doherty of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish shared an unforgettable moment when she and her husband Kevin also attended the Papal Mass at Camden Yards:

“During the sign of peace, we received a note from our dear friends asking us to be Godparents!”

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Brief encounters that made a lasting impact:

My friend Joan Larney recalls:

“Pope Paul was the very first pope to ever visit the United States. My four daughters and I waited nearly three hours to see Pope Paul VI drive by on his way into New York City. It was only a moment, but one I've never forgotten it. This was very special.”

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Deirdre Magner, a Spanish teacher at John Carroll, shared memories from the first visit of Pope St. John Paul II to New York City in 1979 when she was a graduate student there.

Not a fan of crowds, Deirdre avoided the areas of the city where the papal events were to take place. Leaving work and heading to the subway station for home, she was highly surprised to see the flashing lights of the papal motorcade with its police escort coming toward her down an empty street. 

And there was the The Holy Father, in an open-air black limo, and Deirdre was the only one there on the sidewalk!

“He looked me right in the eye and gave me a blessing. I was transfixed, unable to believe what I had just witnessed. It was almost like a private audience.  And it was all the more special because it was spontaneous and serendipitous. It was truly an amazing moment - one I'll never forget!”



Pope John Paul II greeted crowds in Boston (above) on Oct. 1, 1979, the first day of his six-day U.S. tour, from that same open-air black limo that Deidre Magner would encounter on the street in New York City the next evening. (Photo/ AP) 

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More papal memories:

Mara Pais of St. Ignatius Parish in Hickory recalls memories from 1979:

“I was a student at Trinity College in Washington, DC when Pope John Paul II visited in 1979. I was within feet of him as he drove up to the Trinity Chapel, where he conducted an ecumenical service for religious leaders.  He also held a Mass on our campus for disabled children.  

My friends and I didn't initially plan to attend the Mass on the Mall, but we were so overtaken by excitement after seeing the Pope up close, that we headed down to join the throngs awaiting the Papal Mass.  It was raining as we exited the Metro, and a light rain continued until Pope John Paul stepped up to the altar. Not only did the rain stop, but the sun came out, and the Mass was incredibly beautiful.”

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Memories of Pope Benedict XVI in Washington, DC:

Elizabeth Krempa of the John Carroll Class of 2007 recalls the excitement:

“I had the opportunity to see Pope Benedict at my college, Catholic University, in 2008. He spoke in our student center and held Mass in the National Basilica. When he spoke at our student center, I was in the front row. He and the popemobile were right in front of me!! 

It was such a big deal on campus. We had snipers on our buildings, news media everywhere, boxed lunches, the whole nine yards!! What an amazing experience for all of us young people!! We kept chanting..."CUA LOVES THE POPE!!"


Photo: Elizabeth Krempa, RN

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“… showing our faith to the world.”

Carla Hazard Tomaszewski of St. Mary’s County attended Mass with Pope St. John Paul II in 1979 on the Mall in Washington, DC and in 1995 in Baltimore. She also attended Mass with Pope Benedict in 2008 at the Nationals Stadium in DC. 

She wrote an article on these experiences, as well as hiking as a pilgrim to Mass with Pope John II in the mountains of Nowy Targ, Poland in early 1979, for The Trumpeter, the newsletter of the Polish Heritage Association of Maryland. She so well described the feelings of Catholics who attend a Papal Mass:

“It was a wonderful experience. The feeling of togetherness and solidarity as Catholics was what made the biggest impression on me. We were all proud that we were showing our faith to the world.”

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ICYMI: (In case you missed it):

Learn about the basics of Pope Francis’ historic trip to the United States here:


Included: 

  • The Holy Father’s complete schedule of events for the three-city whirlwind tour;
  • Links and info on where you can watch these events live online and on television;
  • On-demand videos to watch at your convenience after each event has ended;
  • The historic significance of this papal trip;
  • Links to the US Catholic Bishops papal visit website, along with catechetical resources;
  • and a link to the The Baltimore Sun’s September 6 “A guide to seeing the pope in Philadelphia” from their Sunday “Life & Travel” section.

Watch for Part 3 in this series on "Countdown to the visit of Pope Francis to the United States." 

September 14, 2015 01:13
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Countdown to the first apostolic visit of Pope Francis to the United States: Part 1

The excitement is building:

Pope Francis arrives here in the U.S. in just 14 days! That’s just two weeks from today…

I have so many fond memories of the visits of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI here in the United States, including three occasions where I took part. It is a thrilling experience to see the Holy Father in person, whether you are up close or far away in the crowds. For most people, it is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

As the clock ticks down the days and hours, the news media sources are learning more and more about the specific logistics of Pope Francis’ visit. 

Many Catholics from the Archdiocese of Baltimore will join the bus trip sponsored by Catholic Review Media for the Holy Father’s Mass in Philadelphia. Read more about that pilgrimage here.

The basics that you should you know about this historic papal visit:

1. Before arriving in the United States, Pope Francis will visit the island nation of Cuba from September 19-22. This is the third papal visit for the people of Cuba. Pope John Paul II visited in 1998 and Pope Benedict XVI in 2012. 

2. Following his departure from Cuba, Pope Francis will visit the United States from September 22-27. This is his first apostolic visit to our country.

3. Due to his incredible popularity, millions of people are hoping to get a glimpse of him. He will be here for six days and will visit Washington, DC, New York City, and Philadelphia. 

4. Media coverage of the papal visit will be extensive. You will be able to watch Pope Francis’ public addresses and liturgies on lifestream from the U.S. Bishops’ website, as well as on EWTN Global Catholic Network.

5. The livestream from the U.S. Bishops can be accessed here.

6. Papal visit programming will be available on demand after each event has ended here.

7. The complete list of programming on EWTN Global Catholic Network can be found here.

8. During his visit, Pope Francis will be the first pontiff to address a joint session of Congress. He will also preside over the canonization of Blessed Juniper Serra. This will be the first time in history that a saint has been canonized on American soil as these sacred ceremonies usually take place at the Vatican. 

9. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have a page on their website devoted entirely to the Holy Father’s visit. You can read updates as they happen, see any schedule changes, and get breaking news.

10. Catechetical resources for all ages are available for teachers, families, and individuals who want to learn more in preparation for the visit. Among the information provided are resources on Blessed Junipero Serra, whom the Holy Father will canonize in Washington, DC on September 23, as well as on the World Meeting of Families which he will attend in Philadelphia.

11. The Baltimore Sun included “A guide to seeing the pope in Philadelphia” in their Sunday “Life & Travel” section. It provides a lot of details what to expect.


 
Here is the schedule for Pope Francis' September 2015 Apostolic Journey to the United States of America as released by the Vatican on June 30, 2015.  
All times listed are Eastern Daylight Time.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 (WASHINGTON, DC)
▪ 4:00 p.m.    Arrival from Cuba at Joint Base Andrews

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 (WASHINGTON, DC)
▪ 9:15  a.m.  Welcome ceremony and meeting with President Obama at the White House
▪ 11:30 a.m. Midday Prayer with the bishops of the United States, St. Matthew's Cathedral
▪ 4:15  p.m.  Mass of Canonization of Junipero Serra, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception 

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 (WASHINGTON, DC, NEW YORK CITY)
▪ 9:20  a.m.  Address to Joint Meeting of the United States Congress 
▪ 11:15 a.m. Visit to St. Patrick in the City and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington
▪ 4:00 p.m.   Depart from Joint Base Andrews
▪ 5:00 p.m.   Arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport
▪ 6:45 p.m.   Evening Prayer (Vespers) at St. Patrick's Cathedral 

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 (NEW YORK CITY)
▪ 8:30  a.m. Visit to the United Nations and Address to the United Nations General Assembly
▪ 11:30 a.m. Multi-religious service at 9/11 Memorial and Museum, World Trade Center 
▪ 4:00  p.m.  Visit to Our Lady Queen of Angels School, East Harlem
▪ 6:00  p.m.  Mass at Madison Square Garden

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 26 (NEW YORK CITY, PHILADELPHIA)
▪ 8:40  a.m.  Departure from John F. Kennedy International Airport
▪ 9:30  a.m.  Arrival at Atlantic Aviation, Philadelphia 
▪ 10:30 a.m. Mass at Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, Philadelphia 
▪ 4:45  p.m.  Visit to Independence Mall
▪ 7:30  p.m.  Visit to the Festival of Families Benjamin Franklin Parkway

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 (PHILADELPHIA)
▪ 9:15   a.m.  Meeting with bishops at St. Martin's Chapel, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary 
▪ 11:00  a.m. Visit to Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility 
▪ 4:00  p.m.   Mass for the conclusion of the World Meeting of Families, Benjamin Franklin Parkway 
▪ 7:00   p.m.  Visit with organizers, volunteers and benefactors of the World Meeting of Families, Atlantic Aviation 
▪ 8:00   p.m.  Departure for Rome


Share your memories:

If you have memories to share from the visits of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI to the United States, please email me at:

I’m looking forward to hearing from you!


Look for Part 2 of this series on the apostolic visit of Pope Francis in the United States here on Thursday. 


September 08, 2015 01:28
By Patti Murphy Dohn


One year later: A call to reopen the cause for canonization of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen



“Never measure your generosity by what you give, but rather by what you have left.” 
~ Archbishop Fulton John Sheen (1895-1979)


One Year Ago Today:

My Facebook memories this morning reminded me of the sad announcement from the Diocese of Peoria, Illinois last September 3, 2014: The cause for beatification and canonization of their native son, Archbishop Fulton John Sheen, was put on indefinite suspension. The reason was a dispute between his hometown Diocese of Peoria and the Archdiocese of New York over the final resting place of Sheen’s earthly remains. 

Archbishop Sheen (1895-1979), who was the face of American Catholicism for decades before his death in 1979, is interred in the crypt under the main altar at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. He served the Archdiocese of New York as auxiliary bishop from 1951 to 1966. 

Bishop Daniel Jenky, CSC, of Sheen’s hometown of Peoria where his cause is headquartered, and who led the way for his possible canonization with the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in 2002, requested transfer to his diocesan cathedral. 

This request came after ten years of inquiry into Sheen’s life, writings, and virtue; the investigation of two alleged miracles, and the 2011 presentation of the positio by Bishop Jenky to Pope Benedict XVI who noted that he had worked with Archbishop Sheen during Vatican II.

According to the timeline of events, the Holy Father declared Archbishop Sheen to be “Venerable” on June 28, 2012. Bishop Jenky held a Mass of Thanksgiving at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Peoria on September 9. Archbishop Sheen had attended the cathedral school as a youth, and he received his First Holy Communion at the cathedral, where he was ordained in 1919.



“In this Dec. 11, 2011 file photo, Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky, center, gives a sermon next to a painting of Archbishop Fulton Sheen and the sealed box of documentation for the alleged miracle performed by Sheen, during a Mass at Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Peoria, Ill. The documents were sent to the Vatican. A bid for more than a decade to canonize the late archbishop, an Illinois native, has stalled indefinitely because the Archdiocese of New York won't release Sheen's body to the Peoria diocese as part of the process, the Peoria diocese said." (AP Photo/Journal Star, Eve Edelheit)

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Prayers that God's will be made manifest:


After the two dioceses were unable to reach an agreement or compromise on the matter, the following statement was issued on September 3, 2015, one year ago today, by the Sheen Foundation, the official promoter for canonization:

“It is with immense sadness that the Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, Bishop of Peoria and President of the Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Foundation, announced today that the Cause for Sheen’s beatification and canonization has for the foreseeable future been suspended…
The Holy See expected that the remains of Venerable Sheen would be moved to Peoria where official inspection would be made and first class relics be taken. Subsequently, the Archdiocese of New York denied Bishop Jenky’s request to move the body to Peoria. After further discussion with Rome, it was decided that the Sheen Cause would now have to be relegated to the Congregation’s historic archive… 
The Bishop is heartbroken not only for his flock in Peoria but also for the many supporters of the Sheen Cause from throughout the world who have so generously supported Peoria’s efforts. It should be noted, however, that saints are always made by God not by man. Efforts for many causes have sometimes taken decades or even centuries. Bishop Jenky urges that those who support the Sheen Cause continue their prayers that God’s will be made manifest.”



The response of the Archdiocese of New York:

The following statement was issued by the communications office of the New York Archdiocese the next day:

“The Archdiocese of New York joins Bishop Daniel Jenky of the Diocese of Peoria in his invitation to prayer that “God’s will be made manifest” concerning the cause for sainthood of Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen…
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen expressly stated his desire that his remains be buried in New York, a request that was granted by Cardinal Terence Cooke when he was laid to rest beside the Archbishops of New York in the crypt beneath the high altar of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. To date, the only official instruction that the Archdiocese of New York has received from the Holy See regarding this matter was, from a decade ago, that his body not be moved to Peoria. To date, we have not received any further direction or request from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints…
The Congregation for the Causes of Saints did recently ask the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Peoria to enter into a dialogue to see if there was a way to continue progress in moving the cause forward…”  


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He spoke to my heart:

I have loved Archbishop Sheen and been inspired by his charismatic proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus and unwavering devotion to Our Lady since I first heard him preach during my teen years. His beautiful message of faith and hope spoke to my heart. 

I was blessed to hear him preach in person on at least three occasions, twice at the 41st International Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia in 1976, and then at Mass at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen here in Baltimore in the late '70s.

During my days teaching Religion to the high school students at John Carroll, I frequently showed them excerpts from his popular TV series, “Life is Worth Living.” I always hoped that he would inspire them too.  

"Everyone, make the Holy Hour, and you will discover as you leave the divine Presence that if you move among people in the world, they will say of you as the maid said of Peter, “You have been with Christ.” And then at the end of a lifetime spent in adoration of the Lord, and in love of the Blessed Mother, of the Blessed Sacrament, when you come before the Lord do you know what He will say to you? He will say, “I heard my Mother speak of you.”

~Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen on Eucharistic Adoration


A call to reopen the process for beatification:

Our nation needs native-born saints and role models to inspire the hearts and minds of all Catholics, especially our youth. It would be a tremendous loss to the American Church if the opportunity to beatify, and maybe one day canonize, this good and holy bishop was lost due to the inability of two dioceses to agree on his final resting place.

The years are quickly passing by, and we are losing immediate members of the Sheen Family, as well as the faithful who loved his TV show and listened to his sermons.

I pray… no, actually, I plead that Church officials in Peoria and in New York can get together after the visit of our Holy Father Pope Francis and work out their concerns and differences so that this effort can move forward for the good of the American Church.

Archbishop Fulton John Sheen, a native-born son, preached the Gospel with a passion to reach all generations across the years. Our young people need religious heroes to emulate in these days of secularism and relativism. 

May we see his cause move forward in our lifetimes.
Amen. 

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Heavenly Father, source of all holiness,
You raise up within the Church in every age men and women who serve with heroic love and dedication.
You have blessed Your Church through the life and ministry of Your faithful servant, Archbishop Fulton J Sheen.
He has written and spoken well of Your Divine Son, Jesus Christ, and was a true instrument of the Holy Spirit in touching the hearts of countless people.
If it be according to Your Will, for the honor and glory of the Most Holy Trinity and for the salvation of souls,
we ask You to move the Church to proclaim him a saint.
We ask this prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Amen.

Imprimatur:
+Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C., Bishop of Peoria

—-

For more information:


2. The September 4, 2014 article from the Catholic News Agency: “Suspension of Fulton Sheen's cause expected to be temporary;” 

3. The March 15, 2015 Catholic World Report article on Thomas Reeves’ biography "America's Bishop: The Life and Times of Fulton J. Sheen,” with new final chapter available online at no cost; Calls Sheen’s ‘intense life of holiness worthy of sainthood’

Read more here.

4. The June 18, 2014 Catholic Herald article about the first proposed miracle, the survival of a child delivered stillborn, to be attributed to the intercession of Archbishop Sheen. A board of physicians “convoked by the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints in March of 2014 agreed that there was no natural explanation for why the child’s heart started beating over an hour after his birth.”

Read more here.

5. Read this interesting 2012 interview with his niece Joan Sheen Cunningham of Yonkers, New York, then age 85, who left her midwestern family at age 10 to attend school in NY under the guardianship of her uncle.  

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“You have written and spoken well of the Lord Jesus. You have been a loyal son of the Church!” 
~Pope John Paul II, as he embraced Archbishop Sheen during an October 3, 1979 audience in New York City

September 03, 2015 03:17
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Birthday blessings to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI: A photo blog of his life since retirement from the papacy


Today is the 88th birthday of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI:

Born in Marktl am Inn, Bavaria, Germany, on April 16, 1927, on my Grandmother’s sixth birthday, the former Joseph Ratzinger was elected to the papacy on April 19, 2005 after the death of Pope John Paul II. Then 78 years old, the new Pope Benedict XVI became the oldest pope to serve the Church in 300 years.


Waving from the balcony of St Peter's Basilica after being elected in April 2005 (EPA Photo)

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Where were you…?

Where were you when you heard that news on February 11, 2013 that Pope Benedict XVI, at age 85, had announced that he would step down from the papacy citing a "lack of strength of mind and body due to advanced age” seventeen days later on February 28?

He shocked the world with this monumental announcement, making him the first pope to step down from his pontificate since Pope Gregory XII in 1415.


Announcing his resignation during a consistory with Vatican cardinals on February 11, 2013 (AP Photo)


“After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God,
I have come to the certainty that my strengths due to an advanced age
are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.
“I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature,
must be carried out not only by words and deeds but no less with prayer and suffering. 
“However, in today's world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions
of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the barque of St. Peter and proclaim the Gospel,
both strength of mind and body are necessary-
strengths which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me
to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.”

--Pope Benedict XVI on February 11, 2013
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Pope Benedict XVI walks with his cane following his final general audience on Feb. 27, 2013.
(Photo: L’Osservatore Romano/CNS)

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Above: The final tweet of Pope Benedict XVI as @Pontifex: February 27, 2013

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Pope Benedict left the Vatican on February 28, 2013 by Italian air force helicopter, circling Rome during the sunset hour while bells rang out from St. Peter’s Basilica and from every church in the region.
He would spend the next three months at the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo until the renovations were completed at his new home in the Vatican Gardens at the Mater Ecclesiae monastery.

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"I am a simple pilgrim who begins the last stage of his pilgrimage on this earth.
"With all my heart, with all my love, with my prayers, with my reflection, with all my interior strength, I still want to work for the common good and the good of the church and humanity.”

--Pope Benedict XVI to those gathered outside Castel Gandolfo on February 28, 2013

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Glimpses into the retired life of the Holy Father Emeritus:

So what has Pope Benedict been doing since his retirement?

He has kept a low profile with a quiet schedule during the past two years.

Here are some of the highlights:

First meeting of two living popes in modern times:


Just days after his election, Pope Francis traveled by helicopter from the Vatican for this private first meeting with the former pontiff on March 23, 2013 at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo. During the visit, they prayed together and had lunch. Pope Francis gave his retired predecessor a gift, an icon of Mary and Jesus that the Russian Orthodox delegation to the inauguration had given him the previous week:

“They told me this was Our Lady of Humility. If I may say, I thought of you.
You gave us so many examples of humility and tenderness.”
--Pope Francis 
(CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano via Reuters)

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Pope Francis welcomes Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI back to the Vatican
after two months at the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo;
(Photo: Reuters/L'Osservatore Romano)

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Pope Francis visited the Holy Father Emeritus at his new home, the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery on May 2, 2013.
(CNS/L'Ossevatore Romano via Reuters)

Living with Pope Benedict at the monastery will be his secretary, Archbishop Georg Ganswein, who also serves as prefect of the papal household to Pope Francis, along with four staff, all consecrated laywomen from Memores Domini. His home includes a chapel, library for his large book collection, and a guest room for his brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger of their native Germany. 

The music room with piano is especially important to Pope Benedict, an accomplished pianist, who plays daily. His favorite composer is said to be Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

“His music is by no means just entertainment; it contains the whole tragedy of human existence.”
—Pope Benedict XVI on Mozart

Besides piano practice, the Holy Father Emeritus is said to spend his time in prayer, reading and study, in informal private meetings with friends and associates, and keeping up with the daily news from the L’Osservatore Romano and the evening news broadcast.

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A private concert was held on January 14, 2014 for the occasion of the 90th birthday of the brother of the Holy Father Emeritus, Msgr. George Ratzinger, the former music director of the Regensburger Domspatzen, the Boys’ Choir of the Cathedral in Regensburg.


“...the honor of a lifetime…”

Lauren Green, who serves as Fox News Channel's chief religion correspondent based in New York and has a degree in piano performance from the University of Minnesota, was the classical music pianist.

“To be asked to perform for the pope seemed like Divine intervention alone. But other things happened that convinced me God’s hand was in it, guiding my path.”

Read how Lauren Green knew it was “a God thing” in It was a God thing -- adventures in faith on the way to concert for Pope Benedict, his brother.” 

Watch this short video on the concert from "Rome Reports" here.

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Attending the Consistory in Saint Peter's Basilica on February 22, 2014 for the creation of 19 new cardinals:
Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, age 86, embraced Pope Francis before the start of the consistory where these new members were elevated to the College of Cardinals.

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Sister Gisela Upunto Msuya, a Dominican nun from Same in East Timor, who studies at the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas (the Angelicum) and lives in Rome, visited the Holy Father Emeritus on July 25, 2014. (Photo: Facebook)

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In his third public appearance since retirement, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI joined Pope Francis on September 28, 2014 for a celebration for grandparents and the elderly in St. Peter’s Square. (Photo: Reuters)

“He is discreet, humble, he doesn’t want to get in the way... It feels like having grandpa at home, because of his wisdom.
It does me good to listen to him. And it also encourages me a great deal.”

--Pope Francis said of his predecessor, noting that elderly persons transmit 'wisdom and faith, the most precious inheritance.’


Archbishop Georg Gangwein serves as the secretary to the retired Holy Father.

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Selfies with the Pope Emeritus:


This photo of the Holy Father Emeritus, at age 87, with seminarian Giuseppe Ricciardi
who hails from the southern Italian diocese of Aversa was posted on Twitter:

"Ecco il primo #selfie in assoluto del #Papa Emerito #BenedettoXVI, in compagnia di Giuseppe Ricciardi di Aversa." pic.twitter.com/ejZFJcXjnW

— Gianluca Barile (@GianlucaBarile1) on September 11, 2014

English translation:

"Here is the first #selfie ever of #Papa Emeritus #BenedettoXVI, in the company of Giuseppe Ricciardi of Aversa." 

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Shortly thereafter, Gianluca Barile (@GianlucaBarile1) tweeted a second selfie of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, this time standing with Italian priest Fr. Sebastiano Sequino.

"Non c'è uno senza due! Ecco il secondo selfie di oggi di #Papa #BenedettoXVI, stavolta con Don Sebastiano Sequino." pic.twitter.com/lYEc66vseZ

— Gianluca Barile (@GianlucaBarile1) September 11, 2014

English translation:

“There’s two, not just one!
This is the second selfie from today of Pope Benedict XVI, this time with Father Sebastiano Sequino” 

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Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI exchanging the Sign of Peace with cardinals during the Beatification Mass for Blessed Pope Paul VI. This liturgy was celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square on October 19, 2014.

(Photo: CNS/Paul Haring)

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Archbishop of Panama Jose Domingo Ulloa, with Bishop David Bishop, Monsignor José Luis Lacunza, and women from their delegation meet with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on November 19, 2014 at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery. 

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This year's Epiphany/ birthday visit for the brothers:

Msgr. Georg Ratzinger flew from Munich to Rome on December 29, 2014 to visit with his brother, the Holy Father Emeritus, until January 16. They would celebrate Msgr. Ratzinger's birthday, now the 91st, there again at the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery.


This year’s celebration included another concert, with music by Il Trio Böhm, held in the same room at Vatican Radio as the 90th birthday concert the previous year.
The chamber musicians were Michela Berti paying flute, Claudio Cavallaro on the clarinet, and  Daniele Veroli playing the horn.

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Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI again attended the consistory held this year on February 14, 2015 for the creation of 20 new cardinals
(AP Photo)

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The Archbishop of Lviv Mieczysław Mokrzycki, took his brother bishops to meet Benedict at the Lourdes Grotto in the Vatican Gardens on February 21, 2015 while on their ad limina visit to Rome. The Archbishop served as second secretary to St. John Paul II and also to Pope Benedict XVI until he was appointed Archbishop of Lviv in western Ukraine. Pope Benedict ordained him to the bishopric in St. Peter's Basilica and now invited the Archbishop to lunch at the monastery and expressed a wish to meet his brother bishops.

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Birthday blessings:

For his 88th birthday, Pope Benedict XVI will once again enjoy the company of his brother, Msgr. Ratzinger, for a ten-day visit.


Fond memories:

The Holy Father celebrated his 81st birthday at the White House with President and Mrs. Bush on April 16, 2008 during his pastoral trip to the United States.

Ad multos annos!!

April 16, 2015 04:31
By Patti Murphy Dohn


Our Lady of the Rosary: Praying for peace in the world and in our families



October has always been the month of the Rosary, with the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary celebrated annually on October 7.

Formerly known as the feast of Our Lady of Victory, the day honors the Virgin Mary for her intercession which led to the victory over the Turks at Lepanto on October 7, 1571. Pope St. Pius V and crew members from more than 200 ships prayed the Rosary to prepare for the battle, and were joined in prayer in churches throughout Europe by the faithful.

Pope St. Pius V established this feast two years later in 1573 to give thanks to God for this victory, with Pope Clement XI extending the feast in 1716 to the universal Church.


Saints on praying the Rosary:


"The greatest method of praying is to pray the Rosary." --St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622)

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"Pray the Rosary everyday to obtain peace for the world." --Our Lady to the children at Fatima

The Blessed Mother appeared with a rosary in her hand when she gave her first message to the three shepherd children, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta, in Fatima, Portugal on May 13, 1917. She prayed the rosary with them monthly on the 13th from May through October.

"There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot solve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary." --Sister Lucia of Fatima

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"The Rosary is a school for learning true Christian perfection." --Pope John XXIII (1881-1963)

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"The Rosary is the 'weapon' for these times." --Saint Padre Pio

Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, O.F.M. Cap (1887-1968), Franciscan stigmatic and popular Italian confessor, who almost unfailingly ;had the rosary in his hands:

Sitting in his famous rattan chair, he prayed to the Blessed Mother every waking hour of the day.

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"The Rosary is the best therapy for these distraught, unhappy, fearful, and frustrated souls, precisely because it involves the simultaneous use of three powers: the physical, the vocal, and the spiritual, and in that order."  

--Archbishop Fulton Sheen (1895-1979) 

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"The Family that prays together, stays together." --Father Patrick Peyton, The Rosary Priest (1909-1992)

"If families give Our Lady fifteen minutes a day by reciting the Rosary, I assure them that their homes will become, by God's grace, peaceful places." 

Father Peyton's cause for sainthood began on June 1, 2001: Go to his website for canonization to submit your prayer petitions and testimonials of miracles through the intercession of Father Patrick Peyton.

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Read about the miracles attributed to Mother Teresa's (1910-1997) rosary here.


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"The Rosary is my favorite prayer. A marvelous prayer! Marvelous in its simplicity and its depth. In the prayer we repeat many times the words that the Virgin Mary heard from the Archangel, and from her kinswoman Elizabeth."

--Pope Saint John Paul II (1920-2005)

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"With the Rosary, we allow ourselves to be guided by Mary, model of faith, in meditating on the mysteries of Christ, and day after day we are helped to assimilate the Gospel, so that it shapes all our lives,” --Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

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Pope Francis praying the rosary (Photo: Getty Images)

During the November 20, 2013 Angelus, Pope Francis prescribed praying the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet daily as volunteers gave away about 20,000 boxes containing a rosary, a Divine Mercy holy card and a medical-style instruction sheet:

"I would like, now, for all of you to consider a medicine. But some may think, ‘The Pope is being a pharmacist now?’ It is a special medicine to make the fruit of the Year of Faith that is coming to a close more concrete.  This little box contains the medicine, and some volunteers will distribute it to you as you leave the square. Take it! It’s a rosary with which one can pray also the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, spiritual help for our souls and for spreading love, forgiveness and brotherhood everywhere. Don’t forget to take it. Because it does good, eh?  It does good for the heart, for the soul, for all of life.”



October 07, 2014 08:40
By Patti Murphy Dohn

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