When I say this is a prophecy I don’t want to suggest that I have had some sort of supernatural vision. This is not a prophecy in that sense, but a prophecy because prophets not only sometimes have supernatural revelations, but they are people who are also able to see the big picture, understand the times and circumstances and know the past so they can therefore predict the future. So here is my prediction: the vocations crisis in the Catholic Church is over. Here’s why: Fifty years after the revolution of the Second Vatican Council we are moving on from the tensions it created. Those tensions existed because Catholics kept comparing the pre-Vatican II church to the post-Vatican II church. The ones who did this most were the folks who went through the Vatican II revolution. Everything was viewed through that lens. A pope, bishop, priest or theologian was therefore either “conservative” and “pre Vatican 2″ and trying to turn the clock back or they were “liberal” in favour of the “Spirit of Vatican 2″ and progressive. To be blunt, those people are old. Not only are they dying out, but their ideas are dying out. Their places are being taken by a younger genera-tion of Catholics who do not remember the Vatican 2 wars. They’re smart and they simply want to be Catholic. These are the young people who are filing traditional religious orders with young vocations. These are the young men who are going to seminary, and the reason their numbers will continue to grow is because of several other factors. First, cultural Catholicism is dying. People aren’t Catholic now because they’re Irish or Italian or Polish. They’re Catholic because they believe the Catholic faith. While cultural Catholicism continues to die out committed Catholicism will continue to rise. Cultural catholicism doesn’t produce vocations. Committed Catholicism does. Second, faith is always stronger under fire. At this time Catholicism is in too many places fat, lazy and complacent. Our culture, however, is moving very rapidly to an aggressively atheistic stance. The Catholic Church will increasingly be in the firing line over a whole range of moral, political and financial issues. As it becomes difficult and dangerous to be Catholic the complacent and comfortable Catholics will quietly slip away. They are doing so already. Third, as it becomes difficult and dangerous to be Catholic more young men will stand up to be counted. Men like the militant aspect of being a priests. They want to stand up for what they believe in without compromise. They want to fight the good fight with all their might. The Church militant will make a come back and an increasing number of men will step forward to be engaged in the spiritual battle. The Holy Spirit never moves back. Always forward. In the coming crisis it will be, as emeritus Pope Benedict has predicted, a leaner, stronger church. When I say the vocations crisis is over I don’t mean that we will necessarily be flooded with many priests. But we will be supplied with good, courageous and strong priests. [from Father Dwight Longenecker]
Thank you for your donations and the tremendous effort so far. The painting of the inside of the Shrine has been completed and the Shrine looks good as new! The new carpet will be fitted this week in time for the Blessing of the Mosaic on Sunday 21st September at 3.00pm with Bishop Brain, Bishop of Salford. We are hoping that all the work will be completed and we will be ready to celebrate Schoenstatt’s Centenary on Saturday 18th October this year.
It’s not to late to make a donation
Any amount is welcome no matter how small or large, please just ensure it’s in an envelope marked GIFT TO MARY. Any cheques should be made to Schoenstatt and placed in an envelope marked GIFT TO MARY and handed to any of the priest
Thank you for supporting Our Shrine Your Home
In a new interview, Pope Francis has given a 10-point plan for happiness: “The Romans have a saying, which can be taken as a point of reference,” the Pope said. “They say: Campa e lascia campà (Live and let live). That’s the first step to peace and happiness.” He then went on to list the other nine, the next being “giving oneself to others.” “If one gets tired,” he said, “one runs the risk of being egoistic, and stagnant water is the first to be corrupted.” Third, he propos-ed that one “move quietly” and cited the Argentine novel Don Segundo Sombra, – there is a very beautiful thing, a man who looks back on his life, the Pope says. In his youth, the protagonist was a rocky stream that ran over everything, but as he became older, he was a running river and in old age was “quietly peaceful.” He also repeated his concern that a people who doesn’t take care of its elderly “has no future.” Fourth, the Pope advocated playing with children and the importance of a healthy culture of leisure, reading and enjoying art. “Consumerism has led to the anxiety of losing” this culture, he said. Fifth, the Pope stressed the importance of sharing Sundays with family. Sixth, he said helping young people find employment is a key to happiness. He said it’s important to be creative with them because if they lack opportunities, “they fall into drugs.” He said the rate of suicide is “very high among young people without work.” Turning to the international situation, the Pope drew attention to the increasing number of conflicts and wars across the globe. “War destroys,” he said. “And we must cry out for peace. Peace sometimes gives the idea of stillness, but it is never stillness. It is always an active peace… Peace is the language we must speak.” The Holy Father also spoke about those fleeing the horrors of war and other calamities and how many countries are not generous in helping refugees. The Pope also spoke about environmental issues and how mankind continues to waste the bounty given by God. He also appeared to voice his opposition to extracting wealth from the earth at the expense of the environ-ment. This has been taken by many to imply fracking — a controversial method of extracting gas that opponents say risks contaminating water supplies. “When, for example, you want to make use of a mining method that extracts more than other methods, but it contaminates the water, it doesn’t matter,” he said, according to Vatican Radio’s report on the interview. “And so they go on contaminating nature. I think it’s a question that we are not facing: Humanity, in its indiscriminate use of and tyranny over nature, is it committing suicide?” In the interview, the Pope also reiterated the Church grows by attraction, not proselytizing. “The worst thing you can do is religious proselytizing, which paralyzes,” he said.
Welcome to the Taste and See Family Mass on Sunday 14th September. Taste and See Mass with the blessing of your crosses brought from home on the Solemnity of the Exaltation of the Cross will start at 3.30pm followed by input and children’s programme, a shared meal finishing at 6.30pm. Our theme from the series Schoenstatt Hearts Afire: “Modern Day Saints here and now!” Please bring your crosses from home to have them blessed on the day. We look forward to welcoming you after the Summer Holidays.
I was reading William F. Buckley’s Nearer, My God: An Autobiography of Faith and came upon this story relayed by the late actor David Niven about a disaster at sea and the sacrifice of a priest. “David Niven told the engrossing story (I had never heard it) of a single episode in the chaotic flight from France after Dunkirk in 1940. One motley assembly, ‘Royal Air Force ground personnel who were trapped, Red Cross workers, women, ambulance drivers and, finally, the embassy staff from Paris with their children — by the time they got to St. Nazaire at the mouth of the Loire, there were over three thousand of them and the British government sent an old liner called the Lancastria to come and take them away, with three destroyers to guard her. They were just pulling up the anchor when three dive bombers came. The destroyers did what they could, but one bomb hit, went down the funnel and blew a huge hole in the side, and she quickly took on a terrible list. In the hold there were several hundred soldiers. Now there was no way they could ever get out because of the list, and she was sinking. And along came my own favorite Good Samaritan, a Roman Catholic priest, a young man in Royal Air Force uniform. He got a rope and lowered himself into the hold to give encouragement and help to those hundreds of men in their last fateful hour.’ ‘Knowing he couldn’t get out?’ ‘Knowing he could never get out, nor could they. The ship sank and all in that hold died. The remainder were picked up by the destroyers and came back to England to the regiment I was in, and we had to look after them, and many of them told me that they were giving up even then, in the oil and struggle, and the one thing that kept them going was the sound of the soldiers and the priest in the hold singing hymns.’” Winston Churchill hid the news of the deaths of possibly more than 7,000 men from the public as it might have damaged morale. He reportedly said, ‘The newspapers have got quite enough disaster for today, at least.’ Although the sinking of the Lancastria may be the worst maritime disaster in Britain’s history with more deaths than the Titanic and Lusitania put together, it has not been truly recognized as such. Such stories serve to inspire and, I think, force us to question ourselves. When I hear a story like this I am terrified at the lack of my own faith.