February 14, 2012 Leave a comment
An excited crowd was already starting to form at Sacred Heart Co-cathedral before Sunday’s early afternoon Vietnamese Mass was even completed. People were gathering from points near and far to witness and participate in a unique moment in Catholic ecclesial history – the formal installation of the first Ordinary of the Anglican Ordinariate in the United States.
Pope Benedict XVI’s much-anticipated Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus was finally becoming a reality in America. All the prayers that have gone into this moment were about to be fulfilled and brought to full fruition. In moments, the written words would be spoken. Leaping off the page, these words would become a reality and the Rev. Jeffrey Steenson would be officially installed as the reigning cleric with jurisdiction.
The occasional light whiff of incense that drifted past the nostrils of the multitude, as they found their seats in the massive 27,800 square foot cathedral, was the first hint that something special was about to happen.
The air crackled with anticipation and excitement. The clock kept ticking toward Feb. 12th’s appointed three pm hour.
From somewhere in the back of the immense cathedral, an organ started to play softly helping to create a contemplative atmosphere. Pews were filling up as the finishing touches were being put on the solemn ceremony that would begin momentarily.
As quickly as the organ had started to play, the lilting musical notes ended. A deep hush descended on the assembled congregation. The strong aroma of incense filled the church. The Opus XIX 5,499 pipe organ pealed out the first notes of “Firmly I Believe”, bringing the congregation to its feet. Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman penned the 19th Century hymn with the 20th Century melody being written by Joseph Kucharski, the professor of church music at Nashotah House. The entrance procession had begun.
First to process in were the Catholic bishops and archbishops — eight in all – who were dressed in their fuchsia-colored choir dress. The next splash of color came when the two cardinals came in attired in brilliant vivid red.
The processional cross was flanked by two torch bearers, followed by the thurifer who with a practiced swing could twirl the thurible a full 360 degrees sending great clouds of aromatic blue-gray white smoke drifting towards the 72-foot-high vaulted ceiling.
Emerging from the smoke screen of incense came eight torch bearers leading the way for those who were carrying the humeral-veil draped crosier and miter – which would become Fr. Steenson’s symbols of spiritual authority and temporal power in the recently created personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter.
Read on at Virtue Online.
Savannah Aulger will never have snapshots with her father on her first birthday, on Christmas or at a school event.
The only picture she will ever have of them is the one as sweet as it is heartbreaking. Hooked up to an oxygen mask at the hospital, the man she would call dad cradled her in his arms for 45 minutes.
He sobbed. He smiled. And there was no doubt that he loved her.
“He would talk to my stomach when I was pregnant,” Diane Aulger said of her husband. “He was so excited for her.”
The next day, Mark Aulger slipped into a coma.
The Aulger family of The Colony, Texas, had a lot to rejoice about in the weeks before Savannah’s Jan. 18 birth, which was induced two weeks early so her father could hold her.
A home movie on Christmas showed a pregnant Diane Aulger, 31, handing out gifts to their four children, the oldest of whom is 15. Mark, 52, who had just received the news that he had beaten cancer, played the guitar, providing a soundtrack for the Christmas morning festivities.
On Jan. 3, life threw a curveball.Mark Aulger was admitted to the hospital, unable to breathe.
Doctors told him that eight months of chemotherapy had ravaged his lungs and diagnosed him with pulmonary fibrosis. “We thought he could get on steroid treatment and oxygen and live for years,” Diane Aulger said.
But on Jan. 16, Mark Aulger found out those treatments would be fruitless. He had one week left to live.
“He was awake and alert, himself. I really didn’t believe the doctor [at first],” Diane Aulger said. “The next day his doctor came in and said: ‘When are you going to have this baby?’”
On Jan. 18, in a larger-than-normal delivery room, Mark rested in his bed, a supportive presence for Diane as their baby girl entered the world.
“The day she was born his oxygen levels were really high,” Aulger said. “He held her for 45 minutes. Him and I just cried that whole time.”
As Diane was recovering, Mark tried holding his daughter again the next day, but was only able to last one minute. “He just couldn’t take it,” Diane Aulger said.
The devoted husband and father of five slipped into a coma.
“If she cried, he would shake his head and moan. I put her on him when he was in the coma a few times and his hand would move toward her,” Aulger said.
On January 23rd, with his family by his side, Mark Aulger died in his hospital bed.
“The kids go on as if dad is really still here,” Diane Aulger said. “Mark was a very funny guy. My kids still tell jokes how they would when he was around. He would have been a wonderful daddy to Savannah.”
(Zenit.org)- Each year in the United States over a million children are the innocent parties to the divorce of their parents. While divorce also hurts the parents it is the children who particularly suffer, according to recent research.The findings come in a study published in January by the Marriage and Religion Research Institute, “The Effects of Divorce on Children,” by Patrick F. Fagan and Aaron Churchill.
Drawing on a large amount of published research on the effects of divorce, their paper goes through a series of areas where divorce harms children. The first one regards parent-child relationships. As would be expected, divorce affects the ability of parents to relate to their children.
One study found that the stress caused by divorce damages the relationship between children and their mothers for as many as 40% of divorced mothers. This insufficiency is more marked by the time children are in high school and college.
In practical terms this means that after divorce, children receive less emotional support, financial assistance, and help from their parents. There is also a decrease in academic stimulation, pride, affection, and encouragement of social maturity. Fewer toys and more corporal punishment is another consequence for children of divorced parents.
Most, around 90%, of children remain with their mother following a divorce. It then becomes difficult for the father to maintain close ties, the study reported. In one study nearly half of the children said they had not seen their father in the past year.
Another aspect covered in the study by Fagan and Churchill is the effect of divorce on religious practice among children. They found that following divorce, children are more likely to cease practicing their faith.
This lessening of religious practice means that children suffer from a lack of the beneficial effects of religion, in areas as diverse as marital stability, education, income, and physical and mental health…
Continue reading here.
Via Discovery News:
Forget roses, chocolate boxes, and candlelight dinners. On Valentine’s Day, this is rather boring stuff – at least according to ancient Roman standards.
Imagine half naked men running through the streets, whipping young women with bloodied thongs made from freshly cut goat skins. Although it might sound like some sort of perverted sado-masochist practice, this is what the Romans did until 496 A.D.
Indeed, mid-February was Lupercalia (Wolf Festival) time. Celebrated on February 15 at the foot of the Palatine Hill beside the cave where according to tradition the she-wolf had suckled Romulus and Remus, the festival was essentially a purification and fertility rite.
Directed by the Luperci, or “brothers of the wolf,” the festival began with the sacrifice of two male goats and a dog, their blood smeared on the faces of Luperci initiates and then wiped off with wool dipped in milk.
As thongs were cut from the sacrificed goats, the initiates would run around in the streets flagellating women to promote fertility.
Finally, in 496 Pope Gelasius I banned the wild feast and declared Feb. 14 as St. Valentine’s Day.
But who was St. Valentine? Mystery surrounds the identity of the patron saint of lovers.
Indeed, such was the confusion that the Vatican dropped St. Valentine’s Day from the Catholic Church calendar of saints in the 1960s.
There were at least three men by the name Valentine in the A.D. 200s and all died of a horrible death.
One was a priest in the Roman Empire who helped persecuted Christians during the reign of Claudius II. As he was imprisoned, he restored the sight of a blind girl, who fell in love with him. He was beheaded on Feb. 14.
Another was the pious bishop of Terni, also torturted and beheaded during Claudius II’s reign.
A third Valentine would have secretly married couples, ignoring Claudius II’s ban of marriage. When the priest of love was eventually arrested, legend has it that he fell deeply in love with his jailer’s daughter.
Before his death by beating and decapitation, he signed a farewell note to her: “From your Valentine”…
Continue reading here.