Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Prayer Initiative at St. Patrick Basilica, Ottawa, ON

7:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
St. Pats has kindly reserved a special pew in the church for a 40 Day for Life prayer initiative. It is our goal during the time the church is open, which also coincides with the time the abortion clinic is open, to have continual quiet prayer in front of the BLESSED SACRAMENT for the intentions of the campaign.
Our special focus is that we might be faithful and pleasing to God by saving the physical lives of God’s precious infants through the spiritual conversion of their mothers and fathers, for the abortionist and their staff, for our politicians and for all who through indifference do nothing to try to stop abortion. Our prayers also provide spiritual and moral support for our sidewalk counsellors at the vigil site. Our prayers are also to provide a personal love to God’s infants who will die that day at 65 Bank Street.
It is our hope that the regular weekday parishioners of St. Pats, as well as those who are unable to be at the vigil site, or those taking part in the vigil but who want to spend some time before or after, in front of the Blessed sacrament, will help with this initiative. No sign-up necessary.
As Catholics, we believe the most powerful prayer in the world is EUCHARISTIC PRAYER, prayer during the sacrifice of the Mass, prayer after receiving Holy Communion, and prayer to our risen saviour in His real but hidden presence in the Blessed Sacrament.

1:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M. in Scavi
The battle against abortion is a spiritual battle. To be effective in this battle, we need to know the nature of the battle and follow the battle plan, using the weapons given us, while being aware of the strategy of the enemy. The victory is ours but we must take it. With this in mind, we will be offering a video daily during the weekdays at 1:00 pm in the Scavi. The focus will be on Mary, The Eucharist, The Rosary, Prayer, Fasting, Adoration, the Saints etc., linking these with the call to The 40 Days for Life campaign. See website for video schedule.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Sunday Vespers before the beginning of the 40 Days for Life Campaign

I was at Vespers at Saint Patrick Basilica last night and it was very uplifting to see about 300 in attendance. Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast gave a terrific homily on prayer and repentance and the call to conversion

homily of his Grace Archbishop Terrence Prendergast
Sunday before Ash Wednesday
- Vespers—February 22, 2009
St. Patrick's Basilica—Ottawa, Ontario

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J.,speaks on Saint Paul

Year of St. Paul series of monthly articles to celebrate the Year of St. Paul. Each month, Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, S.J., a noted Scripture scholar, will highlight a different aspect of Paul’s writings and times.
A Celebration of the Life of Saint Paul
Epistle to Romans contains Paul's theological legacy
Pauline Morality: Thoughtful Worship
The Self Emptying of Jesus
Christ's Coming In Glory
The Complex Nature of the End Times God's Son, born of a woman
The Conversion of Saint Paul
The theology of the body
Dying and Rising with Christ http://www.catholicregister.org/content/view/2854/1026/
The Catholic Register 2008 © The Catholic Register

Saint Paul A Convinced Apostle

I attended a wonderful silent retreat on the weekend and I am still in awe of how spiritually rich an event this was. The retreat leader was Father Kenneth Leblanc LC a very holy and humble priest and a brilliant speaker. The theme of the retreat was "Saint Paul, A convinced Apostle" There were eight meditations in all including the Interior Life, Prayer and Paul's Conversion. Indeed we are temples of the Holy Spirit and God lives in us by Grace. Do I use my body to give Glory of God? Do others encounter God is me?

To commemorate the birth of the Apostle to the Gentiles, Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed this Year a Jubilee Year to the Apostle Paul: from 28 June 2008 to 29 June 2009. "Saint Paul's Spirituality is based on prayer and is mission oriented" said Father Kenneth.

Father Kenneth said that during at least 20 of Benedict's audiences since the beginning of the Pauline Year, the pope spoke passionately on Saint Paul and calls us to be apostles like Paul ; to work for the salvation of souls and to become holy, because, as Christians, we are all called to be co-workers in the kingdom of God and to be saints.

For more on Saint Paul and the Pauline Year go to this link

"....that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
(Ephesians 3:17–19).

12 year old speaks out on the issue of abortion

12-year-old "Lia" of Toronto has become a star at her school and on Youtube with her five-minute pro-life speech, crafted for a school competition. Despite discouragement and outright opposition, Lia's presentation was so well done that she reportedly won the contest she was told she would be disqualified from, due to the "controversial"message of her speech. The speech is available in its entirety on Youtube, where it has been viewed over 100,000 times and sparked a heated discussion.
click here for video of lia's entire speech 12 year old speaks out on the issue of abortion
See complete story on Lifesite News http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/feb/09021605.html

Monday, February 9, 2009

Pregnancy Support Centers

To contact a pregnancy helping agency in your area please call 1-800-395-HELP (4357)

Pregnancy Support Centers

Excellent Homily on Prayer and Fasting, By Father Paul Burchat from Priests for Life


By Father Paul Burchat from Priests for Life

This is a simple review of some of the basics concerning these two topics. I will start with prayer. One of if not the simplest and best place to read about prayer is in the fourth section of the Catechism. There are as many ways to define prayer, as there are ways of praying. Quoting the Little Flower the Catechism says, "prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy" (2558). That is not necessarily the most perfect definition of prayer but it certainly is a very good one. Prayer of course is a means to an end it is not an end in itself. The end is a deeper, ongoing union with God and prayer as much as anything is what accomplishes this. I make this point because some people can become attached to their form of prayer or style of prayer and miss the real point of it. They have a set routine of prayer and can feel distressed if for some reason that pattern is disrupted. At this point it is not so much God they are seeking but the self-satisfaction of having stuck to their routine. They do all the "right" things and miss the goal. In light of this we begin to see that prayer is a dynamic and not a static reality. Ultimately it is God who invites and stimulates us to pray. Our desire for God is the result of God's desire for us. And as with any relationship the one we have with God will change and mature as time goes by. As such how we pray will change with time as well. So we should not be surprised if our prayer routine, which at one time seemed to work so well becomes dry and unappealing. It usually means that God wants to show us more sides of himself and to enter into a new phase of the relationship he has with us. That entails allowing the old form of prayer to "dry up" so we can replace it with another. You could compare this to communicating with your child. If you are still talking to your son or daughter when they are twenty as you did when they were one year old something is very wrong. Of course sometimes no matter what we do prayer can stay dry and this is God's way of testing us to see if we will stay faithful and whether or not we are really seeking him or just the consolations that can come with prayer.
Prayer is to the soul as food is to the body. If my soul is to stay healthy I need to pray, otherwise my spirit can become sick and listless. "Humility is the foundation of prayer" (CCC 2559). Real prayer demands I understand how utterly dependent I am on God. Without this I may be talking to God but I am not praying. And of course more than anything else or should I say anyone else, prayer is meant to change me not other people. As a result of praying for others they may change for the better, but even if they don't (at least from my perspective) I should be changing for the better. If I am praying for others but expecting that I will stay the same I am undermining my efforts. Therefore there is no such thing as wasted prayer. My prayer may or may not help others but it can always help me. There is also no such thing as an unanswered prayer. Every one of my prayers has been answered. I just didn't always like the answer I got. God tells me what I need to hear not what I want to hear.
There are many styles and forms of prayer: vocal, meditative, contemplative, praise, adoration, thanksgiving, sacramental, intercessory, prayers of petition, etc. etc. Where does one begin? We begin with whatever works. There really is no right or wrong way to pray. In fact there is only one wrong thing we can do in prayer, i.e. stop praying. Apart from this the field is wide open and no matter how we pray good things are going to happen, at least to us. I did not say easy things but good things. However none of this can happen without self-discipline. If we are to develop a mature life of prayer and a stable relationship with God self-discipline is absolutely indispensable. We are fooling ourselves to think otherwise. You don't develop a solid friendship with anyone unless you put the time in with him or her and it is no different with God.
There are difficulties in prayer of course; the most common is getting distracted. When this happens we should not spend much if any time in trying to track down the cause or source of the distraction much less exert any effort in trying to expel it, as this would only increase the power it has over us. We should merely return to prayer as soon as possible (CCC 2729).
Fasting is limiting the amount of food eaten. Abstinence on the other hand is completely eliminating a particular foodstuff from the diet such as meat, dairy products or what have you. Practically speaking the Church understands fasting to entail the eating of only one full meal a day and cutting back on the portions at the other meals. Fasting is not done only by religious people or for religious reasons. People will abstain from certain foods or cut back on their quantities for a variety of reasons. Dieting is a form of fasting, which is done for the purpose of losing weight and with the intention of improving one's health and/or appearance. Some people may be allergic to certain foods and need to eliminate them entirely from their diet. When the primary intention is for the sake of appearance then the underlying reason is either to enhance ones' self-esteem, to engage our narcissistic or hedonistic tendencies or some combination of these. If people are ill or preparing for surgery there may a need to fast or stop eating altogether for a period of time. Others may fast as a means of protest or to further some ideological vision or goal. The Church on the other hand asks us to fast not because she considers certain foods evil but for sound spiritual reasons. The sacrifices we undergo by fasting, as we unite them to our Lord's passion and cross, are a means of doing penance for our sins and the sins of others and thus help to further the salvation of the world. From her perspective fasting helps to curtail our self-indulgence and to tame or mortify our appetites with the ultimate goal of enhancing our spiritual growth. Fasting is one of the three primary forms of penance which the Church has always put forth for our consideration; the other two being prayer and almsgiving. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday of course are obligatory days of fast and abstinence from meat. All the Fridays of the year (which are not Solemnities) are obligatory days of penance and we certainly are free to abstain from meat on that day, but here in Canada we may substitute some other form of penance such as acts of piety or charity for abstaining from meat. This then is the sense in which the Church understands fasting and why.

For more articles and homilies on prayer and fasting please check this link
Prayer and Fasting:

2 Chronicles 7:14

" If my people, who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and heal their land."
-2 Chronicles 7:14

Holy Hour Prayer Booklets

The 40 Days for Life Prayer and Fasting Committee has put together some Pro Life prayer pamphlets which are suitable for use in prayer groups or as Holy Hours in your Church or Parish. Below are links to the prayers.
Divine Mercy Chaplet Holy Hour
Journey to Calvary  ( The Way of the Cross for the Terminally Ill)
Sacred Heart Holy Hour
Sacred Heart Holy Hour - 2 ( different readings)
Saint Joseph Holy Hour
A Rosary for Life - The Joyful Mysteries
A Rosary for Life - The Sorrowful Mysteries
Pro Life Stations of the Cross
Respect for Life Meditations on the stations of the cross are based on those celebrated by Pope John Paul II on Good Friday 1991.
Rosary for Life from Priests for Life Canada

Rosary making workshop

The Prayer and Fasting Committe of 40 Days for Life
invites you to attend a workshop on how to make a beaded string rosary. These rosaries will be given to our sidewalk councilors for them to use in their ministry. Thanks and may God bless you. Hope to see you there!
Rosary Making Workship:
When: Thursday Feb 19, 2009
Time: 1:00 PM
Where: 897 Blair Road, Gloucester ON

for directions please click on this link http://www.mapquest.com/maps?city=Ottawa&state=ON&address=+897+Blair+Road%2C

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Video on how to make a beaded cord rosary

Attention all you prayerful crafty men and women, The Spring 40 Days for Life Camaign now has a rosary making ministry and you will learn more about it at the meeting Tuesday evening at 7:00PM at Saint Pat's. We will be holding a workshop within the next week or two but if you would like a sneek preview on how to make a beaded cord rosary please click on the instructions below.

Actually this rosary is easier to make than the knotted cord rosary since the knot is the most difficult part of the rosary making

If you feel called to be part of this ministry please contact me at mtward@magma.ca

And while we are at it, if you have ever thought of making a knotted cord rosary go to
ROSARY ARMY website and watch the easy to follow video
or printable instructions please click here