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Copyright © 2015, B.F.S. All rights reserved. Newsletter - June, 2015 [Plain text version]

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* Greetings

* MCS News & Notes

* The Month of June: Dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

* Short Meditation on the Sacred Heart of Jesus

* Spiritual Exercise: Fear

* Liturgical Feasts in June

* 'Catholic Trivia'

* Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - Do You Reject the Concept of Confessing Sins to a Priest?

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Dear Friend,

"For we now kept festival with joy, both Easter and Pentecost, and we rejoice in the benefits of the Lord. I write to you all. Greet all who fear the Lord. Those with me greet you. I pray that you may be well in the Lord, beloved and much-longed-for brethren." (St. Athanasius, Second Letter to Orsisius)

Greetings to you as we approach the beginning of summer. We hope everything has been going well with you. We have been quite busy here with our work on app development and preparations for Rosary Week.

We are happy to announce that we have completed the long-awaited Android version of our Catholic Bible References app. This app features hundreds of key bible references conveniently arranged by topic, 100+ tips for locating related passages, modern & traditional scripture translations, handy search, and more. It's a great apologetics tool that can help Catholics discuss and defend the faith. This 'must-have' app is available for a limited time at a low introductory price. Get your copy today at or at

We are also happy to report that the signup sheet for our Seventh Annual Rosary Week (to be held from 10/25-10/31/15) is now ready. We think you will find this to be a spiritually rewarding event. Please sign up today at . Participation in Rosary Week is easy, free, and takes only a little time. You can sign up for one day, a few days, or for the entire week. You can participate at any time of day or night. And, you can join us from the comfort of your own home or even from your parish. We hope you will join us & other Catholics throughout the world in praying the Holy Rosary for some worthy intentions. Please also invite your family & friends!

Thank you for being a valued subscriber to our mailing list. Best wishes to you for God's blessings,

Your Friends at

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"Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love, Have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, Abyss of all virtues, Have mercy on us. Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise, Have mercy on us." (From the Litany of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus)

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MCS News & Notes

* App Development Update: As indicated above, we have just released the long-awaited Android version of our Catholic Bible References app. We were happy to complete final testing of the app earlier than we had previously thought. At this time, the app is available for download on Google Play at and on at . For more information and screenshots, please try here -

* Rosary Week: The signup sheet for our Seventh Annual Rosary Week is ready and waiting for you! To sign up today, please visit . We hope you will consider joining us in this prayerful endeavor that others have called "very special", "a wonderful idea", "a worthy spiritual exercise", "uplifting", a "wonderful event", "a fantastic idea", "very spiritually rewarding", "much needed", and "a great way for Catholics to bring themselves to [pray] the rosary". We have tried hard to make participation easy and remove any objections that people may have (e.g. you can sign up anonymously, no e-mail address is required to sign up, the event is totally free, you can participate for just one day, you can pray at any time and from any appropriate location...). We really hope you will join us!

* Can you help spread the word about Rosary Week? Please visit and click on the 'Fliers' link for fliers you can print and hand out (and perhaps post at your parish?). Please note that convenient 'toner-saving' Rosary Week fliers are available that contain a white background and print in black & white. Or, if you like, you can choose the more colorful versions. All fliers are in .pdf format [Note: For best results, fit fliers to page before printing]

* Newsletter Delivery Issues Follow-Up: Our May newsletter experienced some delivery issues (in fact, more than in April). As we indicated previously, our host said removal from the list we were on was "difficult to impossible". Nevertheless, we were able to get removed from the list due to our own efforts. Unfortunately, however, our removal from the list did not occur in a timely enough manner for us to re-send the newsletter to all affected subscribers. Please recall that we were included on a 'sp*m offender list' (we have masked this term to prevent filtering) even though we did *not* send out any unwanted mail (our subscribers must double-opt-in to our mailing list). According to our host, the list was based on "the entire C-class IP address range that [our] IP address is in. That means all of the IPs in the same range are listed, whether they have sent [sp*m] or not." Hopefully the situation has been resolved at this time. However, please note that users may help avoid delivery issues by 'whitelisting' us and by using other applicable options to inform e-mail providers that our e-mail is wanted. Thanks in advance for any help!

* Top Border Update: We have removed the 'welcome to our new look' note on the top border and replaced it with a new message ("Please Bookmark This Site, Link To Us & Tell Your Friends!"). The transition information page is still available at

* For information on indulgences that may be available in June, please visit

* For Corpus Christi resources, please try here -

* With June may come weddings & (unfortunately) also a general increase in immodest dress. For wedding information, please try the Catholic Wedding Topic Page at . If you would like more information on the sacrament of holy matrimony, please visit . For information on modest / immodest dress, please visit . Note that this page includes a link to a free flier that can be printed.

* Reminder: Don't forget your priest this Father's Day (6/21 in the U.S.). [Note: For priest-themed quotes such as: "Our parents begot us by blood and the will of the flesh, but priests make us children of God; blessed regeneration, true freedom, and adoption according to grace." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church), see the Reflections links appearing on the Priest Topic Page at ]

* Vatican gift items (e.g. flags, key chains, decals, pins) are still available in our fundraiser and are a great way to show that you're Catholic. They are reasonably priced, starting under $5.00 (including shipping). Tax, if applicable, may be added. While supplies last. To get yours, please go to

* Please invite your friends to visit For our "easy to use" invite-a-friend page, please visit . Please invite some friends today! Your support helps keep us going!

* We love to hear from you! Please submit comments at

* Have friends or family that might benefit from our newsletter? Please invite them to subscribe at . Thank you!

- - - - - App News...

* As indicated above, the long-awaited Android version of our Catholic Bible References app is now available for purchase at and at . Get your copy of this 'must-have' app today at a low introductory price! Catholic Bible References for Android is a handy apologetics tool that can be used to help Catholics discuss & defend the faith. It features hundreds of key bible references conveniently arranged by topic, 100+ tips for locating related passages (including those related to defending the Catholic faith among 'Jehovah's Witnesses' & Mormons), modern & traditional scripture translations, a convenient a-z index, a handy search feature, Old Testament / New Testament indicator, a quick, easy-to-use interface, and more... For more information and screenshots, please visit [Note: An iOS version of Catholic Bible References is presently available at ]

* Android Apps Update: We are continuing our Android app development efforts for the foreseeable future. Note that, in addition to working on Android versions of existing apps, we also have a number of 'Android only' versions of some new apps in the works. To be placed on our waiting list to be notified when the Android versions of existing apps are available, please go to . When 'Android only' apps are released, we plan to start an iOS waiting list in the event that we resume iOS development in the future. (We hope we will eventually be able to do so.)

* Great for any time of year! Our Stations of the Cross app is perfect for Lent and beyond. Reviewers have called the app "Great", "wonderful", "excellent" and "A perfect daily Lenten prayer". Comments have included references to "beautiful pictures" and "beautifully written" prayers which are "perfect for a meaningful way to remember and reflect on the death and rising of Jesus." The app was also called "Beautifully sublime" and "a great Lenten time app [that] brings home the meaning of lent and helps me with setting my goals." Two recent 5-star reviews were entitled "Simply Wonderful" and "Five Stars". Why not get your copy of this great app today? Download it today at or [an iOS version is presently available at ].

* Reviews: If you've purchased any of our apps, we encourage you to please leave a review at your place of purchase. To view selected reviews, please visit

* If you have any thoughts to share regarding our apps, please contact us using the e-mail address provided in the app or online at

* For more information concerning currently available apps, please visit (shortcut: )

Note: Any prices included herein are in U.S. dollars, excluding any applicable tax.

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* Please see our Notices page at for dates of anticipated service delays through August 2015

* Help keep us online! You can donate from $1 using PayPal at [note that we do NOT sell donor information to third parties and we do NOT contact you about your donation unless it is necessary (e.g. processing problems)]. Thank you for your much needed support!

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* Please visit our Notices page for timely news and other important information regarding -

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The Month of June: Dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

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"We do not hesitate to declare that devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is the most effective school of the love of God; the love of God, We say, which must be the foundation on which to build up the kingdom of God in the hearts of individuals, families, and nations" (Pope Pius XII, "Haurietis Aquas", 1956 A.D.)

"Is not a summary of all our religion and moreover, a guide to a more perfect life contained in this one devotion [to the Sacred Heart of Jesus]? Indeed, it more easily leads our minds to know Christ the Lord intimately and more effectively turns our heads to love Him more ardently and to imitate Him more perfectly." (Pope Pius XI)

"This devotion [to the Sacred Heart of Jesus], which We recommend to all, will be profitable to all." (Pope Leo XIII)

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Related Resources...

* Sacred Heart of Jesus (Topic Page) -

* Sacred Heart of Jesus (Reflections) -

* Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Incl. 'Sacred Heart Promises') -

* Sacred Heart of Jesus / Prayers (Incl. consecration prayers) -

* Litany of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus -

* Annum Sacrum: On Consecration To The Sacred Heart, Pope Leo XIII -

* Caritate Christi Compulsi: On Reparation To The Sacred Heart, Pope Pius XI -

* Haurietis Aquas: On Devotion To The Sacred Heart, Pope Pius XII -

* Miserentissimus Redemptor: On Reparation To The Sacred Heart, Pope Pius XI -

* Sacred Heart of Jesus (Coloring Page) [shaded] -

* Sacred Heart of Jesus (Crossword Puzzle) -

Looking For Something Else? Try Our Various Indexes For 15,000+ Entries -

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"It is altogether impossible to enumerate the heavenly gifts which devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus has poured out on the souls of the faithful, purifying them, offering them heavenly strength, rousing them to the attainment of all virtues." (Pope Pius XII)

"In truth if the arguments brought forward which form the foundation for the devotion to the pierced Heart of Jesus are duly pondered, it is surely clear that there is no question here of some ordinary form of piety which anyone at his own whim may treat as of little consequence or set aside as inferior to others, but of a religious practice which helps very much towards the attaining of Christian perfection." (Pope Pius XII, "Haurietis Aquas", 1956 A.D.)

"When so many evils meet Our gaze - such as cause sharp conflict among individuals, families, nations and the whole world, particularly today more than at any other time - where are We to seek a remedy, venerable brethren? Can a form of devotion surpassing that to the most Sacred Heart of Jesus be found, which corresponds better to the essential character of the Catholic faith, which is more capable of assisting the present-day needs of the Church and the human race? What religious practice is more excellent, more attractive, more salutary than this, since the devotion in question is entirely directed towards the love of God itself?" (Pope Pius XII, "Haurietis Aquas", 1956 A.D.)

"[T]here is no doubt that Christians in paying homage to the Sacred Heart of the Redeemer are fulfilling a serious part of their obligations in their service of God and, at the same time, they are surrendering themselves to their Creator and Redeemer with regard to both the affections of the heart and the external activities of their life; in this way, they are obeying that divine commandment: 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind, and with thy whole strength.' Besides, they have the firm conviction that they are moved to honor God not primarily for their own advantage in what concerns soul and body in this life and in the next, but for the sake of God's goodness they strive to render Him their homage, to give Him back love for love, to adore Him and offer Him due thanks." (Pope Pius XII)

"In order that favors in greater abundance may flow on all Christians, nay, on the whole human race, from the devotion to the most Sacred Heart of Jesus, let the faithful see to it that to this devotion the Immaculate Heart of the Mother of God is closely joined. For, by God's Will, in carrying out the work of human Redemption the Blessed Virgin Mary was inseparably linked with Christ in such a manner that our salvation sprang from the love and the sufferings of Jesus Christ to which the love and sorrows of His Mother were intimately united. It is, then, entirely fitting that the Christian people - who received the divine life from Christ through Mary - after they have paid their debt of honor to the Sacred Heart of Jesus should also offer to the most loving Heart of their heavenly Mother the corresponding acts of piety, affection, gratitude and expiation. Entirely in keeping with this most sweet and wise disposition of divine Providence is the memorable act of consecration by which We Ourselves solemnly dedicated Holy Church and the whole world to the spotless Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary." (Pope Pius XII, "Haurietis Aquas", 1956 A.D.)

"It is in the adorable heart of Jesus that we shall find every help for our necessities, every remedy for the cure of our ills, the most powerful assistance against the assaults of our enemies, the sweetest consolation to soothe our sufferings, the purest delight to fill our souls with joy. Are you in sorrow? Do your enemies persecute you? Does the recollection of your past sins disturb you? Is your heart troubled or full of fear? Throw yourself, so to speak, in the wounds of Jesus Christ, even into His Sacred Heart, it is a sanctuary, it is the retreat for holy souls, and a place of refuge wherein your soul is safe. It is to Him and through Him that we should ask for all we require; it is through Him and in Him that we should offer to the Eternal Father all we do, because this Sacred Heart is the treasury of every supernatural gift, the source of every grace. It is the channel through which we unite ourselves more intimately to God, and through which God communicates Himself more freely. It is, in fine, to this Sacred Heart we should continually strive to unite ours - no longer wishing to have other desires or sentiments than those of Jesus - and then we may be sure that His will and His Sacred Heart may, so to speak, merge into our heart, and that the two will be as one. Draw waters at leisure out of the Savior's fountains: you will never exhaust them." (St. Peter Damien, Doctor of the Church)

Prayer in Honor of the Sacred Heart: "Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we who glory in the Most Sacred Heart of Thy dear Son and call to mind the chief benefits of His love toward us, may find equal joy in their achievement and in their saving effect. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen." (Raccolta)

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Short Meditation on the Sacred Heart of Jesus

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The following is taken from a 19th century publication entitled 'The Catholic Prayer Book and Manual of Meditations'. The publication bears an imprimatur. [Note: We have made some changes to the original text (e.g. capitalization changes)]

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The Heart of Jesus is the sweet support of those who worship it. O strong and delightful support! Thanks be to God, the support of creatures has failed me. Such support always fails sooner or later, and that for many reasons. None save God can adequately appreciate our spiritual and corporal distresses. His heart only then can adequately compassionate our miseries. Our distresses may be so long and so complex, so various and so intricate, as to try the patience of our dearest friends. Love only can sustain and pass through all opposition, and that love such as the embrace of Jesus Christ is alone able to inspire. Would you have Him in readiness to press you to His bosom in the hour of your distress? Would you have Him ready in the hour of fear to whisper, "It is I, be not afraid?" Would you, in your last agony, let fall your head on a pillow such as only He can furnish? O, then, secure now that adorable rest, and accept the invitation, "Come and learn of me, all ye that are meek and humble of heart, and you shall find rest for your soul."

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Prayer to the Sacred Heart When the Clock Strikes (Hourly Prayer): "O most sweet Jesus, I recommend to Thy divine Heart all that I have done in the hour that is gone, to be cleansed and purified, and offered to God the Father for His eternal praise. And whatsoever I shall do in the hour that is beginning, I resolve to do simply and purely for the glory of God and for the salvation of all mankind, in union with Thy passion. Amen." (St. Gertrude)

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Also Try...

* Sacred Heart of Jesus (Topic Page) -

* Sacred Heart of Jesus (Prayers) -

* Sacred Heart of Jesus (Reflections) -

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Spiritual Exercise: Fear

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The following is taken from a 19th century publication of a book of spiritual exercises penned by a Spanish monk (d. 1510). An imprimatur was not located on the publication. [Notice: We have made some changes to the original text (e.g. spelling changes)]

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Concerning those things whereof we must always live in fear.

Dearest brethren, although there are many things whereof we must stand in dread, yet some there are which are more threatening, and therefore to be feared with greater dread. Out of these we shall name the greatest, from which we should more carefully keep ourselves afar.

A man, then, should fear:

The changeful and unsettled fortune of the world, wherein a man can never abide in one and the same state, nor ever know whether he be worthy of love or hatred; since, if once God should forsake us, in the twinkling of an eye the Evil One would lead us astray.

The war, likewise, waged against the Spirit, without any rest, by our own flesh, by the world, and the devil.

Our own helplessness, and the sloth we every day fall into in fighting these battles, in doing penance, and going onwards on our way.

The weight of God's righteous judgments. This we see plainly in the case of Lucifer, who for the guilt of one sin alone was for ever cast out of heaven; how much more, then, shall they who have defiled themselves with many sins be debarred from entering it? So likewise did this rigor appear in the sin of Adam, who for one sin was driven out of Paradise, and the gate of heaven was shut until our Savior opened it for us by His death. In which death and passion was seen the unbending and dreadful sternness of God's justice, since He left His most Beloved Son in the hands of such cruel men; as was clearly seen by all when He cried out on the cross, saying with a loud voice, My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? Since the sternness and sharpness of divine justice was shown so highly in the green wood, in One full of holiness and so dearly beloved of His Father, how shall it fare with us, dry wood as we are, barren of good works, and laden with fruits of unrighteousness?

Again did this wrathful justice appear to all men at the Flood; for then the whole world, saving eight souls, perished.

We must also always fear our doubtful going out of this life, since no man knows where, when, or how he is to die, nor whether he will die a good or a bad death.

The judgment to come, in which the Judge cannot be hoodwinked, nor bent by prayers or bribes; nor shalt thou be able to appeal from the doom He shall have pronounced, nor canst thou in any way flee from its fulfilment.

Next comes the sharpness of the pains of purgatory, which, according to Augustine, go far beyond any suffering of this life.

Then the horrid sight of the devils, and the pains of hell, and its unquenchable fire.

The everlasting separation from the loving fellowship of the citizens of heaven.

The bitter wailing and groans of the damned, bereft of all comfort, who are penned up in hell...and on whom death shall feed. The sight and burning shame of our own sins, with the hatred of ourselves and of the whole world. The everlastingness of the pains of hell, seeing that in hell there is no redemption. The everlasting loss of that unspeakable glory and of all hope of reaching it; the hardness of the will, since such as are once in hell are hardened in evil, and unable to will what is right; the gnashing of teeth for excess of agony, wherewith the damned are more tormented than can be told in words. The imprisonment and slavery of the damned, unable to come out of hell, which they long to do. The worm of self-reproach ever gnawing at their consciences, by reason of the good they have not done, the scandals they have given, the evil they have wrought.

Let us, then, lift up our eyes to heaven, and pray, saying;

O Christ, merciful Redeemer,

We have been the cause of all Thy toil,

Let us not be lost at that day.

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"So then, my beloved, obedient as you have always been, not only when I am present but all the more now when I am absent, work out your salvation with fear and trembling." (St. Paul, Phil. 2:12)

"His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him." (Blessed Virgin Mary, Lk. 1:50)

"Who will not fear you, Lord, or glorify your name?" (See Rv. 15:4)

"Give honor to all, love the community, fear God..." (St. Peter, 1 Pt. 2:17)

"But I will shew you whom you shall fear: Fear ye him who, after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell. Yea, I say to you: Fear him." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Lk. 12:5)

"Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mt. 7:13-14)

"The spirit of independence and of false liberty, which is nowadays so rife amongst us, is a great enemy to the fear of God; and one of the miseries of our age, is that there is little fear of God. Familiarity with God but too frequently usurps the place of that essential basis of the Christian life. The result is, that there is no progress in virtue, such people are a prey to illusion; and the sacraments, which previously worked so powerfully in their souls, are now well-nigh unproductive. The reason is, that the gift of fear has been superceded by a conceited self-complacency. Humility has no further sway; a secret and habitual pride has paralyzed the soul; and seeing that these people scout the very idea of their ever trembling before the great God of heaven, we may well ask them if they know who God is." (Gueranger)

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; prudent are all who live by it." (Ps. 111:10)

"He who finds wisdom is great indeed, but not greater than he who fears the LORD." (Sirach 25:10)

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Also Try...

* Spiritual Growth (Topic Page) -

* Fear of the Lord (Topical Scripture) -

* Reflections -

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Liturgical Feasts in June

The following is a listing of all liturgical feast dates for June as they appear at

Note: (T) = Traditional, (N) = New (Novus Ordo)

Reminder: Feasts may be superseded / transferred / etc.

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June 1 - St. Justin Martyr (N)

June 2 - St. Erasmus (T)

June 2 - Sts. Marcellinus & Peter (T)

June 2 - Sts. Marcellinus & Peter (N)

June 3 - St. Charles Lwanga & companions (N)

June 4 - St. Francis Caracciolo (T)

June 5 - St. Boniface (T)

June 5 - St. Boniface (N)

June 6 - St. Norbert (T)

June 6 - St. Norbert (N)

June 9 - St. Columba (T)

June 9 - Sts. Primus & Felician (T)

June 9 - St. Ephrem of Syria (N)

June 10 - St. Margaret of Scotland (T)

June 11 - St. Barnabas, apostle (T)

June 11 - St. Barnabas, apostle (N)

June 12 - St. John of San Facondo (T)

June 12 - Sts. Basilides, Cyrinus, Nabor & Nazarius (T)

June 13 - St. Anthony of Padua (T)

June 13 - St. Anthony of Padua (N)

June 14 - St. Basil the Great (T)

June 15 - St. Vitus, Modestus & Crescentia (T)

June 16 - St. John Francis Regis (T)

June 18 - St. Ephrem the Syrian (T)

June 18 - Sts. Mark & Marcellianus (T)

June 19 - St. Juliana Falconieri (T)

June 19 - Sts. Gervase & Protase (T)

June 19 - St. Romuald (N)

June 20 - St. Silverius, pope (T)

June 21 - St. Aloysius Gonzaga (T)

June 21 - St. Aloysius Gonzaga (N)

June 22 - St. Paulinus of Nola (T)

June 22 - St. John Fisher (N)

June 22 - St. Paulinus of Nola (N)

June 22 - St. Thomas More (N)

June 23 - Vigil of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (T)

June 24 - Nativity of St. John the Baptist (T)

June 24 - Nativity of St. John the Baptist (N)

June 25 - St. William (T)

June 26 - Sts. John & Paul (T)

June 27 - Our Lady of Perpetual Succor (Perpetual Help) (T)

June 27 - St. Cyril of Alexandria (N)

June 28 - St. Irenaeus of Lyons (T)

June 28 - St. Irenaeus of Lyons (N)

June 29 - Sts. Peter & Paul, apostles (T)

June 29 - Sts. Peter & Paul, apostles (N)

June 30 - St. Paul, apostle (T)

June 30 - St. Peter (T)

June 30 - First Martyrs of the Church of Rome (N)

Please Note: Above may exclude moveable feasts. For moveable feasts, see below and try here: . For other feasts, try the MCS Daily Digest each day at


6/4/15 - Corpus Christi [Note: In the Novus Ordo calendar, this feast may be transferred to 6/7/15. For information for your area, contact your parish or diocese.]

6/12/15 - Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

6/13/15 - Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (N)

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'Catholic Trivia'

1. What is the principal act of a Catholic priest?

2. What is a chaplain?

3. Who said...?: "Consider seriously how quickly people change, and how little trust is to be had in them; and hold fast to God, who does not change."

4. Complete the passage: "The ___ is its owner's enemy, and the ___ works ruin." (Prov. 26:28)

5. Who are the Major and Minor prophets of the Old Testament?

6. What patron saint may be invoked against traveling hazards?

7. Complete the passage: "For ___ is the reservoir of sin, a source which runs over with vice; Because of it God sends unheard-of afflictions and brings men to utter ruin." (Sirach 10:13)

8. Who said...?: "The use of the Latin language prevailing in a great part of the Church affords at once an imposing sign of unity and an effective safeguard against the corruption of true doctrine."

9. What does Pope Pius IX say happens when priests are ignorant or neglectful of their duty?

10. What is the "essential means established for the salvation of mankind, the channel through which God has ordained that the infinite graces of the Incarnation should flow upon the earth, and the medium whereby is perpetuated among us the presence and action of our Redeemer"?



1. "[T]he principal act of a priest is to consecrate the Body and Blood of Christ" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

2. "[Chaplain:] The title given to the priest appointed to exercise the sacred ministry in an institution, such as a convent, orphanage or prison, usually with the cure of souls, or to minister to a special class of persons, e.g. military and naval chaplains." (Catholic Dictionary)

3. St. Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church

4. "The lying tongue is its owner's enemy, and the flattering mouth works ruin." (Prov. 26:28)

5. The "Major" Prophets are: Isaias (Isaiah), Jeremias (Jeremiah), Lamentations/Jeremias, Baruch, Ezechiel (Ezekiel), Daniel. The "Minor" Prophets are: Osee (Hosea), Joel, Amos, Abdias (Obadiah), Jonas (Jonah), Micheas (Micah), Nahum, Habacuc (Habakkuk), Sophonias (Zephaniah), Aggeus (Haggai), Zacharias (Zechariah), Malachias (Malachi)

6. St. Christopher

7. "For pride is the reservoir of sin, a source which runs over with vice; Because of it God sends unheard-of afflictions and brings men to utter ruin." (Sirach 10:13)

8. Pope Pius XII, "Mediator Dei", 1947 A.D.

9. "When ministers are ignorant or neglectful of their duty, then the morals of the people also immediately decline, Christian discipline grows slack, the practice of religion is dislodged and cast aside, and every vice and corruption is easily introduced into the Church." (Pope Pius IX, "Qui Pluribus", 1846 A.D.)

10. "Such is the sacrament of Holy Orders. It is the essential means established for the salvation of mankind, the channel through which God has ordained that the infinite graces of the Incarnation should flow upon the earth, and the medium whereby is perpetuated among us the presence and action of our Redeemer." (Dom Gueranger)


For more information concerning the topics above, try our General A-Z Index at

Like trivia? You might enjoy our crossword puzzles located at

You might also be interested in the Q & A and historical information which may be found each day on the MCS Daily Digest at

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Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - Do You Reject the Concept of Confessing Sins to a Priest?

It is good for Catholics to be able to defend their faith against attacks (or even simple questions) from those outside the Church. We therefore hope you may find the following "apologetics brief" helpful.

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Note: Text below is taken from

The following may be used as discussion points when discoursing with those outside the Church (or even among Catholics).

Topic: Do You Reject the Concept of Confessing Sins to a Priest? [Note: Topic is directed at Protestants]


* Considering that Christ has invested certain men with the power to forgive sins or retain sins ["And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.'" (Jn. 20:22-23)], how do you suppose these men could do this if they did not know which sins any particular person has committed? Do you imagine that God gave them the power to read minds?

* How do you suppose a person could be given a fitting remedy if the disease is unknown?

"[T]he minister [cannot] apply a fitting remedy, unless he be acquainted with the sin, which knowledge he acquires through the penitent's confession." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

* How do you suppose our "spiritual diseases" could be cured if we do not disclose them to the physicians appointed by Christ? Remember that although Christ could heal you of your bodily ills directly, His ordinary providence utilizes the efforts of men. Or would you also deny that He uses men to heal you of bodily diseases?

* Can you not see that Confession brings great benefits to society [especially restitution and the deterrence from future sin (since one who commits sin must confess it and must do penance)]?

* Can you not see that Confession is good for one's spiritual and mental health (people need to actually hear the words that they are forgiven of their sins)?

* Do you also reject the Old Testament basis for the confession of sins (e.g. Lev. 5:5, Num. 5, 2 Sam. 12:13)?

"He who conceals his sins prospers not, but he who confesses and forsakes them obtains mercy." (Prov. 28:13)

* If you reject confession of sins to priests under the New Testament, does this mean you also reject the Old Testament practice of priests declaring persons clean or unclean? Or do you also argue that this was left to God alone?

* Why do you reject the confession of sins to men when Scripture shows that persons "confessed" their sins to St. John the Baptist (see Mt. 3:6, Mk. 1:5)

"It is necessary to confess our sins to those to whom the dispensation of God's mysteries is entrusted. Those doing penance of old are found to have done it before the saints. It is written it the Gospel that they confessed their sins to John the Baptist; but in Acts they confessed to the Apostles, by whom also all were baptized." (St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church, c. 371 A.D.)

* Since Christ has stated that certain authorized persons have the power to forgive sins, why do you deny this? Do you think it pleases Him that you prefer to go to Him directly when He was the very one who established men as the dispensers of His forgiveness (see Jn. 20:22-23)? Imagine if you had a supervisor (Joe) who instructed you to contact a certain person (Bob) for assistance with a particular matter, but you instead ignored your supervisor's instruction and kept going directly to Joe instead of Bob each time that the matter came up. Do you actually think Joe would be pleased that you were ignoring (disobeying) his explicit instructions? Why is it you think Christ invested certain persons with the power to forgive sins (see Jn. 20:22-23) if He didn't want people to go to them for forgiveness? Do you imagine that you are pleasing Him by rejecting the very means He Himself established?

* If you argue that "there is one mediator between God and men" (1 Tim. 2:5), how can you explain the clear mandate in Scripture that...?

"Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained." (Jn. 20:23)

"Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (Mt. 16:19)

"Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (Mt. 18:18)

Why are you unwilling to admit that authorized men have a "ministry of reconciliation" (2 Cor. 5:18) and are "ambassadors for Christ" (2 Cor. 5:20)? Why are you unwilling to admit that what Christ said is true [namely, "Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained." (Jn. 20:23)]? Do you actually suppose Christ speaks without meaning?

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"If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing." (1 Jn. 1:9)

"Invested, then, as they are, by our Lord with power to remit and retain sins, priests are evidently appointed judges of the matter on which they are to pronounce; and since, according to the wise remark of the Council of Trent, we cannot form an accurate judgment on any matter, or award to crime a just proportion of punishment without having previously examined and made ourselves well acquainted with the case, it follows that the penitent is obliged to make known to the priests through the medium of confession, each and every sin." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"We read in Leviticus about lepers, where they are ordered to show themselves to the priest, and if they have leprosy, then they are to be declared unclean by the priest. It is not that the priests make them lepers and unclean; rather, it is the priests who separate the leper from the one who is not a leper, and they can distinguish the clean from the unclean. Just as in the Old Testament the priest makes the leper clean or unclean, so in the New Testament the bishop binds or looses not those who are innocent or guilty, by reason of their office, when they have heard various kinds of sins, they know who is to be bound and who is to be loosed." (St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church, c. 398 A.D.)

"The manifold mercy of God came to the assistance of fallen men in such a way that the hope of eternal life might be recovered not only by the grace of baptism, but also by the remedy of penance, that those who have violated the gifts of regeneration, condemning themselves by their own judgment, might attain to the remission of their sins; the help of divine goodness having been so ordered that the indulgence of God cannot be obtained except by the supplications of the priests. For 'the Mediator of God and of men, the man Christ Jesus' [cf. 1 Tim. 2:5] has entrusted this power to the leaders of the Church, that they might both grant the action of penance to those confessing, and admit the same [persons] cleansed by salutary satisfaction to the communion of the sacraments through the gate of reconciliation." (Pope St. Leo the Great, Doctor of the Church, 459 A.D.)

"[St. Ambrose] rejoiced also with those who rejoiced, and wept with those who wept. For whenever anyone confessed his sins to him to receive a penance, he so wept that he forced the penitent too to weep. For he considered that he was himself in a state similar to that of the penitent. But when cases of crimes were confessed to him, he spoke of it to none but the Lord alone, with whom he interceded; and thus he left a good example to later priests, to be intercessors with God rather than accusers among men. For even according to the Apostle, love is to be confirmed in dealing with a person of this kind; for he has become his own accuser who does not wait for but anticipates the accuser; and thus, by confessing, he lightens his own sin, lest he have something of which the adversary [i.e. the devil] might accuse him." ('Life of St. Ambrose', c. 420 A.D.)

"These words [of absolution from the priest in Confession] fall, it is true, from the lips of one who, in his turn, must needs beg the same absolution from another priest. This does not debase the merciful gift; but makes it, rather, appear greater; since beyond the weak creature is seen more clearly the hand of God through whose power is wrought this wonder. As an illustrious layman has written, treating with rare competence of spiritual things: '...when a priest, groaning in spirit at his own unworthiness and at the loftiness of his office, places his consecrated hands upon our heads; when, humiliated at finding himself the dispenser of the Blood of the Covenant; each time amazed as he pronounces the words that give life; when a sinner has absolved a sinner; we, who rise from our knees before him, feel we have done nothing debasing... We have been at the feet of a man who represented Jesus Christ... we have been there to receive the dignity of free men and of sons of God.'" (Pope Pius XI, "Ad Catholici Sacerdotii", 1935 A.D.)

"This truth is clearly conveyed by our Lord Himself, when, by a most beautiful metaphor, He calls the power of administering this Sacrament, the key of the kingdom of heaven. Just as no one can enter any place without the help of him who has the keys, so no one is admitted to heaven unless its gates be unlocked by the priests to whose custody the Lord gave the keys. This power would otherwise be of no use in the Church. If heaven can be entered without the power of the keys, in vain would they to whom the keys were given seek to prevent entrance within its portals. This thought was familiar to the mind of St. Augustine. Let no man, he says, say within himself: 'I repent in secret to the Lord. God, who has power to pardon me, knows the inmost sentiments of my heart.' Was there then no reason for saying 'whatsoever you loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven'; no reason why the keys were given to the Church of God? This same doctrine is taught by St. Ambrose in his treatise On Penance, when refuting the heresy of the Novatians who asserted that the power of forgiving sins belonged solely to God. Who, says he, yields greater reverence to God, he who obeys or he who resists His commands? God commands us to obey his ministers; and by obeying them, we honor God alone." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

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For more apologetics resources, please visit

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In Closing...

"Thee be praise, to Thee be glory, to Thee be thanksgiving through endless ages, O Blessed Trinity." (Aspiration)

"We think it opportune to exhort you once again venerable brethren, and through you all those dear children of Ours in Christ, to continue to exercise an ever more vigorous zeal in promoting this most attractive form of piety; for from it in our times also We trust that very many benefits will arise [from devotion to the Sacred Heart]." (Pope Pius XII, "Haurietis Aquas", 1956 A.D.)

"He showed His Heart to us bearing about it the symbols of the passion and displaying the flames of love, that from the one we might know the infinite malice of sin, and in the other we might admire the infinite charity of Our Redeemer, and so might have a more vehement hatred of sin, and make a more ardent return of love for His love." (Pope Pius XI, "Miserentissimus Redemptor", 1928 A.D.)

"God has given to priests powers greater than those given to our parents; and the differences between the powers of these two is as great as the difference between the future life and the present. Our parents begot us to temporal existence; priests beget us to the eternal. The former are not able to ward of from their children the sting of death, nor prevent the attack of disease; yet the later often save the sick and perishing soul" (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, c. 387 A.D.)

"Be thou blessed, O Jesus, for having instituted, in the Holy Eucharist, not only the greatest of the sacraments, but also a Sacrifice which surpasses all others; a Sacrifice whereby we are enabled to offer to the divine Majesty the only homage that is worthy of Him, give Him thanks in keeping with His favors to us, make Him a superabundant atonement for our sins, and finally beg and obtain from Him all the graces of which we stand in need." (Dom Gueranger)

Daily Prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus: Sacred Heart of Jesus, today I wish to live in You, in Your grace, in which I desire at all costs to persevere. Keep me from sin and strengthen my will by helping me to keep watch over my senses, my imagination, and my heart. Help me to correct my faults which are the source of sin. I beg you to do this, O Jesus, through Mary, Your Immaculate Mother.

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