Artwork by Joe Heller for The Compass, the Catholic newspaper of the Diocese of Green Bay
I wanted to spend some time in this series talking about how we can best prepare to hear the message of the Holy Father.
I attended a webinar last week for journalists in the Catholic Press Association with Basilian Father Thomas Rosica, CSB
, the English language Media Attaché for the Holy See Press Office, as well as CEO of Salt and Light Catholic Television Network
. The purpose of the webinar was to provide CPA members with a preview to the papal visit, answer questions, and provide suggestions on how best to prepare for coverage.
As I listened to Fr. Rosica and asked a few questions of my own, I realized how important it is for American Catholics to prepare themselves to hear the Holy Father’s message both through a prayerful opening of our hearts and minds, as well as background reading of the Holy Father’s writings.
Father shared a lot of background context, especially in preparation for the these first four days in Cuba, as well as “the bookends” of the upcoming World Synod of Bishops on the Family
(October 4-25) and the upcoming Jubilee Year/Holy Year of Mercy
against the backdrop of the papal visit. He urged all of us to let the bigger message speak… the message of Gospel. Pope Francis’ masterful use of scripture and its application to our everyday life are immense helps to all of us in living the Gospel message.
With all of this in mind, I wanted to share resources that my readers could use to prepare to listen to the message of the Holy Father this week. And then… I discovered that my friends at the U.S. Catholics Bishops Office
had done just that. Great minds think alike!
1. Take part in a "Virtual Pilgrimage" with these prayers
as the Holy Father makes his way to more than a dozen different locations in Washington, DC, New York City, and Philadelphia.
2. Learn more about the places Pope Francis will visit by following his journey on this interactive map.
Do you have other ideas on how to best participate in this week’s papal visit?
Please share your thoughts with me:
Read more from my series on the 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:
Part 3 is all about papal memorabilia, including where to purchase keepsakes from authorized distributors, as well as a look at part of my collection from past papal visits to the United States:
September 20, 2015 03:05
By Patti Murphy Dohn
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
Everyone who attended received a packet of materials which included the Gospel of Luke, the Catholic Digest, and a water bottle.
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.
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!
Do you have any interesting papal memorabilia?
I want to hear about it:
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
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:
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.
“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.
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
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
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!”
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.”
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)
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.”
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
“… 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.”
ICYMI: (In case you missed it):
Learn about the basics of Pope Francis’ historic trip to the United States here:
- 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
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.
6. Papal visit programming will be available on demand after each event has ended 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.
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
“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)
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…”
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.
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.
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.
+Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C., Bishop of Peoria
For more information:
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.”
“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
The photos are all over Facebook…
Bright smiling faces (mostly), new book bags, shiny shoes, fresh haircuts, clean school buses, and some teary-eyed Moms (and Dads).
The new school year has started for most of the schools in our area. As a matter of fact, our grandson Tyler started third grade this morning at Piney Ridge Elementary School in Sykesville. Both Tracy and Stephen walked him to the bus stop with cameras in hand (from their smart phones). Even their sweet dog Stella was on hand to see all the children off to their first day of school.
Our grandson Tyler was back to school on Monday
I'm not going back to school...again:
For me, the start of the new school year, as always, brought the anticipation of new beginnings and challenges.
This is the start of the second school year since my retirement from John Carroll
in June of 2014.
It was a new and strange experience last year to not be there for the first day of the new school year after 33 years on campus. My husband and I tried to fill up our newfound freedom. We even went to the beach.
Change, change, change:
But transitions can be tough. Not only for adults who may be experiencing change due to retirement or new jobs, but also for all the children who are experiencing new changes in their lives… Including those who are new to preschool or kindergarten, those starting elementary, middle or high school, and all those making transfers to new schools in new areas.
Hopefully, we pray, the parents and teachers of those most affected by change this school year will provide much comfort and will guide our children in their transitions with patience and compassion.
What’s the toughest part of back to school?
I have heard from quite a few parents and children who share that the challenges in starting a new school year include:
-reestablishing a weekday/school night routine after the freedom of summer vacation,
-having earlier bedtimes,
-packing lunches again,
-waking up to the alarm clock’s early call,
-getting back in the habit of doing homework,
-balancing school, sports, and other outside activities,
-and much more.
Every household is different and thus faces different challenges.
A prayer from the patroness of Catholic education:
One of the principal patron saints of Catholic education is St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. She started the Catholic school system here in the United States under the direction of our first bishop, Archbishop John Carroll.
The following prayer from her writings is a wonderful way to start each day this year, especially for teachers and older students.
Prayer of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton:
O Father, the first rule of our dear Savior's
life was to do Your Will.
Let His Will of the present moment be the first rule
of our daily life and work, with no other desire but for
its most full and complete accomplishment.
Help us to follow it faithfully, so that in doing what
You wish we will be pleasing to You.
Another great prayer for the new school year is from Sadlier Publishing Company:
It is excellent for teachers, parish catechists, and for families too:
May your first weeks of this new school year be filled with new adventures and a smooth transition to a new routine.
May God richly bless our families and our teachers!
September 01, 2015 02:47
By Patti Murphy Dohn
Sunset from our home on Singer Island on August 5 (Photo by Patti Murphy Dohn)
"Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."
--St. Paul's Letter to the Philippians 4: 6-7
Summertime is usually a season when people focus on warm weather, beach vacations, and a much slower pace.
You know... Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer that Nat King Cole sang
about in the 60's.
But times are often not that easy for some families.
Earlier this summer, I was writing upbeat, fun reflections on summertime from our home in South Florida.
As George Gershwin wrote, "Summertime and the livin' is easy..."
As I always say, Life, as we know it, can change in an instant...
In the middle of our summer, it changed. Stories of families and individuals with devastating troubles were all around me.
And I wrote several times about the enormous worry when Austin and Perry, the 14-year old boys from Tequesta, Florida, went out of the Jupiter, Florida Inlet on a small boat and became lost at sea. This happened just twelve miles north of our home on Singer Island in Palm Beach County.
I joined forces via social media with their families and friends down here in South Florida to get prayers and info out about their plight and possible safe return. For these families, it's now been 14 days missing at sea, with the Coast Guard having ended their search last weekend.
And, frankly, I fear these families may never have closure as to what happened (and why) to their sons.
Read more about my reflections and prayers for the boys here:
Living forward, understanding backwards:
When things get tough, it is easy to become consumed with worry... And to be overcome by the fear.
For as we know, tragedy and heartache can and do hit without warning.
Serious illness, death, heartbreak, family disharmony, and so much more...
The worries of life could consume us.
God works in mysterious ways and we often don't see the beauty of His Providence until later after a crisis passes by.
Kierkegaard was right when he said,
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards."
We usually do not realize the hand of God guiding us through tough times until after we get through the worst. Reflecting back, we are better able to see "the good" that has come out of a bad situation.
The famous "Footprints" prayer comes to mind.
So today I'm praying for all those who are experiencing tough times.
Praying that they will trust in God's Providence and that their worry and fear will be replaced with peace and hope.
Popular family blogger Rachel Wojnarowski
shared a beautiful prayer on her website recently for those who are worried.
My mind can hardly fathom the depth of your love for me.
So when my anxious heart feels suffocated
with the mounds of worry this life can bring,
I only know to come to you.
You who know every hair on my head.
You who flung stars into space.
You who plan every step I take.
When my worry mounds and builds,
escalating to numbers that exceed my expectations,
You ask me to relinquish my cares to Your hand.
The hand that created the hair on my head.
The hand that created the starry night sky.
The hand that holds my future.
Would you give me the courage to trust You wholly?
Would you give me Your peace that calms all fears?
For that is when I am rejuvenated…
From pitiful worrier…
To prayer warrior.
Thank you, Jesus.
May you rest in the assurance of God's loving presence during your times of worry.
In good times and in bad, God is good... All the time. Amen.
August 06, 2015 02:52
By Patti Murphy Dohn
Perry Cohen (left) and Austin Stephanos of Tequesta, Florida have been missing at sea since they left on a fishing trip on a small boat last Friday afternoon.
It's Day 7 in the search for Austin and Perry...
And the family and friends of the boys from Tequesta, Florida who disappeared at sea on a 19-foot boat last Friday are not giving up hope that they will soon be found and reunited.
The search has continued nonstop all week with coordination by the Coast Guard and the involvement of the Air Force. They have covered almost 40,000 square nautical miles since last Friday.
As I wrote on Tuesday
, the local Palm Beach County towns of Jupiter and Tequesta are tightly knit. The locals just won't give up on these 14-year olds.
The Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse, which Austin and Perry cruised past on their way out to go fishing in the ocean waters, is not only the symbol of the town, but has also been called the beacon of hope for all who await the return of the boys from Tequesta.
-------The power of prayer:
People of faith from around the world have turned to prayer for the boys and their families. Thousands and thousands of messages of encouragement and the assurance of prayers have flooded social media all week with the hashtags #findaustinandperry and #prayforaustinandperry.
After Sunday night's gathering at Austin's school, Jupiter Christian School
, there have been other prayer services and sunset vigils each night at the Jupiter Lighthouse and other locations along the beach. Anywhere from dozens to hundreds have gathered to pray with lighted candles. The local Jupiter/Tequesta community is steadfastly holding onto hope that the boys will be found and brought home safely to their families.
A cousin's prayer:
Austin's cousin, Natasja, asked people to pray with her on a Facebook post on Wednesday morning:
"Please join me in morning prayer:
Dear merciful Lord,
We know our boys have the skills, the will and the want.
Please, give them the extra strength they need.
We trust in your will. In your name we pray.
'I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.'
“This is a book that was found on Austin's night stand. If you look closely you will see that he wrote in the words "I WILL". His perseverance, determination, and love of life will bring him home. THIS IS A SIGN…."
~From the Facebook page of Austin’s aunt:
She shared this photo of Winston Churchill’s book Never, Never, Never Give Up
Why my heart bleeds for these boys and their families:
Since our retirement last year, my husband and I have split our time between our homes in Maryland and here in South Florida on Singer Island. We are here just 12 miles south of Jupiter while rescuers are involved in the massive search for Austin and Perry. The local Florida news stations carry updates and send out news alerts around the clock.
For many years, I ministered to the needs of young people and their families at The John Carroll School
in Bel Air, Maryland. Crisis ministry, sadly, became one of my specialties over these years.
My students, though, grew up in a different culture than the youth in South Florida. I never worried about the fate of my school kids from being out on boats on the open sea. My biggest worries were centered around their driving, substance use and abuse, and those who were at risk of suicide. We had resources in place to help our teens when necessary.
This situation here in the Jupiter/Tequesta area is completely different. Austin and Perry grew up on the warm turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean, fishing there and along the nearby Loxahatchee River. They had excellent swimming and boating skills. The variable in this tragedy centers around the boys heading unknowingly into a huge storm.
And that's why they have not been heard from since. Their capsized boat was discovered by the Coast Guard search-and-rescue crews far offshore on Sunday afternoon. And there have been no signs of the boys or any of the items that were not found on the capsized boat... their Yeti fishing cooler, one or two life jackets, and the boat's engine cover. No sign. Nothing.
These families have not given up hope:
The parents did not grant any interviews yesterday, as they were busy arranging private searches by volunteers with private planes and boats. A well-attended fundraiser was held at local Abacoa restaurant Gumby Bay Island Grill last night to fund these efforts.
Notably, hundreds of families and individuals have walked the beaches from South Florida and up north through the Carolinas looking for debris or lost items that might lead to clues to the boys' whereabouts.
My prayers for Austin and Perry and their families:
May our Heavenly Father in His loving mercy be with Austin and Perry in their time of greatest need.
May He grant their families comfort and peace.
May He open the eyes of those who search to see clearly that which will lead to their recovery.
May He grant His grace to all those who worry and fear.
May He provide comfort for all of us in these days of uncertainty.
We trust in the Lord's providence.
We believe in His promises.
We resolve to remain open to His loving mercy today and each day.
We pray to be people of hope today and every day.
In good times and in bad, God is good... All the time.
This logo that was created for Wednesday night’s fundraiser at Abacoa’s Gumby Bay Island Grill in Jupiter, Florida. The donations are being used to contribute to private searches by volunteers with planes and boats.
July 30, 2015 11:47
By Patti Murphy Dohn
Perry Cohen and Austin Stephanos of Tequesta, Florida have been missing at sea since last Friday afternoon
Life, as we know it, can change in an instant:
Last Friday afternoon, two 14-year old boys from Tequesta, Florida, a small town in Palm Beach County, cruised through the nearby Jupiter Inlet to go fishing, and headed unknowingly into a huge storm. They have not been heard from since.
Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen have been the focus of the prayers and worries of the entire South Florida community, as well as millions of people throughout the country and the world.
Local news stations first carried the story when a grandmother reported the boys missing late Friday afternoon, having not heard from them for several hours. The strong afternoon thunderstorm was a huge concern. And the news spread quickly as national news and social media updates were posted all weekend about these young boys who are to start high school next month.
The expertise of the Coast Guard:
The United States Coast Guard has been conducting a massive search since the first report that the boys were missing. The entire local community was united in prayer for their quick rescue.
Sadly, it was confirmed on Sunday afternoon that search-and-rescue crews found their 19-foot boat capsized 67 miles east of the Ponce De Leon Inlet near Cape Canaveral. Tragically, the boys were not found with the boat. And the search continues.
As of Monday night, chief of response Captain Mark Fedor reported that extensive searches around-the-clock have covered more than 28,000 square nautical miles, a space larger than the state of West Virginia. (A nautical mile equals 1.151 miles, or 6,076 feet).
A beacon of hope:
The Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse, completed in 1860,
is the most notable landmark in the small beach town of Jupiter, Florida (established 1925):
Located just 12 miles north of our home on nearby Singer Island,
It was in Jupiter that Austin and Perry attended school and where they fished and boated.
Growing up near the water:
Family members have shared that Austin and Perry, best friends since they were little boys, were no strangers to life on the waters. This included many fishing trips on that small, single-engine boat. Young people who grow up in South Florida experience a completely different outdoor culture with many varied activities available on the water. From boating, to fishing, swimming, jet skis, tubing, snorkel and scuba... The opportunities seem endless.
And there is no minimum age requirement for operating a boat in Florida, only the passing of an approved safety course. Hence, many young people are out on the waters without adult supervision. This matter has led to a great deal of debate this week, with discussions on the possibility of implementing age restrictions in boating regulations and proper parenting technique as hot topics for this on-the-water community.
I stated last night in a similar testy discussion on my Facebook page that our individual opinions and parenting philosophies won't bring these boys home. But prayer and rescue teams just might. And I encouraged those involved in the discussion to please pray with us for Austin and Perry's safe return.
The power of prayer and the social media:
Well wishes and tens of thousands of prayers have been posted by persons across the country and around the world on the "Find Austin and Perry
" page on Facebook. Many of them also joined together in posting on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #MiracleMonday in hopes that the boys would be rescued yesterday.
The parents and families of Austin and Perry are confident that there will indeed be a miracle and their sons brought home. They are offering a $100,000 reward to anyone who has information leading to the safe return of the boys.
"And this hope will not lead to disappointment.
For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love."
Praying with faith and hope:
“I think all of us who know Austin and know Perry know that they would want us to hold onto hope and remain joyful."
~Kaitlin Riceputo, fourth grade teacher, Jupiter Christian School
A prayer vigil was held Sunday night at Jupiter Christian School
, where Austin has attended since he was in kindergarten, to pray for both teens and their families. Hundreds of friends and neighbors gathered in the gymnasium to offer their prayers and support.
A candle light prayer vigil was then held on Monday night at the Jupiter Inlet, along with a lantern launching. The Jupiter/Tequesta community is steadfastly holding onto faith and hope that the boys will be found and brought home. Community leaders hoped that their lights, along with those from the moon and the Jupiter Lighthouse, would shine as beacons of hope for the boys missing at sea.
How you can help:
1. Pray with us for Austin and Perry: We believe in miracles. We pray that the boys will be safely returned to their families.
And, as people of faith, we trust in God to provide all of us with His grace and strength to deal with the situation and to support the families if that rescue is not to be. Time will tell. We trust in His providence.
2. If you live in Florida or Georgia, join in a beach search for debris or clues washing in from the surf. Report anything you may find to the police or Coast Guard in your area. See the photo at the end of this post for more details.
4. Practice safe boating: Aways wear life jackets or vests, personal flotation devices, while on the water. Always.
Be sure your boats are equipped with safety gear such as a marine radio and safety flares. And make certain that someone in your family or among your colleagues knows your destination and schedule while out on the water. Safety first at all times!!
5. Be a role model: Display your own practice of safety in all situations: on the waters, the roads, while swimming, and in your homes. Children and teenagers learn from adult role models. Be a good one.
6. Pray again: Austin and Perry's families need assurances of God's abiding love to sustain them in their time of fear and worry. May He provide them with His grace and peace to get through the unfathomable days and weeks ahead.
Prayers for Austin and Perry:
Seaman's version of the 23rd Psalm:
Written in 1874 by Captain John H. Roberts of Holyhead, Anglesey, North Wales.
The Lord is my Pilot, I shall not drift.
He guides me across the dark waters.
He steers me in deep channels.
He keeps my log.
He pilots me by the star of holiness for His name’s sake.
Yea, though I sail ‘mid the fenders and tempests of life, I shall dread no danger for He is near me.
His love and care shelter me.
He prepares a harbor before me in the homeland of eternity.
He anoints the waves with oil, my ship rides calmly.
Surely sunlight and starlight shall favor me on my voyages and I will rest in the Port of our Lord forever.
A Prayer of Saint Augustine:
Frail is our vessel, and the ocean is wide; but as in your mercy you have set our course, so steer the vessel of our life towards the everlasting shore of peace, and bring us at length to the quiet haven of our heart’s desire, where you, O God, are blessed, and live and reign for ever and ever.
Our Lady, Star of the Sea,
Mother of God and our Mother,
You know all the dangers of soul and body that threaten mariners.
Protect your sons and daughters who work and travel on the waters of the world,
and protect also their families that await their return...
Star of the Sea, light shining in the darkness,
be a guide to those who sail amid the storms and dangers of life.
Enlighten the hearts of ardent disciples and bring us all to the safety of heaven’s port.
A Swedish Prayer
We pray to You for those on the perilous ocean that You will embrace them with Your mighty protection and grant them success in all their rightful undertakings. Grant them in all hours of need to see that they have a God who remembers them, and grant them grace in the hour of danger to commit their souls into Your hands.
O Lord Jesus Christ, who can rebuke the storm and bring it to silence, and lay the roaring waves to rest, show them who call to You out of the deep that You hear their prayer and will save them.
And finally bring us all to the only safe port.
For those in Florida and Georgia:
July 28, 2015 02:40
By Patti Murphy Dohn
St. Medard, patron saint of bad storms, pray for us!
We are in the midst of hurricane season here in the United States. It runs each year from June 1 through November 30.
The possibility of hurricanes hitting home should be on the minds of people living in South Florida. But it has been a number of years since one struck here in Palm Beach County, so many people have been rather complacent.
My husband and I bought our home on Singer Island eight years ago, three years after Hurricanes Frances (105 mph winds) and Jeanne (120 mph winds) hit the area just twenty days apart in September of 2004. The following year Wilma (105 mph winds) hit South Florida, causing 25 deaths and again leaving a number of counties in the dark.
The outlook for the 2015 season:
"It's very unusual… This is by far the longest that state has gone without a hurricane hit going back to 1851…
Florida is just one of those areas that is most vulnerable because they're in an area,
geographically, in which tropical storms can easily maneuver and make landfall.”
—AccuWeather meteorologist and hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski on the 2015 hurricane season
Hurricane protection prayer at Mass:
Every Sunday when I go to Mass at St. Paul of the Cross Church
in North Palm Beach, I am struck by the standard weekly petition for protection from hurricanes in the Prayer of the Faithful:
That we would receive the grace of physical protection from
all storms, disaster and calamity this hurricane season, we pray…
Lord, hear our prayer.
Calling again on St. Medard:
St. Medard seems to be the perfect patron saint for the hurricane season. A sixth-century bishop, preacher, and missionary, he is the patron saint for protection from bad storms. As a child, so the legend goes, he was once sheltered from the rain by an eagle hovering over him. His feast day is observed each year on June 8.
Let us call upon the intercession of Saint Medard to keep us safe and to protect all those who are vulnerable during the hurricane season.
Saint Medard, patron saint for protection against bad storms, we ask you to intercede for us during the storms of our lives as well as the storms in nature.
Protect our families and our homes.
We pray for assistance for the victims of snowstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters, especially for the upcoming snowstorm that is headed our way tonight.
Loving God, send in more helpers, and multiply resources and supplies for the aid of those in need.
You calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee; deliver us from the storms that are raging around us now.
Saint Medard, pray for us.
July 23, 2015 02:07
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By Patti Murphy Dohn