Quiet Corner
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Somewhat submerged in the right front corner of the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul is the fortress-like structure’s cornerstone recalling the date in 1889 when Bishop Thomas Hendricken inaugurated the project that would give the city of Providence and the state of Rhode Island a worthy testimony to the Catholic Church’s expanding presence throughout the community. Mass had been offered in Newport a century earlier. Bristol witnessed some Catholic activity early in the nineteenth century. Pawtucket had its first parish by 1826 and Woonsocket first celebrated the Holy Sacrifice in a local home during the same year. more
In the late spring of 1961, some of my seminary classmates chose to pursue their priestly vocations in other dioceses. Ed Masse became a priest in Manchester, N.H. Roland Cloutier joined the Norwich, Conn., diocese. Richard Martin pursued his priestly studies for the Diocese of Richmond in Virginia, later joining the newly formed diocese of Arlington in that state. more
St. Matthew envisions Christ upon a mountain four times in his Gospel account. Christ is taken by Satan to the top of a high mountain to be offered all the world’s kingdoms arrayed before them. Christ ascends another mountain for his introductory catechesis on the nature of the Christian life, the celebrated “Sermon on the Mount.” Again Christ and three select apostles climb Mount Tabor, the mountain of the Transfiguration, where Christ is glorified in the presence Moses and Elias. Now finally, Jesus invites the Eleven to meet him on the mountain of his Ascension in Galilee, charging them with a final commissioning to go out and become the Church, continuing the Incarnation down through the ages. more
The happiness of the Easter season is well-reflected in the lyrical psalm to be heard at this Sunday’s Mass. “Let all the earth cry out to God with joy,” the liturgy intones, invoking psalm 66, in which the Jewish community praises God for his powerful acts for Israel, for the exodus from Egypt and the entry into the promised land, but also for relief from some recent, but unspecified calamity hinted at in verses 8-12. The first Christians had little difficulty in adapting this psalm for their own use since they were still basking in the glory of the resurrection and ascension of the Christ, and the arrival and bestowal of the Spirit at Pentecost. Yet, a very specific calamity had recently beset the early Christian community at Jerusalem. more
St. Thomas is mentioned in all four Biblical references to the twelve apostles. Matthew 10, Mark 3 and Luke 6, as well as Acts, 1 find St. Thomas faithfully listed among Christ’s dearest disciples even though these books were written decades after St. Thomas himself had moved on from Jerusalem. Although the fourth Gospel account by St. John does not list the twelve apostles as these other writings do (in fact, St. John never uses the word “apostle”), he recalls St. Thomas quite personally by informing the reader that this man Thomas was nick-named Didymus, a Greek word meaning twin. Thomas itself, for that matter, is actually the Aramaic word for twin. more
“I came so that they might have life,” Jesus benevolently declares in this coming Sunday’s Gospel passage. “…And have it more abundantly,” the Master continues with even greater generosity. Modern believers hearing this bountiful promise might well ask the question posed by St. Peter’s first hearers cited in this Sunday’s first reading from Acts: “Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and they asked Peter and the other apostles, “What are we to do, my brothers?” Yes, indeed, that is the question of the ages: “What are we to do?” How does the contemporary believer lay hold of the abundant life promised by Jesus Christ? How is it seized? How is it appreciated? How is it made effective in each succeeding generation? more
Providence College presents an annual interfaith dialogue among representatives of the Catholic community, and most often the Jewish community. A Catholic religious sister who spoke this year reflected that the common division of the Bible into the Old Testament and New Testament could seem to slight present day Jewish society by implying that their relationship with God was antiquated so God need no longer be true to his promises. more
In January of this year, Pope Francis advised worshippers at his daily Mass: “The greatest sin today is that people have lost the sense of sin.” His Holiness continued that therefore men and women have lost “the meaning of the kingdom of God” and in its place a “powerful anthropological vision” has emerged according to which people say, “I can do anything.” more
Pope St. Pius V was a member of the Order of Preachers who continued to wear his white Dominican habit during his pontificate, a custom continued by popes even to this day. Pope St. Pius served the church during the challenging years that have become known as the Protestant Reformation. more
Pious souls, Scripture scholars and dogmatic theologians have pondered through the ages exactly how much Jesus understood with his human mind that he was indeed a Divine person with a Divine nature. Did Jesus’ human mentality comprehend from birth that he was the second person of the blessed Trinity? Was Jesus the boy, the teenager or the man always aware that he was an eternal being of one substance with God the Father? Did Jesus’ Divine self-awareness grow over the years, or was he always cognizant of his exalted origin and lofty destiny. more
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