Friday, November 27, 2009

Producer Steve McEveety calls on students to 'make the world a better place'

Producer of 'The Passion of the Christ' calls on students to 'make the world a better place'

The following story appeared on the Catholic News Agency:

Steubenville, Ohio, Nov 27, 2009 (CNA) - The latest installment of the Franciscan University Distinguished Speaker Series, Steve McEveety, the producer of “The Passion of the Christ,” spoke to a standing-room only crowd of students, faculty, and community members last week in a talk entitled, “The Passion, Hollywood, and the Church.”

“Never has the world been so dark,” he said. “This is the time to make this world a better place.”

According to a press release from the university, McEveety, who also produced “Braveheart,” “We Were Soldiers,” and “Bella” shared his thoughts about how a rising generation of filmmakers could become involved in that struggle of changing the world for the better and challenged the audience with the idea of making new, great, Christian movies.

Using new technology, “you can make a movie, a good movie, easily. Big studios will continue to make the blockbusters, but we're going to see really great movies coming out by people who aren't well-known to Hollywood,” he said.

He also emphasized that, especially through the internet, it will be easier for the makers of these new movies to spread them, even if they aren't sponsored by Hollywood or shown in mainstream theaters.

McEveety also captivated his audience with stories of the time he spent with Mel Gibson before and during the production of “The Passion of the Christ.”

“It was the hardest movie I ever shot,” he said. “It's a movie about arguably the most important 12 hours of all eternity, so of course we're going to have a lot of problems.”

“The devil was doing whatever he could to mess up the project," McEveety added.

The filming process, an almost completely outdoor activity, was plagued by thunderstorms. Jim Caviezel, who played Jesus Christ, was even struck by lightning, though he miraculously emerged unharmed.

Since no major studio would release the film, the movie's producers had to go directly to the individual theater owners in order to find people willing to show the movie.

Despite these setbacks, the Christian message emerged victorious when “The Passion of the Christ” posted the second biggest opening weekend for an R-rated movie and earned over $600 million. Most importantly, it has had an impact on people the world over.

During the question and answer session following his talk, McEveety predicted that big production studios will probably only produce one or two Christian movies a year, despite the fact that there are many great Christian writers out there. He said “the current system doesn't understand the Christian market.”

McEveety is currently working on two projects,“Left to Tell,” which portrays the true story of a survivor of the Rwandan genocide and a film about Our Lady of Guadalupe.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Medjugorje Message from Our Lady Queen of Peace

YouTube - Medjugorje Message 25-11-09

Message of Our Lady Queen of Peace given to the Medjugorje visionary Marija Pavlovic on November 25, 2009.

"Dear children! In this time of grace I call you all to renew prayer in your families. Prepare yourselves with joy for the coming of Jesus. Little children, may your hearts be pure and pleasing, so that love and warmth may flow through you into every heart that is far from His love. Little children, be my extended hands, hands of love for all those who have become lost, who have no more faith and hope. Thank you for having responded to my call."

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Litany of Saint Anthony

(For Private Use)

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary,
St. Anthony of Padua,
St. Anthony, glory of the Friars Minor,
St. Anthony, ark of the testament,
St. Anthony, sanctuary of heavenly wisdom,
St. Anthony, destroyer of worldly vanity,
St. Anthony, conqueror of impurity,
St. Anthony, example of humility,
St. Anthony, lover of the Cross,
St. Anthony, martyr of desire,
St. Anthony, generator of charity,
St. Anthony, zealous for justice,
St. Anthony, terror of infidels,
St. Anthony, model of perfection,
St. Anthony, consoler of the afflicted,
St. Anthony, restorer of lost things,
St. Anthony, defender of innocence,
St. Anthony, liberator of prisoners,
St. Anthony, guide of pilgrims,
St. Anthony, restorer of health.
St. Anthony, performer of miracles,
St. Anthony, restorer of speech to the mute,
St. Anthony, restorer of hearing to the deaf,
St. Anthony, restorer of sight to the blind,
St. Anthony, disperser of devils,
St. Anthony, reviver of the dead.
St. Anthony, tamer of tyrants,
From the snares of the devil, St. Anthony deliver us.
From thunder, lightning and storms, St. Anthony deliver us.
From all evil of body and soul, St. Anthony deliver us.
Through your intercession, St. Anthony protect us.
Throughout the course of life, St. Anthony protect us.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

V. St. Anthony, pray for us. R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let Us Pray

O my God, may the pious commemoration of St. Anthony, your Confessor and Proctor, give joy to your Church, that she may ever be strengthened with your spiritual assistance and merit to attain everlasting joy. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

(The prayer can be found on Catholic websites.)

The statue of St. Anthony holding the infant Jesus was photographed inside the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, located in Dover, NJ, USA.

Photograph Copyright 2009 Loci B. Lenar

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Intercessory Prayer to Saint Joan of Arc

Saint Joan of Arc is the patron of Captives; France; Imprisoned people; Martyrs; Opposition of Church authorities; People ridiculed for their piety; Prisoners; Soldiers; Rape Victims; Women Appointed for Voluntary Emergency Service; Woman's Army Corps. 

I believe the Intercessory Prayer to St. Joan of Arc is appropriate for anyone to recite, especially when encountering adversity.

(Pray novena for 9 consecutive days)

Opening prayer:

Eternal Father, you gave us Saint Joan of Arc through your infinite love and mercy for us. We humbly ask that you send down your Holy Spirit upon us, as Your Spirit is the intermediary by which the Word goes forth from your lips and reaches the ears of the faithful. Allow me to be a witness to your Son Jesus Christ just as St. Joan of Arc was. Oh, Jesus, grant me the courage to do your will, that I may be in one accord with our Father in Heaven. I thank you for the gift of your love, which I hope to one day fully understand.

Petition Prayer:

Say 19 Our Fathers, followed by "St. Joan of Arc, by your powerful intercession, hear and answer me."

When you finish, say the following prayer:

Saint Joan of Arc, patron of France, my patron saint, I ask you now to fight this battle with me by prayer, just as you led your troops to victory in battle. You, who were filled with the Holy Spirit and chosen by God, help me this day with the favor I ask [here say your intention]. Grant me by your divine and powerful intercession, the courage and strength I need to endure this constant fight. Oh St. Joan, help me to be victorious in the tasks God presents to me. I thank you and ask you for your continuing protection of God's people.

Closing Prayer:

Sweet Saint Joan, plead for me before the throne of almighty God that I may be deemed worthy to be granted the request I have asked. Help me, Saint Joan, to be more like you in the attempt to love the Lord with all my heart, soul, and mind. Through your guidance and prayer help me to be a truly devout and loving Christian, that I may both know and see the will of God. Help me now St. Joan, in my time of need. I ask that you mayalways be near me guiding me closer each day to Jesus. Thank you Saint Joan for having heard my prayer.


(The prayer can be found on Catholic websites.)


The following information regarding St. Joan of Arc is from Catholic Online:

St. Joan of Arc is the patroness of soldiers and of France. On January 6, 1412, Joan of Arc was born to pious parents of the French peasant class, at the obscure village of Domremy, near the province of Lorraine. At a very early age, she heard voices: those of St. Michael, St. Catherine and St. Margaret.

At first the messages were personal and general. Then at last came the crowning order. In May, 1428, her voices "of St. Michael, St. Catherine, and St. Margaret" told Joan to go to the King of France and help him reconquer his kingdom. For at that time the English king was after the throne of France, and the Duke of Burgundy, the chief rival of the French king, was siding with him and gobbling up evermore French territory.

After overcoming opposition from churchmen and courtiers, the seventeen year old girl was given a small army with which she raised the seige of Orleans on May 8, 1429. She then enjoyed a series of spectacular military successes, during which the King was able to enter Rheims and be crowned with her at his side.

In May 1430, as she was attempting to relieve Compiegne, she was captured by the Burgundians and sold to the English when Charles and the French did nothing to save her. After months of imprisonment, she was tried at Rouen by a tribunal presided over by the infamous Peter Cauchon, Bishop of Beauvais, who hoped that the English would help him to become archbishop.

Through her unfamiliarity with the technicalities of theology, Joan was trapped into making a few damaging statements. When she refused to retract the assertion that it was the saints of God who had commanded her to do what she had done, she was condemned to death as a heretic, sorceress, and adulteress, and burned at the stake on May 30, 1431. She was nineteen years old. Some thirty years later, she was exonerated of all guilt and she was ultimately canonized in 1920, making official what the people had known for centuries. Her feast day is May 30.

Joan was canonized in 1920 by Pope Benedict XV.

The stained glass window of St. Joan of Arc was photographed inside the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, located in Dover, New Jeresy, USA.

Photographs by Loci B. Lenar

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Our Lady of Guadalupe - Feast Day Celebrated December 12

Our Lady of Guadalupe (Spanish: Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe) is a celebrated 16th-century icon of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ. The image, also known as the Virgin of Guadalupe (Spanish: Virgen de Guadalupe) represents a famous Marian apparition. According to the traditional account, the image appeared miraculously on the front of a simple peasant's cloak. The image still exists; it is on display in the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City. It is perhaps Mexico's most popular religious and cultural image, and the focus of an extensive pilgrimage. The feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe is December 12. She is said to have appeared to Saint Juan Diego on the hill of Tepeyac near Mexico City between December 9 and December 12, 1531.

The Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Dover, NJ, has a beautiful replica painting on display of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I photographed the picture during my visit to the church.

Photograph Copyright 2009 Loci B. Lenar

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Muslim writer defends crucifixes in Italy

The following article appeared on the Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Young Muslim writer defends crucifixes in Italy

Rome, Italy, Nov 13, 2009 (CNA) - A young Muslim writer named Randa Ghazy has written an article entitled, “I, a Muslim, Defend the Crucifix,” in which she expresses her opposition to a ruling by the EU Human Rights Court that ordered all crucifixes be taken down in classrooms across Italy. The article will appear in the December edition of the magazine Mondo e Missione, a publication of the Pontifical Institute Missioni Estere.

“One of the most beautiful memories of my childhood and adolescence was of Father Bruno,” she writes. “I would often go to the oratory with my little brother and the sisters would treat us with great kindness and care.”

Ghazy recalls as well that “Father Bruno made us truly laugh. When it was time for Mass, my brother and I would run off to play ping pong and eat candy. Every day Father Bruno would ask us to stay with the other kids who were there in the church, which we embarrassingly declined to do.”

“One day, Father said to us, ‘Why don’t you come and say your prayers?’ And so we did. During Mass my brother and I slowly recited prayers from the Koran. So the crucifix, all the different kinds that I remember (from grade school to college) was always a symbol of security for me, a projection of the greatness of the heart of Christ, and in some way, of Father Bruno."

For this reason, Ghazy says, “I support and encourage every possible debate between Muslim and Christian citizens, all discussion about the secularity of the State, but with respect for the great models of humility that each one can find in his past and his experiences."

“I turn off the television so I don’t see the continuous verbal assaults, I remember Father Bruno and I smile, thinking about those two little Muslims who looked at each other in that beautiful church. I almost feel nostalgia for the 90s,” she writes.

The young Muslim writer was born in 1987 in the Italian region of Lombardy to Egyptian parents. She has written three books, the first when she was only 15, entitled, “Dreaming of Palestine.” The book is about the friendship shared by a group of young people in the occupied territories.

Her second book, “Bloody Trial,” was published in 2005. In 2007 she wrote, “Today I'm Not Going to Kill Anyone: Short Stories of a Young Muslim Who is Not a Terrorist.”

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Deacon Miraculously Healed through Cardinal Newman’s Prayers Tours England - Catholic Online

The following article about Deacon Jack Sullivan is posted on Catholic Online:

The Cause for the Canonization of John Henry Cardinal Newman: (

Deacon Jack Sullivan’s visit to England will be a special opportunity for English Catholics to discover more about Cardinal Newman and deepen their obedience to the Vicar of Christ.

LONDON (Cause for the Canonization) - Deacon Jack Sullivan, whose miraculous healing in 2001 is the basis for Newman’s Beatification next year, is to visit the Birmingham Oratory (UK) this week, in a event which the Boston deacon has said will be ‘the greatest moment of my life’. His wife Carol will be accompanying him throughout the visit.

On Wednesday and Thursday Deacon Sullivan will visit Cardinal Newman’s room, assist at Mass in his private chapel, and visit his library, a collection of international importance. At the Birmingham Oratory, he will give the only two personal interviews that will be conducted during his visit to the U.K, for the Catholic News Service (U.S.) and EWTN. It was after watching an EWTN broadcast about Newman in 2000 that Jack started praying to Newman for his spinal condition to be healed. Jack wrote down the address of the Birmingham Oratory, heralding the beginning of his providential connection with Newman’s own community.

Jack Sullivan will also be deacon at Mass in the Church of the Oratory, otherwise known as ‘Little Rome’, in Edgbaston. He will also visit Rednal, where Newman was buried in 1890, on the edge of Birmingham.

On Monday and Tuesday, Jack Sullivan will visit London, the place of Newman’s birth, where the Archbishop of Westminster has invited him to a press conference and Mass at Westminster Cathedral on Monday evening (9th November).

On Tuesday evening he will give the Catholic Truth Society 2009 Lecture at the London Oratory in Brompton, the second Oratory founded in England by John Henry Newman, in 1849. Father Ian Ker, the internationally renowned Newman scholar, will be giving an introductory address.

From Thursday to Saturday Deacon Sullivan will be staying at Littlemore, where Newman made his first confession and was received into ‘the one true fold of the Redeemer’, the Catholic Church, in 1845. He will pay visits to Trinity and Oriel Colleges. On Saturday he will visit the Oxford Oratory, founded in 1990, which fulfilled Newman’s hopes of an Catholic Oratory in his own university city.

Newman retained an abiding affection for Oxford, writing of it in his 1875 Letter to the Duke of Norfolk: “No one mourns, for instance, more than I, over the state of Oxford, given up, alas! to ‘liberalism and progress,’ to the forfeiture of her great medieval motto, ‘Dominus illuminatio mea’ [‘The Lord is my Light’]”.

When Jack Sullivan exercises his diaconate at Mass at the Birmingham Oratory at 12.45pm on Wednesday 11 November, he will do so at the Oratory’s ad orientem (east-facing) High altar. This traditional position for Catholic altars has, exceptionally, been preserved at the Birmingham Oratory. Pope Benedict XVI has often spoken of the deep theological and spiritual significance of celebrating Mass ad orientem, and of what has been lost through the current practice of celebrating Mass facing the people. Anticipating a Papal visit to England next year, Wednesday’s Mass links in a special way Newman’s Beatification to Benedict XVI’s own ‘hermeneutic of continuity’.

Father Paul Chavasse, Actor of Newman’s Cause, and Postulator-General of the Oratorian Confederation, said: “Deacon Jack Sullivan’s visit to England will be a special opportunity for English Catholics to discover more about the fascinating figure of Newman, to learn that he is an intercessor in their needs, and to renew their devotion and obedience to the Vicar of Christ, whose anticipated visit to the U.K. will be a powerful affirmation of the universal value of Newman’s path to the Catholic religion.”

Please visit the following link for Deacon Sullivan's Account of the Miracle.

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Saturday, November 07, 2009

Prayers to Our Lady of Guadalupe

Patroness of the Americas
Protectress of the Unborn
Feast Day in the USA - December 12th

O Immaculate Virgin, Mother of the true God and Mother of the Church!, who from this place reveal your clemency and your pity to all those who ask for your protection, hear the prayer that we address to you with filial trust, and present it to your Son Jesus, our sole Redeemer.

Mother of Mercy, Teacher of hidden and silent sacrifice, to you, who come to meet us sinners, we dedicate on this day all our being and all our love. We also dedicate to you our life, our work, our joys, our infirmities and our sorrows. Grant peace, justice and prosperity to our peoples; for we entrust to your care all that we have and all that we are, our Lady and Mother. We wish to be entirely yours and to walk with you along the way of complete faithfulness to Jesus Christ in His Church; hold us always with your loving hand.

Virgin of Guadalupe, Mother of the Americas, we pray to you for all the Bishops, that they may lead the faithful along paths of intense Christian life, of love and humble service of God and souls. Contemplate this immense harvest, and intercede with the Lord that He may instill a hunger for holiness in the whole people of God, and grant abundant vocations of priests and religious, strong in the faith and zealous dispensers of God’s mysteries.

Grant to our homes the grace of loving and respecting life in its beginnings, with the same love with which you conceived in your womb the life of the Son of God. Blessed Virgin Mary, protect our families, so that they may always be united, and bless the upbringing of our children.

Our hope, look upon us with compassion, teach us to go continually to Jesus and, if we fall, help us to rise again, to return to Him, by means of the confession of our faults and sins in the Sacrament of Penance, which gives peace to the soul.

We beg you to grant us a great love for all the holy Sacraments, which are, as it were, the signs that your Son left us on earth.

Thus, Most Holy Mother, with the peace of God in our conscience, with our hearts free from evil and hatred, we will be able to bring to all true joy and true peace, which come to us from your son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who with God the Father and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns for ever and ever.


By His Holiness Pope John Paul II while visiting the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico, January 1979.

Prayer of John Paul II for Life

O Mary,
bright dawn of the new world,
Mother of the living,
to you do we entrust the cause of life:
Look down, O Mother,
upon the vast numbers
of babies to be born,
of the poor whose lives are made difficult,
of men and women
who are victims of brutal violence,
of the elderly and the sick killed
by indifference or out of misguided mercy.
Grant that all who believe in your Son
may proclaim the Gospel of life
with honesty and love
to the people of our time.
Obtain for them the grace
to accept that Gospel
as a gift ever new,
the joy of celebrating it with gratitude
throughout their lives
and the courage to bear witness to it
resolutely, in order to build,
together with all people of good will,
the civilization of truth and love,
to the praise and glory of God,
the Creator and lover of life.

By Pope John Paul II

Encyclical Letter "The Gospel of Life" Given in Rome, at Saint Peter's, on March 25, the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, in the year 1995, the seventeenth year of his Pontificate.

The prayers of Pope John II are found on Catholic websites.

Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to Saint Juan Diego on the hill of Tepeyac near Mexico City between December 9 and December 12, 1531.  For additional information about the apparition of the Blessed Mother with her title of Our Lady of Guadalupe, please visit Catholic Online.

The stained glass window of Our Lady of Guadalupe was photographed inside Our Lady Star of the Sea Church.  The Catholic church is located in Lake Hopatcong, NJ, USA.

Photograph Copyright 2009 Loci B. Lenar

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Sunday, November 01, 2009

Solemnity of All Saints

The Solemnity of All Saints is celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church on November 1st in honor of all saints. It's a day of reflection on those who have been a witness to the faith and lived a life of Christian Holiness. 

Regarding saints and their intercessory help, Revelation 8:3-4 says, Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel's hand.

For additional information, please visit All About The Solemnity of All Saints.

Please visit for a selection of daily Devotional Prayers.

The stained glass window detail was photographed inside St. Virgil Church, Morris Plains, NJ, USA.

Photograph Copyright 2009 Loci B. Lenar

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