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September 7th, 2014

Qualities of Mother Mary

Qualities of Mother Mary

Tomorrow, on September 8th, we celebrate the birthday of our beloved Mother Mary, the Mother of all mothers. On this special occasion when we remember the immaculate conception, we should seek her special intercession for all our prayers and needs.

Let us ponder on some of the most important qualities of Mother Mary.

1. Mary was highly favored. God was with her. She was chosen to be the mother of Jesus’ humanity. This tells us that Mary was a young woman of outstanding moral and spiritual character.

2. Mary was submissive to God. She counted the cost. So far as she knew: she would lose Joseph; she would be a social outcast; she had no idea how she would raise the Child. Yet she said without hesitation, “May it be to me as you have said” (Luke 1:38).

3. With thoughts tumbling through her mind and emotions churning inside, Mary arose and raced the many miles from Nazareth to the hills of Judea. She had to see Elizabeth!

4. Mary was a woman of faith. Part of Elizabeth’s prophetic response to Mary’s greeting was “blessed is she who has believed” (Luke 1:45).

5. Mary was humble. She spoke of her “humble state” (Luke 1:48). She realized that she was a girl from Nazareth with no social status.

6. Mary was spiritual. She was a devout worshipper. We see this in the profound and powerful words of the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55).

7. Mary was thoughtful. She kept the words of the shepherds and pondered them in her heart (Luke 2:19). Twelve years later in Jerusalem Jesus made a pointed statement about His true Father that Mary kept also in her heart (Luke 2:51).

8. The most appropriate role model for women. As a motherly figure, Mary exemplifies strength of godliness, strength, and maternal instinct. Mary portrays traits of holiness, piety, and humbleness. As a teacher, Mary instructs women on the importance of trust and perseverance.

9. One of the most valuable strengths Mary possessed was her ability to persevere. She went through many trials in her life, but she never lost sight of the Lord. She used her complete trust in God and her strong will to overcome obstacles and setbacks.

10. The Angel Gabriel greeted Mary as “full of grace” or the one who enjoys “God’s favor”, which is enough to give us an idea of her magnificence! Yes, she who was to become the Mother of the divine Son, our Redeemer, chosen by God from all eternity, could only be endowed with all natural and supernatural perfection, and consequently with all the corresponding virtues.

Have a blessed and wonderful feast of the immaculate conception. Let our beloved mother intercede for even the smallest of our needs. We love you our dearest mom. God bless you all.


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September 7th, 2014

Who Are The Capuchin Monks?

Capuchin Friars Minor

Have you ever heard about the Capuchin monks? I am sure many of you know them, but for those who don’t, read on…

The Founder – Saint Francis of Assisi

St. Francis Assisi founded the Order of Friars Minor, inspired by his visions from God and the Gospel message he heard in 1208 while attending Mass on St. Matthias’ day which formed the basis of the Order. It goes like this: And as you go, preach the message, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out devils. Freely you have received, freely give. Do not keep gold, silver or money in your girdles, no wallet for your journey, nor two tunics, no sandals, nor staff; for the laborer deserves his living (Matthew 10.7-10).

The Order of Friars Minor grew rapidly, and was soon sending missions beyond Italy to other countries in the Mediterranean area. The first mission to England took place in 1224. It was in the same year, in September that Francis received the stigmata, while keeping a forty-day fast at a mountain hermitage at La Verna.

Franciscan History

Francis of Assisi had a dream – indeed more than one! Clare of Assisi shared this dream of rebuilding and revivifying the church of their day. Their radical life according to the gospel altered the patterns of religious life in the Roman Catholic tradition. Religious men and women would no longer live exclusively in the monastery cloister. The world became the Franciscan cloister! The dream of Francis and Clare did not die with them. Rather it pulsed down through the centuries to this present day, nurtured by people who caught the fire of their dream and re-en-kindled it in dreams of their own.

Capuchin-Franciscans have striven to be that type of people since the founding in 1528. As a community of brothers, they hope to be the stewards and agents of renewal of the ideals of Francis and Clare today. The early Capuchins blended a life of preaching, care of the poor, contemplation and simple living. Their dream took root, and soon there were Capuchin friars spread throughout the world!

Capuchin History

The Order of Friars Minor (Franciscans), in its attempt to remain faithful to the intentions of the founder, St. Francis of Assisi, went through many difficulties in the course of its history, which led to disagreements and divisions. The three major branches of the First Order for Religious men:
The Franciscan Friars Minor
The Conventual Friars Minor 
The Capuchin Friars Minor
have their own organization and legal structure, but share Francis as their Father and Founder.

The Capuchins are the youngest branch, going back to 1525, when some Friars Minor in the Marches wanted to live a stricter life of prayer and poverty to be closer to the original intentions of St. Francis. Thanks to the support of the Papal Court the new branch received early recognition and grew fast, first in Italy, and since 1574 all over Europe. The name Capuchins refers to the peculiar shape of the long hood. Originally, a popular nickname, it has become the official name of the Order, which now exists in 104 countries all over the world, with around 18,000 brothers living in more than 1,800 communities (fraternities, friaries).

Simplicity, closeness to the people, a fraternal spirit in their houses and their apostolate are visible signs that mark their lifestyle, while the emphasis on penance and prayer in the life of the first Capuchins needs to be revived. Besides the Capuchin Order for Religious men, there exist many contemplative monasteries of Capuchin nuns and a multitude of religious congregations for women with the Capuchin spirit, often founded with the assistance of a Capuchin friar.

The Secular Franciscan Order for lay people is an independent organization encompassing the whole Franciscan spectrum. Franciscans, Conventuals, Capuchins and other members of the Franciscan Family give spiritual assistance to the Secular Franciscan Order. All these groups of professed religious and secular Franciscans form the Franciscan Family.

Want to learn more about the Capuchin monks? Go to The Capuchin Province of St. Francis of Assisi.


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September 2nd, 2014

Prayer By Sir Francis Drake

Prayer of Sir Francis Drake

Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wilder seas
Where storms will show Your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.

We ask you to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push back the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.

This we ask in the name of our Captain,
Who is Jesus Christ.

- – – A prayer by Francis Drake


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