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Posted by on Jan 23, 2015

Gifted and Giving — January 2015

Gifted and Giving — January 2015

Sainthood for Father Junipero Serra

Blessed Junípero SerraPope Francis on January 16 announced his decision to canonize Fr. Junipero Serra, the Franciscan founder of the California missions during his visit to Washington, DC this fall. The ceremony will take place at the National Shrine of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. The Pope decided to waive the requirement for two miracles. Blessed Fr. Serra is said to have cured a nun in St. Louis form lupus. However, a second miracle has not been attributed to his intervention. Pope Francis said that Blessed Junipero Serra has been considered to have been a holy man for many decades and that he is a good example of evangelization -- bringing the gospel -- to those who have not heard it.
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James MacMillan - The Gift of Music

James MacMillan is a Catholic Scottish composer from a working class town in the west of Scotland. He composed the Mass of Blessed John Henry Newman which was performed in Westminster Cathedral in London on the occasion of Pope Benedict XVI’s beatification of the 19th century Cardinal who converted to Catholicism.  MacMillan's reflections on the process of composing liturgical music for parish congregations are included here.
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Tu Es Petrus - Musical Greeting for a Pope

James MacMillan's version of the traditional fanfare for a pope rendered in a very modern tone.

Ask Theologika - The Gift of Colors and Seasons

 Vestments in liturgical colors

Dear Theologika,

Why do the colors the priest wears when celebrating Mass change during the year? Can I choose the color I’d like him to wear to match my wedding’s color theme?

Curious Bride

Dear Curious,

The colors of the robes (vestments) worn by priests, deacons and bishops have been set for a very long time. They vary somewhat among the ancient traditions (Russian, Byzantine, Roman and others), but in general even across the ancient traditions they remain basically the same. 

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Spirituality in Daily Living: Martin Luther King, Jr. -- A Gift of One's Self

Martin_Luther_King_Jr_NYWTS - cropped
The Feast of Martin Luther King, Jr is not a feast of the Roman calendar, but it is a national holiday to celebrate a civil rights leader and a Baptist minister who advocated non-violence. For Dr. King, Mahatma Gandhi, all Christian saints and martyrs, and ourselves, this call to obedience is not only a question of observing certain commandments but a deeper call to be the person God created us to be, to be at one with God, to hear at one with God, to accept God’s truth about our mission in life to advance the kingdom of heaven.
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"¿Por qué Sufren los Niños?" Papa Francisco Contesta a Los Jóvenes en Filipinas

Pope_Francis_Tacloban_10 - public domain

El Santo Papa dejó su texto preparado para contestar la pregunta que le había puesto una niña rescatada de la calle. Glyzelle Palomar contó en pocas palabras las miserias que había padecido y preguntó,"¿Por qué Dios permite estas cosas, aunque no es culpa de los niños? ¿Y por qué tan poca gente nos viene a ayudar?”

 La respuesta del Papa se encuentra aquí.

Praying with Our Holy Father - A Gift of Community

General Intention: That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.

Evangelization: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.


Gift - The Foundation of All Reality

Gift of Flowers

For a Christian, “gift” is a term for the very foundation of all reality. God in him/herself is gift. The Trinity is by definition fundamentally constituted as a Reality of love which is self-donating. Each Person of the Trinity delights in giving of Himself to the Other and receiving Love from the Other. There is the oddest paradox in this for the human observer. The most majestic Reality with endless glory is also the most humble. And, the greatest delight is to be able to please the Other with the gift of the Self.

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Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial? – The Gift of Inquiry

Vatican astronomers, Br. Guy Consolmagno and Fr. Paul Mueller have penned this provocative question as the title of their new book. Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial? deals with the most common questions they receive. Generally the questions assume a conflict between science and faith.
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Growing in Faith: The Magi and the Gift of Holy Discontent


Fr. Geoffrey Plant of Sydney, Australia has prepared a multimedia homily for the feast of the Epiphany. Fr. Plant suggests that in addition to their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, the wise men also brought the gift of Holy Discontent — the gift of prophecy and activism.

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"Why Do Children Suffer?" Pope Francis Speaks to Filipino Youth


During a presentation to young people in the Philippines, the Holy Father set aside his prepared text to answer a question that had been raised by a 12 year old girl who had been rescued from the street, “Many children are abandoned by their own parents ... Why does God permit these things even though the children are not at fault.Why do so few people come forward to help?”

Read about Pope Francis' response ...

Just for fun

Try your hand at this puzzle.

Liturgical colors and seasons puzzle

Answers may be found in Ask Theologika.

Looking Ahead: Candlemas, a time to celebrate


On February 2 we celebrate an important event in the lives of the Holy Family: The Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary and The Presentation of the Lord. This feast is also known as Candlemas.

For a list of 25 little known things about this feast, check out "A Day to Celebrate Three Feasts and a Blessing."

If you celebrated the Feast of the Epiphany with a Rosca de Reyes or Kings Cake, this is the day to celebrate a meal together again. The host is the one who found the figurine or the bean inside the cake!



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