Monthly Archives: January 2019

CHURCH FATHERS (41) – Didymus of Alexandria

– Anastasios

Didymus of Alexandria (310-395), also called “the blind,” was born in Alexandria and lost his sight from the age of 5. He was a very well versed scholar, fond of Plato and Aristotle, and was the head of the catechetical school of Alexandria for many decades. He was a revered teacher and even Saint Jerome and Saint Anthony the Hermit, so said the tradition, wanted to listen to his classes. Didymus was a follower of Origen, the great Christian thinker that was not without reproach from the point of view of orthodoxy. Didymus also was condemned as a follower of Origen in some of his theological mistakes.  He wrote many works, also appreciated by Saint Jerome and by Pope Damasus (Jerome, at a certain time of his life, was the secretary of pope Damasus).

BITE-SIZE THEOLOGY (17) – What does “Sacred Tradition” mean?

– Rev José Mario O Mandía

We have seen last time that Apostolic Tradition is transmitted through Sacred Tradition and through Sacred Scripture (cf CCCC 13). Let us discuss Sacred Tradition first. What do we mean by “Sacred Tradition”?

The term “tradition” comes from the Latin traditio, “handing down.” Tradition does not refer to customs or practices like praying the Rosary, or going on processions and pilgrimages. These latter practices are called customs or, also, traditions (in plural form). The CCC (no 83) teaches: “Tradition is to be distinguished from the various theological, disciplinary, liturgical or devotional traditions, born in the local churches over time. These are the particular forms, adapted to different places and times, in which the great Tradition is expressed. In the light of Tradition, these traditions can be retained, modified or even abandoned under the guidance of the Church’s Magisterium.”

YOUR WORD: JOY OF MY HEART, LIGHT TO MY FEET – 27th January 2019, 3rd Sunday In Ordinary Time

Neh 8:2-10; 1 Cor 12:12-30; Lk 1:1-4, 4:14-21

– Fernando Armellini SCJ
Claretian Publications, Macau

It was a Saturday. Like every pious Jew, Jesus goes to the synagogue.

There are two readings and the one who reads the second text usually does the homily. The homily is pretty easy: it is enough to memorize the explanations and comments made by the great rabbis and refer their opinions.

SAINT PETER THOMAS (1305-1366) – Messenger of Peace

– Tej Francis

Peter Thomas was born in the southern Périgord region of France, to a very poor peasant family. His piety and skill as a teacher attracted the attention of the Carmelite prior of Bergérac, who invited him to join that community. He continued his teaching in various houses of study until he was sent to Paris for advanced scholarship at the University there. While his studies were still in progress, the Carmelites elected him Procurator General in 1345, which meant that he was the primary liaison with the papal curia. This was during the 70-year period when a series of popes lived at Avignon, in southern France, so his travels to the pontifical court were somewhat easier.


– Miguel Augusto (*)

Yesterday, January 24, was the liturgical feast of St Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. Through preaching, writing and spiritual counselling, he performed prodigies of apostolate and wrote marvellous works of spirituality, and fought the errors of Protestantism. He founded the Order of the Visitandines with St Jane of Chantal and is the patron of journalists and writers. St Francis de Sales inspired saints such as St John Bosco, founder of the Salesians, who elected him as patron of his Congregation.


Conversion on the way to Damascus by Caravaggio (Image by Wikipedia)

– Aurelio Porfiri

One of the images most impressed in the collective imagination regarding Christianity is that of the conversion of St Paul, which the Church celebrates on January 25th. Not wrongly. In fact, this dramatic image of a man who, from persecuting Christians, became a Christian himself makes us think. We will surely think of the beautiful painting by Caravaggio, with St Paul fallen from his horse but illuminated by a supernatural light. You will notice that the horse has a hoof raised as if to strike the man on the ground, Paul. And this paw is illuminated. It makes me very much think that to illuminate the scene there is a supernatural light cast upon a man on the ground and a probable threat. I do not think it is an over-interpretation of Caravaggio, as he was a man that lived his life in a dramatic way. I do not think it is a coincidence that he wanted to transfigure in a supernatural light also the dark side of his life, like that of St Paul.

TEACHERS – A million thanks


After Albert Camus received the news of the Nobel Prize for Literature, he wrote a letter to his teacher Monsieur Germain (November 1957): “I have just been given far too great an honor, one I neither sought nor solicited. But when I heard the news, my first thought, after my mother, was of you. Without you, without the affectionate hand you extended to the small poor child that I was, without your teaching and example, none of all this would have happened. Despite the years, your little schoolboy has never stopped being your grateful pupil.”

CATHOLIC SCHOOLS AT THE SERVICE OF SOCIETY (1) – The “Catholic” Identity of Catholic schools

– Fr Leonard E. Dollentas

The Catholic University of America (CUA) has long been considered as the National University of the Catholic Church in the United States. Like most private institutions today, CUA is recently going through financial difficulties, incurring close to $ 3.5 million in operational deficits. This is largely due to the decline of student enrollments.

GREAT FIGURES OF THE MISSIONARY WORK – Bengal and the Kingdom of the Dragon (37)

– Joaquim Magalhães de Castro

The report tells us that on the day Cacela and Cabral arrived at Rintam (now Chapcha, as we have seen), there also arrived a relative of the man who had negotiated the journey in Rangamati. Immediately he agreed to lead them to Pargan (Paro), the capital of the kingdom, and to find there someone to take them to the king. And so it was. Four days later the Jesuit priests were in Paro.


– Tej Francis



(CNA) A U.S.-based coalition of dissenting Catholics, whose backers include wealthy non-Catholic funders, is sending a small group of LGBT activists to World Youth Day in Panama to engage with media and pilgrims and to challenge Catholic teaching and practice they say is “harmful.”  The six pilgrims are backed by the Equally Blessed Coalition, currently composed of the groups Call to Action, Dignity USA and New Ways Ministry. The group Fortunate Families had belonged to the coalition for several years but left it in 2018.