Category Archives: Faith & Life

ASK THE LITURGIST (19) – Liturgical Group

– Enrico Finotti

Does a liturgical group in the parish make sense? And, if have it, what is its task?

Undoubtedly a group or a committee, which cares about the dignity of liturgical celebrations, is an important tool in the parish. However, one must understand well both its role and, above all, its way of proceeding. The role, as the liturgical group method, is analogous to the other two fundamental groups: the catechetical and the pastoral one. In fact, proclamation, liturgy and pastoral care are the three essential areas of the life of the Church. The action of the three commissions must be based on three successive and concatenated stages.

BITE-SIZE THEOLOGY (11) – Did Jesus have a succession plan?

– Rev José Mario O Mandía

Many persons regard Jesus Christ as an outstanding Person, and may even accept his Divinity. But for them, Jesus is a personage from the remote past with no connection to the present. Is that really so? Or did Jesus make sure that His mission would continue down the centuries?


Bar 5:1-9, Phil 1:4-6, 8-11, Lk 3:1-6

– May Tam

“The word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert:”  what an unlikely opening verse for the preparation of Jesus’ public ministry! Luke had just named all the important people (both political and religious) in that historical period but none of them received the word of God. Why then John, a relatively strange and unknown man, was called to be the herald instead of the emperor, the governor, the tetrarchs or the high priests and why in the desert instead of the more populated Jerusalem or Rome?

CHURCH FATHERS (35) – Saint Jerome

In the 4th century, as we have observed, we have a flourishing of great Church Fathers, probably unique in the whole history of the Church. Another example of this is given by Saint Jerome (346? – 420). When he was 20, he was sent to Rome to improve his studies on the classics. He was baptized in Rome by Pope Damasus, who would care for him thereafter. He would study the Bible with great. But at a certain point he wanted to live and study in an hermitage: it was in the year 372. After this time, he would study Hebrew carefully to be able to translate the Bible into Latin with great faithfulness.  As we have seen, Arianism, a dangerous heresy, was strongly affecting the Catholic Church. Pope Damasus convened a Roman council in 382 and wanted Jerome near to him, as his secretary. Of course Jerome could not resist the will of the Pope. After this he would also return go to Bethlehem, to continue his studies and in correspondence with many disciples.


– Aurelio Porfiri

A few weeks ago I was reading an article written by my very good friend Aldo Maria Valli. He quoted a researcher from the Acton Institute in USA on the issue of sentimentality. I did not know a lot about Dr Samuel Gregg before that and so I learnt that he is Research Director of the Acton Institute. Author of numerous books and articles, he also deals with issues of great concern to Catholics. So I asked him some questions about sentimentality and the Church, the #metoo movement, Veritatis Splendor and many more things.


Montagnaga, Italy

On  May 14, 1729, around noon on Saturday, Domenica Targa was with her cattle in the basin of the “Palustel.” Suddenly, all the beasts, as if caught by terror, started to flee disoriented. Domenica, who was reciting the rosary, cried out: “Jesus, Mary, help me.” She had just pronounced the invocation, when she saw before her a beautiful lady dressed in white as snow. “My daughter, what are you doing?” She asked. “I am reciting the rosary,” said Domenica. The Lady praised her and, after having expressed a burning desire to go to Caravaggio, she added: “Obey me. Do not go to Caravaggio. Instead, the evening of the feast of the Ascension, go to the church of Saint Anne, where you will be exposed to the picture of Our Lady of Caravaggio. You kneel on the first step of the altar and you will see a beautiful thing. “I wonder if my parents will let me go to Montagnaga at that!” said the girl. “Fear not, I will be there for sure!” added the beautiful Lady, and disappeared.

SAINT PAUL VI (4) – Social action based on Populorum Progressio

– Fausto Gomez OP

“All social action involves a doctrine” (PP. 39). The two functions of the social teachings of the Church are: to enlighten the minds and to take part in action (cf. Octogesima Adveniens, 48). PP is “a solemn appeal to action” for the complete development of individuals and peoples. It is an urgent appeal: “Solidarity in action is a matter of urgency” (PP, 1), because the main cause of underdevelopment is “the lack of brotherhood among individuals and peoples” (PP, 66).

ASK THE LITURGIST (18) – Where to put the ciborium

– Enrico Finotti

Where to deposit the ciborium without a table?

It is not infrequent that sacristy and extraordinary ministers of the Communion complain about the lack of functionality of some tabernacles without a minimum of support to carry out decorously certain necessary operations connected to the Most Blessed Sacrament. The demand is valid, as a decent liturgical action also requires sufficient and functional spaces. If the tabernacle is on an altar in the chapel of the Most Blessed Sacrament or on the same ancient high altar, its table can perform with dignity the indispensable functions for the care of the most holy Eucharist. But at other times the tabernacle is completely devoid of a shelf and only allows you to extract or bring back the ciborium, without the possibility of support. It is therefore necessary to reflect. A suitable table, covered with a tablecloth and with the possibility of spreading the corporal, is necessary before the tabernacle. On it we must be able to perform some necessary acts:

BITE-SIZE THEOLOGY (10) – What credentials does Jesus show?

– Rev José Mario O Mandía

Jesus claims to be God. How does he prove it? What credentials does he show? We can point out two: miracles and prophecies.


Jesus not only showed great wisdom. He backed his words with prodigious acts. St Mark tells us how “on the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue; and many who heard him were astonished, saying, ‘Where did this man get all this? What is the wisdom given to him? What mighty works are wrought by his hands!’” (Mark 6:2)

Surely this was no ordinary man! Nicodemus, a man of authority among the Jews, acknowledged Jesus’ authority: he “came to Jesus by night and said to him, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him’” (John 3:2).

A NEW YEAR CELEBRATION THAT GOES UNNOTICED – 2nd December 2018, 1st Sunday of Advent

Jer 33:14-16; 1 Thes 3:12- 4:2; Lk 21:25-28, 34-36

– Edmond Lo

The last liturgical year ended in the crowning of our Lord Jesus Christ as King of the Universe, which is very much in line with the ending of the history of salvation as recorded in the Bible: the Word of God emerging victorious over all forces of evil and was acclaimed as “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Rev 19:16). This Sunday we begin a new lectionary year by celebrating the coming of the Lord in the Season of Advent.