Christmas Mass in St. Peter`s on Japanese News

29 12 2008

Pope`s Urbi et Orbi on Japanese News

29 12 2008

This news segment aired at 4:30am so no wonder I didn’t see it until now.    Keep watching until the end to see the Holy Father`s greeting in Japanese.


27 12 2008

Joy to the World the Lord is Come

25 12 2008

Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.


The Nativity, by Gerard van Honthorst (1590-1656).

Christmas Eve and a Speech from the Pope

24 12 2008

The Holy Father has made news recently for a speech he gave to the Roman curia.  I was interested in what he really said so I read the entire speech available here.  In it I found some statements I would like to comment on that have nothing to do with the parts making the news.  If you want to know about the part making the news the Curt Jester has a good post on that subject.

The parts of the speech I will comment on are as follows

The birthday of the Lord is at hand. Every family feels the desire to be reunited, to savour the unique and unrepeatable atmosphere which this feast is capable of creating.

Earlier I referred to the special atmosphere of Christmas. I like to think that this is, as it were, an extension of that mysterious joy, of that intimate elation, which surround the Holy Family, the Angels and the shepherds of Bethlehem on the night Jesus was born.

I would describe that as “the atmosphere of grace”, having in mind the words of St. Paul in the letter to Titus: “The grace of God our Saviour has appeared to all mankind.” (Ti 2:11).

Christmas eve is a big deal here in Japan.  People feel like doing something special so families will buy roast chicken, or KFC, and an expensive strawberry shortcake “Christmas cake.”  Those without children think it is better, and more convenient, to eat out at a nice restaurant and even spend a night in a hotel.    Me I do neither I go to Church of course 😀  The customs I just described though used to bother me and I wondered why do people  do anything at all for a holiday about the birth of Jesus Christ then the Pope gave me my answer.  People are sensing that “special atmosphere of Christmas” as the Holy Father called it and they want to “savour the unique and unrepeatable atmosphere which this feast is capable of creating.”  Of course the customs are just that and people have a hard time quitting but at some point in time those customs started and stuck and I think I know the deeper reason now why they stuck with the reason being in what the Pope desribed.

Mr Bean and the Nativity

22 12 2008

This is hilarious.

Young New Yorker leaves police force to become priest

20 12 2008

.- At the age of 25, Nicolas Fernandez had all of the qualities needed to be a great policeman and his future in the force looked promising.  However, during his daily work he discovered he needed different weapons to help the “troubled souls” he encountered, so he decided to become a priest.

Born on Staten Island of an Irish mother and a Spanish father, Fernandez has begun his six year-long formation at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers.  He had been serving as a police officer for two years when, inspired by the teachings of John Paul II and the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to New York, he decided to change careers and become a priest.

full article

I wonder what in particular about Pope Benedict`s visit inspired this seminarian?  I know from attending two public audiences with the Pope when I had the chance to go to Rome that B16 exudes holiness and it is overwhelming to be in his presence.  I wonder if Mr Fernandez had the same kind of experience and that was the last push he needed?