July 15, 2006

The “St. Benedict Patron of Europe Association”

A.S.B.P.E. (Associatio Sanctus Benedictus Patronus Europae)

The A.S.B.P.E. was established in 1967.

On July 11, 1988 the Pontifical Council for the Laity issued a decree recognizing the A.S.B.P.E. as an international association of the faithful of Pontifical Right.

The A.S.B.P.E. has a two-fold mission:
to maintain awareness of the impetus St. Benedict gave to all the peoples of Europe, to the Christian European order and its spiritual unity;

to promote and disseminate Christian culture in a spiritually united Europe.

Inspired by the monastic regulations of St. Benedict, A.S.B.P.E. members aspire to put nothing before Christ and unconditionally to obey the commandments of God. They nurture their personal prayer and lives by assiduous reading of Holy Scripture, and the writings of the Western and Eastern Fathers. They devote themselves to the Church, to the defense of its rights and the cultivation of its traditions. They take active roles in the sacramental and liturgical life of their own local Church, and undertake to help it meet its needs.

The support the Church hierarchy, promote the unity of Christians in the Catholic Church, study the Church's social teaching, defend the sanctity of the family, assist in the development and existence of the Catholic school as an effective means of disseminating Christian culture.

They also promote the use of the Latin language, which was once the common language of Europe in the fields of communication, culture, science and education.

A.S.B.P.E. is governed by a steering committee of 12 members including a president, two vice presidents and a general secretary. The committee has several duties, including organizing annual international congresses in conjunction with Benedictine abbeys on issues relating to Christian life in Europe.

Members of the A.S.B.P.E. living in the same city or region meet in local groups. As far as possible, all the members establish spiritual relations by becoming oblates of Benedictine monasteries.

From the Directory of International Associations of the Faithful, published by the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

July 14, 2006


Click HERE for it.


During the daily meals in Benedictine monasteries, one of the monks reads aloud to the other monks (who otherwise eat in silence). Among the daily readings is a section of the regulations of St. Benedict-- a document monks simply call "The Holy Rule". In the course of a year of meals, the monks hear the entire Holy Rule read three times.

A monk of Subiaco Abbey, Arkansas has set up a website providing the daily reading from the Holy Rule plus a reflection.
Click HERE for it.

Let married men receive priestly ordination! Do it now!

After all, priests need to experience personally the contemporary high divorce rate.

They deserve to suffer like the general population.

Priests need to have the experience of child custody battles, and need to know what a pain it is to pay alimony and child support.

The priesthood does not have enough trouble already.

Marriage is in a bad way in Western society now, and priests compassionately need to learn that by living through it themselves.

Dioceses bankrupted by paying for priestly sexual sins need to know what suffering really is. They won't know that until they are forced to support the wives and children of married clergy.

This is what we really need right now.

Right now!

Yeah! Don't be so stupid next time!

July 13, 2006

July 13, Memorial of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha

My diocese, San Diego, has a parish named for Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha. Three tribal reservations belong to this parish: Barona, Sycuan and Viejas. The county of San Diego has more reservations than any other county in the U.S.A.: eighteen reservations-- though they are tiny reservations compared to those of the Navajo and Hopi. Since the diocese of San Diego includes both San Diego County and Imperial County, and there at least two other reservations in or overlapping Imperial County, the diocese of San Diego includes twenty reservations at least.

The image above is the oldest known image of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha. It was painted not long after her death by Fr. Claude Chauchetière, S.J. He reports that she appeared to him several times after her death, asking him to paint images of religious themes for other converts from among the Native Americans.

He also wrote a story of her life.
Click HERE for it.

July 09, 2006

I am absent beginning Monday, July 10, and will return on Thursday, July 13.

March 21 is the day St. Benedict died in A.D. 547. Benedictine monks observe that day as a feast.

However, July 11— this coming Tuesday— is the memorial of St. Benedict in the universal calendar of the Church.

In his memory, here are some of my thoughts on mere basics of spirituality— of both the Benedictine flavor and the general Christian.

Introduction to life in a Benedictine monastery, click on:

Basics of Benedictine spiritual practice for those living outside a monastery, click on:

Basic building blocks of Christian discipleship, click on:
spiritual direction.

Strong, authentically Eucharistic spirituality, click on:

If you are interested in my daily homilies, click on:

Finally, the image above is the back of the medal known as "The Cross of Saint Benedict".

Here's the front of the Cross.

To read about it, click on:

Liberal Christianity is paying for its sins

By Charlotte Allen,
Catholicism editor for Beliefnet,
author of "The Human Christ: The Search for the Historical Jesus."

Los Angeles Times, July 9, 2006

The accelerating fragmentation of the strife-torn Episcopal Church USA, in which several parishes and even a few dioceses are opting out of the church, isn't simply about gay bishops, the blessing of same-sex unions or the election of a woman as presiding bishop. It also is about the meltdown of liberal Christianity.

Embraced by the leadership of all the mainline Protestant denominations, as well as large segments of American Catholicism, liberal Christianity has been hailed by its boosters for 40 years as the future of the Christian church.

Instead, as all but a few die-hards now admit, all the mainline churches and movements within churches that have blurred doctrine and softened moral precepts are demographically declining and, in the case of the Episcopal Church, disintegrating.

The complete article is online.
Click HERE for it.