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Friday, November 12, 2010

November Nights

Every November when the clock "falls back" and night comes early and the weatehr turns cold there are hints of mortality and the end times all around. The Catholic liturgical readings also ramp up their focus on death as the year comes to an end. One friend has a great salutation below his name in all emails. "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention oa arriving safely in a pretty, well-preserved body, but rather a skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "Wow, What a ride!" "
My thoughts turn to what all those relatives and friends who have died and what they are doing in eternity. It is clear from our faith and expereince that the saints are very busy  helping us and those in purgatory to compete well in the race and reach the end having  chosen to love God and neighbor as much as possible in thsi life.
PEace,
Fr. Willy

Friday, August 06, 2010

Catholic Hollywood: Good-bye Anne Rice

Catholic Hollywood: Good-bye Anne Rice: "This week, Anne Rice announced on Facebook that she has left the Catholic Church and Christianity. I am sorry to see her go. Her reasons f..."

Monday, August 02, 2010

A letter to yourself

There is a minister at a New England school who has his students write a letter to be delivered to themselves fifteen years in the future. He asks them to address 6 areas:
1. Who is the person right now that you would rather spend a day with than anyone else in the world?
2.Write to yourself what you hope you will be doing with your life fifteen years from now; and what you hope you won't be doing.
3. Some people say there is a God and others say there isn't. Set down in your letter what side you would put your money on today and why.
4. Set down the last thing that made you cry. 5. What is the most beautiful place you have ever seen up to now? 6. Write about the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you. Write about the nicest thing you have ever done for anyone.
The letter should have things like these in it so you won't lose track of them. Give the letter to somebody to mail to you someplace in 2025. My bet is that it will turn out to be one of the most interesting and useful letters you will ever receive. Peace, Fr. Willy

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Holy Hour For Hollywood

Every week we pray a Holy Hour on Friday during the "Hour of Mercy" 3-4, for Hollywood. This week we prayed for Mel Gibson, Lindsay Lohan and Eric Roberts. All are in need of the support of our prayers and our faith to navigate a "Sea of Troubles."

  • We also pray for all Acting Coaches, Actors, Agents, Animators, Cinematographers, Craft Services, Directors, Executive producers, Grips, Heads of Studios and Productions Companies, Interns, Investors, Lawyers, Lighting Professionals, Line Producers, Location Scouts, Make-up Artists, Managers, Producers, Stuntmen {women},Video Gamers, Wardrobers, Writers, Everyone below the line and above the line.
  • Our prayer is that all men and women in Hollywood will use their immense talent, energy, resources to produce true works of art that enhance human dignity and give glory to God.
  • We pray for those who love evil and are far from the Good, especially for pornographers who use men, women and children as objects and diminish the value and beauty of the human person, body, soul, spirit, mind and heart. Our prayers are needed here more than anywhere else.
  • We also pray for all the video game creators, producers, and marketers some of whom use extreme violence, especially against women and children.
  • There is no greater power in this world than the power of prayer. Look at the transformation in the life of Joe Ezstherhas as exhibit A. His memoirs, Crossbearer, speak eloquently of the power of prayer and God's love and mercy to bring about a new man.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Visit to Holy Father

Dear Friends,

Sorry for neglecting the blog. This April 21st, 2010, while traveling to Milan, Florence, Castel Gandolfo and Rome with Angelus Student Film FEstival winners and staff, I had the great joy of meeting the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, after a Wednesday audience in Rome. We just had 30 seconds in which I asked for his blessing on Hollywood and the work started by Servant of God Father Patrick Peyton, CSC and that Family Theater continues. He said, "Hollywood, that is very important work. God bless you." He also gave me a blessed Rosary which I cherish. Before the meeting, I chatted with some Americans while waiting for the pope's arrival. They were from the University of Southern California and they had the cornerstone of the new Catholic Center which Pope Benedict blessed right after our meeitng. Fr. Lawrence and Mrs. Sample were there with the chairmen of their advisory committee to accompany the blessed stone back to Los Angeles. This was one of the most memorable days of my life. Have you ever met the Pope? I would love to to hear from you if you have.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Caritas in Veritate

Dear Friend,
Recently, I have been thinking a lot about Pope Benedict XVI's latest encyclical Caritas in Veritate, for two reasons: I had to prepare a staff development session on "Charity in Truth" and today President Obama signed the Health Care Reform bill passed by the House of Representatives on Sunday, March 21st. The encyclical and health care reform are related. Allow me to begin first by referring to the WORD CLOUD to the left which captures the major themes of this 30,000 word encyclical Caritas in Veritate. This magisterial document opens with three powerful sentences: "Charity in truth, to which Jesus Christ bore witness by his life and especially by his death and resurrection, is the principal driving force behind the authentic development of every person and of all humanity. Love-caritas-is an extraordinary force which leads people to opt for courageous and generous engagement in the field of justice and peace. It is a force that has its origin in God, Eternal Love and Absolute Truth." Repeatedly, the Holy Father states that Charity and Truth need each other. Charity without truth becomes mere "sentimentality" and a "empty shell" of itself. Truth without charity leads to cold rights and duties and ultimately dictatorship.

Without reiterating the whole argument, it seems to me that the political parties and the extreme media on both ends of the political spectrum in this country, all need to heed the wisdom of Caritas in Veritate. By way of illustration and encouragement, bankers in London have made time in their busy schedules to study in small groups the entire encyclical. It is worthwhile for many since it is addressed not only to religious leaders, but to political leaders, financiers, labor leaders, business leaders and aid agencies.

I believe that too often the civility in public discourse and the respect we owe to every human person as a child of God are lacking because we divorce Caritas from Veritate. If one does not have a respect for the truth but rather selects and advances arguments and data that support only one's preconceived conclusion, what good does that do for humanity and the common good? Conversely, if one wishes to save the world with good intentions cultivated in a generous and noble heart but lacks the wherewithal to face the facts and limits of life in the world, little of value is accomplished. Charity and Truth need each other.

Pope Benedict concludes his encyclical with wise and modest reminders. "Development needs Christians with their arms raised to God in prayer. Christians moved by the knowledge that truth-filled love, caritas in veritate,from which authentic development proceeds, is not produced by us but given to us. For this reason, even in the most difficult and complex times, besides recognizing what is happening, we must above all turn to God's love."

As we near the fifth anniversary of his selection as the successor of Peter, God must take delight in the knowledge one of the most brilliant and holy men alive today is occupying Peter's venerable chair. If you have read this may God bless you and our good Pope Benedict.

With respect,
Fr. Willy Raymond, CSC.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Brother Andre Bessette, CSC

Wow, He was born in 1845 and died in 1937. He interceded with his prayers and Saint Joseph's help to bring God's healing grace into the hearts and bodies of thousands. So beloved and revered was he that more than a million mourners passed by his bier on cold January days in wintry Montreal in 1937.

His Oratory is now the largest shrine to Saint Joseph in the world. In 1982 he was beatified by Pope John Paul II and on December 19,2009 Pope Benedict announced approval for the final miracle that promised an unobstructed path to sainthood for this humble doorman of Notre Dame College at the foot of Mount Royal.

On October 17, 2010 Brother Andre Bessette, CSC will be canonized a saint in Rome, so announced Pope Benedict on Feb. 19, 2010. Holy Cross, Montreal, Canada and much of the Northeastern United States has been waiting for this good news for 72 years.

As a member of Holy Cross, as a descendeant of French-Canadians, as a priest and pilgrim trying to live this Catholic Christian faith, I am delighted to know that our humble lay brother, the "Miracle-worker' of Mount Royal, will finally be recognized as a saint and his great love and faith be shared with the whole world. Beni soit le nom du seigneur, maintenant et a toujours! As Brother Andre told thousands, Ite ad Joseph, Go to Joseph. He is a powerful friend to have in heaven.