Monthly Archives: November 2011

Obligation of the Liturgy of the Hours

The General Instructions on the Liturgy of the Hours reads: “By itself, Morning Prayer (Lauds) should be recited during the morning hours and Evening Prayer (Vespers) during the evening hours, as the names of these parts of the Office indicate. If someone cannot recite Morning Prayer (Lauds) in the morning, he has the obligation of reciting it as soon thereafter as possible. In the same way, if Evening Prayer (Vespers) cannot be recited during the evening hours, it must be recited as soon thereafter as possible (SC 89). In other words, the obstacle, which impedes the observation of the ‘true time of the hours’, is not by itself a cause that excuses the recitation either of Morning Prayer (Lauds) or of Evening Prayer (Vespers), because it is a question of the ‘Principal Hours’ (SC, 89) which ‘merit the greatest esteem’ (GILH, 40).

Read the entire QA at Obligation of the Liturgy of the Hours.

For more information on the Liturgy of the Hours and a bit of history, Opus Dei.
For monthly ordo for the single-volume set of the Liturgy of the Hours, Morning Prayer / Evening Prayer.
For monthly ordo for the four-volume set of the Liturgy of the Hours: Morning Prayer / Evening Prayer.


For All vs. For Many

Being part of the English world, we will be celebrating the Eucharist with the new translation from the first Sunday of Advent 2011. Even though Catholics have grown to appreciate the translation used since their youths and most priests have used since their ordination, most are willing to adopt the new translation. In fact, to those who complain, the reader suggests we should have a “new” translation for every new generation so that we never become so used to the words that we fall into the trap of mechanical recitation. However, there is one word which some cannot for the time being accept to use.
Translation at the best of times can be a very sticky wicket, especially when trying to address the many local preferences. But one wonders what’s going on with this “many” vs. “all” phenomenon in the new so-called improved missal, that is, the word “many” in place of “all” in the prayer of consecration. We have read the theological explanations, but for as long as we hear the Pope pray “per tutti” in Italian, then why should I restrict it to “per molti”? Will we be guilty of disobedience if we continue using “for all” until we observe that translation in all other languages — and especially the Holy Father — also reduce it to “many”? — from F.D., South Africa

Read Fr McNamara’s response at For All vs. For Many.

Which English Translation to Use?

Some countries, including our neighbor to the North, where some of us might serve or visit, are faced with this question.

This question is answered by Legionary of Christ Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy at the Regina Apostolorum university.
At least two new English translations of the Roman Missal will be put into use this year. England and Wales will implement their translation in September; the United States will implement its in November. My question regards which translation should be used for Masses in English when celebrating in Rome. Are the translations the same? Is one to be preferred? — J.M., Rome

Read the entire article at Which English Translation to Use Abroad.

Doctrinal Formation and Communion Under Both Kinds

Both Kinds

In the ordinary form of the Mass, the distribution of Holy Communion under both kinds is an option whose usage has become a daily occurrence in many countries but, by no means everywhere, even in Europe.

Bread Alone?

The instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum, promulgated in 2004, explains the context of this practice: “So that the fullness of the sign may be made more clearly evident to the faithful in the course of the Eucharistic banquet, lay members of Christs faithful, too, are admitted to Communion under both kinds, in the cases set forth in the liturgical books, preceded and continually accompanied by proper catechesis regarding dogmatic principles on this matter laid down by the Ecumenical Council of Trent” (100).
Read the entire article at Doctrinal Formation and Communion Under Both Kinds.

Multipurpose Theology of the Body

The many angles from which Blessed John Paul II’s theology of the body can be studied is testament to its profundity. Not only is it a work fit to help those who are suffering from a wounded past, but also for helping people understand salvation history, as well as revealing the mystical union that God wants with each and every soul. 

These are some of the reflections offered by Janet Smith, chair of Life Ethics and professor of moral theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan. Smith was one of the guest speakers at a Theology of the Body conference hosted last week in Rome by Regina Apostolorum university. Read the entire document at multipurpose theology of the body,

Giving Marriage a Second Chance

According to for the past decade, the overall American divorce rate has remained stable, at around 50% for first marriages. The statistics are become more depressing for each successive marriage, with 65% of second marriages ending in divorce and even higher rates for third marriages and beyond. Divorce rate statistics show that 3.6 to 5% of marriages are ending every year, cumulating in a large portion of adults who have personally experienced divorce at some point in their lives.

The destructive consequences of marriage breakdowns are well-known. A recent report published by the Institute for American Values provided some suggestions on how to reduce this heavy toll.

“Second Chances: A Proposal to Reduce Unnecessary Divorce,” was authored by William J. Doherty, professor of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota, and Leah Ward Sears, a former chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court.

In their investigation they found that there is strong evidence for the thesis that many couples who divorce are quite similar to those who stay together. This contradicts the conventional wisdom that most divorces only occur after many years of conflict. They also found that it is not true that once a couple files for divorce they don’t consider the idea of reconciling. Read the entire article at A Second Chance for Marriage.


This is a reprint of


published by the Vatican Information Service.

Read the Africae Munis Full Text.

VATICAN CITY, 19 NOV 2011 (VIS) – Given below is a summary, prepared by Archbishop Nicola Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, of the main ideas contained in the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation “Africae munus”.

  The document has two parts. Part one (nos. 14-96) discerns the fundamental structures of the ecclesial mission on the continent, a mission which aspires to reconciliation, justice and peace, and has its origin in the person of Jesus Christ. Listening to Him, Christians are invited to let themselves be reconciled with God, becoming just in order to build a just social order in keeping with the logic of the Beatitudes, and committing themselves to fraternal service for love of truth, which is a source of peace. Attention then turns to the paths towards reconciliation, justice and peace. These include authentic conversion, the celebration of the Sacrament of Penance, the spirituality of communion, the inculturation of the Gospel, the protection of life, migrants, displaced persons, refugees, the good governance of States, and ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue especially with traditional religions and Islam. In part two (nos. 97-177) all members of the Church are invited to contribute to communion and peace in the Church and in society. It also identifies areas for the apostolate: the Church as the presence of Christ, the world of education, health care and the communications media. The Exhortation opens a horizon of hope to Africa which, by welcoming Jesus Christ, must free itself from the forces which paralyze it.

  ‘Africae munus’ is the continuation of ‘Ecclesia in Africa’, which was published after the First Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops and gave great impetus to the growth of the Church in Africa developing, among other things, the idea of the Church as Family of God which has been beneficial to the universal Church. ‘Africae munus’ aims to reinforce this ecclesial dynamism, to outline a programme for pastoral activity for the coming decades of evangelisation in Africa, underlining the need for reconciliation, justice and peace.

  The Church, Sacrament of union with God and man, must be a place of reconciliation, a gift of God, in order to be an effective tool of justice and peace for the whole of society. Reconciliation comes from the mystery of the risen Christ Who is present in His church through the Word of God and the Sacraments, especially those of Penance and the Eucharist. Through the grace of the Spirit, the Eucharist creates a new brotherhood which overcomes languages, cultures, ethnicities, divisions, tribalism, racism and ethnocentrism. In her work of evangelisation and education in the Christian faith, the Church must concentrate on lived catechesis, which leads to profound conversion and to real commitment to live the Gospel at a personal, family and social level. The Social Doctrine of the Church is of great help in sustaining human development.

  ‘Africae munus’ offers the Church in Africa practical guidance for pastoral activity over coming decades.

  – Evangelisation ad gentes, the announcement of the Gospel to those who still do not know Jesus Christ, is still of vital importance in Africa. It is a pastoral priority which involves all African Christians.

  – Ordinary evangelisation must be increasingly promoted in the various particular Churches, through commitment to fostering reconciliation, justice and peace.

  – There is also an urgent need to work for the new evangelisation in Africa, especially among people who have distanced themselves from the Church or who do not behave in a Christian fashion. African Christians, and in particular the clergy and consecrated persons, are likewise called to support new evangelisation in secularised nations. This is an exchange of gifts, because African missionaries are already at work in countries which once produced missionaries who went forth to announce the Good News in Africa.

  Among the practical suggestions contained in Africae munus, we may note the following:

  – Saints, people reconciled with God and neighbour, are exemplary heralds of justice and apostles of peace. The Church – all of whose members are called to sanctity – must discover fresh ardour, the ardour of the many saints and martyrs, confessors and virgins of the African continent, devotion to whom should be renewed and promoted (cf. AM 113).

  – In order to find further examples of sanctity, also obtaining new intercessors in heaven, pastors of the particular Churches are encouraged ‘to recognize among servants of the Gospel in Africa those who could be canonized according to the norms of the Church’ (AM 114).

  – The bonds of communion between the Holy Father and the bishops of Africa must be strengthened, as must the bonds among Africa bishops themselves, at the national, regional and continental level.

  – It is considered important ‘for the bishops to help support, effectively and affectively, the Symposium of Bishops’ Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) as a continental structure of solidarity and ecclesial communion’ (AM 107).

  – For a deeper appreciation of the mystery of the Eucharist and to increase Eucharistic devotion, emphasis is given to the Synod Fathers’ proposal to celebrate a continental Eucharistic Congress (cf. AM 153).

  – African countries are encouraged to ‘celebrate yearly ‘a day or week of reconciliation, particularly during Advent or Lent” (AM 157).

  – In agreement with the Holy See, SECAM may contribute to promoting ‘a continent-wide Year of Reconciliation to beg of God special forgiveness for all the evils and injuries mutually inflicted in Africa, and for the reconciliation of persons and groups who have been hurt in the Church and in the whole of society’ (AM 157).

  Grateful for the gift of faith in the One Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, with renewed enthusiasm the Church in Africa reaffirms her commitment to evangelisation and human development, so that the entire continent may become a vast field of reconciliation, justice and peace. In this way, the Church contributes to forging the new Africa, which is increasingly called to become the ‘spiritual lung’ of humankind’.

PV-BENIN/                                                   VIS 20111119 (1000)

Read the Africae Munis Full Text.

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