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Monday, February 28, 2005

St. Louis Archdiocese

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Catholics saddened as St. Louis Archdiocese closes parishes

The Archdiocese played the usual sad game of keeping the Faithful guessing.

Archdiocese of Boston- Once slated to stay open, Stoughton church closes

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Outrageous!: "Officials from the archdiocese have declined to specify what is wrong with the building"

Diocese of Toledo

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Bishop Blair announces which Churches are to close

Sunday, February 20, 2005

The Rectory House

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as I thought, it was where the priest lived.

Former Catholic Church

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now Mr. Small's Theatre which has appropriate groups like "Hellrazer" playing. The old rectory and old school house seem to be recording studios.

One punk group that plays there, Anti-Flag considers a democratically elected Christian to be a larger threat to peace and freedom than a mass murdering egomaniac in control of a rogue state.

Wonderful to behold the episcopal sense of mission which does not mind Churches falling into the hands of groups and activists who are inimicable to all that the Catholic Church stands for.

Catholic Church

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handed over to Vineyard Central, a post-modern protestant sect, which is all about doing your own thing (rather than God's)

The great symbol

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of the lack of influence of the Catholic Church on the European institutions. The Cloister of the Queen of All Saints was demolished to make way for the headquarters of the European Commission. I believe that the original convent was demolished to make way for the Brussels Court of Justice, after which they moved only to be evicted again. The Belgian authorities have a terrible record when it comes to the preservation of their historic buildings, aside from any religious considerations.

Lest we forget

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it used to be the communists that were experts at finding new uses for Catholic Churches.

My house shall be called a house of prayer

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but the Chapel of the Ursulines in Rouen became a public library in the 1970s.

The Ursulines founded five convents in America, two of which are still in existance today, including the oldest continuously operating school in the US.

There is another Kathleen Heck in America

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apart from the one that works for the Archdiocese of Boston. This one is also a dealer in real estate.

See the press releases of the Archdiocese. One press release after another anouncing that they are putting Churches on the market.

Shared use

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An curious concept for the dwelling place of God upon earth. It leads slowly and surely to the Church use being elbowed out as people find more and more activities to please themselves.

Wisconsin Church Should Be Saved, Residents Say

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Regular visitors to this blog will not be surprised

"We're not trying to antagonize the pastor," Zamka says. "But he isn't willing to open the door and talk to the people."

and

"The church says the building is crumbling when it is probably more sound and more solid than most buildings,"

Always the same excuses, which don't ring true when you read them over and over again.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Death of Sister Lucia

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the last of the Fatima children has died.


«... opening the New Testament,
the only book I desire
to have here in front of me,
in this remote corner of the attic,
lit by a single skylight,
to which I withdraw whenever I can,
in order to escape, as far as possible,
from all human eyes.
My lap serves as a table,
and an old trunk as a chair...
In St. Paul's letter to the Philippians,
I read: «Let this mind be in you,
which was also in Christ Jesus...
He humbled Himself,
becoming obedient unto death...
It is God who works in you
to will and to accomplish,
according to His good will.»
«l need no more than this:
obedience and abandonment to God
who works within me.
I am truly no more than a poor
and miserable instrument
which He desires to use,
and in a little while,
like the painter
who casts his now useless brush
into the fire so that
it may be reduced to ashes,
the Divine Artist will Himself
reduce His now useless instrument
to the ashes of the tomb,
until the great day
of the eternal Alleluias.
And I ardently desire that day,
for the tomb does not annihilate everything,
and the happiness
of eternal and infinite love
begins — now! »
(Sister Lucia's Memoirs)

The body of Sister Lucia Marto, the last of three children who saw the Virgin Mary in 1917 in Fatima, central Portugal, lies in a chapel of the Convent of Carmelitas in Coimbra, Sunday, Feb. 13, 2005

The First Saturday Devotion

Reuters on Sister Lucia

Obituary in the Daily Telegraph, London, UK

Obituary in the London Times

BBC News Report

Hostility

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in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Public meeting tonight

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of the Boston Council of Parishes. The Archdiocese will be sending spys for sure!

More Catholic Schools Closing Their Doors

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On and on goes the vicious circle of decline Who is to blame?

St. Mary's Church, Chicago

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An Opus Dei Church which was originally scheduled for closure. Sadly, the Bishops are still often not happy to let a Latin Mass parish flourish in the same way.
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Our Lady of Fatima pray for us!


The Fatima Network

Funeral of Sister Lucia

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See full story

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

My house shall be a house of prayer

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but the former Colettine Monastery in Bruges/ Brugge, Belgium is now a housing development offering bed and breakfast.

For more information on the Colettines, one of the two branches of the Poor Clares.

This is the history of the Belgian congregation (sorry, it is in Dutch). However, it shows the decimation of the order in the years since the Council (see the dates)

More history of the convent in Bruges in Dutch can be found here. The last nun seems to have died only in 2001.

Show thyself our Mother- Monstra te esse matrem

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Close-up of Our Lady on the wall of the IBIS Hotel, Bruges / Brugge
Gillibrand

Inscription in Flemish from Verse 4 of the Ave Maris Stella
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The other side of the courtyard.
Gillibrand
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The site of the Brothers of Charity- Broeders van de Liefde monastery in Bruges/ Brugge is now shared with by two hotels. The top of the clocktower is now a "feature" is the courtyard.
Gillibrand

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Museum of Our Lady of the Potterie, Bruges/ Brugge, Belgium-

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The only time it is possible to get into the Church for free is Sunday morning for Mass. The Church is closed after Mass, and I was once told to leave immediately after Mass finished.

Former Jesuit Church, Bruges/ Brugge, Belgium

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A different kind of theater is on the menu at Brugge Anno 1468 (Bruges Year 1468), Celebrations Entertainment, Vlamingstraat 86 (tel. 050/34-75-72). In the atmospheric setting of the neo-Gothic former Heilige-Hartkerk (Sacred Heart Church), from 1885, which belonged to the Jesuit Order, actors re-enact the wedding of the Duke of Burgundy, Charles the Bold, to Margaret of York, while visitors pile into a medieval banquet. Performances are April through October, Thursday through Saturday from 7:30 to 10pm; November through March, Saturday from 7:30 to 10pm. (courtesy Tourist Office)

More from Diocese of Toledo

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The time is now to stand up and be counted

"The protesters prayed, sang, read the names of the churches recommended for closure, and held up signs that read, "Closing churches is not the answer," and "What would Jesus do?"

One sign said, "We're people, not pins on a map.""

Diocese of Toledo

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The Bishop has a plan so all must stand up and cheer.

The psychologically manipulative prayers are particularly offensive.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Catholic Diocese of Lake Charles, Louisiana

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announces closing of Mission Chapels calling them instead "chapels of convenience".

Strangely, in justification the Bishop quotes John Donne, the poet who left the Catholic Church in order to gain preferment in the anglican church.

He even offers the chapels for sale to other faith communities!

"Has interest been expressed by other faith communities or business leaders in possibly buying the property?"

St Francis Xavier.

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More news

St Francis Xavier, Diocese of Manchester, US

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Being sold to property developer who says he will donate it to the Armenian Church.
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St Valentine baptises St Lucilla
Gillibrand

Video report of the death of Sister Lucia

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click on "telejournal" in left hand panel.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Stational Churches in Rome during Lent

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A list provided by the Pontifical Academy Cultorum Martyrum. The descriptions are in Italian but have a look at the great pictures.

Desecration of Catholic Church

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Of all the desecrations of Catholic Churches throughout the world the Haunted Castle, Indiana is one of the most obnoxious. Pictures can seen at their website.

Someone, somewhere in the Catholic hierarchy should be hiding their head in absolute shame.

Catholic education in the Archdiocese of New York

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Catholic schools find status is diminished

"So what was lost, in a single day last week, were the identities of 22 neighborhoods honed over generations. What emerged was an unmistakable milepost. The mighty parochial school system that rose a century and a half ago from immigrant ghettos to serve as a portal into American society for millions - and as a virtually unlimited source of power for the institutional Catholic Church - is fading into history."

Diocese of Toledo

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Attacks Catholic education as well as closing Churches.

Demonstration against Church closing in Diocese of Toledo

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Sorry I didn't pick this up yesterday

"It's a gimme. It's going down, nothing is going to change his mind. This is the only thing we can do to keep it open."

Closing our churches is no solution

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Excellent letter
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The sale of objects from St Boniface's Church in Amsterdam
Gillibrand

Friday, February 11, 2005

Cardinal sends best wishes to Prince Charles and the future Duchess of Cornwall

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One has to wonder how Cardinal Murphy O'Conner would have handled the infidelities of the King Henry VIII.

Timely repairs stave off ravages of age on historic church building

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"Nobody builds them like this anymore":

Archdiocese of Boston

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accused of of making land deals behind closed doors. How could anyone think this? Transparency has always been their strength.
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Today the Office of the Passion is the Flagellation of Our Lord
Note: according to the Catholic Encyclopedia it should be the Crown of Thorns; however my Passionist supplement to the Breviary published in the US in 1941 thinks otherwise. Further research required.

The Column of the Flagellation of Christ is a famous relic; half of it is in the Franciscan Chapel inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, the other half was brought to Rome in 1222 by Cardinal Giovanni Colonna and placed in his titular church, San Prassede (Saint Praxedes), where it still remains.

St Michael's Church, Ancoats, Salford, UK

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Also on page 3 of January 28 edition of the UK Catholic Herald an extensive report about St Michael's Church.

In the spirit of Christmas generosity, the Diocese announced a final Mass for December. They called it a Mass of Celebration. The Faithful did not think there was much to celebrate, so stayed on the steps outside.



The Faithful wrote to the Bishop; the Diocese replied,

"Thank you for your letter, the contents have been noted".

The font from the Church has been dumped besides the rubbish bins. What a symbol of the Diocesan contempt for the Sacramental life of the Church.

Every Sunday, they sing Faith of Our Fathers outside the Church, a hymn the Bishop has clearly forgotten. All Saints and Martyrs of England pray!

Faith of our fathers, living still,
In spite of dungeon, fire and sword;
O how our hearts beat high with joy
Whenever we hear that glorious Word!

Refrain

Faith of our fathers, holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death.

Faith of our fathers, we will strive
To win all nations unto Thee;
And through the truth that comes from God,
We all shall then be truly free.

Refrain

Faith of our fathers, we will love
Both friend and foe in all our strife;
And preach Thee, too, as love knows how
By kindly words and virtuous life.

Refrain

Faith of our fathers, Mary’s prayers
Shall win our country back to Thee;
And through the truth that comes from God,
England shall then indeed be free.

Refrain

The Jesuits in Britain: Latest news

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Jesuits pull out of thriving London parish as reported in UK Catholic Herald, January 28

Diocese of Brooklyn

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announces the biggest round of school closings in the history of the city's Catholic education system

"The schools, like Transfiguration in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and Ascension in Elmhurst, Queens, have been cornerstones of their neighborhoods for decades, some for more than a century, and have provided a critical refuge and stepping-stone for children - Catholic and otherwise - in some of the poorest neighborhoods in the city."

More of the vicious circle of decline. Fewer schools, lower Mass attendance, fewer Churches, fewer laity.

Forty years since the Council: the years that the locusts have eaten

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Since Jesus threw the money changers out of the temple

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marketplaces within the Church have to be treated with the greatest suspicion. Bishops are happy to close Churches but are now reluctant to impose elementary Catholic discipline, without which there can be no unity and without which no Catholic truth can be proclaimed.

Great Catholic Church sale- a few of the smaller lots

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found there way to the White Cross Bay Leisure Park and Marina:

"A disused Catholic Church provided many of the materials used in the new bar including the novel centrepiece a confession door, now housing drinks rather than penitents"

Not a good place for Catholics to stay; this will make them angry and uncomfortable. The Leisure Park should return these goods to the Church immediately.

The Great Catholic Church Sale

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- in Ireland... when you think what the Catholic Church in Ireland has endured for it to come to this.

All Saints Church, Lanchester, UK

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In the days when the Church was building and not destroying - and when marble was being taken from hotels for use in Churches and not the other way around.

Monday, February 07, 2005

St Isidore's Church, Los Angeles

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Locked Out of beloved Church, Faithful keep spirit alive

And not the only Church to suffer from this:

"St. Isidore kept offering weekly Masses conducted in Spanish by a St. Hedwig priest but over the years, its devotees say, the old church's treasures began disappearing. Its familiar bell, which according to Rusinek could be heard for miles on a quiet Sunday morning, was given to a visiting priest from New Guinea. 'The last we heard,' Rusinek said, 'it was at a church in Ireland.'

Nobody knows what, exactly, happened to the magnificent white marble altar, imported from Belgium. And all of the original wooden pews, Rusinek said, have been replaced by oddly sized hand-me-downs. But the beautiful stained glass windows remain"

Archdiocese of St. Louis

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St. Louis city officials rally against possible parish closings
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I posted earlier some photos on the Flower Festival held in the Belgian National Basilica of the Sacred Heart. However, I missed this photo out which demonstrates the enormous respect of the Basilica's authorities for altars where Christ is truly made present in the Mass (note my sarcasm). This is the High Altar of the Basilica during the flower festival. As an aside it is regretable that the modern practice is to place flowers on altars during Mass. The old teaching was that Christ's presence could not be shared on the altar with anything that was perishable.

Archdiocese of Boston

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starts Lent in mean spirited style for which it has now become famous.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

St. John Cantius Church, Chicago

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Restoration of the Sacred- what can be achieved.
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This Church in Gent was sold to the Church of England (what were they doing in Gent?), I was told about one hundred years ago. Anglicanism not being a going concern in Gent, it was sold a few years ago and became an antiques market. Once a Church is sold, there is no telling what the use will be after three, four or more owners. Europe is full of art centres in former Churches that are on the border of financial viability.
Gillibrand
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Lest we forget- Protestant Church in Ghent - stolen at the time of the Reformation
Gillibrand
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Piece of wood carving, almost certainly from a Church, turned into a lampstand (in fact, there was a pair).
Gillibrand
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St Peter's Abbey, Ghent - see earlier post. Monastery, now an arts centre used for antiques fair.
Gillibrand

Bureaucracy- a killer of souls

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Superb letter in the Tablet this week from a Father Christopher Heenan, Parish Priest of St Pius and St Ninian, Fife, Scotland.

Saying extra Masses does not tire Fr Heenan, but
"What I find stiffles my ministry, frustrates and tires me is the increasing amount of paperwork that passes over my desk"

He asks
"Could our Bishops look at the huge amount of paperwork produced in their name and put a match to it?"

No shortage of paperwork means a shortage of priests.

Simple message from laity

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to Diocese of Vermont - keep Churches open.

Oberon, Australia

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You book into a bed and breakfast but if you try to go to Mass on Sunday morning, you will find that you were sleeping in the former Church.

My house shall be called a house of prayer...

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but you have turned it into a venue for international conferences.

St Maria del Carmen, Dallas

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A good news story of the determination of the Faithful.

Boston again

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Numerous letters to the press concerning Our Lady of the Presentation School

St Stanislaus Kostka, Archdiocese of St Louis

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No excommunications - at least not for the time being.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Jesuit Priests leaving Tampa's Sacred Heart

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Jesuits abandon yet another Church but mercifully in this case to the Franciscans.

Archdiocese chooses between Churches

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Keep them both open. A scandalous way to proceed.

The Pope

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Pray the Rosary!

Please pray for the Holy Father

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latest news can be found here

Latest news

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St. Brigid Church, San Francisco- Landmark status could thwart archdiocese plan to raze and sell land to pay abuse suits

Manchester's Taj Mahal (UK)

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now to be converted into a hotel and conference centre - when the Franciscans give up a Church in one of the most deprived areas of Manchester, there is something seriously wrong. Historically, the Franciscans always made new foundations in the poorest part of any city, not least among them, Santa Croce in Florence.

The comparison with a Catholic Church and the Taj Mahal is not mine but the new owners of the Church of St Francis.

St Francis and all saints of the Franciscan Order pray for us! Remember the faithful of Gorton, now and in the past, who have been deserted by the Church.

Response from Archdiocese of Boston

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to appeal by parishioners of Sacred Heart Church deficient in simple Christian charity.

Lest we forget - Croatia 1991

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The second picture down on this report is the Church of St Blaise, Dubrovnik. St Blaise is the patron saint of the city.
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Today is the Feast of St Blaise. Many Churches will be having a traditional blessing of throats.
A novena in his honour

Pope Pius XII on material and spiritual vandalism

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"I am worried by the Blessed Virgin's messages to Lucy at Fatima. This persisitence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide that would be represented by the alteration of the faith, in her liturgy, her theology and her soul.... I hear all around me innovators who wish to dismantle the Sacred Chapel, destroy the universal flame of the Church, reject her ornaments and make her feel remorse for her historical past...A day will come when the civilized world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to beleive that man has become God. In our churches, Christians will search in vain for the red lamp where God awaits them. Like Mary Magdalene weeping before the empty tomb, they will ask, "Where have they taken Him?"

Archbishop Burke's record

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Once a Bishop gets infected with the desire to destroy, nothing will stop them, whatever Diocese they are in.
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Lest we forget the attack on the Church and the closure of Churches by the Communists. A prayer card from Belgium of the 1950s. Sadly, this did not prevent the infamous, and then secret, 1962 Pact of Metz when the Vatican agreed not to condemn either Russia
or communism in the documents of the Vatican Council.

Gillibrand

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

A triumph for Catholic education in the Catholic Diocese of Trenton

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Closings `a slap in the face'

"Few parents said they would send their children to the newschool, which will be called the Trenton Catholic Academy at McCorristin Campus, and many said they were considering sending their children to other private schools or moving out of the city. "

Pray for the Pope

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Pope John Paul taken to hospital