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Some traditions assign particular, how shall I say – virtues to each Sunday in Advent: hope, peace, joy, love for each of the first to the fourth respectively.
Memory tells me that we mark the Third Sunday of Advent as Gaudete Sunday, quite in line with the tradition. As Catholics, we have a leaning toward historical roots that prefer Latin for an idea when we wish to assign it a special elegance. So we refer to the Third Sunday of Advent as Gaudete Sunday, always with the explanation, "Gaudete means rejoice".
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Commencing the First Sunday of Advent, the Church will be using a new translation of the Roman Missal. I would like to emphasize that this in no way represents a return to "the old Mass," for the Latin texts that provide the basis for the new translation were all approved after Vatican II.
So why the change? What had come increasingly to bother a number of bishops, priests and liturgists over the years was that the translation of the liturgical texts, made in some haste in the late sixties of the last century, was not sufficiently faithful to the Latin and was, at least in some instances, informed by questionable theological assumptions.
Imagine the following: An elderly couple asks their niece to pick up some groceries for them. They give her their debit card and tell her to get some cash from the bank machine too.
She has committed to memory their PIN to use the card, and they trust her implicitly. After all, she looks after all their banking needs and reconciles every financial statement. Little do they know but she has been bilking hundreds of dollars for herself each month, not quite enough that the bank will become suspicious.
I've noticed that when the collection plate is brought up to the altar with the bread and wine, the money is put aside or moved away from the altar. Does not that make the money offering unworthy of the altar and of blessing?
A controversy arose this fall in Winnipeg surrounding the relationship between Catholic schools and anti-abortion activities such as the recently-ended 40 Days for Life campaign.
In the midst of this controversy, one letter to the Winnipeg Free Press caught my attention by its objection to the designation "anti-abortion." "Pro-life," the author of the letter said, was to be preferred over "anti-abortion."
There is "little doubt" William Shakespeare was a Catholic who was forced to hide his faith in Protestant England while leaving hints about his faith throughout his vast body of work, said an opinion piece in the Vatican newspaper.
Churches and faith-based groups need to organize collectively to pressure public officials to use initiatives that have been proven to reduce high rates of murder and violent crime in several U.S. cities, a New Orleans pastor told the PICO National Gathering of Clergy Nov. 15.
Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., has agreed to meet monthly for the next five years with a county prosecutor to avoid a possible criminal misdemeanour indictment for failing to report a priest suspected of child abuse.
Hours after the Vatican condemned an Italian ad campaign that depicted Pope Benedict kissing a Muslim leader, the Italian fashion house Benetton withdrew the photo.
Believing in Christ's resurrection means that no matter how difficult life gets, one believes that love and goodness are far more powerful than hatred and evil, Pope Benedict XVI said.