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September, 1997

Welcome to Totally Catholic E-zine, the newest Email magazine designed specifically for traditional Roman Catholics. This forum will provide informative articles and commentary on issues related to the One True Faith. UPDATE (4/27/98)T.C.E. is no longer available in the e-mail format.


The premiere issue of "TOTALLY CATHOLIC E-ZINE" was a surprisingly wonderful success! We sent the first issue to several hundred Roman Catholics, and received such an overwhelming response that we now have over 1300 subscribers, with dozens more joining weekly! If you know of any Catholic who may be interested in receiving a free subscription to this monthly publication, please email me with their name and email address - Also, feel free to print out the E-zine to share with family and friends who don't have email access.

I received dozens of letters complimenting the first issue of T.C.E. Oh, yes, I did receive one response which wasn't so complimentary. The author wrote: "Gee whiz, you sound ultra-conservative. While the business of the Catholic Church depends on its reluctance to change, the future of the church also demands it be far more responsive to change than in the past. As long as Popes remain European males of 19th century parentage your e-zine will thrive. Good luck." Now, mind you, the first issue evolved around the topics of the Rosary, Eucharistic Adoration and Natural Family Planning....hmmmm, didn't realize those solid Church teachings were considered 'ultra-conservative'!

Most of the comments were like the ones below:

Dear Maria,
I totally DEVOURED your ezine the minute I received it. I also printed it out for future reference. LOVED IT!!
Love and Blessings,
Sue Hand (32), mom to Ana (10), Allison (9), Emma (2), Elena (10 mos) in Cincinnati, Ohio

Dear Maria,
I am impressed and enjoyed reading this very much!
God Bless You and yours
Love & Peace
Patty wife to DJ mom to 6

Dear friends,
Thank you so much. I really appreciate your work for the Lord!!
Your fellow Catholic,

I really like your new magizine....Thank God for your great apostolate I hope you get alot o subscribers....

WRITERS STILL NEEDED! I'm thrilled to announce a wonderful array of writers for T.C.E.'s September Issue, inlcuding: Joseph Roalef, John E. Usalis, Kathryn Lively, Jeannie Mainzer, Shelly Lembke, John S. Robertson, and Dr.Jean-Francois Orsini. We are still in need of writers for future issues, so, if you are a writer or an aspiring writer who enjoys writing on a variety of Faith-related issues, please contact me. You are free to write on a variety of topics related to the Faith, including: traditional prayers and devotions, the state of the Church today, Church history, Marian Apparitions and the Blessed Mother, Catholic sites of interest on the internet, Catholic news the world around, hints for improving personal prayer life, Angels and Saints, Laws and Teachings of the Church, Eucharistic Adoration, Doctrine and Dogma...the list is rather endless! If you are a writer or an aspiring writer and have some ideas for future articles for Totally Catholic Ezine, contact me via email right away! Our only guidelines are that we request your articles be in keeping with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, the Pope, and the Teaching Magisterium.

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>From the visions of St. John Bosco

Try to picture yourselves with me on the seashore, or, better still, on an outlying cliff with no other land in sight. The vast expanse of water is covered by a great group of ships in battle formation, prows fitted with sharp, spearlike beaks capable of breaking through any defense. All are heavily armed with cannons, incendiary bombs, and firearms of all sorts-even books- and are heading toward one stately ship, mightier than them all. As they close in, they try to ram it, set it afire, and cripple it as much as possible.

This stately ship is shielded by a flotilla escort. Winds and waves are with the enemy. In the midst of this endless sea, two solid columns, a short distance apart, soar high in the sky. One is topped by a statue of the Immaculate Virgin at whose feet a large inscription reads: Help of Christians. The other, far taller and stronger, supports a Host of proportionate size and bears beneath it the inscription Salvation of Believers.

The flagship commander, The Holy Father, seeing the enemy's fury and his auxiliary ships' very grave predicament, calls his captains to a conference. However, as they discuss their strategy, a furious storm breaks out and they must return to their ships.

When the storm lets up, the Pope again summons his captains as the flagship keeps on its course. But the storm rages again. Standing at the helm, the Pope strains every muscle to steer his ship between the two columns from whose summits hand many anchors and strong hooks linked to chains.

The entire enemy fleet closes in to intercept and sink the flagship at all costs. They bombard it with everything they have: books and pamphlets, incendiary bombs, firearms, and cannons. The battle rages on to no avail. Unharmed and undaunted, the flagship keeps on its course. At times a large ram splinters a gaping hole into its hull but, immediately, a breeze from the two columns instantly seals the gash.

Meanwhile, enemy cannons blow up, firearms fall to pieces, ships crack up and sink to the bottom. In a blind fury, the enemy takes to hand-to-hand combat, cursing and blaspheming. Suddenly the Pope falls, seriously wounded. He is instantly helped up but, struck down a second time, dies. A shout of victory rises from the enemy and wild rejoicing sweeps their ships. But no sooner is the Pope dead than another takes his place. The captains of the auxiliary ships elected him so quickly that news of the Pope's death coincides with that of his successor's election. The enemy's self-assurance wanes.

Breaking through all resistance, the new Pope steers his ship safely between the two columns and moors it to the two columns; first, to the one surmounted by the Host, and then to the other, topped by the statue of Our Blessed Mother. At this point, something unexpected happens. The enemy ships panic and disperse, colliding with and wrecking each other.

Some auxiliary ships which had gallantly fought alongside their flagship are the first to tie up at the two columns. Many others, which had fearfully kept far away from the fight, stand still, cautiously waiting until the wrecked enemy ships vanish under the waves. Then, they too head for the two columns, tie up at the swinging hooks, and ride safe and tranquil beside their flagship. A great calm now covers the sea.

St. John Bosco (Don Bosco) asked Fr. Michael Rua, who would be his first successor, what he made of thevision. Fr. Rua replied: "I think that the flagship symbolizes the Church commanded by the Pope, The ships represent mankind. The sea is an image of the world. The flagship's defenders are the laity loyal to the Church. The attackers are her enemies who strive with every weapon to destroy her. The two columns symbolize devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and to Our Blessed Mother." Don Bosco added that "the enemy ships symbolize persecutions. Very grave trials await the Church. What we suffered so far (this vision occurred in1862) is almost nothing compared to what is going to happen. The enemies of the Church are symbolized by the ships which strive their utmost to sink the flagship. Only two things can save us in such an hour: devotion to Mary and frequent Communion. Let's do our best to use these two means and have others use them everywhere."

by Joseph Roalef

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The Holy Eucharist is an awesome reality. While there are many who believe in this reality with all their hearts and souls, it is also one taken for granted, ignored, scorned, misrepresented and blasphemed by many others. Each day as Catholics, we have the humbling privilege of taking into our bodies nourishment for our souls - namely, Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

Just think about it. The same person through whom the universe was created and who keeps it in existence every microsecond of every day, not only loved us so much to die on the Cross for our sins, but willed that He remain with us "even until the end of the world," thereby perpetuating in time the offering of His Body and Blood on the Cross for the sins of mankind. Its importance is something that should never be ignored, diminished, or compromised.

In a meditation written for a recently reprinted edition of the classic book, "Holy Thursday: An Intimate Remembrance," by Francios Mauriac, Mother Teresa of the Missionaries of Charity says, "When we look at the Cross, we know how much Jesus loved us. When we look at the Tabernacle, we know how much Jesus loves us now."To give us life, He made Himself the Bread of Life. In this Sacrament of Love, Jesus continually offers long and faithful personal friendship. To make this love more real, He gives His body to be our Bread of Life..." The celebration of the Eucharist is one that goes back to the beginning of the Church, so that the Church has never been without it and has always believed that the words of Christ at the Last Supper, as well as those recorded in Chapter 6 in the Gospel of Saint John, to be literal and not figurative.

The believing community gathered regularly on what became known as the "Lord's Day" (Sunday). As God the Father completed the creation of the world on the sixth day and rested, so Christ's death on the Cross on the sixth day of the week completed his redemptive act for the sins of mankind ("It is finished."). God creates mankind on the sixth day...God redeems his creation on the sixth day. After resting on the seventh day, Christ arose from the dead on the first day of the week, defeating sin, and therefore its consequence, death.

Since the initial celebration of the Eucharist was during the Passover meal, which was only held once a year, it became necessary early on to separate the elements (words and actions) of the consecration from the meal structure itself, with the Eucharistic prayers for a time being said after a fellowship meal, which has been labeled the "agape meal."

In one of the earliest Christian documents, the Didache, portions of which were written between 40-60 A.D., the celebration of the Eucharist on Sunday is most likely mentioned in the following passage, especially with the use of the word, "sacrifice": "And on the Lord's own day gather together and break bread and give thanks, first confessing your sins so that your sacrifice may be pure."

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, wrote in his book, "Feast of Faith," that the "agape meal" was merely a prelude to the most important reason for the fellowship gathering - what would eventually be called the "Mass." However, it soon became apparent that the agape meal was not quite God's instrument to further the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. According to Cardinal Ratzinger, "What in fact happened was that the community agape, which had been meant to open the door to the Lord, became an occasion for egoism. Thus it proved unsuitable as a preparation for the meeting with Christ. This resulted in the separation of meal and Eucharist."

In Chapter 11 of Saint Paul's first letter to the Corinthians, which may have been written as early as the spring of A.D. 55, he points out the division between the agape meal and the celebration of a regular Eucharist. "Surely you have homes for doing your eating and drinking in?" he wrote, stating that "they (the meetings) do more harm than good." Even back then, people had their own little cliques which caused divisions in the Christian community. Saint Paul then went on to explain the literal meaning of Christ's words on that first Holy Thursday.

The Church continued to bring in more and more converts, but as the Church continued to grow, the ability to celebrate the Eucharist preceded by a meal in many small households with a priest became more and more difficult.

In "The Mass of the Roman Rite: Its Origins and Development," the author, Rev. Joseph A. Jungmann, S.J., wrote that large, supper-like "table-gatherings" fell away, with the tables disappearing from the room, "except for the one at which the presiding official pronounced the Eucharist over the bread and wine ... the ideal toward which all energetically strove was to hold in each congregation only one single Eucharist."

His supposition is supported by Saint Ignatius of Antioch (died c.107), who said in his letter to the Philadelphians, "Take ye heed, thee, to have but one Eucharist. For there is one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, and one cup to (show forth) the unity of His blood; one altar; as there is one bishop, along with the presbytery (priests) and deacons, my fellow servants: that so, whatsoever ye do, ye may do it according to (the will of) God."

Saint Ignatius also left no doubts about how the word "Eucharist" was defined near the end of the first century in his letter to the Smyrneans: "They (unbelievers) abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer (offering), because they confess not the Eucharist to be the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, which suffered for our sins, and which the Father, of His goodness, raised up again. Those, therefore, who speak against this gift of God, incur death in the midst of their disputes."

With the continuing separation of the Eucharist and the agape meal, the Eucharist began to be celebrated in the morning as symbolic of Jesus' Resurrection on the first Easter Sunday.

Sources outside the Christian tradition of the time provide some evidence of morning Eucharistic celebrations. Sometime between 111-113 A.D., an aristocratic Roman lawyer and governor named Pliny "the Younger" wanted to learn more about the Christians in Bithynia, a province on the northern edge of Asia Minor that he governed. After having arrested quite a few Christians, he found that they met on a certain day of the week before dawn. He also found that they later met in the evening for a "harmless meal."

The importance of the early morning service and the moral obligations that went with it becomes even more apparent that even when the evening meal was discontinued after Pliny's intervention, the morning Eucharist continued.

In fact, with the celebration of the Eucharist in the morning hours, it literally became easier for Christians to be found out by their persecutors, since the smell of the wine early in the morning indicated participation in the Mass.

In A.D. 253, Saint Cyprian wrote in an epistle to Caecilius on the Holy Eucharist that there were some who were using invalid matter - water alone - instead of wine with a little water in the sacrament just so as to avoid being detected as Christians. He mentions in the letter the "morning sacrifices": "But the discipline of all religion and truth is overturned, unless what is spiritually prescribed be faithfully observed; unless indeed any one should fear in the morning sacrifices to offer wine, lest in the morning hours, through the flavor of the wine, its smell should be recognized by its fragrant odor by the perception of unbelievers, and he should be known to be a Christian, since we commemorate the blood of Christ in the oblation of wine ... How can we shed our blood for Christ, who blush to drint the blood of Christ?"

Many other examples show how the early Christians did not doubt that the bread and wine actually became the Body and Blood of Christ. In America, while there are no persecutions to the death, many shy away from expressing faith in public, fearing ridicule, laughter, hatred or and being considered ignorant by "progressive" standards. In many parts of the world, there are many who die for their Faith, and they should be our examples of courage in a secular society. Christ said that Christians would be hated by the world for following Him, just as He knew on that first Holy Thursday that His Passion was about to begin, leading to His death by the hands of those He came to save.

As we participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, it might be a good idea to take an inventory of all the times we comprised the Gospel message for the sake of not losing a friendship, business deal or our social standing. We must contemplate the suffering of the One who did not compromise. "Whoever shall be ashamed of Me, of him shall the Son of Man be ashamed," Jesus said. May Jesus never be ashamed of us by our lack of commitment to His commands or lack of our witness to the world, and to our fellow Catholics, more in need of it than ever before.

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“His Mother’s Servants of the Holy Spirit Website” - SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL! at


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Defending the Faith -- "Catholicism and Fundamentalism : The Attack on Romanism by Bible Christians" by Karl Keating

Ignatius Press, 0898701775, $13.95

"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts : and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear : Having a good conscience ; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ."--1 Peter 3:15-16

It should be the duty of every brother and sister of Christ to be prepared to defend one's Catholic faith, particularly in a time where much attention is focussed on the end of the millenium and the mystery that shrouds the twenty-first century. Are we living in the "Last Days"? Who will rise to power as the Antichrist mentioned in Revelations? Are we, as Catholics, doing right by God?

As one of the nation's many, many K-8th grade Catholic students, I thought once I graduated from Sacred Heart Catholic School in Jacksonville, Florida I no longer needed to advance my religious education. I had a Bible, I attended services and kept to God's Commandments and Sacraments and left it at that.

Once away from the protective shell of my parents' home, however, I became exposed for the first time anti-Catholic environments. I discovered Jack Chick and his merciless comic strip attacks on my faith, and recently two Jehovah's Witnesses arrived at my doorstep waving a pamphlet depicting a woman groveling before a statue of Mary. The caption underneath read "idol worshipper." I was stunned. For twenty-five years I was certain I a was a "good Christian", praying to Jesus for strength and wisdom and abiding by His rules, only to learn that many factions insisted I was living a lie.

Catholics questioning their faith, like myself, will want to arm themselves with knowledge of apologetics, and the logical place to start would be with Karl Keating's "Catholicism and Fundamentalism", an excellent resource for clarifying and strengthening one's Catholic faith in Christ. Keating, the founder of Catholic Answers whose insights on apologetics may be found in the Q&A Forum of the EWTN Website, has written this book with two purposes in mind : to point out those most guilty of anti-Catholic behavior and to provide the means of successfully defending the motives of the Catholic Church.

"Catholicism and Fundamentalism" is well-researched and presents well-defined arguments for the succession of popes, veneration of Mary, Eucharistic adoration, and other factors that separate Catholic and Protestant faiths. Arguments against the Fundamentalist position of "sola Scriptura" are also discussed, as are tips on how to become a top-notch Catholic apologist.

Whether you are trying to defend your faith or learn precisely what the Catholic position is, "Catholicism and Fundamentalism" is the ideal book in which to rediscover faith in Jesus Christ and His church.

Copyright 1997 Kathryn Lively

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This rusty Truth
redeems the wild
tames a bruised and tangled child
It honors pain
erases rain
And soothes the ragged storm to mild.

The wolfen thief
at His door
ever hungry, evermore
Will twist the flame
of His name
And dimly, darkly mind the score.

Yet open arms:
His chosen fate
that whispers "welcome" to the late
And lifts the veil
on death's grim tale
With final blood to wash the slate.

A quiet peace
enters in
and stills the pulse of every sin
It plants all seeds
fills all needs
While never asking where we've been.

The barren, dance
the blind, now soar
a captive song that sleeps no more
And we will claim
in His name
The wind reborn, worth fighting for.

This bloody thorn
this broken tree
this cross that breathes a people free
A victory won
through God's own Son...
A splinter they named Calvary.

by Jeannie Mainzer - 2/16/97

"The Peacemaker" Elizabeth of Portugal 1271-1336

This Elizabeth was married at the age of 12 to King Denis of Portugal and was the daugher of King Peter III of Aragon. She was the grandniece of St. Elizabeth of Hungary. No stranger to the idea of the dysfunctional family, she earned the title of peacemaker after intervening in a number political scuffles taking place amid her royal family members. Her brother, James II of Aragon and Ferdinand IV of Castile exchanged some threats after Elizabeth had quelled problems with Ferdinand and his cousin, Alfonso IV of Aragon. She is credited with settling both disputes.

The worst skirmishes occurred between her own son, Alfonso, and her husband King Denis. On two separate occasions, Alfonso had attempted twice attempted to overthrow his father's rule. At one point, Denis thought she may have sided with Alfonso, and exiled her from court. Denis died in 1325, and Elizabeth spent the last 11 years of her life as a Franciscan tertiary, although she originally wished to enter religious life after Denis' death.

Elizabeth founded convents, hospitals, homes for orphans, shelters for "wayward" girls, and was well loved for her charity and piety. She died on the 4th of July, 1336, and was cannonized in 1626.

by Shelly Lembke

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