Monday, June 10, 2024

Daily Bread

by John Roche sscc


"We are redeemed and saved by his body and blood. Hail the sacred host which he gave us as our food."      

Old  Celtic Antiphon



Christians argue a lot about the Eucharist, What is its meaning? What should we call it? What….?

The Eucharist stands as a focal point of debate and discussion among Christians, each perspective highlighting a different aspect of its significance. Some perceive it as a communal meal, a sacred ritual that binds a community together. Others find it a profound personal prayer, a catalyst for reaching out to others in service. It's also seen as a commemoration of Jesus' redemptive acts, a reminder of his sacrifice. But who holds the correct interpretation?

Monday, May 13, 2024




Fr. Davide Caisse, Salvatoriano



Q: What is the current situation in Mozambique? Can you say that there is peace in Mozambique?

Padre Davide: The current situation in Mozambique is very difficult for the majority of the Mozambican population due to the frequent terrorist attacks, which claim many lives and cause hunger and misery. It is a complex and challenging situation in which several factors contribute to instability in the different regions of the country. Although fighting and terror exist in the north of Mozambique, the reality is different in the center and south of the country, where there is relative stability and progress. However, the struggle for development and against terror and other problems, for example corruption, continues. Therefore, it cannot really be said that there is peace in Mozambique.

Thursday, May 9, 2024

The Opening of St. Damien’s Pantry Ministry in Wareham / La apertura del Ministerio de la Despensa de alimentos de San Damián en Wareham


The Opening of St. Damien’s Pantry Ministry in Wareham, MA

by Soane Siua sscc


On April 23rd, 2024, the ribbon cutting ceremony marked the opening of St. Damien’s Food Pantry new facility in Wareham, MA. The pantry served as a vital resource for those in need of food assistance in the area. State representatives Susan Williams Gifford and State Senator Marc R. Pacheco were in attendance, expressing their full support for the mission and work of St. Damien’s Pantry. Cheryl Schondek, the COO of the Greater Boston Food Bank, also attended to convey the organization's gratitude and pledged ongoing support in honor of her late uncle, Fr. Michael Anunciato, 

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Is the church a pastor or a teacher first? / ¿Es la Iglesia primero como un pastor o como un maestro? / L'église est-elle d'abord un pasteur ou un enseignant ?

Is the church a pastor or a teacher first?

Ludger Widmaier sscc


On December 18, 2023, the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome published the declaration Fiducia Supplicans on the pastoral meaning of blessings. This declaration, which relates to questions of personal blessings outside of liturgical acts, has stirred many minds around the world. There have been many controversial and seemingly irreconcilable statements, especially on the question of blessing homosexual couples in this non-liturgical context. At the same time, I believe that this debate misses the fundamental issue of Fiducia Supplicans. The discussion relates to the question of whether or not a "sin" can be blessed; as if the situation of a non-liturgical blessing is about giving people a certain status within the ecclesial community that they are not entitled to.

Everything will be fine ...? / Tout va bien se passer ... ? /¿Todo irá bien...?

Everything will be fine ...?

by Martin Königstein sscc

"I would like to be full of confidence. Someone who is full of hope for the future.

Who manages to simply endure all of this (...) I look at you at you and would like to tell you: Everything will be fine." 

From: Der letzte Song (Alles wird gut) by rapper Felix Kummer (translated from German)

The Catholic Church on war and peace / L'Église catholique sur la guerre et la paix / La Iglesia Católica sobre la guerra y la paz

The Catholic Church on war and peace- Ten theses

by Thomas Wagner

1. "Ecclesia semper reformanda": The Catholic Church, with its 2000-year history, is one of the oldest institutions of mankind. For many, it embodies continuity and fidelity to the tradition of the Christian faith; others see it as a feudalistic-clerical system of rule. In reality, the church is far more complex to understand. A look at its history reveals a tense web of forces of persistence and change that are constantly wrestling with each other, particularly about its relationship to violence, war, and peace. The church was both a warmonger and a force for peace!

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Searching for Thomas – A Sabbatical Diary Reflection

Searching for Thomas – A Sabbatical Diary Reflection
by Fergal Maguire sscc
Sabbatical week 6: Saturday 11 of November 2023.  I went to bed straight after dinner around 7pm last night, the earliest I had gone to bed since I can remember. I didn’t sleep much until around midnight, but at least I was resting. The alarm seemed louder than ever, and I awoke with a fright. I had prepared everything the night before, I just needed to grab my rucksack and go. Sister Marie was true to her word and was kindly and patiently waiting to drive us to the camp close to the town of Ajo, about two and a half hours away. It was 2:45am, still dark and cold, but the stars made a wonderful display in the night sky. We were practically the only car on the road for much of the journey, smooth and uneventful; I think we all slept so we weren’t much company for the driver. 

We got to Ajo well before sunrise and the same stars seemed to shine even more brightly in their splendour above the camp on the outskirts of the desert. The landscape was dominated by tall Saguaros and Palo Verde trees in silhouette. Slowly people awoke and emerged from their tents and cars, or an old camper van and even a long-retired school bus never more to move under its own steam now turned into a bunk house. The few hours sleep they got, now over. 
In the dark and cold I met the members of the team. The atmosphere was friendly but subdued, I put this down to the early rising and the nature of the task ahead.  We climbed up into “four by four trucks” and set out into the desert where the search would begin. This journey was mostly off road along what could only be most loosely referred to as a track, used by armed to the teeth hunters; some we spied along the way. The trucks had gone as far as they could go and so we prepared for the search. 

We donned heavy leg protectors and luminous yellow shirts, slathered on sun lotion, filled our backpacks with bottles or water, fruit and snacks as much as we could reasonably carry, both for ourselves and for any weary traveller we might meet in the desert. Strong walking stick in one hand and walkie talkie in the other we gathered, first in prayer, then the details of the search were shared. The search today would be for a man named Thomas, in his early sixties, lost from his group in late October presumed dead, as it would be impossible to survive in the desert that long without water or rescue. We would march down the mountain into the valley below, spread out to form the line and then walk out into the desert, turning north and heading to mountains with caves and old mines not far from a live military base. Suddenly what had the air of an adventure took on a new meaning, more profound more real, more urgent and serious in nature. Indeed, more sorrowful now the person we were searching for had been given a name “Thomas”. Thomas had a family who were desperate to know what had happened to him. Was Thomas, their loved one, dead or alive, what had happened to him, they just did not know. Would we be able to help them?

For me the walk was arduous and hard going to say the least. The valley looked flat from the mountain, but it was full of peaks and troughs, steep ravines and crevices that had to be carefully climbed down, crossed and climbed up again on the other side, all to be repeated on the long march home. It was easy to lose sight of your fellow searcher despite the florescent yellow jacket. It was scary when they disappeared from sight down some gully and a relief to see them reappear, despite the fact we were only feet apart from each other forming the line, I could easily see how quickly you could get lost in such rugged terrain.  As the line moved forward, I was reminded of many things I had forgotten; water is heavy, cactus have spines and are vicious and they hurt, the desert is full of hard to negotiate rocks, it’s easy to gash your foot or twist an ankle, the sun is hot as hell, it is often harder going down, more than climbing up, and a willing spirit is not always enough to overcome a weak body. I was also reminded of the generosity, dedication, faithfulness, commitment and the capacity of ordinary people to do extraordinary things.
Not just physically but it was also an emotional hard journey for me, seeing discarded cloths, broken suitcases and backpacks, shoes too heavy to carry, empty water bottles and biscuit wrappers thrown on the desert floor, abandoned on the way. These were somebody’s belongings. Somebody’s son or daughter had left them behind. Did these people make it? Did they have to turn back as many do, and did they make that journey home? Were they rescued? Did their dream of a better life come true? Or were their dreams burned up by the desert sun. Perhaps they made it across only to de deported back to the poverty they left.  I would never know. I did see the crosses marking the spot where migrants journey to a better life ended and their journey to eternal life began. May they rest in peace. 

I was deeply moved and impressed by the people I met today, who gave so much of their time and effort, their weekend, driving long distances form LA, Santa Diego, Phoenix, to name a few, then treking long and hard paths into the unforgiving desert in search of their brother or sister. Searching again on Sunday morning and driving the same distances home again Sunday night, having to get up and go to work on Monday morning. These are the people the church needs today. People who live the Gospel. They live out what Jesus explained in the parables of loss, the good shepherd who goes out looking for the lost sheep, the woman who sweeps out her house until she finds her lost coin, and of course the son who was lost, was dead and was found. These people go out to the poor, the outcast, the sick and the lost. They live the faith that Jesus calls us to live, and it’s inspiring. 
I was very sad for Thomas’s family; we didn’t succeed in finding him. I will pray for them in the hope that Thomas may be found. I was sad too for the group until one of the team told me “Sometimes we don’t find anything, sometimes we go out looking for one and we find two or three. The important thing is that we go out and do all we can to find them in the vastness of the desert”. For the families of the lost I hope it brings some consolation, knowing that someone is looking for their loved one and perhaps what was lost will be found. And by that I also mean a more just and humane world just as God intended. 
Thank you to the men and woman of “Aguilas del Desert” Eagles of the Desert., it was an honour to spend a day in your company and experience the good work you do. 
For more information see 

Buscando a Thomas - Reflexión de un diario sabático

por Fergal Maguire sscc
Semana sabática 6: Sábado 11 de noviembre de 2023.  Anoche me fui a la cama directamente después de cenar, sobre las siete de la tarde, lo más temprano que me había acostado desde que tengo uso de razón. No dormí mucho hasta cerca de medianoche, pero al menos estaba descansando. El despertador sonó más fuerte que nunca y me desperté con un susto. Lo había preparado todo la noche anterior, sólo tenía que coger la mochila y ponerme en marcha. La hermana Marie fue fiel a su palabra y nos esperaba amable y pacientemente para llevarnos al campamento cercano a la ciudad de Ajo, a unas dos horas y media de camino. Eran las 2:45 de la madrugada, todavía estaba oscuro y hacía frío, pero las estrellas formaban un maravilloso espectáculo en el cielo nocturno. Fuimos prácticamente el único coche en la carretera durante gran parte del trayecto, tranquilo y sin incidentes; creo que todos dormimos, así que no fuimos mucha compañía para el conductor. 
Llegamos a Ajo mucho antes del amanecer y las mismas estrellas parecían brillar aún más en su esplendor sobre el campamento en las afueras del desierto. El paisaje estaba dominado por altos Saguaros y árboles de Palo Verde en silueta. Poco a poco la gente se despertaba y salía de sus tiendas y coches, o de una vieja furgoneta e incluso de un autobús escolar retirado hace tiempo que ya no se movía por sus propios medios convertido ahora en barracón. Las pocas horas de sueño que tuvieron, ahora se acabaron. 
En la oscuridad y el frío, conocí a los miembros del equipo. El ambiente era cordial, pero moderado, lo que atribuyo al madrugón y a la naturaleza de la tarea que teníamos por delante.  Subimos a los "camiones de cuatro por cuatro" y nos adentramos en el desierto, donde comenzaría la búsqueda. La mayor parte del trayecto transcurrió fuera de la carretera, a lo largo de lo que podríamos llamar una pista, utilizada por cazadores armados hasta los dientes, algunos de los cuales vimos por el camino. Los camiones habían llegado hasta donde podían llegar, así que nos preparamos para la búsqueda. 
Nos pusimos gruesos protectores para las piernas y camisetas amarillas luminosas, nos untamos crema solar, llenamos nuestras mochilas de botellas de agua, fruta y tentempiés, todo lo que razonablemente podíamos llevar, tanto para nosotros como para cualquier viajero cansado que pudiéramos encontrar en el desierto. Con el bastón en una mano y el walkie talkie en la otra, nos reunimos, primero para rezar y luego para compartir los detalles de la búsqueda. Hoy buscaríamos a un hombre llamado Thomas, de unos sesenta años, que se perdió de su grupo a finales de octubre y al que dimos por muerto, ya que sería imposible sobrevivir en el desierto tanto tiempo sin agua ni rescate. Marcharíamos montaña abajo hacia el valle, nos extenderíamos para formar la línea y luego nos adentraríamos en el desierto, giraríamos hacia el norte y nos dirigiríamos a montañas con cuevas y antiguas minas no muy lejos de una base militar viva. De repente, lo que tenía el aire de una aventura adquirió un nuevo significado, más profundo, más real, más urgente y serio por naturaleza. De hecho, más doloroso ahora que la persona que buscábamos había recibido el nombre de "Thomas". Thomas tenía una familia que estaba desesperada por saber qué le había ocurrido. Si Thomas, su ser querido, estaba vivo o muerto, qué le había ocurrido, simplemente no lo sabían. ¿Podríamos ayudarles?
Para mí, la caminata fue, como mínimo, ardua y dura. El valle parecía llano desde la montaña, pero estaba lleno de picos y hondonadas, barrancos escarpados y grietas que había que bajar con cuidado, cruzar y volver a subir al otro lado, todo para repetirlo en la larga marcha de vuelta a casa. Era fácil perder de vista al compañero de búsqueda a pesar de la chaqueta amarilla fluorescente. Daba miedo cuando desaparecían de la vista por algún barranco y era un alivio verlos reaparecer, a pesar de que sólo nos separaban unos metros unos de otros formando la línea, podía ver fácilmente lo rápido que uno podía perderse en un terreno tan escarpado.  A medida que la fila avanzaba, me acordé de muchas cosas que había olvidado: el agua pesa, los cactus tienen espinas y son feroces y duelen, el desierto está lleno de rocas difíciles de superar, es fácil hacerse un corte en el pie o torcerse un tobillo, el sol calienta como el infierno, a menudo es más duro bajar que subir, y un espíritu dispuesto no siempre es suficiente para vencer a un cuerpo débil. También me recordaron la generosidad, la dedicación, la fidelidad, el compromiso y la capacidad de la gente corriente para hacer cosas extraordinarias.
No sólo físicamente, también fue un duro viaje emocional para mí, al ver ropa desechada, maletas y mochilas rotas, zapatos demasiado pesados para llevar, botellas de agua vacías y envoltorios de galletas tirados en el suelo del desierto, abandonados por el camino. Eran las pertenencias de alguien. El hijo o la hija de alguien las había dejado atrás. ¿Lo lograron? ¿Tuvieron que dar la vuelta, como hacen muchos, y lograron volver a casa? ¿Fueron rescatados? ¿Se hizo realidad su sueño de una vida mejor? ¿O los quemó el sol del desierto? Tal vez lograron cruzar sólo para ser deportados de vuelta a la pobreza que dejaron.  Nunca lo sabré. Sí vi las cruces que marcan el lugar donde terminó el viaje de los emigrantes hacia una vida mejor y comenzó su viaje hacia la vida eterna. Que descansen en paz. 
Me sentí profundamente conmovido e impresionado por las personas que conocí hoy, que dedicaron tanto tiempo y esfuerzo, su fin de semana, conduciendo largas distancias desde Los Ángeles, Santa Diego, Phoenix, por nombrar algunos, y luego recorriendo largos y duros caminos en el implacable desierto en busca de su hermano o hermana. Buscando de nuevo el domingo por la mañana y conduciendo las mismas distancias a casa de nuevo el domingo por la noche, teniendo que levantarse e ir a trabajar el lunes por la mañana. Estas son las personas que la Iglesia necesita hoy. Personas que viven el Evangelio. Viven lo que Jesús explicó en las parábolas de la pérdida, el buen pastor que sale en busca de la oveja perdida, la mujer que barre su casa hasta encontrar la moneda perdida y, por supuesto, el hijo que estaba perdido, estaba muerto y fue encontrado. Estas personas salen al encuentro de los pobres, los marginados, los enfermos y los perdidos. Viven la fe que Jesús nos llama a vivir, y es inspirador. 
Me entristecí mucho por la familia de Thomas; no conseguimos encontrarle. Rezaré por ellos con la esperanza de que encuentren a Thomas. También estaba triste por el grupo hasta que uno de los miembros del equipo me dijo: "A veces no encontramos nada, a veces salimos a buscar a uno y encontramos a dos o tres. Lo importante es que salimos y hacemos todo lo posible por encontrarlos en la inmensidad del desierto". Para las familias de los perdidos espero que les sirva de consuelo, saber que alguien está buscando a su ser querido y que quizá se encuentre lo que se perdió. Y con ello me refiero también a un mundo más justo y humano, tal como Dios lo quiso. 
Gracias a los hombres y mujeres de "Águilas del Desierto", ha sido un honor pasar un día en vuestra compañía y experimentar el buen trabajo que hacéis. 
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