November – Great, Great and more Great.

We find ourselves just past the halfway point of November and this signals that Advent is not too far away. The very first day of this month, found the Church commemorating and celebrating the Great solemnity of All Saints Day, followed on the 2nd by the Great day of remembrance for the Holy Souls in Purgatory.  That was not to be the end of the “Greats” for this liturgically colourful month of the Calendar. On the 9th of November, we remembered the dedication of the Latern Basilica, the Mother of all Churches throughout the world. November 10th, we were introduced
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Temples of Stone and Flesh

Never a dull moment in the Catholic Church, always something exciting happening and something to learn about. Today the Church and the liturgy celebrates the dedication of the Lateran Basilica, called “Mother and head of all the churches of Rome and the world.” In fact, this basilica was the first to be built after Emperor Constantine’s edict, in 313, granting Christians freedom to practice their religion. The basilica’s dedication was celebrated by Pope Sylvester around 324 and was named Most Holy Savior; only after the 6th century were the names of St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist
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Keeping Christ in Christmas

CHRISTMAS CARDS The custom of sending Christmas Cards began in the United Kingdom in 1843, by Sir Henry Cole and his artist friend, John Horsley.  Sir Henry assisted in the introduction of the Penny Post in 1840, which made posting more affordable for the ordinary people.  As printing methods improved, cards became much more popular and were produced in large numbers.  By 1870, the price of postage improved even more to a lesser amount of a half penny, furthering the popularity of sending Christmas cards to friends and loved ones.   In light of the many secular traditions taking precedence
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Make a Scene this Christmas

CHRISTMAS CRIB “A Child is born to us, a son is given to us” so prophesied Isaiah as he gazed into the future from afar, consoling Israel amid its trials and darkness.   For centuries, the fulfilment of that prophecy has been depicted in homes and Churches around the world, in the Christmas Crib or Nativity scene.   This tradition began in 1223, in the Italian town of Greccio, where Saint Francis of Assisi, with the help of a local landowner, brought into the hearts and minds of the people, that first Christmas night.  He did this in order to
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Calling All Souls for Souls

November 2, and another special day in the Church’s calendar.  All Souls Day. Today we remember our loved ones gone from this world to continue a new life in the next.  Throughout the Catholic world today, people will pray for the souls of these family and friends that their souls may be at peace.  The faithful may attend one of the three Masses offered for the deceased in each Catholic Church today.  They are encouraged to visit a cemetery and pray for those buried there, especially for those departed souls who have no-one to offer prayers for them. In many
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Can We Be Saints?

Before we can answer this question, we must know what it is we are aspiring to.  How does the Dictionary define a Saint? “A saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of holiness or likeness or closeness to God.” Based on this definition, does this seem too difficult a task for us living in this time in history? When we think of Saints, we remember the courageous martyrs who shed their blood so willingly for love of God and faith in His Church.  We witness the heroic activities of Mother Teresa and the like, who
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Spectres, Saints and Souls

Millions of Children and Adults  around the Globe,  will celebrate Halloween today, but how many will truly know its origins? Its origins go beyond Spectres, Ghouls and Witches. It had its beginnings in a Christian Holiday known as All Hallows’ Eve.  The Church traditionally held a vigil on All Hallows’ Eve when the faithful would prepare themselves with prayers and fasting, for the big feast day of All Saints. This great feast day was established in 1840 by Pope Gregory IV, to be celebrated on November 1st each year. Around the turn of the first millenium, the Church began to
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“That They May Have Life to the Full”

Here at Family Life International New Zealand, we endeavour to keep our friends and supporters informed about life issues from the moment it begins at conception, through to its natural completion, in the context of Catholic morality and through providing practical help and support. We uphold the dignity of the Human person in its entirety and that includes the spiritual composition of man as a gift given by God, in order that we may know Him, love Him and be happy with Him when our eyes close on this world.  In order to know Him, we must firstly learn of
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