"God, our Father, I offer You my day. I offer You my prayers, thoughts, words, actions, joys and sufferings in union with Your Son Jesus' Heart, who continues to offer Himself in the Eucharist for the salvation of the world. May the Holy Spirit, who guided Jesus, be my guide and my strength today so that I may witness to Your love. With Mary, the mother of our Lord and of the Church, I pray especially for this month's intentions as proposed by the Holy Father. Amen."
Father Jim Kubicki is National Director of the Apostleship of Prayer in the United States. He writes a regular blog, does podcasts and tries to evangelize the youth and their elders in the USA by introducing them to Our Lord under the image of his Sacred Heart which burns for love of all mankind. You will find his website among the list of my favourites on the right hand side of this blog page.
One of the challenges of the Apostleship of Prayer--which has no dues or meetings, but is open to all who wish to associate themselves with the zeal of Our Lord's heart ablaze with love for our world--is to associate Christian disciples throughout the world to daily union with Christ and one another for important intentions.
These prayer intentions are fixed into two categories each month, one a general theme and the other with a missionary focus and are prepared or approved by Pope Benedict. I will mention the missionary intention--Christian Unity--later this month as we observe the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (January 17-24 in Canada, January 18-25 elsewhere).
This month's general intention is: Young People and Media: That young people may learn to use social communication media for their personal growth and in preparation to serve society.
It's an important matter, as there are negative and sinful uses of the new social communications media. And they are always evolving. Some of our older websites meant for youth have been abandoned as youth have migrated to social sites such as Facebook (my advisor in these matters has been urging me to link this blog to Facebook and to incorporate pod-casting of homilies or addresses in the blog, so you see you will to pray for as part of this intention!)
Given Fr. Jim's skill at using the new media, I asked and received his permission to share with you his reflection on this important topic:
Last May Pope Benedict said that we should not be surprised by the popularity of the new communication technologies. Our human desire to extend our friendships by any and all means reflects our participation in the "unifying love of God, who desires to make of all humanity one family" (Message for World Day of Communications, 2009).
This month the Holy Father asks us to pray especially for the young people who use the new communication media, like mobile phones and computers connected to the Internet. The Pope's approach toward these technologies is overwhelmingly hopeful, not fearful.
What an opportunity for young people all over the world to grow in holy love for one another! What an opportunity to promote a worldwide "culture of respect, dialogue, and friendship."
What an opportunity to engage in a "genuine and mutual searching for truth... to promote understanding and tolerance." And what an opportunity to proclaim the "Good News of a God who became man, who suffered, died, and rose again to save all people."
For "life is not just a succession of events," the Pope continues, "it is a search for the true, the good, and the beautiful." Only in them do we find happiness. "We must not allow ourselves to be deceived by those who see us merely as consumers in a market of undifferentiated possibilities, where choice itself becomes the good, novelty usurps beauty, and subjective experience displaces truth."
So, while we pray for the good the new media can do, let us also pray against evil. We ask that our young people will not use these media to lie, abuse, or exploit others. We ask too that they will be protected from the lies and abuse of peers and predators.
May the new media enable young people to grow in wisdom and grace as they prepare to serve society in this challenging new century.
"Let no one have contempt for your youth, but set an example for those who believe, in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity" (1 Timothy 4:12).
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Death of a Good Friend
Please remember in your prayers FATHER TERENCE G. WALSH, a good friend and fellow Jesuit, who died peacefully on Wednesday at Rouge River Hospital, Ajax-Pickering; he was in his 80th year and 58th year of religious Life.
May the Lord who promised in the beatitudes that “those who mourn… will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4) give consolation and peace to family, friends and confreres who grieve his passing.
Born in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Terry Walsh entered the Jesuit Novitiate in Guelph, Ontario in August, 1952, did the usual Jesuit formation program of that time: novitiate, humanities, philosophy, and then taught as a scholastic at Halifax’s Saint Mary's University High School, 1959-1961.
Ordained a priest in Toronto in 1964, he did graduate studies in philosophy at the University of Toronto, then moved to Guelph where he was Director of Studies for the Jesuit students, taught at the Unviersity of Guelph and served as superior of the community.
In 1972, Father Walsh was appointed Provincial of the Jesuits in English Canada for a six-year term; he was instrumental in moving Regis College from Willowdale to the environs of the Toronto School of Theology and the University of Toronto. After this, his main years of ministry were as a pastor and administrator: first as pastor and superior of Winnipeg’s St. John de Brebeuf Parish (1980-1982), then at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Toronto (1982-1987).
We became more closely associated when he succeeded me as Rector of the Regis College Jesuit Community (1987-1995) [I taught and served as dean of theology during some of his years in leadership there]; later we overlapped again for six years in Halifax where he was religious superior and pastoral associate (1995-2004) as I began my ministry as archbishop there (1998-2007).
More recently he coordinated the formation of Jesuits during their first studies after vows, then served as an associate Pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes. Father Terry was always a wise counsellor, endued with a great dry wit and a sense of perspective. He will be missed.
Travelling this weekend for the Toronto episcopal ordinations of Bishops McGrattan and Nguyen, I hope to attend Father Walsh's funeral, which is to take place at 10 o'clock on Monday, January 11 at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Toronto; burial will take place later that afternoon at the Jesuit Seminary in Guelph.
May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.