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Awards share and connect.

On first receipt of the traditional WordPress awards from fellow bloggers, I was dubious. On the flip-side though, I appreciated/appreciate the recognition for my intentional work in the Vineyard, and through these awards have been exposed to excellent blogs that I would not have found without specific mention from fellow bloggers.

For this particular award, I graciously thank To Love and Truth, as Michael’s blog provides an inspirational and educational read each time I visit.  I am honoured.

It’s been a while since awards have been doing the rounds, and I would like to thank the readers of my blog for  support and contributions over the past year. Thank you…many blogs are deserving of these awards.

I’m particularly grateful for consideration of this award as I do endeavour to share special moments and thoughts with the readers of 1catholicsalmon.

best-moment-award

The Rules:

1.  Use the award logo in the post.

2.  Link to whoever nominated you.

3.   Write 10 pieces of information about yourself.

4.   Nominate fellow bloggers who meet the indicated criteria.

5.   Leave a comment on the nominees’ blogs to tell them of the award.

1. I am an avid reader, especially of all things regarding Catholicism, and at the moment I’m reading an e-book called ‘Catholic Christianity’ by philosopher Peter Kreeft. Highly recommendable.

2. I was born in South Africa, and I am currently hankering after the warm sun and sunny skies that abound there.

3. I belong to the wonderful parish of St. Joseph New Malden, where the Truth of our faith is promoted daily, and where I receive my Spiritual Food.

4. I had the unexpected pleasure of meeting a man who radiates the love of God: Rev Stuart Windsor.

While  I was shopping in a Christian bookstore, he walked in and began chatting with those around him as if he were acquainted with everyone. He possesses a sort of magnetism that cannot be ignored and I was intrigued by this elderly gentleman’s’ confidence, and sense of authority. His demeanour and obvious  joy set him apart from the rest of us in that shop, and I wanted to know more about him.

I walked over to pay for my books when he began chatting with me also. He asked me which church I belong to and proceeded to make a positive remark about St. Joe’s, telling me of a fine young priest he knew from there.

He  handed me a business card. On it, was the logo of the CSW (Christian Solidarity Worldwide organisation –  www.csw.org.uk ) and his name:

Rev Stuart Windsor - underscored  with the title , ‘Special Ambassador‘.This title would’ve meant nothing had I just been handed the card and not met him personally. Meeting this man changed me in a way that I cannot explain, and I understood for the first time what it’s like to meet someone really close to God. Don’t ask me how I knew this, I just did. I proceeded to look up information about him, and it made for some very interesting reading. Click the link above for interesting facts about him.

5. My beloved and I have been married for 28 years this year. It still feels so right.

6. The older I get the deeper my love for Jesus grows.

7. I love praying the Rosary. I have a collection of Rosaries.

8. Reconciliation is part of a monthly routine, and is one of my favourite Sacraments.

9. I have a picture of Mary Magdalene (Jesus’ friend) at His feet. I want to have it printed on a canvas to place at the side of my bed.541611_10152642400455584_1973326944_n

10. I prefer attending Mass that is Ad Orientem

So, I nominate these chosen blogs for the following awards:-

Best Moment Award (to person/blog that brought a special moment): 

  1. Art in Faith
  2. Reinkat
  3. 8 kids and a business
  4. Catholic alchoholic
  5. 365 Missional practice
  6. Wonder and Beauty

     Semper Fidelis Award (Semper Fidelis for always faithful):semper-fidelis-awardBridges and tangents

Biltrix

God and politics UK

Dominus mihi adjutor

Jericho tree

Catechesis in the third millenium

Sunshine Award (to to person/blog that brought sunshine):

sunshineawardCatholic Cravings

Catholic teen apologetics

Catholic working mom

Biltrix

Reader Appreciation Award:reader-app-award

 Along the watchtower

Christian, remember your dignity

Christ our Saviour is born.

Christ The Saviour is born.

Herewith and excerpt from a wonderful Christmas homily of Pope St. Leo the Great: (Catholic Online)

Christian, remember your dignity 
Dearly beloved, today our Saviour is born; let us rejoice. Sadness should have no place on the birthday of life. The fear of death has been swallowed up; life brings us joy with the promise of eternal happiness.No one is shut out from this joy; all share the same reason for rejoicing. Our Lord, victor over sin and death, finding no man free from sin, came to free us all. Let the saint rejoice as he sees the palm of victory at hand. Let the sinner be glad as he receives the offer of forgiveness. Let the pagan take courage as he is summoned to life. In the fullness of time, chosen in the unfathomable depths of God’s wisdom, the Son of God took for himself our common humanity in order to reconcile it with its creator. He came to overthrow the devil, the origin of death, in that very nature by which he had overthrown mankind. 
And so at the birth of our Lord the angels sing in joy: 

Glory to God in the highest, and they proclaim peace to men of good will as they see the heavenly Jerusalem being built from all the nations of the world. When the angels on high are so exultant at this marvellous work of God’s goodness, what joy should it not bring to the lowly hearts of men? 

Beloved, let us give thanks to God the Father, through his Son, in the Holy Spirit, because in his great love for us he took pity on us, and when we were dead in our sins he brought us to life with Christ, so that in him we might be a new creation. Let us throw off our old nature and all its ways and, as we have come to birth in Christ, let us renounce the works of the flesh. 

Christian, remember your dignity, and now that you share in God’s own nature, do not return by sin to your former base condition. Bear in mind who is your head and of whose body you are a member. Do not forget that you have been rescued from the power of darkness and brought into the light of God’s kingdom. 

Through the sacrament of baptism you have become a temple of the Holy Spirit. Do not drive away so great a guest by evil conduct and become again a slave to the devil, for your liberty was bought by the blood of Christ. 

Cathy Pease Designs

Alongside Our Lady during Advent.

image@http://youngandcatholic.net/2013/11

image@http://youngandcatholic.net/2013/11

I have included the two Christmas Novenas I will be praying during Advent 2013.

The’ St. Andrew’ Novena has nothing to do with the Saint, but for the fact  that the novena is started on the 30th of November (St. Andrew’s feast day) and said 15 times per day  until Christmas Eve.

(I like this one as I’m going to be praying for a personal intention .)

I want to pray the Christmas Novena, as it will serve to prepare me for the Feast of Christmas, and keep me focussed on the Truth about this Festive Season.

Are there any prayers you take comfort in praying during Advent?

Preparatory Novena for Christmas

PRAYERS FOR A NOVENA FROM THE 16TH TO THE 24TH OF DECEMBER

Opening Prayer:                                                                                                                                   

Icon@http://puffin.creighton.edu/jesuit/andre/sj_nov2.html

Icon@http://puffin.creighton.edu/jesuit/andre/sj_nov2.html

V. O God, come to my assistance.

R. O Lord, make haste to help me. Glory be to the Father…

Our Father…

Day 1

The Incarnation.

O most sweet infant Jesus, who descended from the bosom of the eternal Father into the womb of the Virgin Mary, where, conceived by the Holy Ghost, you took upon yourself, O Incarnate Word, the form of a servant for our salvation. Have mercy on us.

Have mercy on us, O Lord. Have mercy on us.

Hail Mary…

Day 2

The Visitation.

O most sweet infant Jesus, who by means of your Virgin Mother, visited St. Elizabeth, and filled your servant, St. John the Baptist, with the Holy Spirit, sanctifying him from his mother’s womb. Have mercy on us.

Have mercy on us, O Lord.  Have mercy on us.

Hail Mary…

Day 3

The Expectation of Birth.

O most sweet infant Jesus, who waited for nine months enclosed in the womb, and inflamed the heart of the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph with the most powerful love and expectation, all for the salvation of the world. Have mercy on us.

Have mercy on us, 0 Lord. Have mercy on us.

Hail Mary…

Day 4

The Holy Nativity.

O most sweet infant Jesus, born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem, wrapped in poor swaddling clothes, laid in the manger, glorified by angels, and visited by shepherds. Have mercy on us.

Have mercy on us, O Lord. Have mercy on us.

Hail Mary…

O Jesus born of Virgin bright, Immortal glory be to thee; Praise to the Father infinite, And Holy Ghost eternally.

Christ is at hand. O come, let us worship him.

Our Father…

Day 5

The Circumcision.

O most sweet infant Jesus, circumcised when eight days old, and called by the glorious name of Jesus, and proclaimed both by your name and by your blood, to be the Savior of the world. Have mercy on us.

Have mercy on us, O Lord. Have mercy on us.

Hail Mary…

Day 6

The Adoration of the Kings.

O most sweet infant Jesus, who was made known to the three kings, who worshipped you as you lie on Mary’s breast, and offered you the mystical presents of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Have mercy on us.

Have mercy on us, 0 Lord. Have mercy on us.

Hail Mary…

Day 7

The Presentation.

O most sweet infant Jesus, presented in the temple by the Virgin Mary, embraced by Simeon, and revealed to the Jews by Anna the prophetess. Have mercy on us.

Have mercy on us, O Lord. Have mercy on us.

Hail Mary…

Day 8

The Flight into Egypt.

O most sweet infant Jesus, whom Herod tried to slay, carried by St. Joseph with your Mother into Egypt, saved from death by flight, and glorified by the blood of the holy innocents. Have mercy on. us.

Have mercy on us. O Lord. Have mercy on us.

Hail Mary…

O Jesu! born of Virgin bright, Immortal glory be to thee Praise to the Father infinite, And Holy Ghost eternally.

Christ is at hand. 0 come, let us worship him.

Our Father…

Day 9

The Journey in Egypt.

O most sweet infant Jesus, who dwelled as an exile in Egypt for seven years, where spoke your first words, and, first begin to walk upon this earth. Have mercy upon us.

Have mercy on us, O Lord. Have mercy on us.

Hail Mary

 Closing

LET US PRAY

0 almighty and everliving God, Lord of heaven and earth, who revealed yourself to little ones, grant, we beg you, that while we celebrate and honor the most holy mysteries of your Son, the infant Jesus, and strive to imitate them, we may arrive at that heavenly kingdom which you have promised to little children, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

A new pathway to peace.

imagesKNLJXOBG

For many years have I used the Rosary to meditate on the life of Our Lord, particularly during Lent and during the months of November- The month of the Rosary, and in May – The month of Our Lady.

Until ten days ago I hadn’t experienced the intense consolation one receives from meditating on the different parts of Christ’s life. I’d always listened to those who have only praise for this method of prayer, feeling at a loose end because I didn’t feel the same way. Ten days ago we received a call from South Africa to say that my mother was on her deathbed. I had been praying the Rosary during November, so when I thought immediately of praying the Rosary  I assumed it was just a knee-jerk reaction to pick up the beads again. I could not have been more wrong.

I lit a candle and earnestly prayed the Joyful Mystery: -

1. The Annunciation of the Lord to Mary

2. The Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth

3. The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ

4. The Presentation of our Lord

5. Finding Jesus in the Temple at age 12

I prayed the Creed with an intensity I had never known before. I prayed about my Faith. About what I believe from the depths of my being. It took on a new meaning for me. While in prayer I began to feel a deep sense of hope, as I grasped the enormity of what God has done for me, and more importantly, for my mother at this critical juncture of her life on earth. God sent His only Son for our Salvation, in order for us to have Life after death.

And so  each day since then have I prayed the Rosary and received much consolation and reassurance in return. Read here to learn how to pray the Rosary if you haven’t done so before.

Mens-bookmarkT1

Each time the Blessed Virgin has appeared– whether it be to Saint Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes; to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco at Fatima — she has asserted the importance, saving grace, and power of praying the Holy Rosary on a daily basis. Based upon her words, the Rosary is penance and conversion for sinners, a pathway to peace, an end to war, and a powerful act of faith in Jesus Christ.

Pope Paul VI presented the Rosary as a powerful means to reach Christ “not merely with Mary but indeed, insofar as this is possible to us, in the same way as Mary, who is certainly the one who thought about Him more than anyone else has ever done.”
The great Cardinal Newman, who wrote: “The great power of the Rosary consists in the fact that it translates the Creed into Prayer. Of course, the Creed is already in a certain sense a prayer and a great act of homage towards God, but the Rosary brings us to meditate again on the great truth of His life and death, and brings this truth close to our hearts. Even Christians, although they know God, usually fear rather than love Him. The strength of the Rosary lies in the particular manner in which it considers these mysteries, since all our thinking about Christ is intertwined with the thought of His Mother, in the relations between Mother and Son; the Holy Family is presented to us, the home in which God lived His infinite love.

‘Blessed are you for Believing.’

As part of the Year of Faith, the theme of this year’s Marian Day is ‘Blessed are you for Believing.’ 

Pope Francis will consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on October 13th as part of Marian Day celebrations that will involve the statue of Our Lady of Fatima.
The statue is normally kept in the Shrine of Fatima in Portugal but will be in Rome this weekend for the consecration which is one of the highlights of the ongoing Year of Faith.
Our Lady of Fatima appeared to three shepherd children in the village of Fatima in Portugal in 1917. She warned of violent trials in the twentieth century if the world did not make reparation for sins. She urged prayer and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The statue of Our Lady of Fatima.

The statue of Our Lady of Fatima.

The  shrine at Fatima  where Our Lady appeared to the visionaries.

The shrine at Fatima where Our Lady appeared to the visionaries.

med_2011012511_pastorinhos_09Lúcia dos Santos with fellow visionaries Jacinta and Francisco Marto.

2011015800_fatima_01b

The Basilica at Fatima.

It is hoped that the Year of Faith, declared by Pope Benedict XVI, has helped us to deepen this great gift which we can easily take for granted. The apostles begged the Lord to increase their faith as they knew Faith’s paramount importance in their relationship with Jesus. Jesus assures them and us that it takes only a little Faith, the size of a mustard seed, to make the impossible possible. Without doubt we need Faith to help us face the hostile atmosphere we often find ourselves surrounded with – life without God, love, hope and purpose. Faith, Hope and Charity (Love) make all the difference in our dealings with many who have lost the reason to live. We need that Faith which the apostles prayed for, so that we may be strengthened to stand firm and be of help to those who have lost faith in God, man/woman and themselves. Rightly it has been said, “the righteous shall live by his faith.” (Hab. 2:4)

Fr. Peter at Mass.

download

Before Mass started I smiled to myself, knowing that Father Peter finds the noise and the fidgeting at the children’s Mass ‘challenging.’

Today, Father kept us a little longer as we had to complete the parish census forms. A good idea, because he wanted them back straight after Mass. Helpers were stationed in the narthex with collection baskets at the ready. So, to the tune of baby squalls and very restless toddlers, we dutifully filled in the forms before we left the building to the rousing sound of percussion instruments being played as accompaniment to the hymn by those very same toddlers and children. (I attended the 9:30 this morning, always packed to the the rafters.)

I love Father’s homilies and always come away with something to think about, and this morning as I left Mass I asked if he would mind me taking notes during his homilies, because my memory is just not co-operating. I always wish that I did have a pen and paper at the ready, because I know there will be something I’ll want to share and never remember what it is. I will be suitably armed with pen and paper from now on.

Father spoke about faith today as I’m sure all priests did, and his message to the parents of the children who are about to start  the Holy Communion course was about prayer. Teach them ‘arrow prayers’.  Prayers that are sharp and to the point. Such as the prayer that reminds us of St. Thomas, ‘My Lord and my God.’ This we say as the body of Christ is held up for veneration after the consecration of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of or Lord Jesus Christ.

The other one he mentioned, ‘Lord increase my faith today.’ He made reference to St. Augustine for this one one…I forget the link he made with St Augustine(hence the need for pen and paper!) Both of these little ‘arrow prayers’ are pretty powerful in themselves as they serve to increase our faith and worship our God as all-powerful at the same time.

I Love This Guy: Pope Francis…

I borrowed the title of this post from this article  written by Father James Martin SJ  because it describes the way I feel about our Papa and the amazing example he’s setting for us all.

I feel uplifted by Pope Francis’s joy and love for humanity, not to mention his sense of confidence and self-assuredness. He conducts himself as someone who has no worry in the world but to spread the love of Jesus. He is doing this in such a loving way. His sincerity shines through.

He is inspirational to all. WYD in Rio is testament to his individual approach and independent thought, he reacts naturally sharing his demeanour since his appointment as the Vicar of Christ, as one who knows what he has to do and he’s going full steam ahead to share the Good News.

My favourite line from this article by Father James,‘Because of this I love the guy. Because of this I love God even more.’ Surely this is what it’s all about?

These photos are testament to this verve, energy and stamina. (All photos are from various sites)

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WYD 1

slide_304920_2749738_free

2

APTOPIX Brazil Pope World Youth Day.JPEG-03e33

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images (18)

images (23)

On his arrival in Rio, he chose to ride in this little Fiat, which took the wrong turn and ended up in Rio traffic.

On his arrival in Rio, he chose to ride in this little Fiat, which took the wrong turn and ended up in Rio traffic.

slide_304920_2749741_free

It’s Official!

(I found this  photo at Catholicseeking)

Dear friends, we show you the official photo of Pope Francis, with his signature. In the crucifix is the image of Jesus the “good shepherd”, carrying the sheep on his shoulders, with the flock following him.

The word ‘pastor’ ‘ comes from the Latin word for shepherd. This is one of the earliest Christian portrayals of the Good Shepherd: a statue found in the Catacombs of Domitilla, in Rome, from the third century.

A personal photo of this statue to be found at th

A personal photo of this statue at the Catacombs of Domitilla, in Rome.

Christ calls all out to all his sheep, especially those who are lost in any way, or those who feel lost. May we all be good shepherds, in helping to make all those on the outside feel, and know, that they belong inside the fold.

A simple coat of arms for a man of simplicity.

Pope Francis I's Coat of arms.

Pope Francis I’s Coat of arms.

VATICAN CITY, March 18, 2013 (Zenit.org) – Pope Francis has chosen to remain with his episcopal seal and motto. Added to the original papal seal are a blue background along with a miter with cross keys of gold and silver along with a red cord, symbol of his pontifical office.

The emblem of the Society of Jesus, the order which Pope Francis belongs to, is placed above on the shield. The emblem is an image of a radiant sun with the letters “IHS” the monogram of the name of Christ. A cross is placed above the letter H of the monogram while three nails are placed below it.

On the bottom left hand side of the shield is an image of a star, which according to heraldic tradition, symbolizes the Virgin Mary, mother of Christ and of the Church. To the right of the star is the image of the spikenard, an aromatic plant, meant to symbolize St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church. According to spanish iconographic tradition, St. Joseph is depicted holding a branch of spikenard in his hand.

By placing these two symbols on his coat of arms, Pope Francis wished to express his particular devotion to the Virgin Mary and Saint. Joseph.

The Holy Father’s motto, “Miserando Atque Eligendo”, (Because he saw him through the eyes of mercy and chose him) is taken from a homily by Saint Bede the Venerable regarding the calling of St. Matthew by Jesus.

Saint Bede’s homily, which is read on the feast of St. Matthew, is a homage to the divine mercy of Christ, and is of significance to the Holy Father in his spiritual itinerary. According to a communique explaining the Papal coat of arms, at the age of 17, the young Jorge Bergoglio experienced in a particular way, the loving presence of God in his life.

“Following confession, his heart was touched but the descent of the mercy of God, who with tender love called him to the religious life, following the example of Saint Ignatius of Loyola,” the communique stated.

“Upon being chosen as bishop, Bishop Bergoglio, in remembrance of that event that began his total consecration to God in the Church, decides to choose as motto and program of his life, the phrase by Saint Bede miserando atque eligendo which he has chosen to reproduce on his own pontifical coat of arms.”

Francisco and the media.

Full Text of Papa’s meeting the press. Good things to come. I just know it! (Bold text-my highlights)

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‘Dear friends…’ what a great way to greet the press!

Dear Friends,

At the beginning of my ministry in the See of Peter, I am pleased to meet all of you who have worked here in Rome throughout this intense period which began with the unexpected announcement made by my venerable Predecessor Benedict XVI on 11 February last. To each of you I offer a cordial greeting.

The role of the mass media has expanded immensely in these years, so much so that they are an essential means of informing the world about the events of contemporary history. I would like, then, to thank you in a special way for the professional coverage which you provided during these days – you really worked, didn’t you? – when the eyes of the whole world, and not just those of Catholics, were turned to the Eternal City and particularly to this place which has as its heart the tomb of Saint Peter. Over the past few weeks, you have had to provide information about the Holy See and about the Church, her rituals and traditions, her faith and above all the role of the Pope and his ministry.

I am particularly grateful to those who viewed and presented these events of the Church’s history in a way which was sensitive to the right context in which they need to be read, namely that of faith. Historical events almost always demand a nuanced interpretation which at times can also take into account the dimension of faith. Ecclesial events are certainly no more intricate than political or economic events! But they do have one particular underlying feature: they follow a pattern which does not readily correspond to the “worldly” categories which we are accustomed to use, and so it is not easy to interpret and communicate them to a wider and more varied public. The Church is certainly a human and historical institution with all that that entails, yet her nature is not essentially political but spiritual: the Church is the People of God, the Holy People of God making its way to encounter Jesus Christ. Only from this perspective can a satisfactory account be given of the Church’s life and activity.

Christ is the Church’s Pastor, but his presence in history passes through the freedom of human beings; from their midst one is chosen to serve as his Vicar, the Successor of the Apostle Peter. Yet Christ remains the centre, not the Successor of Peter: Christ, Christ is the centre. Christ is the fundamental point of reference, the heart of the Church. Without him, Peter and the Church would not exist or have reason to exist. As Benedict XVI frequently reminded us, Christ is present in Church and guides her. In everything that has occurred, the principal agent has been, in the final analysis, the Holy Spirit. He prompted the decision of Benedict XVI for the good of the Church; he guided the Cardinals in prayer and in the election.

It is important, dear friends, to take into due account this way of looking at things, this hermeneutic, in order to bring into proper focus what really happened in these days.

All of this leads me to thank you once more for your work in these particularly demanding days, but also to ask you to try to understand more fully the true nature of the Church, as well as her journey in this world, with her virtues and her sins, and to know the spiritual concerns which guide her and are the most genuine way to understand her. Be assured that the Church, for her part, highly esteems your important work. At your disposal you have the means to hear and to give voice to people’s expectations and demands, and to provide for an analysis and interpretation of current events. Your work calls for careful preparation, sensitivity and experience, like so many other professions, but it also demands a particular concern for what is true, good and beautiful. This is something which we have in common, since the Church exists to communicate precisely this: Truth, Goodness and Beauty “in person”. It should be apparent that all of us are called not to communicate ourselves, but this existential triad made up of truth, beauty and goodness.

Some people wanted to know why the Bishop of Rome wished to be called Francis. Some thought of Francis Xavier, Francis De Sales, and also Francis of Assisi. I will tell you the story. During the election, I was seated next to the Archbishop Emeritus of São Paolo and Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal Claudio Hummes: a good friend, a good friend! When things were looking dangerous, he encouraged me. And when the votes reached two thirds, there was the usual applause, because the Pope had been elected. And he gave me a hug and a kiss, and said: “Don’t forget the poor!” And those words came to me: the poor, the poor. Then, right away, thinking of the poor, I thought of Francis of Assisi. Then I thought of all the wars, as the votes were still being counted, till the end. Francis is also the man of peace. That is how the name came into my heart: Francis of Assisi. For me, he is the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and protects creation; these days we do not have a very good relationship with creation, do we? He is the man who gives us this spirit of peace, the poor man … How I would like a Church which is poor and for the poor!

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Afterwards, people were joking with me. “But you should call yourself Hadrian, because Hadrian VI was the reformer, we need a reform…” And someone else said to me: “No, no: your name should be Clement”. “But why?” “Clement XV: thus you pay back Clement XIV who suppressed the Society of Jesus!” These were jokes. I love all of you very much, I thank you for everything you have done. I pray that your work will always be serene and fruitful, and that you will come to know ever better the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the rich reality of the Church’s life. I commend you to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of Evangelization, and with cordial good wishes for you and your families, each of your families. I cordially impart to all of you my blessing. Thank you.

I told you I was cordially imparting my blessing. Since many of you are not members of the Catholic Church, and others are not believers, I cordially give this blessing silently, to each of you, respecting the conscience of each, but in the knowledge that each of you is a child of God. May God bless you!

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