Today is the feast day of my patron saint, Don Giovanni Melchiorre Bosco(1815-1888)!
Why are so many Christians around the world devoted to Saint John Bosco? It’s because we are attracted to his ability to reconcile a simple lifestyle with the building of an empire of charity – and perhaps just as impressive is his fidelity to what he believed was his calling even when things seemed doomed to fail. It all started on Good Friday of 1817 when two-year old John Bosco heard the words, “John, you have a father no more.” His father had passed away.
The relic of St. John Bosco's body in Washington DC 2010
Living in an economically depressed region in 19th century Northern Italy, young John spent his time attending Mass, practicing card tricks, and tightrope walking. Soon, he started attracting large crowds with his talents, and he only charged a simple admission: a prayer. Not everyone paid the admission fee, challenging him to find other ways to help people discover Christ.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops(USCCB) as led by Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan recently released a sharp response to an edict by the Obama Administration’s Health and Human Services that mandates employers provide free access to contraception to employees.
“To force American citizens to choose between violating their consciences and forgoing their healthcare is literally unconscionable.It is as much an attack on access to health care as on religious freedom. Historically this represents a challenge and a compromise of our religious liberty”
Secretary Kathleen Sibelius did not grant a waiver to the Catholic Church’s schools, universities, or the nearly 625 hospitals and clinics in the United States. The Catholic Church has been given one year to comply; however, a lawsuit is pending. Complimenting the response by the USCCB and other local bishops, Cardinal Wuerl of the Archdiocese of Washington released this video pep talk on the importance of defending religious freedom:
After nearly a month of reflection, I’ve decided to begin blogging on the Catholic faith and my life as a Catholic. There are two inseparable characteristics of my identity as a person: a Catholic Christian and an American.
Fitting enough, this blog begins its journey on the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, one of the greatest philosophers in history. A quiet and humble Dominican priest from Italy, his peers nicknamed him a “dumb ox”. However, by 1274 AD he completed the Summa Theologica, a massive compilation of questions and philosophical answers as to the existence of God, including the Quinque viae, the five proofs.
Attached is a photo I took in the Vatican Museum. “Bene scripsisti de me Thomma” meaning “You have written well of me, Thomas”. Christ appeared to St. Thomas Aquinas in a vision and asked what St. Thomas would need, he replied “Only you, Lord”
Thank you for your support in this blogging effort to help evangelize the Catholic faith. In the spirit of St. Thomas, I will do my best to represent the Christian faith and facilitate a good academic forum to discuss doctrinal matter. Please check back for more posts soon.