Response of Faith to the Coronavirus Pandemic
HE is Risen
Dear Friends and Members of Opus Angelorum,
Peace in Christ! One of our main ministries is to offer silent retreats around the country which have borne tremendous graces over the years. Unfortunately, due to the Coronavirus pandemic we will probably have to cancel most retreats this year, but will decide and notify you on an individual basis. More than ever do we need to turn to God, to our heavenly Mother and to the holy angels with our whole hearts and beg humbly for grace and protection! Many people have already died, many more will still die, and often alone without their loved ones, and most sadly without a priest and the sacraments. God calls all of us, you and me, to converted deeper conversion to Him, to become more Christ-like and, in union with Him, to implore from the Father that no one may die without God's grace and that the world may heed the call to conversion.
The good news is: due to modern technology we can reach you at home while we are preaching from St. Gabriel Monastery.
I know the One in Whom I have put my Trust!
The Priest: Witness to the Joy of the Gospel
Crusade for Priests Circular
1. Beaverton, OR
2. Beaverton, OR
1. Oceanside, CA
2. Oceanside, CA
Saint Leo, FL
3. Oceanside, CA
What is a Retreat?
The word retreat literally means "withdrawal". When we participate in a silent retreat, we withdraw from our activities, from our environments, from our dealings with the world for a couple of days to be alone with God in prayer.
Pope Benedict XVI defines in an address a retreat as "a strong experience of God, awakened by listening to his Word, understood and welcomed in one's personal life, under the action of the Holy Spirit, which, in a climate of silence, prayer and by means of a spiritual guide, offer the capacity of discernment in order to purify the heart, convert one's life, follow Christ and fulfill one's own mission in the Church and in the world".
The Holy Father emphasized in a special way that a retreat should be "characterized by that climate of complete and profound silence which favors the personal and communitarian encounter with God and the contemplation of the Face of Christ. My Predecessors and I myself have returned to this point several times, and it can never be insisted upon enough."
All of us need time to be alone with God, in order to widen our souls for the streams of God's grace, so that we can live out our lives more perfectly according to God's will. God must become more and more the source and the goal of our daily lives. In fact, our entire Christian life must spring from an intimate union with Christ, and be ordered to this union. All we do should be by the strength of God and for the love of God. At silent retreats, God wishes to give us these special graces.
by Bishop Athanasius Schneider, ORC
Renowned theologian, Fr. Aidan Nichols, O.P., write of this book: "A product of the persecuted Church in the Soviet Union, Bishop Athanasius Schneider powerfully appeals in this interview for a return to the classical doctrine, worship, and devotion of the Roman Church. Not all readers will agree with everything in his analyses, but they will find it difficult to dissent from his fundamental perception: the Church requires a radical re-supernaturalization that will save it from internal secularization, free it from the domination of all-too-human agendas, and inspire it with new ardor for its divinizing mission." Paperback 338 pp. $20
Help for our Priests
The majority of the priests of the Canons Regular of the Holy Cross, who have directed the Work of the Holy Angels in the United States over the last forty years, have received their formation in the Order's own seminary. The Institutum Sapientiae is located in Anápolis, Brazil and continues to form new candidates for the priesthood, who will eventually carry on the Work of the Holy Angels in the future.
Unlike diocesan seminaries, religious seminarians do not pay for their education, but are sponsored by the Order. Moreover, seminarians from other religious orders and diocesan seminarians who attend our seminary all reside in our monastery. Most of them do not have the means to pay for their board.
The seminary has always received support from the faithful in Brazil. Brazil, however, has suffered over the past years a series of financial crises. At this time, it is very difficult for the Monastery, which serves as the residence for professors and students, to maintain itself. This year their budget foresees a substantial deficit, unless they find new sources of income. Considering that the priests who are formed in Brazil are sent also to America, we would like to ask our members from the United States if they could offer some support. For this purpose, we set up the "Monastery of the Holy Cross Brazil" GoFundMe page. This page is linked to the "Prior Monastery Holy Cross" Facebook page. The Facebook page is not intended as a means of interacting, but as a way of publishing photos or videos of the events that occur in the Monastery and seminary. Any support that you can provide, whether through your precious prayers or through financial assistance through the www.GoFundMe.com account, however small, is greatly appreciated. Even if it is not possible to donate to our Monastery in Brazil, we invite you to "Like" us on Facebook.
We are in Real Need of your Continued Support
The St. Gabriel building project is progressing slowly, but steadily. The foam insulated concrete walls are complete for the entire monastery, except for the nave of the Chapel, which will be higher than the rest of the building. The concrete floor for the choir loft has been poured and the base of the bell tower is also standing. All the electrical and water works were put in place before the floor was poured. Below you see the priests and brothers standing in the future sanctuary of the main chapel.
We are grateful for all your support in the project, but would also like to mention that we are in real need of your continued support. We are looking especially for larger donations, but every donation is important and necessary for this project. Just as with the Sister's convent, the combined effort of all brought it to completion, so we say once again, may God reward you, and ask if you might please consider a generous Easter donation.
First Saturdays in the Sisters' chapel, though larger than the guest house chapel where we began the First Saturday devotions, is already becoming a tight squeeze as we wait for the larger Monastery chapel to be complete. But we are delighted with the families and others who are frequenting our First Saturday devotions. We hope the monastery may become a spiritual center for the diocese, so that through the Angels, graces may flow throughout the Church. Read More
... because of the Holy Guardian Angels
Before I entered religious life, I managed a convenience store not far from my sister's house. Occasionally, I would spend the night there and help her as she has 7 children. I always slept downstairs on the couch but this particular night I felt that I should sleep upstairs in the girl's bedroom. My nephew, Anthony, who was 2 at the time, wanted to sleep in the bunkbed with his 6-year-old sister.
During the night, all of a sudden I was awakened out of a deep sleep by my Holy Guardian Angel. He said "Look!" and there was my little nephew hanging from the safety slats of the bed, completely blue and choking to death. Somehow he had slipped in between the slats.
I was so afraid to lift him up, because I didn't know if could slide back or if he was already dead. But I was able to lift him out and save his life. I continued to pray through the night. After quite some time I could see he was okay and then I could rest. Soon after I was able to talk with Fr. McGowan, who said to bring him for the consecration to the Guardian Angel as soon as possible. And today because of the Holy Guardian Angels, Anthony is now a faithful priest in the Lansing Diocese and I am a Sister of the Holy Cross.
~ Sr. Maria Gemma
If you have an inspiring Angel story, you would be willing to share, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The short answer to this most asked of all questions about the angels is simply "no." For the Congregation for the Divine Worship and the Sacraments of the Vatican stated in the document The Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy of 2001, that "the practice of assigning names to the holy angels should be discouraged, except in the cases of St. Gabriel, St. Raphael, and St. Michael, whose names are contained in Holy Scripture" (217).
We do well to reflect, then, that the term "Holy Guardian Angel" expresses very deeply our bond to the angel assigned to us by God for life. For just as there is only one woman and one man in this whole world who can respond to us when we say, "Mom" or "Dad", so too in all the choirs of angels, there is only one angel who can respond to us when we cry out, "Holy Guardian Angel, help me!"
That every baptized person has a Guardian Angel is clear from what St. Basil taught and the new Catechism of the Catholic Church reiterated, "Every one of the faithful has an angel standing at his side as educator and guide, directing his life" (cf. CCC 336). This passage does not state specifically that every human being, without exception, has a Guardian Angel. Nevertheless, in another passage, the Catechism stresses in no uncertain terms that "From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their [that is, the angels'] watchful care and intercession" (CCC 336).
In accord with this, the general teaching of theologians holds that not only every baptized person, but every human being has their own personal Guardian Angel which also teaches the recently published YOUCAT (Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church), approved by the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith in 2010, "Every person receives from God a Guardian Angel" (n. 55). This view is biblically based and founded on the words of Our Lord in the Gospels, where He states emphatically to His disciples, "See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I say to you that their angels in heaven always see the face of My Father Who is in heaven" (Mt 18:10). Moreover, St. Thomas Aquinas teaches that the protection of the angels is a gift not only of grace, but also a gift to mankind in the order of nature. Finally, since each individual, based on their own free will, has a unique destiny, it is fitting that there be a one-on-one relationship with an angel. This same position was also taught by St. Gregory the Wonder Worker and St. Jerome, who held that every person has from birth their own special Guardian Angel.
St. Thomas Aquinas maintains that everyone receives a Guardian Angel at birth. Moreover, he states that the Guardian Angel of the mother guards her child while it is still in the womb. Other Fathers and Doctors of the Church, however, for example, St. Jerome and St. Basil the Great, believe that our Guardian Angel is assigned at baptism. St. Anselm, on the other hand, goes a step farther by stating that "every soul is committed to an angel when it is united with a body." In other words, he believes, along with some other saints and theologians, that everyone receives a Guardian Angel at conception. To sum up, then, there are three opinions about when our Guardian Angel may be assigned to us, namely, 1.) at conception, 2.) at birth, or 3.) or at baptism.
The fact, that every human person has a Guardian Angel excludes implicitly that we receive the Guardian Angel at baptism. It remains, then, a question open to speculation whether a human being receives the Guardian Angel at conception or birth. But since a person's life begins at the moment of conception, there is no reason for the angel to have to wait until the person is born. Considering the importance of prenatal care, it is reasonable to believe that the Guardian Angel would be want to be involved. It may also be true, that all benefit from the angelic assistance from the beginning of life according to the natural providence of God, and that in baptism a deeper supernatural bond with the holy angels arises.
Please visit link to view the items needed for the Sisters' Convent of St. Gabriel Building Project. We are a 501(c)3. All donations are tax deductible. Please include your name and address and we will send a donation acknowledgement. May God reward you!