Sunday, June 26, 2005


On Wednesday, July 6, the Church honors a wonderful role model for youth of all ages, Saint Maria Goretti, Virgin & Martyr. Maria was a vivacious but pious child who lived in the small town of Nettuno, Italy. She was filled with a special love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and for Our Blessed Mother. She enjoyed a joyful youth, praying her daily rosary and frequenting the sacraments.

One day that joy came to an abrupt end. Alessandro, a young man who had spent his youth pursuing pornography and lust filled desires, tried to seduce Maria to commit a grave sin. Maria was horrified at the suggestion. Immediately she responded: "No! No! It is a sin!" The young man insisted but Maria held her ground. She would not cooperate in his lustful aspirations. Heroically, Maria insisted: "No! No! It is a sin! I will not commit a sin against God!” Despite this, he constantly harassed her.

Finally one day, while their parents were away, Maria found herself alone with Alessandro. She was trapped! Brandishing a knife, the depraved young man gave Maria the appalling ultimatum: "Give in or I will kill you!" Filled with fear and dread, our young heroine's answer remained the same. With the heart of a saint, she insisted: "No! No! It is a sin!"

In a senseless act of a rage filled violence, Alessandro stabbed Maria fourteen times. She fell to the floor, mortally wounded. When her mother found her several hours later, she was barely alive. Only after her mother insisted did she reveal her assailants name. “It was Alessandro, Mama. He wanted me to commit a terrible sin.”

The trip to the hospital was dreadful. Maria was placed in the back of a horse drawn wagon. They had to travel ten miles over a bumpy road. At the hospital, there was no anesthesia; the doctors had to operate on the child while she was fully conscious. Maria suffered horribly. But, it was hopeless. A priest was called. Maria was dying!

Before death, our young heroine gave us another example of the meaning of Christianity. “Mama,” she said, “I forgive Alessandro. I will pray that he will be with me in heaven.”

Maria was twelve years old when she refused to engage in an act which violated God’s law. To preserve her purity, Maria Goretti died a martyr's death.

Fifty years later, Pope Pius XII canonized Maria Goretti a saint of the Holy, Roman Catholic Church. He also named her, The Patroness of Youth.

In a society that is consumed with sins of the flesh, Saint Maria Goretti is a wonderful role model, not only for youth, but for all. God expects us to live morally good lives. The vice of lust and the shockingly immodest dress of our times offend God greatly.

Saint Maria Goretti, Virgin and Martyr! Pray for us! Intercede for us as we struggle against the world, the flesh and the devil. May Our Blessed Mother, the Virgin most pure, grant us the grace to follow the example of St. Maria Goretti, The Patroness of Youth!

Father Richard J. Rego

Thursday, June 23, 2005


We hear the constant claims of so-called Catholic politicians and others who claim to be Catholic and yet vote for pro-abortion legislation. What is the Church’s answer? The Church’s Liturgy gives us the answer.

Each year, on June 22 we celebrate the memorial of two great martyrs, Sir Thomas More and Bishop John Fisher. Both of these great Englishmen paid the ultimate price by giving their lives in witness to Catholic faith.
John Fisher was the Bishop of Rochester, England. He was a saintly man who wrote many works combating the doctrinal errors of his times. Thomas More was married and had a son and three daughters. King Henry VIII appointed him Lord Chancellor of England. Sir Thomas also was a staunch defender the Church.

Until the time of King Henry’s, Great Matter, all of England was Catholic. In 1521, as a reward for responding to Martin Luther’s errors in a book on the sacraments, Pope Leo X conferred on King Henry VIII the title, The Defender of the Faith.

No one could possibly have imagined that, within a few years, both Sir Thomas and Bishop Fisher would be held prisoners in the Tower of London because they remained faithful to the Catholic Church. Yet, this is what came to be!

King Henry wanted Rome to declare his marriage to Catherine of Aragon, his wife, to be null and void. He wanted to take another wife, Anne Boleyn. In 1533, Pope Clement VII decreed that there were no grounds for an annulment. Henry's marriage to Catherine was valid and could not be broken by any power on earth, not even the Church’s.

Despite the Pope’s decree, King Henry divorced Catherine and married Anne. Henry then formally broke unity with the Pope by declaring that he, and not the Pope, was the head of the Church of England. Next, he decreed that all of his subjects, including the bishops and priests, must sign the Act of Supremacy and the Oath of Loyalty to him, thereby rejecting the authority of the Pope. The penalty for refusal to sign: Death by being hung, drawn and quartered!

Every bishop in England signed. In so doing, they formally rejected the Catholic faith that they had sworn to defend by their Episcopal consecration. Bishop John Fisher was the only exception. He fearlessly said that he would remain loyal to the Pope. Just as John the Baptist had been willing to die to defend the sanctity of marriage, so Bishop John Fisher also would be willing to defend the Primacy of the Pope, even in the face of a cruel and merciless death.

Sir Thomas More was just as faithful. Imprisoned in the Tower of London, his wife pleaded with him. His beloved daughter, Margaret, pleaded: "Father, sign the oath! Live!” Thomas More’s' answer was clear: "How many years do I have left? How many pleasures in this life can I enjoy? Nothing is worth my eternal salvation. If I sign, against my conscience, I will lose my soul for all eternity." He remained loyal to the Papacy and refused to sign the betrayal to the Papacy.

Bishop Fisher was beheaded on June 22 and Sir Thomas More on July 6, 1535. The only mercy shown them by Henry was that they were spared the agony of being hung, drawn and quartered. As he stood before the axe, Sir Thomas’ last words were: “I am the King’s good servant, but God’s first”

Saints Thomas More and John Fisher lost their lives but saved their souls. In 1935, Pope Pius XI canonized them to be saints in heaven. As to those who signed the Oath of Loyalty to Henry VIII, we can only pray that they repented from their sin against faith. Pope Paul III formally excommunicated King Henry VIII in 1538.

This is the answer that the liturgy gives to Catholic politicians. In these days, when the rejection of the Papal Teaching Authority has become fashionable, when Catholics in the Congress claim that they must sign pro-abortion legislation, the Church points to these two courageous saints. If we are to remain Catholic and save our souls, we must remain faithful to the teachings of Christ's Vicar on Earth, the Holy Father.

In the Opening Prayer of the Mass of their Feast, the Church prays: "May the prayers of Saints John Fisher and Thomas More give us the courage to proclaim our faith by the witness of our lives." Yes! May we all, each and every one, have the courage to stand up for our faith!

Father Richard J. Rego, S.T.L.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005



Friday, June 3rd, was the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. From the earliest centuries, the Church has shown special devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Recall that Saint John, the Beloved Disciple, “rested his head on the Lord’s bosom”, close to His Sacred Heart.

Our Divine Lord confirmed to Saint Margaret Mary the need for this wonderful devotion. Also, Jesus made twelve extraordinary promises to us.

Think of all of the trials that come about in our lives. We face sicknesses, injuries, spiritual and economic problems, and all manner of anxieties. With confidence, let us bring these, “tears of life,” to the Sacred Heart, especially on the First Friday of every month.

The heart is the symbol of love. Pope Benedict, speaking of Sacred Heart Devotion, said: "Last Friday we celebrated the solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, devotion profoundly rooted in the Christian people. In biblical language, "heart" indicates a person's center, seat of his feelings and intentions. In the heart of the Redeemer we adore God's love of humanity, his will of universal salvation, his infinite mercy. Worship of the Sacred Heart of Christ means, therefore, worship of that heart which, after having loved us to the end, was pierced by the spear, and from the cross on high, shed blood and water, inexhaustible source of new life."

When Our Lord appeared to Saint Margaret Mary, He showed her His Sacred Heart. He revealed to her how it is filled with love for every human person. Never doubt His love!

Let us also be mindful that the Lord Jesus longs for us to love Him in return. It is almost as though He barters for our love with the divine bribe of His rich promises. These are the promises made by the Sacred Heart Of Jesus:

1) I will give them the graces needed for their state in life. 2) I will give them peace in their families.
3) I will console them in their troubles.
4) They will find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of death.
5) I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
6) Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and Infinite Ocean of mercy.
7) Tepid souls shall become fervent.
8) Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
9) I will bless the homes in which the image of my Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honored.
l0) I will give priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
ll) Those who propagate this devotion shall have their name written in my Heart and it shall never be effaced.
l2) The all powerful love of my Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under My displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.

If you have not made your Nine First Fridays, begin now. Imagine! Our Divine Savior promised us that, by making the Nine First Fridays, we will not die under His displeasure. How wonderful to know that His Sacred Heart will be our assured refuge at the last hour. Whatever crosses He asks us to bear, let us bear them with the sure knowledge that He will be our refuge and strength. At the end of our lives, He will embrace us with the reward of eternal life. Indeed, my friends, this is the bottom line. There is no other. Most Sacred Heat of Jesus, have mercy on us!

Father Richard J. Rego, S.T.L.