The Irish hierarchy will not ask Pope Francis to consider permitting priests who left to get married to return to ministry at a meeting in Rome next week after failing to reach a consensus, The Irish Catholic can reveal.
However, Bishop Leo O’Reilly, who first brought the proposal for discussion with his fellow Irish bishops, said the issue may well come up during a series of meetings the Irish bishops are due to have with the Pontiff and senior Vatican officials in coming days.
The possibility of married men being ordained to the priesthood in Ireland may come up in next week’s meeting between the bishops and Pope Francis, according to the bishop who in 2015 said the idea should be considered.
The bishop’s observation comes against a background of rumours that the Pope is willing to allow married former priests to return to ministry in Brazil on a phased and experimental basis, and as Ireland’s bishops are due to make their first ad limina visit to Rome in a decade.
In June 2015, Kilmore’s Bishop Leo O’Reilly said he was liaising with other bishops about setting up a commission to discuss the possibilities of ordaining married men and of appointing female deacons, saying that the Pope encouraged individual bishops and bishops’ conferences to be creative in looking at ways to do ministry in the future, and that Ireland bishops must “consider all options”.
However, Dr O’Reilly told The Irish Catholic, no decision was made when he raised the matter with his fellow bishops in 2015.
“There was a discussion about it at the bishops’ conference, and it was inconclusive – there was no decision taken at that point, and that’s where it rested,” he said.
“Where it came from originally was the diocesan pastoral plan,” he said, highlighting how it had arisen following an 18-month listening process in his Kilmore diocese which had led in turn to a diocesan assembly and a new diocesan pastoral plan to tackle such challenges facing the Church as the declining number of priests.
“The request of the plan was that I would bring it to the bishops’ conference, which I have done,” he continued. “I don’t know whether there is anything more that I could do on it.”
At the same time, he said, there was a chance that the proposal could be raised at next week’s ad limina visit of the Irish bishops to Rome. “I’d say it’s possible,” he said, “because I would have sent in the pastoral plan as part of the submission of the report to the Vatican.” Source
Well.. will Catholic Irish eyes be smiling at the end of this ad limina d’ye think, at all, at all?
Blogger, Benedict Carter writes:
Apparently Russia is now a Christian country and Putin, the champion of Christian values, is in Syria solely to protect the Christian population. Putin is the Traditionalist’s friend because he has banned homosexuality. He should be supported simply by virtue of his enmity to our own godless Western leaders. Orthodoxy is a safe haven for the Traditional Catholic as the Catholic Church lurches towards apostasy in the form of liberal Protestantism, rampant Modernism and (soon) open schism. Fr. Malachi Martin said that “salvation will come from the east” so this means that Modernism in the Church and Vatican II will be swept away by Russia and then true religion will be restored. After all, according to Joanna Bogle and others, Russia has already been converted. (Funny that the period of peace doesn’t seem to have accompanied this conversion Joanna, but I suppose we can’t have everything).
Over the last eighteen months to two years these views have been heard more and more openly on some Traditionalist sites and blogs. Sadly, what these views have in common is that they are so full of factual inaccuracies, false assumptions and ignorant claims that this latest blip on the Traditionalist radar constitutes a material danger and really should be dismissed before it becomes an accepted part of the global Traditionalist mind-set.
The Remnant in the USA has on several occasions pushed the ideas in question. Although to be fair to him Michael Matt, the Remnant’s Editor, has in one or two recent articles rowed back somewhat from his earlier position (which tended to canonise Putin and ascribe to him a divine mandate of some sort), nevertheless he has led the way in promoting the trend in question, even banning posters who sought to balance his and others’ speculation and even pagan-like numerology (the 100 years meme) with a dose of Russian reality.
My objective is to show that these views about Russia are all false, resting as they do on a total lack of understanding of the current nature of Russia and of its so-called Christian revival. Suffering from a sense of helplessness and even despair at the vacuity of Western policy, and the state of the Church and society, it is my contention that those who hold these views are investing an inchoate hope in a “false Messiah” and that this hope will surely be dashed. Indeed, ultimately I hold that those who place their hope in Putin and Russia are guilty of a serious spiritual fault in that they are putting their trust in politics and in a man rather than in Jesus Christ.
My own interest in this subject comes from my own long association with Russia. Having been a student of its literature and history from my early teenage years, in the middle 1990’s I started what was to be a twelve-year plus period living in the former USSR. During that time I lived for nearly three years in Central Asia and then more than ten years in Moscow. I speak Russian, I am married to a Russian, I owned a business in Russia, I know the history of the country and of the Russian Orthodox Church. The years I spent there changed me profoundly. Russia will be part of me until I die. I therefore consider myself well-qualified, at least amongst Traditionalists, to comment on Russian affairs.
Since 1991, it’s true that around 6,000 churches have been built or rebuilt. Ancient monasteries and convents again contain many religious. It is normal for many Russian Orthodox to attend Easter and Christmas liturgies and popping into a church to light a candle is an unremarkable activity. Around 75% of Russians are now baptised. The country’s leadership appear with high prelates on TV on important feasts and all dutifully make the Sign of the Cross (albeit badly) at the appropriate moments. There is a genuine piety to be found among believers. And as everyone knows, Russia has enacted a law preventing the advertising or marketing of homosexuality. All this is of course to be applauded. But does it mean that Russia is now a Christian country? What is the state of Russian society? This should tell us how real is Russia’s Christian life.
State of Russian Society
- According to a Moscow Times survey, only 1% of the population attends the Divine Liturgy on Sunday. This is almost exclusively the old, particularly the women. The same picture is found in another study (http://tinyurl.com/q5r8xvb).
- Another Moscow Times survey from last year showed that both trust in the Moscow Patriarchate and support for the building of a new church in one’s immediate locality have plummeted. Has indeed the high-water mark of the restored Patriarchate been reached within twenty-five years of the fall of the Communist regime? It may be so: I am told by one Catholic religious in Moscow that the number of students in Russian Orthodox seminaries has drastically fallen in the last two or three years. (Source: http://tinyurl.com/hu365zo).
- While the excellent law against homosexual “propaganda” certainly exists, so do gay clubs. Homosexuality is not criminalised nor is its practice restricted in any way. (Source: http://tinyurl.com/z56lzmd).
- Abortions continue by the million. Both Ukraine and Russia have debated banning abortion in their respective parliaments but neither have done so. (Source: http://tinyurl.com/jm55enf).
- AIDS cases are now in excess of one million and are rising fast. Drug-resistant TB has broken out of the prisons where it was nurtured for decades and is now rife among the general population. (Source: http://tinyurl.com/hbqgb6u).
- Drug use is decimating the younger generations in the cities, particularly in Siberia and other places riven by poverty and is growing out of any control. (Source: http://tinyurl.com/zeq85q6).
- The moral leadership of the government is nil. Putin and those close to him are thieves, knaves, plunderers and looters on a scale beyond the imagination. The very language they use between themselves is the colourful (and utterly vile) “blatnoi yezik”, or “thieves tongue” of the “vor v zakone” (thieves-in-law, aka the mafia).
- Putin has not conducted any reform of Russia’s economy which would eventually benefit the poorest. The reason is that if he did, his entire system would be in danger of collapse and his power with it. The pigs with their snouts in the trough would get rid of Putin before they allowed other pigs to take their place. Battles between oligarchs are at the moment controlled by Putin as the top Godfather, but if too many pigs lost their place at feeding time that control might be lost. Billions upon billions of dollars are at stake. Some thoughtful Russians I know now worry about civil war conducted between rival oligarchic armies fighting for control of Russia’s natural resources.
- Crime as ever pervades Russian life. Life expectancy, particularly for men, is static at around 60 due to alcoholism, a collapsed health service and hopelessness. Corruption pervades Russian life. There is no rule of law as understood in the West. Innocence is lost at a very young age (Source: http://tinyurl.com/zgkbch9).
- Many Russians are turning to eastern sects, philosophies and religions. Buddhism, Indian “spirituality”, Siberian shamanistic paganism: all these are growing in popularity. (Source http://tinyurl.com/zdwfkjz).
State of the Orthodox Church
As ever, the Orthodox Church is the creature of the State. It has been so since even before the Church’s submission to Tsar Peter and his suppression of the Patriarchate. Imagining the Russian Orthodox Church without the crutch of the Russian State is impossible. In return for the State’s provision of tax benefits, cash, Presidential and Prime Ministerial time and constant TV exposure, the Church plays the part of chief cheerleader for the Russian regime. It has always been thus and it certainly is now. Both parties gain but one does wonder who or what the Russian Orthodox Church really worships. Is it the Holy Trinity or the Russian State?
For some, the Russian State undoubtedly comes in first place. For Father Vselovod Chaplin for example, America is Satan, Britain is his chief demon and God demands nuclear warfare against both. And, according to Chaplin, Russian women should have their reign of debauchery ended by the practice of universal female genital mutilation. This oaf has said so many mad things that the so-called philosophy of “Eurasianism”, as developed and taught by Alexander Dugin, seems almost sane in comparison. For Dugin, by the way, the SS was the perfect society and as usual for fanatics of Slav nationalism, the chief enemy for him is the Anglo-Saxon, which means Britain and America. Today’s Russia is semi-fascist and so is its national Orthodox Church.
There is much else that is deeply rotten in the Russian Orthodox Church. Apart from the very ugly nationalist ideology and greed for material reward (remember the Patriarch and his $450,000 watch?), anti-Catholic sentiment remains very high. As told directly to me by a Catholic priest in Russia (and confirmed by an Anglican), some years ago the Catholic Archdiocese in Moscow had to go through the local Anglican vicar to arrange meetings with the Patriarchate. The Catholic side would state what subjects it wished to discuss, the Patriarchate would say how many BMWs and Mercedes it wanted in return for the meeting. (Ecumenism Russian Orthodox style …).
No, the Russian Orthodox Church inspires no confidence. It is this body that is to save the West? I think not. In fact, despite its high position in State and society, it may well have already entered a period of decline only two decades after the fall of Communism.
Putin is lauded as a strongman who runs rings around Western leaders and makes them look foolish. There can be no doubt that he is a clever man. But consider: if you do not operate by the norms of international law, if you are prepared to lie and cheat your way to your objectives, it is an easy thing to surprise those who do operate by the norms of international law and those who do more or less, in their dealings with each other, tell the truth and act honestly. Thus Putin is a very strong tactician but no strategist. Russia may contain much of genius but in global terms, whatever its showing in Syria (a Russian success only possible because Obama reneged on his “red line” promise) its influence is that of a regional power.
Led by thugs and gangsters, Russia has no vision beyond its own preservation. This indeed is the real key to understanding Russian policy. Russia is an almost-failed State governed by serial liars, thieves and Secret Police operatives. I can personally confirm that FSB officers still, to this day, have a statuette of Felix Dzerzhinsky, the mass murderer who founded the CHEKA, on their desks.
Is Putin a believer? He may be, it’s truly difficult to say. I think he probably is, but that this belief does not prevent him from doing all manner of murder in the interests of his true god who is Mother Russia. God for the Orthodox is a strongly Slavic nationalist deity.
Did Putin ask the Pope to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart? I do not believe it for a moment. The Orthodox Church is extremely hostile to Fatima and Putin would not antagonise the Patriarchate unnecessarily. Nevertheless, does Russia have a role to play in the cosmic battle currently being fought? Yes, it does: Our Lady has told us so. If the Consecration does not come as Heaven wished it, then instead of being converted, Russia may well play the part of being the instrument of God’s punishment on an unfaithful, godless world which has long since been soaked in Russia’s own atheistic, Bolshevik errors. It is interesting that some pre-Revolutionary Orthodox prophecy supports a very old traditional reading of Scripture which states that Gog and Magog is Russia.
We can see I think that the real attraction of Putin to Traditionalists is that he provides clarity whereas our own leaders are mired in leftist social engineering (through mass immigration) and political correctness, and thus are imposing on us a revolutionary globalist ideology that is straining our system and very civilisation to the limit. Similarly, the attraction of the Orthodox Church to many Traditionalists is the beauty of its liturgy and music. But do either of them offer the West anything that we cannot better find by restoring what has been taken, both from our society and from the Church? I strongly believe not.
The waters have been badly muddied for the Traditionalist by those useful idiots in the modern Church who hold that Fatima is fulfilled and Russia has already converted. Aside from the asinine suggestion that Our Lady would be pleased by the conversion of Russia to a schismatic sect, the reality of Russian society today cannot but exclude the possibility of Fatima’s completion. I myself am not so hard on this question as many Traditionalists: I am quite able to accept that the 1984 Consecration might have led to the fall of Communism and a partial conversion of Russia; however, this was not what Our Lady requested, desired or promised. That there is no period of peace is self-evident. So the likes of Joanna Bogle not only fool themselves but sadly many others too and the popularity of Putin among so many Traditionalists is at least indirectly and in part due to this false Fatima propaganda.
Following Putin and trusting in Russia is a dangerous temptation and one that must be resisted. The true solution to our woes, which are real, is the restoration of a truly Catholic (= Christian) civilisation, not the adoption, out of despair, of a rotten schismatic and heretical Orthodox one.
VATICAN CITY – Everyone experiences doubts about the faith at times – “I have” many times, Pope Francis said – but such doubts can be “a sign that we want to know God better and more deeply.”
“We do not need to be afraid of questions and doubts because they are the beginning of a path of knowledge and going deeper; one who does not ask questions cannot progress either in knowledge or in faith,” the pope said Nov. 23 at his weekly general audience.
Pope Francis said that although the Year of Mercy has concluded, he still wanted to continue his general audience reflections on the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
With fewer than 10,000 pilgrims and visitors present and with rain forecast, the Vatican moved the audience indoors to the Vatican audience hall. Click here to read more
Am I alone is not having experienced “doubts” about the Faith? Maybe I was taught, too thoroughly, that wilful doubt is one of the chief sins against the Faith (Scottish Catechism of Christian Doctrine, Chapter XXVIII, The First Commandment – Section 1: the Worship of God, # 541)
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), # 2088 teaches that the first commandment requires us to nourish and protect our faith with prudence and vigilance, and to reject everything that is opposed to it. There are various ways of sinning against faith: Voluntary doubt about the faith disregards or refuses to hold as true what God has revealed and the Church proposes for belief. Involuntary doubt refers to hesitation in believing, difficulty in overcoming objections connected with the faith, or also anxiety aroused by its obscurity. If deliberately cultivated doubt can lead to spiritual blindness. End of extract from CCC
I was taught that God cannot deceive, and thus, we are obliged to accept, in the spirit of Faith, what He has revealed. Obviously, such Faith is accepted in the context of learning about the nature of Church, that the authority of the Catholic Church comes from God, and that, thus, there is no need for “doubts”. Of course we should continue to study and read about the Church, but not in a spirit of asking God to prove Himself to us. It has become a fashion to doubt, the implication being that unless we entertain doubts we are somehow less intelligent that those who do. The opposite is, in fact, true. It is entirely against the nature of true Faith to entertain doubts. The legitimate questions which arise, and to which we seek answers, are not “doubts” so it is a pity that Pope Francis is using the word and encouraging the idea that it is a good thing to doubt.
Personally, I think that Pope Francis is confusing the duty to keep ourselves educated in the Faith through study and prayer, with doubting, which is, as indicated above, one of the chief sins against the Faith. What do you think?
We often receive emails asking questions about the state of the Church and how to deal with it. I’m afraid that I sometimes feel impatience with certain enquirers, especially if they are members of the older generation, when we were all taught very clearly that our Catholic Faith could never contradict Reason. Therefore, it seems to me, any (older) person of average intelligence should know, through their Catholic sense, that everything, from the introduction of a new Mass right up to and including Amoris Laetita, cannot be from God. In any event, I replied to the most recent enquirer – who is a younger Catholic, really seeking answers to questions others have asked – by sending some suggested reading. I think, however, that these latest questions might spark some very knowledgeable and interesting responses from our bloggers, so I recommended that our enquirer wait while greater minds than mine go to work…
Catholic Truth Question Time
(1) Were there things in the Church that were needing ‘fixed’ at the time the Second Vatican Council was called?
(2) Was the Mass in Latin alienating to people and preventing them from becoming close to Our Lord? Note: I would like to know where to find evidence to back up my opinion that this was not the case – apart from statistics which show that the Church was thriving in the 1960s
(3) Where did the initiative to change the Mass come from….did the faithful want it? And if it did come from an infiltration of Freemasons in the Church how can we prove this e.g. I have heard that Bugnini was a Freemason but where is the evidence?
Well, folks? To work!
Galloway Diocese is training up laity to carry out funeral services without a priest.
Last week the first lay Catholics attended funeral training at St Brides in West Kilbride in Ayrshire.
The scheme is similar to one adopted by Liverpool Archdiocese in 2012.
The family of the deceased would still be offered a requiem Mass (right) with a priest but a ‘funeral service,’ which could be carried out by a lay person and would not involve the sacrament of Communion, would also be an option.
In a recent parish bulletin, St Bride’s parish priest Fr Joe Boland said: “All over the world, lay men and women have been conducting funerals for years. Obviously they cannot say Mass, but not every funeral involves Mass, and in that case there is nothing a priest can do that a lay person cannot do.
“This will sound strange to many of you, but as the number of parishes covered by one priest grows, it will become more and more necessary,” he went on. “This is not the case here in West Kilbride at the moment, but the current situation will not last forever. There will inevitably be resistance to the idea of lay people exercising this ministry, but that is to be expected. It will work itself out”
Maureen Knight, who is responsible for pastoral care at Liverpool Archdiocese, told the SCO a similar scheme there had been a great success.
“We’ve had 120 people go through the training programme,” she said. ”The negativity around it has been minimal.
“We find that there are people coming to funerals that have very little connection with the church so this is an easier way,” she said. “Rather than the requiem Mass we would want, this is another option.”
She also said the change had helped ‘care of the bereaved become the responsibility of the whole community.’
“The lay funeral minister, they can be with the family beforehand, talk about things they might be afraid to talk to a priest about,” she said. “And they can visit them afterwards, look after them a bit more.”
A 1997 Vatican document on the laity fulfilling priestly duties says ‘the non-ordained faithful may lead the ecclesiastical obsequies provided that there is a true absence of sacred ministers and that they adhere to the prescribed liturgical norms.’
It also states that ‘in the present circumstances of growing de-christianization and of abandonment of religious practice, death and the time of obsequies can be one of the most opportune pastoral moments in which the ordained minister can meet with the non-practising members of the faithful,’ so ‘it is thus desirable that priests and deacons, even at some sacrifice to themselves, should preside personally at funeral rites in accordance with local custom, so as to pray for the dead and be close to their families, thus availing of an opportunity for appropriate evangelization.’
At present there are no plans for similar programmes in the other seven Scottish dioceses Source – Scottish Catholic Observer
It’s that “at present” that is the worry. How long before all the usual parish busy-bodies are organising funerals across Scotland? Conducting YOUR funeral? I say “your funeral” because none of them will ever organise mine. Be assured. Over my dead body, as they say, so to speak. You’ll get my drift. Does this resignation to the lack of vocations suggest to you, as it does to me, a total loss of divine and Catholic Faith?
Is the Church finished? Without priests, remember, there IS no Church, so why is the hierarchy concentrating on creating a lay-led Church instead of concentrating on restoring the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Faith and Liturgy? If they did that, the vocations would come – no doubt about it. So, what’s going on? Who, on this earth, really wants a lay person conducting his/her funeral?
SAINT MARGARET MARY ALACOQUE, VIRGIN—1690 Feast: October 17
In seventeenth-century France the faith of the people had been badly shaken; there was rebellion against the Church and neglect of its teachings; the rise of Protestantism and the spread of the heresy of Jansenism both had a part in the weakening of the structure built up through the ages. But as every threat brings its response, so now there rose up fresh, strong forces to counter these trends. Three famous religious, who are today venerated as saints, were particularly effective: John Eudes and Claude de la Columbiere were French Jesuit priests and writers; Margaret Mary Alacoque was a simple nun of the order of the Visitation. Their special work was to popularize the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. To represent this trio and this movement, we have chosen Margaret Mary Alacoque.
She was born in 1647 at Janots, a small town of Burgundy, the fifth of seven children, of Claude and Philiberte Alacoque. Her father was a prosperous notary; the family owned a country house and farmland, and had some aristocratic connections. Margaret’s godmother was a neighbor, the Countess of Corcheval. As a small child Margaret spent a great deal of time with her, but these visits were brought to a sudden end by the death of the countess. The father died of pneumonia when Margaret was about eight, and this was another severe shock to the little girl. Claude had loved his family dearly but had been short-sighted and extravagant. His death put them in hard straits. However, Margaret was sent to school with the Urbanist Sisters at Charolles. She loved the peace and order of the convent life, and the nuns were so impressed by her devotion that she was allowed to make her First Communion at the age of nine. A rheumatic affliction kept her bedridden for four years. During this time she was brought home, where some of her father’s relatives had moved in and taken over the direction of the farm and household. She and her mother were disregarded, and treated almost as servants. This painful situation grew more acute after Margaret’s recovery, for the relatives tried to regulate all her comings and goings. Not allowed to attend church as often as she pleased, the young girl was sometimes seen weeping and praying in a corner of the garden. It grieved her deeply that she could not ease things for her mother. Her eldest brother’s coming of age saved the day, for the property now reverted to him, and the family again had undisputed possession of their home.
Philiberte expressed a hope that Margaret would marry; the girl considered the step, inflicting severe austerities upon herself during a period of indecision. At the age of twenty, inspired by a vision, she put aside all such thoughts and resolved to enter a convent. While awaiting admission, she tried to help and teach certain neglected children of the village. At twenty-two she made her profession at the convent of the Visitation at Paray-le-Monial. The nuns of the Order of the Visitation, founded in the early years of the seventeenth century by St. Francis de Sales, were famed for their humility and selflessness. As a novice Margaret excelled in these virtues. When she made her profession, the name of Mary was added and she was called Margaret Mary. She began a course of mortifications and penances which were to continue, with more or less intensity, as long as she lived. We are told that she was assigned to the infirmary and was not very skillful at her tasks.
Some years passed quietly in the convent, and then Margaret Mary began to have experiences which seemed to be of supernatural origin. The first of these occurred on December 27, 1673, when she was kneeling at the grille in the chapel. She felt suffused by the Divine Presence, and heard the Lord inviting her to take the place which St. John had occupied at the Last Supper. The Lord told her that the love of His heart must spread and manifest itself to men, and He would reveal its graces through her. This was the beginning of a series of revelations covering a period of eighteen months. When Margaret Mary went to the Superior, Mother de Saumaise, with an account of these mystical experiences, claiming that she, an humble nun, had been chosen as the transmitter of a new devotion to the Sacred Heart, she was reprimanded for her presumption. Seriously overwrought, Margaret Mary suffered a collapse, and became so ill that her life was despaired of. Now the Mother Superior reflected that she might have erred in scorning the nun’s story and vowed that if her life were spared, she would take it as a sign that the visions and messages were truly from God. When Margaret Mary recovered, the Superior invited some theologians who happened to be in the town -they included a Jesuit and a Benedictine-to hear the story. These priests listened and judged the young nun to be a victim of delusions. Their examination had been a sheer torture to Margaret Mary. Later a Jesuit, Father Claude de la Columbiere, talked to her and was completely convinced of the genuineness of the revelations. He was to write of the nun and to inaugurate this devotion in England.
For many years the nun suffered from despair, from self-inflicted punishments, and also from the slights and contempt of those around her. In 1681 Father Claude returned to the convent and died there the following year. Margaret Mary was appointed assistant and novice-mistress by a new Mother Superior who was more sympathetic towards her. Opposition ceased-or at least was restrained-after an account of Margaret Mary’s visions was read aloud in the refectory from the writings left by Father Claude, who had taken it upon himself to make known to the world the nun’s remarkable experiences. That she was finally vindicated was to her a matter of indifference. When she was forty-three, while serving a second term as assistant superior, Margaret Mary fell ill. Sinking rapidly, she received the Last Sacraments, saying, “I need nothing but God, and to lose myself in the heart of Jesus.”
Although the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was practised before this time, it now gained a strong new impetus through the work of Father John Eudes and the writings of Father Claude. The Sacred Heart is regarded as “the symbol of that boundless love which moved the Word to take flesh, to institute the Holy Eucharist, to take our sins upon Himself, and, dying on the Cross, to offer Himself as a victim and sacrifice to the eternal Father.” The cult first became popular in France, then spread to Poland and other countries, including, at a later period, the United States. The first petition to the Holy See for the institution of the feast was from Queen Mary, consort of James II of England. The month of June is appointed for this devotion, and since 1929 the feast has been one of the highest rank. Source
I sometimes wonder if there are many modern Catholics who still value devotions such as the Nine First Fridays. Does anyone know? What about the Catholics in your circle of family and friends – do they ever mention “doing the First Fridays”? Do the diocesan priests ever preach about this devotion? Have YOU made the Nine First Fridays? If not, why not?