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Archive for the ‘Saint Charles’ Category

The Father Charles Train

A news item for the Feast of Saint Charles of Mount Argus, which I came across at the Pater Karel site:
In Limburg, the region of the Netherlands where Saint Charles was born, a train has been named after the new local saint. As well as having his picture on the outside, the train seems to show video clips of his canonisation on the inside! Here is a news clip about it (in Dutch). Watch out for the unstoppable Father Harry Broers (the Parish Priest of Munstergeleen), Father Giovanni Zubiani (Postulator General), Father Luigi Vaninetti (General Consultor) and Dolf Dormans, whose miraculous cure through the intercession of Poor Old Charlie made the canonisation happen.

Since all the Aer Lingus planes are called after Saints of Ireland (including Saint Patrick who, like Charles, was born elsewhere) what about a Saint Charles plane for next year’s feast day?

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Icon of Saint Charles by Michael Galovic,
for the Passionist Community,
Saint Mungo’s, Glasgow

Copyright © Michael Galovic

On Saturday, 5 January, we will celebrate the Feast of Saint Charles (-his first since canonisation). In Saint Mungo’s, Mass for the Feast will be at 12.15.

Father Gary has posted the prayers and readings for the Mass of Saint Charles of Mount Argus here.

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Herald of Hope


Ovada, the new Passionist publisher based at Saint Mungo’s, has brought out in book form the nine sermons from last year’s Novena of Hope at Mount Argus, Dublin. These nine reflections on the life and spirit of Saint Charles of Mount Argus have been published under the title Herald of Hope. Copies (at £5.95 or €8.95 plus postage) are available from Thomas Davie at Saint Mungo’s Bookshop, Glasgow: phone from UK 0141 552 1823; phone from outside the UK 0044 141 552 1823 or something like that; the e-mail address is mungoshop(at)gmail.com. To give you a taste, here is the text from the book’s back cover:

What can someone who died over a hundred years ago possibly say to us today? Saint Charles of Mount Argus died in Dublin in 1893. Can his life speak to people who live in a very different world? These nine reflections on Charles’ life and spirit attempt to allow him to dialogue with us, to share with us his sense of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.

The secret of Father Charles – his love for God, his love for people – came from the truth that he was an intimate friend of God. He can teach us how, through loving God in prayer and loving our brothers and sisters in their need, we can become in truth the friends of God.
Paul Francis Spencer c.p.

Charles of Mount Argus spent every day and many a night facing the reality of suffering. He never denied it or cloaked it. Following his example, we are called to grapple with suffering and not be afraid. Somewhere in the suffering is a trace of Jesus.
Aidan Troy c.p.

Charles is not a remote saint with nothing to offer our generation. Look at his life and discover that our greatest gift is to be people of compassion; to be willing to walk with people along their way of the cross, in search of meaning rather than handing out futile answers.
Brian D’Arcy c.p.

He truly was a man of God. And people instinctively, intuitively, recognised that. It didn’t matter that he couldn’t speak very well or preach very well. What he said came from the heart – and from a heart in tune with God.
Ignatius Waters c.p.

This is what inspired and motivated Father Charles: he loved the sick as Jesus loved the sick, he had time for the sick as Jesus had time for the sick, he blessed the sick as Jesus blessed the sick, and this led people to recognise true holiness in him.
Frank Keevins c.p.

Like all Passionists, he stood with Mary at the foot of the Cross and had his gaze firmly fixed on Jesus giving his life in love for us. Everything he knew about love and kindness and the service of others he learned there.
Martin Coffey c.p.

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(Photo: Reuters)

We gathered at Saint Peter’s on a very wet Sunday morning to celebrate the Canonisation of Father Charles of Mount Argus and three other new saints. Each new saint had a crowd of pilgrims, including among them four presidents, one for each saint: the Presidents of Malta, Poland, the Philippines and Ireland. Here is a close-up of the image of Saint Charles we saw hanging in Saint Peter’s Square today. (Photo: Reuters)

Pope Benedict described Saint Charles of Mount Argus with these words: During his many years of priestly ministry in England and Ireland, the people flocked to him to seek out his wise counsel, his compassionate care and his healing touch. In the sick and the suffering he recognized the face of the Crucified Christ, to whom he had a lifelong devotion. He drank deeply from the rivers of living water that poured forth from the side of the Pierced One, and in the power of the Spirit he bore witness before the world to the Father’s love. At the funeral of this much-loved priest, affectionately known as Father Charles of Mount Argus, his superior was moved to observe: ‘The people have already declared him a saint’.

I was privileged to concelebrate with the Holy Father today. Fortunately, we were allowed to use umbrellas; the red one at the end of the line of concelebrants (on the left-hand side) belongs to Father Kenneth Brady C.P. from Mount Argus community. (Photo: Associated Press)

Here, the Postulator General of the Passionists, Father Giovanni Zubiani C.P., stands holding a black umbrella as Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins asks Pope Benedict XVI to enrol George Preca, Simon of Lipnica, Charles (Houben) of Saint Andrew and Marie-Eugene (Milleret) of Jesus among the saints. (Photo: Associated Press)

The most essential pilgrim’s item today seems to have been an umbrella. Unfortunately, because of the sea of umbrellas, it was difficult for pilgrims to see the altar. However, the rain didn’t dampen their enthusiasm. (Photo: Associated Press)

After the Mass, Pope Benedict met the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese. In the afternoon, President McAleese came to the Basilica of Saints John and Paul to venerate the relic of Saint Charles and pray at the tomb of Saint Paul of the Cross. She also visited the monastery to see Saint Paul’s cell where he died in 1775 and to meet the community. President McAleese was baptised by a Passionist, Father Anselm, and her guiding light was another Passionist, the late Father Justin; both of them are classmates of our own Father Hubert who celebrated his sixtieth jubilee of ordination here in Rome last Thursday.

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Rome Tomorrow


Tomorrow afternoon we leave for Rome and the Canonisation of Father Charles. The Scottish group is going from Wednesday to Wednesday as there is a direct flight on Wednesdays from Edinburgh. The Irish contingent (=the main pilgrimage) will arrive on Friday.
Here is our Mass schedule for the week.
Thursday 31 May
10.00 a.m. Mass in the Church of Saint Alphonsus, Via Merulana (Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour).
Friday 1 June
11.00 a.m. Mass in the Church of Our Lady of Graces, Nettuno (Shrine of Saint Maria Goretti).
Saturday 2 June
8.30 a.m. Mass with the Irish pilgrims at the Papal Altar in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major.
Sunday 3 June
10.00 a.m. Canonisation Mass in Saint Peter’s Square.
Monday 4 June
6.30 p.m. Mass of Thanksgiving in the Passionist Basilica of Saints John and Paul.
Tuesday 5 June
11.00 a.m. Mass at the Shrine of Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, Isola del Gran Sasso.
Wednesday 6 June
10.30 a.m. Papal Audience in Saint Peter’s Square. Mass in the afternoon at an (as yet) unknown location.


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This weekend, Patricia has put up a web version of my life of Father Charles of Mount Argus. It includes the new preface for the canonisation edition which should be ready at the printers next week. The illustration shows the cover from the first edition. I will show the new cover when it has been printed. You can find the result of Patricia’s labours at a new website called www.charlesofmountargus.org
Also in the works at the moment is Herald of Hope, a series of nine reflections on the Life and Spirituality of the man who next Sunday will be called Saint Charles of Mount Argus. These reflections were given as sermons at last year’s Novena of Hope at Mount Argus and will, from next Sunday, be available in written form. Like the new edition of To Heal the Broken Hearted, Herald of Hope is published by our own Ovada Books and will be available from Saint Mungo’s Bookshop, Glasgow G4 0RX (0141 552 5523; e-mail mungoshop@gmail.com), Saint Paul’s Retreat, Mount Argus, Dublin 6W (01 499 2000) and in the United States from www.crossplace.com

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Father Charles on TV

Sorry for the lack of posting in recent weeks. I’m very busy at the moment with preparations for the Canonisation of Father Charles of Mount Argus on 3 June. Meanwhile, Limburg’s T1 Television has made a short (eight minute) programme on Father Charles, starring both Father Harry Broers, parish priest of Munstergeleen, and our own Father Frank Keevins, rector of Mount Argus. The voice-over is in Dutch, but Father Frank and his parishioners can be heard in English. Here it is.

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