Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop.

St. Ignatius was a disciple of St. John, one of the original 12 apostles. Among other things, St. Ignatius “coined” the term “Catholic” for the one, true church of Jesus Christ, and first wrote of it, shortly after the beginning of the 2nd century.

Regarding bishops, he said this:

See that you all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as you would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate a love-feast; but whatsoever he shall approve of, that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid.

Moreover, it is in accordance with reason that we should return to soberness [of conduct], and, while yet we have opportunity, exercise repentance towards God. It is well to reverence both God and the bishop. He who honours the bishop has been honoured by God; he who does anything without the knowledge of the bishop, does [in reality] serve the devil. Let all things, then, abound to you through grace, for you are worthy. You have refreshed me in all things, and Jesus Christ [shall refresh] you. You have loved me when absent as well as when present. May God recompense you, for whose sake, while you endure all things, you shall attain unto Him.

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More about the recent developments in Detroit

Shrine of Christ’s Passion in St. John, Indiana to be permanent home of 34-foot tall “Our Lady of the New Millenium”

ST. JOHN — Our Lady of the New Millennium arrived at its new temporary home Sunday in the parking lot of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church.

Applause erupted from the impromptu crowd of about 300 that gathered when the hydraulic lifts on its special flatbed semi-trailer raised the nearly 34-foot-tall stainless steel statue to an upright position after its journey down U.S. 41 from Chicago.

Link to story and photo gallery

More about the shrine

Before there ever was a canon of the New Testament, there was a Church. And its paper trail is Catholic.


Read “Remembering the Early Church”

At the Gate Called Beautiful: A Picture of the Church and Our Spiritual Journey

At the Vigil Mass of today’s Feast of Saints Peter and Paul was read the story of a paralyzed man whom Peter and John encounter just outside the Temple at the Gate called “Beautiful.” This paralyzed man’s story is our story and as we read it we learn something of our own spiritual journey to the Lord and to heaven, symbolized here by the Temple. Let’s look at this moving story which is not merely an event of 2000 years ago but is our story. (N.B. The Beautiful Gate is the gold plated doors in the foreground of the picture).

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What the Mass is … and is not


“Mass is not a lesson or a class, or a primary form for the exchange of information.

“The primary point (of Mass) is not to understand it for the information conveyed. The primary point is to be present with your heart and soul as our lady St. Mary and St. John were present at the foot of the cross.”

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More about the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

The Holy Face of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Around the year 60 A.D. St. Luke visited the Blessed Virgin Mary at the home she shared with St. John the Apostle, in the town of Ephesus, southwestern Turkey.

At that time, St. Luke produced what is today the only known icon of the Virgin, making good use of a three foot by five foot cedar table top (one that was likely hand crafted by Jesus of Nazareth) accurately capturing Mary’s delicate facial features. The extremely well preserved icon has remained in the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome, for the last 1700 years.

About 1900 years later, in 1947, Sister Lucia, seer of the Fatima Apparitions that took place in Portugal in 1917, closely collaborated with sculptor Jose Thedim to produce an authentic image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as Lucia and her two cousins originally encountered her there.

While the style of the work and the quality of the media are quite different, the resemblance between the two renderings is absolutely striking (see close-ups above).

Eyes, facial shape, nose, lips and chin are all remarkably similar.

Take a close look. Pray on it. Then make up your own mind.

“We do not praise God sufficiently by keeping silent about his saints, especially Mary, ‘the Holy One’ who became his dwelling place on earth. The simple and multiform light of God appears to us exactly in its variety and richness only in the countenance of the saints, who are the true mirrors of his light. And it is precisely by looking at Mary’s face that we can see more clearly than in any other way the beauty, goodness and mercy of God. In her face we can truly perceive the divine light.” – Pope Benedict XVI

Update: (My friend Bob Stanley rightly pointed out that we have another precisely rendered authentic image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, from the tilma of St. Juan Diego, done in 1531. The style and the type of media are different once again, and in the Guadalupe image, Mary is facing left, rather than right.  I added the Guadalupe image to the picture study for you.)

Icon of the Madonna by St. Luke, believed to accurately depict face of Blessed Virgin Mary

St. Luke painted this Icon of Mary (about the year 60 AD) while she was staying with St. John the Apostle. According to tradition, when St. Luke “wrote” the Icon, he accurately rendered the Blessed Virgin’s authentic facial features.

The Icon was written directly onto a three foot by five foot cedar plank, believed to be part of a table that Jesus had originally hand crafted during his time in Nazareth. When Mary went to stay with St. John, in Ephesus (a town located in southwestern Turkey) the table evidently made the trip, as well.

Lost for over 200 years, the Icon was discovered by St. Helena (mother of Emperor Constantine) in Jerusalem, buried near the True Cross, on or about the year 326 AD.

The title of the Icon is Salus Populi Romani (“Protectoress of the Roman People”). It is the only major Icon attributed to Saint Luke (who is also the writer of  the Gospel bearing his name, “the Acts of the Apostles” and most of St. Paul’s epistles.)

St. Luke is also believed to have been a physician (medical doctor).

Tradition and history informs us that St. Luke’s Icon has resided in St. Mary Major Basilica, Rome, for about 1,700 years.

Click here to read more about Icons