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Lay movement XXIII.

Block Rosary Crusaders

The Block Rosary Crusade was begun in Toronto in 1982 by some Filipino families in the east of Toronto to foster the daily family Rosary. The images of the Blessed Virgin and (later) of the Infant Jesus of Prague are kept in each house for a week each year. When 52 families had joined, using up all the weeks of the year, a second group was formed in 1987. Today there are almost 500 families that belong, and over 70 volunteer coordinators. Most of the families are Filipino or Goan, and there are now families in many Toronto areas. An affiliated group of 52 families has been organized in Venezuela.

Since the families have gotten to know each other, each year there is a summer picnic, an anniversary dinner and dance, and a Christmas party. Pilgrimages are conducted also to the shrine of Our Lady of Consolation of the Afflicted (in Carey, Ohio) and the shrine of Our Lady of Fatima (in Youngstown, New York). Funds are raised also for the needy, for local churches, for schools, and for the victims of major calamities. A quarterly newsletter is distributed.

The main objectives of the Block Rosary Crusade are (a) to encourage families and friends in the community to pray the Rosary together, (b) to pray for the sick, the dead, and those in need of spirititual help in Canada and the Phillipines, and (c) to pray for peace and unity in one's family, in one's community, and throughout the world.

We are fortunate in Canada to still have older lay associations such as the Legion of Mary, the St. Vincent de Paul Society, and the Knights of Columbus, and also to have over a hundred new lay associations such as the Block Rosary Crusaders, and, indeed, several other prayer groups begun by the Filipino communities.

The Crusaders can be contacted by contacting Mr. and Mrs. Jaime Marasigan at 22 Norman Ross Drive, Markham, ON, L3S 3E8, tel. 905 - 472 - 3194, e-mail tmarasigan@canlegal.com or jaimemarasigan @ globalserve .net

Rachel's Vineyard Ministries

These ministries were begun in the late 1980s by a psychologist, Dr. Teresa Burke, in the United States. Today, a project of the American Life League, they exist also in Russia, France, Portugal, Australia, Africa, and South America, and this year will begin in Canada. The ministries provide a psychological and spiritual journey for healing from some common results of having had an abortion: gnawing pain; depression; bulimia; marital problems; alienation from God; a sense of shame; a feeling of abandonment; repressed grief, guilt, or anger; or a longing for reconciliation held back by a fear of condemnation. The ministries have a structured program of therapeutic techniques and Living Scripture Exercises, which have been tested by time.

The Ministries published a manual in 1994 and a Weekend Retreat manual in 1999 which has both Catholic and interdenominational versions. The weekend retreats are conducted by professional and pastoral counsellors and other helpers, some of whom have experienced healing of their own abortion. The manuals are available in five different languages and are for men, couples, grandparents, or those in the abortion industry as well as for women. Clinical training for therapists involved in post-abortion counselling is also available. In addition, Dr. Burke has cooperated with David Reardon to write a powerful book titled Forbidden Grief: The Unspoken Pain of Abortion. There is also an annual national conference in the United States. There is a great deal of information on the Ministries website (www.rachelvineyard.org), which gives access also to the Ministries' monthly newsletter and information about educational tapes. For further information phone the toll-free national hotline (1 877 HOPE 4 ME, 1 877 467 3463) o r e-mail tburke @ net-thing.net) or write to Rachel's Vineyard, 743 Roy Road, King of Prussia, PA 19406, where the phone number is (610) 354 - 0555.

The House of Loreto

The House of Loreto is a lay Catholic Evangelization Ministry founded in 1993, inspired by the Holy Spirit and under the spiritual direction of Bishop Roman Danylak. It is located in Manitoba and operates as a non-profit charitable organization. Its members are loyal to the Holy Father and to the teaching authority of the Catholic Church, the Magisterium. Its mission is to help explain and defend Catholic doctrine, to help strengthen Catholics in their faith, by better understanding their faith and to reawaken a desire to bring others to the Church.

Not since the Reformation when so many left the Church has there been a return so great in number as now. Through prayer, the study of Scripture, and reading the Early Church Fathers, people are coming to the conclusion that the only Church that has retained the "fullness of the faith" is the Catholic Church, the Church that Jesus founded 2000 years ago, when He promised: "You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it." The Catholic Church is the only Christian Church that has existed since the time of Jesus. Every other church is an offshoot.

Jesus knew at the time that the gates of hell would certainly try to destroy the Church and that there would always be Judases within.

Although some Catholics dissent from officially taught doctrines, the Church's official teachers, the pope and his bishops united with him, have never changed any doctrine. To acknowledge the greatness of the Church, her divine authority and infallible witness, is nothing less than magnifying the redemptive work of Christ; to reject the authority of the Church is to defy Christ and the fullness of His grace and Truth.

The House of Loreto has hosted a number of Marian Conferences in Winnipeg over the past ten years and in 2001 they hosted their first Marian Eucharistic Congress. The theme was. "The Truth Shall Set You Free", and according to the director, Sharon Freeman, that is exactly what happened at the Congress. The people heard the truth and indeed were set free.

The Congress was an overwhelming spiritual success with many lives being changed. I could not believe the number of thank you cards, letters and e-mails that our office received. Such an outpouring of graces received! Fallen-away Catholics who were attending non-denominational churches suddenly felt proud to be Catholic and were now ready to go out and evangelize to other fallen away Catholics. Young people who were living together now realized they were "living a lie" and decided to separate and live chaste lives until marriage. The conversions were many, conversions of heart, reversions back to the Catholic Church and a few Protestants who were received into the Church a few months later.

However, a common thread of gratitude ran through all of these letters. The people were grateful to hear the truth spoken but were disheartened that they were not hearing this from the pulpits at their own parishes. As one lady put it, "We must look up to the Church and not bend down to social comfortableness which is so prevalent today."

The theme for this year's Congress is "You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." We chose for our logo the picture of the vision of St. John Bosco's dream of two columns in a stormy sea, one representing the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the other symbolizing the Eucharist, as a Pope guides a venerable "ship", the Church, safely between them.

Our Holy Father has promoted both the Eucharist and the Blessed Mother with gusto and recently established new mysteries of the Rosary, followed by the encyclical on the Eucharist. Two great pillars.

The Congress is being held at The Winnipeg Convention Centre on Aug., 29, 30 and 31. For more information on The House of Loreto visit their website at: www.houseofloreto.com or call (204) 268-2046. See the advertisement below. The mailing address is Box 1779, Beausejour, Manitoba, ROE OCO.
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Publication:Catholic Insight
Date:Jul 1, 2003
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Previous Article:Eucharist, communion and solidarity part II.
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