The novena is designed to help Catholic Americans choose for whom to vote according to their conscience

The Knights of Columbus is urging its members and other US Catholics to pray a novena from October 30 to November 7, the eve of election day.

“The Church teaches that Catholics are called to form their consciences based on Church teaching and vote in accordance with that well-formed conscience,” said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, who is CEO of the international fraternal organisation based in New Haven.

“Pope Francis has said in reference to the US election that we should ‘study the proposals well, pray and choose with your conscience,’ and this novena is designed to help Catholic Americans do that,” Anderson said in a statement.

The Knights’ novena — nine consecutive days of prayer — asks for the intercession of Mary, the mother of Jesus, under her title of the Immaculate Conception. Individuals, families, councils and parishes are all invited to participate, the Knights said.

Mary Immaculate is the patroness of the United States. In 1791, Archbishop John Carroll of Baltimore, the first bishop of the United States, dedicated his diocese to her. The first US diocese, it covered the entire country. In 1846, the US bishops reaffirmed that dedication and Pope Pius IX ratified it in 1847.

The text of the novena is as follows: “Most Holy Trinity: Our Father in heaven, who chose Mary as the fairest of your daughters; Holy Spirit, who chose Mary as your spouse; God the son, who chose Mary as your mother, in union with Mary we adore your majesty and acknowledge your supreme, eternal dominion and authority.

“Most Holy Trinity, we put the United States of America into the hands of Mary Immaculate in order that she may present the country to you. Through her we wish to thank you for the great resources of this land and for the freedom which has been its heritage.

“Through the intercession of Mary, have mercy on the Catholic Church in America. Grant us peace. Have mercy on our president and on all the officers of our government. Grant us a fruitful economy, born of justice and charity. Have mercy on capital and industry and labor. Protect the family life of the nation. Guard the precious gift of many religious vocations. Through the intercession of our mother, have mercy on the sick, the tempted, sinners — on all who are in need.”

According to the Knights, the prayer was written for the 1959 dedication of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, which includes a bell tower known as the Knights Tower. The Knights of Columbus donated money for the tower’s construction.




Bishop Lennon puts up Cleveland-style feast against Archbishop Cupich Chicago deep dish pizza up for Catholic Charities

Cleveland, Ohio (October 27, 2016) – The leaders of the home Catholic dioceses for the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians have bet food from local vendors on the outcome of the 2016 World Series of Major League Baseball.


Archbishop Blase J. Cupich has promised enough Chicago deep dish pizzas and baked goods to feed more than 100 guests of the Bishop William M. Cosgrove Center in Cleveland, if the Cubs lose the World Series. Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, known as the home of the best deep dish in Chicago, again has joined with the archbishop to deliver their pizza for charity. Misericordia will supply an assortment of baked goods for dessert from their Hearts & Flour Bakery.

“Both cities have waited an eternity for this moment,” said Archbishop Cupich. “So while it will be a historic win for either side, we feel it’s only right to celebrate by giving back.” He added, “We are confident in our team and yet, I have to admit that I feel a bit guilty since in our tradition it is a sin to bet on a sure thing!”

Bishop Richard G. Lennon has answered the challenge by also offering to feed more than 100 guests of the evening supper program for the homeless, sponsored by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago, if the Cleveland Indians are defeated. Italian Creations, of Lakewood, Ohio, has partnered with Bishop Lennon in his promise to deliver a Cleveland-style feast including pierogi, kielbasa, sauerkraut and green beans.

“Archbishop Cupich isn’t the only one praying for a win,” said Bishop Lennon. “If by some devilish mistake the Indians were to lose, we will hold up our end of the bargain and send some of Cleveland’s finest dishes to a Catholic Charities ministry in Chicago so they can join in the celebration.”


PS: I have to admit I am confused by the menu of Italian Creations: we don’t know those dishes here in Italy, but they do sound like Cleveland, rather than Italian specialties!



We turned our clocks back last night in Italy. As I write, it is 11:40am, Rome time. We await Pope Francis’ Angelus.

I felt this tremor very strongly as my bed was really moving and shaking. I was in bed and looked at my clock – it was 7:41 am –the shaking was stronger and lasted longer than the quake I experienced in late August so I knew it had to be worse at the epiocenter than it was in August.

There are many visitors in Rome, especially Italians, as it is a long “bridge” holiday weekend. November 1, Feast of All Saints, is a holiday in Italy and many people have also taken Monday off (the ponte or bridge), thus creating a four-day holiday weekend.

I took these photos while watching Italian TV: some are blurry as this was TV and people are running. You will see some nuns and some of the Benedictine Monks of Norcia and, in one picture, they are wearing stoles in the event they have to impart the sacraments, especially anointing the sick. You will also see a group praying in front of the destroyed basilica of St. Benedict








It has just been reported on Italian TV that the buildings in Amatrice that had resisted the August 2016 quake have now been destroyed. The partially destroyed city hall tower has its clock still showing the time of that August quake – 3:41 am.

From TV reports –

–          Epicenter of 6.5 quake was again in Umbria – occurred at 7:41 am

  • –         Basilica of St. Benedict destroyed in Norcia – dates from 1300s
  • –         Quake felt as far away as Austria
  • –         Is the strongest quake in Italy in more than 3 decades – was said to be 8 times stronger than the August quake in central Italy and lasted much longer
  • –         Subway closed in Rome
  • –         Elevator falls in Rome apartment building
  • –         St. Paul’s basilica in Rome closed as firemen examining structure
  • –         San Lorenzo basilica in Rome closed as firemen check minor
  • –         Hospital in Cascia (St. Rita) evacuated
  • –         Roman Forum, Colosseum, all being checked for possible damage
  • –           The Quirinale Place, home to Italy’s president (who is in Italy on a State visit), normally opens to visitors on Sundays but is closed today as engineers check it for structural damage.
  • –          Many roads into the quake-struck region have been closed due , as are gas lines, etc.to falling rocks from adjacent hills and mountains. Dams and other similar structures are being checked