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Oct 282016

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It is a Dogma of Faith that, when a Pope proclaims a Dogma of Faith, he does not make a mistake because he has the guaranteed assistance of the Holy Spirit. The Church also exercises Her infallibility in questions of faith and morals in the Ecumenical Councils. All along the 2,000 years of Her History, articles of faith proclaimed by one legitimate Council have never been revoked by a subsequent legitimate Council. The Doctrinal consistency of the Church is the proof of Her infallibility, for the Holy Spirit, the great Scholar of the Church, never contradicts Himself. The Holy Spirit cannot unveil some piece of truth to the Church today that is different in its essence from other pieces of truth granted to the Church in the past.

Jesus affirmed to the Apostles that:

“Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 18, 18).

He had already made that same promise to Peter, the visible Head of the Church (Matthew 16, 18), and through Peter this promise extended to the whole Apostolic Collegiate under Peter’s authority and united with him.

Jesus also affirmed to the Apostles that:

“Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me” (Luke 10, 16).

Listening to this promise, it is impossible not to understand the infallibility of the Church.

Jesus guaranteed that the Words of the Church are His Words. Those who rebuke the Apostles’ Doctrine are also rebuking the Lord and His Father. That is extremely serious! Rejecting the Doctrinal teachings of the Church is equivalent to rejecting Jesus’ teachings and the Father’s teachings; it is equivalent to rejecting Jesus and the Father.

Before returning to His Heavenly Kingdom in His Ascension, Jesus said to His Apostles (and consequently to the Church) that:

“All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Matthew 28, 19-20).

The Church was born with the first Apostles and Jesus sent them to the world, to teach His doctrine “to all nations.” We know that God always grants the Graces His servants need to accomplish the mission He entrusts to them.  The Grace in that case was the assistance of the Holy Spirit so that the Church could teach the world a pure irreproachable doctrine, a doctrine with no mistakes. It is worth noticing that, before ascending to Heaven, the Lord guarantees that:

“I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Matthew 28, 20).

That is the final sentence in Saint Matthew Gospel, and it gives us the guarantee that the Lord Himself is in the Heart of His Church through the action of the Holy Spirit; He promised and sent the Holy Spirit to the Church in Pentecost, to prevent that the Church could make mistakes in fundamental issues of human salvation.

Those who consider the idea that the Church could be mistaken in her pathways of Salvation should stop and think: accepting the fact that the Church made mistakes, along these 2,000 years, in questions of Doctrinal articles of faith, implies in affirming that Jesus abandoned His Church and broke His Promise of being with the Church “until the end of the age”.  That is simply impossible! Jesus is faithful and He loves His Church as His Bride, with unshakeable Love. He gave His Life for His Church. As Saint Paul said:

 “Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her” (The Letter to the Ephesians 5, 25).

Professor Felipe Aquino


Professor Felipe Aquino is a widower, father of five children. On TV Canção Nova he presents the program “Escola da Fé” [School of faith] and “Pergunte e Responderemos” [Ask and respond], on Radio he presents the program “in the heart of the Church”. On weekends he preaches deepening meetings throughout Brazil and abroad. He wrote 73 books of Catholic background by publishers, Loyola and Cleopas and Canção Nova. His teacher’s Twitter: @pfelipeaquino

 Posted by at 01:01
Oct 272016
(Those who have read this blog regularly, may be aware and have participated in prayers for Willian Guimarães who suffered near fatal injuries in a car accident and Felipe Pavão who also suffered severe injuries in that accident. Both have recovered greatly and this is a homily by Monsignor Jonas Abib at mass of thanksgiving for their recovery.-ed.)

This is the Lord ‘s work: Glory to God!

“The Lord always keeps His promises!” (Psalm 144)

In this Wednesday, Oct. 26, Monsignor Jonas Abib celebrated Mass in thanksgiving for the life of Willian Guimarães, at 7am, at the Shrine of the Father of Mercies.


Felipe Pavão, in the middle, Willian Guimarães, right (photo: Wesley Almeida /

Monsignor Jonas Abib began his homily: “Looking at Willian(sic), who was more serious, the Lord gave us a promise. There is a psalm in the Bible – Psalm 117 – which tells us: ‘This is the Lord, a marvel in our eyes. The right hand of the Lord has done wonders, the right hand of the Lord lifted me, the right hand of the Lord has done wonders. I shall not die but live. ‘ William, that was the word about you: I will not die but live to recount the deeds of the Lord, to narrate the works of the Lord. To recount the works of the Lord. It’s no joke. ‘The right hand of the Lord has done wonders.’ We did not see anything, just saw the risk, the danger, the possibility of death. “

Missionary Heloisa Paiva, nurse, who closely followed the recovery of Willian, was describing the evolution of his clinical picture: very serious condition, multiple trauma, intubated, sedated, inaudible blood pressure, many bruises, transfer to a better hospital, pneumonia, septicemia (generalized infection), fever, intestinal infection, pulmonary complications, tracheostomy, lung infection, renal complications and hemodialysis.
Emotional, she said: “These were days of great suffering, a lot of struggle but of great trust. (…) We felt this sustaining of the Prayer of the community, of the people. We were embraced by the city with care … God took care of us, of Willian. God has done wonders! “

Check out the homily (Portuguese):


Illness for the glory of God

Addressing the Monsignor Jonas, William said: “what was in my heart was that word that the Lord sent me of Lazarus: that this disease was not for death but to the glory of God. And that’s what happened, father. For the glory of God many people drew near to God, the community began to pray more, my family, a lot of people have become, many testimonies came from people who changed their life from our testimony, from what happened to us. (…)
God wanted and God wants Father William. I want to thank the people of God, my community, my family, but the Lord, especially because it was the faith of the Lord that spread to these people. That day, you saw what no one has seen. “

Referring to the passage of Lazarus, Monsignor Jonas said: “‘ this disease does not cause death but aims to the glory of God ‘. For it to glorify the Son of God. Thank God, I had the grace to support me in this word and say to Willian and for others who are with him this disease will not cause death and but the aims to the glory of God. For it will be for the Glory to God! To glorify the glory of God. Glory to God! “

I want to thank God for being alive

The President of the Eucharist called forth Felipe Pavão, who still has an arm without movement or sensitivity, and urged: “do not be discouraged for a moment! (…) We keep the faith for our salvation. And what do we do also in all situations is keep the faith! “

In turn, Felipe said: “As we are in a mass of Thanksgiving I wanted to thank God for being alive. (…) Praise God for this miracle to be alive today, and thank all the people of God who prayed for me incessantly, the people at home, people from all over the Brazil that prayed for me. Above all, I want to thank my community all the time you’ve been with your knees on the floor praying for us, and my community that made me feel loved, my community that gave me strength. That we may always be a community of love and adoration, a community that loves, a community that doesn’t let the other to fall.

In everything, give thanks

“When we give thanks for the faith, the Lord performs his work. Learn to do it: give thanks in everything. “In everything give thanks because this is God’s will about you in Christ Jesus. ‘(cf. 1 Thes 5, 18) Giving thanks, the Lord acts, more than we ask, give thanks. I gave thanks for the life of the Willian and Willian is alive. I’m giving thanks for the arm and nervous system of Felipe and that the Lord will give him movement, the movement of the arm, the hand because God is faithful. “


Father of mercies and God of all consolation, have mercy on us!

Portuguese version

 Posted by at 01:01
Oct 262016

by Fr. Robert J Carr

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil–Ipanema Beach along the beautiful coast of Rio de Janeiro Brazil is famous for one of the most recorded songs in the world. It tells the story of a beautiful woman who walks by and all the men stop and say “ahhh”.



Seminarian Guido Schäffer (Photo credit: Marcia Lara)

But the area is now becoming famous for another person who has impressed people in Ipanema. It is not just the beach where his inspiration leads people to speak of his work, but in Nossa Senhora de Paz [Our Lady of Peace] Church several blocks up from the sand.


There inside in the back on the right is a small shrine with the human remains of Guido Schäffer, (Gui-DOH SHAFF-her) a thirty-four year old surfer whose influence on those in the area extends now worldwide. Though surfing was his pleasure, his passion was to be a Catholic man of Jesus Christ. This medical doctor turned seminarian lived the gospel in such a way that the mention of his name here leads people to stop, smile and tell of their experience of him.


“He would walk in the streets and talk to the homeless people,” explains Fr. Evandro Lima in his native Portuguese. “He was a doctor, so he could also see how the people were doing physically. At times, he would remove his shirt or his shoes to give to a homeless person who needed them.”


Schäffer began a weekly prayer meeting at the Church and there preached from the Bible and spoke powerfully. “He would just preach citing chapter and verse: Hebrews then Philippians, then Galatians, Mark, John. Fr. Evandro illustrated moving his hands as if preaching himself. “He preached about the love of God, about turning from sin, about conversion and turning to Christ.” the priest explained. “He even talked about his own struggles for holiness and sanctity,” he said.


Marcia Lara met Guido in late 2002 when invited to a retreat day by a mutual friend. “He impressed me a lot with his knowledge of the word of God and his ability he had in announcing Christ: always serene, smiling, overflowing with the joy of Christ. Everyone remained amazed at seeing him speak.”


Fr. Evandro explained that Guido Schäffer used a method of Bible study taught by the founder of a Brazil based Catholic community Canção Nova, Monsignor Jonas Abib. The method taught in his first published book, explains for one to read a chapter of the Bible, and use a pen to underline key verses. Monsignor Jonas explains to use one color for promises one finds in the Bible passage, another for commands and still another for principles. Then one takes these verses and uses them to understand what God is saying in that Bible chapter and those underlined verses. Then the person writes about putting this lesson into practice. It is this method Guido used for his own Bible study and out of which he spoke to those at his prayer meeting at the Church. The now Servant of God was close to the Canção Nova community.



Guido Schäffer (front, center) retreatants. (photo credit Marcia Lara)

His renown preaching, prayerfulness and service to the poor spread and in time he began to preach on the radio including Radio Catedral(sic) (Cathedral Radio) the voice of the Archdiocese of São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro, more popularly known as the Archdiocese of Rio. People asked him to intercede for them for healing.

“A woman whom Guido visited wanted to be healed. Guido told her to pray the rosary everyday and she who still could not walk, one morning looked to an image of Our Lady and walked towards it. Many people that were away from Communion and Confession returned and others were baptized or received their First Communion.” explained Marcia. 

“Wagner, a man was in the hospital with pneumonia and AIDS, received prayer and improved greatly and visibly.” Marcia writes. He returned to God and although he was not healed of AIDS, he was healed in spirit and changed his life. “Many people came to the Santa Casa in this time to ask for prayers as Guido spoke on Radio Catedral announcing the ministry.” She explained.


A medical doctor who chose to deepen his work by caring for the soul as well as the body, he began the process to study for the priesthood. Leaving his professional medical work, he choose to continue serving as a doctor, but no longer charged for his medical service.


Beginning his seminary studies, which due to his medical degree were shorter than most in seminary process, he still practiced his ministry work and continued until his final year of theology, when he died of a surfing accident in Rio. It was not long before he was to be ordained a transitional deacon. His surfboard struck him on his head after spilling while surfing a wave. He died immediately of drowning, he was thirty four.



photo credit: Marcia Lara

His director of formation at the seminary Fr.Bruno  had to identify his body. All were shocked this special man had died so young and suddenly, but recognize him as so much a saintly man that the Archbishop of Rio declared him a Servant of God and has promoted his cause for beatification in Rome. Fr. Bruno prays for Guido’s intercession for his own priesthood where he now serves in the Office of the Roman Curia in the Vatican.  


When one speaks to the people who knew Guido, immediately a joyful smile comes to mind as they remember how he inspired and touched the lives of so many.


“Guido always spoke of the importance of prayer,” Mara explained. “Having intimacy with God. He encouraged us to make the consecration to the Virgin Mary, to seek the saints. He gave his witness, told of his experiences. His life was one of being in service.”


Fr. Evandro Lima explains that Guido is responsible for his own vocation. He was questioning his own future plans and wondering about his own vocation. “Guido looked at my hand and took it into his as he looked at my palm and said, ‘I see the hands of a shepherd.’ “ This means of course he was encouraging him to consider priesthood. Fr. Lima recently celebrated his fifteenth year as a member of the the Canção Nova Catholic community. He was ordained in 2014 by the bishop of the diocese of Lorena in the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil where the community is based.


Guido Schäffer died on May first 2009 and the following day the Archbishop of Rio celebrated his funeral mass. two other bishops and seventy priests concelebrated and more than one thousand mourners attended.

Snapshot - 18

Burial site of Guido Schaffer inside Nossa Senhora de Paz Church, Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Photo credit: author

His remains are now in the back of the Nossa Senhora de Paz Church in a shrine where people are invited to write prayer intentions and to pray for his intercession. There is a monthly mass praying for the cause of his beatification.


The Girl from Ipanema led men to stop and say “ahh” many years ago, but today mention the name of Guido Schäffer to the Catholics in Rio de Janeiro Brazil, especially around Ipanema, and they stop and joyously talk about how he touched each of their lives for Christ.

Currently, a Portuguese language biography of Servant of God Guido Schäffer by Nossa Senhora de Paz pastor is being translated into English for publication in the US and other English speaking countries. 

There is a website that promotes the cause of Guido Schäffer in Portuguese and English  featuring prayers, connections to other social media and contact information. 

The author of the this article is a member of the segundo elo of Canção Nova and is a priest in the Archdiocese of Boston. He is also the editor of this blog, for Canção Nova


 Posted by at 01:01
Oct 252016

On October 15 and 16, with a big event, the memorial of Moses, God’s friend, was re-opened on Mount Nebo, after many years of closure.

The official entrance of the Apostolic Administrator Pierbattista Pizzaballa into Nazareth and the welcome by the Christian Orthodox authorities.

The Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land gathered to dialogue and reflect on how to generate more integration and how to foster unity between the hierarchy, religious communities and lay people.

An ancient Jewish tradition: Sukkot, or “feast of Booths,” recalls the time when God’s people crossed the desert, while living in temporary huts.

The olive harvest season has started in the garden of Gethsemane. A gesture of familiarity, with an ancient taste, but renewed.

 Posted by at 01:01
Oct 242016

Worry sickens our heart


In all situations, no matter what, let us present the Lord all our concerns. Doing this, we will no longer be tormented; on the contrary, we will be involved for the peace of God.

Vencendo as preocupações

Photo: Yamin/New Song

Worry is suffering ahead of time. “Worrying” is bad, because it leads us to lose strength.

Not before time!

We let ourselves get involved with too much by emotion, so the worry also surrounds us.

The concern is like a hose that is punctured, it loses pressure because it is leaking water on the way. We need to concentrate our forces for the time that we need to use them.

The snake concentrates and, when the time is right, it strikes. You don’t want to be snake, but need to act like one, use the force at the right time.

God doesn’t want your heart to be sick by living things ahead of time and weakening it, he wants to see your heart healthy and good.

Your brother,
Monsignor Jonas Abib

Portuguese version

 Posted by at 01:01
Oct 212016

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Saint Irenaeus (d. 202 A.D.) has been teaching us where to find God’s Truth since the Second Century of existence of the Church:


“Being our trials of such big proportions, it is vain to look for the Truth elsewhere if you can easily find it in the Church, for the Apostles deposited the plenitude of the Truth in the Church, like in a rich big barn, so that everyone who yearns for the Truth can drink from the Source of Life in the Church. In Her you shall find the open door to Life; all other pathways are full of thieves and way layers. That is the reason why it is necessary to avoid these dangerous paths and to love dearly everything that belongs to the Church, thus keeping the sound heritage of the Truth (Against the heresies, book III, 1, 1-2, 1-3; 4-1).


Saint Irenaeus fiercely combated the Gnostic heretics. He often talked about the misfortune of those who forsake the Church:

“The preaching of the Church is firm and solid from all standpoints; it never changes and has the benefit of the testimony of Prophets, Apostles and Disciples. Their testimony comprehends beginning, middle and end, in other words, the totality of God’s economy and action, the foundation of our faith, which infallibly targets human salvation. That is the reason why we keep with zeal and care the faith we received from the Church, like a most precious treasure deposited in a most exquisite vessel. Under the influx of the Holy Spirit of God, this faith is incessantly renewed and incessantly renews its containing vessel.  For as the Divine breath was entrusted to the moulded clay, the same way “God’s Gift” (John 4, 10) was entrusted to the Church so that all Her members could share it and be revivified by this Gift. God put the communion with the Christ in the hands of the Church, in other words, God gave the Holy Spirit to the Church, a guarantee of incorruptibility, confirmation of our faith and the stairway of our ascension towards God:  ‘Some people God has designated in the church to be, first, apostles; second, prophets; third, teachers; then, mighty deeds; then, gifts of healing, assistance, administration, and varieties of tongues’ (The First Letter to the Corinthians 12, 28). The Church received from God everything She needs to co-operate with the action of the Holy Spirit. Those who refuse to join the Church are excluding themselves from the Holy Spirit and thus blocking real Life to nourish them through their false doctrines and depraved actions. For where the Church is, the Spirit of God is there as well and where the Spirit of God is, the Church and all the grace are there as well. Indeed, the Spirit is also the Truth. Consequently, those who do not participate in it are not being nourished and vivified by the breast of the Mother; those who cannot drink from the pure Source that springs from the Body of Christ ‘have dug themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that hold no water’ (Jeremiah 2, 13); they dig holes on the ground and they drink polluted water from the swamps.  They run away from the Church because they fear being unmasked and they reject the Spirit because they do not want to be instructed. They have become strangers to the Truth and therefore they are doomed to thrust themselves into all kinds of mistake: their mistakes will cause their downfall. They make the fatal mistake of having a different idea at each new moment about major issues and they lack a solid unchangeable doctrine. Rather than Disciples of the truth, they are sophists of words. They did not build their foundations on the Rock, but on sand, and sand full of brittle” (Against the Heresies, Book III, 24, 1).


Saint Epiphany (dead on 403 A.D.), great combatant against the heresies, follows the same line of Saint Irinaeus:


“There is One Real Pathway, the Catholic Church and only one pathway to the Truth. On the other hand, heresies have left the real pathways because they took wrong turns to the left or to the right: therefore they are abandoned to themselves and they gradually drown in their mistakes.

Alas, then, o servants of God and children of God’s Holy Church, who know the safe rules of faith! Do not allow the voices of strangers to lead you astray from the Church and do not allow them to mislead you with  false assumptions of the so-called sciences (Haer. 59, c. 12s).

Also Saint Vincent of Lerins (dead on 450 A.D.) also combated the Pelagian heresy and he affirms that:

“Asking diligently and attentively to numerous eminent authorities on sanctity and doctrine which safe norm I could use, as regular and generic as possible, to tell the truth of Catholic faith from the falsehood of heresy, that is the uniform answer they all gave me: those who want to find out the emerging fraud of the heretic, avoid their traps and stay safe and sound in faith, should shelter their own faith under double Divine protection: first under the authority of the Divine Law and second under the Tradition of the Church” (Commonitorium).

Professor Felipe Aquino


Professor Felipe Aquino is a widower, father of five children. On TV Canção Nova he presents the program “Escola da Fé” [School of faith] and “Pergunte e Responderemos” [Ask and respond], on Radio he presents the program “in the heart of the Church”. On weekends he preaches deepening meetings throughout Brazil and abroad. He wrote 73 books of Catholic background by publishers, Loyola and Cleopas and Canção Nova. His teacher’s Twitter: @pfelipeaquino

 Posted by at 01:01
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