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Aug 202015

Last Week I published Bishop Kenan’s statement on practices accepted and prohibited during mass. I received this question on my Google+ account (+FrRobertCarr):

Question: Thank you for the article. It was very interesting. Is there anywhere that explains why these are true? For example, with the handshake of peace, I tell my children that I love them. Is this a violation similar to congratulating someone or is an expression of love okay? . . .


Thank you for your question. One of the problems with posting an article like this is that it can be out of context. What the bishop is addressing is something that is experienced in some places and not in others. He is addressing his own diocese specifically located just north of the Tropic of Capricorn. It is not what you practice during the sign of peace.

In some places, the sign of peace becomes a kind of party atmosphere during mass. What happens is everyone gets out of their seat and greets everyone else in the church, or they shake hands with certain friends and family members seated elsewhere in the congregation.

Another practice, to which the bishop alludes is for people to get out of their seat at a special event and go forward to congratulate: the bride and groom at a marriage ceremony, the confirmandi at a confirmation, the first communion children at that mass, or give condolences at a funeral. This changes the whole atmosphere of the mass and turns it from a solemn occasion to a party atmosphere. When the priest joins in, it just adds to the reality.

Some parishes and ministries actually ban the sign of peace during special events, exactly for this reason.

This is not what you and your children are doing. What you are doing is well within the rubrics and is really living the spirit of this practice.

The actual reason for the sign of peace comes from Christ’s admonition to make peace with your brothers and sisters in Christ prior to approaching the altar. (Mt 5:23-24) It becomes a real challenge when you are seated near someone with whom you are having a dispute. That is when the sign of peace is most pertinent.

The issues presented by the bishop, although known here in North America as well, are less common, especially in the Northeast where I live (New England), where people are more reserved and generally do not practice what the bishop has called to stop. In fact, during flu season, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) requests that the practice of shaking hands be stopped altogether.

Thank you again for your question.
Have a blessed week
Feb 012015

loja-canção-nova-300x300I hope you enjoyed the Best of January: We now return to the newest posts available on Catholicism Anew. You will notice a few minor changes. First, after this post, we will use the English translation of the words Canção Nova, which is New Song, after this post. Second, you will see a slight change in categories, where some of the programs on TV Canção Nova will be the listed category using their English translation.

For the uninitiated, the New Song Community (Canção Nova) is a Catholic Community whose charism is to help people prepare for their ultimate encounter with Christ by evangelizing to the world that all may be saved. It began when then Salesian priest Fr. Jonas Abib received a request from his bishop to implement Evangelii Nuntiandi  by Pope Paul VI. In time, Canção Nova, became a major force for evangelization in the Portuguese speaking world through TV, radio, audio, video production, music and book publishing and social work. It received its full pontifical recognition in 2009 confirmed in its entirety in 2014.

Fr. Jonas formed the new community and in order to do so, he had to leave the Salesian order and found his own order. However, Fr. Jonas never left Salesian spirituality and continues to have a close relationship with the Salesians. He was elevated to Monsignor and although still affectionately known as Fr. Jonas, he is officially known as Monsignor Jonas Abib.

Canção Nova is one of the New Communities of the Catholic Church and comes under the Pontifical Council for the Laity. It is run by a community of temporary and permanently vowed religious and ordained who bring the message of the Gospel to the Church. Monsignor Jonas Abib works with two co-founders Luzia Santiago and Wellington Silva Jardim (aka Eto).  The community maintains its own seminary and trains seminarians to be priests of the community. They are ordained by the Ordinary of the local diocese of Lorena, Bishop João Inácio Muller, O.F. M.

It is strongly rooted in the Charismatic Renewal, which for many in the United States and other parts of the Northern Hemisphere is often misunderstood. Canção Novashrine of the father of mercies always maintained a close relationship to the hierarchy of the Church including in the charismatic spirituality and so the Charismatic spirituality of Canção Nova is always in union with the Magisterium. The Charismatic Renewal has a strong relationship with the bishops of the Southern Hemisphere and is considered the norm in many parts of Central and South America, Africa and Asia.

It is also strongly Marian, and rooted in its Portuguese connection, is consecrated to Our Lady of Fatima.

Canção Nova is based at Cachoeira Paulista, in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil with mission houses all over Brazil, and communities in other countries including Paraguay, Chile, the Holy Land, France, Portugal, Italy and the United States. Besides its television operations based in South America and Europe, the community also offers live retreats in various venues throughout the world and especially in its two stadia including one with a standing capacity of close to 100,000. The community just blessed the newest Catholic Shrine in the world dedicated to the Father of Mercies. is the English language blog of Canção Nova that offers the community’s material, translated from Portuguese to English and other material as well.

It is edited by Fr. Robert J Carr who is the pastor of Holy Trinity Parish in Quincy, MA. Fr. Carr is an alliance member of the Canção Nova Community.



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