Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Baltimore Catrchism Day 147

What sin does a Catholic commit who neglects to receive Holy Communion worthily during the Easter time? A Catholic who neglects to receive Holy Communion worthily during the Easter time commits a mortal sin.

He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has life everlasting and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. (John 6:55-56)

What is the Easter time in the United States? The Easter time in the United States begins on the first Sunday of Lent and ends on Trinity Sunday.

More on that -> CCC 1384-1390

Breaking now: Catholic Priest brutally murdered in France while saying Mass; looks like terrorism

France church attack: Priest killed in hostage-taking near Rouen

Police car and barricades on street in St Etienne du Rouvray in France - 26 July 2016Image copyright APTN
Image caption Police closed the road leading to the church
A priest has been killed in an attack by two armed men at his church near Rouen in northern France, police and French media have said.
The armed men entered the church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray during Mass, taking the priest, Fr Jacques Hamel, 84, and four other people hostage.
French TV said shots had been heard after police arrived at the scene. Both hostage-takers are now dead.
Pope Francis decried the "pain and horror of this absurd violence".
French interior ministry spokesman, Pierre-Henri Brandet, said one of the hostages had been critically wounded.
He said the hostage-takers had been "neutralised" after coming out of the church. Police were now searching the church for explosives.
The area has been cordoned off and police have told people to stay away.


Mr Brandet said the motive of the attackers was not immediately clear, but the investigation into the incident would be led by anti-terrorism prosecutors.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has expressed his horror at the "barbaric attack".
"The whole of France and all Catholics are wounded. We will stand together," he wrote on Twitter.
President Francois Hollande has arrived in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray to be briefed by police.
The Archbishop of Rouen, Dominique Lebrun, who was attending a Catholic gathering in Poland, said: "I cry out to God with all men of goodwill. I would invite non-believers to join in the cry.
"The Catholic Church cannot take weapons other than those of prayer and brotherhood among men."
St Etienne du Rouvray map
A woman who works at a local beauty parlour, Eulalie Garcia, said she had known the priest since her childhood.
"My family has lived here for 35 years and we have always known him," she said.
"He was someone who was treasured by the community. He was very discreet and didn't like to draw attention to himself."
There was no immediate word on the identity of the hostage-takers, but France has been on high alert since the Bastille Day attack in Nice earlier this month, when a man ploughed a lorry into celebrating crowds, killing more than 80 people.
The Nice attack was carried out by Tunisian Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, who was not a known jihadist but so-called Islamic State said he had acted in response to its calls to target civilians in countries that have been attacking it.
The BBC's Lucy Williamson in Paris says the French government has been under huge pressure to prevent further attacks.

Monday, July 25, 2016

The parents of Mary; the grandparents of Jesus

Sts. Joachim and Anne

Image of Sts. Joachim and Anne


Feastday: July 26

Saints Joaquin (sometimes spelled "Joachim," pronounced "wal-keem") and Anne, are the parents of the Virgin Mary. There are no mentions of them in the Bible or Gospels, what we know comes from Catholic legend and the Gospel of James, which is an unsanctioned, apocryphal writing form the second century AD. We do know from scholarship that the Gospel of James was not written by James, the Brother of Jesus, despite its claim to be so authored.
Even the early Church fathers expressed skepticism about the Gospel of James in their writings. There are about 150 copies of the ancient manuscript which often have different titles, but tell the same story, that Mary was promised to Joaquin and Anne by an angel, was consecrated to God, and she remained a virgin all her life.
Naturally, there is plenty of room for scholarly debate about these saints. We have no true primary sources that prove they even existed, but certainly we can agree that Mary had parents. Likewise, we can agree that.
Mary had good, faithful parents who raised her with a love and devotion to God like none other except Jesus Christ Himself.
Joaquin and Anne serve as role models for parents and both deserve to be honored and emulated for their devotion to God and Our Lady Mary, the Mother of God.

Pope Francis schedule for WYD in Poland; it all starts Wednesday

Pope Francis’ Program for Poland
Scheduled Stops to Include World Youth Day in Krakow, Auschwitz-Birkenau, and Czestochowa During July 27-31 Trip
Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 4.08.34 PM
Pope outside Papal Flight - screenshot
Below is the Vatican released program, detailing Pope Francis’ apostolic visit to Poland on the occasion of the XXXI World Youth Day, July 27-31:
Pope’s Program: July 27-31
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
14:00: Departure by plane from Rome’s Fiumicino International Airport to Kraków
16:00: Arrival at the St. John Paul II International Airport of Kraków-Balice
WELCOME CEREMONY in the Military Area of Kraków-Balice International Airport
17:00 MEETING WITH AUTHORITIES, CIVIL SOCIETY AND THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS in the courtyard of the Castle of Wawel (Discourse of the Holy Father)
17:40: COURTESY VISIT TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC in the Hall of birds of the Wawel
18:30: MEETING WITH POLISH BISHOPS at Krakow Cathedral  (Discourse of the Holy Father)
Thursday, July 28, 2016
07:40: Transfer to the Airport of Kraków-Balice
Stop at the Convent of the Sisters of the Presentation
08:30: Helicopter transfer to Częstochowa
09:45: Arrival at the Monastery of Jasna Gora and Prayer at the Chapel of the Black Madonna
10:30: Holy Mass on the occasion of the 1050th anniversary of the Baptism of Poland, in the Shrine of Częstochowa (Homily of the Holy Father)
12:45: Helicopter transfer to the airport of Kraków-Balice
17:30: WELCOMING CEREMONY Greets young people in Jordan Park in Kraków (Discourse of the Holy Father)
Friday, July 29, 2016
08:45: Helicopter transfer to Oswięcim
10:30: VISIT TO THE CAMP OF BIRKENAU (Discourse of the Holy Father)
11:30: Helicopter transfer to the airport of Kraków-Balice
16:30: VISIT to UNIVERSITY PEDIATRIC HOSPITAL (UCH) in Krakow (Discourse of the Holy Father)
18:00: WAY OF THE CROSS with young people in Jordan Park in Kraków (Discourse of the Holy Father)
Saturday, July 30, 2016
09:00: Will Pass Through the Door of Divine Mercy
09:15: Rite of Reconciliation of some young people in the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy
10:30: Holy Mass with priests, religious men and women, seminarians and consecrated persons in the Polish Shrine of St. John Paul II in Krakow (Homily of the Holy Father)
12:45: Lunch with young people in the Archbishopric
19:00: Arrival at Campus Misericordiae and crossing the Holy Door with some young people
19:30 PRAYER VIGIL WITH YOUNG Campus Misericordiae (Discourse of the Holy Father)
Sunday, July 31, 2016
10:00: Holy Mass for World Youth Day in Campus Misericordiae
(Homily of the Holy Father, Angelus)
17:00: MEETING WITH WYD VOLUNTEERS and with the Organizing Committee and the Benefactors at Tauron Arena in Kraków (Discourse of the Holy Father)
18:15: FAREWELL CEREMONY at the airport of Kraków-Balice
18:30: Departure by plane to Rome / Ciampino
20:25: Arrival at Rome / Ciampino airport

An unusual change of plans for Pope Francis in Poland

Pope Scraps Official Discourse to Polish Bishops in Favor of Private Meeting
“It is not that he is afraid of the media; that we know for sure!”
From Vatican Radio:
Pope Francis has decided to scrap a previously scheduled official discourse to Polish bishops on the first day of his apostolic journey to Poland, in favour of a private encounter with them during which the Pope and the bishops will be able to listen to each other and converse in total freedom.
Speaking to Vatican Radio, Father Federico Lombardi SJ, Director of the Holy See Press Office, explained that the Pope wants the occasion to be as spontaneous and authentic as possible: a moment in which the bishops and the Pope will be at ease and free to exchange opinions and ask questions.
Lombardi pointed out that in fact there have been no real changes to the schedule; rather, he said, the Pope has made it clear that the formula he prefers in these occasions – and it is the one he has most often resorted to during his apostolic journeys – is that of a “familiar encounter and of dialogue”.
Thus, Lombardi said, Pope Francis has no intention of addressing the bishops with a grand speech: he wants to talk to them, listen to what they have to say and possibly answer the questions they will be asking in a climate of absolute serenity.
This is the reason, he explained, it has been decided there will be no live television broadcast of the event which will be conducted in a fraternal atmosphere.
Lombardi also recalled that the Pope made exactly the same choice during his visits to the United States, to Mexico, to the African and Latin American countries he visited, when he was in Cuba and even when speaking to his brothers of the Italian Episcopal Conference.
Finally, Lombardi pointed out: “it is not that he is afraid of the media; that we know for sure!” We can all see how available he is to speak to journalists, even on the airplane…
So, Lombardi concluded, it’s a question of being very attentive to the occasion: “when he wants a climate of total familiarity, when he wants to make sure people are at ease, he prefers to meet with them in the absence of the media. It’s the same, he pointed out, at morning Mass in Casa Santa Marta.

USCCB to deal with racial issues under direction of Bishop Wilton Gregory

Archbishop Gregory to chair USCCB task force on race
By Mark Pattison Catholic News Service
7.21.2016 12:55 PM ET

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Atlanta has been appointed as chair of a new task force of the U.S. bishops to deal with racial issues brought into public consciousness following a series of summertime shootings that left both citizens and police officers among those dead.
The task force's charge includes helping bishops to engage directly the challenging problems highlighted by the shootings. Task force members will gather and disseminate supportive resources and "best practices" for their fellow bishops; actively listening to the concerns of members in troubled communities and law enforcement; and build strong relationships to help prevent and resolve conflicts.
"By stepping forward to embrace the suffering, through unified, concrete action animated by the love of Christ, we hope to nurture peace and build bridges of communication and mutual aid in our own communities," said a July 21 statement from Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
In addition to creating the task force and appointing its members, Archbishop Kurtz also called for a national day of prayer for peace in our communities, to be held Sept. 9, the feast of St. Peter Claver.
Archbishop Gregory is a former USCCB president. Other task force members are Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Social Development; Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana, chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee for African-American Affairs; Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, California, chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development; and retired Bishop John H. Ricard of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Florida, who is president of the National Black Catholic Congress.
The day of prayer, according to a July 21 USCCB announcement about the task force's formation, will "serve as a focal point for the work of the task force."
The task force's work will conclude with the USCCB's fall general meeting in November, at which time it will report on its activities and recommendations for future work.
"I have stressed the need to look toward additional ways of nurturing an open, honest and civil dialogue on issues of race relations, restorative justice, mental health, economic opportunity and addressing the question of pervasive gun violence," Archbishop Kurtz said. "The day of prayer and special task force will help us advance in that direction."
The task force will have bishop consultants, including Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, who is USCCB vice president, as well as bishops whose jurisdictions have experienced extreme gun violence, or who otherwise bring special insight or experience on related questions. An equal or smaller number of lay consultants with relevant expertise will be appointed soon thereafter, the USCCB announcement said.
"I am honored to lead this task force which will assist my brother bishops, individually and as a group, to accompany suffering communities on the path toward peace and reconciliation," said Archbishop Gregory in a July 21 statement. "We are one body in Christ, so we must walk with our brothers and sisters and renew our commitment to promote healing. The suffering is not somewhere else, or someone else's; it is our own, in our very dioceses."

BC Day 146 all about Confession

What is meant by the commandment to confess our sins at least once a year? By the commandment to confess our sins at least once a year is meant that we are strictly obliged to make a good confession within the year, if we have a mortal sin to confess.

Confess, therefore, your sins to one another. (James 5:16)

Why should we go to confession frequently? We should go to confession frequently because frequent confession greatly helps us to overcome temptation, to keep in the state of grace, and to grow in virtue.

More on that -> CCC 1440-1449

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The first Apostle martyrd for the faith

St. James the Greater

Image of St. James the Greater


Feastday: July 25
Patron of pilgrims and Spain
Death: 44

Nothing is known of St. James the Greater's early life, though it has been established that he is the son of Zebedee and Salome and brother of John the disciple.
The title "the Greater" was added to St. James' name to help distinguish him from the Apostle James "the Less," who is believed to have been shorter than James "the Greater."
Saint James the Greater was one of Jesus' first disciples. James was fishing with his father and John the Apostle when Jesus came to the shores of the Sea of Galilee and called for the fisherman, who were unable to catch any fish that day, to dip their nets in the water once again.
When the fishermen followed Jesus' instructions, they found their nets full, and after emptying the fish on board, the boats nearly sank from their weight.
Later, James was one of only three called by Jesus to witness his Transfiguration, and when he and his brother wanted to call fire upon a Samaritan town, both were rebuked by Jesus.
Following Christ's Ascension, James spread the Gospel across Israel and the Roman kingdom as well. He traveled and spread the Word for nearly forty years in Spain.
It is said that one day, as he prayed, The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to him and asked him to build her a church, which he did.
Later, James returned to Jerusalem but was martyred for his faith by King Herod, who decapitated him. Saint James the Greater is known as the first apostle to die.
As he was not allowed to be buried following his martyrdom, his remains were taken to Compostela, Spain, by some of his followers, who buried him.
In the ninth century his remains were discovered and moved to a tomb in Santiago de Compostela. Today, his remains can still be found in the Cathedral of Santiago.
Because Santiago de Compostela is the most frequently visited place pilgrims migrate to following Rome and Jerusalem, Pope Leo declared it a shrine.
St. James the Greater Prayer
O glorious Apostle,
St. James, who by reason of thy fervent and generous heart
wast chosen by Jesus to be a witness of His glory on Mount Tabor,
and of His agony in Gethsemane;
thou, whose very name is a symbol of warfare and victory:
obtain for us strength and consolation in the unending warfare of this life,
that, having constantly and generously followed Jesus,
we may be victors in the strife and deserve to receive the victor's crown in heaven.

What a wonderful year since my return to St. Jane's

Well a couple of weeks ago I quietly marked 1 year since my return to St. Jane de Chantal Church, my home parish since 1996.  It has been an awesome experience for me both personally and more importantly as a Permanent Deacon.

Since I left St. Jane in 2011 the Parish had changed greatly.  My old Pastor and Parochial Vicar were gone and upon my return I would be assisting Father Ken Allen, Pastor and Father Kevin DeLerno, Parochial Vicar.  Also at St. Jane is Father Angel Diaz who is in residence as he works with several Hispanic communities in the area, including one right here at St. Jane's. 

I can honestly say that when I returned there was a healthy mix of parishioners I knew well and new young families that I would have to get to know.  Together, they comprise some nearly 1,200 registered families for our ever growing parish.

As a Permanent Deacon assigned to St. Jane I have been very pleased with the Adult Bible Study/Faith Formation program we started last fall.  At one point over 70 adults were participating.  Soon, we begin our 2nd year with the Gospel of Matthew!  I have also been pleased to at least consult with our RCIA team.  They do a great job and are bringing new Catholics into the fold!  I've also tried to help with our altar servers but a better plan of action is needed to recruit new servers. 

Another great benefit of being back home has been the ability to get active again with our Knights of Columbus.  I am happy that the men asked me to be Chaplain for the 4th Degree Assembly. 

Since my return we have changed our Mass schedule to accommodate our growth and to become the home on the Northshore for the Extraordinary Form Mass(Latin Mass).  We are a busy church/parish especially on weekends.  Our Mass schedule begins Saturday at 4 in the afternoon at our mission Church, St. Michael's in Bush and then at 6 pm at St. Jane's.  Then comes the Sunday schedule, Masses at 8 and 10 in the morning, 12 noon for the EF, 2:30 pm in Spanish and 6 pm(last chance).

One of my favorite things I used to say, even before my Ordination, was that St. Jane's was an awesome place to be a Catholic!  After one year back home and as a Deacon, I can say again, this place is indeed a great place to be a Catholic!  And we are very happy to welcome you too!

So today I ask God to give the grace and the strength to serve this beautiful parish well in the next year to come.