Thursday, April 27, 2017

A servant on behalf of the poor and the prisoner

St. Zita

Image of St. Zita


Feastday: April 27
Patron of servants
Birth: 1212
Death: 1272

Zita (1218-1272) + Servant and miracle worker. Born at Monte Sagrati, Italy, she entered into the service of the Fratinelli family, wool dealers in Lucca, at the age of twelve. Immediately disliked by the other servants for her hard work and obvious goodness, she earned their special enmity because of her habit of giving away food and clothing to the poor including those of her employers. In time, she won over the members of the household. According to one tradition, the other servants were convinced when one day they found an angel taking Zita's place in baking and cleaning. Throughout her life she labored on behalf of the poor and suffering as well as criminals languishing in prisons. She was also credited with a variety of miracles. Canonized in 1696, she is the patroness of servants and is depicted in art with a bag and keys, or loaves of bread and a rosary. Feast day: April 27.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wednesday General Audience with Pope Francis

GENERAL AUDIENCE: Pope: ‘Don’t Lose Heart. Accept Jesus’ Invitation to Follow Him’
Official Synthesis of the Catechesis — April 26, 2017
General Audience
Here is the Vatican-provided English-language summary of the Pope’s address at the General Audience this morning:
Dear Brothers and Sisters: During this Easter season, our catechesis on Christian hope reflects on the resurrection of Jesus the basis of our firm trust in God’s constant protection and love. Saint Matthew’s Gospel begins with the birth of Jesus as Emmanuel – “God with us” – and concludes with the Risen Lord’s promise that he will remain with us always, to the end of the age. At every step of life’s journey, God is at our side, leading us as he did the patriarchs of old, to the goal of our earthly pilgrimage. His care lasts “to the end of the age”; the heavens and the earth will pass away, yet he will continue to watch over us in his loving providence. From ancient times, Christian hope has been symbolized by the anchor, as a sign of its firm basis in God’s promises, which have been fulfilled in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Because our trust is in God, and not in ourselves or this world, we readily take up Jesus’ invitation to follow him, nor do we lose heart before life’s difficulties, disappointments and defeats. May our hope in victory of the Risen Christ confirm us on every step of our journey towards the fullness of eternal life.
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, particularly the groups from England, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Nigeria, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and the United States of America. In the joy of the Risen Christ, I invoke upon you and your families the loving mercy of God our Father. May the Lord bless you all!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

He was the 3rd Pope, after Peter, then Linus, of the Catholic Church

St. Cletus

Image of St. Cletus


Feastday: April 26

St. Cletus was the third bishop of Rome, and succeeded St. Linus, which circumstance alone shows his eminent virtue among the first disciples of St. Peter in the West. He sat twelve years, from 76 to 89. The canon of the Roman mass, (which Bossuet and all others agree to be of primitive antiquity,) Bede, and other Martyrologists, style him a martyr. He was buried near St. Linus, on the Vatican, and his relics still remain in that church

Breaking News: Archbishop Aymond announces Priest Personnel assignments for the Archdiocese of New Orleans; As Multos Annos; God Bless you all!

Archdiocese announces new pastors, parochial vicars

In order to provide pastoral care for the people of God in the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Archbishop Aymond has made the following appointments:

(All appointments for pastors are for a six-year term, which may be renewed.)

Reverend Gary Copping as Pastor of St. Joseph Parish / St. Anthony, Gretna, effective July 3, 2017.

Reverend James Richard Day as Pastor of Holy Family Parish, Franklinton, effective July 3, 2017.

Reverend Daniel Green as Pastor of Blessed Trinity Parish, New Orleans, while remaining Director of the Office of Black Catholic Ministry, effective July 3, 2017.

Reverend Jonathan Hemelt as Pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, New Orleans, effective July 3, 2017.

Reverend Bryan Howard as Pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Violet, effective July 3, 2017.

Reverend Joseph Hund, O.F.M. as Pastor of St. Mary of the Angels Parish, New Orleans, effective June 1, 2017.

Reverend Ray Hymel as Pastor of St. Hubert Parish, Garyville, effective July 3, 2017.

Reverend Francis “Bo” Majors as Pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Destrehan, effective July 3, 2017.

Reverend Marlon Mangubat as Pastor of Our Lady of Prompt Succor Parish, Chalmette, effective April 22, 2017.

Reverend Luke Nguyen as Pastor of St. Anthony Parish, Lafitte, effective July 3, 2017.

Reverend John Ryan as Pastor of St. Gertrude Parish, Des Allemands, effective July 3, 2017.

Reverend Hoang Tuong as Pastor of St. Bernard Parish, St. Bernard, effective July 3, 2017.

Special Ministry

Reverend Eduardo Gabriel as part-time Hospital Chaplain, Ochsner, Kenner, effective July 3, 2017.

Reverend Terry Hayden as part-time Hospital Chaplain, Ochsner, West Bank, effective July 3, 2017.

Reverend Dennis Hayes as Chaplain at the University of New Orleans and Sacramental Minister at St. Pius X Parish, effective July 3, 2017.

Reverend Thomas McCann as full-time Hospital Chaplain, Ochsner, Jefferson Highway, effective July 3, 2017.

Parochial Vicars

Reverend Suvakin Arulandu as Parochial Vicar of St. Louis King of France Parish, Metairie, effective Sept. 1, 2017.

Reverend Ian Bozant as Parochial Vicar of St. Patrick Parish, New Orleans, effective July 3, 2017.

Reverend Roman Burgos, T.O.R. as Parochial Vicar of St. Teresa of Avila Parish, New Orleans, effective July 3, 2017.

Reverend Kevin DeLerno as Parochial Vicar of St. Edward the Confessor Parish, Metairie, effective July 3, 2017.

Reverend Charles Dussouy as Parochial Vicar of St. Jane de Chantal Parish, Abita Springs, effective July 3, 2017.

Reverend Jude Emunemu as Parochial Vicar of St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Destrehan, effective Sept. 1, 2017.

Reverend Salvador Galvez as Parochial Vicar of Our Lady of Prompt Succor Parish, Chalmette, effective July 3, 2017.

Newly Ordained Priests
(to be ordained June 3, 2017)

Reverend José Cáceres as Parochial Vicar of St. Jerome Parish, Kenner, and serving on Hispanic Apostolate staff, effective July 3, 2017.

Reverend Colm Cahill as Parochial Vicar of St. Peter Parish, Covington, effective July 3, 2017.

Reverend Alexander Guzman as Parochial Vicar of St. Margaret Mary Parish, Slidell, effective July 3, 2017.

Reverend Pedro Prada as Parochial Vicar of Immaculate Conception Parish, Marrero, effective July 3, 2017.

Reverend Jared Rodrigue as Parochial Vicar of Mary Queen of Peace Parish, Mandeville, effective July 3, 2017.


Reverend William Blank, effective July 3, 2017.

Reverend Monsignor Kenneth Hedrick, effective July 3, 2017.

We are very grateful to Father Blank and Msgr. Hedrick for their many years of faithful service as priests and very dedicated pastors.

Transitional Deacons
(to be ordained May 20, 2017)

Reverend Mr. David Frank Jr. as Deacon intern, St. Catherine of Siena Parish, Metairie, effective June 3, 2017-October 2018.

Reverend Mr. Thien Nguyen as Deacon intern, St. Philip Neri Parish, Metairie, effective June 3, 2017–October 2018.

Reverend Mr. Vincent Nguyen as Deacon intern, St. Cletus Parish, Gretna, effective June 3, 2017–October 2018.

Reverend Mr. Cletus Orji as Deacon intern, St. Pius X Parish, New Orleans, effective June 3, 2017-October 2018

Tuesday morning homily of Pope Francis

Pope’s Morning Homily: Proclaim Gospel With Humility
At Casa Santa Marta, Francis Criticizes Preachers Seeking ‘Life Insurance Policies’
Pope Francis celebrates Mass in Santa Marta
We are to proclaim the Gospel with humility.
According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis urged this today, April 25, 2017, the Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist, during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, his second since the Easter break.
The Pope’s homily focused on the passage from the Gospel of St Mark, which relates the story of the Great Commission. He said “the Gospel is always proclaimed on the journey, never seated, always on the journey.”
The Gospel, Francis stressed, must be proclaimed with humility, overcoming the temptation of pride, and Christians, he encouraged, must go out to proclaim the Good News, remaining on that journey, without stopping.
On Preachers Who Seek Life Insurance Policies
A preacher, Francis also said, must always be on a journey and not seek “an insurance policy,” seeking safety by remaining in one place.
Christians, the Pope said, need “to go out where Jesus is not known, or where Jesus is persecuted, or where Jesus is disfigured, to proclaim the true Gospel.”
“To go out in order to proclaim. And, also, in this going out there is life, the life of the preacher is played out. He is not safe; there are no life insurance policies for preachers. And if a preacher seeks a life insurance policy, he is not a true preacher of the Gospel: He doesn’t go out, he stays in place, safe.
So, first of all: Go, go out. The Gospel, the proclamation of Jesus Christ, goes forth, always; on a journey, always. On a physical journey, on a spiritual journey, on a journey of suffering.
But what is “the style of this proclamation?” the Pope asked.
The Pope observed that Saint Peter, who was St Mark’s teacher, was perfectly clear in his description of this style, namely that the Gospel must be announced in humility, because the Son of God humbled Himself, annihilated Himself.”
This, the Pope said, “is the style of God,”noting there is no other.
Not a Carnival, Nor Party
“The proclamation of the Gospel,” he said, “is not a carnival, a party.”
With humility and overcoming the temptation of worldliness, the Gospel must be preached, the Pope said. Never can it be announced, he cautioned, “with human power, cannot be proclaimed with human power, cannot be proclaimed with the spirit of climbing and advancement.”
“This is not the Gospel,” he said.
The Pope then asked those present why is this humility necessary.
“Precisely because,” he answered, “we carry forward a proclamation of humiliation – of glory, but through humility. And the proclamation of the Gospel undergoes temptation: the temptation of power, the temptation of pride, the temptation of worldliness, of so many kinds of worldliness that they bring [to] preaching or to speaking; because he does not preach a watered down Gospel, without strength, a Gospel without Christ crucified and risen.”
“And for this reason,” the Jesuit Pope recalled, “St Peter says: ‘Be vigilant, be vigilant, be vigilant… Your enemy the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that your brothers and sisters throughout the world undergo the same sufferings.’ The proclamation of the Gospel, if it is true, undergoes temptation.”
Lord Will Comfort
If a Christian says he is proclaiming the Gospel “but is never tempted,” Francis highlighted that it means that “the devil is not worried,” because “we are preaching something useless.”
For this reason, the Holy Father continued, “in true preaching there is always some temptation, and also some persecution.” However, when we are suffering, Francis explained, the Lord is there “to restore us, to give us strength, because that is what Jesus promised when He sent the Apostles.”
“The Lord will be there to comfort us, to give us the strength to go forward, because He works with us if we are faithful to the proclamation of the Gospel, if we go out of ourselves to preach Christ crucified, and if we do this with a style of humility, of true humility.”
Pope Francis concluded, praying, “May the Lord grant us this grace, as baptized people, all of us, to take the path of evangelization with humility.”
The Cardinal counsellors of the C-9 were among those taking part in the Mass, Vatican Radio reported.

Evangelist; author of a Gospel

St. Mark


Image of St. Mark


Feastday: April 25
Patron of notaries, Venice, Barristers
Birth: 1st Century
Death: April 25, 68 AD

Much of what we know about St. Mark, the author of the Second Gospel, comes largely from the New Testament and early Christian traditions. Mark the Evangelist is believed to be the 'John Mark' referred to in the Acts of the Apostles, the history of the early Church found in the Canon of the New Testament.
He was the son of Mary of Jerusalem (Acts 12:12) whose home became a meeting place for the apostles. He is also the cousin of St. Barnabas (Colossians 4:10), a Levite and a Cypriot.
Mark joined St. Paul and St. Barnabas on their first missionary journey to Antioch in 44 A.D. When the group reached Cyprus, Christian tradition holds that Mark left them and returned to Jerusalem, possibly because he was missing his home (Acts 13:13). This incident may have caused Paul to question whether Mark could be a reliable missionary. This created a disagreement between Paul and Barnabas and led Paul to refuse Mark's accompaniment on their second journey to the churches of Cilicia and the rest of Asia Minor.
However, it can be assumed the troubles between Paul and Mark did not last long, because when Paul was first imprisoned, Mark, who was at the time in Rome with plans of visiting Asia Minor, visited him as one of his trusted companions (Col 4:10).
Mark's hopes to visit Asia Minor were most likely carried out, because during Paul's second captivity and just before his martyrdom, Paul wrote to Timothy at Ephesus advising him to "take Mark and bring him with you [to Rome], for he is profitable to me for the ministry" (2 Timothy 4:11). If Mark returned to Rome at this time, he was probably there when Paul was martyred.
According to Christian tradition, Mark also held a close relationship with St. Peter, who referred to Mark has 'his son' in his letter addressed to a number of churches in Asia Minor (1 Peter 5:13). Clement of Alexandria, Irenaeus and Papias all indicate that Mark was an interpreter for Peter.
Although Papias states Mark had not personally heard the Lord speak firsthand and, like Luke, Mark was not one of the twelve apostles, some believe Mark was likely speaking of himself when he wrote the description of Jesus' arrest in Gethsemani. "Now a young man followed him wearing nothing but a linen cloth about his body. They seized him, but he left the cloth behind and ran off naked" (Mark 14:51-52).
St. Mark lived for years in Alexandria, where he died as a martyr while being dragged through the streets.
Mark's Gospel was probably written between 60 and 70 A.D., and was based upon the teachings of St. Peter. It is believed Mark provided both Luke and Matthew with basic sources for their Gospel's.
He was probably the first bishop of Alexandria, Egypt and the founder of the Church of Alexandria, although he is not mentioned in connection to the city by either Clement of Alexandria nor by Origen.
In 828, relics of St. Mark were stolen from Alexandria and taken to Venice, Italy. There they are enshrined in a beautiful cathedral dedicated to the saint.
St. Mark's symbol is a winged lion. This is believed to be derived from his description of St. John the Baptist, as "a voice of one crying out in the desert" (Mark 1:3). The wings come from Ezekiel's vision of four winged creatures as the evangelists.
He is often depicted as writing or holding his Gospel. He is sometimes shown as a bishop on a throne or as a man helping Venetian sailors.
St. Mark is the patron saint of Venice. His feast day is celebrated on April

Monday, April 24, 2017

Pope Francis remembers the martyrs of the Church, particularly from recent times

Pope’s Homily at Mass for Memory of “New Martyrs” of 20th & 21st Centuries
‘How many Christian communities today are the object of persecution! Why? — because of the hatred of the spirit of the world’
CTV Screenshot
Pope Francis presided over the Liturgy of the Word, in St. Bartholomew’s Basilica on Rome’s Tiber Island, in memory of the “New Martyrs” of the 20th and 21st centuries, with Sant’Egidio Community on the afternoon of Saturday, April 22, 2017.
Here is a translation of the homily the Pope delivered in the course of the Liturgy, his words of gratitude addressed to refugees in the course of the meeting and his greeting to the faithful, gathered outside the Basilica.
* * *
The Holy Father’s Homily
We have come as pilgrims to this Basilica of St. Bartholomew on Tiber Island, where the ancient history of martyrdom is united to the memory of the new martyrs, of the many Christians killed by the crazy ideologies of the last century – and also of today – and killed only because they were disciples of Jesus.
The memory of these heroic ancient and recent witnesses confirms us in the awareness that the Church is Church if she is Church of martyrs. And the martyrs are those that, as the Book of Revelation reminded us, “have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (7:17). They had the grace to confess Jesus to the end, to death. They suffered, they gave their life, and we receive God’s blessing because of their witness. And there are also so many hidden martyrs, those men and women faithful to the meek strength of love, to the voice of the Holy Spirit, who in everyday life try to help brothers and to love God unconditionally.
If we look well, the cause of every persecution is hatred: hatred of the prince of this world for all those who have been saved and redeemed by Jesus with His Death and His Resurrection. In the passage of the Gospel that we heard (cf. John 15:12-19), Jesus uses a strong and frightening word: the word “hatred.” He, who is the Teacher of love, who liked to speak of love so much, speaks of hatred. But He always wanted to call things by their name. And He says to us: “Do not be afraid! The world will hate you, but know that it hated me before you.”
Jesus has chosen and rescued us, by the free gift of His love. With His Death and Resurrection He rescued us from the power of the world, from the power of the devil, from the power of the prince of this world. And the origin of hatred is this: because we are saved by Jesus, and the prince of the world does not want this; he hates us and stirs persecution, which since the times of Jesus and of the nascent Church continues to our days. How many Christian communities today are the object of persecution! Why? — because of the hatred of the spirit of the world.
How many times, in difficult moments of history, we have heard it said: “Today the homeland needs heroes.” A martyr can be thought of as a hero, but the fundamental thing about the martyr is that he was “graced”: It is the grace of God, not courage, which makes martyrs. Today, we can ask ourselves in the same way: What is the Church in need of today? “ Of martyrs, of witnesses, namely, of everyday Saints, because the Saints lead the Church forward – the Saints. The Church cannot go forward without them. The Church needs everyday Saints, those of ordinary life, led forward with coherence, but also of those who have the courage to accept the grace of being witnesses to the end, to death. All of them are the living blood of the Church. They are the witnesses that lead the Church forward; those that attest that the Lord is Risen, that Jesus is alive, and they attest to it with their coherence of life and with the strength of the Holy Spirit, which they have received as gift.
Today, I would like to add one more icon in this church – a woman, I don’t know her name, but she looks at us from Heaven. I was in Lesbos, greeting refugees and I met a thirty-year old man, with three children. He looked at me and said: “Father, I am Muslim. My wife was Christian. Terrorists came to our country, and they looked at us and asked us about our religious and they saw her with the crucifix, and they asked her to throw it on the ground. She didn’t and they decapitated her in front of me. We loved one another so much!” This is the icon that I bring here as a gift today. I don’t know if that man is still in Lesbos or has been able to go elsewhere. I don’t know if he was able to leave that concentration camp, because the refugee camps – so many – are concentration , because of the crowds of people left there. And the generous people that receive them must go on with this weight, because international agreements seem to be more important than human rights. And this man had no rancor: he, a Muslim, had this cross of grief that he carried forward without rancor. He took refuge in the love of his wife, graced with martyrdom.
It is a great gift to remember these witnesses of the faith and to pray in this place. It is a gift for Sant’Egidio Community, for the Church in Rome, for all the Christian communities of this city, and for so many pilgrims. The living legacy of the martyrs gives us peace and unity today. They teach us that, with the strength of love, with meekness, one can fight against arrogance, violence, war and bring about peace with patience. And so now we can pray thus: O Lord, make us worthy witnesses of the Gospel and of your love; shed your mercy upon humanity; renew your Church, protect persecuted Christians, grant peace soon to the whole world.
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by Virginia M. Forrester] Thanksgiving after the Meeting with Refugees:
A word of greeting, to thank you for all you have given us; thank you so much. May the Lord bless you.
Final Greeting in Front of the Basilica:
I thank you for your presence and prayer in this church of martyrs. We think of the cruelty, the cruelty that today rages above so many people; the exploitation of people . . .The people who arrive in barges and then stay there, in generous countries such as Italy and Greece, which receive them, but then international treaties do not allow . . . If Italy took two, two migrants per municipality, there would be a place for all. And may this generosity of the south, of Lampedusa, of Sicily, of Lesbos, infect the north a bit. It’s true: we are a civilization that doesn’t have children… we also close the door to migrants. This is called suicide. Let us pray!

Monday Morning Homily from Pope Francis

Pope’s Morning Homily: Concrete Faith, Not Ideology
At Casa Santa Marta, Francis Laments That Even the Church at Times Has Fallen Into “a Theology of ‘Yes You Can,’ ‘No You Can’t”
Pope Francis celebrates Mass in Santa Marta
Our faith calls for concreteness and rejects ideologies….
According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis suggested this today, April 24, 2017, during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, his first since the Easter break.
The Pope’s homily focused on the Gospel account of Jesus’ meeting with Nicodemus, and how Jesus, with love and patience, explained to Nicodemus that he must be “born from above… born of the Holy Spirit.” To understand this better, the Pope said, one can consider the first Reading, taken from the Acts of the Apostles.
Peter and John, the Holy Father remembered, healed a crippled man, and the doctors of the Law didn’t know what to do, how “to hide” what happened, “because the event was public.” When they were questioned, the Pope explained that Peter and John “answered with simplicity.”
When they were ordered not to speak about what happened, Peter responded, “No! We cannot remain silent about what we have seen and heard. And we will continue to do as we have been doing.”
Can’t Forget
The Pope cautioned against ever incorrectly thinking our faith is not concrete.
“At times, we forget that our faith is concrete: the Word was made flesh; it is not made an idea. And when we recite the Creed, everything we say is concrete: ‘I believe in God the Father, Who made heaven and earth; I believe in Jesus Christ Who was born, Who died…’
These are, Francis stressed, all concrete things.
“Our Creed does not say, ‘I have to do this, I have to do that, I have to do something else, or that some things are for these ends.’ No! They are concrete things. [This is] the concreteness of the faith that leads to frankness, to bearing witness even to the point of martyrdom, which is against compromises or the idealization of the faith.”
At times, the Holy Father suggested, even the Church has fallen into “a theology of ‘yes you can,’ ‘no you can’t.”
No Rigidity, Nor Faltering
Recalling that for these doctors of the law, the Word “was not made flesh, but “made law: and you must do this up to this point, and no further,” “you must do this, and nothing else,” he warned: “And so they were imprisoned in this rationalistic mentality, which did not end with them.”
This mentality, he cautioned, “forgot the strength, the liberty of the Spirit, this rebirth of the Spirit that gives you liberty, the frankness of preaching, the proclamation that Jesus Christ is Lord.”
The Lord, Francis underscored, gives us the Spirit in order to proclaim the Gospel without rigidity.
Pope Francis concluded, praying: “May the Lord grand to all of us this paschal Spirit, of going forward along the path of the Spirit without compromises, without rigidity, with the liberty of proclaiming Jesus Christ as He Who has come: in the flesh.”
Among those present at the Mass, Vatican Radio reported, were the cardinals who compose the C-9, the Council of Cardinals, who start meetings today with Pope Francis and conclude Wednesday afternoon.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Monk, Missionary, Martyr

Image of St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen St Fidelis of Sigmaringen


Feastday: April 24
Birth: 1577
Death: 1622

Franciscan Capuchin martyr. He was born Mark Rey is Sigmaringen, Germany, in 1577. A practicing lawyer, he traveled across Europe as a tutor to aristocrats but then started defending the poor. In 1612, he became a Franciscan Capuchin monk, taking the name of Fidelis. A missionary to Grisons, Switzerland, Fidelis was so successful that local Protestants claimed that he was a spy for the Austrian Emperor. Fidelis was stabbed to death in a church in Seewis. He was canonized by Pope Benedict XIV. Fidelis served also as the head of the Congregation for the Spreading