Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Feast Day of St. Joseph the Worker

St. Joseph The Worker
St Joespeh The Worker

The feast of St. Joseph the Worker was established by Pope Pius XII in 1955 in order to Christianize the concept of labor and give to all workmen a model and a protector. By the daily labor in his shop, offered to God with patience and joy, St. Joseph provided for the necessities of his holy spouse and of the Incarnate Son of God, and thus became an example to all laborers. “Workmen and all those laboring in conditions of poverty will have reasons to rejoice rather than grieve, since they have in common with the Holy Family daily preoccupations and cares”(Leo XIII).
“May Day” has long been dedicated to labor and the working man. It falls on the first day of the month that is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Pope Pius XII expressed the hope that this feast would accentuate the dignity of labor and would bring a spiritual dimension to labor unions. It is eminently fitting that St. Joseph, a working man who became the foster-father of Christ and patron of the universal Church, should be honored on this day.
The texts of the Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours provide a catechetical synthesis of the significance of human labor seen in the light of faith. The Opening Prayer states that God, the creator and ruler of the universe, has called men and women in every age to develop and use their talents for the good of others. The Office of Readings, taken from the document of the Second Vatican Council on the Church in the modern world, develops this idea. In every type of labor we are obeying the command of God given in Genesis 2:15 and repeated in the responsory for the Office of Readings. The responsory for the Canticle of Zechariah says that “St. Joseph faithfully practiced the carpenter’s trade. He is a shining example for all workers.” Then, in the second part of the Opening Prayer, we ask that we may do the work that God has asked of us and come to the rewards he has promised. In the Prayer after Communion we ask: “May our lives manifest your love; may we rejoice for ever in your peace.”
The liturgy for this feast vindicates the right to work, and this is a message that needs to be heard and heeded in our modern society. In many of the documents issued by Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI, the Second Vatican Council and Pope John Paul II, reference is made to the Christian spirit that should permeate one’s work, after the example of St. Joseph. In addition to this, there is a special dignity and value to the work done in caring for the family. The Office of Readings contains an excerpt from the Vatican II document on the modern world: “Where men and women, in the course of gaining a livelihood for themselves and their families, offer appropriate service to society, they can be confident that their personal efforts promote the work of the Creator, confer benefits on their fellowmen, and help to realize God’s plan in history” (no. 34).

The patron Saint of all those battling cancer

St. Peregrine Laziosi

Image of St. Peregrine Laziosi


Feastday: May 1
Patron of Cancer Victims
Birth: 1260
Death: 1345

Peregrine Laziosi was born of a wealthy family at Forli, Italy, in 1260. As a youth he was active in politics as a member of the anti-papal party. During one uprising, which the Pope sent St. Philip Benizi to mediate, Philip was struck in the face by Peregrine. When Philip offered the other cheek, Peregrine was so overcome that he repented and converted to Catholicism. Following the instructions of the Virgin Mary received in a vision, Peregrine went to Siena and joined the Servites. It is believed that he never allowed himself to sit down for thirty years, while as far as possible, observing silence and solitude. Sometime later, Peregrine was sent to Forli to found a new house of the Servite Order. An ideal priest, he had a reputation for fervent preaching and being a good confessor. When he was afflicted with cancer of the foot and amputation had been decided upon, he spent the night before the operation, in prayer. The following morning he was completely cured. This miracle caused his reputation to become widespread. He died in 1345 at the age of eighty-five, and he was canonized by Pope Benedict XIII in 1726. St. Peregrine, like St. Paul, was in open defiance of the Church as a youth. Once given the grace of conversion he became one of the great saints of his time. His great fervor and qualities as a confessor brought many back to the true Faith. Afflicted with cancer, Peregrine turned to God and was richly rewarded for his Faith, enabling him over many years to lead others to the truth. He is the patron of cancer patients.

Praying with Pope Francis and his prayer intentions for May

For May 2015 Pope Francis has selected the following prayer intentions:


  • Universal: That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.

  • Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.

Let's pray with the Holy Father for these prayer intentions!

The Catholic Politics in America; confusing for the Catholic in the pew; awesome article by Fr. Longenecker

Presidential Contenders Tell a Tale of Two Catholic Churches

The Catholics running for president represent two very different approaches to the faith

As the race for the White House gears up, all eyes are on the presidential contenders, and there has never been a larger crop of Catholics either already in the race, or waiting in the wings. If anyone wants to get a glimpse into the contemporary Catholic Church in the United States, the range of Catholic politicians reflects the amazingly diverse and difficult variety of American Catholics.

April 30, 2015
As the race for the White House gears up, all eyes are on the presidential contenders, and there has never been a larger crop of Catholics either already in the race, or waiting in the wings. If anyone wants to get a glimpse into the contemporary Catholic Church in the United States, the range of Catholic politicians reflects the amazingly diverse and difficult variety of American Catholics.

The “conservative Catholics” are best represented by Senator Rick Santorum. A life-long Catholic, Santorum became more serious about his faith after marrying. Now a daily mass attendee, Rick Santorum has put his Catholic faith at the center of his conservative political life. With a strong appeal to conservative Evangelical voters, he is consistently disappointed by the lukewarm reception he receives from fellow Catholics. With strongly conservative opinions on defense and foreign affairs, Santorum is also an outspoken opponent of same-sex marriage and abortion. The sympathy for his family during a health crisis of his disabled daughter revealed a softer side to Santorum and strengthened his pro-life credentials through personal experience.

Also lined up in the Evangelical Catholicism camp is Republican Marco Rubio. A junior senator from Florida, Rubio is the son of Cuban immigrants. For a time he abandoned his family’s Catholicism for the Mormon faith and then became more committed to Christianity through attendance at a large Evangelical Protestant Church. Recently, however, Rubio and his family have returned to a regular and fervent commitment to Catholicism. Rubio retains strong friendships within the Evangelical church and like Santorum will appeal to conservative voters in both the Catholic and Evangelical communities. With his Cuban background, Rubio adds to the conservative Catholic brand a strong Hispanic appeal, and as such represents the growing presence of the Hispanic Catholic population in the United States.

Jeb Bush, the brother and son of former presidents, and the former governor of Florida also has a strong Catholic Hispanic appeal through his wife, Mexican-born Colomba. Bush converted to Catholicism through his wife’s influence and attributes his strong pro-life stance and conservative views on family issues to his Catholic faith. Bush also represents another dominant stream in American Catholicism: the Catholic convert. With an increasingly influential voice in American Catholicism the converts from Protestantism blend Evangelical fervor with a deep Catholic commitment and are a force to be reckoned with.

Another Catholic convert who could be a presidential contender is Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. Jindal is the son of Indian immigrants who converted to Christianity in high school and then to the Catholic faith in college. While not yet declaring an intention to run for president, Jindal has been named by many conservatives as a strong candidate. As the first Indian-American state governor and as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford he has intellectual muscle, and reflects both the more learned side of American convert Catholicism as well as it’s increasingly diverse and multi-cultural dimension.

Catholics who are also named as possible Republican contenders are former Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan, New Jersey governor Chris Christie and Kansas Governor Sam Brownback. Brownback is a convert to the Catholic faith while Christie and Ryan are life-long Catholics. All three take pro-life stances, with Brownback recently signing a strong anti-abortion bill in his state. Fiscal conservatives, they represent the new wave of Catholics who have shifted from their traditional allegiance to the Democratic Party.

There is only one position for Catholics about marriage: one man/one woman

Marriage Can Only Be Union of One Man and One Woman: "This Is a Beautiful Truth"

Supreme Court Today Hears Oral Arguments

Washington, D.C., (        

The leader of the US bishops addressed thousands gathered in Washington on Saturday for the March for Marriage.

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville told the marchers that marriage, "like the gift of human life itself," simply cannot be essentially changed or redefined.
Today, the Supreme Court is hearing the oral arguments on the case to give marriage a different legal meaning across the country. A verdict is expected in early summer.
The archbishop promised prayers for the nine Court justices and assured that the movement for marriage "will not be silenced."
"A culture of marriage and family needs to be built," he said. "This will entail sacrifice and perseverance, in ways similar to the respect life movement. It will also entail a firm and joyful witness of hope. In the months and years ahead, may our love, patience, and courage open minds and hearts anew to the true beauty of marriage."
Here is the full text of his speech to the march:
My dear friends: Marriage is and can only be the union of one man and one woman. This is a beautiful truth! As Pope Francis has said, “Married life is such a beautiful thing and we must protect it always, protect the children.”Redefining marriage in the law is the greatest social experiment of our time. Children don’t need experiments; they need the love of their mother and father, wherever possible.
In a few days, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the rights of states to protect marriage’s unique meaning. For the Court Justices, we promise our prayers. For our nation, we pledge our dedication to serve the dignity of every human person and to work together to build stronger communities and a better society. Marriage, like the gift of human life itself, cannot be essentially changed or redefined. Strengthening the family founded upon true marriage is essential for the good of all people.
Fairness, equality, and civil rights are values we all hold in common. But missing from much of the public conversation has been an honest look at the question of what marriage is. Advancing civil discourse depends not upon false caricatures or tactics of intimidation. Civility demands mutual respect even despite differing viewpoints. There must be room in the public square for the witness of lives inspired by the sacrificial love a husband and wife share for their children.
As a people—a movement—for marriage and the family, we seek to walk with others—especially anyone without a family, single parents, families in difficult circumstances, and those who experience same-sex attraction and their families. Further, it involves drawing near to and praying for those who disagree with us. Every person is a precious gift of God.
But friends, we will not be silenced. And we are not alone. I was grateful this past Thursday to join religious leaders of many faiths in reaffirming our shared commitment to protect marriage and religious freedom. A culture of marriage and family needs to be built. This will entail sacrifice and perseverance, in ways similar to the respect life movement. It will also entail a firm and joyful witness of hope. In the months and years ahead, may our love, patience, and courage open minds and hearts anew to the true beauty of marriage.
Thank you very much for your steadfast witness. May God bless you, the leaders of this nation, and all of our fellow citizens.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Pope who led the Catholic Reformation post Luther

St. Pius V, Pope

Image of St. Pius V, Pope


Feastday: April 30
Birth: 1504
Death: 1572

Pope from 1566-1572 and one of the foremost leaders of the Catholic Reformation. Born Antonio Ghislieri in Bosco, Italy, to a poor family, he labored as a shepherd until the age of fourteen and then joined the Dominicans, being ordained in 1528. Called Brother Michele, he studied at Bologna and Genoa, and then taught theology and philosophy for sixteen years before holding the posts of master of novices and prior for several Dominican houses. Named inquisitor for Como and Bergamo, he was so capable in the fulfillment of his office that by 1551, and at the urging of the powerful Cardinal Carafa, he was named by Pope Julius III commissary general of the Inquisition. In 1555, Carafa was elected Pope Paul IV and was responsible for Ghislieri�s swift rise as a bishop of Nepi and Sutri in 1556, cardinal in 1557, and grand inquisitor in 1558. While out of favor for a time under Pope Pius IV who disliked his reputation for excessive zeal, Ghislieri was unanimously elected a pope in succession to Pius on January 7, 1566. As pope, Pius saw his main objective as the continuation of the massive program of reform for the Church, in particular the full implementation of the decrees of the Council of Trent. He published the Roman Catechism, the revised Roman Breviary, and the Roman Missal; he also declared Thomas Aquinas a Doctor of the Church, commanded a new edition of the works of Thomas Aquinas, and created a commission to revise the Vulgate. The decrees of Trent were published throughout all Catholic lands, including Europe, Asia, Africa, and the New World, and the pontiff insisted on their strict adherence. In 1571, Pius created the Congregation of the Index to give strength to the Church�s resistance to Protestant and heretical writings, and he used the Inquisition to prevent any Protestant ideas from gaining a foot hold in Italy. In dealing with the threat of the Ottoman Turks who were advancing steadily across the Mediterranean, Pius organized a formidable alliance between Venice and Spain, culminating in the Battle of Lepanto, which was a complete and shattering triumph over the Turks. The day of the victory was declared the Feast Day of Our Lady of Victory in recognition of Our Lady�s intercession in answer to the saying of the Rosary all over Catholic Europe. Pius also spurred the reforms of the Church by example. He insisted upon wearing his coarse Dominican robes, even beneath the magnificent vestments worn by the popes, and was wholeheartedly devoted to the religious life. His reign was blemished only by the continuing oppression of the Inquisition; the often brutal treatment of the Jews of Rome; and the ill advised decision to excommunicate Queen Elizabeth I of England  in February 1570, an act which also declared her deposed and which only worsened the plight of English Catholics. These were overshadowed in the view of later generations by his contributions to the Catholic Reformation. Pope Clement beatified him on May 1, 1672, and Pope Clement XI canonized him on May 22, 1712.

Great advice for marriages; invite Jesus & Mary

Pope: Let Us Not Be Afraid to Invite Mary, Jesus to the Marriage 'Feast'

At Weekly General Audience, Also Says Disparity Is a Pure Scandal

Vatican City, ( Deborah Castellano Lubov   

Pope Francis has acknowledged the crisis of marriage in many societies and said Christians can counter this if they start to trust again that Jesus grants grace to married couples. The Pope made this observation speaking to the crowds during his weekly General Audience this morning in St. Peter's Square while continuing his catechesis on marriage and family.

“Let us not be afraid to invite Jesus and Mary to the marriage feast,” the Pope said, “for Christian spouses marry not only for themselves, but for the good of the community and for all of society.”
“Today, society is confronted with fewer marriages," he said, noting, “In many countries, separation of couples is increasing, while the number of children is decreasing.”
These broken marriage bonds, the 78-year-old Pope noted, affect the young most of all, "as they come to view marriage as something temporary."  Perhaps, he went on to say, "there is a fear of failure which prevents men and women from trusting inChrist’s promise of grace in marriage and in the family.” 
In truth, he said, "we know that almost every man and woman desires a secure and lasting relationship, a stable marriage and a happy family.”
Given this, he pointed out that the most effective witness to the blessing of marriage "is the good life of Christian spouses and their families,” God's consecrating of the married couple's love, he stressed, is the 'font' of their peace and fidelity.
"To make these blessings more evident to the world," the Pope stressed that "the equality enjoyed by the spouses must produce new fruit," such as: "equal opportunities in the workplace; a new valuing of motherhood and fatherhood" and "a greater appreciation for the openness of families to those most in need.”
The Holy Father continued discussing how inequality must be addressed. Specifically, he called for the right to equal retribution for equal work, stressing, "disparity is a pure scandal.”
Nowadays, especially in situations of poverty, degradation and domestic violence, the Pope said, we must demand fairness in these situations, and, in order to benefit the families and children, recognize that the maternity of women and paternity of men are "perennially valid treasures."

Bishop of Honolulu ordering the Sacraments of Initiation to Baptism, Confirmation and then Eucharist

Bishop Larry Silva: Returning the sacraments of initiation to their proper order

Dear parents, priests, deacons, youth ministers, faith formation staff and Catholic school administrators,
I am writing this letter to invite you to take an active role by reading the articles regarding the plan to return the sacraments of initiation to their proper order in our diocese, that is: Baptism, Confirmation, and then First Holy Communion. A series of articles explaining the history of the sacraments of initiation, changes to the way children will prepare for these sacraments, and the importance of having comprehensive youth ministry programs in our parishes will be published in the next issues of our Hawaii Catholic Herald. Education plays a most important role in this process, so I invite you to be part of the process. The proposal to return the sacraments of initiation to their proper order has already been discussed with the Presbyteral Council and the Diocesan Pastoral Council. Both groups strongly favored the plan.
If one looks at the “Catechism of the Catholic Church,” one notes that the first three sacraments are covered in the proper theological order. Our baptismal covenant with God is sealed in Confirmation; the two sacraments go together like Easter and Pentecost. Received third, the Holy Eucharist is then seen as the summit of initiation. “The Holy Eucharist completes our Christian initiation” (“Catechism” 1322).
Over the course of history in the Western (Latin) Church, great emphasis was placed on the importance of Baptism soon after birth, opening the door of salvation to our youngest members. Unfortunately, delays started occurring with the reception of Confirmation and First Holy Communion. Pope St. Pius X in 1910 addressed the problem of children receiving First Holy Communion at too late an age and directed that children be given Holy Communion at the age of reason, that is, about age 7. This resulted, however, in the sacraments being given out of order. Current practice is like counting 1, 3, 2.
Some may point out that we have been doing what we are doing for 100 years, so why change now? The reason is simple: What we are doing is not working very well. Confirmation is often experienced more as a graduation from the Church than as a free gift of God’s grace. Pope Francis acknowledged this: “There was this experience: the sacrament of Confirmation — what is this sacrament called? Confirmation? No! Its name has changed: the ‘sacrament of farewell.’ They do this and then they leave the Church. … Many young people move off after receiving Confirmation, the sacrament of farewell, of goodbye, as I said. It is an experience of failure, an experience that leaves emptiness and discourages us. Is this true or not?” (Sept. 22, 2013).
Sadly this is true in the Diocese of Honolulu, as it is true in many other places. While Confirmation programs do meet with success in many of our young people, who do become faithful disciples of the Lord, we are still missing the mark with many others. It is apparent that we are not accomplishing the goal of converting the hearts of all our young people to the Lord. Still the problem is bigger than that. A review of statistics shows that half of the children we baptize are never confirmed. Confirming children at the time of their First Holy Communion will increase the numbers of those being confirmed and receiving the grace of the sacrament. Some may fear that the children will not come back after that. Anecdotal evidence shows that family involvement is the most likely indicator of retention in faith formation programs, not the age of Confirmation.
The challenge, though, is not just to put the sacraments into their proper order. The challenge is to provide a transformed youth ministry approach that empowers young people to live as disciples of Jesus in our world today, draws them to responsible participation in the life, mission and work of the Catholic Church, and fosters the personal and spiritual growth of each young person. The Church has a plan for this. It’s called “Renewing the Vision” and information is available on the U.S. bishops’ website: Just view it on the web, and you will see that it is quite comprehensive.
In looking at the eight components of “Renewing the Vision,” clergy, youth ministers and parishioners will see that they are already doing many of the components in their parishes — catechesis, engaging young people in the liturgy, service to the needy. Many of the components will simply shift from being part of a Confirmation program to being part of comprehensive youth ministry. It will be a matter of supplementing what is lacking. This will require work to achieve. It will require a new way of thinking. But it is worth it because it will help bring about the participation of greater number of young disciples in building up the Kingdom of God.
Such a plan requires that we trust in the Holy Spirit. We believe that Confirmation gives the gifts of the Holy Spirit — wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and the fear of the Lord. Young people need these gifts as they grow up, not when they are nearly done growing up. So we will need to trust that the Spirit will fervently work in our young people from an earlier age and work in all of us as we strive to engage our youth in the life of the Church.
Let me take this opportunity to thank the dedicated women and men of our parishes who give of their time and talent to prepare our youth for the sacrament of Confirmation and in other forms of youth ministry. By no means are we judging your work a failure, since all that is done for the Lord will bear fruit in its own time. Your dedication itself is a great witness to Jesus.
There will obviously be many questions about how we move from our present model to another model of restoring the sacraments of initiation to their proper order. In addition to the articles I mentioned above, our diocesan staff will be holding various listening sessions throughout the diocese to discuss these issues with you so that the design of our programs can be as effective as possible. The dates/times/locations for the listening sessions will be announced in the Hawaii Catholic Herald and in our diocesan eNews at a later time. We look forward to seeing you at one of these sessions! It would be the time for us to hear from those who will be most directly impacted by this change.
May the Lord continue to bless you as you show forth the gifts of the Holy Spirit you have received!
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Rev. Larry Silva
Bishop of Honolulu

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

She saved the Papacy and worked to heal a schism; theologically brilliant despite no formal training

St. Catherine of Siena

Image of St. Catherine of Siena


Feastday: April 29
Patron Fire prevention
Birth: 1347
Death: 1380

The 24th child of a wool dyer in northern Italy, St. Catherine started having mystical experiences when she was only 6, seeing guardian angels as clearly as the people they protected. She became a Dominican tertiary when she was 16, and continued to have visions of Christ, Mary, and the saints. St. Catherine was one of the most brilliant theological minds of her day, although she never had any formal education. She persuaded the Pope to go back to Rome from Avignon, in 1377, and when she died she was endeavoring to heal the Great Western Schism. In 1375 Our Lord give her the Stigmata, which was visible only after her death. Her spiritual director was Blessed Raymond of Capua. St, Catherine's letters, and a treatise called "a dialogue" are considered among the most brilliant writings in the history of the Catholic Church. She died when she was only 33, and her body was found incorrupt in 1430.

From the Bishop of Baltimore: violence does not serve the cause of justice

Baltimore: Archbishop Lori calls for calm, dialogue

Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, Md., USA


(Vatican Radio) The Archbishop of Baltimore, William E. Lori, has called for calm and good-faith dialogue in the wake of violent unrest that has left several police officers injured in the US city. “Of course we have to seek justice,” Archbishop Lori told Vatican Radio in a brief telephone interview, “of course we have to address systemic issues of poverty and lack of education and opportunity, and we have to build bridges of trust in our community.” Nevertheless, “The way to achieve this is not [through] violence,” Archbishop Lori continued. “It’s important for us to express our views forcefully, openly, but in a way that is non-violent: violence does not serve the cause of justice,” he said.

The riots broke out on Monday, with hundreds of people looting stores and burning buildings following the funeral of a 25-year-old black man who died after suffering a spinal injury while in police custody. At least 15 police officers were injured in the violence, which broke out blocks from the venue of the funeral of Freddie Gray, and spread through much of west Baltimore. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency and called out the National Guard, while a curfew was imposed in the city starting Tuesday evening.
“I would invite everyone please to pray for the city, to pray for the Archdiocese, and to pray that peace and justice may reign,” Archbishop Lori said.

Still the best way to help the people of Nepal; donate thru CRS

Prayer and Action needed for people of Nepal

Catholic Relief Services • Tue, Apr 28 2015
Nepal earthquake 2
photo courtesy of NBC News
Click here to make a gift to Catholic Relief Services to help the people affected by the earthquake in Nepal.
On April 25, a devastating magnitude-7.8 earthquake struck Nepal near Kathmandu, also affecting nearby parts of India. Avalanches were reported in the Himalayas, including on Mount Everest.
As the official death toll approached 4,000, Catholic Relief Services emergency personnel landed in Kathmandu, where they will aid the tens of thousands of people affected by this powerful earthquake.
CRS and our partner Caritas Nepal plan to support 10,000 families with emergency shelter, blankets, water treatment kits and hygiene kits. Because this region is known for earthquakes, CRS had prepositioned emergency aid in nearby Bihar, India. Temporary shelter kits, water purification kits and hygiene kits for 2,000 families–are being transported to Nepal for immediate distribution.
An additional 3,000 tarpaulins will be flown from a hub in Dubai within the next couple days. CRS is also procuring emergency supplies in India. And more emergency personnel are on the way.
CRS has made an initial commitment of $825,000 to relief efforts in Nepal, a figure that is expected to rise as needs become clearer.

The decline of Christianity

Over on Yahoo news we have this provocative study from the Pew Research Group which declares Christianity being abandoned for other religions.  This study projects trends out to 2050.  The basic theme of the article is that Christians will be converting to Islam or simply become atheistic or agnostic.  I believe this study, while worthy of attention and thought, is way off base.  If Islam catches up to Christianity it can best be summed up in three words: ARTIFICIAL BIRTH CONTROL.  If Christianity is on the decline as Islam is increasing, it has a lot to do with birth rate.  We should remember that world Christian religions have embraced, for some 60 years now, all the empty promises of chemical birth control.  The Catholic Church has stood firm in upholding the evils of such a practice but we must be honest; most Catholic couples practice artificial means of birth control.  Meanwhile, Islam embraces larger families.  In fact radical Islam sees the encouragement of large families, even just high birth rates, as part of the revolution.  As other world religions become insignificant, mainly Protestanism and Evangelicanism, because they are contracepting themselves to death, Catholicism, at least on the world stage continues to grow in numbers.  from 1965 to today the Church has grown from 850 million to 1.215 billion.  And this growth is despite the alarming trends toward accepting birth control, abortion, euthanasia and same sex marriage among certain "western" Catholics.  Catholicism is growing because it is booming in Africa, Asia and still pockets of the southern Americas.  Even in the USA, where Catholic growth is minimal if not stagnant, her greatest growth is in the states that are traditionally non-Catholic.  As Catholics, and all Christians, this article is worth a read and some deep reflection.  Here are some of the highlights:

1. Islam will grow faster than any other religion over the next 40 years.
2. The number of Muslims will equal the number of Christians around the world by 2050. 
3. Atheists, agnostics and other people who do not affiliate with any religion – though increasing in countries such as the United States and France – will make up a declining share of the world’s total population.
4. The global Buddhist population will be about the same size it was in 2010, while the Hindu and Jewish populations will be larger than they are today.
5. In Europe, Muslims will make up 10% of the overall population.
6. India will retain a Hindu majority but also will have the largest Muslim population of any country in the world, surpassing Indonesia.
7. In the United States, Christians will decline from more than three-quarters of the population in 2010 to two-thirds in 2050, and Judaism will no longer be the largest non-Christian religion. Muslims will be more numerous in the U.S. than people who identify as Jewish on the basis of religion.
8. Four out of every 10 Christians in the world will live in sub-Saharan Africa.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Witness to life, wife, mother, doctor and Saint

St. Gianna Beretta Molla

Image of St. Gianna Beretta Molla


Feastday: April 28
Patron mothers, physicians, preborn children
Death: 1962
Beatified By: Pope John Paul II

Gianna Francesca Beretta was born in Magenta in Italy. She was the tenth of thirteen children in her family, only nine of whom survived to adulthood. When she was three, her family moved to Bergamo, and she grew up in the Lombardy region of Italy.
In 1942, Gianna began her study of medicine in Milan. Outside of her schooling, she was active in Azione Cattolica. She received a medical diploma in 1949, and opened an office in Mesero, near her hometown of Magenta, where she specialized in pediatrics.
Gianna hoped to join her brother, a missionary priest in Brazil, where she intended to offer her medical expertise in gynecology to poor women. However, her chronic ill health made this impractical, and she continued her practice in Italy.
In December 1954, Gianna met Pietro Molla, an engineer who worked in her office, ten years older than she. They were officially engaged the following April, and they married in September 1955.
The couple had Pierluigi, born in 1956, Maria Zita, in 1957 and Laura, was born in 1959. Gianna suffered two miscarriages after this.
In 1961, Gianna was once again expecting. During the second month, Gianna developed a fibroma on her uterus. After examination, the doctors gave her three choices: an abortion, which would save her life and allow her to continue to have children; a complete hysterectomy, which would preserve her life, but take the unborn child's life, and prevent further pregnancy; or removal of only the fibroma, with the potential of further complications. Roman Catholic teaching would have allowed her to obtain a hysterectomy, but would forbid an abortion. Wanting to preserve her child's life, she opted for the removal of the fibroma.
After the operation, complications continued throughout her pregnancy. Gianna was quite clear about her wishes, expressing to her family, "This time it will be a difficult delivery, and they may have to save one or the other -- I want them to save my baby."
On April 21, 1962, Good Friday of that year, Gianna went to the hospital, where her fourth child, Gianna Emanuela, was successfully delivered via Caesarean section. However, Gianna continued to have severe pain, and died of septic peritonitis 7 days after the birth.
Gianna was beatified by Pope John Paul II on April 24, 1994, and officially canonized as a saint on May 16, 2004. Gianna's husband Pietro and their last child, Gianna, were present at the canonization ceremony.
The miracle recognized by the Roman Catholic Church to canonize Gianna Molla involved a mother, Elizabeth Comparini, who was 16 weeks pregnant in 2003 and sustained a tear in her placenta that drained her womb of all amniotic fluid. Because a normal term of pregnancy is 40 weeks, Comparini was told by her doctors the baby's chance of survival was "nil."
Through praying to Gianna Molla and asking for her intercession, Comparini delivered by Caesarean a healthy baby despite the lack of amniotic fluid for the remainder of her pregnancy.
In his homily at her canonization Mass, Pope John Paul II called Gianna "a simple, but more than ever, significant messenger of divine love."

Founder, devotee of Mary and the Rosary

St. Louis de Montfort

Image of St. Louis de Montfort


Feastday: April 28
Birth: 1673
Death: 1716

Confessor, Marian devotee, and founder of the Sisters of Divine Wisdom He was born Louis Maie Grignon in Montfort, France, in 1673. Educated at Rennes, he was ordained there in 1700, becoming a chaplain in a hospital in Poitiers. His congregation, also called the Daughters of Divine Wisdom, started there. As his missions and sermons raised complaints, Louis went to Rome, where Pope Clement XI appointed him as a missionary apostolic. Louis is famous for fostering devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Rosary. In 1715, he also founded the Missionaries of the Company of Mary. His True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin remains popular. Louis died at Saint-Laurent-sur-Sevre. He was canonized in 1947.

Marist Priest, missionary to Oceania, martyrd for the faith

St. Peter Chanel

Image of St. Peter Chanel


Feastday: April 28
Patron of Oceania
Birth: 1803
Death: 1841

In St. Peter Chanel, Priest and Martyr (Feast day - April 28) The protomartyr of the South Seas, St. Peter Chanel was born in 1803 at Clet in the diocese of Belley, France. His intelligence and simple piety brought him to the attention of the local priest, Father Trompier, who saw to his elementary education. Entering the diocesan Seminary, Peter won the affection and the esteem of both students and professors. After his ordination he found himself in a rundown country parish and completely revitalized it in the three year span that he remained there. However, his mind was set on missionary work; so, in 1831, he joined the newly formed Society of Mary (Marists) which concentrated on missionary work at home and abroad. To his dismay, he was appointed to teach at the seminary at Belley and remained there for the next five years, diligently performing his duties.
In 1836, the Society was given the New Hebrides in the Pacific as a field for evangelization, and the jubilant St. Peter was appointed Superior of a little band of missionaries sent to proclaim the Faith to its inhabitants. On reaching their destination after an arduous ten month journey, the band split up and St. Peter went to the Island of Futuna accompanied by a laybrother and an English layman, Thomas Boog. They were at first well received by the pagans and their king Niuliki who had only recently forbidden canabalism. However, the kings jealousy and fear were aroused when the missionaries learned the language and gained the people's confidence; he realized the adoption of the Christian Faith would lead to the abolition of some of the prerogatives he enjoyed as both highpriest and sovereign.
Finally, when his own son expressed a desire to be baptized, the king's hatred erupted and he dispatched a group of his warriors to set upon the saintly head of the missionaries. Thus, on April 28, 1841, three years after his arrival, St. Peter was seized and clubbed to death by those he had come to save. And his death brought his work to completion - within five months the entire island was converted to Christianity.

Wives of Permanent Deacons

I wrote this last night to the wives of 18 men who soon will be ordained to the Permanent Diaconate.  These wives were just wrapping up the pre-Ordination retreat in anticipation of their husband's ordination.  Many of us do not take the time to consider the contributions and sacrifices of the women who exemplify service via Holy Matrimony who are married to those in Holy Orders.  We should remember them too in our prayers:

"The wife of a Permanent Deacon offers her own gifts to the Church in herself and her faithfulness to the 1st Sacrament of Service, Holy Matrimony. As your husbands receive the other Sacrament of Service, Holy Orders, the Church acknowledges your gifts and your sacrifice. For the many years your husband does not sit with you in the pews, to the unexpected evening meetings, to the weekend plans that constantly get changed, to the possibility of being moved from parish to parish, the Church thanks you and prays for you and with you. I hope this weekend was as special as it was efficacious and that your journey with your husband toward his Ordination and life of Service Sacramentalized will be a journey of great faith, hope and abundant joy!!"

Pope Francis remembers a great Saint today

Pope Francis: Ensure Charisma and Paternity of St. John Paul II

Encourages Foundation Named After Predecessor To Continue Pastoral Care of Youth

Vatican City, ( Deborah Castellano Lubov   

“The canonization of Pope John Paul II gave a new impetus to your work, in the service of the Church and evangelization." Pope Francis made this observation when speaking to the John Paul II Foundation at the Vatican Saturday afternoon.

The work to which the Holy Father was referring had been namely service to the youth, particularly in education.
"St. John Paul II has always had a great love for youth and a special pastoral care for them," he said, pointing out, "And you help to ensure that his charisma and his paternity continue to bear fruit.”
He told them, "You offer a valuable contribution to ensuring that the spiritual heritage of this Holy Pontiff continues to fertilize the large field of the Church and to support his journey through history."
As priests and lay, Francis noted, "you also offer valuable opportunities to enrich their education," especially preparing them to face the "cultural and pastoral challenges of our day."
"For this purpose, you can also draw from the rich teaching of social doctrine that St. John Paul II has left us, and that proves more timely than ever."
Francis encouraged them to recall the late Polish Pontiff's attention to the word 'solidarity,' and reminded them they are to live this out, while at the same time being prayerful and obedient to God's Word.
The Holy Father concluded, telling them to turn to the Virgin Mother Mary, "to whom St. John Paul II has consecrated his life and his pontificate," thanking them for their visit and service, and asking them to pray for him

One year ago today: Saints John Paul II and John XXIII

Pope's Canonization Mass: John Paul II and John XXIII were brave and hopeful, even amid challenges

It was a unique day to say the least. The canonization of John Paul II and John XXIII will forever be recorded in the history of the Catholic Church

The setting itself was impressive. From the two giant tapestries of the two new saints, hanging from St. Peter's Basilica, to the hundreds of thousands of pilgrims, dignitaries, presidents and leaders who made it a point to attend the ceremony. 

The day of four Popes, as its now being described, began with the arrival of Benedict XVI. Cardinals greeted him and then Pope Francis did the same. 

Then, on Sunday morning, before the Universal Church, the Pope read the decree, officially declaring John Paul II and John XXIII as saints

Applause quickly followed in the Square, as thousands payed their respects in Rome and throughout the world. 

Relatives of John XXIII and also the woman cured through the intercession of John Paul II carried the relics of the two new saints. 

In his homily, the Pope explained why they both exemplified God's love and mercy. 

"These were two men of courage, filled with the parrhesia of the Holy Spirit, and they bore witness before the Church and the world to God’s goodness and mercy.”

Even when faced with tragedy and suffering, the Pope explained that the two new saints, were brave. 

"They were priests, bishops and popes of the twentieth century. They lived through the tragic events of that century, but they were not overwhelmed by them. For them, God was more powerful.”

The Pope also highlighted how John Paul II and John XXIII conveyed hope and faith, even in dark times. He described John XXIII as a Pope who was open to the Spirit. John Paul II as leader and protector of the family. In fact, Pope Francis called on them both to intercede in the next synod on the family. 

"May both of them teach us not to be scandalized by the wounds of Christ and to enter ever more deeply into the mystery of divine mercy, which always hopes and always forgives, because it always loves.” 

At the end of the Mass, the Pope made his way through the square in the Popemobile to greet all the pilgrims. He even stretched out to neighboring streets, going beyond Vatican borders to thank all the people who witnessed this historic day in the Church. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Her work was part of her ministry; patron Saint of domestic workers

St. Zita

Image of St. Zita


Feastday: April 27

St. Zita was born into a poor but holy Christian family. Her older sister became a Cistercian nun and her uncle Graziano was a hermit whom the local people regarded as a saint. Zita herself always tried to do God's will obediently whenever it was pointed out to her by her mother. At the age of twelve Zita became a housekeeper in the house of a rich weaver in Lucca, Italy, eight miles from her home at Monte Sagrati. As things turned out, she stayed with that family for the last forty-eight years of her life. She found time every day to attend Mass and to recite many prayers, as well as to carry out her household duties so perfectly that the other servants were jealous of her. Indeed, her work was part of her religion! She use to say: "a servant is not holy if she is not busy; lazy people of our position is fake holiness." At first, her employers were upset by her generous gifts of food to the poor, but in time, they were completely won over by her patience and goodness and she became a very close friend. St. Zita was given a free reign over her working schedule and busied herself with visits to the sick and those in prison. Word spread rapidly in Lucca of her good deeds and the heavenly visions that appeared to her. She was sought out by the important people, and at her death in 1278 the people acclaimed her as a saint. She is the patroness of domestic workers. Her feast day is April 27

Sunday night; what's on your mind?

This is so random but is designed as much to perhaps calm me down as it is to inform.  Do you ever spend Sunday night reflecting on what was and looking forward to what is?  Well I do.  And tonight I'm going to share some of that; like I said, perhaps as a form of therapy for me. 

Good Shepherd Sunday is Vocations Sunday - if your experience was anything like mine you probably heard something today at Mass about vocations and it was focused in on the Priesthood.  Indeed it should be!  We are always praying and hoping and praying some more for more vocations to the Priesthood.  Let's keep this up.  I did hear one inspired homily at yesterday's vigil that focused on the vocation of the married life.  It was awesome.  It served as a reminder to me that the Church should preach vocation often: Priesthood, Diaconate, Religious/Consecrated Life, Marriage, and those who choose to live a single life. 

A retreat for soon to be newly ordained Deacons - These past 5 days, the Formation Class of 2015 attended their pre-Ordination Retreat.  Unlike years past, specifically our 2010 and 2012 classes, I was far removed from this retreat.  A decision was made that no Deacons would be present as this class gathered together to focus on their soon to be new identity.  I have heard from a few of these men via social media and it sounds like a very efficacious retreat.  I sent an email to the class before the retreat began and shared with them that my own pre-Ordination retreat was the most meaningful event I experienced shy of Ordination itself.  Tonight I can only think of praying for each of these men, and their wives, and I am asking you to do the same.

Meeting the family - My wife and I spent a delightful afternoon with our daughter and her boyfriend Mark meeting his parents.  A father's intuition senses their will be more to speak about in this significant chapter in the life of his only daughter!

A Deacon, many times has to work - I sometimes dislike greatly the impression that my job gives many people in the Church.  It goes something like this, you must be a Deacon on the weekend, or your banking career is your real job and the Deacon gig is a side job.  I've also heard that it must be difficult to balance job and ministry.  At a real human level, it is true that balancing is something that must be done.  But ordained a Deacon, having been marked as one receiving Holy Orders, how can I communicate that I am Deacon, 100% of the time, 24/7/365?  In fact, one of the brilliant things about the Permanent Deacon in this age is the opportunity to come from the market place and still witness in the market place.  I pray that all people, especially Catholics, learn more about the Permanent Diaconate and embrace it more fully.

Catholics need to be more Catholic, really they do - Look, I know Facebook and social media in general is not the end all be all authority on anything, especially Catholicism.  Yet, if a sampling of reading articles just today is any indication, way to many Catholics need to learn about humility and obedience and follow the example of Christ in emptying self.  Why do we still have so much doom and gloom among Catholics?  Why do we defy the Holy Spirit and the promises of Christ Himself with our rants?  And why are they some still believing the lies that the train is off the track since Vatican II or since the election of Francis as our Pope?  Fortunately these are misguided thoughts of a precious few however, there must be prayer and outreach to these folks to keep the Body of Christ strong!  Make no mistake, the Church indeed is strong and growing (Christ promises) and will be so with or without the malcontented.  I clearly do not understand where they are coming from but will commit to praying for them!

God strengthens me because it still is who I am not what I do - In the past few days I have been very busy.  In the next few days I will be very busy.  Someone asked me once how do you do all that you do?  You have a job and you meet with folks 3-4 nights a week and your weekends are packed?  And the question did not spur an answer, it caused an epiphany in me.  How does this all happen?  Because God makes a way; because the Holy Spirit is in charge and because I am being faithful to what the grace of Ordination promised.  And I focus not so much on what I do but rather who I am.

I appreciate you - I sincerely admit that in no way do I understand how this blog and blogging in general works.  I do know that somehow, someway, you find yourselves to this page and yes, you read these posts.  I may or may not even know who you are.  Unless you take the time to post a comment, I don't know if this is helpful or you think I am all wet.  Whatever the case may be, I appreciate you and I am happy to pray for you and hope you will consider praying for me!

Good night, God Bless and have a great week!

This is what CRS does best; yes, I'm aware recent issues with CRS; that will get corrected. Being able to mobilize when disaster strikes is the mission.

Major Earthquake Hits Nepal: CRS and Caritas Mobilizing Response

April 26, 2015 by
Updated April 26, 2015
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has made an initial commitment of $725,000 toward relief efforts in Nepal and surrounding countries where a powerful earthquake has caused widespread damage.
donate-nowA dozen CRS emergency specialists are on the way to Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital, where many buildings collapsed in the 7.8 magnitude quake centered about 50 miles northwest of the capital city.
The official death toll is above 2,200 and still rising, with officials yet to reach many outlying villages. A deadly avalanche was reported at Mount Everest, undoubtedly only one of many in the Himalayas.
“People are in a state of shock and are going to face a cold night outside tonight,” CRS India staffer Kushal Neogy, who is in Kathmandu, said right after the earthquake hit. “There is no electricity. It appears to be a chaotic situation with a feeling of panic.” He added, “People of the area are confused, markets are closed, and getting basic essentials is expensive and challenging.”
As CRS personnel arrive in Kathmandu, they will work closely with Caritas Nepal and Caritas India as well as Caritas Australia which has staff on the ground.
“We are immediately sending materials for emergency shelter and for safe water, sanitation and hygiene as these are expected to be the urgent needs,” said CRS India Country Representative Tony Castleman. Because of the cold conditions, CRS is also sending blankets to the area.
Supplies prepositioned in India will be moved by road into Nepal as additional relief items are procured locally. The UN has been contacted about the possibility of humanitarian relief flights should that be needed.
“Rescue is the first priority,” said Fr. Pius Perumana S.J., Director of Caritas Nepal, based in Kathmandu. “Lots of people have lost their homes and are out on the street or in open spaces so we will be looking to provide them with food and temporary shelter.”
Nepal and the neighboring regions are known for seismic activity, but not of this magnitude.
“It is the worst earthquake I have ever experienced in my life,” Fr. Perumana said. “Thank God it was during the day and on a holiday as many people were outside when the quake happened.”
A prayer for Nepal is available in the CRS Resource Center.

Pope's mid day address today for Good Shepherd Sunday

Regina Coeli: On Following the Good Shepherd

"It is not enough to contemplate and give thanks. One should also follow the Good Shepherd."

Vatican City, ( | 47 hits

Below is a translation of Pope Francis' address today before and after the recitation of the Regina Coeli to the pilgrims in St. Peter's Square:

Before the Regina Coeli:
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
This Fourth Sunday of Easter,  called "Good Shepherd Sunday," each year invites us to rediscover even more new wonder, this definition which Jesus gave of Himself, reading into it in light of His Passion, Death and Resurrection. "The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep" (Jn 10:11): These words came true when Christ fully, freely obeying the will of the Father, sacrificed himself on the Cross. Then it becomes quite clear what it means that He is "the Good Shepherd:" He gives life, He offered His life as a sacrifice for all of us: for you, for you, for you, for me, for everyone! And this is the good shepherd!
Christ is the true shepherd, which realizes the highest model of love for the flock: He has laid down His life freely, no one takes it from him (cf. v. 18), but gives it in favor of the sheep (v. 17). In open opposition to false shepherds, Jesus presents himself as the only true shepherd of the people, the bad shepherd thinks of himself and uses his sheep; the good shepherd thinks of his sheep and gives himself. Unlike the mercenary, Christ is a caring, guiding shepherd who participates in the life of His flock, not for other interests, for He has no other ambition than to guide, nurture and protect his sheep. And all this at the highest price, that of the sacrifice of His own life.
In the figure of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, we contemplate God's providence, His paternal concern for each of us. He does not leave us alone! The consequence of this contemplation of Jesus, the true and good Shepherd, is the exclamation of profound wonder that we find in the Second Reading of today's Liturgy: "See what love the Father has given us ..."  It's really a surprising and mysterious love, because in giving us Jesus as the Shepherd who gives His life for us, the Father has given us everything as big and as valuable as He possibly could give us! It is the highest and purest love because it is not motivated by any necessity, is not conditioned by any calculation, and is not attracted to any interested desire to exchange. Faced with this love of God, we experience great joy and we are open to gratitude for what we have received for free.
But it is not enough to contemplate and give thanks. One should also follow the Good Shepherd. In particular, those who have the mission as leaders in the Church - priests, bishops, popes - are called not to take on the mentality of 'manager,' but that of the servant, in imitation of Jesus who, stripping himself, has saved us with His mercy. Also called to this style of pastoral life of the Good Shepherd are the new priests of the Diocese of Rome, whom I have had the joy of ordaining this morning in St. Peter's Basilica. And two of them will overlook to thank you for your prayers and to greet you ... [two priests near the Holy Father were overlooking those gathered]
Mary obtain for me, for the bishops and priests of the whole world the grace to serve the holy people of God through joyful proclamation of the Gospel, heartfelt celebration of the sacraments and patient and mild pastoral leadership.
[Original text: Italian]
After the Regina Coeli:
Dear brothers and sisters,
I want to assure my closeness to people affected by a strong earthquake in Nepal and neighboring countries. I pray for the victims, for the wounded and for all who suffer because of this disaster. You have the support of fraternal solidarity. Let's pray to Our Lady who is close to them. "Hail Mary ..."
Today, in Canada, Blessed Maria Elisa Turgeon, founder of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of San Germano, is proclaimed: an exemplary religious, devoted to prayer, teaching in small towns of her diocese, and to works of charity. We thank the Lord for this woman, model of life consecrated to God and generous commitment to the service of others.
I greet with affection all the pilgrims from Rome, Italy and from various countries, especially those coming in large numbers from Poland to mark the first anniversary of the canonization of John Paul II. Beloved, always resound in your hearts his call: "Open the doors to Christ!" that he said in the strong and holy voice he had. May the Lord bless you and your families and Madonna protect you.
I greet the faithful of Budapest, Madrid, Burgos, Bratislava and Cairo; as well as those of Trieste, Giovinazzo, Gorga, Gorlago, Pesaro, Lamezia Terme. I greet the young people of Niscemi and Trezzano Rosa, and the boys of the vicariates of Casalpusterlengo and Codogno, who are going to renew the profession of faith.
I wish you all a good Sunday. Please do not forget to pray for me. Good lunch and goodbye!

Pope Francis ordains 19 new Priests on World Vocation Sunday; here is his homily

Pope's Homily to New Priests on 52nd World Day of Prayer for Vocations

"Always keep in mind the example of the Good Shepherd, who came not to be served, but to serve"

Vatican City, (        

Below is a translation of Pope Francis' homily today, the fourth Sunday of Easter and the 52nd World Day of Pray for the Vocations's Mass, at this morning's Mass in St. Peter's Basilica:

Dear brothers,
These, our sons, were called the order of presbyter. We will do well to reflect a bit on that ministry to which they will be elevated in the Church. As you know, the Lord Jesus is the only
High Priest of the New Testament, but also in Him all the holy people of God were
constituted as priestly people. All of us! Nevertheless, among all his disciples, the Lord Jesus wants choose a few in particular, because exercising the priesthood publicly in the Church, in the favor of all men, continued his personal mission of master, priest and pastor.
In fact, for this is why He had been sent by the Father. And so, in turn, He sent in the world first the Apostles, and then the bishops and their successors, who finally were given as
collaborators, priests, who, together with them in the priestly ministry, are called to serve the
People of God.
They have reflected on this, on their vocation, and now they are going to receive the ordination of presbyters. And the bishop risks--risks!-- and chooses them, just as the Father has risked for each of us.
They will indeed be configured to Christ, the Eternal High Priest, namely they will be consecrated as true priests of the New Testament, and as such, they'll be united in the priesthood with their bishop. They will be preachers of the Gospel, Pastors of the People of God, and will preside over acts of worship, especially in celebrating the Lord's sacrifice.
As for you, you are about to be promoted to the order of the priesthood, consider that in
exercising the ministry of the Holy Doctrine, you will share in the mission of Christ, the only
Master. Dispense to all the word of God, that you yourselves received with joy. Read and
meditate assiduously on the Word of the Lord to believe what you read, to teach what you have learned in faith, and to live what you have taught.
And this is the nourishment of the People of God; that your sermons are not boring; that
your own homilies reach people's hearts because they come from your heart, because what you are saying is truly what you have in your heart. So give the Word of God, and thus your doctrine will be joy and support for the faithful of Christ; the scent of your life will be the testimony, because the example builds, but the words without example are empty words, and will never arrive at the heart and even do harm: They do no good! You will continue the sanctifying work of Christ. Through your ministry, the spiritual sacrifice of the faithful is made perfect--because joined to the sacrifice of Christ, through your hands, in the name of the whole Church--[and is] is offered, in a bloodless manner, on the altar in the celebration of the Holy Mysteries.
When you celebrate the Mass, therefore, acknowledge what you do. Do not do it in a hurry! Imitate that which you celebrate - not an artificial rite, an artificial ritual artificial - in order that, participating in the mystery of death and resurrection of the Lord, you bring the death of Christ in your members and so that you walk with Him in the newness of life.
In Baptism, join new faithful to the People of God. Do not ever refuse Baptism to anyone who asks! With the Sacrament of Penance, forgive sins in the name of Christ and the Church. And I, in the name of Jesus Christ, the Lord, and his Bride, the Holy Church, I ask you not to grow weary of being merciful. In the confessional, you are to going to forgive, not
to condemn! Imitate the Father who never gets tired of forgiving. With holy oil, you will give relief to sick. Celebrating the sacred rites and raising at various times of day prayers of praise and supplication, you will make the voice of the People of God and of all humanity.
Aware of being chosen from among men and being favored among them to attend to
the things of God, exercise in joy and sincere charity the priestly work of Christ, intent only on
pleasing God and not yourselves. It is a bad priest who lives to please himself, who does "the "Peacock!"
Finally, participating in the mission of Christ, the Head and Shepherd, in son-like communion with your bishop, strive to unite the faithful in one family - Be ministers of unity in
the Church, in family - leading them to God the Father through Christ in the Holy Spirit. And always keep in mind the example of the Good Shepherd, who came not to be served but to
serve; not to stay in his comfort, but to go out and seek and save what was lost.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Third Pope of the 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.