Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Litany of Work

LITANY OF WORK in honor of St. Joseph the Worker

Response after each invocation:
With St. Joseph the Worker, we praise you, O Lord. We give thanks to God for the work of our lives,
For the work of our hands,
For the work of our minds,
For the work of our hearts,
For the enlightening work of teachers, librarians, students, and coaches,
For the healing work of doctors, nurses, and counselors,
For the creative work of artists, musicians, painters, and sculptors,
For the precise work of engineers, scientists, and computer specialists,
For the nurturing work of homemakers, parents, and guardians,
For the wise work of retirees and grandparents,
For the proclaiming work of writers, photographers, editors, and publishers,
For the trustworthy work of accountants, bankers, lawyers,
politicians, and salespeople,
For the faith-filled work of ordained, religious, and lay ministers,
For the protective work of police, firefighters, and military personnel,
For the dedicated work of secretaries, receptionists, and bookkeepers,
For the compassionate work of volunteers,
For the fruitful work of farmers, fishers, growers, and gardeners,
For the judicious work of managers, administrators, directors, and supervisors,
For the steadfast work of those who manufacture products,
For the constructive work of builders, surveyors, architects,
masons, and carpenters,
For the efficient work of those who transport people and things by
bus, train, plane, taxi, and boat,
For the hospitable work of cooks, waiters and waitresses, cashiers,
hotel and motel workers,
For the clarifying work of television, radio, and news media workers,
For the dependable work of telephone and postal workers,
For the good work of all other co-workers,
For our work which sheds light in the darkness,
For our work which crates order from chaos,
For our work which builds peace out of hostility,
For our work which helps others,
For our work which empowers others,
For our work which inspires others,
For our work which builds the Reign of God,

Let us pray:

Joseph, it was to you that the Father entrusted his Son and the Virgin Mother. Continue to be the sign of the Father's love for us.
Form us in the ways of work as you formed Christ, so that we may labor for the building of the City of God.
Teach us a profound respect for the mystery of creation and a reverence for the Father's presence in the material world around us.
Help us bear witness to the sanctity of work in our daily living.
May God grant us this grace through your intercession in union with Jesus and Mary.

May 1st: we remember St. Joseph the Worker

St. Joseph The Worker

St Joespeh The Worker
St Joespeh The WorkerThe 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 month of May is devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary

May: The Month of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Catholic practice of assigning a special devotion to each month goes back to the early 16th century. Since the best known of those devotions is probably the dedication of May as the month of the Blessed Virgin Mary, it might come as a surprise that it wasn't until the late 18th century that this devotion arose among Jesuits in Rome. In the early years of the 19th century, it quickly spread throughout the Western Church, and, by the time of Pope Pius IX's declaration of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in 1854, it had become universal.

May crownings and other special events in May in honor of Mary, such as public recitation of the rosary, stem from this time. Sadly, such communal events are more rare today, but we can take the month of May as an opportunity to renew our own devotion to the Mother of God by dusting off our rosaries and adding a few more Marian prayers to our daily routine.

Parents, in particular, should encourage Marian devotion in their children, since the non-Catholic Christians they encounter today often downplay (if not denigrate) the role that the Blessed Virgin played in our salvation through her fiat--her joyous "Yes" to the will of God.

Holy Father's Prayer Intentions For 2014


  • Media. That the media may be instruments in the service of truth and peace.
  • Mary’s Guidance. That Mary, Star of Evangelization, may guide the Church in proclaiming Christ to all nations.

Please pray along with Pope Francis for his special prayer intentions for May!

Big changes in Priest assignments for Archdiocese of New Orleans!

Complete list of priesthood appointments effective July 2, 2014

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 Edmund Akordor as Pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, Norco, effective July 2, 2014.

Reverend Daniel E. Brouillette as Pastor of Annunciation Parish, Bogalusa, effective July 2, 2014.

Reverend Ronald L. Calkins as Pastor of St. Catherine of Siena Parish, Metairie, effective July 2, 2014.

Reverend Joel P. Cantones as Pastor of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Parish, Hahnville, effective July 2, 2014.

Reverend Robert C. Cavalier as Pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish, Folsom, effective July 2, 2014.

Reverend Patrick Collum as Pastor of St. Joan of Arc Parish, LaPlace, effective July 2, 2014.

Reverend Kyle V. Dave as Pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Belle Chasse, effective July 2, 2014.

Reverend Raymond J. Guillot as Pastor of Our Lady of the Angels Parish, Waggaman, effective July 2, 2014.

Reverend Dennis J. Hayes, III as Pastor of Blessed Trinity Parish, New Orleans, effective July 2, 2014.

Reverend Eugene F. Jacques as Pastor of St. Joseph the Worker Parish, Marrero, effective July 2, 2014.

Reverend James J. Jeanfreau as Pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish, Marrero, effective July 2, 2014.

Reverend Thomas Kilasara as Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Lacombe, effective July 2, 2014.

Reverend Emmanuel Mulenga, O.M.I. as Pastor of St. Augustine Parish, New Orleans, effective July 2, 2014.

Reverend Quentin Moody as Pastor of St. Jerome Parish, Kenner, effective July 2, 2014.

Reverend Hoai T. Nguyen as Pastor of Assumption of Mary Parish, Avondale, effective July 2, 2014.

Reverend William O'Riordan as Pastor of St. Ann Parish, Metairie, effective July 2, 2014.

Reverend John-Nhan Tran as Pastor of Mary Queen of Peace Parish, Mandeville, effective July 2, 2014.

Reverend Joseph Thang Dinh Tran as Pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Algiers, effective July 2, 2014.

Reverend Peter C. Weiss, S.S.J. as Pastor of All Saints Parish, New Orleans, effective July 2, 2014.


Reverend David Begany, S.S.J. as Parochial Vicar of Corpus Christi-Epiphany Parish, New Orleans, effective July 1, 2014.

Reverend Christian DeLerno as Parochial Vicar of St. Mary Magdalen Parish, Metairie, effective July 2, 2014.

Reverend Peter Finney, III as Parochial Vicar of St. Peter Parish, Covington, effective July 2, 2014.

NEWLY ORDAINED PRIESTS: (to be ordained June 7, 2014)

Reverend Ian Bozant as Parochial Vicar of Mary Queen of Peace Parish, Mandeville, effective July 2, 2014.

Reverend Charles Dussouy as Parochial Vicar of St. Edward the Confessor Parish, Metairie, effective July 2, 2014.

Reverend Timothy Hedrick as Parochial Vicar of St. Catherine of Siena Parish, Metairie, effective July 2, 2014.

Reverend Matthew Johnston as Parochial Vicar of St. Clement of Rome Parish, Metairie, effective July 2, 2014.


Reverend Damian Hinojosa as professor, spiritual director and member of Formation staff of St. Joseph Seminary College, Covington, effective July 2, 2014.


Reverend Terence Hayden in residence at St. Christopher the Martyr Parish, Metairie, while continuing with hospital and prison ministry, effective July 2, 2014.

Reverend Maurice J. Nutt, CSsR in residence at St. Alphonsus Parish, New Orleans, and serve as the Director of the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University in New Orleans, effective July 1, 2014.

Reverend Nicholas P. Pericone in residence at St. Charles Borromeo Parish, while continuing full-time ministry in the Metropolitan Tribunal, effective July 2, 2014.


Reverend Msgr. Terry B. Becnel, effective July 1, 2014.

Reverend Bernard C. Francis, effective July 1, 2014.

We are very grateful to Msgr. Terry Becnel and Fr. Bernie Francis for their many years of faithful service as priests.

TRANSITIONAL DEACONS: (to be ordained May 24, 2014)

Reverend Mr. Paul Clark as Deacon intern, St. Clement of Rome Parish, Metairie, effective June - October, 2014.

Reverend Mr. Christopher Zavackis as Deacon intern, St. Pius X Parish, New Orleans, effective June – October, 2014.

A death penalty disaster, again

This report is not the first time in recent history where even lethal injection proved to be cruel and unusual.

Events like this, the phenomena of death row inmates cleared month after month by DNA, and yes, the emerging totality of the teachings of the Church about the death penalty, makes it high time this is stopped. 

We have the means for keeping heinous criminals off the streets.  Time to end the death penalty.

The Pope of the Council of Trent

April 30
St. Pius V


This is the pope whose job was to implement the historic Council of Trent. If we think popes had difficulties in implementing Vatican Council II, Pius V had even greater problems after Trent than four centuries earlier.
During his papacy (1566-1572), Pius V was faced with the almost overwhelming responsibility of getting a shattered and scattered Church back on its feet. The family of God had been shaken by corruption, by the Reformation, by the constant threat of Turkish invasion and by the bloody bickering of the young nation-states. In 1545 a previous pope convened the Council of Trent in an attempt to deal with all these pressing problems. Off and on over 18 years, the Church Fathers discussed, condemned, affirmed and decided upon a course of action. The Council closed in 1563.

Pius V was elected in 1566 and was charged with the task of implementing the sweeping reforms called for by the Council. He ordered the founding of seminaries for the proper training of priests. He published a new missal, a new breviary, a new catechism and established the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) classes for the young. Pius zealously enforced legislation against abuses in the Church. He patiently served the sick and the poor by building hospitals, providing food for the hungry and giving money customarily used for the papal banquets to poor Roman converts. His decision to keep wearing his Dominican habit led to the custom of the pope wearing a white cassock.

In striving to reform both Church and state, Pius encountered vehement opposition from England's Queen Elizabeth and the Roman Emperor Maximilian II. Problems in France and in the Netherlands also hindered Pius's hopes for a Europe united against the Turks. Only at the last minute was he able to organize a fleet which won a decisive victory in the Gulf of Lepanto, off Greece, on October 7, 1571.

Pius's ceaseless papal quest for a renewal of the Church was grounded in his personal life as a Dominican friar. He spent long hours with his God in prayer, fasted rigorously, deprived himself of many customary papal luxuries and faithfully observed the spirit of the Dominican Rule that he had professed.


In their personal lives and in their actions as popes, Pius V and Venerable Paul VI (d. 1978) both led the family of God in the process of interiorizing and implementing the new birth called for by the Spirit in major Councils. With zeal and patience, Pius and Paul pursued the changes urged by the Council Fathers. Like Pius and Paul, we too are called to constant change of heart and life.


"In this universal assembly, in this privileged point of time and space, there converge together the past, the present, and the future. The past: for here, gathered in this spot, we have the Church of Christ with her tradition, her history, her councils, her doctors, her saints; the present: we are taking leave of one another to go out toward the world of today with its miseries, its sufferings, its sins, but also with its prodigious accomplishments, values, and virtues; and the future is here in the urgent appeal of the peoples of the world for more justice, in their will for peace, in their conscious or unconscious thirst for a higher life, that life precisely which the Church of Christ can give and wishes to give to them" (from Pope Paul's closing message at Vatican II).

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Christmas trees and Nativity scenes ok in Louisiana public schools says Louisiana legislature

House passes bill to allow Christmas trees, nativity scenes in public schools
Nativity scenes
Local governments that choose to allow nativity scenes in public schools would be protected, so long as they followed certain requirements laid out in a bill introduced by Rep. Alan Seabaugh, R-Shreveport, that seems likely to pass.

The House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill 88-0 that would authorize local school boards to educate students about religious holidays that take place in the winter, including Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.
The legislation would allow symbols associated with religious holidays -- such as Christmas trees and nativity scenes -- to be displayed in public schools as long as items representing multiple religions or secular belief systems were represented.
The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Alan Seabaugh, said the bill was largely based on a Texas law that has already withstood a legal challenge. He said he was confident that the law would be upheld by the courts if legal challenges from groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) materialized.  The ACLU typically frowns on religious symbols being placed in public schools and government buildings.
"The state would absolutely win [if a lawsuit comes forward]," said Seabaugh.

Pope Francis preached on the devil today, no really! Bet the secular media passes on this one!

Pope says jealousy is devil's work; Holy Spirit brings unity
By Carol GlatzCatholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Beware of the devil, who wants a jealous, power-hungry and divided church, Pope Francis said.

Be open to the Holy Spirit, who brings unity and harmony, and who pushes people to focus fully on Christ, the pope said April 29 during his homily at Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where he lives.

The pope's morning homily reflected on the day's reading from the Acts of the Apostles (4:32-37), which describes the early Christian community as being made up of believers who were "of one heart and mind," who "bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus," and who distributed their assets "to each according to need."

Pope Francis said the passage describes what every Christian community -- including parishes and dioceses -- should model and aspire to: "peace, witness, poverty and taking care of the poor."

A community of peace, forgiveness and harmony means "there's no place for gossip, jealousy, back-stabbing and slander," he said, according to a report by Vatican Radio.

To see how a community measures up to what Christ wants, look at how its members behave, he said. "Are they meek, humble? Are there battles among them over power? Jealous arguments? Is there gossip? They are not on the road of Jesus Christ," he said.

A peaceful, harmonious community is "very, very important," he said, "because the devil is always trying to divide us. He is the father of division."

The second important characteristic of a Christian community is its dedication to giving witness to the risen Christ, he said.

"Does this parish, this community, this diocese really believe that Jesus Christ is risen?" or do people only believe it with their head and not their heart? he asked. "To give witness that Jesus is living, he is among us -- this is the way you can verify how a community is doing."

The third aspect of a Christian community is its members' "poverty of spirit" -- that they put their trust in God and not riches and power, he said.

This is what Jesus meant when he told Nicodemus that "you must be born from above" and born of the Holy Spirit, the pope said.

When it comes to peace, witness and a concern for the poor, "the only one who can do this is the Spirit. This is the work of the Spirit," he said.

The Holy Spirit creates unity, "the Spirit pushes us to give witness," the pope said. "The Spirit makes you poor because he is the richness and he makes it so you care for the poor."


More confusion, as always, at Notre Dame. Read the limks too for a full picture of another messy ND story.

Young Catholics Not Welcome at the University of Notre Dame
By Peter Miller   
April 29, 2014
Officials at the University of Notre Dame revoke permission for pro-marriage table, tell young Catholics to “cease and desist” promoting natural marriage on campus.

Sound Bend, Indiana: April 29, 2014 -- Young volunteers with Tradition Family Property Student Action were ordered to “cease and desist” promoting traditional marriage at the University of Notre Dame on Friday, April 25.

“Permission to have a table had been granted through an officially recognized on-campus student group,” said TFP Student Action director John Ritchie.  “But that permission was revoked for some odd reason.  Police officers arrived soon after we started giving out pro-family literature and cut the event short, informing us that we were no longer welcome to talk to students about the importance of preserving the sanctity of marriage between 1 man and 1 woman, which fully agrees with 2,000 years of Catholic teaching,” Ritchie explained.

The TFP handout, 10 Reasons Why Same-Sex “Marriage” is Harmful and Must Be Opposed, was being warmly received by students and faculty members alike. However, several pro-homosexual students ripped up the flier, shouted obscenities, and expressed their desire to deprive the pro-true marriage volunteers of their right to free speech.

“I’m still trying to fully understand why the event was shut down,” said Ritchie.  “I was hoping to find a more supportive environment for the Catholic position on marriage. But instead, Notre Dame police officers told us that we only had proper permission to have a table – but that nobody was allowed to actually man the table, which was the whole point of having a table in the first place. How can a table man itself?  So we were forced to leave.”

"It seems like the more you hear about inclusion and diversity in higher education, the less you hear about the truth, the more the truth is shut out of the conversation" added Ritchie.  "We need to pray for all the Catholic students at Notre Dame who are fighting the good fight for moral values and the defense of natural marriage.  Because the future of our nation depends on the very institution of the family, united by mother and father, and open to the children that God gives them."

This student wanted people to throw TFP fliers in his trash bin without reading them.  But none were seen doing so. 

The parade of Popes to Sainthood continues?

Pope Paul VI Beatification is Imminent

pope paul VI 2Commentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Yet another modern pope may soon be added to the book of saints as the Vatican prepares to endorse a miracle attributed to the intercession of Pope Paul VI which will pave the way for his beatification.
The Religion News Service is reporting that the members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints are planning to meet to confirm the miracle on May 5. Once approved, Pope Francis is likely to proclaim his beatification at the end of the Synod of Bishops in October of this year.
The miracle is said to have occurred in California in the 1990′s when a 24 week-old fetus was diagnosed as having critical complications that would cause it to either die in the womb or be born with seriously damaged kidneys. The mother was advised to abort the child.
She refused, and instead placed an image of Pope Paul VI and a remnant of his vestments on her stomach and began praying for his intercession.
Her child was born healthy at 39 weeks and doctors are unable to explain the change in its conditions. Doctors continued to monitor the child’s health until the age of 12.
An officially inquiry into the case was launched in 2003 and medical experts confirmed just last year that the child’s recovery was inexplicable.
Paul VI was born Giovanni Battista Montini in 1897 in a small town in the northern Italian province of Brescia to a wealthy family. Frail but intelligent, he received his early education from the Jesuits. He was accepted into the seminary in 1916 but was permitted to live at home because of his poor health. After ordination, a brief stint as an attache to the nunciature in Warsaw, Poland, ended when the cruel winters were found to be too difficult on his fragile physical state. He returned to Rome and was assigned to the office of the Secretariat of State where he remained for the next thirty years.
Pope Paul VIA shy and deeply spiritual man, his great intelligence won him notice and he was eventually picked to lead the Archdiocese of Milan, which he did with such vigor that he soon became known as the “archbishop of the workers.”
“He revitalized the entire diocese, preached the social message of the Gospel, worked to win back the laboring class, promoted Catholic education at every level, and supported the Catholic press. His impact upon the city at this time was so great that it attracted world-wide attention,” writes the Vatican in his official biography.
Although he had resisted elevation to cardinal once before, he was given the red hat by Pope John XXIII in 1958. Only five years later, he would receive yet another crown from the Church, this one belonging to St. Peter.
Elected Pope on June 21, 1963, his first message to the world was to commit himself to continuing the work of Vatican II begun by his predecessor, a promise he would fulfill handily during his fifteen year reign.
Among his many accomplishments was the landmark encyclical he wrote on the regulation of birth, Humanae vitae, in July, 1968. Unfortunately, the document caused international controversy, which greatly overshadowed the last years of his pontificate.
“Pope Paul had an unaccountably poor press and his public image suffered by comparison with his outgoing and jovial predecessor,” the Vatican bio reads.”Those who knew him best, however, describe him as a brilliant man, deeply spiritual, humble, reserved and gentle, a man of ‘infinite courtesy.’ He was one of the most traveled popes in history and the first to visit five continents.”
He died on August 6, 1978, the feast of the Transfiguration. As a final testament to his profound poverty of spirit, he asked for a simple funeral with no catafalque and no monument over his grave.
This announcement, coming on the heels of the canonization of two saints who were raised up in what is believed by many to be one of the evil eras in the history of the world, is living proof that what St. Paul teaches us in the Letter to the Romans is true beyond a doubt. “Where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more” (Rom. 5:20).
While it is true that we are living in a time of great evil, we are also living in a time of unprecedented grace – which means there is no better time than now to be a saint!
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St. Catherine of Siena

Image of St. Catherine of Siena


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

The 25th 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 mo 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Pope Francis continues to condemn the crime/sin of abortion

Ahead of Historic Sainthood Mass, Pope Francis Speaks Out Against Abortion


Presented by
The big story this weekend was Pope Francis' elevation of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II to sainthood. The "four-pope mass" was noteworthy not only because two popes (John XXIII and John Paul II) had never been canonized at the same time, but also because two living popes (Francis and the papal emeritus Benedict XVI)  had never been present for a canonization. They were joined by nearly a million other people in Vatican City.
In his homily, Pope Francis praised both 20th-century pontiffs effusively. The Holy See also sought to dispel the public curiosity about the canonization of two men who were considered to be dogmatically very different; the "liberal" Pope John XXIII and the "conservative" John Paul II.
“They were priests, bishops and popes of the 20th century. They lived through the tragic events of that century, but they were not overwhelmed by them. For them, God was more powerful; faith was more powerful.”
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Father James Martin offered that the biographical differences between major figures in the history of the church are part of what made their spiritual quests compelling.
Consider how the personalities of some of the most notable men and women in the church led them to live out their calls. St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, gave up a military career to follow God; St. Joan of Arc began one. Dorothy Day, the co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement, started a newspaper, while St. Bernadette Soubirous, the visionary of Lourdes, shrank in horror from the idea of her story ever being published. St. Thomas Aquinas spent his life surrounded by books, while St. Francis of Assisi instructed his friars not to own even one lest they become too proud."
Ahead of the weekend's event, Pope Francis showed glimpses of that complexity on Friday, when he made a seemingly rare statement to a group of African bishops in which he strongly condemned abortion.
Abortion compounds the grief of many women who now carry with them deep physical and spiritual wounds after succumbing to the pressures of a secular culture which devalues God’s gift of sexuality and the right to life of the unborn.”  
Pope Francis has made a habit of focusing on poverty and social inequality rather than abortion, which remains a divisive issue both within and beyond the Catholic church. Two weeks before, he had called abortion "an unspeakable crime" during a speech to an Italian anti-abortion group.  

SURGERY; A first for the abitadeacon

Sitting at home tonight, I survived my first surgery ever.  Without boring you beyond belief, I simply had hernia repair surgery, fortunately with a laparoscopic procedure.  That means I got to come tonight, even though my recover time will be about 12-15 days. 

Despite several health challenges in my life, including some heart issues, I have managed to avoid surgery for these 57 years.  Yes, I've had an angiogram or two, always yielding good results!  I take medications to keep my blood pressure in check and I do suffer from an irregular heart beat from time to time.  I have also dutifully had those colonoscopies no one looks forward to.  Again, predominately good news here too!  Both these procedures involve anesthesia but not at the level my hernia repair surgery required today.  Apparently, I had to be intubated, knocked out cold for an hour and I received 5 incisions for the surgeon to access the hernia and make the necessary repairs.  I am told all went well, very well!

Now I am experiencing what so many of you know all about; post surgical pain.  It is promised to get better, I am told, but tonight is a little rough.  And I say this with all due respect to the many of you who have endured pain far worse than I.  Now pain meds; that's a different story!  Love them!  Admittedly, I'm trying to not overdo it, and I still feel some pain.  Yet, I can manage it with the help of my little white pills.  Editorial note:  always take pain medicine per doctor's orders and never, ever overdo it or share with others.  Editorial over!

In response to my surgery, I have received dozens upon dozens of well wishes, prayers and offers of help.  I am overwhelmed!  Each of you, in your kindness and generosity, have reflected the light of Christ in who you are and your charity offered to me!  I thank each of you from the bottom of my heart!

I've always preached and taught about the efficaciousness of uniting one's pain and suffering to that experienced by Jesus in His passion, crucifixion and death.  These words have a fresh, new meaning for me tonight!

This experience had taught me to love one another more deeply and completely and to be more wiling to walk a mile n the shoes of our brothers & sisters!

A first for the abitadeacon, and now on the mend!!

19th century Priest, Missionary and Martyr

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.

A modern day witness for life

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."

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Saints from A - Z; the 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.

How to Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy

Chaplet of The Divine Mercy

1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed. 2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following:
Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).
4. Conclude with (three times):
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
In 1933, God gave Sister Faustina a striking vision of His Mercy,
Sister tells us:
"I saw a great light, with God the Father in the midst of it.
Between this light and the earth I saw Jesus nailed to the Cross
and in such a way that God, wanting to look upon the earth, had to
look through Our Lord's wounds and I understood that God blessed
the earth for the sake of Jesus."

Of another vision on Sept. 13, 1935, she writes:
"I saw an Angel, the executor of God's wrath... about to strike
the earth...I began to beg God earnestly for the world with words
which I heard interiorly. As I prayed in this way, I saw the
Angel's helplessness, and he could not carry out the just

The following day an inner voice taught her to say this prayer on
ordinary rosary beads:

"First say one 'Our Father', 'Hail Mary', and 'I believe'. Then on
the large beads say the following words:

'Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity
of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement
for our sins and those of the whole world.'

On the smaller beads you are to say the following words:
'For the sake of His sorrowful Passion have mercy on us and on the
whole world.'

In conclusion you are to say these words three times:
'Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us
and on the whole world'.

Jesus said later to Sister Faustina:
"Say unceasingly this chaplet that I have taught you. Anyone who
says it will receive great Mercy at the hour of death. Priests
will recommend it to sinners as the last hope. Even the most
hardened sinner, if he recites this Chaplet even once, will
receive grace from My Infinite Mercy. I want the whole world to
know My Infinite Mercy. I want to give unimaginable graces to
those who trust in My Mercy...."

"....When they say this Chaplet in the presence of the dying, I
will stand between My Father and the dying person not as the just
judge but as the Merciful Savior".

From the website Whispers in the Loggia: The homily from today's Canonization of Saints John XXIII and John Paul II

The Legacy of Saints John and John Paul: "A Church of Mercy, Which Always Hopes, Forgives and Loves"
27 APRIL 2014
At the heart of this Sunday, which concludes the Octave of Easter and which John Paul II wished to dedicate to Divine Mercy, are the glorious wounds of the risen Jesus.

He had already shown those wounds when he first appeared to the Apostles on the very evening of that day following the Sabbath, the day of the resurrection. But, as we heard, Thomas was not there that evening, and when the others told him that they had seen the Lord, he replied that unless he himself saw and touched those wounds, he would not believe. A week later, Jesus appeared once more to the disciples gathered in the Upper Room, and Thomas was present; Jesus turned to him and told him to touch his wounds. Whereupon that man, so straightforward and accustomed to testing everything personally, knelt before Jesus with the words: “My Lord and my God!” (Jn 20:28).

The wounds of Jesus are a scandal, a stumbling block for faith, yet they are also the test of faith. That is why on the body of the risen Christ the wounds never pass away: they remain, for those wounds are the enduring sign of God’s love for us. They are essential for believing in God. Not for believing that God exists, but for believing that God is love, mercy and faithfulness. Saint Peter, quoting Isaiah, writes to Christians: “by his wounds you have been healed” (1 Pet 2:24, cf. Is 53:5).

Saint John XXIII and Saint John Paul II were not afraid to look upon the wounds of Jesus, to touch his torn hands and his pierced side. They were not ashamed of the flesh of Christ, they were not scandalized by him, by his cross; they did not despise the flesh of their brother (cf. Is 58:7), because they saw Jesus in every person who suffers and struggles. 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.

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; faith was more powerful – faith in Jesus Christ the Redeemer of man and the Lord of history; the mercy of God, shown by those five wounds, was more powerful; and more powerful too was the closeness of Mary our Mother.

In these two men, who looked upon the wounds of Christ and bore witness to his mercy, there dwelt a living hope and an indescribable and glorious joy (1 Pet 1:3,8). The hope and the joy which the risen Christ bestows on his disciples, the hope and the joy which nothing and no one can take from them. The hope and joy of Easter, forged in the crucible of self-denial, self-emptying, utter identification with sinners, even to the point of disgust at the bitterness of that chalice. Such were the hope and the joy which these two holy popes had received as a gift from the risen Lord and which they in turn bestowed in abundance upon the People of God, meriting our eternal gratitude.

This hope and this joy were palpable in the earliest community of believers, in Jerusalem, as we read in the Acts of the Apostles (cf. 2:42-47), as we heard in the second reading. It was a community which lived the heart of the Gospel, love and mercy, in simplicity and fraternity.

This is also the image of the Church which the Second Vatican Council set before us. John XXIII and John Paul II cooperated with the Holy Spirit in renewing and updating the Church in keeping with her pristine features, those features which the saints have given her throughout the centuries. Let us not forget that it is the saints who give direction and growth to the Church. In convening the Council, John XXIII showed an exquisite openness to the Holy Spirit. He let himself be led and he was for the Church a pastor, a servant-leader, led by the Spirit. This was his great service to the Church; he was the pope of openness to the Spirit.

In his own service to the People of God, John Paul II was the pope of the family. He himself once said that he wanted to be remembered as the pope of the family. I am particularly happy to point this out as we are in the process of journeying with families towards the Synod on the family. It is surely a journey which, from his place in heaven, he guides and sustains.

May these two new saints and shepherds of God’s people intercede for the Church, so that during this two-year journey toward the Synod she may be open to the Holy Spirit in pastoral service to 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.

A day of 4 Popes; 2 canonized, 2 present; historic day for the Catholic Church

John XXIII and John Paul II granted sainthood on historic day of 4 popes

Vatican Popes Saints
Pope Francis touches a statue of the Virgin Mary as he leads a solemn ceremony in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, April 27, 2014. Pope Francis has declared his two predecessors John XXIII and John Paul II saints in an unprecedented canonization ceremony made even more historic by the presence of retired Pope Benedict XVI. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
The Associated Press By The Associated Press The Associated Press
on April 27, 2014 

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis declared Popes John XXIII and John Paul II saints before some 800,000 people on Sunday in an unprecedented ceremony made even more historic by the presence of emeritus Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter's Square.
Never before have a reigning pope and a retired pope celebrated Mass together in public, much less at an event honoring two of their most famous predecessors.
Benedict's presence was a reflection of the balancing act that Francis envisioned when he decided to canonize John and John Paul together, showing the unity of the Catholic Church by honoring popes beloved by conservatives and progressives alike.
Francis made that point clear in his homily, praising both new saints for their work associated with the Second Vatican Council, the groundbreaking meetings that brought the 2,000-year-old institution into modern times. John convened the council in 1962 while John Paul helped ensure its more conservative implementation and interpretation.
"John XXIII and John Paul II cooperated with the Holy Spirit in renewing and updating the church in keeping with her pristine features, those features which the saints have given her throughout the centuries," Francis said.
He praised John for having allowed himself to be led by God to call the council, and he hailed John Paul's focus on the family — an issue Francis has taken up himself.
"They were priests, bishops and popes of the 20th century," Francis said. "They lived through the tragic events of that century, but they were not overwhelmed by them."
It was Benedict who put John Paul on the fast-track for possible sainthood just weeks after he died in 2005, responding to the chants of "Santo Subito!" or "Sainthood Now!" that erupted during his funeral Mass. His canonization is now the fastest in modern times.
Francis then tweaked the Vatican's own saint-making rules, deciding that John could be made a saint alongside him without the necessary second miracle usually required for canonization.
Francis took a deep breath and paused for a moment before reciting the saint-making formula in Latin at the start of the ceremony, as if moved by the history he was about to make in canonizing two popes at once.
He said that after deliberating, consulting and praying for divine assistance "we declare and define that Blessed John XXIII and John Paul II be saints and we enroll them among the saints, decreeing that they are to be venerated as such by the whole church."
Applause broke out from a crowd that stretched from St. Peter's to the Tiber River and beyond.
"This is such a historic moment," marveled the Rev. Victor Perez, who brought a group from the John Paul High School in Houston, Texas and waited for nearly 12 hours to get near St. Peter's. "John Paul was so impactful on the church. He completed the work of Vatican II. Today honors the last 50 years of what God has done in the church."
In John Paul's native Poland, bells rang out as soon as Francis pronounced the two men saints.
"He changed Poland and he changed us with his teaching and with his visits here," an emotional Maria Jurek said as she watched the proceedings on giant TV screens at a sanctuary dedicated to John Paul in Krakow.
In the Philippines, where John Paul in 1995 drew the largest ever crowd for a papal Mass at 4 million, Filipinos watched the canonization on TV and joined local celebrations, including a suburban Manila parade of children dressed like the pope.
Yet the atmosphere in St. Peter's seemed somber and subdued — perhaps due to the chilly gray skies and cumulative lack of sleep of many of the pilgrims who camped out on the streets near the Vatican or stayed up praying at the all-night vigils organized in churches around town. It was a far different scene than the rollicking party atmosphere of John Paul's May 2011 beatification, when bands of young people sang, danced and cheered before, during and after the Mass.
Spirits did pick up after the service when Francis drove through the crowds in his open-topped car all the way down to the Tiber River, giving many people their first — and only — close-up glimpse of him.
The Vatican estimated that 800,000 people watched the Mass in Rome, with about 500,000 in the square and nearby streets and the rest watching on TV screens that had been set up in piazzas around town.
By the time the ceremony began, Via della Conciliazione, the main boulevard leading from the square, nearby streets and the bridges across the Tiber were packed.
Polish pilgrims carrying the red and white flags of John Paul's beloved homeland had been among the first to push into the square well before sunrise, as the human chains of neon-vested civil protection workers trying to maintain order finally gave up and let them in.
"Four popes in one ceremony is a fantastic thing to see and to be at, because it is history being written in our sight," marveled one of the visiting Poles, Dawid Halfar.
Benedict had promised to remain "hidden from the world" after resigning last year, but Francis has coaxed him out of retirement and urged him to take part in the public life of the church.
During the Mass, Benedict sat off to the side of the altar with other cardinals, though he was clearly in a place of honor. He received the Italian president and a steady stream of cardinals, as well as Francis himself who embraced Benedict at the beginning and end of the service. Benedict had arrived in the square on his own to cheers and applause, wearing the same white vestments and white bishops' miter as other cardinals. The only difference was he had a white skullcap on rather than red.
In a dress rehearsal of sorts, Benedict attended the February ceremony in which Francis installed 19 new cardinals. But celebrating Mass together with Francis was something else entirely, a first for the institution and a reflection of Francis' desire to show the continuity in the papacy, despite different personalities, priorities and politics.
Pope John XIII, who reigned from 1958-1963, is a hero to liberal Catholics for having convened Vatican II, which allowing Mass to be celebrated in local languages rather than Latin and encouraged greater dialogue with people of other faiths, particularly Jews.
During his quarter-century papacy from 1978-2005, John Paul II helped topple communism through his support of Poland's Solidarity movement. His globe-trotting papacy and launch of the wildly popular World Youth Days invigorated a new generation of Catholics, while his defense of core church teaching heartened conservatives after the turbulent 1960s.
"John Paul was our pope," said Therese Andjoua, a 49-year-old nurse who traveled from Libreville, Gabon, with some 300 other pilgrims to attend. She sported a traditional African dress bearing the images of the two new saints.
"In 1982 he came to Gabon and when he arrived he kissed the ground and told us to 'Get up, go forward and be not afraid,'" she recalled as she rested against a pallet of water bottles. "When we heard he was going to be canonized, we got up."
Kings, queens, presidents and prime ministers from more than 90 countries attended. Some 20 Jewish leaders from the U.S., Israel, Italy, Francis' native Argentina and Poland were also taking part, in a clear sign of their appreciation for the great strides made in Catholic-Jewish relations under John, John Paul — and their successors celebrating their sainthood.