Thursday, August 31, 2017

Our first Saint of the Day for September

St. Giles, Abbot

Image of St. Giles, Abbot


Feastday: September 1
Patron of beggars; blacksmiths; breast cancer; breast feeding; cancer patients; disabled people; Edinburgh (Scotland); epilepsy; fear of night; noctiphobics; forests; hermits; horses; lepers; mental illness; outcasts; poor peoples; rams; spur makers; sterility
Birth: 650
Death: 710

St. Giles, Abbot (Patron of Physically Disabled) Feast day - September 1
St. Giles is said to have been a seventh century Athenian of noble birth. His piety and learning made him so conspicuous and an object of such admiration in his own country that, dreading praise and longing for a hidden life, he left his home and sailed for France. At first he took up his abode in a wilderness near the mouth of the Rhone river, afterward near the river Gard, and, finally, in the diocese of Nimes.
He spend many years in solitude conversing only with God. The fame of his miracles became so great that his reputation spread throughout France. He was highly esteemed by the French king, but he could not be prevailed upon to forsake his solitude. He admitted several disciples, however, to share it with him. He founded a monastery, and established an excellent discipline therein. In succeeding ages it embraced the rule of St. Benedict. St. Giles died probably in the beginning of the eighth century, about the year 724.

September Prayer Intention of Pope Francis



That our parishes, animated by a missionary spirit, may be places where faith is communicated and charity is seen.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Thursday Saint of the Day

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St. Aidan of Lindisfarne

Image of St. Aidan of Lindisfarne


Feastday: August 31
Death: 651

Aidan of Lindisfarne, born in Ireland, may have studied under St. Senan before becoming a monk at Iona. At the request of King Oswald of Northumbria, Aidan went to Lindisfarne as bishop and was known throughout the kingdom for his knowledge of the Bible, his learning, his eloquent preaching, his holiness, his distaste for pomp, his kindness to the poor, and the miracles attributed to him. He founded a monastery at Lindisfarne that became known as the English Iona and was a center of learning and missionary activity for all of northern England. He died in 651 at the royal castle at Bamburgh

Pope Francis General Audience and Catechesis

Living With Jesus, ‘an Immense Happiness’ (Catechesis in English)

‘Our first encounter with Jesus is that first spark which, even in the midst of trials, leads to an ever-deeper relationship with the Lord and which brings us hope and joy’
General Audience
“Every vocation, marriage, consecrated life, priesthood begins with an encounter with Jesus that gives new joy and hope. Jesus wants people who experience that living with Him, gives immense happiness.”
Pope Francis said this in his weekly catechesis of August 30, 2017.
During the General Audience in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope continued his catechesis on Christian hope by meditating on the theme: “The memory of vocation revives hope.”
He recommended that young people not give into those who are cynical and the “old-hearted.”
“Do not trust someone who extinguishes enthusiasm by saying that nothing would be worth the sacrifice of a lifetime. God wants us to dream like him and with him,” he said.
Here is the Vatican-provided English-language summary of the Pope’s address at the General Audience this morning:
Speaker: Dear Brothers and Sisters: I wish to reflect again on the relationship between hope and memory. In the Gospel passage we have heard, Saint John shares with us the precious memory of when Jesus called the first disciples and asked them: “What do you seek?” It is a question that he asks each of us in our own time. Jesus recognizes that a young heart, and a healthy one at that, is a searching heart, full of a desire for life and happiness. For the first disciples, this encounter was only the beginning of their relationship with Jesus and the living out of their vocation; it ignited a flame in their hearts, which transformed them into missionaries who always treasured the memory of that first encounter with Christ. Their story reminds us how we discover our vocation. Whether we are called to marriage, consecrated life or priesthood, our vocation finds its origin in our first encounter with Jesus. It is that first spark which, even in the midst of trials, leads to an ever-deeper relationship with the Lord and which brings us hope and joy. Let us treasure this flame of love that burns in our hearts, by recalling our first encounter with Christ. May we be joyful disciples, who dream with God of a better world, and who share the reason for our hope with all whom we meet.
Speaker: I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, particularly those from Malta, Guinea, the Philippines and Canada. Upon all of you and your families, I invoke the grace of the Lord Jesus, that you may be a sign of Christian hope in the midst of your communities. May God bless you all!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Founded the Little Sisters of the Poor; Canonized 2009 by Pope Benedict XVI

St. Jeanne Jugan

Image of St. Jeanne Jugan


Feastday: August 30
Birth: 1792
Death: 1879
Beatified By: Pope John Paul II

Jeanne Jugan was born on October 25, 1792 in a small fishing village of Brittany, France. She was the sixth of the eight children of Joseph and Marie Jugan. When she was three and a half, her father was lost at sea. Her mother struggled for years to keep the family together in their one room earthen-floored cottage. When Jeanne was about 16, she became the kitchen maid of the Viscountess de la Choue, a kind-hearted Christian woman, who took her on visits to the sick and the poor on and around her estate. Jeanne learned by example, the meaning of truly Christian charity and a refinement of manners not customary among those of the peasant class. When she was about 25, Jeanne took a job in the crowded hospital in the town of Saint Servan. After six years of devoted toil at the hospital, she was so worn out that she had to leave this work. She went to work for a good Christian woman named Mlle. Lecoq. Daily, the two women spent hours in prayer, and they assisted at Mass. They also instructed the town's children in their catechism. They also cared for the poor and other unfortunates until the elderly woman died. In 1837, the forty-five year old Jeanne and a seventy-two year old woman named Francoise Aubert rented part of a humble cottage. They were joined by Virginie Tredaniel, a seventeen year old orphan and the three formed a community of prayer. They taught catechism and assisted the poor. Whatever they had left over from their earnings, they gave to the poor. At age 47, with the approval of Francoise and Virginie, Jeanne turned her attention to the most pitiful of the poor-abandoned old ladies. In 1839, she brought home a blind widow named Anne Chauvin. Jeanne gave up her own bed to provide sleeping quarters for their guest. Henceforth, she was to share intimately in the sufferings of the poor, even physically, considering herself one of them. This characteristic is expressed in the name that eventually developed for Jeanne's charitable work: The Little Sisters of the Poor. As the number of guests grew, so also did her little community. Jeanne wrote a somple rule for them and herself. Putting aside personal pride, theLittle Sisters daily went out door to door asking for food, clothing and money. In 1879 Jeanne was eighty-seven. At this time the community she had founded had 2,400 Little Sisters and had spread across Europe and across the Ocean. Toward the end of August, she was given the Last Sacraments. Her last words were, "O Mary, my dear Mother, come to me. You know I love you and how I long to see You!" After her peaceful death, Jeanne was buried in the graveyard at the motherhouse. She was beatified in Rome on October 3, 1982.

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Passion of St. John the Baptist

Ordinary Time: August 29th

Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist

The Church, having celebrated the earthly birthday of St. John the Baptist on June 24, today honors the anniversary of his martyrdom. Besides our Lord and our Lady, St. John the Baptist is the only one whose birth and death are thus celebrated. Today's Gospel relates the circumstances of his execution. He had the courage to blame Herod to his face for the scandal of his illegal union with his sister-in-law Herodias, whose husband was still alive. Herodias contrived to make Herod imprison him and took advantage of an unexpected opportunity to obtain through her daughter Salome the beheading of the saint.
According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. Sabina. The titular church of St. Sabina of the Aventine is a gem of Christian architecture. It owes its origin to the generosity of a Roman lady of the name of Sabina who gave to the Christian community the house that she possessed in this aristocratic quarter of Rome. The martyrologies also commemorate another St. Sabina who died in Umbria. The identity of name has caused confusion between the two women.

Martyrdom of John the Baptist
In addition to the feast of the nativity of St. John the Baptist (June 24), the Church, since the fourth century, commemorates the martyrdom of Christ's precursor. According to the Roman Martyrology, this day marks "the second finding of his most venerable head." The body of the saint was buried in Samaria. In the year 362 pagans desecrated the grave and burned his remains. Only a small portion of his relics were able to be saved by monks and sent to St. Athanasius at Alexandria. The head of the saint is venerated at various places. That in the Church of St. Sylvester in Rome belongs to a martyr-priest John. Also in the Dominican church at Breslau the Baptist's head is honored.
Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch
There is no doubt that blessed John suffered imprisonment and chains as a witness to our Redeemer, whose forerunner he was, and gave his life for him. His persecutor had demanded not that he should deny Christ, but only that he should keep silent about the truth. Nevertheless, he died for Christ. Does Christ not say: "I am the truth"? Therefore, because John shed his blood for the truth, he surely died for Christ.
Through his birth, preaching and baptizing, he bore witness to the coming birth, preaching and baptism of Christ, and by his own suffering he showed that Christ also would suffer.
Such was the quality and strength of the man who accepted the end of this present life by shedding his blood after the long imprisonment. He preached the freedom of heavenly peace, yet was thrown into irons by ungodly men. He was locked away in the darkness of prison, though he came bearing witness to the Light of life and deserved to be called a bright and shining lamp by that Light itself, which is Christ.
To endure temporal agonies for the sake of the truth was not a heavy burden for such men as John; rather it was easily borne and even desirable, for he knew eternal joy would be his reward.
Since death was ever near at hand, such men considered it a blessing to embrace it and thus gain the reward of eternal life by acknowledging Christ's name. Hence the apostle Paul rightly says: "You have been granted the privilege not only to believe in Christ but also to suffer for his sake." He tells us why it is Christ's gift that his chosen ones should suffer for him: "The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed in us."
— Saint Bede the Venerable

Pope Francis books more travel before end of year

Pope Francis in Myanmar and Bangladesh (November 27-December 2, 2017)
Greg Burke’s Statement
Aung San Suu Kyi, May 4, 2017 © L'Osservatore Romano
Aung San Suu Kyi, May 4, 2017 © L'Osservatore Romano
Pope Francis will travel to Myanmar (November 27-30, 2017), and to Bangladesh (November 30-December 2, 2017), said the Holy See.
This is the first visit of a Pope to Myanmar and the second visit of a Pope to Bangladesh, 31 years after John Paul II’s trip in November 1986.
The director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke, issued a statement this Monday, August 28, 2017, saying that, “welcoming the invitation of the respective Heads of State and Bishops, His Holiness Pope Francis will make an Apostolic Visit to Myanmar from November 27-30, 2017, visiting the cities of Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw, and to Bangladesh from November 30-December 2, 2017, visiting the city of Dhaka. The program for the visit will be published shortly.”
In Burma (about 51 million people) the Catholics are 1 percent of the population, with three Archdioceses: (Mandalay, Taunggyi, Yangon) and 13 dioceses.
Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, Archbishop of Yangon, 68, a Salesian of Saint John Bosco, was created a Cardinal by Pope Francis on February 14, 2015. He is the first cardinal of Myanmar.
In Bangladesh (about 156 million people), Islam is the State religion: 90 percent are Muslim, eight percent Hindu, two percent represent other religions. Christians are about one percent, half of them Catholics — a small community of about 350,000 people.
On November 19, 2016, Pope Francis created the first cardinal from Bangladesh, Cardinal Patrick D’Rozario, Archbishop of Dhaka, 73. He is a professed member of the Congregation of Holy Cross.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

From scoundrel to a great Saint; Bishop of Hippo

 St. Augustine of Hippo
Image of St. Augustine of Hippo


Feastday: August 28
Patron of brewers
Death: 430

St. Augustine of Hippo is the patron of brewers because of his conversion from a former life of loose living, which included parties, entertainment, and worldly ambitions. His complete turnaround and conversion has been an inspiration to many who struggle with a particular vice or habit they long to break.

This famous son of St. Monica was born in Africa and spent many years of his life in wicked living and in false beliefs. Though he was one of the most intelligent men who ever lived and though he had been brought up a Christian, his sins of impurity and his pride darkened his mind so much, that he could not see or understand the Divine Truth anymore. Through the prayers of his holy mother and the marvelous preaching of St. Ambrose, Augustine finally became convinced that Christianity was the one true religion. Yet he did not become a Christian then, because he thought he could never live a pure life. One day, however, he heard about two men who had suddenly been converted on reading the life of St. Antony, and he felt terrible ashamed of himself. "What are we doing?" he cried to his friend Alipius. "Unlearned people are taking Heaven by force, while we, with all our knowledge, are so cowardly that we keep rolling around in the mud of our sins!"
Full of bitter sorrow, Augustine flung himself out into the garden and cried out to God, "How long more, O Lord? Why does not this hour put an end to my sins?" Just then he heard a child singing, "Take up and read!" Thinking that God intended him to hear those words, he picked up the book of the Letters of St. Paul, and read the first passage his gaze fell on. It was just what Augustine needed, for in it, St. Paul says to put away all impurity and to live in imitation of Jesus. That did it! From then on, Augustine began a new life.
He was baptized, became a priest, a bishop, a famous Catholic writer, Founder of religious priests, and one of the greatest saints that ever lived. He became very devout and charitable, too. On the wall of his room he had the following sentence written in large letters: "Here we do not speak evil of anyone." St. Augustine overcame strong heresies, practiced great poverty and supported the poor, preached very often and prayed with great fervor right up until his death. "Too late have I loved You!" he once cried to God, but with his holy life he certainly made up for the sins he committed before his conversion. His feast day is August 28th.

A picture worth a thousands words; these nursing home residents are now safe but this is heart-breaking

Image may contain: 1 person, sitting

Cardinal DiNardo encourages prayers; Hurricane Harvey continues to devastate

Cardinal DiNardo: Pray for everyone enduring Hurricane Harvey

CNA Saturday, 26 August 2017 ()
Houston, Texas, Aug 26, 2017 / 12:07 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The arrival of Hurricane Harvey in Texas is a time for prayer, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston has said. “Please join me and pray for all of those affected by the storm and in need of assistance during this natural disaster,” the cardinal said Aug. 26. “In addition, I ask the faithful to also keep the emergency response personnel and volunteers in your prayers. For those residing in our Archdiocese, in Texas and along the Gulf Coast, be safe and may God have mercy on those affected by Hurricane Harvey.” He said there has already been “substantial property damage” in the southern counties of the archdiocese. The storm arrived at about 10 p.m. local time Friday as a Category 4 hurricane, bringing strong winds, heavy rains and flooding. Fatalities were feared in the coastal town of Rockport, Texas, where about 5,000 residents remained, CNN reports. Walls and roofs had collapsed on some people. Late Saturday morning, the storm was still a Category 1 storm with sustained winds of 75 mph and a coastal storm surge of 13-feet-tall. Some parts of Texas could receive up to 40 inches of rain. Voicing gratitude for police, medical personnel and other first responders working during the storms, he advised the faithful to follow the instructions of civil authorities and to “stay together, and pray.” Before the storm made landfall, Bishop Michael Mulvey of Corpus Christi voiced gratitude for police, medical personnel and other first responders working during the storms. He advised the faithful to follow the instructions of civil authorities and to “stay together, and pray.” He recommended they should think on the many Gospel passages about the waters, like Christ calming troubled seas. The bishop encouraged Catholics to have “that same faith that Peter had” during the storms.

Pope Francis Angelus Address on the confession of Peter

Angelus Address: On the Profession of Faith in Christ, the Son of God
He Is the Messiah, the Son Sent by God to Save Humanity
Angelus / Foto: Francesco Sforza - © PHOTO.VA - OSSERVATORE ROMANO
Here is a ZENIT working translation of the address Pope Francis gave yesterday, July 30, 2017, before and after praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
* * *
Before the Angelus:
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
This Sunday’s Gospel (Matthew 16:13-20) leads us back to a key passage in Jesus’ journey with His disciples: the moment in which He wants to verify the point their faith in Him has reached. First he wants to know what people think of Him; and people think Jesus is a prophet, something that is true, but it doesn’t grasp the essence of His Person, it doesn’t grasp the essence of His mission. Then He asks His disciples the question He has most at heart, that is, He asks them directly: “But who do you say that I am?” (v. 15). With that “but” Jesus separates decidedly the Apostles from the mass, as if to say: but you, who are with Me every day and know me up close, what more have you read? The Master expects, from His own, a lofty and different answer from that of public opinion. And, in fact, such an answer issues precisely from the heart of Simon, called Peter: “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (v. 16). Simon Peter has on his lips words that are greater than him, words that don’t come from his natural capacity. Perhaps he didn’t go to elementary school, and he is able to say these words, which are stronger than him! However, they were inspired by the heavenly Father (Cf. v. 17), who revealed to the first of the Twelve Jesus’ true identity: He is the Messiah, the Son sent by God to save humanity. From this answer, Jesus understands that, thanks to the faith given by the Father, there is a solid foundation on which He can build His community, His Church. Hence, He says to Simon: “You, Simon, are Peter – namely stone, rock – and on this rock I will build my Church” (v. 18).
Also with us today, Jesus wishes to continue to build His Church, this house with solid foundation but where cracks aren’t lacking, and which has continuous need of being repaired, always. The Church is always in need of being reformed, repaired. We certainly don’t feel like rocks, but only like small stones. However, no small stone is useless, rather, in Jesus’ hands it becomes precious, because He gathers it, looks at it with great tenderness, works on it with His Spirit, and puts it in the right place, which He has always thought of and where it can be more useful to the entire edifice. Each one of us is a small stone, but in Jesus’ hands we participate in the building of the Church. And all of us, in as much as small, have been made “living stones, ” because when Jesus takes the stone in His hand, He makes it His, He makes it alive, full of life, full of life by the Holy Spirit, full of life from His love, and thus we have a place and a mission in the Church: she is a community of life, made up of very many stones, all different, which form  one edifice in the sign of fraternity and communion.
Moreover, today’s Gospel reminds us that Jesus also wanted for His Church a visible center of communion in Peter – even he isn’t a large stone, he is a small stone, but taken by Jesus he becomes center of communion — in Peter and in those that would succeed him in the same primatial responsibility, which from the beginning were identified in the Bishops of Rome, the city where Peter and Paul gave the witness of blood.
We entrust ourselves to Mary, Queen of the Apostles, Mother of the Church. She was in the Cenacle, next to Peter, when the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles and pushed them to go out to proclaim to all that Jesus is the Lord. May our Mother support and accompany us today with her intercession, so that we realize fully that unity and that communion for which Christ and the Apostles prayed and gave their life.
[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
After the Angelus
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In past days, great floods have struck Bangladesh, Nepal and Northern India. I express my closeness to the populations and I pray for the victims and for all those suffering due to this disaster.
Sad news has arrived on the persecution of the religious minority, our Rohingya brothers. I would like to express all my closeness to them; and we all ask the Lord to save them, and to inspire men and women of good will to help them, that they may be given full rights. We pray also for our Rohingya brothers.  
I greet all of you, faithful of Rome and pilgrims from Italy and from various countries: the families, parish groups, Associations.
In particular, I greet the members of the Carmelite Third Order; the youngsters of Tombelle, diocese of Padua . . . — but you are noisy!  —  who recently received Confirmation; and the group of Lodivecchio, they are good because they came on foot, by way of pilgrimage, in the last part of Via Francigena. Be equally good in your life!
I wish you all a good Sunday. I recommend, don’t forget to pray for me. Have a good lunch and goodbye!
[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

Saturday, August 26, 2017

A mother's prayers help save St. Augustine

St. Monica

Image of St. Monica


Feastday: August 27
Patron of Wives and Abuse Victims
Birth: 331
Death: 387

Saint Monica, also known as Monica of Hippo, is St. Augustine of Hippo's mother. She was born in 331 A.D. in Tagaste, which is present-day Algeria.
When she was very young, she was married off to the Roman pagan Patricius, who shared his mother's violent temper. Patricius' mother lived with the couple and the duo's temper flares proved to be a constant challenge to young Monica.
While Monica's prayers and Christian deeds bothered Patricius, he is said to have respected her beliefs.
Three children were born to Monica and Patricius: Augustine, Navigius, and Perpetua. Unfortunately, Monica was unable to baptize her children and when Augustine fell ill, Monica pleaded with Patricius to allow their son to be baptized.
Patricius allowed it, but when Augustine was healthy again, he withrew his permission.
For years Monica prayed for her husband and mother-in-law, until finally, one year before Patricius' death, she successfully converted them.
As time passed, Perpetua and Navigius entered the religious life, but unfortunately Augustine became lazy and uncouth. This greatly worried Monica, so when Patricius died, she sent the 17-year-old Augustine to Carthage for schooling.
While in Carthage, Augustine became a Manichaean, which was a major religion that saw the world as light and darkness, and when one died, they were removed from the world of matter and returned to the world of light, which is where life comes from.
After Augustine got his education and returned home, he shared his views with Monica, who drove him from her table. Though it is not recorded how much time passed, Monica had a vision that convinced her to reconcile with her wayward son.
Monica went to a bishop, who told her, "the child of those tears shall never perish."
Inspired, Monica followed Augustine to Rome, where she learned he had left for Milan. She continued her persual and eventually came upon St. Ambrose, who helped her convert Augustine to Christianity following his seventeen-year resistance.
Augustine later wrote a book called Confessions, in which he wrote of Monica's habit of bringing "to certain oratories, erected in the memory of the saints, offerings of porridge, bread, water and wine."
When Monica moved to Milan, a bishop named Ambrose told her wine "might be an occasion of gluttony for those who were already given to drink," so she stopped preparing wine as offerings for the saints.
Augustine wrote: "In place of a basket filled with fruits of the earth, she had learned to bring to the oratories of the martyrs a heart full of purer petitions, and to give all that she could to the poor - so that the communion of the Lord's body might be rightly celebrated in those places where, after the example of his passion, the martyrs had been sacrificed and crowned."
After a period of six months, Augustine was baptized in the church of St. John the Baptist at Milan. The pair were led to believe they should spread the Word of God to Africa, but it the Roman city of Civitavecchia, Monica passed away.
Augustine recorded the words she imparted upon him when she realized death was near. "Son, nothing in this world now affords me delight. I do not know what there is now left for me to do or why I am still here, all my hopes in this world being now fulfilled."
She was buried at Ostia, and her body was removed during the 6th century to a hidden crypt in the church of Santa Aurea in Osta, near the tomb of St. Aurea of Ostia.
In 1430, Pope Martin V ordered her relics to be brought to Rome and many miracles were reported to have occurred along the way. Later, Cardinal d'Estouteville built a church to honor St. Augustine called the Basilica di Sant'Agostino, where her relics were placed in a chapel to the left of the high altar.

Latest on Hurricane Harvey

Based on this forecast from NOAA it appears our area throughout the Archdiocese of New Orleans should dodge the brunt of Hurricane Harvey.  We may have some rain but not like what was previously predicted.  However, our concerns remain for the Texas areas impacted and the potential for heavy rain today through Thursday.

cone graphic

Friday, August 25, 2017

Pope from 2nd-3rd century

St. Zephyrinus


Feastday: August 26
Death: 202

Zephyrinus, Pope + Pope from 199-217. According to the Liber Pontificalis , he was a Roman by birth. His reign, as succcssor to St. Victor I (r. 189-199), was dominated by the troubles caused by several heretical groups and the severe persecution of the Church launched by Emperor Septimius Severus (r. 193-211) around 202. The antipope Hippolytus criticized his vacillation in dealing with the Monarchian heretics. According to tradition, Zephyrinus was martyred. His cult was suppressed in 1969. Feast day: formerly August 26.

She's named for the Body of Christ; tonight she needs all of our prayers

How did Corpus Christi Texas get its name?
In 1519, on the Roman Catholic Feast Day of Corpus Christi, Spanish explorer Alonzo Alvarez de Pineda discovered a lush semi-tropical bay on what is now the southern coast of Texas. The bay, and the city that later sprung up there, took the name  of the feast day celebrating the "Body of Christ."
— Corpus Christi Historical Records

Pope Francis communicates directly with inmates; reminds them to have hope

Prisons : A penalty “with a horizon of hope” (full translation)
Pope Francis’ video message to “students”
Pope Francis' message to Students in Ezeiza Penitentiary (Argentina), 24/08/2017
Pope Francis' message to Students in Ezeiza Penitentiary (Argentina), 24/08/2017
Pope Francis pleads for a penaltywith a horizon of hope” in his video message to prisoners of the Federal Penitentiary Complex of Ezeiza (Buenos Aires, Argentina), who are now University Students.
The message has been realeased in Rome by the Holy See, this Thursday August 24, 2017, at 17:00. The initiative, which includes music therapy, is supported by Buenos Aires’ University.

“The inmates are paying a penalty, a penalty for an error committed. However, let’s not forget that for the penalty to be fruitful it must have a horizon of hope, otherwise it remains shut-in on itself and is only an instrument of torture; it’s not fruitful. Penalty with hope is then fruitful,” said the Pope.
Pope Francis explained that the initiative promotes “the hope of social reinsertion and for that, social training, looking at the future”.
“With this new music workshop, he says, you are looking to social reinsertion, you are already reinserting yourselves with your studies, with the University of Buenos Aires you are looking to social reinsertion.”
This an example of what the Pope calls “a penalty with hope…a penalty with horizon”.
“I say it again, there are and will be problems, but the horizon is greater than the problems, hope surmounts all problems,” said Pope Francis.

Here is ZENIT’s full translation of the Video-Message.
* * * 
The Holy Father’s Video-Message
A warm greeting to my friends, who form part of the University Students’ Center of Ezeiza, a greeting that will recall those Sunday calls that I make to the prison. I am aware of all your activities and the existence of this area makes me very happy – an area of work, of culture, of progress; it’s a sign of humanity. And it wouldn’t be able to exist if there were not among you persons of so much human sensibility, among the inmates, the agents of the penitentiary service, managers, judges, members of the University of Buenos Aires and the students. Thank you.
Now a further step. You boosted the opening of the music workshop. I want to thank all those who helped in this initiative: the Head Mr Claudio Segura, the Director Mr Alejandro Gonzalez, the support and guarantee of the University of Buenos Aires and of the Judicial Power and, above all, the secretaries of Appeal, Luis and Victor , and the inmates in charge of the Students’ Center – Marcelino, Guille. Edo – whom I know by telephone. Thank you for all you’ve done.
What is happening in your prison is a breath of life. And life – you know – is a gift, but a gift that must be won every day. We are given it, but we must win it every day. We must win it in every step of life. A gift that’s not easy to keep. Courage every day, many difficulties, we all have them, but we take care of that gift and make it progress, we take care of it and make it flower.
The inmates are paying a penalty, a penalty for an error committed. However, let’s not forget that for the penalty to be fruitful it must have a horizon of hope, otherwise it remains shut-in on itself and is only an instrument of torture; it’s not fruitful. Penalty with hope is then fruitful. The hope of social reinsertion and for that, social training, looking at the future, and this is what you are doing. With this new music workshop you are looking to social reinsertion, you are already reinserting yourselves with your studies, with the University of Buenos Aires you are looking to social reinsertion. It’s a penalty with hope, a penalty with horizon. I say it again, there are and will be problems, but the horizon is greater than the problems, hope surmounts all problems.
Dear friends, I pray for you, I keep you close to my heart, I ask you not to forget to do so for me. May God bless you and forward, always with a smile — until our next call

Thursday, August 24, 2017

King of France, Patron Saint of Archdiocese of New Orleans

St. Louis IX

Image of St. Louis IX


Feastday: August 25
Patron of Third Order of St. Francis, France, French monarchy; hairdressers
Birth: 1214
Death: 1270

Louis IX was born in Poissy, France in 1214 to Louis VIII and Blanche of Castille. He succeeded to the throne at the age of twelve under the regency of his mother. On his twenty-first birthday he assumed full kingship. He was well known for protecting the French clergy from secular leaders and for strictly enforcing laws against blasphemy. Louis generally remained neutral in international disputes. However, because of a dispute between the Count of Le Marche and the Count of Poitiers, in which Henry III supported the Count of Le Marche, he was forced to go to war with England. In 1242 Louis defeated Henry III at Tailebourg. After the war, he made restitution to the innocent people whose property had been destroyed. He established the Sorbonne (1252) and the monasteries of Rayaumont, Vavert, and Maubuisson. Louis led two crusades, the Sixth and the Seventh Crusades. He was captured and imprisoned during the Sixth (1244-1249). At the onset of the Seventh Crusade in 1270, Louis died of dysentry. Boniface VIII canonized him in 1297.

We can affirm with certainty and magisterial authority that the liturgical reform is irreversible

Vatican II’s Liturgy: a “school of prayer” (full translation)
Pope’s Address to the 68th National Italian Liturgical Week
68th Italian Liturgical Week 24/08/2017 © L'Osservatore Romano
68th Italian Liturgical Week 24/08/2017 © L'Osservatore Romano
“We must not hesitate to make ourselves first of all disciples and then supporters of the school of prayer, which is about to begin,” Pope Francis quoted blessed Pope Paul VI on the occasion of the Italian Liturgical Week.
Pope Francis received in audience, August 24, 2017, at 12:00, in Paul VI Hall (Vatican City), the participants in the 68th National Italian Liturgical Week. This year’s theme is “A Living Liturgy for a Living Church,” on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Italian Center of Liturgical Action.
“Vatican Council II matured, as good fruit of the tree of the Church. The Constitution on the sacred liturgy Sacosantum Concilium (SC), whose lines of general reform responded to the real needs and the concrete hope of a renewal: a living liturgy was desired for a Church altogether enlivened by the mysteries celebrated,’ said Pope Francis.
And the Pope underlined the “vitality” of  the Church in prayer: “It was about expressing in a renewed way, the perennial vitality of the Church at prayer, being eager so that the faithful do not assist as strangers and silent spectators to this mystery of faith, but, understanding well through rites and prayers, participate in the sacred action knowingly, piously, actively” (SC , 48)”.
He also quoted Paul VI’s speech during a General Audience in 1965: “This was recalled by Blessed Paul VI in explaining the first steps of the announced reform:’It’s good to warn how it is proper for the authority of the Church to desire, to promote, to arouse this new way of praying, thus giving greater increment to her spiritual mission [. . .]; and we must not hesitate to make ourselves first of all disciples and then supporters of the school of prayer, which is about to begin.'”
“We can affirm with certainty and with magisterial authority that the liturgical reform is irreversible,” said Pope Francis.
The Holy Spirit, said the Pope, creates a “harmony” although there are different Catholic rites: “The harmony of the ritual traditions of the East and West, by the breath of the same Spirit gives voice to the one praying Church for Christ, with Christ and in Christ, to the glory of the Father and for the salvation of the world.”
Here is ZENIT’s full translation of the Pope Francis’ address, in Italian, to those present at the meeting.
* * *
The Holy Father’s Address
Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!
I welcome you all and I thank the President, His Excellency Monsignor Claudio Maniago, for the words with which he presented this National Liturgical Week, at 70 years from the birth of the Center of Liturgical Action.
This span of time is a period in which, in the history of the Church and, in particular, in the history of the liturgy, essential and not superficial events have happened. As Vatican Council II will not be able to be forgotten, so will the liturgical reform be remembered from which it issued.
The Council and the reform are two directly linked events, which did not flower suddenly but were prepared for long. It is attested by what was called the liturgical movement, and the answers given by the Supreme Pontiffs to the hardships perceived in ecclesial prayer. When a need is noticed, even if the solution isn’t immediate, there is the need to start to move.
I think of Pius X, who ordered a reordering of sacred music[1] and the celebratory restoration of Sunday,[2] and instituted a Commission for the general reform of the liturgy, knowing that it would entail a work both great and short-lived; and therefore – as he himself recognized – it was necessary for many years to pass, before this, so to speak, liturgical edifice [. . .] reappeared shining in its dignity and harmony, once it had been cleansed from the squalor of ageing.”[3]
Pius XII took up the reforming project with the Encyclical Mediator Dei[4] and the institution of a Study Commission;[5] he also took concrete decisions regarding the version of the Psalter,[6] the attenuation of Eucharistic fasting, the use of a living language in the Ritual, the important reform of the Easter Vigil and of Holy Week.[7] From this impulse, on the example of other Nations, the Center of Liturgical Action arose in Italy, led by Bishops solicitous of the people entrusted to them and animated by scholars that loved the Church as well as the liturgical pastoral.
Vatican Council II then matured, as good fruit of the tree of the Church, the Constitution on the sacred liturgy Sacosantum Concilium (SC), whose lines of general reform responded to the real needs and the concrete hope of a renewal: a living liturgy was desired for a Church altogether vivified by the mysteries celebrated. It was about expressing in a renewed way, the perennial vitality of the Church at prayer, being eager “so that the faithful do not assist as strangers and silent spectators to this mystery of faith, but, understanding well through rites and prayers, participate in the sacred action knowingly, piously, actively” (SC , 48). This was recalled by Blessed Paul VI in explaining the first steps of the announced reform: “It’s good to warn how it is proper for the authority of the Church to desire, to promote, to arouse this new way of praying, thus giving greater increment to her spiritual mission [. . .]; and we must not hesitate to make ourselves first of all disciples and then supporters of the school of prayer, which is about to begin.”[8]
The direction traced by the Council found form, according to the principle of respect of the healthy tradition and of legitimate progress (Cf. SC, 23),[9] in the liturgical books promulgated by Blessed Paul VI, well received by the Bishops themselves who were present at the Council, and by now for almost 50 years universally in use in the Roman Rite. The practical application, guided by the Episcopal Conferences, for the respective countries, still prevail, because it’s not enough to reform the liturgical books to renew the mentality. The reformed books, following the norm of the decrees of Vatican II, have implanted a process that requires time, faithful reception, practical obedience, wise celebratory implementation on the part, first of all, of ordained ministers, but also of the other ministers, the cantors, and all those that take part in the liturgy. In truth, we know it, the liturgical education of Pastors and faithful is a challenge to address always again. Paul VI himself, a year before his death, said to the Cardinals gathered in Consistory: “The moment has now come, to let the tendencies to division fall, equally pernicious in one way and another, and to implement integrally in their just inspiring criteria, the reform approved by Us, in the implementation of the Council’s votes.”[10]
And there is still work to do today in this direction, in particular, rediscovering the reasons for the decisions taken with the liturgical reform, surmounting unfounded and superficial readings, partial reception and practices that disfigure it. It’s not about rethinking the reform by looking again at the choices, but of knowing better the underlying reasons, also through historical documentation, as well as to internalize the inspirational principles and observing the discipline that regulate it. After this magisterium, after this long journey we can affirm with certainty and with magisterial authority that the liturgical reform is irreversible.
The task to promote and guard the liturgy is entrusted by law to the Apostolic See and to the diocesan Bishops, whose responsibility and authority count much at the present moment; also involved are the national and diocesan organisms of the liturgical pastoral, the Institutes of formation and the Seminaries. Distinguished in this formative realm in Italy is the Center of Liturgical Action with its initiatives, among which is the annual Liturgical Week.
After having reviewed this journey with the memory, I would now like to touch upon some aspects in the light of the theme on which you have reflected these days, namely: “A Living Liturgy for a Living Church”
The liturgy is “living” because of the living presence of Him who “dying has destroyed death and rising has restored life to us again” (Easter Preface I), Without the real presence of the mystery of Christ, there is no liturgical vitality. As without a beating heart there is no human life, so without the beating heart of Christ here is no liturgical action. What defines the liturgy is in fact the implementation, in the holy signs, of the priesthood of Jesus Christ, that is, the offering of His life to the point of extending His arms on the cross, priesthood rendered present constantly through the rites and the prayers, maximally in His Body and Blood, but also in the person of the priest, in the proclamation of the Word of God, in the assembly gathered in prayer in His name (Cf. SC , 7). Among the visible signs of the invisible Mystery is the altar, sign of Christ living stone, discarded by men but becoming the corner stone of the spiritual edifice in which worship is offered to the living God in spirit and in truth (Cf. 1 Pt 2:4; Eph 2:20). Therefore the altar, center toward which our attention converges in our churches,[11] is dedicated, anointed with chrism, incensed, kissed, venerated: the gaze of the praying people, priest and faithful, is oriented to the altar, convoked for the holy assembly around it;[12] placed on the altar is the offering of the Church that the Spirit consecrates Sacrament of Christ’s sacrifice; given from the altar are the bread of life and the chalice of salvation “so that we become in Christ one body and one spirit” (Eucharistic Prayer III).
The liturgy is life for the entire people of the Church.[13]By its nature the liturgy is in fact “popular” and not clerical, being – as the etymology shows – an action for the people, but also of the people. As so many liturgical prayers recall, it is the action that God Himself carries out in favor of His people, but also the action of the people that listen to God who speaks, and they reacts praising Him, invoking Him, receiving the inexhaustible source of life and of mercy that flows from the holy signs. The Church at prayer gathers all those who have a heart listening to the Gospel, without discarding any one: convoked are the little and the great, the rich and the poor, children and elderly, the healthy and the sick, the righteous and sinners. In the image of the “immense multitude” that celebrates the liturgy in the shrine of Heaven (Cf. Revelation 7:9), the liturgical assembly surpasses, in Christ, every limit of age, race, language and nation. The “popular” scope of the liturgy reminds us that it is inclusive and not exclusive, advocate of communion with all without, however, homologizing, because it calls each one, with his vocation and originality, to contribute in building the Body of Christ: “The Eucharist is not a Sacrament “for me,” it is the Sacrament of many that form one body, the holy faithful people of God.”[14] We must not forget, therefore, that it is first of all the liturgy that expresses the pietas of all the people of God, prolonged then by pious exercises and devotions that we know with the name of popular piety, to be appreciated and encouraged in harmony with the liturgy.[15] The liturgy is life and not an idea to understand. In fact it leads to living an initiating experience, which is transformative in the way of thinking and behaving, and not to enrich one’s baggage of ideas on God. Liturgical worship “is not first of all a doctrine to understand or a rite to carry out; it is, of course, also this but in another way, it is essentially different: it is a source of life and of light for our journey of faith.”[16]
Spiritual reflections are something different from the liturgy, which “is in fact to enter in the mystery of God; to let oneself be led to the mystery and to be in the mystery.”[17] There is a good difference between saying that God exists and feeling that God loves us, as we are, now and here. In liturgical prayer we experience communion signified not by an abstract thought but by an action that has for agents God and us, Christ and the Church.[18] The rites and the prayers (cf. SC , 48) for what they are and not for the explanations we give them, become therefore a school of Christian life, open to all who have open ears, eyes and heart to learn the vocation and the mission of Jesus’ disciples. That is in line with the mystagogic catechesis practiced by the Fathers, taken up also in theVCatechism of the Catholic Church, which treats of the liturgy, of the Eucharist and of the other Sacraments in the light of the texts and rites of today’s liturgical books.
The Church is truly alive if, forming one living being with Christ, she is bearer of life, is maternal, is missionary, goes out to encounter the neighbor, solicitous of serving without chasing after worldly powers that render her sterile. Therefore, celebrating the holy mysteries recalls Mary, the Virgin of the Magnificat, contemplating in her “as in a most pure image, what the whole of her desires and hopes to be” (SC, 103).
Finally, we canot forget that the richness of the Church at prayer in as much as “catholic” goes beyond the Roman Rite that, although being the most extensive, is not the only one. The harmony of the ritual traditions of the East and West, by the breath of the same Spirit gives voice to the one praying Church for Christ, with Christ and in Christ, to the glory of the Father and for the salvation of the world.
Dear brothers and sisters, I thank you for your visit and I encourage those in charge of the Center of Liturgical Action to continue having faith in the original inspiration, that of serving the prayer of the holy people of God. In fact, the Center of Liturgical Action has always been distinguished for the care it gives to the liturgical pastoral, in fidelity to the indications of the Apostolic See as well as of the Bishops and enjoying their support. The long experience of the Liturgical Weeks, held in numerous dioceses of Italy, together with the “Liturgy” review, has helped to the liturgical renewal in the life of the parishes, of seminaries and of religious communities. Toil has not been lacking, nor has joy! It is again this commitment that I ask of you today: to help the ordained minsters, as well as the other ministers, the cantors, the artists, the musicians to cooperate so that the liturgy is “source and summit of the vitality of the Church” (Cf. SC, 10). I ask you, please, to pray for me and I impart to you from my heart the Apostolic Blessing.

One of our Permanent Deacons set to be ordained a Priest next year; while rare, sometimes this does happen

Life’s joys, sorrows fuel a white-hat seminarian

As a child, Dominic “Mixie” Arcuri of LaPlace was nicknamed for an uncle who loved movie star Tom Mix, the cowboy who always wore a white, 10-gallon hat as he effortlessly vanquished stone-hearted desperadoes.
When he is ordained to the priesthood next June by Archbishop Gregory Aymond, Arcuri will be one month shy of 70, making him, it is believed, the oldest man ever to be ordained a priest for New Orleans.
For a second, forget about Tom Mix and his iconic white hat and chaps, Hollywood’s symbols of good triumphing over evil at high noon. Without the benefit of a sound stage – in the searing silence of real life, where agony and joy commingle – Mixie Arcuri has led an authentic white-hat life.
And now, he is studying among scores of 20-something seminarians at Notre Dame Seminary, where good men always wear black.
“I’m the third-oldest person at the seminary behind Archbishop (Alfred) Hughes and Father (David) Kelly,” Arcuri says with a laugh as he prepares for his final nine months of studies before ordination. “I know I’m the only seminarian receiving a Social Security check each month.”
Family raised vegetables
Mixie grew up in LaPlace. His father and uncles worked side-by-side growing tomatoes, cabbage, cauliflower and shallots on a parcel of land near Airline Highway that grandfather Arcuri had purchased with other Italian families after the Great Depression. When Arcuri was a child, he rode with one of his uncles – his godfather – into the French Market to sell the produce.
Once, they couldn’t sell their entire load, so they spent the night in the French Quarter. Mixie’s uncle slept on the seat of the truck, and Mixie slept on the floorboard.
“It was a treat,” Arcuri recalled. “Early the next morning I got to go to Café du Monde.”
Arcuri had graduated from Ole Miss with a business degree – one year ahead of Archie Manning – when he met his future wife, Tru, at a friend’s apartment complex. They dated for four months before they got engaged, and they were married a few months after that in 1973.
Even as a teenager, Tru suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, a condition she inherited from her mother. After years of trying unsuccessfully to conceive, Tru went to Mixie and suggested they become parents through adoption. Going through Catholic Charities’ adoption services, they welcomed their first daughter, Leigh Ann, in 1981, and their second, Laura Catherine, in 1983.
Rheumatoid arthritis is progressive and debilitating, and Tru’s case became even more complicated because she was diabetic and insulin dependent. Mixie never heard her complain, even though surgery to fuse the bones in her wrists made her hands so sensitive that even the slightest tug would send shooting pains throughout her body.
“She was just such a loving model to me of accepting her crosses and never complaining,” Arcuri said. “She hurt, all day, every day of her life from the arthritis and the blood sugar fluctuating as wildly as it did. We were taking her blood sugar seven times a day, and she was taking shots five times a day. She never complained.”
‘Tru’ love overcomes pain
One of life’s awesome mysteries came when relatives and neighbors saw little Leigh Ann and Laura outfitted in Tru’s hand-crafted dresses. Tru mastered the art of crewel embroidery, somehow pushing her brittle fingers to guide a needle that could create intricate designs befitting the lilies of the field.
“We had the best-dressed girls in LaPlace,” Arcuri said, smiling. “I don’t know how she did it, but she loved doing it. The pain just came with it. She did that until the arthritis became so bad she had to put her needle away.”
In 1984, at the urging of Father Pete Bergeron of St. Joan of Arc Church in LaPlace, Arcuri began to think he might have a vocation as a permanent deacon.
“I’m pretty slow to discern,” Arcuri said. “It took me from 1984 to 1997 for me to see what this was all about.”
He went with Tru to his first inquiry meeting in 1997, along with 50 other couples.
“We were having conversations with some of these couples, and they were talking about their deep love for Christ and how active they were in their church parish,” Arcuri recalled. “When my wife and I left, I said, ‘We ain’t anywhere near these people. It’ll never work.’ But, we went through the process and were accepted in December 1997.”
Unspeakable tragedy
The day of inscrutable pain came a few months earlier, on May 9, 1997. It was a warm morning when Arcuri, a LaPlace banker, got a call from his younger brother, who was a St. John Parish sheriff’s deputy, telling him to come to their parents’ home, about three minutes away from the bank, because they weren’t answering their door.
Something didn’t seem right.
By the time Arcuri arrived, Tru was on the front lawn, crying hysterically. There were 20 police cars triple-parked in the quiet neighborhood.
The reality, even 20 years later, cannot be fully grasped. An auto mechanic with a video poker addiction had broken into Arcuri’s parents’ house, looking for cash, and bludgeoned Sam, 76, and Luella, 69, to death. The killer was caught in November 1997 in Texas after having killed six people to fuel his habit.
“They wouldn’t let me into the house, and my brother came out and told me,” Arcuri said. “I just knelt down on the grass outside and said, ‘Lord, I can’t handle this. I need your help.’ And, absolutely, from that point to now, God has given me the grace to accept what happened and be at peace.”
Just a few days after the killer was caught in Texas, Arcuri got a letter in the mail, from Archbishop Francis Schulte, inviting him into the diaconate formation program.
“Needless to say, my wife and I were at a low point,” Arcuri said. “That letter of invitation was such a blessing. To be in that environment with 24 other couples – while we were going through our grieving process and trying to get our lives back together – God absolutely put us in that diaconate program.”
Cared for wife
Arcuri was ordained as a permanent deacon in 2001, and he served since then at his home parish of St. Joan of Arc. Tru’s health continued to decline. She suffered a stroke, and for the last two years of her life, she was bedridden and needed 24-hour care. Arcuri would come home from work and take over the care duties.
“Only by the grace of God,” Arcuri said. “You know, it wasn’t easy, but I loved her and she loved me and we did for each other. We did what we said we were going to do the day we got married. I guess my biggest hurt was looking at her every day and knowing there was nothing I could do to make her better. When she passed away (in 2015), I don’t know how to explain this. I miss her so much every day, but I’m happy for her. She is not in any pain. She is in better shape now than she’s ever been.”
Hearing another call 
After Tru died, Arcuri began to have thoughts about the priesthood. He met with Archbishop Aymond, who had no reservations in accepting him as a seminarian, despite his age. Because he had 16 years of service as a permanent deacon – he has preached, witnessed marriages, conferred baptism and presided at funerals – Archbishop Aymond set up a modified seminary schedule that will lead Deacon Arcuri to ordination as a priest on June 2, 2018.
“I think they took into consideration my age, and if they kept me in the seminary too long, I was liable to die,” Deacon Arcuri said, laughing. “I think what I’m lacking in philosophy and theology, I will be able to bring to my ministry 42 years of married life, raising children, having grandchildren, enduring a big tragedy and dealing with grief.”
As Deacon Arcuri left weekday Mass last week – the Gospel was about Jesus telling his disciples to forgive others 70 times seven times – friends came up and told him the reading reminded them of him.
Deacon Arcuri said he prays for his parents’ killer, Daniel Blank, who is on death row at Angola, “every day of my life, by name.”
“I ask the Lord, before he draws his dying breath, that he reconciles with the Lord and can be in heaven for all eternity,” Deacon Arcuri said.
There’s a homily in there somewhere.
Peter Finney Jr. can be reached at

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The feast day of an Apostle with a "AKA"


St. Bartholomew

Image of St. Bartholomew


Feastday: August 24

St. Bartholomew, 1st. century, one of the 12.
All that is known of him with certainty is that he is mentioned in the synoptic gospels and Acts as one of the twelve apostles. His name, a patronymic, means "son of Tolomai" and scholars believe he is the same as Nathanael mentioned in John, who says he is from Cana and that Jesus called him an "Israelite...incapable of deceit." The Roman Martyrology says he preached in India and Greater Armenia, where he was flayed and beheaded by King Astyages. Tradition has the place as Abanopolis on the west coast of the Caspian Sea and that he also preached in Mesopotamia, Persia, and Egypt. The Gospel of Bartholomew is apochryphal and was condemned in the decree of Pseudo-Gelasius. Feast Day August 24

Put this on your calendar; Padre Pio coming to New Orleans

Relics of St. Padre Pio to be on display in New Orleans

Communications • Wed, Aug 23 2017 at 12:36pm
Pio mg 4029 1300x808

On October 4, 2017, St. Rita Catholic Church in New Orleans will welcome several relics of Saint Padre Pio, a very popular saint of the 20th Century as part of a national tour sponsored by the St. Pio Foundation. The relics are expected to draw thousands of pilgrims from across the region to St. Rita for prayer, reflection and veneration.
The schedule for October 4 is as follows:
  • 7:00am - Morning Prayer with the Reception of the Relics
  • 8:30am - School Mass for St. Rita Elementary School, Dominican High School, and Xavier University students (not open to the public due to seating limitations)
  • 9:30am-5:30pm - Public Veneration of the Relics
  • 6:00pm - Mass in Honor of St. Padre Pio Celebrated by Most Rev. Gregory Aymond, Archbishop of New Orleans
Veneration of relics is a practice for Catholics. In the Catholic Church, relics are physical objects associated with a saint or candidate for sainthood – part of the person’s body or something with which he or she was in contact. Relics are not worshiped, but treated with religious respect. Touching or praying in the presence of such an object is meant to help a faithful individual focus on the saint’s life and virtues, so that through the saint’s prayer or intercession before God, the individual will be drawn closer to God.
Objects that will be available for veneration on October 4 at St. Rita include:
  • St. Pio's glove
  • St. Pio's crusts of the wounds
  • Cotton-gauze with St. Pio's blood stains
  • A lock of St. Pio's hair
  • St. Pio's mantle
  • St. Pio's handkerchief soaked with his sweat hours before he died
This event is sponsored at St. Rita Catholic Church in New Orleans by the St. Pio Foundation, The Catholic Foundation Archdiocese of New Orleans and Catholic Women in Action. For more information about the visit go online to
About St. Padre Pio
Saint Padre Pio was born on May 25, 1887 in Pietrelcina, Italy, and baptized Francesco Forgione. He first expressed his desire to be a priest at age 10 and entered the Capuchin religious order at age 15. He was ordained a priest at the age of 23. During his lifetime, Padre Pio was known as a mystic with miraculous powers of healing and knowledge, who bore the stigmata.  Stigmata is the term the Catholic Church uses to speak about the wounds an individual receives that correspond to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus Christ.  They can appear on the forehead, hands, wrists, and feet.
His stigmata emerged during World War I, after Pope Benedict XV asked Christians to pray for an end to the conflict. Padre Pio had a vision in which Christ pierced his side. A few weeks later, on September 20, 1918, Jesus again appeared to him, and he received the full stigmata. It remained with him until his death on September 23, 1968.  Pope John Paul II canonized him in 2002.