Saturday, August 31, 2019

Our first Saint of the Day for September

St. Giles, Abbot

Image of St. Giles, Abbot

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.

A miracle attributed to Mother Henriette Delille

Healed aneurysm investigated as possible miracle for Creole nun's beatification

Venerable Henriette DeLille (Wikimedia)

Did Venerable Henriette DeLille's intercession heal a 19-year-old Arkansas student?
In December 2017, 19-year-old Arkansas college student Christine McGee was rushed to the hospital by her mother.
Christine had fallen ill with what turned out to be an aneurysm, and it looked like she was going to die. Once at the hospital, Christine fell into a coma and became unresponsive.
Today, Christine is healed. She recently received her Master’s degree from Loyola University in New Orleans, and she can drive and live independently.
Her recovery could be a miracle that progresses the sainthood cause of a Louisiana Creole religious sister, say authorities from the Diocese of Little Rock Arkansas.
While Christine was ill, her mother prayed for the intercession of Venerable Henriette DeLille, asking for healing for her daughter.
“From the time she learned about her sickness, she started to pray, and prayed to Henriette the whole time. Even though it seemed like things weren’t going to work, she held onto that belief,” Sister Doris Goudeaux, co-director of the Henriette Delille Commission Office, told the Arkansas Catholic.
Born in 1812 to a wealthy French father and a free Creole woman of Spanish, French and African descent, Henriette was groomed throughout her childhood to become a part of what was then known as the placage system.
Under the placage system, free women of color (term used at the time for people of full or partial African descent, who were no longer or never were slaves) entered into common law marriages with wealthy white plantation owners, who often kept their legitimate families at the plantations in the country. It was a rigid system, but afforded free women of color comfortable and even luxurious lives.
Trained in French literature, music, dancing, and nursing, Henriette was prepared to become the “kept woman” of a wealthy white man throughout her childhood.
However, in her early 20s, Henriette declared that her religious convictions could not be reconciled with the placage lifestyle for which she was being prepared. Raised Catholic, which was typical for free people of color at the time, she had recently had a deep encounter with God, and believed that the placage system violated Church teaching on the sanctity of marriage.
In 1836, wanting to dedicate her life to God, Henriette used the proceeds of an inheritance to found a small unrecognized order of nuns, the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, known today as the Sisters of the Holy Family.
During Henriette’s lifetime, the Sisters taught religion and other subjects to the slaves, even though it was illegal to do so at the time, punishable by death or life imprisonment. The sisters also encouraged free women of color to marry men of their own class and to have their marriages blessed in the Church, and they established a nursing home for the poor and sick elderly, among other works.
In 1988, the Mother Superior of the order at the time requested the opening of Henriette Delille’s cause for canonization. She was declared a Servant of God, and then was declared Venerable by Pope Benedict XVI on March 27, 2010.
A miracle through Henriette’s intercession is needed for her beatification, the next step in the process before canonization to sainthood.
The Diocese of Little Rock, Arkansas has been studying and gathering information on the healing of Christine McGee, which they believe could be that miracle. They first informed the Holy Family sisters of the miracle, and the sisters then granted their approval for the diocese to proceed in its investigation.
Because the possible miracle occurred in the Diocese of Little Rock, they were the ones to undertake the investigation, starting in 2015.
According to the Arkansas Catholic, a diocesan tribunal has submitted formal documentation to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints at the Vatican, which is considering the evidence of the possible miracle and whether it will be approved for the cause of Venerable Henriette.
“We served as a fact-finding gathering source for the Holy See,” Father Greg Luyet, JCL, told the Arkansas Catholic. Luyet serves as judicial vicar for the Diocese of Little Rock and oversaw the canonical processes involved in this stage of Henriette’s cause.
Sr. Doris told the Arkansas Catholic that the Congregation for the Causes of Saints has already issued “a decree of juridical validity,” dated December 2018, which confirmed that the diocese met the documentation requirements necessary for a possible miracle to be considered.
There are currently at least four other Catholics of African American descent whose causes are being considered for sainthood, including Julia Greeley, Pierre Toussaint, Mother Mary Lange, and Father Augustus Tolton. If the possible miracle for Henriette’s cause is approved, she would move on step closer to possibly being the first officially canonized saint of African American descent in the United States.

Pray with the Pope's special intention all September long


The Protection of the Oceans

That politicians, scientists and economists work together to protect the world's seas and oceans.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Final Saint of the Day for August

St. Raymond Nonnatus

Image of St. Raymond Nonnatus

Raymond was born at Portella, Catalonia, Spain. He was delivered by caesarean operation when his mother died in childbirth. Hence his name non natus (not born). He joined the Mercedarians under St. Peter Nolasco at Barcelona. He succeeded Peter as chief ransomer and went to Algeria to ransom slaves. He remained as hostage for several slaves when his money ran out and was sentenced to be impaled when the governor learned that he had converted several Mohammedans. He escaped the death sentence because of the ransom he would bring, but was forced to run the gauntlet. He was then tortured for continuing his evangelizing activities but was ransomed eight months later by Peter Nolasco. On his return to Barcelona in 1239, he was appointed Cardinal by Pope Gregory IX, but died at Cardona a short distance from Barcelona the next year while on the way to Rome. He was canonized in 1657. He is the patron saint of expectant mothers and midwives because of the nature of his own birth. Although his mother died in labor, Raymond miraculously survived the ordeal. His feast day is August 31.

Pope Francis sends message before next week trip to Maozambique

Vatican Media Screenshot

Pope to Mozambique: ‘My Heart Reaches & Embraces All of You’

Saying ‘I Long for the Moment I Will Meet You,’ Francis Sends Message Before Departing for His Apostolic Trip to Mozambique, Madagascar, & Mauritius

My heart reaches and embraces all of you…
You are all in my prayers…
I long to meet you…
This was at the heart of the videomessage Pope Francis sent to Mozambique ahead of the journey he is undertaking Sept. 4-6, at the invitation of the country’s highest authorities.
This Apostolic Trip, Sept. 4-10, will be Francis’ fourth to Africa, and will also bring him to Madagascar and Mauritius.
Here is a ZENIT working translation of the message, which was originally in Portuguese.
* * *
The Holy Father’s Video-Message
Dear People of Mozambique!
In a few days my visit to your country will begin and, despite my not being able to go beyond the capital, my heart reaches and embraces all of you, with a special place for those who live in tribulation. From now I wish to leave you with this certainty: you are all in my prayers. I long for the moment I will meet you.
Just as I received (and am grateful!) for the invitation of Mr President and of my Brother Bishops to be with you, I also extend my invitation to all of you, to join my prayer so that the God and Father of all will consolidate reconciliation, fraternal reconciliation in Mozambique and in the whole of Africa, only hope for  a firm and lasting peace.
I will have the joy of sharing these convictions with you and also of verifying how the seed grows planted by my predecessor Saint John Paul II. This trip enables me to meet the Catholic community and to confirm it in its witness of the Gospel, which teaches the dignity of every man and woman and exacts from us to open our hearts to others, especially the poor and the needy.
Dear brothers and sisters, I know that many of you are working in the preparation of my visit, including with the offering of their prayers, and I thank you from my heart. I invoke upon you and upon your country God’s blessings and the protection of our Mother, the Virgin Mary. See you soon!

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Best known for founding the Little Sisters of the Poor

St. Jeanne Jugan

Image of St. Jeanne Jugan
St. Jeanne Jugan, also known as Sister Mary of the Cross, L.S.P. was born on October 25, 1792 in the French region of Brittany during the French Revolution.
Jeanne grew up as the sixth of eight children to Joseph and Marie Jugan surrounded by a lot of religious and political upheavals. Her father became lost at sea when Jeanne was just four-years-old, and her mother struggled to provide for all the Jugan children.
Her mother worked diligently to make sure her children had everything they needed, including secret religious instruction when anti-Catholic persecutions were taking place.
From a young age, Jeanne learned to knit and spin wool and became a shepherdess. Barely able to read or write, Jeanne took a job as a kitchen maid for a noble family when she was 16.
Jeanne accompanied the Viscountess de la Choue when she visited the poor and the sick. As she matured, Jeanne began finding her passion in working with these people and turned down multiple marriage proposals. She told her mother God had other plans for her.
At 25, Jeanne became an Associate of the Congregation of Jesus and Mary, which was founded by St. John Eudes. She spent her time praying and working as a nurse in the town hospital. She stayed at the hospital for many years until her own health issues prevented her from performing her physically demanding tasks.

After leaving her job at the hospital, Jeanne became the servant of a member of the Eudist Third Order for 12 years. While working as a servant, Jeanne and her master found the same Catholic faith in each other and set out to begin teaching catechism to the town's children and caring for the poor.
In 1837, Jeanna and Francoise Aubert rented part of a small cottage and were joined by a 17-year-old orphan, Virgine Tredaniel. Together, they formed a small community of prayer devoted to helping the poor and teaching the catechism.
Two years later, Jeanne was approached by an elderly, blind and partially paralyzed woman named Anne Chauvin. With no one there for the woman, Jeanne carried her to her apartment and took it upon herself to begin caring for her. She let Anne have her bed and Jeanne slept in the attic.
A short time later, Jeanne took in two more old women in need of help and by 1841, she rented another space to house a dozen of elderly people. The next year, she attained an open convent and housed 40 more people.
With approval from her peers, Jeanne began focusing her attention on her new mission - assisting abandoned elderly women. This marked the beginning of the religious congregation known now as The Little Sisters of the Poor.
Jeanne constructed a simple Rule of Life for her new community of women. Each day they went around town requesting food, clothing and money for those in their care. Jeanne's carried on with her new life's work for the next four decades of her life.
More young women started to hear about Jeanne's mission and joined her. Through begging on the streets, Jeanne was able to open four more homes for her needy within those 10 years. By 1850, over 100 women had joined the congregation.
Jeanne was soon forced out of the leadership role, though. The local bishop appointed Abbe Auguste Le Pailleur as Superior General of the congregation. Jeanne was assigned to strictly begging on the streets until she was sent to retire in a life of obscurity for her final 27 years of life.
After The Little Sisters of the Poor communities began expanding throughout France, their work spread to England in 1851 and the United States founded five of their own communities from 1866 to 1871.
By 1879, Jeanne's community had over 2,400 Little Sisters. On March 1, 1879, Pope Leo XIII approved the Constitution for the congregation for seven years.

At the time of Jeanne's death, on August 29, 1879, most of the Little Sisters had no idea Jeanne was the real founder of the congregation. However, Le Pailleur was investigated and dismissed in 1890 and Jeanne became acknowledged once again as the foundress.
St. Jeanne Jugan passed away at the age of 86. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II on October 3, 1982 and canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 11, 2009.
During her canonization Pope Benedict XVI expressed, "In the Beatitudes, Jeanne Jugan found the source of the spirit of hospitality and fraternal love, founded on unlimited trust in Providence, which illuminated her whole life."
She is the patron saint of the destitute elderly and her feast day is celebrated on August 30.

Bishops quick and ready on the Amazon but what about what the people in the pews are worried about?

Ok, I get it, The Bishops are worried that the Amazon is on fire, and so they should; all of us can afford to pray for the current and ongoing situation in the Amazon. But my goodness, there is another fire that seems to need more attention and emphasis; the folks in the pew are on fire about the horrid sex-abuse crisis and the subsequent cover-ups. And yes the people are on fire to be pro-life, to stem the evil of Planned Parenthood and abortion, cry out about that! And finally, where do we prioritize the Amazon fire to the crisis of faith concerning belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist?
Now here is the important part, our Bishops have my prayers and little sacrifices for their faith to be expressed more boldly and without confusion. I love our Bishops and pray for them.

US Bishops Voice Concern About Amazon Fires

‘Let us all consider spiritual and corporal acts of mercy towards our common home and all those living in it.’

The President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, Chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace issue the following statement regarding the fires in the Amazon:
“Last Sunday, after his Angelus prayer, Pope Francis expressed concern for the fires that have developed in the Amazon, stating, ‘Let us pray that, with everyone’s commitment, they may be tamed as soon as possible.’ As bishops of the United States, we join in these heartfelt prayers and urge the faithful of our nation to support, through their petitions and concern, these efforts. As our Church begins a “Season of Creation,” culminating on October 4th, the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, let us all consider spiritual and corporal acts of mercy towards our common home and all those living in it. We express solidarity with our brother bishops in Latin America who, through the Consejo Episcopal Latinoamericano (CELAM), have expressed their desire for a prompt extinguishment of these fires, and welcome the decision by the Group of Seven (G7) to extend financial support for these efforts.”

Bishop Barron tackles clergy sex abuse head on and wants to help heal the Church

Bishop Barron

Exclusive Interview with Bishop Barron on His Book ‘Letter to a Suffering Church’ & the Abuse Crisis as a Whole

While Saying ‘Stay and Fight’, Auxiliary Bishop of LA Tells ZENIT Church Must Address Critical Issues

In the midst of tragic and disheartening news brought on by abusers in the Church, Bishop Barron says: “Don’t give up on the treasure just because the vessels that bear it are flawed and fragile. Stay and fight.”
In an exclusive, wide-ranging interview with Zenit, the Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles and founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries, said this, as he discussed his new book ‘Letter to a Suffering Church.’
Even if the 105-page paperback book costs a mere dollar, any and all profits from the sale of the book are going to trusted charities that support the victims of sexual abuse. It has been distributed to over 3,000 parishes and has sold close to a million copies.
In the interview, the American prelate reflects on the abuse crisis frankly, what is commonly misunderstood, and how in the midst of these attacks by the devil, how Catholics can keep hope. He also responds frankly to questions about what the Church has done or ought to do to confront these crimes, and also discusses the case of ex-cardinal McCarrick, and what should be learned from that bleak episode.
Here is our interview:
ZENIT: Bishop Barron, why did you feel compelled to write this book, or rather ‘letter’, Letter to a Suffering Church?
Bishop Barron: I felt that this issue of clergy sex abuse had been examined from a number of standpoints—legal, canonical, even cultural—but it had not sufficiently been analyzed theologically, biblically, and spiritually.  I also thought that the people of God, demoralized and deeply discouraged by this scandal, needed to hear a word of hope.
ZENIT: With the harm abuse has done to the People of God, and the most vulnerable, the little ones, how do you make the argument that we should not be discouraged?
Bishop Barron: I’m extremely frank in the book about the damage the scandals have caused.  I purposely don’t pull any punches.  But I also endeavor to put this present suffering within a wider spiritual context.  As St. Paul said long ago, “Where sin abounds, grace abounds the more.”  God’s love is always greater than our wickedness.  Nothing we do can ever finally defeat the purposes of God.  This lesson is taught throughout the Bible and the great theological tradition, and it is confirmed in the lives of the saints.
ZENIT: In the book, you discuss how the Church has undergone turmoil in the past, but the many saintly men and women kept it afloat. This sounds certainly like a comforting reassurance for the Catholics who love their faith, but need a burst of hope. Can you elaborate on this?
Bishop Barron: In the book, I make mention of a conversation I had with Cardinal George, just a few years before he died.  Knowing full well that the Church was going through a terrible crisis, he said, “Where are the orders?  Where are the movements?”  A wise historian of the Church, Cardinal George knew that it is precisely at moments of crisis that the great reformers and founders and spiritual leaders tended to arise.  So, he was actively looking for them.  This divine providence is what gives us hope.
ZENIT: In the book, you note how abuse has the devil at its core. You note how the devil is powerless unless humans cooperate with him. What can be done to prevent this ‘cooperation’ with the devil, this giving in to temptation?
Bishop Barron: We should return to the spiritual basics: prayer, regular attendance at Mass, frequenting of the sacraments, especially the Sacrament of Penance, the rosary, performing the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.  The devil hates all of that.
ZENIT: Americans are horrified with findings revealed in the PA Grand Jury Report and throughout the news, about historic abuse cases. But isn’t it also objectively true that since the Dallas Charter, and in most of these Anglophone countries where rigorous standards/guidelines have been implemented, that cases of abuse against minors have plummeted dramatically?
Bishop Barron: Absolutely.  And this story needs to be told more and more.  I was chagrined when a pollster told me last year that the majority of Church-going Catholics thought that the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report had to do with unreported cases from the present day.  In point of fact, it had overwhelmingly to do with cases from the past, stretching back thirty, forty, even seventy years.  As you say, the Dallas Accords from 2002, though by no means a perfect instrument, have indeed proven enormously helpful in reducing the number of these cases.  I don’t know any institution in the world that has done more to address this awful matter than the Catholic Church.  This should never, of course, be an excuse to relax our vigilance, but it should give the lie to those who say the Church has done nothing to respond to the crisis.
ZENIT: Do you believe the Church’s current actions will be more effective than in the past? Do you believe something else must still be done?
Bishop Barron: I do believe that the Church has been responding to the scandal with good institutional reforms.  In the wake of the 2002 revelations, the Dallas Accords emerged, and after the McCarrick revelations of 2018, Vos Estis Lux Mundi was published by the Vatican and our national protocols were formulated in line with it.  These are indispensably important moves.  But what still needs to be done, of course, is the spiritual work of conversion and purification—at both the institutional and personal levels.  I bluntly state in the book that a “rot” got into the priesthood, and this has to be addressed.  Moreover, all of us, all of the baptized, must turn again to the Lord.
ZENIT: Many Americans felt betrayed that someone like ex-Cardinal McCarrick was able to keep moving up in the ranks, and be influential, despite it apparently being well-known about his misconduct. How can Americans regain trust, following this? What should have been done differently?
Bishop Barron: For the past year, I have been calling for a full investigation into the McCarrick situation, specifically in regard to the issue that you raise.  Who looked the other way as he rose through the ranks of the hierarchy and who continued to look the other way when he persisted, even after retirement, as a key player in the life of the Church?  I think the people of God deserve answers to those questions.  Having said that, I do think that the recently enacted protocols for the U.S. Church will go a long way toward preventing a McCarrick-style scenario in the future.  People will know that they have a right to complain and they will know to whom to bring their grievance.
ZENIT: How through this letter, available for only $1, and through your online resources, do you expect to clarify misperceptions of American faithful regarding the crisis? What other hopes do you have for it?
Bishop Barron: My fondest hope for this little book is that it encourages people to stay and fight for their Church.  Just as I was beginning work on Letter to a Suffering Church, I came across a poll that suggested 37% of Catholics were considering leaving the Church because of this scandal.  I totally get the frustration, but there is finally never a good reason to leave the Church.  Don’t give up on the treasure just because the vessels that bear it are flawed and fragile.  Stay and fight.
On the NET: