Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Papal Prayer Intentions for September



An Environmentally Sustainable Lifestyle
We pray that we all will make courageous choices for a simple and environmentally sustainable lifestyle, rejoicing in our young people who are resolutely committed to this.

First September Saint of the Day


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.

Post Hurricane Update

 Reports from my home town, neighborhood and surrounding areas are difficult to hear.  Certainly not all is gloom and doom but it is overwhelmingly bad.

As for me and my family we have decided to stay far away for another week; hoping when we return we will be closer to full power restoration.

We will be moving to another temporary home away from home and will post as often as possible.

Please pray for my families safety and the safety of all those living in unbearable heat amidst various levels of destruction.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Saint for Tuesday


St. Aidan of Lindisfarne

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.

The saga and the travel log of a hurricane fleeing Deacon

Hurricane Ida hit us yesterday and she hit us hard.  This hurricane was not Katrina but in some ways, many ways, she was worse.  A lot of damage and most of the deaths from Katrina came from a man-made levee failure, although Katrina was a bad storm.  Ida was bad too.  Almost all of southeast Louisiana, a place home to probably 2.5 million plus, is damaged and with no electricity, spotty cell and internet service and plenty of  lives challenged.  It's also home to plenty of "helpers" who come to the aid of their neighbor.

For me and my family we left; got out of ground zero Saturday early.  And although my home and my daughter's home is relatively fine there is tree damage and no power, which means no water or sewer for me.  It appears we can reasonably expect no power, no internet and no water for at least 2 weeks.  Therefore we have made plans to stay away until September 8th.

It's hard to leave but after Katrina we vowed to go anytime these storms grow big and lately that's what they do.  So pray for me and my family as we sojourn across the south in search of safe weather, full electricity and safety and comfort.  And pray for all my family, friends, neighbors, parishioners trying to survive in damaged homes and no way to escape the late summer heat and humidity.  I'll update later; this is all I have for now.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Monday Saint of the Day


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.

Remembering the Martyrdom of John the Baptist

 The Feast of the Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist - God's Call to the New Evangelization

WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - On August 29 we will celebrate the Memorial of the Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist. Seen as the last prophet of the Old Testament and the first prophet of the New, St. John has always been an icon of one who not only spoke the truth but also challenged his hearers with a call to action. He knew that truth always demanded a decision.

Like his successor, St. Paul, who described his own vocation in Galatians 1:15, John the Baptist was set apart by God from his mother's womb and called by His grace. Even before his birth, he leaped for joy as he came into the presence of the Son of God within Mary's womb.

Truly he was, as Isaiah said, one crying in the wilderness to prepare the way of the Lord. His burden was to awaken the people to this incredible good news, letting them know that the one for whom they had been waiting - the Messiah - would be coming soon.

St. John the Baptist also wanted to be sure that the way was prepared for His coming - recognizing the way that had to be prepared was not a road of stones and dirt, but a highway of the heart. He called for people to repent and be baptized, washed of the burdens of this life that they could hear the Words of the Master when He came.

This baptism was only a foreshadowing of the one to come in Christ's Church. While his prepared the way, the sacrament would be a conveyor of grace.

On this feast day, however, we are focused on martyrdom, his beheading. He died for the faith for which he lived. The consequences of his heralding the good news and a call to righteousness cost him his life.

He was condemned by the decree of King Herod, who himself was caught in the clutches of a vengeful wife, Herodias, formerly the wife of his brother, Philip. He was also held captive by the throws of lust toward the daughter of Herodias. The account of Herod's treachery contains more drama than a modern day soap opera.

St. John's martyrdom reminds us that the most important vocation for all Christians, Catholic and Protestant alike, is living out the Gospel. We are called to proclaim the Good News of Christ both in word and deed, which sometimes can put us in some tense situations.

Let's face it, the Gospel can become inflammatory and even more so as a culture moves farther and farther away from core values of moral living. For this reason we are reminded by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4 that we must speak the truth in love.

For several decades both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have been calling upon Catholic Christians be become involved in the New Evangelization. In fact, Pope Benedict has made this the theme for World Youth Day 2013 in Brazil.

Over the years, evangelization has been stereotyped as an attempt by self-righteous individuals to impose their values on others. Nothing could be further from the truth!

Evangelization is a movement that begins in the heart, where a Christian, whose life has been given over to Jesus Christ, eagerly shares that good news of the coming of Christ and His Kingdom into the world.

The believer also wants to let all know of Christ's passion, death and resurrection which has overcome the world, the flesh and the devil. More than anything, he or she wants others to be able to participate in this glorious and wondrous relationship with the living God, the fullness of which is found in the Catholic faith.

Such a testimony doesn't come from self-righteous individuals, but those who have encountered the living Christ through His Word and Sacraments.

From the Gospel reading appointed for the Memorial in Mark 6:17-29, we read "Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man, and kept him in custody. When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed, yet he liked to listen to him."

The King, although living a life of debauchery, felt something kindle in his heart when John preached. The truth was making an impact. As with any move of grace, the devil is quick to distract by re-ignited the fires of passion that the soul might be once again consumed with lust.

How like today, where the people who are hearing the Gospel and also being bombarded by messages laced with sensuality and images that inflame. It's no wonder they condemn the messenger as self-righteous as everything in them is being drawn away from the righteousness of God.

However we find the world, giving up on sharing the gospel is not an option. I'm an example of one who was touched by God's grace as my life was moving in the opposite direction.

Bill Bright was a Protestant minister who gave rise to the largest college movement for Christ in America as well as other parts of the world - Campus Crusade for Christ. He used to say, "success in witnessing [Ed - evangelization] is simply sharing Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God."

While we may not be able to control the recipient, we can prepare ourselves for the work of evangelization. The keys are found in Herod's assessment of St. John the Baptist. He was holy and righteous.

By living our faith on a daily basis, through such disciplines as prayer, reading Scripture, attending daily Mass, praying the Offices of the Church and the Rosary, we can become equipped with His love and grace for this work. Our sharing of His Gospel can come through the power of His Spirit.

Many have described the results of evangelization as being a new birth - as men and women of all ages are "born again" by water and the Spirit. How does this new birth begin? By those in the womb of life encountering the One in Mary's womb and leaping for joy.

The Pope's personal MC becomes Bishop of Tortona


Monsignor Guido MariniMonsignor Guido Marini 

Master of Papal Liturgical Ceremonies named bishop of Tortona

Pope Francis has named Monsignor Guido Marini as the new Bishop of Tortona in northern Italy.

By Vatican News staff reporter

Pope Francis has appointed Monsignor Guido Marini, of the clergy of the Archdiocese of Genoa, as Bishop of the Diocese of Tortona, Italy. Monsignor Marini has been serving as Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations.

Curriculum vitae

Monsignor Guido Marini was born in Genoa on 31 January 1965. After graduating from high school he entered the Archiepiscopal Seminary of Genoa, where he obtained a Baccalaureate in Theology. Ordained a priest on 4 February 1989, he continued his studies in Rome at the Pontifical Lateran University, where he obtained a doctorate in utroque iure (in both canon and civil law). In 2007 he obtained a Bachelor's degree in psychology of communication from the Pontifical Salesian University.

He has been: personal to Cardinals Giovanni Canestri (1988-1995), Dionigi Tettamanzi (1995-2002), and Tarcisio Bertone (2002-2003); Lecturer in Canon Law at the Theological Faculty of Northern Italy - Genoa Section and the Higher Institute of Religious Sciences (1992-2007); elected member of the Presbyteral Council (1996-2001); Canon of the Cathedral of San Lorenzo (2002-2007); Director of the Diocesan Office for Education and Schools (2003-2005); Spiritual Director at the Archiepiscopal Seminary (2004-2007); Archiepiscopal Chancellor; member by right of the Diocesan Presbyteral Council and member of the Episcopal Council (2005-2007). Since 2007 he has been Prelate of Honour of His Holiness.

He became Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations in 2007 and was confirmed in the post by Pope Francis in 2013. Since 2019 he has also been in charge of the Pontifical Musical Chapel.

For the academic year 2018-2019, he was Invited Lecturer in Papal Liturgy at the Pontifical Athenaeum Sant'Anselmo. Since his ordination to the priesthood, he has also carried out his ministry in the context of preaching spiritual exercises, spiritual direction, accompanying various youth groups, and as a spiritual assistant to various religious communities.

Pope Francis: pray and fast for Afghanistan


Soldiers conducting operations to evacuate civilians from KabulSoldiers conducting operations to evacuate civilians from Kabul  (Public Domain)

Pope Francis calls for prayer, fasting for Afghanistan

At the Angelus, Pope Francis calls Christians to show solidarity with the people of Afghanistan, especially women and children, the victims of violent attacks in recent days. "Let us continue to assist those in need", he says, "and pray that dialogue and solidarity may lead to peaceful and fraternal coexistence."

By Vatican News staff reporter

“I am following the situation in Afghanistan with great concern,” Pope Francis said on Sunday, adding, “I share in the suffering of those who mourn for the people who lost their lives in the suicide attacks last Thursday, and of those who are seeking help and protection.”

Almost two hundred people were killed in the suicide bombing at Kabul’s airport last week, and thousands of people are still waiting desperately to flee to the country as the Taliban takes control of the war-torn nation.  

The Holy Father commended the souls of those who were killed “to the mercy of Almighty God.” At the same time, he thanked those who are working to help the “sorely tried population” of Afghanistan, especially women and children. “I ask everyone to continue to assist those in need,” the Pope said, “and to pray that dialogue and solidarity may lead to the establishment of peaceful and fraternal coexistence, and offer hope for the future of the country.”

Pope Francis insisted that “in historical moments like this we cannot remained indifferent,” and for Christians it is a duty to respond. For this reason, he said, “I appeal to everyone to intensify prayer and practise fasting: prayer and fasting, prayer and penance. Now is the time to do it.”

Adding emphasis to his appeal, he continued, “I’m serious: Intensify prayer and practice fasting, asking the Lord for mercy and forgiveness.”

Papal Angelus address 08.29.2021


Pope at Angelus: look at life starting from the heart

At the Sunday Angelus in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis invites us to look at life and the world starting from the heart. The day's Gospel reading reminds us that “from within, out of the heart” is where problems can originate causing us to blame others for everything, when instead we need to ask God to purify our own hearts to progress in faith.

By Vatican News staff writer

The Gospel for today’s liturgy shows a few scribes and Pharisees amazed by Jesus’ attitude. They are scandalized because his disciples pick up food without first performing the traditional ritual ablutions. They think among themselves “This way of doing things is contrary to the religious practice” (cf. Mk 7:2-5). 

Pope Francis recalled the day's Gospel reading, which recounts when a few scribes and Pharisees were scandalized because Jesus' disciples did not perform the traditional ablutions before eating. The Pope asked why they did not conform to these traditions, especially since they offer good ritual habits, such as simple washing before eating. The answer, he said, was more about making sure we keep faith at the centre of our focus in all matters and avoiding being focused solely on outward formality. This can become a religious practice where outward devotion and appearances matter most and we overlook the worship which Jesus desires with "a faith that touches the heart".

In the Gospel reading, Jesus says, “There is nothing outside a man which by going into him can defile him; but the things which come out of a man are what defile him” (v. 15). The Pope explained that it is "'from within, out of the heart' (v. 21) that evil things are born." Jesus' teaching was a novelty for His time, changing the traditional perspective which saw externals as the cause of evil. 

This truth concerns us today as well, the Pope said, especially since we tend to think that all problems arise due to other people's actions and behaviour. We put the blame on everyone else, on society or on the world, for what happens to us. It is as if all problems come from the outside; and so we blame others, saying it is their fault or the fault of those who govern. Blaming everything and everyone outside ourselves is a waste of time, the Pope stressed, and can cause us to become angry and bitter, keeping God far from our hearts. He added, one cannot be truly religious when these problems creep into your heart, since anger, resentment and sadness close the door to God.

To remedy this we need to ask the Lord to free us from these temptations, the Pope said. We need to pray for the grace not to waste time "polluting" our world with complaints, since this is not Christian. "Jesus instead invites us to look at life and the world starting from our heart", he said, and by sincerely asking God to purify our hearts. "Then we will start making the world cleaner," since a winning way to defeat evil is "by starting to conquer it within yourself."

In conclusion, the Pope encouraged us to look to Mary, "who changed history through the purity of her heart," in order to help us to purify our hearts and so overcome the vices of blaming and complaining, and keep faith at the center of our lives.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Sunday Saint of the Day


St. Sabina

St. Sabina's feast day is August 29th. We know St. Sabina only through legend, and there is some question as to it's trustworthiness. Even the century in which she lived is unknown. Supposedly Sabina was converted to Christianity by her Syrian servant Serapia. During the persecution of Emperor Hadrian, Serapia suffered martyrdom for her Christian Faith. It is believed that St. Sabina was murdered for the Faith about a month later. The reknowned basilica on the Aventine in Rome is dedicated to and named after her. Some sources hold that Sabina herself had it constructed in the third or fourth century. In an age when our Faith is ridiculed as being outmoded, we take heart in the lives of so many martyrs, like St. Sabina, who gave their lives under terrible conditions to defend and sustain their Faith. This confers on us a strong desire to persevere in God's love.

For all Catholics in Archdiocese of New Orleans

 The obligation to attend Mass this Sunday (and Saturday vigil) is dispensed due to Hurricane Ida.

Check with local parishes as some are cancelling and others are continuing to offer Mass at least in the morning.

The decision to dispense Mass obligation was made by Archbishop Aymond.

I'm evacuated far from the Archdiocese but will be praying all weekend for best possible outcomes.  May we be protected from harm, damage and stay safe.

Our Lady of Prompt Succor, pray for us.

Jesus, you calmed the seas, calm the wind and the rain and the storm surge from Hurricane Ida!