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(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis greeted the faithful from the Italian dioceses of Ascoli Piceno, Otranto, and Nonantola who are on pilgrimage to Rome for the Jubilee of Mercy, at the conclusion of his Wednesday General Audience. The Holy Father greeted Bishop Giovanni D’Ercole and the faithful of his Diocese of Ascoli Piceno, which was hard-hit by a 6.1-magnitude earthquake near the town of Pescara del Tronto . Recovery efforts in the region continue to be hampered by aftershocks. He also greeted the faithful from the Archdiocese of Otranto and their Archbishop Donato Negro, as well as the faithful from the Archdiocese of Modena-Nonantola. “Dear brothers and sisters,” he said, “your pilgrimage for the Holy Year expresses a sense of communion with the universal Church and makes you witnesses of mercy in your local Churches.” (from Vatican Radio)... 32 min 19 sec
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has once again appealed for peace in Syria. At his General Audience on Wednesday, the Pope said, “dramatic news concerning the fate of the people of Aleppo, with whom, through prayer and spiritual closeness, I feel united in suffering.” The Holy Father continued, “In expressing my deep sorrow and lively concern for what is happening in that already battered city – where children, the elderly, the sick, young and old, all are dying – I renew my appeal to everyone to commit themselves with all their strength to the protection of civilians as an imperative and urgent obligation.” Departing from his prepared text, Pope Francis appealed directly to those responsible for the bombing, warning them that they will be “accountable to God” for their actions. Since a ceasefire collapsed last week, rebel-held areas of Aleppo have been heavily bombarded, raising international concern over the plight of their 250,000 residents. On Wednesday morning, the Syrian military announced it was launching "concentrated air strikes" in Aleppo and nearby areas, targeting insurgent-held areas in the surrounding countryside. (from Vatican Radio)... 50 min 9 sec
(Vatican Radio) At his General Audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis spoke about “Forgiveness on the Cross.” Below, please find the English language summary of the Pope’s catechesis for the weekly General Audience: Dear Brothers and Sisters:  Jesus’ words during His Passion culminate in forgiveness: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Lk 23:34).  For the good thief, these are not mere words, for Jesus truly forgives him.  For the bad thief, however, it is inconceivable that the Messiah would remain on the Cross and not save Himself.  But it is precisely by remaining on the Cross that Jesus offers salvation to every person regardless of their situation.  This Jubilee Year is a time of grace and mercy for all, the good and the bad, those in health and those who suffer.  It is a time to remember that nothing can separate us from the love of God (cf. Rm 8:39).  To all those sick in hospital, who live within the walls of a prison, or who are trapped by war, we are called to look to Christ Crucified on the Cross, who is God with us, who remains with us on the Cross and who offers Himself as our Saviour.  The good thief helps us to understand how we should approach God: with awe and not fear, with respect for God’s power and infinite goodness.  When we approach Him in this way, we entrust ourselves to His mercy, even in the darkest of moments.  For God is always with us sinners, and He loves us even to death on the Cross.  Let us see in the good thief a model of confidence in the Lord and, like him, let us call upon Jesus’ name and ask Him to remember us in Paradise. Greetings to pilgrims: I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, particularly those from England, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, South Africa, Australia, Canada and the United States of America.  I extend a special welcome to the seminarians of the Pontifical North American College and their families gathered here for the Ordination to the Diaconate to be celebrated tomorrow.  May God bless you all! (from Vatican Radio)... 1 hour 24 min
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met with members of the World Jewish Congress on Monday evening. An article published on Tuesday by the Vatican newspaper, the 'Osservatore Romano', highlighted how the Holy Father spoke about a series of issues pertaining to inter faith relations and the current migration crisis on the European continent. “Europe often forgets that it has been enriched by migrants,” – Pope Francis said – “Europe is closing itself up. Europe is lacking creativity. Europe has a falling birth rate, and problems of high unemployment.” Pope Francis also spoke about migrants integrating into their new surroundings, which he called “important.” “The people who committed the terrorist attacks in Belgium were not properly integrated,” he said. Pope Francis also reiterated  a good Christian could not be an anti-Semite, and said Christians and Jews must speak out against brutality in the world. “We need more friendliness and kindness, and we should not be afraid to speak out against brutality,” – the Holy Father said – “We should go on a joint journey together to make the world more secure. We need to speak out for peace.” The World Jewish Congress includes the heads of  Jewish communities in Europe and the Americas, and in light of the upcoming Rosh Hashana holiday, Pope Francis wished the Jewish world a happy new year. (from Vatican Radio)... 19 hours 29 min
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis said silence and prayer is the way to overcome our darkest moments, rather than resorting to pills or alcoholic drinks to escape from our woes. His comments came during his homily at the morning Mass celebrated on Tuesday at the Santa Marta residence.  Listen to this report by Susy Hodges:   Taking his cue from the day’s first reading where Job was living through a spiritual desolation and was giving vent to his sorrows before God, the Pope’s homily focused on these dark moments of spiritual desolation that all of us experience at some point and explained how we can overcome them. He said although Job was in deep trouble and had lost everything he did not curse God and his outburst was that of “a son in front of his father.” All of us sooner or later experience a spiritual darkness “Spiritual desolation is something that happens to all of us: it can be stronger or weaker … but that feeling of spiritual darkness, of hopelessness, mistrust, lacking the desire to live, without seeing the end of the tunnel, with so much agitation in one’s heart and in one’s ideas…  Spiritual desolation makes us feel as though our souls are crushed, we can’t succeed, we can’t succeed and we also don’t want to live: ‘Death is better!’ This was Job’s outburst. It was better to die than live like this. We need to understand that when our soul is in this state of generalized sadness we can barely breathe: This happens to all of us… whether strong or not ….. to all of us. (We need to) understand what goes on in our hearts.” Pope Francis went on to pose the question: “What should we do when we experience these dark moments, be it for a family tragedy, an illness, something that weighs us down?.” Noting that some people would think of taking a pill to sleep and remove them from their problems or drinking one, two, three or four glasses” he warned that these methods “do not help.” Instead, today’s liturgy shows us how to cope with this spiritual desolation, “when we are lukewarm, depressed and without hope.” The Pope said the way out from this situation is to pray, to pray loudly, just as Job did, day and night until God listens. “It is a prayer to knock at the door but with strength! ‘Lord, my soul is surfeited with troubles. My life draws near to Hell. I am numbered among those who go down into the pit; I am a man without strength.’ How many times have we felt like this, without strength?  And here is the prayer. Our Lord himself taught us how to pray in these dreadful moments. ‘Lord, you have plunged me into the bottom of the pit. Upon me, your wrath lies heavy. Let my prayer come before you, Lord.’ This is the prayer and this is how we should pray in our darkest, most dreadful, bleakest and most crushed moments that are really crushing us. This is genuine prayer. And it’s also giving vent just like Job did with his sons. Like a son.” Silence, closeness and prayer is how to help those who are suffering The importance of silence, being close and using prayer was stressed by Pope Francis who said that was the correct way for friends to behave when faced with those who are undergoing dark moments, warning words and speeches in these situations can do harm.   “First of all, we must recognize in ourselves these moments of spiritual desolation, when we are in the dark, without hope and asking ourselves why. Secondly, we must pray to the Lord like today’s reading from Psalm 87 teaches us to pray during our dark moments. ‘Let my prayer come before you, Lord.’ Thirdly, when I draw close to a person who is suffering, whether from illness, or whatever other type of suffering and who is experiencing a sense of desolation, we must be silent: but a silence with much love, closeness and caresses.  And we must not make speeches that don’t help in the end and even can do harm.” The Pope concluded his homily by asking the Lord to grant us these three graces: the grace to recognize spiritual desolation, the grace to pray when we are afflicted by this feeling of spiritual desolation and also the grace to know how to be close to people who are suffering terrible moments of sadness and spiritual desolation.” (from Vatican Radio)... 22 hours 51 min
(Vatican Radio) The Vatican told the United Nations on Monday “nuclear arms offer a false sense of security, and that the uneasy peace promised by nuclear deterrence is a tragic illusion.” “Nuclear weapons cannot create for us a stable and secure world,” said Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations. He was speaking at an event marking the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. “Peace and international stability cannot be founded on mutually assured destruction or on the threat of total annihilation,” the Vatican diplomat said.   The full statement of Archbishop Auza can be found below   Statement of H.E. Archbishop Bernardito Auza Apostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations at the High-level plenary meeting to commemorate and promote The International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons New York, 26 September 2016   Mr. President, The  Holy  See  fervently  hopes  that  this  annual  commemoration of the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons will contribute to breaking the deadlock that has beset the United Nations’ disarmament machinery for far too long now. In February 1943, two years and a half before the Trinity test, Pope Piu XII had already voiced deep concern regarding the violent use of atomic energy.  After Hiroshima and Nagasaki  and  given  the  totally uncontrollable and indiscriminate consequences of nuclear weapons, Pope Pius XII demanded the effective proscription and banishment of atomic warfare, calling the arms race a costly relationship of mutual terror. The Holy See has maintained this position ever since the advent of nuclear weapons. My delegation believes that nuclear arms offer a false sense of security, and that the uneasy peace promised by nuclear deterrence is a tragic illusion. Nuclear weapons cannot create for us a stable and secure world. Peace and international stability cannot be founded on mutually assured destruction or  on the threat of total annihilation. The Holy See believes that peace cannot be solely the maintaining of a balance of power. On the contrary, as Pope Francis affirmed, “Peace must be built on justice, socio-economic development, freedom, respect for human rights, the participation of all in public affairs  and the building of trust between peoples.” Lasting peace thus requires that all must strive for progressive and concerted nuclear disarmament. The Holy See has been a Party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) since the very beginning, in order to encourage nuclear possessing States to abolish their nuclear weapons, to dissuade non-nuclear possessing States from acquiring or developing nuclear capabilities, and to encourage international cooperation on the peaceful uses of nuclear material. While firmly believing that the NPT remains vital to international peace and security and regretting deeply our collective failure to move forward with a positive disarmament agenda, the Holy See will continue to argue against both the possession and the use of nuclear weapons, until the total elimination of nuclear weapons is achieved. Indeed, the Holy See considers it a moral and humanitarian imperative to advance the efforts towards the final objective of the total elimination of nuclear weapons. Disarmament treaties are not just legal obligations; they are also moral commitments based on trust between States, rooted  in  the  trust  that  citizens place in their governments. If commitments to nuclear disarmament are not  made in good faith and consequently result in breaches of trust, the proliferation of such weapons would be the logical corollary. For our own good and that of future generations, we have no reasonable or moral option other than the abolition of nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons are a global problem and they impact all  countries and all peoples, including future generations. Increasing interdependence and globalization demand that whatever response we make to the threat of nuclear weapons be collective and concerted, based on reciprocal trust, and within a framework of general and complete disarmament, as Art. VI of the NPT demands. Moreover, there is the real and present danger that nuclear weapons and other arms of mass destruction would fall into the hands of extremist terrorist groups and other violent non-state actors. The 2030  Agenda for Sustainable Development calls upon all of us to embark on the implementation of the daunting ambition to better every life, especially those who have been and are left behind. It would be naïve and myopic if we sought to assure world peace and security through nuclear weapons rather than through the eradication of extreme poverty, increased accessibility to healthcare and education, and the promotion of peaceful institutions and societies through dialogue and solidarity. Mr. President, No one could ever say that a world without nuclear weapons is easily achievable. It is not; it is extremely arduous; to some, it may even appear utopian. But there is no alternative than to work unceasingly towards its achievement. Let me conclude by reaffirming the conviction that Pope Francis expressed in his December 2014 message to  the  President  of  the  Vienna  Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons: “I am convinced that the desire for peace and fraternity planted deep in the human heart will bear fruit in concrete ways to ensure that nuclear weapons are banned once and for all, to the benefit of our common home.” (from Vatican Radio)... 22 hours 56 min
(Vatican Radio) The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, on Monday celebrated a Liturgy of the Word in Cartagena to mark the signing of the Final Agreement between the Government of Colombia and the Marxist FARC rebels which aims to end decades of conflict which have left nearly 250,000 people dead, and displaced millions of others. In his homily, the Cardinal said Pope Francis has followed “with great attention” and encouraged  “the efforts of recent years in search of harmony and reconciliation.” “The Pope has always encouraged respect for human rights and Christian values, ​​which are at the center of the Colombian culture,” Cardinal Parolin continued. The Cardinal said he hoped the signing of the Agreement would “ease the pain of those many people who have been humiliated and oppressed by the violence [of the conflict], stop hatred, and change the course of history to build a better future with strong and just institutions.” “The safest way to begin a better future is to reconstruct the dignity of those who suffer, and to do this you need to approach them without delay, to the point where you can identify with them,” – Cardinal Parolin continued – “In fact, the root causes of this conflict which in recent decades has torn apart this country can be found in the wounds of the heart.” He concluded his remarks by speaking of the importance of religious institutions for the peace of the nation. “Religions lead to listening, to understanding and to recognizing the reasons for and the value of the other,” – Cardinal Parolin said – “Faith is opposed to harming the dignity of the person which causes the tearing of the civil fabric, and is not contrary to secularism, understood as respect for the various fields of competence belonging to the civil and spiritual realities.” The Cardinal continued by saying “secularism has need of faith as a necessary reference point for coexistence and for respect.” “The Catholic Church, in particular, promotes peaceful social coexistence, in accordance with the spiritual tradition of the people of Colombia, without claiming that all belong to the same religious confession,” – he said – “It offers points of reference so that individuals and communities are able to find and illuminate the common good.” (from Vatican Radio)... 23 hours 19 min
(Vatican Radio) At a briefing for journalists at the Holy See press office on Monday, Vatican spokesman Greg Burke gave details of Pope Francis’ forthcoming three day visit to the republics of Georgia and Azerbaijan. It’ll be his 16th pastoral visit outside Italy and it’ll be focused on the themes of peace and brotherhood, following on from the message of peace that he took with him to the neighbouring republic of Armenia last June. Listen:  The Pope is scheduled to leave the Vatican on Friday morning, headed for the Georgian capital Tbilisi. His first encounter there will be with the president, with government authorities and representatives of civil society gathered at the imposing presidential palace. From there he goes on to meet the country’s Orthodox leader Patriarch Elia, who was also on hand for Pope John Paul II’s visit to the newly independent nation back in 1999. The final event on Friday will be a visit to the Syro-Chaldean church of St Simon the Tanner, one of three different rites making up the small Catholic community in the former Soviet nation. The pope will join Syro-Chaldean bishops from around the world there to pray for peace in Syria and Iraq. Pope Francis begins the following day with Mass at a stadium in Tbilisi named after one of Georgia’s most famous footballers. Significantly, a delegation from the Orthodox Patriarchate will also be present at the Mass, a sign of growing friendship despite the many doctrinal difficulties that continue to divide leaders of the two Churches. In the afternoon, the Pope will meet with priests, religious and seminarians at one of the two Catholic parishes in the capital, before greeting several hundred disabled and vulnerable people being cared for by members of the Camilian order.  The Pope’s final event in Georgia will be a visit to the patriarchal cathedral in the nearby ancient city of Mtshketa, listed as one of UNESCO’s world heritage sites. On the final day of the trip, Pope Francis flies from Tbilisi to Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan where he’ll celebrate Mass for the tiny Catholic community at the only parish church run by the Salesian order. In the afternoon he’ll make a courtesy visit to the president and meet the region’s Muslim leader, Sheik  Allashukur Pashazade, before taking part in an interfaith encounter with representatives of all the other religious communities in the country. (from Vatican Radio)... 1 day 19 hours
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis received Monday in audience in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, His Excellency Joseph Kabila, who subsequently met with His Excellency Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary for Relations with States. In a statement, the Holy See's Press Office said during the "cordial discussions,"  the good relations between the Holy See and the Democratic Republic of the Congo were evoked, "with particular reference to the important contribution of the Catholic Church in the life of the nation, with its institutions in the educational, social and healthcare spheres, as well as in development and the reduction of poverty. In this context, mutual satisfaction was expressed for the signing of the framework Agreement between the Holy See and the State, which took place on 20 May this year." Particular attention was paid, the comunique continues, "to the serious challenges placed by the current political challenge and the recent clashes that have occurred in the capital. Emphasis was placed on the importance of collaboration between political actors and representatives of civil society and religious communities, in favour of the common good, through a respectful and inclusive dialogue for the stability of peace in the country." Finally, the Parties focused on the persistent violence suffered by the population in the east of the country, and on the urgency of cooperation at national and international levels, in order to provide the necessary assistance and to re-establish civil co-existence. Watch a video report of the Pope's meeting with President Kabila: (from Vatican Radio)... 1 day 21 hours
(Vatican Radio) Keeping the central truth of our faith – that Jesus Christ is Our Divine Lord, that He died and is risen from the dead, never to die again – front and center in our lives, so as to witness always and everywhere to His divine Lordship and victory over death: this was the central theme and focus of Pope Francis’ homily on Sunday morning, which he delivered during the Mass he celebrated to mark the Jubilee of Catechists – on Sunday the 26 th Sunday in Ordinary Time and the Jubilee of Catechists in the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy. Click below to hear our report “This centre around which everything revolves, this beating heart which gives life to everything is the Paschal proclamation, the first proclamation: the Lord Jesus is risen, the Lord Jesus loves you, and he has given his life for you; risen and alive, he is close to you and waits for you every day.  We must never forget this,” Pope Francis said. The Pope went on to explain how the Readings of the Day, especially the Sunday Gospel, which contained the parable of the pauper, Lazarus, and the rich man, teaches us how the Lord looks at and cares – through us – for those who are neglected and discarded by the world – and how he gives us the opportunity, the mission and the duty to bring the Good News to those most in need of it. The Holy Father went on to say, “On this Jubilee for Catechists, we are being asked not to tire of keeping the key message of the faith front and centre: the Lord is risen. Nothing is more important;  nothing is clearer or more relevant than this. Everything in the faith becomes beautiful when linked to this centrepiece, if it is saturated by the Paschal proclamation. If it remains in isolation, however, it loses its sense and force.” “And so, dear catechists, dear brothers and sisters,” concluded Pope Francis, “may the Lord give us the grace to be renewed every day by the joy of the first proclamation to us: Jesus died and is risen, Jesus loves us personally! May he give us the strength to live and proclaim the commandment of love, overcoming blindness of appearances, and worldly sadness. May he make us sensitive to the poor, who are not an afterthought in the Gospel but an important page, always open before all.” (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 21 hours
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis offered prayers and encouragement to deaf people everywhere on Sunday – the World Day of the Deaf, which marks the close of the International Week of the Deaf . “I want to salute all deaf persons – some of whom are here [at the Angelus ] – and encourage them to give their part for a Church and for a society that are both ever more ready and willing to welcome everyone.” First launched in 1958 in Rome, the International Week of the Deaf takes place annually in the last full week of September, and is the only week in a year that sees highly concerted global action to raise awareness about the needs of deaf people and the contributions of the deaf community to broader society. (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 22 hours
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis prayed the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, following a Mass to mark the Jubilee of Catechists celebrated as part of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy . In remarks to the faithful ahead of the mid-day prayer of Marian devotion, the Holy Father recalled the beatification – which took place in the German city of Würzburg on Saturday – of the Servant of God, Fr. Engelmar Unzeitig CMM , a Czech-born priest who ministered in Austria and was martyred in the Nazi concentration camp at Dachau. “[Saturday], in Würzburg,” said Pope Francis, “Engelmar Unzeitig, priest of the Congregation of the Missionaries of Mariannhill, was proclaimed Blessed.” The Holy Father went on to say, “Killed in hatred of the faith in the extermination camp of Dachau, he opposed hatred with love, and answered ferocity answered with meekness: may his example help us to be witnesses of charity and hope even in the midst of trials.” (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 22 hours
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis offered prayers for slain Mexican priests on Sunday, and put his support behind the ongoing pro-family and pro-life efforts of the Mexican Bishops. Speaking with the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, following Mass to mark the Jubilee of Catechists celebrated as part of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, and ahead of the traditional noonday Angelus prayer, Pope Francis said, “I am very happy to associate myself with the Bishops of Mexico, in supporting the commitment of the Church and of civil society in favor of the family and of life, which in this time require special pastoral and cultural attention in all the world.” The Holy Father went on to say, “I assure my prayer for the dear Mexican people, that the violence, which has in recent days reached even several priests, might cease.” Two priests were abducted and murdered in Poza Rica, Veracruz state, and a third priest was found dead later on Sunday . Their abductions and murders took place at a time in which Church leaders have been calling for increased protection for clergy, as the Church in Mexico advocates in defence of traditional marrigage while the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto pushes for a change in the law to allow legal recognition of same-sex unions as marriages. 14 priests have been killed since Peña Nieto took office in 2012, along with scores of thousands of kidnappings and homicides since that same year, most of which are related to the ongoing violence between rival drug cartels in the country. Watch our video report of the Pope's Angelus prayer: (from Vatican Radio)... 2 days 23 hours

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From: Live Catholic Headlines
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Vatican City, Sep 28, 2016 / 05:34 am (EWTN News/CNA).- On Wednesday Pope Francis said that Jesus' salvific mission reaches its culmination on the Cross in his conversation with the two thieves crucified with him, showing that God's mercy goes beyond the desperation of human suffering, responding to it with mercy and forgiveness. 1 hour 20 min
Cleveland, Ohio, Sep 28, 2016 / 04:02 am (EWTN News/CNA).- Rhoda Wise, the mystic visionary and reputed stigmatic and miracle worker who played a key role in the life of Mother Angelica, is now the focus of a diocesan inquiry as one of the first steps towards possible canonization. 2 hours 52 min
Rome, Italy, Sep 28, 2016 / 01:34 am (EWTN News/CNA).- Hundreds of years before Martin Luther broke away from the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope in the western world, the Great Eastern Schism created a division between Rome and Constantinople. 5 hours 20 min
Vatican City, Sep 27, 2016 / 08:45 am (EWTN News/CNA).- The Vatican announced Tuesday that Pope Francis has named Msgr. Robert Milner Coerver, a parish priest from the Diocese of Dallas, as the new bishop-elect for Lubbock, Texas. 22 hours 9 min
Washington D.C., Sep 27, 2016 / 07:01 am (EWTN News/CNA).- A U.N. resolution against further nuclear weapons tests drew praise from the U.S. Catholic bishops, who repeated their support for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty in the wake of North Korean weapons tests. 23 hours 53 min
Vatican City, Sep 27, 2016 / 05:33 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Tanya Cangelosi never imagined that she would one day be bringing homeless people on pilgrimages to Rome. And Shyla Montoya never thought that she would someday go on a pilgrimage to Rome. 1 day 1 hour
Vatican City, Sep 27, 2016 / 03:32 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Feelings of spiritual desolation, or a lack of will to live, should be combated with prayer, not with sleeping pills or alcohol – things that only distract us from the problem – Pope Francis said Tuesday. 1 day 3 hours
Cartagena, Colombia, Sep 27, 2016 / 01:31 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Peitro Parolin praised the signing of a peace agreement in Colombia on Monday, telling Colombians that a better future is possible, while also stressing that reconciliation is a commitment everyone must make, and which begins with those who have suffered. 1 day 5 hours
Vatican City, Sep 27, 2016 / 01:08 am (EWTN News/CNA).- How does Pope Francis carry forward the reform of the Roman Curia? Gradually, step by step, by trial and error, according to Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano, who serves as secretary of the Council of Cardinals. 1 day 5 hours
Vatican City, Sep 26, 2016 / 08:21 am (EWTN News).- Less than a week after two Catholic priests in Mexico were found murdered after having been abducted from their parishes, the body of a third slain priest, Fr. José Alfredo López Guillén, has been found. 1 day 22 hours
Aleppo, Syria, Sep 26, 2016 / 05:17 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Christian and Muslim children of Aleppo, Syria will gather together in prayer on October 6 to plead for an end to the violence and devastation in their city and country. 2 days 1 hour
Würzburg, Germany, Sep 26, 2016 / 03:29 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Fr. Engelmar Unzeitig, a priest of the Mariannhill Mission society who was interred in the Nazi's Dachau concentration camp and has been recognized as a martyr, was beatified during a Mass on Saturday. 2 days 3 hours
Mexico City, Mexico, Sep 26, 2016 / 03:16 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Some 400,000 people filled the streets of Mexico City on Saturday to protest the Mexican government's attempt to redefine marriage as anything but a union between one man and one woman. 2 days 3 hours

NewsFeeds from Zenit, EWTN, CatholicCulture.org

From: Reliable world news and analysis from a Catholic perspective.
Posted

Continuing his series of weekly addresses devoted to mercy, Pope Francis reflected on forgiveness on the Cross during his September 28 general audience.

5 hours 43 min

Stating that those who are bombing Aleppo will be “accountable to God,” Pope Francis appealed for peace in the Syrian city.

5 hours 55 min

Pope Francis discussed immigration with the leaders of the World Jewish Congress at a meeting in Domus Sanctae Marthae on the evening of September 26.

6 hours 1 min

Amid calls for the legalization of abortion for unborn children diagnosed with microcephaly, Jamaica’s leading prelate said that Catholic religious communities are willing to care for any child born with the condition.

6 hours 13 min

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has published a report on the reception and implementation of Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia.

6 hours 53 min

The cars used by Pope Francis during his July visit to Poland are being auctioned off, with the proceeds to be used to support a clinic in Lebanon that treats Syrian refugees.

18 hours 12 min

Under heavy pressure from the government of India, the operators of world's leading internet search engines have agreed to block advertisements for sex-selection abortion.

21 hours 22 min

Nuclear weapons cannot provide genuine security, the Vatican's representative said at a UN meeting on September 26, and the drive to eliminate all nuclear arms is a "moral and humanitarian imperative."

21 hours 31 min

Both major-party presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, will speak at the annual Al Smith dinner, the fundraising event for Catholic Charities in New York.

21 hours 34 min

Pope Francis is concerned about the ramifications of nuclear tests in North Korea, Vatican spokesman Greg Burke has revealed.

21 hours 39 min

As the Colombian government and rebels and representatives of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People's Army signed an accord to end their 52-year conflict, the Vatican’s Secretary of State welcomed the prospects of peace during a Liturgy of the Word in the Church of St. Peter Claver in Cartagena.

1 day 5 hours

A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Mexico City said that state governments have engaged in a smear campaign against three recently murdered priests.

1 day 6 hours

Sister Donna Markham, the president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, has called upon the Senate to address ongoing lead contamination in Flint, Michigan.

1 day 6 hours

A former student of a Catholic high school in Memphis has filed a $1-million suit because the school’s principal told him he could not bring a date of the same sex to a dance.

1 day 6 hours

Guam’s governor has signed legislation removing the statute of limitations in civil cases involving sexual abuse—a decision that places the Archdiocese of Agana at risk of bankruptcy.

1 day 7 hours

The United Nations Security Council has passed a resolution calling upon various nations, including the United States, to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

1 day 7 hours

Saudi Arabia has deported 27 Catholics, all Lebanese Maronites, who were arrested for celebrating the feast of the Assumption in a private home.

1 day 17 hours

The Vatican has released a statistical profile of the Catholic presence in Georgia and Azerbaijan in advance of the visit to those two countries by Pope Francis, which will take place September 30 to October 2.

1 day 18 hours

For the 2nd time in less than a month, Chinese officials have taken an "underground" Catholic bishop on a trip to a remote part of the country, so that he cannot preside at the funeral of a deceased Catholic prelate.

1 day 18 hours

In Jordan's legislative elections, Islamic voters refused to support Christian candidates, reports Archbishop Maroun Lahham, the patriarchal vicar for the Jerusalem patriarchate.

1 day 18 hours

The Vatican has updated the schedule for a visit by Pope Francis to Sweden, to join in a celebration of the Reformation.

1 day 18 hours

Cardinal Pietro Parolin has reportedly assured Church diplomats that the Vatican will not allow the Chinese government a role in the appointment of new bishops.

1 day 18 hours

Pope Francis met on September 26 with President Joseph Kabila of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), to discuss the continued violence and unrest in the African nation.

1 day 18 hours

A Jordanian journalist was shot and killed as he arrived at a court in Amman to answer charges that he had offended Islam with a cartoon posted on his Facebook page.

1 day 19 hours

The little European nation-state of San Marino has voted to allow for legal abortion in some circumstances.

1 day 19 hours

A small group of parishioners at a parish in Providence, Rhode Island, sang their own song during the recitation of the Nicene Creed to protest the removal of a homosexual music director.

1 day 19 hours

Church leaders "need to be very realistic about the crisis of refugees arriving in Europe," Cardinal Joip Bozanic of Zagreb told a meeting of European Catholic officials working with migrants.

1 day 19 hours

The demand for exorcisms in the US has soared in recent years, two Catholic priests told the Daily Telegraph.

1 day 19 hours

Over 200,000 people joined in demonstrations in Mexico City on September 24 to protest plans by President Enrique Pena Nieto for legal recognition of same-sex marriage.

1 day 19 hours

A priest who was abducted last week from his parish in the Mexican state of Michoacan has been found dead of gunshot wounds.

2 days 4 hours

During his September 25 Angelus address, delivered in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis recalled that the day was the World Day of the Deaf.

2 days 4 hours

On September 25, at the conclusion of Mass in St. Peter’s Square for the jubilee of catechists, Pope Francis delivered a brief Angelus address in which he expressed support of the Mexican bishops’ efforts to defend life and the family.

2 days 5 hours

A German priest known as the “angel of Dachau” was beatified as a martyr in Würzburg, Germany, on September 24.

2 days 5 hours

Pope Francis celebrated a Mass for the jubilee of catechists on September 25 and encouraged them to focus on the proclamation of the Risen Lord.

2 days 6 hours

Pope Francis met with the relatives of the victims of the July 14 attack in Nice, France, in which Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a Tunisian, drove a truck into a crowd, killing 87 and injuring over 400.

2 days 6 hours

Pope Francis received members of the Hospitaler Sisters of Mercy in a September 24 audience and encouraged them to persevere in their service to the sick.

2 days 7 hours

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From: Tristate Catholic news and features, daily
Posted
Hundreds of people gather every year at UD's arena for the Family Rosary Rally.

Hundreds of people gather every year at UD’s arena for the Family Rosary Rally, which returns next Sunday.

Sep. 28 – Nov. 6: Fall 40 Days for Life Campaign

Sept. 29,”Who Knows What Evil Lurks Below the Surface: Exploring Alien Worlds With Robots” Talk at the University of Dayton Kennedy Union (Dayton, OH), 6:30 pm. Bobak Ferdowski, known as “the Mohawk Guy” because millions saw his his hairstyle during the Mars Curiosity Rover landing live feed from NASA, will speak at a free. UD researchers have helped to test a propulsion system that could power a mission to Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons. No fee.

Sept. 30 – Oct. 2, Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend at Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center (Norwood, OH). A gift for any married couple, a Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend will enhance communications, renew commitment and rekindle romance. Don’t wait to invest in your marriage! For more information, contact Tom & Ginny Segbers at tsegbers@gmail.com.

Oct. 1, Catholic Charities Centennial Celebration and Awards Dinner at Xavier University, 6 pm. More information to come; reserve tickets online at ccswoh.org/centennial.

Oct. 2, Tour of Historic St. Clare Chapel (Springfield Twp., OH), 11 am. Come for 10 am Mass or stop by at 11 — see this gem of a chapel on the border of Springfield Twp. and Wyoming, in the convent of the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor. Archivist Jennifer Gerth will tell you about its stained glass, relic cases, relic of an early martyr, and more. Part of an “Archive Crawl” sponsored by the Miami Valley Archives Roundtable, open to all.

Oct. 2, “Ignited” at St. Xavier High School (Cincinnati), 2 pm. Celebrating the 25th anniversary of Heart to Heart Ministries. Program includes talks by Fr. Michael Sparough, SJ, and Matthew Kelley, and music by Kevin Kern; copies of Beautiful Mercy, by Kellye and others, and an inspirational CD by Fr. Sparough; a reception with appetizers from local gourmet chef Suzi DeYoung. Tickets $35. For information see www.heartoheart.org; for tickets click here.

Oct. 2, Dayton City-Wide Healing Service at St. Peter Church (Huber Heights, OH), 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Encounter Dayton and St. Peter Parish; the event is open to all and will feature Fr. Mathias Thelan, spiritual director for Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. A popular conference speaker, Fr. Thelan is known for healing services where the power of the Holy Spirit manifests. No fee. For information see the event’s Facebook page.

Oct. 2, Family Rosary Walk and Dinner at Transfiguration Center (Ludlow Falls, OH), 4-7 pm. Invite the whole family and come away to a “beautiful place” for a unique rosary experience beginning at at the statue of Mary (goldfish pond), followed by a procession through the gardens and woods of the beautiful Lange Estate. Artistic banners help reflect on the mysteries. A pot-luck dinner follows at the shelter house. Center provides meats, drinks; bring an entrée for 6. Rain location: inside the Center. For information call 937-698-7180; for reservations use the online reservation request form.

Oct. 4, “Embodying the Sacred in Birth” Day of Reflection for Women at the Jesuit Spiritual Center of Milford (Milford, OH), 1-4 pm. Connect with your body in a spiritual way as you prepare to give birth or reflect on your past experience of giving birth. Not a mother? Reflect on birth as metaphor for creative or other endeavors. Doula and writer Peg Conway will lead. Fee: $50 (includes refreshments.  To register, call (513) 248-3500 ext. 10, or e-mail reservations@jesuitspiritualcenter.com.

Oct. 5, “Mary Undoer of Knots: A Living Novena” at St. Andrew Church (Milford, OH), 7 pm. Author Marge Fenelon will take you on a spiritual pilgrimage through the Holy Land with guided meditations and a prayer guide to Our Lady to help us untangle the knots in our lives with  victory, peace, blessings and reconciliation. Marge reflects on nine sacred sites associated with Pope Francis’ 2014 pilgrimage to the Holy Land. No fee.

Oct. 5, Mass and Healing Service at St. Ignatius Church (Monfort Heights, OH), 7:30 pm. Healing includes the physical, spiritual, emotional, psychological and relational aspects of our lives. Sponsored by Lighthouse Renewal Center.  For more information call 513-471-LITE (5483) or see LRC1.org.

Oct. 6, 40 Days for Life Ohio Rally at the Planned Parenthood abortion center (Mt. Auburn, Cincinnati) 7 pm. Representatives from the national 40 Days for Life office will stop in Cincinnati on their tour of all 50 states for visits and rallies — Cincinnati is a major stop for this tour. More information to come.

Oct. 7, “An Encounter with the Relics of the Passion” Presentation at Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center (Norwood, OH), 7 pm. Presented by OLHSC and the Apostolate of the Holy Relics, a contemplative program designed to help you accompany Jesus through His suffering during the Passion, ending in an opportunity for personal veneration of eight rare relics including a relic of the True Cross, a piece of stone from the room where the Last Supper was held, more. For information call (513) 351-9800, ext. 302 or see OLHSC.org

Oct. 8, Annual Fatima Rosary Crusade on Fountain Square (Cincinnati), noon. One of 15,000 America Needs Fatima Rosary Crusades around the country. Marian images will play on the giant screen above the square; Fourth-Degree Knights of Columbus will formally process with a replica of the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima, music provided by Ric Aielli and Ms. Anna Little with the Latin Mass Community Schola and guest singer Mrs. Cecile Smith. Fr. Sean Kopczynski, MSJB, will be the featured speaker. Fr. André-Joseph LaCasse, OP (St. Gertrude) and Deacon Amado Lim (All Saints) will lead the Rosary and the Litany to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Sponsored by the American TFP. Theme: “The 99th Hour,” in honor of the 99th anniversary of the apparitions in Fatima. For information,call 513.793.5872 or email patashcraft@earthlink.net. 

Oct. 8, Holy Name Society Eucharistic Procession through Downtown Cincinnati, 9 – 11 am. Second annual men’s Eucharistic procession; all Catholic men invited. The annual Hioly Name Procession once brought thousands of men to the streets of Cincinnati; be part of this revived tradition that drew 200 men last year. Begins at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral and procession to Old St. Mary’s Church (Over-the-Rhine) with stops at temporary altars for prayer and veneration. Sponsored by the St. Antoninus Holy Name Society; priests from the Oratory-in-Formation of St. Philip Neri in Cincinnati will lead. For information call David Willig at  (513) 305-6719.

Oct. 9, Annual Family Rosary Rally at the University of Dayton Arena (Dayton, OH), 2:30. Sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. All ages welcome at this annual event featuring a musical prelude, live Rosary, and Benediction (3-4 pm). Will be broadcast over Radio Maria (1600 AM WULM Springfield/Dayton, 88.7 FM WHJM Anna/West Central Ohio). Fr. Chris Worland will lead. For more information see familyrosaryrally.com.

Oct. 9, Fall Italian Dinner at Sacred Heart Church (Camp Washington/Cincinnati), noon. Many Cincinnatians line up early in the morning to purchase take-out ravioli and meatballs prepared from Northern Italian recipes more than 100 years old. Sit-down dinners $12 adults, $6 children; beginning at noon and ending when the food runs out.

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The Catholic Beat will cease publication on September 30, 2016. Thanks for reading!

6 hours 38 min
One of the family groups at Cardinal Pacelli School (Mt. Lookout/Cincinnati) gets to know one another.

Students get to know each other in one of the family-thened groups at Cardinal Pacelli School (Mt. Lookout/Cincinnati).

To help students realize that the family unit is the backbone of an ordered, flourishing society. With this in mind, Cardinal Pacelli School in Mt. Lookout/Cincinnati has instituted a new buddy system that operates like a family.  

“We have created 21 school families with two students from each grade level, led by the eighth graders.” said teacher Kristy Goff. “A faculty member serves as an advisor for each family. Students will stay in these families throughout their entire time at Cardinal Pacelli, and as the eighth graders graduate, the new Kindergarteners take their place.”

Each year the school will adopt a theme and corresponding church song, beginning this year with “Come, Follow Me.”  The student families will focus on following in the footsteps of Jesus as they get to know each other better and learn to work cooperatively.

 

Students decorated a postor of their family group's patron saint as a m

Students decorated a poster of their family group’s patron saint as they got to know each other  during their first meeting.

“Building a deeper understanding of community will help us develop a strong solidarity,” said Principal Terri Cento. “We hope to see our students develop the understanding that for a community to prosper, each of its members must be responsible and contribute positively to the whole community.”

Eighth grade teacher Ben Habel led one of the family groups’s first meeting, which began with a prayer and introductions. 

“The students discussed how they would ‘Come follow Jesus,’ and our Flat Francis (a small paper image of Pope Francis that will be used for various activities) was revealed to them.  All family leaders hide a Flat Francis for their family members to find before their next gathering.”

Photo courtesy Cardinal Pacelli School.

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The Catholic Beat will cease publication on September 30, 2016. Thanks for reading!

6 hours 44 min

After nearly five years of daily publication, The Catholic Beat will publish its last stories tomorrow.

 

Beginning in late 2011 with pilot stories, The Catholic Beat began its official life in January, 2012. Unfortunately, the stories for that January, February, and early March were lost in the switch to a different computer platform, but beginning March 8, 2012, with a story on the private chapel at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West’s remodeling, thousands of stories on Catholic life in the tri-state have been published daily, and are archived at The Catholic Beat’s website.

 

Profiles of area Catholics; information on Catholic schools, institutions, charities, and organizations; photos of Catholic worship, sports teams, missions, and charitable activities; and an ongoing perpetual calendar of Catholic events have all been available at this media apostolate, made possible through a partnership with Sacred Heart Radio.

 

Senior Editor Gail Deibler Finke reports the Catholic Beat

Senior Editor Gail Deibler Finke reports the Catholic Beat

As of October 3rd, I — Gail Finke, senior editor of The Catholic Beat (which really means the entire staff) — will begin a position at The Catholic Telegraph. During the past five years I have met hundreds of wonderful people on both sides of the Ohio river. I’ve seen many wonderful churches and wish I could have seen many more. I’ve participated in conferences and events at parishes, organizations, and colleges around the tristate. I’ve been welcomed at fish fries, Eucharistic processions, rallies, demonstrations, lectures, and events of all sorts. I’ve marveled at the variety of concerts, plays, art and museum exhibits, and retreats that take place every month. I have met bishops from around the country and around the world, I’ve spoken with theologians and teachers and writers, and I’ve prayed at Masses, dedications, memorials, and celebrations.

 

I hope that I’ve helped area Catholics do the same.

 

Southwest Ohio, Northern Kentucky, and Southeast Indiana are a Catholic powerhouse. We’re home to the Ruah Woods Theology of the Body Institute, The Couple to Couple League for Natural Family Planning, Presentation Ministries, the Dynamic Catholic Institute, Franciscan Media, the nationally syndicated “Son Rise Morning Show“ and the storied magazine “The Saint Anthony Messenger,” the National Shrine of St. Anthony of Padua, the world’s largest Marian library, the first and oldest Right to Life organization, the North American headquarters of several mission organizations and religious orders, the nation’s third oldest seminary, the region’s oldest continuously operating church building, and so much more.

 

What I never ceased to find surprising and humbling — though I thought I knew it very well — was the faith and the generosity of my fellow Catholics. We don’t talk about it enough, but it is real and it is deep. From the wealthy business owners who not only support our charities and schools, but help support Christians in the Holy Land and around the world, to the people of modest means who work at and support our soup kitchens and pregnancy care centers and tutoring programs and the (literally) thousands of programs and projects underway every year, people do these things because they are Catholic — not just because they are “good things to do.” Their faith drives their business practices, the way they spend their money, and the way they care for others.

 

From ancient religious orders to new theology and evangelization organizations, our home is filled with vibrant, and increasingly vibrant young, Catholics. And as Catholics, we are all part of the universal church. Our Church is alive, because our God is alive. As the culture of the West becomes more and more a culture of death, the world increasingly needs our witness, and we are increasingly ready and willing to give it.

 

“This is a great time to be a Christian,” a Catholic lawyer who works with pro-life causes recently told me. And he meant it. Adversity has always led to growth renewal, and Catholic growth and renewal on every level is happening here, every day. You just have to look for it. Seek, and ye shall find.
For the past five years, I’ve been privileged to look for it, and I have found it. I hope I’ve shown it to you. Thank you for reading, and may God bless you.

 

— Gail Deibler Finke, Senior Editor

 

Click here to see all our current stories and photos.

 

The Catholic Beat will cease publication on September 30, 2016. Thanks for reading!

15 hours 8 min
The Bishops Choir sings in the cathedral choir loft in Covington on Divine Mercy Sunday. Photo courtesy The Messenger, the official newspaper of the Diocese of Covington.

The Bishops Choir sings in the cathedral choir loft in Covington on Divine Mercy Sunday. Photo courtesy The Messenger, the official newspaper of the Diocese of Covington.

 

Covington’s dramatic St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption (yes, both a cathedral and a basilica, a designation that means a church is architecturally or historically notable), is often photographed. Its windows, art, altarpiece, “floating” statue of Mary, and four organs — among other features — are all beautiful and well worth a visit to see. Not often photographed is the cathedral’s choir loft, where the Bishops Choir sings. Several years ago Bishop Foys directed that all churches in the diocese that had choir lofts should use them.

 

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The Catholic Beat will cease publication on September 30, 2016. Thanks for reading!

1 day 6 hours
Fr. John Bapst, SJ, in an undated photo. The Swiss priest was tarred and feathered by a Protestant mob in Maine in the 1840s. PHoto couresty the New England HIstorical Society.

Fr. John Bapst, SJ, in an undated photo. The Swiss priest was tarred and feathered by a Protestant mob in Maine in the 1840s. PHoto couresty the New England HIstorical Society.

 

The Fourth Annual Conway Lecture in Catholic Studies at the University of Cincinnati will explore a 19th-century attack against a Jesuit priest by a Protestant mob in New England, and what it says about our country’s history — and present day politics.

 

Notre Dame Professor  John McGreevy will prsent  “American Jesuits and the World: The Ellsworth Outrage of 1854,” a talk based on his new book, American Jesuits and the World: How an Embattled Religious Order Made Modern Catholicism Global.

 

The lecture will focus on the story of an exiled Swiss Jesuit who was tarred and feathered in 1841 by a mob in Maine, during the height of the Know Nothing party and anti-Catholic hysteria, and who later became the first president of Boston College. His heroic work among the Penobscot Indians was just thebeginning of his mission work in the United States, but though he recovered from the attack he eventually went mad, spending his last days certain that mobs were again coming for him.

 

Professor McGreevy will explore the event in teh context of both the global history of the Catholic Church and of democracy in America. Xavier University President Fr, Michael Graham, SJ, will deliver the lecture’s introductory remarks.

 

The Conway Lecture is free and open to the public as part of the program’s mission to foster Catholic Studies in higher education and bring Catholic academic lectures and programs to the Greater Cincinnati Public.


The location is still being determined, but the lecture will be held February 22, 2017, at 7 pm.


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The Catholic Beat will cease publication on September 30, 2016. Thanks for reading!

2 days 6 hours
Covington's new CMA guild will be open to doctors and medical professionals on both sides of the Ohio River, and will provide area medical professionals with fellowship and support in practicing medicine ethically and in the model of Christ and St. Luke.

Covington’s new CMA guild is open to doctors and medical professionals on both sides of the Ohio River, and will provide area medical professionals with fellowship and support in practicing medicine ethically and in the model of Christ and St. Luke.


The new Catholic Medical Guild established for Greater Cincinnati in the Diocese of Covington will hold a Mass for healthcare workers a month from today, on Oct. 27th at St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption.

 

Formed early this month, the Sts. Teresa of Calcutta and Faustina Guild of the national Catholic Medical Association is open to area doctors, dentists, nurses, healthcare professionals, and students. Its purpose is to help Catholics in medical processions to integrate the teachign sof the Catholic Church, especially those related to  medical ethics, into their professional lives.

 

Membership ihe Guild is also open to priests and seminarians, and to others who work with the sick.

 

Estabilsed in the early 1900s, when Catholics were not as accepted in the general medical community as they later became, CMA has gained new life and vigor as the profession has become increasingly secular.

 

The Guild’s first activity will be to sponsor a “White Mass” at the cathderal. Modeled after the centuries-old “Red Mass” for people who work in the legal professions, the White Mass will be celebrated on Oct. 27 at 6:30 pm. All who work in medicine are invited to pray together for each other, for their patients, and for the profession.

 

The Guild’s first officers are:

 

  • Dr. William Wehrman, III –  President
  • Dr. Gene Burchell – Vice President
  • Dr. Kelley Young – Secretary
  • Dr. Kirk Doerge – Treasurer

 

For information about upcoming meetings or how to join the Guild, contact Faye Roch at the Diocese of Covington by phone at (859) 392-1500 or by email at froch@covdio.org.

2 days 6 hours
Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana familiies celebrate Syro Malabar liturgies and feasts at Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Greenhills. Photo from teh CSt. Chavara Mission web page.

Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana families celebrate Syro-Malabar liturgies and feasts at Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Greenhills (OH). Photo from the St. Chavara Mission web page.

The St. Chavara Mission church that meets at Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Greenhills (OH) is a small but enthusiastic Catholic community in our region. One of three Eastern Catholic Churches with an area presence (the others are the Maronites who have parishes in Cincinnati and Dayton, and the Byzantine Catholics, who worship at a parish in Dayton), the Syro-Malabar Church traces its roots to the Apostle Thomas. It is s the second largest Eastern Catholic Church, with more than 3 million members around the world (about 200,000 in the United States). Over the centuries it has been influenced by Syrian and Portuguese Catholics, and has a distinctive structure as well as its own rite. Their American center is the Syro-Malabar Diocese of  Chicago, headed by Mar (Bishop) Jacob Angadiath. Families from Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana attend; click here for photos and more.  

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The Catholic Beat will cease publication on September 30, 2016. Thanks for reading!

2 days 6 hours

NewsFeeds from Zenit, EWTN, CatholicCulture.org

From: The site of the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
Posted

IMAGE: CNS photo/Dave Hrbacek, The Catholic Spirit

By Jessica Trygstad

ST. PAUL, Minn. (CNS) — An estimated 12,000 students, teachers and staff of Catholic schools filled a baseball park in downtown St. Paul Sept. 22 for the first all-school Mass of the Holy Spirit in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda and Auxiliary Bishop Andrew H. Cozzens and more than 60 priests concelebrated the Mass for fourth- through eighth-grade students from the archdiocese’s 79 Catholic grade schools after a performance from the local band Sonar.

In his homily, Archbishop Hebda told the crowd filling the stadium seats and spread across CHS Field — where the St. Paul Saints baseball team plays — that the Holy Spirit is what makes Catholic schools great. And, in turn, students must ask the Holy Spirit to help them reach greatness.

“I am so happy that we have that opportunity at the beginning of this school year to pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit,” Archbishop Hebda said. “Certainly, on all of you — our wonderful students, certainly on our teachers, certainly on those students who weren’t able to be here this morning, certainly on all those wonderful parishioners who support our Catholic schools.

“But we understand that we need the Holy Spirit if we are going to be great,” he continued. “And all that we need to do is to ask for the Holy Spirit. That’s how great is our God’s love, that all we have to do is to ask.”

Referencing the Gospel reading, Archbishop Hebda noted how the apostles were changed once they received the Holy Spirit.

“My hope, that of Bishop Cozzens, that of all of these priests and deacons, that of all of your parents, and parishioners, is that as we ask for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit this day that we become men and women who are bold and brave in proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ,” the archbishop said, “that we’re able to share the good news that we have a God who loves us without end, a God who forgives us when we sin, a God who gives us second chances, third chances, a God who calls us to greatness.”

Telling students they have the benefit of a good Catholic education, Archbishop Hebda said he hopes they’ll be great sons and daughters of God who’ll go on to be great parents, husbands and wives, doctors, lawyers, teachers, even second basemen.

“We don’t know what it is that God has in store for you, but that you’re going to be able to do it with greatness because you know Jesus Christ, and you have received the Holy Spirit that he desires to place in our hearts.”

Students from different schools read the prayers of the faithful and assisted priests during Communion.

The Catholic Schools Center of Excellence, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit, sponsored the Mass.

The organization’s president, Gail Dorn, said the event took nine months of planning, 220 buses, and a lot of security and communication with the schools.

“We’re just so happy that we’re able to have this community of faith and be able to celebrate with one another,” said Dorn, adding that they’d like to make the Mass of the Holy Spirit an annual event.

“It was a holy day. And it was a healing for our students and for our schools,” she told The Catholic Spirit, the archdiocesan newspaper. “It’s very powerful to worship together. I think it was very nourishing for our students to strengthen them in their faith and their belief, not just in our holy Eucharist and celebration of our faith, but also the community of our schools and our belief that they should be stronger and better.”

Bishop Cozzens, who is archdiocesan vicar of education and a board member of Catholic Schools Center of Excellence, said after the Mass that it was a great opportunity to get all the students together to help them see that they’re part of something bigger.

Masses of the Holy Spirit date back to the Jesuits in the 16th century. Noting the church celebrates the start of important events, such as papal conclaves, with a Mass of the Holy Spirit, Bishop Cozzens said the day highlighted the “treasure” of a Catholic education.

Thankful the weather cooperated for the event, Bishop Cozzens said he most enjoyed seeing students’ joy and love for Jesus as they came forward to receive Communion.

The all-school Mass was a visible sign for teachers, too, that they’re part of something bigger.

Kathy McRae, a seventh-grade religion and English teacher at Nativity of Our Lord School in St. Paul, has taught for 29 years, called the Mass “an incredible experience.”

Nativity eighth-grader Chip Knap, who will be confirmed this year, said the archbishop’s message was meaningful.

“It was the best Mass I’ve ever been at,” he said. “I really liked the energy of it.”

– – –

Trygstad is assistant editor of The Catholic Spirit, newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

– – –

Copyright © 2016 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

13 hours 1 min

IMAGE: NS photo/L’Osservatore Romano handout via EPA

By Carol Glatz

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Don’t respond to grief or anguish with pills, alcohol or avoidance, Pope Francis said in a morning homily.

Figure out what is going on inside your heart, then turn to God and beg him for help, he said Sept. 27 during an early morning Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

Reflecting on the day’s readings, the pope looked at the “spiritual desolation” experience by Job and the responsorial psalm, “Let my prayer come before you, Lord.”

Job lost everything and felt utterly abandoned and unfairly tormented, the pope said. He unleashed his desperate cries to God, venting all of his feelings of hopeless despair and regret, and yet, he never blasphemed or cursed God in his ranting, he said.

Everyone has experienced some degree of despair that “makes us feel as if our soul were crushed,” unable to breathe and perhaps even eager for death, the pope said.

“We have to understand when our spirit is in this state of extended sadness, where there is almost no air. This happens to all of us” to some degree, he said.

Some people might “take a sleeping pill,” avoid facing the situation or “have two, three, four shots” of something strong to drink; but that “doesn’t help,” he said.

So then what should people do when they go through “these dark moments because of a family tragedy, an illness, something that brings me down?” he asked.

In times of hopeless, spiritual despair, he said, the answer is to pray hard, just like Job, who cried out day and night for God to listen.

He said Psalm 88 and its response — “Let my prayer come before you, Lord” — “is a prayer of knocking at (God’s) door, but hard. ‘Lord my soul is surfeited with troubles and my life draws near to the nether world. I am numbered with those who go down into the pit; I am a man without strength.'”

This is praying with genuine candor and honesty, he said, because it is the way a child pours out his emotions to his father. And this is how “we must pray in the most terrible, darkest, most desolate, crushing moments.”

When someone is hurting and trapped in this spiritual despair, he said, the best thing to do is “talk as little as possible” because in these cases speeches “ultimately do not help and they can cause harm, too.”

A person can help with loving silence, “being close, a caress and prayers to the father.”

The pope asked that people pray for the grace to recognize and reflect upon the reasons for their despair, the grace to pray fervently to the Lord in times of trouble, and the grace to know how to best accompany those who are suffering, sad and despairing.

 

– – –

Copyright © 2016 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

16 hours 47 min
Sister Maria Francine Stacy, assistant director of Hispanic Ministry for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. (CT/Photo)Sister Maria Francine Stacy, assistant director of Hispanic Ministry for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. (CT/Photo)

By Mary Bertolini

When St. Mary Church in Dayton opened in 1860, the parishioners were mostly German and Sisters of Notre Dame staffed its school for 23 years.

The city grew, prospered, faltered, and bounced back, and today Dayton is home to diverse cultures, including immigrants from Russia, India, Turkey, the Philippines, Mexico, and several Latin American countries. Through it all, St. Mary’s has remained a solid place for worship, education, and welcome. For the past 14 years, the Sisters of Notre Dame have been represented in the Dayton area in the person of Sister Maria Francine Stacy, assistant director of Hispanic Ministry for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. In August, sister resigned from her positon to return to teaching, but her compassion, spirit of collaboration, and dedication to social justice has left an indelible impression on many people.

Sister Maria started life with a twin sister. They were raised in Cincinnati and grew up in a solidly Catholic home, best friends all through childhood and on into their call to religious life.

In 1972, Sister Maria began studies at Thomas More College, the college she chose because it was coed and she thought she could have some real fun. “God has a sense of humor,” Sister Maria said, “and instead of introducing me to boys, He introduced me the Sisters of Notre Dame.” She entered that congregation 1976 and never looked back. Buoyed with a degree in English and Spanish, she began teaching at Notre Dame Academy in Covington, Ky. She stayed there 20 years, during which time she earned two master’s degrees and opened a Spanish language department.

“A language learned is not meant to stay trapped in a textbook and copious notes. It needs to be used and shared,” Sister Maria would tell her Spanish class. And because she taught religion as well as Spanish, she would bring students to visit Latinos in migrant camps, inner city clinics, and social service locations, where they could practice Spanish and answer the Gospel call to service by teaching basic English and showing a spirit of welcome to a different culture.

Being out in the field made Sister Maria aware of the need to increase a church presence among the immigrants in matters of faith formation and social justice. When she told Father Bill Jansen, archdiocesan director for Hispanic Ministry at the time, that she felt a desire to do pastoral outreach among Hispanics, he didn’t hesitate. “Well, if you’re interested, there’s a position open in Dayton.”

In June 2002, she assumed the responsibilities of assistant director of Hispanic Ministry in Dayton and northern areas of the archdiocese. “From stability, predictability, and community, I went into uncharted waters,” Sister Maria said. She had no idea of the demographics and didn’t know anyone. She lived alone, something she hadn’t done since joining the Notre Dames. “It was a different, unsettling experience, to say the least,” she remembers, “but God never abandoned me. Quite the contrary.”

Members of St. Mary’s Latino community express gratitude to Sister MariaMembers of St. Mary’s Latino community express gratitude to Sister Maria
Francine Stacy, for her 14 years of service as assistant hispanic ministry director
in Dayton and northern sections of the archdiocese. The Latino community filled
the church for Mass and hosted a reception on Aug. 8. (Photo by Mary Bertolini)

To see Sister Maria at work in recent times, one wouldn’t think she had ever been alone. “I went out right away to meet people, and I’ve been surrounded ever since.” As she met those in the community, she assessed their needs and developed plans to address them. When asked to describe a typical day, the quick reply came, “There’s no such thing as a typical day and no such thing as regular hours.”

“To see Sister Maria at work, you would think everything was typical,” said Father Louis Gasparini. “When I started as director of hispanic ministry for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and met her in her ministry environment, I was in awe of how easy she made things look, with her smile and calm manner. It was only after I was on board for a while that I realized the many and diverse challenges she faced on a daily basis.”

Within the church environment, she coordinated programs related to liturgy, evangelization, and catechesis. In the community, she helped plan health clinics, documentation fairs, and immigration discussion programs. On

any given day she might give tax advice; help fill out school registrations; explain visa or legalization processes; visit someone in jail; challenge workplace discrimination; accompany someone to the emergency room; visit a domestic violence victim; welcome new residents; or just listen to someone’s story.

When immigration reform failed during President Bush’s administration, Ohio joined other states in seeking out illegal immigrants for deportation. “Those were very difficult times,” Sister Maria said in a voice charged with emotion. “I would be called to go down to the police station, where someone undocumented brought in for a simple traffic violation ended up facing deportation, but too often I could do nothing to change the situation. I could be there to offer support though, and that counted a lot for many of the victims.”

Sister Maria worked tirelessly to improve relations between the Dayton police and the immigrant community, and over time, Latinos began to be more confident of fair treatment when they called the police for help. Her efforts won her the 2009 Liberty Bell Award, which recognizes a person for time and energy to strengthen the effectiveness of the American system of freedom under law.

It was evident at Sister Maria’s farewell on Aug. 8 that she will be sorely missed. Testimonials were numerous, and the common thread running through them was gratitude. Many said, “What will we do without you?” Sister Maria’s answer each time was,” You will carry on because we have been co-laborers.”

Father Samuel Gonzalez, former chaplain for the Hispanic community at St. Mary’s, said, “It was a great blessing to have worked with Sister Maria. When I met her, I knew that I was in the presence of a religious woman of extraordinary qualities, a woman whom God had reserved for Himself to be at the service of Hispanic immigrants. She is a woman of fragile appearance but of strong character and great heart.”

21 hours 2 min

IMAGE: CNS photo/Hans Deryk, Reuters

By Mark Pattison

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Benedictine Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki of St. Vincent’s Archabbey in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, was with Arnold Palmer when the golfing great died Sept. 25 in Pittsburgh.

It wasn’t the first time Archabbot Nowicki had visited Palmer that day. Palmer, 87, was in a hospital awaiting a heart operation scheduled for Sept. 26. “I went to say a prayer and give him a blessing. About an hour after I’d departed, I got a call” that Palmer’s health was failing rapidly, the archabbot told Catholic News Service in a Sept. 26 telephone interview.

Even though Palmer was a lifelong Presbyterian, he’d had a relationship with St. Vincent’s spanning more than 50 years, when Archabbot Nowicki himself was in the high school at the archabbey.

Palmer did not let denominational differences deter him. “Arnie sort of appealed to everyone. There were no barriers, race, color, creed — those were things that never entered into” his mind, Archabbot Nowicki said. “He was welcoming to everybody and treated everyone with tremendous warmth and respect.” Palmer came with his wife on occasion to the archabbey’s 7:30 a.m. Sunday Mass.

“I remember him coming here on one occasion after winning several of the golf tournaments early in his career. He was hitting golf balls for the students. By then he had a fairly good reputation,” Archabbot Nowicki recalled. “He would give a little demonstration. I remember when he was doing it they put a little trash pail out in the middle, about 150 yards out, and he was hitting balls out and he got about five in the tanker,” he chuckled.

“The first time he invited me over, I told him I didn’t know how to play, so I sent my prior, Father Albert. But this was after he retired professionally. But he still played golf, every day at Latrobe Country Club.” When the archabbot saw Palmer again, he said Palmer told him, “The next time you send someone, send someone who is as good as your prior. This guy cost me 20 bucks.”

“Arnie, as you know, was competitive and enjoyed playing with good golfers,” Archabbot Nowicki said.

“Fred Rogers (of ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ fame) and Arnie Palmer went to the same school together. I think they were one year apart. They were very good friends during his lifetime,” the archabbot told CNS. “Arnie’s father taught Mr. Rogers how to play golf. … (Rogers) “said that his father taught Arnie better than he taught him.”

In retirement, Palmer lived five months of the year in his native Latrobe. Not only did he and his first wife, Winnie, who died in 1999, lend their name and their presence to various archabbey events, Winnie Palmer was “very helpful at keeping Wal-Mart out of our backyard,” Archabbot Nowicki said. Arnold Palmer also served on the St. Vincent’s College board of directors. In 1996 the college gave Palmer an honorary degree.

Archabbot Nowicki took up Palmer’s invitation to join him when the golfing legend received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2012. Jack Nicklaus was there and he paid tribute to Arnie at the service,” the archabbot recalled. “I know Jack had always been a wonderful friend of Arnie’s, and the two enjoyed each other’s company.”

The archabbot remembered visiting Palmer at his Bay Hill Golf Club near Orlando, Florida. “He had given one of our commencement addresses. He talked about the importance of decorum. He said, ‘That means when you enter a room that you take your hat off.'” At the club, a man “came into the dining room and had his hat on. Arnie said very gently to him, ‘Will you please take off your hat?’ He had that respect for people.”

Palmer learned golf from his father, who was the greenskeeper at the Latrobe Country Club. He attended what was then Wake Forest College on a golf scholarship. He left school and enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard, serving for three years. In 1954, he won the U.S. Amateur golf tournament; a year later he won the Canadian Open, and his golf career was launched.

Palmer won 95 professional championships, including 62 on the PGA Tour, and seven major tournaments. He earned $1.6 million in prize money, and another $50 million in golf-related business off the course. He also was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004.

The archabbey will hold a memorial service for Palmer Oct. 4 at the basilica on the archabbey grounds.

– – –

Follow Pattison on Twitter: @MeMarkPattison.

– – –

Copyright © 2016 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

1 day 10 hours

IMAGE: CNS photo/Patricia L. Guilfoyle, Catholic Herald

By Patricia L. Guilfoyle

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CNS) — Justin Carr’s future looked bright. He had just celebrated his 26th birthday, started a new job, and was getting ready to settle down with his high school sweetheart and start a family.

But all that ended the night of Sept. 21, when a bullet shattered his skull. The next day, he was dead.

Carr’s death marked the most violent episode in nearly a week of protests in Charlotte that erupted after another man, Keith Lamont Scott, was shot and killed by police Sept. 20 in an apartment complex parking lot.

Demanding justice in the police shooting, protesters marched through uptown Charlotte the evening of Sept. 21 and confronted police in riot gear. Carr was among them.

“I need to make a stand,” he told his mother when he called her from the scene. He said wanted to follow in the footsteps of his grandmother, who had marched during the civil rights era.

Less than an hour later, Vivian Carr learned her son was in the hospital, clinging to life.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have charged Rayquan Borum, 21, in Carr’s death.

Law enforcement officials Sept. 24 released video of the encounter between Scott and an officer; both men were African-American. Police say Scott was fatally shot after he made a threatening move with a gun. His family members say he had no gun, that he was reading a book and was not being aggressive when police surrounded him. Along with video, police released photos of a pistol and ankle holster recovered at the scene.

Vivian Carr recounted her last memories of her son during a special prayer service Sept. 23 at Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church, where the Carr family has worshipped for three generations.

Father Carl Del Giudice, pastor, organized the prayer service to give people a chance to share their feelings about the protests and the tragedy that had struck their parish family. Father Del Giudice gave Carr last rites before he died, and is ministering to the Carr family throughout the tragedy.

“I know that my son died for a cause,” Vivian Carr told a standing-room-only crowd at the church.

“I just want to thank everybody for coming out and thanks for all of the love and support that everybody’s given,” she continued. “It’s very, very, very hard for me. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life. But through everybody’s love, support and my strength in God, I’m able to carry through this.”

Carr’s two brothers praised him for standing up for people’s rights and they defended his reputation from what they called false social media reports.

Struggling to find words through his tears, Ellis Carr said, “They took my best friend. He was the best big brother ever.”

During the prayer service, people spoke of their fear of getting stopped by police or their sons getting racially profiled. Others begged people to get involved in the community, uniting to turn their anger into economic and political change.

Father Del Giudice acknowledged people’s anger and fear, but he encouraged them to lift each other up and bring their Catholic faith into the world, “uplifting and elevating others to do better, and honoring and recognizing who we are.”

Deacon Curtiss Todd similarly challenged people to “think and talk and act just like Jesus.”

He recounted his own experiences with racism while growing up in segregated Winston-Salem, including one incident at the local country club pool, which at one time was limited to white people only. He recounted how a little boy was allowed to bring his dog into the pool, but when a black employee accidentally fell into the pool that same day, “they immediately closed the pool, drained it, scrubbed it, disinfected it, before they would let people back in to it. What’s the lesson I learned? That many whites see blacks as less than animals.”

Hatred, though, comes from the devil, who seeks to divide us, Deacon Todd said. Instead, people should look to Jesus as their example.

“Develop a personal relationship with Jesus,” he said. “Rely on God.”

“When we develop that personal relationship with Jesus, we begin to think, talk and act just like him. We have that relationship where we know what he would do in a certain situation,” he said. “It doesn’t mean turn the other cheek, let somebody walk all over you. It means, yes, you can protest but you have to protest within the range that God gives you.”

Carr’s pregnant girlfriend, Tanae Ray, was the last person to speak at the prayer service. In her emotional remarks, Ray described how they had been close friends for years before they began dating in the ninth grade. Their relationship had been “on and off” over the years, but recently he had asked to marry her.

Over the past few weeks, she said, “he was just so excited, the happiest I’ve ever seen him.”

When Carr told her that he was going to the protest, she didn’t think he was serious. She said she regretted not stopping him from going. “I feel like I could have prevented it.”

“If I had known these were his last days I would have cherished it,” she continued through her tears.

“Now I’m carrying his son. Everybody’s saying, ‘It’s going to be OK.’ But it’s not. I need Justin. Ain’t nobody can take his place — no brothers, uncles, cousins. I need him, and I don’t have him,” she wept.

After his death, Carr’s heart, lungs and liver were donated to enable other people to live, Vivian Carr said.

“His heart beats on,” she said. “He’s already helped save three other lives.”

– – –

Guilfoyle is editor of the Catholic News Herald, newspaper of the Diocese of Charlotte.

– – –

Copyright © 2016 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

1 day 14 hours

IMAGE: CNS photo/Diario Marcha, Handout via EPA

By David Agren

MEXICO CITY (CNS) — A priest abducted from his parish residence in the Mexican state of Michoacan has been found dead, the Archdiocese of Morelia confirmed Sept. 25. He was the third priest murdered in Mexico within days.

State prosecutors say Father Jose Alfredo Lopez Guillen, pastor in the community of Janamuato, 240 miles west of Mexico City, died of gunshot wounds shortly after being abducted Sept. 19. His body was found wrapped in a blanket alongside a highway.

Family members, meanwhile, discovered personal items strewn across the floor of his home, and one of two vehicles stolen from his parish was found flipped over along a highway, Mexican media reported.

A motive for the crime is still uncertain, though family say they received no ransom calls as might be expected in a kidnapping case.

State Gov. Silvano Aureoles Conejo erroneously told Radio Formula that Father Lopez was last seen on video in a local hotel with a teenage boy. The boy’s family subsequently said the governor confused the priest with the boy’s father.

Cardinal Alberto Suarez Inda of Morelia also called the information false.

“We pray for his soul,” the Archdiocese of Morelia wrote on its Twitter account, confirming the death of Father Lopez.

The abduction and murder in Michoacan continued a disturbing trend of attacks against priests across Mexico, though Catholic leaders are at a loss to explain the motives, which have included robbery, organized crime activity and possible conflicts with drug cartel leaders. The Catholic Multimedia Center has documented the murders of 15 Mexican priests in less than four years.

On Sept. 19, two priests were kidnapped and killed in the Mexican state of Veracruz, though the stated motive of the crime has caused controversy.

Veracruz state attorney general Luis Angel Bravo Contreras told reporters Sept. 20 that the “victims and the victimizers knew each other” and added that the attack was “not a kidnapping.”

“They were together, having a few drinks, the gathering broke down due to alcohol and turned violent,” he said.

Catholic officials in Veracruz rejected the explanation, calling it “an easy out” and saying it ignored the reality of a state notorious for crime and corruption.

“We are hoping for more professional and careful inquiry, because this declaration the prosecutor is giving generates more doubts than responses to the issue of the murder of these two priests,” said Father Jose Manuel Suazo Reyes, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Xalapa. “It surprises us how quickly they’ve concluded an investigation that requires more time and care.”

Father Alejo Nabor Jimenez Juarez and Father Jose Alfredo Juarez de la Cruz were dragged at gunpoint out of Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Poza Rica, a Gulf Coast oil city consumed by crime in recent years, the Diocese of Papantla confirmed in a statement.

Media reported the men were found Sept. 19, one day after their abduction, along the side of a highway with their hands and feet bound. They were beaten and had gunshot wounds, according to media reports.

A driver employed by the parish also was abducted, Mexican media reported, but was found unharmed.

Violence has struck Veracruz clergy previously. In 2013, two priests in the Diocese of Tuxpan were murdered in their parish.

Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico City encouraged prayers for the situation of so many clergy coming under attack.

“For those that injure and defame the church or its pastors, may the Lord grant repentance for their actions and with our prayers provide a path to social reconciliation,” he said Sept. 25 during Mass.

– – –

Copyright © 2016 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

1 day 17 hours
From left are seniors Kaitlyn Dick, Aaron Helson and Alexandra Hensley. (Courtesy Photo)From left are seniors Kaitlyn Dick, Aaron Helson and Alexandra Hensley. (Courtesy Photo)

Three Badin High School seniors have been named Commended Students in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Seniors Kaitlyn Dick, Aaron Helson and Alexandra Hensley scored in the top five percent of the more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2017 scholarship competition by taking the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

While they will not continue in the 2017 competition for National Merit awards, they are among only 34,000 students in the country who will receive a letter of commendation from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation recognizing their excellent performance on the test.

Badin senior David Berg had previously been recognized as a semifinalist in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship competition.

Badin Principal Brian Pendergest said “Having four students earn National Merit recognition underlines the quality of education these students have received and the importance they place on doing well in school. They will take these skills and values with them and do well at the next level.”

Kaitlyn Dick is the daughter of Jeff and Kathy Dick of Fairfield and a graduate of Sacred Heart School. She plans to major in pre-med in college and is looking at the University of Dayton, the University of Kentucky, Indiana University and Xavier University as her top choices.

Aaron Helson is the son of Jay and Cynthia Helson of West Chester and a graduate of Immanuel Lutheran School. He plans to major in math in college and is looking at the Ohio State University and Ohio University as his top choices.

Alexandra Hensley is the daughter of Steven and Amy Hensley and a graduate of St. Peter in Chains School. She plans to major in political science and public policy in college and is looking at the University of Chicago, Indiana University, the Ohio State University and the University of South Carolina as her top choices.

1 day 19 hours

rb2Schedule for Friday September 23rd Saturday September 24th

Archbishop Alter (Kettering) 52 vs. Bishop Fenwick (Franklin) 3

Bishop Fenwick (Franklin) 3 at  Archbishop Alter (Kettering) 52

Carroll (Dayton) 7 at Chaminade Julienne (Dayton) 38

Catholic Central (Springfield) 14 at Northeastern (Springfield) 21

Chaminade Julienne (Dayton) 38 vs. Carroll (Dayton) 7

Elder 42 vs. USO (University Prep/Sci-Tech/Obama Academy-Pittsburgh PA) 0

LaSalle 20 at Winton Woods 13

Lehman (Sidney) 48 vs. Perry (Lima) 20

McNicholas 27 vs. Purcell Marian 6

Moeller 14 at St. Xavier 21

Purcell Marian 6 at McNicholas 27

Roger Bacon 14 at Stephen T. Badin (Hamilton) 28

St. Xavier 21 vs. Moeller 14

Summit Country Day  38 vs. Cincinnati Country Day 7

Stephen T. Badin (Hamilton) 28 vs. Roger Bacon 14

Schedule for September 30th

Archbishop Alter (Kettering) vs. Roger Bacon at home Friday, September 30th 7:00 p.m.

Bishop Fenwick (Franklin) vs. Stephen T. Badin (Hamilton) at home Friday, September 30th 7:00 p.m.

Carroll (Dayton) vs. McNicholas at home Friday, September 30th 7:00 p.m.

Catholic Central (Springfield) at Greenview (Jamestown) Friday, September 30th 7:00 p.m.

Chaminade Julienne (Dayton) vs. Purcell Marian at home Friday, September 30th 7:00 p.m.

Elder vs. St. Xavier  at home Friday, September 30th 7:00 p.m.

LaSalle vs. Moeller at home Friday, September 30th 7:00 p.m.

Lehman (Sidney) vs. Riverside (DeGraff) at home Friday, September 30th 7:00 p.m.

McNicholas at Carroll (Dayton) Friday, September 30th 7:00 p.m.

Moeller at LaSalle Friday, September 30th 7:00 p.m.

Purcell Marian at Chaminade Julienne (Dayton) Friday, September 30th 7:00 p.m.

Roger Bacon at Archbishop Alter (Kettering) Friday, September 30th 7:00 p.m.

St. Xavier at Elder Friday, September 30th 7:00 p.m.

Stephen T. Badin (Hamilton) at Bishop Fenwick (Franklin) Friday, September 30th 7:00 p.m.

Summit Country Day at Lockland Friday, September 30th 7:00 p.m.

All Archdiocese High School Standings

Archbishop Alter Knights (Kettering) 5-0
Catholic Central Irish (Springfield) 4-1
Elder Panthers 4-1
LaSalle Lancers 3-2
Lehman Cavaliers (Sidney) 3-2
Moeller Crusaders 3-2
Purcell Marian Cavaliers 3-2
Roger Bacon Spartans 3-2
Summit Country Day Silver Knights 3-2
St. Xavier Bombers 3-2
Chaminade Julienne Eagles (Dayton) 2-3
McNicholas Rockets 2-3
Stephen T. Badin Rams (Hamilton) 2-3
Carroll Patriots (Dayton) 1-4
Bishop Fenwick Falcons (Franklin) 1-4

2 days 1 hour

NewsFeeds from Zenit, EWTN, CatholicCulture.org

From: The World Seen From Rome
Posted

Spiritual desolation is something everyone will experience at some point, says Pope Francis, and when we see a loved one going through this darkness, we need to offer comfort and support with our closeness, not our counsels.

The Pope said this today during morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, reported Vatican Radio.

Drawing from the reading from Job, the Holy Father noted, “Spiritual desolation is something that happens to all of us: it can be stronger or weaker … but that feeling of spiritual darkness, of hopelessness, mistrust, lacking the desire to live, without seeing the end of the tunnel, with so much agitation in one’s heart and in one’s ideas…  Spiritual desolation makes us feel as though our souls are crushed, we can’t succeed, we can’t succeed and we also don’t want to live: ‘Death is better!’ This was Job’s outburst. It was better to die than live like this. We need to understand that when our soul is in this state of generalized sadness we can barely breathe: This happens to all of us … whether strong or not … to all of us. (We need to) understand what goes on in our hearts.”

The solution to spiritual desolation is prayer, the Pontiff said.

“What should we do when we experience these dark moments, be it for a family tragedy, an illness, something that weighs us down?”

Noting that some people would think of taking a pill to sleep and remove them from their problems or drinking “one, two, three or four glasses” he warned that these methods “do not help.” Instead, today’s liturgy shows us how to cope with this spiritual desolation, “when we are lukewarm, depressed and without hope.”

The Pope said the way out from this situation is to pray, to pray loudly, just as Job did, day and night until God listens. “It is a prayer to knock at the door but with strength! ‘Lord, my soul is surfeited with troubles. My life draws near to Hell. I am numbered among those who go down into the pit; I am a man without strength.’ How many times have we felt like this, without strength?  And here is the prayer. Our Lord himself taught us how to pray in these dreadful moments. ‘Lord, you have plunged me into the bottom of the pit. Upon me, your wrath lies heavy. Let my prayer come before you, Lord.’ This is the prayer and this is how we should pray in our darkest, most dreadful, bleakest and most crushed moments that are really crushing us. This is genuine prayer. And it’s also giving vent just like Job did with his sons. Like a son.”

Comfort the afflicted

For those close to the people who are suffering, the way to proceed is with closeness, silence and prayer, since words and speeches in these situations can do harm, the Pontiff suggested.

“First of all, we must recognize in ourselves these moments of spiritual desolation, when we are in the dark, without hope and asking ourselves why. Secondly, we must pray to the Lord like today’s reading from Psalm 87 teaches us to pray during our dark moments. ‘Let my prayer come before you, Lord.’ Thirdly, when I draw close to a person who is suffering, whether from illness, or whatever other type of suffering and who is experiencing a sense of desolation, we must be silent: but a silence with much love, closeness and caresses.  And we must not make speeches that don’t help in the end and even can do harm.”

The Pope concluded his homily by asking the Lord to grant us these three graces: the grace to recognize spiritual desolation, the grace to pray when we are afflicted by this feeling of spiritual desolation and also the grace to know how to be close to people who are suffering terrible moments of sadness and spiritual desolation.

Readings provided by the US bishops’ conference:

Memorial of Saint Vincent de Paul, Priest
Lectionary: 456

Reading 1 JB 3:1-3, 11-17, 20-23 Job opened his mouth and cursed his day.
Job spoke out and said:Perish the day on which I was born,
the night when they said, “The child is a boy!”

Why did I not perish at birth,
come forth from the womb and expire?
Or why was I not buried away like an untimely birth,
like babes that have never seen the light?
Wherefore did the knees receive me?
or why did I suck at the breasts?

For then I should have lain down and been tranquil;
had I slept, I should then have been at rest
With kings and counselors of the earth
who built where now there are ruins
Or with princes who had gold
and filled their houses with silver.

There the wicked cease from troubling,
there the weary are at rest.

Why is light given to the toilers,
and life to the bitter in spirit?
They wait for death and it comes not;
they search for it rather than for hidden treasures,
Rejoice in it exultingly,
and are glad when they reach the grave:
Those whose path is hidden from them,
and whom God has hemmed in!

Responsorial Psalm PS 88:2-3, 4-5, 6, 7-8 R. (3) Let my prayer come before you, Lord.
O LORD, my God, by day I cry out;
at night I clamor in your presence.
Let my prayer come before you;
incline your ear to my call for help.
R. Let my prayer come before you, Lord.
For my soul is surfeited with troubles
and my life draws near to the nether world.
I am numbered with those who go down into the pit;
I am a man without strength.
R. Let my prayer come before you, Lord.
My couch is among the dead,
like the slain who lie in the grave,
Whom you remember no longer
and who are cut off from your care.
R. Let my prayer come before you, Lord.
You have plunged me into the bottom of the pit,
into the dark abyss.
Upon me your wrath lies heavy,
and with all your billows you overwhelm me.
R. Let my prayer come before you, Lord. Alleluia MK 10:45 R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Son of Man came to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel LK 9:51-56

When the days for Jesus to be taken up were fulfilled,
he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem,
and he sent messengers ahead of him.
On the way they entered a Samaritan village
to prepare for his reception there,
but they would not welcome him
because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem.
When the disciples James and John saw this they asked,
“Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven
to consume them?”
Jesus turned and rebuked them,
and they journeyed to another village.

17 hours 35 min

Answered by Legionary of Christ Father Edward McNamara, professor of liturgy and dean of theology at the Regina Apostolorum university.

Q: In our parish I have been noticing during the past few years that the Eucharistic ministers receive Communion every time they come to distribute the blessed Eucharist. On Fridays we do more than 10 Masses. Some Eucharistic ministers receive communion up to six or seven times as they feel it essential to receive the blessed Eucharist whenever they come to distribute the same. As far as I understand from the Code of Canon Law and the Catechism, the faithful can receive Communion only two times a day. Even if he receives the second time, he should have attended the full Mass. — V.R., United Arab Emirates

A: Our reader is correct in interpreting canon law on this point.

The key canon for this question is No. 917. It states, “A person who has already received the Most Holy Eucharist can receive it a second time on the same day only within the eucharistic celebration in which the person participates, without prejudice to the prescript of can. 921 §2.”

Canon 921.2 says, “Even if they have been nourished by holy communion on the same day, however, those in danger of death are strongly urged to receive communion again.”

Thus, a Catholic may receive Communion a second time but only during a Mass which he attends. Outside of Mass a second or even third Communion may only be received as viaticum for the dying.

Except in the case of viaticum, one should fast for an hour before both receptions of Communion.

The instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum also repeats this general principle:

“95. A lay member of Christ’s faithful ‘who has already received the Most Holy Eucharist may receive it again on the same day only within a Eucharistic Celebration in which he or she is participating, with due regard for the prescriptions of can. 921 § 2.’”

The difference between the General Instruction of the Roman Missal and Redemptionis Sacramentum is that the latter refers to “a lay member of Christ’s faithful.” This takes into account that canon law foresees that priests might sometimes have to celebrate three Masses for pastoral reasons.

There is a theological reason for this, in that the priest as minister of the holy sacrifice is required to complete the sacrifice by partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ. He should do this before distributing Communion to others.

Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion are deputed to assist in administrating the sacrament in a convenient way, but they do not have any obligation to partake of the sacrament as has the priest. They do have an obligation to follow the general norms of the Church and as such, should they generously offer their service at more than two Masses, they must choose at which two Masses they receive Communion and at which they should refrain from doing so.

When they do not receive Communion they are not obliged to attend the entire Mass but could only enter at the moment their service was required. In this they would be in a similar situation as that of many priests before the institution of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. At that time it was common for the other priests of the parish to enter the church after the Our Father and assist in the distribution of Communion. They would not receive Communion themselves. Also, at that time canon law did not allow for more than one Communion a day except in the case of viaticum for the dying.

In most countries this is not a real problem, as most scheduled Masses will have assigned extraordinary ministers, if they are required, and only occasionally will they have to offer their service at more than one Mass.

It would appear that in our reader’s ecclesial context there is a shortage of those who are willing and/or able to qualify for this service, and the burden falls on relatively few.

Therefore, until this shortage is remedied, I would suggest that the extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion who are not going to communicate should wait until those EMHCs who are going to receive Communion have done so, and then approach the altar to simply receive the ciborium for administrating the sacrament to the rest of the faithful.

* * *

Follow-up: Why We Have Liturgy

An eminent theologian has honored me with a comment on my September 13 column on the nature of the liturgy. He says: “In your fine column answering briefly the basic question about what the liturgy is, you say our offerings are ‘alongside’ Christ’s. It seems to me it would be better to say that he gathers our offering up in his. For we are not able to make any offering at all on our own or by ourselves, but we can really offer any work we do as his members, because that really does belong both to us and to him.”

Our reader is correct in his assertions, although I think the word alongside could still be acceptable in the context of the final doxology of the Eucharistic Prayer. In this wonderful synthesis of the Eucharist, and in a way, of the entire Christian existence, all honor and glory are offered to the Father “through, with and in” our Lord Jesus Christ in the unity of the Holy Spirit. For me “alongside” expresses somewhat the “with” even though it is inseparable from the “through” and the “in.”

The unity of the Holy Spirit can refer to the Trinitarian union in love but, in a liturgical context, can also refer to the unity that gathers us together as a Church. Indeed the ancient text that inspired Eucharistic Prayer II (the third-century work “The Apostolic Tradition”) makes this quite specific:

“[T]hat we may praise you and glorify you,

through your son Jesus Christ,

through whom to you be glory and honor,

Father and Son,

with the Holy Spirit,

in your Holy Church,

now and throughout the ages of the ages.

Amen.”

In this way the liturgy is entering into the life of the Trinity, but we do so, not so much as individuals but insofar as we are united by the Spirit as Christ’s Church.

The individual does not disappear but insofar as he relates to God he cannot ever be separate from the Church. Indeed we can say that it is practically impossible for a Christian to pray exclusively for himself, for every authentic prayer is in the Body and sanctifies the whole Body. Every authentic Christian prayer is a prayer in the Body of Christ. What is added in liturgical prayer is that it is not just a prayer in the Body, but of the Body of Christ, Head and members together, in giving glory to the Father in the Holy Spirit.

It is this great reality that makes living the liturgy cause such wonder and awe when we begin to grasp its depth.

I wish to thank our reader for this pertinent observation which helps to deepen the theme once more.

17 hours 36 min

The Pope’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, attended the signing of the Final Agreement between the government of Colombia and the FARC-EP in Cartagena on Monday, a solemn act attended by a handful of Latin American heads of state and 2,500 invitees, including the former king of Spain, Juan Carlos I, and the U.S. secretary of State, John Kerry, along with 250 victims of the conflict from all over Colombia.

In the homily he pronounced during the Liturgy of the Word for the signing of the Agreement, the cardinal first conveyed Pope Francis’ closeness to the dear Colombian people and authorities, recalling that the Holy Father has followed closely the efforts made during recent years in the search for harmony and reconciliation. On a number of occasions he has encouraged these efforts without taking part in the concrete solutions that have been negotiated, on which the citizens themselves will decide in a free, informed and conscientious way. “The Pope has always promoted respect for human rights and Christian values, which are at the heart of Colombian culture”, said the Secretary of State. “I believe that all of us present here are aware that, in essence, we are at the conclusion of negotiations but also at the beginning of a process of change, still open, which requires the contribution and respect of all Colombians”.

He went on to recall that more than 350 years ago, in the ancient port of Cartagena, which represents in a sense the very history of Colombia itself, St. Peter Claver devoted his life to the slaves brought from Africa. “We might say that, just as centuries ago slaves and merchants entered the ports sick and ill-treated, today many Colombians are uprooted and suffering, with their dignity wounded or torn from them. They have faced torment and dark clouds, without losing their hope. They need to be redeemed and loved, and they thirst for fresh water”.

“The relics of St. Peter Claver rest below the altar of this church, situated close to his convent. In more than forty years, he knew how to value the dignity of the many human beings treated as commodities, submitted to every form of atrocity, captured and deported from their homelands as slaves. By being willing to meet with charity those victims of injustice, he honoured their dignity and restored hope to them”.

“In the same way, today too Jesus awaits us to free us from the chains of slavery, both our own and that which others procure for us. He is eager to embrace us, to heal our wounds, to dry our tears, to give us bread and water of life to eat and drink, to look upon us with love in the depth of our soul, to carry us in His arms towards a safe port. … We know that the suffering of victims, offered at the foot of the Cross, are transformed into a receptacle to receive His mercy”.

Cardinal Parolin referred to the letter he had sent to express the Pope’s wish to visit these lands, in which he said that “it is necessary to take the risk of transforming, with the entire Church, every parish and every institution into a field hospital, into a safe place of refuge for those who have suffered atrocities and those who have acted on the side of violence”. “Evidently, it is from this encounter that Colombia must alleviate the pain of its many inhabitants who have been humiliated and oppressed by violence and must stop the hatred and change the direction of her history, so as to build a better future with just and solid institutions”, he emphasised. However, “the peace that Colombia yearns for goes far beyond the necessary refinement of certain structures or conventions, and finds its focus in the reconstruction of the person: indeed, the deeper causes of the conflict that has lacerated the country during recent decades may be found in the wounds of the heart”.

“Only God gives us the strength to face such problems and, above all, the capacity to identify with all those who suffer as a result. Therefore, in this country with her Catholic roots, today we are gathered in prayer. … This liturgy is an invocation to the Lord, Who can grant what is normally impossible by human forces alone: the light for the path and for the decisions that Colombians must freely take, the fervour of that respect, listening and serene dialogue that must accompany such decisions. … Therefore, let us ask that God grant us this heroism in solidarity that is necessary to fill, in truth and in justice, the abyss of evil produced by violence. And let us also give thanks to Him for supporting Colombians in the midst of situations of hatred and pain, and for having opening their hearts, over many years, to the steadfast hope that violence and conflict can be avoided; that a different future can be constructed, in which it is possible to co-exist without bloodshed, and in which diverse convictions can be maintained in the framework of respect for democratic rules, human dignity and the Catholic tradition of this great nation”.

“With the historical perspective that the life and times of St. Peter Claver offer us, Colombia has experienced, in her own flesh, that the pursuit of money and power and the resulting exploitation of man at the hand of man, forced deportations, violence and denial of the dignity of victims, can pose a lasting threat to humanity. At this present conjuncture, let us pray to God for the future of this beloved population, so that it may journey on the paths of truth, justice and peace”, said the prelate, who went on to make Colombians the protagonists of the Sermon on the Mount, repeating with each Beatitude, “Blessed are the Colombians”.

The cardinal concluded his homily by emphasising that religions encourage listening, understanding and recognition of the reasoning and value of the other. Faith is opposed to offence to the dignity of the person, which causes the laceration of the fabric of civil society, and is not contrary to secularism when understood as respect for the distinct spheres of competence of the civil and spiritual. Indeed, secular society needs faith, as a necessary point of reference for co-existence and respect. The Catholic Church in particular promotes serene social co-existence, in accordance with the spiritual traditions of the Colombians, without demanding that everyone profess the same religion, and offers points of reference so that people and the collective whole may find and offer light in the search for the common good”. Finally, he implored the protection and intercession of Our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquirá, Queen of Colombia.

On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full text:

https://zenit.org/articles/cardinal-parolins-homily-at-signing-of-colombia-peace-agreement/

17 hours 38 min

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued a statement today about the ongoing, fruitful reception and implementation in the United States of Pope Francis’ Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia.

Full statement follows:

A statement from Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville,
President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

The Church in the United States, together with the Church throughout the world, has found in Pope Francis’ Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love) a wealth of encouragement, guidance, and wisdom about the beautiful gift and vocation of marriage and family life. Since its release date on April 8, 2016, bishops, lay leaders, and families in the United States have proactively sought to receive Pope Francis’s teachings joyfully and to implement them in our shared task of caring for marriages and families.

A request from the Office of the Synod of Bishops for a report on the reception and implementation of Amoris Laetitia in the United States has provided an opportunity to reflect on the good work that is already underway, as well as envisioned future plans to continue absorbing and unpacking this foundational document. As noted in the report, the Church in the United States has already eagerly begun to implement the teaching of Amoris Laetitia in numerous ways.

At a national level, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops looks forward to the anticipated development of a renewed, comprehensive pastoral plan for marriage and family life ministry and advocacy inspired by our Holy Father’s encouragement. This plan will be carefully developed over the next few years and will be a strategic opportunity for the Church here in this country to incarnate the rich vision of marriage and family life found in Amoris Laetitia.

Pope Francis has given us a tremendous gift in Amoris Laetitia. May our ongoing reception of it continue to be an opportunity for the whole Church and society to renew their dedication to protect, promote, and strengthen marriages and families.

The report presented to the Office of the Synod of Bishops, is available at: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/upload/Report-on-Reception-and-Implementation-of-Amoris-Laetitia-in-the-United-States.pdf.

17 hours 38 min

 

Pope Francis is concerned about the continuing tensions triggered by the situation in North Korea. Responding to a question about the delicate situation on the Korean Peninsula, the director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke said today:  “I can confirm that the concern of the Holy Father and the Holy See about the continuing tensions in the area on account of the nuclear tests carried out by North Korea, was reiterated today by Msgr. Antoine Camilleri, the Holy See’s Undersecretary for Relations with States, speaking in Vienna at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).”

[From Vatican Radio]
17 hours 38 min

A liturgy of the word was held at the signing of the Colombian peace agreement. The Pope’s secretary of state gave a homily, which we translate below:

__

Mister President of the Republic of Colombia, Doctor Juan Manuel Santos Calderon,

Gentlemen Heads of State and Government,

His Majesty the King Don Juan Carlos,

Gentlemen Ministers and Gentlemen Heads of the Delegations Here Present,

Distinguished Colombian Authorities and Those of Other Countries,

Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,

 

I wish, in the first place, to transmit Pope Francis’ closeness to the beloved Colombian people and their Authorities, especially in the present circumstance of the signing of the Final Agreement between the Government of Colombia and the FARC-EP. The Holy Father followed with great attention the efforts of these last years, in the quest for concord and reconciliation. He encouraged these efforts several times without taking part in the concrete solutions that have been negotiated, and on which the citizens themselves will decide in conscience in a free, informed way. The Pope has always encouraged respect for human rights and for Christian values, which are at the center of Colombian culture.

I think that all of us who are present here are aware that, at bottom, we are, yes, at the end of a negotiation, but also at the beginning of a process, yet open, of change, which requires the contribution and respect of all Colombians.

We have gathered for this Liturgy of the Word in the thought-provoking setting of Cartagena of the Indies, whose evolution in time represents in some way the very history of this country. More than 350 years ago, in the old port of Cartagena, Saint Peter Claver consumed his life with admirable abnegation and extraordinary charity in favor of the slaves brought from Africa.

We could say that, as centuries ago the slaves and merchants arrived at port sick and mistreated, today many Colombians move uprooted and sorrowful, with their dignity wounded or taken away. They have lived through storms and dark clouds, without losing hope. They need to be rescued and loved; they thirst for fresh water.

The remains of Saint Peter Claver rest just under the altar of this church, located near his convent. In the course of more than four decades, he was able to perceive the great dignity of so many human beings treated as merchandise, subjected to all sorts of atrocities, recruited and displaced from their lands for slavery. Going out with charity to meet these victims of injustice, he honored their dignity and gave them hope.

Likewise, today also Jesus awaits us to free us from the chains of slavery – our own and those caused by others. He is anxious to embrace us, to cure our wounds, to dry our tears, to give us to eat and drink the water and bread of life, to look at us with love in the depth of our soul, to take us in His arms to a safe port … We know that the suffering of the victims, offered at the foot of the Cross, become a bowl to receive His mercy.

In the letter I sent you expressing the Pope’s desire to visit these lands, I said that “it is necessary to take the risk to convert, with the whole Church, each parish and each institution into a field hospital, into a safe place in which those can meet again who experienced atrocities and those who acted from the side of violence.” Obviously, it is from encounter that Colombia must alleviate the pain of so many of its inhabitants, humiliated and oppressed by violence; it must stop the hatred and change the direction of its history, to build a better future within just and solid institutions.

The best method to begin a better future is to reconstruct the dignity of those that suffer, and to do this it is necessary to approach them without restrictions of time, to the point of identifying with them. In other words, the peace that Colombia yearns for goes beyond the also necessary obtaining of certain structures or conventions, and it is centered on the reconstruction of the person: in fact, it is in the wounds of the human heart where the profound causes of the conflict are found, which in the last decades have rent this country.

God alone gives us the strength to address such problems and, above all, the capacity to identify ourselves with all those who suffer because of them. Therefore, we have gathered today in prayer in this country of Catholic roots. We do not regard this meting as one more event, but as a manifestation of the confidence of the Authorities and of all those who follow us with the strength of prayer to God. This Liturgy is an invocation to the Lord, who can grant what is often impossible for human strength alone: light for the way and for the decisions that Colombians must freely take, in the warmth of respect, of listening and of serene dialogue that must accompany such decisions.

Moreover, our prayer attests, perhaps in an almost unconscious way, what Saint John Paul II wrote when he came on pilgrimage to Colombia: “in the light of faith, solidarity tends to surpass itself, being clothed with the specifically Christian dimensions of total gratitude, forgiveness and reconciliation” (Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 40). Therefore, we ask God to grant us this heroism in solidarity, which is necessary to fill, in  truth and in justice, the abyss of evil caused by violence. And we also want to thank Him for having sustained Colombians amidst situations of hatred and pain, and for having opened their hearts, over many years, to the firm hope that violence and conflict are avoidable: a different future can be built, in which to coexist without massacring one another and in which different convictions can be held, in the framework of respect of the democratic rules, of human dignity and of the Catholic tradition of this great nation.

With the historic perspective that the figure of Saint Peter Claver and his time offer us, Colombia has felt, in its flesh, that the ambition for money and power and, because of this, the exploitation of man by man, forced displacement, violence and ignorance of the dignity of the victims, among others scourged, threaten humanity permanently. In the present crossroads, we pray to God for the future of this beloved people, so that they may walk on paths of truth, justice and peace, in keeping with the words of the Psalm we have just heard.

Today we also want to make our own the words of the evangelist Matthew (cf. 5:3-11):

“Blessed are Colombians who are poor in spirit, for theirs the Kingdom of Heaven.

Blessed are Colombians who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are Colombians who are meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are Colombians who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are Colombians who are merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are Colombians who are pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Blessed are Colombians who are peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Blessed are Colombians who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

Blessed are you Colombians when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.”

Religions induce one to listen, to understand and to recognize the reasons and value of the other. Faith is opposed to the harming of a person’s dignity, which causes the laceration of the civil fabric; it is not contrary to secularism, understood as respect for the different spheres of competence of the civil and spiritual reality. In fact, secularism is in need of faith, as a necessary point of reference for coexistence and for respect. The Catholic Church in particular promotes serene social coexistence, in accordance with the spiritual tradition of Colombians, without calling for all to have the same religious confession. She offers points of reference so that individuals and collectivities can find and contribute lights in the quest for the common good.

We implore Our Lady of the Rosary of Chiquinquira, Queen of Colombia, to protect us and to intercede so that it will thus be.

[Original text: Spanish]  [Translation by ZENIT]

 

17 hours 55 min

Pope Francis has named Msgr. Robert Coerver as bishop of the Diocese of Lubbock, Texas, and accepted the resignation of Bishop Plácido Rodríguez.

Msgr. Coerver serves as a priest in the Diocese of Dallas.

The appointment and resignation were publicized today.

A native of Dallas, Robert Coerver, 62, was born June 6, 1954. He earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Dallas, and pursued post-graduate studies at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), in Rome. Bishop-elect Coerver also holds a licentiate in spiritual theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and a master’s degree in counseling and guidance from Texas A & M University. He was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Dallas in 1980.

In 2004, Pope John Paul II named him a prelate of honor with the title of monsignor.

Bishop Rodríguez, who has headed the Diocese of Lubbock since 1994, is 75. Bishop Rodríguez was born in Guanajuato, Mexico in 1940. He was ordained a priest on May 23, 1968, and was appointed auxiliary bishop of Chicago in 1983. On April 5, 1994, he was appointed bishop of Lubbock and was installed on June 1, 1994.

The Diocese of Lubbock comprises 23,382 square miles in the state of Texas. It has a population of 494,458 people of whom 136,894, or 28 percent, are Catholic.
20 hours 35 min

Pope Francis on Saturday welcomed to the Vatican some of the relatives of the July 14 terrorist attack in Nice, France, assuring them of the closeness of the Church and the Successor of Peter.

Nearly 90 people were killed and more than 430 injured that night, when a terrorist drove a cargo truck into crowds celebrating Bastille Day.

“I want to share your pain, a pain that becomes even greater when I think of the children, even of entire families, whose life was taken away from them suddenly in a dramatic way,” the Pope said. “I assure each of you of my compassion, my closeness and my prayer.”

The Holy Father noted the hope of the Resurrection, praying that “our heavenly Father, Father of all,” may “take to Himself your dear deceased, so that they soon find the rest and joy of eternal life.”

He also urged the mourning to confront hatred with love.

“When the temptation is great to withdraw into oneself or to respond to hatred with hatred, to violence with violence, a genuine conversion of heart is necessary,” he said. “This is the message that Jesus’ Gospel addresses to all of us. One can respond to the assaults of the devil only with the works of God, which are forgiveness, love and respect of one’s neighbor, even if he is different than you.”

The Pope reiterated the closeness of the Church, saying that She is near “with immense compassion.”

“With her presence at your side in these very heavy moments to be faced, she asks the Lord to come to your help and to put in your hearts sentiments of peace and fraternity,” he said.

“Dear brothers and sisters,” the Pope said, “once again I assure you of my prayer and of all the tenderness of the Successor of Peter.”

On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full text: https://zenit.org/articles/popes-address-to-victims-of-the-terrorist-attack-in-nice/

 

 

 

 

1 day 17 hours

Secularism sometimes attempts to evict God even from hospitals, but when that happens, a “painful lack of humanity” is usually the result, Pope Francis says.

The Pope said this on Saturday when he welcomed the Sisters Hospitallers of Mercy to the Vatican during this Jubilee of Mercy, noting that their celebration of the jubilee corresponds directly to their vocation.

The Holy Father noted the sisters’ and the whole Church’s care for the sick, saying that in the face of “the weakness of sickness, there cannot be distinctions of social state, race, language or culture; we all become weak and must entrust ourselves to others.”

“The Church feels, as her commitment and responsibility, closeness to all those who suffer, to bring them consolation, comfort and friendship.”

To support the sick, the Pope said, “there is no need for long speeches: A caress, a kiss, being at their side in silence, a smile suffices.”

The Bishop of Rome lamented how “in our days, sometimes a secular culture attempts to remove, even from hospitals, any religious reference, beginning with the Sisters’ presence itself. When this happens, however, it is usually accompanied by a painful lack of humanity,” he said.

Thus he encouraged the nuns to never tire of “being friends, sisters and mothers of the sick.”

“May prayer be always the lymph that sustains your evangelizing mission,” he recommended.

“When you approach each sick person, have peace and joy in your heart, which are fruits of the Holy Spirit,” Francis added. “It is always Jesus on that hospital bed, present in the person who suffers, and it is He who asks for help from each one of you. It is Jesus.”

The Pope also acknowledged the difficulties in caring for the sick.

“Sometimes,” he said, “one can think: ‘Some of the sick are annoying.’ But we also annoy the Lord, and He supports and accompanies us! May closeness to Jesus and to the weakest be your strength.”

The Pope also praised the mission of these sisters, founded by Servant of God Teresa Orsini Doria Pamphili Landi.

He said their vocation is ever more important, “especially because individuals without a family, without a home, without a homeland are multiplying and in need of hospitality.”

On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full text: https://zenit.org/articles/popes-address-to-sisters-hospitallers-of-mercy/

1 day 17 hours

Today Pope Francis received in audience the president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Joseph Kabila, who subsequently met with Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary for Relations with States.

According to a statement from the Vatican, the two discussed “the good relations between the Holy See and the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” especially “the important contribution of the Catholic Church in the life of the nation, with its institutions in the educational, social and healthcare spheres, as well as in development and the reduction of poverty. In this context, mutual satisfaction was expressed for the signing of the framework Agreement between the Holy See and the State, which took place on 20 May this year.”

They also considered “the current political challenge and the recent clashes that have occurred in the capital. Emphasis was placed on the importance of collaboration between political actors and representatives of civil society and religious communities, in favour of the common good, through a respectful and inclusive dialogue for the stability of peace in the country.”

“Finally, the Parties focused on the persistent violence suffered by the population in the east of the country, and on the urgency of cooperation at national and international levels, in order to provide the necessary assistance and to re-establish civil co-existence.”

1 day 17 hours

Today an updated programme was published for Pope Francis’ apostolic trip to Sweden, to take place from 31 October to 1 November, for the Lutheran-Catholic Joint Commemoration of the Reformation.

The Pope will depart at 8.20 from Rome’s Fiumicino airport and will arrive at 11 a.m. at Malmö airport, where the official welcome and a meeting with the prime minister of Sweden will take place.

At 1.50 p.m. he will make a courtesy visit to the Swedish royal family in the Kunghuset Royal Palace in Lund.

At 2.30 he will participate in the joint ecumenical prayer in the Lutheran Cathedral of Lund, where he will pronounce a homily.

And at 4.40 p.m. he will attend the ecumenical event in the Malmö Arena in Malmö, where he will give an address.

He will subsequently meet the ecumenical delegations at 6.10 p.m., again in the Malmö Arena.

On Tuesday, 1 November, at 9.30 a.m., he will celebrate Mass in the Swedbak Stadium in Malmö, after which he will transfer to the city’s airport where the official farewell ceremony will take place.

At 12.45 p.m. he will depart for Rome, where he is scheduled to arrive at 3.30 p.m. at Ciampino airport.

1 day 17 hours

Pope Francis leaves Friday for his three-day trip to Georgia and Azerbaijan.

The Central Church Statistics Office published statistics relating to the Catholic Church in the two countries, last updated as of 31 December 2015.

Georgia has a surface area of 69,700 km2 and a population of 4,506,000 inhabitants, of whom 112,000 are Catholics, equivalent to 2.5% of the population. There is one ecclesiastical circumscription and 32 parishes. There are currently two bishops, 28 priests, 39 religious (two male and 37 female), and 45 catechists. There are 14 seminarians. The Church has three centres for Catholic education, from pre-school to university level. With regard to charitable and social centres belonging to the Church or directed by ecclesiastics or religious, in Georgia there are nine clinics, one home for the elderly, sick or disabled, one orphanage/nursery, two family advisory centres, and two institutions of other types.

Georgia is 84% Orthodox, with a near 10% Muslim minority.

Azerbaijan has a surface area of 86,600 km2 and a population of 9,642 inhabitants, of whom 570 are Catholics, equivalent to 0.01 % of the population. There is one ecclesiastical circumscription, one parish and one other pastoral centre. There are currently seven priests, ten religious (three male and seven female), and four catechists. There is one seminarian. The Church has one centre for Catholic education, at secondary level. With regard to charitable and social centres belonging to the Church or directed by ecclesiastics or religious, in Azerbaijan there is one home for the elderly, sick or disabled.

Azerbaijan is 97% Muslim (mostly Shia).

1 day 17 hours

Cardinal Telesphore Placidus Toppo, archbishop of Ranchi, India, will be Pope Francis’ special envoy at the 11th Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Episcopal Conferences of Asia (FABC).

The assembly will be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, from 28 November to 4 December 2016.

1 day 17 hours

On Friday, the United Nations Security Council approved its first-ever resolution to reinforce the international norm against the testing of nuclear weapons.

Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on International Justice and Peace, welcomed the action of the U.N. Security Council.

“The Conference of Bishops has long supported U.S. ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and welcomes the action of the U.N. Security Council as encouraging this important step toward a world without nuclear weapons,” Bishop Cantú said.

Saturday marked the 20th anniversary of the opening for signature of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Since then, 183 countries, including the United States, have become signatories to the Treaty, and 166 have ratified it.

The Holy See has signed and ratified the CTBT. The United States has signed, but not yet ratified, the Treaty.

More information on the work of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace on nuclear weapons is available at: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/war-and-peace/nuclear-weapons/index.cfm.

1 day 18 hours

On Saturday Pope Francis received in audience some of the relatives of the victims of the terrorist attack in Nice last July 14.

Here is a Zenit translation of the text of the Pope’s address:

__

My dear brothers and sisters, I apologize for speaking in Italian, but my French is not good.

With profound emotion I meet with you, who are suffering in your body and spirit because, on a day of celebration, violence struck you blindly, you or one of your dear ones, without care for your origin or religion. I want to share your pain, a pain that becomes even greater when I think of the children, even of entire families, whose life was taken away from them suddenly in a dramatic way. I assure each of you of my compassion, my closeness and my prayer.

Dear families, I invoke our heavenly Father, Father of all, may He take to Himself your dear deceased, so that they soon find the rest and joy of eternal life. For us Christians, the foundation of our hope is Jesus Christ, dead and risen. The Apostle Paul assures us of this: “If we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him. For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him” (Romans 6:8-9). May the certainty of eternal life, which belongs also to believers of other religions, be of consolation to you in the course of life, and constitute a strong motive for perseverance to continue with courage your journey down here.

Related: Vatican’s Declaration on Tragedy in Nice: https://zenit.org/articles/vaticans-declaration-on-tragedy-in-nice/

I pray to the God of mercy also for all the persons who were left wounded, in certain cases atrociously mutilated, in the flesh or in the spirit, and I do not forget all those who, because of this, were unable to come or are still in hospital. The Church is close to you and accompanies you with immense compassion. With her presence at your side in these very heavy moments to be faced, she asks the Lord to come to your help and to put in your hearts sentiments of peace and fraternity.

The tragedy that the city of Nice experienced has aroused everywhere significant gestures of solidarity and accompaniment. I thank all the persons who helped the victims immediately, or who up to today and certainly also in the long run, are dedicated to support and accompany the families. I am thinking, naturally, of the Catholic community and its Bishop, Andre Marceau, but also of the services of aid and of the voluntary sector, in particular the Alpes-Maritimes Fraternite, here present, which brings together representatives of all the religious confessions, and this is a very beautiful sign of hope. I rejoice to see that among you inter-religious relations are very alive, and this cannot but contribute to alleviate the wounds of these dramatic events.

In fact, to establish a sincere dialogue and fraternal relations among all, in particular among all those who confess the one and merciful God, is an urgent priority that leaders, whether political or religious, must seek to foster and that each one is called to carry out around him. When the temptation is great to withdraw into oneself or to respond to hatred with hatred, to violence with violence, a genuine conversion of heart is necessary. This is the message that Jesus’ Gospel addresses to all of us. One can respond to the assaults of the devil only with the works of God, which are forgiveness, love and respect of one’s neighbor, even if he is different than you.

Dear brothers and sisters, once again I assure you of my prayer and of all the tenderness of the Successor of Peter. I pray also for your dear country and for its leaders, so that, without tiring, a just, peaceful and fraternal society is built. As sign of my closeness, I invoke upon each one of you the help of the Virgin Mary and an abundance of heavenly blessings.

May the Lord bless you all.

[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by ZENIT]

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On Saturday, Pope Francis received in audience Sisters Hospitallers of Mercy. Here is a ZENIT translation of his address:

 

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Dear Sisters, good morning!

I receive you with joy during the days of the Jubilee of Mercy, which finds you particularly involved because it corresponds in a direct way to your vocation. I greet Monsignor Fisichella, who is carrying this Jubilee forward. I thank Mother Paola Iacovone for the words she addressed to me; and I thank the Lord for the commitment that your Religious Family puts into the path of fidelity to the original charism, attentive to the new forms of poverty of our times. You are a concrete sign of how the Father’s mercy is expressed.

The institution of your Founder, the Servant of God Teresa Orsini Doria Pamphili Landi, shows eloquently how the Word of the Lord can change the life of one who becomes His disciple. This noble laywoman, supported by two priests, let herself be guided by Jesus’ words: “I was sick and you visited me (cf. Matthew 25:36). In face of the weakness of sickness, there cannot be distinctions of social state, race, language or culture; we all become weak and must entrust ourselves to others.

The Church feels, as her commitment and responsibility, closeness to all those who suffer, to bring them consolation, comfort and friendship. You dedicate your life especially to the service of brothers and sisters who are recovering in hospital, because, thanks to your presence and professionalism they feel, to a great extent, supported in their sickness. And to do this, there is no need for long speeches: a caress, a kiss, being at their side in silence, a smile <suffices>. Never give up this very precious service, despite all the difficulties you might encounter. In our days, sometimes a secular culture attempts to remove, even from hospitals, any religious reference, beginning with the Sisters’ presence itself. When this happens, however, it is usually accompanied by a painful lack of humanity, truly strident in places of suffering. Do not tire of being friends, sisters and mothers of the sick; may prayer be always the lymph that sustains your evangelizing mission.

When you approach each sick person, have peace and joy in your heart, which are fruits of the Holy Spirit. It is always Jesus on that hospital bed, present in the person who suffers, and it is He who asks for help from each one of you. It is Jesus. Sometimes one can think: “Some of the sick are annoying.” But we also annoy the Lord, and He supports and accompanies us! May closeness to Jesus and to the weakest be your strength. The fourth vow that characterizes you as a Religious Family is all the more timely, especially because individuals without a family, without a home, without a homeland are multiplying and in need of hospitality. By living this particular vow with coherence, you assume in yourselves the sentiments of Christ, who “though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor” (2 Corinthians 8:9). May the Holy Mother of Mercy accompany you always and sustain you in your daily service to the weakest. I bless you from my heart and ask you, please, to pray for me.

And now, if you, Mother, have the prayer for the consecration, we can do together the consecration of the Institute of the Mother of Mercy.

[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by ZENIT]

1 day 18 hours

From Vatican Radio:

Pope Francis has sent a message marking the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Diocese of Quilmes in Argentina.

“I know that you are preparing enthusiastically for this anniversary,  and I join you in thanksgiving to God for the gifts received from His divine goodness,” – Pope Francis wrote to Bishop Carlos José Tissera. “He has remained faithful, giving you shepherds, from the first bishop, Jorge Novak, to this day; many priests and consecrated persons have given their lives to make Christ present among you. This fills me with joy.”

Pope Francis said he urged the people of the Diocese to be attentive to the Lord “passing before them,” and to help Him present in those who are “oppressed, exploited, disillusioned, sick, or suffering because of any other needs.”

Pope Francis also sent a message to the Diocese of San Carlos de Bariloche to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Argentinian town, Ingeniero Jacobacci.

Noting the damage to the town once caused by the Puyehue volcano in nearby Chile, Pope Francis said “after the ashes came the cloud of solidarity and a renewed effort to move forward,” and he noted the “creative solidarity” expressed by the town’s citizens.

1 day 19 hours

Pope Francis celebrated the Jubilee for Catechists today, celebrating Mass in St. Peter’s Square, and reminding the catechists of the first lesson that we must understand about the faith: Jesus is risen, and he loves you.

Drawing from the Second Reading, the Pope began his homily noting that St. Paul makes reference to “the commandment.”

“Among other things, [Paul] charges [Timothy] ‘to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach,’” Francis said. “He speaks simply of a commandment.  It seems that he wants to keep our attention fixed firmly on what is essential for our faith.”

And this center of the faith, the Holy Father explained, is the Paschal proclamation: “the Lord Jesus is risen, the Lord Jesus loves you, and he has given his life for you; risen and alive, he is close to you and waits for you every day.”

“We must never forget this,” the Pope asserted. “[…] Nothing is more important;  nothing is clearer or more relevant than this.  Everything in the faith becomes beautiful when linked to this centrepiece.”

He told the catechists that “we are called always to live out and proclaim the newness of the Lord’s love: ‘Jesus truly loves you, just as you are.  Give him space: in spite of the disappointments and wounds in your life, give him the chance to love you.  He will not disappoint you.’”

Loving others

The Bishop of Rome went on to note Jesus’ new commandment of love.

“It is by loving that the God-who-is-Love is proclaimed to the world,” he said, adding that this proclamation doesn’t come from “the power of convincing,” or “imposing the truth” or “growing fixated on some religious or moral obligation.”

The Lord is not an idea, but a living person, he emphasized, and thus “his message is passed on through simple and authentic testimony, by listening and welcoming, with joy which radiates outward. We do not speak convincingly about Jesus when we are sad.”

The Gospel of today, which recounts the story of the rich man and Lazarus, “helps us understand what it means to love,” Francis continued.

He noted that the rich man is not presented as a bad person, but simply as suffering from a “terrible blindness” — “because he is not able to look beyond his world, made of banquets and fine clothing.  He cannot see beyond the door of his house to where Lazarus lies, because what is happening outside does not interest him.”

His heart has been anesthetized with worldliness, the Pope noted, and he is indifferent to others, seeing only outward appearances.

“But the Lord looks at those who are neglected and discarded by the world,” the Holy Father said. “Lazarus is the only one named in all of Jesus’ parables.  His name means ‘God helps.’  God does not forget him.”

Needs and right

Pope Francis noted another element of the parable: “The opulent life of this nameless man [the rich man] is described as being ostentatious: everything about him concerns needs and rights.  Even when he is dead he insists on being helped and demands what is to his benefit.

“Lazarus’ poverty, however, is articulated with great dignity: from his mouth no complaints or protests or scornful words issue.”

The Pope said this is a “valuable teaching,” exhorting his listeners to avoid seeking glory or being “full of complaints.”

“We are not prophets of gloom who take delight in unearthing dangers or deviations; we are not people who become ensconced in our own surroundings, handing out bitter judgments on our society, on the Church, on everything and everyone, polluting the world with our negativity,” he said.

Instead, one who “proclaims the hope of Jesus carries joy and sees a great distance; such persons have the horizon open before them; there is no wall closing them in; they see a great distance because they know how to see beyond evil and beyond their problems.  At the same time, they see clearly from up close, because they are attentive to their neighbour and to their neighbour’s needs.”

The Pope concluded the homily praying that God “give us the strength to live and proclaim the commandment of love, overcoming blindness of appearances, and worldly sadness.  May he make us sensitive to the poor, who are not an afterthought in the Gospel but an important page, always open before all.”

On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full text: https://zenit.org/articles/popes-homily-at-jubilee-for-catechists/

2 days 23 hours

Pope Francis today lent his support to the bishops of Mexico and their efforts to defend the family and life.

After celebrating Mass in St. Peter’s Square for the Jubilee of Catechists, the Holy Father mentioned Mexico in his greetings prior to the midday Angelus.

“I am very happy to associate myself with the Bishops of Mexico, in supporting the commitment of the Church and of civil society in favor of the family and of life, which in this time require special pastoral and cultural attention in all the world,” he said.

The Holy Father added, “I assure my prayer for the dear Mexican people, that the violence, which has in recent days reached even several priests, might cease.”

On Saturday, hundreds of thousands marched in Mexico City in defense of marriage and in opposition to President Enrique Peña Nieto’s moves to legalize same-sex marriage.

The march Saturday was a follow-up to Sept. 10 marches held in cities across the nation, which drew more than a million Mexicans to the streets in defense of marriage.

Slain priests

The Pope’s reference to the violence against priests in Mexico came as two priests were found shot dead last Monday.

The Pope’s secretary of state sent the Holy Father’s condolences later in the week to Bishop Trinidad Zapata of Papantla, Mexico, for the killing of the two priests of his diocese, Father Alejo Nabor Jimenez and Father Alfredo Suarez de la Cruz.

Papantla is in the state of Veracruz in central Mexico, on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico.

Also on Monday, Father José Alfredo López Guillen of the state of Michoacán, was kidnapped and it is not known if he is still alive or where he is being held.

The Holy Father’s message urged the clergy and pastoral workers of Papantla to “continue energetically your ecclesial mission despite the obstacles, following the example of Jesus, the Good Shepherd.”

 

2 days 23 hours

After celebrating Mass for the Jubilee of Catechists today, Pope Francis recalled that on Saturday in Germany, a priest killed in Dachau was beatified.

Mariannhill Missionary Fr Engelmar Unzeitig (1911-1945) was sent to Dachau for defending Jews from the pulpit. At the concentration camp, he ministered to the other prisoners and became known as the “Angel of Dachau.”

In noting the beatification before praying the midday Angelus today, the Pope spoke of Fr. Unzeitig as a priest who “opposed hate with love and cruelty with meekness.” He prayed that his testimony might help us to be “testimonies of charity and hope, even in the midst of tribulations.”

World Day of the Deaf

The Pope also noted that today is the World Day of the Deaf.

The World Federation of the Deaf initiated the International Day in 1958, and chose the last Sunday in September to commemorate that the first World Congress of the WFD took place in September 1951.

“I wish to greet all deaf people here present or represented,” the Pope said, “and encourage them to give their contribution so that the Church and society are ever more capable of welcoming all.”

The Pope concluded his words before the Angelus with another greeting to the catechists present for the jubilee celebrations, saying, “Thank you for your work in the Church at the service of evangelization and the transmission of the faith. May the Virgin Mary help you to persevere in the journey of faith and to give testimony in your lives to what you teach in catechesis.”

2 days 23 hours

NewsFeeds from Zenit, EWTN, CatholicCulture.org

From: Latest News Releases from USCCB
Posted

WASHINGTON—Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued a statement today about the ongoing, fruitful reception and implementation in the United States of Pope Francis' Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia.

Full statement follows:

A statement from Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville,
President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

The Church in the United States, together with the Church throughout the world, has found in Pope Francis' Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love) a wealth of encouragement, guidance, and wisdom about the beautiful gift and vocation of marriage and family life. Since its release date on April 8, 2016, bishops, lay leaders, and families in the United States have proactively sought to receive Pope Francis's teachings joyfully and to implement them in our shared task of caring for marriages and families.

A request from the Office of the Synod of Bishops for a report on the reception and implementation of Amoris Laetitia in the United States has provided an opportunity to reflect on the good work that is already underway, as well as envisioned future plans to continue absorbing and unpacking this foundational document. As noted in the report, the Church in the United States has already eagerly begun to implement the teaching of Amoris Laetitia in numerous ways.

At a national level, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops looks forward to the anticipated development of a renewed, comprehensive pastoral plan for marriage and family life ministry and advocacy inspired by our Holy Father's encouragement. This plan will be carefully developed over the next few years and will be a strategic opportunity for the Church here in this country to incarnate the rich vision of marriage and family life found in Amoris Laetitia.

Pope Francis has given us a tremendous gift in Amoris Laetitia. May our ongoing reception of it continue to be an opportunity for the whole Church and society to renew their dedication to protect, promote, and strengthen marriages and families.  

The report presented to the Office of the Synod of Bishops, is available at: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/upload/Report-on-Reception-and-Implementation-of-Amoris-Laetitia-in-the-United-States.pdf.
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Keywords: USCCB, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, Amoris Laetitia, Synod, Apostolic Exhortation, Office of the Synod of Bishops, marriage, family, Pope Francis, pastoral, ministry
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22 hours 45 min
WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has named Msgr. Robert Coerver as bishop of the Diocese of Lubbock, Texas, and accepted the resignation of Bishop Plácido Rodríguez. Msgr. Coerver serves as a priest in the Diocese of Dallas.  

The appointment and resignation were publicized Tuesday, September 27, in Washington by Msgr. Walter Erbì, Chargé d' Affaires, at the Apostolic Nunciature to the United States.

A native of Dallas, Robert Coerver, 62, was born June 6, 1954. He earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy from the University of Dallas, and pursued post-graduate studies at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), in Rome. Bishop-elect Coerver also holds a licentiate in spiritual theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and a master's degree in counseling and guidance from Texas A & M University. He was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Dallas in 1980.

Assignments after ordination included: parochial vicar, St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish, Dallas, 1981-1982; parochial vicar, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Plano, 1982-1985; director of Spiritual Formation, Holy Trinity Seminary, 1985-1996; diocesan director, Spiritual Development of Priests, Dallas, 1996; diocesan director, Committee for Ongoing Formation of Priests, Dallas 1996-2004; pastor, Our Lady of the Lake Parish, Rockwall, 2005-2010; and pastor of St. Rita Parish, Dallas, 2010 to present.

In 2004, Pope John Paul II named him a prelate of honor with the title of monsignor.

Bishop-elect Coerver also has served the Diocese of Dallas in other assigned appointments including: vicar forane from 2007-2013, member, College of Consultors, 2007-present and member of the Presbyteral Council, Diocese of Dallas, 2008 to present.

Bishop Rodríguez, who has headed the Diocese of Lubbock since 1994, is 75. Bishop Rodríguez was born in Guanajuato, Mexico in 1940. He was ordained a priest on May 23, 1968, and was appointed auxiliary bishop of Chicago in 1983. On April 5, 1994, he was appointed bishop of Lubbock and was installed on June 1, 1994.

The Diocese of Lubbock comprises 23,382 square miles in the state of Texas. It has a population of 494,458 people of whom 136,894, or 28 percent, are Catholic. --- Keywords: USCCB, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Holy See, Diocese of Lubbock, Diocese of Dallas, Bishop Plácido Rodríguez, Bishop-elect Robert Coerver, Apostolic Nunciature, Pope Francis # # # MEDIA CONTACT: Judy Keane O: 202-541-3206
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