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From: The World Seen From Rome
Posted

An old news editor I worked with long ago had a rule for what makes a “trend” story.  It went like this…

If something unusual happens, you have just an unusual incident.  If something like it happens again, it might be just a coincidence.  But when it happens the third time, there is something worth investigating.  Something is either terribly right or terribly wrong.

Friends, we have a trend and it isn’t a good one.

Charlie Gard died on July 17, 2017, after a prolonged battle pitting the hospital treating him (who wanted to stop treatment and allow him to die) and his parents, who raised money to continue his treatment. Other doctors and hospitals were willing to treat him. The courts ruled that he had to stay in the UK hospital where he was to die.

Isaiah Haastrup died on March 8, 2018, after a prolonged battle pitting the hospital treating him (who wanted to stop treatment and allow him to die) and his parents, who raised money to continue his treatment. Other doctors and hospitals were willing to treat him. The courts ruled that he had to stay in the UK hospital where he was to die.

Alfie Evans will die after a prolonged battle pitting the hospital treating him (who want to stop treatment and allow him to die) and his parents, who raised money to continue his treatment. Other doctors and hospitals were willing to treat him. The courts ruled that he has to stay in the UK hospital where he will be allowed to die.

I know. It would seem that I keep repeating myself.  But it is the medical community and courts in the UK who are doing the repeating and my old editor friend would call this a trend.  And being a staunch Roman Catholic, he would have called it an “evil” trend.

Alfie’s father, Tom Evans, met with the Pope last week and was encouraged by the Pope’s determination to help. Tom recounted the visit with the Pope in an exclusive interview with ZENIT:

It went as well as it could have. I was very pleased to meet him. He praised me for my courage. He said I have courage like God. He said there are not many men out there who can take on this type of problem. He stated that ‘no child’s life should be taken away from them.’ I listened very well to what he said.

I am hoping that the next step from this encounter is that the Holy Father will attain for us asylum in the Vatican and that we are going to become Vatican, Italian citizens. That is what our next goal is. From the look on Pope Francis’ face, as you know, I do not understand Italian, but he looked very touched. He was listening and making eye contact. For me, that was the most important thing about the meeting. I am very fortunate to have had this meeting and I am very confident the Pope will do what he can to save Alfie.

In his April 18, 2018, general audience, the Pope spoke of his prayers for Alfie Evans and another case involving Vincent Lambert of France.  The Holy Father reminded the world – including the hospitals and courts of the UK – that the only master of life is God.

The post The Only Master of Life is God appeared first on ZENIT - English.

1 hour 13 min

Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) continues to help in the reconstruction in the Nineveh Plain – its “Marshall Plan” to support the Christians of Iraq. Less than a year after the opening of the first sites in the villages of Bartella, Karamless, and Qaraqosh, May 8, 2017, the results achieved are encouraging.

On March 25 the returnee families throughout Nineveh Plain were 8,213, more than 42 percent of the 19,452 forced to flee because of the invasion of the Islamic State in August 2014. Private homes destroyed by jihadists in two years were over 13,088, of which 1,234 totally destroyed. So far, 3,249 have been repaired. To coordinate the work is the Committee for the reconstruction of Nineveh, set up on March 27, 2017, by the three churches of Iraq: Chaldean, Syrian Catholic and Syrian Orthodox in collaboration with the ACN in Syria.

“The Christians were the first to return to these villages,” said Don Salar Boudagh, general vicar of the Chaldean Diocese of Alqosh and member of the Committee. “With the help of the Church and associations linked to it we have begun to rebuild and retrain in the region.” Of course, there are difficulties. “Tensions between the Baghdad government and the Kurdistan affected the level of security and the economic conditions, he said. “Also, the road that links Mosul to Nineveh Plain is still closed and Christians cannot reach the second Iraqi city to look for work.”

Then there are the uncertainties and fears regarding the upcoming parliamentary elections to be held next May 12. “We fear further unrest,” says Don Salar.

The post Syria: Reconstruction Continues in Nineveh Plain appeared first on ZENIT - English.

1 hour 24 min

Below is a reflection of Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, entitled ‘The Value of a Single Human Life’ from Cardinal Wuerl’s blog:

***

This weekend, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum marked the 25th anniversary of its dedication and opening.  With our nation having experienced in recent years a tragic crisis of disregard for the sanctity of human life as seen in shootings at schools and workplaces, terrorist attacks, and daily acts of murder, I would like to revisit this 2016 blog post and repeat again how we must stand up for the sacredness, dignity, value, and transcendent worth of every human life.

During his journey to Poland for World Youth Day 2016, Pope Francis visited the notorious death camp Auschwitz II-Birkenau to offer up prayers for the more than one million people killed there under the Nazi program of extermination.  For all who go there, it is an experience that stays with them forever.

Many of those sent to Auschwitz II-Birkenau and its two adjoining camps were condemned to the infamous gas chambers upon arrival.  Others were murdered more slowly through starvation, exposure and disease during forced labor.  Meanwhile, some prisoners were subjected to brutal medical experimentscarried out by a medical profession that had long been corrupted.

Nine out of ten of the dead at Auschwitz were Jewish, among them Edith Stein who was consigned to the death chamber when she arrived in a crowded rail car.  She was at the time a Discalced Carmelite nun who had taken the name Sister Teresa Blessed of the Cross, having entered the Catholic Church twenty years earlier.  When the SS came for her, her sister Rosa who also joined the Carmelites, and other Jewish Christians in August 1942, she met her destiny with faith and calm, saying, “Come, we are going for our people.”

At the Canonization Mass for Edith Stein, Saint John Paul II said that “we must also remember the Shoah, that cruel plan to exterminate a people – a plan to which millions of our Jewish brothers and sisters fell victim.”

One place dedicated to keeping that memory alive is the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum here in Washington, D.C.  The permanent exhibition includes personal testimonies, a rail car used to take women, men and children to the camps, a model of the gas chambers, a replica of the crematorium ovens, and much more, including 4,000 shoes and other personal items of the victims.  To personalize the experience, you are invited at the beginning to take an identification card of a real person who was persecuted by the Nazi regime and its collaborators.

There is much to be learned at the Holocaust Museum.  Nevertheless, ultimately “this Museum is not an answer.  It is a question.”

Jews were the primary targets of Nazi genocide, with about six million systematically killed in the Shoah, also called the Holocaust.  Others, including Poles, Soviet prisoners of war, enemies of the state, and other social undesirables were also persecuted and killed as the Nazi regime put into practice its ideology of racial hygiene, biological superiority and hate, including programs of forced sterilization and euthanasia carried out by the medical professionagainst those found to have a “genetic disease,” the disabled, mentally ill and the incurable sick.

How does this barbarism happen?  What leads a civilized and enlightened people to do such inhuman things to other people?  How could they go along with it and cooperate with it?

It begins with accepting or acquiescing in the idea that there is such a thing as a human life not worthy of life.  It happens because of the belief that we, individually or collectively, have power over life and death, and that it can be morally acceptable or justifiable to end, or help end, another person’s life if that life is inconvenient or if the person fits into a certain category.  It happens when a person is dehumanized or deemed useless in what Pope Francis calls a “throwaway culture.”  In this depreciation of the sacred inviolability of human life, the German people under Nazism are not alone.

One of the lessons to be learned from a visit to the Holocaust Museum is that we cannot lay such crimes solely at the feet of a collection of depraved and sadistic ideologues – ordinary people have a responsibility too for what happens in the community and nation.  One of the special exhibitions, “Some Were Neighbors,” explores this question of how otherwise decent people could become complicit in evil.

Infamy happens too when there is a numbing of conscience in those who might do something to stop it.  In the face of evil, wherever and whenever it occurs, we cannot simply avert our attention – we must confront it and think about it and speak about it. Silence and inaction are the allies of atrocity.

Every person has an obligation to respect and protect human life and dignity.  The intentional ending of innocent life does not need to rise to the horrific proportions of the Nazi genocide before it becomes wrong and before we speak and act.  The evil begins with the very first person who is oppressed or killed.

In their visitor’s brochure, the Holocaust Museum asks, “What is your responsibility now that you’ve seen, now that you know?”  As the late Elie Wiesel says in response, “Each individual must answer that question for himself or herself.”

***

On the NET:

To the original post on Cardinal Wuerl’s blog: http://cardinalsblog.adw.org/2018/04/throwback-thursday-value-single-human-life/

The post FORUM: The Value of a Single Human Life appeared first on ZENIT - English.

2 hours 22 min

HERE YOU FIND PICTURES AND VIDEO

A team of cardiac surgeons at the Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital, in Vatican City, saved the life of a 3-year old baby girl whose heart was failing by implanting a miniaturized heart pump, developed with funding from the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH), precisely to care for the smallest infants and children for whom existing devices were not working. This is the second surgery of the kind in the world, both performed at the same hospital.

The doctors received authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Italian Ministry of Health for use of the miniaturized implantable ventricular assist device (Jarvik 2015 VAD), for which a clinical trial will soon start in the U.S.

The device is 15mm in diameter and weighs 50g. It was developed by the Pumps for Kids, Infants, and Neonates (PumpKIN) program of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the NIH, as a response to the lack of circulatory support devices that could be used for some of the smallest of children awaiting a transplant because of congenital heart defects or advanced heart failure.

The goal of the program was to develop the first implantable heart assist pump for infants under 25 kg. The FDA has recently approved a pilot trial of the new device, developed by Jarvik Heart, Inc., which overcame several technical obstacles to eventually provide a device with excellent results in preclinical studies.

“The NHLBI started the PumpKIN program in 2004 to fund the development and clinical evaluation of the Jarvik 2015 VAD and other similar devices because small children with failing hearts had so few options to help them survive at that time,” saidTimothy Baldwin, M.D., NHLBI project officer for the PumpKIN program. “That is still true today. Given all the efforts to arrive at this point, the apparent success of this first-in-human implant at Bambino Gesù Hospital is very gratifying. As we prepare for the clinical trial in the United States, this experience will help us better understand how the device performs and how to best care for the fragile patients to be supported with the Jarvik 2015 VAD.” 

During the 14-year duration of the PumpKIN project, the FDA has authorized the export of the device for use only twice. The first, in April 2012, involved an earlier version of the device called the Infant Jarvik 2000. On that occasion, the authorization was granted to the Bambino Gesù Hospital to save the life of a 16-month old child waiting for transplant.

The current 3-year old patient has dilated cardiomyopathy, an enlarged heart that has difficulty pumping, and is on the waiting list for a heart transplant. She had already received a Berlin Heart Excor Pediatric VAD, which is in clinical use around the world. Based on signs that her heart may have recovered function while on the device, the surgeons removed the Berlin Heart only to discover that her heart had not recovered enough to support her body’s needs. The child could not have another Berlin Heart because of infection risk. At that stage, the only possibility to save her life was the use of Jarvik 2015, the only completely implantable ventricular assist device for children this small.

Therefore, after receiving the requisite approvals from the FDA, the Italian Ministry of Health, and the Ethics Committee, Antonio Amodeo, M.D. and his team performed the surgery on February 2nd. The child was extubated 10 days after the surgery.  Now, she is stable, eating pasta with her family and playing on an iPad, as she awaits heart transplantation.

Unlike any other VADs used for small children, the miniaturized Jarvik 2015 VAD implanted in a child sits completely within the chest and is powered by an external battery through a narrow cable that crosses the skin. This feature will allow patients to go home, which is important because many children on heart transplant lists wait for many months until a compatible organ becomes available.

The device is made of a pump about the size of an AA battery that is inserted into the left side of the heart and propels blood to the rest of the body. The device will support the circulation in patients weighing 8 Kg to 30 Kg, which is approximately the weight of children from 1 to 10 years old, but also may be suitable for use in smaller children. Within a few months, a clinical trial for the use of the device will begin in the United States. The Bambino Gesù Hospital will be the leader of the European Project to obtain CE certification for this device.

“If the forthcoming clinical trials confirm the lower morbidity and mortality associated with the device, this will be a real revolution in the field of pediatric mechanical cardiopulmonary support,” explains Antonio Amodeo, M.D. the physician in charge for ECMO, mechanical cardiopulmonary support, and heart transplantation at the Bambino Gesù Hospital. “In the last 20 years, only the Berlin Heart EXCOR VAD has been available and, although patients supported using it have a survival rate of 70%, because the device sits outside the body, children are not allowed to go home from the hospital while being supported by the device. With the Jarvik 2015 VAD, now patients waiting for heart transplant will have the possibility of going back home to their families after the implantation surgery which will, in turn, reduce the burden of travel to and from the hospital for the family and the patient costs for staying at the hospital. This change is particularly critical because the majority of pediatric patients needing mechanical cardiopulmonary support are under 3 years of age and this new heart pump will be used especially for these children.”

The post Bambino Gesù: Miniaturized Heart Pump Saves 3-Year-Old Girl’s Life appeared first on ZENIT - English.

6 hours 6 min

For the feast of St. George, and Pope Francis’ namesake day, the Pope is giving 3,000 gelatos to Rome’s poor and needy.

This was announced this morning in a note from the papal almoner, stating Pope Francis wishes to celebrate his name day–as the Pope’s given name is Jorge (George) — with the homeless and most needy of Rome.

“Therefore, today, in the day in which the Church remembers St. George, 3,000 ice creams will be given to those who daily come to the food kitchens, dormitories and other structures in the capital, run in great part by Caritas.”

Today’s feast day is a big celebration in Italy.

The post Gelato for St. George’s Day: On Feast of Pope’s Namesake, 3000 Ice Creams for the Poor & Needy appeared first on ZENIT - English.

6 hours 18 min

The 24th meeting of the Council of Cardinals is taking place in the Vatican. The C9, as the group is commonly called, is studying the plans for reforming the Apostolic Constitution “Pastor Bonus” on the Roman Curia.

The meeting began this morning and concludes on Wednesday.

The Council of Cardinals consists of the following nine prelates: Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Vatican City State; Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, archbishop emeritus of Santiago, Chile; Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Bombay; Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich; Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, archbishop of Kinshasa, Congo; Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, archbishop of Boston; Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy (not present, in Australia); Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras; and Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State.

The working sessions are held in the morning from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and in the afternoon, from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., and are dedicated to further considerations on several dicasteries of the Curia.

During the 23rd session, Feb. 26-28, the first of 2018, the cardinal members discussed the theological status of the episcopal conferences, human resources and the containment of costs in the Holy See, and the protection of minors. The cardinals also explored various options for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith “to process cases of child abuse within a short time.”

Continuing to reflect on the Roman Curia, the cardinals examined the Dicasteries for Promoting Integral Human Development, for the Oriental Churches and for the Evangelization of Peoples. Msgr. Jan Romeo Pawłowski discussed the progress of the Third Section of the Secretariat of State, chaired by him, which was recently established for the selection and training of the diplomatic staff.

*** On Zenit’s Web page: 23rd Meeting of Council of Cardinals Concludes: https://zenit.org/articles/23rd-meeting-of-council-of-cardinals-concludes/

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7 hours 8 min
Pope Francis: The Eucharist Reconciles us and Unites us

Audience Pilgrims from Dioceses of Bologna and Cesena-Sarsina

Pope Francis: The Eucharist Reconciles us and Unites us

Audience Pilgrims from Dioceses of Bologna and Cesena-Sarsina

Venerable English College: Pope Speaks of Love

Overcome Fear with Prayer, Love and Sense of Humor

Regina Coeli Address: Good Shepherd Sunday and the Healing of a Cripple (Full Text)

Regina Coeli Address: Good Shepherd Sunday and the Healing of a Cripple

Pope Francis Ordains 16 New Priests

World Day of Prayer for Vocations

Pope Francis: Identity as Disciples of the Risen Lord

‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for His sheep.’

Nicaragua: Pope Prayers for Victims of Violence

‘I join the Bishops in asking that the violence cease, the useless shedding of blood be avoided and the questions opened be resolved peacefully and with a sense of responsibility.’

Four New Priests Join Pope for Regina Coeli Blessing

‘Listen, Discern, Live the Call of the Lord.’

Pontifical Commission for Protection of Minors Hears from Survivors

“I hope our visit will help the PCPM to develop a wider network of survivors who are willing to advise and support the ongoing work of the Commission in a similar way.”

The post Eucharist Unites appeared first on ZENIT - English.

21 hours 47 min

The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors (PCPM) met this week in Plenary Assembly in Rome.

The first day of the meeting was dedicated to hearing from members of the Survivor Advisory Panel (SAP) of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission from England and Wales. The gathering was part of the PCPM’s ongoing commitment to ensuring that the thoughts and contributions of people who have been abused inform all aspects of the Commission’s work.

The visitors said that the experience of being listened to so carefully by the Commission members was empowering. They could see that their sharing, and putting victims first, had an impact on the Commission.

One of the SAP members said: “I hope our visit will help the PCPM to develop a wider network of survivors who are willing to advise and support the ongoing work of the Commission in a similar way.”

The PCPM said it is grateful to the SAP group for generously sharing their expertise and experiences with the Assembly. This will help the Commission to develop effective ways to integrate the voice of survivors into the life and ministry of the Church.

During their Plenary Assembly, the PCPM heard presentations on ‘The outcome of the Australian Royal Commission’; on ‘The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child’ and on ‘The role of Faith Communities in overcoming abuse trauma’.

On Saturday 21 April 2018, Pope Francis received the Members of the Commission in a private audience. The Holy Father stated his intention to definitively confirm the Commission’s Statutes. Members spoke to the Holy Father about their priorities, which are reflected in the following Working Groups:

• Working with Survivors
• Education and Formation
• Safeguarding Guidelines and Norms

The Working Groups are an integral part of the Commission’s working structure. Between Plenary Assemblies, these groups bring forward research and projects in areas that are central to the mission of making the Church ‘a safe home’ for children, adolescents, and vulnerable adults. The Plenary Assembly concluded on Sunday 22 April.

The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors was created by Pope Francis in March of 2014 to propose the most opportune initiatives for the protection of all minors and vulnerable adults, to promote local responsibility in the particular Churches.

For more information visit the PCPM website.

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23 hours 35 min

Pope Francis reminded the crowds of Pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square for the Regina Coeli on April 22, 2018, that it is the fourth Sunday of Easter — and the Day of Prayer for Vocations:

“The theme is: ‘Listen, Discern, Live the Call of the Lord.’ I thank the Lord because He continues to arouse in the Church stories of love for Jesus Christ, to the praise of His glory and at the service of brothers. Today, in particular, we thank Him for the new priests I ordained a short while ago in St. Peter’s Basilica.  And we ask the Lord to send many good laborers to work in His field, as well as multiply the vocations to the consecrated life and to Christian marriage. As I was saying, today I ordained sixteen priests. Of these sixteen, four came here to greet you and to give the Blessing with me.”

The post Four New Priests Join Pope for Regina Coeli Blessing appeared first on ZENIT - English.

23 hours 48 min

“I’m concerned about what’s happening these days in Nicaragua, where clashes broke out following a social protest, which also caused some victims,”  Pope Francis said April 22, 2018, after praying the Regina Coeli with the crowds in St. Peter’s Square. “I express my closeness in prayer to that country, and I join the Bishops in asking that the violence cease, the useless shedding of blood be avoided and the questions opened be resolved peacefully and with a sense of responsibility.”

News reports on the 22nd pegged the death toll from clashes between government forces and anti-government protestors at more than two dozen.

The post Nicaragua: Pope Prayers for Victims of Violence appeared first on ZENIT - English.

1 day 6 min

“The Liturgy of this fourth Sunday of Easter continues with the intent to help us rediscover our identity as disciples of the Risen Lord.,” Pope Francis reminded the crowds in St. Peter’s Square in his remarks before reciting the Regina Coeli on April 22, 2018. “In the Acts of the Apostles, Peter declares openly that the healing of a cripple, carried out by him, of which the whole of Jerusalem was talking, happened in the name of Jesus, because “’here is salvation in no one else’(4:12).”

The Holy Father continued: “Each one of us is in that healed man – that man is a figure of us: we are all there –, our communities are there: each one can be healed from the many forms of spiritual infirmity that he has – ambition, sloth, pride – if we accept, with trust, to put our existence in the hands of the Risen Lord. ‘By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth…this man is standing before you well’ (v. 10), affirms Peter.”

In answer to the question of who it is that heals, who is this Christ, Pope Francis repeats the answer Jesus gave: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for His sheep (John 10:11).” And through His healing, he enables followers “to live a beautiful and fruitful life”.

The Pope reminded the crowd that they are called to “know Jesus” and this requires an encounter with Him: “abandoning self-referential attitudes to set out on new roads, indicated by Christ Himself and opened on vast horizons”. He concluded:

“To open ourselves to Jesus, so that He enters inside us. A stronger relationship: He is risen, so we can follow Him our whole life. In this Day of Prayer for Vocations, may Mary intercede, so that many will respond with generosity and perseverance to the Lord, who calls to leave everything for His Kingdom.”

Full Text of the Pope’s Commentary

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1 day 17 min

Pope Francis on April 22, 2018, ordained 16 men to the priesthood in St. Peter’s Basilica, 11 for the Diocese of Rome. The 16 were from Italy, India, Croatia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Colombia, El Salvador, Madagascar, Romania, and Peru.

The event marked the 55th Anniversary of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, which is described on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website:

The purpose of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations is to publically fulfill the Lord’s instruction to, “Pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest” (Mt 9:38; Lk 10:2). As a climax to a prayer that is continually offered throughout the Church, it affirms the primacy of faith and grace in all that concerns vocations to the priesthood and to the consecrated life.  While appreciating all vocations, the Church concentrates its attention this day on vocations to the ordained ministries(priesthood and diaconate), to the Religious life in all its forms (male and female, contemplative and apostolic), to societies of apostolic life, to secular institutes in their diversity of services and membership, and to the missionary life, in the particular sense of mission “ad gentes”.

“May your teaching be nourishment to the People of God,” the Pope was quoted in Vatican News. “and the perfume of your life be joy and support to the faithful of Christ. May your word and example edify the House of God which is the Church.”

The three aspects of vocation – “listening, discerning, living” – were present for Jesus and continue today for young people, according to Pope Francis in his December 3, 2017, Message for 2018 World Day of Vocations.

“After his time of prayer and struggle in the desert, he visited his synagogue of Nazareth,” the Pope recalled. “There, he listened to the word, discerned the content of the mission entrusted to him by the Father, and proclaimed that he came to accomplish it…

“In the diversity and the uniqueness of each and every vocation, personal and ecclesial, there is a need to listen, discern and live this word that calls to us from on high and, while enabling us to develop our talents, makes us instruments of salvation in the world and guides us to full happiness.”

Pope Francis noted that the Fifteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, to be held in October 2018, will focus on the relationship between young people, faith, and vocation. He continued: “There we will have a chance to consider more deeply how, at the center of our life, is the call to joy that God addresses to us and how this is ‘God’s plan for men and women in every age’.”

 

 

 

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1 day 3 hours

Here is a ZENIT translation of the address Pope Francis gave April 22, 2018,  before and after praying the midday Regina Coeli with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

* * *

Before the Regina Coeli:

 Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!

The Liturgy of this fourth Sunday of Easter continues with the intent to help us rediscover our identity as disciples of the Risen Lord. In the Acts of the Apostles, Peter declares openly that the healing of a cripple, carried out by him, of which the whole of Jerusalem was talking, happened in the name of Jesus, because “there is salvation in no one else” (4:12). Each one of us is in that healed man – that man is a figure of us: we are all there –, our communities are there: each one can be healed from the many forms of spiritual infirmity that he has – ambition, sloth, pride – if we accept, with trust, to put our existence in the hands of the Risen Lord. “By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth . . . this man is standing before you well,” (v. 10) affirms Peter. However, who is Christ who heals? In what does being healed by Him consist? From what are we healed and through what attitudes?

We find the answer to all these questions in today’s Gospel, where Jesus says: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for His sheep (John 10:11). This self-presentation of Jesus can’t be reduced to an emotive suggestion, without any concrete effect! Jesus heals through being a Shepherd that gives life. Giving His life for us, Jesus says to each one: “your life is worth so much to Me, that to save it I give the whole of myself.” It’s precisely this offering of His life that makes Him the Good Shepherd par excellence, He who heals, He who enables us to live a beautiful and fruitful life.

The second part of the same evangelical page tells us under what conditions Jesus can heal us and can make our life joyful and fruitful: “I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me, as the Father knows me and I know the Father” (vv. 14-15), says Jesus. Jesus doesn’t speak of an intellective knowledge, no, but of a personal relationship, of predilection, of mutual tenderness, reflection of the same intimate relationship of love between Him and the Father. This is the attitude through which a living relationship with Jesus is realized; to let oneself be known by Him. Not to shut oneself in oneself <but> to open oneself to the Lord, so that He can know me. He is attentive to each one of us, He knows our heart in depth; He knows our good points and our bad points, the projects we have realized and the hopes that were disappointed.  However, He accepts us as we are, also with our sins, to heal us, to forgive us. He guides us with love so that we can also go through rough paths without losing the way. He accompanies us.

In turn, we are called to know Jesus. This implies an encounter with Him, an encounter that arouses the desire to follow Him, abandoning self-referential attitudes to set out on new roads, indicated by Christ Himself and opened on vast horizons. When the desire cools down in our communities to live the relationship with Jesus, to listen to His voice and to follow Him faithfully, it’s inevitable that other ways of thinking and living will prevail, which aren’t coherent with the Gospel. May Mary, our Mother, help us to mature an ever- stronger relationship with Jesus. To open ourselves to Jesus, so that He enters inside us. A stronger relationship: He is risen, so we can follow Him our whole life. In this Day of Prayer for Vocations, may Mary intercede, so that many will respond with generosity and perseverance to the Lord, who calls to leave everything for His Kingdom.

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

  

After the Regina Coeli

 Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I’m concerned about what’s happening these days in Nicaragua, where clashes broke out following a social protest, which also caused some victims. I express my closeness in prayer to that country, and I join the Bishops in asking that the violence cease, the useless shedding of blood be avoided and the questions opened be resolved peacefully and with a sense of responsibility.

As I mentioned a short while ago, in this fourth Sunday of Easter, the whole Church celebrates the Day of Prayer for Vocations. The theme is: “Listen, Discern, Live the Call of the Lord.” I thank the Lord because He continues to arouse in the Church stories of love for Jesus Christ, to the praise of His glory and at the service of brothers. Today, in particular, we thank Him for the new priests I ordained a short while ago in St. Peter’s Basilica.  And we ask the Lord to send many good laborers to work in His field, as well as multiply the vocations to the consecrated life and to Christian marriage. As I was saying, today I ordained sixteen priests. Of these sixteen, four came here to greet you and to give the Blessing with me.

[Four new priests appeared at the window next to the Pope]

 My heartfelt greeting to you all, Romans and pilgrims from Italy and from many countries, in particular, those from Setubal, Lisbon, Krakow, and the Sisters, Pious Disciples of the Divine Master that have come from Korea.

I greet the pilgrims of Castiglione d’Adda, Torralba, Modica, Cremona and Brescia <and> he parish choir of Ugovizza; the Confirmation youngsters of Gazzaniga, Pollenza and Cisano sul Neva.

I wish you all a happy Sunday and, please, don’t forget to pray for me.

Have a good lunch and goodbye!

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

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1 day 4 hours

“The Eucharist reconciles us and unites us, because it nourishes community relations and encourages attitudes of generosity, of forgiveness, of trust in our neighbor, of gratitude,” Pope Francis proclaimed on April 21, 2018.

His comments came in St. Peter’s Square as he welcomed participants in Pilgrimages from the dioceses of Bologna and Cesena-Sarsina.

“The Eucharist, which means “thanksgiving”, makes us feel the need to give thanks: it makes us understand that “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20: 35), and it educates us to give primacy to love and practice justice in its complete form which is mercy; to always be able to thank, even when we receive what is due to us,” the Holy Father continued. “Eucharistic worship also teaches us the right order of values: not to put earthly realities first, but rather celestial goods; to be hungry not only for material food but also for that which “lasts for eternal life” (Jn 6: 27).”

Address of the Holy Father

Dear brothers and sisters,

I greet you all with affection. Thank you for your celebratory presence! With this visit to the tomb of Peter, you reciprocate my visit to your diocesan communities on 1 October last year. I am very grateful for this.

I greet the Archbishop of Bologna, Msgr. Matteo Zuppi, and the bishop of Cesena-Sarsina, Msgr. Douglas Regattieri, who were so thoughtful during my visit. I thank you, dear brothers, for your words that revive in me the memory of that day. I welcome the civil authorities present here, as well as the priests, consecrated persons and lay faithful, with a special thought for all those who join spiritually in this pilgrimage, in particular, the sick and the suffering.

I conserve a keen memory of those encounters I experienced in your cities. I do not forget the welcome you reserved to me and the moments of faith and prayer we have shared, in which faithful participated from every part of your respective dioceses. It was a gift of providence to confirm and strengthen the meaning of faith and belonging to the Church, which asks necessarily to be translated into attitudes and gestures of charity, especially towards the most fragile. Our bishops have underlined how my pastoral visit has been a reason for renewed effort on the part of all the members of your communities. I thank God for this and I urge you to continue with courage on the journey you have undertaken.

In the city of Cesena we commemorated the third centenary of the birth of Pope Pius VI, with a thought also for Pius VII. The memory of those two bishops of Rome, both from Cesena, constituted for you who form this diocesan community a favorable occasion to reflect on the journey of evangelization taken until today and on the new missionary objectives that await you. Heirs of these and other important figures of pastors and evangelizes, you are called to continue on this same road, making generous efforts to proclaim the Gospel to your fellow citizens and showing with works, which must not necessarily be great. Christians are a leaven of love, of fraternity, of hope, with many small daily gestures.

The occasion of the visit to Bologna was offered, as you well know, by the conclusion of the Diocesan Eucharistic Congress. The fervor created by that ecclesial event, which gathered many people around the Eucharistic Jesus, may extend over time, not fading but instead increasing and bearing fruit, leaving an indelible imprint on the journey of faith of your Christian community. As I recalled in the recent Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et exsultate, “Sharing the word and celebrating the Eucharist together fosters fraternity and makes us a holy and missionary community” (142). Indeed, the Eucharist makes the Church, aggregates her and unites her in a bond of love and hope. The Lord Jesus instituted her so that we may remain in Him and form one body: from being foreign and indifferent to one another we become united and brothers.

The Eucharist reconciles us and unites us, because it nourishes community relations and encourages attitudes of generosity, of forgiveness, of trust in our neighbor, of gratitude. The Eucharist, which means “thanksgiving”, makes us feel the need to give thanks: it makes us understand that “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20: 35), and it educates us to give primacy to love and practice justice in its complete form which is mercy; to always be able to thank, even when we receive what is due to us. Eucharistic worship also teaches us the right order of values: not to put earthly realities first, but rather celestial goods; to be hungry not only for material food but also for that which “lasts for eternal life” (Jn 6: 27).

Dear brothers and sisters, the men and women of our time need to encounter Jesus Christ: He is the road that leads to the Father; He is the Gospel of hope and love that makes us capable of going as far as to give ourselves. This is our mission, which is both responsibility and joy, legacy of salvation and gift to share. It requires generous willingness, the renunciation of the self and trustful abandonment to divine will. It means following an itinerary of holiness to answer with courage to Jesus’ call, each person according to his own special charism. “A Christian cannot think of his or her mission on earth without seeing it as a path of holiness, for ‘this is the will of God, your sanctification’ (1 Thess, 4: 3). Each saint is a mission, planned by the Father to reflect and embody, at a specific moment in history, a certain aspect of the Gospel” (Gaudete et exsultate, 19).

I encourage you to make resonate in your communities the call to holiness that regards every baptized person and every condition of life. Holiness consists in the complete fulfillment of every aspiration of the human heart. It is a path that starts at the baptismal font and leads to Heaven and is implemented day by day, welcoming the Gospel into real life. With this commitment and with this missionary zeal, destined to give new impulse to evangelization in our dioceses you will give a concrete response to the exhortations I addressed to you during my visit. Do not tire of seeking God and His Kingdom above every other thing, and of engaging in service to your brothers, always in a style of simplicity and fraternity. The Virgin Mary, “the saint among the saints, blessed above all others, she [who] teaches us the way of holiness and walks ever at our side” (ibid., 176), be the sure point of reference in your pastoral and missionary itinerary.

I thank you again for this meeting. I ask you, please, to continue to pray for me, and I impart my heartfelt apostolic blessing, which I extend to all those who make up your diocesan communities.

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

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2 days 1 hour

“Love of God and love of neighbor: the two foundation stones of our lives,” Pope Francis on April 21, 2018, reminded the Community of the Venerable English College in Rome. He received them in audience in the Consistory Hall of the Apostolic Palace.

He also pointed out that fear is the great obstacle in our Christian lives, but we can overcome it with prayer, love and a good sense of humor.

Address of the Holy Father

Dear brothers and sisters,

I welcome the staff and students of the Venerable English College in this year marking a number of significant anniversaries in the life of the Church in England and Wales. I thank the Rector for his gracious words. Our meeting today gives me an opportunity to speak to you directly, as a father, from the heart! As you continue your journey of responding to the Lord’s call, I would like to share with you some words of encouragement. Above all, I pray that you will grow ever more deeply in your relationship with the Lord and in your attentiveness to others, especially those most in need. Love of God and love of neighbor: the two foundation stones of our lives (cf. Mk 12:30-31).

First, love of God. It is good to see young people preparing to make a firm and life-long commitment to the Lord. But this is harder for you than it was for me, because of today’s “culture of the temporary”. To overcome this challenge, and to help you make an authentic promise to God, it is vital, in these years in seminary, to nurture your interior life, learning to close the door of your inner cell from within. In this way, your service to God and the Church will be strengthened and you will find that peace and happiness which only Jesus can give (cf. Jn 14:27). Then, as Christ’s joyful witnesses, you in your turn can become recipients of the tribute paid by Saint Philip Neri to your martyr forebears: “Salvete flores martyrum!”.

Second, love of neighbor. As you know, we do not witness to Christ for our own sake but for others, always in service. And we seek to offer this service not out of mere sentiment but in obedience to the Lord who kneels down to wash the disciples’ feet (cf. Jn 13:34). Nor is our missionary discipleship offered in isolation, but always in cooperation with other priests, religious and lay men and women. At times, loving our neighbor is difficult, which is why, for our ministry to be effective, we need to be “firmly grounded in God who loves and sustains us. From this inner strength, it is possible to endure… with patience and constancy in doing the good” (Gaudete et Exsultate, 112). This inner strength – this fidelity of love – characterized the lives of your college martyrs, and it is essential for us who seek to follow Jesus, who calls us in our poverty to serve his majesty, and who reveals his majesty in the midst of the poor.

One of the ways in which our love of God and neighbor will grow is through living in community. It can be no coincidence that it was your seminary community that formed the lives of forty-four martyrs, enabling them readily to take the missionary oath, made for the first time by Saint Ralph Sherwin in 1578 on the Feast of Saint George. With these saints to guide and inspire you, I hope you will be able to develop that “fraternal love capable of seeing the grandeur of our neighbor, of finding God in every human being, of tolerating the nuisances of life in common…” (Evangelii Gaudium, 92).

In our Christian life, there is a considerable obstacle that all of us face: fear! But we can overcome it with love, prayer and a good sense of humor (cf. Gaudete et Exsultate, 126, and the prayer attributed to Saint Thomas More). So I hope you will not be afraid of difficulties and trials, and the continuous battle against sin. I also encourage you not to be afraid of yourselves. By following the example of your heavenly patron, Saint Thomas of Canterbury, who did not allow his past sinfulness or human limitations to stop him from serving God to the very end, not only will you be able to overcome your own fear, you will also help others overcome theirs.

Finally, by nurturing friendships, good and wholesome relationships that will sustain you in your future ministry, I trust you will come to cherish your real friends, who are not simply those who agree with us, but are gifts from the Lord to help us on the journey to what is true, noble and good (cf. Phil 4:8).

It is with affection that I offer you these thoughts, to encourage your faithful love of God, and humble service to your brothers and sisters. Entrusting you to the maternal intercession of Our Lady of Walsingham, I assure you of my prayers for you and your families, and for all who support the mission of the Venerable English College. And I ask you also, please remember to pray for me each day. Thank you.

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

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2 days 1 hour

Pope Francis on April 21, 2018, sent a message to the participants in the meeting of heads of youth pastoral ministry in Cuba.

Video Message of the Holy Father

Dear young people,

I encourage you to fall in love with Jesus and to be ever more committed in a concrete way to the service of the Church in this real Cuba of today, without fear of hearing the call of God in the situations that are presented every day. Good patriots, love your land, love your country! Be generous and open your heart to the Lord!

May the next World Youth Day in Panama, and that of Cuba in Santiago not be the end point of the effort you are making, but rather go much further. May you discover that it is an opportunity to deepen one’s faith processes and to build the Cuban Church of today and tomorrow, the Cuban homeland of today and tomorrow; knowing that you are not alone and that we build only out of the concrete community to which we belong, where we commit our lives and carry out our vocation.

I invite you to always move forward: look ahead, love your nation, love Jesus and may Our Lady watch over you. Have courage!

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

 

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2 days 2 hours
Archbishop Follo: The Shepherd Good and Beautiful: True.

‘With the invitation to follow Christ, good Shepherd who with love guides us to truth and freedom.’

Vatican Hospital is Ready to Care for Alfie Evans

Rome’s Bambino Gesu Pediactric Hospital Would Bear Expenses

Pope’s Homily in Molfetta: We Are to Celebrate That Every Mass We Feed on Bread of Life & Word That Saves

Praising Example of Don Tonino Bello, Reminds That After Meeting the Risen One, We Cannot ‘Postpone’ Being Bearers of Easter Hope

Pakistan: Archbishop Appeals for Prayers

Christians in Quetta Suffer Third Attack in Five Months

Pakistan: First Christian Chapel Is Born in a State University

Christian and Muslim Leaders Say Stop Attacks against Minorities and Yes to Speedy Justice

Communications Must Support Freedom of Expression

‘Dialogue, Respect and Freedom of Expression in the Public Sphere’

Pope Francis’ Homily in Molfetta

‘At every Mass we feed on the Bread of life and the Word that saves: let us live what we celebrate!’

Pope Francis’ Address in Alessano

‘Your Land Produced a Saint’

Pope: Don Tonino Bello Teaches When God Asks of Us a ‘Yes,’ We Cannot Give Him a ‘Maybe’

Says Loved Late Italian Bishop and Servant of God Suggested Not Being Just Faithful Devotees, But True Lovers of the Lord

FEATURE: A Walk With Cardinal Dolan: Part II – Lebanon

Through Video and Images, Archbishop of New York Shares Beirut, Zahlé, and More

To Remember Don Tonino Bello, Pope Visits Southern Italian Towns of Alessano and Molfetta

Italian bishop remembered for helping poor, disadvantaged, and promoting peace

Holy See Insists on Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Archbishop Auza Statement to UN Forum

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2 days 21 hours

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From: The site of the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
Posted
Students at Archbishop McNicholas High School in Cincinnati made these crosses as part of the school's "Day of Reflection for Peace" April 20. Many students across the country were participating that day in the National School Walkout to protest gun violence and mark the 19th anniversary of the school shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado. (CNS photo/Archbishop McNicholas High School) See WALKOUT-SCHOOLS-GUN-VIOLENCE April 20, 2018.Students at Archbishop McNicholas High School in Cincinnati made these crosses as part of the school’s “Day of Reflection for Peace” April 20. Many students across the country were participating that day in the National School Walkout to protest gun violence and mark the 19th anniversary of the school shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado. (CNS photo/Archbishop McNicholas High School)

By Carol Zimmermann

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Some Catholic schools across the country treated the National School Walkout April 20 — commemorating the 19th anniversary of the school shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado — much like how they responded to the March 14 walkout marking one month since the Parkland, Florida, school shooting: with prayer and dialogue on school grounds.

Across the country, at least 2,000 walkout events were scheduled, slated to begin at 10 a.m. in each local time zone with 13 seconds of silence to honor the 13 people — 12 students and one teacher — killed at Columbine High School.

But unlike the March walkout — scheduled for 17 minutes for the 17 who were killed in gunfire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School — the April 20 walkout was planned to last for the entire day with students attending local rallies, protest marches or voting registration drives during the day.

Most Catholic schools across the country had already not sanctioned the March 14 walkouts citing safety issues with students off school grounds, and instead had school Masses or prayer services to pray for recent shooting victims and their families and for an end to violence.

In general, Catholic schools were less involved in the April 20 walkout. Some diocesan schools were not marking the day at all, others were low-key in their participation, such as a 45-minute silent protest against gun violence at Ursuline Academy in St. Louis.

And many public schools also were not as lenient with allowing students to walk off campus April 20. A number of superintendents said students who left school for the day would receive an unexcused absence.

Even the principal at Stoneman Douglas in Parkland told students they would face disciplinary action if they left campus that day. Students at Columbine High School were not to be in school because classes are canceled annually on the anniversary of the 1999 shooting and students are encouraged to do community service.

Before the April 20 walkouts began, a school shooting occurred in Ocala, Florida, where a high school student was shot in the ankle. The suspect is in custody.

Plans for the day’s walkout began soon after the Parkland shootings, organized by Connecticut high school students calling for a national protest on the anniversary of Columbine shooting. The students received help from the group Indivisible, a Washington-based nonprofit group formed after the 2016 presidential election that encourages grass-roots activism.

Back when discussion began of the March and April walkouts, Catholic school superintendents were urged in an email to keep the focus on “who we are as people of faith and a community of believers.”

The email, from Dominican Sister John Mary Fleming, executive director of the Secretariat of Catholic Education of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said Catholic schools providing alternative school walkout events were teaching their students to pray for a situation that needs a response and encouraging them to take action by writing to legislators about gun legislation.

Sister John Mary, a member of the Dominicans’ St. Cecilia Congregation in Nashville, Tennessee, also noted that “many dioceses have chosen to support student participation in this important dialogue and discussion through a clear presentation of Catholic social teaching and peaceful civic engagement.”

That was the idea behind Archbishop McNicholas High School in Cincinnati’s “Day of Reflection for Peace” April 20 that started with an outdoor prayer service and included a panel discussion on violence and opportunities to paint wooden crosses for the school property or write letters of support to victims of gun violence.

Shannon Kapp, the school’s director of communications and marketing, said the day gave students the chance to “sort out a lot of thought and emotions” and do something positive. Students were not leaving campus during the day to take part in the national event, she told Catholic News Service.

At Nazareth Academy in La Grange Park, Illinois, students gathered for prayer April 20 and then had the option of participating in break-out sessions. One session led by Congressman Daniel Lipinski, D-Illinois, focused on how to contact and best communicate with elected officials and the importance of civic engagement. Other sessions focused on how to recognize signs of people who are at risk of hurting themselves and others.

Some Catholic school students were not happy their schools were not sanctioning the walkout days.

In March, the principal at St. Francis High School in Sacramento, California, wrote to parents saying: “Like other schools and districts across the nation, we have been wrestling with the type of action we should take as a school community” to the walkout, recognizing that many students want to show solidarity and express their views but also noting there are “serious safety issues presented by students leaving campus in the middle of the school day.”

The school, like many Catholic schools March 14, held an alternative event with a prayer service for peace and healing.

A group of students started an online petition on change.org, signed by 660 people by April 20, urging school leaders to let them “walk out in April as an independent, student-led event.” They said this on-campus event would “give our students the opportunity to choose whether they would like to be represented in the walkout, and those who would prefer not to identify with the movement may elect not to be a part of it.”

Two students from Charlotte Catholic, a diocesan high school in Charlotte, North Carolina, wrote an op-ed piece April 16 in The Charlotte Observer suggesting a change in strategies for student protests of gun violence.

“With its recent emphasis on ‘walking out,’ too much of the rhetoric surrounding student activism has pitted students against not just Congress or the NRA but also school administrators,” the students wrote. “Walkouts are a form of peaceful protest, but they call attention to the issue of gun violence by defying school rules.”

The students said administrators and teachers have also been affected by school shootings as victims and protectors and should be included in public protests or activities to curb gun violence.

“Adults who work in our schools, ” the students wrote, “are not the ones who are trying to silence our voices. Our activism is meant to draw attention to the epidemic of school shootings and to call for changes that will end it. Teachers and administrators share our goal — to make schools safe.”

3 hours 8 min
Roberto with Bishop Joseph Binzer (Courtesy Photo)Roberto with Bishop Joseph Binzer (Courtesy Photo)

St. Rita School for the Deaf celebrated the confirmation of one of its students April 13 with a unique Mass. Bishop Joseph R. Binzer presided at the liturgy during, which a young man named Roberto received the sacrament.

Two years ago, the school enrolled the 15-year-old, profoundly deaf boy who had just arrived from Mexico in its programs. Because of his hearing loss, Roberto did not attend school in Mexico and had no language skills. His family does not know sign language.

Due to the language barriers, Roberto could not be immersed in St. Rita’s regular high school classrooms. Fortunately, school staff identified a profoundly deaf adult from Mexico who knew both Mexican Sign Language and American Sign Language (ASL) and tutored Roberto in communication and social skills.

The Mass was interpreted in ASL for St. Rita students in attendance, and in Spanish for Roberto’s parents and confirmation sponsor.

2 days 3 hours
Father Anthony Brausch, pictured with Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr, will be the rector of the Athenaeum of Ohio/Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West. (CT photo/Steve Trosley)

Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr announced today that Father Anthony Brausch will be installed as the thirty-sixth President of the Athenaeum and Rector of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary on May 13, 2018.

Archbishop Schnurr thanked Father Benedict O’Cinnsealaigh for his seven years of leadership as President and Rector and for his eighteen years of service to the Athenaeum and Mount St. Mary’s Seminary as a faculty member. Father O’Cinnsealaigh will begin his assignment as Pastor of Our Lady of Victory Parish in Delhi on July 2, 2018.

“There has been tremendous change and growth here over the past seven years,” Archbishop Schnurr said at a gathering of seminarians, faculty and staff in the St. Gregory the Great chapel at the Mount Washington seminary. “I want to express my gratitude for the great leadership that Father Benedict has provided, his whole-hearted service and dedication to the mission of the church and this institution, and his generosity of spirit.”

Introducing Father Brausch’s appointment to succeed Father O’Cinnsealeigh, the archbishop called The Athenaeum, “one of the finest houses of formation in this country.”

Father Brausch, who is currently the seminary’s vice rector and director of formation, will assume his new position on May 13, at the Athenaeum’s graduation ceremony.

For more information about Father O’Cinnsealaigh’s tenure at the seminary and about Father Brausch, look for the June issue of The Catholic Telegraph.

About Father Anthony Brausch

The Rev. Anthony R. Brausch, born August 1966 and baptized the same month at St. Phillip the Apostle Church in Morrow, Ohio, was named today as the thirty-sixth president of the Athenaeum of Ohio and rector of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West. The son of Thomas and JoAnn Brausch of Wilmington, Ohio he is the third oldest of ten children, uncle of thirty-eight nieces and nephews and great-uncle of three great nieces and nephews. He holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio; a Masters of Divinity from the Athenaeum of Ohio; and, a licentiate and doctorate in philosophy from the Gregorian University in Rome.

Fr. Brausch was ordained a priest in 2002 by Archbishop Danial E. Pilarczyk and assigned as parochial vicar to Our Lady of the Visitation Parish in Cincinnati and as full time faculty member at Elder High School. In 2003 he became administrator of Our Lady of the Visitation while continuing to teach at Elder and in 2004 was assigned to do further studies in Rome.

Fr. Brausch returned to Cincinnati in 2008 and was assigned to Mount St. Mary’s Seminary as a member of the teaching and formation faculties. In 2011 Archbishop Schnurr appointed him Vice-rector as well as Director of Formation for the seminary and Director of Formation for the Permanent Deacon Program. Fr. Brausch served as the President/Rector Pro tem of the institution during Fr. Benedict O’Cinnsealaigh’s sabbatical the first three months of this year.

Since returning from Rome, Fr. Brausch first served as Sunday associate at St. Margaret of York Parish in Loveland and then, beginning in 2014 at Guardian Angels Parish in Mt. Washington. In 2013 he was granted faculties to celebrate the Maronite Rite for St. Anthony of Padua Parish in order to assist there on weekends as well. In 2016, His Holiness Pope Francis named Fr. Brausch one of the confessors to serve as a Missionary of Mercy for the Jubilee Year. In 2017, the title and faculties associated with this appointment were extended by the Holy Father beyond the Jubilee Year and for the foreseeable future. Fr. Brausch is a member of the Elder High School Board of Trustees and, since 2008, chaplain to the Elder High School Football Team.

2 days 20 hours

IMAGE: CNS photo/DC Comics

By Mark Judge

NEW YORK (CNS) — Look! Up in the sky! It’s Superman! And he’s 80!

The year 2018 marks eight decades since the first appearance of Superman in Action Comics No. 1. It also sees the arrival of issue 1,000 of the “Action” series. DC Comics is celebrating these milestones with a special expanded edition of Action Comics as well as a book, “80 Years of Superman: The Deluxe Edition.”

Action Comics No. 1,000 costs $7.99, while the book is priced at $30. Both are suitable for readers of all ages.

Action Comics No. 1,000 is a series of short comics stories by popular DC writers such as Scott Snyder, Geoff Johns, Tom King and Peter J. Tomasi. The art is provided by Olivier Coipel, Rafael Albuquerque, Clay Mann, Patrick Gleason and superstar Jim Lee, among others.

The stories in both volumes celebrate Superman and his commitment to fighting evil, telling the truth and being a good friend and husband (he and Lois Lane were married in 1996). Not for nothing is he called “the big blue boy scout,” although in the modern world of dodgy politicians and celebrities, Superman seems deeply countercultural.

His basic history is well known: Superman was created in 1933 by writer Jerry Siegel (1914-1996) and artist Joe Shuster (1914-1992). The two had become friends while attending high school together in Cleveland.

Jerry Siegel’s daughter, Laura Siegel Larson, penned the forward to “80 Years of Superman.” She notes that her father and Shuster sold the character to DC Comics for a mere $130 — a fact that eventually led some of Superman’s fans to charge the publisher with taking advantage of the young duo. In 1976, DC gave Siegel and Shuster a pension and a “created by” credit for all time.

Based on his non-Earthly origin and propensity both for saving people and urging them to repent and think of others, Superman has often been considered a Christ figure. One of the best stories in Action No. 1,000 reflects this similarity.

It’s the 1930s, and Superman stops a crook in his car, then hangs him from a telephone pole before letting him go. Visiting the man later, Superman offers not only judgment, but mercy.

“You’ve had your fair share of knocks,” Superman says. “And you can keep knocking the world back like you’ve done. Or you can make a decision today. Be that person who wasn’t there for you for someone else.” Touchingly, the man does just that.

“80 Years of Superman: The Deluxe Edition” offers short essays about the Man of Tomorrow by writers and journalists as well as reprints of classic stories. Editor Paul Levitz includes tales ranging from 1938’s Action Comics No. 1 and the first appearance of Supergirl (No. 252) to Clark Kent revealing to Lois that he is also Superman (No. 662). In No. 309, Superman gets to meet President John Kennedy.

“80 Years” also features a never-published story, “Too Many Heroes,” written by fan favorite Marv Wolfman.

Journalist Larry Tye observes that, over the years, “Superman has evolved more than the fruit fly.” In the 1930s, the Man of Steel was a crime fighter. In the ’40s, he was a patriot combating Nazi aggression. In the ’50s, he took on communist spies. And at the end of the Cold War, he tried to eliminate nuclear stockpiles.

Today, Superman might be focusing on his day job as a journalist. That’s been hinted at by Brian Michael Bendis, the star comic book writer who decamped from Marvel this year to take over the Superman franchise at DC.

Along the same lines, in “80 Years of Superman,” David Hajdu, author of the comic book history “The Ten-Cent Plague,” smartly considers how Superman and his alter ego, Daily Planet reporter Kent, complement each other.

“In his role as a godly endowed hero among humans, Superman has always been much more concerned with the dispensing of justice than the revealing of truth,” Hajdu writes. “He hunts and catches villains, crooks and evildoers of all kinds — earthy, alien, extra-dimensional or inexplicable — and enforces a resolutely held super code of right and wrong.”

However, Clark Kent’s mission as a reporter is “to serve the truth.” Superman’s creators “made clear that they saw both sides of their cleverly dualistic character as companionably heroic,” Hajdu notes. Moreover, “Clark’s work as a journalist often drove the narratives.”

– – –

Judge reviews comic books and video games for Catholic News Service.

– – –

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2 days 20 hours

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From: Live Catholic Headlines
Posted
Vatican City, Apr 23, 2018 / 05:13 am (EWTN News/CNA).- I-scream, you-scream, Pope Francis screamed... 'gelato!' on the feast of his patron saint, George, offering some 3,000 ice creams to homeless served in Caritas soup kitchens and shelters around Rome. 6 hours 46 min
Vatican City, Apr 22, 2018 / 06:29 am (EWTN News/CNA).- On Sunday Pope Francis ordained 16 men to the priesthood, reminding them to be like Jesus the Good Shepherd in the way they serve the members of their spiritual flock and minister to those who are lost and searching for God. 1 day 5 hours
Sacramento, Calif., Apr 22, 2018 / 05:59 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- A proposed law in California could have a chilling effect on free speech, warn critics who fear that it could ban efforts to explain and promote Christian teaching on sexual morality. 1 day 6 hours
Belfast, Northern Ireland, Apr 22, 2018 / 05:27 am (EWTN News/CNA).- What would have been unthinkable 100 years ago in Northern Ireland will likely soon become a reality - Catholics will outnumber Protestants.   1 day 6 hours
Vatican City, Apr 21, 2018 / 08:52 am (EWTN News/CNA).- On Saturday Pope Francis named five new consultors of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, including three female academics and two priests. 2 days 3 hours
Chicago, Ill., Apr 21, 2018 / 07:01 am (EWTN News/CNA).- Religious leaders in Chicago are fighting to end a lawsuit filed by an atheist group that would impose upwards of $1 billion in taxes for churches around the nation. 2 days 4 hours
Washington D.C., Apr 21, 2018 / 05:09 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- A strong majority of the 430 men who are about to be ordained to the Catholic priesthood in the United States come from families where both parents were Catholic, and had several friends encouraging them in their vocation. 2 days 6 hours

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From: Reliable world news and analysis from a Catholic perspective.
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Andrew Brunson, an American Protestant pastor, faces up to 35 years in prison after being accused of involvement in a failed 2016 coup attempt. 6 hours 54 min
Daniel Ortega, Nicaragua’s president since 2007, also ruled the nation from 1979 to 1990 as head of the leftist Sandinista regime. 6 hours 55 min
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Pope Francis made his remarks following the recitation of the Regina Coeli in St. Peter’s Square on April 22. 7 hours 54 min
The Pope made his remarks as he preached at a recent weekday Mass on the martyrdom of St. Stephen. 7 hours 54 min
The Pope reflected on Acts 4:8-12 and John 10:11-18 before the recitation of the Regina Coeli on April 22 (video). 7 hours 54 min
Bishop Francesco Cavina, who is coordinating relations between the Evans family and Bambino Gesù Hospital, said that “only the power of prayer is able to melt hearts and crumble walls that now appear insurmountable.” 7 hours 55 min
The Pope called upon the priests to be merciful as they minister to the faithful. 7 hours 55 min
The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors’ priorities are “working with [abuse] survivors, education and formation, [and] safeguarding guidelines and norms,” members told Pope Francis during an April 21 audience. 7 hours 55 min
Pope Francis preached on Acts 8:26-40 as he celebrated Mass on April 19. 7 hours 55 min
Pope Francis made his remarks to pilgrims from two Italian dioceses that he visited in October 2017. 8 hours 55 min
Pope Francis appointed few new consultors of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and named a special envoy to the celebrations of the 1050th anniversary of the first episcopal see on Polish soil. 8 hours 55 min
The Pope encouraged seminarians of the Venerable English College to “nurture your interior life, learning to close the door of your inner cell from within,” so as to help “make a firm and life-long commitment to the Lord.” 8 hours 55 min
Without mentioning the leadership change, the Pontiff made his remarks as Raúl Castro stepped down from the presidency. Castro remains the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba. 8 hours 55 min
Pope Francis received, in separate audiences, the prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, the prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, the community of the Venerable English College of Rome, and pilgrims from two Italian dioceses. 8 hours 55 min