Skip to Content


NewsFeeds from Zenit, EWTN, CatholicCulture.org

From: Reliable world news and analysis from a Catholic perspective.
Posted
Bishops from North America, Europe, and South Africa visited the Holy Land as part of the annual Holy Land Coordination. Their statement concluded, “Above all we hold the young people here in our prayers, and inspired by Pope Francis, commit ourselves, with the help of God’s grace, to play our part in making this land more human and more worthy for the youth of today and the future.” 1 hour 16 min
The Colombian conflict, which began in 1964 and has led to the death of over 175,000 civilians, has pitted the Colombian government against leftist guerillas. FARC (the main rebel group) and the government signed a peace agreement in 2016, and ELN (the 2nd-largest rebel group) declared a cease-fire during the Pope’s September 2017 apostolic journey. 1 hour 17 min
“These are intense days of great joy,” said Archbishop Fernando Chomali of Concepción. 1 hour 17 min
“Reports of recent disparaging remarks about African countries and Haiti have aroused great concern,” said James Rogers, the US bishops’ chief communications officer. “As our brothers and sisters from these countries are primarily people of color, these alleged remarks are especially disturbing.” 1 hour 17 min
Josef Seifert, a member of the Pontifical Academy of Life from 1996 to 2016, said that Father Maurizio Chiodi (a current member) should revoke his recent remarks on contraception or resign. 1 hour 17 min
1 hour 17 min
Our Sunday Visitor interviewed state Catholic conference officials in Maine, South Carolina, and Nebraska. 2 hours 17 min

The Italian Episcopal Conference commemorated its annual Day of Judaism on January 17, the day before the start of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

2 hours 17 min
Auxiliary Bishop Paul McAleenan of Westminster is chairman of the English and Welsh bishiops’ Office for Migration Policy. 2 hours 17 min
Meeting with families with five or more children, Bishop Josip Mrzljak of Varazdin asked, “Why are so many couples scared of life? ... If we look at the past, there were fewer [economic] opportunities, but there were life and love.” 2 hours 17 min
Referring to the Church in Scandinavia, an official of the German bishops’ conference said that “the fast-growing Church in northern European countries is a materially poor Church which also depends on the solidarity of German Catholics.” The grants will fund priests’ salaries, the construction and maintenance of rectories, and the purchase of vehicles in areas where priests must travel long distances. 2 hours 17 min
Click here for links to the Pope’s homilies and addresses during his apostolic journey to Chile and Peru, the 22nd foreign trip of his pontificate. 3 hours 17 min

During the nine-month Nazi occupation of Rome in 1943 and 1944, Augustinian oblate sisters at the convent of Santa Maria dei Sette Dolori in Trastevere sheltered 150 Jews and others fleeing Nazi persecution.

3 hours 17 min
Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, who sent the message, is president of the Pontifical Academy for Life. 3 hours 17 min
Since 2011, Islamists, including Al-Qaeda and ISIS, have fought Egypt’s government in the Sinai insurgency. 4 hours 17 min
L’Osservatore Romano (January 19 Italian edition) devoted front-page coverage to this story on the jihadist group Boko Haram. Punch is a Nigerian newspaper company. 4 hours 17 min
In response to journalists’ questions on January 18, the Pope said that “the day they bring me proof against the bishop, then I will speak. There is not a single proof against him. This is calumny! Is that clear?” The Associated Press reported last week that the Pope knew his 2015 choice of Barros to lead the Diocese of Osorno would spark controversy. 4 hours 17 min
L’Osservatore Romano (January 19 Italian edition) devoted front-page coverage to this story. 4 hours 17 min
The bill would outlaw abortions on the basis of an unborn child’s “congenital disorder or deformity.” 1 day 1 hour
Nermeen Sadiq, 32, was among those killed during a December 29 attack on a Coptic Orthodox church in Helwan, a city near Cairo. 1 day 1 hour
The pastor, Andrew Brunson, is an American citizen. He has been detained since October 2016. 1 day 1 hour

Six months after he was named head of Europe’s largest diocese, Archbishop Mario Delpini of Milan opened an archdiocesan synod on January 14.

1 day 1 hour
“There are asylum seekers, refugees and migrants among us who are waiting to reach the UK,” said Bishop Guy Harpigny of Tournai. “We show our solidarity with them by seeking objective information on statistics, the causes of migration, on reception networks and on the legislation in force in the Belgian State.” 1 day 2 hours
The Diocese of Feldkirchen is located in south-central Austria. The Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism (1993) states that while a bishop may permit a non-Catholic Christian to serve as a reader during Mass, the homily is to be reserved to the priest or deacon (nos. 134-135). 1 day 2 hours
“Couldn’t [France] maybe take in more people and, above all, couldn’t it do it better?” asked Archbishop Georges Pontier, the president of the French Bishops’ Conference, which issued a new statement on migrants and refugees. 1 day 2 hours
President Joseph Kabila, who has ruled the Democratic Republic of the Congo beyond his constitutional term limit, reneged on an agreement to hold elections in 2017. Six priests were arrested, and 134 churches were surrounded, during a recent crackdown on pro-democracy protests. 1 day 3 hours
Human Life Action closely with the US bishops on pro-life legislation. 1 day 3 hours
The nation of 14.7 million is 95% Muslim and 4% Christian. 1 day 3 hours
The former rector of a Chilean university offered his perspective on attacks on churches by some members of the Mapuche people. Pope Francis pleaded for nonviolence, unity, and peace during his visit to Chile. 1 day 3 hours
1 day 3 hours
The church was located in Immerath, a town of 240 near Germany’s border with Luxembourg. 1 day 3 hours
Pope Francis departs from Chile and arrives in Peru on January 18. 1 day 3 hours
The nation of 8 million is 29% Christian and 20% Muslim, with 51% retaining indigenous beliefs. 1 day 3 hours
Founded in 1977, Students for Life has chapters at middle and high schools, colleges, and law and medical schools. 1 day 3 hours
Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, the president of the episcopal conference, cited Pope Pius XI as he criticized nationalism; he also criticized internationalism and cosmopolitanism. In contrast, he praised patriotism, “an upright and ordered love” for one’s homeland. He expressed concern about the revival of a pre-World War II anti-Semitism associated with the slogan “Poland (solely) for Poles.” 1 day 4 hours

An Italian bishop has converted a former convent into a home for separated and divorced fathers in difficult economic circumstances.

1 day 4 hours
L’Osservatore Romano (January 18 Italian edition) devoted front-page coverage to this story. 1 day 5 hours
The 45th March for Life will take place on January 19 in Washington. President Trump will address the marchers via video satellite. 1 day 5 hours
L’Osservatore Romano (January 18 Italian edition) devoted front-page coverage to this story. Al-Shabaab is a jihadist group active in Somalia and Yemen. 1 day 5 hours
The novena begins on January 18 and concludes on January 26. A USCCB pro-life official noted that there have been more than 57 million abortions in the United States since the Roe v. Wade decision. 1 day 5 hours
The National Prayer Vigil for Life takes place at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. 1 day 5 hours
Click here (BBC) and here (Wikipedia) for information about the Yemeni Civil War. L’Osservatore Romano (January 18 Italian edition) devoted front-page coverage to this story. 1 day 6 hours

In 1908, Rev. Paul Wattson, then an Anglican religious in Graymoor, New York, began a Church Unity Octave with the support of Anglican and Catholic prelates, including Cardinal William O’Connell of Boston.

1 day 6 hours
Pope Francis has sent a message of support to Sheik Ahmad al-Tayyib, the head of Egypt’s Al Azhar University, for a conference the institution is holding this week on the status of Jerusalem. In his message, noting the new tensions that surround Jerusalem, the Pope reaffirmed the Vatican’s stand on the city: “Only a special status, also internationally guaranteed, can preserve its identity.” 1 day 9 hours
Cardinal Kurt Koch, the president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, has suggested that ecumenical work will be productive only if the faithful engage in “self-evangelization that includes conversion to the ecumenical search for Christian unity.” 1 day 9 hours
Pope Francis officiated at an in-flight wedding ceremony for two flight attendants on his trip from Santiago to Iquique, Chile, on January 18. In conversation with the couple, he learned that they were married in a civil ceremony, but their plans for a church service in 2010 were disrupted because of an earthquake. So the Pontiff volunteered to perform the ceremony. 1 day 9 hours

Archbishop Anthony Apuron of Agana, Guam, has strongly denied new complaints of sexual abuse, and repeated that all such charges against him are false.

1 day 9 hours
In an address Wednesday evening to the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Pope Francis said that higher education should serve the cause of coexistence in the country. He said that this coexistence is based on a harmony between different aspects of man’s nature: a harmony that “integrates and harmonizes the intellect, the heard, and activity.” 1 day 9 hours
Father David Patton, the Franciscan superior in the Holy Land, condemned recent protests by Palestinian Christians in Bethlehem against embattled Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem. 2 days 1 hour
Bishop Alan Hopes has led the Diocese of East Anglia since 2013. 2 days 1 hour
According to the report, the missionary spirit is “alive and well” at the preK-12 Catholic school in the Diocese of Fairbanks (Alaska). 2 days 1 hour
Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin is chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Migration; ‘DREAM’ is a reference to the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, first introduced in Congress in 2001. 2 days 1 hour
The 15th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops is devoted to “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment” and will take place in October. 2 days 2 hours
Blessed Pius IX (profile), who reigned from 1846 to 1878, was thus the first Pope who had set foot in North or South America. 2 days 2 hours
Click here for additional information about the 2018 Holy Land Coordination. 2 days 2 hours
Boko Haram, the jihadist group based in Nigeria, is also active in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. Punch is a leading Nigerian newspaper. 2 days 2 hours
The Philippine army earlier defeated ISIS-affiliated militants in a five-month battle for control of Marawi. 2 days 2 hours
The survey of 1,508 Catholic women, conducted for America Magazine, found that 47% attend Mass at least monthly and 30% go to Confession at least yearly. 51% pray daily, 68% say they are proud to be Catholic, and 82% say they have never considered leaving the Church. Only 12% ever considered becoming a religious sister; 60% favor the ordination of female deacons. Only 10% said that they have “ever experienced sexism in the Catholic Church.” 41% are Democrats, and 24% are Republicans. 2 days 2 hours
2 days 2 hours
Click here for a video of the visit. 2 days 2 hours
Click here for a video of the Pope’s meeting with political authorities and the diplomatic corps at the Palacio de La Moneda in Santiago. 2 days 3 hours

Saying “we open the doors of Chile to a friend,” President Michelle Bachelet offered a warm welcome to Pope Francis during a meeting at La Moneda Palace.

2 days 3 hours
L’Osservatore Romano (January 17 Italian edition) devoted front-page coverage to this story. 2 days 4 hours
L’Osservatore Romano (January 17 Italian edition) devoted front-page coverage to this story. 2 days 4 hours
L’Osservatore Romano (January 17 Italian edition) devoted front-page coverage to this story. Pope Francis’s apostolic journey to Myanmar and Bangladesh began on November 26 and concluded on December 2. 2 days 4 hours
The arrests took place in El Cajon, a city of 100,000 in southern California. 2 days 4 hours
Bishop James Conley of Lincoln, Nebraska, has offered to lift the excommunication of members of the radical group Call to Action, on an individual basis, provided that they “reaffirm their commitment to the full teachings of the Catholic Church.” The group’s members were excommunicated by the previous head of the Lincoln diocese, Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz, because of their public rejection of Church teachings. 2 days 7 hours
Continuing his campaign against Church leaders, Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro has called for prosecution of two Catholic bishops who have spoken out against corruption in his government, accusing them of “slander” against the regime. The bishops remarked that it is inexcusable, in an oil-rich country, that many people are desperate for food. In Commentary magazine, Sohrab Ahmari writes: “The Catholic Church cannot remain silent, nor can it equivocate, in the face of such abuse.” 2 days 8 hours
Celebrating Mass on January 17 in Chile’s Araucania region, where members of the Mapuche tribe have fought against exploitation, Pope Francis made a call for peace, while indicating his support for the claims of indigenous peoples. He cited the threats of “division and confrontation, the oppression of some by others.” 2 days 8 hours
The Justice Department has sided with the Archdiocese of Washington, DC, in challenging a policy that banned Christmas advertisements from city buses. The Trump administration has sought to expand protections of religious freedom. 2 days 8 hours
Pope Francis warned Chile’s bishops that clericalism “gradually extinguishes the prophetic flame” in the Church. Clericalism, the Pontiff said, is “a caricature of the vocation we have received.” He encouraged the bishops to pray for “the gift of dreaming and working for a missionary and prophetic option.”
in a seperate talk to priests, at a meeting in Santiago’s cathedral, the Holy Father said that recognizing one’s own sinfulness is a first step toward pastoral success. He pointed to the example of St. Peter, who—realizing his own weakness and relying on Jesus—hauls in a miraculous catch.
2 days 8 hours
The nation of 5.9 million is sometimes described as “Africa’s North Korea.” 2 days 12 hours
In traveling to Peru, Pope Francis will visit a country marked by corruption, crime, and instability, according to the report. 2 days 12 hours
2 days 12 hours
The president issued a proclamation for Religious Freedom Day, which commemorates the anniversary of Thomas Jefferson’s landmark Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. 2 days 12 hours
“No one else was present: only the Pope and the victims,” the Vatican press office noted. 2 days 12 hours
“The whole nation cries for this sin,” Archbishop Joseph Arshad of Islamabad said following the horrific rape and murder of a girl. 2 days 12 hours

NewsFeeds from Zenit, EWTN, CatholicCulture.org

From: The site of the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
Posted
Rosie Prier, pictured here with her husband, Deacon Mike Prier, and grandchildren, received the Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s Respect Life Award on Jan. 14.

By Walt Schaefer

“I will never forget that day,” said Rosie Prier: Dec. 14, 1996. “I was the only person available to initially counsel a woman who came to our women’s center thinking we were the abortion clinic. After talking with me, then having an ultrasound, she left deciding to carry her pregnancy to term, praise be to God!”

The 2017 recipient of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati’s Respect Life award says she has been “passionately pro-life for as long as I can remember.” Nominated by Elizabeth New Life Center’s director, Vivian Koob, Prier received the award at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains on Jan. 14, during a Mass for Life prior to the annual March for Life in Washington D.C.

“Rosie Prier has been a stalwart pro-life advocate ever since she was a young woman,” Koob wrote in her nomination letter.  “She was the first employee hired at Elizabeth’s New Life Center (ENLC) in 1995. Rosie is director of operations at ENLC and is one of the most valuable people on our staff.

“Over the years, Rosie has demonstrated her passion for life runs deep and true. She helps ENLC in so many ways to serve more women in need who are in crisis and she supervises some of our most critical programs like the material assistance program, the middle school sexual risk-avoidance program, and Holy Family Prenatal Care.  She oversees facilities, IT, finance and grant writing at ENLC. Through her Respect Life coordinator position at Precious Blood Parish and her work promoting the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops materials on the many aspects of being pro-life, Rosie has touched all of the issues.”

Prier is the wife of Deacon Mike Prier, who serves at Precious Blood, St. Rita, and St. Paul’s parishes in Dayton. In seventh grade, she organized a fundraiser for Birthright with other students. As an adult she volunteered before taking the position at ENLC. “I started as Vivian’s assistant,” she said. “We purchased the building next to the abortion clinic on Main Street on purpose” to operate next to it.

ENLC moved after the abortion center closed, and now operates centers in Dayton, Sharonville, Kettering, Lebanon, and Sidney, with a new one soon to open in Forest Park (see page 18).

Prier said that though she has counseled women, “I’m not good at that. I’m definitely more of an analytical person, a behind-the-scenes support person. I’ve always been very grateful that I could work in a ministry where I can be useful, even though I don’t have skills or gifts to sit across from a woman and help her in that time.”

One of her many responsibilities is overseeing grant writing and implementation. While ENCL does not get sig-
nificant funding directly from the archdiocese, many churches sponsor and donate to its mission. Other funds come from contributions and grants. One important state grant helps ENLC provide 10-week classes on baby care. Another helps ENLC work as part of a collaborative that provides “sexual risk avoidance eduction” at public schools.

“We consider it our prevention arm,” Prier said. “We go into health classes
and talk about healthy relationships and avoiding sexual risk. We cannot come at it from a religious perspective, but truth is truth and health is health. We can encourage middle school and high school students to postpone sexual activity until marriage, ideally.”

Prier, of Englewood, is the mother of four and has 11 grandchildren. She holdss a degree in consumer science from Xavier University.

Eight people were nominated for this year’s award and all received certificates at the Mass.

2 hours 18 min

IMAGE: CNS photo/Bob Roller

By

NEW YORK (CNS) — Charlie Camosy, associate professor in the theology department at Jesuit-run Fordham University, spoke to Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life, in advance of this year’s annual march in Washington Jan. 19.

She talked about changes in the event and the crowd she has seen over the years, the efforts to unify pro-lifers on a variety of life issues and her own pro-life views.

For her, abortion is “the single most significant social justice cause of our time.”

Here’s Camosy’s Q-and-A with Mancini:

Q: You’ve been going to the March for Life for many years now. What are some ways that the march has changed since you first started attending?

A: The rally is a little shorter, the crowds have grown, the age demographics have decreased, marcher signs are more diverse and creative. What hasn’t change is that the weather often presents extra opportunities for making a sacrificial pilgrimage! Plus that the event is primarily staffed by generous volunteers, and most importantly the issue. Mostly, that we are there — for the 45th year in a row — to protest the human rights abuse of today — abortion.

Q: One thing that struck me from when I first started taking high school students to the march nearly two decades ago was the hyper-religiosity of the event. As a theology teacher, I shared many of these commitments, but it made a number of my students uncomfortable and I don’t think they returned after high school. The hyper-religiosity of pro-life activists also seems to keep more moderate folks from identifying with the movement more generally and our policy proposals from getting wider traction — especially in a culture which – wrongly — sees much of what we do as imposing our religion. Religious commitments are nothing to be embarrassed about, obviously, and many grass-roots movements for basic justice and rights were very religious. But do you see a tension to navigate here?

A: Our experiences differ, so I find it hard to answer this question — but broadly I would say no. There are a lot of religious signs, but my experience is that it is mostly young people who attend the March for Life. Young people are attracted to this cause because it is the single most critical social justice issue of our time. They are so enthusiastic — it is contagious! Perhaps that excitement and motivation could be interpreted as “hyper-religiosity,” but I see it as attractive unbridled zeal for ending abortion and building a culture of life. Of course, there are always a few “outliers” and some people are led to the pro-life movement through their faith. But, overall — this is a movement filled with vibrant, passionate, life-affirming young people. I’m older, reserved and suspicious at my age, and I find their confidence and trust inspiring. I love the lack of cynicism in many young people, and admire their hope and goal to “abolish abortion.” At the front of the march when we’ve had some counter-protesters, I’ve watched young people being spit on and mocked and respond with Christian messages of love. Basically, I agree with St. John Paul II, who said that young people are the best “ambassadors for life.”

Q: Especially with the campaign and election of Donald Trump, divisions and fissures within the pro-life movement have become more pronounced in the last couple years. Do you think the March for Life has the chance to contribute to the unity of pro-lifers who disagree about these political matters?

A: We certainly seek to unify and I hope we are successful. I’m convinced that disunity is our biggest enemy. As an organization we quietly do what we can behind the scenes within the movement; whether arranging group meetings or making strategic introductions to draw groups and pro-life leaders together. In a more public way we always seek to have a bipartisan lineup of speakers, although admittedly that has gotten harder in recent years.

Q: What vision did you have in mind when you started running the March for Life? How does the current march reflect who you are as a pro-lifer?

A: When I first became president of the March for Life, it was a surprise, and it happened very quick following the death of MFL founder Nellie Gray. In the beginning, I had some goals, but not an overall big picture vision. These goals included trying to break into mainstream media — especially showing our enthusiastic young marchers; having a shorter and very engaging rally; positive messaging grounded in the attractiveness of life; drawing in people of all faith; and embracing social media. I believe that we have been successful in these goals and we continue to be more success in these goals each and every year. My ultimate goal is to work myself out of a job by working to make abortion unthinkable and enact laws that reflect the inherent dignity of the human person.

Q: Suppose a reader is on the fence about attending the march. In your view, what should she consider as she makes a decision whether or not to attend?

A: I was just reading an email from a business owner who attended for the first time last year. To paraphrase her, the March for Life is a life changing experience that will restore your hope in the goodness of humanity. I would add to that, how can you not attend? Abortion is the single most significant social justice cause of our time. Every single one of us carries that burden on us and needs to do everything possible to bring it to an end.

– – –

Copyright © 2018 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.

15 hours 20 min

IMAGE: CNS/Paul Haring

By Junno Arocho Esteves

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT TO IQUIQUE, Chile (CNS) — Love was literally in the air as Pope Francis performed an impromptu wedding ceremony at 36,000 feet aboard his flight in Chile.

During his flight to Iquique Jan. 18, the pope was approached by LatAm flight steward Carlos Ciuffardi Elorriaga and asked for a blessing for him and his wife, stewardess Paula Podest Ruiz.

The couple were supposed to be married in their home parish in Santiago Feb. 27, 2010. However, tragedy struck when an earthquake destroyed the church. Eight years later, they remained only civilly married.

Ciuffardi told journalists aboard the flight that, after he explained their story, he asked the pope for their blessing.

At that moment, the pope surprised the couple with offering to marry them right there on the plane.

Ciuffardi said he asked his boss and owner of LatAm airline, Ignacio Cueto, to be his best man.

The pope was on his way from Santiago, Chile, to Iquique before heading to Peru later in the day.

– – –

Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.

– – –

Copyright © 2018 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.

18 hours 15 min
The 2017 cast of “The Great American Baking Show” included Cincinnati diocesan priest Father Kyle Schnippel (back row, third from left) and Cincinnati app developer Jessie Salzbrun (front row, third from left).

By Gail Finke

Neither of them were long-time bakers when they applied to be on network television’s only prime time baking contest. An experienced cook, he’d only been baking for a few months. She’d baked cakes, lots of them – and after baking for her large wedding last winter, had vowed never to bake again. But a friend recommended that he apply. And after binge-watching the 2016 program, she reversed her resolution and applied on a whim.

They met each other at the show’s two casting calls. “I never thought they would pick two people from Cincinnati,” said Jessie Salzbrun, head of product for the Cincinnati app developer FamilyTech, who taught herself to bake exotic pastries while applying for a spot on ABC’s “The Great American Baking Show.” “I thought if they picked one of us it would be him, because I he had the better story.”

“He” is parish priest (and former archdiocesan vocations director) Father Kyle Schnippel. The pastor of Corpus Christi and St. John Neumann Parishes, he did, indeed, get a spot on the show. But so did Salzbrun. Local fans of the three-week Christmas series (formerly “The Great Holiday Baking Show”) saw two Cincinnatians among the 10 vying for holiday glory in a program filmed in England on the set of the smash British hit, “The Great British Baking Show.”

Thanks to cable and the internet, American cooking show fans eat up the British program, which pits 10 home bakers against each other in a giant kitchen set up in a tent on a field. Now in its third season, the American version features elaborate baked creations for holiday meals. Both Father Schnippel and Salzbrun said that nothing about the competition is false, from the time limits (“real”) to the technical challenge rounds (“they really do give you just part of the recipe and you have to fill in the rest”) to the possibility of failure.

There’s plenty to the show that the audience doesn’t see. An army of never-filmed helpers cleans pots and otherwise aid the bakers, Father Schnippel said. “We called them House Elves” after the rarely-seen household helpers from the Harry Potter series, he joked. Likewise the bakers each lived in an apartment with a kitchen, so they could practice their techniques. “We cooked pretty much non-stop,” he said.

Each 40-minute episode took two 14-hour days to film. Contestants had to wear the same clothes for two days so that a change doesn’t distract viewers. That wasn’t a problem for Father Schnippel, whose clothes are all identical, but Salzbrun said she “learned to use my apron really, really well” and used her apartment’s washer and dryer when necessary.

The hosts and judges were really on set the whole time, and really did interrupt the bakers occasionally as they worked – which, they said, was as nerve-wracking as it looks. Cooking in the tent kitchen, with convection ovens and metric equipment, while being timed, and while being watched by famous pastry chefs who were judging
it all, was almost too much for some. “I deal with a lot of stressful things, but that was the most stressful ever,” said Father Schnippel. But the hardest part of all, they agreed, came long before boarding the flight to England.

Each contestant was given three weeks to create, test, and perfect 12 different recipes for the show. “Some were five-hour long challenges, so I had to time each step,” Salzbrun said. “It was more stressful than planning a wedding. The entire process would be incredibly stressful for anyone who didn’t love it.”

The recipe requests came four at a time, Father Schnippel said, and required multiple bakes to perfect. Each episode featured a “bake-off” with the recipes, so for that section of the program the bakers weren’t surprised by the challenge, only by what the other bakers will do to meet it.

“When you’re baking, you don’t look at anybody else,” said Salbrun. “But when they call time you look up and see all the incredible things everyone else has done. And that’s magical.”

Meeting the other bakers was the best part of being on the show, the Cincinnatians said. Setting up the food before judging could take two hours, so there was plenty of time to talk, compare notes, celebrate successes and commiserate about misses, and try each other’s creations. Although the bakers all came from different areas of the country and from different backgrounds, the long days and the pressure of competition created a real bond.

At press time, the final episodes of the show had been pulled from airing because of accusations against one of the judges. Father Schnippel had been eliminated, but Salzbrun was still a contender. Without permissiont from ABC, both Cincinnati contestants remained mum on the outcome. But both aid the experience was one they wouldn’t trade.

“The greatest part was meeting nine other like-minded souls who were crazy enough to take such an adventure,” said Salzbrun. “We still talk on a group text almost daily, and I wouldn’t change a thing about it!”

Father Schinppel said that sometimes he still can’t believe it really happened.

“I’m grateful to Archbishop Schnurr for permitting me to go, and to my two parishes for supporting me and praying for me while I was away, though they didn’t know where I was,” he said,. “And I’m grateful that I had such an awesome opportunity to show the human side of the priesthood to people who might not see it otherwise – that I got to show the joy that can come from living the life of a priest.”

Search “bake” for recipes from Father Schnippel and Jesse Salzbrun, photos of the watch party with Fr. Kyle at St. John Neumann, and more.

Father Kyle Schnippel Father Kyle Scchnippel’s official cast photo. Courtesy photo.

Why I applied:

“Toward the beginning of this year a friend on Facebook shot me a note to say I should apply. I thought: I’ve only been baking for a few months, I’d never get on. But lo and behold, I found myself on the show.”

Hardest challenge:

 A gingerbread house (while preparing for the show). “I had never done that before, so it really tested a lot of my skills.”

Favorite bake: 

Cinnamon rolls for a breakfast bread. “I tweaked some things about the recipe my mom makes every year. I really enjoyed preparing it in a different way, and in honor of my mom.”

 

Jessie Salzbrun

Jessie Salzburg’s official cast photo. Courtesy photo.

Why I applied:

“I baked a lot for my wedding and vowed that I was never going to bake again. But when I got back from my honeymoon I watched all the shows on Hulu and got sucked back in. I just filled out the online application and sent it out into the universe. But you never think they’ll call.”

Hardest challenge: 

A cream pie. “I am a person who likes baking for the creative and aesthetic appeal. My default is ‘make it pretty’ But a cream pie all comes down to technique.”

Favorite bake: 

“One of the cakes I made for my wedding. It was so special to remake it for the show, with all the emotional ties it has.”

 

20 hours 14 min
Members of Dayton Right to Life at the 2017 March for Life in Washington, D.C. Courtesy photo.

By Gail Finke

Monday is the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decision that legalized abortion on demand, up until the moment of birth, in the United States and has led to the slaughter of more than 55 million unborn children.

Thousands from Greater Cincinnati attend the annual March for Life each year, but for those who can’t, a variety of events take place here. They kicked off Wednesday with Dayton Right to Life’s Pre-March Prayer Rally with state Rep. Niraj Antani at the Dayton Federal Courthouse. Remaining events include:

Thursday:
Archdiocese of Cincinnati student bus sendoff at Good Shepherd, 7 p.m.
Father Jan Schmidt will preside at a prayer service before the buses from Cincinnati-area schools depart for the March for Life. This event is often crowded; families and friends are welcome.

March for Life Prayer Vigil at St. Thomas More, 7 p.m.
Pray for those on the March for Life, and for support of the dignity of human life in our country.

 

Friday:
Day of prayer and penance in Covington
Live or work in the Diocese of Covington? All parish churches in the diocese will be open for prayer and for a Holy Hour today, and 10 chruchess (including the St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption) will hold a simultaneous Holy Hour at 7 p.m. For schedules and hours, visit the Diocese of Covington’s web page.

Mini March for Life at Planned Parenthood’s abortion business, noon
Greater Cincinnati Young Adults for Life sponsor this annual “mini march.” Assemble on the sidewalk in front of the business that takes the lives of 2,500-3,000 unborn children every year, pray in solidarity with the march in Washington, and witness to the world that the daily deaths at this building are not unnoticed.

Right to Life Mass at Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Center, noon
Pray in solidarity with the march in Washington at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Burlingtin (Ky.) March for Life, 5 p.m.
Live or work near Burlington, Ky.? The annual ecumenical March for Life begins at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church on Veterans Way begins at 5 pm; ends with a Holy Hour at IHM 7 p.m.

Saturday

34th Annual Pro-Life Rosary Procession and Rally in Cincinnati, 11 a.m.
A variety of pro-life groups sponsor this annual rosary procession and rally, which begins at City Hall at 11 a.m., processes through the streets with a large statue of the Virgin Mary, and ends with a rally at Fountain Square.  The noon rally will be emceed by Ohio State Representative Tom Brinkman and will feature speeches given by Michelle Ashley (State Director of Susan B. Anthony List) and Sheri Lawson (Executive Director of Healthy Beginnings). Shuttle service between Fountain Square and City Hall will be available beginning at 10 a.m. for those who park at the square, and will operate after the event to take people who parked near City Hall from the square. Plesee note: The Cincinnati Pro-Life Committee requires that signs and banners be approved by a member prior to start of procession.

Celebration of Life at All Saints Church, noon
Adoration in the Church begins at noon, followed by rosary, Celebration of Life walk on Montgomery Road, and hot chocolate at the parish fire pit. Spend all three hours, or just a few minutes celebrating the dignity and gift of human life.

Sunday:

Prayer Vigil to End Abortion in Troy, 2 p.m.
Andrew and Wade Dexter will speak about prematurity and respect for life at this vigil to be held at the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center.

Monday:

Holy Hour for Life at Old St. Mary’s, 7 p.m.
Old St. Mary’s invites all to pray for the protection and sanctification of all human life on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade.  Confession will be available. Concludes with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at 8 p.m.

Butler County Annual Pro-Life Prayer March in Hamilton, 7 p.m.
Meet at the Old Butler County Courthouse (High & Court Streets) to march seven times around the courthouse, a “modern Jericho,” to call for an end to abortion on demand in the 32 annual Prayer March. Family-friendly signs are provided. If you are not able to walk, sit on the courthouse steps or bring a chair in support.

Candlelight Vigil in Sidney, 7 p.m.
Meet at the courthouse in Sidney; Please bring candles or other illumination for our outdoor procession.

 

Is your pro-life event missing from this list? Email gfinke@catholiccincinnati.org with the details and we will add it. For maps and links for these events, and details of many other area Catholic events, see our ongoing events page at TheCatholicTelegraph.com/calendar.

21 hours 33 min

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and CMG Booking, the Catholic Speakers Organization, have teamed up to revive America’s first Catholic Men’s Conference ever produced.

Started in 1994, The Cincinnati Catholic Men’s Conference was the first Catholic Men’s conference every produced in the United States. Hundreds of other Catholic Men’s conferences have since spawned from it and have modeled their conferences off of what Cincinnati pioneered.

2011 was the last year the Cincinnati Catholic Men’s conference occurred. The conference will make a strong comeback on April 28, 2018 and will be held at the beautiful Taft Theatre downtown Cincinnati; 317 E 5th St., Cincinnati, OH 45202.

Featured speakers are: 1) EWTN’s Fr. Mitch Pacwa, who also started his career in Cincinnati at St. Xavier High School, 2) Father Larry Richards, Founder of Reason For Hope Foundation and renowned author,  3) Coach Gerry Faust, former head football coach of Moeller High School and the University of Notre Dame, 4) Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr, who will be the main celebrant for Mass and deliver the Homily.

Event details: Saturday, April 28th, 2018 from 9am to 4pm at the Taft Theatre downtown Cincinnati. Doors open at 8am. For more information visit www.CincinnatiMensConference.com

 

21 hours 59 min

Beginning Experience, a peer ministry for people who have lost a spouse through divorce, death or separation, will hold its fall weekend retreat March 9-11 2018 at Bergamo Center, 4550 Shakertown Road, Dayton, OH. It’s a healing weekend, addressing such topics such as grief, anger, trust, forgiveness, and closure.

Rooted in the Christian tradition, this ecumenical ministry serves people of all faiths. The cost for the weekend is $175 with lodging, meals and retreat materials included.

For more information, call 513-684-1196 or go click here

23 hours 11 min

By Gail Finke

Ohio’s Senate passed a bill that would require remains of aborted children to be buried or cremated at abortion businesses’ expense yesterday.

Sponsored by Sen. Joe Uecker, R-Miami Township, the law would require that abortionists ask mothers to choose from burial and cremation services they have arranged, or to choose a different option at her own expense.

The Bill is a response to a 2015 investigation by the Attorney General’s office into whether Planned Parenthood’s Cincinnati, Columbus, and Bedford Heights abortion businesses sold fetal remains, as several of the abortion chain’s affiliates were shown to have done in undercover video investigations. While the investigation found no evidence that body parts were ever sold, it found that the affiliates mixed the remains of the dead bodies with medical waste. While the AG’s office was not able to track what happened to the New Bedford waste, it found that the Cincinnati and Columbus waste was sent to be heated in an autoclave to kill bacteria, then taken to landfills.

Attorney General Mike DeWine described the process as “steam cooking,” and said it violated Ohios’ requirement that fetal remains are disposed of in a “humane manner.”

“Look, disposing of fetuses — first cooking fetuses, and then disposing of them in a landfill — is not humane,” he said at a press conference. “They’re going to be mixed in with yesterday’s garbage, and whatever else goes into a landfill… I don’t think the average Ohioan thought that fetuses were being disposed of in landfills. I don’t think the average Ohioan wants that, and we’re not seeking anything other than an injunction to stop them from doing this.”

DeWine’s plans to file an injunction against the business were thwarted by a suit filed by the abortion chain.

In a statement, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio called the bill unconstitutional and an attempt to shame women.

“When a woman has made the decision to have an abortion she should be able to access that care in her community without judgement or harassment,” said the organization’s executive director, Kellie Copeland. “The anti-abortion politicians behind this bill want to force a woman who has had an abortion to have to consider and decide upon burial or cremation services—it’s inappropriate and demeaning.”

Paula Westwood, executive director of Cincinnati Right to Life, said the requirements will add to the bottom lines of abortion company expenses. “Right now, there is no cost to them beyond waste disposal,” she said. If passed, the law will add paperwork costs for documenting how each body is handled, as well as costs for the burials or cremations.

But making abortion more expensive is not the reason Cincinnati Right to Life and other pro-life organizations support it, she said.
“Human beings are not trash,” Westwood said. “It’s a Corporal Act of Mercy to bury the dead, and at least in death, if not in life, these tiny bodies should be treated with respect.”

The bill passed 24-9, on party lines, and heads to the Ohio House.

1 day 2 hours

IMAGE: CNS photo/Bob Roller

By

WASHINGTON (CNS) — In a message of support for the March for Life in Washington, a Vatican official praised “the tens of thousands” of participants for their witness to the “value of every human life” and for upholding the dignity of life from conception to natural death.

“You give witness to the world of your understanding of the value of every human life and of your commitment to welcome, nurture, protect and integrate every human life from the first moment of conception until natural death,” said Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

He made the remarks in a statement dated Jan. 19, the day of this year’s march, and addressed to March for Life officials. It also was sent to Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington; and Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington, Virginia.

In a Jan. 16 statement, New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-life Activities, urged Catholics and others across the country to get involved in the “9 Days for Life” prayer and Action Campaign Jan. 18-26.

“Our prayers matter,” he said. The campaign’s website is www.9daysforlife.com.

“We bring many needs to God this month, including care for displaced persons, racial harmony, Christian unity and the protection of all human life,” Cardinal Dolan said. “Every prayer matters, and if you can’t start at the beginning, jump in when you can!”

“9 Days for Life” is the U.S. bishops’ annual, pro-life prayer and action campaign surrounding the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s 1973 decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton that legalized abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy.

The overarching intention of novena at the center of the event is the end to abortion, and each day treats a different aspect of respecting the dignity of the human person — from the beginning of life to its natural end.

This year, as part of the Catholic Church’s “Share the Journey” campaign supporting displaced persons, one day addresses human trafficking, something migrants and refugees are particularly at risk of suffering.

Participants can make a “digital pilgrimage.” They are encouraged to build “a culture of life” through prayer and action and by sharing their experiences on social media with the hashtags #9DaysforLife and #OurPrayersMatter. There also is a Facebook frame participants can use on their profile picture to show their support for life.

In his letter, Archbishop Paglia assured March for Life attendees of his prayers “for the fruitfulness of your undertaking that is so filled with love.” He was certain that on Jan. 19 in particular “you will have the blessings and grateful prayers of all the innocent lives for whom you have, over so many years, cared and struggled.”

Archbishop Paglia recalled his own participation in the march “one very cold January day more than 20 years ago.”

He added: “I join with Cardinal Wuerl of Washington and Bishop Burbidge of Arlington, with all my brother Catholic and Orthodox bishops in the United States, and with all the members of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life, in honoring what you do and who you are, and in encouraging you always to remember the love that God has for you his “good and faithful servants.”

– – –

Copyright © 2018 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 12 hours

Over the weekend, Scott Brand, Diocese of Youngstown, put his creative talents to good use building snowmen at Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary

1 day 14 hours

In 2017, The Sixth Circuit Court in Cincinnati made the decision on April 11, 2017 to deny the request of Maribel Trujillo Diaz which cleared the way for her deportation to Mexico.

On January 17, 2018, a Federal Appeals Court has ordered the case to be re-opened.

Today’s comment from Tony Stieritz of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati Social Action Office

After so many months of unwarranted separation from her beloved family, we are thrilled that the Court has provided this window of possibility again for Maribel. We’ve been embracing Maribel from afar with our prayers and her family nearby with our support. Now, this decision gives us a glimmer of hope that, someday soon, this family could be made whole again. We reiterate our plea for mercy for Maribel, urging the Administration to consider her asylum case as well as the will of the community who wants to see Maribel’s family reunited.

The Catholic Telegraph will be updating this story as information is received.

The Diaz Family (File Photo)The Diaz Family (File Photo) Prayer Service for Maribel Trujillo Diaz in April 2017. (File Photo)Prayer Service for Maribel Trujillo Diaz in April 2017. (File Photo)

 

1 day 14 hours
St. Andrew – St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School’s principal, Mr. Mark Wilburn, greeted sixth grade students, Sydnie Reith of Goshen, Avery May of Goshen, Grace Evans of Milford and Marin Warman of Goshen each with a pair of cool shades on their first day of the new school year. (Courtesy Photo)St. Andrew – St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School’s principal, Mr. Mark Wilburn, greeted sixth grade students, Sydnie Reith of Goshen, Avery May of Goshen, Grace Evans of Milford and Marin Warman of Goshen each with a pair of cool shades on their first day of the new school year. (Courtesy Photo)

St. Bernadette School
1453 Locust Lake Rd., Amelia (513) 753-4744
Sunday January 21st
Noon until 2:00 p.m.
stbameliaschool.org
Map

St. Michael the Archangel School
11136 Oak St., Sharonville (513) 553-3555
Sunday January 21st
1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.
www.stmichaelsharonville.org
Map

St. Nicholas Academy
170 Siebenthaler Ave., Cincinnati 45215 (513) 686-2727
Sunday January 21st
Noon until 3:00 p.m.
www.stnacademy.org
Map

All Saints School
8939 Montgomery Rd., Cincinnati 45236 (513) 792-4732
Sunday January 28th
Noon until 1:30 p.m.
allsaints.cc
Map

Annunciation School
3545 Clifton Ave., Cincinnati 45220 (513) 221-1230
Sunday January 28th
Noon until 2:30 p.m.
www.school.annunciationbvmparish.org
Map

The Good Shepherd Catholic Montessori School
4460 Berwick St., Cincinnati 45227 (513) 271-4171
Sunday January 28th
Noon until 2:00 p.m.
www.gscmontessori.org
Map

Guardian Angels School
6539 Beechmont Ave., Cincinnati 45230 (513) 624-3141
Sunday January 28th
1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.
www.gaschool.org
Map

Immaculate Heart of Mary School
7800 Beechmont Ave., Cincinnati 45255 (513) 388-4086
Sunday January 28th
12:30 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.
www.ihomschool.org
Map

John Paul II School
9375 Winton Rd., Cincinnati 45231 (513) 521-0860
Sunday January 28th
12:30 p.m. until 2:30 p.m.
jpiics.org
Map

Nativity School
5936 Ridge Ave., Cincinnati 45213 (513) 458-6767
Sunday January 28th
Noon until 2:00 p.m.
www.nativity-cincinnati.org/school/
Map

Our Lord Christ the King/Cardinal Pacelli School
927 Ellison St., Cincinnati 45226 (513) 321-1048
Sunday January 28th
11:00 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.
cardinalpacelli.org
Map

St. Andrew St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Consolidated School
St Andrew Campus Grades 6-8
555 Main St., Milford 45150, (513) 831-5277
Sunday January 28th
Noon until 1:30 p.m.
www.saseasschool.org
Map
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Campus Grades Pre-K through 5
5900 Buckwheat Rd., Milford 45150 (513) 575-0093
Sunday January 28th
1:00 p.m. until 2:30 p.m.
www.saseasschool.org
Map

St. Ann School
3064 Pleasant Ave., Hamilton 45015 (513) 863-0604
Sunday January 28th
Noon until 3:00 p.m.
saintanncs.com
Map

St. Cecilia School
4115 Taylor Ave., Cincinnati 45209 (513) 533-6060
Sunday January 28th
11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.
school.stceciliacincinnati.org/
Map

St. Columban School
896 Oakland Rd., Loveland 45140 (513) 683-7903
Sunday January 28th
12:30 p.m. until 2:00 p.m.
www.saintcolumbanschool.org
Map

St. Frances de Sales School
20 DeSales Ave., Lebanon 45036 (513) 932-6501
Sunday January 28th
Noon until 1:30 p.m.
www.stfrancisdesales-lebanon.com
Map

St. Gertrude School
6543 Miami Ave., Madeira 45243 (513) 561-8020
Sunday January 28th
1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.
stgertrudesch.org
Map

St. Louis School
250 N Broadway., Owensville 45160
Sunday January 28th
Noon until 2:00 p.m.
stlparish.org/school
Map

St. Margaret of York School
9495 Columbia Rd., Loveland 45140
Sunday January 28th
Noon until 2:00 p.m.
smoy.org/school
Map

St. Mary Hyde Park School
2845 Erie Ave., Cincinnati 45208 (513) 321-0723
Sunday January 28th
12:30 p.m. until 2:30 p.m.
www.smshp.com
Map

Sts. Peter & Paul Academy
231 Clark Ave., Reading 45215 (513) 761-7772
Sunday January 28th
2:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.
www.sppacademy.org
Map

St. Susanna School
500 Reading Rd., Mason 45040 (513) 398-3821
Sunday January 28th
1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.
stsusannaschool.org
Map

St. Thomas More School
788 Ohio Pike, Cincinnati 45245 (513) 753-2540
Sunday January 28th
1:00 p.m. until 3:30 p.m.
sttm.org
Map

St. Vincent Ferrer School
7754 Montgomery Rd., Cincinnati 45236 (513) 791-6320
Sunday January 28th
Noon until 2:00 p.m.
svf-school.org
Map

St. Veronica School
4475 Mount Carmel Tobasco Rd., Cincinnati 45244 (513) 528-0442
Sunday January 28th
12:30 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.
school.stveronica.org
Map

Summit Country Day School
2161 Grandin Rd., Cincinnati 45208 (513) 871-4700
Tuesday January 30th
Parent Preview Day at 8:30 a.m.
RSVP to (513) 871-4700 ext. 261
www.summitcds.org
Map

St. Gabriel Consolidated School
18 W. Sharon Rd., Glendale 45246 (513) 771-5220
Wednesday January 31st
6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.
www.stgabeschool.org
Map

Mercy Montessori School
2335 Grandview Ave., Cincinnati 45227 (513) 271-4171
Thursday February 1st
Tour at 9:00 a.m.
www.mercymontessori.org
Map

Sts. Peter & Paul Academy
231 Clark Ave., Reading 45215 (513) 761-7772
Thursday February 22nd
6:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.
www.sppacademy.org
Map

Guardian Angels School
6539 Beechmont Ave., Cincinnati 45230 (513) 624-3141
Wednesday February 28th
Informational Coffee at 9:00 a.m.
www.gaschool.org
Map

St. Vincent Ferrer School
7754 Montgomery Rd., Cincinnati 45236 (513) 791-6320
Wednesday March 7th
5:30 p.m.  until 7:30 p.m.
svf-school.org
Map

1 day 16 hours

Brother Donald Schaaf, SM, died on Jan. 3, 2018, in Dayton, Ohio. He was 81 and had been a member of the Society of Mary (Marianists) for 61 years.

Brother Schaaf was a high school teacher and business manager who also ministered in the juvenile justice system in Memphis, Tennessee.

Donald Schaaf was born on May 5, 1936, in Dayton. He was the youngest of five children in the family of Fred and Vera (Meyer) Schaaf. He attended St. Anthony grade school and Chaminade High School (now Chaminade Julienne), where he was taught by members of the Society of Mary.

He entered the Marianist novitiate in Marcy, New York, in 1955. He professed first vows on Sept. 8, 1956.

Brother Schaaf earned a degree in education at the University of Dayton in 1959. He taught at a number of Ohio high schools including St. Joseph High School, Hamilton Catholic High and Purcell High (now Purcell Marian). He professed perpetual vows on Aug. 15, 1961, in Dayton. He later went on to earn a master’s degree in business administration from Xavier University. He taught for a few more years but eventually moved into business management roles for Marianist schools and ministries.

While serving at Memphis Catholic High in Memphis, Tennessee, Brother Schaaf took on an additional role, ministering to young people in the juvenile justice system. He served as a juvenile parole officer, deputy clerk of the court and coordinator of probation services during most of the 1970s. It was a role that gave him great satisfaction.

Brother Schaaf then served as business manager for Bergamo Retreat Center in Dayton, at St. Laurence College in Dublin, Ireland, and at St. John’s Home in Rockaway Park, New York.

In his later years, he was the business manager for a number of Marianist communities in the Dayton area.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Jan. 8 at Queen of Apostles Chapel at Mount Saint John in Dayton. Brother Schaaf was interred at Queen of Heaven Cemetery, also at Mount Saint John.

1 day 19 hours


From Premier Health:

DAYTON, Ohio, (January 17, 2018) – Premier Health today embarks on its 2020 strategic plan, a series of initiatives that will best position the health system long-term to fulfill its mission to build healthier communities.

The strategic plan calls for a configuration of health care services to keep pace with national health care policy, and to best serve a city that for decades has undergone significant economic transformation. As a result, Good Samaritan Hospital’s Philadelphia Drive location will close toward the end of 2018. The hospital’s services will stay in Dayton, shifting to nearby Miami Valley Hospital – a move designed to maintain nearby residents’ access to care, minimize disruptions for staff, and reaffirm Premier Health’s commitment to serve Dayton, including its inner core.

Premier Health made this difficult but necessary decision partly in response to the changing national and local dynamics of health care. This transformation has made the status quo – operating two hospitals within five miles of each other – unsustainable. The impact of national changes in the health care industry, compounded by the changing face of Dayton over the past decade, made clear that Premier Health had to make significant changes to continue to serve the entire region and reach patients in innovative ways in their communities going forward.

Premier Health’s strategic plan encompasses the entire organization and calls for continued investment in higher acuity services and critical programs at Atrium Medical Center. It also remains committed to ensuring Upper Valley Medical Center remains the leading ambulatory and surgically focused community hospital in its region. In the central part of the service area, Premier has moved forward with a previously announced Phase 3 plan to expand Good Samaritan North Health Center, including an additional 46 inpatient beds, along with elective orthopedic joint and spine services, to be completed later this year. Future phases of expansion are to be actively assessed for opportunities to best serve the community.

Good Samaritan North Health Center and other current Good Samaritan Hospital locations will remain operational and will become part of Miami Valley Hospital. Naming changes will be necessary as each location providing service needs to visibly indicate the main hospital location.

Premier Health’s goal is to ensure each Good Samaritan Hospital employee has an offer to remain employed within the Premier Health system. Recognizing that some employees might choose not to do so, the health system also plans to offer a voluntary retirement and other transition programs.

“Good Samaritan Hospital has a special place in the hearts of countless Daytonians. So many of our friends and neighbors are better off thanks to the commitment of generations of physicians, clinical and support staff, and volunteers,” said Mary Boosalis, president and CEO of Premier Health. “The heart of Good Samaritan Hospital is its people and it is our goal to offer a place within Premier Health to those currently working there. While we know this is a tremendous change, it is necessary to ensure our long-term future to serve the community.”

Premier Health’s locally led board approved the configuration of the system, endorsing it as the best way to ensure Premier Health carries out its mission from a position of strength for the long term.

“This was not an easy decision, but it is the right decision for our community,” said Anita Moore, chair of Premier Health’s board of trustees. “This announcement is a lot for all of us to absorb, and it brings with it a great deal of emotion. As a community and as a health system, though, we will without a doubt look back someday and realize that we emerged from this change stronger and more dedicated than ever to our mission. We look forward to working with community leaders to position the campus for redevelopment to serve those in the immediate area and beyond.”

Premier Health will be working with City Wide Development Corporation, a long-time partner on the Phoenix Project, and has engaged planning NEXT, an experienced firm specializing in property redevelopment to help guide the process of repurposing the site. The process will include community input over the next few months to align community need with redevelopment possibilities.

Learn more at PremierHealth.com/GoodSamUpdate

1 day 19 hours

By Gail Finke

The Toronto Right to Life Association filed a suit against the Canadian government this week, alleging that a change to funding the Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program amounts to government discrimination against churches and other religious groups that condemn abortion and hold conservative positions on social issues, particularly marriage and “sexual identity.” On Thursday, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement condemning the government’s actions. Released just before Christmas, an application for funding to help pay salaries for summer jobs requires organizations to sign an “attestation” saying that both the jobs and the core mandates of the oganizations and churches filing the applications support and work for the goals of Canada’s  Charter of Rights and Freedoms. That charter now includes legal abortion and a variety of so-called LGBT protections, including support for “gender expression.” “Our conscience compels us to not sign that attestation,” British newspaper “The Catholic Herald” quoted Blaise Alleyne, president of Toronto Right to Life, saying. “It is a violation of our freedom of conscience and freedom of expression for the government to compel speech or else punish us by withholding an unrelated benefit.”

Toronto Right to Life and two other pro-life organizations won a lawsuit against the Canadian government last year after being denied funding for pro-life summer jobs. Anti-abortion activists demanded rule changes to prevent any pro-life group receiving funds, and the “attestation” is the result. Canada’s Employment Minister Patty Hajdu told the “Ottowa Citizen” that the attestation doesn’t discriminate against religion, because it denies funding only to groups whose core mandates are opposed to Canadian law, and not all religious groups oppose abortion. “In terms of church groups that are concerned that this may invalidate them from funding, in fact, my perspective is that it won’t, as long as their core mandate agrees with those hard won rights and freedoms that Canadians expect us to stand up for,” she said, adding that some churches and other “faith-based groups” didn’t object to signing the attestation. “Their core mandate is actually, for example, administering the word of God, or administering spiritual guidance for people,” she said. Many religious groups are attesting that their “core mandates” do, in fact, include working for an end to killing the unborn, and against the redefinition of marriage, and what it means to be a man or woman.

On its website, the Canadian Council of Churches posted that “a literal reading of this policy would prevent churches, summer camps, soup kitchens and many other Christian and religious charities from having access to the Canada Summer Jobs program.”

The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada has protested the change, as have the Catholic bishops (full statement below).

Opponents also note that the changes were announced before a holiday, when the Canadian Parliament was not in session, so churches have little time to appeal — the application deadline is Feb. 2.

Last week at a televised Town Hall meeting Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who is Catholic, said that Canadian law protects freedom of religion and freedom of speech, but that Canadians “need to know that there is a difference between freedom of expression and acting on those beliefs and expressions.” Calling opposition to abortion “the crux of the matter,” he said that “an organization that has the explicit purpose of restricting women’s rights by removing rights to rights to abortion — the right for women to control their own bodies — is not in line with where we are as a government and, quite frankly, where we are as a society.”

 

Canada Summer Jobs: CCCB concerns and statement

Jan. 11, 2017

Employment and Social Development Canada posted information on its website, dated 19 December 2017, announcing a major change to its requirements regarding applications for federal funding under its Canada Summer Jobs program for youth employment. Attestation must now be included that “both the job and the organization’s core mandate respect individual human rights in Canada, including the values underlying the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as other rights. These include reproductive rights and the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, race, national or ethnic origin, colour, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.”

According to the Department, this insistence on reproductive rights (which specifically includes “the right to access safe and legal abortions”), sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression is intended to “prevent youth (as young as 15 years of age) from being exposed to employment within organizations that may promote positions that are contrary to the values enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and associated case law.”

Faith communities consider abortion, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression as major questions with ethical, moral, social and personal bearing which determine our understanding of human dignity and thus appreciation for the meaning and significance of each and every human life. This new policy conflicts directly with the right to freedom of religion and conscience which too are enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as in associated case law. It seriously undermines the right to religious freedom since the Government of Canada is directly limiting the right of religious traditions to hold, teach and practise their principles and values in public.

In addition to the obvious and regrettable infringement of freedom of conscience and religion in such matters as are raised by the new policy, there will be unfortunate consequences on the ground: summer camps will be forced to close; the services of numerous non-profit organizations will be reduced; valuable opportunities for apprenticeship will be lost. These effects, to name but a few, will be felt in Catholic dioceses and organizations as well as in many other faith communities across Canada.

Furthermore, the recently announced policy represents an attempt to restrict the voices of faith communities in Canadian democracy and to limit their participation in the public square. Moreover, it runs counter to the recommendations issued at the end of March 2017 by the Consultation Panel on the Political Activities of Charities which had been appointed by the Minister of National Revenue. These recommendations include that charities be allowed to provide information for the purpose of informing and swaying public opinion, and to advocate to keep or change law or policy, either in Canada (any level of government) or outside of Canada.

 

1 day 23 hours
Maria Stein Shrine (Courtesy Photo)Maria Stein Shrine (Courtesy Photo)

MARIA STEIN, Ohio (January 15, 2018) – Prayer to ask the help of Saint Dymphna, the patron saint of those suffering from neurological and mental health conditions, will take place on Sunday, January 28, in the Shrine Adoration Chapel at Maria Stein. The service begins at 2:30 p.m. It is open to the public, especially those who personally suffer from, are concerned about, and give care to those suffering from these conditions.

The service will include a prayer, song, testimonials and veneration of the relic of Saint Dymphna. Robert Skipper, LPCC, will be the guest speaker for the event. He is the owner of Robert Skipper and Associates Pastoral Counseling. The core of his practice is pastoral counseling, which uses sound theological understanding, along with professional behavioral and clinical practice and experience. Refreshments and a short social period will follow. The relic chapel will be accessible.

The Maria Stein Shrine of the Holy Relics provides faith nourishment and spiritual renewal through opportunities for prayer and pilgrimage and inspiration from the lives of the saints. People from around the world visit the shrine to explore and enjoy this environment rich in holiness and history.

The Shrine is located at 2291 St. John’s Rd. in Maria Stein. To learn more about the Maria Stein Shrine of the Holy Relics, visit www.mariasteinshrine.org.

2 days 33 min

IMAGE: CNS photo/Karen Callaway, Chicago Catholic

By Joyce Duriga

CHICAGO (CNS) — Over 5,000 people from Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and other Midwestern states gathered Jan. 14 in Federal Plaza in downtown Chicago for the annual March for Life Chicago commemorating the 45th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.

Participants carried signs with pro-life messages and balloons during the rally and march through the streets of downtown. The drum line from Carmel Catholic High School in Mundelein played in the march.

Chris Murrens of Libertyville brought her two teen-age children to the march and said seeing the many youth and young adults in attendance was “heartwarming” and “inspirational.”

“The heavenly Father is smiling. Our Lady is smiling. It’s a great day,” she told the Chicago Catholic, the archdiocesan newspaper.

Murrens said she brought her two teenagers because she felt it was important to expose them to the event and the message.

“I want them to see how important this is and for them to be part of this generation that is turning things around to become more pro-life,” Murrens said. “They are having a wonderful time and getting the message all at the same time.”

Young people, especially in their teens, are impressionable and open to new things so that is a pivotal time to share the church’s teaching that life is sacred from the womb until natural death, the mother of three said.

“This is when they see so much of what is going on in the world. This is the time when you can really grab their hearts and make a difference for the rest of their lives,” she said.

Chicago Cardinal Blase J. Cupich — one of several speakers who addressed the gathering prior to the march — applauded the witness of young people and, referring to the recent feast of Epiphany, called them “the new Magi.”

“You give us confidence that the energy to protect the child in the womb has not grown weak over these 45 years, but is as youthful, strong and vibrant as you are,” the cardinal said. “You are the new Magi in our time, who teach us all to keep our heads up, and amid the darkness of the night at times, to take heart that God is still in the heavens, guiding us like that Bethlehem star and keeping our dreams alive.”

Quoting Pope Francis, Cardinal Cupich said that children make society “dream beyond ourselves.”

“Taking human life, especially the life of the child in the womb, not only has an impact on that one human being but deeply wounds all of humanity, robs from us our ability to dream and see life as much bigger than our own concerns, challenges and struggles,” he said. “Is it any wonder that we are so divided as a nation when we are so fixed only on ourselves, when we can no longer dream and see all that God is doing beyond ourselves?”

The 1973 Roe v. Wade decision robbed the nation of its children and its dreams, he said.

“Now with the recent law passed by our Legislature and signed by our governor, more lives and dreams will be robbed as will family incomes that will be forcibly used to pay for abortions,” Cardinal Cupich said referring to legislation Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law in 2017 that provides state health insurance and Medicaid coverage for abortions.

“Can we not better use our tax dollars to support health care for families expecting children, and child care and assistance to parents when their children come into the world?” the cardinal asked. “Can we not better use our tax dollars to keep alive both our children and our dreams as a nation?”

Other speakers at the rally included Illinois Congressmen Dan Lipinski and Peter Roskum and former Planned Parenthood director Ramona Trevino.

Earlier in the day, Cardinal Cupich celebrated the archdiocesan Mass for Life at Holy Name Cathedral attended by a standing-room only crowd. During the Mass, young people brought white roses to the altar, commemorating lives lost to abortion and homicide in Chicago last year.

In the Denver Archdiocese a day earlier, about 3,000 people gathered outside the state Capitol in Denver for the annual Colorado March for Life. The afternoon rally and march were preceded by the celebration of several morning Masses at a number of churches, including one celebrated by Denver Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.

“This is the Colorado piece of the largest civil rights movement in our lifetime,” Lynn Grandon, archdiocesan Respect Life program director, said in advance of the Jan. 13 gathering.

More pro-life marches were planned around the country. Among those will be the fourth annual OneLife LA Jan. 20 in Los Angeles, followed exactly a week later by Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco.

In Chicago, some of those who attended the Mass and rally also planned to travel to Washington for the national March for Life Jan. 19.

Others preparing to attend the march and rally in the nation’s capital included students at Monsignor Bonner Archbishop Prendergast Catholic High School in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Catholic school leaders throughout the U.S. take thousands of their students to the regional or national March for Life events each year in an effort to engage them in the pro-life cause and to eventually pass the torch of leadership to them, said Steven Bozza, director of the Philadelphia archdiocesan Office for Life and Family.

The pro-life activists who have been embroiled in the movement for decades will not be able to go on forever and it’s up to the current leaders to prepare the next generation of advocates, Bozza told Catholic News Service during an interview in Drexel Hill.

“We’re going to win this battle,” he said. “Maybe not tomorrow or next week. Maybe not this year, but we’re going to win it. Especially with the new generation coming up.”

– – –

Duriga is editor of the Chicago Catholic, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Contributing to this story was Chaz Muth in Drexel Hill.

– – –

Copyright © 2018 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.

2 days 10 hours

IMAGE: CNS photo/Zoey Maraist, Catholic Herald

By Zoey Maraist

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (CNS) — The Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments declared St. Mary Church in Alexandria a minor basilica, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington announced to parishioners during Mass Jan. 14.

“It is an extraordinary honor to announce that the Holy See has designated St. Mary’s in Old Town to be the newest basilica in the United States. This historic announcement recognizes the important role St. Mary’s has played in the diocese, the city of Alexandria and even the very founding of our country,” he said.

To be named a basilica, a church must have architectural or historic value and meet liturgical requirements, such as an adequate amount of space in the sanctuary and a fitting number of priests. There are only four major basilicas, all in Rome — St. Peter’s, St. John Lateran, St. Paul Outside the Walls and St. Mary Major.

There are thousands of minor basilicas throughout the world, including the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore and the Basilica of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Norfolk.

Bishop Burbidge congratulated Father Edward C. Hathaway, pastor of the Alexandria church, and “all of the priests who have served this parish over the generations for their work in bringing St. Mary’s to this special day. I pray that Our Lord continues to bless St. Mary’s and its community for generations to come!”

A committee from St. Mary began to research the application process for becoming a basilica last January, according to Father Hathaway. Bishop Burbidge approved the application in June, and sent it to the U.S. Conference of Catholics Bishops’ Secretariat of Divine Worship. USCCB officials approved the plan in July, and sent it to the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

“Today, we are overjoyed and humbled by the recognition of St. Mary as one of the major churches in the world dedicated to Christ,” said Father Hathaway. “Thank you so much, Bishop Burbidge, for being here with us today, and for the encouragement and enthusiasm you have shown during the many months that led to this announcement.”

“The naming of St. Mary as a minor basilica brings honor to the entire diocese and to Roman Catholics throughout the country,” the priest continued. “As the first Catholic parish in Virginia and West Virginia, learning its history is to gain a greater insight into the spread of the Catholic faith in the former English colonies and throughout our nation.”

In 1788, an Irish aide-de-camp of George Washington, Col. John Fitzgerald, held a fundraiser in his home for the construction of a Catholic church. Washington was the first to donate. In 1795, St. Mary was established as a mission of Holy Trinity Church in Georgetown. Eventually, a church was built on South Royal Street, where the contemporary church stands, and was dedicated by Jesuit Father Francis Ignatius Neale in 1827.

Throughout the years, the church has undergone several repairs and renovations. Ministry buildings and offices such as the Lyceum as well as the cemetery are scattered around Old Town. The parish school, one of the largest in the diocese with around 700 students, was established in 1869 after a wave of poor Irish immigrants arrived in the area. Today, St. Mary has 7,100 registered parishioners and dozens of liturgical, fellowship and service ministries.

In the near future, the church will be marked with special signage indicating its new status. As with all basilicas, St. Mary will install an “ombrellino,” a silk canopy designed with stripes of yellow and red — the traditional papal colors — and a “tintinnabulum,” a bell mounted on a pole and carried during some processions.

“Crossed keys, which are the symbol of the papacy, will be placed prominently on the church exterior,” said Father Hathaway.

St. Mary also has designed a seal, which all basilicas have. The symbols within the seal pay homage to the diocese, the Jesuits who founded the parish, and to Mary. In the bottom right quadrant of the shield is a ship, representing Alexandria’s role as an important port town in colonial times. The vessel further represents the frigates that brought Catholic immigrants to the New World.

“The Ark and The Dove were the two famous ships, chartered by Cecil Calvert to transport 140 colonists to the shores of Maryland,” according to a statement from St. Mary. “Similar ships brought the Jesuit founders, as well as many Irish and Scottish merchants, to the port city of Alexandria.”

The seal is one of the many ways the new basilica will aim to share its past with visitors.

“We will be looking for ways to communicate our significant history and contribution to Catholicism in the commonwealth and beyond through printed guides and other means,” said Father Hathaway.

The parishioners at the Jan. 14 Mass applauded the announcement. Sam Lukawski, a fifth-grader at St. Mary School, was one of the 11 altar servers at the Mass. “I was glad that it became a minor basilica and that it’ll be (St. Mary Basilica) instead of St. Mary Church,” he told the Arlington Catholic Herald, the diocesan newspaper.

Pat Troy, a longtime parishioner, sent his children to the school and used to host Theology on Tap in his Alexandria bar. He loves the parish for its commitment to Mary, its priests and the fact that it was founded in part by an Irishman. “This was the first time (we) walked down the steps of this historic church as St. Mary Basilica,” he said with reverence.

Jonathan Fililpowski and Nicole Hendershot are getting married at St. Mary in April. “We’re excited to be able to get married at a basilica. It’s a beautiful space to come and be able to worship, tied to the roots of our nation,” she said.

Deborah and Glenn Cooper were thrilled by the announcement. “I’m so honored to be part of this historic occasion. It makes me want to go back and probe more into the history of the church and also into the whole meaning of being a basilica,” she said.

– – –

Maraist is on the staff of the Arlington Catholic Herald, newspaper of the Diocese of Arlington.

– – –

Copyright © 2018 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.

2 days 15 hours

See minute 30.30 for the exchange about free speech between Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and a student. In it Trudeau said that speech and belief are protected by Canadian law, but acting on beliefs is not.

Canadian PM’s clarification on Summer Jobs Program funding seems to affirm that churches and other religions that follow their historical teachings cannot receive some public funds

By Gail Finke

Note: This story has been corrected; the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement on the issue Jan. 12.

Late last week Canada’s Prime Minister clarified changes to funding for a government program that helps pay salaries for student summer jobs and appeared to rule out jobs for churches and other “faith-based” jobs run by any organization that did not support abortion.

    At a Town Hall meeting Jan. 11, PM Justin Trudeau said he was glad to receive a question about pro-life views and free speech, then extended his answer from speech to action, using the Canada Summer Jobs program (CSJ) as an example.

    Free speech is valued by the Canadian government, he said, but “there is a difference between freedom of expression and acting on those expressions and beliefs.”

    A “great example,” he continued, was the recent change to CSJ, which now requires all organizations to sign an “attestation” that the jobs, and the “core mandate” of the organizations themselves, work for Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which includes an explicit statement that abortion is a human right.

    “Now, that doesn’t mean that religious groups and faith groups can’t apply for [the grants],” he said. “On the contrary, so many of the great community organizations that we have working incredibly hard are faith-based across this country and it’s an important and wonderful part of our society.     “It does, however, mean – and this is where we get to the crux of the matter – that an organization that has the explicit purpose of restricting women’s rights by removing rights to abortion, the right for women to control their own bodies, is not in line with where we are as a government, and quite frankly where we are as a society.”

    The clause was placed in the grant application because pro-abortion groups discovered that some grants for last year’s program, which helps fund tens of thousands of summer jobs, went to pro-life groups.

    Several prominent Members of Parliament, religious organizations, and pro-life groups have pointed out that the clause goes far beyond prohibiting that grants can go to pro-life jobs, but seems to require that organizations affirm a position on a variety of contentious social issues including homosexuality (see below story for wording). By requiring the attestation, they say, Canada is effectively prohibiting most traditional religions and their followers from participating in the program — and perhaps, eventually, from any government programs.

    For example, in a post to its members, the Canadian chapter of The Gospel Coalition, a group of Evangelical churches, said that no member could in good conscience sign the attestation, and a spokesman for Campaign Life Coalition, one of Canada’s largest pro-life organizations, said it “reeks of a deep-seated, anti-religious bigotry” and “must be stopped.” Member of Parliament Brad Trost asked, in a video response to the change he posted on Twitter, “If you discriminate in this program, why can’t you discriminate in all others – pensions, welfare, etc.?”

      According to Statistics Canada, the country has more than 12 million Catholic residents, who make up almost 40% of the population. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau considers himself Catholic, despite his many public disagreements with Catholic moral teaching. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a “statement of concerns” about the change to the program Friday (click here to read it).

. The attestation:

When submitting your application, you are asked to check the box “I attest” to confirm that:  

  •     You have read and understood the CSJ Articles of Agreement and referred to the Applicant Guide as needed;  
  •     The job would not be created without the financial assistance provided under a potential contribution agreement;
  •      Both the job and the organization’s core mandate respect individual human rights in Canada, including the values underlying the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as other rights. These include reproductive rights and the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, race, national or ethnic origin, colour, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression;
  •   You have all the necessary authorities, permissions and approvals to submit this application on behalf of yourself and the organization.

Click here for the entire document.

 

2 days 15 hours

VIA, which means “by way of,” is the way that the Office for Youth Evangelization and Discipleship pursues its vision. It is the fruit of lived experience amongst youth ministers who desire to grow in the interior life, in faithfully living out their vocation, and in giving their lives for the youth entrusted to them. VIA serves to invite youth to enter into communion with Christ by fostering disciple-making youth ministry in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Check out this video by the Youth Evangelization and Discipleships Office own Matt Reinkemeyer about becoming a Missionary Disciple for our youth in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati:

 

2 days 16 hours
Heading for small group discussions at Abide (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)Heading for small group discussions at Abide (CT Photo/Greg Hartman)

Wednesday January 31st

Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West from 5-8:30pm. Doors open at 4:45 and dress code for the evening is coat and tie if possible.
For more information or to register click here
Map

Sunday March 11th

Cast Your Nets will return to Sacred Heart Church in McCartyville. This year’s theme is Love Greater and features a dynamic presentation by Bradley and Meghan Barnes from Cincinnati, OH. As always participants will also have the opportunity to attend workshops, speak with consecrated men and women during a meal and participate in Eucharistic adoration and the sacrament of reconciliation. All will be challenged to reflect on the way they exemplify in their everyday relationships and their relationship with Jesus Christ the following: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friend. (John 15:13)”
For more information or to register click here
Map

Wednesday March 14th

R U Called: A Dinner for Women Discerning the Consecrated Life on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 from 5-8pm at St. Francis de Sales School in Lebanon, OH. During this event participants will: * Dine with Bishop Binzer and women in consecrated life * Engage with vocation ministers of many religious communities * Be inspired by presentations by the Bishop and young consecrated women.
For more information or to register click here
Map

Friday April 13th – Saturday April 14th

Welcome Weekend happening on April 13-14, 2018 at The Athenaeum of Ohio/Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West
For more information or to register click here
Map

Saturday November 17th – Sunday November 18th

The Vocation Office of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati is hosting a discernment retreat for men college age and older. The retreat will begin Friday evening, November 17, and run through Sunday afternoon, November 19. Participants will have the opportunity to attend spiritual conferences by Father Schmitmeyer and Mr. Wayne Topp on the various aspects of discernment and will have time for quiet prayer, communal prayer, Mass, and Eucharistic adoration. Food and lodging are provided throughout the weekend as well. There is no cost for this retreat.
For more information or to register click here
Map

2 days 18 hours

By Junno Arocho Esteves

SANTIAGO, Chile (CNS) — Pope Francis, in his first formal speech in Chile, asked forgiveness from those who were sexually abused by priests.

Addressing government authorities and members of the country’s diplomatic corps Jan. 16, the pope expressed his “pain and shame at the irreparable damage caused to children by some ministers of the church.”

“I am one with my brother bishops, for it is right to ask for forgiveness and make every effort to support the victims, even as we commit ourselves to ensure that such things do not happen again,” he said.

Preparations for Pope Francis’ visit to Chile Jan. 15-18 were overshadowed by continuing controversy over the pope’s decision in 2015 to give a diocese to a bishop accused of turning a blind eye to the abuse perpetrated by a notorious priest.

The pope’s appointment of Bishop Juan Barros as head of the Diocese of Osorno sparked several protests — most notably at the bishop’s installation Mass — due to the bishop’s connection to Father Fernando Karadima, his former mentor. Father Karadima was sentenced to a life of prayer and penance by the Vatican after he was found guilty of sexually abusing boys.

The protests against the pope’s appointment of Bishop Barros gained steam when a video of Pope Francis defending the appointment was published in September 2015 by the Chilean news channel, Ahora Noticias. Filmed during a general audience a few months earlier, the video showed the pope telling a group of Chilean pilgrims that Catholics protesting the appointment were “judging a bishop without any proof.”

“Think with your head; don’t let yourself be led by all the lefties who are the ones that started all of this,” the pope said. “Yes, Osorno is suffering but for being foolish because it doesn’t open its heart to what God says and allows itself to be led by all this silliness that all those people say.”

Survivors of abuse and their supporters planned a conference and protests around the pope’s arrival.

But Pope Francis made his way to La Moneda, the presidential palace, and was welcomed by Chilean President Michelle Bachelet. Thousands were gathered in the square outside the palace, chanting “Francisco, amigo, Chile esta contigo” (“Francis, friend, Chile is with you”).

Despite the jovial atmosphere at outside La Moneda, there were serious signs of protest in Santiago.

Chilean media reported vandalism at Divine Providence Parish, not far from O’Higgins Park, where the pope was to celebrate Mass later in the morning. Vandals spray painted the words “complice” (“accomplice”) and “papa arde” (“burn, pope”) on the facade of the church below a banner welcoming Pope Francis.

Three days earlier, several Chilean churches were firebombed, and police found other, unexploded devices at two other churches in Santiago. Some of the pamphlets included the phrase, “The next bombs will be in your cassock” and spoke of the cause of the Mapuche indigenous group.

“How are you? Where you able to rest?” Bachelet asked the pope when he arrived at the palace. “Perfectly,” he responded. The two leaders stood as the national anthems of Chile and Vatican City State were played before entering the courtyard of the palace where about 700 members of the country’s government authorities and of the diplomatic corps welcomed the pope with a standing ovation.

In his speech to the country’s political leaders, Pope Francis emphasized the need for officials to listen to the people and to value their experiences, cultures, sufferings and hopes.

Included in the pope’s list were “children who look out on the world with eyes full of amazement and innocence and expect from us concrete answers for a dignified future.”

At that point he told the officials, “I feel bound to express my pain and shame at the irreparable damage caused to children by some ministers of the church.”

The pope’s acknowledgment of the crimes of sexual abuse committed by members of the clergy was met with a loud applause from the government authorities present.

Looking at the country’s social and political life, Pope Francis congratulated the nation for its steady growth in democracy since 1990 when the rule of Gen. Augusto Pinochet ended.

The recent presidential elections in November, he said, “were a demonstration of the solidity and civic maturity that you have achieved.”

“That was a particularly important moment, for it shaped your destiny as a people founded on freedom and law, one that has faced moments of turmoil, at times painful, yet succeeded in surmounting them. In this way, you have been able to consolidate and confirm the dream of your founding fathers,” the pope said.

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet is scheduled to hand the office over to President-elect Sebastian Pinera in March.

Chile’s future, Pope Francis said, depends on the ability of its people and leaders to listen to those in need and “replace narrow ideologies with a healthy concern for the common good.”

The unemployed, native peoples, migrants, the elderly, young people and children all deserve to be listened to while also giving “preferential attention to our common home.”

The wisdom of the country’s indigenous population, he added, can help Chilean society “transcend a merely consumerist view of life and to adopt a sage attitude to the future.”

“The wisdom of the native peoples can contribute greatly to this,” Pope Francis said. “From them we can learn that a people that turns its back on the land, and everything and everyone on it, will never experience real development.”

– – –

Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.

– – –

Copyright © 2018 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.

2 days 20 hours

NewsFeeds from Zenit, EWTN, CatholicCulture.org

From: Live Catholic Headlines
Posted
Washington D.C., Jan 19, 2018 / 02:29 am (EWTN News/CNA).- Myra Neyer used to work a medical assistant at Planned Parenthood Baltimore. Today, she has left the abortion industry and is a pro-life advocate.
4 hours 49 min
Washington D.C., Jan 18, 2018 / 11:12 am (EWTN News/CNA).- Most Americans, including those who identify as "pro-choice," support limiting abortion to the first trimester of pregnancy, at most, a new survey says.
20 hours 6 min
Abuja, Nigeria, Jan 18, 2018 / 11:08 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Nigeria's bishops challenged government authorities Tuesday to resolve the country's violent disputes, especially after recent attacks by Fulani herdsmen have resulted in over 100 deaths just this year. 20 hours 10 min
Iquique, Chile, Jan 18, 2018 / 09:37 am (EWTN News/CNA).- At Mass in Iquique Thursday morning, Pope Francis drew attention to the care Mary shows at the Wedding at Cana, pointing to her as an example of how we can help others share in the joy and celebration found in the Gospel. 21 hours 41 min
Aboard the papal plane, Jan 18, 2018 / 09:01 am (EWTN News/CNA).- In his five years in office, Pope Francis has gained a reputation for tossing protocol and embracing spontaneity. Today, he did it again with another papal first by marrying two flight attendants on board his flight from Santiago to Iquique. 22 hours 17 min
Hagatna, Guam, Jan 18, 2018 / 07:00 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- An embattled archbishop in Guam has denied an allegation that he raped his nephew nearly 20 years ago, when his accuser was a teen. 1 day 18 min
Washington D.C., Jan 18, 2018 / 06:36 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- In the fight against abortion, it is crucial to recognize the reality of evil and the importance of prayer, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York said on the eve of the annual March for Life. 1 day 42 min
Washington D.C., Jan 18, 2018 / 06:23 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- A new division at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will work to ensure the protection of religious freedom and conscience rights for Americans, government officials announced Thursday.
 1 day 55 min
Little Rock, Ark., Jan 18, 2018 / 06:00 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Bishop Anthony Taylor of Little Rock has said he will not attend the local March for Life because its keynote speaker opposed Catholic appeals for clemency for prisoners on death row. 1 day 1 hour
Lima, Peru, Jan 18, 2018 / 05:46 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Demetrio Sanchez, a 20-year-old indigenous Peruvian seminarian, is eager to see Pope Francis when he visits Puerto Maldonado on Thursday. 1 day 1 hour
Ottawa, Canada, Jan 18, 2018 / 05:04 am (EWTN News/CNA).- A litmus test on abortion and recent comments from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have been slammed by Catholic and conservative critics, and raise new and troubling questions for pro-life Canadians about the state of religious freedom in their country. 1 day 2 hours
Los Angeles, Calif., Jan 18, 2018 / 03:00 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Karen Gaffney has swum the English Channel, is the president of a global non-profit, and has an honorary doctorate.  She'll share her story in Los Angeles this Saturday, at an annual event designed to celebrate human dignity. 1 day 4 hours
Temuco, Chile, Jan 17, 2018 / 09:09 am (EWTN News/CNA).- On Wednesday, Pope Francis celebrated Mass in Chile's largely indigenous Araucania region, long divided by violent conflict. He stressed the importance of unity, which he said cannot be achieved through violence or forced uniformity. 1 day 22 hours
Washington D.C., Jan 17, 2018 / 07:00 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- The federal government has pledged $55 million in aid for religious and ethnic groups that have faced ISIS persecution in Iraq's Ninewa Province, drawing praise from the Knights of Columbus, a supporter of humanitarian efforts in the region. 2 days 18 min
Los Angeles, Calif., Jan 17, 2018 / 06:49 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Families with loved ones in prison are feeling isolated, and a new initiative of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles is setting out to change that. 2 days 29 min
Denver, Colo., Jan 17, 2018 / 06:00 am (EWTN News/CNA).- Last week, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens admitted to an extramarital affair with his former hairdresser, although he denied allegations that he subsequently blackmailed her. 2 days 1 hour
Santiago, Chile, Jan 17, 2018 / 05:31 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- Speaking to Chilean university students and academics Wednesday, Pope Francis said Catholic educational institutions play a prophetic role in helping future generations tackle problems with an integrated, inclusive approach. 2 days 1 hour
Washington D.C., Jan 17, 2018 / 05:01 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- The US Conference of Catholic Bishops have beefed up their social media presence for the 9 Days for Life novena, calling Catholics not only to prayer but to action within communities, both virtual and local. 2 days 2 hours
Santiago, Chile, Jan 17, 2018 / 04:21 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- In a meeting with youth during his second full day in Chile, Pope Francis said that faith is a grand adventure, one that gives young people the inspiration to overcome difficulties and dream big. 2 days 2 hours
Washington D.C., Jan 17, 2018 / 03:50 pm (EWTN News/CNA).- U.S. President Donald Trump will address participants in the 45th national March for Life via live video, the White House confirmed Wednesday.
2 days 3 hours
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Jan 17, 2018 / 02:14 am (EWTN News/CNA).- The Catholic Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo held a memorial Mass Friday for protesters killed last month while demonstrating against the presidency of Joseph Kabila. 2 days 5 hours
Santiago, Chile, Jan 16, 2018 / 08:33 am (EWTN News/CNA).- On his first full day in Chile, Pope Francis told Catholics in the country that the Beatitudes aren't just a simple piece of advice from someone who purports to know everything, but they are a source of hope which impels people to leave their comfort zone and follow the path given by Jesus. 2 days 22 hours

NewsFeeds from Zenit, EWTN, CatholicCulture.org

From: The World Seen From Rome
Posted

Pope Francis arrived in Lima, Peru, at around 4 p.m. on January 18, 2018, the second leg of his January 15-22 apostolic journey.  Peru’s President, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, met the Holy Father on the tarmac, where Church and civic leaders joined in welcoming ceremonies.

The Holy Father will be in Peru for the remainder of the week and will address religious and political leaders.  He is expected to make a particular outreach to the nation’s indigenous peoples.

 

JF

15 hours 10 min

Pope Francis sent a note of appreciation to Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet on his departure from nation:

HER EXCELLENCY MICHELLE BACHELET
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF CHILE
SANTIAGO
AS I DEPART FROM CHILE TO CONTINUE MY APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO PERU, I
RENEW MY DEEP APPRECIATION TO YOUR EXCELLENCY, THE GOVERNMENT AND
THE BELOVED PEOPLE OF CHILE FOR YOUR WARM WELCOME AND GENEROUS
HOSPITALITY. INVOKING ABUNDANT DIVINE BLESSINGS UPON ALL OF YOU, I
OFFER THE ASSURANCE OF MY PRAYERS FOR PEACE AND PROSPERITY IN THE
NATION.
FRANCISCUS PP.
[00077-EN.01] [Original text: English]

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

 

JF

17 hours 2 min

Mary is always with us, in every moment of our daily lives, and she also is well aware of what burdens our hearts.

Pope Francis stressed this during the Mass he presided over in Iquique, Chile Jan. 18, 2018, during his Apostolic Visit to Chile and Peru, Jan. 15-22, and his last Mass in Chile before heading off to Peru.

Recalling today’s Gospel according to St. John, which tells of the Wedding at Cana, the Pope went on to say how Jesus works miracles, through us, and how we are called like Mary to be attentive to those who are in need, like those “without wine.”

Jesus’ public appearance “at a party,” the Argentine Pope said, “could not be otherwise, since the Gospel is a constant invitation to joy.” Noting the Gospel message is a wellspring of joy, Francis noted it is a “contagious, passing from generation to generation, a joy that we have inherited, because we are Christians.”

“How much you know about this, dear brothers and sisters of northern Chile! How much you know about living your faith and your lives in a festive spirit! I have come as a pilgrim to join you in celebrating this beautiful way of living the faith.”

The party, the Pope said, does not remain inside the Church, but you turn the whole town into a party.

In this festive atmosphere, the Gospel shows us how Mary acts to make that joy continue, the Pope stressed. “She is attentive to everything going on around her; like a good mother, she doesn’t sit still. So she notices, amid in the party and the shared joy, that something is about to happen that might ‘water it down.’ She approaches her Son and tells him simply: ‘They have no wine” (Jn 2:3).”

“In the same way, Mary passes through our towns, our streets, our squares, our homes and our hospitals …She notices all those problems that burden our hearts, then whispers into Jesus’ ear and says: Look, ‘they have no wine.'”

Mary, the Pontiff stressed, does not remain quiet. She goes up to the servants and says to them: “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2:5).

“Mary, a woman of few but very pointed words, also comes up to each of us and says simply: “Do whatever he tells you”. In this way, she elicits the first miracle of Jesus: to make his friends feel that they too are part of the miracle.

Because Christ ‘came to this world not to perform a task by himself, but with us,’ the Pope said, He performs miracles with us. Each person, even as we saw in the Gospel, the Pontiff said, is invited to be part of the miracle for others.

“Like Mary at Cana, let us make an effort to be more attentive in our squares and towns, to notice those whose lives have been “watered down”, who have lost – or have been robbed of – reasons for celebrating; those whose hearts are saddened. And, like Mary, let us say: They have no wine, Lord.”

The Pope encouraged us to allow Jesus to complete the miracle “by turning our communities and our hearts into living signs of his presence, which is joyful and festive because we have experienced that God is with us, because we have learned to make room for him within our hearts.”

“A contagious joy and festivity that lead us to exclude no one from the proclamation of this Good News, and to share all that belongs to our original culture, in order to enrich it also with what is truly ours, with our own traditions, with our ancestral wisdom, so that those who come may encounter wisdom and share their own. This is the celebration. This is the water transformed into wine. This is the miracle that Jesus performs.”

Pope Francis concluded, praying that Mary’s words continue to find a place in us: ‘Do whatever he tells you.’

 

Words of Thanks for People of Great Faith, and the Homeland

At the conclusion of this celebration, the Pope thanked all those involved in his visit to Chile, saying he now continues his pilgrimage towards Peru, “a country that is a friend and brother to this great nation of Chile, which we are called to cherish and uphold. It is a nation that finds its beauty in the many and varied faces of her people.”

“Dear brothers and sisters, at every Eucharist we pray: ‘Look, Lord, on the faith of your Church, and graciously grant her peace and unity in accordance with your will.’ Pope Francis said to the Chileans. “What more can I ask for you at the end of my visit than to say to the Lord: Look at the faith of this people and grant them unity and peace!”

Asking those present to pray for him, Pope Francis concluded, saying: “I am grateful for the presence of so many pilgrims from the brother nations, Bolivia, Peru, and please don’t be jealous, but especially Argentineans, because Argentina is my homeland.”

“Thank you to my Argentinean brothers and sisters who have accompanied me in Santiago, Temuco and here in Iquique. Many thanks.”

***

On ZENIT’s WEB PAGE:

Full Text: https://zenit.org/articles/popes-homily-during-mass-in-iquique-chile-full-text/

17 hours 27 min

Vatican Media ScreenshotPope Francis departed  Chile the afternoon of January 18, 2018, with Peru the next stop on his January 15-22 apostolic journey. The flight from Iquique to Lime is roughly an hour and 50 minutes.

The Pope was accompanied to the plane by Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet, as well as live music, native dancers, and a military honor guard.

The Holy Father arrived in Chile on Monday and met the following three days with Church leaders, victims of abuse, political and civic leaders, young people, and educators.  His outdoor celebrations of  the Mass in Santiago, Temuco, and Iquique drew hundreds of thousands of the faithful.

Here is his schedule for the rest of the week in Peru:

Thursday, 18 January 2018

PERU

17.20 Arrival at Lima Airport Welcome ceremony

 

Friday, 19 January 2018

LIMA-PUERTO MALDONADO-LIMA

8.30 Meeting with Authorities, the Civil Society and the Diplomatic Corps in the Government Palaceʼs Honour Yard 9.00 Courtesy visit to the President in the Ambassadorsʼ Salon of the Government Palace 9.55 Departure from Lima Airport for Puerto Maldonado 11.45 Arrival at Puerto Maldonado Airport 12.00 Meeting with indigenous people of the Amazon region in the “Coliseo Regional Madre de Dios” 13.00 Meeting with the population at Jorge-Basadre-Institute 13.15 Lunch with representatives of the peoples of Amazonia in the Pastoral Centre “Apaktone” 15.45 Visit to “Hogar Principito” Childrenʼs Home 16.50 Departure by plane for Lima 18.40 Arrival at Lima Airport 19.00 Private meeting with members of the Society of Jesus in “San Pedro” Church

 

Saturday, 20 January 2018

LIMA-TRUJILLO-LIMA

7.40 Departure by plane for Trujillo 9.10 Arrival at Trujillo Airport 10.00 Holy Mass at the waterfront esplanade of Huanchaco 12.15 Transfer by Popemobile across Limaʼs “Buenos Aires” district 15.00 Short visit to the Cathedral 15.30 Meeting with the Priests, Religious Men and Women and Seminarians of the Ecclesiastical Provinces of Northern Peru in the “Colegio Seminario SS. Carlos y Marcelo” 16.45 Marian Celebration – Virgen de la Puerta in “Plaza de Armas” square 18.15 Departure by plane for Lima 19.40 Arrival at Lima Airport

 

Sunday, 21 January 2018

LIMA- ROME

9.15 Terce Prayer with Contemplative Sisters at Limaʼs Lord of the Miracles Shrine 10.30 Prayer in front of the relics of the Peruvian Saints in the Cathedral of  Lima 10.50 Meeting with the Bishops in the Archbishop’s Palace 12.00 Recitation of the Angelus Prayer in “Plaza de Armas” square 12.30 Lunch with the Papal Entourage in the Apostolic Nunciature 16.15 Holy Mass at Las Palmas Air Base 18.30 Arrival at the airport Farewell ceremony 18.45 Departure by plane for Rome/Ciampino

 

Monday, 22 January 2018

ROME

14.15 Arrival at  Rome/Ciampino Airport

__________________

 

Time zones Rome: + 1h UTC Santiago (CHILE): -3h UTC Temuco (CHILE): -3h UTC Iquique (CHILE): -3h UTC Lima (PERU): -5h UTC Puerto Maldonado (PERU): -5h UTC Trujillo (PERU): -5h UTC

 

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

 

17 hours 30 min

GUNMEN attacked worshippers leaving a Coptic Orthodox church on the southern outskirts of Cairo on Dec. 29, 2017. Subsequently claimed by ISIS, the assault—which took place some 10 minutes after the conclusion of Mass at St. Mina Church—killed nine people. One of the victims was a young mother of 32, Nermeen Sadiq. Her 13-year-old daughter Nesma Wael was at her side when she was shot. Nesma gave the following account of the ordeal:

“After Mass ended, I left the church with my cousin and my mother. My mom wore a cross around her neck, and all three of us were not wearing veils. In poorer neighborhoods, Muslim women often wear veils so they are distinguished from Christian women.

“As we turned into a side street, we saw someone on a motorcycle heading toward the church. The next thing we knew, the man crashed his bike after hitting a pothole. My mother ran up to him to help, reassuring him, as she said: “In the name of the Jesus Christ, are you okay?” He got up quickly and in a blink of an eye he opened fire on us with an automatic weapon he pulled out from under his vest.

“As soon as my cousin and I saw the weapon, we hid behind mom, who shouted at us to run away; the terrorist first shot her in the arm, while she was trying to protect us; as we ran away, she fell down and could not escape with us. The distance between us and the terrorist when he first took out his machine gun was no more than a few feet. My cousin and I ran into a small supermarket, where the sales girl hid us behind the refrigerator; from our hiding spot, we watched the attacker looking for us. When he couldn’t find us he turned to mom again and fired more shots at her.

“All this happened in few minutes. After the gunman left, we ran to my mother, who was laying face down in the street, drenched in blood. Many people had gathered, but they all refused to touch my mom, to turn her over, even though she was still alive. I kept screaming for someone to help me, but no one did. I called my father, but he did not pick up; I reached my uncle, who came right away.

“An ambulance pulled up, but the emergency workers refused to move mama into the ambulance until they got permission from the security officials who our out in the streets, hunting for the terrorist, as well as another shooter who had attacked people in front of the church.

“A gun battle erupted, and people fled. My cousin, my uncle and I stayed with my mother. She looked at me, saying: “Do not be afraid, I’m with you. Obey your father and take care of your sister.”

“My mother remained laying in the street for about an hour. After the shooting stopped, I went back to the church to fetch my younger sister Karen, who is eight. I took her home and told my father what had happened. I remembered my mom had told me to take care of my sister—at that moment my heart told me she would go to heaven, but my mind could not believe yet that she was dead. I told my father that my mother had not died yet.

“When I returned to the church to pick up my sister—who had remained in church because the service for children had not finished yet—I saw three people I knew laying in pools of blood in front of the church; I knew they had been killed.

“My dad later told me that by the time mom was taken into the ambulance she had died. In the end, the ambulance workers did not go to the hospital, but to the police station to file a police report; then she was taken to the morgue. I believe she died because she was left bleeding for an hour—I blame not only the terrorist but also the emergency workers and the police officer, because they neglected her.

“Today, I do not walk the streets alone anymore. My father always goes with me anywhere. Despite the pain inside my heart—I miss my mother desperately—I am happy because she is a martyr and I don’t feel afraid of the terrorists anymore. I was with her at the time of the attack and did not even get injured: it was God’s will to specifically choose her to go to the heaven.

“I do not want to leave my country, but I certainly want to find a better chance to live and study, especially since our financial situation isn’t good. My dad, Wael Nadi, who is 35, works as a driver, but he has no regular work; my mother provided the main source of income for our family; she was a nurse at Cairo Kidney Center for kidneys. I hope to become a doctor of nephrology; that was my mom’s dream for me.

“This is my message to all the persecuted people around the world: ‘Do not be afraid! Our lives are in God’s hands God and we have to adhere to our faith.’”

Nesma’s family, along with other poor families whose breadwinners were killed that day, is waiting for financial compensation from the government. Almost three weeks after the attack, nothing has happened yet.

—Engy Magdy

***

Aid to the Church in Need is an international papal charity, providing assistance to the suffering and persecuted Church in more than 140 countries.www.churchinneed.org (USA); www.acnuk.org (UK); www.aidtochurch.org (AUS); www.acnireland.org (IRL); www.acn-aed-ca.org (CAN)

19 hours 54 min

“The Pope is a person who has a very open heart; he is truly close to the victims” of sexual abuse, said Jesuit Father Hans Zollner, Director of the Center for the Protection of Minors of the Pontifical Gregorian University  and member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

In an interview with Vatican News on January 17, 2018, he commented on Pope Francis’ meeting with victims of sexual abuse on the part of priests, at the Apostolic Nunciature of Santiago de Chile, which took place in private the previous day, speaking of the Pontiff’s sorrow for these crimes committed by members of the clergy.

“Attention to the victims is truly at the vanguard of Pope Francis’ priorities,” affirmed Father Zollner. “His empathy, his closeness and also his spiritual assistance” are “so important that even very important stages of healing can take place.”

“What the Pope said yesterday, since his arrival at Santiago, and what he did thereafter, after having met victims, shows to what point he is aware: aware also of the fact that the Church must do much more to help the victims. And the Pope gives example, which is very important,” said the Jesuit.

Commenting on a press release of the Holy See Press Office, specifying that Pope Francis “listened to” the “sufferings” of the victims, “he prayed and wept with them,” said Father Zollner, which is precisely “ what a representative of the Church, a Bishop or a school director must do where these events occurred: simply listen,” said Father Zollner. “Listening” is “what the great majority of victims of abuse seek and exact,” affirmed the Jesuit.

However, it’s not about a “simple listening,” but of “true listening, with an open heart and spirit,” he continued.

“Chile is a country of the Americas where, for different reasons, including political and within the Church, the attention given to these phenomena is very great,” he added. However, “it’s not the first time “that Pope Francis meets victims of sexual abuse, recalled the priest. In July 2014 he met in the Vatican with a group of victims of abuse by priests. “I was also present on that occasion . . . I saw with my own eyes how the Pope reacted to so much suffering and pain,” he said.

Father Zollner said that since the Pope’s meeting with victims in July 2014, “The two persons I’ve accompanied have made great progress in their life and have had a ‘healing,” if we can say that.” “And, in a certain way, it’s a journey of reconciliation with their life, with this profound wound, and also with the Church.”

In regard to public interest on the subject of sexual abuse committed by priests, Father Zollner believes “it’s a subject that won’t leave us.”

“However, the Catholic Church also shows a diversity of responses concerning the different local Churches” which must be up to “receiving the victims and to do everything possible to continue and develop the capacity to prevent abuses.”

“We can’t change the past, but in the present, we must work so that these events are not repeated,” concluded Father Zollner.

20 hours 43 min

A new surprising and initiative of Pope Francis took place on the plane, which took him from Santiago to Iquique, Chile, on January 18, 2018: the blessing of the marriage of a flight attendant and an air hostess in mid-air. The Sacrament of Marriage is valid, said the Holy See.

During the 2-hour flight of the Latam company, which traversed the 1,800 kilometers between the capital and the North of the country, as part of his 22nd International Apostolic Journey, the Holy Father blessed the marriage of a Chilean couple: Paula Podesta Ruiz, 39, and Carlos Ciuffando Elorriaga, 41, who had been married civilly for eight years. In 2010 an earthquake destroyed the church where they intended to exchange their vows.

According to the press on board the plane, the couple asked the Pope to bless their wedding rings. Francis asked them if they wished to be married religiously. “They were talking with the Pope. They told him they weren’t married in the Church. The Pope asked them if they wished to be married immediately. They said “yes,” said Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, who accompanies the Argentine Pontiff on all his trips.

The Vatican stated that the act of religious marriage of the couple — written on a simple A4 white paper — is valid: “Everything is official. There are witnesses, there is a document,” said the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke.

Paula Podesta Ruiz and Carlos Ciuffando Elorriaga have two children: Rafaella, 6, and Isabella, 3.

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester

 

JF

20 hours 50 min

Pope Francis has pledged that with regard to the Middle East he “will not fail to continue to invoke God for the cause of peace, of a true and real peace.”

His commitment came in a letter released by the Vatican on January 18, 2018. The Holy Father sent the letter to Dr Ahmad Al-Tayyib, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, on the occasion of the International Conference in Support of Jerusalem, underway at Al-Azahr, in Egypt, from January 17 to January 18, 2018.

Here is a ZENIT translation of the Letter that the Holy Father Francis

To Distinguished Dr. Ahmad Al-Tayyib

Grand Imam of Al-Azhar

Excellency,

I received your letter of last December 16, regarding the Al-Azhar International Conference in Support of Jerusalem, which will take place on January 17. I thank you for your courteous invitation, and well as the kind expressions of esteem that you wished to express to me, and which I cordially return. As you revealed, on that day I will be committed in an Apostolic Journey, but from now on I assure you that I will not fail to continue to invoke God for the cause of peace, of a true and real peace. In particular, I raise heartfelt prayers so that leaders of Nations, and civil and religious Authorities everywhere, will commit themselves to avert new spirals of tension and to support every effort to have concord, justice and security prevail for the populations of that blessed Land, which I have so much at heart.

For its part, the Holy See will not cease to recall with urgency the necessity of the resumption of the dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians for a negotiated solution, geared to the peaceful coexistence of two States, within the borders agreed between them and internationally recognized, in full respect of the peculiar nature of Jerusalem, whose significance goes beyond any consideration of territorial questions. Only a special statute, also internationally guaranteed, will be able to preserve its identity, its unique vocation as a place of peace, to which the Sacred Places call, and its universal value, making possible a future of reconciliation and of hope for the entire region.

This is the sole aspiration of one who professes himself genuinely a believer and does not tire of imploring with prayer a future of fraternity for all. With these sentiments, I am pleased to renew to you my cordial greeting, invoking from the Most High every blessing for your person and for the high responsibility you cover.

From the Vatican, January 10, 2018

FRANCIS

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

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

 

 

JF

21 hours 14 min

Below is the Vatican-provided text of Pope Francis’ homily during the Mass over which he presided at Lobito Campus in the Chilean city of Iquique, Jan. 18, 2018, during his Apostolic Visit to Chile and Peru, Jan. 15-22:

***

“Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee” (Jn 2:11).

These are the final words of the Gospel we just heard, which describes Jesus’ public appearance: at a party, no more or less. It could not be otherwise, since the Gospel is a constant invitation to joy. From the outset, the angel says to Mary: “Rejoice!” (Lk 1:28). Rejoice, he says to the shepherds; rejoice, he says to Elizabeth, an elderly and barren woman…; rejoice, Jesus says to the thief, for this day you will be with me in paradise (cf. Lk 23:43).

The Gospel message is a wellspring of joy: “I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete” (Jn 15:11). A joy that is contagious, passing from generation to generation, a joy that we have inherited. Because we are Christians.

How much you know about this, dear brothers and sisters of northern Chile! How much you know about living your faith and your lives in a festive spirit! I have come as a pilgrim to join you in celebrating this beautiful way of living the faith. Your patronal feasts, your religious dances – which at times even go on for a week – your music, your dress, all make this region a shrine of popular piety and spirituality. Because the party does not remain inside the Church, but you turn the whole town into a party. You know how to celebrate by singing and dancing God’s “fatherhood, providence, constant and loving presence”, and this engenders “interior attitudes rarely observed to the same degree elsewhere: patience, the sign of the cross in daily life, detachment, openness to others, devotion”.[1] The words of the prophet Isaiah come to life: “The wilderness shall become a fruitful field, and the fruitful field will be deemed a forest” (Is 32:15). This land, surrounded by the driest desert of the world, manages to put on party clothes.

In this festive atmosphere, the Gospel shows us how Mary acts to make that joy continue. She is attentive to everything going on around her; like a good mother, she doesn’t sit still. So she notices, amid in the party and the shared joy, that something is about to happen that might “water it down”. She approaches her Son and tells him simply: “They have no wine” (Jn 2:3).

In the same way, Mary passes through our towns, our streets, our squares, our homes and our hospitals. Mary is the Virgin of la Tirana; the Virgin Ayquina in Calama; the Virgin of the Rocks in Arica. She notices all those problems that burden our hearts, then whispers into Jesus’ ear and says: Look, “they have no wine”.

Mary does not remain quiet. She goes up to the servants and says to them: “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2:5). Mary, a woman of few but very pointed words, also comes up to each of us and says simply: “Do whatever he tells you”. In this way, she elicits the first miracle of Jesus: to make his friends feel that they too are part of the miracle. Because Christ “came to this world not to perform a task by himself, but with us” – he performs miracles with us – “with all of us, so as to be the head of a great body, of which we are the living, free and active cells”.[2] This is how Jesus performs miracles: with us.

The miracle begins once the servants approach the jars with water for purification. So too, each of us can begin the miracle; what is more, each one of us is invited to be part of the miracle for others.

Brothers and sisters, Iquique is a land of dreams (for so its name means in the Aymara language). It is a land that has given shelter to men and women of different peoples and cultures who had to leave everything behind and set out. Setting out always with the hope of obtaining a better life, yet, as we know, always with their bags packed with fear and uncertainty about the future. Iquique is a region of immigrants, which reminds us of the greatness of men and women, entire families, who, in the face of adversity, refused to give up and set out in search of life. In search of life. They – especially those who had to leave their land for lack of life’s bare necessities – are an image of the Holy Family, which had to cross deserts to keep on living.

This land is a land of dreams, but let us work to ensure that it also continues to be a land of hospitality. A festive hospitality, for we know very well that there is no Christian joy when doors are closed; there is no Christian joy when others are made to feel unwanted, when there is no room for them in our midst (cf. Lk 16:19-31).

Like Mary at Cana, let us make an effort to be more attentive in our squares and towns, to notice those whose lives have been “watered down”, who have lost – or have been robbed of – reasons for celebrating; those whose hearts are saddened. And let us not be afraid to raise our voices and say: “They have no wine”. The cry of the people of God, the cry of the poor, is a kind of prayer; it opens our hearts and teaches us to be attentive. Let us be attentive, then, to all situations of injustice and to new forms of exploitation that risk making so many of our brothers and sisters miss the joy of the party. Let us be attentive to the lack of steady employment, which destroys lives and homes. Let us be attentive to those who profit from the irregular status of many migrants who don’t know the language or who don’t have their papers “in order”. Let us be attentive to the lack of shelter, land and employment experienced by so many families. And, like Mary, let us say: They have no wine, Lord.

Like the servants at the party, let us offer what have, little as it may seem. Like them, let us not be afraid to “lend a hand”. May our solidarity in the commitment for justice be part of the dance or song that we can offer to our Lord. Let us also make the most of the opportunity to learn and make our own the values, the wisdom and the faith that migrants bring with them. Without being closed to those “jars” so full of wisdom and history brought by those who continue to come to these lands. Let us not deprive ourselves of all the good that they have to contribute.

And let us allow Jesus to complete the miracle by turning our communities and our hearts into living signs of his presence, which is joyful and festive because we have experienced that God is with us, because we have learned to make room for him within our hearts. A contagious joy and festivity that lead us to exclude no one from the proclamation of this Good News, and to share all that belongs to our original culture, in order to enrich it also with what is truly ours, with our own traditions, with our ancestral wisdom, so that those who come may encounter wisdom and share their own. This is the celebration. This is the water transformed into wine. This is the miracle that Jesus performs.

May Mary, under her different titles in this blessed land of the north, continue to whisper in the ear of Jesus, her Son: “They have no wine”, and may her words continue to find a place in us: “Do whatever he tells you”.

_________________________

[1] PAUL VI, Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, 48.
[2] SAINT ALBERTO HURTADO, Meditación Semana Santa para jóvenes (1946)

[Original Text of Pope’s final homily: Spanish]

© Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Pope’s Final Greeting

At the conclusion of this celebration, I thank Bishop Guillermo Vera Soto of Iquique for his gracious words on behalf of his brother bishops and all God’s people. This feels like a farewell.

I renew my gratitude to President Michelle Bachelet for her invitation to visit the country. In a special way, I thank everyone who helped make this visit possible: the civil authorities and all those whose professionalism enabled us to enjoy this time of encounter.

I also thank the thousands of volunteers for their selfless and silent work. Over twenty thousand. Without their commitment and hard work the jars of water would have not been here for the Lord to perform the miracle of bringing us the wine of joy. Thanks too, to all those who in so many ways accompanied this pilgrimage, especially with their prayers. I know the sacrifices you have had to make in order to take part in our celebrations and gatherings. I appreciate this and I thank you from my heart. I also thank the members of the planning commission. All of you have worked hard, so many thanks.

I now continue my pilgrimage towards Peru, a country that is a friend and brother to this great nation of Chile, which we are called to cherish and uphold. It is a nation that finds its beauty in the many and varied faces of her people.

Dear brothers and sisters, at every Eucharist we pray: “Look, Lord, on the faith of your Church, and graciously grant her peace and unity in accordance with your will”. What more can I ask for you at the end of my visit than to say to the Lord: Look at the faith of this people and grant them unity and peace!

Thank you, and I ask you, please, to remember to pray for me. I am grateful for the presence of so many pilgrims from the brother nations, Bolivia, Peru, and please don’t be jealous, but especially Argentineans, because Argentina is my homeland. Thank you to my Argentinean brothers and sisters who have accompanied me in Santiago, Temuco and here in Iquique. Many thanks.

[Original Text of Pope’s greeting: Spanish]

© Libreria Editrice Vaticana

 

22 hours 18 min

Pope Francis on January 17, 2018, called for an “integrating literacy” that can encompass the great changes going on in society. His comments came in a talk to the faculty and students at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, in Santiago.

This new literacy is needed if a nation is to achieve peaceful coexistence and be able to process, the Holy Father contended.  It involved education if the “different languages” each person uses.

  • The intellect – head
  • Affections – heart
  • Activity — hands

“This will offer students a growth that is harmonious not only at the personal level but also at the level of society,” the Pope suggested. “We urgently need to create spaces where fragmentation is not the guiding principle, even for thinking. To do this, it is necessary to teach how to reflect on what we are feeling and doing; to feel what we are thinking and doing; to do what we are thinking and feeling. An interplay of capacities at the service of the person and society.”

The Holy Father also stressed the need for the university “to not isolate itself from modes of knowledge, or, for that matter, to develop a body of knowledge with minimal concern about those for whom it is intended.” He continued by citing the importance “that the acquisition of knowledge lead to an interplay between the university classroom and the wisdom of the peoples who make up this richly blessed land.”

The Holy Father’s Prepared Remarks

Grand Chancellor, Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati,

My Brothers Bishops,

President Dr. Ignacio Sánchez,

Distinguished University Authorities,

Dear Professors and Administrators,

Dear Students,

I am happy to be here with you at this House of Studies, which in its 130 years of life has rendered a priceless service to the country. I thank the President for his words of welcome on behalf of all present.

The history of this university is in some sense woven into the history of Chile. Thousands of men and women who were educated here have made significant contributions to the development of the nation. I would like especially to mention Saint Albert Hurtado, who began his studies here a century ago. His life is a clear testimony to how intelligence, academic excellence, and professionalism, when joined to faith, justice and charity, far from weakening, attain a prophetic power capable of opening horizons and pointing the way, especially for those on the margins of society.

In this regard, I would like to take up your words, dear President, when you said: “We have important challenges for our country that have to do with peaceful coexistence as a nation and the ability to progress as a community”.

  1. Peaceful coexistence as a nation

To speak of challenges is to acknowledge that situations have reached the point where they need to be rethought. What was hitherto an element of unity and cohesion now calls for new responses. The accelerated pace and a sense of disorientation before new processes and changes in our societies call for a serene but urgent reflection that is neither naïve nor utopian, much less arbitrary. This has nothing to do with curbing the growth of knowledge, but rather with making the University a privileged space for “putting into practice the grammar of dialogue, which shapes encounter”.[1] For “true wisdom [is] the fruit of reflection, dialogue and generous encounter between persons”.[2]

Peaceful coexistence as a nation is possible, not least to the extent that we can generate educational processes that are also transformative, inclusive and meant to favor such coexistence. Educating for peaceful coexistence does not mean simply attaching values to the work of education, but rather establishing a dynamic of coexistence internal to the very system of education itself. It is not so much a question of content but of teaching how to think and reason in an integrated way. What was traditionally called forma mentis.

To achieve this, it is necessary to develop what might be called an “integrating literacy” capable of encompassing the processes of change now taking place in our societies. This literacy process requires working simultaneously to integrate the different languages that constitute us as persons. That is to say, an education (literacy) that integrates and harmonizes intellect (the head), affections (the heart) and activity (the hands). This will offer students a growth that is harmonious not only at the personal level but also at the level of society. We urgently need to create spaces where fragmentation is not the guiding principle, even for thinking. To do this, it is necessary to teach how to reflect on what we are feeling and doing; to feel what we are thinking and doing; to do what we are thinking and feeling. An interplay of capacities at the service of the person and society.

Literacy, based on the integration of the distinct languages that shape us, will engage students in their own educational process, a process that will prepare them to face the challenges of the immediate future. The “divorce” of fields of learning from languages, and illiteracy with regard to integrating the distinct dimensions of life, bring only fragmentation and social breakdown. In this “liquid” society [3] or “society of lightness”, [4] as various thinkers have termed it, those points of reference that people use to build themselves individually and socially are disappearing. It seems that the new meeting place of today is the “cloud”, which is characterized by instability since everything evaporates and thus loses consistency.

This lack of consistency may be one of the reasons for the loss of a consciousness of the importance of public life, which requires a minimum ability to transcend private interests (living longer and better) in order to build upon foundations that reveal that crucial dimension of our life which is “us”.

Without that consciousness, but especially without that feeling and consequently without that experience, it is very difficult to build the nation. As a result, the only thing that appears to be important and valid is what pertains to the individual, and all else becomes irrelevant. A culture of this sort has lost its memory, lost the bonds that support it and make its life possible. Without the “us” of a people, of a family and of a nation, but also the “us” of the future, of our children and of tomorrow, without the “us” of a city that transcends “me” and is richer than individual interests, life will be not only increasingly fragmented, but also more conflictual and violent.

The university, in this context, is challenged to generate within its own precincts new processes that can overcome every fragmentation of knowledge and stimulate true universities.

  1. Progressing as a community

Hence, the second key element for this House of Studies: the ability to progress as a community.

I was pleased to learn of the evangelizing outreach and the joyful vitality of your university chaplaincy, which is a sign of a young, lively Church that “goes forth”. The missions that take place each year in different parts of the country are an impressive and enriching reality. With these, you are able to broaden your outlook and encounter different situations that, along with regular events, keep you on the move. “Missionaries” are never equal to the mission; they learn to be sensitive to God’s pace through their encounter with all sorts of people.

Such experiences cannot remain isolated from the life of the university. The classic methods of research are experiencing certain limits, more so when it is a question of a culture such as ours, which stimulates direct and immediate participation by all. Present-day culture demands new forms that are more inclusive of all those who make up social and hence educational realities. We see, then, the importance of broadening the concept of the educating community.

The challenge for this community is to not isolate itself from modes of knowledge, or, for that matter, to develop a body of knowledge with minimal concern about those for whom it is intended. It is vital that the acquisition of knowledge lead to an interplay between the university classroom and the wisdom of the peoples who make up this richly blessed land. That wisdom is full of intuitions and perceptions that cannot be overlooked when we think of Chile. An enriching synergy will thus come about between scientific rigor and popular insight; the close interplay of these two parts will prevent a divorce between reason and action, between thinking and feeling, between knowing and living, between profession and service. Knowledge must always sense that it is at the service of life, and must confront it directly in order to keep progressing. Hence, the educational community cannot be reduced to classrooms and libraries but must be continually challenged to participation. This dialogue can only take place on the basis of an episteme capable of “thinking in the plural”, that is, conscious of the interdisciplinary and interdependent nature of learning. “In this sense, it is essential to show special care for indigenous communities and their cultural traditions. They are not merely one minority among others, but should be the principal dialogue partners, especially when large projects affecting their land are proposed”. [5]

The educational community can enjoy an endless number of possibilities and potentialities if it allows itself to be enriched and challenged by all who are part of the educational enterprise. This requires an increased concern for quality and integration. The service that the university offers must always aim for quality and excellence in the service of national coexistence. In this way, we could say that the university becomes a laboratory for the future of the country, insofar as it succeeds in embodying the life and progress of the people, and can overcome every antagonistic and elitist approach to learning.

An ancient cabalistic tradition says that evil originates in the rift produced in the human being by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Knowledge thus gained the upper hand over creation, subjecting it to its own designs and desires.[6] This will always be a subtle temptation in every academic setting: to reduce creation to certain interpretative models that deprive it of the very Mystery that has moved whole generations to seek what is just, good, beautiful and true. Whenever a “professor”, by virtue of his wisdom, becomes a “teacher”, he is then capable of awakening wonderment in our students. Wonderment at the world and at an entire universe waiting to be discovered!

In our day, the mission entrusted to you is prophetic. You are challenged to generate processes that enlighten contemporary culture by proposing a renewed humanism that eschews every form of reductionism. This prophetic role demanded of us prompts us to seek out ever new spaces for dialogue rather than confrontation, spaces of encounter rather than division, paths of friendly disagreement that allow for respectful differences between persons joined in a sincere effort to advance as a community towards a renewed national coexistence.

If you ask for this, I have no doubt that the Holy Spirit will guide your steps, so that this House will continue to bear fruit for the good of the Chilean people and for the glory of God.

I thank you once again for this meeting, and I ask you to remember to pray for me.

_____________________

[1] Address to the Plenary of the Congregation for Catholic Education (9 February 2017).

[2] Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’, 47.

[3] Cf. ZYGMUNT BAUMAN, Modernidad líquida, 1999.

[4] Cf. GILLES LIPOVETSKY, De la ligereza, 2016.

[5] Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’, 146.

[6] Cf. GERSHOM SCHOLEM, La mystique juive, Paris, 1985, 86. [00059-EN.01] [Original text: Spanish]

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

1 day 15 hours

Pope Francis urged youth on January 17, 2018, to use a simple test before acting: “What Would Jesus Do?”

His recommendation came in a talk to youth gather at the Shrine of  Maipú in Santiago, a stop in his apostolic journey to Chile and Peru.  He said the question, “What would Christ do in my place?” was the “golden rule” used by Saint Alberto Hurtado, whose tomb the Holy Father visited yesterday.

“You have mentioned it many times, young people must be the protagonists of the change, of a more just society, that worries about the weak, that appreciates the value of life, that may like the love of God in every brother and sister, born in our country or born on the other side of the world,” said one of the youth, Ariel Rojas, in a testimony before the Pope’s talk. “We recognize in you a model of life, a model of love, a model of the living Christ.”

And, indeed, Pope Francis urged the young people to be “protagonists in the heart of the Church.”  He recommended the examples of the Good Samaritan, Simon of Cyrene helping Christ with his cross, Zacchaeus, who rejected the material, and Mary Magdalene, “who finds in Jesus alone the answers she needs.”

The Holy Father told the youth that in his ministry as a bishop, he had seen “how many good ideas there are in young people, in their minds and hearts. Young people are restless; they are seekers and idealists.” He admitted that adults sometimes fall back on how “things have always been done.”

Pope Francis also reminded the crowds of the October, 2018, Synod18, which will address the topic: “Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment.”

“Realizing how important young people and their experiences are, this year I wanted to call the Synod, and before it, the meeting of young people, so that you can feel – and really be – protagonists in the heart of the Church,” Francis said. “To help keep the Church’s face young, not by applying cosmetics but by letting her be challenged deep down by her sons and daughters, to help her daily to be more faithful to the Gospel. How much the Church in Chile needs you to “shake the ground beneath our feet” and help us draw closer to Jesus! Your questions, your wanting to know, your desire to be generous, are all necessary for us to draw closer to Jesus. All of us are all invited, ever anew, to draw near to Jesus.”

The Holy Father’s Prepared Remarks

Ariel, I too am happy to be with you. Thank you for your words of welcome in the name of all present. I am the one who is grateful for being able to share this time with you. For me, it is very important for us to meet and walk with one another for a while. Let’s help each other to keep looking ahead!

I am happy that this meeting is taking place here in Maipú. In this land where the history of Chile began with a fraternal embrace, in this Shrine that rises at the crossroads of north and south, that joins the snow and the sea and is a home to both heaven and earth. A home for Chile, a home for you, dear young people, where Our Lady of Carmel waits for you and welcomes you with an open heart. Just as she accompanied the birth of this nation and has accompanied so many Chileans over the span of these two hundred years, so too she wants to keep accompanying the dreams that God places in your hearts: dreams of freedom, dreams of joy, dreams of a better future: the desire, as you said, Ariel, “to be protagonists of change”. To be protagonists. Our Lady of Mount Carmel accompanies you so that you can be protagonists for the Chile of which your hearts dream. I know that the hearts of young Chileans dream, and that they dream big dreams, for these lands have given rise to experiences that spread and multiplied across the different countries of our continent. Who inspired those dreams? It was young people like yourselves, who were inspired to experience the adventure of faith. For faith excites in young people feelings of adventure, an adventure that beckons them to traverse unbelievable landscapes, rough and tough terrain… but, then again, you like adventures and challenges! After all, you get bored when there are no challenges to excite you. We see this clearly, for example, whenever there is a natural disaster. You have an amazing ability to mobilize, which is a sure sign of the generosity of your hearts.

In my ministry as a bishop, I have come to see how many good ideas there are in young people, in their minds and hearts. Young people are restless; they are seekers and idealists. The problem we adults have is that often, like know-it-alls, we say: “They think that way because they are young; they still have to grow up”. As if growing up means accepting injustice, believing that nothing can be done, that this is the way things have always been.

Realizing how important young people and their experiences are, this year I wanted to call the Synod, and before it, the meeting of young people, so that you can feel – and really be – protagonists in the heart of the Church. To help keep the Church’s face young, not by applying cosmetics but by letting her be challenged deep down by her sons and daughters, to help her daily to be more faithful to the Gospel. How much the Church in Chile needs you to “shake the ground beneath our feet” and help us draw closer to Jesus! Your questions, your wanting to know, your desire to be generous, are all necessary for us to draw closer to Jesus. All of us are all invited, ever anew, to draw near to Jesus.

Let me share a story with you. Chatting one day with a young man, I asked him what sort of things made him unhappy. He said to me: “When my cell phone battery runs down or I lose my internet connection”. I asked him: “Why?” He answered: “Father, it’s simple; I miss out on everything that is going on, I am shut off from the world, stuck. In those moments, I jump up and run to find a charger or a Wi-Fi network and a password to reconnect”.
This made me think that the same thing can happen with our faith. After a while on the journey or after an initial spurt, there are moments when, without even realizing it, our “bandwidth” begins to fade and we lose our connection, our power; then we become unhappy and we lose our faith, we feel depressed and listless, and we start to view everything in a bad light. When we lack the “connection” that charges our dreams, our hearts begin to falter. When our batteries are dead, we feel the way the song describes it – “The background noise and the loneliness of the city cut us off from everything. The world turns backward, tries to overwhelm me and drown all my thoughts and
ideas”.[1]

Without a connection, a connection to Jesus, we end up drowning our thoughts and ideas, our dreams and our faith, and so we get frustrated and annoyed. As protagonists, which we are and we want to be – we can get to the point of feeling that it makes no difference whether or not we do anything. We start feeling that we are “shut off from the world”, as that young person told me. It worries me that, once they have lost their “connection”, many people think they have nothing to offer; they feel lost. Never think that you have nothing to offer or that nobody cares about you.

Never! That thought, as Alberto Hurtado used to like to say, “is the voice of the devil”, who wants to make you feel you are worthless… and to keep things the way they are. All of us are necessary and important; all of us have something to offer.

The young people in the Gospel we heard today wanted that “connection” to help them keep the flame alive in their hearts. They wanted to know how to charge the power cells of their heart. Andrew and the other disciple – whose name is not given, so we can imagine that each of us is that “other” disciple – were looking for the password to connect with the one who is “the way, and the truth and the life” (Jn 14:6). It was John the Baptist who showed them the way. I believe that you too have a great saint who you can be your guide, a saint who made his life into a song: “I am happy, Lord, I am happy”. Alberto Hurtado had a golden rule, a rule for setting his heart ablaze with the fire that keeps joy alive. For Jesus is that fire; everyone who draws near to it is set ablaze.

Hurtado’s password was quite simple – if your phones are turned on, I would like you to key this in. He asks: “What would Christ do in my place?” At school, at university, when outdoors, when at home, among friends, at work, when taunted: “What would Christ do in my place?” When you go dancing, when you are playing or watching sports: “What would Christ do in my place?”

He is the password, the power source that charges our hearts, ignites our faith and makes our eyes sparkle. That is what it means to be a protagonist of history. Our eyes sparkle, for we have discovered that Jesus is the source of life and joy. Protagonists of history, for we wish to pass on that sparkle to hearts that have grown so cold and gloomy that they have forgotten what it means to hope, to all those hearts that are “deadened” and wait for someone to come and challenge them with something worthwhile. Being protagonists means doing what Jesus did.

Wherever you are, with whomever you are with, and whenever you get together: “What would Jesus do?” The only way not to forget a password is by using it over and over. Day after day. The time will come when you know it by heart, and the day will come when, without realizing it, your heart will beat like Jesus’ heart.

It is not enough to hear a sermon or learn an answer from the catechism; we want to live the way Jesus lived. To do that, the young people in the Gospel asked: “Lord, where do you live?” (Jn 1:38). How do you live? We want to live like Jesus, with that “yes” that thrills our hearts.To put oneself on the line, to run risks. Dear friends, be courageous, go out straightaway to meet your friends, people you don’t know, or those having troubles.

Go out with the only promise we have: that wherever you are – in the desert, on the journey, amid the excitement, you will always be “connected”; there will always be a “power source”. We will never be alone. We will always enjoy the company of Jesus, his Mother, and a community. Certainly, a community is not perfect, but that does not mean that it does not have much to love and to give to others.

Dear friends, dear young people: “Be young Samaritans, who never walk past someone lying on the roadside. Be young Simons of Cyrene who helps Christ carry his cross and help alleviate the sufferings of your brothers and sisters. Be like Zacchaeus, who turns his heart from materialism to solidarity. Be like young Mary Magdalene, passionately seeking love, who finds in Jesus alone the answers she needs. Have the heart of Peter, so that you can abandon your nets beside the lake. Have the love of John, so that you can rest all your concerns in him. Have the openness of Mary, so that you can sing for joy and do God’s will.[2]

Dear friends, I would have liked to stay longer. Thank you for this meeting and for your joyfulness. I ask you one favor: please remember to pray for me.
__________________
[1] LA LEY, Aquí. [2] CARD. RAÚL SILVA HENRÍQUEZ, Mensaje a los jóvenes (7 October 1979). [00058-EN.01] [Original text: Spanish]

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

1 day 16 hours

You cannot assert yourself by destroying others, Pope Francis has said, decrying violence.

Pope Francis stressed this during the Mass for the Progress of the Peoples over which he presided in Temuco, Jan. 17, 2018, during his Apostolic Visit to Chile and Peru, Jan. 15-22.

Temuco, in the region of Araucanìa, home to a Chilean indigenous community, known as the Mapuche, some of whom were present at the Mass, welcoming the Pope in traditional garments and with song.

“Here,” the Pope said, “I would like to pause and greet in a special way the members of the Mapuche people, as well as the other indigenous peoples who dwell in these southern lands: the Rapanui (from Easter Island), the Aymara, the Quechua and the Atacameños, and many others.”

While noting how tourists likely would enjoy these beautiful lands, Francis recalled the “sorrow that cannot be silenced” there and “the injustices of centuries that everyone sees taking place.”

In the context of thanksgiving for this land and its people, but also of sorrow and pain, he said, we celebrate this Eucharist. “We do so in this Maquehue aerodrome, which was the site of grave violations of human rights.”

“We offer this Mass for all those who suffered and died, and for those who daily bear the burden of those many injustices. The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross bears all the sin and pain of our peoples, in order to redeem it.”

Reflecting on today’s Gospel according to St. John, when Jesus prays to the Father ‘that they may all be one,’ Francis noted that at a crucial moment in His own life, He stops to plea for unity.

“Today we want to cling to this prayer of Jesus, to enter with him into this garden of sorrows with those sorrows of our own, and to ask the Father, with Jesus, that we too may be one. May confrontation and division never gain the upper hand among us.”

One of the main temptations that must be resisted, the Pope said, is that of confusing unity with uniformity. He reminded that Jesus does not ask his Father that all may be equal or identical, for unity is not “meant to neutralize or silence differences,” nor “an idol or the result of forced integration,” nor “harmony bought at the price of leaving some people on the fringes.”

Rather, he highlighted, unity is a “reconciled diversity, for it will not allow personal or community wrongs to be perpetrated in its name.” Such unity, he stressed,  requires that everyone listens to one another, but even more importantly, that all esteem one another.

We cannot accept any means of attaining unity, if it is not to be built on esteem and solidarity, he said. For instance, two kinds of violence actually threaten unity and reconciliation, rather than encourage them, he said.

“First, we have to be on our guard against coming up with “elegant” agreements that will never be put into practice. Nice words, detailed plans – necessary as these are – but, when unimplemented, end up “erasing with the elbow, what was written by the hand”. This is one kind of violence, because it frustrates hope.”

Secondly, he stressed, we must insist that a culture of mutual esteem may not be based on acts of violence and destruction that end up taking human lives.

“You cannot assert yourself by destroying others, because this only leads to more violence and division. Violence begets violence, destruction increases fragmentation and separation. Violence eventually makes a most just cause into a lie. That is why we say “no to destructive violence” in either of its two forms.”

Those two approaches, he said, are “like the lava of a volcano that wipes out and burns everything in its path, leaving in its wake only barrenness and desolation.”

A path of “active non-violence,” he said, is needed “as a style of politics for peace”.

“Let us seek, and never tire of seeking, dialogue for the sake of unity,” he said, noting: “That is why we cry out: Lord, make us artisans of your unity.”

“All of us, to a certain extent, are people of the earth (cf. Gen 2:7). All of us are called to “the good life” (Küme Mongen), as the ancestral wisdom of the Mapuche people reminds us. How far we have to go, and how much we still have to learn! Küme Mongen, a deep yearning that not only rises up from our hearts, but resounds like a loud cry, like a song, in all creation.”

Pope Francis concluded, saying: Therefore, brothers and sisters, for the children of this earth, for the children of their children, let us say with Jesus to the Father: may we too be one; make us artisans of unity.

***

On ZENIT’s WEB PAGE:

Full Text: https://zenit.org/articles/popes-homily-during-mass-in-temuco-chile-full-text/

1 day 21 hours

Here is a ZENIT translation of the Message the Holy Father Francis sent to the Most Reverend Father Friar Juan Carlos Saavedra Lucho, Master General of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy, on the occasion of the 800th anniversary of the Order of Mercy.

* * *

The Holy Father’s Message

To the Most Reverend Father Friar Juan Carlos Saavedra Lucho

Master General of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy

Dear Brother:

As the date draws near in which the Order of Mercy, and all those that unite themselves to it with spiritual bonds, remember the eighth centenary of the pontifical confirmation of this Institute by Pope Gregory IX, I wish to join you in your thanksgiving to the Lord for all the gifts received throughout this time. I wish to express to you my spiritual closeness, encouraging you so that this circumstance serves for your interior renewal and to boost the charism received, following the spiritual way that Christ the Redeemer traced for you.

The Lord makes Himself present in our life, showing us all His love and He encourages us to correspond to Him with generosity, this being the first commandment of the Holy People of God: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:5). In preparation for this Jubilee Year, you wished to highlight three protagonists of your history, which can signify three moments of response to the love of God. The first is Saint Peter Nolasco, considered the Founder of the new community and the recipient of the charism given by God.

The heart and treasure of the Order is in that vocation, as both its tradition as well as the biography of each of the Religious is founded on that first love. In the Mercedarian Family’s rich patrimony, begun with the Founders and enriched by the members of the Community that have succeeded one another in the course of the centuries, the spiritual and material graces that you have received are brought together. This deposit becomes the expression of a history of love that is rooted in the past but that is incarnated especially in the present and opens to the future, in the gifts that the Spirit continues to shed on each one of you. One cannot love what one doesn’t know (Cf. Saint Augustine, Trinity, X, II, 4); therefore, I encourage you to deepen this foundation laid by Christ, outside of whom nothing can be built, rediscovering the first love of the Order and of one’s own vocation, to be continually renewed.

The second protagonist in this triptych is the Holy Virgin, Our Lady of Mercy or, as she is also called, of Remedy and Grace in our needs, which we entreat from God and trust in her powerful intercession. In the Hebrew original, the expression that we translate “you will love the Lord with all your soul” means “up to the last drop of our blood.” That is why Mary’s example is identified with this verse of the “Shema.” She proclaims herself “handmaid of the Lord,” and sets out “in haste” (Luke 1:38-39), to take the Good News of the Kingdom to her cousin Elizabeth. It is God’s answer to the people’s clamour awaiting deliverance (Cf. Exodus 3:7 and Luke 1:13). Thus she is teacher of consecration to God and to the people, in availability and service, in humility and simplicity and in prayer. It’s a commitment that recalls the sacrifice of the ancient redeemer fathers, who themselves remained as “hostages,” as pledge of the freedom of the captives. Therefore, I beg you that this resolution to be completely hers is reflected not only in avant-garde apostolic works, but in the daily and humble work of each Religious, as well as in the contemplative monasteries that, with prayerful silence and in hidden sacrifice, sustain maternally the life of the Order and of the Church.

The third protagonist that completes the picture of the history of the Institute is Christ the Redeemer. In Him we make a qualitative leap, as we pass from the disciples to the Master. As He did the rich young man, Jesus challenges us with a question that touches us profoundly: would you be perfect? (Cf. Matthew 19:21l 5:48). Theoretical knowledge is of no use, not even a sincere adherence to the precepts of the divine Law “since his youth” (Mark 10:20), but that Jesus looks at us in our eyes and loves us, asking us to leave it all to follow Him. Love is assayed in the fire of risk, in the capacity of putting all the cards on the table and betting strongly, for the hope that doesn’t defraud. However, often the personal and communal decisions that cost us most are those that affect our small and, sometimes, worldly securities. We are all called to live the joy that springs from the encounter with Jesus, to overcome our egoism, to come out of our  own comfort and to dare to go to the periphery, which needs the light of the Gospel (Cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 20). We can respond generously to the Lord, when we experience that we are loved by God despite our sin and our inconsistency.

Dear Brothers and Sisters, the Lord Jesus will show you a lovely way to follow Him with a renewed spirit. You will be able to have the gift received – personal and communal – grow, giving it and giving oneself completely, as the grain of wheat that can’t give fruit if it doesn’t die (Cf. John 12:24). I pray to the Lord to give you the strength to abandon what ties you and to assume your cross, so that throwing off your mantle and picking up your pallet  (Mark 10:50; 2:1-12) you can follow Him on the way and dwell in His house for ever.

Please, I beg you to pray for me. May Jesus bless all the members of the Order and the entire Mercedarian Family, and the Holy Virgin take care of you.

Fraternally,

Francis PP.

Vatican, December 6, 2017, Memorial of Saint Peter Pascual

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

1 day 22 hours

“In contrast to nationalism – patriotism is an attitude worthy of cultivating”, wrote Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, President of the Polish Episcopate in a letter entitled “Nationalism and patriotism”, in which he draws the difference between these two concepts, on the occasion of the “XXI Day of Judaism in the Catholic Church in Poland”, celebrated on January 17, 2018, and in the year of the 100th anniversary of Poland’s regaining independence.

In the letter, the President of the Episcopate presents briefly four types of nationalism: integral, Christian, secular, neopagan and chauvinism, considered as an extreme form of nationalism. Their common feature is the belief that “the nation is the highest good”. Meanwhile, “the Catholic Church critically perceives nationalism, because putting the nation at the top of the hierarchy of values ​​can lead to some kind of idolatry”, notes the President of the Bishops’ Conference. Pope Pius XI warned against such a mistake in the Encyclical “Mit brennender Sorge” in 1937.

Archbishop Gadecki emphasizes that in contrast to nationalism – patriotism is an attitude worthy of cultivating. “The Christian lives deeply involved in the lives of individual nations and is a sign of the Gospel also in fidelity to his homeland, his nation, national culture, but always in the freedom which Christ brought to us (St. John Paul II, Redemptoris misio, 43), without feelings of reluctance towards other nations”, notes the President of the Polish Episcopate.

In recent years, the Conference of the Polish Episcopate has published two documents on the contemporary challenges of patriotism. In 2012, Polish bishops stressed that patriotism becomes an element of order and peace, when it is built on faith and the command to love one’s neighbor. Last year, The Christian shape of patriotism was published, in which the bishops draw attention to the fact that in the situation of deep political dispute that divides Poland, the patriotic duty also seems to be “commitment to the work on social reconciliation by reminding the truth about the dignity of every human being, relieving excessive political emotions, pointing and widening fields of possible and necessary for Poland cooperation over divisions and protection of public life against unnecessary politicization”.

The President of the Polish Episcopate also noted that in the context of the new generation of Polish national milieus that refer to the postulates of pre-war National Democracy, “in which on the one hand we have people with nationalistic views who follow the slogan ‘Poland [solely] for Poles’, on the other hand – people with patriotic views, it is needed further formation”, writes Archbishop Gadecki.

“I wish all my compatriots at home and abroad that the 100th anniversary of Poland’s independence strengthen in us the love of the homeland in the spirit of true patriotism”, writes the President of the Polish Episcopate.

1 day 22 hours

Below is the Vatican-provided text of Pope Francis’ homily during the Mass over which he presided at the Maquehue Airport in the Chilean city of Temuco, Jan. 17, 2018, during his Apostolic Visit to Chile and Peru, Jan. 15-22:

***

“Mari, Mari” [Good morning!]

“Küme tünngün ta niemün” [“Peace be with you!” (Lk 24:36)]

I thank God for allowing me to visit this beautiful part of our continent, the Araucanía. It is a land blessed by the Creator with immense and fertile green fields, with forests full of impressive araucarias – the fifth “praise” offered by Gabriela Mistral to this Chilean land[1] – and with its majestic snow-capped volcanoes, its lakes and rivers full of life. This landscape lifts us up to God, and it is easy to see his hand in every creature. Many generations of men and women have loved this land with fervent gratitude. Here I would like to pause and greet in a special way the members of the Mapuche people, as well as the other indigenous peoples who dwell in these southern lands: the Rapanui (from Easter Island), the Aymara, the Quechua and the Atacameños, and many others.

Seen through the eyes of tourists, this land will thrill us as we pass through it, but if we put our ear to the ground, we will hear it sing: “Arauco has a sorrow that cannot be silenced, the injustices of centuries that everyone sees taking place”.[2]

In the context of thanksgiving for this land and its people, but also of sorrow and pain, we celebrate this Eucharist. We do so in this Maquehue aerodrome, which was the site of grave violations of human rights. We offer this Mass for all those who suffered and died, and for those who daily bear the burden of those many injustices. The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross bears all the sin and pain of our peoples, in order to redeem it.

In the Gospel we have just heard, Jesus prays to the Father “that they may all be one” (Jn 17:21). At a crucial moment in his own life, he stops to plea for unity. In his heart, he knows that one of the greatest threats for his disciples and for all mankind will be division and confrontation, the oppression of some by others. How many tears would be spilled! Today we want to cling to this prayer of Jesus, to enter with him into this garden of sorrows with those sorrows of our own, and to ask the Father, with Jesus, that we too may be one. May confrontation and division never gain the upper hand among us.

This unity implored by Jesus is a gift that must be persistently sought, for the good of our land and its children. We need to be on our watch against temptations that may arise to “poison the roots” of this gift that God wants to give us, and with which he invites us to play a genuine role in history.

1. False synonyms

One of the main temptations we need to resist is that of confusing unity with uniformity. Jesus does not ask his Father that all may be equal, identical, for unity is not meant to neutralize or silence differences. Unity is not an idol or the result of forced integration; it is not a harmony bought at the price of leaving some people on the fringes. The richness of a land is born precisely from the desire of each of its parts to share its wisdom with others. Unity can never be a stifling uniformity imposed by the powerful, or a segregation that does not value the goodness of others. The unity sought and offered by Jesus acknowledges what each people and each culture are called to contribute to this land of blessings. Unity is a reconciled diversity, for it will not allow personal or community wrongs to be perpetrated in its name. We need the riches that each people has to offer, and we must abandon the notion that there are higher or lower cultures. A beautiful “chamal” requires weavers who know the art of blending the different materials and colours, who spend time with each element and each stage of the work. That process can be imitated industrially, but everyone will recognize a machine-made garment. The art of unity requires true artisans who know how to harmonize differences in the “design” of towns, roads, squares and landscapes. It is not “desk art”, or paperwork; it is a craft demanding attention and understanding. That is the source of its beauty, but also of its resistance to the passage of time and to whatever storms may come its way.

The unity that our people need requires that we listen to one another, but even more importantly, that we esteem one another. “This is not just about being better informed about others, but rather about reaping what the Spirit has sown in them”.[3] This sets us on the path of solidarity as a means of weaving unity, a means of building history. The solidarity that makes us say: We need one another, and our differences so that this land can remain beautiful! It is the only weapon we have against the “deforestation” of hope. That is why we pray: Lord, make us artisans of unity.

2. The weapons of unity.

If unity is to be built on esteem and solidarity, then we cannot accept any means of attaining it. There are two kinds of violence that, rather than encouraging the growth of unity and reconciliation, actually threaten them. First, we have to be on our guard against coming up with “elegant” agreements that will never be put into practice. Nice words, detailed plans – necessary as these are – but, when unimplemented, end up “erasing with the elbow, what was written by the hand”. This is one kind of violence, because it frustrates hope.

In the second place, we have to insist that a culture of mutual esteem may not be based on acts of violence and destruction that end up taking human lives. You cannot assert yourself by destroying others, because this only leads to more violence and division. Violence begets violence, destruction increases fragmentation and separation. Violence eventually makes a most just cause into a lie. That is why we say “no to destructive violence” in either of its two forms.

Those two approaches are like the lava of a volcano that wipes out and burns everything in its path, leaving in its wake only barrenness and desolation. Let us instead seek the path of active non-violence, “as a style of politics for peace”.[4] Let us seek, and never tire of seeking, dialogue for the sake of unity. That is why we cry out: Lord, make us artisans of your unity.

All of us, to a certain extent, are people of the earth (cf. Gen 2:7). All of us are called to “the good life” (Küme Mongen), as the ancestral wisdom of the Mapuche people reminds us. How far we have to go, and how much we still have to learn! Küme Mongen, a deep yearning that not only rises up from our hearts, but resounds like a loud cry, like a song, in all creation. Therefore, brothers and sisters, for the children of this earth, for the children of their children, let us say with Jesus to the Father: may we too be one; make us artisans of unity.

_________________________

[1] GABRIELA MISTRAL, Elogios de la tierra de Chile.

[2] VIOLETA PARRA, Arauco tiena una pena.

[3] Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, 246.

[4] Message for the 2017 World Day of Peace.

[Original Text: Spanish]

© Libreria Editrice Vaticana

1 day 23 hours

Pope Francis alone met privately with several victims of sexual abuse by clergy on Tuesday evening, Jan. 17, 2018, at the Apostolic Nunciature in Santiago, Chile, reported Director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke, in a brief statement.

The Vatican spokesman also noted that the Pope “prayed and cried with them after hearing their experiences.”

Pope Francis is making his 22nd Apostolic Visit abroad, to Chile and Peru, Jan. 15-22, 2018.

In his first speech in the country, speaking to the nation’s authorities, Pope Francis expressed his “pain and shame’” for the “irreparable damage” caused to children by some priests in the Church.

In Chile, a country that has been scarred by the abuses that have caused tension and protests even up to and during the visit, Pope Francis asked forgiveness for these acts and appealed that “every effort” be done to help victims and to ensure that “such things do not happen again.”

 

2 days 47 min

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

**

Q: In the norms for the liturgical year, there is mention of a number of proper feasts and solemnities that change depending upon the place, including the “Solemnity of the title of a particular church.” Does the term “particular church” refer to a diocese (or its equivalent, as used in canon law) or to the parish church? That is, can a parish celebrate its patronal feast or memorial as a solemnity? — S.I., Dallas, Texas

***

A: In canon law, the term particular church is generally equivalent to a diocese. To wit:

“368. Particular churches, in which and from which the one and only Catholic Church exists, are first of all dioceses, to which, unless it is otherwise evident, are likened a territorial prelature and territorial abbacy, an apostolic vicariate and an apostolic prefecture, and an apostolic administration erected in a stable manner.”

However, with respect to the norms referred to above regarding the liturgical calendar, the term particular church would mean a parish church or any church with a properly dedicated title. Most official documents and their translations use other terms so as avoid confusion.

We discussed the custom of parish patrons and the norms involved in a column published last October 17. In that piece, however, we did not touch upon the question of the celebration of such feasts.

The general norms regarding the liturgical year and “particular calendars” were issued in 1969. This document states:

“52. A particular calendar is prepared by inserting in the General Calendar special solemnities, feasts, and memorials proper to that calendar:

“a. in a diocesan calendar, in addition to celebrations of its patrons and the dedication of the cathedral, the saints and the blessed who bear some special connection with that diocese, for example, as their birthplace, residence over a long period, or place of death;

“b. in the calendar of religious, besides celebrations of their title, founder, or patron, those saints and blesseds who were members of that religious family or had some special relationship with it.

“c. in a calendar for individual churches, celebrations proper to a diocese or religious community, those celebrations that are proper to that church and are listed in the Table of Liturgical Days and also the saints who are buried in that church. Members of religious communities should join with the community of the local Church in celebrating the anniversary of the dedication of the cathedral and the principle patrons of the place and of the larger region where they live.”

It is noteworthy that the text does not say particular but individual (singularum) churches so there is no confusion of terms in this document. According to the table of liturgical precedence, the celebration of the church’s title is usually classed as a solemnity. The table list the order of precedence and the proper solemnity of an individual church is listed in 4 a-b:

“1. Easter Triduum of the Lord’s passion and resurrection.

“2. Christmas, Epiphany, Ascension, and Pentecost. Sundays of Advent, Lent, and the Easter season. Ash Wednesday. Weekdays of Holy Week from Monday to Thursday inclusive. Days within the octave of Easter.

“3. Solemnities of the Lord, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and saints listed in the General Calendar. All Souls.

“4. Proper Solemnities, namely:

“a. Solemnity of the principal patron of the place, city or state.

“b. Solemnity of the dedication of a particular church and the anniversary.

“c. Solemnity of the Title of one’s own church,

“d. The solemnity of the title, or of the founder, or of the principal patron of a religious order or congregation.

“5. Feasts of the Lord in the General Calendar.”

With respect to the celebration of these feasts the norms of precedence state that:

“58. For the pastoral advantage of the people, it is permissible to observe on the Sundays in Ordinary Time those celebrations that fall during the week and have special appeal to the devotion of the faithful, provided the celebrations take precedence over these Sundays in the Table of Liturgical Days. The Mass for such celebrations may be used at all the Masses at which a congregation is present.”

Therefore, if the title of a parish is not already a solemnity in the universal calendar (St. Joseph, Immaculate Conception, etc.), then it is a solemnity in this specific church.

If the feast falls during a weekday of ordinary time, then the pastor may opt to transfer the celebration on the nearest Sunday in order to underline its importance.

Thus, if a parish is dedicated, for example, to St. Bonaventure or Our Lady of Mount Carmel (July 15 and 16), the solemnity could be transferred to the nearest Sunday.

If, however, it was dedicated to St. Athanasius (May 2) or St. John of the Cross (December 14), this transfer to Sunday would not be possible as the Sunday of Easter and Advent has precedence over the particular solemnity.

It would still be a solemnity on its proper day with all the liturgical attributes of a solemnity such as three readings, Glory, and Creed.

If the proper solemnity coincided with a Sunday of higher rank (for example, St. John of the Cross falling on a Sunday of Advent), then the saint’s day would usually be transferred to the following Monday.

* * *

Readers may send questions to zenit.liturgy@gmail.com. Please put the word “Liturgy” in the subject field. The text should include your initials, your city, and your state, province or country. Father McNamara can only answer a small selection of the great number of questions that arrive.

2 days 12 hours

Pope Francis on January 16, 2018, made a  brief visit to the Shrine Dedicated to Saint Alberto Hurtado, SJ, in Santiago, Chile.  Fr. Hurtado was beatified by John Paul II on October 16, 1994. He was canonized on October 23, 2005, by Pope Benedict XVI, becoming his country’s second saint. The saint was recognized in Chile as a champion of the poor and strong advocate of social justice.

The Vatican Dosier on the Saint

ALBERTO HURTADO CRUCHAGA was born in Viña del Mar, Chile, on 22 January 1901; he was orphaned when he was four years old by the death of his father. His mother had to sell, at a loss, their modest property in order to pay the family’s debts. As a further consequence, Alberto and his brother had to go to live with relatives and were often moved from one family to another. From an early age, therefore, he experienced what it meant to be poor, to be without a home and at the mercy of others.

He was given a scholarship to the Jesuit College in Santiago. Here he became a member of the Sodality of Our Lady and developed a lively interest in the poor, spending time with them in the most miserable neighborhoods every Sunday afternoon.

When he completed his secondary education in 1917, Alberto wanted to become a Jesuit, but he was advised to delay the realization of this desire in order to take care of his mother and his younger brother. By working in the afternoons and evenings, he succeeded in supporting them; at the same time, he studied law at the Catholic University. In this period, he maintained his care for the poor and continued to visit them every Sunday. Obligatory military service interrupted his studies, but once he fulfilled this duty he went on to earn his degree early in August 1923.

On 14 August 1923 he entered the Novitiate of the Society of Jesus in Chillán. In 1925 he went to Córdoba, Argentina, where he studied humanities. In 1927 he was sent to Spain to study philosophy and theology.

However, because of the suppression of the Jesuits in Spain in 1931, he went on to Belgium and continued studying theology at Louvain. He was ordained a priest there on 24 August 1933, and in 1935 obtained a doctorate in pedagogy and psychology. After having completed his Tertianship in Drongen, Belgium, he returned to Chile in January 1936. Here he began his activity as professor of religion at Colegio San Ignacio and of Pedagogy at the Catholic University of Santiago. He was entrusted with the Sodality of Our Lady for the students, and he involved them in teaching catechism to the poor. He frequently directed retreats and offered spiritual direction to many young men, accompanying several of them in their response to the priestly vocation and contributing in an outstanding manner to the formation of many Christian laymen.

In 1941 Father Hurtado published his most famous book: “Is Chile a Catholic Country?” The same year he was asked to assume the role of Assistant for the Youth Movement of the Catholic Action, first within the Archdiocese of Santiago and then nationally. He performed these roles with an exceptional spirit of initiative, dedication and sacrifice.

In October 1944, while giving a retreat, he felt impelled to appeal to his audience to consider the many poor people of the city, especially the numerous homeless children who were roaming the streets of Santiago. This request evoked a ready and generous response. This was the beginning of the initiative for which Father Hurtado is especially well-known: a form of charitable activity which provided not only housing but a home-like milieu for the homeless: “El Hogar de Cristo”.

By means of contributions from benefactors and with the active collaboration of committed laity, Father Hurtado opened the first house for children; this was followed by a house for women and then one for men. The poor found a warm home in “El Hogar de Cristo”. The houses multiplied and took on new dimensions; in some houses there were rehabilitation centers, in others trade-schools, and so on. All were inspired and permeated by Christian values.

In 1945 Father Hurtado visited the United States to study the “Boys Town” movement and to consider how it could be adapted to his own country. The last six years of his life were dedicated to the development of various forms in which “El Hogar” could exist and function.

In 1947 Father Hurtado founded the Chilean Trade Union Association (ASICH) to promote a union movement inspired by the social teaching of the Church.

Between 1947 and 1950, Father Hurtado wrote three important works: on trade unions, on social humanism, and on the Christian social order. In 1951 he founded “Mensaje”, the well-known Jesuit periodical dedicated to explaining the doctrine of the Church.

Pancreatic cancer brought him, within a few months, to the end of his life. In the midst of terrible pain, he was often heard to say, “I am content, Lord.”

After having spent his life manifesting Christ’s love for the poor, Father Hurtado was called to the Lord on 18 August 1952.

From his return to Chile after his Tertianship to his death, a matter of only fifteen years, Father Hurtado lived and accomplished all the works described above. His apostolate was the expression of a personal love for Christ the Lord; it was characterized by a great love for poor and abandoned children, an enlightened zeal for the formation of the laity, and a lively sense of Christian social justice.

Fr. Hurtado was beatified by John Paul II on October 16, 1994. He was canonized on October 23, 2005, by Pope Benedict XVI, becoming his country’s second saint.

2 days 14 hours

Pope Francis on January 16, 2018, reminded bishops that they are part of  God’s people, warning of the dangers of clericalism. His comments came in a meeting with bishops of Chile in the sacristy of the Cathedral of Santiago.

He noted that in the “postmodern” world, a feeling of “not belonging to anyone…we forget that we are part of God’s holy and faithful people.”  He explained that “the Church is not, nor will it ever be, an élite of consecrated men and women, priests and bishops.”

The Holy Father claimed that without the “consciousness of being a people, we will not be able to sustain our life, our vocation, and our ministry.”  And he said that a failure to understand the mission of the Church as belonging to all the people, that mission is limited.

‘A failure to realize that the mission belongs to the entire Church, and not to the individual priest or bishop, limits the horizon, and even worse, stifles all the initiatives that the Spirit may be awakening in our midst,” Francis stressed. “Let us be clear about this. The laypersons are not our peons or our employees. They don’t have to parrot back whatever we say.”

The Holy Father’s Prepared Remarks

Dear Brothers:

I thank you for the greeting that the President of the Conference has offered to me in the name of all present.

Before all else, I would like to greet Bishop Bernardino Piñero Carvallo, who this year celebrates his sixtieth anniversary of episcopal ordination – he is the oldest bishop in the world, not only in age but also in years of episcopate – who was present for four sessions of the Second Vatican Council. A marvelous living memory. Soon a year will have passed since your ad limina visit. Now it is my turn to come and visit you. I am pleased that our meeting follows that with our consecrated men and women, for one of  our principal tasks is precisely to be close to consecrated life and to our priests. If the shepherd wanders off, the sheep too will stray and fall prey to any wolf that comes along. The fatherhood of the bishop with his presbyterate! A fatherhood that neither paternalism nor authoritarianism, but a gift to be sought. Stay close to your priests, like Saint Joseph, with a fatherhood that helps them to grow and to develop the charisms that the Holy Spirit has wished to pour out upon your respective presbyterates.

I know that ours is a brief meeting, but I would like to reiterate some of the points I made during our meeting in Rome. I can sum them up in the following phrase: the consciousness of being a people.

One of the problems facing our societies today is the sense of being orphaned, the feeling of not belonging to anyone. This “postmodern” feeling can seep into us and into our clergy. We begin to think that we belong to no one; we forget that we are part of God’s holy and faithful people and that the Church is not, nor will it ever be, an élite of consecrated men and women, priests, and bishops. Without this consciousness of being a people, we will not be able to sustain our life, our vocation and our ministry. To forget this – as I said to the Commission for Latin America – “carries many risks and distortions in our own experience, as individuals and in community, of the ministry that the Church has entrusted to us”.[1] The lack of consciousness of belonging to God’s people as servants, and not masters, can lead us to one of the temptations that is most damaging to the missionary outreach that we are called to promote: clericalism, which ends up as a caricature of the vocation we have received.

A failure to realize that the mission belongs to the entire Church, and not to the individual priest or bishop, limits the horizon, and even worse, stifles all the initiatives that the Spirit may be awakening in our midst. Let us be clear about this. The laypersons are not our peons, or our employees. They don’t have to parrot back whatever we say.

“Clericalism, far from giving impetus to various contributions and proposals, gradually extinguishes the prophetic flame to which the entire Church is called to bear witness. Clericalism forgets that the visibility and the sacramentality of the Church belong to all the people of God (cf. Lumen Gentium, 9-14), not only to the few chosen and enlightened”.[2]

Let us be on guard, please, against this temptation, especially in seminaries and throughout the process of formation. Seminaries must stress that future priests be capable of serving God’s holy and faithful people, acknowledging the diversity of cultures and renouncing the temptation to any form of clericalism. The priest is a minister of Jesus Christ: Jesus is the protagonist who makes himself present in the entire people of God. Tomorrow’s priests must be trained with a view to the future, since their ministry will be carried out in a secularized world. This in turn demands that we pastors discern how best to prepare them for carrying out their mission in these concrete circumstances and not in our “ideal worlds or situations”. Their mission is carried out in fraternal unity with the whole People of God. Side by side, supporting and encouraging the laity in a climate of discernment and synodality, two of the essential features of the priest of tomorrow. Let us say no to clericalism and to ideal worlds that are only part of our thinking, but touch the life of no one.

And in this regard, to beg, to implore from the Holy Spirit the gift of dreaming and working for a missionary and prophetic option capable of transforming everything, so that our customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and ecclesial structures can be suitably channelled for the evangelization of Chile rather than for ecclesiastical self-preservation. Let us not be afraid to strip ourselves of everything that separates us from the missionary mandate.[3]

Dear brothers, let us commend ourselves to loving protection of Mary, Mother of Chile. Let us pray together for our presbyterates and for our consecrated men and women. Let us pray for God’s holy and faithful people.
______________________
[1] Letter to Cardinal Marc Ouellet, President of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America (21 March 2016).
[2] Ibid.
BOLLETTINO N. 0034- 16.01.2018 7
[3] Cf. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, 27.
[00056-EN.01] [Original text: Spanish]

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

 

 

2 days 15 hours

Pope Francis recalled the path of Peter on January 16, 2018, when he met with priests, religious men, and women, consecrated and seminarians in the Cathedral of Santiago.  He noted the three important moments experienced by Peter and the first Christian community: Disheartened, shown mercy, transfigured.

Peter and the disciples were disheartened after the crucifixion, the Pope said.  “Peter had denied him; Judas had betrayed him; the others had fled and hid  themselves. Only a handful of women and the beloved disciple remained. The rest took off. In a matter of days, everything had fallen apart,” Francis noted.

Jesus showed mercy to Jesus and the disciples when he appeared to them.  The Holy Father recalled the scene after Jesus ate breakfast with the disciples: “After they ate, Jesus takes Peter aside and his only words are a question, a question about love: Do you love me? Jesus neither reproaches nor condemns. The only thing that he wants to do is to save Peter.”

Finally, Peter is transfigured, as the Pope explains: “Peter experienced in his flesh the wound of sin, but also of his own limitations and weaknesses. Yet he learned from Jesus that his wounds could be a path of resurrection.”

The Holy Father’s Prepared Remarks

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I am happy to be meeting with you. I like the way that Cardinal Ezzati presented you: Here they are… consecrated women, consecrated men, priests, permanent deacons, and seminarians. It made me think of the day of our ordination or consecration when after being presented, each of us said: “Here I am, Lord, to do your will”. In this meeting, we want to tell the Lord: “Here we are”, and renew our “yes” to him. We want to renew together our response to the call that one day took our hearts by surprise.

I think that it can help us to start with the Gospel passage that we heard, and to share three moments experienced by Peter and the first community: Peter and the community disheartened, Peter and the community shown mercy, and Peter and the community transfigured. I play with this pairing of Peter and the community since the life of apostles always has this twofold dimension, the personal and the communitarian. They go hand-in-hand and we cannot separate them. We are called individually but always as part of a larger group. Where vocation is concerned, there is no such thing as a selfie! Vocation demands that somebody else take your picture, and that is what we are about to do!

1. Peter disheartened

I have always liked the way the Gospels do not adorn or soften things or paint them in nice colors. They show us life as it is and not as it should be. The Gospel is not afraid to show us the difficult, and even tense, moments experienced by the disciples.

Let us reconstruct the scene. Jesus had been killed, but some women said he was alive (Lk 24:22-24). Even after the disciples had seen the risen Jesus, the event was so powerful that they needed time to be able to understand what had happened. That understanding would come to them at Pentecost with the sending of the Holy Spirit. The encounter with the Risen Lord would require time to find a place in the hearts of his disciples.

The disciples go home. They go back to do what they knew how to do: to fish. Not all of them, but only some of them. Were they divided? Fragmented? We don’t know. The Scriptures tell us that those who were there caught nothing. Their nets were empty.

Yet another kind of emptiness unconsciously weighed upon them: dismay and confusion at the death of their Master. He was no more; he had been crucified. But not only was he crucified but so were they, since Jesus’s death raised a whirlwind of conflicts in the hearts of his friends. Peter had denied him; Judas had betrayed him; the others had fled and hid  themselves. Only a handful of women and the beloved disciple remained. The rest took off. In a matter of days, everything had fallen apart. These are the hours of dismay and confusion in the life of the disciple. There are times “when the tempest of persecutions, tribulations, doubts, and so forth, is raised by cultural and historical events, it is not easy to find the path to follow. Those times have their own temptations: the temptation to debate ideas, to avoid the matter at hand, to be too concerned with our enemies… And I believe that the worst temptation of all is to keep dwelling on our own unhappiness”.[1] Yes, dwelling on our own unhappiness.

As Cardinal Ezzati told us, “the priesthood and consecrated life in Chile have endured and continue to endure difficult times of significant upheavals and challenges. Side by side with the fidelity of the immense majority, there have sprung up weeds of evil and their aftermath of scandal and desertion”.

Times of upheaval. I know the pain resulting from cases of abuse of minors and I am attentive to what you are doing to respond to this great and painful evil. Painful because of the harm and sufferings of the victims and their families, who saw the trust they had placed in the Church’s ministers betrayed. Painful too for the suffering of ecclesial communities, but also painful for you, brothers and sisters, who, after working so hard, have seen the harm that has led to suspicion and questioning; in some or many of you this has been a source of doubt, fear or a lack of confidence. I know that at times you have been insulted in the metro or walking on the street and that by going around in clerical attire in many places you pay a heavy price. For this reason, I suggest that we ask God to grant us the clear-sightedness to call reality by its name, the strength to seek forgiveness and the ability to listen to what he tells us.

There is something else I would like to mention. Our societies are changing. Chile today is quite different from what I knew in my youth, when I was at school. New and different cultural expressions are being born which do not fit into our familiar patterns. We have to realize that many times we do not know how to deal with these new situations. Sometimes we dream of the “fleshpots of Egypt” and we forget that the promised land lies ahead of us, that the promise is not about yesterday but about tomorrow. We can yield to the temptation of becoming closed, isolating ourselves and defending our ways of seeing things, which then turn out as nothing more than fine monologues. We can be tempted to think that everything is wrong, and in place of “good news”, the only thing we profess is apathy and disappointment. As a result, we shut our eyes to the pastoral challenges, thinking that the Spirit has nothing to say about them. In this way, we forget that the Gospel is a journey of conversion, not just for “others” but for ourselves as well.

Whether we like it or not, we are called to face reality as it is – our own personal reality and the reality of our communities and societies. The nets – the disciples say – are empty, and we can understand their feelings. They return home with no great tales to tell; they go back empty-handed; they return disheartened.

What became of those strong, enthusiastic and elegant disciples who felt themselves chosen and had left everything to us follow Jesus (cf. Mt 1:16-20)? What became of those disciples who were so sure of themselves that they would go to prison and even give their lives for the Master (cf. Lk 22:33), who to defend him would have liked to send fire upon the earth (cf. Lk 9:54). For whom they would unsheathe their swords and fight (cf. Lk 22:49-51)? What became of that Peter who reproached the Master about how he should live his life (cf. Mk 8:31-33)?

2. Peter shown mercy

It is the hour of truth in the life of the first community. It is time for Peter to have to confront a part of himself. The part of him that many times he didn’t want to see. He experienced his limitation, his frailty, and his sinfulness. Peter, the temperamental, impulsive leader and savior, self-sufficient and over-confident in himself and in his possibilities, had to acknowledge his weakness and sin. He was a sinner like everyone else, as needy as the others, as frail as anyone else. Peter had failed the one he had promised to protect. It is a crucial moment in Peter’s life. As disciples, as Church, we can have the same experience: there are moments when we have to face not our success but our weakness. Crucial moments in the life of a disciple, but also the times when an apostle is born. Let us allow the text to guide us.

“When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you
love me more than these?” (Jn 21:15).

After they ate, Jesus takes Peter aside and his only words are a question, a question about love: Do you love me? Jesus neither reproaches nor condemns. The only thing that he wants to do is to save Peter. He wants to save him from the danger of remaining closed in on his sin, constantly dwelling with remorse on his frailty, the danger of giving up, because of that frailty, on all the goodness he had known with Jesus. Jesus wants to save him from self-centeredness and isolation. He wants to save him from the destructive attitude of becoming a victim or of thinking “what does it matter”, which waters down any commitment and ends up in the worst sort of relativism. Jesus wants to set him free from seeing his opponents as enemies and being upset by opposition and criticism. He wants to free him from being downcast and, above all, negative. By his question, Jesus asks Peter to listen to his heart and to learn how to discern. Since “it was not God’s way to defend the truth at the cost of charity, or charity at the cost of truth, or to smooth things away at the cost of both. Jesus wants to avoid turning Peter into someone who hurts others
by telling the truth, or is kind to others by telling lies, or simply someone paralyzed by his own uncertainty”,[2] as can happen to us in these situations.

Jesus questioned Peter about love and kept asking until Peter could give him a realistic response: “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you” (Jn 21:17). In this way, Jesus confirms him in his mission. In this way, he now makes him definitively his apostle. What is it that confirms Peter as an apostle? What sustains us as apostles? One thing only: that we “received mercy” (1 Tim 1:12-16). “For all our sins, our limitations, our failings, for all the many times we have fallen, Jesus has looked upon us and drawn near to us. He has given us his hand and shown us mercy. All of us can think back and remember the many times the Lord looked upon us, drew near and showed us mercy”.[3] We are not here because we are better than others; we are not superheroes who stoop down from the heights to encounter mere mortals. Rather, we are sent as men and women conscious of having been forgiven. That is the source of our joy. We are consecrated, shepherds modelled on Jesus, who suffered died and rose. A consecrated man or woman sees his or her wounds as signs of the resurrection; who sees in the wounds of this world the power of the resurrection; who, like Jesus, does not meet his brothers and sisters with reproach and condemnation.

Jesus Christ does not appear to his disciples without his wounds; those very wounds enabled Thomas to profess his faith. We are not asked to ignore or hide our wounds. A Church with wounds can understand the wounds of today’s world and make them her own, suffering with them, accompanying them and seeking to heal them. A wounded Church does not make herself the centre of things, does not believe that she is perfect, but puts at the centre the one who can heal those wounds, whose name is Jesus Christ

The knowledge that we are wounded sets us free. Yes, it sets us free from becoming self-referential and thinking ourselves superior. It sets us free from the Promethean tendency of “those who ultimately trust only in their own powers and feel superior to others because they observe certain rules or remain intransigently faithful to a particular Catholic style of the past”.[4]

In Jesus, our wounds are risen. They inspire solidarity; they help us to tear down the walls that enclose us in elitism and they impel us to build bridges and to encounter all those yearning for that merciful love which Christ alone can give. “How often we dream up vast apostolic projects, meticulously planned, just like defeated generals! But this is to deny our history as a Church, which is glorious precisely because it is a history of sacrifice, of hopes and daily struggles, of lives spent in service and fidelity to work, tiring as it may be, for all work is ‘the sweat of our brow’”.[5] I am concerned when I see communities more worried about their image, about occupying spaces, about appearances and publicity, than about going out to touch the suffering of our faithful people. How searching and insightful were the words of warning issued by one Chilean saint: “All those methods will fail that are imposed by uniformity, that try to bring us to God by making us forget about our brothers and sisters, that make us close our eyes to the universe rather than teaching us to open them and raise all things to the Creator of all, that make us selfish and close us
in on ourselves”.[6]

God’s people neither expect nor need us to be superheroes. They expect pastors, consecrated persons, who know what it is to be compassionate, who can give a helping hand, who can spend time with those who have fallen and, like Jesus, help them to break out of that endless remorse that poisons the soul.

3. Peter transfigured

Jesus asks Peter to discern, and events in Peter’s life then begin to come together, like the prophetic gesture of the washing of feet. Peter, who resisted having his feet washed, now begins to understand that true greatness comes from being lowly and a servant.[7] What a good teacher our Lord is! The prophetic gesture of Jesus points to the prophetic
Church that, washed of her sin, is unafraid to go out to serve a wounded humanity. Peter experienced in his flesh the wound of sin, but also of his own limitations and weaknesses. Yet he learned from Jesus that his wounds could be a path of resurrection. To know both Peter disheartened and Peter transfigured is an invitation to pass from being a Church of the unhappy and disheartened to a Church that serves all those people who are unhappy and disheartened in our midst. A Church capable of serving her Lord in those who are hungry, imprisoned, thirsting, homeless, naked and infirm… (Mt 25:35). A service that has nothing to do with a welfare mentality or an attitude of paternalism, but rather with the conversion of hearts. The problem is not feeding the poor, clothing the naked and visiting the sick, but rather recognizing that the poor, the naked, the sick, prisoners and the homeless have the dignity to sit at our table, to feel “at home” among us, to feel part of a family. This is the sign that the kingdom of heaven is in our midst. This is the sign of a Church wounded by sin, shown mercy by the Lord, and made prophetic
by his call.

To renew prophecy is to renew our commitment not to expect an ideal world, an ideal community, or an ideal disciple in order to be able to live and evangelize, but rather to make it possible for every disheartened person to encounter Jesus. One does not love ideal situations or ideal communities; one loves persons. The frank, sorrowful and prayerful recognition of our limitations, far from distancing us from our Lord, enables us to return to Jesus in the knowledge that “with his newness, he is always able to renew our lives and our communities, and even if the Christian message has known periods of darkness and ecclesial weakness, it will never grow old… Whenever we make the effort to return to the source and to recover the original freshness of the Gospel, new avenues arise, new paths of creativity open up, with different forms of expression, more eloquent signs and words with new meaning for today’s world”.[8] How good it is for all of us to let Jesus renew our hearts. When this meeting began, I told you that we came to renew our “yes”, with enthusiasm, with passion. We want to renew our “yes”, but as a realistic “yes”, sustained by the gaze of Jesus. When you return to your homes, I ask you to draw up in your hearts a sort of spiritual testament, along the lines of Cardinal Raúl Silva Henríquez and his beautiful prayer that begins: “The Church that I love is the holy Church of each day… Yours, mine, the holy Church of each day… “Jesus Christ, the Gospel, the bread, the Eucharist, the humble Body of Christ of each day. With the faces of the poor, the faces of men and women who sing, who struggle, who suffer. The holy Church of each day.”

What sort of Church is it that you love? Do you love this wounded Church that encounters life in the wounds of Jesus? Thank you for this meeting. Thank you for the chance to say “yes” once more with you. May Our Lady of Mount Carmel cover you with her mantle. Please, do not forget to pray for me.
_______________________
[1] Jorge M. Bergoglio, Las Cartas de la tribulación, 9, ed. Diego de Torres, Buenos Aires, 1987.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Video Message to CELAM for the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy on the American Continent, 27 August 2016.
[4] Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, 94.
[5] Ibid., 96.
[6] SAINT ALBERTO HURTADO, Address to the Young People of Catholic Action, 1943.
[7] “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all” (Mk 9:35).
BOLLETTINO N. 0033 – 16.01.2018 18
[8] Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, 11.
[00055-EN.01] [Original text: Spanish]

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

 

2 days 16 hours

Pope Francis asked that Mary intercede on behalf of those imprisoned during his January 16, 2018, visit to the  Female Central Penitentiary of Santiago.  The visit is part of his January 15-22, apostolic journey to Chile and Peru.

The Holy Father also recalled the words of Jesus in the Gospel of John, the story of the woman caught in adultery: “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone.”  And he talked of the three things that greeted him on his arrival at the facility: mother, children, flowers.

“Many of you are mothers and you know what it means to bring a new life into the world,” the Pope said.  He went on to proclaim that motherhood is a gift and can never be a problem.  And he asked the residents to care for the future, not only for themselves but for their children.

“Children are our strength, our future, our incentive,” Francis told the women. “They are a living reminder that life has to be lived for the future, not remain in the past.”  He encouraged the prisoners to look to the future when they will return to live in society.

Lastly, he mentioned flowers: “I believe that life itself ‘flowers’ and shows us all its beauty when we work together, hand in hand, to make things better, to open up new possibilities.”

The Holy Father’s Prepared Remarks

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to visit you. For me, it is important to share this time with you and draw closer to our many brothers and sisters presently deprived of their freedom.
Thank you, Sister Nelly, for your kind words and especially for testifying that life always triumphs over death. Thank you, Janeth, for coming forward and sharing your hurt with all of us, and for your courageous request for forgiveness. How much we all have to learn from your act of courage and humility! I quote your words: “We ask forgiveness from all those whom we have harmed by our misdeeds”. I thank you for reminding us that without this attitude we lose our humanity. We forget that we did wrong and that every day is an invitation to start over.

I also think of the words of Jesus: “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone” (Jn 8:7). Jesus asks us to leave behind the simplistic way of thinking that divides reality into good and bad, and to enter into that other mindset that recognizes our weaknesses, limitations and even sins, and thus helps us to keep moving forward.

As I came in, two mothers met me with their children and some flowers. They were the ones who welcomed me, and their welcome can nicely be expressed in three words: mother, children and flowers.

Mother. Many of you are mothers and you know what it means to bring a new life into the world. You were able to “take upon yourself” a new life and bring it to birth. Motherhood is not, and never will be a problem. It is a gift and one of the most wonderful gifts you can ever have. Today you face a very real challenge: you also have to care for that life. You are asked to care for the future. To make it grow and to help it to develop. Not just for yourselves, but for your children and for society as a whole. As women, you have an incredible ability to adapt to new circumstances and move forward. Today I appeal to that ability to bring forth the future that is alive in each one of you. That ability enables you to resist everything that might rob you of your identity and end up by killing your hope.

Janeth was right: losing our freedom does not mean losing our dreams and hopes. Losing our freedom is not the same thing as losing our dignity. That is why we need to reject all those petty clichés that tell us we can’t change, that it’s not worth trying, that nothing will make a difference. No, dear sisters! Some things do make a difference! All those efforts we make to build for a better future – even if often it seems they just go down the drain – all of them will surely bear fruit and be rewarded.

The second word is children. Children are our strength, our future, our incentive. They are a living reminder that life has to be lived for the future, not remain in the past. Today your freedom has been taken away, but that is not the last word. Not at all! Keep looking forward. Look ahead
to the day when you will return to life in society. For this reason, I applaud and encourage every effort to spread and support projects like Espacio Mandela and the Fundación Mujer levántate.

The name of that Foundation makes me think of the Gospel passage where people laughed at Jesus because he said that the daughter of the synagogue leader wasn’t dead, but only asleep. Jesus showed us how to meet that kind of derision: he went straight to her room, took her by the hand and said: “Little girl, get up!” (Mk 5:41). Projects like those I mentioned are a living sign of Jesus, who enters into each of our homes, pays no attention to ridicule and never gives up. He takes us by the hand and tells us to “get up”. It is wonderful that so many Christians and people of good will follow in the footsteps of Jesus and decide to come here to be a sign of that outstretched hand us that lifts us up.

We all know that, sadly, a jail sentence is very often simply a punishment, offering no opportunities for personal growth. This is not good. On the contrary, those initiatives that offer job training and help to rebuild relationships are signs of hope for the future. Let us help them to grow. Public order must not be reduced to stronger security measures but should be concerned primarily with preventive measures, such as work, education, and greater community involvement.

Lastly, flowers. I believe that life itself “flowers” and shows us all its beauty when we work together, hand in hand, to make things better, to open up new possibilities. With this in mind, I greet all the pastoral workers, volunteers and professional personnel, especially the police officers and their families. I pray for you. Your work is sensitive and complex, and so I ask the authorities to try to provide you too with the conditions needed to carry out your work with dignity. A dignity that engenders dignity. Mary is our Mother and we are her children, you are her daughters. We ask her to intercede for you, for each of your children and your dear ones. May she cover you with her mantle. And I ask you, please, not to forget to pray for me.

The flowers you have given me, I will bring to the Blessed Virgin in the name of all of you. Once again, many thanks!

[00054-EN.01] [Original text: Spanish]

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

2 days 17 hours

When you get up after you fall, you touch Jesus’ heart.

Pope Francis gave this heartfelt reminder during the Mass over which he presided at the O’Higgins Park in Santiago, Jan. 16, 2018, during his Apostolic Visit to Chile and Peru, Jan. 15-22.

Reflecting on “When Jesus saw the crowds…” in today’s Gospel according to Matthew, Francis said these first words of the Gospel to help us discover how Jesus wants to encounter us.

“The first thing Jesus does,” the Pope highlighted, “is to look out and see the faces of his people. Those faces awaken God’s visceral love.”

“Jesus’ heart was not moved by ideas or concepts, but by faces, persons. By life calling out for the Life that the Father wants to give us.”

When Jesus saw the crowds, the Argentine Pontiff noted, he saw the faces of his followers. The ‘remarkable’ thing, he noted was, that the people encounter in the gaze of Jesus the echo of their longings and aspirations.

This encounter, the Pontiff explained, gives rise to the Beatitudes, noting we are called and challenged to set out and live them.

“The Beatitudes are not the fruit of passivity in the face of reality, nor of a mere onlooker gathering grim statistics about current events. They are not the product of those prophets of doom who seek only to spread dismay. Nor are they born of those mirages that promise happiness with a single “click”, in the blink of an eye.”

Rather, he explained, the Beatitudes are born of the compassionate heart of Jesus, which encounters the hearts of men and women seeking and yearning for a life of happiness. These are the men and women, the Argentine Pontiff also reminded, who also know what it is to persevere and struggle to keep going, what it is to rebuild their lives and to start again.

“How much the heart of the Chilean people knows about rebuilding and starting anew! How much you know about getting up again after so many falls! That is the heart to which Jesus speaks; that is the heart for which the Beatitudes are meant!”

The Beatitudes, he said, are born of a merciful heart that never loses hope. “A heart that experiences hope as ‘a new day, a casting out of inertia, a shaking off of weariness and negativity.’”

Jesus, in proclaiming blessed the poor, the grieving, the afflicted, the patient, and the merciful, Francis highlighted, “comes to cast out the inertia which paralyzes those who no longer have faith in the transforming power of God our Father and in their brothers and sisters.”

Jesus, in proclaiming the Beatitudes, Francis also reminded, shakes us out of our negativity. Francis warned that having a sense of resignation tends to isolate us from others, to divide and separate us, to blind us to life around us and to the suffering of others.

“The Beatitudes,” Pope Francis encouraged, “are that new day for all those who look to the future, who continue to dream, who allow themselves to be touched and sent forth by the Spirit of God.”

Pope Francis concluded, praying that through the intercession of Mary Immaculate, “who from Cerro San Cristóbal watches over and accompanies this city, she may help us to live and to desire the spirit of the Beatitudes.”

***

On ZENIT’s WEB PAGE:

Full Text: https://zenit.org/articles/popes-homily-during-mass-in-santiago-chile-full-text/

2 days 21 hours

Before leaving his residence Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican for Fiumicino airport and Chile, Pope Francis met the parents and grandparents of a young girl of Rome, victim of a mortal accident, four days before her 18th birthday, reported the Vatican.

The Papal Almoner, Monsignor Konrad Krajewski, accompanied the mourning family.

It seems already a custom of Pope Francis to greet people whom have been faced by life’s trials before his international journeys. It is also a way of placing his trips under the symbol of compassion.

Thus, for instance, before flying to Bogota, Colombia on September 6, 2017, the Holy Father received two families, whose dwellings were destroyed by fire during the summer in Rome.

And before flying to Egypt, on April 28, 2017, the Pontiff met with immigrant Egyptian young people.

2 days 22 hours

Below is a ZENIT translation of Pope Francis’ words to journalists during his flight from Rome to Chile yesterday, Jan. 15, 2018. The Holy Father is making his 22nd Apostolic Visit to Chile and Peru, Jan. 15-22. The Holy Father was presented to journalists by Director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke:

* * *

Greg Burke: Thank you, Holiness. Thank you first of all for this morning’s thought: we all received the card [with the image of the boy] of Nagasaki. And thank you especially for the possibility to travel with you. We are full: 70 persons including, I believe, 12 from Chile and Peru, hence 12 new ones. I take advantage to tell them that it’s a greeting, not 70 questions, when we go around now. That’s all. Perhaps you would like to say something . . .

Photo given by Pope to Denounce War, Nagasaki © Holy See Press Office

Pope Francis: Good morning! I wish you a good trip. I was told by Alitalia that the Rome-Santiago flight is the longest direct flight Alitalia has: 15 hours and 40, or 20 minutes, I don’t know . . . We’ll have time to rest, work, so many things. Thank you for your work, which will be demanding: three days in one country, three days in the other . . . It won’t be so difficult for me in Chile, because I studied there for a year; I have many friends, and I know well  — well, well . . .  I know more –. Instead, I know Peru less, because we have gone there two or three times for congresses, meetings.

Then, Greg was talking about what I’ve given you [the card]: I found it by chance. It was taken in 1945; there is data on the back. It’s a boy with his dead little brother on his back, while he waits his turn, in front of the crematorium, at Nagasaki, after the bomb. I was moved when I saw this [photo], and I dared to write only “The fruit of war.” And I though of having it reprinted and give it, because such an image moves one more that a thousand words. That’s why I wanted to share it with you.

And thank you for your work!

Greg Burke:  Thank you!

[Original text: Italian] [Translation by Zenit, Virginia M. Forrester]
2 days 22 hours

Below is the Vatican-provided text of Pope Francis’ homily during the Mass over which he presided at the Parque O’Higgins in Chile’s capital of Santiago, Jan. 16, 2018, during his Apostolic Visit to Chile and Peru:

***

“When Jesus saw the crowds…” (Mt 5:1). In these first words of today’s Gospel we discover how Jesus wants to encounter us, the way that God always surprises his people (cf. Ex 3:7). The first thing Jesus does is to look out and see the faces of his people. Those faces awaken God’s visceral love. Jesus’ heart was not moved by ideas or concepts, but by faces, persons. By life calling out for the Life that the Father wants to give us.

When Jesus saw the crowds, he saw the faces of his followers, and what is most remarkable is that they, for their part, encounter in the gaze of Jesus the echo of their longings and aspirations. This encounter gives rise to the catalogue of the Beatitudes, that horizon towards which we are called and challenged to set out. The Beatitudes are not the fruit of passivity in the face of reality, nor of a mere onlooker gathering grim statistics about current events. They are not the product of those prophets of doom who seek only to spread dismay. Nor are they born of those mirages that promise happiness with a single “click”, in the blink of an eye. Rather, the Beatitudes are born of the compassionate heart of Jesus, which encounters the hearts of men and women seeking and yearning for a life of happiness. Men women who know what it is to suffer, who appreciate the confusion and pain of having the earth shake beneath their feet or seeing dreams washed away when the work of a lifetime comes to nought. But men and women who also know what it is to persevere and struggle to keep going, what it is to rebuild their lives and to start again.

How much the heart of the Chilean people knows about rebuilding and starting anew! How much you know about getting up again after so many falls! That is the heart to which Jesus speaks; that is the heart for which the Beatitudes are meant!

The Beatitudes are not the fruit of a hypercritical attitude or the “cheap words” of those who think they know it all yet are unwilling to commit themselves to anything or anyone, and thus end up preventing any chance of generating processes of change and reconstruction in our communities and in our lives. The Beatitudes are born of a merciful heart that never loses hope. A heart that experiences hope as “a new day, a casting out of inertia, a shaking off of weariness and negativity” (Pablo Neruda, El habitante y su esperanza, 5).

Jesus, in proclaiming blessed the poor, the grieving, the afflicted, the patient, the merciful… comes to cast out the inertia which paralyzes those who no longer have faith in the transforming power of God our Father and in their brothers and sisters, especially the most vulnerable and outcast. Jesus, in proclaiming the Beatitudes, shakes us out of that negativity, that sense of resignation that makes us think we can have a better life if we escape from our problems, shun others, hide within our comfortable existence, dulling our senses with consumerism (cf. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, 2). The sense of resignation that tends to isolate us from others, to divide and separate us, to blind us to life around us and to the suffering of others.

The Beatitudes are that new day for all those who look to the future, who continue to dream, who allow themselves to be touched and sent forth by the Spirit of God.

How good it is for us to think that Jesus comes from the mountain of Cierro Renca or Puntilla to say to us: blessed, blessed indeed are you, and you, and you…. Blessed are you if, moved by the Spirit of God, you struggle and work for that new day, that new Chile, for yours will be the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Mt 5:9).

Against the resignation that like a negative undercurrent undermines our deepest relationships and divides us, Jesus tells us: Blessed are those who work for reconciliation. Blessed are those ready to dirty their hands so that others can live in peace. Blessed are those who try not to sow division. That is how the Beatitude teaches us to be peacemakers. It asks us to try to make ever greater room for the spirit of reconciliation in our midst. Do you want to be blessed? Do you want to be happy? Blessed are those who work so that others can be happy. Do you want peace? Then work for peace.

Here I cannot fail to mention Santiago’s great bishop, who in a Te Deum once said: “If you want peace, work for justice”… And if someone should ask us: “What is justice?” or whether justice is only a matter of “not stealing”, we will tell them that there is another kind of justice: the justice that demands that every man and woman be treated as such” (Cardinal RAÚL SILVA HENRÍQUEZ, Homily at the Ecumenical Te Deum, 18 September 1977).

To sow peace by nearness, closeness! By coming out of our homes and looking at peoples’ faces, by going out of our way to meet someone having a difficult time, someone who has not been treated as a person, as a worthy son or daughter of this land. This is the only way we must forge a future of peace, to weave a fabric that will not unravel. A peacemaker knows that it is often necessary to overcome great or subtle faults and ambitions born of the desire for power and to “gain a name for oneself”, the desire to be important at the cost of others. A peacemaker knows that it is not enough simply to say: “I am not hurting anybody”. As Saint Alberto Hurtado used to say: “It is very good not to do wrong, but very bad not to do good” (Meditación radial, April 1944).

Peacebuilding is a process that calls us together and stimulates our creativity in fostering relationships where we see our neighbour not as a stranger, unknown, but rather as a son and daughter of this land.

Let us commend ourselves to Mary Immaculate, who from Cerro San Cristóbal watches over and accompanies this city. May she help us to live and to desire the spirit of the Beatitudes, so that on every corner of this city we will hear, like a gentle whisper: ““Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Mt 5:9)

[Vatican-provided text of prepared homily] [Original Text: Spanish]

© Libreria Editrice Vaticana

2 days 23 hours

NewsFeeds from Zenit, EWTN, CatholicCulture.org

From: Latest News Releases from USCCB
Posted

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, is inviting Catholics and others to join the nationwide 9 Days for Life campaign.

"We bring many needs to God this month, including care for displaced persons, racial harmony, Christian unity, and the protection of all human life," Cardinal Dolan said. "I invite our brothers and sisters in Christ to join me and my brother bishops in 9 Days for Life from Thursday, January 18 through Friday, January 26. Our prayers matter. Every prayer matters, and if you can't start at the beginning, jump in when you can!"

9 Days for Life is the U.S. bishops' annual, pro-life prayer and action campaign surrounding the anniversary of the 1973 Supreme Court decisions legalizing abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy.

The overarching intention of the centerpiece novena is the end to abortion, and each day treats a different aspect of respecting the dignity of the human person—from the beginning of life to its natural end. This year, as part of the "Share the Journey" campaign supporting displaced persons, one day addresses human trafficking, something migrants and refugees are particularly at risk of suffering.

By responding to the U.S. bishops' invitation, participants can make a "digital pilgrimage." Joining tens of thousands nationwide, they can build a culture of life through prayer and action, and share their experiences on social media with the hashtags #9DaysforLife and #OurPrayersMatter. There's also a Facebook frame participants can use on their profile picture to show their support for life.

The website, www.9daysforlife.com, features a video with Cardinal Dolan calling the campaign "a great way to put our faith into action." The site offers a print version of the novena, as well as four ways to automatically receive the daily prayers, reflections, and suggested actions in either English or Spanish: free "9 Days for Life" mobile app (with customizable reminders), email, text message, and a Facebook event.

---
Keywords: USCCB, Catholic, U.S. bishops, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Roe v. Wade, abortion, anniversary, Pro-Life, Prolife, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, 9 Days for Life, People of Life, #9daysforlife, #OurPrayersMatter, Share the Journey, migrants, refugees, human trafficking, "digital pilgrimage", prayer, novena

###

Media contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

2 days 23 hours