Wednesday, March 3, 2021

RIP to 25 Catholic Priests and 60 Religious Sisters in the Last 2 Months in Tanzania, Africa - Statement from TEC



  The Citizen, via All Africa reports that the General Secretary of the Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC), Father Charles Kitima has on Wednesday March 3, said that more than 25 priests, 60 religious sisters and two elders of the laity have died within two months of various causes including respiratory challenges.
Father Kitima made the remarks while addressing the media on various issues, especially the Covid epidemic, urging church members to continue taking precautions against the disease in accordance with health ministry guidelines.
In a statement, Kitima, who served as Vice Chancellor of St. Augustine University (Saut), said the deaths occurred between mid December and February in different parts of the country.
"Please continue taking precautions against this disease by following the instructions of the Ministry of Health. Priests are dying and sisters are dying but this number within two months has shocked us especially considering the Government has strengthened better health systems," said Kitima.
He said TEC president Gervas Nyaisonga had already distributed guidelines to bishops of various dioceses on measures to protect themselves against Covid while providing services.
Source: The Citizen of Tanzania and All Africa - Image Screen Shot of Church in Tanzania

Pope Francis explains "God who came close to us in Jesus... threw wide open this door of the mystery of the love of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." FULL TEXT + Video


 

POPE FRANCIS at GENERAL AUDIENCE

Library of the Apostolic Palace
Wednesday, 3 March 2021
 

Catechesis on prayer - 25. Prayer and the Trinity. 1

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

In our journey of catechesis on prayer, today and next week we will see how, thanks to Jesus Christ, prayer opens us up to the Trinity –to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit - to the immense sea of God who is Love. It is Jesus who opened up Heaven to us and projected us into a relationship with God. It was he who did this: he opened up to us this relationship with the Triune God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This is what the Apostle John affirms at the conclusion of the prologue of his Gospel: “No one has ever seen God: the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made Him known” (Jn 1:18).  

 Jesus revealed the identity to us, this identity of God, Father Son and Holy Spirit. We really did not know how to pray: what words, what feelings and what language were appropriate for God. In that request the disciples addressed to the Master, which we have often recalled in the course of these catecheses, there is all of humanity’s fumbling, repeated attempts, often unsuccessful, to address the Creator: “Lord, teach us to pray” (Lk 11:1).

Not all prayers are equal, and not all are convenient: the Bible itself attests to the negative outcome of many prayers, which are rejected. Perhaps God at times is not content with our prayers and we are not even aware of this. God looks at the hands of those who pray: to make them pure it is not necessary to wash them; if anything, one must refrain from evil acts. Saint Francis prayed: «Nullu homo ène dignu te mentovare», that is, “no man is worthy of naming you” (Canticle of the Sun).

But perhaps the most moving acknowledgment of the poverty of our prayer came from the lips of the Roman centurion who one day begged Jesus to heal his sick servant (cf. Mt 8:5-13). He felt totally inadequate: he was not a Jew, he was an officer in the detested occupying army. But his concern for his servant emboldens him, and he says: “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant will be healed” (v. 8). It is the phrase we also repeat in every Eucharistic liturgy. To dialogue with God is a grace: we are not worthy of it, we have no rights to claim, we “limp” with every word and every thought... But Jesus is the door that opens us to this dialogue with God.

Why should humanity be loved by God? There are no obvious reasons, there is no proportion… So much so that most mythologies do not contemplate the possibility of a god who cares about human affairs; on the contrary, they are considered bothersome and boring, entirely negligible. Remember God’s phrase to his people, repeated in Deuteronomy: “For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us?” This closeness of God is the revelation! Some philosophers say that God can only think of himself. If anything, it is we humans who try to convince the deity and be pleasing to his eyes. Hence the duty of “religion”, with the procession of sacrifices and devotions to be offered again and again to ingratiate ourselves with a mute God, an indifferent God. There is no dialogue. It was only Jesus, it was only the revelation of God to Moses before Jesus, when God presented himself; it was only the Bible that opened us up to dialogue with God. Remember: “What great nation is there that has a god so near to it as ours?”. This is God’s closeness, that opens us up to dialogue with him.

A God who loves humanity: we would never have had the courage to believe in him, had we not known Jesus. The knowledge of Jesus made us understand this, it let this be revealed to us. It is the scandal – it is a scandal! - that we find inscribed in the parable of the merciful father, or in that of the shepherd who goes in search of the lost sheep (cf. Lk 15). We would not have been able to conceive or even comprehend such stories if we had not met Jesus. What kind of God is prepared to die for people? Which one? What kind of God loves always and patiently, without demanding to be loved in return? What God accepts the tremendous lack of gratitude of a son who asks for his inheritance in advance and leaves home, squandering everything? (cf. Lk 15:12-13).

It is Jesus who reveals God’s heart. Thus Jesus tells us through his life the extent to which God is a Father. Tam Pater nemo: No one is Father like he is. The paternity that is closeness, compassion and tenderness. Do not forget these three words, that are God’s style: closeness, compassion and tenderness. It is his way of expressing his paternity towards us. It is difficult for us to imagine from afar the love with which the Holy Trinity is filled, and the depth of the reciprocal benevolence that exists between Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Eastern icons offer us a glimpse of this mystery that is the origin and joy of the whole universe.

Above all, it was beyond us to believe that this divine love would expand, landing on our human shore: we are the recipients of a love that has no equal on earth. The Catechism explains: “The sacred humanity of Jesus is therefore the way by which the Holy Spirit teaches us to pray to God our Father” (no. 2664). And this is the grace of our faith. We really could not have hoped for a higher vocation: the humanity of Jesus – God who came close to us in Jesus - made available to us the very life of the Trinity, and threw wide open this door of the mystery of the love of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. 


Special Greetings

I cordially greet the English-speaking faithful. May our Lenten journey bring us to the joy of Easter with hearts purified and renewed by the grace of the Holy Spirit. Upon you and your families I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you!


APPEALS

Sad news of bloody clashes and loss of life continue to arrive from Myanmar. I would like to draw the attention of the authorities involved to the fact that dialogue prevails over repression and harmony over discord. I also appeal to the international community to ensure that the aspirations of the people of Myanmar are not stifled by violence. May the young people of that beloved land be granted the hope of a future where hatred and injustice make way for encounter and reconciliation. Finally, I repeat the wish I expressed a month ago: that the path towards democracy taken in recent years by Myanmar may be resumed through the concrete gesture of the release of the various political leaders imprisoned (see Address to the Diplomatic Corps, 8 February 2021).

* * *

The day after tomorrow, God willing, I will go to Iraq for a three-day pilgrimage. For a long time I have wanted to meet those people who have suffered so much; to meet that martyred Church in the land of Abraham. Together with the other religious leaders, we shall also take another step forward in brotherhood among believers. I ask you to accompany this apostolic journey with your prayers, so that it may unfold in the best possible way and bear the hoped-for fruits. The Iraqi people are waiting for us; they awaited Saint John Paul II, who was not permitted to go. One cannot disappoint a people for the second time. Let us pray that this journey will be a good one.

FULL TEXT Source: Vatican.va - Image Screenshot

US Bishops' Pro-Life and Doctrine Chairmen Discuss Moral Acceptability of New Vaccines with Concerns Over Johnson and Johnson's Development - FULL TEXT



 U.S. Bishop Chairmen for Doctrine and for Pro-Life Address the Use of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 Vaccine
MARCH 2, 2021
 
WASHINGTON– On March 2, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Doctrine, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued a statement on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine recently approved for use in the United States. 
“The approval of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine for use in the United States again raises questions about the moral permissibility of using vaccines developed, tested, and/or produced with the help of abortion-derived cell lines.
“Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines raised concerns because an abortion-derived cell line was used for testing them, but not in their production.  The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, however, was developed, tested and is produced with abortion-derived cell lines raising additional moral concerns. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has judged that ‘when ethically irreproachable Covid-19 vaccines are not available … it is morally acceptable to receive Covid-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process.’[1] However, if one can choose among equally safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, the vaccine with the least connection to abortion-derived cell lines should be chosen. Therefore, if one has the ability to choose a vaccine, Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccines should be chosen over Johnson & Johnson’s.  
“While we should continue to insist that pharmaceutical companies stop using abortion-derived cell lines, given the world-wide suffering that this pandemic is causing, we affirm again that being vaccinated can be an act of charity that serves the common good.”
For further details, we refer people to our earlier December 2020 statement, to our Answers to Key Ethical Questions About COVID-19 Vaccines, to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith’s Note, and to the statement of the Vatican Covid-19 Commission in collaboration with the Pontifical Academy for Life. 
 
[1] Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “Note on the morality of using some anti-Covid-19 vaccines” (17 Dec 2020), no. 2.

Pope Francis and US Bishops Messages on the Violence in Myanmar - Appeals for Peace and Reconciliation - FULL TEXT



  Pope Francis and the US Bishops' Conference have sent messages regarding the military coup and subsequent protests in Myanmar. Both appeal for peace and reconciliation. 

FULL TEXT Appeal by Pope Francis on March 3 for Myanmar:
Sad news of bloody clashes and loss of life continue to arrive from Myanmar. I would like to draw the attention of the authorities involved to the fact that dialogue prevails over repression and harmony over discord. I also appeal to the international community to ensure that the aspirations of the people of Myanmar are not stifled by violence. May the young people of that beloved land be granted the hope of a future where hatred and injustice make way for encounter and reconciliation. Finally, I repeat the wish I expressed a month ago: that the path towards democracy taken in recent years by Myanmar may be resumed through the concrete gesture of the release of the various political leaders imprisoned (see Address to the Diplomatic Corps, 8 February 2021). Source: Vatican.va

FULL TEXT Message from US Bishops on Myanmar:

 U.S. Bishops’ Chairman for International Justice and Peace Expresses Solidarity with People in Myanmar Following Coup
WASHINGTON - In response to the military coup in Myanmar, Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on International Justice and Peace expressed solidarity with the people of Myanmar.
Bishop Malloy’s statement follows:
“On February 1, the military in Myanmar took control of the country, arresting many democratic political leaders and activists, including State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint. Since the coup, protesters have gathered peacefully around the country, calling for a return to democracy. Pope Francis has condemned the coup and expressed his solidarity with the people of Burma and called on its leaders to work for the common good. I echo the call by the Holy Father and the bishops of Myanmar on the need for dialogue as a way forward toward peace and reconciliation.
“On behalf of the Committee on International Justice and Peace, I wrote a solidarity letter to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Myanmar and have asked U.S. government officials to carefully consider the insights the local Church can offer towards achieving a just resolution to the current crisis. As protests continue in Myanmar, I call on all Catholics and people of good will to pray for the people and leaders of this land.”
Source: USCCB

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Wednesday, March 3, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church



Wednesday of the Second Week of Lent
Lectionary: 232
Reading I
Jer 18:18-20
The people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem said,
“Come, let us contrive a plot against Jeremiah.
It will not mean the loss of instruction from the priests,
nor of counsel from the wise, nor of messages from the prophets.
And so, let us destroy him by his own tongue;
let us carefully note his every word.”
Heed me, O LORD,
    and listen to what my adversaries say.
Must good be repaid with evil
    that they should dig a pit to take my life?
Remember that I stood before you
    to speak in their behalf,
    to turn away your wrath from them.
Responsorial Psalm
31:5-6, 14, 15-16
R.    (17b)  Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
You will free me from the snare they set for me,
    for you are my refuge.
Into your hands I commend my spirit;
    you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
R.    Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
I hear the whispers of the crowd, that frighten me from every side,
    as they consult together against me, plotting to take my life.
R.    Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
But my trust is in you, O LORD;
    I say, “You are my God.”
In your hands is my destiny; rescue me
    from the clutches of my enemies and my persecutors.
R.    Save me, O Lord, in your kindness.
Verse before the Gospel
Jn 8:12
I am the light of the world, says the Lord;
whoever follows me will have the light of life.
Gospel
Mt 20:17-28
As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem,
he took the Twelve disciples aside by themselves,
and said to them on the way,
“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem,
and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests
and the scribes,
and they will condemn him to death,
and hand him over to the Gentiles
to be mocked and scourged and crucified,
and he will be raised on the third day.”
Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee approached Jesus with her sons
and did him homage, wishing to ask him for something.
He said to her, “What do you wish?”
She answered him,
“Command that these two sons of mine sit,
one at your right and the other at your left, in your kingdom.”
Jesus said in reply,
“You do not know what you are asking.
Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?”
They said to him, “We can.”
He replied,
“My chalice you will indeed drink,
but to sit at my right and at my left,
this is not mine to give
but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”
When the ten heard this,
they became indignant at the two brothers.
But Jesus summoned them and said,
“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them,
and the great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Prayer to Make a Spiritual Communion-
People who cannot communicate now make spiritual communion

At your feet, O my Jesus I bow down and offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which abysses itself into its nothingness and Your holy presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your love, the ineffable Eucharist. I wish to receive you in the poor home that my heart offers you. In anticipation of the happiness of sacramental communion, I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me, oh my Jesus, that I may come to you. May Your love inflame my whole being, for life and death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you. So be it. Amen

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Saint March 3 : St. Katharine Drexel - Foundress of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and Patron of Philanthropists, Racial justice

 

Born: November 26, 1858, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Died:
March 3, 1955, Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania
Canonized:
2000 by Pope John Paul II
Major Shrine:
Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania
Patron of:
philanthropists, racial justice
 Saint Katharine Drexel was born in Philadelphia on November 26, 1858, the second child of Hannah and Francis Anthony Drexel. Hannah died five weeks after her baby’s birth. For two years Katharine and her sister, Elizabeth, were cared for by their aunt and uncle, Ellen and Anthony Drexel. When Francis married Emma Bouvier in 1860 he brought his two daughters home. A third daughter, Louise, was born in 1863. The children grew up in a loving family atmosphere permeated by deep faith. The girls were educated at home by tutors. They had the added advantage of touring parts of the United States and Europe with their parents. By word and example Emma and Francis taught their daughters that wealth was meant to be shared with those in need. Three afternoons a week Emma opened the doors of their home to serve the needs of the poor. When the girls were old enough, they assisted their mother.  When Francis purchased a summer home in Torresdale, Pa., Katharine and Elizabeth taught Sunday school classes for the children of employees and neighbors. The local pastor, Rev. James O’Connor (who later became bishop of Omaha), became a family friend and Katharine’s spiritual director.
( katharinedrexel.org)
She inherited a vast fortune from her father and step-mother, and spent her wealth to helping these disadvantaged people.  In audience with Pope Leo XIII, she asked him to recommend a religious congregation to staff the institutions which she was financing. 
In 1891, with a few companions, Mother Katharine founded the  Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Indians and Colored People. In 1935 Mother Katharine suffered a heart attack. She spent her last years to Eucharistic adoration. She died at the age of 96 at Cornwell Heights, Pennsylvania, on 3 March 1955. 

Please HELP a Catholic Priest Build a Church for the Poor in Pakistan - This LENT You can DONATE to Help Fr. Faisal Build a Parish who Needs You!



Dear Readers, 
This Lent please consider donating to help build a Catholic Church for the poor in Pakistan. This is a country where Christians are persecuted. Less than 1.5% of the population is Christian. However, the faith is very strong! 
(if you cannot Donate consider sharing this post to encourage others)
*As a donor your name and those of your family members will be registered in a special prayer book and the church will pray for you at Mass.*
Fr. Faisal needs about $4,000 US dollars to build this church for the poor families in the area.
You can quickly and securely DONATE with your Credit Card via our (Paypal) LINK
Comment with CHURCH and your donation will go directly to Fr. Faisal. 
If you would like to make your donation in the name or for prayers for a specific family member you can add their names in the comments.
Thanks and May God bless your generosity!
We pray for you! Catholic News World 
See Fr. Faisal's FULL TEXT Letter below:
Request for Building a new Church
Peace and Blessing form Bethania Catholic Church,
Pacca Garha Sialkot, Pakistan. 
Brief Introduction of Responsible Person:
My name is Fr. Faisal Pervaiz S/O Patras Pervaiz resident of Shahdara Lahore. I am serving as an assistant parish priest in Bethania Catholic Church Pacca Garha Sialkot Pakistan. I was ordained as a priest on 07 September 2017. I have worked in different parishes of Archdiocese of Lahore Pakistan. Now I am appointed as a Assistant Parish Priest in Bethania Catholic Church Pacca Garha Sialkot in February 2018.
Brief Geography of the Church:
Geographically this is a new parish came from St. James Catholic Church Sialkot Cantt Parish, which was a very wide spread parish. Its substations were very far away so, it is a wise decision of Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw to divide it into two parishes. Therefore, the parish is divided into two parts, one St. James Catholic Church and other one is Bethania Catholic Church, where now I am serving. 
Historical Background of the Church:
Missionaries came in Sialkot, Pakistan, in 1952 during the Sovereign of British as chaplain and accommodated in Sahowala Sialkot, than they build St. James Catholic Church as Parish which was used for missionary works, it is the place from where the Christianity spread its roots all over the Pakistan. Therefore, it is called “The Door of Christianity”. According to the needs of the time it was divided in to two separate Parishes one St. James Catholic Church, Parish Cantt, the other one was St. Joseph Catholic Church, Parish Attari. So the missionary work may be done more easily and efficiently. 


It is truly said that wise persons reads the needs of the time and take the decision at the right time. Once again due to needs of the time and concerns in missionary work Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw took a great step to divide it into two Parishes one is St. James Catholic Church, Parish and other is Bethania Catholic Church, Parish. This decision was taken to reach-out to the faithful more regularly, to illumine the faithful with the Word of God, and to offer them the Sacraments more constantly and efficiently.
This new parish named as Bethania Catholic Church Pacca Garha Sialkot, Pakistan, after the name of Bethania Hospital, which is serving suffering humanity and poor people. This name was given to the new parish because the Church we use for parish activities and prayer services is part of the hospital. (below a pic. from the children of the Catholic community in Pakistan)


 
Request to Build the New Church:
As mention above it is newly separated Parish so now it is decided to build new church in far away place. The Church needs to be built in Shakaina Colony, Chak Mandhar Sialkot, Pakistan. 
The Church in Shakaina Colony..... is named St. Patrick Catholic Church. The construction work was started almost in the end of 2019, the budget was planed and work was started.  Unfortunately due to Corona virus work was delay and the price of construction martial grow higher because of that due to that reason, the plan budget is effected now construction is stopped without completion of the Church. Please! If someone can help to complete this construction of Church.

The details are as follows;

1. There are 25 families in Shakaina Colony, Chak Mandhar Sialkot, Pakistan. There are 28 adult mature  mails and 29 adult mature femails, rest of the 18 children are school going children.
2. There is a very poor faithful community. They work on daily wages it is quite difficult to get daily necessities of life. Incipit of great difficulties they didn’t give up but still struggling to build the Church but there is need of huge amount of money. 

3. Although, people are living miserable life but they contribute in the expenses of new Church like salt to the flour. The Church Building, it is a great task or rather it is a great challenge for our people, the faithful are people of hope. They are hopeful that God would help them with his unknown resources abundantly. I would like to state that before the people gets discouraged. Please help us financially so we can build our Church as soon as possible. God will bless you with His graces abundantly and faithful will admire you and your great efforts. 

These people are looking any help form you, for their requirement of a church. Hope my letter will give you and your community a humble request to support people of Sialkot, Pakistan with your best wishes, prayers and financial help in this regard. May God Bless you abundantly and give you many more graces. You may grow like a tree planted nearest to the running waters. Thanks in anticipation.

Yours in Jesus Christ,
Fr. Faisal Pervaiz  

Assistant Parish Priest,
Bethania Catholic Church,
Pacca Garha Sialkot, Pakistan.
E-mail: fr.faisal.pervaiz10@gmail.com

Pope Francis' March Prayer Intention “Sacrament of Reconciliation - Let us pray that we may experience the sacrament of reconciliation with renewed..." FULL TEXT + Video



Pope Francis' March Prayer Intention :
“Sacrament of reconciliation - Let us pray that we may experience the sacrament of reconciliation with renewed depth, to taste the infinite mercy of God,” Pope Francis.
In fact, this month’s video opens with the Pope himself going to confession, “in order to be healed, to heal my soul.” “Jesus waits for us, listens to us and forgives us”
   
“In the heart of God, we come before our mistakes,” says the Holy Father. 
SEE ALSO - Easy Confession Guide: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkN7b3ubK6g

Full text of the Pope's prayer intention for March: 
 THE SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION 
 When I go to confession, it is in order to be healed, to heal my soul. To leave with greater spiritual health. To pass from misery to mercy. The center of confession is not the sins we declare, but the divine love we receive, of which we are always in need. The center of confession is Jesus who waits for us, who listens to us and forgives us. Remember this: In the heart of God, we come before our mistakes. And let us pray that we may experience the sacrament of reconciliation with renewed depth, to taste the forgiveness and infinite mercy of God. And let us pray that God may give his Church merciful priests and not torturers.

The Story Behind the Catholic Nun who became Viral Begging Police not to Shoot in Myanmar - Sister Ann a Hero!



On Twitter an account for Cardinal Archbishop Charles Maung Bo, of Yangon, Burma, tweeted the following words and photos: Catholic nun saves young demonstrators: Cardinal Bo wants the country to be "transformed" peace prayer prophecy nuns religious institutes politics civil society local churches. These pictures quickly went viral on social media.
A Catholic nun took to the streets in the city of Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State in the north of Mynamar, and asked the security forces not to shoot young demonstrators who were protesting peacefully. Sister Ann Nu Thawng of the Congregation of St. Francis Xavier in the diocese of Myitkyina, became a new role model and hero on February 28th.
 According to the United Nations, the Burmese police opened fire, killing 18 people and injuring more than 30 nationwide. "In the Myitkyina area, demonstrations so far have always been peaceful and without incidents. However, yesterday episodes of violence risked precipitating the situation", said Catholic Joseph Kung Za Hmung, editor of the "Gloria News Journal", the first Catholic online newspaper in Myanmar. "The action of the nun and the response of the police who, upon seeing the nun's plea, stopped, surprised many of us. Sister Ann Nu Thawng is today a role model for Church leaders: bishops and priests are called to step out of the their comfort zones and follow her courage as an example". Many non-Catholics also praised Sister Thawng's brave efforts, whose entry went viral on social media. "More than 100 demonstrators were able to find shelter in her monastery. It saved them from brutal beatings and arrests by the police", says the Director. 
It was in a coup on February 1st, 2021 that the Burmese army took power, declaring a one-year "state of emergency".  The National League for Democracy's party civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, was taken under arrest. 

Pope Francis' 24-Hours for the Lord Worldwide Prayer Campaign from March 12-13 - FREE Resources from Vatican


N -The initiative begun by Pope Francis in 2014, the Vatican invites congregations to devotion, prayer, confession and worship in their church for 24 hours. Despite ongoing restrictions due to the corona pandemic, the worldwide prayer campaign "24 hours for the Lord" is to take place this year. 
As the portal "Vatican News" reported, the date is March 12-13. The Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization has now published an accompanying pamphlet. The current motto is therefore "He forgives all your sins". The prayer and penance action can "be adapted according to local customs and requirements," it says. 
Online transmissions are also possible if necessary. In the initiative initiated by Pope Francis in 2014, congregations invite congregations to devotion, prayer, confession and worship in their church for 24 hours. 
The resource is intended to offer some suggestions to parishes and Christian communities to prepare for the 24-hours for the Lord initiative. Obviously, these are suggestions that can be adapted according to local needs and customs. 
LINK for Pastoral Resource from the Vatican Pontifical Council of N.E. -
According to the PCNE, on Friday evening March 12th and during the entire day of Saturday March 13th, it would be good to have the church open, offering the opportunity for Confessions, preferably in the context of guided Eucharistic Adoration. The event could begin on Friday evening with a Liturgy of the Word to prepare the faithful for Confession, and conclude with the celebration of Mass on Saturday afternoon.
 Where, for health reasons, the celebrations of the Sacraments are not allowed, or can be held with a limited number of people, Eucharistic Adoration could be transmitted online, thus preparing the faithful for perfect contrition, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church says: “When it arises from a love by which God is loved above all else, contrition is called «perfect» (contrition of charity). Such contrition remits venial sins; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible” (CCC 1452).

Prayers Answered as 279 of the Kidnapped School Girls in Nigeria are Freed - but 38 Girls Remain Missing



 Most of the 317 schoolgirls, have been freed, who were kidnapped from the Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe, in Talata Mafara  of Zamfara State in Nigeria.
On Friday, February 26, 2021, 317 schoolgirls were kidnapped from the Government Girls Secondary School.
The Premiun Times reports that Yusuf Idris, the media aide to Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara, confirmed the release of the girls on Tuesday, March 2nd.
The official said 279 schoolgirls were released around 4:00 a.m. on Tuesday. He said the girls are currently at the Zamfara government house waiting to be reunited with their parents.
He asked for more time to provide details on the remaining 38 girls.

Pope Francis asked for prayer and called for the release of the girls on Sunday during his Angelus address.
SEE ALSO: https://www.catholicnewsworld.com/2021/02/breakingnews-317-girls-kidnapped-from.html

32 civilians Killed in a Week in the North-East of the Democratic Republic of Congo



Agenzia Fides reports that 32 civilians were killed in a week in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, between Ituri and North Kivu ). This was announced by CEPADHO (Center for Studies for Peace, Democracy and Human Rights), according to which the attacks are attributable to terrorists of Ugandan origin ADF / MTM (Allied Democratic Forces) / (Madinat Tawhid wa-l-Muwahidin, literally "The city of monotheism and monotheists"). In addition to the victims, there are several people kidnapped and missing. 
The latest attacks date back to the night between Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 February in Kainama in the north-east of Beni Territory, in North Kivu Province. In this context, the ADF / MTM terrorists killed a man and a child and set fire to six houses while in Bwakardi, a town in Ituri, the jihadists massacred 7 civilians and burned 2 houses, ransacking the others in the search for food and valuables. North Kivu is the eastern province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the Italian Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo Luca Attanasio, the policeman, Vittorio Iacovacci, and their Congolese driver Mustafa Milambo were killed on 22 February. For decades, the area has lived in insecurity due to the presence of hundreds of armed groups. For this reason, reads the statement sent to Agenzia Fides, "CEPADHO encourages the initiative of the President of the Republic and President of the African Union with renard to the organization of the Peace Summit to fight against the emergence of terrorism on a continental level". "Our Organization calls for the issue of terrorism in Beni and Irumu to be addressed during the summit, by encouraging the friendly states of the DRC to take into consideration the need to support our army in the fight against the common threat: the ADF / MTM, ally of the so-called "Islamic State". (L.M.) (Edited from Agenzia Fides, 1/3/2021)

Monday, March 1, 2021

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Tuesday, March 2, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church



 Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent
Lectionary: 231
Reading I
Is 1:10, 16-20
Hear the word of the LORD,
    princes of Sodom!
Listen to the instruction of our God,
    people of Gomorrah!
    Wash yourselves clean!
Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes;
    cease doing evil; learn to do good.
Make justice your aim: redress the wronged,
    hear the orphan’s plea, defend the widow.
Come now, let us set things right,
    says the LORD:
Though your sins be like scarlet,
    they may become white as snow;
Though they be crimson red,
    they may become white as wool.
(Mass starts after the Stations of the Cross at the 14:11 Mark)

 
 If you are willing, and obey,
    you shall eat the good things of the land;
But if you refuse and resist,
    the sword shall consume you:
    for the mouth of the LORD has spoken!
Responsorial Psalm
50:8-9, 16bc-17, 21 and 23
R.    (23b) To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you,
    for your burnt offerings are before me always.
I take from your house no bullock,
    no goats out of your fold.”
R.    To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“Why do you recite my statutes,
    and profess my covenant with your mouth,
Though you hate discipline
    and cast my words behind you?”
R.    To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“When you do these things, shall I be deaf to it?
    Or do you think that I am like yourself?
    I will correct you by drawing them up before your eyes.
He that offers praise as a sacrifice glorifies me;
    and to him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God.”
R.    To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
 
Verse before the Gospel
Ez 18:31
Cast away from you all the crimes you have committed, says the LORD,
and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit.
Gospel
Mt 23:1-12
Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,
“The scribes and the Pharisees
have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
but do not follow their example.
For they preach but they do not practice.
They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry
and lay them on people’s shoulders,
but they will not lift a finger to move them.
All their works are performed to be seen.
They widen their phylacteries and lengthen their tassels.
They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’
As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Call no one on earth your father;
you have but one Father in heaven.
Do not be called ‘Master’;
you have but one master, the Christ.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
Prayer to Make a Spiritual Communion-
People who cannot communicate now make spiritual communion

At your feet, O my Jesus I bow down and offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which abysses itself into its nothingness and Your holy presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your love, the ineffable Eucharist. I wish to receive you in the poor home that my heart offers you. In anticipation of the happiness of sacramental communion, I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me, oh my Jesus, that I may come to you. May Your love inflame my whole being, for life and death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you. So be it. Amen

Saint March 2 : St. Agnes of Prague a Princess, Abbess and Miracle Worker who Consecrated herself to God and was Related to a Saint

Born:
1211, Prague
Died:
March 6, 1282, Prague
Canonized:
November 12, 1989 by Pope John Paul II
Born at Prague in the year 1200; died probably in 1281. She was the daughter of Ottocar, King of Bohemia and Constance of Hungary, a relative of St. Elizabeth. At an early age she was sent to the monastery of Treinitz, where at the hands of the Cistercian religious she received the education that became her rank. She was betrothed to Frederick II, Emperor of Germany; but when the time arrived for the solemnization of the marriage, it was impossible to persuade her to abandon the resolution she had made of consecrating herself to the service of God in the sanctuary of the cloister. The Emperor Frederick was incensed at the unsuccessful issue of his matrimonial venture, but, on learning that St. Agnes had left him to become the spouse of Christ, he is said to have remarked: "If she had left me for a mortal man, I would have taken vengeance with the sword, but I cannot take offence because in preference to me she has chosen the King of Heaven." The servant of God entered the Order of St. Clare in the monastery of St. Saviour at Prague, which she herself had erected. She was elected abbess of the monastery, and became in this office a model of Christian virtue and religious observance for all. God favoured her with the gift of miracles, and she predicted the victory of her brother Wenceslaus over the Duke of Austria. The exact year of her death is not certain; 1281 is the most probable date.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)
Prayer:
Dear St. Agnes, intercede for us, obtain for us we pray, the grace to prefer the treasures of the next world over the passing pleasures of this world. Amen.

How to Go to CONFESSION - The Best Way to Prepare for LENT - An EASY Guide so You can Go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation - VIDEO


By Confession the Church means: to tell your sins (or wrong things you have done) to a Priest, receive a penance (usually a prayer) and receive forgiveness. WATCH our Video Below for an Easy Guide!
Confession, also known as the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Penance, is a sacrament of the Catholic Church; it was instituted by Christ as mentioned in the Bible: 
"Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
22
   
 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” John 20:21 NIV

How often should I go to Confession?
Catholics are obliged to go to Confession at least once per year. However, many people go more often 1 per week, every 2 weeks or every month. The priest is not permitted to reveal your sins to anyone. 
How Should I Make a Confession?
Usually, parishes have scheduled confession times that are written in their bulletins. Or, you might have to approach and ask a priest for a scheduled day and time. If there are regularly scheduled confessions, you might have to line up with others before a confessional and enter when it is your turn. You might enter through a curtain or a small room and kneel down. When you approach as a penitent, the priest might welcome you with words or be silent. Remember: Jesus, the merciful Lord, is present spiritually. 
When ready say "Bless me Father for I have sinned" and make the sign of the cross, saying,
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Then say how long it has been since your last confession.
The priest might say these or similar words or be silent:
May God, who has enlightened every heart, help you to know your sins and trust in his
mercy.

At this point you confess your sins. (say what you have done wrong; for example sins that are common include: hatred, anger, lust, jealousy, greed, pride, gluttony, laziness, etc.)
If necessary, the priest helps you with questions and suitable advice. He will ask you to perform a penance, which is usually a prayer.
The priest, then, invites the penitent to manifest repentance by reciting the Act of Contrition or another similar formula:
O my God, I am sorry with all my heart for having offended you, and I detest all my sins because of your just punishments, but most of all because they offend you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to amend my life, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Amen.
Or
Lord Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
Or
Lord, remember your love,
your faithfulness enduring forever.
Do not bear in mind my sins:
remember me in your mercy,
for the sake of your goodness, Lord. (Ps 24:6-7)
The priest, might place his hands upon the head of the penitent, or raise his hands in the penitent's direction.
He says, God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son, has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church
may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins
in the name of the Father and of the Son + and of Holy Spirit.
You respond: Amen.
After absolution the priest continues: Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
You respond: His mercy endures forever.
The priest then takes leave of you, saying: The Lord has freed you from your sins. Go in peace. You can say: Thank-you, Fr.
How Should I Prepare for Confession?
When asked about what counsels he would give penitents for a good confession, Pope Francis replied, “They should consider the truth of their lives before God, what they feel, what they think. They should be able to observe themselves and their sin with sincerity. And they should feel themselves to be sinners and let themselves be surprised, amazed by God” (Pope Francis, The Name of God Is Mercy,
pp. 58-59).


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Questions to Ask Yourself before you Go to Confession also known as an "Examination of Conscience"
It consists of asking ourselves about the evil committed and the good omitted in relation to God, our neighbor, and ourselves.
In Relation to God
Do I address God only when I am in need?
Do I take part in the Mass on Sundays and days of obligation?
Do I begin and end my day with prayer?
Have I taken the name of God, Mary, or the saints in vain?
Have I been ashamed to be seen as a Christian?
What do I do to grow spiritually? How? When?
Do I rebel against God’s designs?
Do I expect Him to do my will?
In Relation to Our Neighbor
Am I able to forgive, show compassion for, and help my neighbor?
Have I defamed, robbed, or disdained children and the defenseless?
Am I envious, wrathful, or biased?
Do I take care of the poor and the sick?
Am I ashamed of the humanity of my brother or my sister?
Am I honest and just to everyone or do I foster the “culture of casting aside”?
Have I incited others to do wrong?
Do I observe the Gospel’s moral teaching on marriage and the family?
How do I handle my educational responsibilities towards my children?
Do I honor and respect my parents?
Have I refused newly-conceived life?
Have I extinguished the gift of life?
Have I helped to do so?
Do I respect the environment?
In Relation to Ourselves
Am I a bit worldly and a bit of a believer?
Do I exaggerate in eating, drinking, smoking, and entertainment?
Am I too concerned about my physical health and my possessions?
How do I use my time?
Am I lazy? Do I want to be served?
Do I love and cultivate purity of heart and in thoughts and actions?
Do I think about revenge or hold grudges?
Am I meek and humble, a builder of peace?

INTERVIEW - Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI says "There are not two Popes." and Says He Resigned "..in full conscience..." with Comments on President Biden

An interview with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was just released by the Corriere Italian publication. In the interview the retired Pope explains, "There are not two Popes."  

 It has been 8 years since the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI from the papacy on Feb. 28, 2013. 

The Emeritus says, “It was a painful decision, but I think I did well. My conscience is clear. "

The article written by Massimo Franco, covers the visit that the editor of Corriere della Sera, Luciano Fontana made to the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery where Benedict XVI now resides. 

The retired Pope says, "There are no two Popes. The Pope is only one…" 

Vatican News provided a translation of excerpts of the article:

“It was a difficult decision,” explains the Pope Emeritus, "but I made it in full conscience, and I believe I did well. Some of my friends who are a bit ‘fanatical’ are still angry; they did not want to accept my choice. I am thinking about the conspiracy theories which followed it: those who said it was because of the Vatileaks scandal, those who said it was because of the case of the conservative Lefebvrian theologian, Richard Williamson. They did not want to believe it was a conscious decision, but my conscience is clear.”

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has already been vaccinated, he received the first dose and then he was given the second, like Monsignor Gaenswein and most of the inhabitants of the Vatican City. He notes, " I will accompany Francis with my prayer" regarding the trip to Iraq. 

On US President Joseph Biden, the 2nd Catholic president after John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Benedict XVI expressed some reservations. 

The Pope Emeritus said, "It is true, he is Catholic and observant. And he personally is against abortion." "But as president, he tends to present himself in continuity with the line of the Democratic Party ... And on gender politics we have not yet fully understood what his position is...."

Pope Francis says "...Christ has revealed God's heart to us...God is a Father who wants to guard all of us; defend and promote the dignity of each..." FULL TEXT


GREETING FROM THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS

TO THE DELEGATION OF THE FRANCISCAN CENTER OF SOLIDARITY, OF FLORENCE

Sala Clementina
Monday, 1 March 2021
 

Dear brothers and sisters ,

I am pleased to welcome all of you from the Franciscan Solidarity Center, and I thank your President, Maria Eugenia Ralletto, for her words of greeting. Simple words, Franciscan words those he said, but really consistent: thank you.

For many years, in the city of Florence, you have been carrying out a precious service of listening and being close to people who find themselves in difficult economic and social conditions: families who have to face difficulties of various kinds; elderly or disabled people who need support and companionship. First of all, I would like to say "thank you" to you for this. In a world that tends to run at two speeds, which on the one hand produces wealth but, on the other, generates inequality, you are an effective work of assistance, based on voluntary work, and, in the eyes of faith, you are among those who they sow the seeds of God's Kingdom.

In fact, by coming into the world and announcing the Kingdom of the Father, Jesus approached human wounds with compassion. He made himself close above all to the poor, to those who were marginalized and discarded; he became close to the disheartened, the abandoned and the oppressed. We remember his words: "I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, [...] I was naked and you clothed me" ( Mt25,35.36). Thus, Christ has revealed God's heart to us: he is a Father who wants to guard: God is a Father who wants to guard all of us; defend and promote the dignity of each of his sons and daughters, and who calls us to build the human, social and economic conditions so that no one is excluded or trampled on his fundamental rights, no one should suffer from the lack of material bread or from loneliness.

In this work you are inspired by the luminous testimony of St. Francis of Assisi, who practiced universal brotherhood and "everywhere sowed peace and walked alongside the poor, the abandoned, the sick, the discarded, the least" (Enc. Brothers all , 2). Trying to follow his example, you have been carrying out this service for almost forty years, which is a concrete sign of hope, and also a sign of contradiction in the busy life of the city, where many find themselves alone with their poverty and suffering. A sign that arouses dormant consciences and invites us to come out of indifference, to have compassion for those who are wounded, to bend down with tenderness over those who are crushed by the weight of life. And we have said the three words which are precisely God's style: closeness - God draws near -, compassion and tenderness. This is God's style and this should be your style. Closeness, compassion and tenderness.

Dear friends, go ahead with courage in your work! I ask the Lord to support him, because we know that our good heart and our human strength are not enough. Before the things to do and beyond these, when we are faced with a poor person we are called to a love that makes us feel our brother, our sister; and this is possible thanks to Christ, present precisely in that person. I assure you of my prayers that the Lord, through the intercession of St. Francis, will always keep you the joy of serving, the joy of approaching you, the joy of having compassion, the joy of doing things with tenderness. And please, you too pray for me. Thank you.

FULL TEXT Source: Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation - Image Screenshot 

SAINTS of the Month of March - List of Saint Feast Days for the Month of March - Stories to Inspire!


Here is a List of the Saint Feast Days in March. Click each Link below to see the Inspiring stories of each Saint!

Saint March 1 : St. David a Bishop and the Patron of Wales who Founded 12 Monasteries and was known for Miracles

Saint March 31 : St. Benjamin : Martyr and Deacon of Persia