Wednesday, March 19, 2014

POPE FRANCIS gives special message on Feast of St. Joseph - Text/Video

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday celebrated the Feast of St. Joseph pointing out that he is a model for all fathers and educators.

Speaking to the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the General Audience, the Pope’s catechesis focused on three aspects pertaining to the life and mission of St Joseph: as the “guardian” of the Holy Family; as the teacher and educator of the young Jesus; and as a guide who helped Jesus respond to the working of the Holy Spirit.

And speaking off the cuff, the Pope sent special greetings to all the fathers of the world, thanking them for what they do with their children. "Be close to your children" - the Pope said - "they need you. Just as St. Joseph was close to Jesus in his physical, psychological and spiritual growth, you too must be guardians in age, wisdom and grace". 

Please find below the synopsis in English of the Pope’s catechesis: 
Dear Brothers and Sisters: Today, we celebrate the feast of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Virgin Mary and Patron of the universal Church. Saint Joseph is venerated as the “guardian” of the Holy Family, and in this role he serves as a model for all fathers and educators. Joseph watched over Jesus’ human development – his growth, as Saint Luke tells us, “in wisdom, age and grace” (2:52). We think of how Joseph, as the carpenter of Nazareth, taught the young Jesus his trade and the value of work. Joseph also quietly imparted to Jesus that wisdom which consists above all in reverence for the Lord, prayer and fidelity to his word, and obedience to his will. Joseph’s paternal example helped Jesus to grow, on a human level, in his understanding and appreciation of his unique relationship to his heavenly Father. With Our Lady, Joseph guided the young Jesus as he responded to the working of the Holy Spirit in his heart and in his life. By his example and prayers, may Saint Joseph be a sure guide to all parents, priests and teachers charged with the education of our young.


Text from Vatican Radio website 

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : WED. MARCH 19, 2014

Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Lectionary: 543


Reading 1            2 SM 7:4-5A, 12-14A, 16

The LORD spoke to Nathan and said:
“Go, tell my servant David,
‘When your time comes and you rest with your ancestors,
I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins,
and I will make his kingdom firm.
It is he who shall build a house for my name.
And I will make his royal throne firm forever.
I will be a father to him,
and he shall be a son to me.
Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me;
your throne shall stand firm forever.’”

Responsorial Psalm                  PS 89:2-3, 4-5, 27 AND 29

R.    (37)  The son of David will live for ever.
The promises of the LORD I will sing forever;
through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness,
For you have said, “My kindness is established forever”;
in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.
R.    The son of David will live for ever.
“I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant:
Forever will I confirm your posterity
and establish your throne for all generations.”
R.    The son of David will live for ever.
“He shall say of me, ‘You are my father,
my God, the Rock, my savior.’
Forever I will maintain my kindness toward him,
and my covenant with him stands firm.”
R.    The son of David will live for ever.

Reading 2                             ROM 4:13, 16-18, 22

Brothers and sisters:
It was not through the law
that the promise was made to Abraham and his descendants
that he would inherit the world,
but through the righteousness that comes from faith.
For this reason, it depends on faith,
so that it may be a gift,
and the promise may be guaranteed to all his descendants,
not to those who only adhere to the law
but to those who follow the faith of Abraham,
who is the father of all of us, as it is written,
I have made you father of many nations.
He is our father in the sight of God,
in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead
and calls into being what does not exist.
He believed, hoping against hope,
that he would become the father of many nations,
according to what was said, Thus shall your descendants be.
That is why it was credited to him as righteousness.

Gospel                     MT 1:16, 18-21, 24A

Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary.
Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.

Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
“Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”
When Joseph awoke,
he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took his wife into his home.

Or                    LK 2:41-51A

Each year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover,
and when he was twelve years old,
they went up according to festival custom.
After they had completed its days, as they were returning,
the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem,
but his parents did not know it.
Thinking that he was in the caravan,
they journeyed for a day
and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances,
but not finding him,
they returned to Jerusalem to look for him.
After three days they found him in the temple,
sitting in the midst of the teachers,
listening to them and asking them questions,
and all who heard him were astounded
at his understanding and his answers.
When his parents saw him,
they were astonished,
and his mother said to him,
“Son, why have you done this to us?
Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.”
And he said to them,
“Why were you looking for me?
Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”
But they did not understand what he said to them.
He went down with them and came to Nazareth,

UKRAINE PRIEST FREED AFTER ABDUCTION HAS MEETING WITH POPE FRANCIS

UCAN NEWS REPORT: Ukrainian pastor released after being seized from church

By  on Monday, 17 March 2014

Armed men, believed to be Russian servicemen, march outside a Ukrainian military base in Crimea (CNS)
Armed men, believed to be Russian servicemen, march outside a Ukrainian military base in Crimea (CNS)
A Ukrainian pastor has been released after being snatched from his church in Crimea. Ukrainian Bishop Borys Gudziak of Paris, head of the Ukrainian church’s external relations department, issued a statement on Saturday saying Father Mykola Kvych, pastor of the Dormition of the Mother of God Parish in Sevastopol, was taken from his church that morning, “seized by two men in uniform and four men in civilian clothing.”
Earlier in the week, Bishop Gudziak said, the Church’s leadership had urged Father Kvych and the other priests in Crimea to evacuate their wives and children to mainland Ukraine. “The priests themselves returned to their parishes to be with their faithful in a time of crisis and moral and physical danger,” he said.
Several hours after Father Kvych was taken from the church, the Ukrainian Catholic Church’s information service reported he had been freed after questioning, which apparently focused on accusations that he had been organising anti-Russian riots.
The next day, however, parishioners helped him leave Crimea. He told the church information service that “several unknown individuals” continually rang the doorbell of his apartment, then tried to break in. When they left, he took the chalice and paten he uses for Divine Liturgies and some important documents and left the city.
Father Kvych also said that he spoke to the priests in Yalta and Yevpatoria, who were “now in a safe place. He didn’t mention where exactly,” the information service said.
Pope Francis met privately at the Vatican with the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church today, the day after pro-Russian voters on the Crimean peninsula voted to secede from Ukraine in a referendum the United States and European Union called illegal.
While Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kiev-Halych, head of the Eastern-rite church in Ukraine, declined requests for interviews, it was assumed his talk with the Pope would include a discussion about the fate of the Ukrainian Catholic priests ministering in Crimea.
Ukrainian Catholics make up about 10 percent of Crimea’s 2 million inhabitants; the majority of the people on the peninsula are ethnic Russians and speak Russian. Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych fled to Russia in late February and, in early March, Russian forces entered Crimea.
Crimean politicians said more than 96 percent of voters participating in the referendum on Sunday voted to secede from Ukraine. Members of the Crimean Parliament formally asked to join the Russian Federation today.
SHARED FROM CATHOLIC HERALD CO UK

RIP UNDERGROUND BISHOP ZHONGLIANG OF CHINA - AGE 96

Death of China's 'underground' conference president may spark election
<p><span lang="EN-US">Bishop Joseph Fan of Shanghai is seen here in his home while under house arrest in 2010.</span></p>
UCAN NEWS REPORT: Bishop Joseph Fan of Shanghai is seen here in his home while under house arrest in 2010.
  • ucanews.com reporter, Hong Kong
  • The president of the “underground” Catholic community's bishops’ conference in China, Bishop Joseph Fan Zhongliang of Shanghai, died on Sunday aged 96, following a long illness.
Soon after his death officials removed his biretta, a gesture to show they do not recognize his bishop’s status, a Church source told ucanews.com.
However, authorities have allowed two days for the faithful to pay their respects to the Jesuit bishop.
“They backed off as a result of a protest by the underground Church administrator, who threatened not to hold a Mass and let the officials face the resulting wrath of angry Catholics,” the source said.
Shanghai has lost a “steadfast and persevering” leader in Bishop Fan, said Anthony Lam Sui-ki, senior researcher at the Holy Spirit Study Centre in Hong Kong.
He was a well respected churchman, Lam said on Monday, noting that even all young priests from the “open” community went to get Bishop Fan’s blessing before they were ordained.
“Bishop Fan’s death will create the need for the underground bishops to get together for an election, even though it has been the secretariat operating the bishops’ conference for years,” Lam observed.
Asked whether such a meeting will bring a new crackdown on the Church, Lam said, “The government should be rational and understand that the Church is a peaceful group that does not bring any harm.”
There is now an urgent need for Auxiliary Bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin of the “open” community to regain his freedom, though it is hard to predict how the government will handle his case, Lam added.
Bishop Ma has been under house arrest since he declared he would leave the government-sanctioned Catholic Patriotic Association during his episcopal ordination in July 7, 2012.
The diocese, under government pressure, suspended his ministry for two years, during which he cannot make public appearances. The suspension ends this July.
Bishop Fan was born in 1918 and baptized at 14 years old. He entered the Jesuit Society in 1938 and was ordained a priest in 1951.
In 1955, he and the then Bishop Ignatius Kung (Gong Pin-mei, who later became a cardinal) and a number of priests were thrown into prison accused of revolutionary crimes.
The future Bishop Fan was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment in Qinghai province, during which it became his job to carry corpses to a cemetery.
After his release, he became a high school teacher before being allowed to return to Shanghai.
He was secretly ordained as coadjutor bishop of Shanghai in 1985 and succeeded Cardinal Kung when he died in 2000.
Bishop Fan found himself under strict surveillance for decades.
“His name ‘Zhong’ and ‘Liang’ [loyal and kind] reflected his virtues throughout his life,” a layperson said on Monday.
SHARED FROM UCAN NEWS

NOVENA TO ST. JOSEPH - MIRACLE PRAYER - Share!



NOVENA TO ST. JOSEPH
On March 19 it will be the feast of St. Joseph, the foster father of Jesus.
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The Novena Prayer to St. Joseph begins.
Say for nine consecutive mornings for anything you may desire. It has seldom been known to fail.
*Oh St. Joseph whose protection is so great, so 
strong, so prompt before the Throne of God, I
place in you all my interests and desires.
Oh St. Joseph do assist me by your powerful
intercession and obtain for me from your
Divine Son all spiritual blessings through
Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged
here below your Heavenly power I may offer my Thanksgiving and Homage to the Loving of
Fathers.
Oh St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you
and Jesus asleep in your arms. I dare not
approach while He reposes near your heart.
Press Him in my name and kiss His fine Head
for me, and ask Him to return the kiss when I
draw my dying breath.
St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls, pray
 for us.       Amen





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