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Wednesday, June 3, 2015
UMUSHUMBA MWIZA LE BON -PASTEUR
The Good Shepherd sisters of Rwanda help poor women in need and their children. In Rwanda In 1968, a request to collaborate with a Rwandan Congregation brought five sisters to teach in Muramba, where they also opened a homemaking school and a maternity clinic. In 1985, in Kigali, a lay Rwandan association, the Umushumba Mwiza (Good Shepherd) asked for the help of the Congregation to set up a facility dedicated to helping women in difficulty and their children. The plan consisted in establishing a Centre for social integration and work training. The civil war of 1994 brought about many changes, and since 1997, the Centre is under the responsibility of Rwandans. Today, the Congregation helps with the human and religious formation of the Fraternity of the Good Shepherd Sisters of Rwanda. This new community, was born in the hearts of young Rwandan women. It provides care for the babies and schooling for the children. Mothers are taught to grow crops and sell them so as to provide for their families. They are also taught many other skills needed for daily living. The organization also cultivates peanuts and manufactures peanut butter to sell on the market and other goods which help the mothers financially. To Donate to this essential Mission helping Women in Distress and their Children Please Email:
03-06-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 103
|- General audience: the family and the downward spiral of poverty|
|- The Pope prays for victims of the Yangtze shipwreck and blesses young Polish faithful in Lednica|
|- Cardinal Parolin at UNESCO: the Church has never regarded culture or education as mere tools of evangelisation|
|- Other Pontifical Acts|
|General audience: the family and the downward spiral of poverty|
Vatican City, (VIS) – The living conditions that put the family to the test and render it vulnerable, starting with poverty, will be the themes of Pope Francis' catechesis starting from today, he announced to the twenty thousand faithful attending general audience in St. Peter's Square.
The Holy Father spoke about the misery and degradation that can accompany poverty, in the suburbs of metropolises and in rural areas alike, a situation that is often aggravated by war that has a profound impact on civilians. “In truth, war is the 'mother of all poverty', a great predator of lives, souls, and of the dearest and most sacred affections”, he said.
However, he added, there are many families who, although poor, seek to live their daily lives with dignity, often openly trusting in God's blessing. Nevertheless, this “must not justify our indifference, but rather increase our shame! It is almost a miracle that, even in poverty, families continue to form, and indeed preserve as best they can, the special humanity of their bonds. It is a fact that irritates those planners of well-being who consider sentiments, procreation and family bonds as a variable secondary to the quality of life. Instead, we should kneel before these families, who are a true school of humanity and who save society from barbarism”.
“What will become of us if we give in to the blackmail of violence and money, and go so far as to renounce the affections of the family? A new form of civil ethics will arise only when those responsible in public life recognise the social bond, starting with the fight against the downward spiral of poverty in the family, that leads us to the abyss”. The Pope also remarked on the contradiction inherent in today's economy that often appears to specialise in individual well-being, but practices the widespread exploitation of family relationships. “The immense labour of the family is not quoted on balance sheets, naturally!” he exclaimed. “It is not merely a question of bread. We are talking about work, education, healthcare. It is important to be clear about this”.
“We must endeavour to stay ever closer to families afflicted by poverty”, he repeated. “In effect, social misery affects the family and at times destroys it. The lack or loss of work, or its precariousness, have serious repercussions on family life, putting relationships under stress. The living conditions in the most disadvantaged areas, with problems regarding housing and transport, as well as the reduction of social, healthcare and educational services, cause further difficulties. Added to these material factors there is also the damage caused to the family by false models, propagated by the mass media, based on consumerism and the cult of appearances, which affect the poorest social classes and increase the disintegration of family bonds”.
“The Church is Mother, and must never forget the tragedy of her children. She too must be poor, to become fruitful and to respond to so much suffering. A poor Church is a Church that practices a voluntary simplicity in her own life – in her institutions, in the lifestyle of her members – to break down walls of separation, especially those that separate us from the poor. This takes prayer and action. Let us pray intensively to the Lord to awaken us, to make our Christian families agents in this revolution of family closeness that is now so necessary. This is what the Church has been made of since the very beginning. And let us not forget”, he warned, “that the judgement of the needy, the small and the poor prefigures the judgement of God.”
|The Pope prays for victims of the Yangtze shipwreck and blesses young Polish faithful in Lednica|
Vatican City, (VIS) – In his greetings following today's catechesis, Pope Francis mentioned that the month of June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and that , , is the Feast of Corpus Christi. “We learn from the Lord, who made Himself into sustenance so as to be more available to others, serving all those in need, especially the poorest families”.
He then greeted the young Polish faithful attending the 19th meeting at Lednica, the town by the lake where it is believed that Mieszko, the first Polish monarch, was baptised in the year 966. “I share in your joy, your enthusiasm and your desire for the Holy Spirit. … Your life, like the life of … Jesus' disciples, cannot be empty, mundane, without purpose. Open your heart to the Holy Spirit so that it will be filled with His gifts. Ask Him to accompany you every day in your work, your studies, in prayer, in your decisions, in overcoming yourselves and in doing good. … With Him, you will transform the world. … He will help you to take up the great dialogue with God, with humanity and with the world in this stage of history”.
The Holy Father also expressed his closeness to the Chinese people following the tragic disaster on the river Yangtze, in which a cruise ship capsized, causing hundreds of deaths. He gave the assurance of his prayers for the victims, their families, and all those engaged in rescue operations.
Finally, he dedicated some special words to Italian workers for Whirlpool, threatened with redundancy. He expressed his hope that this serious employment crisis may resolved swiftly and equitably with respect for all and, in particularly, for families. “The entire country faces a very difficult situation”, he affirmed. “Strong commitment is called for to open up paths of hope”.
|Cardinal Parolin at UNESCO: the Church has never regarded culture or education as mere tools of evangelisation|
Vatican City, (VIS) – Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin spoke this morning at the conference “Educating today and ”, organised by the Mission of the Holy See permanent observer at UNESCO, with the Congregation for Catholic Education, to celebrate 70 years since the founding of this United Nations organ, the 50th anniversary of the conciliar declaration “Gravissimum educationis”, a key text for Catholic education, and 25 years since the apostolic constitution “Ex corde Ecclesiae”, a document of reference for Catholic universities.
In his discourse the cardinal presented an overview of the history of the educational service offered by the Catholic Church since its origins, emphasising that the pedagogy of the Church is based on biblical anthropology in which the relationship of love and reciprocity between man and God appears from Genesis onwards. He also underlined the importance attributed to this theme by Vatican Council II, in which a full and complete education is proposed, aimed at laying the foundations for an inclusive and peaceful society open to dialogue, and went on to mention current educational challenges and perspectives, such as the extreme fragmentation of knowledge and the worrying lack of communication between different disciplines. The Secretary of State affirmed the need to counteract the concept of the human being as a machine for production, proposing instead a vision of the person, and reiterated the need for formation in dialogue and the construction of fraternity.
“Culture and education have never been considered by the Catholic Church merely as tools for evangelisation, but rather as dimensions of humanity with high intrinsic value. Investment in the education of the younger generations is a condition for the 'progressive development of peoples … an object of deep interest and concern to the Church. This is particularly true in the case of those peoples who are trying to escape the ravages of hunger, poverty, endemic disease and ignorance; of those who are seeking a larger share in the benefits of civilisation and a more active improvement of their human qualities', as Paul VI affirmed in his encyclical 'Populorum progressio'. The Church shares in the efforts for greater access to literacy, to education for all and for continuing formation. These pillars are made even more solid with regard to the fundamental commitment in favour of ethnic and religious minorities and for the female gender, so important for the harmonious growth of society”.
The Catholic Church, an “expert in humanity”, has placed education at the centre of her mission and continues to consider it as a priority, especially in a context of “global emergency for education”, caused both by processes of change and by a reductionist perspective that tends to limit the scope of universal education to a purely economic aspect. In fact, looking closely, the recent financial crisis has been of an entropic nature: it gave rise to a loss of meaning and consequent social apathy. By this refusal, there is a tendency to lose one's orientation towards the common good and to drift away from the propulsive value of relationality in the name of a minimalist anthropology of 'homo oeconomicus', which stifles interpersonal relationships”.
He continued, “We live in times in which many perceive the signs of an epochal transition. As the history of humanity shows us, these periods are marked by instability and disorientation. Faced with the intensification of sentiments of opposition and hatred, it would appear necessary to start to 'share beauty' and 'praise creation', acknowledging the contribution that each person can offer and proposing humble and patient closeness between individuals, communities and peoples. At the foundation of this shared responsibility there is, as John Paul II said in his address to this same prestigious institution, “a fundamental dimension, capable of rocking the foundations of the systems that structure the whole of humanity and of freeing human existence, individual and collective, from the threats that weigh upon it. This fundamental dimension is man, man in his integrity, man who lives in both the sphere of material values and the sphere of spiritual values. Respect for the inalienable rights of the human person is the root of all this”.
|Other Pontifical Acts|
Vatican City, (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed:
- Rev. Fr. Christian Noel Emmanuel as bishop of Trincomalee (area 2,727, population 378,182, Catholics 19,606, priests 36, religious 52), Sri Lanka. The bishop-elect was born in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka in 1960 and was ordained a priest in 1986. He has served as parish priest, diocesan head of catechism and liturgy, and professor at the diocesan seminary, and is currently vicar and bursar of the same diocese. He succeeds Bishop Joseph Kingsley Swampillai, whose resignation upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the holy father.
- Rev. Fr. Erio Castellucci as metropolitan archbishop of Modena-Nonantola (area 2,089, population 510,579, Catholics 465,500, priests 227, permanent deacons 73, religious 360), Italy.
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
O God, by whose providence the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church: Grant that we who remember before you the blessed martyrs of Uganda, may, like them, be steadfast in our faith in Jesus Christ, to whom they gave obedience even unto death, and by their sacrifice brought forth a plentiful harvest; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end, Amen
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be
Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done,
on earth, as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our
daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we
forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us
not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is
the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
O Jesus, our Lord and Redeemer, through your passion and death, we adore and thank Thee.
Holy Mary, Mother and Queen of Martyrs, Obtain for us sanctification through our sufferings.
Holy Martyrs, followers of the suffering Christ, obtain for us the grace to imitate Him.
St. Joseph Balikuddembe, first Martyr of Uganda, who inspired and encouraged Nephytes, obtain for us a spirit of truth and justice.
St. Charles Lwanga, patron of the Youth and Catholic Action, obtain for us a firm and zealous faith.
St. Matthias Mulumba, ideal Chief and follower of Christ meek and humble, obtain for us a Christian gentleness.
St. Dionysius Sebuggwawo, zealous for the Christian Faith and renowned for your modesty, obtain for us the virture of modesty.
St. Andrew Kaggwa, model Catechist and teacher, obtain for us a love of the teaching of Christ.
St. Kizito, child resplendent in purity and Christian joy, obtain for us the gift of joy in our Lord.
St. Gyaviira, shining example of how to forgive and forget injuries, obtain for us the grace to forgive those who injure us.
St. Mukasa, fervent catechumen rewarded with the Baptism of your blood, obtain for us perseverance unto the death.
St. Adolfus Ludigo, conspicuous by your following of our Lord's spirit of service to others; obtain for us a love of unselfish service.
St. Anatoli Kiriggwajjo, humble servant preferring a devout life to wordly honours; obtain for us to love piety more than earthly things.
St. Ambrosius Kibuuka, young man full of joy and love of your neighbour; obtain for us fraternal charity.
St. Achilles Kiwanuka, who for the sake of Christ detested vain superstitious practices; obtain for us holy hatred of superstitious practices.
St. John Muzeeyi, prudent councilor, renowned for the practice of works of mercy; obtain for us a love of those works of mercy.
Blessed Jildo Irwa and Blessed Daudi Okello who gave up your lives for the spread of the Catholic Faith; obtain for us the zeal of spreading the Catholic Faith.
St. Pontaianus Ngondwe, faithful soldier, longing for the martyr's crown; obtain for us the grace to be always faithful to our duty.
St. Athanasius Bazzekuketta, faithful steward of the royal treasury; obtain for us a spirit of responsibility.
St. Mbaaga, who preferred death to the persuasions of your parents; obtain for us to follow generously divine grace.
St. Gonzaga Gonza, full of sympathy for prisoners, and all who were in trouble; obtain for us the spirit of mercy.
St. Noe Mawaggali, humble worker and lover of evangelical poverty; obtain for us love of evangelical poverty.
St. Luke Baanabakintu, who ardently desired to imitate the suffering Christ by Martyrdom; obtain for us a love of our motherland.
St. Bruno Serunkuuma, soldier who gave an example of repentance and temperance; obtain for us the virture to repentance and temperance.
St. Mugagga, young man renowned for your heroic chastity; obtain for us perserverance in chastity.
Holy Martyrs, firm in your fidelity to the true Church of Christ; help us to be always faithful to the true Church of Christ.
Let us pray
O Lord Jesus Christ, who wonderfully strengthened the Holy Martyrs of Uganda St. Charles Lwanga, Matthias Mulumba, Blessed Jildo Irwa, Blessed Daudi Okello and their Companions; and gave them to us as examples of faith and fortitude, chastity, charity, and fidelity; grant, we beseech you, that by their Intercession, the same virtues may increase in us, and that we may deserve to become propagators of the true faith. Who lives and reigns world without end. Amen
St. Charles Lwanga and the Martyrs of Uganda, we come to you asking your prayers of intercession on behalf of all who suffer from the unjust exercise of authority. May you who were so cruelly persecuted for your faith in Jesus Christ intercede for all who are oppressed, that they might be comforted by the Divine Mercy and empowered by the gift and grace of fortitude. May justice be the goal of all people and may all who are called by the name Christian join together in works of redemption directed at the sins and the structures of sin that afflict our communities. Amen.
Feast: June 3
|Was daughter of Chilperic, younger brother to Gondebald, the tyrannical king of Burgundy, who put him, his wife, and the rest of his brothers, except one, to death, in order to usurp their dominions. In this massacre he spared Chilperic's two fair daughters, then in their infancy. One of them became afterwards a nun; the other, named Clotildis, was brought up in her uncle's court, and by a singular providence, was instructed in the Catholic religion, though she was educated in the midst of Arians. It was her happiness in the true faith, to be inspired from the cradle with a contempt and disgust of a treacherous world, which sentiments she cherished and improved by the most fervent exercises of religion. Though she saw herself surrounded with all the charms of the world, and was from her infancy its idol, yet her heart was proof against its seductions. She was adorned with the assemblage of all virtues; and the reputation of her wit, beauty, meekness, modesty, and piety, made her the adoration of all the neighboring kingdoms, when Clovis I., surnamed the great, the victorious king of the Franks, demanded and obtained her of her uncle in marriage granting her all the conditions she could desire for the free and secure exercise of her religion.1 The marriage was solemnized at Soissons, in 493. Clotildis made herself a little oratory in the royal palace, in which she spent much time in fervent prayer and secret mortifications. Her devotion was tempered with discretion, so that she attended all her business at court, was watchful over her maids, and did every thing with a dignity, order, and piety, which edified and charmed the king and his whole court. Her charity to the poor seemed a sea which could never be drained. She honored her royal husband, studied to sweeten his warlike temper by Christian meekness, conformed herself to his humor in things that were indifferent; and, the better to gain his affections, made those things the subject of her discourse and praises in which she saw him to take the greatest delight. When she saw herself mistress of his heart, she did not defer the great work of endeavoring to win him to God, and often spoke to him on the vanity of his idols, and on the excellency of the true religion. The king always heard her with pleasure; but the moment of his conversion was not yet come. It was first to cost her many tears, severe trials, and earnest perseverance. After the baptism of their second son, Clodomir, and the infant's recovery from a dangerous indisposition, she pressed the king more boldly to renounce his idols. One day especially, when he had given her great assurances of his affection, and augmented her dowry by a gift of several manors, she said she begged only one favor of his majesty, which was the liberty to discourse with him on the sanctity of her religion, and to put him in mind of his promise of forsaking the worship of idols. But the fear of giving offence to his people made him delay the execution. His miraculous victory over the Alemanni, and his entire conversion in 496, were at length the fruit of our saint's prayers.|
Clotildis, having gained to God this great monarch, never ceased to excite him to glorious actions for the divine honor: among other religious foundations he built in Paris, at her request, about the year 511, the great church of SS. Peter and Paul, now called St. Genevieve's. This great prince had a singular devotion to St. Martin, and went sometimes to Tours, to prostrate himself in prayer at his tomb. He sent his royal diadem, which is called, to this day, The Realm, a present to pope Hormisdas, as a token that he dedicated his kingdom to God. His barbarous education and martial temper made it, in certain sallies of his passions, difficult for Clotildis to bridle his inclination to ambition and cruelty, so that he scarce left any princes of his own relations living, except his sons. He died on the 27th of November, in the year 511, of his age the forty-fifth, having reigned thirty years. He was buried in the church of the apostles, SS. Peter and Paul, now called St. Genevieve's, where his tomb still remains. An ancient long epitaph, which was inscribed on it, is preserved by Aimoinus, and copied by Rivet. His eldest son Theodoric, whom he had by a concubine before his marriage, reigned at Rheims over Austrasia, or the eastern parts of France, which comprised the present Champagne, Lorraine, Auvergne, and several provinces of Germany. Metz was afterwards the capital of this country. As to the three sons of Clotildis, Clodomir reigned at Orleans, Childebert at Paris, and Clotaire I., at Soissons. This division produced wars and mutual jealousies, till, in 560, the whole monarchy was reunited under Clotaire, the youngest of these brothers. St. Clotildis lived to see Clodomir defeat and put to death Sigismund, king of Burgundy; but soon after, in 524, himself vanquished and slain by Gondemar, successor to Sigismund; Gondemar overcome and killed by Childebert and Clotaire, and the kingdom of Burgundy united to France. The most sensible affliction of this pious queen was the murder of the two eldest sons of Clodomir, committed in 526, by their uncles Childebert and Clotaire, who seized on the kingdom of Orleans. This tragical disaster contributed more perfectly to wean her heart from the world. She spent the remaining part of her life at Tours, near the tomb of St. Martin, in exercises of prayer, almsdeeds, watching, fasting, and penance, seeming totally to forget that she had been queen, or that her sons sat on the throne. Eternity filled her heart, and employed all her thoughts. She foretold her death thirty days before it happened; having been admonished of it by God at the tomb of St. Martin, the usual place of her tears. In her last illness, she sent for her sons Childebert, king of Paris, and Clotaire, king of Soissons, and exhorted them, in the most pathetic manner, to honor God and keep his commandments; to protect the poor, reign as fathers to their people, live in union together, and love and study always to maintain tranquillity and peace. She scarce ever ceased repeating the psalms with the most tender devotion, and ordered all she had left to be distributed among she poor; though this was very little; for she had always been careful to send her riches before her by their hands. On the thirtieth day of her illness she received the sacraments, made a public confession of her faith, and departed to the Lord on the 3d of June, in 545. She was buried, by her own order, in the church of St. Genevieve, at the feet of that holy shepherdess, and is commemorated in the Roman Martyrology on the 3d of June. See St. Gregory of Tours, Hist. Franc., and Fortunatus; and among the moderns, Abbe Du Bos and Gilb. le Gendre, Antiquites de la Nation et Monarchie Francoise, & c. (Image Source: http://catholicteen15.blogspot.ca/2013/06/st-clotilde.html )
Saint June 3 : Sts. Charles Lwanga, Joseph Mkasa, Martyrs of Uganda : Patrons of African Catholic Youth
Feast: June 3
|In the interior of central Africa the first Catholic missions were established by Cardinal Lavigerie's White Fathers in 1879. In Uganda some progress was made under the not unfriendly local ruler, Mtesa; but his successor, Mwanga, determined to root out Christianity among his people, especially after a Catholic subject, St. Joseph Mkasa, reproached him for his debauchery and for his massacre of the Protestant missionary James Hannington and his caravan. Mwanga was addicted to unnatural vice and his anger against Christianity, already kindled by ambitious officers who played on his fears, was kept alight by the refusal of Christian boys in his service to minister to his wickedness.|
Joseph Mkasa himself was the first victim: Mwanga. seized on a trifling pretext and on November 15, 1885, had him beheaded. To the chieftain's astonishment the Christians were not cowed by this sudden outrage, and in May of the following year the storm burst. When he called for a young 'page' called Mwafu, Mwanga learned that he had been receiving religious instruction from another page, St. Denis Sebuggwawo; Denis was sent for, and the king thrust a spear through his throat. That night guards were posted round the royal residence to prevent anyone from escaping.
St. Charles Lwanga, who had succeeded Joseph Mkasa in charge of the 'pages', secretly baptized four of them who were catechumens; among them St Kizito, a boy of thirteen whom Lwanga had repeatedly saved from the designs of the king. Next morning the pages were all drawn up before Mwanga, and Christians were ordered to separate themselves from the rest: led by Lwanga and Kizito, the oldest and youngest, they did so—fifteen young men, all under twenty-five years of age. They were joined by two others already under arrest and by two soldiers. Mwanga asked them if they intended to remain Christians. "Till death!" came the response. "Then put them to death!"
The appointed place of execution, Namugongo, was thirty-seven miles away, and the convoy set out at once. Three of the youths were killed on the road; the others underwent a cruel imprisonment of seven days at Namugongo while a huge pyre was prepared. Then on Ascension day, June 3, 1886, they were brought out, stripped of their clothing, bound, and each wrapped in a mat of reed: the living faggots were laid on the pyre (one boy, St Mbaga, was first killed by a blow on the neck by order of his father who was the chief executioner), and it was set alight. The persecution spread and Protestants as well as Catholics gave their lives rather than deny Christ. A leader among the confessors was St Matthias Murumba, who was put to death with revolting cruelty; he was a middle-aged man, assistant judge to the provincial chief, who first heard of Jesus Christ from Protestant missionaries and later was baptized by Father Livinhac, W.F. Another older victim, who was beheaded, was St Andrew Kagwa, chief of Kigowa, who had been the instrument of his wife's conversion and had gathered a large body of catechumens round him. This Andrew together with Charles Lwanga and Matthias Murumba and nineteen others (seventeen of the total being young royal servants) were solemnly beatified in 1920. They were canonized in 1964.
When the White Fathers were expelled from the country, the new Christians carried on their work, translating and printing the catechism into their nativel language and giving secret instruction on the faith. Without priests, liturgy, and sacraments their faith, intelligence, courage, and wisdom kept the Catholic Church alive and growing in Uganda. When the White Fathers returned after King Mwanga's death, they found five hundred Christians and one thousand catchumens waiting for them. (Image Source: http://www.passionistnuns.org/Saints/StChasLWanga/ )