Monday, March 5, 2018

#BreakingNews Mysterious Death of Catholic Priest - RIP Fr. Florent Mbulanthie Tulantshiedi of possible Strangulation

Kinshasa (Agenzia Fides) - The circumstances of the death of Fr. Florent Mbulanthie Tulantshiedi, of the Joséphistes Congregation, who worked in the parish of Christ the Savior of Ilebo, are still unclear. His body was found on 2 March on a boat on the banks of the Kasai river, near the village of Biyenge, in the Kasai District, in the center-west of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
According to a teacher of the local Catholic school, the priest's body had neck wounds, it seems he was strangled. A police officer said that the last time the priest was seen was a few days ago, in a caffeteria near the river. According to his superior, Fr. Georges Minga, the morning after his death, some aspirants who were followed by Fr. Florent, warned him of the disappearance. Fr. Minga therefore warned the security forces. Then on 2 March the discovery of the body. According to Fr. Minga, his face was unrecognizable and the religious was recognized by the clothes he was wearing, the rosary and watch.
Fr. Florent was 46 years old. He was ordained priest in 2007 and for some years he was involved in the formation of candidates for the priesthood. The funeral of the religious was held in Ilebo on 3 March, apparently the autopsy was not carried out. (L. M.) (Text Source: Agenzia Fides, 5/3/2018)

Pope Francis “With what spirit do I think? With the spirit of the Lord or with my own mind..." Lent Homily


Pope at Mass: Faith is not a show but thinking like Christ - Vatican News Release:
In his morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta, 5 March, Pope Francis said that the Church urges us to to covert our way of thinking in line with Christ’s teaching. By Robin Gomes
According to Pope Francis, faith and religion are not a “show”, but a way of converting our thoughts to the ways of Christ. Delivering a homily at his morning Mass on Monday at the Vatican’s Casa Santa Marta chapel, Pope Francis said that through the readings of the day, the Church wants us to reflect on the conversion of our thoughts, way of thinking, as well as our actions and feeling in conformity with Christ. The first reading narrates the healing of the leprosy of Naaman the Syrian by the Prophet Elisha and Luke’s Gospel shows Jesus not accepted by his own people who want to kill him. Converting our way of thinking
Pope Francis said that the Church urges us to convert our actions through fasting, almsgiving and penance. Our actions, he said must be like Christ, in the spirit of the Beatitudes. The Pope said the Church especially speaks to us about converting our sentiments and feelings - converting ourselves to compassion like the Good Samaritan. It’s not just what we think, but also how we think , the style of thinking. Whether we think a Christian or like a pagan. No show with God The Pope also urged Christians not to expect a show from God like Naaman expected from Elisha. On being asked to bathe himself 7 times in the River Jordan, he gets angry saying the rivers of Damascus are better, and he wants to return home. Pope Francis said Naaman was expecting a show, but God’s style is something else. “He heals in another way". Commenting on the Gospel, the Pope noted that the people were initially amazed with Jesus, the son of Joseph the carpenter. But gossip soon changed their attitude. After their admiration and amazement they turned out to kill Him. They too wanted a spectacle, a show. The Pope said we resist any one among us correcting us. We expect someone with “show” to do it. The grace of conversion
Pope Francis said one can recite the entire Creed or the dogmas of the Church but unless one does it with a “Christian spirit”, it means nothing. The Pope thus asked Christians to pray for the grace of discernment and conversion of thought. TEXT Source: Vatican News

RIP Fr. Charles Nwora Okeke - Famous and Beloved Catholic Priest Dies after Illness at Age 56

Father Charles Okeke
 Date of Birth: April 11, 1956 has died on March 5, 2018.
Release by St. Monica's Parish in Georgia: 

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Fr. Charles Okeke who passed away early this morning.

 

At this point, no arrangements have been made but we will update as soon as we know.

 

I invite you to please pray a Divine Mercy Chaplet today at 3:00pm in possible.


Cards and condolences may be sent to:

The Office of Priest Personnel
The Archdiocese of Atlanta
2401 Lake Park Drive, SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
Here is a bio of Fr. Charles (Source: stpatricksga.org)

 Date of Ordenation: June 18, 2011
 Hometown: Abatete, Nigeria
 Parents: Christopher Ekunie Okeke and Florence Okeke, both deceased.
 Siblings: Two brothers and two sisters. 
Educational Profile OF REV. BRO. CHARLES OKEKE, Ph.D.
Charles Ogbuchukwu Okeke, was a lecturer in the Department of Religion and Cultural Studies, NwaforOrizu College of Education, Nsugbe, Anambra State. He was a Fellow of Strategic Institute for National Resources and Human Development. He holds a Dip in Italian language, from Centro Studi Cassia, Gregorian University, Rome; Dip in French language, from institute Catholique de Paris, France; B. Phil (Bachelor of Philosophy) and B. D (Bachelor of Divinity/Theology) from Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), Rome; PGDE, from Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto; M.A (Religion and Human Relations, specializing in African Traditional Religion) and Ph.D. (African Traditional Religion) from NnamdiAzikiwe University, Awka. He belongs to the Religious Congregation of the Brothers of St. Stephen, Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha. (Source: demazon)
Further Info about Fr. Charles from Stpatricksga.org
 Work Experience: Taught microbiology at the University of Nigeria; worked as a medical research scientist in Germany, Japan and the United States.
 Particular Ministries of Interest: Preaching Pastoral Internships: Christ Our Hope, Lithonia; St. Thomas Aquinas, Alpharetta; St. Peter, LaGrange; Mary Our Queen, Norcross.
 Hobbies and Interests: Reading
 Favorite Seminary Class: Christology
 Favorite Bible Story: The raising of Lazarus.
 Most Admired Person: St. Charles Borromeo
 First Assignment: St. Benedict, Johns Creek
 Second Assignment: St. Patrick’s Parish, Norcross, Ga.
An Interesting Article by the Famous Fr. Charles:
The Major Problem of Disobedience and Disrespect for Church Authority 
Source Courageous Priest Blog by Fr. Charles Nwora Okeke
 A Reflection on a major problem in the contemporary Church: “Because each person presumes that he or she knows what best, disobedience and disrespect for Church authority prevails. We should all step back and remind ourselves the reason we are members of the Church; it is to save our souls through prayers and reception of the sacraments.” A major problem in the Church today is the profusion of people who, with neither study nor formation, presume expertise in theological, liturgical, and miscellaneous Church matters. We read one or two blogs on the internet and we presume on having a better understanding of the Church and spiritual matters than the Pope. Everybody has an opinion on how best to govern the Church; on what the liturgy should be or not. At a recent committee meeting someone even suggested that we should include catechumens and first communicants among those whose feet are to be washed on Holy Thursday. But in the Roman Missal it is clearly stated that “MEN” should be invited. (Note: This was written before Pope Francis’ feet washing declaration.)
 Do the RED, Say the BLACK
In celebrating the liturgy, we priests are bound to do what is typed in red in the Roman Missal and say what is in black; the laity is expected to participate actively, reverentially and prayerfully. Any other thing becomes an innovation or distraction. Today, many Catholics seem to forget that the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church is not utilitarian; it is not a Church of opinion polls. Because each person presumes that he or she knows what best, disobedience and disrespect for Church authority prevails. We should all step back and remind ourselves the reason we are members of the Church; it is to save our souls through prayers and reception of the sacraments. If we fail to attain this purpose then we have truly failed in life, and it would be better that we were never born. And the Lord in His perfect wisdom, and knowing the brokenness of man, has made is such that the efficacy of the sacraments is not affected by the sinfulness of the minister. So we have no reason to fail.

Pope Francis meets youngest Leader in Europe - Conservative Catholic Austrian Chancellor Kurz


Vatican News Release: Pope Francis meets Austrian Chancellor Kurz At a private audience in the Vatican, Pope Francis and the Austrian Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, discuss the two countries’ bilateral relations and the importance of the protection of life, the family, and the weakest members of society. Pope Francis on Monday held a private audience with Mr. Sebastian Kurz, Chancellor of the Republic of Austria, in the Vatican Apostolic Palace. A communiqué from the Holy See Press Office said their discussions were “cordial” and that they spoke about “the fruitful collaboration existing between the Holy See and Austria”. The Pope and the Austrian Chancellor also underlined “importance of the protection of life and the family and the promotion of the common good of society, especially with regard to the weakest sectors of the population.” Pope Francis and Mr. Kurz, the press statement said, went on to talk about various current international issues, “including peace, nuclear disarmament, and migration.” Afterwards, Mr. Kurz met with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, and Msgr. Antoine Camilleri, under-Secretary for Relations with States.

FCS President on Conscience Discrimination in Canada "...that cannot, in conscience, be made by Catholics or many other faith communities."

                        

FULL TEXT Release by : Fellowship of Catholic Scholars

President and Journal: Dr. Robert N Berard, Faculty of Education, Mount Saint Vincent University,  
                  Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3H 3T3, robert.berard@msvu.ca

Financial:  Dr Patrick Redmond, 44 Augusta Drive Way, Markham, Ontario, L6E 1B5, pmredmond@sympatico.ca


News Release


The federal government, through the Canada Summer Jobs Program, has annually made
available public funds to non-profit organizations and charities that hire young people for
summer jobs and service projects. These jobs provide important services to local
communities and help students earn money to support their education and to acquire
useful work experience.


In a dramatic change from past practice, applicants for these funds have been informed that,
to be eligible for such funding, they must attest that “both the job and the organization’s
core mandate respect individual human rights in Canada, including the values underlying
the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as other rights. These include
reproductive rights and the right to be free from discrimination on the basis of sex, religion,
race, national or ethnic origin, colour, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, or
gender identity or expression.”


This new policy has generated broad opposition among Canadians, particularly
among a variety of faith communities. Requiring this attestation, in effect, denies
to many faith-based organizations access to funds to support some 70,000 student
summer jobs.  We have also learned that the same attestation is being demanded of
organizations that wish to participate in the new Canada Service Corps.
Most troubling is that this unprecedented and arbitrary decision is justified by a
transparent falsehood.


The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms does establish several freedoms,
including “freedom of conscience and religion,” “freedom of thought, belief, opinion and
expression,” and “freedom of association.” It also guarantees freedom from discrimination
“based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical
disability.”


So-called “reproductive rights” or “reproductive freedoms” are not part of the
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms nor, for that matter, are references to
“gender identity or gender expression”. Yet, Employment and Social Development
Canada can now deny funding for summer student employment if their recipients fail to
affirm not just rights established under the Charter but also, in the words of Prime Minister
Trudeau, “where the government of Canada is” on contested issues outside of the Charter.


While members of many faith communities and those who take seriously the Charter’s
guarantee of “freedom of conscience and religion,” have objected to these new
requirements for access to public funds, the attestation would deny to any Catholic
organization funds to support the hiring of a summer student.  


Catholics recognize that, in the absence of any law or other restrictions related to
abortion, procuring or performing abortions is not illegal in Canada, that same-sex marriages
are recognized in Canadian law, and that transgendered persons have acquired legal
protections against unjust discrimination.  Catholics also recognize the importance of
tolerance and respect for persons in a diverse society. The Catholic Church and Catholic
organizations cannot themselves, however, affirm or condone abortion, same-sex marriage,
or reductionist views of transgenderism.


As the Archbishop of Ottawa, the Most Reverend Terrence Prendergast has asked,
“Do Canadians have freedom of conscience and religion, freedom of thought, belief,
opinion and expression, or not?”


The Fellowship of Catholic Scholars (Canada) calls upon Canada’s Liberal
government to rescind the requirement that organizations seeking funding to support
summer student employment make affirmations that cannot, in conscience, be made by
Catholics or many other faith communities.

Dr. Robert Berard
President, Fellowship of Catholic Scholars (Canada)


(902) 457-6274

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Mon. March 5, 2018 - #Eucharist


Monday of the Third Week of Lent
Lectionary: 237


Reading 12 KGS 5:1-15AB

Naaman, the army commander of the king of Aram,
was highly esteemed and respected by his master,
for through him the LORD had brought victory to Aram.
But valiant as he was, the man was a leper.
Now the Arameans had captured in a raid on the land of Israel
a little girl, who became the servant of Naaman's wife.
"If only my master would present himself to the prophet in Samaria,"
she said to her mistress, "he would cure him of his leprosy."
Naaman went and told his lord
just what the slave girl from the land of Israel had said.
"Go," said the king of Aram.
"I will send along a letter to the king of Israel."
So Naaman set out, taking along ten silver talents,
six thousand gold pieces, and ten festal garments.
To the king of Israel he brought the letter, which read:
"With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you,
that you may cure him of his leprosy."

When he read the letter,
the king of Israel tore his garments and exclaimed:
"Am I a god with power over life and death,
that this man should send someone to me to be cured of leprosy?
Take note! You can see he is only looking for a quarrel with me!"
When Elisha, the man of God,
heard that the king of Israel had torn his garments,
he sent word to the king:
"Why have you torn your garments?
Let him come to me and find out
that there is a prophet in Israel."

Naaman came with his horses and chariots
and stopped at the door of Elisha's house.
The prophet sent him the message:
"Go and wash seven times in the Jordan,
and your flesh will heal, and you will be clean."
But Naaman went away angry, saying,
"I thought that he would surely come out and stand there
to invoke the LORD his God,
and would move his hand over the spot,
and thus cure the leprosy.
Are not the rivers of Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar,
better than all the waters of Israel?
Could I not wash in them and be cleansed?"
With this, he turned about in anger and left.

But his servants came up and reasoned with him.
"My father," they said,
"if the prophet had told you to do something extraordinary,
would you not have done it?
All the more now, since he said to you,
'Wash and be clean,' should you do as he said."
So Naaman went down and plunged into the Jordan seven times
at the word of the man of God.
His flesh became again like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

He returned with his whole retinue to the man of God.
On his arrival he stood before him and said,
"Now I know that there is no God in all the earth,
except in Israel."

Responsorial PsalmPS 42:2, 3; 43:3, 4


R. (see 42:3) Athirst is my soul for the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?
As the hind longs for the running waters,
so my soul longs for you, O God.
R. Athirst is my soul for the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?
Athirst is my soul for God, the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?
R. Athirst is my soul for the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?
Send forth your light and your fidelity;
they shall lead me on
And bring me to your holy mountain,
to your dwelling-place.
R. Athirst is my soul for the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?
Then will I go in to the altar of God,
the God of my gladness and joy;
Then will I give you thanks upon the harp,
O God, my God!
R. Athirst is my soul for the living God.
When shall I go and behold the face of God?

Verse Before The GospelSEE PS 130:5, 7

I hope in the LORD, I trust in his word;
with him there is kindness and plenteous redemption.

GospelLK 4:24-30


Jesus said to the people in the synagogue at Nazareth:
“Amen, I say to you,
no prophet is accepted in his own native place.
Indeed, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel
in the days of Elijah
when the sky was closed for three and a half years
and a severe famine spread over the entire land.
It was to none of these that Elijah was sent,
but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon.
Again, there were many lepers in Israel
during the time of Elisha the prophet;
yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”
When the people in the synagogue heard this,
they were all filled with fury.
They rose up, drove him out of the town,
and led him to the brow of the hill
on which their town had been built,
to hurl him down headlong.
But he passed through the midst of them and went away.

Saint March 5 : St. John Joseph of the Cross : #Confessor


St. John Joseph of the Cross
CONFESSOR
Feast: March 5
Born:
August 15, 1654, Ischia
Died:
March 5, 1739
Canonized:
1839, Rome by Pope Gregory XVI
Patron of:
Ischiaa
Born on the Island of Ischia, Southern Italy, 1654; d. 5 March, 1739. From his earliest years he was given to prayer and virtue. So great was his love of poverty that he would always wear the dress of the poor, though he was of noble birth. At the age of sixteen years he entered the Order of St. Francis at naples, amongst the Friars of the Alcantarine Reform, being the first Italian to join this reform which had been instituted in Spain by St. Peter of Alcantara. Throughout his life he was given to the greatest austerity: he fasted constantly, never drank wine, and slept but three hours each night. In 1674 he was sent to found a friary at Afila, in Piedmont; and he assisted with his own hands in the building. Much against his will, he was raised to the priesthood. As superior, he always insisted upon performing the lowliest offices in the community. In 1702 he was appointed Vicar Provincial of the Alcantarine Reform in Italy. He was favoured in a high degree with the gift of miracles, people of every condition being brought to him in sickness. His zeal for souls was such that even in sickness he would not spare any labour for them. His great devotion was to our Blessed Lady, and he was urgent with his penitents that they also should cultivate this. He was beatified in 1789, and canonized in 1839.
(Taken From Catholic Encyclopedia)