Saturday, April 14, 2018

Pope Francis brings 8 People Closer to Sainthood - Bios of New Venerable Servants of God

An Indian among 8 new Venerable Servants of God
Among the new Venerables are 3 priests and 5 nuns: an Indian, a Spanish, a Portuguese, a Canadian and 4 Italians Pope Francis on Saturday cleared the way for 8 Servants of God, including and Indian, taking them a step closer to sainthood.    On April 14, the Holy Father Francis received Cardinal Angelo Amato, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and authorized the promulgation of the decrees recognizing the heroic virtues of 8 Servants of God who will now have the title Venerable Servant of God or simply Venerable Among them is Father Varghese Payapilly, an Indian diocesan priest, founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Destitute.   He was born into a rich family in Konthuruthy (India) on August 8, 1876 and died of typhoid in Ernakulam on October 5, 1929.
After a disastrous flood in 1924, Fr. Varghese transformed his parish into a centre for the homeless. This experience led him to found a religious congregation of Sisters of the Destitute  on 19 March, 1927.  The nuns today runs numerous homes for street children, abandoned elderly people, beggars, terminally ill people with cancer and AIDS, and physically and mentally disabled people.  The order also has centres  for work activities, hospitals, dispensaries, palliative care centres, kindergartens and schools.
The other new Venerable Servants of God are:
Father Emanuele Nunes Formigão, diocesan priest, founder of the Congregation of the Religious Sisters  of the Reparation of Our Lady of Fatima; born in Tomar (Portugal) on January 1, 1883 and died in Fatima (Portugal) on January 30, 1958.
Father Ludovico Longari, a member of the Congregation of Priests of the Most Holy Sacrament; born in Montodine (Italy) on 20 June 1889 and died in Ponteranica (Italy) on 17 June 1963.
Sister Elizabeth Bruyère, Foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of Ottawa; born in L'Assomption (Canada) on March 19, 1818 and died in Ottawa (Canada) on April 5, 1876.
Mother Margherita Ricci Curbastro (born: Constance), Foundress of the Congregation of the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Agony; born in Lugo di Romagna (Italy) on 6 October 1856 and died there on 7 January 1923.
Mother Florenza Giovanna Profilio, Foundress of the Institute of the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of Lipari; born in Pirrera (Italy) on December 30, 1873 and died in Rome on February 21, 1956.
Mother Maria Dolores of Christ the King (born: Maria Di Majo), Foundress of the Congregation of the Missionary Handmaids of Christ the King; born in Palermo (Italy) on 16 December 1888 and died there on 27 June 1967.
Sister Justa Domínguez de Vidaurreta and Idoy, Superior of the Spanish Province of the Society of the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, born in Azpeitia (Spain) on November 2, 1875 and died in Madrid (Spain) on December 18, 1958.
Text Source: Vatican News

Wow 350 Student Groups hold #ProLife Walk-Out across the Country

Pro-Life Students took part in a Walkout for Unborn on April 11 at 10AM.. Pro-life students across the country this was possible with the help of Students for Life of America, the nation’s largest pro-life organization with more than 1,200 groups in all 50 states.  Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America rallied groups. The site organizing the event explained:
“On Wednesday, April 11th, we will walk out of our classes for 17 minutes of silence and prayer. We will stand silently outside outside honoring the 10 children who will violently die during that time at a Planned Parenthood abortion facility. We will rally and demand the end of Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funded empire. We will kneel and pray for the end of legal abortion in our nation.”
 The Thomas More Society was be there to offer “legal help, free of charge, to students as they prepare to exercise their constitutional rights to stand up for life and to students who encounter a pro-abortion double standard at their schools,” said Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center. The student helping to organize the event Brandon Gillespie said, “I just want to spread awareness about the cruel things that are happening in Planned Parenthood clinics across the country, the cruel murder of these children who have done nothing wrong.” Gillespie has inspired other students across the country to stand courageously for the dignity and sanctity of life. 1,700 people die every day because of abortion. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 600,000 abortions were performed in the U.S. in 2014—with Planned Parenthood responsible for more than a third. In 2016, Planned Parenthood claimed to have aborted 881 babies per day—or one every 98 seconds. Since Roe v. Wade, we have lost more than 60 million people to abortion. Gutierrez admits he is usually a shy guy and does not like to get out of his comfort zone, but he knows “[there are] issues in life you have to stand for and even though I’m a kid … if we don’t stand up for them, who will?” This generation is showing no fear in the face of liberal bias in the classroom and on university campuses. There are some things that pro-life students are seeing as more important than getting their peers’ and teachers’ approval. The moral conscience of our nation is rising. The voices of victims of the abortion industry are becoming louder. The wounded are becoming warriors, and abortion is becoming unthinkable. As a pro-life generation, we hope to one day take our future grandchildren to an abortion clinic-turned-museum to remember a time when the unborn had no voice, and to declare, “No more.” Editor's Edited from the Family Research Council.

Pope Francis "...the University’s mission in the service of the truth that makes us free." FULL TEXT to University of Villanova


ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
TO A DELEGATION OF THE "VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY, PHILADELPHIA" (USA)
Clementine Hall
Saturday, 14 April 2018

Dear Friends,
I am pleased to welcome you, Father President, the Council and the Board of Trustees of Villanova University, on the occasion of your meeting in Rome. I pray that your time in the Eternal City will be a source of spiritual renewal for each of you.
As an heir to the great Augustinian tradition of learning inspired by the pursuit of divine wisdom, your University was founded to preserve and pass on the richness of the Catholic tradition to new generations of students, who, like the young Augustine, seek true meaning and value in true life. In fidelity to this vision, the University, as a community of research and study, must also address the complex ethical and cultural challenges raised by the epochal changes affecting our world today. It is my hope that in every aspect of its life and mission, Villanova University will persevere in its efforts to communicate the intellectual, spiritual and moral values that will enable young people to participate wisely and responsibly in the great debates shaping the future of society.
One urgent aspect of this educational task is the development of a universal, “catholic” vision of the unity of our human family and a commitment to the practical solidarity needed to combat the grave inequalities and injustices that mark today’s world. Universities, by their very nature, are called to be workshops of dialogue and encounter in the service of truth, justice and the defense of human dignity at every level. This is especially true of Catholic institutions like your own, which contribute to the Church’s mission of promoting the authentic and integral growth of the human family towards its definitive fullness in God (cf. Ap. Const. Veritatis Gaudium, 1).
No one knew better than Saint Augustine the restlessness of the human heart until it finds its rest in the God who, in Jesus Christ, reveals to us the deepest truth about our lives and our ultimate destiny. May these days of reflection, discussion and encounter confirm you in your commitment to the University’s mission in the service of the truth that makes us free (cf. Jn 8:32). With affection I commend you and your families, and the entire Villanova community, to the prayers of Saints Augustine and Monica, and to all I impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of joy and peace in the Risen Lord Jesus.
FULL TEXT from Vatican.va - Official Translation

#BreakingNews US-France-Britain- Allied Forces Bomb Syria in Response of Chemical Attack - Please PRAY for Peace


US, Britain, France 'punish' Damascus for chemical weapons
Asia News reports that at least 100 missiles launched overnight on Damascus and Homs. No victims so far. The attack is justified by 'evidence' of the use of chemical weapons by Damascus. Russia accuses the British secret services of staging the Douma attack. The UN Secretary General pleads with all involved to avoid the escalation of the conflict.

Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The United States, Britain and France launched a series of overnight air raids against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime as a punishment for using chemical weapons on Douma a week ago, which the Syrians deny.

United States Chief of Staff Joe Dunford, said that the Western forces have hit three sites linked to chemical weapons production programs: one near Damascus and the other two near Homs, in the center of Syria. He also pointed out that missiles and bombs avoided hitting the Russian forces present in the country, and that Moscow had not been warned ahead of time about the targets, as Russia had requested the day before.
The the number of missiles launched by the allied forces is still unclear. Some estimate one hundred. The Syrian state agency Sana says the air defense system intercepted at least 13 missiles. No victims are reported. The London based Syrian Human Rights Observatory reports that scientific research centers, various military bases, and the headquarters of the Republican Guard in Damascus and its surroundings have been hit.
Over the past few hours, US President Donald Trump, Defense Secretary James Mattis, British Prime Minister Theresa May, French Defense Minister, Ms. Florence Parly have all said the attack was aimed at destroying Damascus's ability to produce weapons to give an example to the international community not to use these instruments of death.
The attack took place just a few hours before a group of experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons arrived in Douma. They have the task to verify on site if there has been a chemical attack or not.
Over the past few days, Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister May have repeatedly spoken of having "evidence"  of the use of chemical weapons by Damascus, however without ever showing any. Moreover Syria and Russia have denied any involvement. Indeed, yesterday Russian Foreign Minister Serghei Lavrov accused the British secret services of staging a false attack with chemical weapons to justify attacks that weaken the Bashar Assad regime just as his government - with the help of Russia, Iran and Hezbollah – has been taking back the last pockets of resistance in the country after seven years of civil war.
Days ago, in an interview with AsiaNews, the Latin Rite Apostolic Vicar of Aleppo, Msgr. Msgr. Georges Abou Khazen, had accused the "regional and world powers" of wanting to look for "a pretext to intervene with an even greater hardness, and to continue fighting", erasing any possibility of peace.
About a week ago Trump announced that he would withdraw US troops from Syria after the defeat of the Islamic State's jihadist groups. The alleged chemical attack and the bombings of tonight allow Washington - along with its powerful allies: Israel and Saudi Arabia - to remain part of the ongoing battle to ocunter the influence of Russia and Iran in the region.
Antonio Guterres, UN secretary general, in a statement published immediately following the attacks, asked all member states to "avoid any actions that could lead to an escalation and exacerbate the suffering of the Syrian people"
Text Edited from Asia News IT
.Image SHARE from Google Images

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Saturday April 14, 2018 - #Eucharist


Saturday of the Second Week of Easter
Lectionary: 272

Reading 1ACTS 6:1-7

As the number of disciples continued to grow,
the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews
because their widows
were being neglected in the daily distribution.
So the Twelve called together the community of the disciples and said,
"It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to serve at table.
Brothers, select from among you seven reputable men,
filled with the Spirit and wisdom,
whom we shall appoint to this task,
whereas we shall devote ourselves to prayer
and to the ministry of the word."
The proposal was acceptable to the whole community,
so they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit,
also Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas,
and Nicholas of Antioch, a convert to Judaism.
They presented these men to the Apostles
who prayed and laid hands on them.
The word of God continued to spread,
and the number of the disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly;
even a large group of priests were becoming obedient to the faith.

Responsorial PsalmPS 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19

R. (22) Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Exult, you just, in the LORD;
praise from the upright is fitting.
Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
or:
R. Alleluia.
See, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine.
R. Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Christ is risen, who made all things;
he has shown mercy on all people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 6:16-21

When it was evening, the disciples of Jesus went down to the sea,
embarked in a boat, and went across the sea to Capernaum.
It had already grown dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them.
The sea was stirred up because a strong wind was blowing.
When they had rowed about three or four miles,
they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat,
and they began to be afraid.
But he said to them, "It is I. Do not be afraid."
They wanted to take him into the boat,
but the boat immediately arrived at the shore
to which they were heading.

Pope Francis Begs Forgiveness for Scandal in Chile "... it would also be opportune to put the Church of Chile in a state of prayer." FULL TEXT

The Holy Father’s Letter
To the Lord Bishops of Chile
Dear Brothers in the Episcopate:
The reception during the past week of the last documents that complete the Report, which my two special envoys to Chile handed me on March 20, 2018, with a total of over 2,300 folios, moves me to write you this letter. I assure you of my prayer and I want to share with you the conviction that the present difficulties are also an occasion to restore trust in the Church, trust broken by our errors and sins, and to heal wounds that continue to bleed in the whole of Chilean society.
Without faith and without prayer, fraternity is impossible. Therefore, on this 2ndSunday of Easter, on the Day of Mercy, I offer you this reflection with the hope that each one of you will accompany me in the interior itinerary I have undertaken in the last weeks, so that it is the Spirit who guides us with his gift and not our interests or, worst still, our wounded pride.
Sometimes, when such evils groove our soul and cast us weak to the world, frightened and shielding ourselves in our comfortable “winter palaces,” God’s love comes to encounter us and purifies our intentions to love as free, mature and critical men. When the means of communication shame us, presenting a Church almost always in new moon, deprived of the light of the Sun of justice (St. Ambrose, Hexameron IV, 8, 32) and we have the temptation to doubt the paschal victory of the Risen One, I believe that, as Saint Thomas, we must not fear doubt (John 20:25), but fear the pretension of wanting to see without relying on the testimony of those that heard from the Lord’s lips the most beautiful promise (Matthew 28:20).
Today I want to speak to you, not of assurances, but of the only thing that the Lord offers us to experience each day: the joy, the peace, the forgiveness of our sins and the action of His grace.
In this connection, I wish to express my gratitude to H.E. Monsignor Charles Scicluna, Archbishop of Malta, and to The Reverend Jordi Bertomeu Farnos, official of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, for his great work of serene and empathic listening of the 64 testimonies that they gathered recently, both in New York as well as in Santiago de Chile. I sent them to listen from the heart and with humility. Subsequently, when they handed me the Report and, in particular, their juridical and pastoral assessment of the information collected, they acknowledged before me their having felt overwhelmed by the pain of so many victims of grave abuses of conscience and of power and, in particular, the sexual abuses committed by consecrated persons in your country against minors of age, those who were denied at the wrong time and were also robbed of their innocence.
As Pastors we must express the same most profound and cordial gratitude to those that with honesty, courage and sense of Church, requested a meeting with my envoys and showed them the wounds of their soul. Monsignor Scicluna and The Reverend Bertomeu have described to me how some Bishops, priests, deacons, lay men and women of Santiago and Osorno went to the Holy Name parish of New York or to the headquarters of Sotero Sanz, in Providencia, with a maturity, respect and affability that was moving.
On the other hand, the subsequent days to this special mission have been witnesses of another meritorious event, which we should keep very present for other occasions, as not only the atmosphere of confidentiality has been maintained, which was achieved during the Visit, but that at no time was there any yielding to the temptation to convert this delicate mission into a media circus. In this regard, I want to thank the different organizations and means of communication for their professionalism in treating this very delicate case, respecting the right of the citizens to the information and the good reputation of the respondents.
Now, after a reflective reading of the minutes of this “special mission,” I believe I can affirm that all the testimonies gathered in them speak in an objective way, without additives or sweeteners, of many crucified lives and I confess to you that it causes me pain and shame.
Taking all this into account, I write to you, gathered in the 115th Plenary Assembly, to humbly request Your collaboration and assistance in the discernment of the measures that in the short, medium and long term must be adopted to re-establish ecclesial communion in Chile, with the objective of repairing the scandal in so far as possible and of re-establishing justice.
I will convoke you to Rome to discuss the conclusions of the mentioned visit and my conclusions. I have thought of this meeting as a fraternal moment, without prejudices or pre-conceived ideas, with the sole objective of having the truth in our lives shine. In regard to the date, I entrust to the Secretary of the Episcopal Conference to inform me on the possibilities.
In what regards me, I acknowledge, and want you to transmit it faithfully, that I have made serious mistakes in the assessment and perception of the situation, especially because of a lack of truthful and balanced information. From now on I ask forgiveness from all those I offended and I hope to do so personally in the coming weeks, in the meetings I will have with representatives of the persons interviewed.
“Abide in Me” (John 15:4): these words of the Lord resound again and again in these days. They speak of personal relations, of communion, of fraternity that attracts and convokes. United to Christ as the branches of the vine, I invite you to graft, in your prayer of the coming days, a magnanimity that will prepare us for the mentioned meeting and that later will enable us to translate into concrete deeds what we will have reflected. Perhaps it would also be opportune to put the Church of Chile in a state of prayer. Now more than ever we cannot fall again into the temptation of verbosity or to remain in the “universals.” These days, let us look at Christ. Let us look at His life and His gestures, especially when He is compassionate and merciful with those that have erred. Let us love the truth, let us pray for wisdom of heart and allow ourselves to be converted.
While awaiting your news and entreating H.E. Santiago Silva Retamales, President of the Episcopal Conference of Chile, to publish this letter with the greatest speed possible, I impart to you my blessing and ask you, please, to not fail to pray for me.
Vatican, April 8, 2018
FRANCIS
[Original text: Spanish]  [Blog Entry SHARE of ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]