Sunday, June 30, 2019

Saint July 1 : Saint Junípero Serra the Great Franciscan Spanish Missionary of California


Saint Junípero Serra
MISSIONARY
Feast: July 1 
Information:Feast Day:July 1

Born:
24 November 1713 at Petra, Spanish Majorca
Died:
28 August 1784Beatified:
25 September 1988 by Pope John Paul II 
Born at Petra, Island of Majorca, 24 November, 1713; died at Monterey, California, 28 August, 1784.
Born at Petra, Majorca, Spain, November 24, 1713, a son of Antonio Nadal Serra and Margarita Rosa Ferrer who spent their lives as farmers, Junípero Serra was baptized on the same day at St. Peter’s Church and was given the name Miguel José.
In Petra, Serra attended the primary school of the Franciscans. At 15-years-old, he was taken by his parents to Palma to be placed in the charge of a cathedral canon, and he began to assist at classes in philosophy held in the Franciscan monastery of San Francisco.
Serra was admitted as a novice at the Convento de Jesús outside the walls of Palma on September 14, 1730, and made his profession on September 15, the following year. He chose the name Junípero in memory of the brother companion of St. Francis. He studied philosophy and theology at the Convento de San Francisco. The date of his ordination to the priesthood is not known, though it probably occurred during the Ember Days of December 1738.  Serra obtained his doctorate in theology in 1742 from the Lullian University, Palma. He was called to the Scotistic chair of theology at the same university as primary professor in January 1749 to become an Indian missionary in America.
On April 13, 1749, with Francisco Palóu, Serra sailed for America. He landed in Vera Cruz, Mexico on December 7, 1749. Although horses were supplied for the friars, Serra elected to walk the 250 miles between Vera Cruz and Mexico City. They reached San Fernando College on January 1, 1750, spending the previous night at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
In less than six months, an urgent call came for volunteers for the Sierra Gorda missions. Serra was among the volunteers. During his apostolate in Sierra Gorda with the Pame Indians between 1750 and 1758, Serra not only oversaw construction of a church, which is still in use, but developed his mission in both religious and economic directions. Under his presidency of the missions (1751-1754), the missionaries of the other four towns also built mission churches.  
Serra learned the Otomí language and used a visual method of teaching religion. Zealous in preaching and in promoting both liturgical and popular devotions, he succeeded in bringing the Pame people to practice the faith in an exemplary way. Economically his mission prospered through the introduction of domestic animals, the fostering of agriculture, and the development of commerce. He also defended Indian rights against non-native settlers in a protracted contest over the valley of Tancama. During building operations on his church, he worked as an ordinary day laborer.
He was then assigned to the college of San Fernando, where he arrived September 26, 1758. There he was made choir director, master of novices from 1761 to 1764, college counselor from 1758 to 1761, and a confessor. As a home missionary Serra preached missions in Mexico City, Mezquital, Zimapan, Río Vero, Puebla and Oaxaca. In 1767, he was appointed president of the ex-Jesuit missions of Baja California.
He set out in mid-July and reached Loreto on April 1. Serra resided at the former Jesuit headquarters and assigned missionaries to the 15 missions between San José del Cabo in the south and Santa María in the north. Serra enthusiastically volunteered in 1768 to join expeditions to Upper California. On March 28, 1769, Serra left the mission at Loreto on mule-back, arriving at San Diego on July 1. En route, he founded his first mission at San Fernando de Velicatá on May 14. Serra kept a diary of his journey during which he suffered greatly from an infirmity in his legs and feet and had to be carried on a stretcher.
Serra devoted the next 15 years of his life to evangelical work in Upper California. During that period he founded nine missions: San Diego, July 16, 1769; San Carlos, Monterey-Carmel, June 3, 1770; San Antonio, July 14, 1771; San Gabriel, September 8, 1771; San Luis Obispo, September 1, 1772, San Francisco, October 9, 1776; San Juan Capistrano, November 1, 1776; Santa Clara, January 12, 1777; and San Buenaventura, March 31, 1782. He was present at the founding of Presidio Santa Barbara, April 12, 1782.
Serra remained at San Diego until April 14, 1770, when he embarked for Monterey. From June 3, 1770, until his death, he maintained his headquarters at Mission San Carlos. Serra died at Mission San Carlos, August 28, 1784, at the age of 70 and is buried in the floor of the sanctuary of the church he had built. By the end of 1784, Indian baptisms at the first nine missions reached the number 6,736, while 4,646 Christianized Indians were living in them.
Serra was small of stature, five feet two inches in height. He had a sonorous voice, swarthy skin, dark hair and eyes. Though it appears that he had a fundamentally robust constitution, he suffered a great deal during the latter part of his life. His first affliction was the swelling and painful itching of his feet and legs from mosquito bites which caused varicose ulcers. At times he could neither stand nor walk. After 1758 he began to suffer from asthma. 
In character Serra was eager, optimistic, zealous, dynamic, even adamantine. Primarily a man of action, he preferred the active apostolate to the classroom or to writing. He remained a model religious despite his distractions and activity — a man of prayer and mortification. He had a consuming love for his American converts. He fought for the freedom of the Church against royal infringement. Serra was considered by some too aggressive, zealous, and demanding. Though he defended the Indians, he had a paternalistic view and believed in and practiced corporal punishment.
The cause for Serra’s beatification began in the Diocese of Monterey-Fresno in 1934, and the diocesan process was finished in 1949. On September 25, 1988 he was beatified by Pope John Paul II. Pope Francis canonized Junipero Serra on September 23, 2015. during a Mass in Washington, DC.
Serra monuments and memorials dot his Camino Real from Majorca to California. He is the subject of several dozen biographies in various languages. His writings with translation have been published in four volumes by Rev. Antonine Tibesar, OFM. He is known as the Apostle of California. Serra International was established in his honor. His life and his mission system are studied in California schools.
Edited from the official biography at https://sbfranciscans.org/about/blessed-junipero-serra

Pope Francis explains "- the Church is sent! - to bring the Gospel to the streets and reach the human and existential suburbs." Full Text + Video


ANGELUS

St. Peter's Square
Sunday, June 30, 2019

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

In today's Gospel (see Lk 9: 51-62), St. Luke begins the story of Jesus' last journey to Jerusalem, which will end at chapter 19. It is a long march not only geographical and spatial, but spiritual and theological towards the fulfillment of the mission of the Messiah. Jesus' decision is radical and total, and those who follow him are called to measure themselves against it. Today the Evangelist presents us with three characters - three cases of vocation, we could say - that highlight what is required of those who want to follow Jesus fully, totally.

The first character promises to him: "I will follow you wherever you go" (v. 57). Generous! But Jesus replies that the Son of man, unlike the foxes that have the dens and the birds that have nests, "has nowhere to lay his head" (v. 58). The absolute poverty of Jesus. Jesus, in fact, left the paternal home and renounced all security to announce the Kingdom of God to the lost sheep of his people. Thus Jesus indicated to us his disciples that our mission in the world cannot be static, but is itinerant. The Christian is an itinerant. The Church by its nature is in movement, it is not sedentary and tranquil in its own enclosure. It is open to the widest horizons, sent - the Church is sent! - to bring the Gospel to the streets and reach the human and existential suburbs. This is the first character.

The second character that Jesus meets receives the call directly from him, but he replies: "Lord, let me go first to bury my father" (v. 59). It is a legitimate request, founded on the commandment to honor the father and mother (see Ex 20,12). However, Jesus replies: "Let the dead bury their dead" (v. 60). With these deliberately provocative words, he intends to affirm the primacy of following and announcing the Kingdom of God, even on the most important realities, such as the family. The urgency to communicate the Gospel, which breaks the chain of death and inaugurates eternal life, does not admit delays, but requires readiness and availability. Therefore, the Church is itinerant, and here the Church is decisive, it acts quickly, at the moment, without waiting.

The third character also wants to follow Jesus but on one condition: he will do so after going to take leave of relatives. And this is said by the Master: "No one who puts his hand to the plow and then turns back is suitable for the kingdom of God" (v. 62). The following of Jesus excludes regrets and looks backwards, but requires the virtue of decision.

The Church, in order to follow Jesus, is itinerant, acts immediately, in a hurry, and resolutely. The value of these conditions set by Jesus - itinerancy, readiness and decision - does not lie in a series of "no" sayings to good and important things in life. The accent, rather, should be placed on the main objective: to become a disciple of Christ! A free and conscious choice, made out of love, to reciprocate the priceless grace of God, and not made as a way to promote oneself. This is sad! Woe to those who think they are following Jesus to promote themselves, that is, to make a career, to feel important or to acquire a place of prestige. Jesus wants us passionate about Him and the Gospel. A passion of the heart that translates into concrete gestures of closeness, of closeness to the brothers most in need of welcome and care. Just like he himself lived.

May the Virgin Mary, icon of the Church on the way, help us to follow the Lord Jesus with joy and to announce to the brothers, with renewed love, the Good News of salvation.

After the Angelus

Dear brothers and sisters!

In recent hours we have witnessed a good example of meeting culture in Korea. I greet the protagonists, with the prayer that this significant gesture constitutes a further step on the path of peace, not only on that peninsula but in favor of the whole world.

On the last day of June, I wish all workers a rest period during the summer, which will benefit them and their families.

I pray for those who in these days have suffered the most from the consequences of the heat: the sick, the elderly, people who have to work outdoors, on construction sites ... No one is abandoned or exploited.

And now I address my cordial greeting to all of you, Romans and pilgrims: families, church groups, associations.

In particular I greet the group of Sisters of Saint Elizabeth and the pilgrims who came by bicycle from Sartirana Lomellina. I see that there are so many Poles ... I greet the Poles. Bravi!

I wish you all a good Sunday. Please don't forget to pray for me. Good lunch and goodbye.

Sunday Mass Online : Sun. June 30, 2019 - #Eucharist - Reading + Video - 13th Ord. Time

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 99

Reading 11 KGS 19:16B, 19-21

The LORD said to Elijah:
"You shall anoint Elisha, son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah,
as prophet to succeed you."

Elijah set out and came upon Elisha, son of Shaphat,
as he was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen;
he was following the twelfth.
Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak over him.
Elisha left the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said,
"Please, let me kiss my father and mother goodbye,
and I will follow you."
Elijah answered, "Go back!
Have I done anything to you?"
Elisha left him, and taking the yoke of oxen, slaughtered them;
he used the plowing equipment for fuel to boil their flesh,
and gave it to his people to eat.
Then Elisha left and followed Elijah as his attendant.

Responsorial PsalmPS 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11

R. (cf. 5a) You are my inheritance, O Lord.
Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;
 I say to the LORD, "My Lord are you.
O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
 you it is who hold fast my lot."
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.
I bless the LORD who counsels me;
 even in the night my heart exhorts me.
I set the LORD ever before me;
 with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.
Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices,
 my body, too, abides in confidence
because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld,
 nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.
You will show me the path to life,
 fullness of joys in your presence,
 the delights at your right hand forever.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.

Reading 2GAL 5:1, 13-18

Brothers and sisters:
For freedom Christ set us free;
so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.

For you were called for freedom, brothers and sisters.
But do not use this freedom
as an opportunity for the flesh;
rather, serve one another through love.
For the whole law is fulfilled in one statement,
namely, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
But if you go on biting and devouring one another,
beware that you are not consumed by one another.

I say, then: live by the Spirit
and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh.
For the flesh has desires against the Spirit,
and the Spirit against the flesh;
these are opposed to each other,
so that you may not do what you want.
But if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Alleluia1 SM 3:9; JN 6:68C

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Speak, Lord, your servant is listening;
you have the words of everlasting life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 9:51-62

When the days for Jesus' being taken up were fulfilled,
he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem,
and he sent messengers ahead of him.
On the way they entered a Samaritan village
to prepare for his reception there,
but they would not welcome him
because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem.
When the disciples James and John saw this they asked,
"Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven
to consume them?"
Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village.

As they were proceeding on their journey someone said to him,
"I will follow you wherever you go."
Jesus answered him,
"Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests,
but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head."

And to another he said, "Follow me."
But he replied, "Lord, let me go first and bury my father."
But he answered him, "Let the dead bury their dead.
But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God."
And another said, "I will follow you, Lord,
but first let me say farewell to my family at home."
To him Jesus said, "No one who sets a hand to the plow
and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God."

Saint June 30 : Protomartyrs of Rome - who suffered Death under Emperor Nero in #Rome


Feast: June 30

Information: Feast Day:June 30
Many martyrs who suffered death under Emperor Nero (r. 54-68). Owing to their executions durin the reign of Nero, they are called the Neronian Martyrs, and they are also termed "the Protomartys of Rome," being honored by the site in the Vatican City called the Piazza of the Protomartyrs. These early Christians were disciples of the Apostles, and they endured hideous tortures and ghastly deaths following the burning of Rome in the infamous fire of 62. Their dignity in suffering, and their fervor to the end, did not provide Nero or the Romans with the public diversion desired. Instead, the faith was firmly planted in the Eternal City.

(Taken from Our Sunday Visitor's Encyclopedia of Saints)

Saturday, June 29, 2019

What is the Immaculate Heart of Mary? - 5 Things You Need to Know + Share - Memorial Day with Novena Prayer


TODAY IS THE MEMORIAL OF THE IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY: 
1. Devotion to the Immaculate heart of Mary has existed for centuries. 
2. However, St. Jean Eudes (d. 1681) propagated the devotion, and tried to make it public, and to have a feast celebrated in honor of the Heart of Mary, first at Autun in 1648 and afterwards in a number of French dioceses.

3. In 1799 Pius VI, then in captivity at Florence, granted the Bishop of Palermo the feast of the Most Pure Heart of Mary for some of the churches in his diocese. 

4. In 1805 Pius VII made a new concession, thanks to which the feast was soon widely observed.
5. On 21 July 1855, the Congregation of Rites finally approved the Office and Mass of the Most Pure Heart of Mary without, however, imposing them upon the Universal Church. [Excerpted from Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913 edition.]

The feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary was transferred by Pope Paul VI to the Saturday immediately following the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

CONSECRATION

I, . . ., a faithless sinner, renew and ratify today in thy Heart, O Immaculate Mother, the vows of my Baptism; I renounce forever Satan, his pomps and works; and I give myself entirely to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, to carry my cross after Him all the days of my life, and to be more faithful to Him than I have ever been before.
Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, in the presence of all the heavenly court, I choose thee this day for my Mother and Mistress. I deliver and consecrate to thee, and to thy Immaculate Heart, as thy child and slave of love, my body and soul, my goods, both interior and exterior, and even the value of all my good actions, past, present and future; leaving to thee the entire and full right of disposing of me, and all that belongs to me, without exception, according to thy good pleasure, for the greater glory of God, in time and in eternity. Amen
NOVENA PRAYER
Immaculate Heart of Mary, full of love for God and mankind, and of compassion for sinners, I consecrate myself entirely to you. I entrust to you the salvation of my soul. May my heart be ever united with yours, so that I may hate sin, love God and my neighbor, and reach eternal life together with those whom I love.

Mediatrix of All Graces and Mother of Mercy, remember the infinite treasure which your Divine Son has merited by His suffering and which he has confided to you for us, your children. Filled with confidence in your motherly heart, and for the sake of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, obtain for me the favor I ask: [Mention your request here].

Dearest Mother, if what I ask for should not be according to God's will, pray that I may receive that which will be of greater benefit to my soul. May I experience the kindness of your intercession with Jesus during life and at the hour of my death? Amen

Pope Francis at Mass "... when we experience God’s forgiveness do we truly experience rebirth." Blessing of Pallium for New Archbishops - Full Text Homily + Video


HOLY MASS AND BLESSING OF THE SACRED PALLIUM 
FOR THE NEW METROPOLITAN ARCHBISHOPS
ON THE SOLEMNITY OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL, APOSTLES
HOMILY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
Saint Peter’s Basilica
Saturday, 29 June 2019

The Apostles Peter and Paul stand before us as witnesses. They never tired of preaching and journeying as missionaries from the land of Jesus to Rome itself. Here they gave their ultimate witness, offering their lives as martyrs. If we go to the heart of that testimony, we can see them as witnesses to life, witnesses to forgiveness and witnesses to Jesus.
Witnesses to life. Their lives, though, were not neat and linear. Both were deeply religious: Peter was one of the very first disciples (cf. Jn 1:41), and Paul was “zealous for the traditions of [his] ancestors” (Gal 1:14). Yet they also made great mistakes: Peter denied the Lord, while Paul persecuted the Church of God. Both were cut to the core by questions asked by Jesus: “Simon son of John, do you love me?” (Jn 21:15); “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” (Acts 9:4). Peter was grieved by Jesus’ questions, while Paul was blinded by his words. Jesus called them by name and changed their lives. After all that happened, he put his trust in them, in one who denied him and one who persecuted his followers, in two repentant sinners. We may wonder why the Lord chosen not to give us two witnesses of utter integrity, with clean records and impeccable lives? Why Peter, when there was John? Why Paul, and not Barnabas?
There is a great teaching here: the starting point of the Christian life is not our worthiness; in fact, the Lord was able to accomplish little with those who thought they were good and decent. Whenever we consider ourselves smarter or better than others, that is the beginning of the end. The Lord does not work miracles with those who consider themselves righteous, but with those who know themselves needy. He is not attracted by our goodness; that is not why he loves us. He loves us just as we are; he is looking for people who are not self-sufficient, but ready to open their hearts to him. People who, like Peter and Paul, are transparent before God. Peter immediately told Jesus: “I am a sinful man” (Lk 5:8). Paul wrote that he was “least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle” (1 Cor 15:9). Throughout life, they preserved this humility, to the very end. Peter died crucified upside down, since he did not consider himself worthy to imitate his Lord. Paul was always fond of his name, which means “little”, and left behind his birth name, Saul, the name of the first king of his people. Both understood that holiness does not consist in exalting but rather in humbling oneself. Holiness is not a contest, but a question of entrusting our own poverty each day to the Lord, who does great things for those who are lowly. What was the secret that made them persevere amid weakness? It was the Lord’s forgiveness.
Let us think about them too as witnesses to forgiveness. In their failings, they encountered the powerful mercy of the Lord, who gave them rebirth. In his forgiveness, they encountered irrepressible peace and joy. Thinking back to their failures, they might have experienced feelings of guilt. How many times might Peter have thought back to his denial! How many scruples might Paul have felt at having hurt so many innocent people! Humanly, they had failed. Yet they encountered a love greater than their failures, a forgiveness strong enough to heal even their feelings of guilt. Only when we experience God’s forgiveness do we truly experience rebirth. From there we start over, from forgiveness; there we rediscover who we really are: in the confession of our sins.
Witnesses to life and witnesses to forgiveness, Peter and Paul are ultimately witnesses to Jesus. In today’s Gospel, the Lord asks: “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” The answers evoke figures of the past: “John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah or one of the prophets”. Remarkable people, but all of them dead. Peter instead replies: “You are the Christ” (Mt 16:13-14.16). The Christ, that is, the Messiah. A word that points not to the past, but to the future: the Messiah is the one who is awaited, he is newness, the one who brings God’s anointing to the world. Jesus is not the past, but the present and the future. He is not a distant personage to be remembered, but the one to whom Peter can speak intimately: You are the Christ. For those who are his witnesses, Jesus is more than a historical personage; he is a living person: he is newness, not things we have already seen, the newness of the future and not a memory from the past. The witness, then, is not someone who knows the story of Jesus, but someone who has experienced a love story with Jesus. The witness, in the end, proclaims only this: that Jesus is alive and that he is the secret of life. Indeed, Peter, after saying: “You are the Christ”, then goes on to say: “the Son of the living God” (v. 16). Witness arises from an encounter with the living Jesus. At the centre of Paul’s life too, we find that same word that rises up from Peter’s heart: Christ. Paul repeats this name constantly, almost four hundred times in his letters! For him, Christ is not only a model, an example, a point of reference: he is life itself. Paul writes: “For me to live is Christ” (Phil 1:21). Jesus is Paul’s present and his future, so much so that he considers the past as refuse in comparison to the surpassing knowledge of Christ (cf. Phil 3:7-8).
Brothers and sisters, in the presence of these witnesses, let us ask: “Do I renew daily my own encounter with Jesus?” We may be curious about Jesus, or interested in Church matters or religious news. We may open computer sites and the papers, and talk about holy things. But this is to remain at the level of what are people saying? Jesus does not care about polls, past history or statistics. He is not looking for religion editors, much less “front page” or “statistical” Christians. He is looking for witnesses who say to him each day: “Lord, you are my life”.
Having met Jesus and experienced his forgiveness, the Apostles bore witness to him by living a new life: they no longer held back, but gave themselves over completely. They were no longer content with half-measures, but embraced the only measure possible for those who follow Jesus: that of boundless love. They were “poured out as a libation” (cf. 2 Tim 4:6). Let us ask for the grace not to be lukewarm Christians living by half measures, allowing our love to grow cold. Let us rediscover who we truly are through a daily relationship with Jesus and through the power of his forgiveness. Just as he asked Peter, Jesus is now asking us: “Who do you say that I am?”, “Do you love me?” Let us allow these words to penetrate our hearts and inspire us not to remain content with a minimum, but to aim for the heights, so that we too can become living witnesses to Jesus.


Today we bless the pallia for the Metropolitan Archbishops named in the past year. The pallium recalls the sheep that the shepherd is called to bear on his shoulders. It is a sign that the shepherds do not live for themselves but for the sheep. It is a sign that, in order to possess life, we have to lose it, give it away. Today our joy is shared, in accordance with a fine tradition, by a Delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, whose members I greet with affection. Your presence, dear brothers, reminds us that we can spare no effort also in the journey towards full unity among believers, in communion at every level. For together, reconciled to God and having forgiven one another, we are called to bear witness to Jesus by our lives.

Wow Video Released of Newborn Baby found in Plastic bag in the Woods - Rescued by Police

The police in Georgia have released video showing the moment an abandoned newborn baby was pulled from a plastic bag in the woods earlier in June, 2019. The video is from a body-camera  and shows the deputy opening the plastic bag and finding a crying baby girl with her umbilical cord still intact. The deputy puts the baby on a blanket and tries to comfort her. One of the rescuers is heard saying, "She's a sweetheart" and the baby wraps her hand around his finger. The newborn was then taken to a hospital for treatment. It is reported that she's in good condition. The incident took place on June 6 and investigators in Forsyth County don't know who the baby's mother is. The video was released with the hope that it will lead to information about the baby's identity. The hospital staff has unofficially named her "Baby India."

Pope Francis explains Jesus loves his Church "...with absolute fidelity, despite our mistakes and betrayals." Full Text


SOLEMNITY of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul

Pope Francis

ANGELUS

St. Peter's Square
Saturday, June 29, 2019

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

The Saints Peter and Paul, which we celebrate today, in the icons are sometimes depicted holding up the Church building. This reminds us of the words of today's Gospel, in which Jesus says to Peter: "You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church" (Mt 16:18). It is the first time that Jesus pronounces the word "Church", but rather than on the noun I would like to invite you to think of the adjective, which is a possessive, "mine": my Church. Jesus does not speak of the Church as an external reality, but expresses the great love he has for her: my Church. He is attached to the Church, to us. Saint Paul writes: "Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her" (Eph 5:25), that is, explains the Apostle, Jesus loves the Church as his bride. For the Lord we are not a group of believers or a religious organization, we are his bride. He looks at his Church with tenderness, he loves it with absolute fidelity, despite our mistakes and betrayals. Like that day to Peter, today he says to all of us: "my Church, you are my Church".

And we too can repeat it: my Church. We do not say this with a sense of exclusive belonging, but with an inclusive love. Not to differentiate ourselves from others, but to learn the beauty of being with others, because Jesus wants us united and open. The Church, in fact, is not "mine" because it responds to my self, to my desires, but because I pour you my affection. It is mine to take care of it, because, like the Apostles in the icon, I also support it. Such as? With brotherly love. With our brotherly love we can say: my Church.

In another icon, Saints Peter and Paul are portrayed as they hug each other in an embrace. Among them they were very different: a fisherman and a Pharisee with life experiences, characters, ways of doing things and very different sensibilities. Conflicting opinions and frank debates were not lacking among them (see Gal 2:11 ff.). But what united them was infinitely greater: Jesus was the Lord of both, together they said "my Lord" to Him who says "my Church". Brothers in the faith, they invite us to rediscover the joy of being brothers and sisters in the Church. In this feast, which unites two so different Apostles, it would be nice for each one of us to say: "Thank you, Lord, for that person other than me: it is a gift for my Church". We are different but this enriches us, it is brotherhood. It is good to appreciate the qualities of others, to recognize the gifts of others without malice and without envy. Envy! Envy causes bitterness inside, it is vinegar on the heart. The envious ones have a bitter look. So many times, when one finds an envious person, does one want to ask: but with whom did he have breakfast today, with latte or vinegar? Because envy is bitter. Makes life bitter. How nice it is to know that we belong to each other, because we share the same faith, the same love, the same hope, the same Lord. We belong to one another and this is splendid, to say: our Church! Brotherhood.

At the end of the Gospel Jesus says to Peter: "Feed my sheep" (Jn 21:17). Talk about us and say "my sheep" with the same tenderness with which my Church used to say. With how much love, how much love Jesus loves us! He hears his. Here is the affection that builds the Church. Today, through the intercession of the Apostles, we ask for the grace to love our Church. We ask eyes that know how to see in it brothers and sisters, a heart that knows how to welcome others with the tender love that Jesus has for us. And we ask for the strength to pray for those who do not think like us - this thinks otherwise, I pray for him - to pray and to love, which is the opposite of speaking against, perhaps behind. Never talk, pray and love. Our Lady, who brought harmony between the Apostles and prayed with them (cf. Acts 1:14), guard us as brothers and sisters in the Church.

After the Angelus

Dear brothers and sisters!

In this feast of the principal patrons of Rome I wish the Romans and all those who live in this city all good. I urge everyone to react with a civic sense to the problems of society.

I renew my gratitude to the Delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and I send a cordial and fraternal greeting to my brother His Holiness Bartholomew I.

I affectionately greet the pilgrims who have come to celebrate the Metropolitan Archbishops for whom I blessed the Palli this morning.

I warmly thank the master flower makers and all the collaborators who made the historic flower display promoted by the Roman Pro Loco.
I greet all of you, dear pilgrims, especially those from Vietnam, Slovakia, El Paso (Texas), Kansas City and Germany. I greet the "Yago School" of Seville, with the large children's choir, and the Colegio "Ahlzahir" of Cordoba; the Radio Group "Voix de la Charité" of Lebanon and that of the Eucharistic Movement Juvenil de España; and the Resurrectionist priests.

I greet the faithful of Donori, Forlì, Lanciano, Brindisi and Castelfranco Veneto, and the Piccolo Coro Francesco d’Assisi from Mesagne.

I wish you all a happy feast and I ask you, please, a prayer for me through the intercession of Saints Peter and Paul. Good lunch and goodbye!

Novena to Saint Peter and Saint Paul - Apostles - Powerful Prayers to the Leaders of the Church


Novena to St. Peter and St. Paul (Say for 9 Days)

O holy Apostles, Peter and Paul, I choose you this day and forever to be my special patrons and advocates; thee, Saint Peter, Prince of the Apostles, because thou art the Rock, upon which Almighty God hath built His Church; thee, Saint Paul, because thou wast fore-chosen by God as the Vessel of election and the Preacher of truth in the whole world. Obtain for me, I pray you, lively faith, firm hope, and burning love; complete detachment from myself, contempt of the world, patience in adversity, humility in prosperity, attention in prayer, purity of heart, a right intention in all my works, diligence in fulfilling the duties of my state of life, constancy in my resolutions, resignation to the will of God and perseverance in the grace of God even unto death; that so, by means of your intercession and your glorious merits, I may be able to overcome the temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil, and may be made worthy to appear before the chief and eternal Shepherd of souls, Jesus Christ, Who with the Father and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth for endless ages, to enjoy His presence and love Him forever. Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be.

V. Thou shalt make them princes over all the earth.
R. They shall be mindful of Thy name, O Lord.


Let us pray:

O God, Whose right hand raised up blessed Peter, when he walked upon the water and began to sink, and thrice delivered his fellow-Apostle Paul from the depths of the sea, when he suffered shipwreck: graciously hear us and grant, by the merits of them both, that we also may attain unto everlasting glory: Who livest and reignest world without end. Amen
(An Indulgence of 500 days.)


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Extra Prayers - Apart from the Novena


Prayer to Sts. Peter and Paulfor the Holy Catholic Church

Defend, O Lord, thy servants, we beseech thee, from all dangers both of body and soul; and, by the intercession of the blessed and glorious Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, of blessed N., and of all thy saints, mercifully grant us the blessings of peace and safety ; that all adversities and errors being removed, thy Church may freely and securely serve thee; through Christ Our Lord. Amen.



___________________________



Prayer to St. Paul

Thou art the Vessel of election, Saint Paul the Apostle, the Preacher of truth in the whole world.

V. Pray for us, Saint Paul the Apostle,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray:
Almighty and everlasting God, Who, of Thy divine mercy, didst instruct Thy blessed Apostle Paul what he should do that he might be filled with the Holy Ghost; by his admonitions directing us and his merits interceding for us, grant that we may serve Thee in fear and trembling and so be filled with the comfort of Thy heavenly gifts. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.
(An Indulgence of 500 days)


___________________________



Invocations

Defend, O Lord, Thy people: and as they put their trust in the patronage of Thy holy Apostles, Peter and Paul, keep them ever by Thy protection. Through Christ our Lord. Amen (Roman Missal).
(An Indulgence of 300 days) 
Prayers shared from Catholicharboroffaithandmorals

New Pastoral Guidelines from Vatican regarding Freedom of Conscience for Catholics in China - Full Official Text


On September 2018 a Provisional Agreement between the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China regarding the appointment of Bishops was signed. It was hoped that this would lead to the full communion of all Chinese bishops with the Pope.

Due to current situations, not all issues were resolved: thus, the Agreement represents an initial step of the process. To better understand the situation the reader might also consider the Letter to Chinese Catholics published in May 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI.

 The Vatican, is aware of the restrictions and the “intimidatory pressures” that many Chinese Catholics encounter:

The official English-language translation of the guidelines is below:

Pastoral guidelines of the Holy See concerning the civil registration of clergy in China

          For some time requests have been received by the Holy See, from Bishops in Mainland China, for a concrete indication of the approach to be adopted in relation to the obligation of presenting an application for civil registration. In this regard, as is known, many Pastors remain deeply disturbed since the modality of such registration – which is obligatory, according to the new regulations on religious activities, on pain of inability to function pastorally – requires, almost invariably, the signing of a document in which, notwithstanding the commitment assumed by the Chinese authorities to respect also Catholic doctrine, one must declare acceptance, among other things, of the principle of independence, autonomy and self-administration of the Church in China.

          The complex reality of China and the fact that there does not appear to be a uniform praxis with regard to the application of the regulations for religious affairs, make it particularly difficult to decide on the matter. On the one hand, the Holy See does not intend to force anyone’s conscience. On the other hand, it considers that the experience of clandestinity is not a normal feature of the Church’s life and that history has shown that Pastors and faithful have recourse to it only amid suffering, in the desire to maintain the integrity of their faith (cfr. Letter of Pope Benedict XVI to Chinese Catholics of 27 May 2007, n. 8). Thus, the Holy See continues to ask that the civil registration of the clergy take place in a manner that guarantees respect for the conscience and the profound Catholic convictions of the persons involved. Only in that way, in fact, can both the unity of the Church and the contribution of Catholics to the good of Chinese society be fostered.

          In what concerns, then, the evaluation of the eventual declaration that must be signed upon registering, in the first place it is necessary to bear in mind that the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China formally guarantees religious freedom (art. 36). In the second place, the Provisional Agreement of 22 September 2018, recognising the particular role of the Successor of Peter, logically leads the Holy See to understand and interpret the “independence” of the Catholic Church in China not in an absolute sense, namely as separation from the Pope and the Universal Church, but rather relative to the political sphere, as happens everywhere in the world in the relations between the Universal Church and the particular Churches. To affirm that for the Catholic identity there can be no separation from the Successor of Peter, does not mean making the local Church an alien body in the society and the culture of the country in which she lives and works. In the third place, the context of the actual relations between China and the Holy See, characterised as they are by a consolidated dialogue between the two Parties, differs from that which saw the birth of the patriotic structures in the 1950s. In the fourth place, a factor of great importance should be added, namely, that over the years, many Bishops who were ordained without the apostolic mandate have asked for and received reconciliation with the Successor of Peter, so that today all Chinese Bishops are in communion with the Apostolic See and desire an ever greater integration with the Catholic Bishops of the whole world.

          In light of these facts, it is legitimate to expect a new approach on the part of everyone, also when addressing practical questions about the life of the Church. For its part, the Holy See continues to dialogue with the Chinese Authorities about the civil registration of Bishops and priests in order to find a formula that, while allowing for registration, would respect not only Chinese laws but also Catholic doctrine.

          In the meantime, bearing in mind what has been noted above, if a Bishop or a priest decides to register civilly, but the text of the declaration required for the registration does not appear respectful of the Catholic faith, he will specify in writing, upon signing, that he acts without failing in his duty to remain faithful to the principles of Catholic doctrine. Where it is not possible to make such a clarification in writing, the applicant will do so at least orally and if possible in the presence of a witness. In each case, it is appropriate that the applicant then certify to his proper Ordinary with what intention he has made the registration. The registration, in fact, is always to be understood as having the sole aim of fostering the good of the diocesan community and its growth in the spirit of unity, as well as an evangelisation commensurate to the new demands of Chinese society and the responsible management of the goods of the Church.

          At the same time, the Holy See understands and respects the choice of those who, in conscience, decide that they are unable to register under the current conditions. The Holy See remains close to them and asks the Lord to help them to safeguard the communion with their brothers and sisters in the faith, even in the face of those trials that each one will have to face.

          The bishop, for his part, “should nurture and publicly manifest his esteem for his priests, showing them trust and praising them, if they deserve it. He should respect and require others to respect their rights and should defend them against unjust criticism. He should act swiftly to resolve controversies, so as to avoid the prolonged disquiet which can overshadow fraternal charity and do damage to the pastoral ministry” (Apostolorum Successores, Directory for the Pastoral Ministry of Bishops, 22 February 2004, n. 77).

          It is important, then, that also the lay faithful not only understand the complexity of the situation, described above, but in addition accept with an open heart the anguished decision taken by their Pastors, whatever it may be. The local Catholic community should accompany them in a spirit of faith, with prayer and affection, refraining from any judgement of the choices of others, maintaining the bond of unity and demonstrating mercy towards all.

          In any case, until such time as a modality for the civil registration of the clergy that is more respectful of Catholic doctrine, and thus of the consciences of those involved, is established through a frank and constructive dialogue between the two Parties, as agreed, the Holy See asks that no intimidatory pressures be applied to the “non official” Catholic communities, as, unfortunately, has already happened.

          Finally, the Holy See trusts that everyone can accept these pastoral indications as a means of helping those faced with choices that are far from simple, to make such choices in a spirit of faith and unity. All those involved – the Holy See, Bishops, priests, religious men and women and the lay faithful – are called to discern the will of God with patience and humility on this part of the journey of the Church in China, marked, as it is, by much hope but also by enduring difficulties.

          From the Vatican, on 28 June 2019, Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
FULL TEXT Source of Guidelines VaticanNews.va

Lawyer Philip Horgan of the Catholic Civil Rights League speaks on the Trinity Western University decision



At the 2018 Conference of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars (Canada) in Calgary, Alberta, lawyer Philip Horgan spoke on the Trinity Western decision. The Conference Theme was: Keeping Faithful to the Faith in a Post-Christian Society. 
Philip Horgan, B.A. J.D., the President, Catholic Civil Rights League and Chair, Faith and Freedom Alliance, gave the following talk. (see video below) He spoke about the Trinity Western University decision, where the proposed law school, was refused accreditation. Law societies of Ontario and British Columbia refused to accept the possible law school graduates because the private, evangelical Christian university has a community covenant that prohibits sexual activity outside of traditional marriage.
Archbishop J. Michael Miller was disappointed with the Supreme Court of Canada's decision.
 “I am saddened to see the Supreme Court of Canada’s Trinity Western University law school decision, with its potential to undermine freedom of religion, conscience, and association in Canada,” Miller said in a statement June 15, 2018.
Biography: Philip Horgan is a Toronto lawyer, in private practice. He works in the area of civil and constitutional litigation. He has maintained his own firm since 1996. 
In his pro bono work, Phil has been actively engaged in a number of significant appellate and constitutional cases on human rights and fundamental freedoms on behalf of the Catholic Civil Rights League and the Faith and Freedom Alliance, including over 45 court interventions across the country, with more than 20 cases at the Supreme Court of Canada, including most recently Trinity Western (2018).
Mr. Horgan and his wife, Christine, have five children.
Other tidbits:
  • current member of the Senate of the University of St. Michael’s College, Toronto;
  • past president (and current executive member) of the Thomas More Lawyers’ Guild of Toronto;
  • Knight Commander of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre;
  • Grand Knight of his local Knights of Columbus council;
  • awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, 2012;
  • received the Toronto Catholic District School Board’s Alumni Award in 2006;
  • chair of the Archdiocese of Toronto pilgrimage of 540 youths to Denver, Colorado for World Youth Day, 1993; preparatory work for the visit of Pope John Paul II to Canada for World Youth Day in 2002;
  • Chair of the Parent Council of St. Michael’s Choir School in Toronto between 2004 and 2009;
  • performed the role of Pontius Pilate in the Chester 2010 Cycle of Mystery Plays at the University of Toronto, from the original cycle performed in Chester, England in 1572;
  • hockey coach and referee; enjoys golf and other active pursuits.
Title of Presentation:
Trinity Western 2018: The Turnover of Our Constitutional Order, and Possible Responses

Friday, June 28, 2019

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Sat. June 29, 2019 - #Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul - Eucharist

Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles - Mass during the Day
Lectionary: 591

Reading 1ACTS 12:1-11

In those days, King Herod laid hands upon some members of the Church to harm them.
He had James, the brother of John, killed by the sword,
and when he saw that this was pleasing to the Jews
he proceeded to arrest Peter also.
–It was the feast of Unleavened Bread.–
He had him taken into custody and put in prison
under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each.
He intended to bring him before the people after Passover.
Peter thus was being kept in prison,
but prayer by the Church was fervently being made
to God on his behalf.

On the very night before Herod was to bring him to trial,
Peter, secured by double chains,
was sleeping between two soldiers,
while outside the door guards kept watch on the prison.
Suddenly the angel of the Lord stood by him
and a light shone in the cell.
He tapped Peter on the side and awakened him, saying,
“Get up quickly.”
The chains fell from his wrists.
The angel said to him, “Put on your belt and your sandals.”
He did so.
Then he said to him, “Put on your cloak and follow me.”
So he followed him out,
not realizing that what was happening through the angel was real;
he thought he was seeing a vision.
They passed the first guard, then the second,
and came to the iron gate leading out to the city,
which opened for them by itself.
They emerged and made their way down an alley,
and suddenly the angel left him.
Then Peter recovered his senses and said,
“Now I know for certain
that the Lord sent his angel
and rescued me from the hand of Herod
and from all that the Jewish people had been expecting.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (5) The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.
R. The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.
Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
R. The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.
R. The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.
The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.
R. The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.

Reading 2 2 TM 4:6-8, 17-18

I, Paul, am already being poured out like a libation,
and the time of my departure is at hand.
I have competed well; I have finished the race;
I have kept the faith.
From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me,
which the Lord, the just judge,
will award to me on that day, and not only to me,
but to all who have longed for his appearance.

The Lord stood by me and gave me strength,
so that through me the proclamation might be completed
and all the Gentiles might hear it.
And I was rescued from the lion's mouth.
The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat
and will bring me safe to his heavenly Kingdom.
To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.

AlleluiaMT 16:18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 16:13-19

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi
he asked his disciples,
"Who do people say that the Son of Man is?"
They replied, "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
Simon Peter said in reply,
"You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."