Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Saint November 13 : St. Francis Xavier Cabrini - Foundress and Patron of Immigrants and hospital administrators


St. Francis Xavier Cabrini
VIRGIN, FOUNDRESS

Born:
July 15, 1850, Sant'Angelo Lodigiano, Italy
Died:
December 22, 1917, Chicago
Canonized:
July 7, 1946 by Pope Pius XII
Major Shrine:
Chapel of Mother Cabrini High School, New York City
Patron of:
immigrants, hospital administrators
“We must pray without tiring, for the salvation of mankind does not depend on material success; nor on sciences that cloud the intellect. Neither does it depend on arms and human industries, but on Jesus alone.”


Today, November 13, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917), the first United States citizen to be canonized. She founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart to care for poor children in schools and hospitals, and at the urging of Pope Leo XIII, moved to the United States to work among immigrants. Through her care for those who were struggling, hard work, and obedience, Saint Frances is regarded today as the Patron Saint of all immigrants.
Frances Cabrini was born in Sant’Angelo Lodigiano (Lombardy, Italy). Born two months prematurely, Frances was small and weak, and struggled for survival. Frequently ill as a child, she would remain physically frail and susceptible to illness her entire life. Frances’ parents were farmers, and her mother stayed at home each day with the children. In total, her parents produced eleven children, with Frances being the tenth. Sadly, only four of the Cabrini children survived their childhood. Despite numerous losses and tragedies in the family, both Frances’ mother and father were strong in the Catholic faith, and through their teaching and example, Frances came to love God. One of her favorite activities was listening to her father read the stories of missionaries from the Annals of the Propagation of the faith. More than anything, from and early age and throughout her life, Frances desired to travel to China as a missionary.
Frances was especially devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which inspired her growing faith. With her parents’ support, she applied for admission to several religious orders, but was turned away by each due to her frequent illnesses and frail health. Disappointed, but not discouraged, Frances cared for her parents until their death, as well as raised her brothers and sisters. Throughout all of this, despite her frailties, she worked on the family farm—physical activity that both taxed her body, but also prepared her for the physical work that she would encounter throughout her life. Upon the death of her parents, Frances began studying to her teaching degree at a boarding school administered by the Daughters of the Sacred Heart. While her classmates complained, she was delighted that the students of the school were required to live in the convent with the religious sisters. Adding to her joy was the devotion of the sisters to the Sacred Heart. Upon graduation, she again petitioned to join the order, but was again refused, with her health cited. The Superior of the Order encouraged her, saying, “You are called to establish another Institute that will bring new glory to the Heart of Jesus.”
Again disappointed, but not discouraged, Frances returned to her home town, and began teaching in a private school, spending her non-work hours devoted to charitable works and serving the poor. She was immediately recognized for her gentle spirit, teaching ability, faith, and obedience, and over the next several years, was requested to move from school to school by the diocese, filling vacant positions and invigorating educational facilities. Eventually, she was requested to move to the town of Codogno, and assume direction of the girls’ orphanage there, known as the House of Providence. The diocese wished to restructure the facility into a religious institute, and realized that despite her frail health, Frances possessed the faith and spirit to accomplish the task. Without hesitation, Frances accepted, and within the year, the five young women who taught at the House, entered their novitiate with Frances as their novice mistress. In 1877, at the age of 27, Frances’ wish to take the veil was granted, and along with her five sisters, made her profession. In honor of Jesuit father Frances Xavier, Frances took the name Xavier, becoming Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini—as she would be known for the remainder of her life. Named superior of the community by her local bishop, she was encouraged to form a new religious institute. Along with the five sisters who took their vows with her, she founded the Institute of Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in 1880. While some objected to the inclusion of the word “Missionaries” in the order’s name (as it implied overseas work, and the bishop intended that the sisters serve locally), Mother Cabrini was already thinking on a larger, grander scale. She had plans for her sisters to spread the Gospel beyond the borders of Lombardy. Mother Cabrini left Lombardy to travel to Rome, as was the custom at the time, seeking approval from the pope for her fledgling order. She also wished to establish a mission house in Rome, from which she could then use as a base for international missions. Surprisingly, despite the youth of the foundress and the relative newness of the order, she received papal approval and permission to open two missions in Rome. Mother Cabrini also met the founder of the Missionary Institute of Saint Charles, who was looking for a religious woman to assist him with ministering to Italian immigrants overseas—specifically in New York. He requested that she assist, but Mother Cabrini was reluctant. Her plans were to send her missionaries to China, as she had always dreamed. However, when presented with a letter from New York Archbishop Corrigan, formally inviting the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart to establish a house in New York, she was moved to request an audience with the pope.
Ever obedient, and certain in the plan of the Lord, Mother Cabrini decided that she would do whatever Pope Leo XIII asked her to. She presented her dilemma to him, and following deliberation and conversation, he responded: “Not to the East, but to the West.” Disappointed, but not discouraged, Mother Cabrini and six of her sisters set out immediately for New York. Upon arrival, she was surprised to find that Archbishop Corrigan had not expected her so soon, and even more surprised when he suggested they return to Italy until he could prepare for her arrival. But Mother Cabrini answered, "Your excellency, the Pope sent me here and here I must stay." The archbishop admired her pioneer spirit, and so she and her sisters were permitted to begin their work. She and her companions spent the first night in a dingy tenement in the heart of the Italian ghetto. They could not sleep and stayed awake, tired, yet peacefully engaged in prayer.

Soon afterwards, a local order, the Sisters of Charity, extended Mother Cabrini and her sisters hospitality and guided their first steps through the city. At once, the new sisters were faced with a language difference. Not speaking English, and being unfamiliar with the new countries customs, Mother Cabrini worked to establish her mission. She slowly gained the support of the Archbishop, eventually becoming dear friends. She secured the donation of a house for the Order, and soon thereafter, instituted an orphanage on the same property. A free school soon followed, all through donations and alms-gathering that the sisters undertook on a daily basis. Soon, based upon their good work—and the personal attention and spiritual direction they gave to each family in the Italian district—young women were requesting to join the order.
Mother Cabrini returned to Italy, accompanied by her first North American postulants, who began their novitiate in Codogno. After an audience with her friend, Pope Leo XIII, she returned to New York, and embarked upon the institution of a larger orphanage. This site eventually included the North American novitiate of the order. Purchased at a low price, due to the lack of fresh water on the site, Mother Cabrini soon discovered a underground spring (some called it a miracle!), which still provides water to this day.
From New York, the Missionary Sisters branched out throughout America, starting in New Orleans (school and orphanage), and continuing west. It became clear—both in New York and other areas—that the immigrants were not receiving the medical care that they needed in public hospitals. However, Mother Cabrini was not particularly inclined to undertake this ministry. It was not until she had a dream of Our Blessed Mother that she changed her mind. In her dream, Mother Cabrini saw Mary, the Mother of God, tending to a hospital patient. Asking Our Blessed Mother what she was doing, Mother Cabrini was surprised by her response: “I am doing the work you refuse to do.” Upon waking, Mother Cabrini moved quickly to establish a hospital for the Italian sick poor in New York City, and to her surprise, found herself to be a capable (even outstanding) healthcare provider and administrator. Hospitals were eventually established by the Missionary Sisters in Chicago and Seattle.   The Missionary Sisters recount how the great faith of Mother Cabrini allowed this fast and miraculous growth of the order to occur. In Seattle, for example, as she was looking for a site to institute an orphanage, Mother Cabrini had a dream in which she saw a beautiful house on a hilltop. The next day she and some sisters were walking when she waved down a chauffeur-driven limo and asked for a ride. The lady in the limo was happy to help the sisters, and on the way, Mother Cabrini spoke of the house she had dreamed of. When they arrived at the convent and were saying goodbye, the lady told her: "Mother Cabrini, that house you dreamed of is mine, I own it. I never thought of parting with it, but if I may be allowed to enter your Holy House for a moment and receive a glass of water in the name of Our Lord, your little orphans shall have their home with my blessing." When asked later how she had obtained such a beautiful property, Mother Cabrini would say "I paid for it with three treasures: my love, a dream, and a glass of water in His Name."
The Order had successfully established bases in three American cities, but Mother Cabrini was thinking bigger. She extended the Missionary Sisters work into Latin America, establishing schools in Nicaragua and Argentina. She established schools in Europe, including Paris, London, and Madrid. And she continued to work throughout the United States, including schools in Chicago, Scranton, and Newark. Based upon the needs of the Italian miners working in and around the Rocky Mountains, Mother Cabrini traveled to Denver and established schools, orphanages, and a mission center.
While until that point her focus had been solely on Italian immigrants, the Missionary Sisters began to see the needs of other immigrant groups, extending their work to Mexican immigrants in California. Despite her failing health, Mother Cabrini traveled across the country (and the world!), visiting each house, and personally establishing new locations. Her travels included: New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Louisiana, Colorado, California, Washington State, Central and South America and Europe.
During this time, she fulfilled another personal goal, and became a citizen of the United States. Mother Cabrini began contemplating missions in Alaska, and still felt pulled toward Asia. However, the impact of her travels began to take its toll, and at the age of 67, she died in Chicago, in a private room at Columbus Hospital, as she was preparing Christmas candy for the local children. Less than 30 years later, she was canonized as a Saint—the first United States citizen to be canonized—by Pope Pius XII.
From the homily at the Canonization of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini by Pope Pius XII: “Inspired by the grace of god, we join the saints in honoring the holy virgin Frances Xavier Cabrini. She was a humble woman who became outstanding not because she was famous or rich or powerful, but because she lived a virtuous life. From the tender years of her youth, she kept her innocence as white as a lily and preserved it carefully with the thorns of penitence; as the years progressed, she was moved by a certain instinct and supernatural zeal to dedicate her whole life to the service and greater glory of God. She welcomed delinquent youths into safe homes, and taught them to live upright and holy lives. She consoled those who were in prison, and recalled to them the hope of eternal life. She encouraged prisoners to reform themselves, and to live honest lives. She comforted the sick and the infirm in the hospitals, and diligently cared for them. She extended a friendly and helping hand especially to immigrants, and offered them necessary shelter and relief, for having left their homeland behind, they were wandering about in a foreign land with no place to turn for help. Because of their condition, she saw that they were in danger of deserting the practice of Christian virtues and their Catholic faith. Undoubtedly she accomplished all this through the faith which was always so vibrant and alive in her heart; through the divine love which burned within her; and finally, through constant prayer by which she was so closely united with God from whom she humbly asked and obtained whatever her human weakness could not obtain. Although her constitution was very frail, her spirit was endowed with such singular strength that, knowing the will of God in her regard, she permitted nothing to impede her from accomplishing what seemed beyond her strength.”
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini’s life was filled with disappointments… but she was never discouraged. Despite setbacks, weak health, and constant difficulty, the accomplishments of Mother Cabrini are remarkable. Ever humble, she took no credit, instead directing those who might compliment her work back to the Lord—to Jesus Christ—though which all things were (and are) accomplished. Throughout her life, Mother Cabrini found her strength in the Lord, and used every ounce given to her to serve others. We look to her today as a model of obedience, hope, service and strength. Mother Cabrini, pray for us!
God our Father,
you called Frances Xavier Cabrini from Italy to serve the immigrants of America. By her example teach us concern for the stranger, the sick, and the frustrated. By her prayers help us to see Christ in all the men and women we meet Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. Text by 365Rosaries

Pope Francis confers Ratzinger Prize and Thanks Benedict XVI for Teachings "This is the mission of all who follow the teaching of Joseph Ratzinger .." Full Text


CONFERRAL OF THE "RATZINGER PRIZE"
ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
Clementine Hall
Saturday, 9 November 2019

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I am pleased this year once again to confer the Ratzinger Prizes in person, which for me is a welcome moment.  Firstly, I wish to express my appreciation for the two distinguished prizewinners who have been presented to us by Cardinal Angelo Amato, President of the Scientific Committee of the Joseph Ratzinger–Benedict XVI Foundation: Professor Charles Taylor and Father Paul Béré, whom I respectfully greet, along with their relatives and those accompanying them on this occasion.  I greet also the leaders and friends of the Foundation.
I am happy to have this opportunity to express again my esteem and affection for my predecessor, dear Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.  We are all grateful for his teaching, and for his exemplary service to the Church, demonstrated by his reflections, his thought and study, his listening, dialogue and prayer.  His aim was that we might consciously retain a lively faith despite the changing times and situations; and that believers could give an account of their faith in a language that can be understood by their contemporaries, entering into dialogue with them, together seeking pathways of authentic encounter with God in our time.
This has always been a keen desire of Joseph Ratzinger the theologian and pastor, who never closed himself off in a disembodied culture of pure concepts, but gave us the example of seeking truth where reason and faith, intelligence and spirituality, are constantly integrated.  All the arts and disciplines thus cooperate in contributing to the full growth of the human person, which is to be found ultimately in the encounter with the living person of Jesus Christ, the incarnate Logos, the revelation of the God who is love.
It is a duty for theology to be and remain in active dialogue with cultures, even as they change over time and evolve differently in various parts of the world.  At the same time, it is a condition necessary for the vitality of Christian faith, for the Church’s mission of evangelization.
It is from this perspective that our two prizewinners have offered important contributions, which we recognize today with gratitude.
During his years of active research and teaching, Professor Taylor has covered many fields, but he has particularly devoted his mind and heart to understanding the phenomenon of secularization in our time.  Secularization effectively poses a significant challenge for the Catholic Church, indeed for all Christians, and for all believers in God.  Pope Benedict repeatedly told us that the priority of his pontificate was to proclaim God anew — the God of Jesus Christ — in a time when that proclamation seems to be on the wane for a large part of humanity.  Few scholars in the present day have posed the problem of secularization with the breadth of vision as has Professor Taylor.  We are indebted to him for the profound manner in which he has treated the problem, carefully analyzing the development of Western culture, the movements of the human mind and heart over time, identifying the characteristics of modernity in their complex relationships, in their shadows and lights.  Thus, he helps us to read in a non-reductive way the reasons for the changes that have taken place in religious practice.  He invites us to intuit and seek new ways to live and express the transcendent dimensions of the human soul, those spiritual dimensions in which the Spirit continues to work imperceptibly.  This allows us to deal with Western secularization in a way that is neither superficial nor given to fatalistic discouragement.  This is needed not only for a reflection on contemporary culture, but also for an in-depth dialogue and discernment in order to adopt the spiritual attitudes suitable for living, witnessing, expressing, and proclaiming the faith in our time.
Father Paul Béré is the first African recipient of the Ratzinger Prize and a renowned scholar of Sacred Scripture.  I am pleased on the occasion of this award to express my appreciation and encouragement to all those committed to inculturation of the faith in Africa through their original and deepened study.  In the first centuries of Christianity, northern Africa gave the Church great figures — Tertullian, Cyprian, Augustine — but the spread of Islam followed by centuries of colonialism prevented a true African inculturation of the Christian message until the second half of the last century.  Contemporary African theology is therefore still young, though dynamic and full of promise.  Father Béré provides an example of this by his work on the interpretation of Old Testament texts in a context of oral culture, thus bringing to fruition the experience of African culture.  He has committed himself to making the Synods that he participated in known, understood, and received in the African context.
In his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, Saint Paul VI said: “Evangelizing means bringing the Good News into all the strata of humanity, and through its influence transforming humanity from within and making it new” (no.18).  This is true for all cultures: access to redemption for humanity in all of its dimensions should be sought with creativity and imagination; this search can be expressed with appropriate language in all areas and spaces in which men and women live their pains, joys and hopes.
Although the two laureates come from different continents and cultural backgrounds, their message is much more similar than appears at first sight.  In the variety of cultures, diverse across time and space, one can and should always seek the way to God and the encounter with Christ.  This has been and remains the work to which Professor Taylor and Father Béré have dedicated themselves.  This is the mission of all who follow the teaching of Joseph Ratzinger as theologian and Pope, to be “co-workers of the truth”.
It is therefore my hope that the recipients of the Ratzinger Prizes, together with all present, continue with enthusiasm and joy their journey on this path. Thank you.
Full Text + Image Source: Vatican.va - Official Translation

#BreakingNews Tabernacle containing Eucharist was Stolen from Holy Spirit Catholic Church in El Paso, Texas


 Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Horizon, Texas  has had one of its most sacred objects stolen -- the tabernacle, which holds the body and blood of Christ.

The metal container is regarded as one of the most sacred objects in any Catholic Church and is used to house the Eucharist.

The parish priest immediately called police for help after the break-in and theft, but now a call has gone out through the whole Diocese as they ask Catholics to pray.
Here is his message from the parish Website:
My dear brothers and sisters,
It is with a very saddened heart that I write these words to you.
     Sunday night into Monday morning we had some intruders in the church that caused damages and stole items including the tabernacle with the Blessed Sacrament. The damages to the building were minor and the stolen items amount to a few thousand dollars.  However, the desecration of the greatest gift possessed by the Church, the Most Blessed Sacrament, is a very serious matter.
     The Horizon Police department has been very supportive since the initial response and in the investigation.  I ask that if you know any information that leads to the arrest of the perpetrators to please call Horizon PD.  
     Furthermore, due to the desecration of the Blessed Sacrament I join our Bishop Mark Seitz in inviting you to make reparation for this violation by visiting the Blessed Sacrament and participating in any act of reparation. 
     The indifference of the world towards God in the holiness Most Blessed Sacrament needs to be overcome with the devotion, love and the holiness of His children. Let us remain united and strong in the Lord and manifest that we are his faithful followers regardless of the violations that some express.  Let us also pray that those that perpetrated these repulsive acts may repent and change their ways. 
     May our Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Guadalupe, who witnessed the acts of hatred and indifference towards her beloved Son, bring us consolation and guide us closer to the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ. May the Holy Spirit protect us always. 

Your brother in Christ, 

Fr. Jose Morales

Jesus, Son of God and our Savior, 
have mercy on all who wound your Sacred Heart by sin,
unfaithfulness and neglect. 
O loving Heart of Jesus, broken by our ingratitude, pierced by our sins,
yet loving us still, 
accept in reparation the suffering I now make to you
of all that I am and all that I have. 
Draw me ever nearer to your Sacred Heart: 
there where I can learn best, teach me, Jesus, your blessed way to eternal life.
Amen
************************
It’s difficult for us to grasp who or why they could have done this,” said Father Jose MoralesThe church was broken into during the last week of October, and now Father Morales is putting out a statement to ask people for their help and prayers. The loss and desecration came as a powerful blow to long-devoted parishioners.

“When we heard the news about it we felt bad, we couldn’t believe that it had happened here of course in the neighborhood and of course in a Catholic Church,” said Roberto Ceballos, who has been a church parishioner for 20 years.

The theft was not just a blow to their spirituality or sense of community, now their sense of safety is also being threatened.

“I don’t feel secure now... It's just a half-block away from my house,” Ceballos said.

For Father Morales, this theft was the same as someone breaking into his home. But on top of the theft, he said it’s the violation of the most sacred part of a church itself -- the physical presence of God. Now, he just wants to see the tabernacle and its sacrament back home.

“I don’t see the reason for something like this being done. We know God is merciful and if they would return what they took and repent it would be greatly appreciated, not just by us, but God will take that into account,” Father Morales said.
 Edited from KVIA - ABC - Image Source: Facebook Page of Holy Spirit Catholic Church


US Bishops meet at General Assembly in Baltimore discussing Abuse Reporting System and Cultural Issues until Nov. 13 - #USCCB



U.S. Bishops to Meet Nov. 11-13 in Baltimore; Will Elect New USCCB President, Vice President, Committee Chairs, and Vote on Seven Action Items; Assembly to Be Live Streamed, Live Tweeted, Carried Via Satellite
October 22, 2019
WASHINGTON—The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will gather for the 2019 Fall General Assembly in Baltimore, November 11-13. During the assembly, the bishops will elect a new president, vice president, and six committee chairs. They will also discuss and vote on seven action items.
The assembly will begin with an address by the Papal Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre. The bishops will also hear from Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston as he gives his final address as USCCB president upon completion of his three-year term.

During the assembly, the U.S. bishops will hear a report from the National Advisory Council, a group created by the USCCB comprised of religious and lay people primarily for consultation on Action Items and Information Reports before the Administrative Committee.  
The bishops will vote on the Program of Priestly Formation (6th edition) for use in the dioceses of the United States. They will also vote to approve a short letter and five short video scripts to supplement Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, their teaching document for the faithful on the political responsibility of Catholics.
The Latin Church members of the USCCB will vote to approve two translations by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL): (1) a translation of the Order of Christian Initiation of Adults as the base text for a future edition of this rite in the dioceses of the United States, and (2) a translation of the Hymns of the Liturgy of the Hours for use in the dioceses of the United States.
The Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs of the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church will request the authorization of the full body of bishops to lead the process of developing a new formal statement and comprehensive vision for Hispanic/Latino ministry in response to the V Encuentro process, to be developed and approved by the bishops during the next USCCB strategic planning cycle, 2021-2024.
The bishops will also vote on the Revised Strategic Priorities for the 2021-2024 Strategic Plan for the USCCB, as well as the proposed budgets for 2020. The full body of bishops will vote to elect the new Board of Directors of Catholic Relief Services. The members are also expected to hear an update on progress toward establishing a nationwide, third-party reporting system for abuse or misconduct by bishops. This new national reporting system would not replace systems already in place in every diocese for the reporting of abuse by priests.
In addition to the election of a new president and vice president for the USCCB, the bishops will vote for new chairmen of six committees: Canonical Affairs and Church Governance; Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs; Evangelization and Catechesis; International Justice and Peace; Protection of Children and Young People; and Religious Liberty.
The bishop elected for chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty fills the vacancy created earlier this year after the chairman stepped down for health reasons. At the conclusion of this year’s assembly, the bishop elected to the Committee for Religious Liberty will assume the role of chairman, and the bishops elected for the remaining five committees will serve for one year as chairmen-elect before beginning a three-year term at the conclusion of the 2020 Fall General Assembly.
Public sessions of general assembly discussions and votes will be available via livestream at: http://www.usccb.org/live.  
News updates, vote totals, texts of addresses and presentations and other materials will be posted to this page: www.usccb.org/meetings as soon as possible.
Those wishing to follow the meeting on social media can use the hashtag #USCCB19 and follow on Twitter (@USCCB) as well as on Facebook (www.facebook.com/usccb) and Instagram (https://instagram.com/usccb).
Live stream and satellite feed will run Monday, November 11, Tuesday, November 12, and Wednesday, November 13, while the assembly is in session. Broadcast media outlets interested in taking the meeting's satellite feed should contact the public affairs office to request coordinates; the livestream will be available at: http://www.usccb.org/about/leadership/usccb-general-assembly/usccb-general-assembly-live-stream.cfm.
FULL TEXT Release: USCCB

Chaldean Patriarch calls for Prayer and Fasting for Peace as Death Toll reaches 320 people Killed in Iraq




Iraqi Church calls for fast and prayer for peace. Bishop Warduni praises young people united in the streets
The Chaldean patriarchate urges a prayer for peace. For Card Sako, Iraq’s problem is not only political, but cultural and spiritual as well. The death toll stands at 320 dead and 16,000 wounded. Baghdad’s Auxiliary Bishop warns that too little is done for the future of youth and the poor. Young Iraqis have overcome ethnic and confessional divisions.


Baghdad (AsiaNews) – Iraq and most Arab countries face a “cultural and spiritual" problem, not a "purely political” one. Thieves, crooks, extremists and tyrants rule “because there is not a strong and solid religious, spiritual and moral drive,” this according to Chaldean patriarch, Card Louis Raphael Sako, in a message to AsiaNews.

For the cardinal, the question is tied to education" in the family and community "which are full of outdated preconceptions, customs and practices" that "are not based on reason and analysis”.

Speaking once more about the anti-government protests that broke out last month, which took off again in the last two weeks after a lull, the Chaldean primate expressed his deep concerns about police brutality, which has already left at least 319 people dead, mostly civilians.

Amid a crescendo of violence and tensions, Mgr Sako urges Iraqi Christians to fast for three days, starting this morning until the evening of Wednesday 13 November "for peace and the return of stability".

Along with fasting, the cardinal wants the faithful to recite the prayer he read on 4 November in Baghdad’s St Joseph’s Cathedral during an ecumenical meeting for peace promoted by Iraqi Church leaders.

For the cardinal, "What we need is a careful understanding of Iraq after the 2003 US invasion. The protest of the past few weeks are a spontaneous reaction" to the sufferings of the past years. They are taking place “under the Iraqi flag” rather than “the banners of various parties or factions” with protesters “overcoming sectarianism” to unite as one, sharing the same “national identity”.

He warns the government though that it must “win the trust" of young people, and engage in “courageous dialogue” and “economic reforms” that can redistribute wealth.” It must also appeal to intellectuals who fled the country to return "to contribute to the reforms.”

The patriarch's fears are shared by the Auxiliary Bishop of Baghdad, Mgr Shlemon Warduni. In his view, too many people “pursue their own personal interests” and “don’t care about the common good, especially the situation of the young and the poor.”

“Young Iraqis are the main drive behind the protest. They have finished school, but have no jobs and don’t know what to do,” he told AsiaNews.

"There is a lot of chaos and confusion in the streets. Protests show the world that we are in a disastrous condition and that we do not know what to do since people do not look out for the common good. They don't care about everyone's interest.”

The prelate is worried about the escalation of violence, “which has caused over 300 deaths and 16,000 wounded. We cannot just stand by. As a Church, our response is fasting and prayer.”

For him, it is important to see “young Iraqis protesting in the streets behind the shared Iraqi flag. They don't look at religion, ethnicity, but only want the good of the country, even if they worry about attacks against and abductions of civilians by armed gangs.”

Internationally, as tensions continue to rise, Western powers and foreign organisations are closely monitoring the situation. To end the crisis, the United States is calling for fresh elections and reforms, whilst various human rights groups warn that the country could descend into a “bloodbath”.

Warning that a "climate of fear has set in", the United Nations mission in Iraq (UNAMI) has called on security forces to show "maximum restraint in the handling of the protests, including no use of live ammunition, ban the improper use of non-lethal devices (such as tear gas canisters)".

UNAMI has also demanded the release of protesters arrested in recent weeks and an inquiry into the abduction of activists and doctors, who rights groups have been taken by the security forces or armed groups.

The UN body hopes to see a series of measures implemented in the coming weeks or months, including electoral and constitutional reform, prosecution of people charged with corruption and enacting laws to prevent graft.
FULL TEXT Source: AsiaNewsIT - Image Source: Google Images

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - #Eucharist



Memorial of Saint Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr
Lectionary: 492

Reading 1WIS 2:23–3:9

God formed man to be imperishable;
the image of his own nature he made them.
But by the envy of the Devil, death entered the world,
and they who are in his possession experience it.

But the souls of the just are in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;
and their passing away was thought an affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace.
For if before men, indeed, they be punished,
yet is their hope full of immortality;
Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
because God tried them
and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them,
and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.
In the time of their visitation they shall shine,
and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
They shall judge nations and rule over peoples,
and the Lord shall be their King forever.
Those who trust in him shall understand truth,
and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,
and his care is with his elect.

Responsorial PsalmPS 34:2-3, 16-17, 18-19

R.(2a) I will bless the Lord at all times.
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. I will bless the Lord at all times.
The LORD has eyes for the just,
and ears for their cry.
The LORD confronts the evildoers,
to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
R. I will bless the Lord at all times.
When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,
and from all their distress he rescues them.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.
R. I will bless the Lord at all times.

AlleluiaJN 14:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 17:7-10

Jesus said to the Apostles:
"Who among you would say to your servant
who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field,
'Come here immediately and take your place at table'?
Would he not rather say to him,
'Prepare something for me to eat.
Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink.
You may eat and drink when I am finished'?
Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?
So should it be with you.
When you have done all you have been commanded, say,
'We are unprofitable servants;
we have done what we were obliged to do.'"

Monday, November 11, 2019

Saint November 12 : St. Josaphat an Archbishop and Martyr the Patron of Ukraine

ARCHBISHOP AND MARTYR

Born:
1580 at Volodymyr, Lithuania (modern Ukraine)
Died:
12 November 1623 at Vitebsk, Belarus
Canonized:
1876
Patron of:
Ukraine
Martyr, born in the little town of Volodymyr in Lithuania (Volyn) in 1580 or — according to some writers — 1584; died at Vitebsk, Russia, 12 November, 1623.
The saint's birth occurred in a gloomy period for the Ruthenian Church. Even as early as the beginning of the sixteenth century the Florentine Union had become a dead-letter; in the case of the Ruthenian Church, complete demoralization followed in the wake of its severance from Rome, and the whole body of its clergy became notorious alike for their gross ignorance and the viciousness of their lives. After the Union of Berest’ in 1596 the Ruthenian Church was divided into two contending parties — the Uniates and those who persevered in schism — each with its own hierarchy. Among the leaders of the schismatic party, who laboured to enkindle popular hatred against the Uniates, Meletius Smotryckyj was conspicuous, and the most celebrated of his victims was Josaphat.
Although of a noble Ruthenian stock, Josaphat's father had devoted himself to commercial pursuits, and held the office of town-councilor. Both parents contributed to implant the seeds of piety in the heart of their child. In the school at Volodymyr Josaphat — Johannes was the saint's baptismal name — gave evidence of unusual talent; he applied himself with the greatest zeal to the study of ecclesiastical Slav, and learned almost the entire casoslov (breviary), which from this period he began to read daily. From this source he drew his early religious education, for the unlettered clergy seldom preached or gave catechetical instruction. Owing to the straitened circumstances of his parents, he was apprenticed to the merchant Popovyc at Vilna. In this town, remarkable for the corruption of its morals and the contentions of the various religious sects, he seemed specially guarded by Providence, and became acquainted with certain excellent men (e.g. Benjamin Rutski), under whose direction he advanced in learning and in virtue.
 At the age of twenty-four (1604) he entered the Basilian monastery of the Trinity at Vilna. The fame of his virtues rapidly spread, and distinguished people began to visit him. After a notable life as a layman, Rutski also joined the order, bringing with him a wide erudition. When Josaphat reached the diaconate, regular services and labour for the salvation of souls had been already begun; the number of novices steadily increased, and under Rutski — who had meanwhile been ordained priest — there began the regeneration of religious life among the Ruthenians. In 1609, after private study under the Jesuit Fabricius, Josaphat was ordained priest. He subsequently became superior in several monasteries, and on 12 November, 1617, was reluctantly consecrated Bishop of Vitebsk, with right of succession to the Archbishopric of Polotsk. He became archbishop in 1618.
While each succeeding year saw fresh evidence of his fruitful labours, it also witnessed the steady growth of the hatred of the schismatic party. Finally on 12 November, 1623, an axe-stroke and a bullet brought Josaphat his martyr's crown. After numerous miracles had occurred, a commission was appointed by Urban VIII in 1628 to inquire into the cause of Josaphat, and examined on oath 116 witnesses. Although five years had elapsed since Josaphat's death, his body was still incorrupt. In 1637 a second commission investigated the life of the martyr, and in 1643 — twenty years after his death — Josaphat was beatified. His canonization took place in 1867.
Great were the virtues of the saint. As a boy he shunned the usual games of childhood, prayed much, and lost no opportunity of assisting at the Divine services. Children especially regarded him with the greatest affection, and found in him a worthy model. As an apprentice, he devoted every leisure hour to prayer and study. At first Popovyc viewed this behaviour with displeasure, but Josaphat gradually won such a position in his esteem, that Popovyc offered him his entire fortune and his daughter's hand. But Josaphat's love for the religious life never wavered. At first without a human guide along the paths of virtue, he received all spiritual direction immediately from the Holy Ghost.
His favourite pious exercise was to make a poklony (i.e. a reverence, in which the head touches the ground) with the ejaculation: "Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a poor sinner." Never eating meat, he fasted much, wore a hair-shirt and an angular chain, slept on the bare floor, and chastised his body until the blood flowed. The Jesuits frequently urged him to set some bounds to his austerities.
From his zealous study of the liturgical books he drew many proofs of Catholic truth, using his knowledge in the composition of several works — "On the Baptism of St. Volodymyr"; "On the Falsification of the Slavic Books by the Enemies of the Metropolitan"; "On Monks and their Vows". As deacon, priest, and bishop, he was distinguished by his extraordinary zeal in the service of souls. Not alone in the church did he preach and hear confessions, but likewise in the fields, hospitals, prisons, and even on his journeys. Even where his words of instruction might by themselves have failed, his entreaties and tears ensured him success. This zeal, united with his kindness and extraordinary love for the poor, won numbers to the Catholic Faith. Among his converts were included many important personages such as Ignatius, Patriarch of Moscow, and Emmanuel Cantacuzenus, who belonged to the family of the Greek Emperor Palæologus.
As archbishop he restored the churches; issued a catechism to the clergy with instructions that it should be learned by heart; composed rules for the priestly life, entrusting to the deacons the task of superintending their observance; assembled synods in various towns in the dioceses, and firmly opposed the Imperial Chancellor Sapieha, when he wished to make many concessions in favour of the schismatics. Throughout all his strivings and all his occupations, he continued his exemplary life as a religious, and never abated his zeal for self-mortification and prayer. He awaited death with a certain yearning, refusing to avail himself of the opportunity of flight afforded him. After his death his influence was still greater: conversions were numerous, and veneration for him continued to extend. His feast is kept on the first Sunday after 12 November, according to the Julian Calendar. Note: His feast is currently kept on November 12 on the Universal Calendar.
The Catholic Encyclopedia

#BreakingNews IS responsible for Deaths 2 Armenian Catholic Priests Killed in Syria - RIP Fr. Hovsep Petoyan and Fr. Abraham Petoyan


ALEPPO, NOVEMBER 11, ARMENPRESS. Terrorists have gunned down two Armenian priests in Qamishli, a city in northeastern Syria, Gandzasar reports.

Pastor of the Armenian Catholic Community of Qamishli Priest Hovsep Petoyan and his father Priest Abraham Petoyan were traveling in a vehicle en route to Deir ez-Zor when terrorists opened gunfire on their car and killed them.

According to Gandzasar the Armenian Catholic priests were heading to inspect the condition of the Catholic Church.

The Pastor’s father died instantly in the attack.

Priest Hovsep Petoyan succumbed to his wounds minutes after the gunfire attack.

Deacon Fati Sano of the Al-Hasakeh church, who was a passenger in the vehicle, was wounded.

Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan
UPDATE:

The “Islamic State” terrorist organization has claimed responsibility for killing two Armenian priests in Qamishli, a city in northeastern Syria,
Full Text from ARMENPRESS reports Rudaw TV informed.

#BreakingNews Assumption of Mary Church desecrated and set on Fire and many Churches Attacked in Chile - Please Pray


AMERICA/CHILE - Looted and desecrated places of worship, the Bishops ask to apply the law and rebuild the social fabric

Santiago (Agenzia Fides) - Solidarity with the Apostolic Administrator Mgr. Celestino Aós and all the faithful of the Archdiocese of Santiago after the looting and desecration of the parish of the Assumption of Mary, was expressed by the Standing Committee of the Bishops' Conference of Chile through a statement, dated November 9th, extending solidarity to communities and pastors "of other churches and places of prayer of different cults that were attacked in many cities". Hooded protesters broke into the Church of the Assumption of Mary, which is near the gathering place of the protesters against the Chilean government and social inequality. Benches, statues and sacred images were set on fire, making barricades against the police. The political and social crisis which broke out a few weeks ago in Chile, is an expression of the accumulation of hardship and unequal treatment of the population, and is now being accompanied by violent and uncontrolled demonstrations. Even the Cathedral of Valparaiso was targeted by a group of protesters who had tried to set fire to the large wooden doors and, after entering, destroyed the benches and several sacred images (see Fides, 21,26,28/10/2019).
The text, signed by the President of the Bishops' Conference, Mgr. Santiago Silva, by the Vice President, Mgr. René Rebolledo; by the Secretary General, Mgr. Fernando Ramos, and the Committee member, Mgr. Juan Ignacio González, stresses: "We are hurt by the mistreatment of people, constant looting and violence, wherever it comes from; it hurts when our churches and places of prayer are attacked without respect for God and for those who believe in Him. Churches and other places of worship are sacred".
Invoking, through prayer, God's forgiveness for these attacks, the Bishops add: "together with many Chileans we are radically opposed to injustice and violence, we condemn them in all their forms and we expect the courts to identify those responsible and punish them. The violent prevent us from looking with due attention to the claims of the majority of the Chilean people who want real and peaceful solutions".
In order to restore civil and peaceful coexistence, the Bishops ask the authorities "to apply the law and exercise it using all the resources of a democratic state. People are not only tired of injustice, but also of violence and the vast majority eagerly awaits dialogue to rebuild the social fabric". The statement closes invoking the Virgin of Carmen,"to give us a united Chile, forged by the efforts of all men and women of good will". (SL) (Full Text source: Agenzia Fides, 11/11/2019)