Saturday, April 6, 2019

Saint April 7 : St. John Baptist de la Salle : Patron of Teachers, #Educators, School principals





Feast Day:
April 7
Born:
1651 at Rheims, France
Died:
1719 at Rouen, France
Canonized:
24 May 1900 by Pope Leo XIII
Major Shrine:
Sanctuary of John Baptist de La Salle, Casa Generalizia, Rome, Italy.
Patron of:
educators, school principals, teachers
EDUCATOR, FOUNDER, CONFESSOR

This saint is the patron of teachers, his great achievement having been to provide a system of education for the common people at a time when the poor were grossly neglected; not mercy by founding charity schools, a cling which had been attempted countless times before only to end in repeated failure, but by creating a body of trained teachers, and thus setting them on the only possible basis which guaranteed success.


It was not by inclination, but solely by chance chat he was led to take up this work. Indeed his family background and early training seemed hardly to have prepared him for it. Born in Rheims on April 30th, 1651, the eldest son of an aristocratic family, he inherited the rank and fortune of his parents, which set a gulf between him and the teeming masses of the poor. At sixteen, while he was pursuing a course of classical studies at the College des Bons Enfants, he became a canon of Rheims, and seemed to be marked out for a successful career in the church. He subsequently studied at Saint Sulpice and the Sorbonne for the priesthood, and was ordained at the age of twenty-seven. Up to this point nothing denoted what his mission was to be, and he himself had no inkling of it. But it was shortly after this that he was asked to co-operate in establishing some charity schools in his native town, and this led him to take charge of the teachers, to bring them into his own home and to train them. Little by little he became further involved in the work until he began to realize that everything pointed to his being the chosen instrument of Providence for the creation of a system of Christian education for the poor, whose ignorance and depravity were the disgrace of this 'splendid century', so remarkable for its achievements in every other sphere.
As he had made the will of God the guiding principle of his life, he decided to give himself up completely to this task, resigning his canonry and giving away his fortune in order to be on the same footing as the teachers with whom he lived. In so doing he aroused the anger of his relatives and incurred the derision of his class-minded compatriots, but this in no way made him alter his resolution. In 1684 he transformed his group of schoolmasters into a religious community, under the name of Brothers of the Christian Schools, and this was the origin of the order which continues to this day and is spread all over the world. So chat his order might confine itself solely to the work of teaching, he laid down that no brother might become a priest and that no priest might join the order. This rule is still observed. The first years were marked by poverty and hardship, but these were cheerfully endured, thanks to the  example of self-abnegation and extraordinary power of leadership shown by de la Salle, who vowed chat he would live on bread alone, if necessary, rather than abandon the work he had begun.
The religious and professional training of his brothers became his chief care, but he saw that he would never be able to satisfy all the requests he received for teachers unless he undertook the formation of secular schoolmasters as well, so he organized a training college for some forty youths in Rheims in 1687; the first instance of such an institution in the history of education.
After opening schools in a number of neighboring towns, in addition to chose in Rheims itself, he went to Paris in 1683 to take over a school in the parish of St. Sulpice, and there he established his headquarters. In the capital his work spread rapidly, and before long the brothers were teaching over 1,100 pupils. In Paris, too, he founded another training college, with a charity school attached, and organized a Sunday academy, or continuation school for youths already employed. When the exiled monarch, James II, entrusted fifty Irish youths to his care, he arranged for special courses to be given them to suit their needs.
The scope of his work was now such that it aroused the bitter antagonism of the writing masters and the teachers of the Little Schools, who saw their fee-paying pupils drifting into his free schools, and they brought law-suits against him. His schools were pillaged, and he found himself condemned and forbidden to open training colleges or charity schools anywhere in the Paris area. As a result he was excluded for a time from the capital, but by now his brothers were established in other localities, notably in Rouen, Avignon and Chartres, so that the decrees against him failed to ruin his work. Indeed from this time on, his communities multiplied all over France: in Marseilles, Calais, Boulogne, Mende, Grenoble, Troyes and other places. In Rouen he founded two important institutions: a fee-paying boarding school for the sons of bourgeois, who desired an education superior to that of the primary school but more practical than that of the 'classical' colleges; and a reformatory school for youthful delinquents and young men detained under <lettres de cachet.> Both proved very successful, and were significant forerunners of modern institutions of a similar kind.
In 1709 he established a third training college, at St. Den, but this lasted only a couple of years, after which it had to be closed as a result of an unfortunate law-suit.
De la Salle spent the last years of his life in Rouen, completing the organization of his institute, writing the Rule of the brothers in its definitive form, and composing <Meditations> and a <Method of Mental Prayer.> On Good Friday, April 9th, 1718, he died.
His brothers, already established in twenty-two towns of France and in Rome, now expanded their work rapidly. In 1725 they received a bull of approbation of their institute from the pope and letters patent from the king granting them legal recognition. The Revolution ruined their work in France, but they were by now established in Switzerland and Italy, so that they were able to survive this catastrophe and returned to France when more favorable conditions prevailed under Napoleon. Today they number over 15,000 and conduct educational institutions of every kind all over the world. In the United States alone there are some 2,000 brothers in five different Provinces.
De la Salle's pedagogical system is outlined in <The Conduct of Schools>, which he composed in 1695, and which is now considered an educational classic. It shows clearly his practical turn of mind and his essentially religious approach to the education of children. He wrote also several school manuals, notably <The Rules of Good Behaviour> and <The Duties of a Christian>, which proved very popular and went through over a hundred editions.
Shortened from "The Saints: A concise Biographical Dictionary", edited by John Coulson, published by Hawthorn Books, Inc. 1960. - Image Source : Google Images
Prayer for Teachers:
You, O Lord,
are my strength, my patience, my light, and my counsel.
It is you who touch the hearts of the children entrusted to my care.
Abandon me not to myself for one moment.
For my own guidance and that of my students,
grant me the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the spirit of counsel and fortitude, the spirit of knowledge and piety,
the spirit of a holy fear of you and an ardent zeal to procure your glory.
I unite my efforts to those of Jesus Christ, and I beg the Most Blessed Virgin, Saint Joseph, the Guardian Angels, and Saint John Baptist de La Salle to protect me this day in the performance of my duties. Amen 
Source of Prayer : delasalle.com - 

Free Catholic Movie : The Staircase : Based on a True Story - Stars Barbara Hershey


The Staircase (1998) TV Movie | 96 min | Drama, Western | 12 April 1998 (USA)  A small chapel's choir loft survives incomplete with no staircase, until one day a mysterious drifter, with a background in carpentry, arrives in town. Director: Karen Arthur Writer: Christopher Lofton Stars: Barbara Hershey, William Petersen, Diane Ladd

5th International Symposium on Pope John Paul II's "Theology of the Body"


5th INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON JOHN PAUL II'S THEOLOGY OF THE BODY which will take place between 28th - 30th June, 2019, at Rolduc Abbey, Kerkrade, Netherlands.
We have a great lineup of 11 international Speakers Talks who will cover vital topics.
The list of Speakers includes Cardinal Eijk (Netherlands), Janet Smith (USA), Fr. Kevin O'Reilly OP (Angelicum) and Mgr. de Jong (Netherlands).
See: https://www.tobsymposium.org/en/Speakers-Talks   Register Now! At the website: https://www.tobsymposium.org/en/

There is an Early Bird registration fee people can take advantage of before the 22nd of April!

 The other four International TOB Symposia took place in Austria (2007), Ireland (2009), UK (2011) and Portugal (Fatima-2013). You can read more about them and watch all the talks here: https://tobinternationalsymposia.com/
 2019 marks 40 years since John Paul II presented his first “Wednesday catechesis” on the Theology of the Body. This fifth International Symposium will be held on the week-end of the Feasts of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and of Saints Peter and Paul. It will discuss and promote John Paul II’s Theology of the Body within a general theme—Defending and Promoting Human Dignity in a Secular Age—centering around the 50th anniversary of the promulgation of Humanae Vitae. All the talks will be given in English. The goal is to make a contribution to healing the current cultural situation of the Church and humanity with respect to sexuality, marriage, the family, education and human happiness by exploring ever deeper the goodness, truth and beauty of the Divine plan for human life and love. We wish this event to be an opportunity for a deepening of personal faith and self-understanding that will inspire greater participation in the New Evangelization. Since the Symposium will facilitate the bringing together of people from many countries and cultures, it is our hope that this encounter will also foster and develop prosperous networks to assist participants with their own evangelization initiatives.

#BreakingNews March for Life in Sweden brings Hundreds to the Streets for the Unborn

"For a Sweden without abortion" - March for life in Stockholm
On Sunday, March 24, 2019, about 200 people gathered at Sergels Torg in Stockholm to march for life and say no to abortion. The abortion issue, which has recently found its way back to the spotlight following the State Medical-Ethics Council's report "Life signs after a late abortion", continues to awaken strong emotions and, in this case, demonstrations.
Life Choice,  started in 2017,  works for a Sweden without abortion.

On Facebook, Livval's events had been shared around 100 times: "Join us for the unborn child's right to life!" You could read in its description. On Facebook, Instagram and other social media, Sweden's young Catholics urged each other to participate in the march.

There were there to give the smallest one voice and celebrate life, with the slogans "Yes to life, no to abortion" echo "For a Sweden without abortion", "Women deserve better than abortion". Men, women and children, families, young people and retirees march from Sergels Torg to Norrmalmstorg singing and waving with flags and signs. On the signs you can read, for example: "Everyone has the right to life", "The right to my body ends where my child's body takes over", "25% of my generation is missing", "Is abortion really always the woman's free choice?", "Abortion stops a heart beating".

Counter-demonstrators gather both the Satanist Society announced a counter-demonstration and also a "Demonstration against the Pro-Life movement in Sweden" were organized however, only 10 counter-demonstrators appeared. Shortened and Edited from Vatican News va - Swedish Ed.

Pope Francis "The Saint of Assisi heard Jesus’ request: “Francis, go and repair my house..." FULL TEXT


ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
TO MEMBERS OF THE "MISSIONSZENTRALE DER FRANZISKANER" FOUNDATION (GERMANY)
Hall of Popes
Saturday, 6 April 2019

Dear friends,
I am glad to welcome you, who have come to Rome on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Missionszentrale der Franziskaner. I thank Fr. Matthias Maier for his kind words. It is good that you as a community of religious brothers and committed lay faithful address all people of good will to motivate them to help the needy and marginalized throughout the world to obtain a better future. In this way, the word of Jesus is newly realized in a concrete way: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Mt 25: 40).
Your initiative is the result of the parish activities in Bonn-Bad Godesberg. Special thanks go above all to the first director who served for many years, Fr. Andreas Müller, who thanks to God is present among us today. Saint Francis of Assisi has always been an example to you: he wished to live poor and to let himself be touched by the poverty of the people. In this way he found Christ’s peace and became himself one who lived from the gifts of Providence. In this spirit, your missionary centre, with its modest origins, has been able to weave a worldwide network of charity, solidarity and fraternity.
The Saint of Assisi heard Jesus’ request: “Francis, go and repair my house that, as you see, is all in ruins”. Despite all the experiences of the limits of the Church at the time, he set out on his journey to live out the Gospel in an authentic way. Today too we sometimes suffer as a result of the limits of the Church. The words of the Crucified are a call to us all. Renewal will occur only if we listen to the Lord, letting ourselves be transformed by Him, and continuing to do good with Him. Indeed, faced with current challenges, we must make greater efforts for a good future for all. And with this aim your missionary Centre may continue to give its valuable contribution, first and foremost with the witness of your life and your faith!
I wish, for your jubilee, typically Franciscan joy and trust. Persevere in your commitment to promoting the good of all people and the protection of creation. May merciful God bless you all, your religious community in Bonn, and your families, and keep you in his love!


Saint April 6 : St. William of Eskilsoe : Abbot and Confessor


St. William of Eskilsoe
ABBOT OF ESKILLE, CONFESSOR
Feast: April 6


Information:

Feast Day:
April 6
Born:
1125 at Paris, France
Died:
6 April (Easter Sunday) 1203 in Denmark
Canonized:
21 January 1224 by Pope Honorius III
He was born of an illustrious family in Paris, about the year 1105, and received his education in the abbey of St. Germain-des-Prez, under his uncle Hugh, the abbot. By the regularity of his conduct, and the sanctity of his manners, he was the admiration of the whole community. Having finished his studies, he was ordained sub-deacon, and installed canon in the church of St. Genevieve au-Mont. His assiduity in prayer, love of retirement and mortification, and exemplary life, seemed a troublesome censure of the slothful and worldly life of his colleagues; and what ought to have gained him their esteem and affection, served to provoke their envy and malice against him.
Having in vain endeavored to prevail on this reformer of their chapter, as they called him, to resign his canonry, in order to remove him at a distance, they presented him to the curacy of Epinay, a church five leagues from Paris, depending on their chapter. But not long after, Pope Eugenius III. coming to Paris, in 1147, and being informed of the irregular conduct of these canons, he commissioned the celebrated Suger, abbot of St. Denys, and prime minister to King Louis the Young, to expel them, and introduce in their room regular canons from the abbey of St. Victor: which was happily carried into execution, Eudo of St. Victor's being made the first abbot. St. William with joy embraced this institute, and was by his fervor and devotion a pattern to the most perfect. He was in a short time chosen sub-prior.
The perfect spirit of religion and regularity which he established in that community, was an illustrious proof of the incredible influence which the example of a prudent superior has over docile religious minds. His zeal for regular discipline he tempered with so much sweetness and modesty in his injunctions, that made all to love the precept itself, and to practice with cheerfulness whatever was prescribed them. The reputation of his wisdom and sanctity reached the ears of Absalon, bishop of Roschild, in Denmark, who, being one of the most holy prelates of his age, earnestly sought to allure him into his diocese. He sent the provost of his church, who seems to have been the learned historian Saxo the Grammarian, to Paris on this errand. A prospect of labors and dangers for the glory of God was a powerful motive with the saint, and he cheerfully undertook the voyage. The bishop appointed him abbot of Eskille, a monastery of regular canons which he had reformed. Here St. William sanctified himself by a life of prayer and austere mortification; but had much to suffer from the persecutions of powerful men, from the extreme poverty of his house in a severe climate, and, above all, from a long succession of interior trials: but the most perfect victory over himself was the fruit of his constancy, patience, and meekness. On prayer was his chief dependence, and it proved his constant support.
During the thirty years of his abbacy, he had the comfort to see many walk with fervor in his steps. He never left off wearing his hair-shirt, lay on straw, and fasted every day. Penetrated with a deep sense of the greatness and sanctity of our mysteries, he never approached the altar without watering it with his tears, making himself a victim to God in the spirit of adoration and sacrifice, together with, and through the merits of the holy victim offered thereon: the dispositions in which every Christian ought to assist at it. He died on the 6th of April, 1203, and was canonized by Honorius III. in 1224.
See his life by a disciple in Surius, and at large in Papebroke's Continuation of Bollandus, t. 1, Apr. p. 620. Also M. Gourdan in his MSS. Lives of Illustrious Men among the regular Canons at St. Victor's, in Paris, kept in the library of MSS. in that house, in fol. t. 2, pp. 324 and 814.

SOURCE: The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and
Principal Saints, by Alban Butler

Today's Mass Readings and Video : #1stSaturday, April 5, 2019 - Eucharist in Lent



Saturday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Lectionary: 249

Reading 1JER 11:18-20

I knew their plot because the LORD informed me;
at that time you, O LORD, showed me their doings.

Yet I, like a trusting lamb led to slaughter,
had not realized that they were hatching plots against me:
"Let us destroy the tree in its vigor;
let us cut him off from the land of the living,
so that his name will be spoken no more."

But, you, O LORD of hosts, O just Judge,
searcher of mind and heart,
Let me witness the vengeance you take on them,
for to you I have entrusted my cause!

Responsorial PsalmPS 7:2-3, 9BC-10, 11-12

R. (2a) O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.
O LORD, my God, in you I take refuge;
save me from all my pursuers and rescue me,
Lest I become like the lion's prey,
to be torn to pieces, with no one to rescue me.
R. O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.
Do me justice, O LORD, because I am just,
and because of the innocence that is mine.
Let the malice of the wicked come to an end,
but sustain the just,
O searcher of heart and soul, O just God.
R. O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.
A shield before me is God,
who saves the upright of heart;
A just judge is God,
a God who punishes day by day.
R. O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.

Verse Before The GospelSEE LK 8:15

Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart
and yield a harvest through perseverance.

GospelJN 7:40-53

Some in the crowd who heard these words of Jesus said,
"This is truly the Prophet."
Others said, "This is the Christ."
But others said, "The Christ will not come from Galilee, will he?
Does not Scripture say that the Christ will be of David's family
and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?"
So a division occurred in the crowd because of him.
Some of them even wanted to arrest him,
but no one laid hands on him.

So the guards went to the chief priests and Pharisees,
who asked them, "Why did you not bring him?"
The guards answered, "Never before has anyone spoken like this man."
So the Pharisees answered them, "Have you also been deceived?
Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him?
But this crowd, which does not know the law, is accursed."
Nicodemus, one of their members who had come to him earlier, said to them,
"Does our law condemn a man before it first hears him
and finds out what he is doing?"
They answered and said to him,
"You are not from Galilee also, are you?
Look and see that no prophet arises from Galilee."

Then each went to his own house.

Saturday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Lectionary: 249


Reading 1JER 11:18-20

I knew their plot because the LORD informed me;
at that time you, O LORD, showed me their doings.

Yet I, like a trusting lamb led to slaughter,
had not realized that they were hatching plots against me:
"Let us destroy the tree in its vigor;
let us cut him off from the land of the living,
so that his name will be spoken no more."

But, you, O LORD of hosts, O just Judge,
searcher of mind and heart,
Let me witness the vengeance you take on them,
for to you I have entrusted my cause!

Responsorial PsalmPS 7:2-3, 9BC-10, 11-12

R. (2a) O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.
O LORD, my God, in you I take refuge;
save me from all my pursuers and rescue me,
Lest I become like the lion's prey,
to be torn to pieces, with no one to rescue me.
R. O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.
Do me justice, O LORD, because I am just,
and because of the innocence that is mine.
Let the malice of the wicked come to an end,
but sustain the just,
O searcher of heart and soul, O just God.
R. O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.
A shield before me is God,
who saves the upright of heart;
A just judge is God,
a God who punishes day by day.
R. O Lord, my God, in you I take refuge.

Verse Before The GospelSEE LK 8:15

Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart
and yield a harvest through perseverance.

GospelJN 7:40-53

Some in the crowd who heard these words of Jesus said,
"This is truly the Prophet."
Others said, "This is the Christ."
But others said, "The Christ will not come from Galilee, will he?
Does not Scripture say that the Christ will be of David's family
and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?"
So a division occurred in the crowd because of him.
Some of them even wanted to arrest him,
but no one laid hands on him.

So the guards went to the chief priests and Pharisees,
who asked them, "Why did you not bring him?"
The guards answered, "Never before has anyone spoken like this man."
So the Pharisees answered them, "Have you also been deceived?
Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him?
But this crowd, which does not know the law, is accursed."
Nicodemus, one of their members who had come to him earlier, said to them,
"Does our law condemn a man before it first hears him
and finds out what he is doing?"
They answered and said to him,
"You are not from Galilee also, are you?
Look and see that no prophet arises from Galilee."

Then each went to his own house.