Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Saint September 25 : St. Finbarr a Bishop of Ireland who was buried in the Cathedral he built in Cork

St. Finbarr
BISHOP

Born:
550 AD, near Bandon, Ireland
Died:
620 AD, Cloyne, County Cork, Ireland
Patron of:
Cork
Bishop and patron of Cork, born near Bandon, about 550, died at Cloyne, 25 September, 623, was son of Amergin. He evangelized Gowran, Coolcashin, and Aghaboe, and founded a school at Eirce. For some years he dwelt in a hermitage at Gougane Barra, where a beautiful replica of Cormac's chapel has recently been erected in his honour. Finbarr was buried in the cathedral he built where Cork city now stands. He was specially honoured also at Dornoch and Barra, in Scotland. There are five Irish saints of this name.

Bishops of Nigeria Support the Pope saying “The Holy Father Pope Francis has come under attacks in recent times....we regard these attacks as the proverbial ill...” Full Text Communique


A recent Communiqué issued at the end of the Second Plenary Meeting of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria.
The Catholic Bishops of Nigeria notably pledged their support for the Holy Father, Pope Francis and discussed other issues affecting their nation. An excerpt of this Full Text communique was also posted on VaticanNews.va.
PREAMBLE 
We, the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria  (CBCN)  held our Second Plenary Meeting for the year at the Divine Mercy Pastoral Centre, Agbamaya, Obada-Oko, Abeokuta, Ogun State from 11-20 September 2019. Having prayerfully reflected on issues affecting the Church and the Nigerian State, we now issue this Communiqué.
MOVING BEYOND PRECARIOUS LIVING IN NIGERIA 
IN COMMUNION WITH THE HOLY FATHER POPE FRANCIS
The Holy Father Pope Francis has come under attacks in recent times. Of more serious concern are the attacks coming from some higher levels of the Church in some parts of the world. As members of the Episcopal College, of which the Holy Father is the Head, we regard these attacks as the proverbial ill wind that blows no one any good, bearing in mind that there are other more legitimate and traditionally tested avenues of expressing our opinions to the Holy Father. Catholic bishops urge FG to strengthen nation’s security(Opens in a new browser tab) To be able to lead the flock of Christ in the right direction in a world filled with many contradicting and confusing voices, we as a College must speak with one voice. We therefore recognise that “The Roman Pontiff, as the successor of Peter, is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the Bishops and of the whole company of the faithful” (Vat II, Lumen Gentium 23). We reaffirm our faith in and commitment to the Pontificate of the Holy Father Pope Francis. Consequently, we pledge our loyalty and availability to him in the exercise of his Petrine office, and we promise to continue to cooperate with him fully in the discharge of his divine mandate as the Pastor of the Universal Church (cf. Code of Canon Law, Cann. 331, 334).
 STATE OF THE NATION 
i) Continued Insecurity and the Need for Respect for Human Life There are, unfortunately, still many instances of killings as a result of banditry, kidnapping, assassination, armed robbery, reckless use of force by security agencies and lynching. Lately, too, there is an upsurge in the cases of suicide, even among our youths. Furthermore, the clashes between herdsmen and communities, and the activities of Boko Haram insurgents have continued, in which many innocent people lose their lives. These make living in Nigeria very precarious. We recognise the efforts being made by the government to fight insecurity in the land. However, we emphasise that a lot more still needs to be done in this regard. We pray for the peaceful repose of the victims and sympathise with the bereaved families. We reiterate that without adequate security of lives and property, there can be no stability and enabling environment for meaningful development. We observe that the Federal Government, in which the power to control the major security agencies is vested, is overwhelmed. There is, therefore, need for proper decentralization of these agencies for effective results.   We call on all citizens to be law abiding and vigilant, be one another’s keeper, live by sound moral principles and, above all, obey the commandments of God.  We urge governments at all levels to provide the enabling environment that would make it possible for both the government and the private sector to create job opportunities for our teeming youth population. This would certainly minimise the menace of insecurity in our land. We continue to urge the government and security agencies to do all they can to secure the immediate release of Leah Sharibu, the remaining Chibok girls and all the other persons still in captivity. ii) Necessity for National Integration We thank God for making it possible for our country to continue to exist as a sovereign nation. Yet, much effort is required from both government and citizens in order to have a nation in which everyone and every part, irrespective of differences of tribe or religion or political affiliation, will have a sense of belonging. We note with dismay that many months after the general elections, many parts of our nation are still in disarray. The country is badly divided. This is evident in appointments to positions of national importance, sharing of resources, and distribution of social amenities. We urge especially the Federal Government, to ensure that it does not allow ethnic or religious hegemony to prevail in our multi-religious and secular state. No one religion should be favoured over another. There should be fairness, justice and neutrality in relation to all religions and ethnic groups, for where there is no justice, there can be no peace, unity and development. We therefore enjoin all Nigerians to see themselves as one united people and work for justice in order to ensure a peaceful and united nation. iii) Religion, Politics and Life We are grateful to God that in these trying times, many Nigerians remain manifestly religious. Our practice of religion, however, seems to have little effect on our moral, socio-economic and political lives. While praying for solutions to our problems, we must endeavour to be just in our dealings with others, work hard in fulfilling our duties, and collaborate with others in the social transformation of our country. We observe that our democracy is derailing from what it should be. The qualities of accountability, transparency, independence of the judiciary, respect for fundamental rights, observance of the rule of law, and fair and credible electoral process, to mention only these, are still lacking. We therefore urge all politicians, businessmen, religious leaders, public servants and indeed all citizens to live out the values of their faith for the common good. To all of us we address the challenge of our Lord Jesus Christ: “You are the salt of the earth… You are the light of the world” (Mt. 5: 13-14).
 XENOPHOBIC ATTACKS IN SOUTH AFRICA
We denounce the horrendous xenophobic attacks in South Africa in which many non-nationals, including Nigerians, lost their lives and/or have their property looted and/or forced to flee the country for their dear lives. We condemn the unfortunate reprisals on perceived South African investments in some part of Nigeria, as two wrongs do not make a right! We pray for the peaceful repose of those who lost their lives and sympathise with those who have suffered bereavement, injuries and heavy losses. We commend the South African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) for being prophetic in their condemnation of the attacks and urging the government to take decisive steps to end them. We join our brother Bishops in vehemently condemning the attacks and with them draw the attention of all nations to Deuteronomy 10:18: “He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.” At the same time, we note that South Africa and Nigeria have come a long way in fraternal and diplomatic relations. We advise Nigerians living at home and abroad to be good and law abiding.
THE SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE AND THE IMPORTANCE OF THE FAMILY
Marriage, the sacred and inviolable union between one man and one woman, is under pressure throughout the world. In our country, this pressure has been increased by the economic and social crises that have lasted for several years. As a result, many a family is no longer stable enough to fulfill the traditional roles of the family in the Church and in the society. We therefore reiterate that the family, as the cradle of life and development, needs to be helped to rediscover as well as to cherish its divine mandate as the first school of virtues and values. Parents are called upon to, by their words and examples, uphold the ideals of decency, discipline, honesty and marital fidelity. The pursuit of wealth and ‘success’ must be guided by those values if families are to bequeath to the wider society responsible young people, who cherish hard work and merit, who respect elders, value the sacredness of life, the sanctity of the sacrament of marriage and are willing to honestly contribute to the building of the nation and the growth of the Church. Parents are also enjoined to keep vigilance over their children and wards, in order to provide moral guidance and protection from unhealthy influences, sexual deviance and exploitation. In spite of present economic challenges, we urge the members of families never to throw away the important African and Christian values of respect and care for the elderly.
A CALL ON THE PRIESTS AND RELIGIOUS
In union with the Holy Father Pope Francis, we thank and encourage those priests and religious who continue to put themselves at risk in serving the people of God and giving themselves up unreservedly, never to give up. However, we also insist that the times call for holiness of life and more sacrifice on the part of all priests and religious if we are to be true to our vocations. All priests and religious must exercise discretion and be committed to a life of simplicity that is consistent with the life of the Master, who had nowhere to lay his head (cf. Lk 9:57-58). An ostentatious and materialistic life of luxury draws unnecessary attention and portends counter witnessing. We also enjoin all priests and religious to have a healthy relationship with young people and do more to inculcate the faith in them. Altar servers, members of the Association of the Holy Childhood, teenagers, members of Catholic Youth Organization of Nigeria (CYON), Young Catholic Students (YCS), Nigeria Federation of Catholic Students (NFCS) and others, need faith mentoring to ensure a fruitful future for the Church. All forms of abuse of minors and vulnerable adults are to be abhorred, since they are a betrayal not only of the confidence our people repose in us but also of our vocations and ministry as priests and religious. Our zerophobia worse than xenophobia(Opens in a new browser tab) EVENTS IN THE CHURCH This year marks the centenary celebration of the Apostolic Letter of Pope Benedict XV, Maximum Illud, on the Church’s missionary role, issued on 30 November 1919. To mark the celebration, Pope Francis has drawn the attention of the entire Church to the Extraordinary Mission Month of October 2019. This month serves as a momentous opportunity to reflect on the meaning of the missionary mandate of Christ, to assess the effectiveness of our response to this mandate, to reignite our zeal for the mission, and provide prayerful support for missionary efforts all over the Catholic world. The International Young Catholic Students (IYCS) held their World Council meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, from 30 August to 10 September 2019 with the theme: “Taking Action for Peace, Here and Now.” The Golden Jubilee of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) was celebrated in Kampala, Uganda, 19-29 July 2019. The Conferences of Africa and Madagascar were represented. The Jubilee celebration provided a significant opportunity for the Church in Africa to evaluate her evangelizing strategy and effectiveness of her becoming Family of God in the true and rich sense. The third Plenary Assembly of the Regional Episcopal Conference of West Africa (RECOWA) was held in Ouagadougou 13-20 May 2019. Thirty-four Nigerian Bishops were in attendance. The Assembly called on the governments and civil authorities in the West Africa region to pay more attention and commit more resources to the development of the youths. The next Plenary Assembly comes up in the year 2022 and will be hosted by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN). We take this opportunity to congratulate Most Rev. Ignatius Ayau Kaigama, the Co-adjutor Archbishop of Abuja and the Apostolic Administrator of Jos Archdiocese, on his re-election as the President of RECOWA. We congratulate the Ecclesiastical Provinces of Abuja, Benin City, Calabar, Ibadan, Jos and Owerri for celebrating the 25th Anniversary of their erection this year. May the Church of Christ continue to flourish in our land. Amen. We thank God for the increase in the number of Bishops in Nigeria.  Most Rev. Francis Obafemi Adesina, the Bishop of Ijebu Ode Diocese, was ordained on 25 April 2019. Most Rev. Patrick Eluke, the Auxiliary Bishop of Port Harcourt Diocese, was also ordained on 9 May 2019. We wish Most Rev. Albert Fasina, the Bishop Emeritus of Ijebu Ode Diocese, a happy retirement and thank him for his services. We thank God for Most Rev. Paul Olawoore who on 12 July 2019 officially assumed office as the substantive Bishop of Ilorin Diocese. We rejoice with and thank Most Rev. Ayo Maria Atoyebi, OP, the Bishop Emeritus of the same Diocese for his stewardship. We regret the death of Most Rev. Kevin Joseph Aje, the Bishop Emeritus of Sokoto Diocese, who died on 27 May 2019 and has since been buried. We condole with the Bishop, Priests and the Laity of Sokoto Diocese and pray God to grant his servant eternal rest. We equally congratulate the Dioceses of Maiduguri and Ijebu Ode on their epoch-making achievements. The Diocese of Maiduguri dedicated her St. Patrick’s Cathedral on 10 July 2019. Ijebu Ode Diocese celebrated the Golden Jubilee of her canonical erection as a Diocese on 18 July 2019. CONCLUSION: A CALL FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE
The Nigerian State is much endowed with natural, human and spiritual resources. Sadly, political authorities have not been completely diligent in relating to these resources neither have they been fair and equitable in distributing them. Justice requires them to give everyone their due, from sharing of resources to caring for the human person. Where there is no fair sharing of wealth and opportunities, there is bound to be crisis. It is only when we have justice that we can have true peace and sustainable development. We enjoin all Christians and people of good will to preach daily this message of justice and peace, and to live it out coherently. May the Blessed Virgin Mary our Mother, the Queen of Peace and Patroness of Nigeria intercede for us.
Most Rev. Augustine Obiora AKUBEZE
Most Rev. Camillus Raymond UMOH President,
CBCN Secretary, CBCN Archbishop of Benin City Bishop of Ikot-Ekpene

Full Text Source: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2019/09/catholic-bishops-speak-on-the-state-of-the-nation/

President Trump at UN Religious Freedom Event "We ask the governments of the world to honor the eternal right...to follow their conscience, live by their faith..." Full Official Text


Official Remarks by President Trump at the United Nations Event on Religious Freedom | New York, NY - (FULL Video below)
FULL TEXT White House Press Release:   Issued on: September 23, 2019
United Nations Headquarters, New York, New York, USA - 11:47 A.M. EDT

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  
That’s very nice.  Thank you very much.  That’s very nice.  And I want to thank Mike.  Today, it’s a true honor to be the first President of the United States to host a meeting at the United Nations on religious freedom.  And an honor it is.  It’s long overdue.  And I was shocked when I was given that statistic that I would be the first.  That’s very sad, in many ways.  And it’s great to be with you.

I want to thank Vice President Pence for the outstanding job he’s doing.  He’s been a fantastic and valuable representative of our country.

Likewise, Secretary Mike Pompeo, Ambassador Kelly Craft, Secretary Ross, Secretary Mnuchin, Ambassador Sam Brownback all for joining us today.  And we have other representatives of our Cabinet and the administration in the room.  We’ve done a lot.
The Johnson Amendment doesn’t get spoken about enough, but I’m very proud to say that we’ve obliterated the Johnson Amendment within our country so that now we can listen to the people that we want to listen to — religious leaders — without recrimination against them.  It’s a very important thing, and I said that at the beginning and I say it now: It’s something I’m very proud of.

We’re also grateful that U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres could be here, along with so many of his friends and my friends — world leaders.  I’ve gotten to know a lot of them, and I would imagine you know all of them.  I would imagine.  If you don’t, you’re not doing your job.  (Laughter.)

And also, I want to thank my daughter Ivanka for being here.  She works so hard on all of the things that are very important to the people in this room.  So, thank you, Ivanka, for being here.  (Applause.)

The United States is founded on the principle that our rights do not come from government; they come from God.  This immortal truth is proclaimed in our Declaration of Independence and enshrined in the First Amendment to our Constitution’s Bill of Rights.  Our Founders understood that no right is more fundamental to a peaceful, prosperous, and virtuous society than the right to follow one’s religious convictions.

Regrettably, the religious freedom enjoyed by American citizens is rare in the world.  Approximately 80 percent of the world’s population live in countries where religious liberty is threatened, restricted, or even banned.  And when I heard that number, I said, “Please go back and check it because it can’t possibly be correct.”  And, sadly, it was.  Eighty percent.

As we speak, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Yazidis, and many other people of faith are being jailed, sanctioned, tortured, and even murdered, often at the hands of their own government, simply for expressing their deeply held religious beliefs.  So hard to believe.

Today, with one clear voice, the United States of America calls upon the nations of the world to end religious persecution.  (Applause.)

To stop the crimes against people of faith, release prisoners of conscience, repeal laws restricting freedom of religion and belief, protect the vulnerable, the defenseless, and the oppressed, America stands with believers in every country who ask only for the freedom to live according to the faith that is within their own hearts.

As President, protecting religious freedom is one of my highest priorities and always has been.  Last year, our Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, hosted the first-ever Ministerial to Advance International Religious Freedom.

In this year’s ministerial, Secretary Pompeo announced plans to create the International Religious Freedom Alliance — an alliance of likeminded nations devoted to confronting religious persecution all around the world.

I’ve appointed a special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism.  We’re standing up for almost 250 million Christians around the world who are persecuted for their faith.  It is estimated that 11 Christians are killed every day for the following — I mean, just think of this: Eleven Christians a day, for following the teachings of Christ.  Who would even think that’s possible in this day and age?  Who would think it’s possible?

With us today is Pastor Andrew Brunson, who was imprisoned in Turkey for a long period of time.  Last year, my administration was thrilled to bring him back home after a very short and respectful negotiation with a very strong man — and a man who has become a friend of mine, fortunately — President Erdoğan of Turkey.

I called the President, and I said, “He’s an innocent man.”  They’ve been trying to get Andrew out for a long time — previous administration.  I don’t think they tried too hard, unfortunately.

But I want to thank President Erdoğan, and I want to thank you, Pastor, for being here with us today.  Where is Andrew?  Is he around someplace?  Thank you, Andrew.  (Applause.)

We did a good job with that negotiation, Andrew.  You got back.  It wasn’t easy.  It wasn’t pretty.  But you got back.  And we’re proud of you.  You have a great family.  And the love — when Andrew came back, the love from so many people, it was — actually, I hadn’t seen anything quite like it.

So, congratulations.  And I understand you’re doing fantastic work with your family.  Thank you very much.  Thank you, Andrew.  (Applause.)

And I also want to thank Franklin Graham because he’s been so instrumental in everything we’re doing.  He’s done such an incredible job in so many different ways, including floods and hurricanes.  And every time I go, I see Franklin there.  He’s always there before me.  I don’t know how he gets there before me.  I’m going to beat him one day.  But he’s always at these places of — really, disaster areas.  He’s right there with an incredible, large staff of volunteers that are just amazing.  Thank you very much.  And, CeCe, thank you very much.  (Applause.)  Thank you very much.  And, Paula White, thank you very much.

In July, I met with survivors of religious persecution at the White House.  And we’re honored that many of them could be here today as well.  Some of these individuals suffered as a result of state-sponsored persecution; others, at the hands of terrorists and criminals.  No matter the case, America will always be a voice for victims of religious persecution everywhere.  No matter where you go, you have a place in the United States of America.  Could I ask those folks to stand up, please?  Please, stand up.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Thank you very much.

In recent times, the world has also witnessed devastating acts of violence in sacred places of worship.  In 2016, an 85-year-old Catholic priest was viciously killed while celebrating mass in Normandy, France.  In the past year, the United States endured horrifying anti-Semitic attacks against Jewish Americans at synagogues in Pennsylvania and California.  In March, Muslims praying with their families were sadistically murdered in New Zealand.  On Easter Sunday this year, terrorists bombed Christian churches in Sri Lanka, killing hundreds of faithful worshippers.  Who would believe this is even possible?

These evil attacks are a wound on all humanity.  We must all work together to protect communities of every faith.  We’re also urging every nation to increase the prosecution and punishment of crimes against religious communities.  There can be no greater crime than that.  This includes measures to prevent the intentional destruction of religious sites and relics.  Today, the Trump administration will dedicate an additional $25 million to protect religious freedom and religious sites and relics.

We’re also pleased to be joined today by many of the partners from the business community, as we announce a very critical initiative.

The United States is forming a coalition of U.S. businesses for the protection of religious freedom.  This is the first time this has been done.  This initiative will encourage the private sector to protect people of all faiths in the workplace.  And the private sector has brilliant leadership.  And that’s why some of the people in this room are among the most successful men and women on Earth.  They know how things get done and they know how to take care of things.  And they’re with us now for the first time, to this extent.  First time, ever.  And we’re really honored to have you in the room.  Great business leaders, great people of strength.

Too often, people in positions of power preach diversity while silencing, shunning, or censoring the faithful.  True tolerance means respecting the right of all people to express their deeply held religious beliefs.

Before I conclude, I want to once again thank all of the survivors in the room for their courage and resilience.  You’re an inspiration to the world.  You remind us that no force on Earth is stronger than the faith of religious believers.  The United States of America will forever remain at your side and the side of all who seek religious freedom.

Today, I ask all nations to join us in this urgent moral duty.  We ask the governments of the world to honor the eternal right of every person to follow their conscience, live by their faith, and give glory to God.  The United States has a vital role in this critical mission.

Secretary-General Guterres will now share a few words on the U.N’s efforts to promote religious liberty for all.  And he has been a champion of exactly what we’re in this room for.

So I want to thank everybody for being here.  God bless you.  God bless the faithful.  And God bless America.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)  Thank you.

END
Full Text Source: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-united-nations-event-religious-freedom-new-york-ny/

Canadian Bishops in Plenary Assembly discusses Abuse Crisis to "Act, Accompany and Atone" and Conscience Rights of Doctors


CCCB Release: 
2019 Plenary Assembly for the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops is underway
Monday, September 23 2019

Cornwall, Ontario – Today marked the opening day of the Plenary Assembly of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB). CCCB President, Bishop Lionel Gendron, P.S.S., presided over a celebration of the Eucharist and welcomed approximately 90 Bishops, observers and special guests for the gathering in Cornwall, Ontario. The meeting is the occasion for Bishops to discern, discuss, and deliberate on ecclesial matters of national importance.

With a full agenda planned for the week, the Bishops began the assembly with a message to the Holy Father and the President's report. In his report, Bishop Gendron stated that "The moral fabric of our country is well in the process of being reshaped," citing the legalization of cannabis and the Ontario Court of Appeals' unanimous decision requiring all doctors, regardless of any conscientious objections they may have, to make "effective referrals" for patients requesting euthanasia or abortion. He likewise commented on the Conference's priority concerning the prevention of sexual abuse referencing three key words: act, accompany and atone.

Other general sessions included the annual report from the Catholic Organization for Life and Family, the progress report from the ad hoc Committee on Palliative Care, and the final report of the ad hoc Committee on the Transition of the Northern Dioceses.

The Bishops were also pleased to receive greetings from guests Father Louis Cinq-Mars, O.F.M.Cap, President of the Canadian Religious Conference (CRC) and the Reverend Stephen Kendall, President of the Canadian Council of Churches (CCC), who was presented with an official letter of congratulations from the CCCB in recognition of the 75th anniversary of the CCC. Most notably, the Most Reverend Luigi Bonazzi, Apostolic Nuncio to Canada, delivered greetings to all Bishops on behalf of the Holy Father.

The keynote address for this year's assembly was delivered by Archbishop Giampietro Dal Toso, President of the Pontifical Mission Societies. The Archbishop spoke about the upcoming Extraordinary Missionary Month (October 2019) and its chosen theme "Baptized and Sent: The Church of Christ on a Mission in the World". He outlined that the month is an opportunity for each diocese/eparchy in the world, to recognize, once again, that the evangelization of peoples is at the heart of what it means to be the Church. The participation of each diocese/eparchy in the Church's missionary activity is a sign of its health and vitality.

The Plenary Assembly continues through to Friday 27 September, 2019.
Report of the CCCB President:
Dearest brother Bishops, you to whom I address this report, I greet with the Psalmist's words "O quam bonum est et quam jucundum habitare fratres in unum" (Psalm 132: 1).
Indeed, it is good to be together. United in prayerful communion with the Holy Father, with each other, and with the Church universal, we are blessed this week with an opportunity, afforded to us only once a year, to gather as the episcopate in Canada and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to address important questions, to shed light on emerging concerns as well as to identify and chart the course of pastoral activity which deserves special attention on the part of the Church in our country.
2019 Report of the CCCB President
FULL TEXT Release from The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

Pope Francis video message to UN Climate Action Summit "We are facing a "challenge of civilization" in favor of the common good."

Pope Francis sends a video message to participants at the United Nations Climate Action Summit 2019, taking place in New York on September 23.
The full text of the Holy Father's message is below: 
Greetings to participants at the UN Climate Action Summit 2019.

          I would like to thank the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr António Guterres, for convening this meeting and for drawing the attention of Heads of State and Government - and of the entire international community and world public opinion - to one of the most serious and worrying phenomena of our time: climate change.

         This is one of the principal challenges we have to face. To do so, humanity is called to cultivate three great moral qualities: honesty, responsibility and courage.

          With the Paris Agreement of 12 December 2015, the international community became aware of the urgency and need for a collective response to help build our common home. However, four years after that historic Agreement, we can see that the commitments made by States are still very "weak", and are far from achieving the objectives set.

         Along with so many initiatives, not only by governments but by civil society as a whole, it is necessary to ask whether there is a real political will to allocate greater human, financial and technological resources to mitigate the negative effects of climate change and to help the poorest and most vulnerable populations, who suffer the most.

         While the situation is not good and the planet is suffering, the window of opportunity is still open. Despite everything. Let us not let it close. Let us open it with our determination to cultivate integral human development, to ensure a better life for future generations. “Although the post-industrial period may well be remembered as one of the most irresponsible in history, nonetheless there is reason to hope that humanity at the dawn of the twenty-first century will be remembered for having generously shouldered its grave responsibilities."

         With honesty, responsibility and courage we have to put our intelligence "at the service of another type of progress, one which is healthier, more human, more social, more integral", capable of placing economy at the service of the human person, building peace and protecting the environment.

         The problem of climate change is related to issues of ethics, equity and social justice. The current situation of environmental degradation is connected with the human, ethical and social degradation that we experience every day. This forces us to think about the meaning of our models of consumption and production, and the processes of education and awareness, to make them consistent with human dignity. We are facing a "challenge of civilization" in favor of the common good. This is clear, just as it is clear that we have a multiplicity of solutions that are within everyone's reach, if we adopt on a personal and social level a lifestyle that embodies honesty, courage and responsibility.

         I would like these three key words - honesty, courage and responsibility - to be at the heart of your work today and tomorrow.

Thank you very much.



Saint September 24 : St. Pacific of San Severino a Franciscan who became Blind and Deaf

Born at San Severino, in the March of Ancona, 1 March, 1653; died there 24 September, 1721; the son of Antonio M. Divini and Mariangela Bruni. His parents died soon after his confirmation when three years old; he suffered many hardships until in December, 1670, he took the Franciscan habit in the Order of the Reformati, at Forano, in the March of Ancona, and was ordained on 4 June, 1678, subsequently becoming Lector or Professor of Philosophy (1680-83) for the younger members of the order, after which, for five or six years, he laboured as a missionary among the people of the surrounding country. He then suffered lameness, deafness, and blindness for nearly twenty-nine years. Unable to give missions, he cultivated more the contemplative life. He bore his ills with angelic patience, worked several miracles, and was favoured by God with ecstasies. Though a constant sufferer, he held the post of guardian in the monastery of Maria delle Grazie in San Severino (1692-3), where he died. His cause for beatification was begun in 1740; he was beatified by Pius VI, 4 August, 1786, and solemnly canonized by Gregory XVI, 26 May, 1839. His feast is celebrated on 24 September. Text from the Catholic Encyclopedia

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - #Eucharist


Tuesday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 450

Reading 1EZR 6:7-8, 12B, 14-20

King Darius issued an order to the officials
of West-of-Euphrates:
“Let the governor and the elders of the Jews
continue the work on that house of God;
they are to rebuild it on its former site.
I also issue this decree
concerning your dealing with these elders of the Jews
in the rebuilding of that house of God:
From the royal revenue, the taxes of West-of-Euphrates,
let these men be repaid for their expenses, in full and without delay.
I, Darius, have issued this decree;
let it be carefully executed.”

The elders of the Jews continued to make progress in the building,
supported by the message of the prophets,
Haggai and Zechariah, son of Iddo.
They finished the building according to the command
of the God of Israel
and the decrees of Cyrus and Darius
and of Artaxerxes, king of Persia.
They completed this house on the third day of the month Adar,
in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius.
The children of Israel–priests, Levites,
and the other returned exiles–
celebrated the dedication of this house of God with joy.
For the dedication of this house of God,
they offered one hundred bulls,
two hundred rams, and four hundred lambs,
together with twelve he-goats as a sin-offering for all Israel,
in keeping with the number of the tribes of Israel.
Finally, they set up the priests in their classes
and the Levites in their divisions
for the service of God in Jerusalem,
as is prescribed in the book of Moses.

The exiles kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month.
The Levites, every one of whom had purified himself for the occasion,
sacrificed the Passover for the rest of the exiles,
for their brethren the priests, and for themselves.

Responsorial PsalmPS 122:1-2, 3-4AB, 4CD-5

R.(1)  Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
I rejoiced because they said to me,
"We will go up to the house of the LORD."
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
According to the decree for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David.
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

AlleluiaLK 11:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are those who hear the word of God
and observe it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 8:19-21

The mother of Jesus and his brothers came to him
but were unable to join him because of the crowd.
He was told, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside
and they wish to see you."
He said to them in reply, "My mother and my brothers
are those who hear the word of God and act on it."