Tuesday, January 28, 2020

#BreakingNews Young Beloved Priest Dies by Suicide - RIP Fr. Evan Harkins - Diocese asks for Prayers


A priest named Fr. Evan Harkins of St. James Parish has died by suicide, according to the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. The Director of Communications Jeremy Lillig said the diocese was notified this morning of the death of Fr. Evan Harkins after he did not show up for Mass. The diocesan statement said Fr. Harkins had apparently taken his own life.
The Diocese asked for prayer:
 "In the face of this devastatingly tragic news, we ask that you pray for Fr. Harkins, his family, and the parish and school communities that he served as well as all of our priests,"  in a statement. Fr. Harkins was Pastor at St. James Parish and Parochial Administrator at St. Patricks' Parish in St. Joseph. He had been at St. James since 2012. 
Below is the Vocation Story of Fr. Harkins from The Catholic Key:

KANSAS CITY — He was eight years old, fascinated and inspired by the lives of the saints, especially 14-year-old Dominic Savio. Evan Harkins was washing the dishes after lunch one afternoon when he suddenly thought about becoming a priest.
“It was the first time I had thought about it,” he said. “There was a certain excitement at the initial connection of the priesthood to my life and I ran to tell my mother. She was happy and told me so.” Now, 16 years later, Rev. Mr. Evan Patrick Harkins will be ordained a priest for the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph by Bishop Robert W. Finn, May 29 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. He’s still excited about it.
Evan Harkins, the eldest of five children, attended St. James Church in Midtown until his family moved into St. Sabina Parish in Belton when he was eight. He had attended the French Magnet school for kindergarten and first grade as his parents wanted him to learn the language. After the move to Belton, he was homeschooled, originally to catch up in English, but the experience was so good, his parents continued to home school Evan and his younger siblings.
With his parents’ encouragement and support he started at St. Thomas Seminary High School in Hannibal, Mo., as a freshman. “I was fortunate,” he recalled. “My folks told me, ‘We’re happy and will support you whatever you do. If the priesthood is not what God is calling you to do, we’ll still be proud of you.’ There was no pressure.”
The seminary high school was closed at the end of his junior year, and along with a couple of other students, Evan was allowed to graduate early. He then enrolled at Conception Seminary College.
“My thoughts of the priesthood had been healthily growing all this time,” he said. “One of the things that inspired me was the selfless love my parents have for each other. I saw holiness lived out in the things they did — things Mother did at home that Dad never knew about. My parents were receptive to the miraculous grace of marriage. Having known and watched them as I was growing up helped bring thoughts of the priesthood to the forefront for me.”
After graduating from Conception Seminary College, Evan was accepted at Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis for his four years of Theology. “I’ve had 11 years of Missouri seminaries,” he said with a grin, “all levels. Is that unusual?”
Rev. Mr. Harkins graduated earlier this month and came home for a few weeks before ordination. He received a dispensation through Bishop Finn to be ordained 2 ½ months before he turns 25, usually the earliest a priest can be ordained. He’s excited and a little nervous. He had some parish work experience during his years as a seminarian, but this will be different. “It’s new,” he said, “but it’s what I’ve been studying for all these years. There’s peace in that. I will still be learning the day-to-day duties and eventually how to make the decisions for a parish.” He expects his years as a Boy Scout will stand him in good stead in pastoral and priestly work and community outreach.
His family — parents, brothers and sisters and “my absolutely thrilled grandmother” — and friends will witness his ordination: members of the Serra Club, the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women and the Blue Army.
He credits the prayers of the Serrans, the DCCW and the Blue Army for helping him stay the course during his years in the seminary. “I don’t know that I would have made it without their prayers,” he said.
“I would go to all-night vigils with the Blue Army while I was discerning, and I grew in devotion to Our Lady. Through her intercession I grew in holiness. A priest stands in the person of Christ, absolving sin, and in the person of Christ saying ‘This is my body.’ Therefore we should be as Christ-like as possible, and part of that is drawing close to His mother, Our Lady.”
A priest brings Christ to others, he said. “He brings the channels of Christ’s grace to the sacraments: New life through baptism; absolution through the sacrament of Penance, His love for us and His grace through the Eucharist. A priest is a bridge connecting people to God in a sacramental way, and he extends Christ’s love for His Church, in a human way.
I see a lot of pain and sadness in the world. You can see in people’s eyes. Satan makes people unsure of who they are. To me being ordained a priest is to be sent out in to the world to give God to people and His gifts of joy and truth. I think that’s awesome; there is nothing beyond that I could want.”

Saint January 29 : St. Gildas the Wise of Scotland who built a Monastery at Rhuis



Born:
516, traditionally Strathclyde in modern Scotland
Died:
570, Street, Somerset or Rhuys
Major Shrine:
Glastonbury Abbey, now destroyed, or Rhuys Church, extant.
Patron of:
Welsh historians; bell founders
He was son to a British lord, who to procure him a virtuous education, placed him in his infancy in the monastery of St. Iltutus in Glamorganshire. The surname of Badonicus was given him, because, as we learn from his writings, he was born in the year in which the Britons under Aurelius Ambrosius, or, according to others, under king Arthur, gained the famous victory over the Saxons at Mount Badon, now Bannesdown, near Bath, in Somersetshire. This Bede places in the forty-fourth year after the first coming of the Saxons into Britain, which was in 451. Our saint, therefore, seems to have been born in 494; he was consequently younger than St. Paul, St. Samson, and his other illustrious school-fellows in Wales: but by his prudence and seriousness in his youth he seemed to have attained to the maturity of judgment and gravity of an advanced age. The author of the life of St. Paul of Leon, calls him the brightest genius of the school of St. Iltut. His application to sacred studies  was uninterrupted, and if he arrived not at greater perfection in polite literature, this was owing to the want of masters of that branch in the confusion of those times. As to improve himself in the knowledge of God and himself was the end of all his studies, and all his reading was reduced to the study of the science of the saints, the greater progress he made in learning, the more perfect he became in all virtues. Studies which are to many a source of dissipation, made him more and more recollected, because in all books he found and relished only God, whom alone he sought. Hence sprang that love for holy solitude, which, to his death, was the constant ruling inclination of his heart. Some time after his monastic profession, with the consent, and perhaps by the order of his abbot, St. Iltut, he passed over into Ireland, there to receive the lessons of the admirable masters of a religious life, who had been instructed in the most sublime maxims of an interior life, and formed to the practice of perfect virtue, by the great St. Patrick. The author of his Acts compares this excursion, which he made in the spring of his life, to that of the bees in the season of flowers, to gather the juices which they convert into honey. In like manner St. Gildas learned, from the instructions and examples of the most eminent servants of God, to copy in his own life whatever seemed most perfect. So severe were his continual fasts, that the motto of St. John Baptist might in some degree be applied to him, that he scarce seemed to eat or drink at all. A rough hair-cloth, concealed under a coarse cloak, was his garment, and the bare floor his bed, with a stone for his bolster.

By the constant mortification of his natural appetites, and crucifixion of his flesh, his life was a prolongation of his martyrdom, or a perpetual sacrifice which he made of himself to God in union with that which he daily offered to him on his altars. If it be true that he preached in Ireland in the reign of king Ammeric, he must have made a visit to that island from Armorica, that prince only beginning to reign in 560: this cannot be ascribed to St. Gildas the Albanian, who died before that time. It was about the year 527, in the thirty-fourth of his age, that St. Gildas sailed to Armorica, or Brittany, in France: for he wrote his invective ten years after his arrival there, and in the forty-fourth year of his age, as is gathered from his life and writings. Here he chose for the place of his retirement the little isle of Houac, or Houat, between the coast of Rhuis and the island of Bellisle, four leagues from the latter. Houat exceeds not a league in length; the isle of Hoedre is still smaller, not far distant: both are so barren as to yield nothing but a small quantity of corn. Such a solitude, which appeared hideous to others, offered the greatest charms to the saint, who desired to fly, as much as this mortal state would permit, whatever could interrupt his commerce with God. Here he often wanted the common necessaries and conveniences of life; but the greater the privation of earthly comforts was in which he lived, the more abundant were those of the Holy Ghost which he enjoyed, in proportion as the purity of his affections and his love of heavenly things were more perfect. The saint promised himself that he should live here always unknown to men: but it was in vain for him to endeavor to hide the light of divine grace under a bushel, which shone forth to the world, notwithstanding all the precautions which his humility took to conceal it. Certain fishermen who discovered him were harmed with his heavenly deportment and conversation, and made known on the continent the treasure they had found. The inhabitants flocked from the coast to hear the lessons of divine wisdom which the holy anchoret gave with a heavenly unction which penetrated their hearts. To satisfy their importunities, St. Gildas at length consented to live among them on the continent, and built a monastery at Rhuis, in a peninsula of that name, which Guerech, the first lord of the Britons about Vannes, is said to have bestowed upon him. This monastery was soon filled with excellent disciples and holy monks. St. Gildas settled them in good order; then, sighing after closer solitude, he withdrew, and passing beyond the gulf of Vannes, and the promontory of Quiberon, chose for his habitation a grot in a rock, upon the bank of the river Blavet, where he found a cavern formed by nature extended from the east to the west, which on that account he converted into a chapel. However, he often visited this abbey of Rhuis, and by his counsels directed many in the paths of true virtue. Among these was St. Trifina, daughter of Guerech, first British count of Vannes. She was married to count Conomor, lieutenant of king Childebert, a brutish and impious man, who afterwards murdered her, and the young son which he had by her, who at his baptism received the name of Gildas, and was godson to our saint: but he is usually known by the surname of Treuchmour, or Tremeur, in Latin 'Trichmorus. SS. Trifina and Treuchmeur are invoked in the English Litany of the seventh century, in Mabillon. The great collegiate church of Carhaix bears the name of St. Treuchmour: the church of Quim per keeps his feast on the 8th of November, on which day he is commemorated in several churches in Brittany, and at St. Magloire's at Paris. A church situated between Corlai and the abbey of Coetmaloon in Brittany, is dedicated to God under the invocation of St. Trifina.
St. Gildas wrote eight canons of discipline, and a severe invective against the crimes of the Britons, called De Excidio Britanniae, that he might confound those whom he was not able to convert, and whom God in punishment delivered first to the plunders of the Picts and Scots, and afterwards to the perfidious Saxons, the fiercest of all nations. He reproaches their kings, Constantine, (king of the Danmonians, in Devonshire and Cornwall,) Vortipor, (of the Dimetians, in South Wales,) Conon, Cuneglas, and Maglocune, princes in other parts of Britain, with horrible crimes: but Constantine was soon after sincerely converted, as Gale informs us from an ancient Welsh chronicle. According to John Fordun he resigned his crown, became a monk, preached the faith to the Scots and Picts, and died a martyr in Kintyre: but the apostle of the Scots seems to have been a little more ancient than the former. Our saint also wrote an invective against the British clergy, whom he accuses of sloth of seldom sacrificing at the altar &c. In his retirement he ceased not with tears to recommend to God his own cause, or that of his honor and glory, and the souls of blind sinners, and died in his beloved solitude in the island of Horac, (in Latin Horata,) according to Usher, in 570, but according to Ralph of Disse, in 581.[6] St. Gildas is patron of the city of Vannes. The abbey which bears his name in the peninsula of Rhuis, between three and four leagues from Vannes, is of the reformed congregation of St. Maur since the year 1649. The relics of St. Gildas were carried thence for fear of the Normans into Berry, about the year 919, and an abbey was erected there on the banks of the river Indre, which was secularized and united to the collegiate church of Chateauroux in 1623. St. Gildas is commemorated in the Roman Martyrology on the 29th of January. A second commemoration of him is made in some places on the 11th of May, on account of the translation of his relics. His life, compiled from the ancient archives of Rhuis by a monk of that house, in the eleventh century, is the best account we have of him, though the author confounds him sometimes with St. Gildas the Albanian. It is published in the library of Fleury, in Bollandus, p. 954, and most correctly in Mabillon, Act. SS. Ord. Saint Bened. t. 1, p. 138. See also Dom Lobineau, Vies des Saints de Bretagne, (for. an. 1725,) p. 72, and Hist. de la Bretagne, (2 vol. fol. an. 1707) and the most accurate Dom Morice, Memoires sur l'Histoire de Bretagne, 3 vol. fol. in 1745, and Hist. de la Bretagne, 2 vol. fol. an. 1750.
SOURCE: Cath. Encyclopedia

Pope Francis urges Christians to be full of Joy saying the Gospel “...will only go forward with joyful evangelizers, full of life.”


Pope at Mass: Christians without joy are prisoners of formalities
Pope Francis is urging Christians not to be ashamed of expressing their joy of meeting God and feeling His closeness. He made the exhortation at Mass at the Casa Santa Marta Tuesday morning, saying the Gospel will only go ahead with evangelizers full of joy, a joy that also continues in the family at table together with the Lord.
By Robin Gomes

Pope Francis took the inspiration of his homily from the day’s First Reading, which speaks of the great joy with which David and all the people of Israel were celebrating the return of the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem following its capture.

Celebrating God’s nearness
The people felt that God was close to them and they celebrated, the Pope said and leading the procession was King David who sacrificed an ox and a fatling.  He joined the people shouting, singing and dancing "with all his might".

The fact that God was with them was the cause of their celebration, the Pope said.  David dances before the people expressing his joy without feeling shy.  The Pope said it is the spiritual joy of encountering the Lord, of His return to the people.  David loves the Lord, and he is happy and joyful to bring back the ark of the Lord with dancing and singing like all the people.

The Pope pointed out that we also experience this joy and celebrate when "when we are with the Lord" in our parishes or villages.  In this regard, he recalled that at the time of Nehemiah, in the Old Testament, people wept with joy when the book of the law was found, and they continued their celebration at home.

Contempt of joy
Continuing David’s story, the Pope said that one of his wives, Michal, Saul’s daughter, reproached him with contempt saying he was dancing shamelessly like a vulgar, like one of the people.

The Pope described Michal’s reaction as contempt of “genuine religiosity” and spontaneity of joy of being with the Lord.  But David explained to her that he was rejoicing in the Lord as the ark was back home.   The Bible says that Michal was punished for this and did not bear children.  Without joy in the heart, the Pope said, a Christian is not fruitful.

Joyful evangelizers move forward
Pope Francis further explained that celebration is not only expressed spiritually but becomes sharing. After the blessing, David distributed to each person “a loaf of bread, a cut of roast meat and a raisin cake”, so that everyone could celebrate in their homes. "The Word of God is not ashamed of celebration,” the Pope said, warning, at the same time, of the danger of a joy that goes beyond limits, believing this is everything.

The Holy Father recalled his predecessor, Saint Pope Paul VI in his Apostolic Exhortation "Evangelii Nuntiandi," saying “the Gospel will not go forward with boring, bitter evangelizers”. “ It will only go forward with joyful evangelizers, full of life.”  The Pope thus urged for the joy of receiving the Word of God, the joy of being Christians, the joy of going ahead, the ability to celebrate without being ashamed and not being like Michal, formal Christians, prisoners of formalities.

FULL TEXT Source: VaticanNews.va

Top 10 Quotes of St. Thomas Aquinas - the Angelic Doctor - to help you in Life!

Top 10 Quotations of Saint Thomas Aquinas
1. “Charity is the form, mover, mother and root of all the virtues.”
2. “If you seek the example of love: “Greater love than this no man has, than to lay down his life for his friends.” Such a man was Christ on the cross.
3. “The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods.”
4.“The things that we love tell us what we are.”
5. “There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.”
6. “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.”
7. “Love takes up where knowledge leaves off.”
8. “To convert somebody, go and take them by the hand and guide them.”
9. "The Eucharist is the Sacrament of Love; It signifies Love, It produces love. The Eucharist is the consummation of the whole spiritual life."
10. "To love God is something greater than to know Him."

Attack at Sudan-South border with 15 People Killed - 25 wounded, 3 Children missing, and 19 Houses burnt


ABYEI, JANUARY 24, 2020 (CISA)-The United Nations Interim Security Force in Abyei (UNISFA) has been deployed to secure the village of Kolom, near the Sudan-South Sudan border after 15 people were killed in retaliatory attacks on Wednesday, January 22.

Daniel Adekera, spokesperson for UNISFA condemned the attacks which also left 25 wounded, three children missing, and 19 houses burnt down, in the disputed oil rich region.

“From all indications the perpetrators are from the Misseriya tribe because three days ago there was a similar incident in the same place where three Misseriyas were killed, purportedly by the Dinka. So, this seems to have been a reprisal attack from the Misseriya tribe,” Adekera said.

Adekera said the Misseriya and Dinka had been engaged in peaceful, face-to-face meetings ahead of the dry season migration period.

“The meetings were arranged to pre-empt escalation… or any incidence of violence, because normally during migration we hold these pre-migration meetings just to prepare them and get them to understand how they want to be peaceful. So far meetings have been peaceful. So this has come to us as a surprise,” said Adekera.

Sudan’s government spokesman Faisal Mohamed said in a statement that the attack was “unacceptable”.

“The government of Sudan will play its role in protecting civilians and calls UNIFSA to move immediately to the village to protect the civilians there,” he said.

UNISFA troops are deployed in the area to control the movements of armed actors and to try to contain any potential conflict before it arises.

The United Nations Interim Security Force in Abyei (UNISFA) was deployed by the UN Security Council in 2011 to assist in peacekeeping after the deadly clashes in the region.

The UN Security Council in 2018 warned that the situation in Abyei and along the Sudan-South Sudan border “continues to constitute a serious threat to international peace,” and called on the two countries to show concrete progress on border demarcation and monitoring.
Full Text Source: CISA NEWS

Pope Francis appoints New Personal Secretary Fr. Gonzalo Aemilius, a Priest from Uruguay who worked with street Children


Father Aemilius is the Pope's new Personal Secretary
The Uruguayan priest, whom Pope Francis has known since 2006, is chosen to take the place left open by Father Pedacchio last December.
By Vatican News

Pope Francis and the Uruguayan priest, Gonzalo Aemilius, have known each other since 2006, since Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, made contact with him because he had heard of Father Aemilius’  work with street kids.

Gonzalo Aemilius, a Doctor of Theology, is the Pope's new Special Secretary. He takes the place of Father Fabian Pedacchio, the Argentine priest who worked alongside the Pope from 2013 to 2019, and who returned last December to his post at the Congregation of Bishops.

Father Aemilius was born in Montevideo on 18 September 1979 and was ordained a priest on 6 May 2006.

His face may be familiar to many because he is the one, who the Pope greeted and summoned to him when he was part of the crowd gathered outside a Vatican Gate to welcome Pope Francis at the beginning of his pontificate on the morning of 17 March 2013. He recognized him and invited him to accompany him into the church where he was about to celebrate his first Mass with the faithful after his election. At the end of the liturgy, Pope Francis introduced Father Aemilius to all those present, asking them to pray for him and for his work with street children.

Interviewed by the “Osservatore Romano” on the following day, Father Aemilius said that Archbishop Bergoglio's ability to integrate different values and channel them in a single direction had struck him deeply: “Experiencing this ability of his was decisive in my life," he said, "He taught me to take the best that is in each individual, however different he or she may be from others, and to put it to good use for the good of all".

The Uruguayan priest chosen by Pope Francis will accompany his current Personal Secretary, Father Yoannis Lahzi Gaid.
Full Text Source: Vatican News. va

Novena to St. Thomas Aquinas - Patron of Students - Powerful Prayers to Share!


Novena prayer 

St. Thomas Aquinas,
patron of students and Catholic schools,
I thank God for the gifts
of light and knowledge he bestowed on you,
which you used to build up the Church in love.
I thank God, too,
for the wealth and richness of theological teaching
you left in your writings.
Not only were you a great teacher,
you lived a life of virtue
and you made holiness the desire of your heart.
If I cannot imitate you
in the brilliance of your academic pursuits,
I can follow you in the humility and charity which marked your life.
As St. Paul said,
charity is the greatest gift,
and it is open to all.
Pray for me that I might grow in holiness and charity.
Pray also for Catholic schools,
and for all students.
In particular, please obtain the favor I ask during this novena.

[Make you request here...]

Amen.

First Day

St. Thomas, called by God
"Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me;
and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me" (Mt 10:37).

St. Thomas, as a young man
you became convinced that God was calling you to religious life.
Although your family was opposed to it,
you were determined to follow God's call.
Even when your brothers kidnapped you
and forced you to remain a prisoner in your own house,
you did not give up but waited patiently for God's hour.
St. Thomas, pray for all young people
who are considering their vocation in life.
Help them to be open to the call of God.
Inspire them to make choices
motivated by love for God
and an unselfish love for other people.
Whatever their state in life,
help them to see their chosen path
as a call to service.
May all married couples, single persons,
priests and religious build up the Church
through lives of unselfish devotion and love.

[Recite the novena prayer.]

Second Day

St. Thomas, lover of purity

"For God did not call us to impurity but in holiness" (1 Thes 4:7).

St. Thomas, you had a great esteem for the virtue of purity.
When your family tried to deter you
from entering the Dominicans by sending a woman to lead you into sin,
you resisted the temptation
and determined to consecrate your chastity to God forever.

Today we are immersed in a culture
that degrades the gift of human sexuality.
Human persons are viewed as objects of pleasure
and their human dignity is devalued.
As a consequence, society tolerates abortion,
disregarding human life at the very outset.
Children suffer abuse
and families are damaged by infidelity.

Pray that our society may once again
value the virtue of chastity.
Pray that those in the media will work
to promote a Christian view of marriage and family life.
May the plague of pornography in all its forms be eliminated.
May Christian moral standards act as a leaven in society
and bring about a greater respect for human life.

[Recite the novena prayer.]

Third Day

St. Thomas, example of humility

"All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted" (Mt 23:12).

St. Thomas, when you were a young student
some of your classmen called you the "dumb ox."
Although you were more intelligent than all of them,
you bore their insults patiently without retaliating.
You were endowed with a keen mind
but recognized that God is the source of all gifts.
You humbly acknowledged your dependence on God,
and begged him to enlighten you
so that you would act only for his glory.

St. Thomas, pray for me
that I too learn to act out of humility
and never from the empty desire
for esteem in the sight of others.
Help me to seek only God's glory
and to act with a right intention.
May I seek to humble myself now,
so that in heaven
I will shine like the stars for all eternity.

[Recite the novena prayer.]

Fourth Day

St. Thomas, devoted to truth

"But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ" (Eph 4:15).

St. Thomas, you devoted your life
to seeking the truth and explaining it to others.
You dedicated your mind to God,
and used it to probe the Word of God more deeply.
Your gifts as a theologian and philosopher
make you stand out as one of the greatest doctors of the Church.
In your discussions,
you made truth your primary aim,
while treating respectfully anyone who differed with you.

Obtain for me too a great love of truth.
Help me to ponder God's word
so as to draw from it the light I need
to nourish myself spiritually.
Keep me firmly rooted in the truth,
and never let me be swayed by false teachings.
I pray also for those who are lost in darkness;
please bring them into the light of truth.

[Recite the novena prayer.]

Fifth Day

St. Thomas, afire with love for the Blessed Sacrament

"So Jesus said to them, 'Very truly, I tell you,
unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,
you have no life in you"' (Jn 6:53).

St. Thomas, you had a great love for Jesus in the Holy Eucharist
and spent many hours in adoration be fore the Blessed Sacrament.
You once said that you learned more from prayer
before the tabernacle than from many hours of study.
The Church owes you a debt of gratitude
for the beautiful Eucharistic hymns you wrote
at the request of Pope Urban IV,
for the newly-established feast of Corpus Christi.

Pray that I too might be inflamed
with an ardent love for the Holy Eucharist.
Help me to always esteem and reverence this wonderful sacrament.
Pray for me that I might always participate devoutly in Mass,
receive Holy Communion with great fervor,
and often visit Jesus in the tabernacle.
Through contact with the Eucharistic Lord,
may my heart overflow with love for God and for my neighbor.

[Recite the novena prayer.]

Sixth Day

St. Thomas, filled with charity

"Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude.
It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth" (1 Cor 1 3 :4-6).

St. Thomas, you were noted during your life
for the charity you showed to others.
During debates at the university,
you did not ridicule those who argued with you
but treated them with respect and love.
You showed consideration for the needs of other people.
Help me also to be more deeply rooted
in love of God and neighbor,
keeping in mind Jesus' words,
"By this everyone will know that you are my disciples,
if you have love for one another" (Jn 13:35).
Help me to practice this same charity
in a concrete way that does not stop at words,
but is shown with sacrifice.
May it begin first of all in my family,
and then radiate to everyone I meet.

[Recite the novena prayer.]

Seventh Day

St. Thomas, defender of the Church

"...the Church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth" (1 Tim 3:15).

St. Thomas, from your youth you learned to love the Church,
your spiritual home.
In your teaching, you sought to explain
and defend the doctrine of the Church,
making it known through your writings.
You understood that true wisdom
means to let oneself be instructed by the Church,
for Jesus guaranteed that the Holy Spirit
would always be with the Church,
to lead it into all truth.
At the end of your life you said,
"I have taught and written much...
according to my faith in Christ
and in the holy Roman Church,
to whose judgment I submit all my teaching."
Intercede for the Church today,
that it might grow stronger
and more spiritually fruitful in the world.
Raise up holy priests,
religious and laity,
that they may all be the salt of the earth
and the light of the world.
Bless the pope in his efforts to guide the Church,
witnessing to the power of the Gospel
to renew the face of the earth.
May all theologians work to explore the richness of Catholic teaching
so as to show forth its truth and benefit the faithful.
Pray for missionaries as they work to spread the Gospel.
May the whole Church be renewed by the power of the Spirit
to more effectively witness to Christ in the world today.

[Recite the novena prayer.]

Eighth Day

St. Thomas, teacher of prayer

"Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving" (Col 4:2).

St. Thomas, you knew that prayer is the source of wisdom
and you spent long hours in conversation with God.
Prayer became your very life.
Whenever you pondered over a problem in theology,
you turned to prayer to seek God's enlightenment.
Now in heaven you see God face to face.
Pray for me, too,
that I might become a person of profound prayer.
Obtain for me the grace
that I might always pray with humility,
confidence and perseverance.
Help me to grow more and more in the spirit of prayer,
so that my whole life may become a prayer.
May I always seek the face of the living God.

[Recite the novena prayer.]

Ninth Day

St. Thomas, patron of students

"For in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind" (1 Cor 1:5).

St. Thomas, God called you
to spend most of your life in academic pursuits,
first as a student, and then as a professor of theology.
In your work as a teacher,
you desired to help your students apply
what they learned to their lives,
in order to grow in holiness.
You realized that knowledge is meant
to draw people closer to God.
In your teaching you sought to communicate the truth,
desiring to help your students become better Christians.

Pray for all students.
Pray for those who may have difficulty in their studies,
as well as for those who can study with ease.
Pray that they may all be open to the truth,
and always seek to better under stand it.
May they grow in knowledge
so as to know God better
and to be able to serve
their brothers and sisters as the Lord desires.
St. Thomas, pray especially for theologians,
that in their studies and research
they may come to a deeper knowledge of revealed doctrine
in keeping with the mind of the Church.
May their lives reflect the holiness of the Word of God
which they seek to more fully under stand.

[Recite the novena prayer.] Shared from Catholic Doors Ministry 

#BreakingNews Earthquake in Turkey Kills 41 people and Injures over 1,000 with Great Damage


An earthquake hit the eastern province of Elaziğ killing at least 41 people and injuring over 1,000. Aid and rescue are trying to provide basic supplies, food and clothing which are needed.
Deutshe Welle reports that the lack of preparations had been fatal. According to Turkish authorities, the official death toll has now risen to 41 and more than 1,000 people have been hospitalized. Ibrahim Altan, the general director of the Turkish Red Crescent, says it is thanks to the quick response of Turkish emergency services that more people didn't die. "I got scared when I heard how severe the earthquake was," he says. "Thank God we have seen limited destruction only," adding that "emergency services are rapidly conducting search and rescue missions, the teams are highly coordinated." So far, authorities have rescued 45 people alive.
The quake hit the eastern province of Elaziğ, 550 km east of the capital Ankara. Less than 24 hours after the disaster, a Caritas Anatolia representative reached the area and began looking into the situation between the cities of Malatya and Elaziğ.

The government, the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD), and the Red Cross are already active in Elaziğ where the damage is greatest.

Aid is pouring in from various municipalities and associations, but a lot of food and aid of different kind is reportedly being wasted.

The representative of the Catholic charity visited some of the villages around Elaziğ, in particular Pütürge and Doğanyol, which are 1,950 metres above sea level.

Here, aid was distributed and tents set up in front undamaged houses, but in some areas very little aid has arrived.

Food, blankets, stoves and winter clothes are needed in the current emergency situation; diapers and special food are needed for children.

An estimate US$ 3,000 are needed for food and travel to bring aid. Other villages between Malatya and Elaziğ are expected to be in similar conditions.
Edited from AsiaNewsIT and DW

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tuesday January 28, 20 - #Eucharist


Memorial of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church

Lectionary: 318

Reading 12 SM 6:12B-15, 17-19

David went to bring up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom
into the City of David amid festivities.
As soon as the bearers of the ark of the LORD had advanced six steps,
he sacrificed an ox and a fatling.
Then David, girt with a linen apron,
came dancing before the LORD with abandon,
as he and all the house of Israel were bringing up the ark of the LORD
with shouts of joy and to the sound of the horn.
The ark of the LORD was brought in and set in its place
within the tent David had pitched for it.
Then David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.
When he finished making these offerings,
he blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts.
He then distributed among all the people,
to each man and each woman in the entire multitude of Israel,
a loaf of bread, a cut of roast meat, and a raisin cake.
With this, all the people left for their homes.

Responsorial Psalm24:7, 8, 9, 10

R.    (8)  Who is this king of glory?  It is the Lord!
Lift up, O gates, your lintels;
reach up, you ancient portals,
that the king of glory may come in!
R.    Who is this king of glory?  It is the Lord!
Who is this king of glory?
The LORD, strong and mighty,
the LORD, mighty in battle.
R.    Who is this king of glory?  It is the Lord!
Lift up, O gates, your lintels;
reach up, you ancient portals,
that the king of glory may come in!
R.    Who is this king of glory?  It is the Lord!
Who is this king of glory?
The LORD of hosts; he is the king of glory.
R.    Who is this king of glory?  It is the Lord!

AlleluiaMT 11:25

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth;
you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 3:31-35

The mother of Jesus and his brothers arrived at the house.
Standing outside, they sent word to Jesus and called him.
A crowd seated around him told him,
“Your mother and your brothers and your sisters
are outside asking for you.”
But he said to them in reply,
“Who are my mother and my brothers?”
And looking around at those seated in the circle he said,
“Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of God
is my brother and sister and mother.”