Friday, May 8, 2020

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Saturday May 9, 2020 - #Eucharist in Eastertide - Your Virtual Church


Saturday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 284
Reading 1ACTS 13:44-52
On the following sabbath
almost the whole city
gathered to hear the word of the Lord.
When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy
and with violent abuse contradicted what Paul said.
Both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said,
“It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first,
but since you reject it
and condemn yourselves as unworthy of eternal life,
we now turn to the Gentiles.
For so the Lord has commanded us,
I have made you a light to the Gentiles,
that you may be an instrument of salvation
to the ends of the earth.”

The Gentiles were delighted when they heard this
and glorified the word of the Lord.
All who were destined for eternal life came to believe,
and the word of the Lord continued to spread
through the whole region.
The Jews, however, incited the women of prominence who were worshipers
and the leading men of the city,
stirred up a persecution against Paul and Barnabas,
and expelled them from their territory.
So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them
and went to Iconium.
The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.

Responsorial Psalm 98:1, 2-3AB, 3CD-4
R.    (3cd)  All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R.    All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R.    All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R.    All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 8:31B-32
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples,
and you will know the truth, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 14:7-14
Jesus said to his disciples:
“If you know me, then you will also know my Father.
From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Philip said to Jesus,
“Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us.”
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time
and you still do not know me, Philip?
Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.
How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own.
The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.
Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me,
or else, believe because of the works themselves.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever believes in me will do the works that I do,
and will do greater ones than these,
because I am going to the Father.
And whatever you ask in my name, I will do,
so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.”
Prayer to make spiritual communion:

People who cannot communicate now make spiritual communion.
At your feet, O my Jesus I bow down and offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which abysses itself into its nothingness and Your holy presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your love, the ineffable Eucharist. I wish to receive you in the poor home that my heart offers you. In anticipation of the happiness of sacramental communion, I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me, oh my Jesus, that I come to you. May Your love inflame my whole being, for life and death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you. So be it. Amen
Press Play on the Video Below - Mass starts at 2:25

Saint May 9 : St. Pachomius a Bishop who Founded Communal Monasticism and Died in 348 AD


St. Pachomius
ABBOTT AND BISHOP

Born:
292, Thebes, Egypt
Died:
9 May 348, Egypt
Though St. Antony be justly esteemed the institutor of the cenobitic life, or that of religious persons living in community under a certain rule, St. Pachomius was the first who drew up a monastic rule in writing. He was born in Upper Thebais about the year 292, of idolatrous parents, and was educated in their blind superstition, and in the study of the Egyptian sciences. From his infancy, he was meek and modest, and had an aversion to the profane ceremonies used by the infidels in the worship of their idols. Being about twenty years of age, he was pressed into the emperor's troops, probably the tyrant Maximinus, who was master of Egypt from the year 310; and in 312 made great levies to carry on a war against Licinius and Constantine. He was, with several other recruits, put on board a vessel that was falling down the river. They arrived in the evening at Thebes, or Diospolis, the capital of Thebais, a city in which dwelt many Christians. Those true disciples of Christ sought every  opportunity of relieving and comforting all that were in distress, and were moved with compassion towards the recruits, who were kept close confined, and very ill-treated. The Christians of this city showed them the same tenderness as if they had been their own children; took all possible care of them, and supplied them liberally with money and necessaries.

Such an uncommon example of disinterested virtue made a great impression on the mind of Pachomius. He inquired who their pious benefactors were, and when he heard that they believed in Jesus Christ the only Son of God, and that in the hope of a reward in the world to come, they labored continually to do good to all mankind, he found kindled in his heart a great love of so holy a law, and an ardent desire of serving the God whom these good men adored. The next day, when he was continuing his journey down the river, the remembrance of this purpose strengthened him to resist a carnal temptation. From his infancy he had been always a lover of chastity and temperance but the example of the Christians had made those virtues appear to him far more amiable, and in a new light.
After the overthrow of Maximinus, his forces were disbanded. Pachomius was no sooner returned home, but he repaired to a town in Thebais, in which there was a Christian church, and there he entered his name among the catechumens, or such as were preparing for baptism; and having gone through the usual course of preliminary instructions and practices with great attention and fervor, he received that sacrament at Chenoboscium, with great sentiments of piety and devotion. From his first acquaintance with our holy faith at Thebes, he had always made this his prayer: "O God, Creator of heaven and earth, cast on me an eye of pity: deliver me from my miseries: teach me the true way of pleasing you, and it shall be the whole employment, and most earnest study of my life to serve you, and to do your will." The perfect sacrifice of his heart to God, was the beginning of his eminent virtue. The grace by which God reigns in a soul, is a treasure infinitely above all price. We must give all to purchase it. To desire it faintly is to undervalue it. He is absolutely disqualified and unfit for so great a blessing, and unworthy ever to receive it, who seeks it by halves, or who does not esteem all other things as dung that he may gain Christ.
When Pachomius was baptized, he began seriously to consider with himself how he should most faithfully fulfil the obligations which he had contracted, and attain to the great end to which he aspired. There is danger even in fervor itself. It is often an artifice of the devil to make a novice undertake too much at first, and run indiscreetly beyond his strength. If the sails gather too much wind, the vessel is driven ahead, falls on some rock and splits. Eagerness is a symptom of secret passion, not of true virtue, where it is wilful and impatient at advice. Pachomius was far from so dangerous a disposition, because his desire was pure, therefore his first care was to find a skilful conductor.
Hearing that a venerable old man named Palemon, served God in the desert in great perfection, he sought him out, and with great earnestness begged to live under his direction. The hermit having set before him the difficulties and austerities of his way of life, which several had already attempted in vain to follow, advised him to make a trial of his strength and fervor in some monastery; and, to give him a sketch of the difficulties he had to encounter in the life he aspired to, he added: "Consider, my son, that my diet is only bread and salt: I drink no wine, use no oil, watch one half of the night, spending that time in singing psalms or in meditating on the holy scriptures, and sometimes pass the whole night without sleeping." Pachomius was amazed at this account, but not discouraged. He thought himself able to undertake every thing that might be a means to render his soul pleasing to God, and readily promised to observe whatever Palemon should think fit to enjoin him; who thereupon admitted him into his cell, and gave him the monastic habit. Pachomius was by his example enabled to bear solitude, and an acquaintance with himself. They sometimes repeated together the psalter, at other times they exercised themselves in manual labors (which they accompanied with interior prayer,) with a view to their own subsistence and the relief of the poor. Pachomius prayed above all things, for perfect purity of heart, that being disengaged from all secret attachment to creatures, he might love God with all his affections. And to destroy the very roots of all inordinate passions, it was his first study to obtain the most profound humility, and perfect patience and meekness. He prayed often with his arms stretched out in the form of a cross; which posture was then much used in the church. He was in the beginning often drowsy at the night office. Palemon used to rouse him, and say: "Labor and watch, my dear Pachomius, lest the enemy overthrow you and ruin all your endeavors." Against this weakness and temptation he enjoined him, on such occasions, to carry sand from one place to another, till his drowsiness was overcome. By this means the novice strengthened himself in the habit of watching. Whatever instructions he read or heard, he immediately endeavored fervently to reduce to practice.
One Easter-day Palemon bade the disciple prepare a dinner for that great festival. Pachomius took a little oil, and mixed it with the salt, which he pounded small, and added a few wild herbs, which they were to eat with their bread. The holy old man having made his prayer, came to table; but at the sight of the oil he struck himself on the forehead, and said, with tears: "My Saviour was crucified, and shall I indulge myself so far as to eat oil?" Nor could he be prevailed upon to taste it.
Pachomius used sometimes to go into a vast uninhabited desert, on the banks of the Nile, called Tabenna, in the diocese of Tentyra, a city between the Great and Little Diospolis. While he was there one day in prayer, he heard a voice which commanded him to build a monastery in that place, in which he should receive those who should be sent by God to serve him faithfully. He received, about the same time, from an angel who appeared to him, certain instructions relating to a monastic life.. Pachomius going back to Palemon, imparted to him this vision; and both of them coming to Tabenna, built there a little cell towards the year 325, about twenty years after St. Antony had founded his first monastery. After a short time, Palemon returned to his former dwelling, having promised his disciple a yearly visit, but he died soon after, and is honored in the Roman Martyrology on the 11th of January.

Pachomius received first his own eldest brother John, and after his death many others, so that he enlarged his house; and the number of his monks in a short time amounted to a hundred. Their clothing was of rough linen; that of St. Pachomius himself often haircloth. He passed fifteen years without ever lying down, taking his short rest sitting on a stone. He even grudged himself the least time which he allowed to necessary sleep, because he wished he could have been able to employ all his moments in the actual exercises of divine love. From the time of his conversion he never ate a full meal. By his rule, the fasts and tasks of work were proportioned to every one's strength; though all are together in one common refectory, in silence, with their cowl or hood drawn over their heads, that they might not see one another at their meals. Their habit was a tunic of white linen without sleeves, with a cowl of the same stuff; they wore on their shoulders a white goatskin, called a Melotes. They received the holy communion on the first and last days of every week. Novices were tried with great severity before they were admitted to the habit, the taking of which was then deemed the monastic profession, and attended with the vows. St. Pachomius preferred none of his monks to holy orders, and his monasteries were often served by priests from abroad, though he admitted priests, when any presented themselves, to the habit, and he employed them in  the functions of their ministry. All his monks were occupied in various kinds of manual labor: no moment was allowed for idleness. The saint, with the greatest care, comforted and served the sick himself. Silence was so strictly observed at Tabenna, that a monk, who wanted any thing necessary, was only to ask for it by signs. In going from one place to another, the monks were ordered always to meditate on some passage of the holy scripture, and sing psalms at their work. The sacrifice of the mass was offered for every monk that died, as we read in the life of St. Pachomius. His rule was translated into Latin by St. Jerome, and is still extant. He received the sickly and weak, rejecting none for the want of corporal strength, being desirous to conduct to heaven all souls which had fervor to walk in the paths of perfection. He built six other monasteries in Thebias, not far asunder, and from the year 336, chose often to reside in that of Pabau, or Pau, near Thebes, in its territory, though not far from Tabenna, situated in the neighboring province of Diospolis, also in Thebais. Pabau became a more numerous and more famous monastery than Tabenna itself. By the advice of Serapion, bishop of Tentyra, he built a church in a village for the benefit of the poor shepherds, in which for some time he performed the office of Lector, reading to the people the word of God with admirable fervor; in which function he appeared rather like an angel than a man. He converted many infidels, and zealously opposed the Arians, but could never be induced by his bishop to receive the holy order of priesthood. In 333, he was favored with a visit of St. Athanasius at Tabenna. His sister, at a certain time, came to his monastery desiring to see him; but he sent her word at the gate, that no woman could be allowed to enter his enclosure, and that she ought to be satisfied with hearing that he was alive. However, it being her desire to embrace a religious state, he built her a nunnery on the other side of the Nile, which was soon filled with holy virgins. St. Pachomius going one day to Pane, one of his monasteries, met the funeral procession of a tepid monk deceased. Knowing the wretched state in which he died and to strike a terror into the slothful, he forbade his monks to proceed in singing psalms, and ordered the clothes which covered the corpse to be burnt, saying: "Honors could only increase his torments; but the ignominy with which his body was treated, might move God to show more mercy to his soul; for God forgives some sins not only in this world, but also in the next." When the procurator of the house had sold the mats at market at a higher price than the saint had bid him, he ordered him to carry back the money to the buyers, and chastised him for his avarice.
Among many miracles wrought by him, the author of his life assures us, that though he had never learned the Greek or Latin tongues, he sometimes miraculously spoke them; he cured the sick and persons possessed by devils with blessed oil. But he often told sick or distressed persons, that their sickness or affliction was an effect of the divine goodness in their behalf; and he only prayed for their temporal comfort, with this clause or condition, if it should not prove hurtful to their souls. His dearest disciple, St. Theodorus, who after his death succeeded him in the government of his monasteries, was afflicted with a perpetual headache. St. Pachomius, when desired by some of the brethren to pray for his health, answered: "Though abstinence and prayer be of great merit, yet sickness, suffered with patience, is of much greater." He chiefly begged of God the spiritual health of the souls of his disciples and others, and took every opportunity to curb and heal their passions, especially that of pride. One day a certain monk having doubled his diligence at work, and made two mats instead of one, set them where St. Pachomius might see them. The saint perceiving the snare, said, "This brother hath taken a great deal of pains from morning till night, to give his work to the devil." And, to cure his vanity by humiliations, he enjoined him, by way of penance, to keep his cell fire months, with no other allowance than a little bread, salt, and water. A young man named Sylvanus; who had been an actor on the stage, entered the monastery of St. Pachomius with the view of doing penance, but led for some time an undisciplined life, often transgressing the rules of the house, and still fond of entertaining himself and others with buffooneries. The man of God endeavored to make him sensible of his danger by charitable remonstrances, and also employed his more potent arms of prayer, sighs, and tears, for his poor soul. Though for some time he found his endeavors fruitless, he did not desist on that account; and having one day represented to this impenitent sinner, in a very pathetic manner, the dreadful judgments which threaten those that mock God, the divine grace touching the heart of Sylvanus, he from that moment began, to lead a life of great edification to the rest of the brethren; and being moved with the most feeling sentiments of compunction, he never failed, wheresoever he was, and howsoever employed, to bewail with bitterness his past misdemeanors. When others entreated him to moderate the floods of his tears, "Ah," said he, "how can I help weeping, when I consider the wretchedness of my past life, and that by my sloth I have profaned what was most sacred? I have reason to fear lest the earth should open under my feet, and swallow me up, as it did Dathan and Abiron. Oh! suffer me to labor with ever-flowing fountains of tears, to expiate my innumerable sins. I ought, if I could, even to pour forth this wretched soul of mine in mourning; it would be all too little for my offences." In these sentiments of contrition he made so "real progress in virtue, that the holy abbot proposed him as a model of humility to the rest; and when, after eight years spent in this penitential course, God had called him to himself by a holy death, St. Pachomius was assured by a revelation, that his soul was presented by angels a most agreeable sacrifice to Christ. The saint was favored with a spirit of prophecy, and with great grief foretold the decay of monastic fervor in his order in succeeding ages. In 348 he was cited before a council of bishops at Latopolis, to answer certain matters laid to his charge. He justified himself against the calumniators, but in such a manner that the whole council admired his extraordinary humility. The same year, God afflicted his monasteries with a pestilence, which swept off a hundred monks. The saint himself fell sick, and during forty days suffered a painful distemper with incredible patience and cheerfulness, discovering a great interior joy at the approach of the end of his earthly pilgrimage. In his last moments he exhorted his monks to fervor, and having armed himself with the sign of the cross, resigned his happy soul into the hands of his Creator in the fifty-seventh year of his age. He lived to see in his different monasteries seven thousand monks. His order subsisted in the cast till the eleventh century: for Anselm, bishop of Havelburgh, writes, that he saw five hundred monks of this institute in a monastery at Constantinople. St. Pachomius formed his disciples to so eminent a degree of perfection chiefly by his own fervent spirit and example; for he always appeared the first, the most exact, and the most fervent, in all the exercises of the community. To the fervor and watchfulness of the superior it was owing that in so numerous a community discipline was observed with astonishing regularity, as Palladius and Cassian observe. The former says that they ate with their cowl drawn so as to hide the greatest part of their faces, and with their eyes cast down, never looking at one another. Many contented themselves with taking a very few mouthfuls of bread and oil, or of such like dish; others of pottage only. So great was the silence that reigned among them while every one followed his employment, that in the midst of so great a multitude; a person seemed to be in a solitude. Cassian tells us, that the more numerous the monastery was, the more perfect and rigorous was regular observance of discipline, and all constantly obeyed their superior more readily than a single person is found to do in other places. Nothing so much weakens the fervor of inferiors as the example of a superior who easily allows himself exemptions or dispensations in the rule. The relaxation of monastic discipline is often owing to no other cause.
SharedfromSource: Lives of the SaintsbyAlbanButlerEditedPost/saints/Stpachomius

Pope Francis' Prayer Intention is for Deacons in May - " Deacons, faithful in their service to the Word and the poor, may be an invigorating symbol..." Full Text


Pope Francis  released a video message with his prayer intention for May, which is that "deacons, faithful in their service to the Word and the poor, may be an invigorating symbol for the entire Church."
In his prayer intention for the month of May 2020, Pope Francis asks everyone to pray for permanent deacons.

The full text of his intention is below:

Deacons are not second-level priests.

They are part of the clergy and live their vocation in and with their family.

They are dedicated to the service of the poor, who carry within them the face of the suffering Christ.

They are the guardians of service in the Church.

Let us pray that deacons, faithful in their service to the Word and the poor, may be an invigorating symbol for the entire Church.


RIP to 11 Catholic Nuns from One Convent in Michigan who Died during the Pandemic of COVID-19


One convent of Felician Sisters saw the Deaths of 11 of their Sisters during the month of April while the Coronavirus Pandemic was spreading. At least five of their deaths were linked to COVID-19. The other deaths are not yet confirmed to have been linked.
These Sisters belonged to a convent which was started 80 years ago. They served all groups of people in education, and in care for the sick. They were also devoted to the poor.

The following information was provided by the Felician Sisters of North America on the 11 women:

Sister Mary Luiza Wawryzniak

Sister Mary Luiza Wawryzniak was a Felician sister for 80 of her 99 years. A native of South Bend, Indiana, she joined the order after high school, where she served in the convent caring for Sisters and in prayer ministry.
She died on April 10.

Sister Celine Marie Lesinski, 92
Born in Detroit, Sister Celine Marie Lesinski was a Felician for 71 years.

Organist, librarian and director of volunteers at Angela Hospice Home Care.
She died on Easter.


Sister Mary Estelle Printz, 95
A Detroit native, Sister Mary Estelle Printz formally began her journey as a Felician Sister in 1946, professing her final vows in 1954.

She died Easter.

Sister Thomas Marie Wadowski, 73
Sister Thomas Marie Wadowski, a Detroit native, was a Felician sister in Livonia for 54 years. She formally joined the Felicians in 1965, professing final vows in 1973.
She died on April 15.


Sister Mary Patricia Pyszynski, 93
Sister Mary Patricia Pyszynski was an educator for 60 years — serving as an elementary and middle school teacher in 13 schools in Michigan and as a director of religious education.
She died on April 17.


Sister Mary Clarence (Adeline) Borkoski, 83
An educator for 48 years, Sister Mary Clarence Borkoski had been taught by the Felician Sisters when she was in elementary school. She made her final vows in 1963. She earned her bachelor’s and master's degrees in education, retiring in 2008.
She died on April 20.


Sister Rose Mary Wolak, 86
Sister Rose Mary Wolak enrolled at Madonna College with her twin sister, later completing an English degree with a minor in journalism and a secondary teaching certificate. She formally joined the Felicians in 1955, pronouncing final vows in 1963.
She died on April 21.


Sister Mary Janice (Margaret) Zolkowski, 86
In addition to a life in education, Sister Mary Janice Zolkowski authored the 586-page book, “Felician Sisters of Livonia, Michigan: First Province in America” as she also served as administrative assistant to the president of St. Mary’s College in Orchard Lake from 1978 to 1982.
She died on April 22.

Sister Mary Ann (Fernanda) Alice Gradowski, 73
Sister Mary Ann Alice Gradowski was an educator for 36 years, having been taught by Felicians.

She entered the Felicians in 1964, professing final vows in 1973. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Madonna University and a master's degree from Eastern Michigan.
She died on April 25.


Sister Victoria Marie Indyk, 69
A registered nurse and a professor, Sister Victoria Marie Indyk was devoted to the Felician Mission in Haiti, where she led frequent mission trips of nursing students.

A Detroit native, she entered the Felician community after high school graduation in 1969 and professed final vows in 1978.

She died on April 26.

Sister Mary Martinez (Virginia) Rozek, 87
Sister Mary Martinez (Virginia) Rozek taught elementary, middle and high school at several schools in Detroit and, with a degree in French, also taught foreign languages at Madonna. She was principal at schools in Garden City, Detroit and Hamtramck, as well as in Pomona, California.
She died on April 28.
Edited from Michigan Health Watch - www.bridgemi.com 
and www.feliciansistersna.org/

Public Catholic Religious Services including Mass to Resume on May 18th in Italy with Restrictions Included


Vatican News reports that Public Masses in Italy will resume on May 18.
In Italy, Masses, weddings, funerals and baptisms are set to resume in Italy on 18 May, with the provision that those attending abide by a strict set of social distancing and sanitation measures.
By Vatican News

After two months of live-streamed Masses and private prayer at home, the faithful in Italy will once again be able to attend religious ceremonies in churches around the country.

The news came on Thursday, 7 May with the signing of a Protocol, by Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, President of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, and the Minister of the Interior, Luciana Lamorghese.

The protocol outlines rules and regulations that must be followed in order to ensure minimal risk of contagion of the coronavirus.

All religious ceremonies – Masses, baptisms, weddings and funerals – were either cancelled or closed to the public in early March when the government imposed a nationwide lockdown to help curb the spread of Covid-19, a virus that has now killed almost 30,000 people in Italy alone.

As Italy enters “phase 2” of its coronavirus lockdown, the government is working together with the Italian Bishops to prudently ensure that the faithful can attend ceremonies in churches again.

Cardinal Bassetti, reiterated the Church's commitment to overcoming the current crisis by saying "the Protocol is the result of profound collaboration and synergy between the Government… and the Italian Bishops’ Conference, where everyone has played their part responsibly”.

The protocol outlines that the faithful must wear facemasks, and must respect the 1m safety distance between each other.

All rooms and objects used will be sanitised at the end of each ceremony, and the sign of peace will be omitted.

For the rites of Communion, the celebrant is required to sanitize his hands and must use gloves and a mask.

These measures, said Prime Minister Conte, express the most appropriate ways to ensure that the resumption of liturgical celebrations with the people takes place in the safest way possible.
FULL TEXT Source: VaticanNews.va

US Bishops Condemn Racism and Xenophobia during the Coronavirus Pandemic - FULL TEXT Release


Bishop Chairmen Condemn Racism and Xenophobia in the Context of the Coronavirus Pandemic

May 5, 2020
WASHINGTON – In the midst of fear and anxiety being fueled by the COVID-19 virus, there have been increased reports of incidents of racism and xenophobia against Americans of Asian and Pacific Island heritage. Archbishop Nelson J. PĂ©rez of Philadelphia and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee for Cultural Diversity in the Church, Bishop Oscar A. Solis of Salt Lake City and chairman of the USCCB’s Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Island Affairs, and Bishop Shelton Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux and chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism have issued a statement expressing their deep concern.

“The pandemic resulting from the new coronavirus continues to sweep across the world, impacting our everyday behavior, practices, perceptions, and the way we interact with one another. While we have been heartened by the countless acts of charity and bravery that have been modeled by many, we are also alarmed to note the increase in reported incidents of bullying and verbal and physical assaults, particularly against Americans of Asian and Pacific Island heritage.

“While a high percentage of Asian Americans work in the health care sector risking their own health to save lives, some have experienced rejection and requests to be treated ‘by someone else.’ Way before state and local ordinances brought to a halt almost every economic sector in the country, communities across the country, from Oakland, California to New York City, reported a sharp decline in the patronage for businesses owned and operated by Asian Americans. These are only a few painful examples of the continuing harassment and racial discrimination suffered by people of Asian and Pacific Islanders and others in our country.

“As Catholic bishops, we find these actions absolutely unacceptable. We call on Catholics, fellow Christians and all people of good will to help stop all racially motivated discriminatory actions and attitudes, for they are attacks against human life and dignity and are contrary to Gospel values. As we wrote in our pastoral letter Open Wide Our Hearts (2018), racism is ‘a failure to acknowledge another person as a brother or sister, created in the image of God.’

“Our hearts go out to all those who have been victims of these vile displays of racism and xenophobia. These dreadful occurrences are a reminder that, in an environment of increased anxiety and fear, racial profiling and discrimination continue to negatively impact the lives of certain populations, adding to the pain and suffering already caused by the pandemic.

“The acts of violence and unjust discrimination evoke and prod a long history of xenophobia and racism in this country. If uncontested, they could lead once again to a normalization of violence and abuse against particular groups. It would be a tragedy for the United States to repeat this history or for any American to act as if it is appropriate to do so.

“Rather, the reality of the times and all the suffering caused by this pandemic call for a stronger resolve towards unity, demonstrated through acts of solidarity, kindness and love toward one another, so that we can emerge from this crisis renewed and stronger as one American people; a people that places value in every human life, regardless of race, ethnic origin, gender or religious affiliation.

“While we continue to pray fervently for an end to the pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus, we call for a firm rejection of racial categorizations or presumptions, racially based verbal assaults or slurs, and for an end to all forms of violence. We ask our elected officials and public institutions, as well as all public figures, to do all that they can to promote and maintain peace in our communities; and we encourage all individuals, families and congregations to assist in promoting a greater appreciation and understanding of the authentic human values and cultural contributions brought by each racial heritage in our country.”
FULL TEXT Release USCCB

At Mass, Pope Francis says "Jesus consoles in hope. Yes, it's a bad time, but "don't let your heart be troubled...Have faith in me too " Full Text + Video


MORNING CELEBRATION BROADCASTED LIVE

FROM THE CHAPEL OF CASA SANTA MARTA

HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
"His consolation is near, truthful and opens the doors of hope"
Friday, May 8, 2020
Introduction
Today is celebrated the World Day of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. We pray for the people who work in these worthy institutions: that the Lord bless their work that is doing so much good.
Homily
This conversation of Jesus with the disciples is at the table, again, at the Supper (cf. Jn 14 : 1-6). Jesus is sad and everyone is sad: Jesus said that he would be betrayed by one of them (cf. Jn 13:21) and everyone perceives that something bad would have happened. Jesus begins to console his own, because one of the tasks, of the "works" of the Lord is to consoleThe Lord consoles his disciples and here we see what Jesus' way of consoling is. We have many ways of consoling, from the most authentic, from the closest to the most formal, like those telegrams of condolences: "Deeply grieved for ...". It does not console anyone, it is a fake, it is the consolation of formalities. But how does the Lord console himself? This is important to know, because we too, when in our life we ​​must pass moments of sadness, we learn to perceive what the true consolation of the Lord is.
And in this passage of the Gospel we see that the Lord always consoles in closeness , with truth and hope . These are the three traces of the consolation of the Lord.
In the vicinity , never distant: "there are". That beautiful word: "there are". "I am here with you." And many times in silence. But we know that He is there. He is always there. That closeness which is the style of God, even in the Incarnation, to draw near to us. The Lord consoles in closeness. And he doesn't use empty words, on the contrary, he prefers silence. The strength of closeness, of presence. Speak little, but it's close.
A second trace of Jesus 'closeness, of Jesus' way of consoling, is the truth : Jesus is truthful. He doesn't say formal things that are lies: "No, don't worry, everything will pass, nothing will happen, it will pass, things will pass ...". No. It tells the truth. It does not hide the truth. Because in this passage he himself says: "I am the truth" (cf. Jn 14 : 6). And the truth is: "I am leaving", that is: "I will die" (cf. vv. 2-3). We are facing death. It is the truth. And he says it simply and mildly, without hurting. But we are facing death. It does not hide the truth.
And this is the third trace: Jesus consoles in hopeYes, it's a bad time, but "don't let your heart be troubled. [...] Have faith in me too "(v. 1). "I tell you one thing" - thus says Jesus - "in my Father's house there are many dwellings. […] I am going to prepare a place for you ”(v. 2). He first goes to open the doors, the doors of that place, through which we will all pass, so I hope. "I will come again and take you with me, so that where I am you may also be" (v. 3). The Lord comes back every time someone of us is on the way to leave this world. "I will come and take you": hope. He will come and take us by the hand and bring us. It does not say: "No, you will not suffer, it is nothing ...". No. He says the truth: “I am close to you. This is the truth: it is an ugly moment, of danger, of death. But don't let your heart be troubled, stay in that peace,
It is not easy to be consoled by the Lord. Many times, in bad times, we get angry with the Lord and do not let him come and speak to us like this, with this sweetness, with this closeness, with this meekness, with this truth and with this hope.
We ask for the grace to learn to let ourselves be consoled by the Lord. The consolation of the Lord is truthful, it does not deceive. It's not anesthesia, no. But it is close, it is truthful and it opens the doors of hope to us.
Prayer to make spiritual communion
People who cannot communicate now make spiritual communion:
My Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar. I love you above all things and I desire you in my soul. Since I cannot receive you sacramentally now, at least spiritually come to my heart. As already came, I embrace you and I join you all. Don't let me ever separate you from you.

FULL TEXT + Image Source: Vatican.va - a Translation from the Italian