Monday, May 18, 2020

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Tuesday, May 19, 2020 - #Eucharist in Eastertide - Your Virtual Church




Tuesday of the Sixth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 292
Reading 1 ACTS 16:22-34
The crowd in Philippi joined in the attack on Paul and Silas,
and the magistrates had them stripped
and ordered them to be beaten with rods.
After inflicting many blows on them,
they threw them into prison
and instructed the jailer to guard them securely.
When he received these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell
and secured their feet to a stake.

About midnight, while Paul and Silas were praying
and singing hymns to God as the prisoners listened,
there was suddenly such a severe earthquake
that the foundations of the jail shook;
all the doors flew open, and the chains of all were pulled loose.
When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open,
he drew his sword and was about to kill himself,
thinking that the prisoners had escaped.
But Paul shouted out in a loud voice,
“Do no harm to yourself; we are all here.”
He asked for a light and rushed in and,
trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas.
Then he brought them out and said,
“Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus
and you and your household will be saved.”
So they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to everyone in his house.
He took them in at that hour of the night and bathed their wounds;
then he and all his family were baptized at once.
He brought them up into his house and provided a meal
and with his household rejoiced at having come to faith in God.

Responsorial Psalm138:1-2AB, 2CDE-3, 7C-8
R.    (7c)  Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with all my heart,
for you have heard the words of my mouth;
in the presence of the angels I will sing your praise;
I will worship at your holy temple,
and give thanks to your name.
R.    Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Because of your kindness and your truth,
you have made great above all things
your name and your promise.
When I called, you answered me;
you built up strength within me.
R.    Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.
Your right hand saves me.
The LORD will complete what he has done for me;
your kindness, O LORD, endures forever;
forsake not the work of your hands.
R.    Your right hand saves me, O Lord.
or:
R.    Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 16:7, 13
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I will send to you the Spirit of truth, says the Lord;
he will guide you to all truth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 16:5-11
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Now I am going to the one who sent me,
and not one of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’
But because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts.
But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go.
For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you.
But if I go, I will send him to you.
And when he comes he will convict the world
in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation:
sin, because they do not believe in me;
righteousness, because I am going to the Father
and you will no longer see me;
condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.”

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 may 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 5:30- Fastforward

Saint May 19 St. Celestine V a Pope who Resigned in 1294 and Died 1296 AD



Born:
1210 at Isneria, Abruzzi, Italy
Died:
19 May 1296 in Ferentino, Italy
Canonized:
1313
Humility raised this saint above the world, and preserved his soul free from its poison, both amidst its flatteries and under its frowns. He was born in Apulia about the year 1221. His parents were very virtuous, and charitable to the poor to the uttermost of their abilities. After his father's death, his mother, though she had eleven other sons, seeing his extraordinary inclination to piety, provided him with a literary education. His progress gave his friends great expectations; but he always considered that he had only one affair in this world, and that an affair of infinite importance, the salvation of his soul: that no security can be too great where an eternity is at stake: moreover, that the way to life is strait, the account which we are to give of all our actions and thoughts most rigorous, the judge infinitely just, and the issue either sovereign happiness or sovereign misery. He therefore made the means, by which he might best secure to himself that bliss for which alone he was created, his constant study. An eremitical state is only the vocation of souls, which are already perfect in the exercises of penance and contemplation. Peter had made the practice of both familiar to him from his tender years; and by a long noviceship was qualified for such a state, to which he found himself strongly inclined. Therefore at twenty years of age he left the schools, and retired to a solitary mountain, where he made himself a little cell under ground, but so small that he could scarce stand or lie down in it. Here he lived three years in great austerities, during which he was often assailed by violent temptations; but these he overcame by the help of such practices and austerities as the grace of God suggested to him. Notwithstanding the care he took to sequester himself from the world, he was discovered, and some time after compelled to enter into holy orders. He was ordained priest at Rome; but in 1246 returned into Abruzzo, and lived five years in a cave on mount Morroni, near Sulmona. He received great favors from heaven, the usual recompense of contemplative souls who have crucified their affections to this world: but then they are purchased through severe interior trials; and with such Peter was frequently visited. He was also molested with nocturnal illusions during his sleep, by which he was almost driven to despair, insomuch that he durst not say mass, and once determined to abandon his solitude; but was encouraged by the advice of a religious man, his confessor, who assured him that it was no more than a stratagem of the enemy, by which he could not be hurt if he despised it. For further satisfaction, he determined to go to Rome to consult the pope on that subject, and received great comfort by a vision he was favored with on the road; a certain holy abbot lately deceased appearing to him, who gave him the same counsel, and ordered him to return to his cell and offer every day the holy sacrifice, which he accordingly did. The wood on his mountain being cut down in 1251, he with two companions removed to mount Magella. There, with the boughs of trees and thorns, these three servants of God made themselves a little enclosure and cells, in which they enjoyed more solid pleasure than the great ones of the world can find in their stately palaces and gardens. The devil sometimes endeavored to disturb them; but they triumphed over his assaults. Many others were desirous to put themselves under his direction; but the saint alleged his incapacity to direct others. However, his humility was at length overcome, and he admitted those who seemed the most fervent.

Peter spent always the greatest part of the night in prayer and tears which he did not interrupt, while he was employed in the day in corporal labor or in copying books. His body he always treated as a most dangerous domestic enemy. He never ate flesh; he fasted every day except Sunday. He kept four lents in the year, during three of which, and on all Fridays, he took nothing but bread and water, unless it were a few cabbage leaves in lieu of bread. The bread which he used was so hard, that it could only be chopped in pieces. His austerities were excessive, till he was admonished in a vision not to destroy that body which his duty to God required him to support. If the Holy Ghost sometimes conducted the saints by extraordinary paths, we must learn from their fervor the condemnation of our sloth, who dare undertake nothing for the sake of virtue, and who shrink often under indispensable duties. St. Peter wore a shirt of horse-hair full of knots, and a chain of iron about his waist. He lay on the ground, or on a board, with a stone or log of wood for a pillow. It was his chiefest care always to nourish his soul with heavenly contemplation and prayer; yet he did not refuse to others the comfort of his spiritual succors. He gave advice, except on Wednesdays and Fridays, and during his rents, which he passed in inviolable silence. Finding his solitude too much disturbed, he went with some of his disciples to a cavern which was almost inaccessible on the top of mount Magella. This did but increase the ardor of others to pursue him. Wherefore he returned to mount Morroni, where many lived in scattered cells under his direction, till he assembled them in a monastery; and in 1271 obtained of pope Gregory X. the approbation of his religious order, under the rule of St. Bennet, which he restored to its primitive severity. The saint lived to see thirty-six monasteries, and six hundred monks and nuns; and this institute has been since propagated over all Europe, but is at present much mitigated.
Upon the death of Nicholas IV. the see of Rome continued vacant two years and three months, when the cardinals assembled at Perugia unanimously chose our saint for his successor, out of pure regard for his eminent sanctity. This election, on account of its disinterestedness, met with a general applause, and the saint seemed the only person afflicted on the occasion. He was indeed alarmed beyond measure at the news; and finding all the reasons he could allege for his declining the charge ineffectual, betook himself to flight in company with Robert, one of his monks, but was intercepted. He would gladly have engaged Robert still to attend him, but the good monk excused himself by an answer worthy of a disciple of the saint: "Compel me not," says he, "to throw myself upon your thorns. I am the companion of your flight, not of your exaltation." Peter thereupon dropped his request, and sighing before God, returned to Morroni, where the kings of Hungary and Naples, besides many cardinals and princes, waited for him. Thence he proceeded to the neighboring cathedral of Aquila, to be ordained bishop of Rome, being accompanied by the two kings, and an incredible number of princes and others; yet could not be prevailed upon to travel any other way than riding on an ass: he even thought it a great deal that he did not go on foot, as he desired to do. He was consecrated and crowned at Aquila on the 29th of August, taking the name of Celestine V., from an allusion to the Latin name of heaven, where he always dwelt in his heart: his monks have been distinguished by the name of Celestines ever since. Charles, king of Naples, persuaded him to go with him to his capital, to regulate certain ecclesiastical affairs of that kingdom, and to fill the vacant benefices. The new pope disgusted many of the cardinals by employing strangers in the conducting matters, the care of which had been usually intrusted to them. He was sometimes led by others into mistakes, which gave occasion to complaints, and increased his own scruples for having taken upon him so great a charge, to which he found himself unequal; especially on account of his want of experience in the world, and his not having studied the canon law. He continued his former austerities, and built himself a cell of boards in the midst of his palace, where he lived in solitude amidst the crowds which surrounded him, humble on the pinnacle of honor, and poor in the midst of riches. He shut himself up to spend the Advent in retirement, that he might prepare himself for Christmas, having committed the care of the church to three cardinals. This again was an occasion of fresh scruples, when he reflected that a pastor is bound himself to a personal attendance on the duties of his charge. These fears of conscience, the weight of his dignity, which he felt every day more and more insupportable, and the desire of enjoying himself in solitude, moved him at length to deliberate whether he might not resign his dignity. He consulted cardinal Benedict Cajetan, a person the best skilled in the canon law, and others, who agreed in their advice, that it was in the power of a pope to abdicate. When this became public, many vigorously opposed the motion; but no solicitations or motives could make the holy man alter his resolution. Wherefore, some days after, he held at Naples a consistory of the cardinals, at which the king of Naples and many others were present: before them he read the solemn act of his abdication, then laid aside his pontifical robes and ornaments, put on his religious habit, came down from his throne, and cast himself at the feet of the assembly, begging pardon for his faults, and exhorting the cardinals to repair them in the best manner they were able, by choosing a worthy successor to St. Peter. Thus, having sat in the chair four months, he abdicated the supreme dignity in the church, on the 13th of December, 1294, with greater joy than the most ambitious man could mount the throne of the richest empire in the world. This the cheerfulness of his countenance evidenced, no less than his words. Cardinal Benedict Cajetan, the ablest civilian and canonist of his age, was chosen in his place, and crowned at Rome on the 16th of January following.

Men, as it usually happens on such occasions, were divided in their sentiments with regard to this extraordinary action, of which we see a specimen in the writings of those great men who in that age began to restore at Florence the true taste of polite literature. Dante, who has stained his reputation with many blots in his moral and civil conduct, and his works with many falsities and unjust prepossessions, ascribes this cession of Celestine to pusillanimity. But this base censure is justly chastised by his country man Petrarch, who passed his unjust and glorious banishment at Vaucluse near Avignon, respected by the whole world, till he was courted by his fellow-citizens to honor his native country again with his presence, though he preferred to it a retirement to Papua. This great man, speaking of the abdication of our holy pope, says: "This action I call a sublime and heavenly fortitude, which he only possesses who knows the emptiness of all worldly dignities. The contempt of honors arises from a heroic courage, not from a want of that virtue; as the desire of them shows that a soul raiseth not herself above herself."

St. Celestine immediately stole away privately to his monastery of the Holy Ghost, at Morroni. But several who were offended at some acts of justice and necessary severity in the new pope, raised various reports, as if he had by ambition and fraud supplanted Celestine: others advanced that a pope could not resign his dignity. Boniface, moreover, was alarmed at the multitudes which resorted to Morroni to see Celestine, on account of the great reputation of his sanctity; and fearing he might be made a handle of by designing men, the consequence whereof might be some disturbance in the church, he entreated the king of Naples to send him to Rome. The saint, seeing that he could not be permitted to return to his cell, betook himself to flight, and put to sea, with a view to cross the Adriatic gulf; but was driven back by contrary winds into the harbor of Vieste, where he was secured by the governor, pursuant to an order of the king of Naples, and conducted to pope Boniface at Anagni. Boniface kept him some time in his own palace, often discoursing with him, that he might discover if he had ever consented to those that called his abdication null and invalid. The saint's unfeigned simplicity bearing evidence to the contrary, many advised the pope to set him at liberty, and send him to his monastery. But Boniface, alleging the danger of tumults and of a schism, confined him in the citadel of Fumone, nine miles from Anagni, under a guard of soldiers. The authors of the life of the saint say, that he there suffered many insults and hardships, which yet never drew from his mouth the least word of complaint. On the contrary, he sent word to Boniface, by two cardinals who came to see him, that he was content with his condition, and desired no other. He used to say, with wonderful tranquillity: "I desired nothing in the world but a cell; and a cell they have given me." He sang the divine praises almost without interruption, with two of his monks who were assigned him for his companions. On Whit-Sunday, in 1296, after he had heard mass with extraordinary fervor, he told his guards that he should die before the end of the week. He immediately sickened of a fever, and received extreme unction. Even in that dying condition he would never suffer a little straw to be strewed on the hard boards upon which he always lay, and prayed without interruption. On Saturday, the 19th of May, finishing the last psalm of lauds at those words, Let every spirit praise the Lord, he calmly closed his eyes to this world, and his soul passed to the company of the angels, he being seventy-five years old. During his ten months' imprisonment he never abated any thing of his ordinary austerities. Pope Boniface, with all the cardinals, performed his funeral obsequies at St. Peter's. His body was sumptuously buried at Ferentino; but was afterwards translated to Aquila, and is kept in the church of the Celestines near that city. Many miracles are authentically recorded of him, and he was canonized by Clement V., in 1313. Boniface fell into great calamities. Philip the Fair, Icing of France, who was his declared enemy, sent a body of troops, under the command of William Noggret, to support the conspiracy of Stephen and Chiarra Colonna against him, by whom he was made prisoner at Anagni. After much ill-treatment, he was rescued out of their hands by the Ursini from Rome; but died soon after of grief, in 1303.

A spirit of retirement, or a love of holy solitude and its exercises, and an habitual interior recollection, are essential to piety and a true Christian life. Some, by a particular call of God, dedicate themselves to his service in a state of perfect solitude, in which the first motive may be self-defence of preservation. In the world, snares are laid everywhere for us, and its lusts often endeavor to court and betray us, and the torrent of its example, or the violence of its persecutions, to drive and force us into death. Whoever, therefore, prudently fears that he is not a match for so potent an enemy, may, nay sometimes ought, to retire from the world. This is not to decline the service of God or man, but sin and danger: it is not to prefer ease and security before industry and labor, but before a rash presumption and a fatal overthrow. But entire solitude is a safer state only to those who are animated with such a love and esteem for all its exercises as give an assurance of their constant fervor in them; also who seriously cultivate interior solitude of mind, and will never suffer it to gad abroad after the objects of worldly affairs, vanities, or pleasures: lastly, whose souls are free from envy, emulation, ambition, desire of esteem, and all other busy and turbulent passions, which cannot fail by desires and hankerings to discompose the mind, and muddy the pure stream, and adulterate the relish of a retired life. The soul must be reduced to its native purity and simplicity, before it will be able to taste the blessings of true liberty, of regular devotion, and elevated meditation.

Secondly: An indication that God designs certain persons for retirement, is the discovery of talents fitted for this state rather than for any public station. For there are active and contemplative gifts. Those who are destined by heaven to a retired life, in it become most eminently serviceable to the world,  by proving excellent examples of innocence, and the perfect spirit of every Christian virtue, and by their prayers and continual pure homages of praise and thanksgivings to God, from which others may reap far more valuable benefits than from the labors of the learned or the bountiful alms of the rich. Thus the world never loses a member, but enjoys Its service in its proper place, and the most effectual manner, says an ingenious Protestant writer; who adds, that such a one retires not from the world to avoid its service, but its fooleries.

Thirdly: The same author observes, that the main end of retirement ought always to be to dedicate ourselves entirely to God by the exercises of compunction and holy contemplation. This may be easily demonstrated both from reason and religion, and from the examples of so many illustrious saints. Retirement is recommended by particular motives to persons who, after going through the station of a public life, are at liberty to embrace it in order to fit themselves for eternity. Lives of the Saints by Alban Butler##

Pope Francis adds Feast of St. Faustina, who Introduced Divine Mercy devotions, to Calendar for the Universal Church


Pope Francis has added the feast of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska as an optional memorial for the universal Church. This feast is celebrated on 5 October.
The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments issued a decree on Monday, 18 May, 2020 on behalf of Pope Francis. The celebration of Saint Maria Faustina (Helena) Kowalska, virgin, was added to the General Roman Calendar.

This was on the same day as the Church marks 100 years since the birth of Pope St. John Paul II who canonized St. Faustina in the year 2000.

Below please find the official English-language translation of the decree:

"His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation” (Lk 1: 50). What the Virgin Mary sang in the Magnificat, contemplating the salvific work of God in favour of every human generation, found an echo in the spiritual encounters of Saint Faustina Kowalska who, through a heavenly gift, saw in the Lord Jesus Christ the merciful face of the Father and became its herald.

Born in the village of Głogowiec, near Łódź, in Poland in 1905, and dying in Krakow in 1938, Saint Faustina spent her short life amongst the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, generously conforming herself to the vocation she received from God and developing an intense spiritual life, rich in spiritual gifts and in faithful harmony with them. In the Diary of her soul, the sanctuary of her encounter with the Lord Jesus, she herself recounts what the Lord worked in her for the benefit of all: listening to Him who is Love and Mercy she understood that no human wretchedness could measure itself against the mercy which ceaselessly pours from the heart of Christ. Thus she became the inspiration for a movement dedicated to proclaiming and imploring Divine Mercy throughout the whole world. Canonized in the year 2000 by Saint John Paul II, the name of Faustina quickly became known around the world, thereby promoting in all the parts of the People of God, Pastors and lay faithful alike, the invocation of Divine Mercy and its credible witness in the conduct of the lives of believers.

Therefore the Supreme Pontiff Francis, accepting the petitions and wishes of Pastors, religious women and men, as well as associations of the faithful and having considered the influence exercised by the spirituality of Saint Faustina in different parts of the world, has decreed that the name of Saint Maria Faustina (Helena) Kowalska, virgin, be inscribed in the General Roman Calendar and that her optional memorial be celebrated by all on 5 October.

This new memorial shall be inserted into all the Calendars and liturgical books for the celebration of the Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours, adopting the liturgical texts attached to this decree which must be translated, approved and, after confirmation by this Dicastery, published by the Episcopal Conferences.

Anything to the contrary notwithstanding.

From the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, 18 May 2020.

Robert Card. Sarah

Prefect

X Arthur Roche
SOURCE: Vaticannews.va

Free Movie : "Karol : A Man who became Pope" on the Life of St. John Paul II - #JPII

"Karol: A Man Who Became Pope" (2005) "Karol, un uomo diventato Papa" (original title) TV Movie - 186 min - Biography | Drama - 15 August 2005 (USA) The life of the Pope John-Paul II, from his youth as a writer, actor, and athlete in war-torn occupied Poland to his election as Pope at the age of 58. Director: Giacomo Battiato Writers: Giacomo Battiato (screenplay), Gianfranco Svidercoschi (book) Stars: Piotr Adamczyk, Malgorzata Bela, Ken Duken
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Top 10 Saint Pope John Paul II Quotes to SHARE - #JP2 We Love You!




















1.  "Trust Christ because Christ trusts you" (World Youth Day 2002).
2. "Life with Christ is a wonderful adventure."
3. "Faith and Reason are like two wings of the human spirit by which is soars to the truth.” 
4. “I plead with you! Never, ever give up on hope, never doubt, never tire, and never become discouraged. Be not afraid.

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5. “Do not be afraid to take a chance on peace, to teach peace, to live peace...Peace will be the last word of history.”
6. “It is the duty of every man to uphold the dignity of every woman.” 
7.  “We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures; we are the sum of the Father’s love for us and our real capacity to become the image of his Son.” (WYD, Closing Homily, 5)
8. “The future is in your hearts and in your hands. God is entrusting to you the task, at once difficult and uplifting, of working with him in the building of the civilization of love.” (Downsview Address, 4) 
9. “Dear young people, let yourselves be taken over by the light of Christ, and spread that light wherever you are.” (Downsview Address, 5) 
10. " And if, in the depths of your hearts, you feel the same call to the priesthood or consecrated life, do not be afraid to follow Christ on the royal road of the Cross!” (Closing Homily, 5) 

Pope Francis sends Letter for New St. John Paul II Institute of Culture saying "We need to keep this approach alive ..." Full Text


LETTER OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCISTO THE RECTOR OF THE PONTIFICAL UNIVERSITY
OF SAINT THOMAS AQUINAS "ANGELICUM"
FOR THE INAUGURATION, AT THE UNIVERSITY,
OF THE "SAINT JOHN PAUL II" INSTITUTE OF CULTURE

On the centenary of the birth of Saint John Paul II, the most illustrious alumnus of your university, the Institute of Culture named after him is being inaugurated at the Angelicum, within the Faculty of Philosophy. In expressing my appreciation for this initiative, I cordially greet the entire academic community and all those present for the event, especially the representatives of the two Polish Foundations, Futura Iuventa and Saint Nicholas, which support the new Institute.
The principal aim of the Institute is to reflect on contemporary culture. To do so, the organizers intend to seek the collaboration of eminent philosophers, theologians and men and women of culture in its broadest sense. Saint John Paul II is at once both the inspiration behind this project and its first and most important architect. This is thanks to the rich and multifaceted heritage that he left to us, and even more so by the example of his open and contemplative spirit, his passion for God and man, for creation, history and art.
The range of experiences that marked his life, especially the momentous historical events and the personal sufferings that he sought to interpret in the light of the Spirit, led Saint John Paul II to an even deeper reflection on man and his cultural roots as an essential reference point for every proclamation of the Gospel. Indeed, in his first Encyclical he wrote: “We approach all cultures, all ideological concepts, all people of good will. We approach them with the esteem, respect and discernment that since the time of the Apostles has marked the missionary attitude, the attitude of the missionary.  Suffice it to mention Saint Paul and, for instance, his address in the Areopagus at Athens. The missionary attitude always begins with a feeling of deep esteem for ‘what is in man’, for what man has himself worked out in the depths of his spirit concerning the most profound and important problems. It is a question of respecting everything that has been brought about in him by the Spirit, which ‘blows where it wills’” (Redemptor Hominis, 12; cf. Address to UNESCO, 2 June 1980).
We need to keep this approach alive if we wish to be an outward-looking Church, not satisfied with preserving and administering what already exists but seeking to be faithful to our mission.
I am pleased that this initiative has found a home in the University of Saint Thomas Aquinas. The Angelicum in fact houses an academic community comprising professors and students from throughout the world and is a fitting place for interpreting the important challenges of today’s cultures. The tradition of the Dominican Order, with the important role given to rational reflection on faith and its content, articulated in a magisterial way by the Angelic Doctor, will certainly favour this project, so that it will be characterized by the courage of the truth, freedom of spirit and intellectual honesty (cf. Saint Paul VI, Apostolic Letter Lumen Ecclesiae, 20 November 1974, 8; Saint John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Fides et Ratio, 43).
With these sentiments, I renew my encouragement and gratitude to you, dear brother, and to all those who have established the new Institute. To the professors, students and staff I send my best wishes for their work, and to all I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing.
Rome, Saint John Lateran, 18 May 2020
Francis
FULL TEXT Source: Vatican.va - Official Translation

US Bishops Express Solidarity with Native and Indigenous during the Pandemic - Full Text Release


Bishop Chairmen Express Solidarity with Native and Indigenous Communities During the Coronavirus Pandemic

May 13, 2020
WASHINGTON- Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux and chairman of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City and chairman of USCCB’s Committe on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Bishop James S. Wall of Gallup and chairman of the USCCB’s Subcommittee on Native American Affairs have released the following statement in solidarity with Native and Indigenous communities who are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

“As Native Communities continue to greatly suffer from the COVID-19 epidemic, the Church is developing ways to draw upon its deep roots in the person of Jesus to foster strength, charity and support to those who are sick and those who have died. We cherish our close connections to Native Communities through our Catholic parishes, missions and schools. We recall once more our profound desire to develop pathways to hope. We are heartbroken over reports that Native and Indigenous communities across this country are suffering at disproportionately high rates from the COVID-19 pandemic and concerned about the lack of sufficient resources to respond to the crisis. We are especially mindful of the Navajo Nation where people are being infected with the coronavirus at some of the highest rates in the country. We hold in prayer our brothers and sisters who are suffering and grieving in these communities, and we stand with them in calling for a robust response to the pandemic in their lands.

The virus is exacerbating health disparities and long-standing social inequalities facing Native and Indigenous communities. Adequate funding for the Indian Health Service has long been a challenge, and there are reports of shortages of medical personnel and hospital beds. We are hopeful that the U.S. Senate’s recent unanimous confirmation of a director for the Indian Health Service affirms the recognition for the need of a strong advocate for the health needs of tribal communities. It is also good that additional resources were allocated in recent legislation, and it is essential that this funding reach its intended recipients as soon as possible. We implore lawmakers and government officials to protect the life and dignity of Native and Indigenous peoples by working with tribal leaders to ensure strong support and ample resources to protect their communities, including resources to adequately respond to large Native populations living in urban areas and resources devoted to addressing underlying medical conditions that increase the threat of COVID-19 for Native populations.”
Source: USCCB - Image Source: Google Images 

At Mass, Pope Francis says "St. John Paul II was a man of God because he prayed , and prayed a lot."



HOLY MASS IN MEMORY OF THE CENTENARY OF THE BIRTH
OF ST. JOHN PAUL II
HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
Vatican Basilica - Altar of St. John Paul II
Monday, May 18 2020


"The Lord loves his people" ( Ps . 149,4), we sang, it was the refrain of the interleectional song. And also a truth that the people of Israel repeated, he liked to repeat: "The Lord loves his people." And in bad times, always "the Lord loves"; one has to wait for how this love will manifest. When the Lord sent, for this love, a prophet, a man of God, the reaction of the people was: "The Lord has visited his people " (cf. Ex 4:31), because he loves him, he has visited him. And the same said the crowd that followed Jesus seeing the things Jesus did: "The Lord has visited his people" (cf. Lk 7:16).
And today we can say here: a hundred years ago the Lord visited his people. He sent a man, prepared him to be a bishop and to lead the Church. Recalling St. John Paul II we take up this: "The Lord loves his people", "the Lord has visited his people"; sent a pastor.
And what are, let's say, the "traces" of a good shepherd that we can find in St. John Paul II ? So many! But let's just say three. Since they say that Jesuits always say things to three, let's say three: prayer, closeness to the people, love of justice. St. John Paul II was a man of God because he prayed , and prayed a lot. lot But how come a man who has so much to do, so much work to guide the Church ..., has so much prayer time? He knew well that the first task of a bishop is to pray. And this not told Vatican II, he said San Pietro, when they made deacons, said: "And we bishops, prayer and preaching the Word" (cf. Acts6.4). The first task of a bishop is to pray, and he knew it, he did it. Model of bishop who prays, the first task. And he taught us that when a bishop does an examination of conscience in the evening he must ask himself: how many hours have I prayed today? Praying man.
Second track, man of closeness . He was not a man detached from the people, on the contrary he went to find the people; and he traveled the whole world, finding his people, looking for his people, getting close. And closeness is one of the traits of God with his people. Recall that the Lord says to the people of Israel: "Look, what people have had their gods as close as I am with you?" (cf Dt 4,7). A closeness of God to the people which then becomes narrow in Jesus, becomes stronger in Jesus. A shepherd is close to the people, on the contrary, if he is not he is not a shepherd, he is a hierarch, he is an administrator, perhaps good, but he is not a shepherd. Proximity to the people. And St. John Paul II he gave us the example of this closeness: near the big and small, near and far, always close, he made himself close.
Third track, love for justice . But full justice! A man who wanted justice, social justice, justice of peoples, justice that drives wars away. But full justice! This is why St. John Paul II was the man of mercy, because justice and mercy go together, they cannot be distinguished [in the sense of separating], they are together: justice is justice, mercy is mercy, but one without the other it's not found. And speaking of the man of justice and mercy, we think what St. John Paul II did to make people understand the mercy of God. We think how he carried out devotion to Saint Faustina [Kowalska] whose liturgical memory from todayit will be for the whole Church. He had heard that God's righteousness had this face of mercy, this attitude of mercy. And this is a gift that he left us: justice-mercy and right mercy .


Let us pray to him today to give all of us, especially the pastors of the Church but to all, the grace of prayer, the grace of closeness and the grace of justice-mercy, mercy-justice.
FULL TEXT + Image Source: Vatican.va - Translation from Italian