Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Thursday, July 9, 2020 - Virtual Church

Thursday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 386
Reading 1HOS 11:1-4, 8E-9
Thus says the LORD:
When Israel was a child I loved him,
out of Egypt I called my son.
The more I called them,
the farther they went from me,
Sacrificing to the Baals
and burning incense to idols.
Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
who took them in my arms;
I drew them with human cords,
with bands of love;
I fostered them like one
who raises an infant to his cheeks;
Yet, though I stooped to feed my child,
they did not know that I was their healer.
My heart is overwhelmed,
my pity is stirred.
I will not give vent to my blazing anger,
I will not destroy Ephraim again;
For I am God and not man,
the Holy One present among you;
I will not let the flames consume you.

Responsorial Psalm80:2AC AND 3B, 15-16
R. (4b) Let us see your face, Lord, and we shall be saved.
O shepherd of Israel, hearken.
From your throne upon the cherubim, shine forth.
Rouse your power.
R. Let us see your face, Lord, and we shall be saved.
Once again, O LORD of hosts,
look down from heaven, and see:
Take care of this vine,
and protect what your right hand has planted,
the son of man whom you yourself made strong.
R. Let us see your face, Lord, and we shall be saved.

AlleluiaMK 1:15
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Kingdom of God is at hand:
repent and believe in the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 10:7-15
Jesus said to his Apostles:
“As you go, make this proclamation:
‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
Cure the sick, raise the dead,
cleanse the lepers, drive out demons.
Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.
Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts;
no sack for the journey, or a second tunic,
or sandals, or walking stick.
The laborer deserves his keep.
Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it,
and stay there until you leave.
As you enter a house, wish it peace.
If the house is worthy,
let your peace come upon it;
if not, let your peace return to you.
Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words--
go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet.
Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable
for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment
than for that town.”
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

Saint July 9 : St. Augustine Zhao Rong and Companions who were Martyred in #China

(17th-20th centuries)

Christianity arrived in China by way of Syria in the 600s. Depending on China's relations with the outside world, Christianity over the centuries was free to grow or was forced to operate secretly.

The 120 martyrs in this group died between 1648 and 1930. Most of them (87) were born in China and were children, parents, catechists or laborers, ranging from nine years of age to 72. This group includes four Chinese diocesan priests.
The 33 foreign-born martyrs were mostly priests or women religious, especially from the Order of Preachers, the Paris Foreign Mission Society, the Friars Minor, Jesuits, Salesians and Franciscan Missionaries of Mary.
Augustine Zhao Rong was a Chinese solider who accompanied Bishop John Gabriel Taurin Dufresse (Paris Foreign Mission Society) to his martyrdom in Beijing. Augustine was baptized and not long after was ordained as a diocesan priest. He was martyred in 1815.
Beatified in groups at various times, these 120 martyrs were canonized in Rome on October 1, 2000.


The People's Republic of China and the Roman Catholic Church each have well over a billion members, but there are over 12 million Catholics in China. The reasons for that are better explained by historical conflicts than by a wholesale rejection of the Good News of Jesus Christ. The Chinese-born martyrs honored by today's feast were regarded by their persecutors as dangerous because they were considered allies of enemy, Catholic countries. The martyrs born outside China often tried to distance themselves from European political struggles relating to China, but their persecutors saw them as Westerners and therefore, by definition, anti-Chinese.The Good News of Jesus Christ is intended to benefit all peoples; today's martyrs knew that. May 21st-century Christians live in such a way that Chinese women and men will be attracted to hear that Good News and embrace it.

A year after these martyrs were canonized, Saint John Paul II addressed a group of Chinese and Western scholars, gathered in Rome for a symposium honoring the 400th anniversary of the arrival in Beijing of Matteo Ricci, a Jesuit scholar and Chinese intellectual.

After noting the positive contributions that Christianity had made to China, especially in health care and education, Pope John Paul II continued: "History, however, reminds us of the unfortunate fact that the work of members of the church in China was not always without error, the bitter fruit of their personal limitations and of the limits of their action. Moreover, their action was often conditioned by difficult situations connected with complex historical events and conflicting political interests. Nor were theological disputes lacking, which caused bad feelings and created serious difficulties in preaching the Gospel….

"I feel deep sadness for these errors and limits of the past, and I regret that in many people these failings may have given the impression of a lack of respect and esteem for the Chinese people on the part of the Catholic Church, making them feel that the church was motivated by feelings of hostility toward China. For all of this I ask the forgiveness and understanding of those who may have felt hurt in some way by such actions on the part of Christians."

Text shared from American Catholic - Image Google Images

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI writes Letter for Funeral of his Brother Msgr. Georg Ratzinger and Watches LiveStream - FULL TEXT

Retired Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI followed the funeral of his brother, Georg Ratzinger, via livestreaming, according to CNS. The main celebrant at the funeral was Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer of Regensburg who said Pope Benedict, 93, was connected to the Mass taking place for his older brother July 8 in the Regensburg Cathedral. Msgr. Georg Ratzinger died on July 1, 2020 at the age of 96. From June 18-22 Pope Benedict made a surprise to the sickbed of his dying brother. The Bishop explained, "This sign of humanity touched many people. So all the more do we share in your mourning," he said in words addressed to the retired pope. Pope Benedict's private secretary, Archbishop Georg Ganswein, and the pope's ambassador to Germany, Archbishop Nikola Eterovic were participants; also attending was the former Regensburg bishop, Cardinal Gerhard Muller, and Munich Cardinal Reinhard Marx. Providing musical accompaniment for the funeral Mass were 16 former members of the "Domspatzen," the name of the Regensburg Cathedral's world-famous boys' choir that Msgr. Ratzinger directed from 1964 to 1994. The retired pope had written to his deceased brother a letter, which was read out loud at the ceremony by Archbishop Ganswein. (Above report edited from CNS)

FULL TEXT Letter by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI read at the Funeral of his brother Msgr. Georg.

His Excellency
the Most Reverend

Dear Bishop Rudolf!

I am with you at this hour in which you are celebrating my brother's last brotherly service, giving him escort on the last earthly path. I feel compelled to say a word of thanks for everything you have done and are doing in these weeks of farewell. My thanks also go to all those who have been with him in these weeks and who have shown him their gratitude for what he has done and suffered for them in his life.

 The echo of his life and work that I received in the form of letters, telegrams and e-mails these days goes far beyond what I could have imagined. People from many countries, from all classes and professions wrote to me in a way that touched my heart. Every individual should have a personal answer. Unfortunately, I lack the time and strength to do this, and I can only thank everyone for taking part in these hours and days. Cardinal Newman's sentence has come true for me right now: “Cor ad cor loquitur.” Throughout the paper and beyond all paper, heart speaks to heart.

There were three main characteristics of my brother that came back in many variations and also reflect my personal feeling at this hour of parting. First and foremost, it is said time and time again that my brother received and understood the priesthood call as a musical call. Already in Tittmoning in the first years of his school life, he not only carefully informed himself about church music, but also took the first steps to learn it himself. He asked in Tittmoning or in Aschau about the name of the profession that a priest at the cathedral has for church music. In doing so he got the name Domkapellmeister (Cathedral Choir Master), in which he somehow saw the direction of his life indicated. When he was actually appointed cathedral band master in Regensburg, it was both joy and pain for him, because our mother had been called out from this world almost at the same time as the cathedral chapel master Schrems. If Mother had lived on, he would not have accepted the call of being the head of the Regensburg Cathedral Sparrows. This service has become more and more a joy for him, which of course had to be bought through all sorts of suffering. Hostility and rejection were not lacking, especially in the beginning. But at the same time he has become a father for young people who gratefully stood and stand by him as his cathedral sparrows. I would also like to extend my heartfelt thanks to all of you at this hour in which I was able to experience and experience anew how he, as a priest and a musician, was a priestly person and has always become new. This service has become more and more a joy for him, which of course had to be bought through all sorts of suffering. Hostility and rejection were not lacking, especially in the beginning.

I would like to mention another characteristic of my brother. On the one hand there is his cheerful sociability, his humor, his joy in the good gifts of creation. At the same time, however, he was a man of direct expression in that he expressed his conviction openly. He lived in the greatest possible blindness for over twenty years and was therefore excluded from a good part of reality. This great sacrifice was always difficult for him. But he has always accepted and passed it from within.

But in the last he was a man of God. Even if he did not show his piety, it was the real center of his life over all sobriety and honesty.

Finally, I would like to thank you for being with him again in the last days of his life. He didn't ask for a visit from me. But I felt that it was the hour to go back to him. I am deeply grateful for this inner sign that the Lord has given me. When I said goodbye to him in the morning on Monday, June 22nd, we knew it would be a farewell to this world forever. But we also knew that the benevolent God who gave us this togetherness in this world will also rule in the other world and will give us a new togetherness there. Thank God, dear Georg, for everything you have done, suffered and given to me!

And God bless you again, dear Bishop Rudolf, for the very extraordinary effort you made in these weeks, which were not easy for both of us.

Cordially yours

Signed Benedict XVI

#BreakingNews Little Sisters of the Poor win Victory at the Supreme Court upholding their Pro-Life Beliefs

Life News reports that the Supreme Court in the US issued a ruling today upholding a pro-life order from President Donald Trump that protected the Little Sisters of the Poor from being force to pay for abortion-causing drugs under their health insurance plan. Abortion advocates have spent years trying to force the Catholic nuns to fund the destruction of unborn babies in abortions.

Justices voted 7-2 to uphold the pro-life order from the president with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the four conservatives on the court along with liberal Justices Stephen Breyer and Elizabeth Kagan. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, both abortion advocates, dissented.

Writing for the Court, Justice Clarence Thomas held that
“For over 150 years, the Little Sisters have engaged in faithful service and sacrifice, motivated by a religious calling to surrender all for the sake of their brother. . . . But for the past seven years, they—like many other religious objectors who have participated in the litigation and rulemakings leading up to today’s decision— have had to fight for the ability to continue in their noble work without violating their sincerely held religious beliefs.”

The Court held that the federal government was right to protect those beliefs.

“We are overjoyed that, once again, the Supreme Court has protected our right to serve the elderly without violating our faith,” said Mother Loraine Marie Maguire of the Little Sisters of the Poor. “Our life’s work and great joy is serving the elderly poor and we are so grateful that the contraceptive mandate will no longer steal our attention from our calling.”

Justice Samuel Alito, writing in concurrence, said the government need to do a better job of allowing objections from religious groups to the Obamacare abortion mandate, which sought to require the Little Sisters and other Christian groups and businesses to provide abortion-inducing drugs in their health care plans.

Leading pro-life groups hailed the high court’s decision as a major pro-life victory.

The Little Sisters of the Poor have spent years fighting the Obama HHS mandate that forces Christian groups to fund abortions. The Supreme Court even sided with the Catholic nuns previously, but pro-abortion Democrats have found new ways to drag them back to court.

In Little Sisters of the Poor v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Sisters asked the Supreme Court to put a stop to Pennsylvania’s attempt to take away their hard-earned religious exemption from the HHS contraceptive mandate, and end their seven-year legal battle once and for all.
Edited from

Pope Francis Appoints New Members to Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue in Vatican

Pope appoints new members to Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue
Pope Francis names new members to the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue.
By Vatican News

Cardinals Luis Antonio Tagle, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples; and Michael Czerny, SJ, the Under-secretary of the Migrants and Refugees Section of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, are among the new members of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue.

The announcement of the appointments was made on Wednesday at the Vatican.

The Pontifical Council is the central office of the Church for the promotion of interreligious dialogue in accordance with the spirit of the Second Vatican Council, in particular the declaration Nostra aetate.

It is responsible for promoting mutual understanding, respect, and collaboration between Catholics and followers of other religious traditions; encouraging the study of religions; and promoting the formation of persons dedicated to dialogue.

New members
Pope Francis also appointed Cardinals Dieudonné Nzapalainga, Archbishop of Bangui; Louis-Marie Ling Mangkhanekhoun, Vicar Apostolic of Vientiane; Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo, Archbishop Jakarta and Ordinary of the Military Ordinariate of Indonesia; and Jean-Claude Höllerich, Archbishop of Luxembourg, to the Council.

A number of Bishops, from all parts of the world, were also named as members of the Council on Wednesday: Lawrence Huculak, Archbishop of Winnipeg of the Ukrainians; Archbishop Felix Anthony Machado, Bishop of Vasai; George Frendo, Archbishop of Tiranë-Durrës; Mark Tin Win, Archbishop of Mandalay; Jean-Marc Aveline, Archbishop of Marseille; Paul Yoshinao Otsuka, Bishop of Kyōto; Thomas Chung An-zu, Bishop of Kiayi; Raphy Manjaly, Bishop of Allahabad; Ambrogio Spreafico, Bishop of Frosinone-Veroli-Ferentino; Michael Joseph McKenna, Bishop of Bathurst; William Hanna Shomali, titular Bishop of Lidda; Denis Chidi Isizoh, titular Bishop of Legia; Patrick Joseph McKinney, Bishop of Nottingham; James Massa, titular Bishop of Bardstown; Paul Desfarges, Archbishop of Alger; and Joseph Đình Đúc Đao, Bishop of Xuân Lôc.

The current President for the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue is Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, who has held the post since 25 May 2019.
FULL TEXT Release:

New Bishop Appointed by the Pope for Diocese of Savannah, Georgia - Fr. Stephen Parkes from Florida

Pope Francis Names Father Stephen Parkes of Diocese of Orlando as Bishop of Savannah

July 8, 2020
WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has appointed Father Stephen Parkes, a priest of the Diocese of Orlando, as the Bishop of Savannah.

The appointment was publicized in Washington, D.C. on July 8, 2020 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States. The Diocese of Savannah has been a vacant see since March 2020.

Bishop-elect Parkes was born on June 2, 1965 in Mineola, New York, and ordained to the priesthood on May 23, 1998 for the Diocese of Orlando. Father Parkes attended Massapequa High School in New York and received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration/Marketing from the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. He studied philosophy and theology at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, Florida, and holds a Master of Divinity.

After ordination, Father Parkes was assigned to Annunciation Church in Longwood as parochial vicar where he served until 2005 when he was named Parochial Administrator at Most Precious Blood Church in Oviedo. Additionally, in 2004 he was named Spiritual Director for Catholic Campus Ministry at the University of Central Florida in Orlando where he served until 2011.

Since 2011, Bishop-elect Parkes has served as Pastor at Annunciation Church in Longwood. His ministry also includes serving as Dean of the North Central Deanery (2010-present), and Spiritual Director of the Catholic Foundation of Central Florida (2009-present). He speaks both English and Spanish.

The Diocese of Savannah is comprised of 37,038 square miles in the state of Georgia and has a total population of 2,934,000 of which 75,603 are Catholic.


At Mass, Pope Francis says "May the Virgin Mary...“Solace of Migrants”, help us discover the face of her Son in all our brothers.." Full Text + Video


Casa Santa Marta chapel
Wednesday, 8 July 2020

The Responsorial Psalm invites us always to seek the Lord’s face: “Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually” (Ps 105:4). This quest is fundamental for the life of every believer, for we have come to realize that our ultimate goal in life is the encounter with God.
To seek the face of God is an assurance that our journey through this world will end well. It is an exodus towards the Promised Land, our heavenly home. The face of God is our destination and the guiding star that helps us not to lose our way.
The people of Israel, as described by the prophet Hosea in the first reading (cf. 10:1-3.7-8.12), had gone astray. They had lost sight of the Promised Land and were wandering in the desert of iniquity. Abundance, prosperity and wealth had caused their hearts to drift away from the Lord and had filled them instead with falsehood and injustice.
We too, as Christians today, are not immune to this sin. “The culture of comfort, which makes us think only of ourselves, makes us insensitive to the cries of other people, makes us live in soap bubbles which, however lovely, are insubstantial; they offer a fleeting and empty illusion which results in indifference to others; indeed, it even leads to the globalization of indifference. In this globalized world, we have fallen into globalized indifference. We have become used to the suffering of others: it doesn’t affect me; it doesn’t concern me; it’s none of my business!” (Homily in Lampedusa, 8 July 2013).
Hosea’s words reach us today as a renewed summons to conversion, a call to turn our eyes to the Lord and recognize his face. The prophet says: “Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you” (10:12).
Our efforts to seek the face of God are born of the desire for an encounter with the Lord, a personal encounter, an encounter with his immense love, with his saving power. The twelve apostles described in today’s Gospel (cf. Mt 10:1-7) received the grace to encounter him physically in Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God. Jesus – as we heard – called each of them by name. He looked them in the eye, and they in turn gazed at his face, listened to his voice and beheld his miracles. The personal encounter with the Lord, a time of grace and salvation, entails a mission: “As you go”, Jesus tells them, proclaim the good news: ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand’” (v. 7). Encounter and mission must not be separated.
This kind of personal encounter with Jesus Christ is possible also for us, who are the disciples of the third millennium. In our effort to seek the Lord’s face, we can recognize him in the face of the poor, the sick, the abandoned, and the foreigners whom God places on our way. This encounter becomes also for us a time of grace and salvation, and summons us to the same mission entrusted to the Apostles.
Today marks the seventh year, the seventh anniversary of my visit to Lampedusa. In the light of God’s word, I would like to repeat what I said to those taking part in the meeting “Free from Fear” in February last year: “The encounter with the other is also an encounter with Christ. He himself told us this. He is the one knocking on our door, hungry, thirsty, naked, sick, imprisoned; he is the one seeking an encounter with us, asking our help, asking to come ashore. And lest we have any doubt, he tells us categorically: ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did to one of the least of these my brethren, you did to me’” (Mt 25:40).
“Whatever you did...” for better or for worse! This admonition is all the more timely today. We ought to use it as a basic starting point for our daily examination of conscience. Here I think of Libya, detention camps, the abuses and violence to which migrants are subjected; I think of journeys of hope, rescue operations, and cases of rejection. “Whatever you did… you did to me.”
I remember that day, seven years ago, in the very south of Europe, on that island… A number of people told me their stories and all that they had gone through to get there. There were interpreters present. One person was telling me about terrible things in his language, and the interpreter seemed to translate well, but this person spoke so long and the translation was brief. “Well”, I thought, “their language must require more words to express an idea”. When I returned home that afternoon, in the reception area there was a lady – God bless her, she has since passed away - who was a daughter of Ethiopians. She understood the language and she had seen our conversation on television. She said this to me. “Listen, what the Ethiopian translator told you is not even a quarter of the torture and suffering that those people experienced”. They gave me the “distilled” version. This is what is happening today with Libya: they are giving us a “distilled version”. The war is indeed horrible, we know that, but you cannot imagine the hell that people are living there, in that detention camp. And those people came only with hope of crossing the sea.
May the Virgin Mary, 
Solacium migrantium, “Solace of Migrants”, help us discover the face of her Son in all our brothers and sisters forced to flee their homeland because of the many injustices that continue to afflict our world.
FULL TEXT Source: - Official Translation