Sunday, December 13, 2020

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Monday, December 14, 2020 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church - Memorial of Saint John of the Cross



Memorial of Saint John of the Cross, priest and doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 187
Reading 1
NM 24:2-7, 15-17A
When Balaam raised his eyes and saw Israel encamped, tribe by tribe,
the spirit of God came upon him,
and he gave voice to his oracle:

 

The utterance of Balaam, son of Beor,
the utterance of a man whose eye is true,
The utterance of one who hears what God says,
and knows what the Most High knows,
Of one who sees what the Almighty sees,
enraptured, and with eyes unveiled:
How goodly are your tents, O Jacob;
your encampments, O Israel!
They are like gardens beside a stream,
like the cedars planted by the LORD.
His wells shall yield free-flowing waters,
he shall have the sea within reach;
His king shall rise higher,
and his royalty shall be exalted.
 Then Balaam gave voice to his oracle:
The utterance of Balaam, son of Beor,
the utterance of the man whose eye is true,
The utterance of one who hears what God says,
and knows what the Most High knows,
Of one who sees what the Almighty sees,
enraptured, and with eyes unveiled.
I see him, though not now;
I behold him, though not near:
A star shall advance from Jacob,
and a staff shall rise from Israel.
 
Responsorial Psalm
PS 25:4-5AB, 6 AND 7BC, 8-9
R. (4) Teach me your ways, O Lord.
Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
teach me your paths,
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior.
R. Teach me your ways, O Lord.
Remember that your compassion, O LORD,
and your kindness are from of old.
In your kindness remember me,
because of your goodness, O LORD.
R. Teach me your ways, O Lord.
Good and upright is the LORD;
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice,
he teaches the humble his way.
R. Teach me your ways, O Lord.
 
 
Alleluia
PS 85:8
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Show us, LORD, your love,
and grant us your salvation.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel
MT 21:23-27
When Jesus had come into the temple area,
the chief priests and the elders of the people approached him
as he was teaching and said,
“By what authority are you doing these things? 
And who gave you this authority?” 
Jesus said to them in reply,
“I shall ask you one question, and if you answer it for me,
then I shall tell you by what authority I do these things. 
Where was John’s baptism from?
Was it of heavenly or of human origin?” 
They discussed this among themselves and said,
“If we say ‘Of heavenly origin,’ he will say to us,
‘Then why did you not believe him?’ 
But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ we fear the crowd,
for they all regard John as a prophet.” 
So they said to Jesus in reply, “We do not know.” 
He himself said to them,
“Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
Prayer to Make a 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 December 14 : St. John of the Cross a Doctor of the Church, Friend of St. Theresa and the Patron of Contemplatives; #Mystics; Spanish Poets


St. John of the Cross 
  DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH, FOUNDER, GREAT MYSTICAL THEOLOGIAN
Born: 24 June 1542, Fontiveros, Spain
 Died: December 14, 1591, Ubeda, Andalusia, Spain
 Canonized: 27 December 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII
 Major Shrine: Tomb of Saint John of the Cross, Segovia, Spain
 Patron of: contemplative life; contemplatives; mystical theology; mystics; Spanish poets



Prayer to St. John: O God, by those grace your servant St. John of the Cross, kindled with the flame of Your love, became a burning and a shining light in your Church: Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline, and walk before You as children of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Founder (with St. Teresa) of the Discalced Carmelites, doctor of mystic theology,
b. at Hontoveros, Old Castile, 24 June, 1542;
d. at Ubeda, Andalusia, 14 Dec., 1591. John de Yepes, youngest child of Gonzalo de Yepes and Catherine Alvarez, poor silk weavers of Toledo, knew from his earliest years the hardships of life. The father, originally of a good family but disinherited on account of his marriage below his rank, died in the prime of his youth; the widow, assisted by her eldest son, was scarcely able to provide the bare necessities. John was sent to the poor school at Medina del Campo, whither the family had gone to live, and proved an attentive and diligent pupil; but when apprenticed to an artisan, he seemed incapable of learning anything. Thereupon the governor of the hospital of Medina took him into his service, and for seven years John divided his time between waiting on the poorest of the poor, and frequenting a school established by the Jesuits. Already at that early age he treated his body with the utmost rigour; twice he was saved from certain death by the intervention of the Blessed Virgin.
Anxious about his future life, he was told in prayer that he was to serve God in an order the ancient perfection of which he was to help bring back again. The Carmelites having founded a house at Medina, he there received the habit on 24 February, 1563, and took the name of John of St. Matthias. After profession he obtained leave from his superiors to follow to the letter the original Carmelite rule without the mitigations granted by various popes. He was sent to Salamanca for the higher studies, and was ordained priest in 1567; at his first Mass he received the assurance that he should preserve his baptismal innocence. But, shrinking from the responsibilities of the priesthood, he determined to join the Carthusians. However, before taking any further step he made the acquaintance of St. Teresa, who had come to Medina to found a convent of nuns, and who persuaded him to remain in the Carmelite Order and to assist her in the establishment of a monastery of friars carrying out the primitive rule. He accompanied her to Valladolid in order to gain practi cal experience of the manner of life led by the reformed nuns. A small house having been offered, St. John resolved to try at once the new form of life, although St. Teresa did not think anyone, however great his spirituality, could bear the discomforts of that hovel. He was joined by two companions, an ex-prior and a lay brother, with whom he inaugurated the reform among friars, 28 Nov., 1568. St. Teresa has left a classical description of the sort of life led by these first Discalced Carmelites, in chaps. xiii and xiv of her "Book of Foundations". John of the Cross, as he now called himself, became the first master of novices, and laid the foundation of the spiritual edifice which soon was to assume majestic proportions. He filled various posts in different places until St. Teresa called him to Avila as director and confessor to the convent of the Incarnation, of which she had been appointed prioress. He remained there, with a few interruptions, for over five years. Meanwhile, the reform spread rapidly, and, partly through the confusion caused by contradictory orders issued by the general and the general chapter on one hand, and the Apostolic nuncio on the other, and partly through human passion which sometimes ran high, its existence became seriously endangered.
St. John was ordered by his provincial to return to the house of his profession (Medina), and, on his refusing to do so, owing to the fact that he held his office not from the order but from the Apostolic delegate, he was taken prisoner in the night of 3 December, 1577, and carried off to Toledo, where he suffered for more than nine months close imprisonment in a narrow, stifling cell, together with such additional punishment as might have been called for in the case of one guilty of the most serious crimes. In the midst of his sufferings he was visited with heavenly consolations, and some of his exquisite poetry dates from that period. He made good his escape in a miraculous manner, August, 1578.
During the next years he was chiefly occupied with the foundation and government of monasteries at Baeza, Granada, Cordova, Segovia, and elsewhere, but took no prominent part in the negotiations which led to the establishment of a separate government for the Discalced Carmelites. After the death of St. Teresa (4 Oct., 1582), when the two parties of the Moderates under Jerome Gratian, and the Zelanti under Nicholas Doria struggled for the upper hand, St. John supported the former and shared his fate. For some time he filled the post of vicar provincial of Andalusia, but when Doria changed the government of the order, concentrating all power in the hands of a permanent committee, St. John resisted and, supporting the nuns in their endeavour to secure the papal approbation of their constitutions, drew upon himself the displeasure of the superior, who deprived him of his offices and relegated him to one of the poorest monasteries, where he fell seriously ill. One of his opponents went so far as to go from monastery to monastery gathering materials in order to bring grave charges against him, hoping for his expulsion from the order which he had helped to found.
As his illness increased he was removed to the monastery of Ubeda, where he at first was treated very unkindly, his constant prayer, "to suffer and to be despised", being thus literally fulfilled almost to the end of his life. But at last even his adversaries came to acknowledge his sanctity, and his funeral was the occasion of a great outburst of enthusiasm. The body, still incorrupt, as has been ascertained within the last few years, was removed to Segovia, only a small portion remaining at Ubeda; there was some litigation about its possession. A strange phenomenon, for which no satisfactory explanation has been given, has frequently been observed in connexion with the relics of St. John of the Cross: Francis de Yepes, the brother of the saint, and after him many other persons have noticed the appearance in his relics of images of Christ on the Cross, the Blessed Virgin, St. Elias, St. Francis Xavier, or other saints, according to the devotion of the beholder. The beatification took place on 25 Jan., 1675, the translation of his body on 21 May of the same year, and the canonization on 27 Dec., 1726.
Text shared from the Catholic Encyclopedia

What is St. Lucy Day - 10 Things to SHARE about the Historic Traditions of #StLucy

1. On the 13th December St. Lucy is honored. She was a 4th century martyr from Sicily, Italy.
2. In Sweden and Norway the darkness of the day is broken by the Lucia figure dressed in a gown of white and a wreath of candles upon her head. December 13th was the longest night of the year in the Julian calendar.
3. According to tradition a white-clad woman, wearing a crown of burning candles, appeared at Sweden’s largest lake, Vänern, bringing food to starving villagers during a time of famine.
4. In Sweden and Norway, a girl is chosen to lead the Church procession with crown of candles. Similarly dressed girls (tärnor) and boys wearing a tall pointed hat carrying a star wand (stjärngossar) and follow her. Together they sing beautiful carols (see below) Once the singing is over, the procession enjoy coffee and saffron-flavored buns called lussekatter.
5. In homes the eldest daughter had the honour to be Lucia. She and her siblings woke up the family with their singing. Then the family gathered together with saffron buns at breakfast.
Saffron Buns Recipe: Ingredients: Servings: 24 Units: | 300 ml milk 1 g saffron 50 g baker's yeast 150 g sugar 125 g butter or 125 g margarine 700 g all-purpose flour 1 egg salt raisins Directions: 1 Melt butter or margarine in a pan and add the milk and the saffron. 2 Warm the mixture to 37 oC (100 oF). 3 Use a thermometer; the correct temperature is important! 4 Pour the mixture over the finely divided yeast; then add the remaining ingredients (except for the egg and the raisins), which should have a temperature of 21-23 oC (72-75 oF). 5 Mix into a smooth dough. 6 Cover the dough with a piece of cloth and let it rise for 30 minutes. 7 Knead the dough, divide it into 25-30 pieces and form each piece into a round bun. 8 Let the buns rest for a few minutes, covered by a piece of cloth. 9 Form each bun into a string, 15-20 cm long, then arrange the string in a suitable shape, e.g. an S or double S. Regardless of the shape, the ends of the string should meet. 10 Press a few raisins into the dough. 11 Cover the"Lucia cats" with a piece of cloth and let them rise for 40 minutes. 12 Whip the egg together with a few grains of salt, and paint the"Lucia cats" with the mixture. 13 Bake them for 5-10 minutes in the oven at 250 oC (475 oF) until golden brownish yellow.


SANKTA LUCIA SONG
It is traditional in Sweden to sing the Sankta Lucia song with the same melody as the well-known Italian song.
Natten går tunga fjät rund gård och stuva; kring jord, som sol förlät,skuggorna ruva. Då i vårt mörka hus, stiger med tända ljus, Sankta Lucia, Sankta Lucia. Natten går stor och stum nu hörs dess vingar i alla tysta rum sus som av vingar. Se, på vår tröskel står vitklädd med ljus i hår Sankta Lucia, Sankta Lucia. Mörkret ska flyta snart ur jordens dalar så hon ett underbart ord till oss talar. Dagen ska åter ny stiga ur rosig sky
 Sankta Lucia, Sankta Lucia. The night goes with heavy steps around farm and cottage; round the earth the sun has forsaken, the shadows are brooding.There in our darkened house, stands with lighted candles Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia. The night passes, large and mute now one hears wings in every silent room whispers as if from wings. See, on our threshold stands white-clad with candles in her hair Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia. The darkness shall soon depart from the earth's valleys then she speaks a wonderful word to us. The day shall be born anew Rising from the rosy sky. Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia.
In Italy:
6. Santa Lucia is celebrated all over Italy.
7. In Sicily she is remembered for her intervention during a severe famine in 1582. Miraculously, ships filled with grain appeared in the harbor on December 13. The people were so hungry that they boiled the grains immediately.
8. On this day a most popular dish called cuccia which is made with boiled whole wheat berries, ricotta and sugar. In Lombardy and Veneto, goose is eaten on this day.
9. Santa Lucia brings the presents to children, not Father Christmas. She travels on a donkey on the eve of December 13, and children leave bowls of milk and carrots and hay to attract the hungry donkey and make sure Santa Lucia stops at their house.
10. Children sing for this feast: Saint Lucia, Saint Lucia Fill my stocking with candies If my mother won't do it My stocking will stay empty But with father's money Saint Lucia will prevail.
SEE Also: 
Novena to St. Lucy - Patron of Blind - SHARE #Prayers to #StLucy
https://www.catholicnewsworld.com/2018/12/novena-to-st-lucy-patron-of-blind-share.html
St. Lucy Crown Recipe - Special Sweet Bread - Easy to make #StLucy - SHARE - #Recipe

Happy Anniversary to Pope Francis for 51 years in the Priesthood of God as Servant of His People - Watch Video


Vatican News reports Pope Francis celebrates 51 years of priesthood Ordained a priest on 13 December 1969, the future Roman Pontiff discovered his vocation sixteen years earlier, on 21 September 1953, on the feast of Saint Matthew. 
By Vatican News Service
 Fifty-one years ago today, on 13 December 1969; and just a few days before his thirty-third birthday, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was ordained to the sacred priesthood.
Eleven years earlier, on 11 March 1958, he had entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus where, less than four years after his ordination, he made his perpetual profession on 22 April 1973.
An experience of encounter. The future Pope discovered his vocation in 1953, on 21 September – the liturgical commemoration of St Matthew. On that day, the 17-year-old Jorge Bergoglio, passing by the parish he normally attended in Buenos Aires, felt the need to go to confession. He found a priest he did not know, and that confession changed his life.
“For me this was an experience of encounter,” Pope Francis later recounted. Speaking at the Pentecost Vigil on 18 May 2013, the Pope said of that long-ago visit to the church, “I found that someone was waiting for me. Yet I do not know what happened, I can’t remember, I do not know why that particular priest was there whom I did not know, or why I felt this desire to confess, but the truth is that someone was waiting for me. He had been waiting for me for some time. After making my confession I felt something had changed. I was not the same. I had heard something like a voice, or a call. I was convinced that I should become a priest.”
Jorge Bergoglio experienced the loving presence of God in his life, felt his heart touched and felt the outpouring of God’s mercy, which, with a look of tender love, called him to religious life, after the example of St Ignatius of Loyola. It was this episode of his life that inspired the choice of his episcopal, and later papal, motto “Miserando atque eligendo,” taken from the Homilies of St Bede the Venerable (Hom. 21; CCL 122, 149-151), who, commenting on the Gospel episode of the vocation of St Matthew, writes: “Vidit ergo lesus publicanum et quia miserando atque eligendo vidit, ait illi sequere me” (Jesus saw the tax collector and, because he saw him through the eyes of mercy and chose him, he said to him: Follow me). Priests in the heart of the Pope
Pope Francis often addresses priests in his homilies and speeches. This year, in particular, he mentioned them several times in reference to the current pandemic and his commitment to the faithful tried by the health emergency.
When the Chrism Mass was postponed this year due to Covid-19 restriction, Pope Francis penned a Letter to the priests of Rome. The Pope warmly addressed the pastors of the people of God who “touched with [their] own hands the pain of the people,” remained close to them, shared with them and confirmed them on the journey. “As a community of priests,” Pope Francis wrote, “we were no strangers to these situations; we did not look out at them from a window. Braving the tempest, you found ways to be present and accompany your communities; when you saw the wolf coming, you did not flee or abandon the flock.”
The Holy Father urged priests to be wise, far-sighted and committed; and looking to the future, he wrote of the challenge to priests “to develop a capacity for listening in a way attentive yet filled with hope, serene yet tenacious, persevering yet not fearful.” He concludes his letter, noting that “As priests, sons and members of a priestly people, it is up to us to take responsibility for the future and to plan for it as brothers.”
The apostolic spirit of priests
Later, while speaking with doctors, nurses, and health workers from the Lombardy region in France, Pope Francis recalled “pastoral zeal and creative care” who “helped people to continue the journey of faith and not to remain alone in the face of pain and fear.”
“I have admired the apostolic spirit of so many priests, who reached people by telephone, or went knocking on doors, calling at homes: ‘Do you need anything? I will do your shopping...’. A thousand things,” the Pope said. “These priests who stood by their people in caring, daily sharing: they were a sign of God’s consoling presence.” Then he added: “Regrettably quite a few of them have died, as have doctors and paramedical staff too”; and he remembered, too, the many priests who had been ill, but, “thank God,” were subsequently healed. And he thanked all the Italian clergy, “who have offered proof of courage and love to the people.”
Full Text Source: VaticanNews.va (Video from his 50th Anniversary below)

Pope Francis says "Do not forget joy! Christians are joyful at heart, even in trials. They are joyful because they are close to Jesus..." FULL TEXT + Video


ANGELUS   Saint Peter's Square
Sunday, 13 December 2020

 Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Good morning!

The invitation to joy is characteristic of the season of Advent: the expectation of Jesus' birth that we experience is joyful, somewhat like when we await the visit of a person we love a great deal, for example, a friend whom we have not seen for a long time, a relative.... We are in joyful anticipation. And this dimension of joy emerges particularly today, the Third Sunday, which opens with Saint Paul's exhortation: “Rejoice in the Lord always” (Entrance Antiphon; cf. Phil 4:4, 5). “Rejoice!” Christian joy. And what is the reason for this joy? That “the Lord is at hand” (v. 5).

 

 The closer the Lord is to us, the more joy we feel; the farther away he is, the more sadness we feel. This is a rule for Christians. Once a philosopher said something more or less like this: “I do not understand how one can believe today, because those who say they believe have a face from a funeral wake. They do not bear witness of the joy of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ”. Many Christians have that face, yes, a face from a funeral wake, a face of sadness.... But Christ is risen! Christ loves you! And you have no joy? Let us think a bit about this and let us ask: “Do I have joy because the Lord is close to me, because the Lord loves me, because the Lord has redeemed me?”.

The Gospel according to John today presents us the biblical character who – excluding Our Lady and Saint Joseph – first and most fully experienced the expectation of the Messiah and the joy of seeing him arrive: naturally, we are speaking of John the Baptist (cf. Jn 1:6-8, 19-28).

The Evangelist introduces him in a solemn way: “There was a man sent from God.... He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light” (vv. 6-7). The Baptist is the first witness of Jesus, with the word and with the gift of his life. All the Gospels agree in showing that he fulfilled his mission by indicating Jesus as the Christ, the One sent by God, promised by the Prophets. John was a leader of his time. His renown had spread throughout Judea and beyond, to Galilee. But he did not surrender even for an instant to the temptation to draw attention to himself: he always oriented himself toward the One who was to come. He used to say: “he who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie” (v. 27). Always indicating the Lord. Like Our Lady: always indicating the Lord: “Do whatever he tells you”. The Lord is always at the centre. The Saints around him, indicating the Lord. And one who does not indicate the Lord is not holy! This is the first condition of Christian joy: to decentralize from oneself and place Jesus at the centre. This is not alienation, because Jesus is effectively the centre; he is the light that gives full meaning to the life of every man and woman who comes into this world. It is the same dynamism of love, which leads me to come out of myself not to lose myself but to find myself again, while I give myself, while I seek the good of others.

John the Baptist undertook a long journey to come to bear witness to Jesus. The journey of joy is not a walk in the park. It takes work to always be joyful. John left everything, in his youth, to put God in first place, to listen to His Word with all his heart and all his strength. John withdrew into the desert, stripping himself of all things superfluous, in order to be freer to follow the wind of the Holy Spirit. Of course, some of his personality traits are unique, unrepeatable; they cannot be recommended for everyone. But his witness is paradigmatic for whoever wishes to seek the meaning of his or her life and find true joy. In particular, the Baptist is a model for those in the Church who are called to proclaim Christ to others: they are able to do so only by detaching from themselves and from worldliness, by not attracting people to themselves but directing them toward Jesus.

This is joy: directing toward Jesus. And joy must be the characteristic of our faith. And in dark moments, that inner joy, of knowing that the Lord is with me, that the Lord is with us, that the Lord is Risen. The Lord! The Lord! The Lord! This is the centre of our life, and this is the centre of our joy. Think well today: how do I behave? Am I a joyful person who knows how to transmit the joy of being Christian, or am I always like those sad people, as I said before, who seem to be at a funeral wake? If I do not have the joy of my faith, I cannot bear witness and others will say: “But if faith is so sad, it is better not to have it”.

By praying the Angelus now, we see all of this fully realized in the Virgin Mary: she silently awaited God's Word of salvation; she welcomed it; she listened to it; she conceived it. In her, God became close. This is why the Church calls Mary a “Cause of our joy”.


After the Angelus, the Holy Father continued:

Dear brothers and sisters, I greet you all, people of Rome and pilgrims.

In a special way I greet the group that has come as representatives of the families and children of Rome, for the occasion of the blessing of the “Baby Jesus” figurines, an event organized by the  Centro Oratori Romani. This year few of you are here due to the pandemic, but I know that many children and young people have gathered in the youth centres and in their homes and are following us via means of communication. I offer my greeting to everyone and I bless the statuettes of Jesus, which will be placed in the Nativity scene, a sign of hope and joy. In silence, let us bless the Baby Jesus figurines: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. When you pray at home, before the Nativity scene with your families, allow yourselves to be drawn by the tenderness of Baby Jesus, born poor and frail among us, in order to give us his love.

I wish everyone a happy Sunday. Do not forget joy! Christians are joyful at heart, even in trials. They are joyful because they are close to Jesus: it is He who gives us joy. And, please, do not forget to pray for me. Enjoy your lunch. Arrivederci!

FULL TEXT Source: Vatican.va

Novena to St. Lucy the Patron of Blind, Epidemics, Throat Infections and Salesmen - Special Prayers to #StLucy


Say this prayer for 9 days:
O St Lucy, you preferred to let your eyes be torn out instead of denying the faith and defiling your soul; and God, through an extraordinary miracle, replaced them with another pair of sound and perfect eyes to reward your virtue and faith, appointing you as the protector against eye diseases. I come to you for you to protect my eyesight and to heal the illness in my eyes.
 O St Lucy, preserve the light of my eyes so that I may see the beauties of creation, the glow of the sun, the colour of the flowers and the smile of children. Preserve also the eyes of my soul, the faith, through which I can know my God, understand His teachings, recognise His love for me and never miss the road that leads me to where you, St Lucy, can be found in the company of the angels and saints. St Lucy, protect my eyes and preserve my faith. Amen.
 (Say: 1 “Our Father”, 1 “Hail Mary”, 1 “Glory be”each day of 9 days)
Other Shorter Prayer to St. Lucy:
 O! Glorious St Lucy, Virgin and Martyr, you greatly glorified the Lord by preferring to sacrifice your life rather than be unfaithful. Come to our aid and, through the love of this same most loveable Lord, save us from all infirmities of the eyes and the danger of losing them. Through your powerful intercession, may we spend our life in the peace of the Lord and be able to see Him with our transfigured eyes in the eternal splendour of the Celestial Homeland. Amen. St Lucy, pray for us and for the most needy, to Christ our Lord. Amen.

RIP Father Michel Bineen Mukad - Catholic Priest Dies by Suicide after COVID Diagnosis on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception



The Diocese of Charleston, in the United States, wrote: "We are saddened to share that Father Michel Bineen Mukad, CICM, administrator at St. Mary Our Lady of Ransom Church in Georgetown, passed away Dec. 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. "

Read the statement from the diocese:

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

It has been a difficult few days. The news of Rev. Michel Bineen Mukad’s death on Dec. 8 was heartbreaking. For more than three years, Father Mukad was a deeply devoted priest that was beloved by his parishioners, and his brother priests. He shared a commitment to the faith that was clear and unwavering. I greatly appreciated his commitment to serving our diocese with an open heart and willing hand.

It is with great sorry that I must notify you that police have informed us Father Mukad [died by suicide] at the young age of 38. While we do not know the exact circumstances surrounding this tragic event, we do know that he struggled greatly due to the pandemic.

Like many of us, the isolation and anxiety of the modern world can be an unbearable challenge. For some people these feelings and the isolation they bring can become overwhelming.

I ask that each of you take time to call or message others in your immediate circle, and reach out to those who may have no family, or who are unable to be with family, especially during this holy month. We must take care of one another and also our own mental health. If you are struggling to cope, please reach out to a friend, a loved one, your pastor — someone to listen to you. You are not alone. There are many resources to help you through, and the Lord God cherishes you.

The Diocese Shared this biography on their FB Page:

He was 38. Father Mukad was born on Oct. 28, 1982, and is a native of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He was ordained to the priesthood on Oct. 6, 2013, at St. Eugene Church in Wendell, N.C. After serving more than 3 years in the Diocese of San Antonio, Texas, he moved to South Carolina. During his time in our diocese, he served as parochial vicar at St. Mary Help of Christians in Aiken, administrator at St. Louis Church in Dillon, and administrator at St. Mary Our Lady of Ransom. Funeral arrangements will be shared in the upcoming days. Please pray for the repose of Father Mukad's soul and for his family and parishioners.

St. Lucy Crown #Recipe - Special Sweet Bread - Easy to make #StLucy Recipe to Share!


St. Lucy is the patron saint of light. She wore a wreath of candles on her head to free her arms to carry bread to starving Christians hiding in the catacombs. This is a sweet bread called a Lucia Crown. 

Santa Lucia Crown


Ingredients:

1/2 cup warm water

2-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

1/2 cup warm milk

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup butter, softened

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 to 1 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed

4-1/4 to 4-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3 eggs, divided use

Powdered Sugar Glaze, optional (recipe follows)

Red candied cherry halves, optional


Directions:

 1) Place 1/4 cup warm water in large warm bowl. Sprinkle in yeast; stir until dissolved. Add remaining water, warm milk, sugar, butter, salt, saffron, and 1-1/2 cups flour; blend well. Stir in 2 eggs and enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

 2) Punch dough down. Remove dough to lightly floured surface. Divide into 3 equal pieces. Roll each into a 36-inch rope. Braid ropes. Place on a greased baking sheet and knot into a crown shaped circle. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. 

3) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake crown for 25 minutes or until done, covering braid with foil during last 10 minutes to prevent excess browning. Remove braid from baking sheet and let cool on a wire rack. 

4) Drizzle with Powdered Sugar Glaze and garnish with candied cherry halves. Insert candles. Powdered Sugar Glaze: In small bowl, combine 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted; 4 to 5 teaspoons milk; and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Stir until smooth.