Saturday, April 7, 2012

ASIA : HONG KONG - CHINA : 3500 BAPTISED AT EASTER

ASIA NEWS REPORT:
by Annie Lam*
There are 39 full-time catechists and 1500 volunteer catechists. Evangelization a pastoral priority for Card. Tong. The story of Janet, who will be baptized tonight, along with her younger brother.


Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - This Easter, 3,500adult catechumens in the Hong Kong diocese will receive the Sacrament of Christian Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion) at various parishes at the Holy Saturday Vigil today, April 7.

In his Easter Pastoral Letter 2012, Cardinal John Tong of Hong Kong specially thanks priests, deacons, sisters and laypeople to offer their time and energy in teaching catechism. The catechists "not only carry out the mission of evangelization of the Church, but also strengthen their own faith," the 72-year-old bishop said.

According to the diocesan statistics of Aug. 31, 2011, there are 39 paid catechists and more than 1,500 voluntary catechists. Local Catholic population comprises 363,000 Chinese and 138,000 non-Chinese.

On March 3, Card.Tong stated evangelization as one of his pastoral concerns. "Certainly, the rise in the number of Catholics is gratifying, but the quality of their faith is equally essential," he said, hoping his faithful will progress both in the quantity and the quality of faith.

Card. Tong encouraged the new Catholics to grow in faith. He cited a middle-aged volunteer catechist who was baptized three years ago. The catechist was touched by the words of St. Augustine's words in the "Confessions": "Oh, too late have I loved thee,... too late have I loved thee." After baptism, the catechist lives a simple life, and he studied a course on catechetics and became a volunteer catechist. Now, he plans to study more to deepen his faith, the Easter message says.

Among the 3,500 catechumens, Janet Lo, together with her younger brother, are two of them. She told AsiaNews that she finds life, love and peace in the Catholic faith and is happy to promote faith to others.

Janet, who works in marketing field, said they have finished an 18-month catechism class and received anointment scrutiny liturgy (see photo) performed by Card. Tong and the visiting Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck of Esssen during Lent.

"I especially like a phrase in the Prayer for the Year of Laity of the diocese that says: Love Life, The Gift of God," Janet said. Their search of faith was inspired by their mother's struggles with an illness some years ago. That experience brought her whole family closer to God. "My father, a Catholic, prayed hard with my mother in those difficult days. My mother got baptized and passed away peacefully."

"The experience inspired us to thank God and to respond to His call to become Catholics, like our parents," she said. She also thanked her alma mater, a Christian school that sowed the seed of faith in her heart during her schooldays.

* Annie Lam is a researcher at Holy Spirit Study Centre.

SOURCE http://www.asianews.it/news-en/3500-adults-receive-baptism-at-Easter-Vigil.-Card.-Tong-thanks-the-catechists-24450.html

AUSTRALIA : EASTER MESSAGE BISHOP A. FISHER OF PARRAMATTA

Bishop Anthony
The Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP.

Messages from the Bishop of Parramatta

Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP


To read one of Bishop Anthony's messages, click on the drop-down menu below.








Messages from the Bishop
Easter Message 2012
From Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, Bishop of Parramatta
When people raise their glasses in a toast and say ‘Cheers’ or ‘Your health’ they might not realise that they are praying. When Jesus rose from the dead His first words were those same ones: Shalom, peace, your health. And then He showed us His wounds.
Ah, we might say, I like the cheers bit, but do we have to be reminded about the violence of this world? It seems we do.
Jesus shows His apostles His wounds to help them understand what sin does. Our resistance to what’s good and true and beautiful lacerates our own souls as much as Jesus’ body. “Crucify him!” is the cry that shame pours upon innocence in every age.
Sometimes other people hurt us, physically or emotionally, financially or morally. Sometimes we hurt them. And sometimes we harm ourselves. When we lash out at God and goodness, or just fail to be all that we could be and should be, it diminishes us, it leaves its wounds.
For all the goodness and beauty around us, we know that there is dysfunction in ourselves and our society, in broken relationships and a world that is not quite as it should be. Which is why we all need cheers, health, salvation.
But what really makes us happy? Love, above all, is what we are hard-wired for. We need friendships with God and neighbour. Deep and lasting friendships. Experiences, too, of health and beauty and truth, of work and play, of internal and external harmony. Evil fractures these things; grace restores them. Sin wounds and kills; grace cheers and raises from the dead.
Christ rose from the tomb to show that every break with God, each other, ourselves, can yet be healed. That nothing can separate us from the love of God. That whatever we’ve done He will have us back if we return to Him. Jesus opens His arms wide, not just to display the hurt of Good Friday and the healing of Easter, but to welcome back every returning soul.
We too are called out of the tomb of our anxieties, grievances and addictions. To be signs of hope and happiness.
It doesn’t come easy. Dietrich Bonheoffer spoke about the illusion of ‘cheap grace’, of imagining that healing always comes easy. Easter, he thought, shows it doesn’t. Our healing cost Christ His life. But He willingly gave His all for us.
The blessings of this holiest of seasons for you and your loved ones. Peace be with you, I say. May God’s spirit be with your spirit, I pray. Shalom, peace, your health, cheers!
SOURCE: DIOCESE OF PARRAMATTA AUSTRALIA

EUROPE : CATHOLIC GROUP GIVES CHOCOLATES AND CROSS TO SEA FARERS

CATHOLIC HERALD REPORT:
Apostleship of the Sea try to make a difference to lives of seafarers
By Staff Reporter on Wednesday, 4 April 2012
A seafarer receives an Easter egg far away from home (Photo: John Green)
A seafarer receives an Easter egg far away from home (Photo: John Green) 
Apostleship of the Sea port chaplains and ship visitors are making a difference to the lives of lonely merchant seafarers this Easter by giving them a chance to celebrate their faith at such an important time in their spiritual year.
They are bringing them a sweet treat and a taste of joviality – Easter eggs – as a gesture of thanks from the British community for all they do for us.
Seafarers bring us 95 per cent of all the goods we use and consume.
But as we enjoy the fruits of their labour, merchant seafarers are trapped inside their ships in port or at sea, many miles from home – out of sight and out of mind.
Indeed, for seafarers any festive period is much like any other time of year – the only difference being that their separation from family and friends and from their faith can be even more difficult to bear than usual.
This is where the Apostleship of the Sea steps in, visiting merchant ships and providing seafarers with some Easter cheer in the form of Easter eggs donated by the local community and also a chance to attend Mass if they wish it.
Seafarers often turn to the Apostleship of the Sea at Easter for pastoral and practical help, even on Easter Sunday itself.
Recognising that seafarers are often unable to practise their faith fully while at sea, Apostleship of the Sea teams make every effort to take Catholic seafarers to Mass on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, or arrange to have Mass celebrated onboard, so that seafarers can experience Easter as the important religious festival it truly is.
The Apostleship of the Sea (AoS) is a registered charity and agency of the Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of England and Wales and Scotland. It is wholly reliant on voluntary donations and legacies to continue its work.
Ninety per cent of world trade is transported by ship, and more than 100,000 ships visit British ports each year. But the life of a modern seafarer can be dangerous and lonely.
They may spend up to a year at a time away from home, separated from their family and loved ones, often working in harsh conditions.
AoS chaplains and ship visitors welcome seafarers to our shores, regardless of their colour, race or creed, and provide them with pastoral and practical assistance. They recognise them as brothers with an intrinsic human dignity.
SOURCE: http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/catholiclife/2012/04/04/seafarers-to-receive-easter-eggs/

AMERICA : CANADA : RIP ARCHBISHOP OF WINNIPEG UKRANIAN CATHOLIC - AGE 81

CCCB RELEASE
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bzdel(CCCB – Ottawa)… The Most Reverend Michael Bzdel, C.Ss.R., Ukrainian Catholic Archbishop Emeritus of Winnipeg and Metropolitan of Ukrainian Catholics in Canada, died on April 3, 2012, at his residence in Winnipeg, at the age of 81.
Archbishop Bzdel was born on July 21, 1930, in Wishart, Saskatchewan. A member of the Eastern Church branch of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorists), he was ordained a priest of the Ukrainian Catholic Church on July 7, 1954; appointed Ukrainian Catholic Metropolitan Archeparch of Winnipeg by Pope John Paul II on December 29, 1992; and ordained to the episcopate on March 9, 1993, in Sts. Vladimir and Olga Cathedral, Winnipeg. His resignation as Ukrainian Catholic Archeparch of Winnipeg and Metropolitan of Ukrainian Catholics in Canada was accepted by the Holy Father in January 2006 after attaining the age of 75 years.
As Metropolitan, Archbishop Bzdel was one of the four ex officio members of the Permanent Council of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB). He also served on a number of CCCB Commissions and Committees, in particular the former Ad hoc Committee for Aid to the Church in Eastern and Central Europe and the Balkans. In 1997, the Holy Father named him a delegate to the Special Synod for the Assembly of Bishops for America.
Funeral services will be held in Winnipeg beginning on Wednesday, 11 April 2012, at 7:00 p.m. at Sts. Vladimir & Olga Cathedral, with Hierarchal Parastas. Services will continue on Thursday, 12 April 2012, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Ukrainian Catholic Church, Winnipeg, with the Divine Liturgy and concluding rites, followed by burial at Holy Family Cemetery.
SOURCE CATHOLIC BISHOPS CONFERENCE OF CANADA

AFRICA : ZAMBIA : LOVE AS JESUS TAUGHT AT EASTER


TIMES OF ZAMBIA REPORT: (IMAGE SOURCE: GOOGLE.COM)
CHRISTIANS the world over are commemorating an important part of their calendar, the Easter period, during which they remember the death and resurrection of their Messiah, Jesus Christ, who was crucified on the cross more than 2,000 years ago.
It is a period of deep reflection and prayer by all believers as they remember Christ's crucifixion and the full import of that singular act which is re-incarnated by Christians around the globe in remembrance of the ultimate sacrifice endured by the Lord to save mankind.
Easter is preceded by Lent, a period which is devoted to fasting, abstinence and penitence in commemoration of the days Jesus Christ spent fasting in the wilderness. Devout Christians opt to fast during Lent and also offer tithe or appreciable amounts as church offering to their respective churches to assist the under-privileged persons in their communities.
Zambia's population is predominantly Christian and this fact, more than anything else, prompted the decision to declare the country a so-called 'Christian Nation' by second republican President Dr Frederick J.T. Chiluba. This declaration was subsequently incorporated in the preamble in the national Constitution.
But one question which begs an answer is: Do most Zambians truly reflect the values and spirit of Christianity in their day-to-day lives?The answer is a resounding NO! Sordid evidence abounds which proves beyond doubt that the bulk of so-called Christians have turned their backs on Biblical principles and scriptures and their lives are devoid of any values that could be construed as Christian.
The levels of corruption in our country have escalated, and many of the perpetrators of such acts are 'Christians,' and yet they have no scruples and do not have even a modicum of integrity.
Corrupt officials in Government ministries, departments, quasi-Government institutions and parastatals continue to exhibit unbridled greed and impunity which often lead them to commit grotesque crimes--stealing far in excess of what any person would need for their sustenance.
Many of them steal not because they are in want of basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter; they rob the State and the poor because of avarice; they steal because of their gargantuan appetites for luxuries, which is totally immoral.
It is also undeniable that many of the so-called Christians lead lives of debauchery totally bereft of Christian values. Many, for want of a better term, could be characterised as "Sunday Christians," those who congregate with fellow believers on Sunday and unashamedly return to their sinful ways immediately they leave church.
We are not advocating a level of righteousness which is beyond the capacity of a human being to attain; we are referring to incorrigible individuals whose sins are so repulsive and grotesque, and they make no effort to reform.
Witness the ever-rising statistics about child defilement and rape, indiscriminate killings of spouses, particularly wives, by their partners, bestiality and other unimaginable evils. Are we in the Sodom and Gomorrah era?
These are all matters of grave concern to Government, the Church and the community at large.
We need solutions to curb such crimes in our midst, but efforts made so far have not had the desired impact.
President Michael Sata echoed the sentiments of many in his Easter message yesterday when he implored all Christians to celebrate Easter responsibly and remember the plight of the less fortunate of our society.
He said: "As we celebrate Easter, we should do so responsibly and be mindful of those less fortunate than ourselves.
"Easter should be a time of goodwill and expression of unconditional love to one another. Let us love each other. This is the greatest teaching that Jesus left us."
Hatred, greed, corruption and other vices have the potential to destroy the nation, the President observed. We wish all our esteemed readers happy Easter and hope that the majority will celebrate with moderation and in a dignified manner.
SOURCE TIMES OF ZAMBIA AFRICA

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : HOLY SATURDAY - VIDEO ONLY



FOR READINGS CLICK LINK BELOW:
http://jceworld.blogspot.ca/2012/04/todays-mass-readings-online-holy.html

TODAY'S MASS READINGS ONLINE : HOLY SATURDAY VIGIL APRIL 7, 2012

Genesis 1: 1, 26 - 31
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth."
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
28 And God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth."
29 And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.
30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so.
31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day.



Psalms 104: 1 - 2, 5 - 6, 12 - 14, 24, 35
1 Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, thou art very great! Thou art clothed with honor and majesty,
2 who coverest thyself with light as with a garment, who hast stretched out the heavens like a tent,
5 Thou didst set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be shaken.
6 Thou didst cover it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains.
12 By them the birds of the air have their habitation; they sing among the branches.
13 From thy lofty abode thou waterest the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy work.
14 Thou dost cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth,
24 O LORD, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all; the earth is full of thy creatures.
35 Let sinners be consumed from the earth, and let the wicked be no more! Bless the LORD, O my soul! Praise the LORD! --
Genesis 22: 1 - 18
1 After these things God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here am I."
2 He said, "Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Mori'ah, and offer him there as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains of which I shall tell you."
3 So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; and he cut the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.
4 On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place afar off.
5 Then Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the ass; I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you."
6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together.
7 And Isaac said to his father Abraham, "My father!" And he said, "Here am I, my son." He said, "Behold, the fire and the wood; but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?"
8 Abraham said, "God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son." So they went both of them together.
9 When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar, upon the wood.
10 Then Abraham put forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
11 But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here am I."
12 He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me."
13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.
14 So Abraham called the name of that place The LORD will provide; as it is said to this day, "On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided."
15 And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven,
16 and said, "By myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this, and have not withheld your son, your only son,
17 I will indeed bless you, and I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore. And your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies,
18 and by your descendants shall all the nations of the earth bless themselves, because you have obeyed my voice."
Psalms 16: 5, 8 - 11
5 The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; thou holdest my lot.
8 I keep the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; my body also dwells secure.
10 For thou dost not give me up to Sheol, or let thy godly one see the Pit.
11 Thou dost show me the path of life; in thy presence there is fulness of joy, in thy right hand are pleasures for evermore.
Exodus 14: 15 - 31
15 The LORD said to Moses, "Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward.
16 Lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the people of Israel may go on dry ground through the sea.
17 And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they shall go in after them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, his chariots, and his horsemen.
18 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gotten glory over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen."
19 Then the angel of God who went before the host of Israel moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them,
20 coming between the host of Egypt and the host of Israel. And there was the cloud and the darkness; and the night passed without one coming near the other all night.
21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.
22 And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.
23 The Egyptians pursued, and went in after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.
24 And in the morning watch the LORD in the pillar of fire and of cloud looked down upon the host of the Egyptians, and discomfited the host of the Egyptians,
25 clogging their chariot wheels so that they drove heavily; and the Egyptians said, "Let us flee from before Israel; for the LORD fights for them against the Egyptians."
26 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the water may come back upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen."
27 So Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its wonted flow when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled into it, and the LORD routed the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.
28 The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen and all the host of Pharaoh that had followed them into the sea; not so much as one of them remained.
29 But the people of Israel walked on dry ground through the sea, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.
30 Thus the LORD saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the seashore.
31 And Israel saw the great work which the LORD did against the Egyptians, and the people feared the LORD; and they believed in the LORD and in his servant Moses.
Exodus 15: 1 - 6, 17 - 18
1 Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the LORD, saying, "I will sing to the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.
2 The LORD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him.
3 The LORD is a man of war; the LORD is his name.
4 "Pharaoh's chariots and his host he cast into the sea; and his picked officers are sunk in the Red Sea.
5 The floods cover them; they went down into the depths like a stone.
6 Thy right hand, O LORD, glorious in power, thy right hand, O LORD, shatters the enemy.
17 Thou wilt bring them in, and plant them on thy own mountain, the place, O LORD, which thou hast made for thy abode, the sanctuary, LORD, which thy hands have established.
18 The LORD will reign for ever and ever."
Isaiah 54: 5 - 14
5 For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called.
6 For the LORD has called you like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, like a wife of youth when she is cast off, says your God.
7 For a brief moment I forsook you, but with great compassion I will gather you.
8 In overflowing wrath for a moment I hid my face from you, but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you, says the LORD, your Redeemer.
9 "For this is like the days of Noah to me: as I swore that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you and will not rebuke you.
10 For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the LORD, who has compassion on you.
11 "O afflicted one, storm-tossed, and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in antimony, and lay your foundations with sapphires.
12 I will make your pinnacles of agate, your gates of carbuncles, and all your wall of precious stones.
13 All your sons shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the prosperity of your sons.
14 In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you.
Psalms 30: 2, 4 - 6, 11 - 13
2 O LORD my God, I cried to thee for help, and thou hast healed me.
4 Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name.
5 For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
6 As for me, I said in my prosperity, "I shall never be moved."
11 Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing; thou hast loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness,
12 that my soul may praise thee and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to thee for ever. -
Isaiah 55: 1 - 11
1 "Ho, every one who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Hearken diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in fatness.
3 Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.
4 Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples.
5 Behold, you shall call nations that you know not, and nations that knew you not shall run to you, because of the LORD your God, and of the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you.
6 "Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near;
7 let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return not thither but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
Isaiah 12: 2 - 6
2 "Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation."
3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
4 And you will say in that day: "Give thanks to the LORD, call upon his name; make known his deeds among the nations, proclaim that his name is exalted.
5 "Sing praises to the LORD, for he has done gloriously; let this be known in all the earth.
6 Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel."
Baruch 3: 9 - 15, 32 - 38
9 Hear the commandments of life, O Israel; give ear, and learn wisdom!
10 Why is it, O Israel, why is it that you are in the land of your enemies, that you are growing old in a foreign country, that you are defiled with the dead,
11 that you are counted among those in Hades?
12 You have forsaken the fountain of wisdom.
13 If you had walked in the way of God, you would be dwelling in peace for ever.
14 Learn where there is wisdom, where there is strength, where there is understanding, that you may at the same time discern where there is length of days, and life, where there is light for the eyes, and peace.
15 Who has found her place? And who has entered her storehouses?
32 But he who knows all things knows her, he found her by his understanding. He who prepared the earth for all time filled it with four-footed creatures;
33 he who sends forth the light, and it goes, called it, and it obeyed him in fear;
34 the stars shone in their watches, and were glad; he called them, and they said, "Here we are!" They shone with gladness for him who made them.
35 This is our God; no other can be compared to him!
36 He found the whole way to knowledge, and gave her to Jacob his servant and to Israel whom he loved.
37 Afterward she appeared upon earth and lived among men.
Baruch 4: 1 - 4
1 She is the book of the commandments of God, and the law that endures for ever. All who hold her fast will live, and those who forsake her will die.
2 Turn, O Jacob, and take her; walk toward the shining of her light.
3 Do not give your glory to another, or your advantages to an alien people.
4 Happy are we, O Israel, for we know what is pleasing to God.
Psalms 19: 8 - 11
8 the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;
9 the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever; the ordinances of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
Ezekiel 36: 16 - 28
16 The word of the LORD came to me:
17 "Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their ways and their doings; their conduct before me was like the uncleanness of a woman in her impurity.
18 So I poured out my wrath upon them for the blood which they had shed in the land, for the idols with which they had defiled it.
19 I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries; in accordance with their conduct and their deeds I judged them.
20 But when they came to the nations, wherever they came, they profaned my holy name, in that men said of them, `These are the people of the LORD, and yet they had to go out of his land.'
21 But I had concern for my holy name, which the house of Israel caused to be profaned among the nations to which they came.
22 "Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came.
23 And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them; and the nations will know that I am the LORD, says the Lord GOD, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes.
24 For I will take you from the nations, and gather you from all the countries, and bring you into your own land.
25 I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.
26 A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances.
28 You shall dwell in the land which I gave to your fathers; and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.
Psalms 51: 12 - 15, 18 - 19
12 Restore to me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors thy ways, and sinners will return to thee.
14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of thy deliverance.
15 O Lord, open thou my lips, and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.
18 Do good to Zion in thy good pleasure; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem,
19 then wilt thou delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on thy altar.
Romans 6: 3 - 11
3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.
6 We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin.
7 For he who has died is freed from sin.
8 But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him.
9 For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.
10 The death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.
11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Psalms 118: 1 - 2, 16 - 17, 22 - 23
1 O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his steadfast love endures for ever!
2 Let Israel say, "His steadfast love endures for ever."
16 the right hand of the LORD is exalted, the right hand of the LORD does valiantly!"
17 I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the LORD.
22 The stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner.
23 This is the LORD's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
Mark 16: 1 - 7
1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Mag'dalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salo'me, bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him.
2 And very early on the first day of the week they went to the tomb when the sun had risen.
3 And they were saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the door of the tomb?"
4 And looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back; -- it was very large.
5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe; and they were amazed.
6 And he said to them, "Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here; see the place where they laid him.
7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you."

TODAY'S SAINT : APRIL 7 : ST. JOHN BAPTIST DE LA SALLE

St. John Baptist de la Salle
EDUCATOR, FOUNDER, CONFESSOR
Feast: April 7


Information:
Feast Day:April 7
Born: 1651 at Rheims, France
Died: 1719 at Rouen, France
Canonized: 24 May 1900 by Pope Leo XIII
Major Shrine: Sanctuary of John Baptist de La Salle, Casa Generalizia, Rome, Italy.
Patron of:educators, school principals, teachers
This saint is the patron of teachers, his great achievement having been to provide a system of education for the common people at a time when the poor were grossly neglected; not mercy by founding charity schools, a cling which had been attempted countless times before only to end in repeated failure, but by creating a body of trained teachers, and thus setting them on the only possible basis which guaranteed success.
It was not by inclination, but solely by chance chat he was led to take up this work. Indeed his family background and early training seemed hardly to have prepared him for it. Born in Rheims on April 30th, 1651, the eldest son of an aristocratic family, he inherited the rank and fortune of his parents, which set a gulf between him and the teeming masses of the poor. At sixteen, while he was pursuing a course of classical studies at the College des Bons Enfants, he became a canon of Rheims, and seemed to be marked out for a successful career in the church. He subsequently studied at Saint Sulpice and the Sorbonne for the priesthood, and was ordained at the age of twenty-seven. Up to this point nothing denoted what his mission was to be, and he himself had no inkling of it. But it was shortly after this that he was asked to co-operate in establishing some charity schools in his native town, and this led him to take charge of the teachers, to bring them into his own home and to train them. Little by little he became further involved in the work until he began to realize that everything pointed to his being the chosen instrument of Providence for the creation of a system of Christian education for the poor, whose ignorance and depravity were the disgrace of this 'splendid century', so remarkable for its achievements in every other sphere.
As he had made the will of God the guiding principle of his life, he decided to give himself up completely to this task, resigning his canonry and giving away his fortune in order to be on the same footing as the teachers with whom he lived. In so doing he aroused the anger of his relatives and incurred the derision of his class-minded compatriots, but this in no way made him alter his resolution. In 1684 he transformed his group of schoolmasters into a religious community, under the name of Brothers of the Christian Schools, and this was the origin of the order which continues to this day and is spread all over the world. So chat his order might confine itself solely to the work of teaching, he laid down that no brother might become a priest and that no priest might join the order. This rule is still observed. The first years were marked by poverty and hardship, but these were cheerfully endured, thanks to the example of self-abnegation and extraordinary power of leadership shown by de la Salle, who vowed chat he would live on bread alone, if necessary, rather than abandon the work he had begun.
The religious and professional training of his brothers became his chief care, but he saw that he would never be able to satisfy all the requests he received for teachers unless he undertook the formation of secular schoolmasters as well, so he organized a training college for some forty youths in Rheims in 1687; the first instance of such an institution in the history of education.
After opening schools in a number of neighboring towns, in addition to chose in Rheims itself, he went to Paris in 1683 to take over a school in the parish of St. Sulpice, and there he established his headquarters. In the capital his work spread rapidly, and before long the brothers were teaching over 1,100 pupils. In Paris, too, he founded another training college, with a charity school attached, and organized a Sunday academy, or continuation school for youths already employed. When the exiled monarch, James II, entrusted fifty Irish youths to his care, he arranged for special courses to be given them to suit their needs.
The scope of his work was now such that it aroused the bitter antagonism of the writing masters and the teachers of the Little Schools, who saw their fee-paying pupils drifting into his free schools, and they brought law-suits against him. His schools were pillaged, and he found himself condemned and forbidden to open training colleges or charity schools anywhere in the Paris area. As a result he was excluded for a time from the capital, but by now his brothers were established in other localities, notably in Rouen, Avignon and Chartres, so that the decrees against him failed to ruin his work. Indeed from this time on, his communities multiplied all over France: in Marseilles, Calais, Boulogne, Mende, Grenoble, Troyes and other places. In Rouen he founded two important institutions: a fee-paying boarding school for the sons of bourgeois, who desired an education superior to that of the primary school but more practical than that of the 'classical' colleges; and a reformatory school for youthful delinquents and young men detained under <lettres de cachet.> Both proved very successful, and were significant forerunners of modern institutions of a similar kind.
In 1709 he established a third training college, at St. Den, but this lasted only a couple of years, after which it had to be closed as a result of an unfortunate law-suit.
De la Salle spent the last years of his life in Rouen, completing the organization of his institute, writing the Rule of the brothers in its definitive form, and composing <Meditations> and a <Method of Mental Prayer.> On Good Friday, April 9th, 1718, he died.
His brothers, already established in twenty-two towns of France and in Rome, now expanded their work rapidly. In 1725 they received a bull of approbation of their institute from the pope and letters patent from the king granting them legal recognition. The Revolution ruined their work in France, but they were by now established in Switzerland and Italy, so that they were able to survive this catastrophe and returned to France when more favorable conditions prevailed under Napoleon. Today they number over 15,000 and conduct educational institutions of every kind all over the world. In the United States alone there are some 2,000 brothers in five different Provinces.
De la Salle's pedagogical system is outlined in <The Conduct of Schools>, which he composed in 1695, and which is now considered an educational classic. It shows clearly his practical turn of mind and his essentially religious approach to the education of children. He wrote also several school manuals, notably <The Rules of Good Behaviour> and <The Duties of a Christian>, which proved very popular and went through over a hundred editions.


SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/J/stjohnbaptistdelasalle.asp#ixzz1rMwjUkuK