Tuesday, October 8, 2013


(Vatican Radio) In his homily at daily Mass at the Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis explained that a Christian is a person who has a heart that knows how to pray and knows how to forgive. The Gospel of the day was dedicated to the story of Saint Martha, the titular saint of his residence. The Pope took the Gospel story as the starting point, reminding us that “prayer works miracles” as long as it is not a purely mechanical act. 

The very human figures of Saint Martha, from the New Testament, and the Prophet Jonah of the Old, the central characters of the day’s readings, are united by a common incapacity: they did not know to pray. Pope Francis built his homily on this aspect, beginning with the famous scene in the Gospel where Martha asks Jesus, in an almost critical tone, to have her sister to help her do the serving, rather than sitting at His feet listening to Him. Jesus replied, “Mary has chosen the better part.” This part, Pope Francis said, is “that of prayer, that of the contemplation of Jesus”: 

“To the eyes of the sister, this was time lost, it even seemed, perhaps, a bit of a fantasy: gazing upon the Lord as if she were a awestruck child. But who wants that? The Lord: ‘This is the better part,’ because Mary heard the Lord and prayed with her heart. And the Lord tells us: ‘the first task in life is this: prayer.’ But not the prayer of words, like a parrot; but the prayer, the heart: gazing on the Lord, hearing the Lord, asking the Lord. We know that prayer works miracles.”

And prayer produces a miracle even in the ancient city of Niniveh. Jonah, on God’s instructions, had preached the imminent destruction of the city; the city, though, was saved because the inhabitants, believing the prophet, were converted, and from the greatest to the least called upon the divine forgiveness with all their strength. However, even in this story of redemption, the Pope took note of the erroneous attitude of Jonah, who was more disposed to justice without mercy. His attitude was similar to Martha’s, inclining to service that excludes interiority: 

“And Martha does this. Does what? But she didn’t pray! But there are others like this stubborn Jonah, who are the executioners. He went, he prophesied, but in his heart he said: ‘But if they deserve it. If they deserve it. If they were asking for it!’ He prophesied, but he didn’t pray! He didn’t ask the Lord to forgive him. Only to beat them. They are executioners, those that believe themselves to be just! And in the end, the book of Jonah continues, it is seen that he was a selfish man, when the Lord saved Nineveh through the prayer of the people, he was angry with the Lord: ‘You are always like that. You always forgive!’”

And so, the Pope concluded, prayer that is only a formula, without heart, as well as pessimism or the desire for justice without forgiveness, are the temptations a Christian must always guard against in order to be able to choose “the better part”: 

“And we ourselves, when we don’t pray, what we’re doing is closing the door to the Lord. And not praying is this: closing the door to the Lord, so that He can do nothing. On the other hand, prayer, in the face of a problem, a difficult situation, a calamity, is opening the door to the Lord so that He will come. So that He builds things, He knows to arrange things, to reorganize things. This is what praying is: opening the door to the Lord, so that he can do something. But if we close the door, God can do nothing! Let us think on this Mary who has chosen the better part, and makes us see the way, as the door is opened to the Lord.”


Vatican City, 8 October 2013 (VIS) – The Holy See Press Office today announced that Holy Father Francis has convened the Third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, to be held in the Vatican from 5 to 19 October 2014, on the theme “The pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelisation”.
In the Chapter of the Code of Canon Law relating to synodal assemblies, the Synod of Bishops meets in an extraordinary general assembly when the matter under consideration, while related to the good of the universal Church, requires rapid definition.
“It is very important that an extraordinary Synod has been convoked on the theme of the pastoral of the family”, said the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J. “This is the way in which the Pope intends to promote reflection and to guide the path of the community of the Church, with the responsible participation of the episcopate from different parts of the world”.
“It is right”, he added, “that the Church should move as a community in reflection and prayer, and that she takes common pastoral directions in relation to the most important points – such as the pastoral of the family – under the guidance of the Pope and the bishops. The convocation of the extraordinary Synod clearly indicates this path. In this context, the proposal of particular pastoral solutions by local persons or offices carries the risk of engendering confusion. It is opportune to emphasise the importance of following a path in full communion with the ecclesial community”.
Fr. Lombardi mentioned that yesterday Pope Francis attended the meeting of the Secretariat of the Synod, taking place during these days in Via della Conciliazione.


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
8 Oct 2013
Chapel at the Seminary of the Good Shepherd where the weekend of prayer will be held
More than 500 are expected to participate in this year's 40 Hours for Vocations at the Seminary of the Good Shepherd, Homebush this weekend.
Now in its third year of what has become a much-anticipated annual tradition, the prayer-filled weekend involves 40 Hours of Adoration to pray for all men and women discerning vocations to marriage, the priesthood or religious life.
Beginning on Friday, 11 October with Evening Prayer in the Seminary Chapel, 40 Hours for Vocations continues throughout the night and the following day and continues until Sunday, 13 October with Benediction and Morning Prayer followed by Mass, and concludes at 11 am.
"More than 100 signed up in our first year but many times that number came to pray for a few hours or to spend longer in our chapel in reflection and prayer. Last year we had an even larger turnout with several men and women, including the mother of one of our seminarians staying all night in prayer in the chapel," says Father Anthony Percy, Rector at the Seminary of the Good Shepherd.
He says many of those who participated last year attended Benediction in the Chapel then returned the next day to spend another hour or two in prayer.
Each evening the Holy Father spends an hour in Adoration
"Others arrived early on Saturday for morning prayer and returned later in the day with a brother or sister. Still others brought their children and spent several hours in prayer," he says delighted that whole families attended last year and in one case, three generations of the same family.
With more and more people participating in the 40 Hours for Vocations prayer weekend each year, he believes the Archdiocese of Sydney and the Seminary have tapped into a definite need.
An initiative of the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell in collaboration with Fr Percy and the Seminary of the Good Shepherd, the weekend offers people silence and solitude to spend one hour or more in reflection and prayer.
"In both the previous years we not only had those contemplating marriage as well as many men and women considering the possibility of a religious or a priestly vocation, we had hundreds who simply wanted to deepen their faith and through prayer become closer to God," he says.
The program for the 40 Hours for Vocations includes Mass, confession, Eucharistic Adoration, and readings by seminarians studying at the Seminary of the Good Shepherd.
Blessed John Paul II encouraged all Christians in adoration of the Eucharist
Among the readings will be meditations on vocations and the scriptures and writings of John Paul II. The beloved pontiff, who will be canonised along with John XXXIII on 27 April next year, often spoke of the great need for Eucharistic Adoration in today's world, describing Adoration as a sacrament of love and a personal invitation from Jesus.
The date chosen for the Seminary's 40 Hours of Vocation was to be as near as possible to the saint-in-waiting's Feast Day on 22 October.
Pope Francis recently spoke about Adoration and prayer in the interview he gave with La Civilta Cattolica and other major journals of the Society of Jesus.
"What I really prefer is adoration in the evening, even when I get distracted and think of other things, or even fall asleep praying. In the evening then, between seven and eight o'clock, I stay in front of the Blessed Sacrament for an hour in Adoration. But I pray mentally even when I am waiting at the dentist or at other times of the day," he said.
"Prayer for me is always a prayer full of memory, of recollection, even the memory of my own history or what the Lord has done in his church or in a particular parish. For me it is the memory of which St. Ignatius speaks in the First Week of the Exercises in the encounter with the merciful Christ crucified. And I ask myself: What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What should I do for Christ?
"It is the memory of which Ignatius speaks in the 'Contemplation for Experiencing Divine Love,' when he asks us to recall the gifts we have received. But above all, I also know that the Lord remembers me. I can forget about him, but I know that he never, ever forgets me."
In the same interview, Fr Percy says, the Holy Father spoke of God's presence in all our lives, no matter who we are and even perhaps when we are unaware.
Seminary of the Good Shepherd, Homebush
"God is in every person's life. God is in everyone's life, even if the life of a person has been a disaster, even if it is destroyed by views, drugs or anything else. God is in this person's life," he said and urged us all to try to seek God in every human life, even if this life is "full of thorns and weeds."
"There is always a space in which the good seed can grow. You have to trust in God," he said.
This weekend's 40 Hours for Vocations is a chance to become closer to God, a chance to reflect in silence and renew your faith and to pray for the men and women discerning vocations.
"It is also a wonderful way for us to bring the community into the Seminary to share our lives and have a greater understanding of the formation of our future priests," Fr Percy says.
40 Hours for Vocations begins in the Chapel at the Seminary of the Good Shepherd, Homebush at 5 pm on Friday, 11 October and continues until 11am Sunday, 13 October. People are welcome to participate in this weekend of prayer for an hour, two hours or for however long they wish.
For more information contact Elizabeth Arblaster at the Archdiocese of Sydney's Vocations Centre atElizabeth.arblaster@sydneycatholic.org 


ASIA NEWS REPORT: Hundreds arrested. The Alliance for the return of former President Morsi wants to mobilize schools and universities. Civillian population come to Army’s aid in clashes with Muslim Brotherhood accused of terrorism .

Cairo (AsiaNews / Agencies ) - At least 50 people were killed in clashes between Islamists and police , while tens of thousands of other Egyptians participated in ceremonies marking the anniversary of the Arab-Israeli war of 1973 ( the " Yom Kippur " ).

Supporters of President Mohamed Morsi, deposed in July, tried to enter the famous Tahrir Square with pro-Morsi placards and criticism of general Al Sisi , but clashed with the police who prevented their passage . According to witnesses, many civilians helped the police against the Islamists, who are accused of terrorism.

The Ministry of Health says that 45 people were killed in downtown Cairo, 5 south of the capital ; 268 were injured . The Ministry states the victims were killed by bullets and slingshots . Police arrested 423 pro - Morsi demonstrators, accusing them of having fired guns and throwing stones with slingshots .

Yesterday's budget is the heaviest since August 14, when the army broke-up two Muslim Brotherhood sit-ins, in which a thousand people are believed to have died, including many soldiers , struck by the weapons held by the demonstrators .

Since the fall of Morsi, after impressive protests involving tens of millions of Egyptians , the Muslim Brotherhood has been outlawed , their leaders and many followers imprisoned. But the group is trying to polarize the situation, demanding Morsi's return. For this they have vowed to continue protests , mobilizing schools and universities.



Ireland: Day for Life message 2013 | Ireland: Day for Life message 2013
The 2013 Day for Life pastoral message published by the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference message was issued at all Masses throughout Ireland Care on Sunday, 6 October. The full text follows:
Care for Life: It's Worth It
Some years ago, when celebrating Mass in honour of St Raymond Nonnatus, the Patron Saint of expectant mothers and midwives, Pope Francis spoke simply and beautifully about what promoting a culture of life really means:
'Jesus teaches us to care for life because it is the image of God, who is absolute life. We cannot announce anything else but life, and from the beginning to the end.
All of us must care for life, cherish life, with tenderness, warmth ... to give life is to open the heart, and to care for life is to expend one's self in tenderness and warmth for others, to have concern in my heart for others.
Caring for life from the beginning to the end. What a simple thing, what a beautiful thing ... So, go forth and don't be discouraged. Care for life. It's worth it!'
Homily of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, during a Mass in honour of St Raymond Nonnatus, Patron Saint of expectant mothers, Argentina (31 August 2005)
In response to Pope Francis' words - how can we promote a culture of life?
We can build a culture of life by our compassion and care for others, especially those who are vulnerable, and by speaking of the need to care for life. It means seeing life as a whole, caring for it as a 'seamless garment', stretching from natural birth to natural death.
Three issues from within this seamless garment of the culture of life are of particular concern at this time:
Care for unborn children and their mothers
The Church strives to protect the lives of unborn children and their mothers and to support them - practically, emotionally and spiritually.
As parishioners, parents, politicians, members of the legal, caring and medical professions, we have a duty to do all we can to build a culture of life by encouraging our society in its laws and medical practice to care for and protect the life of unborn children and their expectant mothers. From conception to natural death, life is a precious gift. The life of a mother and her unborn child are both sacred and deserve to be equally protected.
The Church strives to protect the lives of unborn children and their mothers and to support them - practically, emotionally and spiritually.
God, our loving Father, through the Sacrament of Reconciliation is always ready to embrace with understanding and compassion all those men and women who feel remorse over an abortion and come to confession seeking forgiveness, reconciliation and absolution.
Care for people who are elderly
Caring for the elderly is a noble vocation. Throughout the centuries the Church has played a leading role, and is prominent today, in providing such care.
Whether I am a carer in the home or a professional carer, I contribute to a culture of life when I look beyond the challenges that can be part of caring for a person with special physical or mental needs and see the inherent dignity and eternal destiny of the person I am called to care for. As Christians we can also offer up the challenges that sometimes come with caring for others as a spiritual sacrifice and an opportunity to grow in personal holiness and grace.
While many individuals and institutions provide outstanding care for the aged, there have also been recent disturbing reports of very poor care for the elderly and the infirm. Often this has its roots in a prevalent attitude, which was described by Pope Francis as effectively saying, 'this elderly man, this elderly woman, is useless; discard them, like we hang up the raincoat during the summer ... because they're now disposable, they're useless'.
The culture of life, on the other hand, embraces a love that inspires self-giving. It is a love that allows us to see in every person another self and compels us to protect and care for that person as we would our very selves. It is expressed in practical terms as compassion and care, especially for the most vulnerable. It embraces those whose lives would otherwise be neglected or rejected because of the consumerist, 'cost-benefit' approach to life and care that is increasingly evident in our society.
As a society we need to care for our carers and ensure that they have the resources and support they need to do their job well.
Care for those who are suicidal and their families
The increased incidence of suicide, especially among younger men, is a matter of grave concern.
The Church wishes to show its care for and closeness to those who, for whatever reason, believe their own lives are no longer worthwhile and are tempted to give up on life itself.
We appeal to all those who may find themselves with suicidal thoughts to seek help and support from others around them, especially from those voluntary and statutory agencies with experience of providing appropriate support and care in this area. We appeal to you to choose life, not death. We appeal to you not to be deceived by the lie that taking one's own life, in any circumstances, is a helpful, humane or dignified solution to any problem. Suicide is never the solution.
Often, when someone dies by suicide, the difficulties for those left behind are simply multiplied many times over. A long shadow of grief, pain and confusion is cast over the lives of family, friends and the wider community.
It is important to avoid the impression that a certain level of suicide is inevitable in society and therefore quietly tolerable. In the Samaritans' most recent annual report, they state their belief 'that a reduction in suicide is not only possible but that it is an urgent and important priority'.
We take the opportunity as a Church to echo that sentiment today. We call on the Government to give priority to strategies and services that seek to prevent suicide and which provide adequate support and care for those who are feeling suicidal and their families. We encourage individual Christians and parish communities to consider ways in which they can reach out and care for those around them who may be vulnerable to suicide, as well as to those who continue to suffer as a result of the suicide of someone close to them.
The Church wishes to show its care for and closeness to those who, for whatever reason, believe their own lives are no longer worthwhile and are tempted to give up on life itself.
We all have a role to play - a call to work together for the culture of life.
The culture of life affirms the inherent value of life at all of its stages. It seeks to build an environment of compassion and care that nurtures and sustains life, even in the midst of the most challenging of human events and personal circumstances.
Catholic social teaching holds up the vision that no person should ever be marginalised or set aside. All have an inherent value and worth that comes not from governments or the State, but from the very heart of God. The Year of Faith is an opportunity for each of us to renew our commitment as Christians to building up the culture of life and leading others to Christ by the quality of love and care we show to others in his name.
As Christians we also take this opportunity to invite all people of good will, all those who wish to build a society more worthy of the human person, to give renewed value to the place of selfless love and care for others in social, political, economic and cultural life, making respect for the inherent dignity and preciousness of life, from conception to natural death, the constant standard by which all our decisions are made.
Day for Life Prayer
Holy Mary, Mother of Love,
holding in your arms, the fruit of your womb,
graciously look upon our earth and remove from it
all that hardens our hearts and dims our eyes
to the preciousness of human life,
from the moment of conception to natural death.
Through the example of your tenderness
teach us the ways of compassion and love
that we may build up the civilisation of love among us
and a society that is truly worthy of the human person.
Help us to reject all that contributes to a culture of death,
and to work with others of goodwill
in promoting the culture of life.
Bring us ever closer to your Son,
so that we may know the fullness of life that he offers us
and come to know that life more perfectly,
with you, and all the angels and saints,
in the eternal life of Heaven.

Source: Irish Catholic Media Office/Armagh Diocese


DIOCESE RELEASE: Death of Father Kevin L. Kayda

Father Kevin L. Kayda
It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of Reverend Kevin Lee Kayda. He died unexpectedly at the home of his parents in Carlisle on Thursday, October 3, 2013.
 Fr. Robert M. Gillelan, Jr., Diocesan Administrator said, “The loss of any life is a tragedy, but the death of a beloved young priest is an especially difficult loss to bear.  St. John of the Cross helps us to navigate this difficult passage when he says, ‘And I saw a river over which every soul must pass to reach the kingdom of heaven and the name of that river was suffering … and then I saw a boat which carried souls across the river and the name of that boat was love.’  May we feel the consolation of God’s love for Fr. Kayda and his family.  May God’s love for us be the boat that carries us across the river of suffering to his heavenly kingdom.”
Father Kayda was ordained a Priest of the Diocese of Harrisburg on June 1, 2013 at St. Patrick Cathedral, Harrisburg by Bishop William Waltersheid, Auxiliary Bishop of Pittsburgh and a former priest of the Diocese of Harrisburg. He began his priestly ministry on June 17 with an assignment as Parochial Vicar at St. John the Baptist Parish, New Freedom, Pa.
Biographical Information
Father Kayda was 28 years of age. He was born in 1985 in Lancaster, Pa to Kevin and Laura Kayda. He attended St. Patrick elementary school in Carlisle and graduated from Carlisle High School. He did his college work at Wheeling Jesuit University, Wheeling, WV and St. Vincent College, Latrobe, PA and attended Mount St. Mary Seminary, Emmittsburg, MD graduating in 2013.
Funeral Information
Visitation will take place Monday, October 7, 2013 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. followed by a Mass of Remembrance at 7:00 p.m. in the Saint Patrick Church, 85 Marsh Drive, Carlisle, PA.    The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at the Saint Patrick Church, 85 Marsh Drive, Carlisle, PA. 
Prayers are requested for the soul of Father Kevin Kayda and for the comfort of his family and friends. May God grant him eternal rest.
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Tuesday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 462

Reading 1                JON 3:1-10

The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time:
“Set out for the great city of Nineveh,
and announce to it the message that I will tell you.”
So Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh,
according to the LORD’s bidding.
Now Nineveh was an enormously large city;
it took three days to go through it.
Jonah began his journey through the city,
and had gone but a single day’s walk announcing,
“Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed,”
when the people of Nineveh believed God;
they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small,
put on sackcloth.

When the news reached the king of Nineveh,
he rose from his throne, laid aside his robe,
covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in the ashes.
Then he had this proclaimed throughout Nineveh,
by decree of the king and his nobles:
“Neither man nor beast, neither cattle nor sheep,
shall taste anything;
they shall not eat, nor shall they drink water.
Man and beast shall be covered with sackcloth
and call loudly to God;
every man shall turn from his evil way
and from the violence he has in hand.
Who knows, God may relent and forgive,
and withhold his blazing wrath,
so that we shall not perish.”
When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way,
he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them;
he did not carry it out.

Responsorial Psalm                 PS 130:1B-2, 3-4AB, 7-8

R. (3) If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD
LORD, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to my voice in supplication.
R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
If you, O LORD, mark iniquities,
LORD, who can stand?
But with you is forgiveness,
that you may be revered.
R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?
Let Israel wait for the LORD,
For with the LORD is kindness
and with him is plenteous redemption;
And he will redeem Israel
from all their iniquities.
R. If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand?

Gospel                           LK 10:38-42

Jesus entered a village
where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.
She had a sister named Mary
who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.
Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said,
“Lord, do you not care
that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving?
Tell her to help me.”
The Lord said to her in reply,
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing.
Mary has chosen the better part
and it will not be taken from her.”


St. Pelagia
Feast: October 8
Feast Day:
October 8

She was a tender virgin at Antioch, only fifteen years of age when she was apprehended by the persecutors in 311. Being alone in the house, and understanding that their errand was to carry her before the judge, where her chastity might be in danger, she desired leave of the soldiers to go up stairs and dress herself. But fearing to be an innocent occasion to others' sin, threw herself from the top of the house, and died on the spot by her fall: in which action, says St. Chrysostom, she had Jesus in her breast inspiring and exhorting her. She probably hoped to escape by that means; and might lawfully expose her life to some danger for the preservation of her chastity; but nothing will ever make it lawful for any one directly to procure his own death.
Whoever deliberately lays violent hands upon himself is guilty of a heinous injury against God, the Lord of his life, against the commonwealth, which he robs of a member, and of that comfort and assistance which he owes to it; also against his friends, children, and lastly against himself, both by destroying his corporeal life, and by the spiritual and eternal death of his soul; this crime being usually connected with final impenitence, and eternal enmity with God, and everlasting damnation. Nor can a name be found sufficiently to express the baseness of soul, and utmost excess of pusillanimity, impatience, and cowardice, which suicide implies. Strange that any nation should, by false prejudices, be able so far to extinguish the most evident principles of reason and the voice of nature, as to deem that an action of courage which springs from a total want of that heroic virtue of the soul. The same is to be said of the detestable practice of duels. True fortitude incites and enables a man to bear all manner of affronts, and to undergo all humiliations, dangers, hardships, and torments, for the sake of virtue and duty. What is more contrary to this heroic disposition, what can be imagined more dastardly, than not to be able to put up a petty affront and rather to offend against all laws divine and human, than to brook an injury or bear a misfortune with patience and constancy, than to observe the holy precept of Christ, who declares this to be his favorite commandment, the distinguishing mark of his followers, and the very soul of the divine law! Mention is made of a church at Antioch, and another at Constantinople, which bore the name of this saint in the fifth century.
SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/P/stpelagia.asp