Saturday, June 21, 2014

Pope Francis at Mass (Video/Text) "To adore Jesus Eucharist and to walk with him. These are the two inseparable aspects..."


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis concluded his one-day trip to the southern Italian region of Calabria with strong words against the Calabrian mafia, saying that it is "adoration of evil and contempt for the common good". He said those who have chosen the "evil road" as being "excommunicated"; the crowd responded with applause. He made these statements during his homily for the high mass for the feast of Corpus Domini in Sibari. Thousands attended the open-air mass under the hot sun.Read the Vatican Radio translation of the Pope’s homily below:
 In the feast of Corpus Domini, we celebrate Jesus “living bread that came down from heaven” (Jn 6,51), food for our hunger for eternal life, strength for our journey. I thank the Lord, who today allows me to celebrate Corpus Domini with you, brothers and sisters of this Church, which is in Cassano allo Jonio. Today’s feast is that on which the Church praises the Lord for the gift of the Eucharist. While on Holy Thursday, we recall its institution at the Last Supper, today thanksgiving and adoration predominate. And, in fact, it is tradition on this day to have the procession with the Blessed Sacrament. To adore Jesus Eucharist and to walk with him. These are the two inseparable aspects of today’s feast, two aspects that mark the entire life of the Christian people: a people that adores God and walks with him.
Before all else, we are a people who adores God. We adore God, who is love, who in Jesus Christ gave himself for us, offered himself on the cross to expiate our sins and by the power of this love he rose from death and lives in his Church. We do have no other God than this!
When adoration of the Lord is substituted by adoration of money, the road to sin opens to personal interest ... When one does not adore the Lord, one becomes an adorer of evil, like those who live by dishonesty and violence. Your land, which so beautiful, knows the signs of the consequences of this sin. The ‘ndrangheta (Calabrian mafia) is this: adoration of evil and contempt of the common good. This evil must be fought, must be expelled. It must be told no. The Church, which is so committed to educating consciences, must always expend itself even more so that good can prevail. Our children ask this of us. Our young people ask this of us, they, who need hope. To be able to respond to this demands, faith can help us. Those who in their lives have taken this evil road, this road of evil, such as the mobsters, they are not in communion with God, they are excommunicated.
 Today, we confess this with our gaze turned to Corpus Domini, to the Sacrament of the altar. And, for this faith, we renounce Satan and all of his temptations; we renounce the idols of money, vanity, pride and power. We, Christians, do not want to adore anything or anyone in this world except Jesus Christ, who is present in the Holy Eucharist. Perhaps we do not always realize what this means in all its depth, the consequences our profession of faith has or should have. Today we ask the Lord to enlighten us and to convert us, so that we truly adore only him and we renounce evil in all its forms. But our faith in the real presence of Jesus Christ, true God and true man, in the consecrated bread and wine, is authentic if we commit to follow him and to walk with him, seeking to put into practice his commandment which he gave to the disciples at the Last Supper: “Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another” (Jn 13,34). A people who adores God in the Eucharist is a people who walks in charity.
Today, as bishop of Rome, I am here to confirm you not only in faith but also in charity, to accompany you and to encourage you in your journey with Jesus Charity. I want to express my support to the bishop, the priests and the deacons of this Church, and also of the Eparchy of Lungro, rich in its Greek-Byzantine tradition. But I extend it to all the pastors and faithful of the Church in Calabria, courageously committed to evangelization and to promoting lifestyles and initiatives which put at the centre the needs of the poor and of the. And I also extend it to the civil authorities who seek to live political and administrative commitment for what it is—a service to the common good.I encourage all to witness practical solidarity with your brothers, especially those who most need justice, hope and tenderness. Thank God, there are many signs of hope in your families, parishes, associations and ecclesial movements.  The Lord Jesus does not cease to inspire acts of charity in his people who journey! The Policoro Project is a concrete sign of hope for young people who want to get in the game and create work possibilities for themselves and for others. You, dear young people, do not let yourselves to be robbed of hope! Adoring Jesus in your hears and remaining united to him you will know how to oppose evil, injustice, violence with the force of good, truth and beauty. 
Dear brothers and sisters, the Eucharist has gathered us together. The Body of the Lord makes of us one, one family, the people of God united around Jesus, Bread of Life. That which I said to the young people, I say to all of you: if you will adore Christ, follow him and walk with him, your diocesan Church and your parishes will grow in faith and charity, in the joy of evangelizing. You will be a Church in which fathers, mothers, priests, religious, catechists, children, the elderly and the young walk alongside each other, support each other, help each other, love each other like brothers, especially in moments of difficulty.Mary, eucharistic Woman, whom you venerate in many sanctuaries, especially at the one in Castrovillari, precedes you in this pilgrimage of faith. May she always help you to stay united so that, even by means of your witness, the Lord may continue to give life to the world.

Wow the Truth Behind Fifa World Cup Brazil Evictions 200,000 Poor for Stadiums

Bishops of Brazil Issue Red Card to FIFA & World Cup Organisers

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese report:
19 Jun 2014
FIFA set to make more than $4 billion from the 2014 World Cup but none will go to help Brazil's poor and displaced
Caritas Australia has joined the Catholic Bishops of Brazil in expressing concern for Brazil's poor and the estimated 200,000 families in the crowded favelas of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and other cities who have been forcibly evicted to make way for the construction of sports stadiums, roads and state of the art World Cup facilities.
As the World Cup competition began on 12 June, the Catholic Bishops Conference of Brazil issued a "red card" to all levels of Brazil's Government and to FIFA, the international body set to make more than $4 billion from the month-long event.
In soccer a "red card" is given to players who commit serious fouls and are expelled from the game, and it was on a "red card" that Brazil's bishops voiced their concerns at the "inversion of priorities" where more than $11 billion of public money, instead of being spent on the basic needs of Brazilians, has been put into a sporting event.
Favela children play soccer in the streets but price of tickets at World Cup is half of what their families earn in a year
"The money should have been used in health, education, sanitation, transportation and security and not to build huge stadiums," the Bishops insist and strongly criticise organisers for the removal of entire communities and many thousands of families to make way for these stadiums and other World Cup infrastructure.
Caritas Australia which supports programs in Brazil's favelas in partnership with the Movement for the Defence of Favela Residents (MDF) shares the Brazilian bishops' concerns, particularly with regard to families and communities of the favelas.
Although frequently described as slums, Brazil's favelas are much more and are often the result of the poor coming together to build their homes, share utilities and create a safe environment for themselves and their children.
Beira Rio stadium is just one of seven of Brazil's spectacular new or handsomely refurbished stadiums
"Over many years whenever I was in Sao Paulo I would visit one particular favela. But last year when I arrived there, the favela and the families I had come to know, were gone. The entire area had been cleared and every one of 5,000 families who used to live there had been evicted. I later heard people had been given just two hours to collect their belongings before the bull dozers moved in," says Sister Margaret Fyfe who for more than 14 years was Caritas Australia's Co-ordinator for Latin America.
In January this year Caritas Australia appointed the Brigidine Sister to a new role. But although she is now Regional Engagement Coordinator for Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia, her love and concern for the people of South America and in particular those of Brazil's favelas remains unabated.
"In Brazil extreme wealth flourishes side by side with extreme poverty," she says and is fearful that the many thousands of displaced families and communities of the favelas will more than double as Rio de Janeiro prepares for the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Sister Margaret Fyfe of Caritas Australia and until early this year Latin America Program Coordinator
"In Brazil 21% of the country or more than one in five live below the poverty line. There are more than 11 million people living in the favelas and discrimination, unemployment and lack of access to basic resources continue to be an ongoing problem for these people," she says and wonders how a Government which can find $12 billion in public money for construction and reconstruction of soccer stadiums across Brazil along with brand new highways to take visitors from the airport to the nation's best luxury hotels, refused to find a similar amount for much needed hospitals, schools and education.
For the past two years, in favelas across Brazil entire communities have been forced out of their homes, often at gunpoint as Brazil's police and army cleared vast tracts of land for new stadiums and infrastructure for the World Cup.
"Some of these families were offered alternative accommodation by the Government but these were in areas more than 50 kilometres from the city. To earn money the people in the favelas rely on getting construction work in the city, on running little stores and selling goods door to door. By moving them out of the city, they not only lose their livelihoods but few could afford the bus fares that would be needed to get them into the city each morning," Sr Margaret says. "It is difficult to build a viable future for yourself when you are moved far away from schools, work and other facilities."
A mural in Rio reads destroying our community for the world cup and tells FIFA to go home
Although large sporting events bring many benefits to host countries, they can and frequently do, adversely affect the most marginal and vulnerable, she says.
"The costs of staging the World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics will cripple the poorest communities in Brazil long after the events have been held," she adds and points out that already the World Cup has resulted in a sharp increase in the cost of living among the favela families Caritas Australia and MDF work with.
Evicting or moving the poor from inner city areas to make way for large international sporting events is not new. When Beijing hosted the Olympics in 2008, the Geneva-based Centre of Housing Rights and Evictions estimated as many as 1 million poor - a figure disputed by China - were displaced to make way for nine spectacular Olympic venues including the famous Australian-designed National Aquatics Centre.
When the Olympics were held in Seoul in 1988, the Geneva-based group claims as many as 750,000 families were displaced to make way for construction of stadiums and facilities.
The poor in Rio's favelas have little but for many the Olympics and FIFA World Cup are taking even that
"Nations are keen to host these big international events and for Brazil, the Government sees hosting the World Cup and later the Olympics as a sign to the world that Brazil is an emerging and successful economy. What is not being addressed is the inequality in this progress and the thousands of families who have lost their homes and their communities," she says.
Caritas Australia has begun a petition to urge FIFA and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to ensure when choosing host countries and overseeing their multi-billion dollar sporting events, that the events are just and sustainable and do not impact the poor.
In Brazil a campaign begun by the Bishops and involving more than 30,000 women religious, nearly 8000 priests and 2700 religious brothers has asked that the people of the favelas and those living on the streets not be expelled or evicted from their locations by police or government officials.
"FIFA officials and those at the IOC need to take steps to ensure that everyone, not just the privileged few, enjoy the benefits of the World Cup and the Olympics. By doing this, they will also be ensuring that these events remain true to the principles of equity and fairness that underpin them," Sr Margaret says.
To find out more about Caritas Australia and to sign the petition for justice and fairness in sport, log on  to
Shared from Archdiocese of Sydney

Pope Francis "....such as the mobsters, they are not in communion with God, they are excommunicated,”

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis concluded his one-day trip to the southern Italian region of Calabria with strong words against the Calabrian mafia, calling it “adoration of evil and contempt for the common good.”

“Those who in their lives have taken this evil road, this road of evil, such as the mobsters, they are not in communion with God, they are excommunicated,” he said to applause.
The Pope made these statements on Saturday during the feast-day Mass he presided for Corpus Domini on the plains of the small town of Sibari, a once-important city in the Hellenistic period of Calabrian history.Organizers planned for 200,000 faithful to attend. They gathered under the hot sun, with temperatures flirting around the 30-degree mark. Sitting in the first rows of the assembly were those with illness and disability, rather than local dignitaries—a decision the local bishop chose to underline ahead of the Pope’s trip.
 The Pope’s visit to the region, marked by violence and corruption and renowned for mafia activity, was highly anticipated by the locals, who in recent months were rocked by the murder of Fr. Lazzaro Longobardi, as well as the death of a three-year-old boy, the innocent victim of a mafia homicide. In his homily, the Pope spoke about the evils that can occur when adoration of God is replaced by adoration of money. “Your land, which so beautiful, knows the signs of the consequences of this sin," he told those assembled. "This evil must be fought, must be expelled.” He called on the local Church to expend itself even more “so that good can prevail”.“Our children ask this of us,” he added.  He said faith can help in responding to these demands. He called  the faithful of the Church in Calabria to be brothers and to show each other practical solidarity, noting signs of hope in local families and in the Church. He also urged young people not to allow themselves to be robbed of hope. He told the faithful his trip was intended to express his support for the local Church, to confirm the people in faith and charity, and to encourage them in their journey with Jesus Christ. “Today,” he continued, “we ask the Lord to enlighten us and to convert us, so that we truly adore only him and we renounce evil in all its forms.” He concluded, saying that in adoring Christ and following him, parishes will grow in faith and charity and they will be places where people walk alongside each other and support, help and love each other, even in difficult moments. 
Shared from Radio Vaticana

Pope Francis “In the silence of prayer Jesus make us see if we are working as good workers....

Pope Francis meets with priests in the Cathedral of Cassano all'Jonio

(Vatican Radio) “I have very much desired this meeting with you who bear the daily burden of parish work” Pope Francis said on Saturday, greeting the priests of the Diocese of Cassano all’Jonio.
In his address, the Holy Father spoke to the assembled clerics about “the joy of being a priest.” There is nothing more beautiful for a man than to be called to the priesthood, he said… called to follow Jesus, to be with Him, to bring Jesus to others, to bring them His Word and His forgiveness. Although the work of a priest is not always easy, drawing near to Jesus in the tabernacle can renew and re-animate priestly zeal. Stopping for a moment before the tabernacle can also lead priests to examine their consciences: “In the silence of prayer Jesus make us see if we are working as good workers, or if we have become a little like ‘employees;’ if we are open, generous ‘channels,’ through which His love, His grace can flow abundantly; or if instead we place ourselves at the centre, and so instead of being channels we become screens that do not help the encounter with God, with the light and the strength of the Gospel.”
Pope Francis also spoke about “the beauty of fraternity.” Priests especially do not follow the Lord just as individuals, but as members of a community, with “a great variety of gifts and personalities” which enrich the priesthood when they are lived “in communion and fraternity.” Even priests, however, “are immersed in a subjectivist culture that exalts the ‘I’ even to the point of idolizing it.” Pope Francis warned of “a certain pastoral individualism that unfortunately is diffused in our dioceses.” Priestly fraternity, then, is a conscious choice that must be cultivated, sought “in communion in Christ in the presbyterate gathered around the Bishop.”
Finally, the Holy Father encouraged the priests in their work “with families and for the family.” It is a difficult time, he said, both for the family as an institution and for individual families that struggle in the crises they face. Priests, he said, “are called to be witnesses and mediators” of God’s “nearness to families, and of the prophetic force” of God’s Word “for the family.” Shared from Radio Vaticana

Pope Francis to Prisoners - We must never tire of going to Confession

Pope visits Calabrian prison

(Vatican Radio) The journey towards reintegration into society, said Pope Francis, demands an encounter with God who loves us, knows us, and forgives our sins.
This was one of the central themes of the Pope’s discourse to the inmates and staff of the district prison of Castrovillari, Calabria. Saturday’s visit to the prison was his first major encounter during his 12 hour pastoral visit to the southern Italian region.
In his address, the Holy Father said that while those in prison must always be treated according to their fundamental human dignity, efforts must also be made by the institution to facilitate effective reintegration into society. When this aim is not achieved, he said, the prison sentence becomes merely an instrument of punishment and retaliation that affects both the individual and society.
God does not treat us in this way, the Pope said, adding that when we go to confession the Lord forgives us and invites us to go with him. Reminding us that we are fragile, he said we must never tire of going to confession.
Pope Francis went on to say that true and complete reintegration involves an encounter with God and allowing ourselves to be looked upon by him who loves us , which he says is difficult. “It is more difficult to allow ourselves to be looked upon by God than to look upon God. It is more difficult to allow ourselves to be encountered by God than to encounter God.”
“The Lord is a master of reintegration,” he said. “He takes us by the hand and brings us back to the community. The Lord always forgives, always accompanies, always understands.”
The Pope then prayed for the families of the inmates, that the Lord may embrace them “in serenity and in peace.”

Today's Mass Readings Online : Sat. June 21, 2014

Memorial of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, Religious
Lectionary: 370

Reading 12 CHR 24:17-15

After the death of Jehoiada,
the princes of Judah came and paid homage to King Joash,
and the king then listened to them.
They forsook the temple of the LORD, the God of their fathers,
and began to serve the sacred poles and the idols;
and because of this crime of theirs,
wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem.
Although prophets were sent to them to convert them to the LORD,
the people would not listen to their warnings.
Then the Spirit of God possessed Zechariah,
son of Jehoiada the priest.
He took his stand above the people and said to them:
“God says, ‘Why are you transgressing the LORD’s commands,
so that you cannot prosper?
Because you have abandoned the LORD, he has abandoned you.’”
But they conspired against him,
and at the king’s order they stoned him to death
in the court of the LORD’s temple.
Thus King Joash was unmindful of the devotion shown him
by Jehoiada, Zechariah’s father, and slew his son.
And as Zechariah was dying, he said, “May the LORD see and avenge.”

At the turn of the year a force of Arameans came up against Joash.
They invaded Judah and Jerusalem,
did away with all the princes of the people,
and sent all their spoil to the king of Damascus.
Though the Aramean force came with few men,
the LORD surrendered a very large force into their power,
because Judah had abandoned the LORD, the God of their fathers.
So punishment was meted out to Joash.
After the Arameans had departed from him,
leaving him in grievous suffering,
his servants conspired against him
because of the murder of the son of Jehoiada the priest.
He was buried in the City of David,
but not in the tombs of the kings.

Responsorial Psalm PS 89:4-5, 29-30, 31-32, 33-34

R. (29a) For ever I will maintain my love for my servant.
“I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant:
Forever will I confirm your posterity
and establish your throne for all generations.”
R. For ever I will maintain my love for my servant.
“Forever I will maintain my kindness toward him,
and my covenant with him stands firm.
I will make his posterity endure forever
and his throne as the days of heaven.”
R. For ever I will maintain my love for my servant.
“If his sons forsake my law
and walk not according to my ordinances,
If they violate my statutes
and keep not my commands.”
R. For ever I will maintain my love for my servant.
“I will punish their crime with a rod
and their guilt with stripes.
Yet my mercy I will not take from him,
nor will I belie my faithfulness.”
R. For ever I will maintain my love for my servant.

Gospel MT 6:24-34

Jesus said to his disciples:
“No one can serve two masters.
He will either hate one and love the other,
or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and mammon.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life,
what you will eat or drink,
or about your body, what you will wear.
Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds in the sky;
they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns,
yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are not you more important than they?
Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?
Why are you anxious about clothes?
Learn from the way the wild flowers grow.
They do not work or spin.
But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor
was clothed like one of them.
If God so clothes the grass of the field,
which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow,
will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?
So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’
or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’
All these things the pagans seek.
Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
But seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given you besides.
Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.
Sufficient for a day is its own evil.”

Fortnight to Freedom Begins in the USA - for Religious Freedom - Join in Prayer!

Fortnight For Freedom


Freedom to Serve

The Fortnight for Freedom: Freedom to Serve will take place from June 21 to July 4, 2014, a time when our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power—St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher, St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome. The theme of this year's Fortnight will focus on the freedom to serve the poor and vulnerable in accord with human dignity and the Church's teaching.
Please check out the menu items on the left side of this page to view prayer resourcesfact sheets, and other helpful Fortnight and religious liberty pages.
Special Masses will be celebrated in Baltimore on June 21 and in Washington, D.C. on July 4. Please check your local TV listings!

Standing Together for Religious Freedom

Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, Dr. Russell D. Moore, President of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, and over 100 religious leaders and scholars released an open letter entitledStanding Together for Religious Freedom!
Signed Open Letter   |  News Release
Speaker Statements   |  Speaker Biographies 

Fortnight Spotlight...

life marriage religious liberty-300x250-web-button-orange.jpgJoin the  Facebook Logo 16x16 Call to Prayer Facebook Page to receive weekly emails on prayer and fasting for religious liberty!
Fortnight 2013 Closing Mass Homily: Donald Cardinal Wuerl, July 4, 2013
Fortnight 2013 Closing Mass Remarks:Archbishop William Lori, July 4, 2013. . . 
"Broad Coalition says Contraception Mandate a Religious Liberty Threat", July 2, 2013. . .
Dioceses Close Out Fortnight for Freedom: USCCB News Release, July 3, 2013

Saint June 21 : St. Aloysius Gonzaga : Patron of Youth, AIDS Victims and Caregiver

St. Aloysius Gonzaga
Feast: June 21

Feast Day:June 21
Born:9 March 1568 at castle of Castiglione delle Stivieri in Montau, Lombardy, Italy
Died:21 June 1591 at Rome
Canonized:31 December 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII
Major Shrine:Church of Sant'Ignazio, Rome (his tomb)
Patron of:Young students, Christian youth, Jesuit novices, People with AIDS and their caregivers
Born in the castle of Castiglione, 9 March, 1568; died 21 June, 1591. At eight he was placed in the court of Francesco de'Medici in Florence, where he remained for two years, going then to Mantua. At Brescia, when he was twelve, he came under the spiritual guidance of St. Charles Borromeo, and from him received First Communion. In 1581 he went with his father to Spain, and he and his brother were made pages of James, the son of Philip II. While there he formed the resolution of becoming a Jesuit, though he first thought of joining the Discalced Carmelites. He returned to Italy in 1584 after the death of the Infanta, and after much difficulty in securing his father's consent, renounced his heritage in favour of his brother, 2 November, 1585, a proceeding which  required the approval of the emperor, as Castiglione was a fief of the empire. He presented himself to Father Claudius Acquaviva, who was then General of the Society, 25 November, 1585. Before the end of his novitiate, he passed a  brilliant public act in philosophy, having made his philosophical and also his mathematical studies before his entrance. He had in fact distinguished himself, when in Spain, by a public examination not only in philosophy, but also in theology, at the University of Alcal&aacuate;. He made his vows 25 November, 1587. Immediately after, he began his theological studies. Among his professors were Fathers Vasquez and Azor. In 1591 when in his fourth year of theology a famine and pestilence broke out in Italy. Though in delicate health, he devoted himself to the care of the sick, but on March 3 he fell ill and died 21 June, 1591. He was beatified by Gregory XV in 1621 and canonized by Benedict XIII in 1726. His remains are in the church of St. Ignazio in Rome in a magnificent urn of lapis lazuli wreathed with festoons of silver. The altar has for its centerpiece a large marble relief of the Saint by Le Gros.