Monday, June 23, 2014

SHARE Pope Francis Visits Disabled Women at her home - Awesome! Viral Video

Pamela Mauro put large signs outside her house saying,  “There’s an angel waiting for you here.” and, “Dear Pope, bless and embrace little Roberta.” Roberta Mauro is severely disabled, and they live in Calabria. They live along the road Pope Francis traveled Saturday on his way to a Mass.The family stayed on the road, with Roberta in a wheelchair. Pope Francis did stop and blessed and held Roberta. He blessed the family and posed for photos as a crowd yelled “Bravo, Francesco.”

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Today's Mass Readings Online : Monday June 23, 2014

Monday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 371

Reading 12 KGS 17:5-8, 13-15A, 18

Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, occupied the whole land
and attacked Samaria, which he besieged for three years.
In the ninth year of Hoshea, king of Israel
the king of Assyria took Samaria,
and deported the children of Israel to Assyria,
setting them in Halah, at the Habor, a river of Gozan,
and the cities of the Medes.

This came about because the children of Israel sinned against the LORD,
their God, who had brought them up from the land of Egypt,
from under the domination of Pharaoh, king of Egypt,
and because they venerated other gods.
They followed the rites of the nations
whom the LORD had cleared out of the way of the children of Israel
and the kings of Israel whom they set up.

And though the LORD warned Israel and Judah
by every prophet and seer,
“Give up your evil ways and keep my commandments and statutes,
in accordance with the entire law which I enjoined on your fathers
and which I sent you by my servants the prophets,”
they did not listen, but were as stiff-necked as their fathers,
who had not believed in the LORD, their God.
They rejected his statutes,
the covenant which he had made with their fathers,
and the warnings which he had given them, till,
in his great anger against Israel,
the LORD put them away out of his sight.
Only the tribe of Judah was left.

Responsorial Psalm PS 60:3, 4-5, 12-13

R. (7b) Help us with your right hand, O Lord, and answer us.
O God, you have rejected us and broken our defenses;
you have been angry; rally us!
R. Help us with your right hand, O Lord, and answer us.
You have rocked the country and split it open;
repair the cracks in it, for it is tottering.
You have made your people feel hardships;
you have given us stupefying wine.
R. Help us with your right hand, O Lord, and answer us.
Have not you, O God, rejected us,
so that you go not forth, O God, with our armies?
Give us aid against the foe,
for worthless is the help of men.
R. Help us with your right hand, O Lord, and answer us.

Gospel MT 7:1-5

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Stop judging, that you may not be judged.
For as you judge, so will you be judged,
and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.
Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye,
but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?
How can you say to your brother,
‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’
while the wooden beam is in your eye?
You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first;
then you will see clearly
to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.”

Meriam Ibrahim is Free! Mother Sentenced to Death for Christian Faith - Please Continue to Pray for her Safety...

Meriam Yahya Ibrahim, age 27, of Sudan, who was sentenced to hanging for converting from Islam to Christianity has been released from prison. The official state news agency in Sudan, said the court ordered her to be freed. This was due to the great amount of Media coverage and appeals by world leaders.  Her Christian husband Daniel Wani is an American. The SUNA News agency said: "The appeal court ordered the release of Mariam Yahya and the cancellation of the court ruling." Meriam gave birth in prison while chained. She refused to renounce her Christian Faith. . There was Amnesty International campaign and the petition has over 980,000 signatures.

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Christian Solidarity Worldwide can confirm that the appeal court reviewing the case of Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese Christian woman who was sentenced to death for apostasy and 100 lashes for adultery on 11 May, has quashed the original verdict, ordered her release, recognized her marriage and declared her innocent of all charges.

According to information received earlier by CSW, while in Omdurman Women’s Prison along with her two young children, Mrs Ibrahim had been visited by an Islamic scholar who read to her continuously from the Qur’an in order to help her to ‘return’ to the Islamic faith.

On 4 March Mrs Ibrahim was charged with adultery and apostasy under articles 146 and 126 of Sudan’s Penal Code respectively, after alleged family members whom she had never met informed the Sudanese authorities of her marriage to Daniel Wani, a Christian. The Public Order Court in El Haj Yousif Khartoum, chaired by Judge Abbas Khalifa, gave her three days to renounce her faith, and she was visited by Islamic scholars who attempted to pressure her to ‘return to the faith of her fathers’. Her sentence was confirmed on 15 May, after Mrs Ibrahim refused to renounce her faith.

Mrs Ibrahim was brought up as a Christian by her Ethiopian Orthodox mother after her Sudanese Muslim father left the family when she was 6 years old.  She testified of her lifelong Christian faith in court on 4 March, and Morning Star News reported that potential witnesses who also sought to testify of her lifelong adherence to Christianity were prevented from giving evidence to the court.

The Catholic Church of Khartoum issued a statement on 11 June confirming that Mrs Ibrahim and Mr Wani were married on 19 December 2011, and intimating that the alleged family members may have been motivated by a desire to access the couple’s businesses, which include a barber shop and agricultural product. The statement also said that a lawyer who initially dealt with Mrs Ibrahim and Mr Wani’s case in September 2013 was forced to stop representing them due to pressure from Mrs Ibrahim’s accusers, including from her alleged brother.

Members of Mrs Ibrahim’s current legal team have also received threats from extremists who have deemed their actions as ‘un-Islamic’, adding that they too should receive deaths sentences. Pressure has also come from Mrs Ibrahim’s accusers; her alleged brother has publicly stated the family would carry out the death sentence should the court acquit her. According to local sources, other alleged family members have also issued daily threats statements in the Sudanese press against the lawyers, and AFP News Agency reports that extremist groups have lobbied the Sudanese government to uphold the sentence. 
For Background on this Story See;

Nun who took Care of Orphans Killed in South Africa - RIP Sister Mary Paule

Agenzia Fides REPORT - The South African police have arrested two men suspected of killing an 82-year-old U.S. religious, Sister Mary Paule Tacke, of the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood (CPS), also known as the Missionaries of Mariannhill, during an attempted street robbery and investigations are still underway.
According to information gathered by Fides Agency, Sister Mary’s car was stopped by bandits on Sunday, June 15 near Mthatha while the nun was on her way to visit one of the orphanages she founded. The car, with the bandits on board, was subsequently chased by the police. The chase ended when the car, driven by the bandits, overturned near Qokolweni. The criminals managed to escape. A gun was found in the car but there was no trace of the nun. After days of searching, Sister Mary’s body was found on June 20 in a stream near the village of Tyara, 60 km from Mthatha. The body did not show signs of blows inflicted by firearms. Police believe that the nun was strangled. There was a purse with money, driver's license and house keys in her pocket.
Sister Mary was originally from Cottonwood, Idaho, and had been working in South Africa since the 50s. She had founded the Bethany Place of Safety (an orphanage for abandoned children) in 1955 after some policemen had entrusted her some orphans. Later she founded another orphanage, the Thembelihle Home, for older children, many of whom are HIV positive. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 23/06/2014)

Pope Francis “Jesus will judge, yes, at the end of the world,but in the meantime...

Pope Francis

(Vatican Radio)  Those who judge others are wrong to do so.  Eventually, God will judge them in the same way. Only God is our  "sole judge;" and those who find themselves judged by others can always rely on a defender in Jesus and the Holy Spirit. That’s what Pope Francis said in his morning homily at Monday’s Mass in the Santa Marta guesthouse in the Vatican.  Those who unjustifiably assume the role of magistrate will fall victim to their own lack of mercy: this is what happens to those who judge a brother. In his homily, Pope Francis referred to Monday’s Gospel reading in which Jesus warned his disciplines against the hypocrisy behind  judging others when you, yourself may not be blameless.
“The person who judges,” the Pope said, “is wrong, is mistaken and is defeated” because he assumes God’s place: He who is the one and only judge.” Jesus’ accusation of “hypocrite,”  Pope Francis pointed out, is addressed to all of us who hastily judge others.  “God,” on the other hand, said the Pope, “takes his time” when handing down judgment.
Alluding to Jesus’ words, the Pope said those who judge others mistakenly desire to remove the splinter from their brother’s eye without noticing their own eye is pierced by a wooden beam.
He who does this, the Pope observed, “is so obsessed with the person he wants to judge -that person - so, so obsessed! That the splinter will not let him sleep! 'But I want to take away the splinter!' ... And he does not notice the log that he, himself has.” Such a person, said the Pope, confuses the splinter for a beam.   He “confuses reality. He’s fantasizing.  And he who judges becomes a loser, ends up badly, because the same measure will be used to judge him.” Those who are judgmental, the Pope concluded, assume the role of God and can bank on ultimate defeat.
Only God, and those of his choosing, have the right to judge, affirmed the Pope who pointed to Jesus as an example to follow.
"Jesus, before the Father, never accuses! It’s the opposite: he defends! He’s the first Paraclete. Then, he sends the second, who is the (Holy) Spirit. He is the defender: he comes before the Father to defend us against the charges.”
In the Bible, the Pope continued, the "accuser" is the devil, Satan. “Jesus will judge, yes, at the end of the world,” the Pope added, “but in the meantime, he intercedes, defends.”
Ultimately, he who judges, said Pope Francis, "is an imitator of the prince of this world who’s always behind people to accuse them before the Father."
The Pope invited the faithful to “imitate Jesus: intercessor, advocate, lawyer” not just for ourselves, but for others too. And "do not imitate others, which in the end will destroy us"
If we want to follow the way of Jesus, the Pope concluded, “more than accusers, we have to be defenders of others before the Father. I see a bad thing in someone – do I go defend him? No! But keep quiet!  Go pray and defend him before the Father as Jesus does. Pray for him, but do not judge! Because if you do, when you do something bad, you will be judged. Let us remember this well; it will do us good in everyday life when we get the urge to judge others, to speak ill of others, which is a form of judging. "
Shared from Radio Vaticana

Wow Over 6,000 at Walk for Christ in Sydney Australia with Blessed Sacrament

Walk With Christ - and 6,000 Sydneysiders Did on a Beautiful Sunny Day
Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese Release
23 Jun 2014

Sydney's Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem participated in yesterday's Walk with Christ Procession
More than 6,000 men, women and children from across the city joined Bishop Peter Comensoli, priests, religious and seminarians for yesterday's annual Walk With Christ Procession of the Blessed Sacrament through the Sydney CBD.
"The Procession was the best yet," says Cathy Kennedy, Director of CREDO, the Archdiocese of Sydney's Catholic Renewal and Evangelisation Diocesan Office.
Held each year on the Feast of Corpus Christi, Sydney's unpredictable weather has often meant smaller turnouts or as happened last year, a cancellation of the Procession through Sydney's streets and a hasty relocation to St Mary's Cathedral.
But yesterday's early morning mid-winter chill quickly gave way to pleasant temperatures and sunshine under a cloudless blue sky.
Leading the Procession was Bishop Comensoli, Apostolic Administrator for the Sydney Archdiocese who carried the Monstrance containing the Blessed Sacrament. He was accompanied by Father Danai Penollar, assistant priest at St Mary's Cathedral and seminarians from the Seminary of the Good Shepherd, Homebush and the Redemptoris Mater Missionary Seminary at Chester Hill. A contingent of Knights and Dames of the Holy Sepulchre took part in the Procession, including Father John Knight and Fr Don Richardson.
As well as priests and religious many thousands of school children, uni students, members of youth groups and parish organisations took part. They were also joined by parents of all ages, some pushing toddlers in strollers others joining their adult children for what has become a Sydney tradition.

Bishop Peter Comensoli led the Walk for Christ Procession of the Blessed Sacrament
In Europe the Walk With Christ Procession of the Holy Sacrament on the Feast of Corpus Christi dates back to the 14th Century.
Introduced to Sydney as an important part of the Church calendar by the then Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, the Walk with Christ Procession has taken place each year ever since, and next year will be the 10th year in which the Procession through the city has taken place.
Among those taking part yesterday were a contingent of at least 100-plus members of Sydney's Youth for Christ movement. There was also a large turnout from the Christian Brothers High School, Lewisham with the students in school uniform accompanied on the march by teachers and staff from the college.
"When you looked back down Hunter Street from Macquarie it was just a sea of people as far as you could see, with more coming around the corner from George Street," says Cathy.
Singing hymns, praying the rosary and sharing their joy, the Procession is a celebration of faith and a way for Catholics to express their appreciation for the great gift of the Eucharist.
"The Procession is also public witness to the fact that Christ is not only present in us, but present in all people," says Cathy.

The Procession concluded in the forecourt of St Mary's Cathedral forecourt with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Solemn Benediction
Procession which began at St Patrick's Church Hill, Wynyard wound its way down Grosvenor to George Street then up the hill to Hunter Street and along Macquarie Street to St Mary's Cathedral.
The Procession culminated in the Cathedral forecourt with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Solemn Benediction.
"There was not a spare centimetre of space in the forecourt," says Cathy. "It was a wonderful day and a wonderful show of faith."
In his homily, Bishop Comensoli contrasted virtual reality on Facebook and Facebook friends with the palpable reality of Christ in the Eucharist and the non-simulated reality of the friendship Jesus offers us.
"2015will be the 10th year of Sydney's Walk for Christ Procession of the Blessed Sacrament and for this milestone we are hoping for good weather so that we can surpass this year's record. 
Shared from Archdiocese of Sydney

Saint June 23 : St. Etheldreda of Ely : Patron of Widows and Sore Throat or Necks

St. Etheldreda of Ely
Feast: June 23

Feast Day:June 23
Died:23 June, 679
Patron of:neck ailments, throat ailments, widows
Queen of Northumbria; born (probably) about 630; died at Ely, 23 June, 679. While still very young she was given in marriage by her father, Anna, King of East Anglia, to a certain Tonbert, a subordinate prince, from whom she received as morning gift a tract of land locally known as the Isle of Ely. She never lived in wedlock with Tonbert, however, and for five years after his early death was left to foster her vocation to religion. Her father then arranged for her a marriage of political convenience with Egfrid, son and heir to Oswy, King of Northumbria. From this second bridegroom, who is said to have been only fourteen years of age, she received certain lands at Hexham; through St. Wilfrid of York she gave these lands to found the minster of St. Andrew. St. Wilfrid was her friend and spiritual guide, but it was to him that Egfrid, on succeeding his father, appealed for the enforcement of his marital rights as against Etheldreda's religious vocation. The bishop succeeded at first in persuading Egfrid to consent that Etheldreda should live for some time in peace as a sister of the Coldingham nunnery, founded by her aunt, St. Ebba, in what is now Berwickshire. But at last the imminent danger of being forcibly carried off by the king drove her to wander southwards, with only two women in attendance. They made their way to Etheldreda's own estate of Ely, not, tradition said, without the interposition of miracles, and, on a spot hemmed in by morasses and the waters of the Ouse, the foundation of Ely Minster was begun. This region was Etheldreda's native home, and her royal East Anglian relatives gave her the material means necessary for the execution of her holy design. St. Wilfrid had not yet returned from Rome, where he had obtained extraordinary privileges for her foundation from Benedict II, when she died of a plague which she herself, it is said, had circumstantially foretold. Her body was, throughout many succeeding centuries, an object of devout veneration in the famous church which grew up on her foundation. One hand of the saint is now venerated in the church of St. Etheldreda, Ely Place, London, which enjoys the distinction of being the first—and at present (1909) the only—pre-Reformation church in Great Britain restored to Catholic worship. Built in the thirteenth century as a private chapel attached to the town residence of the Bishop of Ely, the structure of St. Etheldreda's passed through many vicissitudes during the centuries following its desecration, until, in 1873-74, it was purchased by Father William Lockhart and occupied by the Institute of Charity, of whose English mission Father Lockhart was then superior.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)