Monday, November 24, 2014

Saint November 25 : St. Catherine of Alexandria : Patron of Educators, Librarians, Mechanics, Nurses, philosophers, secretaries, unmarried


St. Catherine of Alexandria
VIRGIN, MARTYR
Feast: November 25
Information:
Feast Day:
November 25
Born:
287, Alexandria, Egypt
Died:
305, Alexandria, Egypt
Major Shrine:
Saint Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai
Patron of:
Aalsum, apologists, craftsmen who work with a wheel (potters, spinners, etc.), archivists, dying people, educators, girls, jurists, knife sharpeners, lawyers, librarians, libraries, maidens, mechanics, millers, nurses, philosophers, preachers, scholars, schoolchildren, scribes, secretaries, spinsters, stenographers, students, tanners, teachers, theologians, University of Paris, unmarried girls, haberdashers, wheelwrights

From the tenth century onwards veneration for St. Catherine of Alexandria has been widespread in the Church of the East, and from the time of the Crusades this saint has been popular in the West, where many churches have been dedicated to her and her feast day kept with great solemnity, sometimes as a holy-day of obligation. She is listed as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers of mankind among the saints in Heaven; she is the patroness of young women, philosophers, preachers, theologians, wheelwrights, millers, and other workingmen. She was said to have appeared with Our Lady to St. Dominic and to Blessed Reginald of Orleans; the Dominicans adopted her as their special protectress. Hers was one of the heavenly voices heard by St. Joan of Arc.
Artists have painted her with her chief emblem, the wheel, on which by tradition she was tortured; other emblems are a lamb and a sword. Her name continues to be cherished today by the young unmarried women of Paris.
Yet in spite of this veneration, we have few facts that can be relied on concerning Catherine's life. Eusebius, "father of Church history," writing around the year 320, had heard of a noble young Christian woman of Alexandria whom the Emperor ordered to come to his palace, presumably to become his mistress, and who, on refusing, was punished by banishment and the confiscation of her estates. The story of St. Catherine may have sprung from some brief record such as this, which Christians writing at a later date expanded. The last persecutions of Christians, though short, were severe, and those living in the peace which followed seem to have had a tendency to embellish the traditions of their martyrs that they might not be forgotten.
According to the popular tradition, Catherine was born of a patrician family of Alexandria and from childhood had devoted herself to study. Through her reading she had learned much of Christianity and had been converted by a vision of Our Lady and the Holy Child. When Maxentius began his persecution, Catherine, then a beautiful young girl, went to him and rebuked him boldly for his cruelty. He could not answer her arguments against his pagan gods, and summoned fifty philosophers to confute her. They all confessed themselves won over by her reasoning, and were thereupon burned to death by the enraged Emperor. He then tried to seduce Catherine with an offer of a consort's crown, and when she indignantly refused him, he had her beaten and imprisoned. The Emperor went off to inspect his military forces, and when he got back he discovered that his wife Faustina and a high official, one Porphyrius, had been visiting Catherine and had been converted, along with the soldiers of the guard. They too were put to death, and Catherine was sentenced to be killed on a spiked wheel.
When she was fastened to the wheel, her bonds were miraculously loosed and the wheel itself broke, its spikes flying off and killing some of the onlookers. She was then beheaded. The modern Catherine-wheel, from which sparks fly off in all directions, took its name from the saint's wheel of martyrdom. The text of the of this illustrious saint states that her body was carried by angels to Mount Sinai, where a church and monastery were afterwards built in her honor. This legend was, however, unknown to the earliest pilgrims to the mountain. In 527 the Emperor Justinian built a fortified monastery for hermits in that region, and two or three centuries later the story of St. Catherine and the angels began to be circulated.
1 Alexandria, the great Egyptian city at the mouth of the Nile, was at this time a center of both pagan and Christian learning. Its Christian activities centered around the great church founded, according to tradition, by the Apostle Mark, with its catechetical school, the first of its kind in Christendom.
2 Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea, who lived through all the vicissitudes of the years before and succeeding the Edict of Toleration and died about 340, wrote the first history of the Church.
3 Maxentius was one of several rival emperors who struggled for mastery during the first dozen years of the fourth century. Like the others, he tried to crush what he considered the dangerous institution of the Catholic Church. Some historians are of the opinion that Catherine suffered under his father, Maximian.

Saint November 26 : St. Siricius : Pope


St. Siricius

POPE
Feast: November 26
Information:
Feast Day:
November 26
Born:
334
Died:
26 November, 399

Born about 334; died 26 November, 399, Siricius was a native of Rome; his father's name was Tiburtius. Siricius entered the service of the Church at an early age and, according to the testimony of the inscription on his grave, was lector and then deacon of the Roman Church during the pontificate of Liberius (352-66). After the death of Damasus, Siricius was unanimously elected his successor (December, 384) and consecrated bishop probably on 17 December. Ursinus, who had been a rival to Damasus (366), was alive and still maintained his claims. However, the Emperor Valentinian III, in a letter to Pinian (23 Feb., 385), gave his consent to the election that had been held and praised the piety of the newly-elected bishop; consequently no difficulties arose. Immediately upon his elevation Siricius had occasion to assert his primacy over the universal Church. A letter, in which questions were asked on fifteen different points concerning baptism, penance, church discipline, and the celibacy of the clergy, came to Rome addressed to Pope Damasus by Bishop Himerius of Tarragona, Spain. Siricius answered this letter on 10 February, 385, and gave the decisions as to the matters in question, exercising with full consciousness his supreme power of authority in the Church (Coustant, "Epist. Rom. Pont.", 625 sq.). This letter of Siricius is of special importance because it is the oldest completely preserved papal decretal (edict for the authoritative decision of questions of discipline and canon law). It is, however, certain that before this earlier popes had also issued such decretals, for Siricius himself in his letter mentions "general decrees" of Liberius that the latter had sent to the provinces; but these earlier ones have not been preserved. At the same time the pope directed Himerius to make known his decrees to the neighbouring provinces, so that they should also be observed there. This pope had very much at heart the maintenance of Church discipline and the observance of canons by the clergy and laity. A Roman synod of 6 January, 386, at which eighty bishops were present, reaffirmed in nine canons the laws of the Church on various points of discipline (consecration of bishops, celibacy, etc.). The decisions of the council were communicated by the pope to the bishops of North Africa and probably in the same manner to others who had not attended the synod, with the command to act in accordance with them. Another letter which was sent to various churches dealt with the election of worthy bishops and priests. A synodal letter to the Gallican bishops, ascribed by Coustant and others to Siricius, is assigned to Pope Innocent I by other historians (P.L., XIII, 1179 sq.). In all his decrees the pope speaks with the consciousness of his supreme ecclesiastical authority and of his pastoral care over all the churches.
Siricius was also obliged to take a stand against heretical movements. A Roman monk Jovinian came forward as an opponent of fasts, good works, and the higher merit of celibate life. He found some adherents among the monks and nuns of Rome. About 390-392 the pope held a synod at Rome, at which Jovinian and eight of his followers were condemned and excluded from communion with the Church. The decision was sent to St. Ambrose, the great Bishop of Milan and a friend of Siricius. Ambrose now held a synod of the bishops of upper Italy which, as the letter says, in agreement with his decision also condemned the heretics. Other heretics including Bishop Bonosus of Sardica (390), who was also accused of errors in the dogma of the Trinity, maintained the false doctrine that Mary was not always a virgin. Siricius and Ambrose opposed Bonosus and his adherents and refuted their false views. The pope then left further proceedings against Bonosus to the Bishop of Thessalonica and the other Illyrian bishops. Like his predecessor Damasus, Siricius also took part in the Priscillian controversy; he sharply condemned the episcopal accusers of Priscillian, who had brought the matter before the secular court and had prevailed upon the usurper Maximus to condemn to death and execute Priscillian and some of his followers. Maximus sought to justify his action by sending to the pope the proceedings in the case. Siricius, however, excommunicated Bishop Felix of Trier who supported Ithacius, the accuser of Priscillian, and in whose city the execution had taken place. The pope addressed a letter to the Spanish bishops in which he stated the conditions under which the converted Priscillians were to be restored to communion with the Church.
According to the life in the "Liber Pontificalis" (ed. Duchesne, I, 216), Siricius also took severe measures against the Manichæans at Rome. However, as Duchesne remarks (loc. cit., notes) it cannot be assumed from the writings of the converted Augustine, who was a Manichæan when he went to Rome (383), that Siricius took any particular steps against them, yet Augustine would certainly have commented on this if such had been the case. The mention in the "Liber Pontificalis" belongs properly to the life of Pope Leo I. Neither is it probable, as Langen thinks (Gesch. der röm. Kirche, I, 633), that Priscillians are to be understood by this mention of Manichæans, although probably Priscillians were at times called Manichæans in the writings of that age. The western emperors, including Honorius and Valentinian III, issued laws against the Manichæans, whom they declared to be political offenders, and took severe action against the members of this sect (Codex Theodosian, XVI, V, various laws). In the East Siricius interposed to settle the Meletian schism at Antioch; this schism had continued notwithstanding the death in 381 of Meletius at the Council of Constantinople. The followers of Meletius elected Flavian as his successor, while the adherents of Bishop Paulinus, after the death of this bishop (388), elected Evagrius. Evagrius died in 392 and through Flavian's management no successor was elected. By the mediation of St. John Chrysostom and Theophilus of Alexandria an embassy, led by Bishop Acacius of Beroea, was sent to Rome to persuade Siricius to recognize Flavian and to readmit him to communion with the Church.
At Rome the name of Siricius is particularly connected with the basilica over the grave of St. Paul on the Via Ostiensis which was rebuilt by the emperor as a basilica of five aisles during the pontificate of Siricius and was dedicated by the pope in 390. The name of Siricius is still to be found on one of the pillars that was not destroyed in the fire of 1823, and which now stands in the vestibule of the side entrance to the transept. Two of his contemporaries describe the character of Siricius disparagingly. Paulinus of Nola, who on his visit to Rome in 395 was treated in a guarded manner by the pope, speaks of the urbici papæ superba discretio, the haughty policy of the Roman bishop (Epist., V, 14). This action of the pope is, however, explained by the fact that there had been irregularities in the election and consecration of Paulinus (Buse, "Paulin von Nola", I, 193). Jerome, for his part, speaks of the "lack of judgment" of Siricius (Epist., cxxvii, 9) on account of the latter's treatment of Rufinus of Aquileia, to whom the pope had given a letter when Rufinus left Rome in 398, which showed that he was in communion with the Church. The reason, however, does not justify the judgment which Jerome expressed against the pope; moreover, Jerome in his polemical writings often exceeds the limits of propriety. All that is known of the labours of Siricius refutes the criticism of the caustic hermit of Bethlehem. The "Liber Pontificalis" gives an incorrect date for his death; he was buried in the cæmeterium of Priscilla on the Via Salaria. The text of the inscription on his grave is known (De Rossi, "Inscriptiones christ. urbis Romæ", II, 102, 138). His feast is celebrated on 26 November. His name was inserted in the Roman Martyrology by Benedict XIV.
SOURCE http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/S/stsiricius.asp

New Free App Advent Calendar from Catholic Archdiocese - Link

Journey Through Advent on xt3.com

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
24 Nov 2014
Xt3 Advent Calendar 2014
The Archdiocese of Sydney social network xt3.com has just released its 2014 Advent Calendar. The calendar, also available as a free App, features daily reflections and multimedia resources to help you make the most of the season of Advent.
First launched five years ago as an online resources, this year's Calendar has even more exciting content than ever before including podcasts, Advent reflections, video animations created by xt3.com and special messages from the Archbishop of Sydney, the Most Rev Anthony Bishop OP, videos from both Australian and international presenters and Advent messages from Pope Francis.
The Calendar is also available as a free App for iPhone, iPad and Android devices.
The first door of the Calendar will open on 30 November, the first Sunday of Advent. Users will be able to open a new door of the Calendar every day until Christmas Day and then on to the Feast of the Epiphany.
View the Calendar online at : www.xt3.com/advent or search the App Store for "xt3 Advent".
Shared from Archdiocese of Sydney

Breaking News 28 Killed on Bus for not being able to recite verse from Koran in Kenya - Please PRAY

Photo: Shabelle

Somalia's Al-Shabaab drill (file photo). (Image Source All Africa)

AFRICA/KENYA - Security measures have been intensified in front of churches after the massacre of the bus


Nairobi (Agenzia Fides) - Police have stepped up security measures in the County of Mandera (in the north of Kenya on the border with Somalia) where on November 22, 28 people were killed cold bloodedly by Somali Shabaab militants, who selected their victims according to religious belonging, killing those who were not able to recite a verse from the Koran.
According to information sent to Agenzia Fides, the intensified security measures also concern the Christian churches of the area, where the faithful were afraid of going to mass on Sunday, November 23rd. In front of each building of Christian worship there are now three policemen and not two as before who guarantee safety.
The barbaric killing of innocent people is having a social impact because among the people killed there were 7 teachers, doctors and police officers.
In response to the assault on the bus, the Kenyan authorities have claimed to have conducted a series of military operations against the Shabaab in Somalia, during which 100 militants were killed, a claim rejected by a spokesman of the Somali extremists. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 24/11/2014)

Latest News from #Vatican Information Service and #PopeFrancis


24-11-2014 - Year XXII - Num. 207 

Summary
The Pope to the faithful of the Malabar rite: St. Kuriakose Elias and St. Euphrasia, examples and encouragement to the people
- The Pope canonises six new blesseds: the Kingdom of God is built on tenderness and proximity
- Angelus: the example of the new saints revives spirit of harmony and reconciliation
- The poor are also evangelisers as they show us the peripheries the Gospel has not reached, says Francis at the 4th Missionary Convention of the CEI
- Francis: overcome the isolation that burdens the autistic and their families
- Ecclesial movements and new communities: conserve freshness of charism, respect freedom and seek communion
- Telegram for the death of Cardinal Fiorenzo Angelini
- Private meeting between the Pope and the president of the Italian Republic
- Audiences
- Other Pontifical Acts
The Pope to the faithful of the Malabar rite: St. Kuriakose Elias and St. Euphrasia, examples and encouragement to the people
Vatican City, 24 November 2014 (VIS) – This morning in the Vatican Basilica Pope Francis met with a group of faithful of Syro-Malabar rite, gathered in Rome for the canonisation on Sunday of Kuriakose Elias Chavara of the Holy Family, and Euphrasia Eluvathingal of the Sacred Heart. The Holy Father took the opportunity to thank the Church in India, and specifically in Kerala, for “all its apostolic strength and for the witness of faith you have”, he said. “Continue in this way! Kerala is a land that is very fertile in religious and priestly vocations. Carry on working in this way, with your witness”.
“May this time of celebration and intense spirituality help you to contemplate the marvellous works accomplished by the Lord in the lives and deeds of these new saints. … who remind each of us that God’s love is the source, the support and the goal of all holiness, while love of neighbour is the clearest manifestation of love for God.”
Pope Francis described St. Kuriakose Elias as “a religious, both active and contemplative, who generously gave his life for the Syro-Malabar Church, putting into action the maxim 'sanctification of oneself and the salvation of others'”, while St. Euphrasia “lived in profound union with God, so that her life of holiness was an example and an encouragement to the people, who called her 'Praying Mother'. He encouraged those present to “treasure their lessons of evangelical living ... follow in their footsteps and imitate them, in a particular way, through love of Jesus in the Eucharist and love of the Church. Thus you will advance along the path to holiness”.
The Pope canonises six new blesseds: the Kingdom of God is built on tenderness and proximity
Vatican City, 24 November 2014 (VIS) – During the Mass celebrated this morning on the Solemnity of Christ King of the Universe, the Holy Father canonised blesseds Giovanni Antonio Fraina (1803-1888), Kuriakose Elias Chavara of the Holy Family (1805-1871), Ludovico da Casoria (1814-1885), Nicola da Longobardi (1650-1709), Euphrasia Eluvathingal of the Sacred Heart (1877-1952) and Amato Ronconi (c. 1226-c.1292).
In his homily, the Pope remarked that the kingdom of Jesus is the “kingdom of truth and life, the kingdom of sanctity and grace, the kingdom of justice, love and peace”, and he commented on today's readings show how the Lord established his kingdom, how He brings it about as history unfolds, and what He now asks of us.
Jesus brought about his kingdom “through his closeness and tenderness towards us”, as the prophet Ezekiel foresaw in the first reading that describes the attitude of the Shepherd towards His flock, using the verbs such as to seek, to keep watch, to round up, to lead to pasture, to bring to rest; to seek the lost sheep, to tend to the wounded, to heal the sick, to care for and to graze. “Those of us who are called to be pastors in the Church cannot stray from this example, if we do not want to become hirelings. In this respect, the People of God have an unerring sense for recognising good shepherds and distinguishing them from hirelings”.
After his victory, that is, after the Resurrection – Jesus' kingdom grew, but it was not a kingdom according to earthly models. “For Him, to reign was not to command, but to obey the Father, to give Himself over to the Father, so that His plan of love and salvation may be brought to fulfilment. … The Gospel teaches what Jesus' kingdom requires of us: it reminds us that closeness and tenderness are the rule of life for us also, and that on this basis we will be judged. … The starting point of salvation is not the confession of the sovereignty of Christ, but rather the imitation of Jesus' works of mercy through which He brought about his kingdom”. He explained that those who accomplish these works show that they have understood and welcomed Jesus' sovereignty, because they have opened their hearts to God's charity. “In the twilight of life we will be judged on our love for, closeness to and and tenderness towards our brothers and sisters. … Jesus has opened to us His kingdom to us, but it is for us to enter into it, beginning with our life now – his kingdom begins now – by being close in concrete ways to our brothers and sisters who as for bread, clothing, acceptance, solidarity, catechesis”.
“Today the Church places before us the examples of these new saints. Each in her or her own way served the kingdom of God, of which they became heirs, precisely through works of generous devotion to God and their brothers and sisters. They responded with extraordinary creativity to the commandment of love of God and neighbour. They dedicated themselves without reserve to serving the least and assisting the destitute, sick, elderly and pilgrims. Their preference for the smallest and poorest was the reflection and the measure of their unconditional love of God. In fact, they sought and discovered love in a strong and personal relationship with God, from whence springs forth love for one's neighbour”. Pope Francis concluded, “Through the rite of canonisation, we have confessed once again the mystery of God's kingdom and we have honoured Christ the King, the Shepherd full of love for His sheep. May our new saints, through their witness and intercession, increase within us the joy of walking in the way of the Gospel and our resolve to embrace it as the compass of our lives”.
Angelus: the example of the new saints revives spirit of harmony and reconciliation
Vatican City, 23 November 2014 (VIS) – After celebrating Holy Mass for the canonisation of six blesseds, the Pope prayed the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square and greeted in particular the official delegations from Italy and India, the homelands of the new Saints.
“The example of the four Italian saints born in the provinces of Vicenza, Naples, Cosenza and Rimini helps the Italian people to revive the spirit of collaboration and harmony for the common good, and to look to the future with hope, united and trusting in the closeness of God Who never abandons us, even in the most difficult moments”.
“Through the intercession of the two new Indian saints from Kerala, a great land of faith and priestly and religious vocations, may the Lord grant a new missionary impulse to the Church in India, which is very great, so that inspired by their example of harmony and reconciliation, Christians from India may continue on the path of solidarity and fraternal coexistence”.
The poor are also evangelisers as they show us the peripheries the Gospel has not reached, says Francis at the 4th Missionary Convention of the CEI
Vatican City, 22 November 2014 (VIS) – This morning in the Paul VI Hall the Pope received in audience the participants in the 4th Missionary Convention of the Italian Episcopal Conference, around eight hundred people. “Every generation is called to be missionary … from the very beginning”, affirmed the Holy Father. “Remember how the apostles Andrew and John encountered the Lord and then … set out, enthusiastic. The first thing they did was become missionaries. They went to their brothers and said, 'We have found the Lord, we have found the Messiah'”.
Following these unscripted remarks, Pope Francis went on to cite his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, in which he speaks of an outbound Church, and reiterated that a missionary can only be outbound, without fear of encounters, of discovering new things, and of speaking about the joy of the Gospel. “Not to proselytise, but to say what we have and want to share without imposition, with all and without distinction. … The particular Churches in Italy have done much. … I would like to repeat something that a Brazilian cardinal said to me: 'When I go to Amazonia – because he has the task of visiting dioceses in Amazonia – I go to the cemetery and see the tombs of missionaries. And there are many of them. And I think, these people could be canonised now!' It is the Church; they are the Churches of Italy”.
“Today I thank you for what you do in many areas … and I ask you to work with passion to keep this spirit alive. I see many laypeople alongside bishops and priests. The mission is the task of all Christians, not just the few. … The Italian Church, I repeat, has given many priests and laypeople fidei donum, who decide to spend their lives building up the Church in the peripheral areas of the world, among the poor and those who are far away. … I urge you, do not let yourselves be robbed of hope and the dream of changing the world with … the leaven of the Gospel, starting out from the human and existential peripheries. Reaching out means overcoming the temptation to talk among ourselves, forgetting the many who await from us a word of mercy, of consolation, of hope. Jesus' Gospel is fulfilled in history. Jesus Himself was a man from the outskirts, from Galilee, far from the centres of power of the Roman Empire and of Jerusalem. … However, His Word was the beginning of a transformation in history, the start of a spiritual and human revolution, the good news of a Lord Who died and rose again for us”.
The Pope encouraged those present to intensify their missionary spirit and their enthusiasm for the mission, without allowing themselves to be discouraged by difficulties and, above all, “beginning with children, who must receive a missionary catechesis. At times, even in the Church we are overcome by pessimism, which risks depriving many men and women of the announcement of the Gospel. Let us go ahead with hope! The many missionary martyrs to faith and charity are show us that victory is only in love and in a life spent for the Lord and for our neighbour, starting with the poor. The poor are the travelling companions of an outbound Church, as they are the first She encounters. The poor are also your evangelisers, as they show you those peripheries where the Gospel has yet to be proclaimed and lived”.
“Reaching out means not remaining indifferent to destitution, war, the violence in our cities, the neglect of the elderly, the anonymity of many people in need and marginalisation from little ones. Reaching out means not accepting that in our Christian cities the are many children who do not know how to make the sign of the Cross. This is reaching out. It means being builders of peace, of the 'peace' that the Lord gives us every day and of which the world is so in need. Missionaries never give up their dream of peace, even when they experience difficulties and persecution, which make their presence strongly felt today”.
Francis: overcome the isolation that burdens the autistic and their families
Vatican City, 22 November 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father today received in audience the participants in the 29th International Conference organised by the Pontifical Council for Health Workers (for Health Pastoral Care), dedicated to autism, including persons affected by this disorder and their families.
The Pope thanked the organisers of the Conference for having chosen such a complex theme, “which appeals directly to the responsibility of governments and institutions, without forgetting, of course, Christian communities”, and he emphasised the need for common efforts to promote “acceptance, encounter and solidarity … to break through the isolation and, in many cases, the stigma that burdens people affected by autism spectrum disorders, and frequently also their families”.
“This does not mean an anonymous and impersonal accompaniment, but instead and above all listening to the profound needs that emerge from within a disorder that is not only often difficult to diagnose, but which does not easily find acceptance without shame and solitude. In the assistance of those affected … it would be helpful to create, throughout the country, a network of support and services, complete and accessible, involving not only parents but also grandparents, friends, therapists, teachers and pastoral workers. These figures may help families to overcome the sensations of inadequacy, inefficacy and frustration that may emerge”.
Pope Francis went on to thank, personally and on behalf of the Church, the families and religious groups and various associations present for the work they carry out every day with persons affected by autism, and encouraged scholars and researchers in the arduous task of discovering therapies and support mechanisms in the treatment and above all the prevention of these disorders. He concluded, “All this is to be done with the necessary attention to the rights of those affected, considering their needs and their potential, and always safeguarding the dignity of every person”.
Ecclesial movements and new communities: conserve freshness of charism, respect freedom and seek communion
Vatican City, 22 November 2014 (VIS) – Conserve the freshness of charism, respect freedom and always seek communion were the three directions that Pope Francis outlined at the Third World Congress of Ecclesial Movements and New Communities, organised by the Pontifical Council for the Laity and based on the theme “The joy of the Gospel, a missionary joy”.
“The movements and communities you represent are now being projected into the phase of ecclesial maturity, which requires a vigilant attitude of permanent conversion, to render the evangelising impulse increasingly alive and fruitful”, said the Holy Father, who received the participants in the congress this morning in the Clementine Hall. Conversion and mission he said, are “intimately connected. Indeed, without an authentic conversion of heart and mind, the Gospel cannot be proclaimed; at the same time, if we are not open to mission, conversion is not possible and faith becomes sterile”.
With regard to the first indication, conserving the freshness of charism, Francis remarked that “as time goes by, there is a greater temptation to become comfortable, to become hardened in set ways of doing things, which, while reassuring, are nonetheless sterile. However, realities are more important than ideas; even if a certain institutionalisation of the charism is necessary for its survival, we ought not delude ourselves into thinking that external structures can guarantee the working of the Holy Spirit. The newness of your experiences does not consist in methods or forms, which are important, but rather in your willingness to respond with renewed enthusiasm to the Lord’s call”.
A further issue is how to welcome and accompany people today, especially the young. “Men and women today experience serious identity problems and have difficulty making proper choices; as a result, they tend to be conditioned and to delegate important decisions about their own lives to others. We need to resist the temptation of usurping individual freedom, of directing them without allowing for their growth in genuine maturity. Moral or spiritual progress that manipulates a person’s immaturity is only an apparent success, and one destined to fail. Christian education instead requires a patient accompaniment which is capable of waiting for the right moment for each person, as the Lord does with each one of us. Patience is the only way to love truly and to lead others into a sincere relationship with the Lord”.
Finally, movements must not forget that “the most precious good, the seal of the Holy Spirit, is communion”. ... For the world to believe that Jesus is Lord, it needs to see communion among Christians. If, on the other hand, the world sees divisions, rivalries and back-biting, regardless of the cause, how can we evangelise? Remember this further principle: 'Unity prevails over conflict', because our brothers and sisters are always of greater value than our personal attitudes; indeed, it is for our brothers and sisters that Christ has shed his blood. In addition, real communion cannot exist in Movements or in New Communities unless these are integrated within the greater communion of our Holy Mother, the hierarchical Church. The whole is greater than the part, and the part only has meaning in relation to the whole. Communion also consists in confronting together and in a united fashion the most pressing questions of our day, such as life, the family, peace, the fight against poverty in all its forms, religious freedom and education”, concluded the Holy Father.
Telegram for the death of Cardinal Fiorenzo Angelini
Vatican City, 22 November 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has sent a telegram to Vinicio Angelini for the death of Cardinal Fiorenzo Angelini last night at the age of 98. He offers his condolences to the family of the deceased cardinal, to the diocesan community of Rome and to the Benedictine Sisters of the Reparation of the Holy Face, and expresses his affection for “this dear and esteemed pastor, who exercised his long and intense ministry to build up the Church in Rome, in Italy and in the world, first as part of Catholic Action, then with praiseworthy apostolic zeal in hospitals and nursing homes in Rome, and finally as president of the Pontifical Council for Health Workers (for Health Pastoral Care)”.
He continues, “I raise fervent prayers to the Lord that, by the intercession of the Mary Salus Populi Romani, He may receive this generous and distinguished man of the Church in joy and eternal peace, and I impart the comfort of my heartfelt apostolic blessing to those who mourn his passing”.
Private meeting between the Pope and the president of the Italian Republic
Vatican City, 22 November 2014 (VIS) – The director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., announced yesterday that the Holy Father received in audience the president of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano. The meeting, of a strictly private nature, took place in very cordial atmosphere and lasted over an hour.
Audiences
Vatican City, 24 November 2014 (VIS) – This afternoon the Holy Father is scheduled to receive in audience Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, president of the Arab Republic of Egypt, and entourage.
On Saturday 22 November, the Holy Father received in audience:
- Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 24 November 2014 (VIS) – 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:
- appointed Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”, as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
- appointed Bishop Donald J. Hying, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Milwaukee, U.S.A., as bishop of Gary (area 4,680, population 809,000, Catholics 189,000, priests 129, permanent deacons 64, religious 123), U.S.A. He succeeds Bishop Dale J. Melczek, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
- appointed Fr. Victor Hlolo Phalana as bishop of Klerksdorp (area 34,800, population 1,500,000, Catholics 27,000, priests 24, permanent deacons 4, religious 11), South Africa. The bishop-elect was born in Erasmus, South Africa in 1961, and was ordained a priest in 1988. He holds a licentiate in spirituality from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, and studied African culture at the Catholic University of East Africa in Nairobi. He has served in a number of pastoral and academic roles, including parish priest in the parishes of “Christ the King”, Mabopane, “Good Shepherd” and “St. Peter” in Winterveldt; professor in the preparatory seminary of Hammanskraal and Cape Town; spiritual director of the St. Peter philosophical seminary; teacher at the St. John Vianney major seminary, and teacher at the Lumuko Pastoral Institute. He is currently vicar general of the archdiocese of Pretoria and administrator of the Cathedral of Pretoria.
On Saturday 22 November, the Holy Father:
- appointed Bishop Kieran O'Reilly of Killaloe, Ireland as metropolitan archbishop of Cashel and Emly (area 3,082, population 83,710, Catholics 82,118, priests 139, religious 196), Ireland. He succeeds Archbishop Dermot Clifford, whose resignation from the patoral care of the same archdiocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
- appointed Bishop Jean-Pierre Batut, auxiliary of Lyon, France, as bishop of Blois (area 6,422, population 340,729, Catholics 185,100, priests 98, permanent deacons 9, religious 121), France. He succeeds Bishop Maurice Le Begue de Germiny, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
- appointed Rev. Fr. William Nolan as bishop of Galloway (area 9,332, population 520,000, Catholics 47,700, priests 39, permanent deacons 3, religious 41), Scotland. The bishop-elect was born in Motherwell, Scotland in 1954 and was ordained a priest in 1977. He holds a degree in moral theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and has served in a number of pastoral and administrative roles, including vice rector of the Pontifical Scottish College in Rome, and in the diocese of Motherwell, parish priest of “Our Lady of Lourdes”, East Kilbride; judge of the National Ecclesiastical Tribunal of Scotland; head of continuing formation of clergy in the diocese, and deputy president of the presbyteral council. He is currently vicar general of Motherwell. He succeeds Bishop John Cunningham, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
- appointed Rev. Fr. Stephen Marmion Lowe as bishop of Hamilton (area 49,700, population 678,000, Catholics 96,500, priests 49, religious 73), New Zealand. The bishop-elect was born in Hokitika, New Zealand in 1962 and was ordained a priest in 1996. He studied spirituality at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and has served in a number of pastoral roles, including parish priest of Timaru North and chaplain of the Roncalli College, Christchurch. He is currently director of formation at the Holy Cross national seminary in Auckland, parish priest of Ponsonby and administrator of Herne Bay in the diocese of Auckland. He succeeds Bishop Denis George Browne, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
- appointed Rev. Fr. John Yaw Afoakwa as bishop of Obuasi (area 6,350, population 1,394,910, Catholics 102,260, priests 84, religious 31), Ghana. The bishop-elect was born in Akrokerry, Ghana in 1955 and was ordained a priest in 1992. He holds a B.A. in religious education from the Pontifical Urbanian University, Rome, a B.A. in religion with sociology from the University of Ghana in Accra, and an M.Sc. in Education from the Le Moyne College, Syracuse, U.S.A. He has served in a number of pastoral and academic roles, including teacher and chaplain at the Christ the King Secondary School in Obuasi; director of the diocesan Catechetics Office and the diocesan department of social communications; rector of the Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Akaporiso; and parish vicar at the Blessed Trinity Parish in the diocese of Rochester, U.S.A.. He currently teaches at the Bodwesango Senior High School, and is rector of the St. Louis Rectorate and chaplain of the St. Louis Clinic, Bodwesango.
- appointed Rev. Fr. Henryk Wejman as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Szczecin-Kamien (area 12,754, population 1,053,713, Catholics 1,000,000, priests 663, religious 250), Poland. The bishop-elect was born in Recz, Poland in 1959 and was ordained a priest in 1984. He holds a licentiate in theology of spirituality and a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), Rome, and has served in a number of pastoral and academic roles, including: teacher and spiritual director in the major seminary of Szczecin, parish priest in the St. Albert Chmielowski parish, and adjunct professor in the Institute of philosophy of the University of Szczecin and the “Adam Mickiewicz” University of Poznan. He is currently professor of moral and spiritual theology and dean of the faculty of theology of the University of Sczcecin, and member of the College of Consultors and the presbyteral council.
- accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Cap-Haitien, Haiti, presented by Archbishop Louis Kebreau, S.D.B., upon reaching the age limit. He is succeeded by Archbishop Max Leroy Mesidor, currently coadjutor of the same archdiocese.
- appointed Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, archbishop of Vienna, Austria, as his special envoy at the celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the liberation of the Greek-Catholic Church in Ukraine, to be held in Kiev on 10 December 2014.

Pope Francis "Everything for the Lord and for others. Humble...always seeking the light that comes from the Lord".


Pope Francis preaching at morning Mass monday - OSS_ROM
24/11/2014 

(Vatican Radio) When the Church is humble and poor, then "it is faithful" to Christ, giving all it has for the Lord and others, leaving nothing for itself said Pope Francis at morning Mass in  Casa Santa Marta Monday.Pope Francis based his reflections on the Gospel of the Day which recounts the episode of the poor widow who gives all that she has – two small coins or mites – to the Temple treasury, while the rich made offerings from their surplus wealth under the gaze of Jesus. Pope Francis said the Gospel captures two tendencies always present in the history of the Church. The Church tempted by vanity and the "poor Church", which - he says - "must have no other riches than her Spouse", like the humble widow:
"I like to see the Church in this figure, the Church which is, in a sense, a widow, because she waiting for her Bridegroom who will return ... But she has her Bridegroom in the Eucharist, in the Word of God, in the poor, yes: but she is still waiting for his return. This is the attitude of the Church... This widow was not important, the widow’s name did not appear in the newspapers. No one knew her. She had no university degrees... nothing. Nothing. She didn’t shine of her own light. This is what makes me see the Church in the figure of this woman. The Church must not shine on her own light, but the light that comes from her Bridegroom. That comes right from her Bridegroom. And over the centuries, when the Church wanted to have her own light, she was wrong”.
"It's true," continued Pope Francis, "that sometimes the Lord can ask His Church to have, to shine some its own light" but this means that if the Church's mission is to illuminate humanity, the light that she gifts must be the one she has received from Christ in an attitude of humility:
"Everything we do in the Church is to help us in this, to help us receive that light. Service without this light is no good: it makes the Church rich, or powerful, or makes the Church seek power, or take the wrong road, as has happened many times in history, as happens in our lives, when we want to have another light, which is not exactly that of the Lord: a light of our own".
When the Church "is faithful to hope and to her Bridegroom," repeated Papa Francis, "it is a joy to receive the light from Him, to be in this sense 'widow' ', waiting, like the moon, for the “sun that will return":
"When the Church is humble, when the Church is poor, even when the Church confesses her wretchedness – we all experience this – then the Church is faithful. The Church says: ‘I am dark, but my light comes from there!' This does us all good. Let us pray to this widow who is certainly in  Heaven, to teach us to be the Church like this, giving everything we have in life: leaving nothing for us. Everything for the Lord and for others. Humble. Without boasting of having our own light, always seeking the light that comes from the Lord".

Today's Mass Readings : Monday November 24, 2014

Memorial of Saint Andrew Dŭng-Lạc, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs
Lectionary: 503


Reading 1RV 14:1-3, 4B-5

I, John, looked and there was the Lamb standing on Mount Zion,
and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand
who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.
I heard a sound from heaven
like the sound of rushing water or a loud peal of thunder.
The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps.
They were singing what seemed to be a new hymn before the throne,
before the four living creatures and the elders.
No one could learn this hymn except the hundred and forty-four thousand
who had been ransomed from the earth.
These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever he goes.
They have been ransomed as the first fruits
of the human race for God and the Lamb.
On their lips no deceit has been found; they are unblemished.

Responsorial Psalm PS 24:1BC-2, 3-4AB, 5-6

R. (see 6) Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
The LORD’s are the earth and its fullness;
the world and those who dwell in it.
For he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the rivers.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
Who can ascend the mountain of the LORD?
or who may stand in his holy place?
He whose hands are sinless, whose heart is clean,
who desires not what is vain.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.
He shall receive a blessing from the LORD,
a reward from God his savior.
Such is the race that seeks for him,
that seeks the face of the God of Jacob.
R. Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.

Gospel LK 21:1-4

When Jesus looked up he saw some wealthy people
putting their offerings into the treasury
and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins.
He said, “I tell you truly,
this poor widow put in more than all the rest;
for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth,
but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.”