Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Saint January 22 : St. Vincent Pallotti : Priest

Feast Day:January 22
1798 in Rome, Italy
Canonized:1963 by Pope John XXIII
A contemporary of Cardinal Newman's and the Cure of Ars', St. Vincent Pallotti was a very modern saint who organized so many remarkable pastoral programs that he is considered the forerunner of Catholic Action. He was a man of great ideas and great vision and was able to inspire others to tackle great things. He is the founder of the Pallottine Fathers and the Pallottine Missionary Sisters; however, this was but the tip of the iceberg of his accomplishments. He left behind schools, guilds, and institutes that carried the Catholic mission into the very heart of contemporary society.

He was born in Rome in 1795 and began studies for the priesthood very early. Although he was very bright, he was not attracted by studies, even though he was ordained a priest at twenty-three and earned a doctorate in theology soon afterward. He was given an assistant professorship at the Sapienza University but resigned it soon after to devote himself to pastoral work.

Before long, his zeal was known all over Rome. He organized schools for shoemakers, tailors, coachmen, carpenters, and gardeners so that they could better work at their trade, as well as evening classes for young farmers and unskilled workers. He soon became known as a "second St. Philip Neri." He gave away his books, his possessions, and even his clothes to the poor, and once dressed up as an old woman to hear the confession of a man who threatened "to kill the first priest who came through the door."
In 1835, he founded his two congregations and was instrumental in the founding of a missionary order in England and several colleges for the training of missionaries.
He died at the age of fifty-five and his body lies incorrupt in the church of San Salvatore in Rome. He was canonized by Pope John XXIII in 1963.


#BreakingNews 12 stabbed in bus attack in Israel - Please PRAY

ASIA NEWS IT REPORT: Tel Aviv, 12 stabbed in bus attack
Four injured passengers are in critical condition. The police suspect terrorist attack of a "lone wolf". The assailant is a young 23 year old from Tulkarem (West Bank).

Tel Aviv (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Israeli police wounded and arrested a person who had stabbed 12 passengers on a bus in the town center. The assailant is a young man of 23 from the West Bank city of Tulkarem who had entered Israel illegally.

The number 40 bus was traveling down Menachem Begin Road, when the young man attacked some passengers inside. Then he tried to escape, wounding still more, and was shot in the leg by guards nearby. Four of the injured are in a serious condition. Police are treating this as a "terrorist attack".

Following the Gaza war last summer, there have been several terrorist attacks carried out by "lone wolves", in short individuals not belonging to groups or organizations.

Last November, in Tel Aviv, an Israeli soldier was killed in a knife attack and a woman killed at the bus stop in the West Bank. The increased tension coincided with mounting tensions and protests by Jewish settlers who wanted to pray (and occupy) the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, in violation of the status quo of the city.

At the same time, in recent months, al Qaeda and Isis there have frequently called on Muslims to strike people and structures that are the enemy of Islam as "lone wolves".


#PopeFrancis “War must not be waged in the name of God” Angelus

Pope Francis at General Audience - RV
21/01/2015 10:57

Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has appealed for peace and reconciliation in Niger.
Speaking on Wednesday at the weekly General Audience, the Pope explicitly referred to brutalities perpetrated against Christians, children and Churches.
He invited those present to join him in praying for the victims of recent violence in Niger.
Let us invoke the Lord – he said – for the gift of reconciliation and peace, may “religious sentiment never give rise to violence, oppression and destruction”.
“War must not be waged in the name of God” he said.
Pope Francis concluded his appeal expressing his hope that in the West African nation a climate of reciprocal respect and peaceful cohabitation be re-established as soon as possible for the good of all.
Last week, in Niger’s capital Niamey and in the town of Zinder, at least 15 people were killed in two days of violent protests against the publication in France of a satirical magazine depicting Islam’s prophet.
Over a dozen Christian Churches and other buildings were set ablaze. 
Security forces have been using tear gas to disperse hundreds of opposition supporters taking part in banned demonstrations in the capital. 
(Linda Bordoni)

Today's Mass Readings : Wednesday January 21, 2015

Memorial of Saint Agnes, Virgin and Martyr
Lectionary: 313

Reading 1HEB 7:1-3, 15-17

Melchizedek, king of Salem and priest of God Most High,
met Abraham as he returned from his defeat of the kings
and blessed him.

And Abraham apportioned to him a tenth of everything.
His name first means righteous king,
and he was also “king of Salem,” that is, king of peace.
Without father, mother, or ancestry,
without beginning of days or end of life,
thus made to resemble the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.

It is even more obvious if another priest is raised up
after the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become so,
not by a law expressed in a commandment concerning physical descent
but by the power of a life that cannot be destroyed.
For it is testified:

You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

Responsorial PsalmPS 110:1, 2, 3, 4

R. (4b) You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The LORD said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand
till I make your enemies your footstool.”
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The scepter of your power the LORD will stretch forth from Zion:
“Rule in the midst of your enemies.”
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
“Yours is princely power in the day of your birth, in holy splendor;
before the daystar, like the dew, I have begotten you.”
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.
The LORD has sworn, and he will not repent:
“You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.”
R. You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek.

AlleluiaSEE MT 4:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom
and cured every disease among the people.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 3:1-6

Jesus entered the synagogue.
There was a man there who had a withered hand.
They watched Jesus closely
to see if he would cure him on the sabbath
so that they might accuse him.
He said to the man with the withered hand,
“Come up here before us.”
Then he said to the Pharisees,
“Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil,
to save life rather than to destroy it?”
But they remained silent.
Looking around at them with anger
and grieved at their hardness of heart,
Jesus said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.”
He stretched it out and his hand was restored.
The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel
with the Herodians against him to put him to death.

Breaking : Boko Haram Kidnaps 80 from Cameroon and escapes to Nigeria - 24 Freed - Please Pray

Al Jazeera report: Boko Haram has been blamed for the deaths of at least 13,000 people since 2009. Cameroon's army has freed 24 hostages kidnapped during a cross-border attack by suspected Boko Haram fighters based in neighbouring Nigeria, government officials said. In their latest cross-border raid on Sunday, the Nigeria-based Boko Haram fighters seized at least 80 people in northern Cameroon, most of them women and children. Cameroon Information Minister Issa Tchiroma Bakari told Al Jazeera that the Cameroon army was able to free at least 24 of the hostages on Monday. "They were freed as defence forces pursued the attackers who were heading back to Nigeria," defence ministry spokesman Colonel Didier Badjeck said. The attack on Sunday occurred in the village of Mabass, in the Far North region, Bakary said. He said 80 houses were destroyed. "We are dealing with barbaric people, lawless people," Bakary said. "Nothing can prevent them from assassinating." The raid came a day after neighbouring Chad deployed troops to combat Boko Haram in Cameroon and Nigeria, as part of a regional bid to combat the group. Boko Haram: Regional responsibility? Concern is growing that Boko Haram is expanding its operations into neighbouring countries. Cameroon came under attack last Monday when it said its troops repelled a raid by Boko Haram on a northern military base. The group has been recruiting fighters in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger, and recently issued a video threatening Paul Biya, Cameroon's president. Brutal raids, massacres, suicide bomb attacks and kidnappings blamed on Boko Haram - which seeks to establish an Islamic state in northern Nigeria - have claimed at least 13,000 lives since 2009 and driven an estimated 1.5 million people from their homes. In Nigeria on Sunday, a suicide bomber killed five people and injured 35 others in the northeast town of Potiskum. The latest violence come as Chadian troops are seeking to recapture the strategic town of Baga on the shores of Lake Chad, which straddles the borders of Chad, Nigeria, Niger, and Cameroon and which fell to Boko Haram early this month. The assault on Baga could be Boko Haram's deadliest yet. Satellite pictures released by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch showed widespread destruction with around 3,700 buildings in Baga and nearby Doro Gowon damaged or destroyed. Amnesty says as many as 2,000 civilians may have been massacred, but Nigeria's army objected to the "sensational" claims and said that the death toll in Baga was about 150.
Shared from AlJazeera

10 Killed and 45 Churches Burned in Niger by Terrorists in Protests over Charlie Hebdo - Breaking News

AllAfrica/RFI report: Deadly riots and destruction on Saturday in Niger's capital; ongoing tensions on display with a police crackdown on an unrelated political march on Sunday. Two days of violence left five civilians dead in Niamey, and another five in Zinder, the city's second city. Rioters also vandalised a dozen churches, with AFP reporting eight Christian houses of worship burning along the river Niger. Nigerian president Mahmadou Issoufou denounced the destruction, saying "those who loot these places of worship, who desecrate them and kill their Christian compatriots... have understood nothing of Islam". Numerous bars, hotels, and other non-Muslim-owned places of commerce were also destroyed. Muslim elder Yaou Sonna called for calm on state television: "Don't forget that Islam is against violence. I urge men and women, boys and girls to calm down." Over 250 Christians in Zinder were placed under military protection, the French embassy encouraged the some 2,000 French citizens living in Niamey to stay home. On Sunday, conflict continued as a political opposition party decided to carry out a long-planned, but banned, march on parliament against "bad governance". Police fired tear gas on some 300 demonstrators who had gathered in a central square and several protestors, including a former minister, were arrested. French President Francois Hollande and Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius have condemned the violence.
(Image shared from Daily Capital) Text from AllAfrica

Latest News from #Vatican and #PopeFrancis - Prayers for Niger - Questions on Plane - Thanks to God for Trip

21-01-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 015 

- The Pope recounts his pastoral trip in Asia
- Appeal for Niger
- Inter-Christian collaboration in view of interreligious dialogue
- Other Pontifical Acts
- Questions and answers on the Manila-Rome flight
- The Pope thanks the Virgin for the fruits of his apostolic trip
- Other Pontifical Acts
The Pope recounts his pastoral trip in Asia
Vatican City, 21 January 2015 (VIS) – Before proceeding to the Paul VI Hall for this morning's Wednesday general audience, the Holy Father, following a centuries-long tradition, blessed two lambs in the hall of the Domus Sanctae Marthae, whose wool will be used to weave the pallia imposed on the new archbishops on 29 June, on the solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul.
During today's audience, Pope Francis gave an account of his apostolic trip to Sri Lanka and the Philippines. “I will always keep in my heart the recollection of the joyful welcome I received from the crowds”, he confessed. The culmination of his stay in Sri Lanka, he said, was the canonisation of St. Joseph Vaz. “His example of holiness and love for his neighbour continues to inspire the Church in Sri Lanka in her apostolate of charity and education”, he said, adding that the new saint represented “a model for all Christians, who are called upon today to offer the salvific truth of the Gospel in a multi-religious context. With regard to the meeting with the governmental authorities, he emphasised the importance of dialogue, respect for human dignity and efforts to involve all in finding suitable solutions for reconciliation and the common good.
He also spoke about his encounter with religious leaders, which confirmed the good relations that exist between the various communities. “In this context, I wanted to encourage the cooperation that has already been initiated between the followers of different religious traditions, also in order to heal with the balsam of forgiveness those who are still afflicted by the sufferings of recent years”.
In the Philippines, he noted “the constant fruitfulness of the Gospel and its capacity to inspire a society worthy of mankind, in which there is a place for the dignity of each person and the aspirations of the Filipino population”. He explained that the main aim of his visit was to express his closeness to those brothers and sisters who had suffered as a result of the devastation wrought by typhoon Yolanda. “The power of God's love, revealed in the mystery of the Cross, was made evident in the spirit of solidarity shown by the many acts of charity and sacrifice that marked those days of darkness”. He also mentioned the young volunteer Kristel, killed following his visit to Tacloban by collapsing scaffolding due to extreme weather conditions.
Francis went on to speak about his encounter with families in Manila. “I have heard it said that families with many children and high birth rates are among the causes of poverty. It seems to me a simplistic opinion. I can say that the main cause of poverty is an economic system that has removed the person from the centre and replaced him with the god of money; an economic system that excludes and creates the throwaway culture in which we live. … It is necessary to protect families, which face various threats, so that they can bear witness to the beauty of the family in God's plan”.
Finally, he spokes about his meeting with the young. “I wanted to offer them my encouragement for their efforts in contributing to the renewal of society, especially through their service to the poor and the protection of the natural environment. Care for the poor is an essential element of our Christian life and witness – because corruption steals from the poor – and requires a culture of honesty”, he concluded.
Appeal for Niger
Vatican City, 21 January 2015 (VIS) – The Pope launched an appeal for prayer for “the victims of the events of recent days in beloved Niger”, adding, “Let us invoke from the Lord the gift of reconciliation and peace, so that religious feeling is not transformed into a cause of violence, oppression and destruction. I hope that a climate of mutual respect and peaceful coexistence may be reinstated as soon as possible, for the good of all”.
Inter-Christian collaboration in view of interreligious dialogue
Vatican City, 21 January 2015 (VIS) – Yesterday the annual meeting took place between the officials of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCDI) and the staff of the Office for Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation (IRDC) of the World Council of Churches (WCC). The event enabled information to be exchanged regarding activities carried out during 2014.
The meeting also offered the opportunity to reflect on future partnerships between the two institutions, which have collaborated for some years now, in order to exchange information and with a view to joint initiatives for the examination of various issues.
The most recent initiatives include the presentation, in 2011, of the document “Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World: Recommendations for Conduct”, by the PCDI, the World Council of Churches and the World Evangelical Alliance.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 21 January 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed:
- the following members of the College for the review of appeals to the Ordinary Session of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, instituted by the Rescriptum ex Audientia SS.mi of 3 November 2014:
President: Bishop Charles J. Scicluna, auxiliary of Malta;
Members: Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education; Cardinal Attilio Nicora, president emeritus of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See (APSA) and the Financial Information Authority (AIF); Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts; Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, president of the Prefecture of the Economic Affairs of the Holy See; Archbishop Jose Luis Mollaghan, emeritus of Rosario, Argentina; and Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta Ochoa de Chinchetru, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts;
Supplementary members: Cardinal Julian Herranz, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts; Bishop Giorgio Corbellini, president of the Labour Office of the Apostolic See and of the Disciplinary Commission of the Roman Curia.
-Rev. Fr. Daniel Elias Garcia as auxiliary of Austin (area 57,424, population 2,902,992, Catholics 536,183, priests 218, permanent deacons 207, religious 201), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Cameron, Texas, U.S.A. in 1960 and was ordained a priest in 1988. He holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy, a Master of Divinity from the University of St. Thomas, Houston, Texas, and a Master's degree in liturgical studies from St. John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including parish priest of the “St. Vincent de Paul” parish in Austin and dean of the “Austin North Deanery”. He is currently a member of the presbyteral council, diocesan consultor, member of the Priests' Personnel Board, and vicar general and moderator of the Curia.
- confirmed the appointment by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin of Dr. Tommaso Di Ruzza as director of the Financial Information Authority (AIF). Dr. Di Ruzza is currently “ad interim” deputy director of the same institution.
20-01-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 014 

Questions and answers on the Manila-Rome flight
Vatican City, 20 January 2015 (VIS) – At the end of his seventh apostolic trip, on return flight from Manila to Rome, the Pope again answered questions from the journalists who accompanied him on the flight. He confessed that he had been most impressed and moved by the gestures of the Filipino people, gestures which expressed “faith, love, family, hopes, the future. … True enthusiasm,joy, happiness, able to celebrate even in the rain”. On the other hand, he also noted the resignation of the Filipinos, who “know suffering”.
The Pontiff spoke about the possibility of an apostolic trip to Central Africa or Uganda at the end of the year, and confirmed that he will travel to Philadelphia to attend the World Meeting of Families, to New York, where he will visit the United Nations, and Washington. He commented that he would like to travel to California for the canonisation of Junipero Serra, but time restrictions make this unlikely. With regard to South America, he said that there were proposals for trips to Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay over the coming year.
A summary of the Pope's answers is given below.
- On the question about religious freedom and freedom of expression, posed on the flight from Colombo to Manila, and the confusion it generated
“In theory, it may be said that the Gospel says we must turn the other cheek. In theory, we can say that we have the freedom to express ourselves, and this is important. In theory we are all in agreement, but we are human, and so there is prudence, which is a virtue in human coexistence. I cannot continually provoke or insult someone, because I would risk angering them, I risk receiving a reaction that is not right, not right. But it is human. Therefore, I say that the freedom of expression must take into consideration the reality of humanity, and for this reason I say that we must be prudent. This means we must be polite and prudent, as prudence is the virtue that regulates human relations”.
- On corruption throughout the world and in the Church
“In today's world, corruption is the order of the day and corrupt attitudes easily establish themselves in institutions, since an institution has many components here and there, it has many heads and deputies, and so is very easy for corruption to take root there. Any institution can fall prey to this. Corruption means taking from the population. A corrupt person, who makes corrupt deals, or who governs in a corrupt fashion, or who associates with others to make corrupt deals, steals from the people. They are the victims. … Today it is a worldwide problem. … And with regard to corruption in ecclesiastical institutions … when I speak about the Church, I like to speak about the faithful, the baptised, all the Church. And in this case it is better to speak about sinners. We are all sinners, aren't we? But when we speak about corruption, we speak about corrupt people, or Church institutions that have fallen prey to corruption, and there are cases. … It is easy for corruption to take root, but let's remember this: sinners yes, corrupt no! We must never be corrupt. We must ask for forgiveness for those Catholics, those Christians, who scandalise with their corruption. It is a wound in the Church; but there are many saints, and sinners who are holy but not corrupt”.
- On responsible parenthood
“I think that three is the number of children per family that the experts say is correct to maintain the population, three per couple. When there are fewer than this, there is the other extreme, which we see in Italy where I have heard – I do not know if it is true – that from 2024 there will not be the money to pay pensioners. The key phrase to answer this question is the one that the Church has always used: responsible parenthood. How does one do this? Through dialogue. Every person, accompanied by their pastor, must find out how to achieve responsible parenthood. … Some believe that – excuse the expression – to be good Catholics we must be like rabbits. No. Responsible parenthood. This is clear, and for this reason in the Church here are matrimonial groups, experts in this. I know of many, many legitimate ways to achieve this. … On the other hand, for the poorest people, a child is a treasure. It is true, we must also be careful here. But for them, a child is a treasure. God knows how to help them. Perhaps some are not careful in this respect, it is true. Parenthood must be responsible. But look also at the generosity of those fathers and mothers who see every child as a treasure”.
- On the Pope's remark that the world needs to weep
“One of the things that is lost when there is too much comfort, or values are not well-understood, or we get used to injustice, to this throwaway culture, is the capacity to weep. It is a grace that we must ask for. … We Christians must ask for the grace to weep, especially those Christians who are well-off; to weep about injustice and sin. Weeping opens you to the understanding of new realities or new dimensions of reality”.
The Pope thanks the Virgin for the fruits of his apostolic trip
Vatican City, 20 January 2015 (VIS) – After landing at Rome's Ciampino military airport at5.30 p.m. local time, and before returning to the Vatican, Pope Francis stopped at the Basilica of St. Mary Major to pray to the Virgin “Salus populi romani”, and to give thanks for the positive outcome of his apostolic trip to Sri Lanka and the Philippines.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 20 January 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:
- appointed Msgr. Jorge Giovanny Pazmino Abril, O.P., as bishop of Ambato (area 3,844, population 538,800, Catholics 499,000, priests 98, permanent deacons 3, religious 216), Ecuador. The bishop-elect was born in Banos, Ecuador in 1965, and was ordained a priest in 1995. He studied philosophy and theology at the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador and holds a licentiate in dogmatic theology from the University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Rome. He has served in a number of pastoral and academic roles, including professor in pastoral theology and philosophy at the School of Religious Sciences of the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador, vocational promoter of the Dominican vicariate general of Ecuador, president of the Ecuadorian Conference of Religious, parish priest, professor in the major seminary of Guayaquil and general secretary of the Interprovincial Conference of Dominicans of Latin America and the Caribbean. He is currently vicar general of the vicariate general of “Santa Catalina de Siena” of Ecuador and head of contemplative life in the archdiocese of Quito.
- accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Ispahan of the Latins, Iran, presented by Bishop Ignazio Bedini, S.D.B., in accordance with canon 401 para. 1 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.

Saint January 21 : St. Agnes : Engaged couples; Chastity; Gardeners; Girls; Rape victims; virgins

Feast Day:January 21
Major Shrine::Church of Sant'Agnese fuori le mura and the Church of Sant'Agnese in Agone, both in Rome
Patron of:Betrothed couples; chastity; Children of Mary; Colegio Capranica of Rome; crops; gardeners; Girl Scouts; girls; rape victims; virgins
Few legends of saints have been more cherished than that of the virgin martyr Agnes. She was held in high regard by the primitive  Christian Church, and her name has remained a symbol of maidenly purity through the ages. According to tradition, Agnes was a Christian girl of Rome, perhaps twelve or thirteen years old, when Diocletian began his persecutions. Like St. Lucy, she was sentenced by a judge to a house of ill fame, but a young man who looked upon her lustfully was stricken blind. Thereafter she was taken out to be burned, but whether she met her death by fire or sword we cannot know with any certainty. Although we have no contemporary sources for the facts of her life and martyrdom, there is little reason to doubt the main outline of the story. References to this young saint appear in many Church writings of later date. St. Ambrose, St. Damasus, and Prudentius all praise her purity and heroism. Her name occurs in the Canon of the Mass. Agnes' crypt was in the Via Nomentana, and the stone covering her remains was carven with the words, <Agna sanctissima> (most holy lamb). A church in her honor is presumed to have been built at Rome in the time of Constantine the Great. In the apse of this basilica, which was  rebuilt in the seventh century by Pope Honorius, there is still to be seen the large and beautiful mosaic depicting the saint. St. Agnes is the patroness of young girls and her symbol is, naturally, a lamb. On the anniversary of her martyrdom, the Pope, after high pontifical Mass in her church at Rome, blesses two lambs, and their wool is later woven into the <pallia> worn by archbishops.