Monday, February 2, 2015

#PopeFrancis says Mass for World Day for Consecrated Life - Full Text Homily/Video

Pope Francis presides over the Mass that marks the World Day for Consecrated Life at St. Peter's Basilica. The Year of Consecrated Life started on November 30, 2014, and will finish on February 2, 2016.
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis delivered the homily on Monday afternoon at Mass in St. Peter's Basilica, being celebrated to mark the feast of the Presentation of the Lord and the World Day for Consecrated Life, in the context of the Year dedicated to the same. Below, please find Vatican Radio's English translation of the Holy Father's prepared remarks.
Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis
Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
2 February 2015
Before our eyes we can picture Mother Mary as she walks, carrying the Baby Jesus in her arms.  She brings him to the Temple; she presents him to the people; she brings him to meet his people.
The arms of Mother Mary are like the “ladder” on which the Son of God comes down to us, the ladder of God’s condescension.  This is what we heard in the first reading, from the Letter to the Hebrews: Christ became “like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest” (Heb 2:17).  This is the twofold path taken by Jesus: he descended, he became like us, in order then to ascend with us to the Father, making us like himself.
In our heart we can contemplate this double movement by imagining the Gospel scene of Mary who enters the Temple holding the Child in her arms.  The Mother walks, yet it is the Child who goes before her.  She carries him, yet he is leading her along the path of the God who comes to us so that we might go to him.
Jesus walked the same path as we do, and showed us a new way, the “new and living way” (cf. Heb 10:20) which is himself. For us too, as consecrated men and women, he opened a path
Fully five times the Gospel speaks to us of Mary and Joseph’s obedience to the “law of the Lord” (cf. Lk 2:22-24,27,39).  Jesus came not to do his own will, but the will of the Father. This way, he tells us, was his “food” (cf. Jn 4:34). In the same way, all those who follow Jesus must set out on the path of obedience, imitating as it were the Lord’s “condescension” by humbling themselves and making their own the will of the Father, even to self-emptying and abasement (cf. Phil 2:7-8). For a religious person, to progress is to lower oneself in service. A path like that of Jesus, who “did not count equality with God something to be grasped.”: to lower oneself, making oneself a servant, in order to serve.
This path, then, takes the form of the rule, marked by the charism of the founder.  For all of us, the essential rule remains the Gospel, this abasement of Christ, yet the Holy Spirit, in his infinite creativity, also gives it expression in the various rules of the consecrated life, though all of these are born of thatsequela Christi, from this path of self-abasement in service.
Through this “law” consecrated persons are able to attain wisdom, which is not an abstract attitude, but a work and a gift of the Holy Spirit, the sign and proof of which is joy. Yes, the mirth of the religious is a consequence of this journey of abasement with Jesus: and when we are sad, it would do us well to ask how we are living this kenotic dimension.
In the account of Jesus’ Presentation, wisdom is represented by two elderly persons, Simeon and Anna: persons docile to the Holy Spirit (He is named 4 times), led by him, inspired by him.  The Lord granted them wisdom as the fruit of a long journey along the path of obedience to his law, an obedience which likewise humbles and abases – even as it also guards and guarantees hope – and now they are creative, for they are filled with the Holy Spirit.  They even enact a kind of liturgy around the Child as he comes to the Temple.  Simeon praises the Lord and Anna “proclaims” salvation (cf. Lk 2:28-32,38).  As with Mary, the elderly man holds the Child, but in fact it is the Child who guides the elderly man. The liturgy of First Vespers of today’s feast puts this clearly and concisely: “senex puerum portabat, puer autem senem regebat”.  Mary, the young mother, and Simeon, the kindly old man, hold the Child in their arms, yet it is the Child himself who guides both of them.
It is curious: here it is not young people who are creative: the young, like Mary and Joseph, follow the law of the Lord, the path of obedience.  And the Lord turns obedience into wisdom by the working of his Holy Spirit.  At times God can grant the gift of wisdom to a young person, but always as the fruit of obedience and docility to the Spirit. This obedience and docility is not something theoretical; it too is subject to the economy of the incarnation of the Word: docility and obedience to a founder, docility and obedience to a specific rule, docility and obedience to one’s superior, docility and obedience to the Church. It is always docility and obedience in the concrete.
In persevering along along the path of obedience, personal and communal wisdom matures, and thus it also becomes possible to adapt rules to the times.  For true “aggiornamento” is the fruit of wisdom forged in docility and obedience.
The strengthening and renewal of consecrated life are the result of great love for the rule, and also the ability to look to and heed the elders of one’s congregation.  In this way, the “deposit”, the charism of each religious family, is preserved by obedience and by wisdom, working together. And, along this journey, we are preserved from living our consecration lightly and in a disincarnate manner, as though it were a Gnosis, which would reduce itself to a “caricature” of the religious life, in which is realized a sequela – a following – that is without sacrifice, a prayer that is without encounter, a fraternal life that is without communion, an obedience without trust, a charity without transcendence.
Today we too, like Mary and Simeon, want to take Jesus into our arms, to bring him to his people. Surely we will be able to do so if we enter into the mystery in which Jesus himself is our guide.  Let us bring others to Jesus, but let us also allow ourselves to be led by him.  This is what we should be: guides who themselves are guided.
May the Lord, through the intercession of Mary our Mother, Saint Joseph and Saints Simeon and Anna, grant to all of us what we sought in today’s opening prayer: to “be presented [to him] fully renewed in spirit”.  Amen.

#Novena to Our Lady of #Lourdes - SHARE!

Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes
O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of mercy, health of the sick, refuge of sinners,
comfort of the afflicted, thou knowest my wants, my troubles, my sufferings.
Deign to cast upon me a look of mercy. By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes,
thou wert pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary, whence thou dispenses thy favors,
and already many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal.
I come, therefore, with unbounded confidence, to implore thy maternal intercession.
Obtain, O loving Mother, the granting of my requests.
(make your request)
I will endeavor to imitate thy virtues, that I may one day share thy glory, and bless thee in eternity. Amen.
O MARY, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
O BLESSED be the Holy and Immaculate Conception of the most blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God.
HOLY Virgin Mary Immaculate, Mother of God and our Mother,
speak thou for us to the Heart of Jesus, Who is thy Son.
OUR Lady of Lourdes, pray for us!

Today's Mass Readings : Monday February 2, 2015 - Presentation Feast

Feast of the Presentation of the Lord
Lectionary: 524

Reading 1MAL 3:1-4

Thus says the Lord God:
Lo, I am sending my messenger
to prepare the way before me;
And suddenly there will come to the temple
the LORD whom you seek,
And the messenger of the covenant whom you desire.
Yes, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.
But who will endure the day of his coming?
And who can stand when he appears?
For he is like the refiner’s fire,
or like the fuller’s lye.
He will sit refining and purifying silver,
and he will purify the sons of Levi,
Refining them like gold or like silver
that they may offer due sacrifice to the LORD.
Then the sacrifice of Judah and Jerusalem
will please the LORD,
as in the days of old, as in years gone by.

Responsorial PsalmPS 24:7, 8, 9, 10

R. (8) Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!
Lift up, O gates, your lintels;
reach up, you ancient portals,
that the king of glory may come in!
R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!
Who is this king of glory?
The LORD, strong and mighty,
the LORD, mighty in battle.
R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!
Lift up, O gates, your lintels;
reach up, you ancient portals,
that the king of glory may come in!
R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!
Who is this king of glory?
The LORD of hosts; he is the king of glory.
R. Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!

Reading 2HEB 2:14-18

Since the children share in blood and flesh,
Jesus likewise shared in them,
that through death he might destroy the one
who has the power of death, that is, the Devil,
and free those who through fear of death
had been subject to slavery all their life.
Surely he did not help angels
but rather the descendants of Abraham;
therefore, he had to become like his brothers and sisters
in every way,
that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest before God
to expiate the sins of the people.
Because he himself was tested through what he suffered,
he is able to help those who are being tested.

AlleluiaLK 2:32

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A light of revelation to the Gentiles,
and glory for your people Israel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 2:22-40

When the days were completed for their purification
according to the law of Moses,
Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem
to present him to the Lord,
just as it is written in the law of the Lord,
Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,
and to offer the sacrifice of
a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,
in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon.
This man was righteous and devout,
awaiting the consolation of Israel,
and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit
that he should not see death
before he had seen the Christ of the Lord.
He came in the Spirit into the temple;
and when the parents brought in the child Jesus
to perform the custom of the law in regard to him,
he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:

“Now, Master, you may let your servant go
in peace, according to your word,
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and glory for your people Israel.”

The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him;
and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,
“Behold, this child is destined
for the fall and rise of many in Israel,
and to be a sign that will be contradicted
—and you yourself a sword will pierce—
so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
There was also a prophetess, Anna,
the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.
She was advanced in years,
having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage,
and then as a widow until she was eighty-four.
She never left the temple,
but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer.
And coming forward at that very time,
she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child
to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.

When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions
of the law of the Lord,
they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth.
The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom;
and the favor of God was upon him.

OrLK 2:22-32

When the days were completed for their purification
according to the law of Moses,
Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem
to present him to the Lord,
just as it is written in the law of the Lord,
Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,
and to offer the sacrifice of
a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,
in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon.
This man was righteous and devout,
awaiting the consolation of Israel,
and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit
that he should not see death
before he had seen the Christ of the Lord.
He came in the Spirit into the temple;
and when the parents brought in the child Jesus
to perform the custom of the law in regard to him,
he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:

“Now, Master, you may let your servant go
in peace, according to your word,
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and glory for your people Israel.”

Latest News from #Vatican Information Service and #PopeFrancis - New Bishops Appointed - Women's Cultures and more

02-02-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 023 

To the bishops of Lithuania: constructive dialogue with all, closeness to the poor and assistance to those who emigrate
- Angelus: the Gospel changes life
- The Pope announces his visit to Sarajevo
- Pope's Telegram to the new President of the Italian Republic
- There is no humanity without cultivation of the land: Francis on the central role of agriculture
- Members and substitutes from the Episcopal Conferences for the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops
- Assembly on “Women's cultures”
- Audiences
- Other Pontifical Acts
To the bishops of Lithuania: constructive dialogue with all, closeness to the poor and assistance to those who emigrate
Vatican City, 2 February 2015 (VIS) - “You have come to Rome with your youth, but also with your heroism. Indeed, among you there are some young brothers, but mostly prelates who have experienced the sad period of persecution. Thank you for your witness to Jesus Christ and for your service to God's holy people”, writes the Holy Father in the discourse handed out at the end of his audience with the Lithuanian Bishops' Conference today, following their five-yearly “ad Limina” visit.
“Lithuania has always had pastors who are close to their flock and united with them”, he continues. “Throughout the history of the nation, they have accompanied their people with care, not only in their journey of faith and in facing material difficulties, but also in the civil and social construction of society; the foundations of its history and identity are found in the strength of the Gospel and the love of the Holy Mother of God. You are the heirs to this history, this heritage of pastoral charity, and you show this with the energy of your action, the communion you inspire and your perseverance in pursuing the goals the Spirit indicates to you”.
“Dear brothers, I know your apostolic labours. If for a long period the Church in your country was oppressed by regimes based on ideologies contrary to human dignity and freedom, today you must face others, more insidious, such as secularism and relativism. Therefore, alongside tireless proclamation of the Gospel and Christian values, you must not forget to maintain constructive dialogue with all, even those who do not belong to the Church or who are distant from religious experience. Ensure that Christian communities are always places of welcome, of open and constructive exchange, a stimulus for society as a whole in the pursuit of the common good”.
Francis does not overlook the ceaseless efforts and attention paid by the Lithuanian bishops to the clergy, and he invites them to pray that God might give them “generous priests capable of sacrifice and devotion”, as well as “convinced laypersons who know how to take responsibility within the ecclesial community and to make a valid Christian contribution to civil society”, to be encouraged by the bishops “with the strength of mature faith, in the civil, cultural, political and social fields”.
The Pope also remarks that the Church is engaged in reflection on the beauty and value of the family, and the challenges it faces in our time. He encourages the bishops, as pastors, to make their contribution to “this great work of discernment”, and above all to pay attention to the pastoral ministry of the family, so that couples “feel the closeness of the Christian community and are helped not to conform to the mentality of this world, but instead to continually renew themselves in the spirit of the Gospel”. He adds, “indeed, in your country, which is now a full member of the European Union, is exposed to an influx of ideologies that seek to introduce elements of destabilisation of families, the result of a misunderstood sense of personal freedom. Centuries-old Lithuanian traditions will help you to respond, in accordance with reason and faith, to these challenges”.
He then goes on to recommend special attention to vocations to the priesthood and to consecrated life, and encourages the Church in Lithuania to pray tirelessly to this end. He also urges adequate formation, both initial and continuing, of priests, consecrated persons and seminarians, as well as the active initiation of contact with them, to avoid leaving them alone with their difficulties. He concludes by exhorting care for the poor. “In Lithuania too, despite current economic development, there are many people in need, unemployed, sick, and abandoned. Be close to them. And do not forget that there are many, especially the young, who for various reasons leave the country to find a new path abroad. Their growing number and their needs require attention and pastoral care on the part of the Bishops' Conference, also to ensure the preservation of their faith and Lithuanian religious traditions”.
Angelus: the Gospel changes life
Vatican City, 1 February 2015 (VIS) – At midday, Pope Francis appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, and to reflect on the readings in today's liturgy.
This Sunday's Gospel passage narrates Jesus' arrival with his disciples in the city of Capernaum, the birthplace of St. Peter and the largest city in Galilee at the time. St. Mark writes that, since it was the Sabbath, Jesus went immediately to the synagogue and began to teach. “This makes us think of the primacy of the Word of God, a word to listen to, receive and announce”, explained the Holy Father. Upon his arrival in Capernaum, Jesus does not delay in proclaiming the Gospel: “He does not think first of the logistical arrangements, certainly necessary, for his little community; nor does He take his time over organisation. His main concern is communicating the Word of God with the strength of the Holy Spirit. And the people in the synagogue are impressed, because Jesus 'taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes'”.
“What does 'with authority' mean?”, asked the Pope, before explaining that in human words, Jesus felt “all the strength of the Word of God, He felt the same authority of God Himself, the inspirer of the Holy Scriptures. And one of the characteristics of the Word of God is that it accomplishes what it says”. Indeed Jesus, after preaching, immediately demonstrates His authority by freeing a man, present in the synagogue, from possession by a demon. “It was Christ's authority that had provoked the reaction of Satan, hidden in that man. In turn, Jesus immediately recognised the voice of the devil and, severely rebuking him, ordered: 'Quiet! Come out of him!'. With the strength of his word alone, Jesus freed the person from evil. And again those present were astounded. 'He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey Him'. The Word of God creates this wonder in us. It possesses the strength to astonish us”.
“The Gospel is the word of life: it does not oppress people, but on the contrary, frees those who are enslaved by the many evil spirits of this world: the spirit of vanity, attachment to money, pride, sensuality; the Gospel changes hearts, changes lives, transforms the inclination to evil into good resolutions. The Gospel is capable of changing people. Therefore, it is the duty of Christians to spread this redeeming power everywhere, becoming missionaries and heralds of the Word of God. … The new doctrine that Jesus taught with authority is that which the Church brings to the world, along with the effective signs of His presence: authoritative teaching and the liberating action of the Son of God become the words of salvation and the gestures of love of the missionary Church”.
Pope Francis concluded by reminding those present that the Gospel has the strength to change life. “It is the Good News that transforms us only when we let ourselves be transformed by it. This is why I ask you always to make daily contact with the Gospel; to read a passage every day, to meditate upon it and to carry it everywhere with you, in your pocket or in your bag. … It is the power that changes us, that transforms us. It changes life, and it changes the heart”.
The Pope announces his visit to Sarajevo
Vatican City, 1 February 2015 (VIS) – Following today's Angelus prayer, the Holy Father announced that on 6 June he will travel to Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and asked those present for their prayers so that his visit “to those dear populations may give encouragement to the Catholic faithful, may be a leaven for good and contribute to the consolidation of brotherhood, peace, interreligious dialogue and friendship”.
He went on to greet the participants in the fourth world Congress organised by Scholas Occurrentes, to be held in the Vatican from 2 to 5 February on the theme “Responsibility for all education for a culture of encounter”.
Finally, he remarked that today is the “Day for Life” in Italy, focusing this year on the theme “Solidarity for life”. He expressed his appreciation for the associations, movements and all others who defend human life. “I join with the Italian bishops in calling for a renewed recognition of the human person and more suitable care for life from conception to its natural end. When we open ourselves to life and serve life, we experience the revolutionary force of love and tenderness, giving rise to a new humanism: the humanism of solidarity, the humanism of life.”
Pope's Telegram to the new President of the Italian Republic
Vatican City, 2 February 2015 (VIS) – Last Saturday the Holy Father sent a telegram to Sergio Mattarella, new president of the Italian Republic, in which he expresses his hope that the new head of State will be able to exercise his “high office in the service of the unity and harmony of the country”, and invokes upon him “constant divine assistance for enlightened action in the promotion of the common good, in line with the authentic human and spiritual values of the Italian population”.
There is no humanity without cultivation of the land: Francis on the central role of agriculture
Vatican City, 31 January 2015 (VIS) - “There is no humanity without the cultivation of the land; there is no good life without the food it produces for the men and women of every continent. Agriculture thus demonstrates its central role”, said Pope Francis this morning, as he received in audience two hundred managers from the National Confederation of Direct Cultivators in the Clementine Hall on the seventh anniversary of its foundation.
The name “direct cultivators”, explained the Pontiff, refers to cultivation, “a typically human and fundamental activity. In agricultural work there is, indeed, acceptance of the precious gift of the land that comes from God, but there is also its development through the equally valuable work of men and women, called to respond boldly and creatively to the mandate forever entrusted to mankind, the cultivation and stewardship of the land”.
This task, which requires time and energy, constitutes “a true vocation. It deserves to be recognised and suitably valued as such, also in concrete political and economic decisions. This means eliminating the obstacles that penalise such a valuable activity and that often make it appear unattractive to new generations, even though statistics show an increase in the number of students in schools and institutes of agriculture, which leads us to foresee and increase in the numbers of those employed in the agricultural sector. At the same time, it is necessary to pay due attention to the removal of land from agricultural use, to make it available for apparently more lucrative purposes”.
This reflection on agrarian work led the Holy Father to focus on two critical areas: poverty and hunger, and the protection of the environment. “Vatican Council II reiterated the common destination of earthly goods, but in reality the dominant economic system excludes many people from their correct use. The absolutism of the rules of the market and a throwaway culture in which waste of food has reached unacceptable proportions, along with other factors, have caused poverty and suffering for many families. Therefore, the system of production and distribution of food needs to be fundamentally re-evaluated. As our grandparents taught us, you do not play with food! Bread forms part of the sacredness of human life, and must not therefore be treated as a mere commodity”.
With regard to the second theme, the Pope underlined that in Genesis man is called not only to cultivate the land, but also to take care of it. These two aspects “are closely linked: every agriculturalist is well aware of how difficult it has become to cultivate the land in a time of accelerated climate change and increasingly widespread extreme meteorological events. How can we continue to produce good food for the lives of all when climate stability is at risk, when the air, water and the earth itself lose their purity as a result of pollution? We are truly realising the importance of timely action to safeguard Creation; it is urgent that nations succeed in collaborating for this fundamental purpose. The challenge is to achieve a form of agriculture with a low environmental impact. How can we ensure we safeguard the earth as well as cultivating it? Indeed, only in this way will future generations be able to continue to inhabit and cultivate our earth”.
The Holy Father concluded with an invitation to “rediscover love for the earth as the 'mother', as St. Francis would say, from which we come and to which we are constantly called upon to return. And this leads to a proposal: to protect the earth, to make an alliance with her, so that she many continue to be, as God intends, the source of life for the entire human family”.
Members and substitutes from the Episcopal Conferences for the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops
Vatican City, 31 January 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has ratified the appointment of the following prelates as members and substitutes, elected by their respective Episcopal Conferences, for the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which will take place in the Vatican from 4 to 25 October 2015 on the theme “The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world”:
Member: Bishop Gervais Bashimiyubusa, of Ngozi, president of the Episcopal Conference.
Substitute: Bishop Joachim Ntahondereye of Muyinga.
Member: Bishop Tsegaye Keneni Derera, apostolic vicar of Soddo, Ethiopia.
Substitute: Bishop Markos Gebremedhin, C.M., apostolic vicar of Jimma-Bonga, Ethiopia.
Member: Archbishop Gabriel Charles Palmer-Buckle, of Accra.
Substitute: Bishop Anthony Kwami Adanuty of Keta-katsi.
Members: Cardinal John Njue, archbishop of Nairobi, president of the Episcopal Conference.
Bishop James Maria Wainaina Kungu of Muranga.
Substitute: Bishop Emanuel Barbara, O.F.M. Cap. of Malindi.
Member: Bishop Desire Tsarahazana of Toamasina, president of the Episcopal Conference.
Substitute: Bishop Jean de Dieu Raoelison, auxiliary of Antananarivo.
Member: Bishop Antoine Kambanda of Kibungo.
Substitute: Bishop Smaragde Mbonyintege of Kabgayi, president of the Episcopal Conference.
Members: Bishop Pedro María Laxague, auxiliary of Bahia Blanca.
Archbishop Jose Maria Arancedo of Santa Fe de la Vera Cruz, president of the Episcopal Conference.
Cardinal Mario Aurelio Poli, archbishop of Buenos Aires.
Substitutes: Archbishop Andres Stanovnik, O.F.M. Cap. of Corrientes.
Archbishop Hector Ruben Aguer of La Plata.
Members: Bishop Bernardo Miguel Bastres Florence, S.D.B. of Punta Arenas.
Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati Andrello, S.D.B., archbishop of Santiago de Chile, president of the Episcopal Conference.
Substitute: Bishop Cristian Contreras Villarroel of Melipilla, general secretary of the Episcopal Conference.
Member: Archbishop Juan de la Caridad Garcia Rodriguez of Camaguey.
Substitute: Bishop Marcelo Arturo Gonzalez Amador of Santa Clara.
Members: Archbishop Antonio Arregui Yarza of Guayaquil.
Archbishop Luis Gerardo Cabrera Herrera, O.F.M. of Cuenca.
Substitutes: Bishop Julio Parrilla Diaz of Riobamba.
Bishop Marcos Aurelio Perez Caicedo of Babahoyo, vice president of the Episcopal Conference.
Member: Bishop Luis Sole Fa, C.M. of Trujillo.
Substitute: Bishop Angel Garachana Perez, C.M.F. of San Pedro Sula.
Members: Bishop Rodrigo Aguilar Martinez of Tehuacan.
Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera, archbishop of Mexico.
Bishop Francisco Javier Chavolla Ramos of Toluca.
Cardinal Francisco Robles Ortega, archbishop of Guadalajara, president of the Episcopal Conference.
Substitutes: Bishop Alfonso Gerardo Miranda Guardiola, auxiliary of Monterrey.
Bishop Jose Francisco Gonzalez Gonzalez of Campeche.
Members: Archbishop Joseph Edward Kurtz of Louisville, president of the Episcopal Conference.
Archbishop Charles Joseph Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. of Philadelphia.
Cardinal Daniel N. Di Nardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston, vice president of the Episcopal Conference.
Archbishop Jose Horacio Gomez of Los Angeles.
Substitutes: Bishop Blase J. Cupich of Spokane.
Archbishop Salvatore Joseph Cordileone of San Francisco.
Member: Bishop Jaime Rafael Fuentes Martin of Minas.
Substitute:Bishop Rodolfo Pedro Wirz Kraemer of Maldonado-Punta del Este, president of the Episcopal Conference.
Member: Bishop Joseph Arshad of Faisalabad.
Substitute: Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw of Lahore.
Members: Archbishop Paul Bui Van Doc of Thanh-Pho Ho Chi Minh, Hochiminh Ville, president of the Episcopal Conference.
Bishop Joseph Dinh Duc Dao, auxiliary of Xuan Loc.
Substitute: Bishop Pierre Nguyen Van Kham of My Tho.
Member: Bishop George Frendo, O.P. Auxiliary of Tirane-Durres.
Substitute: Bishop Ottavio Vitale, R.C.I. of Lezhe, Lesh.
Member: Bishop Benno Elbs of Feldkirch.
Substitute: Bishop Kalus Kung of Sankt Polten.
Member: Bishop Tomo Vuksic, military ordinary of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Substitute: Bishop Marko Semren, O.F.M. auxiliary of Banja Luka.
Members: Archbishop Georges Pontier of Marseille, president of the Episcopal Conference.
Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, archbishop Paris.
Bishop Jean-Luc Brunin of Le Havre.
Bishop Jean-Paul James of Nantes.
Substitutes: Bishop Olivier de Germay of Ajaccio.
Bishop Bruno Feillet, auxiliary of Reims.
Members: Cardinal Vincent Gerard Nichols, archbishop of Westminster, president of the Episcopal Conference.
Bishop Peter John Haworth Doyle of Northampton.
Substitute: Bishop Philip Anthony Egan of Portsmouth.
Member: Bishop Fragkiskos Papamanolis, O.F.M. Cap. emeritus of Syros, president of the Episcopal Conference.
Substitute: Archbishop Nikolaos Foskolos, emeritus of Athenai.
Members: Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin.
Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, president of the Episcopal Conference.
Substitute: Archbishop Kieran O'Reilly, S.M.A. of Cashel.
Members: Cardinal Audrys Jouzas Backis, archbishop emeritus of Vilnius.
Substitute: Bishop Rimantas Norvila of Vilkaviskis.
Member: Cardinal Willem Jacobus Eijk, archbishop of Utrecht.
Substitute: Bishop Johannes Wilhelmus Maria Liesen of Breda.
Members: Cardinal Ricardo Blazquez Perez, archbishop of Valladolid, president of the Episcopal Conference.
Bishop Mario Iceta Gavicagogeascoa of Bilbao.
Archbishop Carlos Osoro Sierra of Madrid.
Substitute: Bishop Juan Antonio Reig Pla of Alcala de Henares.
Members: Bishop Daniel Eugene Hurley of Darwin.
Archbishop Mark Benedict Coleridge of Brisbane.
Substitute: Archbishop Philip Edward Wilson of Adelaide.
Member: Bishop Charles Edward Drennan of Palmerston North.
Substitute: Cardinal John Atcherley Dew, archbishop of Wellington, president of the Episcopal Conference.
Assembly on “Women's cultures”
Vatican City, 2 February 2015 (VIS) – A press conference was held in the Holy See Press Office this morning to present the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Culture on the theme “Women's Cultures: between equality and difference”, which will be held in Rome from 4 to 7 February. The speakers were Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture; Anna Maria Tarantola, president of RAI (Radiotelevisione Italiana); Monica Maggioni, director of RAI News, and Nancy Brilli, actor.
The Assembly will be divided into four sessions in which the following themes will be considered: “Between equality and difference: the quest for equilibrium”, “Generativity as a symbolic code”, “The female body: between culture and biology” and “Women and religion: flight or new forms of participation in the life of the Church?”. The Congress will be attended only by members and consultors of the Pontifical Council by pontifical appointment, with the exception of the session on Wednesday 4 February, when there will be a moment of public participation at the Teatro Argentina in Rome. For a period of 50 minutes there will be a series of videos, brief interviews, readings and images, and live music. Entry will be free, subject to capacity.
Vatican City, 2 February 2015 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
- Cardinal Agostino Vallini, vicar general of His Holiness for the diocese of Rome;
- Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, archbishop of Vienna, Austria;
- Eleven prelates of the Lithuanian Bishops' Conference, on their “ad limina” visit:
-Archbishop Sigitas Tamkevicius of Kaunas, with his auxiliary, Bishop Kestutis Kevalas;
- Bishop Eugenijus Bartulis of Siauliai;
- Bishop Jonas Boruta of Telsia, with his auxiliary, Bishop Linas Vodopjanovas;
- Bishop Rimantas Norvila of Vilkaviskis;
- Archbishop Gintaras Grusas of Vilnius, with his auxiliary, Bishop Arunas Poniskaitis and the archbishop emeritus, Cardinal Audrys Juozas Backis;
- Bishop Jonas Ivanauskas of Kaisiadoris; and
- Bishop Lionginas Virbalas of Panevezys.
On Saturday, 31 January the Holy Father received in audience:
- Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops;
- Cardinal Willem Jacobus Eijk, archbishop of Utrecht, Netherlands;
- Archbishop Yaser Rasmi Hanna Al-Ayyash of Petra and Philadelphia of the Greek-Melkites, Jordan;
- Don Notker Wolf, abbot primate of the Benedictine Confederation of Congregations;
- Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 2 February 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed:
- Msgr. Francisco Eduardo Cervantes Merino as bishop of Orizaba (area 2,012, population 663,000, Catholics 589,000, priests 89, religious 136), Mexico. The bishop-elect was born in Ocatan Merino Palafox, Mexico in 1953, and was ordained a priest in 1979. He holds a licentiate in pastoral theology from the Pontifical Lateran University, Rome, and a licentiate in educational psychology from the Normal Superior School of Mexico. He has held a number of pastoral roles in the diocese of Tuxpan, including parish vicar, parish priest of the “Corpus Christi” parish, professor at the diocesan seminary, diocesan coordinator of youth pastoral ministry, and member of the presbyteral council. He is currently parish priest of the Cathedral and vicar for pastoral ministry.
- Msgr. Liberatus Sangu as bishop of Shinyanga (area 50,000, population 2,440,000, Catholics 745,000, priests 55, religious 58), Tanzania. The bishop-elect was born in Mwazye, Tanzania in 1963 and ordained a priest in 1994. He studied sacramental theology at the St. Anselm Pontifical Athenaeum in Rome, and has held a number of pastoral and administrative roles, including formator in the minor seminary of Kaengesa, Sumbawanga; parish priest in Matai; director for vocations; formator at the preparatory seminary and head of youth pastoral ministry, and parish priest “ad tempus” in Sopa. He currently serves as an official of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.
- Fr. Alphonsus Cullinan as bishop of Waterford and Lismore (area 2,542, population 157,358, Catholics 146,215, priests 134, religious 353), Ireland. The bishop-elect was born in County Clare in 1959 and was ordained a priest in 1994. He taught in schools in Castleconnell, Limerick and Valladolid, Spain for ten years before preparing for the priesthood in the national seminary at Maynooth. He studied moral theology at the Alphonsianum Academy, Rome, where he obtained a doctorate in Christian anthropology and utilitarianism. He has served as parish vicar at St. Munchin, chaplain of the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick, and chaplain at the Limerick Institute of Technology. He is currently parish priest in the parish of Rathkeale, Limerick.
On Saturday, 31 January the Holy Father appointed:
- Bishop Adelio Dell'Oro as bishop of Karaganda (area 711,208, population 3,590,000, Catholics 31,300, priests 18, religious 41), Kazakhstan, conserving “donec aliter provideatur” the role of apostolic administrator of Atyrau, Kazakhstan.
- Fr. Pietro Bovati, S.J., secretary of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, as consultor of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Feast February 2 : Our Lady of Good Success

Our Lady of Good Success Date: very early 17th c., first approved 1611 Place: Quito, Ecuador Visionary: Venerable Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres The story of Our Lady of Good Success is a most fascinating one -- and incredibly important and timely, as many of the prophecies of our Lady and our Lord given to Mariana pertain explicitly to the 20th c. and thereafter. Mother Mariana was a Spanish Conceptionist nun, blessed with the charismata of discernment and prophecy, who ran a convent in Quito, Ecuador. First, Our Lady told her to make a life-sized statue of her holding the Infant Jesus under the title "Our Lady of Good Success." The statue was begun by a local sculptor, but was miraculously completed in 1611 by the Archangels. Our Lady told her that at the end of the 19th Century and especially in the 20th Century, Satan would reign almost completely by the means of the Masonic sect. She told Mother Mariana that this battle would reach its most acute stage because of various unfaithful religious, who, "under the appearance of virtue and bad-spirited zeal, would turn upon Religion, who nourished them at her breast." "During this time, insomuch as this poor country will lack the Christian spirit, the Sacrament of Extreme Unction will be little esteemed. Many people will die without receiving it - either because of the negligence of their families or their false sentimentality that tries to protect the sick from seeing the gravity of their situations, or because they will rebel against the spirit of the Catholic Church, impelled by the malice of the devil. Thus many souls will be deprived of innumerable graces, consolations and the strength they need to make that great leap from time to eternity..." "As for the Sacrament of Matrimony, which symbolizes the union of Christ with His Church, it will be attacked and profaned in the fullest sense of the word. Masonry, which will then be in power, will enact iniquitous laws with the objective of doing away with this Sacrament, making it easy for everyone to live in sin, encouraging the procreation of illegitimate children born without the blessing of the Church. The Christian spirit will rapidly decay, extinguishing the precious light of Faith until if reaches the point that there will be an almost total and general corruption of customs. The effects of secular education will increase, which will be one reason for the lack of priestly and religious vocations..." "The Sacred Sacrament of Holy Orders will be ridiculed, oppressed and despised. ...The demon will try to persecute the Ministers of the Lord in every possible way and he will labor with cruel and subtle astuteness to deviate them from the spirit of their vocation, corrupting many of them. These corrupted priests, who will scandalize the Christian people, will incite the hatred of the bad Christians and the enemies of the Roman, Catholic and Apostolic Church to fall upon all priests. This apparent triumph of Satan will bring enormous sufferings to the good Pastors of the Church...." "Moreover, in these unhappy times, there will be unbridled luxury which, acting thus to snare the rest into sin, will conquer innumerable frivolous souls who will be lost. Innocence will almost no longer be found in children, nor modesty in women, and in this supreme moment of need of the Church, those who should speak will fall silent." "But know, beloved daughter, that when your name is made known in the 20th century, there will be many who will not believe, claiming that this devotion is not pleasing to God...A simple humble faith in the truth of My apparitions to you, My predilect child, will be reserved for humble and fervent souls docile to the inspirations of grace, for Our Heavenly Father communicates His secrets to the simple of heart, and not to those whose hearts are inflated with pride, pretending to know what they do not, or self-satisfied with empty knowledge..." Our Lady said, "...the secular Clergy will leave much to be desired because priests will become careless in their sacred duties. Lacking the divine compass, they will stray from the road traced by God for the priestly ministry, and they will become attached to wealth and riches, which they will unduly strive to obtain. How the Church will suffer during this dark night! Lacking a Prelate and Father to guide them with paternal love, gentleness, strength, wisdom and prudence, many priests will lose their spirit, placing their souls in great danger. This will mark the arrival of My hour." "Therefore, clamor insistently without tiring and weep with bitter tears in the privacy of your heart, imploring our Celestial Father that, for love of the Eucharistic Heart of my Most Holy Son and His Precious Blood shed with such generosity and the profound bitterness and sufferings of His cruel Passion and Death, He might take pity on His ministers and bring to an end those Ominous times, sending to this Church the Prelate who will restore the spirit of its priests." She predicted a truly Catholic president of Ecuador who would dedicate that country to the Sacred Heart and who would be assassinated by Masons (this happened during the presidency of Gabriel Garcia Moreno, 1821-1875. Read more here). She predicted that the Immaculate Conception and Papal Infallibility would be strictly defined and declared dogma (these happened in 1854 and 1870, respectively). The Infant Jesus part of the statue isn't original: a Conceptionist sister hid the original statue during a revolution and died before revealing where she'd secreted it. Our Lady told Mother Mariana that the original statue would be found after the restoration of the Church had begun. Mother Mariana predicted the day and exact hour of her death (she died at 3:00 P.M. on January 16, 1635). After death, her body remained flexible and lovely. A blind girl was cured at Mother's wake when a flower that encircled Mother's head was touched to her eyes. In 1906, Mother Mariana's casket was opened and her body was found to be incorrupt, exuding the fragrance of lilies. One may view it by visiting the convent in Quito. (Edited from FishEaters)

Free Catholic Recipe : Candlemas Crepes Recipe

Candlemas Crêpe Recipe (makes about 8 crepes)
1 c. Flour
2 Eggs
1 ¼ c. Milk
2 T. Butter, Melted (unsalted butter can be used for dessert crêpes)
¼ t. Salt for dinner crêpes (only a pinch of salt for dessert crêpes)
1 T. Sugar (for dessert crêpes only)
Butter for cooking
You can either mix all ingredients in a blender, food processor or with a whisk till smooth. It’s best to let the batter sit for ½ hour before cooking. You can add a little more milk or a little water if you find the batter is too thick.
Use a skillet that’s about 6 – 8″ in diameter. (I used an 8″ pan and got 8 fairly large crêpes.) Put about ½ to 1 teaspoon of butter in the bottom of the pan, enough to coat it. Melt on medium high heat. Pour in about 2-3 T. batter and tilt or gently swirl the pan so that the batter covers the whole bottom of the skillet. Cook on one side until golden brown. Flip. Cook the other side till it starts to become golden, which should happen quickly, and remove from heat. Repeat this process until you’ve used all the batter.
Fold the crêpes:
Rolled – Put filling on one end of the crêpe and roll it up, sort of like a candle
Savory Crêpes (or Dinner Crêpes)
  • Ham and Gruyere or Swiss Cheese Crêpes – Cube ham and fry, place in crêpe with shredded cheese and place in warm oven, at 300 F, to melt. This will take about 10-15 minutes. Cover if needed to prevent the crêpes from drying out. (A variation is to make this with chopped tomatoes.)
  • Mushrooms and Swiss Cheese – Sautee mushrooms in a little butter. Place in crêpe and top with cheese. Fold crepe and place in warm oven, at 300 F, to melt cheese. This will take about 10-15 minutes. Cover if needed to prevent the crêpes from drying out. (A variation is to make this with chopped tomatoes.)
  • Spinach and Goat Cheese – Sautee spinach. Spread goat cheese on crêpe, top with spinach and fold.
Dessert Crêpes (some of these could be good for breakfast too!)
  • Apple Cinnamon and Walnut Crêpes – Sautee chopped apples and walnuts in a little butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Scoop mixture onto crêpe and fold.
  • Lemon and Powered Sugar Crêpes – Sprinkle confectioners sugar on crêpe and squeeze a little fresh lemon juice on top. Fold and eat!
  • Your Favorite Jam Crêpes – Simply smear the crêpe with jelly, fold over or roll and top with a sprinkle of powdered sugar.
  • Nutella and Whipped Cream Crêpe – Spread nutella on crêpe, top with a dollop of whipped cream and fold up.
  • Banana and Nutella Crêpes – Spread nutella on crepe, and top with thinly sliced bananas. Fold crêpe and enjoy!
  • Sugared Crêpes – Sprinkle crêpe with sugar and fold or roll up. These work well if you want to eat them by hand.
  • Ice Cream Crêpe – Put vanilla ice cream on crêpe, some hot chocolate syrup and whipped cream and fold it up.
  • Hot Fudge and Strawberry Crêpes – Clean and slice strawberries and place on crêpe, cover with hot fudge and a dollop of whip cream. Fold. (Shared from Waldorf Homeschoolers/Image SweetasHoney)