Thursday, May 7, 2015

National Day of Prayer - 64th Annual - Official Prayer and Theme

The 64th annual National Day of Prayer, May 7, 2015, will have profound significance for our country.  It is an unprecedented opportunity to see the Lord’s healing and renewing power made manifest as we call on citizens to humbly come before His throne.
Our theme for 2015 is Lord, Hear Our Cry, emphasizing the need for individuals, corporately and individually, to place their faith in the unfailing character of their Creator, who is sovereign over all governments, authorities, and men.  To further highlight our theme, we’ve chosen I Kings 8:28 as our Scripture for this year:  “Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day.”
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For the May 7th observances, Dr. Jack Graham, the 2015 Honorary Chairman, wrote aspecial prayer (below) to be simultaneously read throughout the nation at noon (EDT).  This recitation will create a huge wave of prayer, flowing from one coast to the other, illustrating the unity of God’s people and acknowledging His dominion over the circumstances facing us.  Millions of people will gather to pray at thousands of events facilitated by our volunteer coordinators and people just like you!  We hope you’ll join with our staff again as we seek to bring more communities than ever before together in prayer.  As a way of assisting you, we have assembled a variety of resources that describe how to organize and publicize citywide prayer breakfasts, worship services, and rallies.  These materials also present creative ideas geared toward helping individuals and families to establish meaningful devotional times.  If you have any questions after reviewing these items, please don’t hesitate to contact our NDP staff at (800) 444-8828.  We would count it a privilege to lend a hand in whatever manner we are able.
At this crucial time for our nation, we can do nothing more important than pray.  Thank you in advance for making this spiritual discipline a personal priority and for standing with us as we encourage others to incorporate prayer in their lives.  The Lord has graciously anointed our efforts, empowering them to touch and change many hearts and lives.  We look forward to seeing His hand move across our land in exciting ways each May in response to our petitions!  In closing, we ask that you prayerfully consider becoming a volunteer in your church or community to lead a National Day of Prayer gathering. May the Lord’s peace fill your heart as you rest in Him throughout the days ahead.
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Heavenly Father, We come to You in the Name that is above every name—Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Our hearts cry out to You. Knowing that You are a prayer-answering, faithful God—the One we trust in times like these—we ask that You renew our spirits, revive our churches, and heal our land. We repent of our sins and ask for Your grace and power to save us. Hear our cry, oh God, and pour out Your Spirit upon us that we may walk in obedience to Your Word. We are desperate for Your tender mercies. We are broken and humbled before You. Forgive us, and in the power of Your great love, lift us up to live in Your righteousness. We pray for our beloved nation. May we repent and return to You and be a light to the nations. And we pray for our leaders and ask that You give them wisdom and faith to follow You. Preserve and protect us, for You are our refuge and only hope. Deliver us from all fears except to fear You, and may we courageously stand in the Truth that sets us free. We pray with expectant faith and grateful hearts. In Jesus’ name, our Savior. Amen.

Catholic Quote to SHARE by #MotherTeresa "Let us always meet each other with a smile..."

"Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love." Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Please SHARE this and make the World a Better Place!

Wow 2 Priests and 3 Seminarians will Bike for #Vocations 1400 Miles!

Biking 4 Vocations
From left, Seminarian Steven Diaz, Rev. Marc Swartvagher, Seminarian Dominik Wegiel, Rev. Joseph Fitzgerald and Seminarian Stephen Rooney
  • Priests from Diocese of Rockville Centre, Brooklyn and seminarians from Archdiocese of New York; Diocese of Rockville Centre and Diocese of Brooklyn.
  • Riders will pass through 15 Dioceses/Archdioceses
  • Priest/U.S. Handball Olympian tries his hand at long distance biking
Biking4Vocations Release: As a way of raising awareness in vocations to priesthood and religious life, two Catholic priests and three seminarians will embark next month on a 29-day,1400-mile journey from Saint Augustine, Florida to Rockville Centre, Long Island, New York.
Reverend Joseph Fitzgerald, Director of Vocations, Diocese of Rockville Centre, who was also a member of the 1996 U.S. Olympic Handball Team will be riding with Father Marc Swartvagher, academic dean for Cathedral Seminary House of Formation, Douglaston, and with three seminarians (men studying to become Catholic priests) Stephen Rooney from the Diocese of Rockville Centre, Dominik Wegiel from the Diocese of Brooklyn and Steven Diaz from the Archdiocese of New York.
Passing through 11 states, 10 dioceses and 5 archdioceses, the biking pilgrimage will begin on May 17 in Saint Augustine, Florida and conclude on June 14, a week prior to ordination at the Cathedral of Saint Agnes in Rockville Centre, New York.
“The objective of this biking pilgrimage is to give glory to God by encouraging priestly vocations and inviting the local Church to respond to Jesus’ missionary call to ‘make disciples of all nations.’ (Matthew 28 19-20)” said Reverend Fitzgerald.
“Many people are asking why we are biking up the East Coast when we could just drive,” said Reverend Swartvagher. “We believe there is something unique about the physical and sacrificial element of biking to our pilgrimage. Our mission is one with physical, emotional and spiritual dimensions. We feel strongly about our task to promote vocations, and we truly intend to give our all, including physically to this journey.”
The “Biking4Vocations” team will cover a range of 13 to 85 miles each day depending on conditions. In addition to the physical component, there is a spiritual component as well. Priests and seminarians have a commitment to pray the Liturgy of the Hours five times a day. The team will make periodic stops en-route in order to pray this important prayer of the Church. As Catholics, the Eucharist is at the heart of our spiritual lives. The team will ensure the celebration of the Mass is at the center of its daily routine.
Many of the dioceses along the route of pilgrimage are planning special events to welcome the bikers.
Pilgrimage Kick-off at Sts. Cyril and Methodius, Deer Park on May 15
Prior to travelling to Saint Augustine for the beginning of their pilgrimage, the bikers will be sent forth during the monthly Holy Hour for Vocations on May 15 at 7:00 p.m. at the Parish of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Deer Park, NY (125 Half Hollow Road, Deer Park, NY 11729). During this Holy Hour, Most Reverend Robert Brennan, Auxiliary Bishop, Diocese of Rockville Centre will bless the bikers as they begin the nearly one month long journey. A concert featuring Christian musician Audrey Assad will follow the Holy Hour.
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#PopeFrancis "...true love is real, it is in the works it does, it is a constant love."

Pope Francis at Mass in Santa Marta - RV
07/05/2015 12:
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis celebrated Mass in the chapel of the Santa Marta residence in the Vatican on Thursday. In remarks following the readings of the day, the Holy Father focused on the concrete and communicative character of authentic love.
True love is real and constant
In the Gospel reading, from the Gospel according to St. John (15:9-11), Our Lord asks us to abide in His love. “There are two criteria,” said Pope Francis, “which will help us to distinguish the true love, from that which is not true.” The first criterion is that love is, “more in deeds than in words,” it is not, “a soap opera tale,” or “a fantasy,” stories that “make our hearts beat a little faster, but nothing more.”  True love is, “in hard facts.” Jesus warned his disciples “‘Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.’”:
“In other words, true love is real, it is in the works it does, it is a constant love. It is not a mere enthusiasm. Also, many times, love is a painful thing: the love we think of Jesus carrying the Cross. But the works of love are what Jesus teaches us in the passage from the 25th chapter of St. Matthew. He, who loves, does these things – the things for which we shall be judged: I was hungry, and you gave me to eat, and so on. Concreteness: even the Beatitudes, which are Jesus ‘pastoral plan’, are concrete.”
Pope Francis went on to note that one of the first heresies in Christianity was that of Gnosticism, which spoke of a “distant God” to whom there was no substance. The love of God the Father, on the other hand, “was concrete: He sent His incarnate Son to save us.”
Monks and nuns communicate ... and so
The second criterion of love, he continued, is that it communicates, it does not remain isolated. Love gives itself and receives, it is the communication between the Father and the Son, a communication that ‘is’ the Holy Spirit”:
“There is no love without communicating, there is no isolate love. Some of you may wonder, though: ‘But Father, monks and nuns are isolated.’ But they communicate ... and they do a lot of it: with the Lord, even with those who go to find a word of God ... True love cannot isolate itself. If it is isolated, it is not love. To abide closed in on oneself is a spiritualist form of selfishness, of seeking its own profit ... it is selfishness.’
Simple, but not easy because egoism attracts us
So, says Pope Francis, “To abide in the love of Jesus means doing things,” it is, “an ability to communicate, to dialogue, both with the Lord and with our brothers and sisters.”:
“It is as simple as that: but it is not easy. Because selfishness, self-interest, attracts us, and draws us to do nothing, draws us to not communicate. What does the Lord say of those who will abide in his love? ‘I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.’ The Lord who abides in the love of the Father is joyful, ‘and if you abide in my love, your joy shall be full’ – a joy that often comes along with the Cross. But that joy – Jesus himself told us – no one may take from you.”
The Pope concluded his homily with this prayer: “That the Lord might give us the grace of joy, that joy, which the world cannot give.”

Latest #News from #Vatican and #PopeFrancis #Ccot #Trcot

07-05-2015 - Year XXV - Num. 85 

- European Churches and Ecclesiastic Communities: Collaborating in Solidarity to Welcome Immigrants
- Pope thanks Bishops of Mali for Safeguarding Interreligious Dialogue
- Pope Francis receives Sporting Association of Lazio, Italy: True Sports help overcome Situations of Injustice
- Audiences
- Other Pontifical Acts

- General audience: the beauty of Christian marriage
- On the anniversary of the end of World War II: may humanity learn from past mistakes
- Greetings to the families of the Swiss Guard and Polish faithful
- Private visit of President Castro of Cuba
- Decrees for the Causes of Saints
- Other Pontifical Acts
European Churches and Ecclesiastic Communities: Collaborating in Solidarity to Welcome Immigrants
Vatican City,7 May 2015 (VIS) ? This morning Pope Francis received members of the joint committee of the Conference of European Churches (CEC), whose objective is facilitating ecumenism throughout the continent, where many of the divisions and wars between Christians began. The current situation is very different. Thanks to ecumenical dialogue, ecclesiastic communities have taken great steps on the path to reconciliation and peace, as demonstrated by the recent European Ecumenical Assemblies and the Ecumenical Charter written in Strasbourg, France in 2001. These are landmarks in the collaboration between the CEC and the Council of the Bishops' Conferences of Europe (CCEE) that give rise to the hope of achieving full and visible union between believers in Christ.
The Holy Father, who noted that the ecumenical journey, even with all its difficulties, is already an integral part of the process of reconciliation and communion, recalled that the conciliar decree Unitatis Redintegratio affirms that the division between Christians ?damages the holy cause of preaching the Gospel to every creature?. ?This is evident,? he stated, ?when, for example, the European Churches and ecclesiastic communities have different points of view on important anthropological or ethical questions. Nevertheless, I hope that opportunities for common reflection in light of Sacred Scripture and shared tradition will not be lacking and that they will be fruitful ? and that we might find common answers to the questions that contemporary society asks of Christians. The closer we are to Christ, the closer we are united among ourselves.?
?Today the European Churches and ecclesiastic communities face new and decisive challenges, that can only be effectively answered by speaking with one voice,? the Pope affirmed. ?I am thinking, for example, of the challenges of legislation that, in the name of a misunderstood principle of tolerance wind up blocking citizens from freely expressing and practicing their religious convictions peacefully and legitimately. Moreover, faced with the attitude that Europe seems to have toward the dramatic and often tragic emigration of thousands of persons fleeing war, persecution, and misery, the European Churches and ecclesiastic communities have the duty to promote solidarity and hospitality. European Christians are called upon to intercede with prayer and by actively working to bring dialogue and peace to current conflicts.?
Pope thanks Bishops of Mali for Safeguarding Interreligious Dialogue
Vatican City, 7 May 2015 (VIS) ? The peaceful coexistence among believers of different religions, the safeguarding of interreligious dialogue, the common commitment of Christians and Muslims in defense of cultural heritage, promotion of women, and the consolidation of the family were some of the topics that Pope Francis addressed in the speech he delivered this morning to the bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Mali, at the end of their ?ad Limina? visit. Following are extensive excerpts from the address.
?I would like to direct your attention toward the person of Christ in the delicate situation that your country has faced in recent years, including security challenges. At times, this situation has undermined the coexistence between the various sectors of society as well as the harmony between men and women of different religions present in the land of Mali, which is rich with a glorious past, synonymous with admirable traditions among which are tolerance and cohesion. I thank your Episcopal Conference for knowing how to preserve the spirit of interreligious dialogue in this delicate context. The common commitment of Christians and Muslims to safeguard the Mali's cultural treasures, especially the large libraries of Timbuktu, patrimony of humanity, is an eloquent example. When you return, I want you to express my nearness, not only to your faithful, but also to your fellow citizens of all social classes and religions, men and women of good will involved in the fight against intolerance and exclusion.?
?In this situation, the Christian communities and their pastors are called to give an even greater witness to their faith based on the unconditional acceptance of the Gospel values. You are already following this path in translating the Bible into local languages because, in order to live the Word of God and to witness to it faithfully, we must first know it, diligently study it, and assimilate it. In this sense, the efforts made in your dioceses to develop new Catechesis manuals are to be welcomed. Thanks to a solid formation, the lives of the faithful will be even more rooted in faith and strengthened to withstand all threats.?
?Despite the serious problems facing it, the Church in Mali shows a beautiful dynamic in its work of evangelization, preserving a profound respect of conscience. Christ's followers grow in number and fervor. But the Christian witness of the family still needs greater coherence. In your cultural context, also marked by divorce and polygamy, Catholics are called upon to concretely proclaim, through their witness, to the Gospel, life, and the family. I also encourage you to continue your pastoral work, paying particular attention to the situation of women: promoting the role of women in society and fighting against abuse and violence toward women is also a way of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ, who chose to be born of a woman, the Virgin Mary.?
?If in any particular church the synergy inspired by charity is needed to ensure its credibility, then your context of the charity and unity lived in the Church are among the most important signs of fruitful dialogue with other religions, an expression of authentic Christian witness... It is to be hoped that even nowadays these witnesses of members of other religions toward our Christian communities multiply.?
?Likewise, the Gospel lived in its authentic dimension of charity should inspire social ministry. The Church is present in Mali in the areas of education for peace and your Christian communities actively contribute to promoting genuine national reconciliation. In congratulating you for your pastoral sensitivity in the field of promoting the human person without consideration limited to ethnic or religious affiliation, I would like to pay tribute to the many Christians who spread the culture of solidarity and hospitality, especially in facing the violence of the last years.?
?Dear Brothers in the Episcopate, strengthened by the Lord's promise to be with his family until the end of time, I am convinced that despite the difficulties on their path, the Church in Mali will continue to be a testament to hope and peace.?
Pope Francis receives Sporting Association of Lazio, Italy: True Sports help overcome Situations of Injustice
Vatican City, 7 May 2015 (VIS) ? Seven thousand players, managers, members, and supporters of the Sporting Association of Lazio (Societa Sportiva Lazio), one of the Italian capital city's two football teams, were welcomed this afternoon in the Paul VI Audience Hall to meet with the Pope. The Association was created 15 years ago when a group of youths decided to create a club open to the youth of the city that would perpetuate the moral and ethical values of the sport. ?At that time,? Pope Francis said, ?organized sports were a privilege of the rich. The intention of the founding group was to make it accessible at all levels and in all social categories. I encourage you, therefore, to continue being welcoming, to continue to value various talents. May your sporting association always be an open house where fraternity and harmony without discrimination can be found.?
The club's motto is a phrase from the Roman historian and politician Sallust: ?Concordia parvae res crescunt, discordia maximae dilabuntur? (small things thrive with harmony; discord brings the greatest things to ruin). The Pope asserted that the sporting association's long history has confirmed that truth, enriched by different associated activities, structured in various sporting sections, and united by the Olympic spirit and mutual solidarity. ?One of [your] merits is that of having worked to bring equal status to all sports. In Italy, as in my country, Argentina, too, there is the risk of speaking always about football and neglecting other sports. Instead, every sports discipline has its value, not only physical or social, but also moral since it offers the possibility to people, especially to children and the young, to develop balance, self-control, sacrifice, and loyalty towards others. I want to emphasize this last one: loyalty. Loyalty towards others because betrayal is increasing a bit everywhere...Loyalty! Sports allows it to grow.?
?The Bible teaches us,? the Pope concluded, ?that the human person is a unity: spirit and body. I therefore encourage you to always cultivate, together with sporting activities ? the religious and spiritual dimension. ? We must not neglect studies, friendship, or the service of the poor either. We can't overlook these things to do just one thing. ...Thanks be to God we have wonderful examples of men and women athletes, even great champions, who never stopped living faithfully and serving others. In fact, true sports allows us to build a more fraternal and supportive world, helping overcome situations of injustice and of human and social discomfort.?
Vatican City, 7 May 2015 (VIS) ? Today, the Holy Father received in audience five prelates of the Episcopal Conference of Mali, on their ?ad Limina? visit:
- Archbishop Jean Zerbo of Bamako,
-Bishop Jonas Dembele of Kayes,
- Bishop Jean-Gabriel Diarra of San,
- Bishop Augustin Traore of Segou, and
- Bishop Jean-Baptiste Tiamaof Sikasso.

Yesterday afternoon the Holy Father Francis received in audience Archbishop Luis Hector Villalba of Tucuman, Argentina.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 7 May 2015 (VIS) ? Today, the Holy Father:
- appointed Msgr. Lucio Bonora, of the clergy of the Diocese of Treviso, Italy, as a judge of the Ecclesiastic Tribunal of Vatican City State. The Holy Father has also appointed Fr. Paolo Scevola, of the clergy of the Diocese of Vigevano, Italy, as an actuary notary of the same tribunal. Both will continue in their roles as officials of the Secretary of State in the General Affairs section.
- appointed Bishop Esteban Escudero Torres as auxiliary of Valencia (area 13,090, population 3,225,000, Catholics 3,041,000, priests 1,541, permanent deacons 16, religious 4,785), Spain, assigning him the Titular See of Diano. Bishop Escudero Torres was previously bishop of Palencia, Spain.
06-05-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 084 
General audience: the beauty of Christian marriage
Vatican City, 6 May 2015 (VIS) – The beauty of Christian marriage, which is not “simply the beauty of the ceremony that takes place in church, but rather the Sacrament made by the Church, giving rise to a new family community”, was the theme chosen by Pope Francis in the catechesis of this Wednesday's general audience.
“It is what the apostle Paul summarises in his famous expression: 'This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the Church'. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Paul affirms that the love between spouses is the image of the love between Christ and the Church. An unimaginable dignity! But in reality it is inscribed in God's plan of creation, and with Christ's grace countless Christian couples, even with their limits, their sins, have achieved this”.
St. Paul, speaking of new life in Christ, says that “all Christians are called to love each other as Christ has loved them, that is 'submitting to one another', meaning at each other's service. Here he introduces the analogy between the husband-wife couple and that of Christ and the Church. It is clear that this is an imperfect analogy, but we must grasp the spiritual meaning, elevated and revolutionary but at the same time very simple, within the reach of every man and woman who trust in God's grace”.
“'Husbands should love their wives as their own bodies', says Paul; 'as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her'. The effect of this radicalism of the devotion required of man, for the love and the dignity of the woman, based on the example of Christ, must have been enormous within the Christian community itself. This seed of evangelical newness, that re-establishes the original reciprocity of devotion and respect, has ripened slowly throughout history, but in the end it has prevailed”.
The sacrament of marriage “is a great act of faith and of love: it bears witness to the courage of believing in the God's creating act and of living that love that drives us always to go onwards, beyond ourselves and even beyond the family itself. The Christian vocation to love without reserve and without measure is such that, with Christ's grace, it is at the base of the free consensus that constitutes marriage”. Furthermore, the Church herself “is fully involved in the history of each Christian marriage: she is built on its successes and suffers in its failures. However we must ask ourselves seriously: do we accept fully, ourselves, as believers and pastors, this indissoluble bond of the history of Christ and the Church with the history of marriage and the human family? Are we willing to take on this responsibility seriously?”.
The decision to 'marry in the Lord' also contains a missionary dimension, which means having at heart the willingness to become conduits of God's blessing and the Lord's grace for all. Indeed, Christian couples participate in the mission of the Church inasmuch as they are couples. … And thus the life of the Church is enriched every time by the beauty of this matrimonial alliance, just as it is impoverished every time it is defaced. The Church, to offer the gift of faith, love and hope to all, is in need of the courageous faithfulness of married couples in the grace of their sacrament. The people of God needs their daily progress in faith, love and hope, with all the joys and the hardships that this path involves in a marriage and in a family”.
“Yes: St. Paul was right, it is a great mystery”, concluded the Pope. “Men and women, courageous enough to place this treasure in the clay vessels of our humanity, are an essential resource for the Church, and also for all the world. May God bless you a thousand times for this!”.
On the anniversary of the end of World War II: may humanity learn from past mistakes
Vatican City, 6 May 2015 (VIS) - “In the next few days various capital cities will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe”, remarked the Pope following the catechesis of today's general audience. “On this occasion I entrust to the Lord, by the intercession of Mary Queen of Peace, my hope that society may learn from the mistakes of the past and that, faced with the current conflicts that are tearing asunder various regions of the world, all civil leaders may persevere in their search for the common good and in the promotion of a culture of peace”.
Greetings to the families of the Swiss Guard and Polish faithful
Vatican City, 6 May 2015 (VIS) – At the end of today's catechesis the Pope greeted German-speaking pilgrims, especially the relatives and friends of the Pontifical Swiss Guard in Rome to attend the oath-taking ceremony for the new recruits, and musicians from the Swiss Canton of Valais, who accompanied the general audience. He also addressed the Polish faithful, especially all those who during the month of May maintain the tradition of gathering in churches or before images of Mary in the streets to pray in her honour.
Private visit of President Castro of Cuba
Vatican City, 6 May 2015 (VIS) – On Sunday 10 May, the Holy Father will receive in a strictly private audience the president of the Republic of Cuba, Raul Castro Ruz, in the Pope’s Study at the Paul VI Hall. President Castro has publicly thanked the Pope for his role in the thaw of relations between Cuba and the United States of America, and the Pope will visit Havana in September prior to his trip to the United States.
Decrees for the Causes of Saints
Vatican City, 6 May 2015 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon the Holy Father Francis received in a private audience Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, during which he authorised the Congregation to promulgate the following decrees:
- attributed to the intercession of Blessed Vincenzo Grossi, Italian diocesan priest and founder of the Institute of the Daughters of the Oratory (1845-1917);
- attributed to the intercession of Blessed Maria of the Immaculate Conception (nee Maria Isabel Salvat Romero), Spanish superior general of the Sisters of the Company of the Cross (1926-1998);
- attributed to the intercession of Venerable Servant of God Giacomo Abbondo, Italian diocesan priest (1720-1788);
- Servants of God Mario Borzaga, Italian professed priest of the Congregation of Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate and Paul Thoj Xyooj, lay catechist, killed in hatred of the faith in Laos in April 1960;
- Servant of God Jacinto Vera, bishop of Montevideo, Uruguay (1813-1881);
- Servant of God Antonio Antic, Croatian professed priest of the Order of Friars Minor (1893-1965);
- Servant of God Juliette Colbert de Falletti di Barolo, French laywoman, widow and founder of the Daughters of Jesus the Good Shepherd (1786-1864);
- Servant of God Maria Brigida Postorino, Italian founder of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate (1865-1960);
- Servant of God Maria Rafaela Jesus Hostia, Spanish professed nun of the Order of Capuchin Poor Clares (1915-1991);
- Servant of God Sergio Bernardini, Italian layman and father (1882-1966);
- Servant of God Domenica Bedonni in Bernardini, Italian laywoman and mother (1889-1971).
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 6 May 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:
- accepted the resignation of Bishop Jacyr Francisco Braido, C.S., from the pastoral care of the diocese of Santos, Brazil, upon reaching the age limit. He is succeeded by Bishop Tarcisio Scaramussa, S.D.B., coadjutor of the same diocese.
- appointed Rev. Fr. Emery Kibal Mansong'loo, C.P., as bishop of the diocese of Kole (area 66,000, population 487,000, Catholics 158,000, priests 66, religious 80), Democratic Republic of the Congo. The bishop-elect was born in Kimputu, Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1969, gave his perpetual vows in 1998 and was ordained a priest in the same year. He has served in a number of pastoral roles, including parish vicar in the diocese of Tshumbe; parish priest of the Catholic Mission of Lumbi in the diocese of Kikwit; provincial superior of the Passionists for two consecutive mandates; lecturer in liturgy in various structures; and member of the managing board of the Catholic University of the Congo.
- appointed Bishop Manuel Sanchez Monge of Mondonedo-Ferrol, Spain, as bishop of Santander (area 5,527, population 595,449, Catholics 559,000, priests 411, permanent deacons 5, religious 925), Spain.
- appointed Bishop Edson De Castro Homem, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as bishop of Iguatu, (area 21,904, population 562,108, Catholics 549,000, priests 39, religious 60), Brazil.
- appointed Bishop Agenor Girardi, M.S.C., auxiliary of the archdiocese of Porto Alegre, Brazil, as bishop of Uniao da Vitoria, (area 10,000, population 225,600, Catholics 192,600, priests 35, permanent deacons 10, religious 53), Brazil.
- appointed Rev. Valentin Cabbigat Dimoc as apostolic vicar of Bontoc-Lagawe,(area 4,615, population 360,526, Catholics 215,286, priests 30, religious 12), Philippines. The bishop-elect was born in Lagawe, Philippines in 1969 and was ordained a priest in 1998. Following his studies in philosophy and theology, he obtained a Master of Arts in development management from the Asian Institute of Management in Makati City, He has served as rector of the Holy Rosary Mission, Kayan; the Holy Family Mission, Hapao; the St. Mary Magdalene Mission, Lagawe; and the Good Shepherd Mission, Hapid; and as director of the Kataguan Centre, Lagawe. He is currently director of the Centre for Social Action and Development of the apostolic vicariate of Bontoc-Lagawe.
- appointed Archbishop Roland Minnerath of Dijon, France and Archbishop Anthony Colin Fisher of Sydney, Australia, as members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Today's Mass Readings : Thursday May 7, 2015

Thursday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 288

Reading 1ACTS 15:7-21

After much debate had taken place,
Peter got up and said to the Apostles and the presbyters,
“My brothers, you are well aware that from early days
God made his choice among you that through my mouth
the Gentiles would hear the word of the Gospel and believe.
And God, who knows the heart,
bore witness by granting them the Holy Spirit
just as he did us.
He made no distinction between us and them,
for by faith he purified their hearts.
Why, then, are you now putting God to the test
by placing on the shoulders of the disciples
a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear?
On the contrary, we believe that we are saved
through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they.”
The whole assembly fell silent,
and they listened
while Paul and Barnabas described the signs and wonders
God had worked among the Gentiles through them.

After they had fallen silent, James responded,
“My brothers, listen to me.
Symeon has described how God first concerned himself
with acquiring from among the Gentiles a people for his name.
The words of the prophets agree with this, as is written:

After this I shall return
and rebuild the fallen hut of David;
from its ruins I shall rebuild it
and raise it up again,
so that the rest of humanity may seek out the Lord,
even all the Gentiles on whom my name is invoked.
Thus says the Lord who accomplishes these things,
known from of old.

It is my judgment, therefore,
that we ought to stop troubling the Gentiles who turn to God,
but tell them by letter to avoid pollution from idols,
unlawful marriage, the meat of strangled animals, and blood.
For Moses, for generations now,
has had those who proclaim him in every town,
as he has been read in the synagogues every sabbath.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 96:1-2A, 2B-3, 10

R. (3) Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
R. Alleluia.
Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all you lands.
Sing to the LORD; bless his name.
R. Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
R. Alleluia.
Announce his salvation, day after day.
Tell his glory among the nations;
among all peoples, his wondrous deeds.
R. Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
R. Alleluia.
Say among the nations: The LORD is king.
He has made the world firm, not to be moved;
he governs the peoples with equity.
R. Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 10:27

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 15:9-11

Jesus said to his disciples:
“As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments
and remain in his love.

“I have told you this so that
my joy might be in you and
your joy might be complete.”