Monday, June 29, 2015

SHARE - Official #Prayer for #Solemnity of #StPeter and #StPaul - Plenary Indulgence

Official Raccolta Prayer for Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul with Plenary Indulgence.Pope Pius VI., by a Rescript of July 28, 1778, issued through the Segretaria of the memorials, granted -
i. An indulgence of 100 days to all the faithful who, being contrite, shall say at least once a day the following prayer, with one Pater, Ave, and Gloria, in honour of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.
ii. A plenary indulgence, on all Feasts of SS. Peter and Paul, provided that, after Confession and Communion, they shall on such feast-day itself, or one of the nine days preceding it, or eight days following it, visit a church or altar dedicated to those Saints, saying there the following prayer, and remembering the Holy Church and its Sovereign Pontiff.
O blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, I, NN., elect you this day for my special protectors and advocates with God.  In all humility I rejoice with thee, blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles, because thou art the rock whereon God hath built his Church; and I rejoice with thee too, blessed Paul, because thou wast chosen of God for a Vessel of election, and a preacher of the truth throughout the world.  Obtain for me, I beseech you both, a lively faith, firm hope, and perfect charity, entire detachment from myself, contempt of the world, patience in adversity, humility in prosperity, attention in prayer, purity of heart, right intention in my works, diligence in the fulfilment of all the duties of my state of life, constancy in my good resolutions, resignation to the holy will of God, perseverance in Divine grace unto death; that, having overcome by your joint intercession and your glorious merits, the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil, I may be made worthy to appear before the face of the chief and eternal Bishop of Souls, Jesus Christ our Lord, to enjoy Him and to love Him for all eternity, who with the Father and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth ever world without end. Amen.
Pater, Ave, and Gloria
or 1 Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be

#PopeFrancis "Everything passes, only God remains." Homily/Video of Mass - Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul

Pope Francis at Mass, Sts Peter and Paul, 2015 - REUTERS
29/06/2015 10:

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis delivered the homily at Mass celebrated in St. Peter's Basilica on Monday, the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Patrons of Rome. The Mass also saw the ceremonial gift of the Pallium - the peculiar sign of the office of a Metropolitan Archbishop. Below, please find the full text of the Holy Father's prepared remarks, in English.
The reading, taken from the Acts of the Apostles, speaks to us of the first Christian community besieged by persecution. A community harshly persecuted by Herod who “laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the Church… proceeded to arrest Peter also… and when he had seized him he put him in prison” (12:1-4).
            However, I do not wish to dwell on these atrocious, inhuman and incomprehensible persecutions, sadly still present in many parts of the world today, often under the silent gaze of all.  I would like instead to pay homage today to the courage of the Apostles and that of the first Christian community.  This courage carried forward the work of evangelisation, free of fear of death and martyrdom, within the social context of a pagan empire; their Christian life is for us, the Christians of today, a powerful call to prayer, to faith and to witness.
            A call to prayerthe first community was a Church at prayer: “Peter was kept in prison; but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the Church” (Acts 12:5). And if we think of Rome, the catacombs were not places to escape to from persecution but rather, they were places of prayer, for sanctifying the Lord’s day and for raising up, from the heart of the earth, adoration to God who never forgets his sons and daughters.
            The community of Peter and Paul teaches us that the Church at prayer is a Church on her feet, strong, moving forward! Indeed, a Christian who prays is a Christian who is protected, guarded and sustained, and above all, who is never alone.
            The first reading continues: “Sentries before the door were guarding the prison; and behold, an angel of the Lord appeared, and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter on the side… And the chains fell off his hands” (12:6-7).
            Let us think about how many times the Lord has heard our prayer and sent us an angel?  An angel who unexpectedly comes to pull us out of a difficult situation?  Who comes to snatch us from the hands of death and from the evil one; who points out the wrong path; who rekindles in us the flame of hope; who gives us tender comfort; who consoles our broken hearts; who awakens us from our slumber to the world; or who simply tells us, “You are not alone”.
            How many angels he places on our path, and yet when we are overwhelmed by fear, unbelief or even euphoria, we leave them outside the door, just as happened to Peter when he knocked on the door of the house and the “maid named Rhoda came to answer.  Recognizing Peter’s voice, in her joy she did not open the door” (12:13-14). 
            No Christian community can go forward without being supported by persistent prayer! Prayer is the encounter with God, with God who never lets us down; with God who is faithful to his word; with God who does not abandon his children. Jesus asked himself: “And will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night?” (Lk 18:7).  In prayer, believers express their faith and their trust, and God reveals his closeness, also by giving us the angels, his messengers.
            A call to faithin the second reading Saint Paul writes to Timothy: “But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength to proclaim the word fully… So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.  The Lord will rescue me from every evil and save me for his heavenly Kingdom” (2 Tim 4:17-18).  God does not take his children out of the world or away from evil but he does grant them strength to prevail.  Only the one who believes can truly say: “The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want” (Ps 23:1).
            How many forces in the course of history have tried, and still do, to destroy the Church, from without as well as within, but they themselves are destroyed and the Church remains alive and fruitful! She remains inexplicably solid, so that, as Saint Paul says, she may acclaim: “To him be glory for ever and ever” (2 Tim 4:18). 
            Everything passes, only God remains.  Indeed, kingdoms, peoples, cultures, nations, ideologies, powers have passed, but the Church, founded on Christ, notwithstanding the many storms and our many sins, remains ever faithful to the deposit of faith shown in service; for the Church does not belong to Popes, bishops, priests, nor the lay faithful; the Church in every moment belongs solely to Christ.  Only the one who lives in Christ promotes and defends the Church by holiness of life, after the example of Peter and Paul. 
            In the name of Christ, believers have raised the dead; they have healed the sick; they have loved their persecutors; they have shown how there is no power capable of defeating the one who has the power of faith!
            A call to witnessPeter and Paul, like all the Apostles of Christ who in their earthly life sowed the seeds of the Church by their blood, drank the Lord’s cup, and became friends of God.
            Paul writes in a moving way to Timothy: “My son, I am already on the point of being sacrificed; the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  From now on there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing” (2 Tim 4: 6-8).
            A Church or a Christian who does not give witness is sterile; like a dead person who thinks they are alive; like a dried up tree that produces no fruit; an empty well that offers no water!  The Church has overcome evil thanks to the courageous, concrete and humble witness of her children.  She has conquered evil thanks to proclaiming with conviction: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”  (cf. Mt 16:13-18).
            Dear Archbishops who today receive the Pallium, it is a sign which represents the sheep that the shepherd carries on his shoulders as Christ the Good Shepherd does, and it is therefore a symbol of your pastoral mission.  The Pallium is “a liturgical sign of communion that unites the See of Peter and his Successor to the Metropolitans, and through them to the other Bishops of the world” (Benedict XVI, Angelus of 29 June 2005).
            Today, by these Palliums, I wish to entrust you with this call to prayer, to faith and to witness.
            The Church wants you to be men of prayer, masters of prayer; that you may teach the people entrusted to your care that liberation from all forms of imprisonment is uniquely God’s work and the fruit of prayer; that God sends his angel at the opportune time in order to save us from the many forms of slavery and countless chains of worldliness.  For those most in need, may you also be angels and messengers of charity!
            The Church desires you to be men of faith, masters of faith, who can teach the faithful to not be frightened of the many Herods who inflict on them persecution with every kind of cross.  No Herod is able to banish the light of hope, of faith, or of charity in the one who believes in Christ!
            The Church wants you to be men of witness. Saint Francis used to tell his brothers: “Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words!” (cf.Franciscan sources, 43).  There is no witness without a coherent lifestyle!  Today there is no great need for masters, but for courageous witnesses, who are convinced and convincing; witnesses who are not ashamed of the Name of Christ and of His Cross; not before the roaring lions, nor before the powers of this world.  And this follows the example of Peter and Paul and so many other witnesses along the course of the Church’s history, witnesses who, yet belonging to different Christian confessions, have contributed to demonstrating and bringing growth to the one Body of Christ. I am pleased to emphasize this, and am always pleased to do so, in the presence of the Delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, sent by my beloved brother Bartholomew I.    
            This is not so straightforward: because the most effective and authentic witness is one that does not contradict, by behaviour and lifestyle, what is preached with the word and taught to others!
            Teach prayer by praying, announce the faith by believing; offer witness by living!

Free Movie : The Third Way : SHARE Amazing Documentary on Homosexuality and the Church

 40-minute documentary focusing on the Catholic Church’s teachings on Homosexuality.
"The Third Way" is an allusion to the Catholic position on homosexuality, which rejects both anti-gay bigotry on the one hand and the unqualified endorsement of homosexual activity on the other.
Magnificent and moving, the film features first-hand testimony from several faithful Catholics who struggle with homosexual attraction. Most of them were heavily involved in the gay scene before committing to chastity. Their experiences shed new light and reveal how Catholics can help those experiencing same-sex attraction. Their stories ultimately affirm the great joy and freedom found in the Church’s teaching, centered on authentic love.
Director - John-Andrew O’Rourke, Cinematography - Thomas Shannon and Branden Stanley, Art Director - Matt LaMar, Motion Graphic Design - Michael Oliveros, Editor - John-Andrew O’Rourke, Executive Producer - Rev. John Hollowell Featuring:Chris Stefanick, Jason Evert, Fr. Michael Schmitz, Sr. Helena Burns, Chris West - Credits song by Matt Hylom ( Purchase the film at

"Don't Mess With Marriage" a message from #Bishops plus Free #Marriage Booklet

Encouraging Reactions to the Pastoral Letter: Don't Mess With Marriage

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
26 Jun 2015

Across all cultures and all centuries traditional marriage has been bedrock of society
Don't Mess with Marriage the 16-page pastoral booklet issued by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and distributed in the Archdiocese of Sydney to parishes, staff and parents of children at Catholic schools has received significant attention within the media.
"Unfortunately much of this attention has given the impression that the Pastoral Letter has been highly-criticised by parents and students, a point contested by Anthony Cleary, Director of Religious Education and Evangelisation at the Archdiocese of Sydney's Catholic Education Office (CEO). 
Of the 100,000 booklets distributed across the Archdiocese of Sydney in June Mr Cleary has received fewer than a dozen direct complaints, and a number of them were not related to the issue of marriage itself he reported.
"Some of the complaints were about side issues, rather than the Church's teachings on marriage or the same sex marriage debate," he says.
Don't Mess with Marriage explains the Church's formal teachings on the Sacrament of Marriage, and it reaffirms and supports the definitions contained within the Marriage Act 1961 and the Marriage Act Amendment of 2004 which defines marriage as "a union between a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others". It also details the implications of changing this law to permit same sex couples to marry.

Anthony Cleary, Director of Religious Education and Evangelisation
Australia's bishops decided to issue the booklet as the debate on same sex "marriage" gained momentum earlier this year. At the end of April, Acting Labor Leader, Tanya Plibersek led a push to secure a binding vote in favour of same sex marriage at the Party's conference in July.
This was followed less than three weeks later by Ireland becoming the first nation worldwide to hold a referendum on the issue. This resulted in favour of legalising marriage between same sex couples, and is expected to become law across Ireland from April 2016.
Then in early June, Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten who had refused to back his Deputy's call to make a binding vote on same sex marriage part of the Labor Party's platform, introduced a Bill to change Australia's Marriage Act so that the words "a union between a man and a woman" be replaced by "a union between two people."
The Government led by Prime Minister Tony Abbott refused to debate the Bill but conceded that a conscience vote on marriage between same sex couples could be argued in the Party Room by Liberal MPs later in the year.
The Bishops' booklet, Don't Mess with Marriage, had been carefully planned, written and designed over a period of weeks and months, but its release coincided with Bill Shorten's tabling of the "Marriage Equality Act", which gave significant attention to the Pastoral Letter.
"It was in this climate of robust debate that the Pastoral Letter received significant scrutiny," Anthony Cleary says, adding that many people seem to prefer the Catholic Church remain silent on the issue and be sidelined.

ACT laws grant same sex civil unions to begin life together with legally binding ceremony similar to those celebrated by married couples
"The Church's contribution to informing the public debate is crucial, however, because at the moment this side of the argument is not being adequately covered either by social or the mainstream media," he says.
Critics of Don't Mess with Marriage have simply taken a paragraph or line from the booklet out of context to make a provocative headline or chosen to run interviews with advocates of same sex marriage who accused the booklet of being "discriminatory" and full of "anti gay propaganda."
"Although only small, the negative response by the media to "Don't Mess with Marriage'nevertheless needs to be addressed. They have exaggerated negative responses to the Pastoral Letter and failed to report the positive responses," Anthony Cleary says. "Some critics have even questioned the right of the Catholic Church to distribute the Letter in Catholic schools. Such reactions are astonishing. While we are respectful of the opinion and views of others, the Catholic context of our schools means that all social, moral and ethical issues are presented from a Catholic perspective, and in accord with Catholic teachings."
He points out that this should come as no surprise to anyone as most organisations, institutions and businesses across a variety of sectors and corporations are underpinned by a particular ethos or set of values and the material disseminated and promoted would reflect this.
As for charges of discrimination, particularly those from the well-funded and media savvy organisation, Marriage Equality which is led by Rodney Croome, controversial Tasmanian academic and gay rights activist, Anthony Cleary makes it clear that there can be no "discrimination" when what is being supported is the current Australian law on marriage.
"To claim Don't Mess with Marriage is discriminatory is incorrect," he says firmly. "To disagree with another person's view does not mean that you are discriminating against them. In this instance, particular lobby groups label people as prejudiced simply because they agree with the current definition of marriage in Australia's Marriage Act, and oppose the proposition of legalising marriage between same sex couples. The Pastoral Letter reflects the Church's teachings, which are in accord with Australia's Marriage Act."

The campaign in Ireland to legalise same sex marriage
Anthony Cleary also makes the point that the Pastoral Letter speaks out strongly against people who discriminate against others.
"We all know and love people with same-sex attraction. They are our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, friends and neighbours. They need love and support like anyone else," Australia's Catholic Bishops write in Don't Mess With Marriage.
Anthony Cleary says that for people of faith, marriage is not simply a label that can be attached and transferred to different types of relationships as the fashion of the day dictates.
He points out that marriage for Catholics is not only an emotional union, but a total commitment of body and spirit. The Church also believes that God is the author of marriage and that the matrimonial covenant between baptised persons is holy and has the status of a sacrament.
Taking issue with advocates of same sex marriage such as Rodney Croome who accuse the Church of only telling one side of the story, Anthony Cleary argues that if these advocates were serious about presenting both sides of this issue, they would be disseminating the Bishops' Pastoral Letter.

Marriage is a vocation and needs prayer and God's help when making this important decision
Although the most well-known group advocating same sex marriage, the Marriage Equality organisation does not represent all same sex attraction, bi sexual or transgender men and women across Australia.
"I am concerned that some organizations who are active proponents of the same sex marriage debate may be creating the impression that they speak for all of those attracted to the same sex, and that Australia's entire gay and lesbian community are championing the cause of same sex marriage," Anthony Cleary says. "Such an impression is inaccurate as well as surprising, especially when some of the gay and lesbian community have spoken out against same sex marriage."
Above all, he is concerned that despite the plethora of private members Bills over the past 15 years in state, territory and Federal Parliaments, all of which have been voted down, that the general public have become so worn down by the constant headlines and debates over the issue that some are now beginning to regard changes to the Australian Marriage Act as "inevitable."
"Among all the world's nations, only 19 of these have legalised same sex marriage. Many have in fact rejected these moves in recent months, including most recently - Austria. We now await the imminent decision of the US Supreme Court," he says.
But even if the US Supreme Court hands down a judgment next week to legalise same sex marriage in every one of America's 50 states, this does not mean Australia will inevitably follow suit.
"While we share great historical ties and the US is a close ally, we have very different laws and different Constitutions. This is borne out in our different approaches to gun control and the death penalty," he says.

Don't Mess With Marriage the Catholic Bishops 16 page pastoral letter on marriage can be downloaded free in a PDF format
The best advice, however, is for people wanting to engage in the debate over changes to the Marriage Act, and to better engage in discussions in and outside the Church, he urges us all to read: Don't Mess with Marriage.
"The Pastoral Letter not only explores and explains Catholic teaching on the meaning of marriage, but also details the implications of redefining marriage. Furthermore, this well-crafted letter will help people in their critical thinking and moral reasoning, especially on this issue."
"Freedom of religion is a fundamental right but in many cases this freedom is increasingly at risk from states and nations where it is lawful for same sex couples to marry," he warns and commends the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference for exercising their "freedom of speech" and contributing to and presenting the other side of this ongoing debate.
The Don't Mess with Marriage document is available at:

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Mon June 29, 2015 - Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul

Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles - Mass during the Day

Lectionary: 591

Reading 1ACTS 12:1-11
In those days, King Herod laid hands upon some members of the Church to harm them.
He had James, the brother of John, killed by the sword,
and when he saw that this was pleasing to the Jews
he proceeded to arrest Peter also.
–It was the feast of Unleavened Bread.–
He had him taken into custody and put in prison
under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each.
He intended to bring him before the people after Passover.
Peter thus was being kept in prison,
but prayer by the Church was fervently being made
to God on his behalf.

On the very night before Herod was to bring him to trial,
Peter, secured by double chains,
was sleeping between two soldiers,
while outside the door guards kept watch on the prison.
Suddenly the angel of the Lord stood by him
and a light shone in the cell.
He tapped Peter on the side and awakened him, saying,
“Get up quickly.”
The chains fell from his wrists.
The angel said to him, “Put on your belt and your sandals.”
He did so.
Then he said to him, “Put on your cloak and follow me.”
So he followed him out,
not realizing that what was happening through the angel was real;
he thought he was seeing a vision.
They passed the first guard, then the second,
and came to the iron gate leading out to the city,
which opened for them by itself.
They emerged and made their way down an alley,
and suddenly the angel left him.
Then Peter recovered his senses and said,
“Now I know for certain
that the Lord sent his angel
and rescued me from the hand of Herod
and from all that the Jewish people had been expecting.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (5) The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.
R. The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.
Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
R. The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.
R. The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.
The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.
R. The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.

Reading 22 TM 4:6-8, 17-18

I, Paul, am already being poured out like a libation,
and the time of my departure is at hand.
I have competed well; I have finished the race;
I have kept the faith.
From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me,
which the Lord, the just judge,
will award to me on that day, and not only to me,
but to all who have longed for his appearance.

The Lord stood by me and gave me strength,
so that through me the proclamation might be completed
and all the Gentiles might hear it.
And I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.
The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat
and will bring me safe to his heavenly Kingdom.
To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.

AlleluiaMT 16:18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 16:13-19

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi
he asked his disciples,
“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
Simon Peter said in reply,
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”