Monday, February 22, 2016

Latest #News of #PopeFrancis and #Vatican Information Service to SHARE

22-02-2016 - Year XXII - Num. 36 

- Jubilee of the Curia: be a model for all
- Angelus: the Pope recounts his apostolic trip to Mexico
- Francis: no capital punishment during the Year of Mercy
- Jubilee audience: mercy and commitment
- Communique of the Secretariat for Communications
- Audiences
- Other Pontifical Acts
Jubilee of the Curia: be a model for all
Vatican City, 22 February 2016 (VIS) – At 10.30 a.m. today, the Solemnity of the Chair of St. Peter the Apostle, the Holy Father presided at a Holy Mass celebrated in the Vatican Basilica for the Jubilee of the Roman Curia, the Governorate and the Institutions of the Holy See. All the participants, including the Pope, then carried out a procession of faith from the Paul VI Hall to the Basilica, passing through the Holy Door.
"At this time, the Lord Jesus addresses a question to every one of us: 'But who do you say that I am?'. A clear and direct question, from which it is not possible to escape or remain neutral, nor is it possible to postpone the answer or delegate it to someone else. But there is nothing inquisitional about this; instead, it is full of love! The love of our only Master, Who today calls us to renew our faith in Him, recognising Him as the Son of God and the Lord of our life. And the first one called to renew his profession of faith is the Successor of Peter, who bears the responsibility of confirming his brothers".
"Let us allow grace to form again our heart so as to believe, and open our mouth to fulfil the profession of faith and obtain salvation. Let us, then, make Peter's words our own: 'You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God'. May our thought and our gaze be fixed on Jesus Christ, the beginning and end of every action of the Church. He is the foundation and no-one may lay another. He is the 'stone' on which we must build. St. Augustine recalls this with expressive words when he writes that the Church, although agitated and disturbed by the upheavals of history, does not fall down, because she is built on stone, from which Peter's name is derived. It is not the stone that derives its name from Peter, but Peter from the stone, just as it is not the name Christ that derives from Christian, but Christian from Christ. The stone is Christ, the foundation on which Peter too was built".
Francis emphasised that "from this profession of faith there derives, for each one of us, the task of responding to this call from God. Pastors, first and foremost, are required to have as a model God Himself Who takes care of His flock. … It is also good for us, called to be Pastors in the Church, to let the face of God the Good Shepherd illuminate us, purify us, transform us and restore us, fully renewed in our mission. In our workplaces too may we feel, cultivate and practice a strong pastoral sense, especially towards the people we encounter every day. May no-one feel neglected or mistreated, but may everyone be able to experience, especially here, the loving care of the Good Shepherd".
"We are called upon to be God's collaborators in a task as fundamental and unique as bearing witness by our existence the strength of the grace that transforms and the power of the Spirit that renews. Let us allow the Lord to free us from every temptation that distances us from the essence of our mission, and let us rediscover the beauty of professing our faith in the Lord Jesus. Faith to the ministry matches well with the mercy we wish to experience. In the Sacred Scripture, indeed, faithfulness and mercy are inseparable. Where there is one there is the other, and it is precisely in their reciprocal nature and complementarity that we can see the very presence of the Good Shepherd. The faithfulness that is required of us is that of acting in accordance with Christ's heart. As we have heard in the words of the apostle Peter, we must tend to our flock with a generous heart and become a model for all. In this way, 'when the Chief Shepherd appears', we will be able to receive 'the crown of glory that will never fade away'".
Angelus: the Pope recounts his apostolic trip to Mexico
Vatican City, 21 February 2016 (VIS) – Pope Francis described his trip to Mexico as "an experience of transfiguration" in his reflection before this Sunday's Angelus. Starting from the Gospel reading of this second Sunday of Lent, dedicated to the Transfiguration of Jesus on Mount Tabor, the Holy Father spoke about his visit to the land of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
In Mexico, he said "the Lord has shown us the light of His glory through the Body of the Church, of His holy people that live in this land — a body so often wounded, a people so often oppressed and despised, whose dignity is violated. In fact, the various encounters experienced in Mexico were truly full of light: the light of a faith that transfigures faces and illumines our path".
"The spiritual 'centre of gravity' of my pilgrimage was the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe", he added. "To remain in silence before the image of the Mother was what suggested the trip to me. I thank God for giving me this opportunity. I contemplated and let myself to be gazed upon by She whose eyes hold the gaze of all of her children, the sorrows of violence, kidnapping and murders, the violence against so many poor people, against so many women. Guadalupe is the most visited Marian sanctuary in the world. From all of America, people go to pray there where the ‘Virgin Morenita’ appeared to the Indian St. Juan Diego, giving rise to the evangelisation of the continent and its new civilization, a fruit of encounter between diverse cultures".
"It is precisely this inheritance that the Lord has entrusted to Mexico: to protect the wealth of diversity, and at the same time, to manifest the harmony of a common faith: a simple and robust faith, accompanied by a great force of vitality and humanity", explained the Pope. "Like my predecessors, I also went to confirm the Mexican people in their faith, but at the same time to be confirmed. I have gathered fully this gift so that it may be of benefit to the universal Church".
"A shining example of what I am saying was given by families: Mexican families welcomed me with joy as a messenger of Christ and pastor of the Church. But at the same time, they gave me clear and strong witness of lived faith, of faith that transfigures life, for the edification of all Christian families in the world. The same may be said about the young, consecrated persons, priests, workers and the imprisoned".
After giving thanks to the Virgin of Guadalupe for this pilgrimage and acknowledging the contribution of the civil and ecclesiastical authorities of Mexico and all those who made the trip possible, Francis gave special praise to the Holy Trinity for the encounter in Cuba with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, a meeting that was greatly desired by previous popes.
"This event too is a prophetic light of the Resurrection, which the world today needs more than ever. May the Holy Mother of God continue to guide us in the path of friendship and unity. Let us pray to the Virgin of Kazan, an icon of whom was given to me by Patriarch Kirill".
Francis: no capital punishment during the Year of Mercy
Vatican City, 22 February 2016 (VIS) – After today's Angelus prayer, Pope Francis spoke about the international conference “For a World Without the Death Penalty,” organised by the Sant’Egidio Community, which begins in Rome tomorrow, and expressed his hope that it may inspire fresh efforts towards the abolition of the death penalty.
The Pope observed that the increasingly strong public opposition to the death penalty, even as an instrument of legitimate social defence, is a sign of hope. "Indeed, modern societies are able to effectively control crime without definitively removing from the criminal the possibility of redeeming himself. The issue lies in the context of a perspective on penal justice that increasingly conforms to the dignity of man and God’s design for man and for society. And also penal justice open to the hope of being reintegrated in society. The command “thou shalt not kill” has absolute value and refers to the guilty as well as the innocent.
"The Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy is a good opportunity to promote in the world an increasingly mature respect for life and the dignity of each person. Because even a criminal has the inviolable right to life, a gift of God. I appeal to the consciences of those who govern, so that an international consensus may be reached for the abolition of the death penalty. I propose to those among them who are Catholic to make an exemplary gesture of courage: that the death penalty not be applied in this Holy Year of Mercy".
"All Christians and men and women of good will are called today to work not only for the abolition of the death penalty, but also to improve conditions in prisons, in respect for human dignity and the dignity of those deprived of freedom".
The Pope also mentioned next Thursday's Via Crucis through the streets of Rome, organised by the Pope Juan XXIII Foundation, founded by the priest Oreste Benzi, in support of women who are victims of human trafficking, and to pray for them.
Before concluding the Pope reiterated that Lent is a good time to undertake a path of conversion, based on mercy. "For this, I have decided to give to you here in the Square a 'spiritual medicine' called 'Misericordina'. We did this once before, but this one is better, it is 'Misericordina-Plus': a box with a rosary and an image of the Merciful Jesus. Volunteers, including the poor, the homeless, refugees and also religious, will now distribute them. Receive this gift as a spiritual aid to help spread forgiveness and fraternity, especially in this year of mercy".
Jubilee audience: mercy and commitment
Vatican City, 20 February 2016 (VIS) – This morning fifty thousand people attended the Holy Father's Jubilee audience in St. Peter's Square, following his return on Thursday from his apostolic trip in Mexico. The Pope's catechesis was on the theme of the commitment Christians are called to make to offer a concrete sign of God's closeness to the people they encounter.
"The Jubilee of Mercy is an opportunity to enter in depth into the mystery of God's goodness and love", he said. "In this Lenten time, the Church invites us to get to know better the Lord Jesus, and to live faith in a way coherent with a lifestyle that expresses the Father's mercy. My life, my attitude, my way of going about the world must be a concrete sign of the fact that God is close to us. Little gestures of love, of tenderness, of attention, that let us think that the Lord is with us, close to us. In this way we open the door of mercy".
For this, it is necessary to be committed, and this means assuming a responsibility, a task in relation to someone, and fulfilling it with fidelity, dedication and care. "Every day we are asked to commit ourselves to the things we do: in prayer, in work, in study, even in sport. … In short, committing oneself means acting with good will and effort to improve life", explained the Pope.
"God too has committed Himself to us", he continued. "His first commitment was that of creating the world, and despite our attempts to spoil it, He is committed to keeping it alive. But His greatest commitment was that of giving Jesus to us. … St. Paul recalls this when he writes that God 'did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all'.And, by virtue of this, together with Jesus the Father will give us everything we need".
In the Gospel it is very easy to see how God's commitment to us is made manifest. "In Jesus, God commits Himself fully in order to restore hope to the poor, to those who are deprived of their dignity, to outsiders, the sick, the imprisoned, and to sinners who welcome Him with good will. In all of this, Jesus was the living expression of the Father's mercy". Francis highlighted the fact that Jesus' welcome to sinners: "if we think of it in a human way, the sinner would be an enemy of Jesus, an enemy of God, but He drew close to them with goodness, He loved them and He changed their heart. We are all sinners, all of us. We all have some blame before God. But we must not be distrustful: He draws close to us to offer us consolation, mercy and forgiveness. This is God's commitment, and this is why He sent Jesus to us, to be close to us, to all of us, and to open the door of His love, His heart and His mercy".
Taking as a starting point the merciful love with which Jesus expressed God's commitment, we too can and must match His love with our effort, especially in the situations of greatest need, when there is the greatest thirst for hope. I think of our efforts with abandoned people, with those who have very serious disabilities, with the gravely ill, with the dying, and with those who are no longer able to express their gratitude. … We bring God's mercy to all these situations through commitment in life, which bears witness to our faith in Jesus. We must always bring with us this caress from God – because God has caressed us with His mercy – to those who are in need of it, to those who have suffering in their heart or who are sad. We must approach them with that caress from God, which is the same one God gave to us".
Francis concluded his catechesis by expressing his hope that the Jubilee may contribute to helping our mind and our heart to be profoundly aware of God's commitment to each one of us, and in this way, transform our life in a commitment to mercy for all.
Communique of the Secretariat for Communications
Vatican City, 22 February 2016 (VIS) – The Secretariat for Communications today issued the following communique:
"Due to the end of the term of service at Vatican Radio of the Director General Fr. Federico Lombardi and the Managing Director Alberto Gasbarri, the prefect for the Secretariat for Communications, Msgr. Dario Vigano, upon directions from the Secretariat of State, has appointed Giacomo Ghisani as "ad interim" legal representative and head of the Directorate of Vatican Radio, responsible for the day-to-day management of Vatican Radio in the context of the current restructuring of Vatican communications".
In an explanatory note, it is mentioned that by the Motu Proprio "The current communications context", dated 27 June 2015, Pope Francis instituted the Secretariat for Communications to integrate all the entities hitherto concerned with communication into a new dicastery of the Roman Curia. These structures were the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, the Holy See Press Office, the Vatican Internet Service, the Vatican Television Centre, L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican Typography, the Photographic Service and the Vatican Publishing House.
On 9 June of the same year, a feasibility study and working calendar were presented to the Council of Cardinals (the so-called C9), indicating the gradual process of unification of the existing entities; "such bodies", it specifies, "from the date of the publication of the present Motu Proprio, shall continue their respective duties, observing however the indications provided by the Secretariat for Communications".
The process has begun, and on 1 January 2016 the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and the Holy See Press Office were unified, from an administrative and management point of view. Nothing has been modified with regard to the competence of the Secretariat of State in relation to institutional communication.
This year, in accordance with the presented and approved time scale, the complex but certainly positive unification of Vatican Radio and the Vatican Television Centre was expected to take place. This was implemented for some services (such as the distribution of sound and images for papal ceremonies and other important Vatican events), and for the better deployment of human resources.
In this context it is clear why at the end of February, at the end of their respective five-year mandates and the upcoming retirements of two senior figures, the Director General Fr. Federico Lombardi and the Managing Director Alberto Gasbarri, they will not be substituted with figures in similar directing roles. Instead a legal representative and and head of the administrative office will be appointed, in the single person of Giacomo Ghisani, currently deputy director of the General Directorate of the Secretariat for Communications, who has an excellent knowledge of Vatican Radio having worked there for many years as head of the legal and international relations office.
The restructuring process will be accompanied by the formulation of new Statutes not only for the Dicastery but also the connected body that will ensure legal representation both in institutional contexts and at European and international level. The new Statutes will also reformulate the staffing plans of the unified bodies.
"The task that awaits us offers a great opportunity to evaluate in both entities the areas of excellence and our patrimony of multilingualism and multiculturalism", the note says.
"In this phase, the Vatican Television Centre will continue to refer to Stefano D'Agostini for the purposes of ordinary administration. The staff of Vatican Radio will refer to Giacomo Ghisani for administrative matters and to Fr. Andrzej Majewski for editorial activities and the situation of the various language versions (that is, the current Directorate of Programming). Technological matters, including acquisitions and the development of projects (the activity and competence of the current Technical Directorate) it will refer to Sandro Piervenanzi.
The Secretariat for Communications will follow this process with care and attention, to facilitate solutions to eventual difficulties and to guarantee its success.
Vatican City, 22 February 2016 (VIS) – The Holy Father received in audience:
- Egas da Costa Freitas, ambassador of East Timor to the Holy See, presenting his credential letters;
- Rogelio Francisco Emilio Pfirter, ambassador of Argentina to the Holy See, presenting his credential letters.
On Friday, 19 February the Holy Father received in audience Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, accompanied by Bishop Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot, M.C.C.J., secretary of the same dicastery.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 22 February 2016 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Fr. Angel Antonio Recinos Lemus as bishop of Zacapa y Santo Cristo de Esquipulas (area 5,066. population 613,000, Catholics 528,000, priests 32, permanent deacons 1, religious 68), Guatemala. The bishop-elect was born in Azulco, Guatemala in 1963 and was ordained a priest in 1994. He holds a licentiate in biblical theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and has served in a number of academic, administrative and pastoral roles, including seminary professor, director of the Institute of Theology of the National Seminary, head of pastoral ministry of indigenous peoples, representative of Guatemale in the information network of the Church in Latin America, co-ordinator of the pastoral commission for the defence of the environment, and parish priest in various parishes. He is currently parish priest of Nuestra Senora de Lourdes and in El Progreso Achuapa, Jutiapa.
On Saturday, 20 February, the Holy Father appointed Bishop Ricardo Lingan Baccay, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Tuguegarao, Philippines, as bishop of Alaminos (area 24,492, population 684,000, Catholics 565,000, priests 52, religious 111), Philippines.

RIP Harper Lee - Author of "To Kill a MockingBird"

Nelle Harper Lee (April 28, 1926 – February 19, 2016) the American novelist well known for "To Kill a Mockingbird", published in 1960, has died. Her book won the 1961 Pulitzer Prize and has become a classic. Even though Lee had only published this book, in 2007 she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for literature.Truman Capote was the basis for the character Dill in To Kill a Mockingbird. The story of To Kill a Mockingbird are loosely based on Lee's family and neighbors, and events that occurred near her hometown in 1936. It examines racism and class in the Deep South of the 1930s. Another novel, Go Set a Watchman, was written in the mid-1950s and published in July 2015 as a "sequel". Nelle Harper Lee was born  in Monroeville, Alabama, where she was raised. Her parents were Frances Cunningham (Finch) and Amasa Coleman Lee.Lee died in her sleep on the morning of February 19, 2016, aged 89. She lived in Monroeville, Alabama. See the Full Movie of the book Below:

RIP Umberto Eco - Best-selling Author and #Philosopher - Pray for his Soul...

The famous philosopher and best-selling author, has died Umberto Eco. He was an internationally-renowned Italian philosopher and became an author of best-selling novels. He was aged 84, according to AFP/Yahoo7. He is well-known for his 1980 historical mystery novel The Name of the Rose, which has been translated into more than 40 languages. Eco died late Friday Feb. 19, 2016, after a long battle with cancer. The Name of the Rose was adapted for the big screen by Jean-Jacques Annaud in 1986, starring Sean Connery and Christian Slater, and has sold millions of copies. Eco,  continued to write Foucault's Pendulum (1988), about the lost treasure of a sect called the Knights Templar, The Island of the Day Before (1994), Baudolino (2000) and The Prague Cemetery (2010), a novel about the rise of modern anti-Semitism. Eco was born in 1932 at Alessandria in the northern Italian region of Piedmont. His family name was an acronym of the Latin ex caelis oblatus, "a gift from the heavens", which was given to his grandfather. The young Umberto had a Roman Catholic upbringing. He entered the University of Turin to study medieval philosophy and literature. His thesis, for which he was awarded a degree in 1954, was on the topic of Thomas Aquinas, a Dominican.In September 1962 he married Renate Ramge, a German art teacher with whom he had a son and a daughter. In 1956 he published his first work, The Aesthetics of Thomas Aquinas an extension of his doctoral thesis. Please pray for his soul.

Musical Heaven at the Church Music Association Colloquium - #CMA - Everything you need to know about Church Music!

Join us for Colloquium 2016
St. Louis, Missouri
June 20 - 25, 2016 

Register by March 1st for the 2016 Colloquium to receive Early Bird Tuition Rates and Save $50

If you register and pay in full by March 1st, you'll receive Early Bird tuition rates for this summer's Church Music Association of America Colloquium. The Colloquium is to be held in St. Louis, MO, at the St. Louis City Center Hotel, June 20 - June 25, 2016.

CMAA members are entitled to a member discount. Not a member?

Three Great venues: the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, the Shrine of St. Joseph, andPro-Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist and Apostle.

Are you a composer? Plan to participate in our New Music breakouts with David Hughes.

Sing Mozart, Palestrina or a variety of motets in your chosen polyphonic choir. There is also a beginning polyphonic choir again this year, which will sing a motet later in the week. See all the details and begin making your choir selections now.

NEW! Repertory Listing Uploaded to our Website! 

For more information about the repertory, schedule, accommodations, faculty, plenary speakers and more, visit our website at:

To register by mail now, download a registration form and send it to us at: CMAA, PO Box 4344, Roswell, NM 88202
Questions about accommodations, schedule, or any other detail? Visit our webpage aboutColloquium detail here. Read the biographical information about our faculty to help choose your choirs and breakout sessions.

Planning to apply for a scholarship? Don't delay. Application and recommendation formsmust be received by us by April 7, 2016.

For any other questions, don't hesitate to contact me at

Best regards,

Janet Gorbitz
CMAA General Manager

Shared from Musica Sacra

#BreakingNews ISIS Bomb Attack Kills 140 in #Damascus and Homs - Please PRAY

Islamic State claims bomb attacks in Damascus and Homs: 140 dead

The southern suburb of Sayyida Zeinab hit in the capital, home to most important Shiite temple in the country. In Homs Alawite districts loyal to the president targeted. Assad appeals to refugees, inviting them to return to Syria. US and Russia announce a "provisional agreement" for a partial truce.
Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) – The death toll from a series of bomb attacks yesterday in Damascus, the capital of Syria, and the city of Homs has risen to 140 people. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks, which targeted the southern suburb of Sayyida Zeinab in the capital, killing about 83 people. Earlier, two car bombs had exploded in Homs killing 57 people, mostly civilians.
Both areas of yesterday’s attacks are inhabited mostly by non-Sunni Muslim minorities, subjected to Daesh [Arabic acronym for the IS]violence and persecution of in Syria and Iraq.
While the Islamic State continues to sow violence and terror, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has appealed to all refugees who have fled the country telling them that they should not be afraid to come home. Long accused of persecuting his own people, the Syrian leader stressed that those who have left the nation "for the drastic deterioration of living conditions" are free to return without any fear of reprisal from the government. "We want people - said Assad – to take refuge in Syria."

The war in Syria flared up in March 2011 after a popular protest motion against President Bashar al-Assad was transformed into a widespread conflict with extremist Islamic tendencies and jihadist movements.  Thus far it has caused over 260 thousand deaths.
It has also given rise to one of the worst humanitarian crisis in history, forcing 4.6 million Syrians to seek shelter abroad, especially in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt. Hundreds of thousands have tried to reach Europe, crossing the Mediterranean at the cost of their lives.

According to reports from Sana state agency yesterday’s explosions in Sayyida Zeinab caused 83 deaths and 178 injured. The southern Damascus district is the most important Shiite shrine in the country, which houses the remains of the great-grandson of the prophet Muhammad. Local sources said that the bombers detonated a car bomb, then activated explosive belts.
Already last month the district suffered attacks that killed 71 people, again at the hands of IS jihadists. Explosions in Homs, once considered the "capital of the revolution" have targeted the majority Alawite district, the sect of origin of the Assad family. The rebels left the city this year as a result of a cease fire agreement, leaving the area in the hands of government soldiers.
Meanwhile on the diplomatic front, the US Secretary of State John Kerry has announced the achievement of an "interim agreement" with Russia for a partial truce. However, there are still many unresolved issues and there are few expectations of immediate changes on the ground. Earlier this month the world powers involved in the crisis in Syria had agreed on a "cessation of hostilities", but the 19 February deadline passed without any tangible results. Shared from AsiaNewsIT

#PopeFrancis "Mercy in our everyday life", at #HolyMass for #Mercy #Jubilee and Feast of St.Peter - FULL Video - Text

Pope Francis celebrates Mass for the Feast of the Chair of Peter in St. Peter's Basilica - AFP
Pope Francis celebrates Mass for the Feast of the Chair of Peter in St. Peter's Basilica - AFP
22/02/2016 11:13

(Vatican Radio ) The Pope was speaking during his homily at Mass in St Peter’s Basilica on Monday morning, as he celebrated the Feast of the Chair of Peter and the Jubilee of Mercy for the Roman Curia and all the Institutions related to the Holy See.
Before participating in the Mass, all those present gathered in the Paul VI Hall for a meditation on the theme "Mercy in our everyday life", and together with the Holy Father walked in procession through the Holy Door and into the Basilica. Excerpt Vatican Radio 
FULL TEXT Homily of Pope Francis:
The liturgical feast of the Chair of St. Peter sees us gathered to celebrate the Jubilee of Mercy as a community of service of the Roman Curia, the Governorate, and Institutions connected with the Holy See. We have passed through the Holy Door and come to the tomb of the Apostle Peter to make our profession of faith; and today the Word of God enlightens our gestures in a special way.
In this moment, the Lord Jesus repeats his question to each of us: “And you, who do you say that I am?” (Mt 16:15). A clear and direct question, before which it is not possible to escape or remain neutral, put off a response or delegate it to someone else. But in it there is nothing inquisitorial; indeed, it is full of love! The love of our only Master, who today calls us to renew our faith in him, recognizing him as the Son of God and Lord of our lives. And the first one called to renew his profession of faith is the Successor of Peter, who bears the responsibility of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32).
Let us allow grace to mold our hearts anew to belief, and open our mouths to make the profession of faith and obtain salvation (cf. R 10:10). Let us make our own, then, the words of Peter: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt 16:16). May our thoughts and gaze be fixed on Jesus Christ, the beginning and end of all the Church’s action. He is the foundation, and no one can lay any other (1 Cor. 3:11). He is the “rock” on which we must build.
St. Augustine reminds us of this with eloquent words, when he writes that the Church, while tossed and shaken by the events of history, “does not collapse, because it is founded on rock (petra), from which Peter derives his name. For petra (rock) is not derived from Peter, but Peter from petra; just as the name Christ is not derived from Christian, but the name Christian which comes from Christ. […] The rock is Christ, on whose foundation Peter also was built” (In John 124, 5: PL 35, 1972).
From this profession of faith derives for each one of us the duty of corresponding with God’s call. Pastors, above all, are asked to have as their model God himself, who cares for his flock.
The prophet Ezekiel described God’s way of acting: He seeks out the lost sheep, leads the strayed back to the fold, binds up the wounded, and heals the sick (34,16). This conduct is a sign of a love that knows no boundaries. It is a faithful, constant, unconditional dedication, so that his mercy might reach all those who are weakest.
And yet, we must not forget that the prophecy of Ezekiel follows on the observation of the shortcomings of the shepherds of Israel. Therefore, it is also good for us, who are called to be pastors in the Church, to allow the face of God, the Good Shepherd, to enlighten us, purify us, transform us and restore us fully renewed to our mission. Even in our workplaces may we feel, cultivate, and practice a strong pastoral sense, first of all with the people we meet every day. May no one will feel neglected or mistreated, but may everyone experience, here first of all, the loving care of the Good Shepherd.
We are called to be co-workers of God in an undertaking so important and unique as that of witnessing with our lives to the power of grace which transforms, and the might of the Spirit who renews. Let us allow the Lord to liberate us from every temptation that draws us away from what is essential to our mission, and rediscover the beauty of professing faith in the Lord Jesus.
Fidelity to the ministry combines well with the mercy we want to experience. In Sacred Scripture, moreover, faithfulness and mercy are an inseparable combination. Where you find one you also find the other, and in their reciprocity and complementary one can see the very presence of the Good Shepherd. The fidelity required of us is to act according to the Heart of Christ. As we heard in the words of the Apostle Peter, we must tend the flock “willingly” and become a “model” for all. In this way, “when the chief Shepherd is manifested” we will be able to receive the “unfading crown of glory” (1 Pt 5:4). FULL TEXT Aleteia

Wow #PopeFrancis gives out Free 'medication' boxes with picture of Merciful Jesus and a Rosary

(Vatican Radio) It’s time for another dose of the “spiritual medicine” Misericordin. Following the Angelus on Sunday, Pope Francis offered the faithful gathered in St Peter’s Square the gift of a small box, designed to look like a box of medicine, containing a small Rosary and an image of the Merciful Jesus.
“Lent is a good time to complete a journey of conversion, that has mercy at its centre,” the Pope said. He invited the faithful to “welcome this gift as a spiritual aid in order, especially during this Year of Mercy, to spread love, forgiveness, and brotherhood.” It is the second time Pope Francis has offered Misericordin to the faithful. In November of 2013, the Pope encouraged the faithful to use the “spiritual medicine” in order “to make concrete the fruits of the Year of Faith” which was coming to an end. On both occasions, the gifts were distributed by volunteers, including homeless people, refugees, and the poor.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Mon. February 22, 2016

Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Apostle
Lectionary: 535

Reading 11 PT 5:1-4

I exhort the presbyters among you,
as a fellow presbyter and witness to the sufferings of Christ
and one who has a share in the glory to be revealed.
Tend the flock of God in your midst,
overseeing not by constraint but willingly,
as God would have it, not for shameful profit but eagerly.
Do not lord it over those assigned to you,
but be examples to the flock.
And when the chief Shepherd is revealed,
you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

Responsorial PsalmPS 23:1-3A, 4, 5, 6

R. (1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
Beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Verse Before The GospelMT 16:18

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

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.”