Thursday, July 7, 2016

Saint July 8 : St. Priscilla and St. Aquila - #Friends of #StPaul

Today, July 8, we celebrate the feast day of Saint Priscilla and St. Aquila(first century),disciples and friends of Saint Paul. Priscilla and Aquila were a Jewish couple who had been exiled to Corinth, and hosted Saint Paul on his visit to that city. Likely converted by Saint Paul, they are later mentioned in the New Testament several times as “co-workers in Christ” and went on to preach and evangelize throughout the region. Holy legend tells us that Saint Priscilla was martyred by an angry mob at the end of her holy life.

3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus. 4 They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them. (Romans 16: 3-4)

19 The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house. 20 All the brothers and sisters here send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss. (1 Corinthians 16:19-20)

Saints Priscilla and Aquila were tentmakers, sharing the same profession as Saint Paul, which is likely why he stayed with them. Priscilla and Aquila had likely been exiled from Rome by the order of Emperor Claudius who forbade Jews to live within the city walls. Following his time in Corinth, we learn in Acts of the Apostles that the holy couple—who Paul likely converted—accompanied him to Ephesus and worked alongside him for three years. It was in their home that Mass was likely celebrated.
1 After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, 3 and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. 

18 Paul stayed on in Corinth for some time. Then he left the brothers and sisters and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. Before he sailed, he had his hair cut off at Cenchreae because of a vow he had taken. 19 They arrived at Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. (Acts 18: 1-3; 18-19)

Upon Saint Paul’s departure, Aquila and Priscilla stayed behind, where they continued the work of the Lord.

24 Meanwhile a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they invited him to their home and explained to him the way of God more adequately. (Acts 18: 24-26)

Saints Priscilla and Aquila, as evident in the writings of Saint Paul, later met up with Paul in Rome, where they were likely martyred around the same time as Saint Paul. Catacombs in Rome are named for Saint Priscilla, where many holy men and women are buried.
It is interesting to note that Aquila and Priscilla are mentioned six times throughout the New Testament, and in half of those references, Aquila is listed first, whereas in the other half, Priscilla is mentioned first. This is likely indicative of Paul’s love of both, and his consideration of their being on equal terms in ministry and the eyes of the Lord. It is clear from the descriptions of this holy couple that Saint Priscilla was an effective teacher and evangelist without usurping or undermining her husband's ecclesial authority.

God of grace and might, we praise thee for thy servants Priscilla and Aquila, whom thou didst plenteously endow with gifts of zeal and eloquence to make known the truth of the Gospel. Raise up, we pray thee, in every country, heralds and evangelists of thy kingdom, that the world may know the immeasurable riches of our Savior, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Shared from 365 Rosaries

Wow Group of 3 #Priests Sing Amazingly about God and have sold 3.5 Million Recordings! Listen and SHARE

They have sold over 3.5 Million Recordings Worldwide
Here is their Biographies from their Website: 
Fr Eugene O’ Hagan, born 1959, is a canon lawyer, judicial vicar and Chancellor of the Diocese of Down and Connor. He is also the parish administrator of the Parish of Ballyclare and Ballygowan, for the Church of The Sacred Heart and the Church of The Holy Family.
Fr Eugene’s motto: “To speak to the heart and soul through the gift of music and song.”
Fr Eugene’s hobbies, apart from music, include cooking, swimming, walking in the woodlands and enjoying the latest state-of-the-art gadgets.
Fr Martin O’ Hagan, born 1963, has been a Diocesan Adviser in Religious Education for 13 years. He is currently the parish priest of the Parish of Newtownards and Comber, for the Church of St. Patrick and the Church of Our Lady of the Visitation, Diocese of Down and Connor.
Fr Martin’s motto: “That the daily sowing of the seeds of faith, watered by God, will bear a great harvest for the future, calling on others to be part of the sowing.”
Fr Martin’s hobbies, apart from music, include cooking, gardening, walking, writing poetry and collecting antiques.
Fr David Delargy, born 1963, has spent seven years as a teacher of Religious Education and German at Our Lady and St Patrick’s College, Belfast, and also was Chaplain to the University of Ulster at Jordanstown. Currently he is the parish priest of the Parish of St. Michael’s in West Belfast, for the Church of St. Michael the Archangel, Diocese of Down and Connor.
Fr David’s motto: “To console, inspire, entertain and engender hope through priestly and musical performance ministry.”
Fr David’s hobbies, apart from music, include reading, walking, gardening, golfing and adventure sports”.

#PopeFrancis "I want to be a spokesman for the deepest longings of indigenous peoples." #Indigenous - New Video for July Prayer Intentions

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis’ prayer intention for July is for Respect for Indigenous Peoples: That indigenous peoples, whose identity and very existence are threatened, will be shown due respect. The Apostleship of Prayer has produced the Pope’s Video on this prayer intention. The full text of the Pope’s Video is below 
Representative of Indigenous People: Speaking for indigenous peoples, I ask that our ways of life may be respected, our rights and our traditions. Will you listen to me?
 Pope Francis: I want to be a spokesman for the deepest longings of indigenous peoples. And I want you to add your voice to mine in a heartfelt prayer that all will respect indigenous peoples, threatened in their identity and even in their existence.

#BREAKING Archbishop Chaput says Divorced and Remarried, Cohabitating must refrain from Sex for Communion - FULL TEXT link

Divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, as well as cohabitating unmarried couples, must "refrain from sexual intimacy" to receive Holy Communion in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput has explained in a new set of pastoral guidelines. Released Friday, the guidelines instruct clergy and other archdiocesan leaders on implementing Amoris Laetitia, a major document on family that Pope Francis issued in April. In response to Amoris Laetitia, Latin for "the joy of love."

FULL TEXT Guidelines from Archdiocese
 Archbishop Chaput explains that it is a "hard teaching," Chaput goes on to say that Catholics in same-sex partnerships, those remarried without a church annulment, and cohabitating persons may not serve on parish councils, instruct the faithful, serve as lectors, or dispense Communion. Allowing persons in such "irregular" relationships, "no matter how sincere," to hold positions of responsibility would "offer a serious counter-witness to Catholic belief, which can only produce moral confusion in the community," according to Chaput.
 Known as an apostolic exhortation, a major teaching of the church. Chaput served on the synod, or gathering of bishops, that advised Francis in 2015 on the creation of Amoris. In June, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops named him chairman of a five-bishop committee to help promote the teachings of Amoris Laetitia in this country. The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University estimates that there are 4.5 million Catholics in this country who are divorced and remarried without an annulment.
 In his pastoral guidelines, Chaput praises Amoris for its "sections of exceptional beauty," and notes that it will serve as "key resources in revising and upgrading our [archdiocesan] marriage preparation program." Chaput was not available to discuss the guidelines, but the Rev. Dennis Gill, director of the archdiocesan Office for Liturgy, described them Tuesday as "much larger than Communion and irregular relationships." It was issued, Gill said, "as a way of applying all of Amoris Laetitia," which he said urges pastors to "accompany married couples in every type of situation" and also to be "companions" to those who fall short of the church's teachings and to guide them toward holiness.
 In an oft-cited line, Francis wrote that the church and clergy have wasted "pastoral energy on denouncing a decadent world without proactively proposing ways to finding true happiness." He also wrote that "it can no longer simply be said that all those in any 'irregular' situation are living in a state of mortal sin and are deprived of sanctifying grace." But Gill was emphatic that the latter sentence does not permit Catholic clergy to decide on their own that an unmarried couple may receive Communion. "There are people challenging the wisdom of that statement," said Gill, a professor at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. "A lot of teachers and theologians feel it may not have been as well expressed as it should have been." Chaput also noted that in spite of Francis' exhortation that clergy be sympathetic to those whose sexual relationships seem to marginalize them, the pope "states clearly that neither Church teaching nor the canonical discipline concerning marriage has changed." The Rev. Thomas Reese, former editor of the Jesuit magazine America and a columnist for the weekly National Catholic Reporter, said that in Amoris Laetitia, "Francis is clearly open to the possibility of divorced and remarried Catholics receiving Holy Communion. "But I think he'd also leave this to the discretion of the local bishop," Reese said, "which means that Chaput can do what he wants in his diocese, but a neighboring bishop may take a much more open position." What Francis did in Amoris, Reese said, "was articulate certain principles and allow local churches to interpret and implement them in the way they see best."
The Rev. Philip Bochanski, associate director for Courage International, a chaplaincy for homosexual Catholics striving to abide by church teachings on chastity, found "nothing new in the teachings that the archbishop formulated in those guidelines. The notion that a person needs to be in a state of grace to receive [Communion] goes back to Paul's letter to the Corinthians. "The gospel demands chastity," Bochanski said, "for everybody in their state in life." Text edited from

#BreakingNews Death Toll from Iraq Terror Bombing at 250 - Please PRAY

Iraq sees worst bombing since invasion with 250 deaths

The death toll from Sunday's suicide bombing in Karrada district, center of Baghdad, has risen to 250. Scores of people were also injured but most have been released from hospital. Those critically injured had been sent abroad. Bewildered local residents have held candlelight vigils and prayed for peace. "We call on our Muslim brothers" to "condemn the crimes” Chaldean Patriarch said. 

Baghdad (AsiaNews) - The death toll from Sunday's suicide bombing in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, has risen to 250, the Iraqi government says, making it the deadliest such attack since the 2003 US-led invasion.
A lorry packed with explosives was detonated in the Karrada district while families were shopping for the holiday marking the end of Ramadan.
So-called Islamic State (IS) has said it carried out the suicide attack.
An earlier estimate for the attack had put the toll at 165.
Iraq remains under an official state of mourning following the bombing.
The destruction of the area was all but complete. Bewildered local residents have held candlelight vigils and prayed for peace.
Scores of people were also injured but most have been released from hospital, according to the Iraqi health ministry.
The ministry said those critically injured had been sent abroad, without giving further details.
The bombing in a mostly Shia Muslim area just after midnight came a week after Iraqi forces had recaptured the city of Falluja from IS.
The Iraqi government has been heavily criticised over the attack, with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi met by angry crowds when he visited the blast site.
On Tuesday, Interior Minister Mohammed Ghabban submitted his resignation but it has not yet been accepted.
He described checkpoints dotted through Baghdad as "absolutely useless", according to AFP news agency.
The government has stepped up security in Baghdad and also said a group of prisoners convicted of terror crimes would be put to death in the immediate future.
Chaldean Patriarch Mar Raphael Louis Sako released a messageyesterday for Iraq’s Muslims marking the end of the Muslim month of fasting and prayer. On the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, "we call on our Muslim brothers" to ask them to "raise their voices and condemn officially the crimes” committed in the name of a distorted and deviant form of religion, like the “latest massacre of Sunday 3 July in Karrada, Baghdad”, His Beatitude said.
Text from AsiaNewsIT - Image Source Google Images 

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thursday July 7, 2016 - #Eucharist

Thursday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 386

Reading 1HOS 11:1-4, 8E-9

Thus says the LORD:
When Israel was a child I loved him,
out of Egypt I called my son.
The more I called them,
the farther they went from me,
Sacrificing to the Baals
and burning incense to idols.
Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
who took them in my arms;
I drew them with human cords,
with bands of love;
I fostered them like one
who raises an infant to his cheeks;
Yet, though I stooped to feed my child,
they did not know that I was their healer.

My heart is overwhelmed,
my pity is stirred.
I will not give vent to my blazing anger,
I will not destroy Ephraim again;
For I am God and not man,
the Holy One present among you;
I will not let the flames consume you.

Responsorial PsalmPS 80:2AC AND 3B, 15-16

R. (4b) Let us see your face, Lord, and we shall be saved.
O shepherd of Israel, hearken.
From your throne upon the cherubim, shine forth.
Rouse your power.
R. Let us see your face, Lord, and we shall be saved.
Once again, O LORD of hosts,
look down from heaven, and see:
Take care of this vine,
and protect what your right hand has planted,
the son of man whom you yourself made strong.
R. Let us see your face, Lord, and we shall be saved.

AlleluiaMK 1:15

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Kingdom of God is at hand:
repent and believe in the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 10:7-15

Jesus said to his Apostles:
“As you go, make this proclamation:
‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
Cure the sick, raise the dead,
cleanse the lepers, drive out demons.
Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.
Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts;
no sack for the journey, or a second tunic,
or sandals, or walking stick.
The laborer deserves his keep.
Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it,
and stay there until you leave.
As you enter a house, wish it peace.
If the house is worthy,
let your peace come upon it;
if not, let your peace return to you.
Whoever will not receive you or listen to your wordsC
go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet.
Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable
for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment
than for that town.”