Monday, October 23, 2017

Saint October 24 : St. Anthony Mary Claret : Patron of Weavers, Savings, and Publishers

St. Anthony Mary Claret
Feast: October 24
Feast Day:
October 24
December 23, 1807, Sallent
October 24, 1870, Fontfroide
May 7, 1950 by Pope Pius XII
Patron of:
Textile Merchants, Weavers, Savings (taught the poor the importance of savings), Catholic press, Claretians Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The founder of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Anthony Mary Claret died in the Cistercian monastery at Fontfroide in France on this date in 1870. He was canonized in 1950 and listed in the Roman Calendar in 1960. Anthony was born at Salent in the Diocese of Vich in Catalonia, Spain, in the year in which Napoleon invaded Spain. He was trained for manual labor, since his father was a weaver, but in 1829 he entered the seminary at Vich. Ordained to the priesthood in 1835, he was assigned as pastor in his home parish. Later he went to Rome to work for the Propagation of the Faith. He also entered the novitiate of the Jesuits but had to leave because of ill health, so he returned to Spain and was assigned as pastor of a parish. His apostolate consisted of rural preaching, conferences for the clergy and publications (he wrote more than 150 books). Because of his successful apostolate he aroused the animosity of some of the clergy and as a result he left Catalonia for the Canary Islands (1848). After a year he returned to Catalonia and resumed his preaching apostolate.
In 1849 Anthony gathered together five priests who formed the basis of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (popularly known as Claretians). At the suggestion of the Queen of Spain, Isabella II, Anthony was named archbishop of Santiago, Cuba (1850). For the next seven years he made pastoral visitations, preached against the slavery of the Negroes, and regularized numerous marriages. As a result of his activity he was frequently threatened with death and on one occasion an attempt was actually made on his life. In 1857 he was recalled to Spain as confessor to the queen. In this way he was able to exert some influence in the naming of bishops, set up a center of ecclesiastical studies at the Escorial, and work towards the recognition of religious orders in Spain. In 1869 he was in Rome, preparing for the First Vatican Council. He followed Isabella II into exile and at the insistence of the Spanish ambassador, was placed under house arrest in the Cistercian monastery at FontFroide, where he died at the age of 63. His remains were ultimately returned to Vich.
SOURCE: The Catholic Encyclopedia

Ark Quest - Archeologists and Researchers find possible parts of Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat

Ark-Quest Oct. 2017 Press Release

A team of archeologists, scientists, and researchers- titled “Ark-Quest”- has recently discovered potential artifacts: what appear to be large (petrified) wooden beams/timbers in a remote location above the tree-line on Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey. Ark-Quest is serious about their team-motto:  "A quest to expose and verify the truth about Noah's Ark, and "if" its remains still exist, through the scientific process that's consistent with Scripture".  This group is now starting to release data, pictures, and other evidence to the public from their 2014 and 2015 expeditions to the site, and in some cases via peer-reviewed journals.  Ark-Quest is not making the claim that they have found the ark from the Biblical story of Noah.  That said, any large wooden man-made timbers 1500 -1600 feet above the tree-line in a remote area with limited access is something to investigate further.
Dr. Ronald Stewart Th.D., Ph.D, and Allen Searson, both share equal Ark-Quest administrative status as : "Co-Directors for the Ark-Quest Noah's Ark Research & Expedition Teams". Mr. Searson briefly appeared in the 2015 feature documentary “Finding Noah”,   and has trekked up Mount Ararat three times.  For more information on these two men, and some of the team-members in general, please see below.
The location of this alleged relic is in the northeast part of the mountain, at approximately 4200-4300 meters  -or at the (14,500-14875) foot- elevation level.  In the Ahora Gorge, which is a large chasm. Findings and initial raw data imply the following may possibly be at this location:  large (petrified) wooden beams, remnants of possible rooms (or animal stalls), picture writing/wood carvings allegedly showing different types of animals, as well as other discoveries which will be announced again in the spring of 2018.  Intense analysis and cross-referencing of data, samples, and pictures are currently being undertaken.  Portions of the needed analysis are conducted with a specialized and high-resolution imaging technology.
The team at Ark-Quest aims to methodically analyze and then release small amounts of information on their recent expeditions and findings over several months (and possibly years).  At no time is the team stating that they have found the ark; they would prefer others to review and analyze their data and any alleged proofs.  For more detailed information on these recent findings, please visit:

Brief biographical information on Ark-Quest members:
Mr. Allen Searson:  was in the US Air Force, specialized in logistics. He has degrees from Culver-Stockton College in Media Communications and Photo/Imaging analysis.  He was at Mount Ararat in 2013, 2014, and 2015. And he appeared in the 2015 documentary “Finding Noah”.  He's: "Co-Director of The Ark-Quest Research & Expedition Team".
Dr. Ronald Stewart, Th.D., PhD:  Th.D.. In- "Ancient History/ Religious History (4000-B.C.-1000-C.E.).  Ph.D. in -"Theoretics In The Arts, Humanities, and Sciences".  Inventor of IMMI imaging technology.  IMMI = Infinite Microscopic-Macroscopic Imaging.  IMMI has been used/verified by several governmental agencies, museums, and used in scientific research and published in peer-reviewed journals.
Dr. Joseph A. Resnick, Ph.D.:  Dr. Resnick is the holder of over 50 classified and non-classified patents, and helped to invent some integral parts of today's widely known and used “TEM” (Transmission Electron Microscope).  He also worked in various capacities and projects for NASA for close to 40 years.
Dr. Ramy Samir Mina, PhD:  Polyglot Egyptologist Tourist Guide in 7 living languages, since March 1992. Ph.D. of Archaeology, with an Ancient Egyptian and Semitic language specialization.
Schalk Steyn -  "Lead Investigative Detective" for the: "SAPS" (South African Police Service) and SAPD (South African Police Department). Steyn holds several degrees in Criminal Justice and Research Methodologies.

#PopeFrancis “Lord, please touch the hearts of these people who worship..." #Homilly

(Vatican Radio)  In these times, with much calamities and injustice on the media, especially regarding children, let us raise an earnest prayer that God convert the hearts of men to be able to know the Lord and not worship money as God.   This was the exhortation of the Pope Francis in his homily at Mass, Monday morning, in the chapel of the Santa Marta residence in the Vatican. 
Idolarty of money
Taking his cue from the parable in Luke’s Gospel, where the rich fool worshipped money as God, the Pope reflected on the vanity of putting trust in earthly goods rather than in the true treasure of relationship with the Lord.  Despite an abundant harvest, the greedy man thinks of expanding his storehouses.  “Dreaming of a long life”, the Pope said, “he thinks of having more goods to the point of nausea, and not being satisfied, he enters into a spiral of "exasperated consumerism.” 
The Pope said, “it is God who puts a limit to this attachment to money.”  A man enslaved by money is not a tale invented by Jesus, the Pope explained, adding it is true even today, where many live adoring money. The life of those who accumulate riches for themselves, has no meaning, he said.  They don’t know what it means to be rich in God.   In this regard, he recalled an episode of a wealthy businessman in Argentina who despite being seriously ill, stubbornly went on to buy a villa without thinking instead that he would have to present himself before God shortly.  
Idolatry starves the poor
Even today, there are these people hungering for money and earthly possessions, the Pope lamented,  people who have "a lot" compared to "the hungry children who lack medicines and education and who are abandoned".  This, the Pope pointed out, is an "an idolatry that kills", that “sacrifices human beings”.  "This idolatry starves many people to death,” Pope Francis stressed, citing the case of 200,000 Rohingya children out of 800,000 people in refugee camps, who hardly eat and are malnourished, without medicines.  This is happening today, the Pope said, and not something of Jesus’ time. In the face of this, the Pope urged for an earnest prayer: “Lord,  please touch the hearts of these people who worship God, the God of money. Touch also my heart because so that I don’t fall into that and know how to see.” 
Greed breeds war
Another consequence of this greed, the Pope pointed out, is war, including also in the family.  He spoke about what happens in a family when it is the question of inheritance.  Families are divided and end up in hatred, one against the other.  The Pope said that at the end of it all, the Lord gently reminds us that the only road to enriching oneself is in the Lord.  “Wealth is only in God,” the Pope said, adding, this does not mean scorning money.“No,” he said, “it is greed, as the Lord says. Living attached to the God of money.”  This is why, the Pope said, our prayer must be strong, seeking in God the solid foundation of our existence.  

#PopeFrancis “Jesus turns his gaze to you and invites you to come to him… Have you heard his voice? Youth Message by Video

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis has sent a video message to the young people of Canada gathered in preparation for the Synod of Bishops 2018. The Holy Father invited them to build bridges through social communications, without letting their youthful enthusiasm for the Gospel be snuffed out.
In his video message to the young people of Canada, Pope Francis reflected on the “marvels of technology” which now allow “encounters and exchanges that were unthinkable until a short while ago.”
He invited them to use new channels of communication positively and “not to let them be ruined by those bent only on exploiting and destroying them”.
Spread youthful joy of Gospel
Rather, the Pope told them to flood the places they live “with the joy and enthusiasm” typical of their age and “to water the world and history with the joy of the Gospel”.
He said this is possible only through an encounter with Jesus, “who has intrigued you and drawn you to be with him”, he said.
“Don’t let your youth be stolen from you,” Pope Francis told the young people of Canada.
“Don’t build walls of division. Build bridges, like this one which you are crossing and which allows you to communicate from the shores of two oceans.”
Ever-present call to discipleship
Pope Francis went on to remind them that Jesus’ call to discipleship can never be drowned out by the noise of modern communications.
“Jesus turns his gaze to you and invites you to come to him… Have you heard his voice?... I’m sure that, even though din and daze seem to reign in the world, this call continues to sound in your being, calling you to open up to the fullness of joy.”
This, he said, is possible only when they have sought out expert spiritual guides “to discover God’s project” for their life.
Courageous young people
Pope Francis also told the young people that the Church needs courageous young people.
“The world and the Church need courageous young people, who are not afraid of adversity, who confront any difficulty, keeping their eyes and heart open to reality, so that no one may be rejected, fall victim to injustice or violence, or be deprived of their dignity as a human person.”
The Holy Father said he had no doubt their “young hearts” would remain open to the cry for help of their age mates, “who seek freedom, work, studies, and the possibility to give meaning to their lives.”
Open to Christ
Finally, Pope Francis invited them to open themselves to Christ.
“Let him speak to you, embrace you, console you, heal your wounds, and dissolve your doubts and fears. Thus you will be ready for the fascinating adventure of life.”
Jesus, he said, “is with you and awaits from you a resounding ‘Here I am’.”

Wow Twin Sisters who became Nuns together and celebrate Anniversary!

Catholic Philly: Sister Regina Christine O'Brien (left) and Sister Regina Anita O'Brien, birth sisters from Villanova, entered the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary congregation together in 1954. Above, the sisters spend time together with other I.H.M. sisters at Immaculata.
Women religious are usually called “Sister” for good reason. When they enter a congregation they leave their family of birth and enter a spiritual family. The members of the congregation become their new spiritual sisters in religion and their superior becomes their spiritual mother.
Sister Regina Christine O’Brien, I.H.M., and Sister Regina Anita O’Brien, I.H.M., who attended the Jubilarian Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul on Sept. 24, are not only spiritual sisters they are blood sisters.
To carry that one step further, they are also fraternal twins, but in a unique way. Sister Regina Christine, whose birth name was Mary O’Brien, was born May 25, 1936 near midnight. Sister Regina Anita, whose birth name was Anne O’Brien, after her mother, was born a few hours later on May 26.
The second and third among six children of Anna and James O’Brien, they were raised initially in St. Thomas of Villanova Parish where the Sisters of Mercy who taught them had a profound effect on them, Sister Regina Anita remembers. This was especially so when they were 9 years old and their brother, Jimmy, two years older, died from cancer.

“I always loved the sisters,” Sister Regina Christine remembers. “The kindness of the sisters to our family when Jimmy died really impressed me.”
Not long after that their father built a home in Newtown Square, where their teachers were Immaculate Heart Sisters, both at St. Anastasia School and the former St. Agnes High School in West Chester. The latter was ahead of its time for Catholic high schools in the Philadelphia Archdiocese as it was coed.
The O’Brien sisters had a full social life and participated in all the ordinary teen activities including dating. Both girls were considering nursing as a career.
When Anne made the decision that God was calling her to enter religious life, Mary was surprised, and prayed that her sister was doing the right thing. Through prayer she realized not only that her sister had made the right choice, but God was calling her also.
They entered together in 1954 at age 18 just out of high school and have never looked back.
That both have names in religion beginning with Regina for Mary Queen of Heaven is not a coincidence. Most of their class of about 65 who entered that year were given Regina, also especially because it was a Marian year in the church.
After formation the two sisters were assigned as first grade teachers to the same school, St. Cyril in Lansdowne. Sister Regina Christine had 87 children in her class while Sister Regina Anita had 85. A seasoned sister taught a third first grade and was a great help with counsel and support as were the other nuns. It was a wonderful assignment for them.
After that their assignments diverged. Among other places Sister Regina Christine spent years missioned to Chile and Peru as well as local parishes. Now well past the age when most people retire, she teaches religious education in the Hispanic Catholic community in St. Laurence, Upper Darby.
Sister Regina Anita O’Brien, I.H.M.
Sister Regina Anita taught or was principal at a number of schools over the years, and a parish director of religious education. She is now a pastoral minister for retired sisters in Immaculata.
“You don’t want to retire, there is so much that needs to be done. It is wonderful God is allowing me to do this,” she said. “It is the healing atmosphere of prayer and presence.”
Sister Christine Regina looks upon “the call to prayer as the greatest and most forceful joy” of her life as a sister, adding with true humility, “seeing what God can do with so little through prayer.”
Somehow, one feels God knew exactly what he was doing when he called Mary and Anne O’Brien and all of the other dedicated women and men at the Jubilarian Mass to religious life.
Text Edited from Catholic Philly

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Monday October 23, 2017 - #Eucharist

Monday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 473

Reading 1ROM 4:20-25

Brothers and sisters:
Abraham did not doubt God's promise in unbelief;
rather, he was empowered by faith and gave glory to God
and was fully convinced that what God had promised
he was also able to do.
That is why it was credited to him as righteousness.
But it was not for him alone that it was written
that it was credited to him;
it was also for us, to whom it will be credited,
who believe in the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead,
who was handed over for our transgressions
and was raised for our justification.

Responsorial PsalmLUKE 1:69-70, 71-72, 73-75

R. (see 68) Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people.
He has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior,
born of the house of his servant David.
R. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people.
Through his holy prophets he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.
R. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people.
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.
R. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; he has come to his people.

AlleluiaMT 5:3

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are the poor in spirit;
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 12:13-21

Someone in the crowd said to Jesus,
"Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me."
He replied to him,
"Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?"
Then he said to the crowd,
"Take care to guard against all greed,
for though one may be rich,
one's life does not consist of possessions."

Then he told them a parable.
"There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest.
He asked himself, 'What shall I do,
for I do not have space to store my harvest?'
And he said, 'This is what I shall do:
I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones.
There I shall store all my grain and other goods
and I shall say to myself, "Now as for you,
you have so many good things stored up for many years,
rest, eat, drink, be merry!"'
But God said to him,
'You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you;
and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?'
Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself
but is not rich in what matters to God."

#PopeFrancis "I hope and pray that the day of a stable and lasting peace for all will soon come." to Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem FULL TEXT

The Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilos III, met with Pope Francis to call for an end to violence and discrimination against people of different faiths in the Holy Land. Theophilos III is visiting Rome from October 22nd to 25th, to meet with top Vatican officials.
Radio Vatican release: FULL TEXT of Pope Francis’ full address to His Beatitude Theophilos III, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem
Your Beatitude, Dear Brothers,
         With great joy I welcome all of you to Rome.  I reciprocate with gratitude and fraternal affection the warm welcome Your Beatitude offered me during my visit to Jerusalem.  Still fresh in my mind is the attentiveness with which you accompanied Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and myself in the Basilica that preserves the places of the Lord’s crucifixion, burial and Resurrection.  I am still moved when I think of our moment of prayer in the aedicule of the empty Tomb, and I again express my pleasure at the restoration of that most holy place.  It has not simply secured the integrity of a historical monument, but also enabled the empty tomb to continue to testify that: “He has risen, he is not here; see the place where they laid him” (Mk 16:6).  I rejoice that the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land have worked together in such harmony on this project, as they also did for the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem.  I thank Your Beatitude very much for your own efforts in this regard.
         Our meeting allows me to renew my closeness to all those suffering from the conflicts that for decades have beset the Holy Land.  The uncertainty of the situation and the lack of understanding between the parties continue to create insecurity, the restriction of fundamental rights, and the flight of many people from their land.  I invoke God’s help in this, and I ask all those involved to intensify their efforts to achieve a stable peace based on justice and recognition of the rights of all.  To this end, any kind of violence, discrimination or displays of intolerance against Jewish, Christian and Muslim worshipers, or places of worship, must be firmly rejected.  The Holy City, whose Status Quo must be defended and preserved, ought to be a place where all can live together peaceably; otherwise, the endless spiral of suffering will continue for all.
         I would offer a particular greeting to the members of the various Christian communities in the Holy Land.  It is my hope that they will continue to be recognized as an integral part of society and that, as citizens and believers in their own right, they can continue tirelessly to contribute to the common good and the growth of peace, striving to further reconciliation and concord.  This contribution will be the more effective to the extent that there is harmony between the region’s different Churches.  Particularly important in this regard would be increased cooperation in supporting Christian families and young people, so that they will not be forced to leave their land.  By working together in this delicate area, the faithful of different confessions will also be able to grow in mutual knowledge and fraternal relations.
         Here I would reaffirm my heartfelt desire and commitment to progress on our way to full unity, in obedience to Jesus’ fervent prayer in the Cenacle “that they may all be one… so that the world may believe” (Jn 17:21).  I know that past wounds continue to affect the memory of many people.  It is not possible to change the past, but, without forgetting grave failures of charity over the centuries, let us look to a future of full reconciliation and fraternal communion, and take up the work before us, as the Lord desires.  Not to do so today would be an even graver fault; it would be to disregard both the urgent call of Christ and the signs of the times sown by the Spirit along the Church’s path.  Inspired by the same Spirit, may we not let the memory of times marked by lack of communication or mutual accusations, or present difficulties and uncertainty about the future, prevent us from walking together towards visible unity, nor hinder us from praying and working together to proclaim the Gospel and to serve those in need.  In this regard, the ongoing theological dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox, in which the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem participates actively and constructively, is a comforting sign of hope on our journey.  How good it would be to say of Catholics and Orthodox living in Jerusalem what the Evangelist Luke said of the first Christian community: “All who believed were together... one heart and soul” (Acts 2:44; 4:32).
         Your Beatitude, I thank you and the distinguished members of your entourage most cordially for your visit.  I reaffirm my closeness to our Christian brothers and sisters in the Holy Land, and my affection for our friends of the other great religions who live there.  I hope and pray that the day of a stable and lasting peace for all will soon come.  “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!  May they prosper who love you! [...]  For my brethren and companions’ sake I will say, ‘peace be within you!’” (Ps 122: 6-8).
         [I would like us now to pray together for this, in the words of the “Our Father”]