Saturday, March 3, 2018

#BreakingNews Pope Francis Decrees New Celebration of Mary Mother of the Church as issued by CDF's Card. Sarah

Pope Francis has instituted the ancient devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, under the title of Mother of the Church, a Memorial of the Roman Calendar. The liturgical celebration, B. Mariæ Virginis, Ecclesiæ Matris, will be held annually as a Memorial on the day after Pentecost. This was explained in a decree released on Saturday, March 3, 2018 by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Cardinal Robert Sarah, its Prefect. He explained that the Pope’s decision took account of the tradition surrounding the devotion to Mary as Mother of the Church.
FULL TEXT Vatican Translation of the Decree
DECREE on the celebration of the Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of the Church in the General Roman Calendar

The joyous veneration given to the Mother of God by the contemporary Church, in light of reflection on the mystery of Christ and on his nature, cannot ignore the figure of a woman (cf. Gal 4:4), the Virgin Mary, who is both the Mother of Christ and Mother of the Church.
In some ways this was already present in the mind of the Church from the premonitory words of Saint Augustine and Saint Leo the Great. In fact the former says that Mary is the mother of the members of Christ, because with charity she cooperated in the rebirth of the faithful into the Church, while the latter says that the birth of the Head is also the birth of the body, thus indicating that Mary is at once Mother of Christ, the Son of God, and mother of the members of his Mystical Body, which is the Church. These considerations derive from the divine motherhood of Mary and from her intimate union in the work of the Redeemer, which culminated at the hour of the cross.
Indeed, the Mother standing beneath the cross (cf. Jn 19:25), accepted her Son’s testament of love and welcomed all people in the person of the beloved disciple as sons and daughters to be reborn unto life eternal. She thus became the tender Mother of the Church which Christ begot on the cross handing on the Spirit. Christ, in turn, in the beloved disciple, chose all disciples as ministers of his love towards his Mother, entrusting her to them so that they might welcome her with filial affection.
As a caring guide to the emerging Church Mary had already begun her mission in the Upper Room, praying with the Apostles while awaiting the coming of the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 1:14). In this sense, in the course of the centuries, Christian piety has honoured Mary with various titles, in many ways equivalent, such as Mother of Disciples, of the Faithful, of Believers, of all those who are reborn in Christ; and also as “Mother of the Church” as is used in the texts of spiritual authors as well as in the Magisterium of Popes Benedict XIV and Leo XIII.
Thus the foundation is clearly established by which Blessed Paul VI, on 21 November 1964, at the conclusion of the Third Session of the Second Vatican Council, declared the Blessed Virgin Mary as “Mother of the Church, that is to say of all Christian people, the faithful as well as the pastors, who call her the most loving Mother” and established that “the Mother of God should be further honoured and invoked by the entire Christian people by this tenderest of titles”.
Therefore the Apostolic See on the occasion of the Holy Year of Reconciliation (1975), proposed a votive Mass in honour of Beata Maria Ecclesiæ Matre, which was subsequently inserted into the Roman Missal. The Holy See also granted the faculty to add the invocation of this title in the Litany of Loreto (1980) and published other formularies in the Collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1986). Some countries, dioceses and religious families who petitioned the Holy See were allowed to add this celebration to their particular calendars.
Having attentively considered how greatly the promotion of this devotion might encourage the growth of the maternal sense of the Church in the pastors, religious and faithful, as well as a growth of genuine Marian piety, Pope Francis has decreed that the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, should be inscribed in the Roman Calendar on the Monday after Pentecost and be now celebrated every year
This celebration will help us to remember that growth in the Christian life must be anchored to the Mystery of the Cross, to the oblation of Christ in the Eucharistic Banquet and to the Mother of the Redeemer and Mother of the Redeemed, the Virgin who makes her offering to God.
The Memorial therefore is to appear in all Calendars and liturgical books for the celebration of Mass and of the Liturgy of the Hours. The relative liturgical texts are attached to this decree and their translations, prepared and approved by the Episcopal Conferences, will be published after confirmation by this Dicastery.
Where the celebration of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, is already celebrated on a day with a higher liturgical rank, approved according to the norm of particular law, in the future it may continue to be celebrated in the same way.
Anything to the contrary notwithstanding.
From the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, 11 February 2018, the memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lourdes.
Robert Card. Sarah Prefect
+ Arthur Roche Archbishop Secretary
[00350-EN.01] [Original text: Latin]

RIP Fr. Gregory Staab, OMV - Saintly Catholic Priest Dies after Long Illness - Missionary #Oblate

Dolanfuneral Release: Father Gregory Allen Staab, O.M.V., a faithful priest and a member of the St. Ignatius Province of the Congregation of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary, died peacefully at Carney Hospital on March 1, after a long illness. Throughout his protracted illness, Father Staab was able to maintain an active ministry, offering spiritual counsel and the sacraments while continuing to serve the faithful.
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Fr. Greg grew up in Monroe, Wisconsin, Fr. Staab was one of nine children of Eleanor M. (Botz) Staab and the late William J.Staab, MD. He made his final vows with the Oblates of the Virgin Mary on November 1, 1983 and was ordained to the priesthood by Pope St. John Paul II on May 31, 1984 in Rome. Father Staab obtained his S.T.B degree in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in 1984 and an S.T.L. in Spiritual Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in 1988.
Father Staab served in Pinerolo, San Vittorino and Rome, Italy from 1984 to 1988. He returned to Boston and was assigned to St. Clement Eucharistic Shrine and Our Lady of Grace Seminary in Boston from 1988 to 1991. He served as Novice Master at Our Lady of Grace Seminary from 1991 to 1997. Fr. Staab was the assistant pastor of St. Peter Chanel Church in Hawaiian Gardens, CA from 1997 to 2004 and again in 2007. From 2004 to 2007, he served at Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Ituzaingo’, Argentina.  From 2009 to 2011, he served at St. Francis Chapel and St. Clement Eucharistic Shrine in Boston, MA. He joined the formation team at the Oblate Center in Cebu, Philippines in 2011. He returned to Boston in 2014, where he was a priest-in-residence at Our Lady of Grace Seminary.
As an Oblate of the Virgin Mary, Father Staab was active in providing spiritual direction based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Father Staab was a well-known and beloved priest who could often be found hearing confessions at St. Francis Chapel  and St. Clement Eucharistic Shrine,  as long as his strength allowed. He was especially gifted in serving the local young adult and student communities. Father Staab had a deep devotion and love for the Blessed Virgin Mary and helped guide many in making and renewing their consecration to Jesus through Mary.
Fr. Greg’s family and the Oblate community would like to thank the dedicated Carney Hospital staff and so many friends who kept him loving company during his years of hospitalization
Father Staab will lie-in-state at St. Clement Eucharistic Shrine, 1105 Boylston St. Boston on Tuesday March 6 from 4 pm to 8 pm. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Agatha Catholic Church, 432 Adams Street, Milton, MA 02186 on Wednesday March 7 at 10:30 am. Interment is at Milton Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to Our Lady of Grace Seminary, 1105 Boylston St. Boston, MA 02215.
Text Source: 

Wow Pope Francis makes Surprise visit to Home for Mothers in Difficulty and Greets the Children!

Mercy Friday: Pope visits women in semi-detention with young children Today Pope Francis continues his Mercy Friday tradition, surprising mothers, their children, and the staff of “Casa di Leda” in Rome’s EUR district.
Vatican News Release: By Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp
Pope Francis continues expressing his closeness to those who find themselves living in difficult situations. Today, he visited “Casa di Leda," home to 5 mothers and their children. His visit was a complete surprise. Pope Francis was accompanied by Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Council for the New Evangelization, that organizes this initiative. A surprise visit from Pope Francis
At 4:00 in the afternoon the Pope surprised the 5 mothers (between the ages of 25 and 30) and their children, and staff as they were going about their normal afternoon activities. Pope Francis exchanged a word with the mothers and staff on duty, and he played with the children. The children welcomed his gift of large Easter eggs with shouts of joy. They then invited him to have a snack with them. The mothers in their turn gave the Pope a gift which is the product of the many simple activities and tasks that they carry out inside the shelter. They also had the chance of telling the Pope about the wonderful opportunity they have of being able to raise their own children, despite their situation. Casa di Leda Director, Dr. Lillo Di Mauro, told the Pope, "Your Holiness, dear Father, we are the invisible ones." He then described the effort it took in setting up the structure. There was an awareness of the importance of transforming a space that had contributed to criminal activity, in order to give back to society a project fostering civilization and humanity. The Holy Father also left gifts for the mothers, including a parchment signed in memory of his visit. His visit lasted about an hour, after which he returned to Santa Marta, in the Vatican.
Casa di Leda: transformation
Located in Rome's EUR district, and hidden in a beautiful, green residential area, “Casa di Leda” was formerly owned by persons connected to organized crime. Seized by the State, it has been transformed into a haven for women in difficulty.
Casa di Leda: first of its kind
Opened in March of 2017, Casa di Leda is run by the non-profit "Cecilia Onlus." At Casa di Leda, mothers detained for minor offenses whose parental rights are still legally recognized can live their period of detention with their children within a family setting. The mothers are accompanied by staff, educators, and volunteers from the volunteer association called "A Roma Insieme" (To Rome Together). Other associations involved in the project are "P.I.D. Emergency Intervention Disagio Società Cooperativa Sociale Onlus" and the “Ain Karim" Associazion. The mothers staying in the structure are allowed to drop off and pick up their children from school. They take part in activities which prepare them to hold a job in view of future reintegration into society. This is the first structure of its type in Italy, and perhaps, in the world. Text Shared from Vatican News - Image Source: Vatican

Today's Mass Readings and Video : #1stSaturday March 3, 2018 - #Eucharist

Saturday of the Second Week of Lent
Lectionary: 235

Reading 1MI 7:14-15, 18-20

Shepherd your people with your staff,
the flock of your inheritance,
That dwells apart in a woodland,
in the midst of Carmel.
Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead,
as in the days of old;
As in the days when you came from the land of Egypt,
show us wonderful signs.

Who is there like you, the God who removes guilt
and pardons sin for the remnant of his inheritance;
Who does not persist in anger forever,
but delights rather in clemency,
And will again have compassion on us,
treading underfoot our guilt?
You will cast into the depths of the sea all our sins;
You will show faithfulness to Jacob,
and grace to Abraham,
As you have sworn to our fathers
from days of old.

Responsorial PsalmPS 103:1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12

R. (8a) The Lord is kind and merciful.
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
He pardons all your iniquities,
he heals all your ills.
He redeems your life from destruction,
he crowns you with kindness and compassion.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
He will not always chide,
nor does he keep his wrath forever.
Not according to our sins does he deal with us,
nor does he requite us according to our crimes.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he put our transgressions from us.
R. The Lord is kind and merciful.

Verse Before The GospelLK 15:18

I will get up and go to my father and shall say to him,
Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.

GospelLK 15:1-3, 11-32

Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus,
but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying,
"This man welcomes sinners and eats with them."
So to them Jesus addressed this parable.
"A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father,
'Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.'
So the father divided the property between them.
After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings
and set off to a distant country
where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation.
When he had freely spent everything,
a severe famine struck that country,
and he found himself in dire need.
So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens
who sent him to his farm to tend the swine.
And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed,
but nobody gave him any.
Coming to his senses he thought,
'How many of my father's hired workers
have more than enough food to eat,
but here am I, dying from hunger.
I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him,
"Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
I no longer deserve to be called your son;
treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers."'
So he got up and went back to his father.
While he was still a long way off,
his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion.
He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.
His son said to him,
'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you;
I no longer deserve to be called your son.'
But his father ordered his servants,
'Quickly, bring the finest robe and put it on him;
put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
Take the fattened calf and slaughter it.
Then let us celebrate with a feast,
because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again;
he was lost, and has been found.'
Then the celebration began.
Now the older son had been out in the field
and, on his way back, as he neared the house,
he heard the sound of music and dancing.
He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean.
The servant said to him,
'Your brother has returned
and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf
because he has him back safe and sound.'
He became angry,
and when he refused to enter the house,
his father came out and pleaded with him.
He said to his father in reply,
'Look, all these years I served you
and not once did I disobey your orders;
yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends.
But when your son returns
who swallowed up your property with prostitutes,
for him you slaughter the fattened calf.'
He said to him,
'My son, you are here with me always;
everything I have is yours.
But now we must celebrate and rejoice,
because your brother was dead and has come to life again;
he was lost and has been found.'"