Friday, April 6, 2018

Saint April 7 : St. John Baptist de la Salle : Patron of #Teachers, #Educators, #School principals

Feast Day:

April 7
1651 at Rheims, France
1719 at Rouen, France
24 May 1900 by Pope Leo XIII
Major Shrine:
Sanctuary of John Baptist de La Salle, Casa Generalizia, Rome, Italy.
Patron of:
educators, school principals, teachers

This saint is the patron of teachers, his great achievement having been to provide a system of education for the common people at a time when the poor were grossly neglected; not mercy by founding charity schools, a cling which had been attempted countless times before only to end in repeated failure, but by creating a body of trained teachers, and thus setting them on the only possible basis which guaranteed success.

It was not by inclination, but solely by chance chat he was led to take up this work. Indeed his family background and early training seemed hardly to have prepared him for it. Born in Rheims on April 30th, 1651, the eldest son of an aristocratic family, he inherited the rank and fortune of his parents, which set a gulf between him and the teeming masses of the poor. At sixteen, while he was pursuing a course of classical studies at the College des Bons Enfants, he became a canon of Rheims, and seemed to be marked out for a successful career in the church. He subsequently studied at Saint Sulpice and the Sorbonne for the priesthood, and was ordained at the age of twenty-seven. Up to this point nothing denoted what his mission was to be, and he himself had no inkling of it. But it was shortly after this that he was asked to co-operate in establishing some charity schools in his native town, and this led him to take charge of the teachers, to bring them into his own home and to train them. Little by little he became further involved in the work until he began to realize that everything pointed to his being the chosen instrument of Providence for the creation of a system of Christian education for the poor, whose ignorance and depravity were the disgrace of this 'splendid century', so remarkable for its achievements in every other sphere.
As he had made the will of God the guiding principle of his life, he decided to give himself up completely to this task, resigning his canonry and giving away his fortune in order to be on the same footing as the teachers with whom he lived. In so doing he aroused the anger of his relatives and incurred the derision of his class-minded compatriots, but this in no way made him alter his resolution. In 1684 he transformed his group of schoolmasters into a religious community, under the name of Brothers of the Christian Schools, and this was the origin of the order which continues to this day and is spread all over the world. So chat his order might confine itself solely to the work of teaching, he laid down that no brother might become a priest and that no priest might join the order. This rule is still observed. The first years were marked by poverty and hardship, but these were cheerfully endured, thanks to the  example of self-abnegation and extraordinary power of leadership shown by de la Salle, who vowed chat he would live on bread alone, if necessary, rather than abandon the work he had begun.
The religious and professional training of his brothers became his chief care, but he saw that he would never be able to satisfy all the requests he received for teachers unless he undertook the formation of secular schoolmasters as well, so he organized a training college for some forty youths in Rheims in 1687; the first instance of such an institution in the history of education.
After opening schools in a number of neighboring towns, in addition to chose in Rheims itself, he went to Paris in 1683 to take over a school in the parish of St. Sulpice, and there he established his headquarters. In the capital his work spread rapidly, and before long the brothers were teaching over 1,100 pupils. In Paris, too, he founded another training college, with a charity school attached, and organized a Sunday academy, or continuation school for youths already employed. When the exiled monarch, James II, entrusted fifty Irish youths to his care, he arranged for special courses to be given them to suit their needs.
The scope of his work was now such that it aroused the bitter antagonism of the writing masters and the teachers of the Little Schools, who saw their fee-paying pupils drifting into his free schools, and they brought law-suits against him. His schools were pillaged, and he found himself condemned and forbidden to open training colleges or charity schools anywhere in the Paris area. As a result he was excluded for a time from the capital, but by now his brothers were established in other localities, notably in Rouen, Avignon and Chartres, so that the decrees against him failed to ruin his work. Indeed from this time on, his communities multiplied all over France: in Marseilles, Calais, Boulogne, Mende, Grenoble, Troyes and other places. In Rouen he founded two important institutions: a fee-paying boarding school for the sons of bourgeois, who desired an education superior to that of the primary school but more practical than that of the 'classical' colleges; and a reformatory school for youthful delinquents and young men detained under <lettres de cachet.> Both proved very successful, and were significant forerunners of modern institutions of a similar kind.
In 1709 he established a third training college, at St. Den, but this lasted only a couple of years, after which it had to be closed as a result of an unfortunate law-suit.
De la Salle spent the last years of his life in Rouen, completing the organization of his institute, writing the Rule of the brothers in its definitive form, and composing <Meditations> and a <Method of Mental Prayer.> On Good Friday, April 9th, 1718, he died.
His brothers, already established in twenty-two towns of France and in Rome, now expanded their work rapidly. In 1725 they received a bull of approbation of their institute from the pope and letters patent from the king granting them legal recognition. The Revolution ruined their work in France, but they were by now established in Switzerland and Italy, so that they were able to survive this catastrophe and returned to France when more favorable conditions prevailed under Napoleon. Today they number over 15,000 and conduct educational institutions of every kind all over the world. In the United States alone there are some 2,000 brothers in five different Provinces.
De la Salle's pedagogical system is outlined in <The Conduct of Schools>, which he composed in 1695, and which is now considered an educational classic. It shows clearly his practical turn of mind and his essentially religious approach to the education of children. He wrote also several school manuals, notably <The Rules of Good Behaviour> and <The Duties of a Christian>, which proved very popular and went through over a hundred editions.
Shortened from "The Saints: A concise Biographical Dictionary", edited by John Coulson, published by Hawthorn Books, Inc. 1960.

Pope Francis Prayer Intention for April "For Those who have Responsibility in Economic matters” FULL TEXT + Video

Pope Francis released a video message with his prayer intention for April which is “For Those who have Responsibility in Economic matters”. Pope Francis said: “Let us raise our voices together, asking that economists may have the courage to reject an economy of exclusion and know how to open new paths”.
The full text of the message is below:
 The economy cannot attempt only to increase profits by reducing the work force and thereby adding to the ranks of the excluded. It must follow the path marked out by business leaders, politicians, thinkers, and leaders in society who place the human person in first place, and do everything possible to ensure that there are opportunities of dignified work. Let us raise our voices together, asking that economists may have the courage to reject an economy of exclusion and know how to open new paths. 

RIP Seminarian Anthony Freeman of Legionaries (Age 29) who Died after carrying the Cross for Pope Francis

Legionaries of Christ Brother Anthony Freeman died in his sleep from natural causes. The Legionary of Christ Brother Anthony was from Houston. He was a US seminarian, who was a third-year theology student at Rome’s Pontifical Regina Apostolorum University. He was only 29 years old. Brother Anthony was scheduled to be ordained a deacon July 7 in Houston. He was found dead in his room April 2 after classmates wondered why he had not joined them for a scheduled outing.On April 1 he served as an acolyte for Pope Francis’ Easter morning Mass, carrying the cross in the opening procession. “They usually pick the tallest person” to carry the cross to give it prominence, and “he was tall and strong and to bear the cross was very symbolic” in hindsight, Legionary Father Aaron Smith told Catholic News Service on April 4. Anthony was born in Houma, Louisiana, in 1988 to Brian and Debbie Freeman, Brother Freeman studied at Legionary institutes in Center Harbor, New Hampshire; Colfax, California; Cheshire, Connecticut; and Thornwood, New York. He started studying in Rome in 2013 and received the ministry of acolyte in 2017. He was very active on social media and email to connect people with Christ.  He managed a “Catholic Life Coach” page on Facebook and had more than 11,000 followers on his Instagram account, @catholic_life_coach. His website was called —He just published an inspirational book, “One Step Closer: 40 Doses of Motivation, Hacks and Experiences to Share with Millennial Catholics,” published in January 2018.
Here is a Post where Brother Anthony was interviewed from Catholicpilgrim :
February’s featured guy for “Why I Love Being Catholic” is Br. Anthony Freeman. I started following Anthony on Instagram and one of the first things I saw was a video of him at night in the streets of Rome with some other seminarians. A couple of the guys were playing guitars and there was a crowd and dancing. It looked magical. What struck me was that Anthony and the other seminarians were radiant. Their smiles were so genuine and joy-filled. Br. Anthony is studying to be a priest in Rome, though he is from the U.S. He calls himself a Texas/Lousiana hybrid. I see his frequent posts of him roaming around Rome or the Holy Land and, basically, I try to live vicariously through him. Lol! Br. Anthony has just finished writing a book called “One Step Closer.” It just came out, so I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but I’m looking forward to cracking it open. It’s a “modern, mini handbook for Millennial Christians” trying to live out their faith in this world. I have a feeling, though, that it’s not just for Millennials. I can tell that Br. Anthony is truly making the effort to live out his call to holiness and I know his book will be a helpful guide. Check him out on Facebook @catholiccoach and at Instagram at @catholic_life_coach. You can also check out his website at Here are his answers on why he loves being Catholic all the way from the eternal city! 

1. Are you a cradle Catholic or convert? If a convert, what did you convert from? I am a cradle Catholic but have come to terms that I will always have a little atheist, a little heathen, a little Protestant inside of me. This keeps me on my toes in my faith. Cradle Catholic shouldn’t mean comfortable Catholic. I do come from a solid Catholic family though!

2. Who is your favorite saint and why? St. Joseph hands down! There is something about Joseph’s closeness to Jesus and Mary as well as his simplicity and silence that really attracts me. Besides, he worked with his hands. However, when Venerable Fulton Sheen becomes a Saint he will supply a lot of competition to St. Joseph on my list. Fulton Sheen is one of my heroes in how dedicated he was to his mission and his ability to communicate the good news of Christ.

3. What is the best Catholic place you’ve visited? Where do you hope to visit? This is a hard one. I am torn between the eternal city of Rome and the small cave of Bethlehem. I have spent five years of my seminary formation in Rome being close to the Pope, learning from the experience of this city that has seen everything from the great saints to heretics and breathing in the universality of the Church just by crossing St. Peter’s square. I hope to do the Camino de Santiago one day. Maybe after I am a priest. That way I can celebrate mass during my journey!

4. What’s a myth or misconception that you hear about the Catholic faith? What’s the truth of it? A myth of the Catholic faith is that WE Catholics many times don’t see that we are all called to holiness and evangelization. The myth is that we believe that being a good person is good enough when really our happiness as persons lies in becoming holy and fulfilling the life purpose God has created us for.

5. Besides receiving the Eucharist, what’s your favorite part of the Mass? From my perspective the Collection…just kidding. Besides the Eucharist, my favorite part of the Mass is the singing. In Philosophy, we talk a lot about how God is complete goodness, truth, and beauty. Beautiful liturgical singing is something that touches me profoundly.

6. Why do you love being Catholic? It’s home. Being Catholic challenges me to be better yet understands and heals my weaknesses. It gives me a vision and ideal for my life and the means to achieve it. But in the end, I love being Catholic because it means belonging to the Body of Christ!

Drone brings Eucharist in Monstrance to Altar in Brazil - FULL Video - some Question if this is Sacrilegious

In Brazil, with the cheer of worshipers, a monstrance containing the Eucharist was brought to the sanctuary. The priest then took over the monstrance and placed it on the altar. This video was shared on social media In a parish church in the Brazilian city of Sorocaba, during a service, a monstrance was flown down the aisle with a drone to the altar.  During the flight, the worshipers were excited and cheered loudly. After the Eucharist, the monstrance briefly hovered in the sanctuary. A short video on the flight appeared on social media and brought much criticism to the parish of São Geraldo Majela. Catholic priest John Zuhlsdorf described the action on his blog as "sacrilegious stupidity".

Today's Mass Readings and Video : #1stFriday April 6, 2018 - #Eucharist

Friday in the Octave of Easter
Lectionary: 265

Reading 1ACTS 4:1-12

After the crippled man had been cured,
while Peter and John were still speaking to the people,
the priests, the captain of the temple guard,
and the Sadducees confronted them,
disturbed that they were teaching the people
and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.
They laid hands on Peter and John
and put them in custody until the next day,
since it was already evening.
But many of those who heard the word came to believe
and the number of men grew to about five thousand.

On the next day, their leaders, elders, and scribes
were assembled in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest,
Caiaphas, John, Alexander,
and all who were of the high-priestly class.
They brought them into their presence and questioned them,
“By what power or by what name have you done this?”
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, answered them,
“Leaders of the people and elders:
If we are being examined today
about a good deed done to a cripple,
namely, by what means he was saved,
then all of you and all the people of Israel should know
that it was in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean
whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead;
in his name this man stands before you healed.
He is the stone rejected by you, the builders,
which has become the cornerstone.

There is no salvation through anyone else,
nor is there any other name under heaven
given to the human race by which we are to be saved.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 118:1-2 AND 4, 22-24, 25-27A

R. (22) The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.
R. Alleluia.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever.
Let the house of Israel say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
Let those who fear the LORD say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
R. The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.
R. Alleluia.
The stone which the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
By the LORD has this been done;
it is wonderful in our eyes.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.
R. The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.
R. Alleluia.
O LORD, grant salvation!
O LORD, grant prosperity!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD;
we bless you from the house of the LORD.
The LORD is God, and he has given us light.
R. The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaPS 118:24

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 21:1-14

Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias.
He revealed himself in this way.
Together were Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus,
Nathanael from Cana in Galilee,
Zebedee’s sons, and two others of his disciples.
Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.”
They said to him, “We also will come with you.”
So they went out and got into the boat,
but that night they caught nothing.
When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore;
but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
Jesus said to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?”
They answered him, “No.”
So he said to them, “Cast the net over the right side of the boat
and you will find something.”
So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in
because of the number of fish.
So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.”
When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord,
he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad,
and jumped into the sea.
The other disciples came in the boat,
for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards,
dragging the net with the fish.
When they climbed out on shore,
they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread.
Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.”
So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore
full of one hundred fifty-three large fish.
Even though there were so many, the net was not torn.
Jesus said to them, “Come, have breakfast.”
And none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?”
because they realized it was the Lord.
Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them,
and in like manner the fish.
This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples
after being raised from the dead.