Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Saint April 17 : St. Kateri Tekakwitha : Patron of #Ecology and #Natives - #Mohawk (in Canada)

Born:1656, Ossernenon, Iroquois Confederacy (Modern Auriesville, New York)
Died:17 April 1680 at Caughnawaga, Canada
Beatified:22 June 1980 by Pope John Paul II
Major Shrine:St Francis Xavier Church, Kahnawake, Quebec, Canada
FEAST DAY is April 17 in Canada and July 14 in the USA

In 1656,  Kateri Tekakwitha known as “Lily of the Mohawks” was born of an Algonquin mother and Mohawk father in Ossernenon in the Mohawk Valley, now known as Auriesville, New York. Kateri was four years old when the horrible European disease of smallpox devastated her village. Many perished along with Kateri’s parents and younger brother. She survived the deadly disease but her eyesight was greatly affected and her face ravaged with smallpox scars.

Because of Kateri’s near blindness, she held her hands in front of her to feel her way along and protect herself from injury. It was from this characteristic she was renamed Tekakwitha or “She moves things”.

In 1667, 11 year old Kateri Tekakwitha meets the Jesuit Missionaries in her uncle’s cabin. By this time the village had moved to the north side of the Mohawk River to Caughnawaga, now known as Fonda New York. As a young girl, she helped with the meals, collected berries from the woods, made baskets, did beadwork and strung the wampums. With the coming of the missionaries Kateri found comfort and understanding of her situation in Christianity and began her dialogue with Father James de Lamberville and expressed the ardent desire for Baptism in 1666, and was subsequently baptized in 1676 at the age of 20.

In 1677, Kateri Tekakwitha traveled from the Mohawk valley to the north eastern part of the Territory to the village of Kahnawake and the Mission of Saint Francis Xavier on the shore of the Saint Lawrence River. Father de Lamberville had given her a letter for the Superior of the Mission.  The words of this letter were, “ I ask you to please take charge of directing her; it is a treasure which we are giving you.  Guard it well and make it bear fruit for the glory of God and the salvation of a soul which is certainly very dear to Him.”  A few months after her arrival, she received her First Holy Communion on Christmas Day at the age of 21.

In 1680 with her health failing, she became gravely ill and on April 17, 1680, 24 year old Kateri Tekakwitha died. Soon after her death and because of her faith in Christ, her scared face was restored to its former beauty and softness. She was buried in a wooden coffin next to the wooden cross where she prayed on the banks of the great river.  The favors and miracles obtained through her intercession began immediately.

In 1717, the Mohawks of Kahnawake moved to their final and present day location where Kateri’s remains were housed in a sacred chest of polished wood in the sacristy of the Mission.

On Saturday December 6, 1884 the Bishops and Archbishops of the United States of America of the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore addressed the Sovereign Pontiff Leo XIII to institute the process for the beautification of Catherine Tekakwitha. Letters were submitted by various Indian tribes, petitioning the Introduction of the Cause of the  Servant of God, Catherine Tekakwitha to the Sovereign Pontiff Leo XIII.

In 1931, after years of preparation the cause was instituted by the Most Reverend Bishop of Albany, Edmund Francis Gibbons and in June 1938, the Historical Section of the Congregation of Rites at Rome declared that the documents of the case of Tekakwitha were complete, genuine and trustworthy, that they established Tekakwitha’s renown for holiness, and a solid basis for final judgement that her virtues were heroic.

On January 3rd 1943 his Holiness Pope Pius XII offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  Then he  solemnly proclaimed: It has been proved in this instance and for the purpose under consideration, that the theological virtues of Faith, Hope, Love of God and Neighbour, and the cardinal virtues, Prudence, Justice, Temperance, Fortitude and subordinate virtues of the Venerable Servant of God, Catherine Tekakwitha, were heroic.  Pope Pius XII signed the DECREE in which Catherine Tekakwitha was “Venerable”.

In 1980,  Kateri Tekakwitha was beatified by Pope John Paul II and declared “BLESSED KATERI TEKAKWITHA”.

In 2011, Pope Benedict XVI announced the canonization of Kateri Tekakwitha.  He signed a decree approving a miracle attributed to Kateri for saving the life of a young boy, Jake Finkbonner who suffered from a flesh eating disease.The official date for her canonization ceremony was October 21, 2012 in Rome Italy. St Kateri Tekakwitha’s Shrine is located at the St. Francis Xavier Mission in Kahnawake. Text from kateritekakwitha.net

Pope Francis Tenderly answers Boy who asks if his Atheist Daddy is in Heaven...Meeting with Children - FULL TEXT + Video

Meeting with the children

I. Leonardo:

Hi Pope Francis!
I wanted to know one thing: what is your favorite Gospel? And why?

Pope Francis:

What's your name?

Leonardo: Leonardo

Pope Francis:

Leonardo. Good Leonardo. The Gospel is full of beautiful, beautiful steps. But you asked me what is the favorite. I will answer as long as you return home, search the passage in the Gospel and read it. Promise?

Children: Yup!

Pope Francis:All?

Children: Yup!

Pope Francis:

A passage that I really like is that of the Gospel of Matthew, when Jesus meets that businessman, that traitor of the country that was called Matthew. He was right at the city gate, attached to the money, and he charged the taxes to tourists. Have you paid taxes to enter here?

Children: No!

Pope Francis :

No! But we see that there is no Matthew here, thank God! They do not charge you entry. Is fine. And that man was a traitor to the country because he paid taxes and gave it to the army that occupied Palestine at that time - it was the Roman army -; he gave it to the Romans. And this is a bad shame, is not it? What an ugly thing! A person attached to money is a bad person! But this more, because he had forgotten his belonging to his country; he sold his country every time he charged everyone. And Jesus passes - these people were despised by everyone - Jesus passes by, looks at him and says: "Get up, come". And this man could not believe it. A despised man, traitor, sinner ... And that man got up and followed Jesus.

And why do I like it? - the second question - because we see the strength that Jesus has to change a heart. This was the worst, yet Jesus managed to change it. Perhaps you will know people who say: "Ah, I will never be good, because I have so many things behind me, I will never be able to change ...". And Jesus is able to change the worst and make him an evangelist, an apostle and a saint. This is why I like this passage of the Gospel so much, because we see the power of Jesus to change our hearts, to make them good. Do not forget the promise: what was the promise?

Children: Read the Gospel.

Pope Francis:

But not all whole! Read that passage. You look for it. Matteo's name was Matteo, but his name was Levi at that time. Levi, Matteo. Look for it, read it at home and say: "Look at this, look at this ...". It's nice. Thanks Leonardo, thank you!

II. Carlotta:

Hi Pope Francis! When we receive baptism, we become children of God and people who are not baptized are not God's children?

Pope Francis:

Stay there. What's your name?


Pope Francis:

Carlotta. Tell me Carlotta, giving back to you: what do you think? Are people who are not baptized, daughter of God or not a daughter of God? What does your heart tell you?


Pope Francis:

Yes. Here, now explain. He responded well, he has a Christian flair, this! We are all children of God. Everyone, everyone. Even the unbaptized? Yes. Even those who believe in other religions, far away, who have idols? Yes, they are children of God. Are the mafia too God's children? ... You are not sure ... Yes, even the mafiosi are children of God. They prefer to behave like children of the devil, but they are children of God. All, all are children of God, everyone. But what is the difference? God created everyone, loved everyone and put conscience in the heart to recognize good and distinguish it from evil. All men have this. They know, they perceive what is good and what is healthy; even people who do not know Jesus, who do not know Christianity, all have this in the soul, because this has sown God. But when you were baptized, in that conscience the Holy Spirit entered and strengthened your belonging to God and in that sense you have become more daughter of God, because you are daughter of God like everyone, but also with the power of the Holy Spirit that has entered inside. Did you understand, Carlotta? I ask - everyone answers -: all men are children of God?

Children: Yup!

Pope Francis:Good people, are daughters of God?


Pope Francis:Bad people, are daughters of God?


Pope Francis:

Yes. Do people who do not know Jesus and have other distant religions, have idols, are daughters of God?


Pope Francis:

The mafia, are they children of God?


Pope Francis:

And we must pray for them to come back and truly recognize God! No one answers now, but responds to the heart: who of you prays for the mafia, why do they convert? Everyone answers in his heart. Then, when we are baptized, who enters our heart? ... Stronger!


The Holy Spirit!

Pope Francis:

Good boy! You're good! What's your name?



Pope Francis:

Bravo Lorenzo! The Holy Spirit enters, and this Holy Spirit makes us more sons of God, gives us more strength to behave like children of God. That is why St. Paul has a sentence, and I
I would like you to say it like me. He says: "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit within you". Why do you say that phrase? Because a Christian, a baptized person who behaves badly, saddens the Holy Spirit who is in us. The phrase is this: "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit within you". "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit within you". We say it? 
Pope Francis with the children: Do not sadden the Holy Spirit within you. 
Pope Francis: Another time! Pope Francis with the children: Do not sadden the Holy Spirit within you. Pope Francis: And we, children of God, that through Baptism we have the Holy Spirit inside, when we behave badly, when we sin, we grieve the Holy Spirit who is in us. Thanks Carlotta! III. Edoardo: Dear Pope Francis, how did you feel when they elected you Pope? 
Pope Francis: What's your name? 
Edoardo: Edoardo. 
Pope Francis: Edoardo, good. I only heard that God wanted that, I got up and went ahead. I have not heard anything spectacular, but perhaps, this answer seems a little boring, but I have not felt fear, I have not felt a special joy. I heard that the Lord wanted that, and move on, Edoardo. The Lord often calls. I greeted one of you who is in vocational search because he feels that the Lord tells him something inside. But when the Lord calls and tells you: "Now you go that way", it gives you peace. This is what one feels when there is a true call of the Lord: peace. I felt peace. Thanks, Edoardo.
 IV. Emanuele: I can not do it! ... 
Pope Francis: Come, come to me Emanuele! Come to me and tell me in your ear. Tell it to your ear. Come, come, come to me. [Emanuele goes to Pope Francis and asks his question in his ear]
 Pope Francis: Maybe all of us could cry like Emanuele when we have a pain as he has in his heart. He cried for his father and had the courage to do it in front of us, because in his heart there is love for his father. I asked Emanuele permission to say the question in public and he said yes. This is why I will say to you: "A short time ago my father died. He was an atheist, but he had all four children baptized. He was a good man. Is he in Heaven, my Daddy? "How nice that a son says of his dad:" He was good ". Beautiful testimony of that man who gave his children, because his children will be able to say: "He was a good man". It is a beautiful testimony of the son who inherited the strength of his father and, also, had the courage to cry in front of us all. If that man was able to make children like that, it's true, he was a good man. He was a good man. That man did not have the gift of faith, he was not a believer, but he had his children baptized. He had a good heart. And he has the doubt that his father, not to have been a believer, is not in Heaven. Who says who goes to Heaven is God. But how is the heart of God in front of a Father like that? As is? How does it look to you? ... A heart of daddy! God has a father's heart. And before a non-believer father, who was able to baptize his children and give them that skill to their children, do you think that God would be able to leave him far away? Do you think this? ... Strong, bravely ... 
All: No! 
Pope Francis: God abandons his children? 
All: No! 
Pope Francis: God abandons his children when they are good? 
All: No! 
Pope Francis: Here, Emanuele, this is the answer. God surely was proud of your father, because it is easier to be a believer, to baptize children, to baptize them as unbelievers. Surely this God loved it so much. Talk to your dad, pray your dad. Thanks Emanuele for your courage. We talked about dad and our dad is God. We all pray to our father, God. "Our Father ...". And now I will give you the blessing. Each of you think of those people he loves, those people he cares about, those people who love him, and even those we do not love or who are a bit 'enemies. We also pray for them, because the Lord also blesses them. May he bless us all and enlighten the heart. 

Pope Francis “When the prophet speaks the truth and touches the heart, ...anger and persecutions are unleashed”

Pope at Mass: The Church needs prophets
VATICAN NEWS RELEASE: Pope Francis’s homily on Tuesday morning focused on the liturgical reading that narrates the stoning of St. Stephen, the Church’s first martyr. By Linda Bordoni Speaking during his homily at Mass in the Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis said a true prophet is he who is capable of weeping for his people who do not heed him.
He reflected on the liturgical reading of the day in which Stephen accused the people, the elders and the scribes of being stiff-necked people who always oppose the Holy Spirit, and just like their ancestors did, they persecute the prophets.
Francis said that those people did not have open hearts, they did not want to listen to Stephen and they did not remember the history of Israel. Persecuted for speaking the truth
Just like their ancestors persecuted the prophets – the Pope said – those elders and scribes who were so infuriated rushed upon Stephen, threw him out of the city and began to stone him.
“When the prophet speaks the truth and touches the heart, or the heart opens or becomes stone, anger and persecutions are unleashed” he said “that’s how life ends for the prophet”.

A true prophet weeps for his people

“Sometimes truth is not easy to listen to” Francis pointed out noting that “prophets have always had to deal with being persecuted for speaking the truth.
A true prophet, he added, is he who not only speaks the truth, but is capable of weeping for his people who turn away from the truth.
And he recalled Jesus who, on the one hand reprimanded his people severely calling them an “evil and adulterous generation” and on the other, weeping for Jerusalem.
“A true prophet is he who is capable of weeping for his people but at the same time of saying strong things in a direct way” he said.

Giving hope

And developing his theme further, Pope Francis described a true prophet as someone who is also capable of giving hope: “Opening the doors of hearts, healing roots, reinforcing the sense of belonging to the people of God in order to go forward.
“A prophet knows when to scold but knows also how to throw open the doors to hope. A true prophet puts himself on the line” he said.

The Church needs prophets

Recalling Stephen who is put to death under Saul’s eyes in order to be coherent with the truth, the Pope quoted from one of the first Fathers of the Church saying: “the blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians”.
“The Church needs prophets. What's more: it needs each of us to be prophets, not critics… this is something else” he said.
He who just criticizes and is never happy with anything is not a prophet, Francis explained, a prophet is he who prays, looks to God, looks at his people and when the people err, he weeps.
“May this service of prophecy never be lacking in the Church, Francis concluded, in order to be able to always go forward”.
Text Source: Vatican News

#BreakingNews Christian Church Burned down by Attackers in Pakistan - Please PRAY

Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - A church in the city of Shahdara, near Lahore, was burned by unknown persons. As ascertained by the investigators, the arson broke out Sunday, April 15 because in the liturgical hall a sort of "artisan molotov bomb", made of fabrics impregnated with fuel was launched, which caught fire and in a few minutes burned all the inside of the building. The police registered a complaint against unknown persons. Mohammad Waryam, inspector of the police station of Shahdara, speaking to Agenzia Fides, said: "We have begun the investigation, but there are no eyewitnesses". The church, in the process of being completed but already accessible and regularly used for worship, belongs to the evangelical Christian community known as "The Gospel of Jesus Mission". The Church is open on Sundays for morning mass, in the afternoon for catechism and in the evening for youth meeting. The attack took place half an hour before catechism. The area is bounded by a wall and it is not easy to enter. The Christian community has lived in the city for almost four years, serving some 300 Christian families. The Pastor of the community Yousuf Aziz speaking to Fides notes: "We have not received any threats and we are not in conflict with anyone, this criminal act is shocking for all of us, everything was burnt: mats, rugs, chairs, furnishings, crosses, sacred books like the Bible, hymn books, catechism books". The Pastor continues: "The members of the community are in tears in seeing their Church like this, we pray for the guilty and leave everything in God’s hands. God will protect his people".
In an interview with Fides, Archbishop Joseph Coutts of Karachi "condemns this criminal act" and, also recalling the recent aggression against the Christians of Quetta (see Fides 16/4/2018), says he is "worried about the protection of Christians in Pakistan". The National Commission and "Justice and Peace", within the Catholic Bishops' conference, has organized today, April 17, a protest demonstration across the country to express solidarity with the Christians of Quetta and Lahore: Fr. Bonnie Mendes, priest of Faisalabad, comments to Fides: "We note that attacks against religious minorities are increasing. The government must take serious measures and not underestimate the phenomenon".
The burned church is in the same place where the young Christian Patras Masih his cousin Sajid Masih were arrested in March 2018, for a case of alleged blasphemy (see Fides 3/3/2018). (AG) (Agenzia Fides, 17/4/2018) FULL TEXT Release: from Agenzia Fides

SHARE this Post - Here is Video of a Previous Christian Church Burning from a few years ago in Pakistan:

#BreakingNews China Bans Church for Children and Religious Education - Please PRAY

Henan, church banned for children under 18: 

Edited from an Asia News Report by Wang Zhicheng
Asia News reports that a circular notice issued also banned religious education for minors. Priests who do not follow it will be dismissed. So far the ban is applied in Henan and Xinjiang, but it is feared it will be applied nationwide. Amazement at the guarantors of the ban: Two priests.
Beijing (AsiaNews) - In Henan, a circular notice dated  April 8prohibits all young people under 18 years of age from entering church to attend mass. It also forbids priests to organize any activities - conferences, summer or winter camps, etc ... - with young people. Below we publish the complete text of the circular note (and the photo of the document, with the official stamps), signed by the Henan Patriotic Association (PA) and the Henan Commission for Church Affairs.
The directive - justified as an application of the new religious regulations - is to be rolled out across both official and non-official communities. A priest from Anyang says that every Sunday PA agents stand at the entry to his church sending children who want to attend the mass away and that they have also posted a sign carrying the ban.
The circular note has been issued in every city, village, school. According to AsiaNews sources, the directive is in place not only in Henan, but also in Xinjiang. Catholics fear that it will be applied sooner or later throughout the country, dragging the situation back to the times of the Cultural Revolution. "In this way - a girl tells AsiaNews - they are taking the legs from under the growth of the Christian community, because they are snatching young people from religious education".
In recent days, various criticisms of the circular have appeared on the Chinese social networks  from faithful to the official and non-official Church. Some note with shame that the president of Henan PA is a priest, Fr. Wang Yuezheng of Zhengzhou and that the secretary of the Henan Commission for Church Affairs is another priest, Fr. Li Jianlin. They wonder if the two priests are conniving and agree with this ban, or if they are only impotent victims of the excessive power of the Party.
It must be said that this year, Fr. Wang is a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, a national body that should act as a "councilor" of the Chinese Communist Party.  
In an attempt to continue the education of young people, several priests are trying to put into practice ways to circumvent the ban: even the priests of the official Church are forced to act and propose unofficial gatherings!

TEXT Source: AsiaNews IT
Here is the text of the circular notice:

 The two official Church organs in the Henan Province - the Henan Catholic Patriotic Association, and the Henan Commission for Church Affairs - jointly issued a circular on April 8, 2018. This circular, with great severity, requires the affiliates of these two bodies at every level to implement the new regulations on religious activities, adhering to the principle of "separating religion from education", and in particular prohibits "religious associations to organize activities of any form to disseminate religious education for minors ".
Below are the detailed rules shown in this circular:
Throughout the Province, it is forbidden to organize activities of any form such as school, class, summer camp or winter camp, etc. for minors for religious education or formation;
The faithful are invited to go to church to leave their children in custody of others so as not to take the children with them to church;
Although in the past it was mainly used to inform and educate the people on the aforementioned issues, now it is "red line" and "high pressure line", and should not be overlooked;
In the event that these rules are not followed, those responsible for religious sites will be held responsible, under penalty of cancellation of the qualification and registration as employees of religious activities, as well as the closure of such religious sites;
The present circular and its contents must be disseminated in due course to every church and religious site.
Henan Catholic Patriotic Association
Henan Commission for Church Affairs

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tuesday April 17, 2018 - #Eucharist

Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter
Lectionary: 274

Reading 1ACTS 7:51—8:1A

Stephen said to the people, the elders, and the scribes:
"You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears,
you always oppose the Holy Spirit;
you are just like your ancestors.
Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute?
They put to death those who foretold the coming of the righteous one,
whose betrayers and murderers you have now become.
You received the law as transmitted by angels,
but you did not observe it."

When they heard this, they were infuriated,
and they ground their teeth at him.
But Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit,
looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God
and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,
and Stephen said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened
and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God."
But they cried out in a loud voice,
covered their ears, and rushed upon him together.
They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him.
The witnesses laid down their cloaks
at the feet of a young man named Saul.
As they were stoning Stephen, he called out,
"Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."
Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice,
"Lord, do not hold this sin against them";
and when he said this, he fell asleep.

Now Saul was consenting to his execution.

Responsorial PsalmPS 31:3CD-4, 6 AND 7B AND 8A, 17 AND 21AB

R. (6a) Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
R. Alleluia.
Be my rock of refuge,
a stronghold to give me safety.
You are my rock and my fortress;
for your name's sake you will lead and guide me.
R. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
R. Alleluia.
Into your hands I commend my spirit;
you will redeem me, O LORD, O faithful God.
My trust is in the LORD;
I will rejoice and be glad of your mercy.
R. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
R. Alleluia.
Let your face shine upon your servant;
save me in your kindness.
You hide them in the shelter of your presence
from the plottings of men.
R. Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 6:35AB

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the bread of life, says the Lord;
whoever comes to me will never hunger.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 6:30-35

The crowd said to Jesus:
"What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you?
What can you do?
Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written:

He gave them bread from heaven to eat."

So Jesus said to them,
"Amen, amen, I say to you,
it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven;
my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven
and gives life to the world."

So they said to Jesus,
"Sir, give us this bread always."
Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life;
whoever comes to me will never hunger,
and whoever believes in me will never thirst."