Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Saint August 30 : St. Jeanne Jugan : Founder of #LittleSisters of the Poor

Who is Jeanne Jugan? Jeanne Jugan, a Saint for old age and every age
Jeanne Jugan is the foundress and first Little Sister of the Poor. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II on October 3, 1982 and canonized by Pope Benedict XVI on October 11, 2009.

A Saint for old age and every age

Jeanne Jugan gave herself entirely to God and the elderly poor. As our aging population continues to grow and dignity at the end of life is increasingly threatened, Jeanne Jugan offers herself as a friend and patron of the elderly. She is a Saint for old age.

But she is more than that!

Jeanne is a Saint for every age as she challenges young people to give themselves to God and neighbor.
She is a role model for those who care for the poor, the sick and the aging.
To those who feel anxious in these tough economic times, she offers an invitation to live the Beatitudes, trusting that God will provide.
She challenges all of us to do everything through love.
Jeanne is a friend of God and a hero for the poor. She is a Gospel witness for our time and a Saint for all times!

Her Life

Growing up in hard times
Jeanne Jugan grew up in a small town in revolutionary France. Times were tough. Violence ruled the day. For thousands, begging was a way of life.
Those who openly practiced their faith were not merely ridiculed—they were imprisoned or killed. Jeanne received her faith formation—secretly and at great risk—from her mother and a group of women who belonged to an ecclesial movement of the day.
By the time Jeanne was four years old her father had been lost at sea. Her mother found odd jobs to make ends meet. Neighbor helped neighbor. As a young girl Jeanne worked as a shepherdess. She learned to knit and spin wool. Later she went to work as a kitchen maid for a wealthy family.

On fire with love for God

Jeanne barely learned to read and write. Her education consisted mostly of on-the-job training in the school of real life. Neither beautiful nor talented in the usual sense, she was gifted with an extraordinary heart. Jeanne was on fire with love for God!
Those who let themselves be seized by the love of Christ cannot help abandoning everything to follow him… Barely out of her teens, Jeanne felt the call of divine love. Preparing to leave home, she told her mother “God wants me for himself. He is keeping me for a work which is not yet founded.”
Jeanne took the road less traveled, setting out to work among the poor and forsaken in a local hospital.

Jeanne meets Christ in the Poor
Many years went by before Jeanne discovered her vocation. Finally, one cold winter night she met Jesus Christ in the person of an elderly, blind and infirm woman who had no one to care for her. Jeanne carried the woman home, climbed up the stairs to her small apartment and placed her in her own bed. From then on, Jeanne would sleep in the attic.
God led more poor old people to her doorstep. Generous young women came to help. Like Jeanne, they wanted to make a difference. Like her, they believed that “the poor are Our Lord.” A religious community was born!
There were so many old people in need of a home, so many souls hungry for love! The work rapidly spread across France and beyond. Struck by their spirit of humble service, local citizens dubbed the group the Little Sisters of the Poor. The name stuck!
For herself Jeanne chose the religious name Sister Mary of the Cross. She would live it in its fullness.…
Jeanne is grafted into the cross
The work of the Little Sisters continued to spread, borne by the wind of the Spirit. So did Jeanne’s renown—until one day she was mysteriously cast aside by an ambitious priest who had taken over the direction of the young community.
Jeanne was replaced as superior and sent out begging on behalf of the poor. And then one day she was placed in retirement, relegated to the shadows. At the time of her death 27 years later, the young Little Sisters didn’t even know that she was the foundress.
Jeanne had often told them, “We are grafted into the cross and we must carry it joyfully unto death.” How she lived these words! What a radiant example of holiness she gave to generations of Little Sisters!

God lifts up the lowly

Like the grain of wheat that falls into the earth and dies, Jeanne’s life would bear much fruit. Thousands of young women followed in her footsteps. The Little Sisters’ mission of hospitality spread to the ends of the earth, like a great wave of charity.
In his time, God would raise Jeanne up. At her beatification Pope John Paul II said that “God could glorify no more humble a servant than she.”
Pope Benedict said that Saint Jeanne’s canonization would “show once again how living faith is prodigious in good works, and how sanctity is a healing balm for the wounds of humankind.”

A friend of the poor — a Gospel witness for our time — a Saint for old age and every age!

Shared from Little Sisters of the Poor Website

Wow Breathtaking "Ave Maria" Sung by Andrea Bocelli in Ireland to SHARE

This is a Breathtaking version of Schubert's  “Ave Maria” sung by the Famous Andrea Bocelli with Celine Byrne at the World Meeting of Families with Pope Francis in Ireland before 70,000 people.
SHARE this Beautiful "Ave Maria" to Inspire!

Novena to St. John the Baptist : Patron of #Baptism, #Monks - Easy #Prayer to SHARE

Novena Prayer
O Holy St. John, from all eternity you were chosen
To prepare the way for Our Lord Jesus Christ.
We implore your intercession for ...,
For all of our members in their work
And for all those we serve.

Pray for us that we may receive the courage and strength
To persevere in announcing the Good News of Jesus Christ,
Who came to seek and save the lost,

To heal the broken hearted and to bind up their wounds.

May we be guided by the Holy Spirit
With good words of counsel for those in need.
May we be strengthened by your prayers
And good example as we prepare the way for the
Healing power of Jesus to heal and transform
Those entrusted to our care.

We ask all of this through Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Say one Our Father, one Hail Mary and one Glory Be.
St. John the Baptist, pray for us!

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wednesday August 29, 2018 - #Eucharist

Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist
Lectionary: 427/634

Reading 12 THES 3:6-10, 16-18

We instruct you, brothers and sisters,
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
to shun any brother
who walks in a disorderly way
and not according to the tradition they received from us.
For you know how one must imitate us.
For we did not act in a disorderly way among you,
nor did we eat food received free from anyone.
On the contrary, in toil and drudgery, night and day we worked,
so as not to burden any of you.
Not that we do not have the right.
Rather, we wanted to present ourselves as a model for you,
so that you might imitate us.
In fact, when we were with you, we instructed you that
if anyone was unwilling to work, neither should that one eat.

May the Lord of peace himself
give you peace at all times and in every way.
The Lord be with all of you.

This greeting is in my own hand, Paul's.
This is the sign in every letter; this is how I write.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you.

Responsorial PsalmPS 128:1-2, 4-5

R. (1) Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Blessed are you who fear the LORD,
who walk in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
blessed shall you be, and favored.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Behold, thus is the man blessed
who fears the LORD.
The LORD bless you from Zion:
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.

AlleluiaMT 5:10

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 6:17-29

Herod was the one who had John the Baptist arrested and bound in prison
on account of Herodias,
the wife of his brother Philip, whom he had married.
John had said to Herod,
"It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife."
Herodias harbored a grudge against him
and wanted to kill him but was unable to do so.
Herod feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man,
and kept him in custody.
When he heard him speak he was very much perplexed,
yet he liked to listen to him.
She had an opportunity one day when Herod, on his birthday,
gave a banquet for his courtiers,
his military officers, and the leading men of Galilee.
Herodias' own daughter came in
and performed a dance that delighted Herod and his guests.
The king said to the girl,
"Ask of me whatever you wish and I will grant it to you."
He even swore many things to her,
"I will grant you whatever you ask of me,
even to half of my kingdom."
She went out and said to her mother,
"What shall I ask for?"
She replied, "The head of John the Baptist."
The girl hurried back to the king's presence and made her request,
"I want you to give me at once
on a platter the head of John the Baptist."
The king was deeply distressed,
but because of his oaths and the guests
he did not wish to break his word to her.
So he promptly dispatched an executioner with orders
to bring back his head.
He went off and beheaded him in the prison.
He brought in the head on a platter and gave it to the girl.
The girl in turn gave it to her mother.
When his disciples heard about it,
they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.

#BreakingNews US Bishops' National Review Board calls for Lay Leadership in Abuse Crisis - FULL TEXT

Statement from the National Review Board Calls for Lay Leadership Amid Sexual Abuse Crisis August 28, 2018
WASHINGTON—The National Review Board (NRB) has issued the following in response to the release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report and recent allegations against Archbishop McCarrick. In the statement, the NRB calls for a lay-lead investigation into all allegations of sexual misconduct within the Church as well as strengthening  the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.  Established in 2002, the purpose of the National Review Board is to work collaboratively with the Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People in preventing the sexual abuse of minors in the United States by persons in the service of the Church.
The full National Review Board statement follows:
"While the policies and procedures that have been implemented by the Church since 2002 to address the sexual abuse of minors by the clergy have resulted in a significant decrease of such abuse, the revelations of horrific incidents of abuse in the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report, along with the abuse perpetrated by Archbishop McCarrick point to a systemic problem within the Church that can no longer be ignored or tolerated by the episcopacy in the United States.  The National Review Board has for several years expressed its concern that bishops not become complacent in their response to sexual abuse by the clergy. The recent revelations make it clear that the problem is much deeper.  We are saddened, angry, and hurt by what we have learned in the past few weeks. The evil of the crimes that have been perpetrated reaching into the highest levels of the hierarchy will not be stemmed simply by the creation of new committees, policies, or procedures. What needs to happen is a genuine change in the Church's culture, specifically among the bishops themselves. This evil has resulted from a loss of moral leadership and an abuse of power that led to a culture of silence that enabled these incidents to occur. Intimidation, fear, and the misuse of authority created an environment that was taken advantage of by clerics, including bishops, causing harm to minors, seminarians, and those most vulnerable.  The culture of silence enabled the abuse to go on virtually unchecked. Trust was betrayed for the victims/survivors of the abuse; the entire Body of Christ was betrayed in turn by these crimes and the failure to act.
"The National Review Board firmly believes, as has been expressed by several bishops in recent days, that the episcopacy needs to be held accountable for these past actions, and in the future, for being complicit, either directly or indirectly, in the sexual abuse of the vulnerable. Holding bishops accountable will require an independent review into the actions of the bishop when an allegation comes to light. The only way to ensure the independence of such a review is to entrust this to the laity, as recently suggested by Cardinal DiNardo. The NRB, composed exclusively of lay members, would be the logical group to be involved in this task. Establishing an anonymous whistleblower policy, as is found in corporations, higher education and other institutions in both the public and private sector, that would be independent of the hierarchy with participation by the laity, perhaps the NRB, who would report allegations to the local bishop, local law enforcement, the nuncio and Rome, needs to be established immediately. Another problem that needs to be addressed is the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The Charter has been helpful in the Church's response to sexual abuse by the clergy.  However, the Charter should be understood as a living document that is in constant need of revision based on what we have learned and experienced over the years, as well as current new realities. The members of the NRB have on numerous occasions pointed out the weaknesses in the Charter given its deliberate ambiguity and its lack of inclusion of bishops. During the most recent revision process of the Charter, many of the recommendations made by the NRB to strengthen the Charter were not incorporated for a variety of reasons. These recommendations need to be re-considered in light of the current situation, as well as the inclusion of bishops in the Charter. The NRB also believes that the statement of Episcopal Commitment is ineffective and needs to be revised into a meaningful, actionable commitment. In particular, the notion of "fraternal correction" must outline concrete steps that will be taken when a bishop is alleged to have committed sexual abuse or has failed to respond immediately and without hesitation when a cleric is accused of sexual abuse. To ensure that bishops undertake their obligation to act decisively when they have knowledge of incidences of sexual abuse committed by the clergy or their brother bishops, there must be substantive formation of newly appointed bishops on their responsibility as moral leaders within the Church, especially in responding to sexual abuse, something which is currently lacking.
"Since its creation in the Charter, the NRB has sought to provide its advice to the bishops to assist them in addressing the sexual abuse of minors. We will continue to work with the bishops, particularly in responding to Cardinal DiNardo's request for the NRB's assistance in the proposed investigation he has called for regarding recent revelations. In the coming weeks, the NRB will consider what recommendations to make to the bishops in light of that request. We recognize that the overwhelming majority of our current bishops have, and continue to, take the sexual abuse of minors seriously and who act accordingly by adhering to the Charter, some even going beyond these basic requirements. However, every time one bishop fails to act, the entire episcopate is tainted. It is time for the laity to assume courageous leadership to help the Church respond and to heal and for the bishops to listen carefully to our recommendations. We need not only to pray for the Church and most especially for the victims/survivors and their families who have been wounded by this terrible scourge, but we must take concrete action to address the systemic problems underlying the problem of sexual abuse in the Church."   
More information on the National Review Board can be found at:

Pope Francis "...I have asked the Lord for forgiveness for these sins, for the scandal..." FULL TEXT + Video

This morning's General Audience took place at 9.20 am in St. Peter's Square, where the Holy Father Francis met groups of pilgrims and faithful from Italy and from all over the world.

In his speech in Italian, the Pope focused his meditation on the recently concluded Apostolic Journey to Ireland, on the occasion of the IX World Meeting of Families, (Biblical Song: from Psalm 128.1-6).

After having summarized His catechesis in several languages, the Holy Father addressed particular expressions of greeting to the groups of faithful present.

He then addressed an appeal on the occasion of the World Day of Prayer for the care of creation that occurs on Saturday, September 1.

The General Audience ended with the singing of the Pater Noster and the Apostolic Blessing.

Catechesis of the Holy Father 

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

Last weekend I took a trip to Ireland to take part in the World Meeting of Families: I'm sure you saw it on television. My presence wanted above all to confirm the Christian families in their vocation and mission. The thousands of families - spouses, grandparents, children - gathered in Dublin, with all the variety of their languages, cultures and experiences, have been an eloquent sign of the beauty of God's dream for the entire human family. And we know it: God's dream is unity, harmony and peace, in families and in the world, the fruit of fidelity, forgiveness and reconciliation that he has given us in Christ. He calls families to participate in this dream and make the world a home where nobody is alone, nobody is unwanted, nobody is excluded. Think about this: what God wants is that nobody is alone, nobody is unwanted, nobody is excluded. Thus the theme of this World Meeting was very appropriate. It was called this way: "The Gospel of the family, joy for the world".

I am grateful to the President of Ireland, the Prime Minister, the various governmental, civil and religious authorities, and to the many people of all levels who have helped prepare and carry out the events of the Meeting. And thank you very much to the Bishops, who have worked so hard. Addressing the Authorities, in the Castle of Dublin, I reiterated that the Church is a family of families, and that, like a body, it supports these cells in their indispensable role for the development of a fraternal and supportive society.

The true "light points" of these days were the testimonies of conjugal love given by couples of all ages. Their stories have reminded us that the love of marriage is a special gift from God, to be cultivated every day in the "domestic church" that is the family. How much does the world need of a revolution of love, of a revolution of tenderness, which saves us from the current culture of the provisional! And this revolution begins in the heart of the family.

In the Pro-Cathedral of Dublin I met spouses engaged in the Church and many couples of young married couples, and many young children. Then I met some families who face particular challenges and difficulties. Thanks to the Capuchin Friars, who are always close to the people, and to the wider ecclesial family, they experience solidarity and support that are the fruit of charity.

The highlight of my visit was the big party with the families, Saturday night, in the Dublin stadium, followed Sunday by Mass in the Phoenix Park. During the Vigil we heard very touching testimonies of families who suffered from wars, families renewed by forgiveness, families that love saved from the spiral of addictions, families who learned to use mobile phones and tablets well and give priority to the time spent together . And the value of communication between generations and the specific role of grandparents in consolidating family ties and transmitting the treasure of faith are highlighted. Today - it is hard to say - but it seems that grandparents are disturbing. In this culture of waste, grandparents are "discarded", they move away. But grandparents are wisdom, they are the memory of a people, the memory of families! And grandparents must transmit this memory to their grandchildren. Young people and children must talk with their grandparents to carry on the story. Please: do not discard grandparents. That they are close to your children, to the grandchildren.

On Sunday morning I made the pilgrimage to the Marian shrine of Knock, so dear to the Irish people. There, in the chapel built on the site of an apparition of the Virgin, I entrusted all families, particularly those of Ireland, to her maternal protection. And although my journey did not include a visit to Northern Ireland, I greeted his people cordially and encouraged the process of reconciliation, pacification, friendship, and ecumenical cooperation.
My visit to Ireland, in addition to great joy, also had to bear the pain and bitterness for the suffering caused in that country by various forms of abuse, even by members of the Church, and the fact that the ecclesiastical authorities in past have not always been able to deal appropriately with these crimes. A deep sign left the meeting with some survivors - they were eight -; and on several occasions I have asked the Lord for forgiveness for these sins, for the scandal and the sense of betrayal procured. The Irish Bishops have undertaken a serious path of purification and reconciliation with those who have suffered abuse, and with the help of national authorities have established a series of strict rules to ensure the safety of young people. And then, in my meeting with the Bishops, I encouraged them in their efforts to remedy the failures of the past with honesty and courage, trusting in the Lord's promises and counting on the profound faith of the Irish people, to inaugurate a season of renewal of the Church in Ireland. In Ireland there is faith, there are people of faith: a faith with great roots. But do you know something? There are few vocations to the priesthood. Why does this faith fail? For these problems, the scandals, many things ... We must pray for the Lord to send holy priests to Ireland, send new vocations. And we will do it together, praying an "Ave Maria" to the Madonna di Knock. [Recite of the Hail or Mary]. Lord Jesus, send us holy priests.

Dear brothers and sisters, the World Meeting of Families in Dublin was a prophetic, comforting experience of many families engaged in the Gospel way of marriage and family life; families disciples and missionaries, ferment of goodness, holiness, justice and peace. We forget so many families - so many! - who carry on their families, their children, with fidelity, asking for forgiveness when there are problems. We forget why today it is fashionable in magazines, in newspapers, to talk like this: "This has been divorced from this ... That from that ... And the separation ...". But please: this is a bad thing. It's true: I respect everyone, we must respect people, but the ideal is not divorce, the ideal is not separation, the ideal is not the destruction of the family. The ideal is the united family. So forward: this is ideal!

The next World Meeting of Families will be held in Rome in 2021. Let us entrust them all to the protection of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, because in their homes, parishes and communities they can truly be "joy for the world".

[01282-EN.02] [Original text: Italian]

Appeal of the Holy Father

Next Saturday, 1 September, is the fourth World Day of Prayer for the care of creation, which we celebrate in union with our Orthodox brothers and sisters and with the accession of other Churches and Christian Communities.

In this year's Message, I would like to draw attention to the question of water, a primary asset to be protected and made available to all.

I am grateful for the various initiatives that in various places the particular Churches, Institutes of consecrated life and ecclesial aggregations have prepared. I invite everyone to join in prayer, Saturday, for our common home, for the care of our common home.

[01292-EN.01] [Original text: Italian]