Friday, October 19, 2018

Saint October 20 : St. Paul of the Cross : Founder of the #Passionists

Paul Francis Daneii, born at Ovada, Genoa, Italy, 3 January, 1694; died in Rome, 18 October, 1775. His parents, Luke Danei and Anna Maria Massari, were exemplary Catholics. From his earliest years the crucifix was his book, and the Crucified his model. Paul received his early education from a priest who kept a school for boys, in Cremolino, Lombardy. He made great progress in study and virtue; spent much time in prayer, heard daily Mass, frequently received the Sacraments, faithfully attended to his school duties, and gave his spare time to reading good books and visiting the churches, where he spent much time before the Blessed Sacrament, to which he had an ardent devotion.
At the age of fifteen he left school and returned to his home at Castellazzo, and from this time his life was full of trials. In early manhood he renounced the offer of an honourable marriage; also a good inheritance left him by an uncle who was a priest. He kept for himself only the priest's Breviary.
 Inflamed with a desire for God's glory he formed the idea of instituting a religious order in honour of the Passion. Vested in a black tunic by the Bishop of Alessandria, his director, bearing the emblem of our Lord's Passion, barefooted, and bareheaded, he retired to a narrow cell where he drew up the Rules of the new congregation according to the plan made known to him in a vision, which he relates in the introduction to the original copy of the Rules. For the account of his ordination to the priesthood, of the foundation of the Congregation of the Passion, and the approbation of the Rules.
After the approbation of the Rules and the institute the first general chapter was held at the Retreat of the Presentation on Mount Argentaro on 10 April, 1747. At this chapter, St. Paul, against his wishes, was unanimously elected first superior general, which office he held until the day of his death. In all virtues and in the observance of regular discipline, he became a model to his companions. "Although continually occupied with the cares of governing his religious society, and of founding everywhere new houses for it, yet he never left off preaching the word of God, burning as he did with a wondrous desire for the salvation of souls" (Brief of Pius IX for St. Paul's Beatification, 1 Oct., 1852). Sacred missions were instituted and numerous conversions were made. He was untiring in his Apostolic labours and never, even to his last hour, remitted anything of his austere manner of life, finally succumbing to a severe illness, worn out as much by his austerities as by old age.
 Among the distinguished associates of St. Paul in the formation and extension of the congregation were: John Baptist, his younger brother and constant companion from childhood, who shared all his labours and sufferings and equaled him in the practice of virtue; Father Mark Aurelius (Pastorelli), Father Thomas Struzzieri (subsequently Bishop of Amelia and afterwards of Todi), and Father Fulgentius of Jesus, all remarkable for learning, piety, and missionary zeal; Venerable Strambi, Bishop of Macerata and Tolentino, his biographer. Constant personal union with the Cross and Passion of our Lord was the prominent feature of St. Paul's sanctity. But devotion to the Passion did not stand alone, for he carried to a heroic degree all the other virtues of a Christian life. Numerous miracles, besides those special ones brought forward at his beatification and canonization, attested the favour he enjoyed with God. Miracles of grace abounded, as witnessed in the conversion of sinners seemingly hardened and hopeless. For fifty years he prayed for the conversion of England, and left the devotion as a legacy to his sons.
The body of St. Paul lies in the Basilica of SS. John and Paul, Rome. He was beatified on 1 October, 1852, and canonized on 29 June, 1867. His feast occurs on 28 April. [Editor's note: It was later transferred to 19 October.] The fame of his sanctity, which had spread far and wide in Italy during his life, increased after his death and spread into all countries. Great devotion to him is practiced by the faithful wherever Passionists are established. Catholic Encyclopedia

Wow Catholic President of Korea meets with Pope Francis and brings Invitation to North Korea

Pope receives President of the Republic of Korea On Thursday, in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father Francis received in audience H.E. Mr. Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea.
The Holy See's Press Office released a communiqué on Thursday describing the audience in which Pope Francis received the President of the Korean Republic.
This is the full text of the communiqué: Today, in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father Francis received in audience H.E. Mr. Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea, who subsequently met with His Eminence Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, and with H.E. Msgr. Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States.
During the cordial discussions, the parties evoked the good bilateral relations and the positive contribution offered by the Church in the social, education and healthcare sectors, as well as the promotion of dialogue and reconciliation between Koreans. Strong appreciation was expressed for the common commitment to fostering all useful initiatives to overcome the tensions that still exist in the Korean Peninsula, in order to usher in a new season of peace and development.Finally, some matters of a regional nature were discussed. FULL TEXT-Image Source: Vatican News va 

#Breaking Catholic Church Collapses during Rosary Prayer - 2 Killed and 1 Missing in Cameroon

AFRICA/CAMEROON - Church collapses during the prayer of the rosary; at least two dead and one missing Yaoundé (Agenzia Fides) - At least two people died in the collapse of the church of Sainte Marceline de Minkan in Odza, a suburb of the capital of Cameroon, Yaoundé, which occurred on the evening of 17 October. The collapse was due to heavy rains. According to Fr. Félix Désiré Amougou, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Yaoundé, the provisional toll of the tragedy is 2 dead, 4 wounded, and one missing.
According to the parish priest of Minkan, Abbot Ndoumve, the firemen arrived on the spot and have been working since the night of October 17 to remove the rubble and continue the search for bodies and any survivors. The collapse occurred when the faithful were in church to pray the rosary. (L.M.) (FULL TEXT release from Agenzia Fides, 19/10/2018)

Pope Francis “there is joy in the hearts of those who possess the leaven of the Holy Spirit, even when they face problems and difficulties”. Homily

Pope at Mass: By reaching out we find the promised inheritance
Pope Francis contrasts the leaven of the Pharisees with the Holy Spirit’s leaven which leads Christians to reach out to others in the hope of “finding the inheritance” they have been promised. By Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp
During his homily on Friday at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis reflected both on the First Reading and on the Gospel of the Day. He contrasted the “leaven” of the Pharisees to the leaven of the Holy Spirit which leads to embracing the “inheritance” which the Lord left to everyone. Leaven of hypocrisy
Pope Francis described the leaven of the Pharisees as the leaven of hypocrisy which allows self-centeredness to grow. This leaven applies to people who think only of appearances, he said. Should they meet someone in difficulty along their path, they turn their gaze away. “Jesus says that this leaven is dangerous” because it has no future, the Pope said.

Leaven of the Holy Spirit

The other type of leaven, which has the opposite effect, is that of the Holy Spirit. Turning to the First Reading from the Letter to the Ephesians, Pope Francis explained that the leaven of the Spirit is given to those who have been “sealed by the Spirit”. The Spirit, he said, is the pledge of the inheritance while Christians await “complete redemption”. Jesus himself wants Christians to “journey continually with the Holy Spirit’s leaven” toward the horizon, Pope Francis said. Because Christians possess the pledge of the inheritance, they then reach out toward those in difficulty, the suffering, the fallen, in the hope of “finding the inheritance”.

Life in the Spirit

With the leaven of the Holy Spirit, Christians are able to face the difficulties encountered on the journey, “even all their sins, but always with hope”, Pope Francis said. “Hypocrites have forgotten what it means to be joyful”. And he concluded, “there is joy in the hearts of those who possess the leaven of the Holy Spirit, even when they face problems and difficulties”. FULL TEXT Release from Vatican News va

1 Million Children Pray the Rosary for Peace in Over 80 Countries Worldwide

On October 18, 2018, there occurred worldwide the “One Million Children Praying the Rosary.” This prayer campaign came about in 2005 in Caracas, the capital of Venezuela. In the Philippines, thousands of children from around 1,200 parishes and 700 schools from 41 dioceses have joined the initiative.
Now on its third year, more than 80 countries participated in this year’s “one million children Praying the rosary” for peace campaign of the international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).
Be sure to Sign up and Join with your Family, Parish and Friends for Next Year!
How can people join in the campaign? Quite simply: Invite teachers, priests, kindergarten teachers and parents to pray the rosary together with children on Oct. 18, 2018 for peace and unity in the world. ACN makes available instructional materials on the prayers of the rosary, posters and a letter of invitation for children and adults. Please see
 Why the 18th of October? October is traditionally the month of the rosary; the 18th is the feast day of Saint Luke the Evangelist.
Our Lady of Fatima. There, the Virgin Mary proclaimed to the visionary children,
“Pray the rosary every day, in order to obtain peace for the world.”
Only God can bring peace. We can play a part in this—through our work, but first and foremost through our prayers. 
 Materials for the prayer campaign are available in 25 languages, including, for example, Arabic and the West African Hausa language. Children from around 80 countries and on all continents are taking part.
 For resources and more information on the prayer campaign, go to: or write to: 

Latest from the Synod "How the Church lives in the digital world is a key question." FULL Video

Synod of Bishops: Ministering online
The sad reality of migrant youth and their families and how the Church should use the digital world was the focus of the daily Synod of Bishops on Youth, the Faith and Vocational Discernment press briefing.
  By Russell Pollitt, SJ

The mental health of migrants

Ms Yadira Vieyra from the USA is a young auditor at the Synod. She works alongside psychologists and other professionals with migrants. She says that many migrant families suffer from anxiety, distress and depression. This is often linked to violence. At the Synod she is trying to motivate the Church to take the mental health of migrants in the USA and other parts of the world seriously. The Church, she said, cannot minister to youth without ministering to their families too.
Ms Vieyra also addressed the issue of the role of women saying that she thought that it was unfortunate religious sisters were not able to vote at the Synod. Women can make interventions in the assembly but cannot vote. She said that women have a very important role and that they invest in the spiritual development of Church members.
Commenting on the issue of youth who identify as LGBTI, Ms Vieyra said that it is a challenge to minister to a group that feels attacked by the Church. She says that LGBTI Catholics often received poor pastoral care and feel the Church does not want them. This is not true for most Catholics, she said
As a newlywed, Ms Vieyra added that she thought that the accompaniment before marriage was good but feels that there needs to be a serious look at how young people are accompanied after marriage by the Church.
She said that the Synod has been a positive experience – some bishops have been willing to listen, learn and change. Others, she says, still need to be convinced about this.


Maronite Bishop Joseph Naffah says that the reality of the Middle East has been discussed. He said that young people are not afraid to witness to their faith even in the face of martyrdom. He said that the Church is one of hope and so considers this struggle an opportunity to bear witness to the faith.

Ministering in the digital realm

Bishop Naffah went on to speak about ministering in the digital realm. He explained how he ran a project in Arabic to keep in contact with young people online. The project is focused on catechism, a kind of religious science institute online, he said. There are 550 students in different parts of the world engaged in this including young people in prison. He said that he was particularly moved by a young person who is paralysed and can only move his thumbs. Before this initiative the world, for this youngster, was limited to his bed but now he is in touch with the whole world. The Bishop said that there have also been some conversions through this project.
He expressed concern about many websites claiming they carry Catholic content but do not accurately reflect Catholic teaching. He proposed a special office in the Vatican that would check these pages and then certify them as sites that do reflect the position of the Catholic Church.
Bishop Emmanuel Kofi Fianu from Ghana also spoke about the use of the digital world. He said that his particular interest was in getting the Word of God to young people. He said that it was important for the Church to provide more digital platforms on the Word of God as this would not only educate young people but help them become evangelisers.
Fr Valdir Jose Castro, the Superior General of the Society of St Paul, says that he too focused on communication when taking part in discussions at the Synod. How the Church lives in the digital world is a key question. He said that the Church has not been idle but there is still much that needs to be done. The world wide web is a web of humanity and the Church must assist young people to become the protagonists of evangelisation in that space. He says that young people know the language and the grammar of the world of social media and so they are crucial in assisting the Church to reach out and open the doors.   
FULL TEXT Release from Vatican News

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Friday October 1, 2018 - #Eucharist

Memorial of Saints John de Brébeuf and Isaac Jogues, Priests, and Companions, Martyrs
Lectionary: 471

Reading 1EPH 1:11-14

Brothers and sisters:
In Christ we were also chosen,
destined in accord with the purpose of the One
who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will,
so that we might exist for the praise of his glory,
we who first hoped in Christ.
In him you also, who have heard the word of truth,
the Gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him,
were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,
which is the first installment of our inheritance
toward redemption as God's possession, to the praise of his glory.

Responsorial PsalmPS 33:1-2, 4-5, 12-13

R. (12) Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
Exult, you just, in the LORD;
praise from the upright is fitting.
Give thanks to the LORD on the harp;
with the ten stringed lyre chant his praises.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
For upright is the word of the LORD,
and all his works are trustworthy.
He loves justice and right;
of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he has chosen for his own inheritance.
From heaven the LORD looks down;
he sees all mankind.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.

AlleluiaPS 33:22

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us;
who have put our hope in you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 12:1-7

At that time:
So many people were crowding together
that they were trampling one another underfoot.
Jesus began to speak, first to his disciples,
"Beware of the leaven–that is, the hypocrisy–of the Pharisees.

"There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed,
nor secret that will not be known.
Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness
will be heard in the light,
and what you have whispered behind closed doors
will be proclaimed on the housetops.
I tell you, my friends,
do not be afraid of those who kill the body
but after that can do no more.
I shall show you whom to fear.
Be afraid of the one who after killing
has the power to cast into Gehenna;
yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one.
Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins?
Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God.
Even the hairs of your head have all been counted.
Do not be afraid.
You are worth more than many sparrows."

Saint October 19 : North American Martyrs : St. John Brebeuf and Companions

JOURNEY OF A BISHOP REPORT: French Jesuits were among the first missionaries to go to Canada and North America after J. Cartier discovered Canada in 1534. Their mission region extended from Nova Scotia to Maryland.
John de Brebeuf, Gabriel Lalemant, Noel Chabanel, Charles Garnier, Anthony Daniel, Isaac Jogues, Rene Goupil and John de Lalande (the first six Jesuits, the last two laymen) preached the gospel to the Iroquois and Huron Indians, and after being tortured, they were martyred.

The martyrdoms took place between 1642 and 1649: Goupil in 1642, Jogues and Lalande on October 18 and 19, 1646 in the area of what is now Auriesville, New York; Daniel on July 4, 1648, Brebeuf and Lalemant in March 1649, Garnier and Chabanel in December 1649--all of these five in Huronia, near present-day Midland, Ontario. Ten years after the martyrdom of St. Isaac Jogues, Kateri Tekakwitha was born in the same village in which he died. These martyrs are co-patrons of Canada.
The missionaries arrived in Canada less than a century after its discovery by Cartier in 1534, in the hope of converting the Indians and setting up "New France." Their opponents were often the English and Dutch colonists. When Isaac Jogues returned to Paris after his first capture and torture, he said to his superior: "Yes, Father, I want whatever our Lord wants, even if it costs a thousand lives." He had written in his mission report: "These tortures are very great, but God is still greater, and immense."

Isaac Jogues' declaration on leaving France to return to the mission in Canada is heroic:

"My heart tells me that if I have the blessing of being used for this mission, I shall go and I shall not  return; but I would be glad if our Lord should fulfil the sacrifice where he began it, and that the small amount of blood I shed in that land should turn out to be an advance payment for that which I would give from all the veins of my body and heart."

In the Office of Readings we have an excerpt from the mission journal of St. John de Brébeuf, who had been a student of the great Jesuit spiritual writer, Louis Lallemant. He wrote:
For two days now I have experienced a great desire to be a martyr and to endure all the torments the martyrs suffered.... I vow to you, Jesus my Savior, that as far as I have the strength I will never fail to accept the grace of martyrdom, if some day you in your infinite mercy should offer it to me, your most unworthy servant.... On receiving the blow of death, I shall accept it from your hands with the fullest delight and joy of spirit.... My God, it grieves me greatly that you are not known, that in this savage wilderness all have not been converted to you, that sin has not been driven from it.

[Excerpted and adapted from Enzo Lodi, Saints of the Roman Calendar
In 1999, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops published a pastoral letter on the Canadian Martyrs to mark the 350th anniversary of the final deaths of these heroic priests in 1649. It may be accessed at: