Saturday, October 20, 2018

Saint October 21 : St. Ursula and Companions - #Virgin #Martyrs

The experiences of Ursula and her eleven thousand companions became the subject of a pious romance which acquired considerable celebrity.  This legendary account is well known: Ursula, the daughter of a Christian king of Great Britain, was asked in marriage by the son of a great pagan king. Desiring to remain a virgin, she obtained a delay of three years. At her request she was given as companions ten young women of noble birth, and she and each of the ten were accompanied by a thousand virgins, and the whole company, embarking in eleven ships sailed for three years. When the appointed time was come, and Ursula's betrothed was about to claim her, a gale of wind carried the eleven thousand virgins far from the shores of England, and they went first by water to Cologne and thence to Basle, then by land from Basle to Rome. They finally returned to Cologne, where they were slain by the Huns in hatred of the Faith. The literary origin of this romance is not easy to determine. Apart from the inscription of Clematius, transcribed in the Passion "Fuit tempore" and paraphrased in the "Regnante Domino" Passion and the "Sermo in natali", the writers seem to have been aware of a Gallic legend of which a late version is found in Geoffrey of Monmouth: the usurper Maximus (as Geoffrey calls the Emperor Maximian), having conquered British Armorica, sent there from Great Britain 100,000 colonists and 30,000 soldiers, and committed the government of Armorica to his former enemy, now his friend, the Breton prince, Conanus Meriadocus. The latter decided to bring women from Great Britain to marry them to his subjects, to which end he appealed to Dionotus, King of Cornwall, who sent him his daughter Ursula, accompanied by 11,000 noble virgins and 60,000 other young women. As the fleet which carried them sailed towards Armorica, a violent storm destroyed some of the ships and drove the rest of them to barbarian islands in Germany, where the virgins were slain by the Huns and the Picts. However, this account has been regarded by several writers since Baronius as containing a summary of the true history of the holy martyrs. Like the Passions of Cologne, it has been subjected to the anti-scientific method, which consists in setting aside as false the improbabilities, impossibilities, and manifest fables, and regarding the rest as authentic history. As a consequence two essential traits remain: the English origin of the saints and their massacre by the Huns; and then, according as adherence is given to the "Sermo in natali", Geoffrey of Monmouth, or the Passion "Regnante Domino", the martyrdom of St. Ursula is placed in the third, fourth, or fifth century. In order to account for all the details, two massacres of virgins at Cologne have been accepted, one in the third century, the other in the fifth. The different solutions with their variations suggested by scholars, sometimes with levity, sometimes with considerable learning, all share the important defect of being based on relatively late documents, unauthoritative and disfigured by manifest fables.As they are now unhesitatingly rejected by everyone, it suffices to treat them briefly. In the twelfth century there were discovered in the Ager Ursulanus at Cologne, some distance from the Church of St. Ursula, skeletons not only of women, but of little children, and even of men, and with them inscriptions which it is impossible not to recognize as gross forgeries.  Although the history of these saints of Cologne is obscure and very short, their cult was very widespread, and it would require a volume to relate in detail its many and remarkable manifestations. To mention only two characteristics, since the twelfth century a large number of relics have been sent from Cologne, not only to neighbouring countries but throughout Western Christendom, and even India and China. The legend of the Eleven Thousand Virgins has inspired a host of works of art, several of them of the highest merit, the most famous being the paintings of the old masters of Cologne, those of Memling at Bruges, and of Carpaccio at Venice. The Order of Ursulines, founded in 1535 by St. Angela de Merici, and especially devoted to the education of young girls, has also helped to spread throughout the world the name and the cult of St. Ursula. Catholic Encyclopedia

FULL TEXT - Suggested Changes to Synod Document with Moderator Card. Gracias "threefold experience of Church - as ‘mystery’, ‘communion’ and ‘mission’."

Relatio – Circulus Anglicus A
Moderator: Card. GRACIAS Oswald
Relator: S.E. Mons. MARTIN Eamon
The Holy Spirit is rejuvenating the Church through this Synod. Holy Father, when you were at World Youth Day in Kraków, you asked the young people several times, “Can we change things?” Again and again their answer was a resounding “Yes!” In calling this Synod, you reminded us that young people are in your heart and in the heart of the Church. Led by the Spirit you have brought us on a ‘synodal journey’ for almost two years, leading to this graced month of discernment for the bishops of the world. In a curious reversal of roles, it is the young people here present who have accompanied us, helping us to scrutinise ‘the signs of the times’ and to discern, ‘in the light of the Gospel’ what the Holy Spirit is saying to the Church.
Our Group felt that this synodal journey should not end here; in many ways we are beginning a new phase, as we journey home bringing with us the insights and ideas we have learned here, tasked with sharing them with our episcopal conferences, dioceses and parishes. In doing so, we might seek to mirror for our particular churches at diocesan, regional and national levels, the methodology of : “Recognise”, “Interpret”, “Choose”.
What has the Holy Spirit been saying to us at this Synod? It is clear that our young people are being called to holiness- as married or single people, as priests or consecrated persons. They are being gifted with charisms, through Baptism and Confirmation, to embrace their unique role in the new evangelisation. If we are to truly value their contribution at local level, then we must share best practice to support the pastoral activities that will strengthen the connections between Church and the young. We must ‘go the extra mile’ to be present in the complex realities of their lives. During the synodal process, inspired by the Holy Spirit, we have identifiedthe need for ‘a preferential option’ for our young people.
Our Group highlighted the following areas for pastoral action:
1. Practical resources and guidance for parents and grandparents as the ‘first teachers’ of the young, and for the family which is ‘the little Church’, ‘the school of love and humanity’;
2. Renewed encouragement for our Catholic schools and universities, for quality teacher formation and vibrant chaplaincies; (after all, as Pope Francis has said, “to educate is an act of love, it is to give life”).
3. A greater contribution from women, families and young lay leaders in seminary formation;
4. Organised opportunities for young people to connect with their peers and others on pilgrimages, gatherings and events of popular piety;
5. ‘Youcat’, ‘Docat’ ‘Kidcat?!’ and other Programmes to support a ‘kerygmatic catechesis’ which offer a sound understanding of faith within a prayerful context of encounter and friendship with Christ in His Church;
6. Opportunities for art, music, youth choirs, and sport to open up beauty, friendship, belonging and teamwork;
7. Active participation of youth in liturgy, in Associations, Movements, basic Christian communities and in all Church activities, including in consultative and decision-making roles.
In short, we are talking about the re-imagination of parishes and structures so that young people are heard, listened to, appreciated and encouraged. The goal of this work is to offer to them, as Christifidelis Laici puts it so beautifully, a threefold experience of Church - as ‘mystery’, ‘communion’ and ‘mission’.
Many of us arrived at this Synod believing that it was about pastoral ministry TO young people - particularly given the many challenging situations they face throughout world - from poverty and persecution to violence and human trafficking, migration, their vulnerability on social media, their compulsions and addictions, their loss of bearings and their longing for stable reference points and a sense of direction and purpose in life. The Synod has allowed us to reflect on all these things and about how we might reach out to our young people, who sometimes seem “harassed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd”.
But the Spirithas also reminded us strongly at the Synod that young people are not simply the OBJECTS of our evangelisation and pastoral ministry; they are also the AGENTS of evangelisation to each other and, indeed, to the whole Church. With proper formation and accompaniment, our young people can be the missionary disciples who will bring thelight of faith to their peers and even to those who are far away from Church. As this Synod put it, they are PROTAGONISTS, called and gifted by the Spirit in their own right to be active participants in the new evangelisation.
As volunteers at home and abroad, they can be missionary disciples among the poor, agents of social action, advocates for the protection of Life, builders of a civilisation of love, contributors to ecumenism and reconciliation, apostles to young migrants, leaders and advocates in addressing grave issues like human slavery and trafficking, and, carers for our common home. The call to holiness of these young ‘protagonists’ includes an invitation that they might transform temporal society - their world of media, politics, the digital highways, business, commerce and healthcare - transform, from within, with the values of the Gospel and the merciful love of God.
Our Group discussed extensively the challenges and questions surrounding the Church’s vision of the body and human sexuality. We have offered a modus to paragraph 197 on this issue which seeks to present the Church’sbeautiful, yet challenging, vision, teaching and anthropology of the body, sexuality, love and life, marriage and chastity. At the same time, we restate the Church’s opposition to discrimination against any person or group, and Her insistence that God loves every young person, and so does the Church!
Holy Father, in your recent visit to Ireland you visited and prayed at the shrine of Our Lady of Knock, Queen of Ireland. Almost forty years ago Pope St John Paul II said there: “Every generation, with its own mentality and characteristics, is like a new continent to be won for Christ”.
This Synod has reflected on the concrete realities of this new continent, and of this new generation of young people. During interventions in the Aula and via the debates in the discussion groups, the Spirit has revealed to us that the greatest resource in winning this new generation, this new continent for Christ, is our young people themselves. Why should we be surprised at this, since God chose from among the sons of Jesse, David, the youngest, the shepherd boy, and bestowed his Spirit powerfully upon him? Why should we be surprised that God might again be choosing the youngest of his faithful as his ‘champions’ to confront the giant ‘Goliath’ challenges in today’s world?
Through this Synod, God has opened our eyes to see that it is our young people who are his chosen instruments. They are co-responsible with all of us for changing the world. We must be careful not to block the rejuvenating work of the Holy Spirit! On the contrary, our role is to facilitate it - to ensure that young people are formed and accompanied in the love of Christ by authentic guides and mentors, that they are schooled in prayer and sound catechesis, challenged to go out of their comfort zones to meet their peers in the peripheries, and strengthened by the witness of young saints and martyrs to endure setbacks, knocks and even persecutions for their faith.
As this Synod draws to a close we might ask once more, as Pope Francis did at Kraków: “Can we change things”? The Synod has helped us, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, and with the infectious joy and support of our young people, to answer confidently: “Most certainly, Yes!
[01656-EN.01] [Original text: English]

Wow 1.29 Billion Catholics - Latest Statistics of the Catholic Church in the World - SHARE

 The following tables are taken from the latest edition of the “Church’s Book of Statistics” published (updated to 31 December 2016) regarding members of the Church, church structures, healthcare, welfare and education. Please note that variations, increase or decrease, emerging from our own comparison with last year's figures (2015), are marked increase + or decrease – in brackets. 
This textual analysis of the statistics was produced by Agencia Fides:

World population 
To 31 December 2016 the world population was 7.352.289.000 with an increase of 103.348.000 units compared with the previous year. Population growth was registered on every continent, including Europe: increases were registered above all in Asia (+ 49.767.000) and Africa (+ 42.898.000), followed by America (+ 8.519.000), Europe (+ 1.307.000) and Oceania (+ 857.000). 

On the same date Catholics in the world numbered units with an overall increase of 14.249.000. The increase affects all continents, except Europe for the third consecutive year (- 240.000). Increases were registered above all in Africa (+6.265.000) and in America (+ 6.023.000) followed by Asia (+ 1.956.000) and Oceania (+ 254.000). The world percentage of Catholics decreased by 0.05 %, settling at 17.67%. By continent: increases were registered in America (+ 0.06), Asia (+ 0,01) and Oceania (+ 0.02), decrease in Africa (- 0.18) and Europe (- 0,11). 

Persons and Catholics per priest 
This year the number of persons per priest in the world increased by 254 units, average 14,336. The distribution by continent: increase in Africa (+ 271), America (+ 108), Europe (+ 66) and Oceania (+ 181). The only decrease in Asia (- 264). 
The number of Catholics per priest in the world increased by 39 units, average 3.130. There are increases in Africa (+ 7), America (+ 74); Europe (+ 22), Oceania (+ 52). Asia unvaried (-13). 

Ecclesiastical circumscriptions and mission stations 
The number of ecclesiastical circumscriptions are 10 more than the previous year to 3,016 with new circumscriptions created in Africa (+3), America (+3), Asia (+3), Europe (+1). Oceania unvaried. 
Mission stations with a resident priest number 2,140 (581 more than in the previous year). Decrease was registered only in Africa (- 63), while and an increase was registered in America (+ 98), Asia (+ 151) Europe (+ 364) and Oceania (+ 31). 
Mission Stations without a resident priest decreased in number by 513 units, to 142.487. Increase were registered in Africa (+ 135), Europe (+ 456), and Oceania (+ 91). The number dropped in America (- 35) and Asia (- 1.160). 
The total number of Bishops in the world increased by 49 units, to 5,353. Diocesan Bishops and Religious Bishops increased in numbers. Diocesan Bishops number 4,063 (27 more), while Religious Bishops number 1,263 (22 more). 
The increase in diocesan Bishops is registered in America (+ 20); Asia (+ 9), Europe (+ 3), while a decrease was registered in Africa (- 2) and Oceania (- 3). The number of religious Bishops increased in all continents except Asia (- 7): Africa (+ 5), America (+ 14), Europe (+ 8), Oceania (+ 2). 

The total number of priests in the world decreased even this year, to 414.969 (- 687). The only continents which registered a major decrease was again Europe (- 2.583). There was also a decrease in America (-589). Increases were registered in Africa (+ 1.181) and Asia (+ 1.304) Oceania unvaried. Diocesan priests increased by 317 units, reaching a total of 281.831 with a decrease only in Europe (- 1.611) and increases in Africa (+ 983); America (+ 180), Asia (+ 744) and Oceania (+ 21). The number of Religious priests decreased by 1.004 units to a total 133.138. Increases were registered as in recent years in Africa (+ 198) and in Asia (+ 560), whereas numbers dropped in America (- 769), Europe (- 972), Oceania (- 21) 

Permanent Deacons 
Permanent deacons in the world increased by 1.057 units to 46.312. The highest increase was registered again in America (+842) followed by Europe (+145), Oceania (+45), Africa (+22) and Asia (+3). 
Permanent Diocesan deacons in the world are 45.609, with an overall increase of 982 units. They increased on every continent except in Asia (- 38): Africa (+ 36), America (+ 807), Europe (+130) and Oceania (+ 47). 
Religious permanent deacons number 703, increased by 75 units compared to the previous year, with decreases in Africa (- 14) and Oceania (- 2), increases in Asia (+41), America (+35) and Europe (+15). 

Men and women religious 
The number of non-religious priests decreased for the fourth consecutive year by 1.604 units to 52.625. Situation: a decrease was registered in all continents: in Africa (-50), America (-503), Asia (-373), Europe (-614) and Oceania (-64). Even this year there is an overall decrease in the number of women religious by 10.885 units to 659.445. An increase was registered in Africa (+ 943) and Asia (+ 533), decrease in America (- 3.775), Europe (-8.370) and Oceania (-216).

Members of secular institutes, male and female
Members of male secular institutes number 618 with a decrease of (-79) after an increase compared to the previous year. At a continental level there is an increase in Africa (+2) and Asia (+ 4), while a decrease in America (- 77), and Europe (-8), Oceania unvaried also this year. 
The members of female secular institutes decreased this year, by 459 units to a total of 22.400 members. Increase only in Africa (+ 113), while a decrease was registered in America (-33), Asia (-35) Europe (- 502) and Oceania (-2). 

Lay missionaries and Catechists 
The number of lay missionaries in the world is 354.743 units, with an overall increase of 2.946 units in particular in America (+ 4.728) and Africa (+759). Decrease was registered in Asia (- 1.569), Europe (-921) and Oceania (- 55). Catechists in the world decreased by 36.364 units to a total of 3.086.289. An increase was registered in only in Africa (+ 10.669). A decrease was registered in America (- 20.407), Asia (- 12.896), Europe (- 13.417) and Oceania (- 313). 

Major seminarians 
The number of major seminarians, diocesan and religious decreased this year, they are globally 683 units, reaching a total of 116.160. Increases occured in Africa (+1.455) and in Asia (+9), while even this year a decrease in America (-1.123), Europe (-964) and Oceania (-60). 
Major diocesan seminarians number 71.117 (+999 more than the previous year) and Religious major seminarians 45.043 (-1.682). Diocesan seminarians increased in Africa (+1.059), America (+16) and Asia (+310). Decreases are in Europe (-381) and Oceania (-5). Religious Seminarians increased only in Africa (+396), while decreased in America (-1.139), Asia (-301), Europe (-583) and Oceania (-55). 

Minor seminarians 
The number of minor seminarians, diocesan and religious this year decreased by 2.735 units to 101.616. Overall decrease on all continents: Africa (-69), America (-1.299), Asia (-871), Europe (-581), Oceania (-5). 
Minor diocesan seminarians number 78.369 (-1.729) and religious seminarians number 23.247 (-1.006). The number of diocesan minor seminarians increased in Africa (+ 236) and Oceania (+7). Decrease in America (-684), Asia (-988), Europe (-300), Religious minor seminarians increased in number only in Asia (+207), while decreases in Africa (-305), America (-615), Europe (-281) and Oceania (-12). 

Catholic schools and Education 
In the field of education, the Catholic Church runs 72.826 kindergartens with 7.313.370 pupils; 96.573 primary schools with 35.125.124 pupils; 47.862 secondary schools with 19.956.347 pupils. The Church also cares for 2.509.457 high school pupils, and 3.049.548 university students. 

Catholic charity and healthcare centres 
Charity and healthcare centres run in the world by the Church include: 5.287 hospitals, most of them in America (1.530) and Africa (1.321); 15.937 dispensaries, mainly in Africa (5.177); America (4.430) and Asia (3.300); 610 Care Homes for people with Leprosy, mainly in Asia (352) and Africa (192); 15.722 Homes for the elderly, or the chronically ill or people with a disability, mainly in Europe (8.127) and America (3.763); 9.552 orphanages, mainly in Asia (3.660); 11.758 creches, mainly in Asia (3.295) and America (3.191); 13.897 marriage counselling centres, mainly in Europe (5.664) and America (4.984); 3.506 social rehabilitation centres and 35.746 other kinds of institutions. 

Ecclesiastical Circumscriptions dependent on the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples 
The ecclesiastical Circumscriptions dependent on the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (Cep) are 1.114 with an increase of 3 circumscriptions compared to last year. Most of the ecclesiastical circumscriptions are mainly in Africa (511) and in Asia (482), followed by America (75) and Oceania (46).
(S.L. - Agenzia Fides, 21/10/2018)  TEXT Source:

Latest from the Synod - Reaching Out to Victims of Abuse and Issue of Same-sex Attraction - FULL Video

Synod of Bishops: Young people want us to speak out
A number of topics were covered in the Saturday press briefing for the Synod of Bishops on Young People. These included the bishops giving young people their high-profile voices, the right of people to stay at home and receive adequate development, the place of Scripture, clerical sex abuse and same-sex attraction.
  By Russell Pollitt, SJ
Dr Paolo Ruffini, Prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Communication, said that the Synod had concluded with the third part, the pastoral response to young people. The final document is being drafted and will be presented to the bishops on Tuesday for discussion and amendment.

Using our voice

Cardinal Blaise Cupich from the USA said that he will do his best to give voice to young people because that is what they are asking the bishops to do. The Cardinal said that young people spoke about war, poverty, unemployment, migration, arms trafficking and governments who turn to war easily to deal with issues. He said that young people are asking the bishops to give their high-profile voice over to them to address these issues. They want bishops to speak to world leaders because they fear decisions being made now are putting their future and that of future generations at risk.

People have a right to stay at home

Both Cardinals Cupich and John Ribat from Papua New Guinea said that although many people choose to migrate, we must also acknowledge that people have a right to stay at home and have the right to proper development. Many people don’t want to be distant from their roots – including their language and their traditions.

The place of Scripture

Archbishop Peter Andrew Comensoli from Australia said that he has noticed that the discussions in the Synod – those in the assembly and in the small groups – have developed over the last few weeks. Things have got deeper, he said. He said that much more Scripture has entered the approach the bishops are taking. He said that the Synod wants the Gospel to speak into the realities of young people today.
Clerical Sex Abuse
Archbishop Comensoli said that sex abuse by clergy has been spoken about from the beginning of the Synod. He says that during the Synod there was an acknowledgement of the Church’s failure – naming the failure, recognising the issue, asking for forgiveness and a concerted effort to act on this. He said that although this has surfaced at the Synod, the meeting called by the Holy Father in February will look at this issue much more deeply than what the Synod has been able to do.
Cardinal Cupich said that young people have made things clear: they want the bishops to reach out to victims and they want accountability. He said that young people say that nobody is exempt from being scrutinised. The Cardinal said that young people want the bishops to be transparent. He said that bishops know that this needs to be addressed in a forthright way.
Cardinal Cupich said that he is confident that the Holy Father has called the February meeting to get something done because he is a man of action. He said that he reiterates again that he too cedes his right or authority to be investigated if there are any allegations against him. He said that he believes that people, lay people especially, want the Church to get this right and for the Church to succeed.
Both Cardinal Cupich and Archbishop Comensoli reiterated that homosexuality is not the cause of clerical sex abuse. Both said that professional research in the USA and Australia has come to the same conclusion.

The unchurched

The unchurched (or de-churched) are present in the voices of the young auditors at the Synod, the bishops said. They speak on behalf of their families and friends who have distanced themselves from or left the Church. Archbishop Comensoli said that the Synod will address this broadly but that this issue needs to be taken up regionally in Conferences and Dioceses. He said that the Synod has looked at the broader questions as to why young people have left but that this now needs to be looked at in particular localities because reasons differ. Cardinal Ribat said that it is a painful issue for many youth and that they find it hard to talk about this. It is their friends and family that have left. He says that the young people have been open about what has led others to leave the Church.

Same-sex attraction

Cardinal Ribat said that the Church’s approach is to welcome everyone, not excluding anybody. Everyone, he said, is looking towards the Church as a place they can call home. He said that youth are helping the bishops to better understand the issue of same-sex attraction.
Cardinal Cupich said that there were a number of interventions about same-sex attraction. He said that in the final document the Synod hopes to have something that is inclusive to all. The whole document must have something to say to everyone, we want to make sure that people are included and that all feel that the document is for them, including young people who identify as homosexual. We must not forget that God’s grace journeys with us, the Cardinal concluded. Archbishop Comensoli said that all are sinners, asking to be found by God, and that we should not forget this.
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Today's Mass Readings an d Video : Saturday October 20, 2018 - #Eucharist

Saturday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 472

Reading 1EPH 1:15-23

Brothers and sisters:
Hearing of your faith in the Lord Jesus
and of your love for all the holy ones,
I do not cease giving thanks for you,
remembering you in my prayers,
that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,
may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation
resulting in knowledge of him.
May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened,
that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call,
what are the riches of glory
in his inheritance among the holy ones,
and what is the surpassing greatness of his power
for us who believe,
in accord with the exercise of his great might,
which he worked in Christ,
raising him from the dead
and seating him at his right hand in the heavens,
far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion,
and every name that is named
not only in this age but also in the one to come.
And he put all things beneath his feet
and gave him as head over all things to the Church,
which is his Body,
the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.

Responsorial PsalmPS 8:2-3AB, 4-5, 6-7

R. (7) You have given your Son rule over the works of your hands.
how glorious is your name over all the earth!
You have exalted your majesty above the heavens.
Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings
you have fashioned praise because of your foes.
R. You have given your Son rule over the works of your hands.
When I behold your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars which you set in place—
What is man that you should be mindful of him,
or the son of man that you should care for him?
R. You have given your Son rule over the works of your hands.
You have made him little less than the angels,
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him rule over the works of your hands,
putting all things under his feet.
R. You have given your Son rule over the works of your hands.

AlleluiaJN 15:26B, 27A

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Spirit of truth will testify to me, says the Lord,
and you also will testify.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 12:8-12

Jesus said to his disciples:
"I tell you,
everyone who acknowledges me before others
the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God.
But whoever denies me before others
will be denied before the angels of God.

"Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven,
but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit
will not be forgiven.
When they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities,
do not worry about how or what your defense will be
or about what you are to say.
For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say."