Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Saint November 14 : St. Lawrence O'Toole of #Ireland - Died 1180 - #Confessor

St. Lawrence O'Toole

Feast: November 14
Feast Day:
November 14
1128, Castledermot, Kildare, Ireland
November 14, 1180, Normandy, France
1225 by Pope Honorius III
Major Shrine:
St Lawrence's church in Chorley, England

Confessor, born about 1128, in the present County Kildare; died 14 November, 1180, at Eu in Normandy; canonized in 1225 by Honorius III.
His father was chief of Hy Murray, and his mother one of the Clan O'Byrne. At the age of ten he was taken as a hostage by Dermot McMurrogh, King of Leinster. In 1140 the boy obtained permission to enter the monastic school of Glendalough; in that valley-sanctuary he studied for thirteen years, conspicuous for his piety and learning. So great was his reputation in the eyes of the community that on the death of Abbot Dunlaing, early in 1154, he was unanimously called to preside over the Abbey of St. Kevin. Dermot, King of Leinster, married Mor, sister of St. Lawrence, and, though his character has been painted in dark colours by the native annalists, he was a great friend to the Church. He founded an Austin nunnery, of the reform of Aroaise, in Dublin, with two dependent cells at Kilculliheen (County Kilkenny) and at Aghade (County Carlow), in 1151. He also founded an abbey for Cistercian monks at Baltinglass, and an abbey for Austin canons at Ferns.
St. Lawrence, through humility, declined the See of Glendalough in 1160, but on the death of Gregory, Archbishop of Dublin (8 October, 1161), he was chosen to the vacant see, and was consecrated in Christ Church cathedral by Gilla Isu (Gelasius), Primate of Armagh, early in the following year. This appointment of a native-born Irishman and his consecration by the successor of St. Patrick marks the passing of Scandinavian supremacy in the Irish capital, and the emancipation from canonical obedience to Canterbury which had obtained under the Danish bishops of Dublin. St. Lawrence soon set himself to effect numerous reforms, commencing by converting the secular canons of Christ Church cathedral into Aroasian canons (1163). Three years later he subscribed to the foundation charter of All Hallows priory, Dublin (founded by King Dermot), for the same order of Austin canons. Not content with the strictest observance of rules, he wore a hair shirt underneath his episcopal dress, and practised the greatest austerity, retiring for an annual retreat of forty days to St. Kevin's cave, near Glendalough. At the second siege of Dublin (1170) St. Lawrence was active in ministration, and he showed his political foresight by paying due deference to Henry II of England, during that monarch's stay in Dublin. In April, 1178, he entertained the papal legate, Cardinal Vivian, who presided at the Synod of Dublin. He successfully negotiated the Treaty of Windsor, and secured good terms for Roderic, King of Connacht. He attended the Lateran Council in 1179, and returned as legate for Ireland. The holy prelate was not long in Dublin till he deemed it necessary again to visit King Henry II (impelled by a burning charity in the cause of King Roderic), and he crossed to England in September of that year. After three weeks of detention at Abingdon Abbey, St. Lawrence followed the English King to Normandy. Taken ill at the Augustinian Abbey of Eu, he was tended by Abbot Osbert and the canons of St. Victor; before he breathed his last he had the consolation of learning that King Henry had acceded to his request.
SOURCE The Catholic Encyclopedia

#BreakingNews Dr. Cesareo of National Review to US Bishops' Assembly "... your response to this crisis has been incomplete." FULL Text + Video

 Special Report of the National Review Board to the Body of Bishops on the Sexual Abuse Crisis in the Church 
by: Francesco Cesareo, Ph.D., Chair 
November 13, 2018
Good morning your Eminences and your Excellencies.
For many years, you, along with the clergy, religious, and laity of your dioceses, have toiled to extinguish the fires of the sexual abuse crisis. Those efforts have not been in vain. Thanks to your commitment to prevent abuse and support survivors, dioceses today are not the same ones in which occurred the horrific abuses detailed in the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report. The efforts of your dioceses, as well as the implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, have successfully addressed many of the problems of the abuse crisis.

Nonetheless, your response to this crisis has been incomplete. Specifically, current events reveal a continued lack of transparency about past cases of abuse and the way they were handled, as well as a lack of accountability for bishops. The Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report exposed the fact that some bishops have not been sufficiently open and transparent. It has taken the intervention of the state and the media to fully expose the darkness of abuse in our dioceses. It is shameful that the sin of abuse was hidden and allowed to fester until uncovered by the secular world. Even more unbearable is the fact that so many innocent children and young people suffered because of the inaction and silence of some bishops. You must put the victim first when allegations come forward. How many souls have been lost because of this crisis?
Today, the faithful and the clergy do not trust many of you. They are angry and frustrated, no longer satisfied with words and even with prayer. They seek action that signals a cultural change from the leadership of the Church. Their distrust will remain until you truly embrace the principles of openness and transparency listed in the Charter. You must come to terms with the past. There cannot be reconciliation without full acknowledgement of the truth.
While regrettably you will not be taking any action this week, the National Review Board (NRB) still stands behind the recommendations I am presenting to you today, and which you have received as a handout, as you consider how you must act when you are permitted to do so. To bring about transparency, the NRB recommends that as soon as possible, you state your intentions to conduct a review of your diocesan and seminary files, especially archives and clergy personnel files dating back to at least 1950, if possible, and share the findings with the public. At minimum, the findings should include a list of clergy who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults, and whether those cases were handled appropriately by bishops and their dioceses. To maintain credibility, the review process must involve the laity in some form, such as a diocesan review board or external firm.
Some of you have already conducted reviews and published lists of offenders or have expressed your intent to do so. Some of you have also invited your state’s Attorney General to conduct reviews. We are grateful for your proactive steps to restore credibility. Your actions are true marks of the leadership the Church so desperately needs. Unless it would interfere with a civil investigation, we strongly recommend that all other bishops follow suit. Beyond transparency, current events also reveal a lack of accountability for many bishops for their role in the abuse crisis. While much of the guilt has been placed on priests, bishops have often escaped punishment. Simply, the accountability of bishops has never been fully addressed.
Full accountability of bishops requires at least two concrete actions: investigating allegations involving bishops, and ensuring consequences for bishops who have failed in their responsibility to protect the vulnerable. In August, Archbishop Vigano released his testimony regarding the events surrounding the abuse committed by former Cardinal McCarrick. His testimony, along with other public reports containing additional allegations and settlements, seem to suggest that those at the highest levels of the hierarchy remain immune to the consequences of their actions that allowed abuse to occur. Archbishop Vigano’s allegations must be addressed.
No stone must remain unturned. Ignoring these allegations will leave a cloud of doubt over the Church, as questions will linger. To that end, the NRB supports the USCCB’s call for a full investigation, involving laity, into the many questions surrounding Archbishop McCarrick. Such an investigation by a lay body must be independent if its findings are to have credibility among the faithful and society in general. The NRB is again grateful for your leadership regarding this matter, specifically those of you who have publicly supported such an investigation. The NRB calls on the archdioceses and dioceses of New York, Newark, Washington and Metuchen to cooperate with any future investigation. The NRB also supports the concrete recommendations proposed by Cardinal DiNardo to bring about bishops’ accountability by establishing a 3rd party reporting system for allegations against bishops, addressing restrictions of bishops who were removed or resigned due to allegations of sexual abuse or harassment, developing a code of conduct specifically for bishops, and the establishment of a lay commission. To further create a system of accountability, the NRB also recommends that the Charter be revisited in light of current events.
During the most recent process to revise the Charter, many of the recommendations of the NRB were not brought forward. These recommendations should be re-considered, as well as the inclusion of bishops in the Charter. Going forward, the abuse of power, manifested in sexual abuse committed by clergy, including bishops, against adults must also be addressed. To ensure the Charter is being implemented effectively, the audit process must also be strengthened. Currently, the bar for achieving compliance with the Charter is low. Both the type of audit being carried out, as well as the audit instrument itself must be changed, ensuring that the audit is more than simply a compliance review. The audit must also include a review of parishes and Catholic schools to ensure that the data they submit is accurate.
Finally, as more information is publicized regarding the inappropriate handling of abuse by bishops, it remains clear that some bishops have escaped the consequences of their acts of 3 omission regarding abuse, and that little is being done to address this injustice. While most of you have responded appropriately to allegations of abuse, according to a recent report by the Boston Globe and Philadelphia Inquirer, more than 130 bishops – or nearly 1/3 of those still living have been accused during their careers of failing to respond to sexual misconduct in their dioceses. Others have been accused of committing abuse. Few have faced real consequences. This must change. This lacuna must be addressed either at the national level or through an appeal to the Holy See. Indeed, through his Motu Proprio, As a Loving Mother, the Holy Father Pope Francis, stated that a bishop “can be legitimately removed from this office if he has through negligence committed or through omission facilitated acts that have caused grave harm to others, either to physical persons or to the community as a whole…” At present, the NRB is unaware of any mechanism that has been utilized by the USCCB to hold culpable bishops accountable for their past action or inaction. Possible mechanisms could include barring guilty bishops from USCCB membership or attending national meetings. The NRB is also unaware of any sense of meaningful fraternal correction among U.S. bishops regarding matters of abuse.
The NRB calls for a revision of the Statement of Episcopal Commitment to include a concrete approach to fraternal correction. Fraternal correction that is meaningful and effective requires that bishops appeal to the Holy See to intervene if a particular bishop appears unable or unwilling to act in the best interests of the entire Church, whether in the past or the present. One plan of action could be for the USCCB leadership to submit a request for the Holy See to review its own files concerning any sexual misconduct or cover-up involving bishops. On September 19 th , Bishop Robert Morneau, retired bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay, took full responsibility for his failure to prevent abuse and asked to withdraw from public ministry, stating his intentions to spend his time in prayer for all victims of sexual abuse and perform corporal works of mercy as reparation for his failures. A grand jury report or canonical proceeding did not force him to withdraw. He did so because his conscience dictated such action. Bishop Morneau’s actions exemplify those that some of you must take to restore trust and allow the deep wounds caused by the current crisis to heal.
We know this will be difficult but it is necessary to restore trust and reconciliation with survivors of abuse. May God give you the courage, humility, and fortitude to do the right thing for the sake of his Church.
 Your Eminences and your Excellencies, may God bless you as you continue to fight the fires of abuse in the Church, and extinguish all sources of this crisis that has caused such harm and devastation of souls.
More than new national policies and procedures, it will be your individual decisions and actions, with the support and involvement of the laity that will ultimately restore the Church and bring healing and justice for survivors of abuse. Reflecting upon a time of chaos and unrest in the Church and the world, the recently canonized Pope Paul VI once wrote that the smoke of Satan had entered the Church. What came after, he wrote, were not sunny days, but “days of clouds, of storms, of darkness, of searching, of uncertainty…” Years later, his prophetic voice so aptly applies to the failure of leadership that enabled abuse in the Church and the crisis we face today.
 Allow me to assure you that the NRB remains committed to fulfill its charge to assist you and accompany you during this difficult moment so that the Church may emerge purified and renewed for the sake of our children and young people. Thank you.
FULL TEXT Source: http://www.usccb.org/about/child-and-youth-protection/upload/National-Review-Board-Special-Report-to-the-Body-of-Bishops-November-2018.pdf

#PopeFrancis "Consecrated life walks in holiness." to #Religious - FULL Text

[Madrid, 13-15 November 2018]

Dear brothers and sisters,

I am pleased to greet you on the occasion of your General Assembly, in which the XXV anniversary of the Union of male and female Conferences is celebrated. These years of close collaboration between religious and religious have been, without a doubt, fruitful. Constraints of fraternity, of reciprocity and of communion have been created, both in the tasks proper to the Confer and through solidarity and help between consecrated persons and consecrated persons in many moments and circumstances.

I invite you to look with confidence at the future of consecrated life in Spain, according to the motto chosen for this assembly: "I will grant you a future full of hope" (see Jer 29, 11).

The Lord gives us hope with his constant messages of love and with his surprises, which at times may leave us disoriented, but help us to get out of our mental and spiritual closures. His presence is of tenderness, accompanies us and commits us. This is why he says: "I know the projects I have done for you ... projects of peace and not of misfortune, to grant you a future full of hope. You will invoke me and appeal to me and I will grant you; you will seek me and find me, because you will seek me with all my heart; I will let myself be found by you ... I will change your destiny for the better "(Jer 29, 11-14). The journey accomplished as Confer has a fruitful history, full of examples of hidden and silent dedication and holiness. We must not spare efforts to serve and animate the consecrated life of Spain, so that we do not miss our grateful memory, nor our gaze towards the future, since there is no doubt that the state of religious life, without hiding uncertainties and worries, is full. of opportunities and also of enthusiasm, passion and awareness that consecrated life today makes sense.

The Church wants us prophets, that is men and women of hope. Rightly one of the objectives of the year of consecrated life encouraged "to embrace the future with hope". We know the difficulties of religious life today, such as the reduction of vocations and the aging of its members, economic problems and the challenge of internationalization and globalization, the pitfalls of relativism, marginalization and social irrelevance. .; but in these circumstances our hope is raised in the Lord, the only one who can help us and save (see Apostolic Letter to all consecrated persons on the occasion of the Year of Consecrated Life, 21 November 2014, No. 3). This hope leads us to ask the Lord of the harvest to send laborers to his harvest (see Mt 9:38), and to work in the evangelization of the young so that they may open up to the call of the Lord. This is a great challenge: being close to the young to infect them with the joy of the Gospel and belonging to Christ. We need bold religious, who open new paths, and to present the vocational question as a fundamental Christian option. Every stretch of history is God's time, even ours, because his Spirit blows where he wants, as he wants and when he wants (see Jn 3: 8). Whatever moment and circumstance can turn into a "kairos", one must only be careful to recognize it and to live it as such.

Mary, our Mother, who "kept all these things pondering them in her heart" (Lk 2:19), will help us to contemplate and look at all that we do not understand of the present moment, welcoming it, waiting for a future that, though different, will continue to be fruitful for the consecrated life.

Consecrated life walks in holiness. As religious we must torment ourselves, spend and get tired by living the works of mercy, which are the program of our life (see Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et exsultate, No. 107). It is not a matter of being heroes nor of presenting ourselves to others as models, but of being with those who suffer, accompany, search with other alternative paths, aware of our poverty, but also with the trust placed in the Lord and his love without limits. Hence the need to listen again to the call to live with the Church and in the Church, coming out of our schemes and comforts, to be close to human situations of suffering and discouragement that await the light of the Gospel. There are many challenges to religious life today. The reality in which we live requires answers and bold decisions in the face of these challenges. Times have changed and our answers must be different. I encourage you to give an answer, both to structural situations that require new forms of organization, to the need to go out and seek new presences to be faithful to the Gospel and channels of God's love. The life of prayer, personal encounter with Jesus Christ, community discernment, dialogue with the bishop must be prioritized when making decisions. We must live with humble audacity, looking to the future and in an attitude of listening to the Spirit; with him we can be prophets of hope.

May the Lord bless you and may the Virgin Mary accompany you and help you discover the path to follow. And please do not forget to pray for me.

Vatican, 5 November 2018

da: L'Osservatore Romano, ed. quotidiana, Anno CLVIII, n.259, 14/11/2018

Easy #Novena to Saint Frances Cabrini - Patron of #Immigrants - SHARE this Prayer!

Novena to St. Frances Xavier Cabrini 
Almighty and Eternal Father, Giver of all Gifts, show us Your mercy, and grant, we beseech You, through the merits of Your faithful Servant, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, that all who invoke her intercession may obtain what they desire according to the good pleasure of Your Holy Will.
 [Mention your request]
 O Lord Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, mindful of Your bountiful goodness and love, deign, we implore You, through the tender devotion of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini for Your Sacred Heart, to hear our prayers and grant our petitions.
 O God, the Holy Spirit, Comforter of the afflicted, Fountain of Light and Truth, through the ardent zeal of Your humble handmaid, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, grant us Your all-powerful aid in our necessities, sanctify our souls and fill our minds with Divine Light that we may see the Holy Will of God in all things. St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, beloved spouse of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, intercede for us that the favor we now ask may be granted.

 Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be (Each Day for 9 Days)

FULL TEXT Letter of Papal Nuncio to US Bishops "When abuse occurs, it is our sin and we must take it as such." to #USCCB

NOVEMBER 12, 2018
Dear Brothers in Christ,
I am happy to be with you once more here in Baltimore. I wish to thank
Cardinal DiNardo, the President of the Episcopal Conference, as well as Monsignor
Bransfield and the Staff of the USCCB, for the opportunity to address you. I assure
you of the Holy Father's closeness, prayers, and gratitude for your ministry. One
year ago, we were celebrating the one hundredth anniversary of this Episcopal
Conference. Despite some bright moments - the Fifth National Encuentro and the
recent Synod on Youth - we must recognize that the year has been marked by
Actually, the events of this past year, which we have lived and continue to
experience, have been both challenging and sobering. With humility and apostolic
courage, we must accept our responsibility as spiritual fathers, facing reality with
the grace that comes from the Lord. The Church is always in need of renewal for the
sake of her saving mission of mediating the presence of Christ in the world and this
is impossible unless we rebuild trust among the People of God, a task, which, looking
to the future, demands time, effort, sacrifice and, most of all, t1ue repentance and
reform on our part.
There are many calls for reform in the Church, particularly amid the present
crisis. You yourselves have expressed a greater desire for accountability and
transparency. Still, I am struck by the words of the French author Georges Bemanos:
"Whoever pretends to reform the Church with ... the same means used
to reform temporal society- not only will he fail in his undertaking, but
he will infallibly end by finding himself outside the Church. I say that
he finds himself outside the Church before anyone has gone to the
trouble of excluding him or her. I say that it is he himself who excludes
himself from her by a tragic fatalism ... The only way of reforming the
Church is to suffer for her. The only way of reforming the visible
Church is to suffer for the invisible Church. The only way of reforming
the vices of the Church is to lavish on her the example of one's own
most heroic virtues."
If the Church is to reform herself and her structures, then the reform must
spring from her mission of making known Christ, the Son of the Living God. Pope
Francis says that "What makes obsolete structures pass away, what leads to a change
of heart in Christians, is precisely missionary spirit." (POPE FRANCIS, APOSTOLIC
There may be a temptation on the part of some to relinquish responsibility for
reform to others than ourselves, as if we were no longer capable of reforming or
trusting ourselves, as if the deposit of trust should be transferred to other institutions
entirely. To regain trust it is not enough to simply preach words about responsibility,
without living the difficulties of that responsibility, even in the face of criticism.
When it comes to the responsibilities, with which we are charged - with children
and the vulnerable at the forefront- we must show that we can solve problems rather
than simply delegating them to others.
At the same time, there can be no question that the insights of experts, the
contributions of time and professional skill of all the faithful, laity together with the
clergy and so many consecrated women and men, are critical to carrying out our
mission as Shepherds. Assistance is both welcomed and necessary, and surely
collaboration with the laity is essential. However, the responsibility, as bishops of
this Catholic Church, is ours - to live with, to suffer with, and to exercise properly.
The People of God have rightly challenged us to be trustworthy. Pope Francis never
ceases to tell us that if we are to begin again, then we should begin again from Jesus
Christ, who enlightens our lives and helps us to prove that we can be trustworthy!
When Christ called Peter to be the Rock he told him that he would build his
Church upon Peter's confession of faith, promising that the gates of hell would not
prevail! We are that Church, and in our own Profession of Faith we say that we
believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church - a Church undivided, holy
because of its divine element, catholic as universal and apostolic because of its
foundations in the teaching of the Apostles. As the successors of the Apostles, we
cannot be other than with the successor of Peter. We, in communion with our Holy
Father, are heirs to the promise of Christ. As heirs and successors, each of us,
individually and collegially is called to a special responsibility to strengthen the faith
of our sisters and brothers, especially in confronting the challenges before us.
My brothers, in the past decades you have put in place structures for the
protection of children and young people. But we all know that Ecclesia semper
reformanda est! There is always more to do and we bishops must not be afraid to get
our hands dirty in doing that work in the vineyard of the Lord. Moreover, allow me
to remind you, in these challenging days, that the measures you have taken in the
last years have been effective in training bishops, priests, deacons, religious and laity
to be vigilant in the protection of youth. Those measures have been important, have
set an example, and have led to a steep decline in the incidence of rep1ied abuse
today. There are some dioceses here in the United States that have been so thorough
in their work that their training programs have become models for civil institutions.
Those of you who have done good work are to be congratulated for your
commitment as leaders, and for setting a good example for us all. At the same time,
we must reaffirm vigorously that one case of abuse is one too many. Therefore, it is
necessary, for the entire People of God, to remain vigilant.
Despite the success of these efforts, there is not a corresponding increase in
public approval of bishops, and given some recent revelations, perhaps none should
be expected. Trust needs to be earned, not presumed. When protection of the young
and vulnerable becomes not just a duty but a calling, when it is viewed as integral to
the gospel not only to care for Catholics but for all in harm's way, we bishops can
rightly take our place as leaders looked up to rather than down upon with scorn. Of
course, there is work to do, but do not be afraid to speak with pride of the work that
has been done.
Indeed, as painful and humiliating as it may be at times, we can thank the
media for bringing attention to this issue. There have been times when the media
drew attention to precisely what we did not attend to ourselves. As said from the
time of diplomacy in the Greek City-States, "Don't shoot the messenger." (And, as
a Nuncio, I can assure you it is a phrase very dear to me!) It is also the case that an
impression is sometimes left in the media that the Church has done little. That is
simply not true, and we should not be afraid to refute this. We cry for the injustices
perpetrated upon victims of abuse. We vow to fight a clerical culture that tolerates
the abuse of authority. When abuse occurs, it is our sin and we must take it as such.
These are not the sins of the media or the products of vast conspiracies. These are
things we must recognize and fix. Our Holy Father has said it must end, and it must
- not simply because he has said it, but because each of us in our hearts know that
this is the only right thing to do.
Thus, we must see our failures clearly and not be discouraged if we feel the
Church is somehow treated unfairly, turning upon ourselves as though the world is
against us. This would-be self-referential behavior paralyzes rather than energizes.
Christ and his mission demand we go into the world, not withdraw from it. At this
critical moment in the history of the Church in the United States, I am confident that
each one of us will be able to respond by going to and being with the people, showing
them that we can be trustworthy. The path is clear and begins with Christ, the Way,
the Truth, and the Life.
From the Divine Master, we learn the proper use of authority through service.
Seeing the imminence of the Passion and desiring to leave for the Apostles an
example to imitate, He humbled Himself and washed their feet, commanding them
to do the same: For I have given you an example, that as I have done, so you also
should do. (JOHN 13:15).
Rebuilding trust requires using our authority to serve humbly and to lead by
example. Saint Charles Borromeo, a model for bishops, reflecting on the washing of
the disciples' feet, writes that:
"If we desire to consider entirely the things that are mystically
contained in Christ's example, we find the whole duty of an apostle
expressed by him. He rose up from the Jewish supper. In like manner
his ministers too must leave behind the lifestyle of the old man ... and
put on the new, rising from just knowing to putting it into practice, from
the meal to labor, from letter to the spirit. They must lay down their
garments, that is cast away all impediments to the virtues, that they may
be able to labor strenuously and gird themselves with white linen, that
is, integrity of life. Then they draw the water of saving doctrine and
wash the character and conduct of their subjects with doctrine, the
Sacraments, and example. This, our leader and standard-bearer Christ
did, so that we might do the same. The disciple is not above the Master
(Mt 10:24), nor is it fitting for servants of the humble Lord to be proud."
Pope Francis asks us to be a synodal and humble Church, a Church that listens.
We need to listen once more to the voice of Christ: For I have given you an example,
that as I have done, so you also should do. The exercise of authority is a real service
and governance should not be a privilege or a position, but a responsibility to be
neither ignored nor totally delegated.
As the pilgrim Church journeys on in history, she recalls the words of the
Savior: He who hears you, hears me. The Church listens to the voice of Christ. She
also listens when the Vicar of Christ on earth, the successor of Saint Peter, speaks.
Lumen Gentium's third chapter takes up the role of bishops and collegiality,
declaring "Just as in the Gospel, the Lord so disposing, St. Peter and the other
apostles constitute one apostolic college, so in a similar way, the Roman Pontiff, the
successor of Peter, and the bishops, the successors of the apostles, are joined
together." (cf. LG 22) "The individual bishops represent each his own church, but
all of them together with the Pope represent the entire Church in the bond of peace,
If we are together, in real hierarchical communion - hierarchical communion
that permeates our hearts and are not merely words - we become the visible sign of
peace, unity, and love, a sign of true synodality.
In a recent audience, the Holy Father outlined three essential traits of bishops,
which I believe can help us rediscover our own sense of identity and mission in the
present situation: to be a man of prayer; a man of proclamation; and a man of
In that audience, the Holy Father noted that the bishop, like Saint Peter and
the Apostles, is "called by Jesus to be with Him. (cf. Mk 3: 14) There he finds his
strength and his confidence. Before the Tabernacle he learns to entrust himself and
so trust in the Lord.
important for us to regain our confidence that by the power of God and our
cooperation with Him, we can face and meet any challenges.
"For the bishop," the Holy Father continues, "prayer is not devotion but a
necessity; it is not one task among many, but an indispensable ministry of
intercession: each day he must lead people and lay their situations before God." I
am encouraged that you will have the opportunity to be together and to pray together
o n your retreat in early January, when you will have more time to contemplate the
person of Jesus, to listen to His voice, to discern the path forward, and to intercede
for your people.
In addition to being a man of prayer, Pope Francis recalls that the bishop
should be a man of proclamation. The Apostles were sent to proclaim the Gospel to
all the nations. How often the Holy Father exhorts us to be a "Church that goes
forth"! This applies to us too!
In spending himself tirelessly for his people and for the Gospel, not living
exclusively in an office, but among the people, the bishop proclaims the Word with
a specific style. Hopefully, he follows the humble example of Jesus. The Pope
reminds us that we are called to be "living memories of the Lord' and warns against
"being more concerned with form than substance, of becoming more actors than
witnesses" and "of watering down the Word of salvation by proposing a Gospel
without Jesus Crucified and Risen."
The Holy Father also reminds us that the bishop is to be a man of communion,
marked with "the charism of togetherness" - maintaining unity and solidifying
communion. All of you are certainly aware of the polarization of American society
today; it is a polarization that has sometimes affected and infected the Church and
our parishes. The Holy Father states, echoing Saint Augustine, that "The Church
needs union, not soloists apart from the choir or exponents of personal battles. The
Pastor gathers: a bishop for his faithful, he is a Christian with his faithful."
To accomplish this unity the bishop must love "weaving communion by being
involved in the first person and by acting in a humble manner." Part of being engaged
and acting humbly involves listening. Last June, I said that spiritual fatherhood and
effective evangelization require listening. The International' Theological
Commission recently noted the necessity of listening in discernment to build
consensus among laity, consecrated men and women, clergy and bishops. And
listening is curative; by listening, we begin the process of accompaniment. Spending
time with the people and listening to their needs, we learn how to be better pastors.
We are here to teach, but we can also be taught by our brothers and sisters.
The recent Synod on Youth is an example of listening and of taking young
people and their concerns seriously. The Fifth National Encuentro was exemplary in
the art of listening in parishes, dioceses, regionally and nationally. Those who often
find themselves at the margins were afforded the opportunity to express themselves
to their pastors. For those present, who could not be moved by the event when
bishops were seated around the table, exchanging ideas with young people?
Offering an attentive ear to priests is critical as well. We must remember that
truly our priests need support and understanding. They must be listened to. As the
Holy Father says:
"[The bishop] does not tire of listening ... He becomes wholly one with
his people and above all with his presbyterate, always willing to receive
and encourage his priests. By example, more than by words, he promotes
a sincere priestly fraternity, showing priests that they are Shepherds for
Priests today are hurting. Many, having lived through 2002, are experiencing
a trauma for the second time in their priesthood over the abuse crisis. Some are
demoralized, while others are feeling angry or betrayed. Many are simply worn
down with the burdens of ministry, the clergy shortage, and the suspicion under
which they live. They are looking to you to be a father and brother who will listen -
to their sorrows and joys - and who will empathize and encourage them to persevere.
Listening to them and sustaining them is essential to responding to their concerns,
so that they may be your joyful co-workers in the Vineyard of the Lord.
The problems faced by the Church today are compounded by a clericalism.
which can affect both clergy and laity, and which "corrodes communion." In this
regard, it is important to recall that it is the People of God for whom we (and our
priests) have been ordained.
Our Holy Father has spoken of the ills of clericalism from the first days of his
pontificate. It is an illness, and it must be treated as such. An effective response to
clerical.ism can emerge by offering special attention to clergy and to seminarians by
"updating our processes of selection, accompaniment and evaluation" of candidates
that the new Ratio Fundamentalis and your forthcoming Sixth Edition of the
Program for Priestly Formation will confront the challenge, offering an integral
formation for seminarians, helping them grow continually in discipleship and
configuration to Christ.
With patience and concern, continue to spend time with your clergy and
seminarians, listening, so that through prayer you may discern a truly effective
pastoral response, conscious of the Holy Father's reminder that you are "fathers, not
My brothers, we cannot run from the challenges that presently confront us.
We must face them realistically and courageously, listening with open hearts to the
voice of Christ and his Vicar on earth.
I want to assure you, not only of my prayers and solidarity at this difficult
time, but also of those of the Holy Father. Just as the Lord gazed upon Peter, knowing
his weaknesses but also seeing his potential, I remain confident that the Lord gazes
upon us now and will offer us his strength to meet the challenges, which seem
We cannot be daunted or held back by the challenging task; rather, we must
be concerned with the people and mission entrusted to our care along the path to
The experience of the divine, even in small victories and experiences of grace
and healing, gives us hope. Even if things seem dark, do not be discouraged but have
hope. He is with us. He accompanies the Church. Dedicated to Christ and belonging
to Him, as men of the Church, each one of us must be living witnesses to hope. I
conclude with the words of Cardinal Henri De Lubac:
"A man of the Church will always remain open to hope; for him the
horizon is never closed. Like St. Paul, he will want to be full of rejoicing
in his sufferings and will go so far as to believe himself called ... to 'fill
up those things that are wanting in the sufferings of Christ ... for his
body which is the Church.', knowing that in Christ he has 'the hope of
Thank you for your attention!
FULL TEXT Release from USCCB - Letter of Apostolic Nuncio the US - Archbishop Christophe Pierre

#BreakingNews Pope Francis Appoints Special Investigator of Abuse in the Curia - Archb. Scicluna of Malta to CDF

Archbishop Charles Scicluna, a Maltese Archbishop has been appointed by Pope Francis as adjunct secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.  Scicluna was appointed adjunct secretary to the congregation. The Maltese archbishop was already a member of the congregation and president of a special college within it that decided certain legal matters in canonical processes. Scicluna, 59, will also remain Malta’s archbishop. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is responsible for promoting and safeguarding the doctrine on faith and morals in the Catholic Church. Scicluna became the Vatican’s investigator on sex abuse and last summer was appointed by the Pope to investigate allegations of abuse in Chile. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is currently led by the prefect Cardinal Luis Francisco Ladaria, a 74-year-old Jesuit. However, according to Canon Law, Ladaria would have to offer his resignation next year, upon reaching 75. The current secretary of the congregation is 53-year-old Giacomo Morandi.
SOURCE: http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/it/bollettino/pubblico/2018/11/13/0839/01819.html

#BreakingNews Death Toll from Fires in California at 44 with over 200 Missing - Please Pray

This morning the latest death toll from the California Fire is at 44 people killed. The governor has declared a State of Emergency. Emergency workers went through fire-ravaged communities in Northern California and they recovered 13 more bodies. This makes it the largest and deadliest wildfire in the state’s history. Three wildfires broke out late last week.  The Camp Fire, which erupted in Northern California on Thursday, has killed at least 42 people and burned through 117,000 acres of land. The Woolsey Fire outside Los Angeles, which started Thursday and doubled in size overnight, has killed two people and burned nearly 100,000 acres. Both fires prompted the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people. The Hill Fire, which destroyed 4,500 acres in Ventura County, was 85 percent contained on Monday. (The death toll in the video is from last night as more bodies were counted in the latest numbers) Please Pray....

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tues. November 13, 2018 - #Eucharist

Memorial of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, Virgin
Lectionary: 492

Reading 1TI 2:1-8, 11-14

You must say what is consistent with sound doctrine,
namely, that older men should be temperate, dignified,
self-controlled, sound in faith, love, and endurance.
Similarly, older women should be reverent in their behavior,
not slanderers, not addicted to drink,
teaching what is good, so that they may train younger women
to love their husbands and children,
to be self-controlled, chaste, good homemakers,
under the control of their husbands,
so that the word of God may not be discredited.

Urge the younger men, similarly, to control themselves,
showing yourself as a model of good deeds in every respect,
with integrity in your teaching, dignity, and sound speech
that cannot be criticized,
so that the opponent will be put to shame
without anything bad to say about us.

For the grace of God has appeared, saving all
and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires
and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age,
as we await the blessed hope,
the appearance of the glory of the great God
and of our savior Jesus Christ,
who gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness
and to cleanse for himself a people as his own,
eager to do what is good.

Responsorial PsalmPS 37:3-4, 18 AND 23, 27 AND 29

R. (39a) The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Trust in the LORD and do good,
that you may dwell in the land and be fed in security.
Take delight in the LORD,
and he will grant you your heart's requests.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
The LORD watches over the lives of the wholehearted;
their inheritance lasts forever.
By the LORD are the steps of a man made firm,
and he approves his way.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Turn from evil and do good,
that you may abide forever;
The just shall possess the land
and dwell in it forever.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.

AlleluiaJN 14:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 17:7-10

Jesus said to the Apostles:
"Who among you would say to your servant
who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field,
'Come here immediately and take your place at table'?
Would he not rather say to him,
'Prepare something for me to eat.
Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink.
You may eat and drink when I am finished'?
Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?
So should it be with you.
When you have done all you have been commanded, say,
'We are unprofitable servants;
we have done what we were obliged to do.'"