Friday, February 15, 2019

Pope Francis at Mass for Migrants "It is He who knocks on our door hungry, thirsty, a stranger, naked, sick..." FULL Text Homily + Video

Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Fraterna Domus Centre, in Sacrofano. “Free from fear”: that is the theme of a 3-day meeting organized by the Migrantes Foundation, Italian Caritas, and the Jesuit-run Astalli Center for Refugees. The meeting is at the Fraterna Domus, a Welcome and Retreat Center near the town of Sacrofano, about 20 kilometers outside Rome.
The Holy Father’s Full Homily Provided by the Vatican

 The richness of the Readings chosen for this Eucharistic Celebration can be summarized in one phrase: “Do not be afraid.”

The passage from the Book of Exodus presented to us the Israelites by the Red Sea, terrified by the fact that the Pharaoh’s army was following them and was about to reach them. Many thought: it would have been better to stay in Egypt and live as slaves rather than to die in the desert. However, Moses invites the people not to be afraid, because the Lord is with them. “Fear not, stand firm and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will work for you today” (Exodus 14:13). The long trip across the desert, necessary to reach the Promised Land, began with this great test. Israel is called to look beyond the adversities of the moment, to overcome its fear and to place full trust in the Lord’s salvific and mysterious action. In the page of Matthew’s Gospel (14:22-33), the disciples are disturbed and cry out with fear at the sight of the Master walking on the water, thinking that He is a ghost.

On the boat, agitated by a strong wind, they are unable to recognize Jesus, but He reassures them: “Take heart, it is I; have no fear!” (v. 27). Peter, with a mixture of diffidence and enthusiasm, asks Jesus for a proof: “Bid me come to You on the water” (v. 28). Jesus calls him. Peter takes a few steps but then the violence of the wind makes him afraid again and he begins to sink. While caching him to save him, the Master rebukes him: ”O man of little faith, why did you doubt?” (v. 31).

The Lord speaks to us today through these biblical episodes and He asks us to let Him free us from our fears. “Free from Fear” is precisely the theme chosen for your meeting.

In face of the nastiness and ugliness of our time, we also, as the people of Israel, are tempted to abandon our dream of freedom. We experience legitimate fear in face of situations that seem to us to have no way out. And the human words of a leader or of a prophet aren’t enough to reassure us when we don’t succeed in feeling the presence of God and are unable to abandon ourselves to His Providence. So, we shut ourselves in on ourselves, in our fragile human securities, in the circle of loved persons, in our reassuring routine. And, in the end, we give up the trip to the Promised Land to return to Egypt’s slavery.

This withdrawing into oneself, a sign of defeat, increases our fear of “others,” the unknown, the marginalized, the foreigners. And we see this particularly today in face of the arrival of migrants and refugees, who knock on our door in search of protection, safety, and a better future. Fear is legitimate, also because the preparation is lacking for this encounter. I said it last year, on the occasion of the World Day of Migrants and Refugees. Instead, we are called to overcome our fear and open ourselves to an encounter. And to do, this rational justifications and statistical calculations aren’t enough. Moses says to the people in face of the Red Sea, with a fierce enemy that urges them from behind: “Do not be afraid,” because the Lord does not abandon His people, but acts mysteriously in history to bring about his plan of salvation. Moses speaks thus because he trusts God.

An encounter with another, then, is also an encounter with Christ. He Himself said so. It is He who knocks on our door hungry, thirsty, a stranger, naked, sick and imprisoned, asking to be met and assisted. And if we still have a doubt, behold His clear word: “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to Me” (Matthew 25:40).

In this sense, the Master’s encouragement to His disciples can also be understood: “Take heart, it is I; have no fear!” (Matthew 14:27). It is truly He, even if it’s hard for us to recognize Him: with torn clothes, dirty feet, a deformed face, a wounded body, unable to speak our language . . . Like Peter, we can also be tempted to put Jesus to the test, to ask Him for a sign. And, perhaps, after some hesitant steps towards Him, remain again victims of our fears. But the Lord does not abandon us! — even if we are men and women “of little faith,” Christ continues to stretch out His hand to save us and enable us to encounter Him, an encounter that saves us and restores to us the joy of being His disciples.

If this is a valid key to read our history today, then we should begin to thank the one who gives us the occasion for this encounter, or the “others” that knock on our doors, offering us the possibility to overcome our fears to encounter, receive and assist Jesus in person.

And, one who had the strength to let him/herself be freed from fear, who has the joy of this encounter is called today to proclaim it to all, openly, to help others to do the same, predisposing themselves to an encounter with Christ and His salvation.

It is a grace that carries with it a mission, fruit of complete entrustment to the Lord, who is, for us, the only true certainty. Therefore, as individuals and as communities, we are called to make our own the prayer of the redeemed people: “The Lord is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation” (Exodus 15:2).
Translation Share of the Holy Father's Homily by

Wow Actor Gary Sinise Reveals his Journey to Catholic Faith and Charity for Veterans

Actor Gary Sinise describes his road to the Catholic Church through the influence of his wife.

Gary Sinise, the actor known for playing Lieutenant Dan in the 1994 movie "Forrest Gump," discusses journey to becoming a Catholic in his new book; "Grateful American". He is also the founder of an organization,  Gary Sinise Foundation's (,that helps thousands of war veterans.
In interview with Catholic News Service, Sinise explained about his wife, Moira Harris;
"At one point, she went to a Catholic church looking for an AA meeting. This little French woman, she asked her, 'Where's the AA meeting?' She looked at her (Moira) and said, 'You should become a Catholic,'" he added. "Something happened to her at that moment — I don't know, something that had been aligned within her. Her mother was Catholic, but she fell away from the church and married a Methodist. She was not raised in any particular faith."

(In this video Gary Sinise speaks to the Knights of Columbus about his Faith and Organization)
After his wife finished the play, she met Sinise in North Carolina,
"There was a hurricane coming to Wilmington," Sinise recalled. "Well, she was telling me this story, and I'm telling here we've gotta get out of here and drive to Charlotte and we'll fly to Los Angeles. While we're driving, the hurricane was blasting behind us. She turns around and says, 'I'm going to the Catholic Church and I'm going to become a Catholic.'
"I laughed and said, 'Wait a minute. We just moved across the street from a public school.' 'Yes, and I'm going to send our kids to a Catholic school,'" he added. "Sure enough, when we go home she went to the RCIA program at our local Catholic church."
For the next year, his wife was in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults program. "We started going to Mass," Sinise said. "My wife was confirmed in Easter 2000. ... The following year that little church became a sanctuary, a place of great comfort" following the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001.
Sinise himself joined the church in 2010.
"I surprised my family. I'd gone through the confirmation classes and whatnot myself behind everybody's back and I didn't tell anybody that I was doing it," he said.
"On Christmas Eve 2010 I told the family I was taking them to dinner at Morton's Steakhouse and have Christmas Eve dinner," he said. "And on the way there, I pulled into the church, and everybody asked, 'What are we doing here?' I said come on in. We walked into the church. The priest was there, and he confirmed me. It was beautiful."
Sinise tells this faith story his newly published book, "Grateful American." In the memoir, he details his life growing up in the Chicago suburbs, as well as his many adventures in films and on stage.
The Gary Sinise Foundation's website,, includes a page listing his appearances and visits at military bases and hospitals .
Edited from CNS

Details on Pope Francis' Appointment of Cardinal Kevin Farrell as "Camerlengo" + FULL Text Release

Pope Francis has made the decision to appoint Cardinal Kevin Farrell as his Camerlengo. 
Upon the death of a pope, the Camerlengo is one of only two officials in the Curia to keep their position. The Camerlengo is ceremonial role who formally certifies the pope's death. The Camerlengo also acts as the Vatican City head of state until a new pope is elected and administers the financial affairs during the 'sede vacante.'
FULL TEXT - Official Release by
Appointment of Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church. 
The Pope has appointed as Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church His Eminence Cardinal Kevin Joseph Farrell, prefect of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life.
 Cardinal Kevin Farrell (71) is the most senior Irishman at the Vatican and one of two brothers serving there.

His older brother Bishop Brian Farrell (75) is secretary to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and has worked at the Vatican since 1981.

Both are from Drimnagh in Dublin and were educated by the Christian Brothers.

Cardinal Farrell was also the Vatican official with responsibility for co-ordinating efforts around the World Meeting of Families 2018 in Dublin in August, which  included a visit by Pope Francis.

He was born in September 1947 and joined the Legionaries of Christ in 1966. He studied theology at the University of Salamanca in Spain, the Gregorian University and the Angelicum in Rome, as well as business and administration at the University of Notre Dame in the United States.

He has served most of his priestly life in the Americas. Ordained in 1978, he served as chaplain at the Catholic University of Monterrey in Mexico while also acting as general administrator of the Legionaries of Christ with responsibilities for seminaries and schools in Italy, Spain and Ireland.

In 1984, by which time he had left the Legionaries of Christ, he became a priest of the US archdiocese of Washington and in 1986 succeeded then Fr (now Cardinal Archbishop of Boston) Se├ín O’Malley as director of the Washington archdiocese’s Spanish Catholic Centre.

In December 2001 he was named auxiliary bishop of Washington and in March 2007 was appointed Bishop of Dallas.

In August 2016 he was appointed prefect of the Vatican’s newly-created Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life and created Cardinal by Pope Francis in November 2016.

Biographical information on Cardinal Farrell from the Irish Times

#BreakingNews Major Terrorist Bomb Attack in Kashmir, India Kills 44 People - Please Pray

Kashmir, the death toll rises to 44. Islamabad condemns the attack The bomber a local fundamentalist of the Pakistani Islamic group Jaish-e-Mohammad. An official note from the Pakistani government rejects all " insinuations" of Islamabad connection with the incident. In Bandra a mass in memory of the dead soldiers.
 Srinagar (AsiaNews) - The death toll of the victims of yesterday's violent explosion in Indian Kashmir, a few kilometers from Srinagar, has risen to 44. This is the most serious attack against the personnel of the Indian Union army. The massacre was immediately claimed by the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), a Pakistani fundamentalist group. India has long asked the UN for inclusion in the list of terrorist groups, but the official condemnation never came because of the opposition of China, an ally of Pakistan.
This is why today Prime Minister Narendra Modi has returned to call for sanctions against militants led by Masood Azhar and continues to point the finger at Islamabad as a "sponsor of international terrorism". For its part, with an official note, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry defines the attack as a "source of serious concern" and rejects the versions of the Indian press that hypothesizes links between the Pakistani government and the attackers. "We have always condemned - the statement reads - acts of violence throughout the world. We strongly reject any insinuation of elements in the Indian media and government that attempt to connect the attack to Pakistan without having carried out any investigation. "
For now the only reliable information is that the incident occurred in the Pulwama district, on the Srinagar-Jammu highway, which is usually subject to strict controls. Even the movement of such a large convoy is an exception, probably due to the snow that in recent days has blocked traffic on that stretch of road.
The dynamics of the attack are also uncertain: it is not clear whether the bomber drove the explosive car into one of Central Reserve Police Force vehicles, or if he activated the detonator when passing. However, the explosion was so violent that it melted the body of the truck. Investigators broke some reservations only on the name of the JeM attacker: Adil Ahmad Dar, known as the "Waqas Commando" and resident in the Pulwama district.
Kashmir the Kashmir dossier is among the most controversial issues in the country. The territory on the border with Pakistan, is disputed by the two nations since the division of the former British Empire, which took place in 1947.
The numerous attempts to establish independence and a latent conflict have caused tens of thousands of deaths, most of them civilians. The dispute was rekindled was 2016, when the security forces killed the famous separatist Burhan Wani. In retaliation, the militants stormed the military base at Uri and killed 18 soldiers. From that moment the clash between rebels and soldiers led to the death of 500 people only in 2018.
Today in Bandra (near Mumbai), a mass was held in memory of the victims and their families in the Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount. Msgr. John Rodrigues, rector of the basilica, used the "prayers for peace" drawn from the Roman missal. (Nirmala Carvalho Collaborated)
FULL TEXT Release from Asia News IT

Pope Francis to Indigenous "God created the earth for the benefit of everyone, so that it would be a welcoming space where nobody felt excluded..." FULL TEXT


 Dear Friends,

I thank Mrs. Myrna Cunningham for her kind words and I am pleased to greet those who, coinciding with the meetings of the Council of Governors, have celebrated the fourth World Meeting of the Indigenous People's Forum, convened by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (Ifad) . The theme of your work was: "to promote the knowledge and innovations of the original peoples to create resilience to climate change and sustainable development".

The presence of all of you here shows that environmental issues are of utmost importance and invites us to look again at our planet, wounded in many regions by human greed, by war conflicts that generate a flood of ills and misfortunes, as also from natural disasters that leave in their passage scarcity and devastation. We can not continue to ignore these scourges, responding to them with indifference and lack of solidarity, or postponing the measures that must be dealt with effectively. On the contrary, only a strong sense of fraternity will strengthen our hands to help today those who need it and open the door of tomorrow to the generations that come behind us.

God created the earth for the benefit of everyone, so that it would be a welcoming space where nobody felt excluded and we could all find a home. Our planet is rich in natural resources. And the original peoples, with their copious variety of languages, cultures, traditions, knowledge and ancestral methods, become for everyone an alarm bell, which highlights the fact that man is not the owner of nature, but only the one who manages it, the one whose vocation is to watch over it with care, so that its biodiversity is not lost and the water can continue to be healthy and crystalline, the pure air, the leafy woods and the fertile soil.

The indigenous peoples are a living cry in favor of hope. They remind us that we human beings have a shared responsibility in the care of the "common home". And if certain decisions taken so far have ruined it, it's never too late to learn the lesson and acquire a new lifestyle. It is about adopting a way of proceeding that, abandoning superficial approaches and harmful habits or exploitation, overcomes atrocious individualism, convulsive consumerism and cold selfishness. The earth suffers and the original peoples know of dialogue with the earth, they know what it is to listen to the earth, to see the earth, to touch the earth. They know the art of living well in harmony with the earth. And we must learn this that perhaps we are tempted into a sort of progressive illusion at the expense of the earth. We never forget the saying of our grandparents: "God always forgives, we humans forgive sometimes, nature never forgives". And we are seeing it, with ill-treatment and exploitation. To you, who know how to dialogue with the earth, is entrusted with the task of transmitting this ancestral wisdom to us.

If we join forces and, with a constructive spirit, we will initiate a patient and generous dialogue, we will end up becoming more aware of the fact that we need each other; that a behavior harmful to the environment that surrounds us has negative repercussions on the serenity and fluidity of coexistence, which sometimes has not been cohabitation but destruction; that the natives can not continue to suffer injustice and young people are entitled to a better world than ours and expect convincing answers from us.

Thanks to all of you for the tenacity with which you affirm that the earth does not exist only to be exploited without any regard, even to sing it, to guard it, to caress it. Thank you for raising your voice to assert that respect for the environment must always be safeguarded above exclusively economic and financial interests. The experience of IFAD, its technical expertise, as well as the means at its disposal, lend a valuable service to smooth paths that recognize that "a technological and economic development that does not leave a better world and a quality of life wholly superior, it can not be considered progress "(Encyclical Letter Laudato si ', 194).

And, in our collective imagination, there is also a danger: we so-called civilized peoples "we are first class" and the so-called original or indigenous peoples "are second-class". No. It is the great mistake of an uprooted progress, freed from the earth. The two peoples must dialogue. Today a "cultural hybridization" is urgent where the wisdom of the original peoples can dialogue on the same level with the wisdom of the most developed peoples, without annulling themselves. The "cultural hybridization" would be the goal towards which we should strive with the same dignity.
As I encourage you to move forward, I plead with God not to stop accompanying your communities and those in the IFAD with his blessings to protect those living in the poorest and poorest rural areas on the planet, but richer in the wisdom of living with the nature.

Thank you.

Prayers and Candles in Atonement for Victims of Abuse in February with Prayer by Survivor

Candles of Atonement are being lit to mark the Day of Prayer for Survivors of Abuse. The candles are to bring to mind those who have been left “with lifelong suffering as a result of abuse, whose trust was so deeply betrayed and whose faith has been so cruelly tested within the sanctity of the Church”.

The head of the Church in Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, said lighting the candles of atonement would bring to mind,
 “our brothers and sisters, and their families, who have been left with a lifelong suffering as a result of abuse, whose trust was so deeply betrayed and whose faith has been so cruelly tested within the sanctity of the Church by perpetrators of abuse”.
The annual Day of Prayer for Survivors and Victims of Sexual Abuse took place on Friday 15 February with candles of atonement lit in cathedrals and parishes throughout Ireland.
The atonement candles were blessed and dedicated by the bishops during a retreat in the Knock shrine,  and are a symbol of repentance, hope and light in the darkness
The Day of Prayer for Victims and Survivors of Abuse is an initiative started by Pope Francis. It was first marked in Irish dioceses and parishes in 2017.
Archbishop Martin,  will represent the Irish Church at the Vatican summit on safeguarding people from abuse
“Many have spoken to me about the importance of prayer for survivors, and for the need for the Church to be open to justice, to atone and never forget them.”
He said he had been humbled by survivors’ courage and overwhelmed by their generosity of spirit.
“It is my intention to relay the lived experience and insights of Irish survivors, both personally to Pope Francis, and more widely to the safeguarding meeting in Rome later this month.”
The accompanying prayer was written by an abuse survivor and the Archbishop of Armagh expresses the hope that, “the ‘Candle of Atonement’ and accompanying prayer are offered as a reminder to all of the need for us to atone, to ask forgiveness as a Church for the suffering caused by abuse.”
“The Candle of Atonement and accompanying prayer are offered as a reminder to all of the need for us to atone, to ask forgiveness as a Church for the suffering caused by abuse. My hope is that these candles will be lit in cathedrals and parishes across the country as a reminder of the need for atonement and that they will symbolise repentance, light in the darkness and hope,” Dr Martin said.
People are asked to light candles at all Masses from 15 to 17 February, and also on the weekend of 23 to 24 February while the safeguarding meeting is taking place with Pope Francis in Rome.
Candle of Atonement Prayer
Lord, forgive us our many sins.
We grieve and repent with all our hearts for having offended you, for our great failings and neglect of the young and vulnerable.
We place all of those who have been hurt by the Church in any way into your loving hands and under the protection of Our Blessed Mother.
Lord, bring peace to their broken lives and show us all the way out of darkness and into the light of your Word.
May we as the people of God be more fully human, more fully Christ-like and more fully your people, that we may see the errors of the past and go forward with renewed hope and faith in Christ and in our Church.
Edited from Catholic Ireland. Net

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Friday, February 15, 2019 - #Eucharist

Friday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 333

Reading 1 GN 3:1-8

Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals
that the LORD God had made.
The serpent asked the woman,
“Did God really tell you not to eat
from any of the trees in the garden?”
The woman answered the serpent:
“We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden;
it is only about the fruit of the tree
in the middle of the garden that God said,
‘You shall not eat it or even touch it, lest you die.’”
But the serpent said to the woman:
“You certainly will not die!
No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it
your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods
who know what is good and what is evil.”
The woman saw that the tree was good for food,
pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom.
So she took some of its fruit and ate it;
and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her,
and he ate it.
Then the eyes of both of them were opened,
and they realized that they were naked;
so they sewed fig leaves together
and made loincloths for themselves.

When they heard the sound of the LORD God moving about in the garden
at the breezy time of the day,
the man and his wife hid themselves from the LORD God
among the trees of the garden.

Responsorial PsalmPS 32:1-2, 5, 6, 7

R. (1a) Blessed are those whose sins are forgiven.
Blessed is he whose fault is taken away,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed the man to whom the LORD imputes not guilt,
in whose spirit there is no guile.
R. Blessed are those whose sins are forgiven.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
my guilt I covered not.
I said, “I confess my faults to the LORD,”
and you took away the guilt of my sin.
R. Blessed are those whose sins are forgiven. 
For this shall every faithful man pray to you
in time of stress.
Though deep waters overflow,
they shall not reach him.
R. Blessed are those whose sins are forgiven.
You are my shelter; from distress you will preserve me;
with glad cries of freedom you will ring me round.
R. Blessed are those whose sins are forgiven.

AlleluiaSEE ACTS 16:14B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Open our hearts, O Lord,
to listen to the words of your Son.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 7:31-37

Jesus left the district of Tyre
and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee,
into the district of the Decapolis.
And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment
and begged him to lay his hand on him.
He took him off by himself away from the crowd.
He put his finger into the man’s ears
and, spitting, touched his tongue;
then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him,
“Ephphatha!” (that is, “Be opened!”)
And immediately the man’s ears were opened,
his speech impediment was removed,
and he spoke plainly.
He ordered them not to tell anyone.
But the more he ordered them not to,
the more they proclaimed it.
They were exceedingly astonished and they said,
“He has done all things well.
He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”