Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Pope Francis Prays Lectio Divina at Lateran University "..nothing moves the mercy of God like our truly contrite and humiliated heart." FULL TEXT


Pontifical Lateran University
Tuesday, 26 March 2019

From the book of the prophet Daniel (Dn 3, 25. 34-43)

In those days, Azaria got up and prayed this prayer in the middle of the fire and opening the door
mouth said:
«Do not abandon us to the end,
for the sake of your name,
do not break your covenant;
do not withdraw your mercy from us,
for love of Abraham, your friend,
of Isaac your servant of Israel your saint
to whom you have spoken, promising to multiply
their lineage like the stars of the sky,
like the sand on the sea beach.
Now instead, Lord,
we have become smaller
of any other nation,
today we are humiliated for all the earth
because of our sins.
Now we no longer have either prince
neither prophet nor head nor holocaust
neither sacrifice nor oblation nor incense
nor place to present the first fruits
and find mercy.
We could be welcomed with a contrite heart
and with the humiliated spirit,
as holocausts of rams and bulls,
like thousands of fat lambs.
May our sacrifice be before you today and please you,
because there is no disappointment for those who trust in you.
Now we follow you with all my heart,
we fear you and seek your face,
don't cover us with shame.
Do with us according to your clemency,
according to your great mercy.
Save us with your wonders,
give glory to your name, Lord. "

We have heard the first reading of today's liturgy. She was read in a new way this morning, knowing that today I would come here, among you. It always happens this way: listening to the Scriptures from the reality of today discloses and communicates further meanings, which are contained in it. The biblical page comes to fruition in our ears (see Lk 4,17-21) and reveals a further sense, which we had perhaps missed or which we did not understand well, and which is manifested to us today.

This text contains the prayer of three young sons of Israel: Ananias, Azarias and Misaele, thrown into a large fiery furnace by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar, because they refused to worship his golden statue. Their determined determination to be faithful to God and to preserve their freedom actually exposes them to martyrdom, as happens today also to your Christian peers, in some parts of the world. But God intervenes to prevent the flames from hurting the three young men: in front of the incredulous eyes of Nebuchadnezzar, Ananias, Azarias and Misaele walk in the fire as if in the furnace "a wind full of dew blew" (Dn 3, 50); they are accompanied by an angel - one who "in appearance is like a son of gods" (Dn 3,92) - and they begin to praise and pray to God. Today's Reading contains the penitential part of this prayer.

According to many scholars, the date of composition of the book of Daniel is to be placed at the time of the persecution of the Seleucid king Antiochus Epiphanes, before his death in 164 BC Since the events of Daniel and his three young companions take place in the sixth century BC, during the exile in Babylon, we understand the logic of this biblical book: to courageously face the persecutions suffered in the present, Israel recalls the example of famous personalities of the past (Daniele, the three young people, the young Susanna in chap.13), who lived faithfulness to God and to his Torah. Memory always gives us strength: the memory of the past brings us not only a message, but brings us the strength of belonging to a people. Thus they have conquered with their testimony the destructive violence of the powers of this world: they have remained unharmed and have even obtained the confession of faith in God of their enemies (see Dn 3,95-96), realizing the priestly mission of Israel in the midst of the people and of universal blessing for all peoples.
Being wrapped in flames and remaining unharmed: it can be done with the help of the Lord Jesus, the Son of God, and the breeze of the Holy Spirit. I imagine you this way: even if we live in a cultural context marked by the unique thought, which wraps and puts everyone to sleep with his deadly embrace and burns all forms of creativity and divergent thought, you walk unharmed thanks to the rooting in Jesus and his Gospel, made actual by the power of the Holy Spirit. In this way you keep a high eye and also a different look at reality, a Christian difference that brings newness.

The academic path you are taking in this Pontifical University aims not to isolate you from this context, but rather to inhabit it with critical awareness and capacity for discernment, in view of that action in which your contribution to the cultural and social life of the world is expressed . Adherence to the Gospel and the acceptance of the rich heritage of the ecclesial tradition, at all levels, do not aim to block thought, nor do they ask us to wearily repeat the usual formulas: they want first of all to give you a free, authentic point of view , true to reality, I would say "healthy", compared to our time.

We want to remember the roots, which are different from the tree: they are underground, but they are the roots. And this passage wants to remember, in the persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes, the roots of a people, the memory of a people. The memory that is like the sap that comes from the roots and makes the tree grow and flourish.

Think of the push we are continually receiving to live in a comfortable and stingy individualism - all of us - concerned only with our own well-being, our free time and self-fulfillment ... I stop to touch a point that hurts me: our demographic winter. "But why don't you have a son, at least, or two?" - "No, but I think, I'd like to take a trip, I'm still waiting ...". And so couples go on without fertility. For selfishness, for having more, even for cultural journeys, but children do not come. That tree does not bear fruit. The demographic winter that we all suffer today is the effect of this unique, selfish thought, directed only at oneself, which only seeks "my" realization. You students think well about this: think about how this unique thought is so "wild" ... It seems very cultural but it is "wild", because it prevents you from making history, leaving a story behind you. How dangerous all this is, how much it separates us from others and therefore from reality, how much it makes us sick and delirious! The many neuroses ... It often quickly turns into an exaltation of one's personal "I" or of the group, in contempt and deviation from others, from the poor, in refusal to let oneself be challenged by the evident ruin of creation! This is a shame! To be taken by the hand by the Lord, by the angels that He sends us, to follow the Spirit that is like the wind and whose voice we recognize today, means to avoid being burned: burned in the brain, in the heart, in the body, in relationships , in everything that sets life in motion and fills it with hope. It is from the contemplation of the very mystery of the Trinity of God, and of the incarnation of the Son, that the primacy given to the relationship, to the encounter with the sacred mystery of the other, to communion flows for Christian thought and for the action of the Church. universal with the whole of humanity as everyone's vocation. Veritatis gaudium states that the priority and permanent criterion for the renewal of ecclesiastical studies "is that of contemplation and spiritual, intellectual and existential introduction into the heart of the kerygma, and that is the ever new and fascinating news of the Gospel of Jesus". In fact, "from this vital and joyful concentration on the face of God revealed in Jesus Christ" descends "to live as the Church" the mysticism of us "which becomes the leaven of universal brotherhood", descends "the imperative to listen in the heart and to do the cry of the poor and of the earth resound in the mind "and" to discover in all of creation the trinitarian imprint that makes the cosmos in which we live a web of relationships, propitiating a spirituality of global solidarity that springs from the mystery of the Trinity "(n . 4). The mystique of "we". Once, a young priest made me a trap and told me: "Tell me, father, what is the opposite of" I "?". And immediately I replied: "You". "No, Father, even the Popes are wrong, no. The opposite of "I" is "we". We. It is that which saves us from individualism, both from the self and from the "you".
Understand well that the Gospel gives us the most radical and profound antidotes for defending ourselves and recovering from the disease of individualism.

There is another passage in this biblical passage, which I would like to talk about. In their humble request for forgiveness, the three young people recognize that God was righteous in his judgments and in his works. He let Israel experience the disastrous consequences of being away from the Lord, and instead of becoming "as numerous as the stars of the sky and the sand of the sea", he became "smaller than any other nation", divided and partly forced into exile . Here I resume what I said about the demographic winter. In their prayer the three young people interpret the history of the people. Despite being the last link in the chain of generations of Israel, they feel nothing other than the people and its history. They feel the weight of an open account with the Lord and intone a beautiful prayer which is a recognition of guilt and a request for forgiveness. Faults are fathers, we pay the consequences, yet at this moment we ask forgiveness on behalf of all. No distancing, but recognition that the mistakes of the fathers can be repeated, be updated, even by today's generation. There is a solidarity in sin, which becomes solidarity in the confession of faith: God who is infinite mercy will have mercy on the fathers and also on us.

This painful prayer of the young is beautiful! In the first place there is thanksgiving for God's faithfulness: "Blessed are you, Lord God of our fathers" (Dn 3,26). The fathers testify that God was just, but he did not abandon us to ruin, rather he was faithful to the promises made to his friends: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. Young people believe in this testimony of the fathers, they commemorate the history of the people always marked by God's mercy, and open themselves to the future. They are convinced that there is a future, there will be, that the door is not barred, even in the midst of hostility and persecution. And this is because God is always faithful and always forgiving. Always. God never tires of forgiving.

I would like so much that you guard this hope founded on the promise of God. I would like so much that in planning the future you kept the memory of being a people, of having a story with lights and shadows, of being protagonists in the today of that dialogue of love between God and the men that has crossed the centuries! Fathers' dreams will fuel and provoke your visions for today. The feeling of being part of a people of sinners will give you the antibodies to avoid making the same mistakes: towards God, towards others, towards the whole creation.

The studies you do in this University will be fruitful and useful only to the extent that they will not release you from this conscious belonging to the history of the people and of humanity as a whole, but they will help you to interpret it with the keys of interpretation that emerge from the Word of God opening up to a future full of hope. I know that one can study closing up in academic circles without breath, playing with concepts instead of interpreting life, clinging to formulas but detaching oneself from the real existence of people. For this reason I hoped that in ecclesiastical studies a "radical paradigm shift" will be realized, a "courageous cultural revolution" that, arising from the contribution of the reflection and practice of the people of God "in the field" of all corners of the world, will produce "A true evangelical hermeneutics, to better understand life, the world, men". We have not yet overcome the logic of the Enlightenment, we have not overcome it. This is the challenge: the new hermeneutics that goes in this direction. The hermeneutics of memory, of belonging to a people, of having a story; the hermeneutic of walking towards a hope, hermeneutics - I repeat one thing that I like to say - of the three languages, together, harmonics: the language of the mind, the language of the heart, the language of the hands, so that we think what we feel and do; one feels what one thinks and does; you do what you feel and think. This hermeneutics is needed today to overcome the legacy of the Enlightenment. There is no need so much for a new synthesis but "for a spiritual atmosphere of research and certainty based on the truths of reason and faith", which will be fruitful "only if it is done with an open mind and kneeling": both what's this. In fact, for example, the theologian who welcomes his complete and concluded thought, what is it? A mediocre theologian. The good theologian, the good philosopher has an open, that is, incomplete, thought. Fall in love with incomplete thought, because this is our path, always open to the maius of God and to the truth (see Apostolic Constitution Veritatis gaudium, 3).
With this spirit and this discipline, the studies you do here will help you to interpret the world and build the future together with the Lord, well founded in belonging to the holy people of God, whom He guides with love, inspires, nourishes and corrects with the his Word.

And a last reflection starting from the passage from the book of Daniel. There have been seasons of history in which Israel has had neither princes (that is, shepherds who led it on behalf of God), nor temple (the firm rock of the presence of the Glory of God among the people). In those moments, however, God sent prophets, so that the people would not be deprived of his Word and his guidance. Instead Azaria points out that now, in the Babylonian exile, there are no longer even those! There are no prophets. What remains to be done? Nothing but to present oneself to God with a contrite heart and humiliated spirit, whom God will like "as holocausts of rams and bulls, like thousands of fat lambs. Let our sacrifice be before you today "(3: 39-40). This passage of prayer is beautiful. I see a bit of youthful boldness, a presentation before God with his own naked shame. And you young people, please: present yourself before God with your naked shame. It will do you good. Not just you, all of us. A bit like when you "pull the rope" of the patience of parents and grandparents, knowing that you are very loved. But here the intuition of the three young people saw right: nothing moves the mercy of God like our truly contrite and humiliated heart. This is a great thing. Indeed, the younger son of the parable of the merciful Father, an expert on this youthful impudence, knows that he will be received even if his repentance is not exactly as it should be. "I will get up and go to my father." Behind all this there is a trust, a faith: "there is no disappointment for those who trust in you" (3.40). I wish you to be so open to the future, enterprising and courageous in dreaming and planning it, with the help of the studies you do, because "brazenly" confident that there is no disappointment for those who rely on the Lord.

I greet you all, I wish you a good Lenten journey. May the Lord fill your face with his light and make it as beautiful as the face of the three young men of the book of Daniel was for fidelity to the Word of God (1,14). I greet and thank the Rector Vincenzo Buonomo and the body of professors of the Lateran University: they are the fathers who testify to the faithfulness of God despite sin, and the dream masters for the future.

There was also a bit of cheekiness in the attitude of a Pope who comes in through the door, not even saying "good morning", and he begins to preach. Now I can say: good morning! The sermon is done. That rude Pope now apologizes: it was a liturgical moment that began with the Word of God, read by the Rector, and then the sermon. Now I want to thank you, all of you, for this welcome. I wanted to come to the University and wanted to talk to you like that. And Lent was the occasion to do it. I thank you for listening - I have not seen anyone who has fallen asleep, at least you are polite, thank you! And keep working, because life doesn't start with you but needs you to continue. Rooted in the memory of ancestors, rooted in belonging to a people. The present is yours and not yours: it is a gift that comes from history, offered to you, but to carry it forward. Your decision is one that will ensure that that gift continues to go on and bear fruit.

Thank you! Pray for me, because - as they say in Argentina - sometimes it is up to me to "dance with the ugliest"! The Lord wanted them too to have the right to dance! So let's go ahead, and let's get on together. Pray for me, I will pray for you. Do not lose your youth, do not lose your sense of humor, do not miss it! Seeing a bitter young man is very ugly. The sense of humor is, on the human level, the attitude closest to the grace of God. Do not lose the sense of humor. Thank you very much! Pray for me and good Lent, and goodbye.

Now let's go back to the liturgy: let us pray the Our Father together. "Our father…"


Good day!

Wow Catholic Franciscan Friar Wins Global Teacher Prize - Brother Peter gives 80% of Salary for Students

A Kenyan science teacher named Brother Peter Tabichi has won a global prize for teachers.

Brother Peter Tabichi is called an "exceptional teacher" who gives away 80% of his salary.
He has won a $1 million prize (£760,000) as the world's best teacher.
Please Share this Inspirational Story to Encourage others!

Br. Peter Tabichi, a member of the Franciscan religious order, won the 2019 Global Teacher Prize.

The award, was presented in a ceremony in Dubai, it acknowledges the "exceptional" teacher's commitment to pupils in part of Kenya's Rift Valley.

He gives away 80% of his pay to support pupils, at the Keriko Mixed Day Secondary School in Pwani Village, Nakuru. These students are very poor and often could not afford uniforms or books.

The competition is run by the Varkey Foundation, had 10,000 other nominations from 179 countries.

Br. Peter is member of the Catholic religious order founded by St Francis of Assisi in the 13th Century.

He teaches in groups of 70 or 80, in overcrowded classrooms and this causes problems for teachers.

Brother Peter was congratulated by Kenya's president, Uhuru Kenyatta.

"Peter - your story is the story of Africa, a young continent bursting with talent. Your students have shown that they can compete amongst the best in the world in science, technology and all fields of human endeavour," said the Kenyan president.

The founder of the prize, Sunny Varkey, says he hopes Brother Peter's story "will inspire those looking to enter the teaching profession and shine a powerful spotlight on the incredible work teachers do all over Kenya and throughout the world every day".
Edited from BBC and Vatican News va
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Apostolic Letter on Community Life "Community life is an essential element of religious life..." FULL TEXT

Unofficial Translation from Vatican.va - will be replaced with Official 




 Community life is an essential element of religious life and "religious must live in their own religious house observing common life and cannot be absent without permission from their superior" (can. 665 §1 CIC). However, the experience of the last few years has shown that situations related to illegitimate absences from the religious house occur, during which religious escape the power of the legitimate Superior and sometimes cannot be traced.

The Code of Canon Law requires the Superior to seek the illegitimately absent religious to help him return and persevere in his vocation (see can. 665 §2 CIC). However, it often happens that the Superior is unable to trace the absent religious. According to the Code of Canon Law, after at least six months of illegitimate absence (see can. 696 CIC), it is possible to begin the process of dismissal from the institute, following the established procedure (see can. 697 CIC). However, when the place where the religious resides is ignored, it becomes difficult to give legal certainty to the actual situation.

Therefore, without prejudice to what is established by the law on dismissal after six months of illegitimate absence, in order to help the institutions observe the necessary discipline and be able to proceed to the dismissal of the religious illegally absent, especially in cases of unavailability, I decided to add to the can . 694 § 1 CIC among the reasons for dismissal ipso facto from the institution also the illegitimate absence prolonged by the religious house, protracted for at least twelve continuous months, with the same procedure described in can. 694 § 2 CIC. The declaration of the fact by the major Superior, to produce juridical effects, must be confirmed by the Holy See; for the institutes of diocesan right the confirmation is up to the Bishop of the principal center.

The introduction of this new number in § 1 of can. 694 also requires a change to can. 729 relating to secular institutes, for which the application of optional resignation for illegitimate absence is not envisaged.

All this considered, I now have the following:

Art. 1. The can. 694 CIC is fully replaced by the following text:

§1. The religious must be considered as resigned from the institute by the very fact that:

1) the Catholic faith was notoriously abandoned;

2) has contracted marriage or has attempted it, even if only civilly;

3) he was absent from the religious house illegitimately, in accordance with can. 665 § 2, for twelve months without interruption, the irreducibility of the religious himself is kept in mind.

§2. In such cases the major superior with his council must without delay, having gathered the evidence, issue the declaration of the fact so that the dismissal is legally established.

§3. In the case provided for in § 1 no. 3, this declaration to be legally established must be confirmed by the Holy See; for the institutes of diocesan right the confirmation is up to the Bishop of the principal center.

Art. 2. The can. 729 CIC is fully replaced by the following text:

The dismissal of a member from the institute takes place in accordance with cann. 694 § 1, 1 and 2 and 695. The constitutions also define other causes of dismissal, provided that they are proportionately serious, external, attributable and juridically proven, and the procedure established in cann. 697-700. The provisions of can. 701.

As resolved with this Apostolic Letter in the form of Motu Proprio, I order that it have firm and stable force, notwithstanding anything contrary even if it is worthy of special mention, and that it be promulgated by publication in L'Osservatore Romano, entering into force on 10 April 2019 , and then published in the official commentary of the Acta Apostolicae Sedis.

Given in Rome, at St. Peter's, on March 19, 2019, Solemnity of St. Joseph, seventh in his pontificate.


#BreakingNews over 2 Million People at March for Life in Argentina in over 210 Cities - Video

This Saturday, March 23, 2019 the March for Life in Argentina had over 2 million people across the country walking in defense of the life of the unborn child and the mother.

According to the organizing committee the figure in Buenos Aires amounted to some 300 thousand people and there were more than 2 million 500 thousand people spread over 210 cities in the country such as Tucumán, Córdoba, Paraná (Entre Ríos), San Luis, Catamarca, Rosario, Reconquista ( Santa Fe), La Rioja, Santa Rosa (La Pampa) and Salta, among others.
Alejandro Geyer, organizer of March for Life Argentina, appeared on stage and explained that this year the march was carried out for three main reasons: "The right of all to be born, the right of families to educate their children without ideology of gender and the need to be aware that in our country, especially in this year of elections, we define the future of the country, of the family and of millions of unborn children. "

The South American country protects unborn babies from abortion except in very limited circumstances, but abortion activists and politicians are pushing to make abortions legal.

The main pro-life march took place in Buenos Aires with the slogan “In Defense of the Two Lives.” Many people carried signs and balloons and wore blue.

 Catholic, evangelical Protestant, Jewish and Islamic leaders all participated.

Abortion has been illegal for decades in Argentina.

The March for Life in Argentina has been taking place for the past 20 years.
Edited from ACI and Life News
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Pope Francis says Rome in "...welcoming Christianity, has become over the centuries the center of Catholicism." FULL TEXT


 Mrs. Mayor,
Ladies and Gentlemen Councilors and Councilors of the Municipality of Rome,
Distinguished Authorities,

Dear friends!

I thank Mrs Sindaca for the welcome invitation and for the kind expressions she addressed to me. My cordial greeting extends to the Councilors, the Councilors of the Municipality, the Representatives of the Government, the other Authorities present and all the Roman citizenship.

For some time I wanted to come to the Campidoglio to meet you and bring you my personal thanks for the collaboration given by the city authorities to those of the Holy See on the occasion of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, as well as for the celebration of other ecclesial events. In fact, for their orderly execution and their success they need the availability and the qualified work of you, administrators of this City, witness of a millennial history and that, welcoming Christianity, has become over the centuries the center of Catholicism.

Rome is the home of an original conception of law, modeled on the practical wisdom of its people and through which it radiated the world with its principles and institutions. It is the City that has recognized the value and beauty of philosophy, art and in general of the culture produced by ancient Ellade and has accepted it and integrated it to the point that the civilization that arose from it has rightly been called Greco-Roman . At the same time, by a coincidence that it is difficult not to call drawing, here the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul crowned their mission with martyrdom, and their blood, combined with that of many other witnesses, became the seed of new generations of Christians. They have contributed to giving the city a new face, which, despite the tangle of alternating historical vicissitudes, with their dramas, lights and shadows, still shines today with the wealth of monuments, works of art, churches and palaces, all placed in an inimitable way on the seven hills, of which this is the first.

Rome, over its nearly 2,800 years of history, has been able to welcome and integrate different populations and people from all over the world, belonging to the most varied social and economic categories, without canceling their legitimate differences, without humiliating or crushing their respective peculiar characteristics and identity. Rather, he lent each of them fertile ground, that humus suited to bringing out the best of each and giving shape - in mutual dialogue - to new identities.

This city has welcomed students and pilgrims, tourists, refugees and migrants from every region of Italy and from many countries of the world. It has become a pole of attraction and a zipper. Hinge between the continental north and the Mediterranean world, between the Latin and the Germanic civilizations, between the prerogatives and the powers reserved to the civil powers and those proper to the spiritual power. Indeed, it can be affirmed that, thanks to the strength of the Gospel words, that provident distinction was inaugurated here, in mutual and collaborative respect for the good of all, between civil and religious authority, which better conforms to the dignity of the human person and offers spaces of freedom and participation.

Rome has therefore become a destination and symbol for all those who, recognizing it as the capital of Italy and the center of Catholicism, have set off towards it to admire its monuments and traces of the past, to venerate the memories of the Martyrs, to celebrate the main feasts of the liturgical year and for the great Jubilee pilgrimages, but also to lend their services to the institutions of the Italian nation or of the Holy See.

Rome, therefore, in a certain sense obliges temporal and spiritual power to dialogue constantly, to collaborate on a stable basis in mutual respect; and it also requires being creative, both in the daily weaving of good relationships, as in dealing with the many problems, which the management of such an immense inheritance necessarily carries with it.

The "Eternal City" is like a huge treasure trove of spiritual, historical-artistic and institutional treasures, and at the same time it is the place inhabited by about three million people who work, study, pray, meet and carry on their story personal and family, and that together are the honor and the effort of every administrator, of anyone who works for the common good of the city.

It is a delicate organism, which needs humble and assiduous care and creative courage to maintain order and livability, so that so much splendor is not degraded, but to the accumulation of past glories we can add the contribution of the new generations, their specific genius, their initiatives, their good projects.
The Capitol, together with the Michelangelo's Dome and the Colosseum - which from here you can see - are in a sense the emblems and the synthesis. In fact, all these vestiges tell us that Rome has a universal vocation, the bearer of a mission and an ideal suitable for crossing mountains and seas and to be told to everyone, near and far, to any people they belong, whatever language they speak and whatever the color of their skin. As the See of the Successor of St. Peter, it is a spiritual reference point for the whole Catholic world. Therefore it is well explained that the Agreement between Italy and the Holy See on the Concordat - of which this year celebrates its 35th anniversary - affirms that «the Italian Republic recognizes the particular significance that Rome, episcopal see of the Supreme Pontiff, has for catholicity "(art. 2 § 4).

This peculiar historical, cultural and institutional identity of Rome requires that the Capitoline Administration be able to govern this complex reality with appropriate regulatory tools and a fair amount of resources.

Even more decisive, however, is that Rome remains up to its tasks and its history, that it knows even in the changed circumstances of today to be a beacon of civilization and a teacher of welcome, that does not lose the wisdom that is manifested in the ability to integrate and to make everyone feel a full participant in a common destiny.

The Church in Rome wants to help the Romans to rediscover the sense of belonging to such a peculiar community and, thanks to the network of its parishes, schools and charitable institutions, as well as to the wide and commendable commitment of volunteering, it collaborates with the powers civilians and all citizens to keep this city its most noble face, its feelings of Christian love and civic sense.

Rome demands and deserves the active, wise, generous collaboration of all; deserves that both private citizens such as social forces and public institutions, the Catholic Church and other religious communities, all place themselves at the service of the good of the city and of the people who live there, especially those who for whatever reason find themselves in the margins, almost discarded and forgotten or that experience the suffering of illness, abandonment or loneliness.

Forty-five years have passed since the convention which had the title: "The responsibilities of Christians in the face of expectations of charity and justice in the Diocese of Rome", better known as the Convention "on the evils of Rome". It undertook to translate the indications of the Second Vatican Council into practice and enabled the real conditions of the urban peripheries, where masses of immigrants from other parts of Italy had arrived, to be faced with greater awareness. Today those and other suburbs have seen the arrival, from many countries, of numerous migrants who have fled wars and poverty, who seek to rebuild their existence in conditions of security and dignified life.

Rome, a hospitable city, is called to face this epochal challenge in the wake of its noble history; to use its energies to welcome and integrate, to transform tensions and problems into opportunities for meeting and growth. Rome, fertilized by the blood of the Martyrs, knows how to draw from its culture, shaped by faith in Christ, the resources of creativity and charity necessary to overcome the fears that risk blocking the initiatives and possible paths. These could make the city flourish, unite and create opportunities for development, both civic and cultural, as well as economic and social. Rome, city of bridges, never walls!

Do not fear goodness and charity! They are creative and generate a peaceful society, able to multiply forces, to tackle problems with seriousness and with less anxiety, with greater dignity and respect for each one and to open up new opportunities for development.

The Holy See wishes to collaborate ever more and better for the good of the City, at the service of all, especially the poorest and most disadvantaged, for the culture of encounter and for an integral ecology. It encourages all its institutions and structures, as well as all the people and communities that refer to it, to actively engage in witnessing to the efficacy and attractiveness of a faith that becomes work, initiative and creativity at the service of the good .

I therefore express the best wishes for everyone to feel fully involved in achieving this goal, to confirm with the clarity of ideas and the strength of daily witness the best traditions of Rome and its mission, and why this favors a moral and spiritual rebirth of the City .
Madam Mayor, dear friends, at the end of this talk of mine, I want to entrust each of you, your work and the good intentions that animate you, to the protection of Maria Salus Populi Romani and the patron saints Pietro and Paolo. May you agree in the service of this beloved City, in which the Lord has called me to carry out the episcopal ministry. Upon each of you I cordially invoke the abundance of divine blessings and assure you of a remembrance in prayer. And you pray for me and if any of you don't pray, at least think well of me! Thank you very much!


Dear Romans, good morning!

As your Bishop I usually meet you in St. Peter's, in St. John's or in the parishes ... Today I was able to address you the word and the greeting from the Capitol, cradle of this City and the beating heart of its administrative and civil life. Thank you for your presence and thanks for the love you have for the Successor of Peter!

The Church in Rome, according to the well-known expression of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, "presides over charity" (Letter to the Romans, Proemio). Therefore it is the duty of his Bishop, the Pope, but also of all the Christians of Rome, to work concretely to keep the face of this Church always luminous, reflecting the light of Christ who renews hearts.

In the heart of the Pope there are also those who do not share our faith, they are all brothers: for all it is my spiritual closeness, and my encouragement to be "artisans" of fraternity and solidarity every day. This is the task of a citizen: to be a craftsman of fraternity and solidarity. Like so many people around the world, you too, citizens of Rome, are concerned about the well-being and education of your children; you care about the future of the planet, and the kind of world we will leave for future generations. But today, and every day, I would like to ask each of you, according to your abilities, to care for each other, to stay close to each other, to respect each other. Thus you embody in yourself the most beautiful values ​​of this City: that is, a united community that lives in harmony, that acts not only for justice, but in a spirit of justice.

Thanks again for this meeting! I ask the Lord to fill you with his graces and his blessings. And I ask you, please, to pray for me. Thank you and goodbye!

Dear friends,

at the end of my visit to the Campidoglio, I am pleased to greet you who are, in a certain sense, the backbone of the municipal organization. I thank you for your welcome and I am grateful for all that you have done to prepare for this day.

Most of the work you do is not in the news. None of you makes the news but you do things that support you. Behind the scenes, your daily commitment makes possible the ordinary activity of the Municipality in favor of the citizens and the many visitors who come to Rome every day. With your work, you strive to meet the legitimate needs of Roman families, which in many ways depend on your concern: be aware of so much responsibility! You are field workers, officials, employees in various offices and multiple departments of the public administration, cleaners, maintenance and security personnel. Thanks for everything you do!

Your silent and faithful work contributes not only to the improvement of the City, but also has great significance for you personally, because the way we work expresses our dignity and the kind of people we are.

I encourage you to continue your activity in the service of the City of Rome, its inhabitants, tourists and pilgrims with generosity and trust. I will pray for you and your families; and I ask everyone to remember to pray a little for me. God bless you all. Thank you.

Bulletin of the Holy See Press Office, 18 March 2019

Wow St. Joseph Day Parade an Old Tradition Revived through the Streets of Detroit

St. Joseph Oratory vicar Canon Adrian Sequeira leads the St. Joseph Day procession down Gratiot Avenue as members of St. Joseph Oratory carry a statue of St. Joseph and banners from the parish.
St. Joseph Oratory revives decades-old tradition, introducing young and old to ancient devotion to Jesus' foster father
Cars were stopped, people began staring and cellphones were pulled out to snap a quick pic, as it was St. Joseph who had the right-of-way on March 19.
With St. Joseph vicar Canon Adrian Sequeira, ICRSS, leading the procession and parish pastor Canon Michael Stein, ICRSS, chanting the rosary, the parish community made its way down Gratiot and Russell to Shed 2 of Eastern Market.

“As Catholics, we’re told to live our faith in season and out of season, in the public square and in private, and that includes the city streets,” said Daniel Egan a parishioner. “If we’re not Catholic out there, we are truly failing to be authentically Christian.” 

The procession was part of a full schedule of events at the parish, including Masses in the morning, noon and evening, confessions all day, a guided church tour, an Italian dinner and an organ recital.

With people in and out of the parish for most of the day, St. Joseph parishioners were on call as volunteer ushers, cooks and hostesses for the Italian dinner.

“People pass by the church every single day,” Nemecek continued. “But the doors are open all day, every day. For the people who never go inside, who don’t come to Jesus, we bring Jesus to them. We bring him out into the streets, where the people are.”
Image source: Altar servers process with St. Joseph Oratory parishioners in Eastern Market in Detroit. (Naomi Vrazo | Detroit Catholic)
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Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tuesday March 26, 2019 - #Eucharist in Lent

Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent
Lectionary: 238

Reading 1DN 3:25, 34-43

Azariah stood up in the fire and prayed aloud:

"For your name's sake, O Lord, do not deliver us up forever,
or make void your covenant.
Do not take away your mercy from us,
for the sake of Abraham, your beloved,
Isaac your servant, and Israel your holy one,
To whom you promised to multiply their offspring
like the stars of heaven,
or the sand on the shore of the sea.
For we are reduced, O Lord, beyond any other nation,
brought low everywhere in the world this day
because of our sins.
We have in our day no prince, prophet, or leader,
no burnt offering, sacrifice, oblation, or incense,
no place to offer first fruits, to find favor with you.
But with contrite heart and humble spirit
let us be received;
As though it were burnt offerings of rams and bullocks,
or thousands of fat lambs,
So let our sacrifice be in your presence today
as we follow you unreservedly;
for those who trust in you cannot be put to shame.
And now we follow you with our whole heart,
we fear you and we pray to you.
Do not let us be put to shame,
but deal with us in your kindness and great mercy.
Deliver us by your wonders,
and bring glory to your name, O Lord."

Responsorial PsalmPS 25:4-5AB, 6 AND 7BC, 8-9

R. (6a)  Remember your mercies, O Lord.
Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
teach me your paths,
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior.
R. Remember your mercies, O Lord.
Remember that your compassion, O LORD,
and your kindness are from of old.
In your kindness remember me,
because of your goodness, O LORD.
R. Remember your mercies, O Lord.
Good and upright is the LORD;
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice,
he teaches the humble his way.
R. Remember your mercies, O Lord.

Verse Before The GospelJL 2:12-13

Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart;
for I am gracious and merciful.

GospelMT 18:21-35

Peter approached Jesus and asked him,
"Lord, if my brother sins against me,
how often must I forgive him?
As many as seven times?"
Jesus answered, "I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.
That is why the Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who decided to settle accounts with his servants.
When he began the accounting,
a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount.
Since he had no way of paying it back,
his master ordered him to be sold,
along with his wife, his children, and all his property,
in payment of the debt.
At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said,
'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.'
Moved with compassion the master of that servant
let him go and forgave him the loan.
When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants
who owed him a much smaller amount.
He seized him and started to choke him, demanding,
'Pay back what you owe.'
Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him,
'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.'
But he refused.
Instead, he had him put in prison
until he paid back the debt.
Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened,
they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master
and reported the whole affair.
His master summoned him and said to him, 'You wicked servant!
I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to.
Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant,
as I had pity on you?'
Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers
until he should pay back the whole debt.
So will my heavenly Father do to you,
unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart."

Saint March 26 : St. Margaret Clitherow : Patron of #Businesswomen, Converts, Martyrs

St. Margaret Clitherow
Feast: March 26
Feast Day:March 26
Born:1556 as Margaret Middleton at York, England
Died:25 March 1586 at York, England
Canonized:25 October 1970 by Pope Paul VI
Major Shrine:The Shambles, York
Patron of:businesswomen, converts,  martyrs
Martyr, called the "Pearl of York", born about 1556; died 25 March 1586. She was a daughter of Thomas Middleton, Sheriff of York (1564-5), a wax-chandler; married John Clitherow, a wealthy butcher and a chamberlain of the city, in St. Martin's church, Coney St., 8 July, 1571, and lived in the Shambles, a street still unaltered. Converted to the Faith about three years later, she became most fervent, continually risking her life by harbouring and maintaining priests, was frequently imprisoned, sometimes for two years at a time, yet never daunted, and was a model of all virtues. Though her husband belonged to the Established Church, he had a brother a priest, and Margaret provided two chambers, one adjoining her house and a second in another part of the city, where she kept priests hidden and had Mass continually celebrated through the thick of the persecution. Some of her priests were martyred, and Margaret who desired the same grace above all things, used to make secret pilgrimages by night to York Tyburn to pray beneath the gibbet for this intention. Finally arrested on 10 March, 1586, she was committed to the castle. On 14 March, she was arraigned before Judges Clinch and Rhodes and several members of the Council of the North at the York assizes. Her indictment was that she had harboured priests, heard Mass, and the like; but she refused to plead, since the only witnesses against her would be her own little children and servants, whom she could not bear to involve in the guilt of her death. She was therefore condemned to the peine forte et dure, i.e. to be pressed to death. "God be thanked, I am not worthy of so good a death as this", she said. Although she was probably with child, this horrible sentence was carried out on Lady Day, 1586 (Good Friday according to New Style). She had endured an agony of fear the previous night, but was now calm, joyous, and smiling. She walked barefooted to the tollbooth on Ousebridge, for she had sent her hose and shoes to her daughter Anne, in token that she should follow in her steps. She had been tormented by the ministers and even now was urged to confess her crimes. "No, no, Mr. Sheriff, I die for the love of my Lord Jesu", she answered. She was laid on the ground, a sharp stone beneath her back, her hands stretched out in the form of a cross and bound to two posts. Then a door was placed upon her, which was weighted down till she was crushed to death. Her last words during an agony of fifteen minutes, were "Jesu! Jesu! Jesu! have mercy on me!" Her right hand is preserved at St. Mary's Convent, York, but the resting-place of her sacred body is not known. Her sons Henry and William became priests, and her daughter Anne a nun at St. Ursula's, Louvain.
Her life, written by her confessor, John Mush, exists in two versions. The earlier has been edited by Father John Morris, S.J., in his "Troubles of our Catholic Forefathers", third series (London, 1877). The later manuscript, now at York Convent, was published by W. Nicholson, of Thelwall Hall, Cheshire (London, Derby, 1849), with portrait: "Life and Death of Margaret Clitherow the martyr of York". It also contains the "History of Mrs. Margaret Ward and Mrs. Anne Line, Martyrs". [Note: St. Margaret Clitherow was canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1970. IMAGE SOURCE GOOGLE IMAGES