Friday, May 17, 2019

Saint May 18 St. John I - Pope and Martyr who Died in 526 AD

St. John I
Feast: May 18

Feast Day:May 18
Born:Populonia, Tuscany, Italy
Died:18 May 526 in Ravenna, Italy
Died at Ravenna on 18 or 19 May (according to the most popular calculation), 526. A Tuscan by birth and the son of Constantius, he was, after an interregnum of seven days, elected on 13 August, 523, and occupied the Apostolic see for two years, nine months, and seven days.

We know nothing of the matter of his administration, for his Bullarium contains only the two letters addressed to an Archbishop Zacharias and to the bishops of Italy respectively, and it is very certain that both are apocryphal.

We possess information -- though unfortunately very vague -- only about his journey to Constantinople, a journey which appears to have had results of great importance, and which was the cause of his death. The Emperor Justin, in his zeal for orthodoxy, had issued in 523 a severe decree against the Arians, compelling them, among other things, to surrender to the Catholics the churches which they occupied. Theodoric, King of the Ostrogoths and of Italy, the ardent defender of Arianism, keenly resented these measures directed against his coreligionists in the Orient, and was moreover highly displeased at seeing the progress of a mutual understanding between the Latin and Greek Churches, such as might favour certain secret dealings between the Roman senators and the Byzantine Court, aiming at the re-establishment of the imperial authority in  Italy. To bring pressure to bear upon the emperor, and force him to moderate his policy of repression in regard to the heretics, Theodoric sent to him early in 525 an embassy composed of Roman senators, of which he obliged the pope to assume the direction, and imposed on the latter the task of securing a withdrawal of the Edict of 523 and -- if we are to believe "Anonymous Valesianus" -- of even urging the emperor to facilitate the return to Arianism of the Arians who had been converted.
There has been much discussion as to the part played by John I in this affair. The sources which enable us to study the subject are far from explicit and may be reduced to four in number: "AnonymousValesianus", already cited; the "Liber Pontificalis"; Gregory of Tours's "Liber in gloria martyrum"; and the "Liber Pontificalis Ecclesiæ Ravennatis". But it is beyond question that the pope could only counsel Justin to use gentleness and discretion towards the Arians; his position as head of the Church prevented his inviting the emperor to favour heresy. That this analysis of the situation is correct is evident from the reception which the pope was accorded in the East -- a reception which certainly would not have been kindly, had the Roman ambassadors opposed the emperor and this Catholic subjects in their struggle waged against the Arian sect. The inhabitants of Constantinople went out in throngs to meet John. The Emperor Justin on meeting him prostrated himself, and, some time afterwards, he had himself crowned by the pope. All the patriarchs of the East made haste to manifest their communion in the Faith with the supreme pontiff; only Timothy of Alexandria, who had shown himself hostile to the Council of Chalcedon, held aloof. Finally, the pope, exercising his right of precedence over Epiphanius, Patriarch of Constantinople, solemnly officiated at St. Sophia in the Latin Rite on Easter Day, 19 April, 526. Immediately afterwards he made his way back to the West.

If this brilliant reception of John I by the emperor, the clergy, and the faithful of the Orient proves that he had not been wanting in his task as supreme pastor of the Church, the strongly contrasting behaviour of Theodoric towards him on his return is no less evident proof. This monarch, enraged at seeing the national party reviving in Italy, had just stained his hands with the murder of Boethius, the great philosopher, and of Symmachus his father-in-law. He was exasperated against the pope, whose embassy had obtained a success very different from that which he, Theodoric, desired and whom, moreover, he suspected of favouring the defenders of the ancient liberty of Rome. As soon as John, returning from the East, had landed in Italy, Theodoric caused him to be arrested and incarcerated at Ravenna. Worn out by the fatigues of the journey, and subjected to severe privations, John soon died in prison.
His body was transported to Rome and buried in the Basilica of St. Peter. In his epitaph there is no allusion to his historical role. The Latin Church has placed him among its martyrs, and commemorates him on 27 May, the ninth lesson in the Roman Breviary for that date being consecrated to him.

(Taken From Catholic Encyclopedia)

Fr. Jonathan Morris former Legionary Priest and Fox News Contributor asks Pope's permission to Leave Priesthood

Fr. Jonathan Morris, is a 46 year old priest and former Legionary of Christ member. He recently sent a letter to Crux News explaining his decision to leave the clerical state.
He is currently serving in the Archdiocese of New York. He was a commentator on religious matters in the media, notably for Fox News since 2005.  Morris was ordained in 2002.
Morris was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and is the third of seven children. He studied business administration at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. He also studied in Rome, Italy, and obtained a graduate Licentiate degree in moral theology from Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University. Morris left the religious order of the Legion of Christ in 2009 and became a diocesan priest of the Archdiocese of New York. He was also Program Director of The Catholic Channel on SiriusXM radio. In February 2015 Fr. Jonathan become pastor of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in the Bronx. Morris begins his letter saying:
"After taking some months of sabbatical to be with family and to dedicate more time to prayer and retreat, I have decided to ask the Holy Father, Pope Francis, to release me from the duties and responsibilities of the clerical state (priestly vows). Taking this step is something I have considered often and at length in years past and discussed with my spiritual guides. While I have loved and thrived in so many aspects of my ministry, deep in my interior I have struggled for years with my vocation and with the commitments that the Catholic priesthood demands, especially not being able to marry and have a family."
He concludes with:
"I hope you are able to hear in my written word the newfound joy I have in my heart as I begin this new chapter, despite my fear of stepping into the unknown. I am grateful to God, my family, and to all of you for so much love, support, and understanding. Some will not understand; I’m okay with that too. Please pray for me."

Funeral Mass for Jean Vanier, founder of L'Arche - who reminded us of "the infinite beauty of each person" - Video

Jean Vanier, founder of L'Arche communities and Faith and Light groups died May 7, 2019, at the age of 90. He was mourned by the members of the various communities.  Archbishop Pierre d'Ornellas of Rennes presided at the funeral Mass. The concelebrants were Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, and Ukrainian Archbishop Borys Gudziak, who will be installed as head of the Archeparchy of Philadelphia in June.  Bishop Nicholas Hudson, a Westminster auxiliary, read the Gospel.  He was in a simple pine casket, which was made by members of the community.
Pope Francis sent a message which was read at the funeral: he prayed that the L'Arche communities around the world would "continue to be places of celebration and forgiveness, compassion and joy, demonstrating that everyone, no matter his or her disability, is loved by God and called to participate in a world of brotherhood, justice and peace."  The Holy Father invoked his apostolic blessing upon all members of the communities. L'Arche – has grown to 154 communities in 38 countries. For his funeral Mass, Vanier had chosen the Gospel reading of Jesus washing his disciples' feet. Archbishop d'Ornellas said: "To touch our hearts and heal them, he uses no other means but presenting himself as weak, as the least of the servants." "Through his weakness, he washes our hearts, which are hardened by pride and barricaded in power, security and the certainty of being right..."
Vanier, showed people "the infinite beauty of each person," the archbishop said.  "The Gospel was John 13, 1-17: The Washing of Feet. It was read first in French by a sight-impaired (blind) Deacon; then in English by the Bishop.  

Pope Francis tells Healthcare workers "To keep your spirit alive, I urge you to be faithful to prayer...always with the Gospel in your pocket..." Full Text


Sala Clementina
Friday, 17 May 2019

Dear brothers and sisters!

I greet all of you, members of the Catholic Association of Health Care Workers, in particular your President, whom I thank for his words - he said he loves me, that you love me: this is good for me! And I also greet the ecclesiastical consultant. I am pleased to meet you and to share with you the intent to defend and promote life, starting from those who are most defenseless or in need of assistance because they are sick, or elderly, or marginalized, or because they face existence and ask for be welcomed and looked after. To all of them, in different ways, you provide an irreplaceable service whenever, as health workers, you offer them the care they need or the closeness that sustains them in their fragility.

The memory of the 40th anniversary of the foundation of ACOS urges us to thank the Lord for what you have received from the Association and for what it has allowed you to work in this time for the improvement of the health system and the working conditions of all health workers, as well as for the condition of the sick and their families, who are the first recipients of your commitment.

In recent decades, the system of assistance and care has changed radically, and with it the way of understanding medicine and the relationship with the patient have also changed. Technology has reached sensational and unexpected goals and has paved the way for new techniques of diagnosis and treatment, but placing ever more strongly ethical problems. In fact, many believe that any possibility offered by the technique is in itself morally feasible, but, in reality, any medical practice or intervention on the human being must first be carefully assessed if it actually respects human life and dignity. The practice of conscientious objection - today it is questioned -, in extreme cases where the integrity of human life is endangered, is therefore based on the personal need not to act differently from one's ethical conviction, but it also represents a sign for the healthcare environment in which we find ourselves, as well as for the patients themselves and their families.

The choice of the objection, however, when necessary, must be made with respect, so that what must be done with humility, so as not to generate an equal contempt, which would prevent the understanding of the true motivations that drive us. Instead, it is good to always seek dialogue, especially with those who have different positions, listening to their point of view and trying to transmit yours, not as someone who goes up in the chair, but as someone who seeks the true good of people. Be the traveling companions of those around us, especially the last, the most forgotten, the excluded: this is the best way to fully understand the different situations and the moral good that is involved.

This is also the way to give the best testimony to the Gospel, which casts on the person the powerful light that from the Lord Jesus continues to project onto every human being. Christ's humanity is the inexhaustible treasure and the greatest school, from which to continually learn. With his gestures and his words, he made us feel the touch and the voice of God and taught us that every individual, above all who is last, is not a number, but a person, unique and unrepeatable.

It is precisely the effort to treat the sick as people, and not as numbers, that must be done in our time and taking into account the form that the health system has gradually taken on. Its corporatization, which has placed the needs of cost reduction and service rationalization in the foreground, has fundamentally changed the approach to illness and the patient himself, with a preference for efficiency that often placed second plan attention to the person, who needs to be understood, listened to and accompanied, as much as he needs a correct diagnosis and effective treatment.

Healing, among other things, passes not only from the body but also from the spirit, from the ability to regain confidence and react; therefore the patient cannot be treated as a machine, nor can the health system, public or private, be conceived as an assembly line. People are never the same, they must be understood and cared for one by one, as God does: God does so. This obviously requires a considerable commitment on the part of healthcare professionals, which is often not sufficiently understood and appreciated.
The care that you give to the sick, so demanding and engaging, requires that you also take care of yourself. In fact, in an environment where the patient becomes a number, you too risk becoming one and being "burned" by too hard work shifts, by the stress of emergencies or by the emotional impact. It is therefore important that healthcare professionals have adequate safeguards in their work, receive proper recognition for the tasks they perform and can use the right tools to always be motivated and trained.

That of formation is an objective that your Association has always pursued, and I invite you to carry it forward with determination, at a time when we often lose sight of the most basic values ​​of respect and protection of everyone's life. The training you propose is not only a comparison, study and updating, but also a special care for spirituality, so that this fundamental dimension of the person is rediscovered and appreciated, often neglected in our time but so important, especially for those who live the illness or it is close to those who suffer.

I encourage you, brothers and sisters, to always value the associative experience, facing with new enthusiasm the challenges that await you in the areas that we have considered together. Good synergy between regional offices will ensure that the forces of individuals and various local groups do not remain isolated but are coordinated and multiplied.

To keep your spirit alive, I urge you to be faithful to prayer and to nourish yourselves with the Word of God: always with the Gospel in your pocket, always at hand: five minutes, we read, so that the Word of God enters us Inspire the example of the constancy and dedication of the saints: many among them have served the sick, especially the most abandoned, with love and disinterest. Regarding the Gospel in my pocket, I read the story of a missionary - perhaps you know him, it's true - of a person I believe from the Amazon, indigenous, who always carried the Gospel in his pocket. He was illiterate, he could not read, but he carried the Gospel in his pocket, all ruined by the many years in which he carried it. And once the missionary asked him: "Why do you bring the Gospel if you can't read?" - "It's true, I can't read, but God knows how to talk!" That awareness that in that Book there is the Word of God, that speaks to us, always. Always with the Gospel in your pocket.

Dear friends, I accompany you with my prayer in this precious task of witnessing. I entrust you to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to which your Association is consecrated. He who, in a clear way, practiced welcoming and charity, always remains for us a refuge in fatigue and a model of service to the brothers. Please don't forget to pray for me, and go ahead. Thank you!
Text Source: - Unofficial Trans. - Image source:

#BreakingNews Death of Catholic Missionary Oblate Priest in Hit-and-Run in Ireland - RIP Beloved Fr. Michael Guckian

Fr. Michael Guckian RIP
A Daring Missionary to the Phillipines

It is with great sadness the Oblate Community announces that the death has occurred of Fr. Michael Guckian OMI.
Fr Michael died aged 81 on Saturday the 11th of May following an accident in his home country of Roscommon.

Michael was born in 1938 in County Roscommon in the West of Ireland, and was ordained to the Order of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in 1964. Shortly after his ordination, Fr Guckian went to the Philippines on mission; where he spent more than 25 years of his missionary life, in a wide variety of ministries, and often in areas fraught with danger. He was a selfless, brave and lovely man and will be sadly missed by the Oblate Community and the staff and parishioners of Mary Immaculate Parish, Inchicore. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and wide circle of relatives and friends.

Fr Michael is deeply regretted by his loving brothers John (Drumboylan) and Thomas (Junie) (Leitrim village), sister Agnes Taylor (Knockvicar and formerly Leixlip), sister-in-law Catherine, brother-in-law Mike, nephews, nieces, grandnephews, grandnieces.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis. See here for funeral arrangements.

With thanks to the OMI Province of the Philippines for their contribution and memories of Fr Michael.
A Daring Missionary to the Philippines 
From March 10, 1965 Fr Guckian served in various ministries in the Philippines: in parishes, Notre Dame schools, and the retreat house but the foremost of these were in Non-Christian communities. He was first assigned in Kidapawan, Cotabato for more than a year. Then he was assigned to take care of Dulawan (now Datu Piang), a dominantly Muslim populated parish in November 1966.

The following year, Bishop Gerard Mongeau, OMI, D.D. asked him to take care of a new school in Dalican, Notre Dame of Dinaig, without realising where Dalican was and that Dalican was another Muslim dominated municipality. However, several years later, he realised, “What a wonderful thing that was happening. The Dinaig Mayor approached a Catholic Bishop and requested him to open a Notre Dame School for his people – Maguindanaons.”

Helping students and farmers of different faith communities

Fr Michael Guckian OMI

In 1969, he began to study the Filipino language in Midsayap but went back to Dalican and on to Dulawan every Friday evening. He taught a bit at Notre Dame of Dulawan to get to know some students. He tried to build up the small Catholic community. He helped the farmers who suffered a great loss when the flood came. They wanted to cultivate their land but they had no plow, no carabao, and no seed. He presented the case to Bishop Mongeau who was most supportive and the farmers agreed to repay at harvest. He did a lot of visiting and discovered in meetings, Dulawan’s need for dikes. So the following year, dikes were started. This was his main entry into direct work with and for the Muslim Maguindanaons of Datu Piang.

Having gained experience in Dulawan and Dalican, in 1984 he was assigned to the Vicariate of Sulu whose population was overwhelmingly (97%) non-Christians; where the Oblate missions were isolated and reached through travel by small boats. He was assigned in Siasi and later to Notre Dame of Jolo College to be in charge of the Campus Ministry. Working with students and faculty members taught him many things about Muslim-Christian relations,

“It was there that my faith was strengthened that both faith communities must come together more to understand and respect each other’s belief and tradition.”
Shortened from

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Friday May 17, 2019 - #Eucharist in Eastertide

Friday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 283

Reading 1 ACTS 13:26-33

When Paul came to Antioch in Pisidia, he said in the synagogue:
"My brothers, children of the family of Abraham,
and those others among you who are God-fearing,
to us this word of salvation has been sent.
The inhabitants of Jerusalem and their leaders failed to recognize him,
and by condemning him they fulfilled the oracles of the prophets
that are read sabbath after sabbath.
For even though they found no grounds for a death sentence,
they asked Pilate to have him put to death,
and when they had accomplished all that was written about him,
they took him down from the tree and placed him in a tomb.
But God raised him from the dead,
and for many days he appeared to those
who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem.
These are now his witnesses before the people.
We ourselves are proclaiming this good news to you
that what God promised our fathers
he has brought to fulfillment for us, their children, by raising up Jesus,
as it is written in the second psalm,
You are my Son; this day I have begotten you."

Responsorial PsalmPS 2:6-7, 8-9, 10-11AB

R.(7bc) You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.
R. Alleluia.
"I myself have set up my king
on Zion, my holy mountain."
I will proclaim the decree of the LORD:
The LORD said to me, "You are my Son;
this day I have begotten you."
R. You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.
R.  Alleluia.
"Ask of me and I will give you
the nations for an inheritance
and the ends of the earth for your possession.
You shall rule them with an iron rod;
you shall shatter them like an earthen dish."
R. You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.
R. Alleluia.
And now, O kings, give heed;
take warning, you rulers of the earth.
Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice before him;
with trembling rejoice.
R. You are my Son; this day I have begotten you.
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 14:6

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord;
no one comes to the Father except through me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 14:1-6

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Do not let your hearts be troubled.
You have faith in God; have faith also in me.
In my Father's house there are many dwelling places.
If there were not,
would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back again and take you to myself,
so that where I am you also may be.
Where I am going you know the way."
Thomas said to him,
"Master, we do not know where you are going;
how can we know the way?"
Jesus said to him, "I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me."