Thursday, May 30, 2019

Feast May 31 Visitation of Mary to her Cousin Elizabeth - #BlessedVirgin

Visitation of the Blessed Virgin
Feast: May 31
Information:Feast Day:
May 31
Assuming that the Annunciation and the Incarnation took place about the vernal equinox, Mary left Nazareth at the end of March and went over the mountains to Hebron, south of Jerusalem, to wait upon her cousin Elizabeth, because her presence and much more the presence of the Divine Child in her womb, according to the will of God, was to be the source of very great graces to the Blessed John, Christ's Forerunner. The event is related in Luke 1:39-57. Feeling the presence of his Divine Saviour, John, upon the arrival of Mary, leaped in the womb of his mother; he was then cleansed from original sin and filled with the grace of God. Our Lady now for the first time exercised the office which belonged to the Mother of God made man, that He might by her mediation sanctify and glorify us. St. Joseph probably accompanied Mary, returned to Nazareth, and when, after three months, he came again to Hebron to take his wife home, the apparition of the angel, mentioned in Matthew 1:19-25, may have taken place to end the tormenting doubts of Joseph regarding Mary's maternity.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)

Saint May 31 St. Mechtildis of Edelstetten considered a Miracle Worker who Died 1160

St. Mechtildis was born around 1125 in Bavaria. Here parents were Count Berthold of Andechs and Sophia. When Mechtildis was five, her parents placed her in the Monastery they had founded on their estate at Diessen, Bavaria. The Nuns brought her up, and Mechtildis grew up to be a devout and prayerful young lady.
 She grew in piety and eventually became a Benedictine Nun. She was elected Abbess at a young age after her Superior died. Although her parents founded the Monastery, she felt God chose her calling to become a Nun. Her holiness and reputation spread, and when she was twenty eight, the Bishop of Augsburg appointed her Abbess of Edelstetten and told her to reform the Convent. Despite her protests that she was not old enough for the task and could be unable to cope with the problems of the Convent, she accepted the appointment.
 She received instructions from Pope Anastasius IV about the reform that he desired. She received a warm welcome at first, but soon into her new position she was met with a great deal of resistance. When she began to enforce discipline, they were not cooperative with her. The measures that she took were that the Nuns start observing the Benedictine Rule, that the enclosure of the Convent be followed, especially the rule denying admission to visitors who came to spread gossip. She was only able to succeed after the Bishop expelled the main troublemakers. Soon she won over the other Sisters. In addition to her reputation for holiness, she had strong administration skills. She became well know for her miracles of healing, restoring speech and vision, and her mystical trances and ecstasies that would often last for hours. She was considered a model of Religious life. Shortly before her death in 1160,
St. Mechtildis resigned as Abbess and returned to Diessen, where she died on May 31. Her life is an example that reminds us, whether we are Religious, Married or Single, we are all called to enter into the holiness and love of God, and to be of service to others. Shared from Newman Connection

Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets Cardinal Gracias as Christians Pray for Peace in India

ASIA/INDIA - Cardinal Gracias: "Let us work for a new, strong and inclusive India" Monday, 27 May 2019 New Delhi (Agenzia Fides) - "On behalf of the Catholic Church in India, I offer my sincere congratulations to you and to the Bharatiya Janata Party. I want to assure you of our prayers and best wishes for you and your team as you lead our country in building a strong and inclusive India": this is what Cardinal Oswald Gracias states in a letter addressed to the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, winner of the recent general election. As Fides learns, Cardinal Gracias, president of the Indian Bishops' Conference, Archbishop of Bombay, the largest diocese in India, sent the letter on May 25, pointing out that the Indian people gave "a clear mandate for a stable and effective government". The Cardinal also congratulated Amit Shah, president of the Bharatiya Janata Party, who played the key role in the electoral victory, ensuring the prayer of the Catholic community "for health, wisdom and strength to carry out the great responsibilities entrusted to him".
The Church, the text adds, intends to collaborate with the government to create "a new India": "We are all eager to work together for the vision of a new India which gives hope and energy to our youth, empowers our women especially in rural areas, opens new and sustainable opportunities for our farmers and strengthens our economy while leaving no one behind: a new India that enjoys peace and prosperity and continues to make progress". The results of the Indian general elections, held in seven phases from 11 April to 19 May, were announced on 23 May. Modi's alliance led by the Bharatiya Janata Party won 353 seats out of the 543 of Lok Sabha, the lower House of parliament. Modi's commitments include "liberating India from poverty, dirt, corruption, terrorism, casteism and communalism by 2022". (SD-PA) (Full Text Source: Agenzia Fides, 27/5/2019)

Free Movie : Joan of Arc : Stars Ingrid Bergman

Joan of Arc (1948) Unrated | 145 min | Biography, Drama, History | 15 April 1949 (Ireland) In the Fifteenth Century, France is a defeated and ruined nation after the One Hundred Years War against England. The fourteen years old farm girl Joan of Arc claims to hear voices from Heaven asking her to lead God's Army against Orleans and crowning the weak Dauphin Charles VII as King of France. Joan gathers the people with her faith, forms an army and conquerors Orleans. When her army is ready to attack Paris, the corrupt Charles sells his country to England and dismiss the army. Joan is arrested, sold to the Burgundians England and submitted to a shameful political trial in Rouen castle. - Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Director: Victor Fleming Writers: Maxwell Anderson (play), Maxwell Anderson (screenplay), 1 more credit » Stars: Ingrid Bergman, José Ferrer, Francis L. Sullivan |

Polish Bishops' Conference Release : Zero Tolerance for Sexual Abuse - Full Text

Release from the Polish Bishops' Conference: The Polish Bishops’ Conference: Zero Tolerance for the Crimes of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Clergy We publish data on the activities of the Church in Poland concerning the prevention of sexual exploitation of minors by members of the clergy. These include assistance to victims, prosecution of perpetrators and development of prevention programs. The Catholic Church is the most advanced institution in this field in our country.
Crimes of paedophilia and child abuse are a grave social problem in Poland. According to the “Report on the Risks to the Safety and Development of Children in Poland. Children Count 2017”, published by the Dajemy Dzieciom Siłę Foundation, 12.4% of children and teenagers between 11 and 17 years of age have experienced at least one form of sexual abuse. According to the statistics of Poland’s Ministry of Justice, in 2017, a total of 2,391 proceedings were instituted under Article 200 of Polish Penal Code (sexual exploitation of minors), while the number of confirmed offences amounted to 1,324; the number of detected offences is growing every year. These figures do not yet reveal the scale of the problem. There are many more victims, as one offender has typically abused several child victims. As a problem affecting the whole society, it requires an adequate response and the development of a prevention system at the national level. Unfortunately, no state institution is thinking about such a nationwide programme.
Offences of sexual abuse of minors by the members of the clergy are a small fraction of the total number. The aggregate number of such crimes on a nationwide scale is not known. It is to be disclosed by the Church in the coming months, based on statistical data submitted by all dioceses and religious congregations. A summary list, covering the period after 1989, is currently being prepared by Poland’s Institute of Statistics of the Catholic Church.

Guidelines of the Polish Bishops’ Conference – zero tolerance procedure

For the past ten years, the Polish Episcopate has taken systematic efforts to eliminate said offences in line with the “zero tolerance” policy. In 2009, Polish bishops were one of the first Churches on our continent to adopt guidelines on how to proceed in cases of sexual exploitation of minors. These guidelines were later revised in accordance with the 2011 circular of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Holy See. Guidelines for preliminary canonical investigations of allegations of acts against the sixth Commandment of the Decalogue with a minor under eighteen years of age were adopted by the Polish Episcopate in 2014 and were approved by the Holy See. They have been in force since.
“The Church recognizes sexual abuse as grave sins, demanding an unambiguous and disciplinary response towards those who have been proven to have committed such acts. They call for the healing work of penance, both by the perpetrator and the entire Church community and for the reparation of the harm done to the victim and the community. No effort should be spared to make sure that similar situations do not occur in the future,” read the Guidelines, which further establish detailed rules of conduct, in accordance with the stringent strategy adopted by the universal Church and carried out under the supervision of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (former Holy Office) of the Holy See.
In June 2017, the Guidelines of the Bishops’ Conference were adjusted to the amendments to the Polish Penal Code, which impose an obligation to report each case of such an offence to state law enforcement agencies.

Assistance to victims as a priority

The primary aspect addressed in the Guidelines is the treatment of the victims. Details are discussed in Annex 1, where we read: “Concern for victims of sexual abuse is a fundamental act of justice on the part of the Church community, which feels pain and shame for the harm done to children and young people.”
Church superiors (diocesan bishops or superiors of religious provinces) are obliged to provide spiritual and psychological assistance to the victim and, if necessary, provide legal advice and ensure a sense of security upon receipt of information about the sexual abuse of a minor. They are also obliged to take actions aimed at preventing the perpetrator from continuing the crime and to work towards restoring trust and a proper climate for the continuation of pastoral work in the ecclesiastical community.
A person (bishop’s delegate) or a commission receiving the report from the victim or his guardians is to ensure “the maximum sense of security, show a willingness to listen with good will and accept the truth, and reassure them that by revealing their suffering they also help the Church to restore the violated moral order.”
Spiritual and psychological assistance should also be extended to those in the immediate vicinity of the victim, in particular to members of the victim’s family. When offering psychological help, the Church superior may also use the help of specialists from outside the structures associated with the Catholic Church and should cover the related costs.
The issue of compensation for victims is often raised in public debate. In the opinion of the Nie lękajcie się! Foundation, compensation should be paid by the Diocesan Curia or other authorities of the Church. The Church acts here in accordance with Polish law, which imposes the obligation to pay compensation to the victim on the perpetrators themselves. The Church moreover respects the judgments of secular courts in cases of interpretation differing from this principle.

Coordinator of the Polish Bishops’ Conference and diocesan and religious delegates for the protection of children and young people

In June 2013, the Polish Bishops’ Conference appointed a national coordinator for the protection of children and young people. This position was entrusted to the Jesuit Fr. Adam Żak. The scope of his duties is very broad. Among others, he is responsible for training delegates, i.e. priests responsible for receiving applications and helping victims in dioceses and religious orders. He supports the activities of persons responsible for prevention of sexual abuse of minors in Church organizational units and in the educational activities of the Church.
In addition, the duties of Fr. Żak include the development and dissemination of “quality standards” for the activities of Church institutions in the field of prevention. In addition, he develops nationwide training programs for people working with children and youth within the Church. Finally, his tasks include cooperation with the media in order to “create a favourable atmosphere for the protection of children and young people from sexual exploitation in the whole society.”
Thanks to the initiative of the coordinator for the protection of children and young people and the determination of the Episcopate, delegates for the protection of children and young people have been appointed and properly trained in each Polish diocese and many religious congregations. They are responsible for collecting reports concerning sexual abuse of minors by a priest or a religious from victims or their families as well as for organizing psychological, legal and pastoral assistance for them. There are 80 such delegates in Poland. Their names and contact data can be found on websites of most dioceses and religious orders; a full list and contact database can be found on the website of the Child Protection Centre. Apart from the delegates, 69 specialized diocesan and religious chaplains have been appointed, ready to provide spiritual and pastoral assistance to the victims and their families.

Child Protection Centre

The Child Protection Centre was set up in March 2014 under the auspices of Fr. Adam Żak SJ. Affiliated to the Ignatianum University in Krakow, the Centre develops and provides training and educational programs in psychology, pedagogy and spirituality related to the sexual abuse of minors, aimed at prevention and development of best practices for different pastoral outreach communities. The principal objective is to provide assistance in creating a safe environment for children and young people.
At the same time as the training of delegates and pastors appointed by superiors, the Child Protection Centre began systematic training for diocesan and religious priests working in pastoral care. Fr. Żak explains in an interview with the Polish Catholic News Agency: “We receive many invitations from bishops and religious superiors. In many places training concerning the protection of children and young people becomes a permanent element of formation after ordination. Moreover, many diocesan and religious seminaries offer training programs for seminarians.”
In this way, thanks to the Child Protection Centre, more than 3,000 diocesan and religious priests have so far been trained. The figure does not include religious sisters and lay people who are involved in the education of children and young people on a daily basis.
In cooperation with the Ignatianum University, in 2016 the Child Protection Centre initiated a specialist three-semester postgraduate program in the prevention of sexual violence against children and adolescents. The first course was completed by 21 people, and in October 2018, 25 students started the second edition of the program. The courses are designed for laity and clergy responsible for the care and re-socialisation centres run by the Church in Poland, educators, pedagogues and school psychologists, catechists, psychologists and psychotherapists working with children and young people as well as social workers.
Program participants acquire knowledge and skills such as the recognition of signs of sexual abuse and the design of aid measures for children and adolescents at risk of or affected by such abuse. The students learn about prevention programmes dealing with this subject and acquire knowledge, skills and competences concerning rules, procedures and response practices as well as therapy and support practices applied to persons sexually abused as children or adolescents. Students of the program moreover learn the principles of conversation with children and young people at risk or affected by sexual violence and their families.
The study program is intended to provide the staff of educational and care facilities run by dioceses and religious provinces with appropriate qualifications and competencies to build an environment that is safe for children and young people.

The bishops also adopted a separate document on the principles of prevention against cases of sexual exploitation of minors that may occur in the Church. The document was adopted during the 365th Plenary Assembly of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, convened on 10–11 June 2014.
Prevention systems in dioceses and religious orders

It recalls that “all the superior ecclesiastical structures for the pastoral care of children and young people, Catholic organisations, associations of educational institutions run by units of the Church must adopt and implement specific rules, forms and structures of prevention appropriate to the various types of work with children and young people.”
At the meeting of the Council of Diocesan Bishops at Jasna Góra on 25 August 2018, it was decided that a programme of prevention against crimes of sexual exploitation of children and young people will be developed and implemented in every Polish diocese. This decision was additionally confirmed at the plenary meeting of the Episcopate in Płock on 26 September 2018.
As a result, special “prevention units” were set up in each diocese and in autumn 2018 the Child Protection Centre began systematic training for their members. The training is now organised at archdiocesan level for the dioceses that are part of the archdiocese. By January 2019, such training sessions were organized for prevention units from the Military Ordinariate and the following archdioceses: Przemyśl-Warsaw (Greek Catholic), Łódź, Gniezno, Poznań, Częstochowa, Katowice, Wrocław, and Szczecin-Kamień. They will be continued in the coming months in the remaining archdioceses.
Diocesan prevention programs will cover all sectors of work with children and youth, i.e. family ministry, catechetical departments, Catholic schools and kindergartens, pastoral faculties, Caritas, and seminaries. They will also include the ongoing formation of priests. Similar prevention programs are to be established in religious orders and congregations.
“It is important that all those who in a given diocese or religious order have contact with children and young people be able to take adequate action in various situations, should they notice any possible risks,” explains Primate of Poland Archbishop Wojciech Polak, who is also Chairman of the Commission for the Clergy of the Polish Episcopate, in charge of these matters.

Prevention and action at the stage of priestly formation

The third annex of the Guidelines reminds us that formation for the priesthood “must not fail to adequately address the priest’s sexuality and to prepare him for a life of chastity and celibacy.” Moreover, “the formation of a proper sexual identity should be done by consciously accepting this aspect and directing it towards deeper integration with the emotional and spiritual ones.”
The document indicates that “the way to discern possible difficulties in the sexual sphere should begin already at the moment of accepting a candidate for a seminary or a religious order.” The applicant should undergo psychological examination, in-depth interview and a test that will give the educators an insight into the level of sexual maturity and possible disorders. The document states that candidates should not be admitted to a seminary or religious institute if they are found to have “a sexual disturbance, including a deep-rooted homosexual orientation.”
At the stage of priestly formation, lectures and conferences must also address the subject of “developing mature sexuality.” This subject matter should also be taken into account in spiritual direction and other activities aimed at the development of a priest’s spiritual life.
In addition, “candidates for the priesthood or religious life should receive the necessary knowledge of the responsibility of the Church and the state for crimes against the sixth Commandment, in particular those committed against minors, and of the procedures in force under common law and local law with regard to contact with victims of sexual abuse committed by clergy.”

Procedures for the prosecution of suspects

The Guidelines adopted by the Polish Bishops’ Conference lay out that “persons found guilty of violations of the rights of children and young people, irrespective of their function or office [in the Church], shall be held accountable in line with the relevant procedures established by a competent ecclesiastical authority, with respect of the law in force in Poland.”
When a bishop (in the case of a diocesan priest) or a religious superior (in the case of a religious), receives “at least a probable message” that a clergyman has committed such an act, he is obliged to carry out a preliminary canonical investigation. He should also immediately inform the Holy See, namely the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, so that the matter may be acted upon.
Moreover, since July 2017 it has been mandatory to report the case to the state judiciary. Annex no. 2 of the Guidelines specifies it in the following way: “If the contents of the report indicate the possibility of committing a prohibited act, described in Article 197 § 3 or 4 of the Penal Code, Article 198 of the Penal Code, Article 200 of the Penal Code, and the report may be considered credible, through a designated proxy the Church superior notifies the competent authority appointed for the prosecution of crimes. There is no such obligation if the Church superior is aware that law enforcement authorities have already been notified of this offence.”
On the other hand, in relation to a suspect clergyman, the Church superior is obliged to “remove him from the duties resulting from the entrusted offices, services or tasks in order to prevent a possible continuation of the crime; provide appropriate psychological and therapeutic care and indicate the place of residence and provide the necessary subsistence resources.”
The first stage of canonical (intra-ecclesial) conduct is a preliminary investigation, conducted at the level of the diocese or the order. After the completion of the preliminary canonical investigation, as a result of which the credibility of the report was established, the Church superior submits the case to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Further proceedings are under the control of the Holy See in order to ensure their effectiveness and avoid covering them up which, regrettably, happened in the past.
At a later stage, an ecclesiastical court is established which, if the offence is proven, decides on the type and level of punishment of the priest or religious.

Church penalties

As to the penalties set out in Canon Law, the most serious of them is dismissal of a clergyman from clerical state. Other penalties include suspension in priestly ministry for a specified period of time, restriction of ministry practice, prohibition of contacts with children and young people, etc.
Church documents – both those adopted by the Holy See and by the Polish Bishops’ Conference – also indicate the need for cooperation between the Church and the state in the prosecution of such crimes.
Therefore, a clergyman who has committed an offence of sexual abuse against a minor under the age of 15 is subject to a double sanction, one imposed by Canon Law and the other by state law. Church regulations are more restrictive than state regulations. Protection covers not only persons up to the age of 15, as in state law, but also persons under the age of 18.
The radical approach of the Church is further confirmed by the fact that, irrespective of imposing penalties on members of the clergy, in June 2016 Pope Francis issued the motu proprio Come una madre amorevole, or As a loving mother, imposing sanctions on bishops and religious superiors for negligence in cases involving clerical sexual abuse. The Pope defines in it the accountability of diocesan Bishops, Eparchs of Eastern Churches and those who have the responsibility for a Particular Church for failing to respond to cases of sexual abuse of minors by priest and religious. The motu proprio defines sanctions for bishops and religious superiors, including removal from ecclesiastical office and dismissal from clerical state, as has been most recently the case of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, former cardinal and Archbishop of Washington D.C.

The Church in Poland apologises

“We apologize to God, the victims of exploitation, their families and the Church community for all the harm done to children and young people and their loved ones,” wrote Polish bishops in the Position Paper of the Polish Bishops’ Conference on sexual exploitation of minors by some priests, announced on 19 November 2018. The contents of the document correspond to the Letter of Pope Francis to the People of God from a few months before.
The Polish bishops further observe: “We ask the Lord to give us light, strength and courage to vigorously combat moral and spiritual corruption, the root cause of sexual exploitation of minors. We ask the Lord to give effect to our efforts to create an open and child- and youth-friendly environment in the Church.”
The Polish bishops admit that the problem is becoming a source of particular scandal when the perpetrators are members of the clerical state. We further read in the Position Paper: “Disappointment and indignation is all the greater and more painful because instead of caring love and companionship in seeking the closeness of Jesus, children experience violence and brutal deprivation of their dignity.”
Pastors of the Church in Poland also admit that “in order for the actions undertaken to bring the expected fruits of purification and emergence of a culture focused on the true welfare of children and young people, it is essential to unite the efforts of all members of the Church community to learn to recognize and eliminate, wherever possible, all these factors that are conducive to crime.” The bishops therefore urge that “without waiting for the necessary legal regulations, all institutions run by the Church should become pioneers of prevention.” The same appeal is made to those responsible for Catholic movements and youth organisations.
At the same time, the bishops thank “all those who, out of concern for the holiness of the Church and Her shepherds, courageously reveal sin and the crime of abuse.”

Meetings the victims

Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki – in response to Franciszek’s appeal that the presidents of bishops’ conferences meet with the victims before the meeting with the Pope in Rome in February – had a personal meeting with 28 victims of sexual abuse by clergy as children or adolescents. They were invited by diocesan and religious curias from different parts of Poland.
The President of the Polish Episcopate emphasizes that: “Each of these meetings was important to me, each of them broadened my knowledge and made me ever more sensitive to the wrong incurred. Archbishop Gądecki observes as follows: “The meetings confirmed my conviction that the various initiatives taken so far by the Polish Episcopal Conference were right and that even more intense efforts are needed to adequatly respond to the painful facts of the past and present and to prevent similar ones in the future.”

Penance liturgies for the sins of sexual exploitation

The first such liturgy took place on June 20, 2014 in the Jesuit Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Krakow. It was attended by the Primate of Poland Archbishop Wojciech Polak, the Apostolic Nuncio in Poland Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the Metropolitan of Krakow Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz, Bishop of Bielsko-Żywiec Roman Pindel, Bishop of Opole Andrzej Czaja, and Auxiliary Bishop of Krakow Grzegorz Ryś. The President of the liturgy, Bishop Piotr Libera said: “Ashamed and repentant, we ask for forgiveness. We ask God and we ask people who have been wronged by priests!”
30 June 2015. Francis appealed to the national bishops’ conferences to establish a Day of Prayer and Penance for the sins of sexual exploitation of minors by clergy. The Polish Bishops’ Conference in October 2016 decided to organize this Day in all Polish dioceses on the first Friday of Lent. In 2017 and 2018 such celebrations took place in most cathedrals.
The Polish Episcopate revisited the matter at its plenary meeting on 19 November 2018 and confirmed that the first Friday of Lent will be every year celebrated as the “Day of prayer of recompense for the harm done to children and young people by immorally living priests and religious and of fasting” in all Polish dioceses. This year it will take place on March 8th with the involvement of parishes, which will earlier receive liturgical aids developed by the Child Protection Centre in Krakow.
Full Text Source: Bishops' Conference of Poland -

Pope Francis says there is "...a need to provide peoples with a suitable structure that can help set them free from hunger."


To Professor José Graziano da Silva
Director General of the Food and Agricultural Organization
of the United Nations (FAO)

Mr Director General,
I am writing to you on this, the opening day of the United Nations Decade of Family Farming (2019-2028), an initiative aimed at reaching the Zero Hunger 2030 target and attaining the second of the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda: “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture”.
The family consists of a network of relationships in which we learn to live with others and in harmony with the world around us. It thus represents a fertile ground and a model for conducting a sustainable agriculture, with beneficial effects not only for the farming sector, but also for mankind as a whole and for the protection of the environment. In this sense, the family can help us appreciate the interconnection of humanity, creation and agriculture.
Family life also exemplifies the principle of subsidiarity, which, as a means of regulating human relationships, is capable of shaping the social order. Through an appropriate subsidiarity, public authorities – from the local level to the broadest international level – can work together with families to develop rural areas, without overlooking the goal of the common good and by giving priority to people in situations of greatest need.
In this “subsidiarity from below”, which helps us to be attentive and considerate to our neighbours, we can see how family farming calls for the specific contribution of the feminine genius, so necessary in every expression of the life of society (cf. Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 295). Especially in developing countries, women make a significant contribution to agricultural activity. They play a role in all the stages of food production from sowing to harvesting, in the management and care of livestock, and even in more demanding forms of labour.
Lastly, the food crisis in underdeveloped countries and the grave economic and financial crisis in developed countries have prompted renewed efforts in various parts of the world to make farming not only a means of employment, but also of development for individuals and communities. The employment of young people in agriculture, in addition to combatting unemployment, can bring new energies to a sector that is proving to be of strategic importance to the national interests of many countries. The goals of the 2030 Agenda cannot ignore the contribution of young people and their capacity for innovation.
It is important to reassess educational systems, so that they can better respond to the needs of the agricultural sector and thus help integrate young people in the labour market. The interests and talents shown by young people in the field of agriculture should be encouraged by suitable educational opportunities and economic policies capable of providing them with the necessary tools to put their abilities to good use and thus to become agents of change and development for their communities, with a view to an integrated ecology. Educational systems need to pass from simply conveying knowledge to fostering that ecological culture which necessarily includes “a distinctive way of looking at things, a way of thinking, policies, an educational programme, a lifestyle and a spirituality which together generate resistance to the assault of the technocratic paradigm” (cf. Laudato Si’, 111). The transmission of these values, embedded in the family, can shape the life of local communities and international life itself.
Mr Director General: this opportunity to reflect on and to promote family farming as part of the effort to eliminate hunger also provides an incentive for an increased societal awareness of the needs of our brothers and sisters lacking the basic necessities of life. To this end, there is a need to provide peoples with a suitable structure that can help set them free from hunger. This will be possible only as a result of joint efforts, carried out in a spirit of willingness and determination, and guided by an approach that takes into consideration fundamental human rights and intergenerational solidarity as the basis of sustainability. These actions will be vital for attaining, also through family farming, the objective laid down by the second of the Sustainable Development Goals.
May the Lord bless the efforts and activities of the Representatives of the nations accredited to the FAO, of all those associated with this Organization and of all who contribute to the realization of this initiative at the service of our greater human family.
From the Vatican, 29 May 2019


What is the Ascension of Jesus into Heaven? Biblical Answers on the #Ascension and Novena Prayer

Today is the Feast of the Ascension as it is 40 Days after Easter - however, the celebration is often shifted to the nearest Sunday in many countries. The Ascension of Jesus is told in the Bible in Acts 1:9-11. This teaching explains that the resurrected Jesus was taken up to Heaven 40 days after the resurrection. The Gospels also describe the ascension of Jesus in Luke 24:50-53 and Mark 16:19. The ascension of Jesus is included in the Nicene Creed and in the Apostles' Creed. The Feast of the Ascension, is celebrated on the 40th day of Easter (always a Thursday). In some countries this Feast is transferred to the Sunday following the Thursday. Jesus said unto them, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation. Jesus led the eleven disciples to Bethany, not far from Jerusalem.  Then he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he parted from them, and was carried up into heaven. Acts 1:9 describes the Ascension: "And when he had said these things, as they were looking, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight." The Ascension took place on Mount Olivet. The Chapel of the Ascension in Jerusalem today is venerated by Christians and Muslims. There is a 12x12 meter octagonal structure (called a martyrium—"memorial"—or "Edicule") that remains to this day. Russian Orthodox have a Convent of the Ascension on the top of the Mount of Olives. Christian theology[edit]  The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains:"Christ's Ascension into heaven signifies his participation, in his humanity, in God's power and authority." CCC 668. In  John 20:17 Jesus told St. Mary Magdalene: "I have not yet ascended to the Father; go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God"
Ascension remembers the day when Jesus went up into heaven 40 days after He rose from the dead.  The Ascension is often transferred to the Sunday so that people can attend Mass.
(Image: Pietro Perugino, Ascension, between 1496 and 1500 Oil on wood Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon. Pérugin, l’Ascension, between 1496 and 1500, huile sur bois, musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon.)
Novena Prayer (Say 9 Times)
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.
V. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created.
R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.
Let us Pray:
O God, who hast taught the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant that by the gift of the same Spirit we may be always truly wise, and ever rejoice in His consolations,
Through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be

Pope Francis Video Message to Romania " The bonds of faith that unite us date back to the Apostles..." Full Text

[31 May - 2 June 2019]

Dear brothers and sisters of Romania!

There are only a few days left for the journey that will take me among you. This thought gives me joy and I wish now to address my most cordial greeting to you all.

I come to Romania, a beautiful and welcoming country, as a pilgrim and brother, and I thank the President and the other Authorities of the Nation for inviting me and for full cooperation. Already anticipate the joy of meeting the Patriarch and the Permanent Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church, as well as the Pastors and the Catholic faithful.

The bonds of faith that unite us date back to the Apostles, in particular to the bond that united Peter and Andrew, who according to tradition brought faith to your lands. Blood brothers, they were also in bloodshed for the Lord. And among you there have been so many martyrs, even in recent times, like the seven Greek-Catholic Bishops that I will have the joy of proclaiming Blessed. What they have suffered, to the point of offering life, is too precious a heritage to be forgotten. And it is a common heritage, which calls us not to distance ourselves from the brother who shares it.

I come among you to walk together. We walk together when we learn to guard the roots and the family, when we take care of the future of the children and of the brother who is next to us, when we go beyond the fears and suspicions, when we drop the barriers that separate us from others.

I know that many are intensely preparing my visit, and I thank you from my heart. To all of you I assure my closeness in prayer and I send my Blessing. And I ask you, please, to pray for me. See you later!

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thursday, May 30, 2019 - #Eucharist in Eastertide

Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 294

Reading 1ACTS 18:1-8

Paul left Athens and went to Corinth.
There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus,
who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla
because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome.
He went to visit them and, because he practiced the same trade,
stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade.
Every sabbath, he entered into discussions in the synagogue,
attempting to convince both Jews and Greeks.

When Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia,
Paul began to occupy himself totally with preaching the word,
testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus.
When they opposed him and reviled him,
he shook out his garments and said to them,
"Your blood be on your heads!
I am clear of responsibility.
From now on I will go to the Gentiles."
So he left there and went to a house
belonging to a man named Titus Justus, a worshiper of God;
his house was next to a synagogue.
Crispus, the synagogue official, came to believe in the Lord
along with his entire household, and many of the Corinthians
who heard believed and were baptized. 

Responsorial PsalmPS 98:1, 2-3AB, 3CD-4

R.(see 2b)  The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
R. Alleluia.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
R. Alleluia.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
R. Alleluia.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R. The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaSEE JN 14:18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I will not leave you orphans, says the Lord;
I will come back to you, and your hearts will rejoice.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 16:16-20

Jesus said to his disciples:
"A little while and you will no longer see me,
and again a little while later and you will see me."
So some of his disciples said to one another,
"What does this mean that he is saying to us,
'A little while and you will not see me,
and again a little while and you will see me,'
and 'Because I am going to the Father'?"
So they said, "What is this 'little while' of which he speaks?
We do not know what he means."
Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them,
"Are you discussing with one another what I said,
'A little while and you will not see me,
and again a little while and you will see me'?
Amen, amen, I say to you,
you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices;
you will grieve, but your grief will become joy."

Free Recipe in honor of #StJoanofArc - French Toast and Cotignac (Pears)

To make this dish more commemorative, the toast should be served with cotignac, a French quince marmalade paste that is an Orleans specialty. This extraordinary preserve was once flavored with musk and presented as a gift to visiting royalty. When Joan came to lift the siege of Orleans, cotignac was the first gift presented to her. Quinces or winter pears were one of the most popular fruits of the middle ages. The fruit is extremely sour and was primarily used in jams and marmalades.  The best quinces come from Portugal and the Portuguese for quince is marmalo. Marmalade is based on the word marmalo since the first marmalade was made with quinces.
Pain Perdu (French Toast)
2 eggs
3 TB sugar
1 cup milk
dash of nutmeg
3  TB butter
2 medium slices of bread
powdered sugar for dusting toast

  1. Beat together egg and sugar; add milk and nutmeg.
  2. Dip slices of bread in the egg mixture then fry in hot butter until browned on each side
  3. Dust toast with powdered sugar

10 quinces or Pears
4 oranges, pealed, and pips removed
1 to 2 cups sugar
  1. Wash the quinces to remove the 'bloom', then chop and place in a pot. Add the lemon juice and apple pips. Add enough water to barely float the fruit - at most, barely cover the quinces.
  2. Peel, core and slice quinces.
  3. Put 4  peeled, sliced and cored quinces  into a pan with water not quite covering them. Bring them to the boil and cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Strain through a colander, then the resulting juice through 2 thicknesses of muslin to extract as much juice as possible.
  5. In the quince juice cook another 6  peeled, sliced and cored quinces, prepared oranges, skinned and  Simmer for 1 hour, and put the mixture through a sieve, so as to obtain a thick puree; weigh the puree, add an equal quantity of sugar, return to the pan and cook until the mixture begins to come away from the sides.
  6. Allow to cool and store in jars and refrigerate.
Shared from medadvocates