Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Saint June 19 : St. Romuald an Abbot and Founder of the #Camaldolese Order

St. Romuald
Feast: June 19Feast Day:
June 19
950 at Ravenna, Italy
19 June 1027 at Val-di-Castro, Italy
1582 by Pope Gregory XIII
Born at Ravenna, probably about 950; died at Val-di-Castro, 19 June, 1027. St. Peter Damian, his first biographer, and almost all the Camaldolese writers assert that St. Romuald's age at his death was one hundred and twenty, and that therefore he was born about 907. This is disputed by most modern writers. Such a date not only results in a series of improbabilities with regard to events in the saint's life, but is also irreconcilable with known dates, and probably was determined from some mistaken inference by St. Peter Damian. In his youth Romuald indulged in the usual thoughtless and even vicious life of the tenth-century noble, yet felt greatly drawn to the eremetical life. At the age of twenty, struck with horror because his father had killed an enemy in a duel, he fled to the Abbey of San Apollinare-in-Classe and after some hesitation entered religion. San Apollinare had recently been reformed by St. Maieul of Cluny, but still was not strict enough in its observance to satisfy Romuald. His injudicious correction of the less zealous aroused such enmity against him that he applied for, and was readily granted, permission to retire to Venice, where he placed himself under the direction of a hermit named Marinus and lived a life of extraordinary severity. About 978, Pietro Orseolo I, Doge of Venice, who had obtained his office by acquiescence in the murder of his predecessor, began to suffer remorse for his crime. On the advice of Guarinus, Abbot of San Miguel-de-Cuxa, in Catalonia, and of Marinus and Romuald, he abandoned his office and relations, and fled to Cuxa, where he took the habit of St. Benedict, while Romuald and Marinus erected a hermitage close to the monastery. For five years the saint lived a life of great austerity, gathering round him a band of disciples. Then, hearing that his father, Sergius, who had become a monk, was tormented with doubts as to his vocation, he returned in haste to Italy, subjected Sergius to severe discipline, and so resolved his doubts. For the next thirty years St. Romuald seems to have wandered about Italy, founding many monasteries and hermitages. For some time he made Pereum his favourite resting place. In 1005 he went to Val-di- Castro for about two years, and left it, prophesying that he would return to die there alone and unaided. Again he wandered about Italy; then attempted to go to Hungary, but was prevented by persistent illness. In 1012 he appeared at Vallombrosa, whence he moved into the Diocese of Arezzo. Here, according to the legend, a certain Maldolus, who had seen a vision of monks in white garments ascending into Heaven, gave him some  land, afterwards known as the Campus Maldoli, or Camaldoli. St. Romuald built on this land five cells for hermits, which, with the monastery at Fontebuono, built two years later, became the famous mother-house of the Camaldolese Order. In 1013 he retired to Monte-Sitria. In 1021 he went to Bifolco. Five years later he returned to Val-di-Castro where he died, as he had prophesied, alone in his cell. Many miracles were wrought at his tomb, over which an altar was allowed to be erected in 1032. In 1466 his body was found \still incorrupt; it was translated to Fabriano in 1481. In 1595 Clement VIII fixed his feast on 7 Feb., the day of the translation of his relics, and extended its celebration to the whole Church. He is represented in art pointing to a ladder on which are monks ascending to Heaven.

[Note: By the Apostolic Constitution Calendarium Romanum, promulgated in 1969, the feast of St. Romuald was assigned, as an "Optional Memorial," to 19 June, the day of his death.]

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)

#BreakingNews Shooting inside Catholic Church Kills Catechist in Mexico - RIP Margeli Antonio

AMERICA MEXICO - Shooting in Church, catechist killed; the Bishops reaffirm their commitment to building peace
Tuesday, 18 June 2019
Chiapas (Agenzia Fides) - A catechist instructor was shot dead in the municipality of Acacoyagua, in a chapel in Chiapas state - another example of how the violence consuming Mexico is impacting the Catholic Church. The Bishop of the Diocese of Tapachula (Chiapas), Mgr. Jaime Calderón Calderón, in a video sent to Fides talks about the dynamics of the murder: "We were victims of the generalized violence that exists in the country. Yesterday (Saturday, June 15) at the end of catechists' training course in the church of the Immaculate Conception, of San Marcos Evangelista parish, two young men entered and started shooting, one of the bullets injured Margeli Lang Antonio, who died almost immediately. We are close to her family. As a diocesan family we cannot get used to these facts of violence that demonstrate a social and moral degradation of the human community". Mgr. Calderón asked the authorities to find those responsible as soon as possible.
During a press conference on Sunday afternoon, June 16, the Bishop stressed that "social decomposition is due to a lack of integral health of communities. When there is no work, when there is injustice, when there is impunity, when there is an excessive ambition for money, when people's lives have a price, what is put at the center is money, then everything has a price and whoever has the money is the one who commands ... When there are changes of the government there is a certain emptiness of authority and power ... ", the Bishop concluded.
Yesterday Fides received the statement of the Bishops’ Conference of Mexico (CEM) on the meeting of the CEM Presidency with Andrés Manuel López Obrador, President of the Republic, in order "to begin fraternal dialogue with the will to collaborate in the construction of a more just society". The Bishops, the statement said, touched two fundamental themes: migration emergency and the construction of peace.
Regarding the first, "the Church continues to offer its resources: 95 dioceses, 10 thousand parishes, more than 130 hotels and thousands of pastoral workers throughout the Mexican territory engaged in the humanitarian mission and in the defense of human rights". The Presidency of the CEM therefore stressed that "greater joint collaboration is needed to guarantee the safety of migrants".
On the second issue, the Bishops intend to give their contribution to the reconstruction of the social fabric and the strengthening of the rule of law, through the Peace Building Plan, "which includes listening centers, centers for the defense of human rights, accompaniment of the victims and peace education workshops". "The suffering of so many Mexican families for violence and insecurity urgently calls for our fraternal collaboration", the text emphasizes.
The CEM statement concludes by recalling that other topics were also discussed at the meeting, and stressed that the Church intends to fulfill its mission by participating in the search for the common good, "in a line of positive secularism, in which the full exercise of religious freedom strengthens democracy". (CE) (FULL TEXT Source: Agenzia Fides, 18/06/2019)
Image source: Google Images Screen shot - http://siete24.mx

Government in Quebec passes Secularism Bill with Protests by Religious Groups and Bishops

The Quebec government released a strict secularism bill on June 16, 2019 with protests from religious organizations, and the bishops of Quebec. The Premier Francois Legault CAQ ("Coalition for Quebec's Future") party had a majority so they could pass the bill.  Bill 21 was voted into law by a 73-35 vote. Parti Quebecois also voted in favour of the law that prohibits the wearing of religious symbols by public service employees. 

The Bishops of Quebec released a declaration in opposition to the bill (see below)- 

Declaration of Catholic Bishops of Quebec
on the draft law on secularism of the State

Having noted that Bill 21 affects fundamental rights such as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, the Quebec Assembly of Catholic Bishops regrets that this legislative exercise is taking place without the religious organizations concerned having been invited to attend. participate directly. After having expressed ourselves in our press releases of March 6 and April 16, 2019, on behalf of the 31 bishops who minister on the territory of Quebec, we wish to speak again when the debate on this bill strongly polarizes Quebec society.

We think it is particularly important to intervene when the prospect of using the gag order to end parliamentary debates is an option that the government considers legitimate. Rather, we believe that a bill that has the effect of significantly limiting individual liberties must be studied with rigor and rush. We consider that every government has the responsibility to contribute, through its laws and actions, to the respect of the rights of each and every one of its citizens, as well as to a peaceful living together. Respect for the fair treatment of people and the enhancement of personal freedom have shaped the history of our nation. Quebec society is characterized by its pacifism, hospitality and tolerance, particularly in the face of the religious diversity we have tamed. This attitude has emerged gradually through discussion and frank dialogue, including within Christian communities. At this stage of the most recent debate, we are of the opinion that Bill 21 on the secularism of the state seriously forgets the legacy of this tradition.

Many citizens support the government's plan and we reaffirm our commitment to the principle of the inclusion of secularism and religious neutrality of the state in legislation. We also agree with the prohibition of the wearing of religious symbols by state employees who exercise coercive authority and who have a strict dress code. However, the measures affecting teachers reveal a lack of knowledge about religious life in society, as well as its cultural connotation. This lack of knowledge seems to us fueled by prejudices and fear. Rather than defuse them, these measures exacerbate them. While it is true that individuals have claimed, claimed and will probably still claim an interpretation of a particular religion to disturb public order and attack the dignity of other human beings, the vast majority of believers, all religious traditions combined, contribute positively to living together. On a daily basis, these people build a better society through their benevolent acceptance of others, their active solidarity with excluded and poor people, their hope for the future and their concern for peace.

Certain traditions incite or force the faithful to put on particular clothes or symbols, generally as a sign of humility. This phenomenon seems to be misunderstood, especially when we automatically consider any religious sign worn by a person as a tool of propaganda whose function is to convert those who see it. Mistrust inspired by certain dress practices related to a particular religious identity may be exacerbated by the discretion of some other religious groups to use explicit signs. For example, Christianity, which remains the declared religious affiliation of the vast majority of the population in Quebec, does not require its faithful to wear specific clothing or symbols.

We believe that the State Secularity Act, if it includes the prohibition of the wearing of religious symbols by teachers, will increase unjustified mistrust. We believe that it is better to fight prejudices and fear of the other in a rational way, by educating people about the diversity of religious, spiritual and cultural experiences and traditions, rather than by prohibitions.

On the other hand, while we welcome the government's recent effort to specify in the Act what a religious sign is, the proposed definition only adds to the confusion. This definition, which includes a subjective criterion and a so-called objective criterion, will oblige representatives of the secular state to judge repeatedly the religious or non-religious character of various objects. This dynamic has an effect totally opposite to that sought by the assertion of secularity and neutrality of the state.
The Québec government should seek to develop and promote a better understanding of religions and a better social and professional integration of religious and cultural minorities. We are convinced that the government can do this while affirming and safeguarding its secularism. It could, for example, consider the establishment of an observatory of the religious fact, to document and analyze the cultural and religious transformations that we live and participate in collective education, from a perspective of neutrality. Such an approach would clearly show that the government is concerned first and foremost with the common good and the integrity of the human person, which means taking into account all of its needs, including spiritual and religious needs.

We believe that Bill 21, as it stands now, will fuel fear and intolerance, rather than contributing to social peace. We therefore call on members of the government and all Quebecers to promote important amendments to this project, in order to seek more to welcome than to exclude, to understand that to reject. We denounce the fact that the prohibition of the wearing of religious symbols by teachers will have an impact on the access to employment and social integration of young people who belong to religious and cultural minorities, and who want to contribute positively to active in Quebec society by becoming teachers.

Finally, whether the State Secularity Act is adopted as is or in an amended version, we must collectively seriously consider the following things. We must seize the opportunity to reduce the current social polarization through dialogue. In the recent history of Quebec, bishops have sought to be active and committed partners, less concerned with defending their interests than with contributing to the construction of a modern, open, serene, just and welcoming society. diversity of its citizens. We proudly recall that the major players in the secularization of Quebec, including Bishop Alphonse-Marie Parent, were believers. It is in this spirit of citizenship and in a search for conciliation that we wanted to speak, while Quebec is experiencing historic moments.

June 14, 2019
Source: https://www.ecdq.org/declaration-laicite-pl21/?fbclid=IwAR2hj24nmz3X3IBG-949nI7ZQTNampvsX9K5tKTam_T4vqHlM0Su-J53xCE

Altar set on Fire in Historic Catholic Church in Germany and Woman uses Holy Water to Save the Church

A beautiful historic Catholic church in Bad Durrheim, Baden-Wuerttemberg was purposely set on fire. A previously unknown perpetrator on Wednesday, June 5, 2019  set the approximately 300-year-old high altar in the church of St. John on fire. The police headquarters Tuttlingen announced. It was saved thanks to an attentive church visitor.

According to the police, the woman entered the church around 18:40. When she entered, she noticed a burning smell and saw that all the candles in the church had been lit. When the woman looked more closely, she noticed a burning flower pot on the altar. According to the information, the fire had already spread to the wood panel of the altar at this time. Immediately afterward, the woman immediately extinguished the fire with holy water.

As the police noted, the amount of property damage has not yet been quantified. The Criminal Investigation Villingen had taken over the investigation and looking for witnesses who had between 17 and 18:40 clock around the church made suspicious observations. (Stz)
Source: https://www.suedkurier.de/

Vatican Releases Synod Document with Possibility of Ordination of Married Men in Amazon

Synod for the Amazon: ‘Instrumentum Laboris’ released
The ‘Instrumentum Laboris’ (the Working Document) of the upcoming Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazonian Region is released in the Vatican. The Synod takes place from 6 to 27 October 2019 on the theme “Amazonia: new paths for the Church and for an integral ecology ".
By Christiane Murray and Linda Bordoni

At the heart of the Synod’s Instrumentum Laboris is the cry of the Amazon that asks the Church to be its ally in reaching out to everyone, especially to the poor, as they seek true fulfillment and human dignity in their lives.

The Working Document was presented to the press on Monday, June 17, by the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops. It is the result of a listening process that began with Pope Francis' visit to Puerto Maldonado in Peru, in January 2018, and continued with consultations throughout the Amazon Region and a Second Meeting of the Pre-Synodal Council last May.

Listen to God, that with him we may hear the cry of the people;until breathing in the desire to which God calls us

Amazonia, at the heart of South America, encompasses a region of 7.8 million square kilometers. It  includes territory that belongs to nine different nations: Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guyana.  Its 5.3 million square kilometer rainforest is the largest in the world and is an irreplaceable source of fresh water, oxygen and biodiversity for the planet.

“The Voice of the Amazon” is the title of the first part of the document and it presents the reality of the territory and of its peoples. It focusses on the relationship between life and water highlighting how the great rivers flowing through the region are crucial not only for the flora and the fauna of the territory and of the earth, but for the livelihood, culture and spirituality of thousands of indigenous communities, other minorities, and farmers who live in the Amazon region.

Life is threatened
Life in the Amazon is threatened by environmental destruction and exploitation, by the systematic violation of the fundamental human rights of the Amazon population: in particular, by the violation of the rights of the indigenous peoples, such as the right to land, to self-determination, to the delimitation of land, to consultation and prior consent.

According to the communities that took part in the synodal listening process, their life is threatened by the economic and political interests of the dominant sectors of today's society, in particular of the mining companies. Also, climate change and increased human intervention (deforestation, fires and the change of land use) have put the Amazon on a path of no return, with high rates of deforestation, forced displacement of peoples and pollution that puts its ecosystems at risk and exerts pressure on local cultures.

The cry of the earth and of the poor
In the second part, the document analysis issues and offers suggestions relating to integral ecology.  As reports by the local Churches received by the General Secretariat of the Synod express, Amazonia today is a “wounded and deformed beauty, a place of pain and violence”.

Violence, chaos and corruption are rampant. The territory has become a place of strife and of extermination of peoples, cultures and generations

There are those who are forced to leave their land; often they fall into criminal networks, drug trafficking and trafficking in human beings (especially the women), child labour and prostitution.  It is a tragic and complex reality, beyond the boundaries of the law and of rights.

Territory of hope and "good living"
The original Amazonian peoples have much to teach us. For thousands of years they have taken care of their land, water and forest, and have managed to preserve them to this day so that humanity can benefit of the free gifts of God's creation.  New paths of evangelization must be built in dialogue with ancestral wisdom in which the seeds of the Word are manifested.

The Synod of the Amazon is a sign of hope for the people of the Amazon and for humanity

Peoples in the peripheries
The Working Document also analyses the situation of Indigenous Peoples in Voluntary Isolation. According to data from specialized ecclesiastical institutions there are between 110 and 130 different voluntarily isolated indigenous peoples, living on the margins of society or in sporadic contact with it. They are vulnerable to threats from drug traffickers, mega infrastructure projects and illegal activities linked to the extractive industry.

Amazonian peoples going forth
The Amazon is one of the regions with the highest internal and international mobility in Latin America.  According to statistics, the urban population of the Amazon has increased exponentially; currently between 70 and 80% of the population lives in cities, which permanently receive a large number of people migrating to them and are unable to provide the essential services that migrants need. Although the Church has accompanied this migratory flow, it has left pastoral gaps that need to be filled.

A Prophetic Church in the Amazon: Challenges and Hopes
Finally, the last part of the Working Document invites the Synod Fathers of the Amazon to discuss the second point of the theme proposed by the Pope: new paths for the Church in the region.

Local communities need a Church that participates, that is present in the social, political, economic, cultural and ecological life of its inhabitants; a Church that is welcoming towards cultural, social and ecological diversity in order to be able to serve individuals or groups without discrimination; a creative Church that can accompany its people in the implementation of new responses to urgent needs; a harmonious Church that promotes the values of peace, mercy and communion.

The Sacraments and popular piety
Communities frequently find it difficult to celebrate the Eucharist because of the lack of priests. “The Church draws her life from the Eucharist” and the Eucharist builds up the Church. For this reason, instead of leaving communities without the Eucharist, the criteria for the selection and preparation of ministers authorized to celebrate it should be changed. The communities ask for greater appreciation, accompaniment and for the promotion of popular piety with which many people express their faith through images, symbols, traditions, rites and other sacraments. It is the manifestation of wisdom and spirituality that constitutes an authentic theological place with a great evangelizing potential.

It would be appropriate to reconsider the idea that the exercise of jurisdiction (power of government) must be linked to all areas (sacramental, judicial, administrative) and permanently, to the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

New ministries
In addition to the plurality of cultures within the Amazon, distances generate a serious pastoral problem that cannot be solved by mechanical and technological means alone. It is necessary to promote indigenous vocations of men and women in response to the needs of sacramental pastoral care; their decisive contribution lies in the impulse to authentic evangelization from an indigenous point of view, according to their customs and habits. They are indigenous people who preach to indigenous people with a profound knowledge of their culture and language, capable of communicating the message of the Gospel with the strength and effectiveness of those who have their own cultural background.

It is necessary to move from a “Church that visits” to a “Church that remains”, accompanies and is present through local ministers.

Affirming that celibacy is a gift for the Church, the Document states that, for the most remote areas of the region, the possibility of priestly ordination be studied for married men with families. The clause, that aims to ensure the Sacraments that accompany and support Christian life, specifies that these men must preferably be indigenous elders who are respected and accepted by their community.

Role of women
The kind of official ministry that can be conferred on women is still to be identified, taking into account the central role women play today in the Church in the Amazon.

It is demanded that the role of women be recognized, starting from their charisms and talents. They ask to re-appropriate themselves of the space given to women by Jesus, “where we can all find ourselves.” There is also a proposal to guarantee them their leadership, as well as wider and more relevant spaces in the field of formation: theology, catechesis, liturgy and schools of faith and politics.

Consecrated life
It is proposed, therefore, to promote an alternative and prophetic model for consecrated life, which is inter-congregational and inter-institutional. Above all, it must have a sense of readiness “to be where no one wants to be and with whom no one wants to be with”. It is recommended that formation for religious life should include processes focused on interculturality, inculturation and dialogue.

The document also highlights an important phenomenon to be taken into account, namely the rapid growth of recent evangelical churches of Pentecostal origin, especially in the peripheries: “They show us another way of being church, where the people feel protagonists and where the faithful can express themselves freely without censorship, dogmatism or ritual discipline”.

Church and power: the path of the cross and martyrdom
Being Church in Amazonia means to prophetically put power into question, because in this region people do not have the opportunity to assert their rights against large economic enterprises and political institutions. Today, to question power in the defense of land and human rights, means to put one's life at risk, opening a “path of the cross and martyrdom”. The number of martyrs in the Amazon is alarming (e.g. in Brazil alone, between 2003 and 2017, 1.119 indigenous people were killed for defending their land). The Church cannot remain indifferent to this; on the contrary, it must support the protection of human rights defenders and remember its martyrs, including women leaders, such as Sister Dorothy Stang.

During the time it took to draw up the Instrumentum Laboris, the voice of the Amazon was listened to in the light of faith; an attempt was made to respond to the cry of the people and of the Amazon for new paths for the Church and for an integral ecology in order to foster the capacity for prophecy in Amazonia. These Amazonian voices call upon the Synod of Bishops to give a new response to different situations and to seek new paths that make a kairós possible for the Church and the world.
FULL TEXT Release from Vatican News.va

Youngest Bishop Appointed by Pope for Philippines Bishop-Elect Jose Rapadas who asks for Prayers

Bishop-elect Jose Rapadas of Ilagan. PHOTO FROM. BP. ALBERTO UY FACEBOOK ACCOUNT

CBCP Report: By Roy Lagarde

June 13, 2019 - Manila, Philippines

Pope Francis has tapped Fr. Jose Rapadas to lead the Diocese of Iligan in southern Philippines.

The bishop-elect is just 46, the youngest Filipino bishop serving in and outside the country today.

The appointment was announced in Rome at 12 noon (6:00 p.m. Manila time) on Thursday.

Rapadas will replace Bishop Elenito Galido who died on Dec. 5, 2017. Since then, Bishop Severo Caermare of Dipolog has been overseeing the diocese as apostolic administrator.

Upon his appointment, the bishop-elect has been serving as the Vicar General of the Diocese of Ipil in Zamboanga Sibugay.

Rapadas was born in Tondo, Manila in 1972. He is a product of St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Cagayan de Oro City, and was ordained a priest in 1999.

He also holds a licentiate in dogmatic theology from the Loyola School of Theology in Ateneo de Manila University.

For 20 years in the priesthood, he has served in a number of pastoral roles including parish vicar and coordinator of diocesan social pastoral ministry.

The bishop-elect also served as seminary professor, director of the Office of Catechesis for the Family and Life, rector of the Saint Joseph College Seminary and professor of religious studies at the University of Zamboanga.

Rapadas will be the fifth bishop of Iligan, with around a million Catholic population in 26 parishes.
Full Text from CBCP News

Academic Advantages of Chesterton Academy combined with Faith for Youth in Ottawa - #Chesterton

Realize Your Full Academic Potential. Chesterton Academy brings integrated, Classical curriculum to prepare your child for college and for life! Consider sending your child to Chesterton Academy.
Help solidly Catholic education to continue by Donating to the Chesterton Academy of Ottawa, Ontario 
The Academy of Ottawa has grown and blossomed - below is a video showing their choir - consider helping this Academy to keep inspiring the young!
At Chesterton Academy,  students enjoy a cohesive, content-rich education. They benefit from a broad exposure to many different disciplines, which helps them expand their interests and their ability to think critically. The Chesterton Academy model begins with a classical, integrated curriculum. You’ll read Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Euclid, Virgil, Dante, Chaucer, Shakespeare, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Teresa of Avila, Dostoyevsky. . . and G.K. Chesterton. Chesterton students study the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. History, literature, philosophy, and theology are braided together. The sciences and the humanities are also intimately connected, so that the logic of math is seen in philosophy, and God’s handiwork is seen in the sciences.
Ottawa Chesterton, located at St. George Parish, has grown into a wonderful institution fostering faith in youth but needs your help!
There a Several Chesterton Academies located in the US and Canada for a list see: 

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tues. June 18, 2019 - #Eucharist

Tuesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 366

Reading 12 COR 8:1-9

We want you to know, brothers and sisters, of the grace of God
that has been given to the churches of Macedonia,
for in a severe test of affliction,
the abundance of their joy and their profound poverty
overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.
For according to their means, I can testify,
and beyond their means, spontaneously,
they begged us insistently for the favor of taking part
in the service to the holy ones,
and this, not as we expected,
but they gave themselves first to the Lord
and to us through the will of God,
so that we urged Titus that, as he had already begun,
he should also complete for you this gracious act also.
Now as you excel in every respect,
in faith, discourse, knowledge, all earnestness,
and in the love we have for you,
may you excel in this gracious act also.

I say this not by way of command,
but to test the genuineness of your love
by your concern for others.
For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that for your sake he became poor although he was rich,
so that by his poverty you might become rich.

Responsorial PsalmPS 146:2, 5-6AB, 6C- 7, 8-9A

R.(1b) Praise the Lord, my soul!
R. Alleluia.
Praise the LORD, my soul!
I will praise the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God while I live.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
R. Alleluia.
Blessed he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD, his God,
Who made heaven and earth,
the sea and all that is in them.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
R. Alleluia.
Who keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
R. Alleluia.
The LORD gives sight to the blind.
The LORD raises up those who were bowed down;
the LORD loves the just.
The LORD protects strangers.
R. Praise the Lord, my soul!
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 13:34

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I give you a new commandment:
love one another as I have loved you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 5:43-48

Jesus said to his disciples:
"You have heard that it was said,
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
But I say to you, love your enemies
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?
Do not the tax collectors do the same?
And if you greet your brothers only,
what is unusual about that?
Do not the pagans do the same?
So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect."

Saint June 18 : Venerable Matt Talbot the Patron of Alcoholics - with a Special Prayer

Matt Talbot was born on the 2nd May 1856 at 13, Aldborough Court in the Parish of St. Agatha, Dublin, Ireland. Matt was one of Dublin's poor he lived in a tenement, wore second hand cloths, died in a laneway and was buried in a pauper's grave. Coming from such a deprived background and with an alcoholic father and a family history of neglect and poverty, Matt found himself sucked into the culture of addiction and to the only choice of drug available to the poor of his day alcohol. Matt like so many others embraced alcohol as a means of escape from the misery and poverty of daily life.
Today we live in an age of addictions more sophisticated perhaps than those of Matt's day, addictions to substances such as alcohol and other drugs soft or hard, prescription or illegal, addictions to gambling, pornography and the internet, addictions to work, professional advancement, sex, money and power. All these have the ability to destroy our lives and like demons even our very souls as well.
 Matt Talbot gradually came to this awareness and from the time of his conversion as a young man of 28, he spent the rest of his life living to a heroic extent the Christian virtues through prayer, spiritual reading, work and acts of charity. For three months, Talbot decided to make a general confession and begin to attend daily Mass. The first seven years after taking the starting were especially difficult. He avoided his former drinking places. He began to pray. He paid back people from whom he had borrowed or stolen money.  He joined the Secular Franciscan Order with strict penance; he abstained from meat nine months a year. Matt read Scripture and the lives of the saints every day. He prayed the rosary daily.  Matt sets before us a radical example which demonstrates that ordinary people can do extraordinary things. His life is a witness to the fact that people can by God's grace and their own self acceptance say no to that which leads to addiction or addictive behaviors.
Trinity Sunday the 7th June was the hottest day of a heat wave that had gripped the country since the previous week. Matt as usual had attended the 5.30am Mass in Gardiner St. and went to Holy Communion with the men of his Sodality at 8.00am Mass after Mass he returned to Rutland Street to have his usual meagre breakfast, one of his neighbours thought he looked poorly and advised him to take a little rest. Matt admitted that he was feeling a little weak but a half an hour later Matt came down again; he smiled at his neighbour, said he felt all right and was going on to the 10am Mass in Dominick Street. Dominican Church He always hurried to Mass. Around two sides of Mountjoy Square, along Gardiner Place, past Belvedere College, down Gardiner Row and along the North side of Parnell Square he was now just a few minutes away from his goal, the Dominican Church. Turning into Granby Lane, a short cut to the Church, he stumbled and collapsed. Passers by came to his aid people coming from an earlier Mass in Dominick called for a priest, a nurse and a Guard were on the scene. An eye witness account from Noel Carroll, who was a young boy at the time, recalls how his father who was manager of a chemist's shop at Bolton Street, would generally attend the 10am Mass on Sunday mornings in Dominick Street.
 Prayer to Venerable Matt Talbot
 Asking Matt's Help in the Presence of the Lord Gentle Matt, I turn to you in my present needs and ask for the help of your prayers. Trusting in you, I am confident your charitable and understanding heart will make my petitions your own. I believe that you are truly powerful in the presence of Divine Mercy. If it be for the glory of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the honour of Mary, our Mother and Queen and the deepening of my relationship with them, show that your goodness towards me, in my daily struggles, equals your influence with the Holy Spirit, who is hidden and at home in my Heart. Friend of pity, friend of power, hear, oh hear me in this hour, gentle Matt, please pray for me.

Edited from http://www.matttalbot.ie/