Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Inspirational Vocation Story of a Missionary Priest from Soccer to Seminary

Fr. Jean-Marie is from a Christian family. He is the fourth child in a family of seven children. He tells his inspirational vocation story here:
When I was a boy, I never dreamt of becoming a priest. I was telling my mom, dad and friends who that I would be either a medical doctor or a pilot. My dad used to work with Government and my Mom was a teacher. My studies at Jesuits Fathers secondary School ( Saint Francis Xavier in RDCongo) influenced a lot my vocation. We used to attend Mass everyday in school and attending Christian teachings. Since my mom was also a catechist, she used to tell me that she was praying and asking God to make at least one of her sons a priest. 

I used to play soccer and I was a famous boy. One day, my mom shared with me a story of someone I knew who passed away. The guy was a rich man. He passed away by accident. Since he was not expecting his death, he did not prepare any official document or will. The family lost most of his properties due to lack of documents. He used to be partner of some other people who took advantage of his death to confiscate what they had in partnership. The passing on of that man left the family miserable. That story touched me and immediately my life changed. Some weeks later, I told my Mom that I was getting the desire to be a priest. She told me to share my intention with one of my Jesuit teachers. I found one and started sharing about my life. That was the beginning of my vocation to serve God. Being a Jesuit father's student, the priest tried his best to convince me join the Jesuit fathers society, but I did not have any attraction to them because of the delaying of ordaining priest. I wanted to be priest and not spending so much time for studies. 

One day, we were playing soccer at school, the vocation director of the Consolata Missionaries, Fr. celestino Marandu (Tanzanian) joined us. In the end of the match, he started sharing with us about the Consolata Missionaries. I didn’t know that they were already two seminarians with the Consolata Missionaries from my home parish. I was interested in the charism of the Consolata Missionaries and when I finished my secondary school, the congregation asked me to join the seminary. That is what I can briefly tell you about my vocation. In a nutshell, as a priest prayer has been my source of strength and communion with God, especially adoration, rosary, reading and meditation the Word of God. God has always been Good to me! May His Name be praised and Glorified!
Father Jean- Marie  Bilwala Kabesa is originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and was ordained a priest in July 2003, in Kinshasa. He is the Consolata development director in Montréal by way of Éthiopia, where he spent six years, from 2004 to 2010, as a missionary in the field in an arid region. He was a parish priest in Wonji in central Ethiopia, as well as projects coordinator in partnership with Catholic Relief Services (CRS). In this capacity he worked closely with local farmers, overseeing the drilling of wells, ensuring the financing of kindergartens and high schools, and supporting education for orphans and needy children. From 2011 to 2013, Jean- Marie trained further in communications with specialization in Media Studies, earning a Master’s degree from Daystar University in Nairobi, Kenya. For Father Jean-Marie, communication has always meant learning languages. He is fluent in English, French, Portuguese and Italian, in addition to four African languages; and he also gets by in German! In addition to his administrative responsibilities as director, Father Jean-Marie is also in charge of missionary awareness and vocation promotion. Before getting involved in his Missionary activities in Canada, Fr. Jean-Marie BILWALA joined Saint Paul University in Ottawa where he got a diploma in Intercultural formation. Besides, from 2015 to 2018 Father Jean-Marie served as the diocesan director of the Pontifical Missionary Societies (PMS) for the Archdiocese of Montréal. At the moment, he is pursuing a Master Degree in Health and Spirituality at the University of Montréal and following some conferences at Acton University, Michigan-Grand Rapids. Following the path of Jesus Christ and after reading several times Robert K. Greenleaf in his famous book: "SERVANT LEADERSHIP", Fr. Jean-Marie likes to be called a servant and not a Boss or Director. With his many tasks and activities – Missionary Days, Mass at the Consolata parish, fundraisers, campaigns, and articles in Consolata Missionaries Magazine – Fr. Jean-Marie finds Joy in serving others.

Saint July 9 : St. Veronica Giuliani a Capuchin Mystic who received a Crown of thorns

July 9
1660, Mercatello in the Duchy of Urbino
9 July 1727, Città di Castello
1839 by Pope Gregory XVI
Major Shrine:
Monastery of St. Veronica Giuliani, Città di Castello
Born at Mercatello in the Duchy of Urbino, Italy, 1660; died at Citt' di Castello, 9 July, 1727. 
Born at Mercatello in the Duchy of Urbino, Italy, 1660; died at Citt' di Castello, 9 July, 1727. Her parents, Francesco Giuliana and Benedetta Mancini, were both of gentle birth. In baptism she was named Ursula, and showed marvelous signs of sanctity. When but eighteen months old she uttered her first words to upbraid a shopman who was serving a false measure of oil, saying distinctly: "Do justice, God sees you." At the age of three years she began to be favoured with Divine communications, and to show great compassion for the poor. She would set apart a portion of her food for them, and even part with her clothes when she met a poor child scantily clad. These traits and a great love for the Cross developed as she grew older. When others did not readily join in her religious practices she was inclined to be dictatorial. In her sixteenth year this imperfection of character was brought home to her in a vision in which she saw her own heart as a heart of steel. In her writings she confesses that she took a certain pleasure in the more stately circumstances which her family adopted when her father was appointed superintendent of finance at Piacenza. But this did not in any way affect her early-formed resolution to dedicate herself to religion, although her father urged her to marry and procured for her several suitors as soon as she became of marriageable age. Owing to her father's opposition to her desire to enter a convent, Veronica fell ill and only recovered when he gave his consent.
In 1677 she was received into the convent of the Capuchin Poor Clares in Citt' di Castello, taking the name of Veronica in memory of the Passion. At the conclusion of the ceremony of her reception the bishop said to the abbess: "I commend this new daughter to your special care, for she will one day be a great saint." She became absolutely submissive to the will of her directors, though her novitiate was marked by extraordinary interior trials and temptations to return to the world. At her profession in 1678 she conceived a great desire to suffer in union with our Saviour crucified for the conversion of sinners. About this time she had a vision of Christ bearing His cross and henceforth suffered an acute physical pain in her heart. After her death the figure of the cross was found impressed upon her heart. In 1693 she entered upon a new phase in her spiritual life, when she had a vision of the chalice symbolizing the Divine Passion which was to be re-enacted in her own soul. At first she shrank from accepting it and only by great effort eventually submitted. She then began to endure intense spiritual suffering. In 1694 she received the impression of the Crown of Thorns, the wounds being visible and the pain permanent. By order of the bishop she submitted to medical treatment, but obtained no relief. Yet, although she lived in this supernaturally mystical life, she was a practical woman of affairs. For thirty-four years she was novice-mistress, and guided the novices with great prudence. It is noticeable that she would not allow them to read mystical books. In 1716 she was elected abbess and whilst holding that office enlarged the convent and had a good system of water-pipes laid down, the convent hitherto having been without a proper water supply. She was canonized by Gregory XVI in 1839. She is usually represented crowned with thorns and embracing the Cross.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tuesday, July 9, 2019 -#Eucharist

Tuesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 384

Reading 1GN 32:23-33

In the course of the night, Jacob arose, took his two wives,
with the two maidservants and his eleven children,
and crossed the ford of the Jabbok.
After he had taken them across the stream
and had brought over all his possessions,
Jacob was left there alone.
Then some man wrestled with him until the break of dawn.
When the man saw that he could not prevail over him,
he struck Jacob's hip at its socket,
so that the hip socket was wrenched as they wrestled.
The man then said, "Let me go, for it is daybreak."
But Jacob said, "I will not let you go until you bless me."
The man asked, "What is your name?"
He answered, "Jacob."
Then the man said,
"You shall no longer be spoken of as Jacob, but as Israel,
because you have contended with divine and human beings
and have prevailed."
Jacob then asked him, "Do tell me your name, please."
He answered, "Why should you want to know my name?"
With that, he bade him farewell.
Jacob named the place Peniel,
"Because I have seen God face to face," he said,
"yet my life has been spared."

At sunrise, as he left Penuel,
Jacob limped along because of his hip.
That is why, to this day, the children of Israel do not eat
the sciatic muscle that is on the hip socket,
inasmuch as Jacob's hip socket was struck at the sciatic muscle.

Responsorial PsalmPS 17:1B, 2-3, 6-7AB, 8B AND 15

R.(15a) In justice, I shall behold your face, O Lord.
Hear, O LORD, a just suit;
attend to my outcry;
hearken to my prayer from lips without deceit.
R. In justice, I shall behold your face, O Lord.
From you let my judgment come;
your eyes behold what is right.
Though you test my heart, searching it in the night,
though you try me with fire, you shall find no malice in me.
R. In justice, I shall behold your face, O Lord.
I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
incline your ear to me; hear my word.
Show your wondrous mercies,
O savior of those who flee from their foes.
R. In justice, I shall behold your face, O Lord.
Hide me in the shadow of your wings.
I in justice shall behold your face;
on waking, I shall be content in your presence.
R. In justice, I shall behold your face, O Lord.

AlleluiaJN 10:14

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the good shepherd, says the Lord;
I know my sheep, and mine know me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 9:32-38

A demoniac who could not speak was brought to Jesus,
and when the demon was driven out the mute man spoke.
The crowds were amazed and said,
"Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel."
But the Pharisees said,
"He drives out demons by the prince of demons."

Jesus went around to all the towns and villages,
teaching in their synagogues,
proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness.
At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them
because they were troubled and abandoned,
like sheep without a shepherd.
Then he said to his disciples,
"The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest."