Thursday, September 5, 2019

Saint September 6 : St. Eleutherius the Bishop of Tournai who Died 585

(French ELEUTHERE). Bishop of Tournai at the beginning of the sixth century. Historically there is very little known about St. Eleutherius, but he was without doubt the first Bishop of Tournai. Theodore, whom some give as his immediate predecessor, was either a bishop of Tours, whose name was placed by mistake on the episcopal list of Tournai, or simply a missionary who ministered to the Christians scattered throughout the small Frankish Kingdom of Tournai. Before he became bishop, Eleutherius lived at court with his friend Medardus, who predicted that he would attain the dignity of a count and also be elevated to the episcopate. After Clovis, King of the Franks, had been converted to Christianity, in 496, with more than 3000 of his subjects, bishops took part in the royal councils. St. Remigius, Bishop of Reims, organized the Catholic hierarchy in Northern Gaul, and it is more than likely that St. Eleutherius was named Bishop of Tournai at this time.His cult, however, is well established; there is record of a recovery of his relics during the episcopate of Hedilo in 897 or 898, and a translation of them by Bishop Baudoin in 1064 or 1065, and another in 1247. Relics of this saint were also preserved in the monastery of St. Martin at Tournai, and in the cathedral at Bruges. His feast is given in martyrologies on 20 or 21 July, but is usually celebrated on the former date. The translation of his relics is commemorated 25 August. Shortened bio from the Catholic Encyclopedia Image source :

Pope Francis says the Church is "Like a family born in the “yes” that Mary spoke to the angel." to Religious in Mozambique - FULL TEXT + Video

Pope addresses Mozambique's clergy: Full text
Pope Francis addresses Mozambique’s bishops, priests, religious men and women, seminarians and cathechists - the second engagement of his Apostolic Journey. The full text of his prepared remarks is below:
Address of His Holiness Pope Francis
Meeting with Bishops, Priests, Religious and Catechists
Maputo, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Thursday, 5 September 2019

Dear Brother Bishops, Priests, Men and Women Religious, Seminarians, Catechists and Pastoral Workers in Christian communities,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

         Good Afternoon!

         I thank Dom Hilário for his words of welcome in your name, and I greet all of you with affection and much gratitude.  I know that you have made a great effort to be here. Together we want to renew our response to the call that once set our hearts on fire and that Holy Mother Church helped us to discern and confirm with a mission.  Thank you for your testimonies, which spoke of the difficult times and serious challenges that you faced, conscious of your own limitations and weaknesses, yet also marvelling at God’s mercy.

         I was pleased by something one of the catechists said: “We are a Church that is part of a heroic people” that has experienced suffering yet keeps hope alive.  With this holy pride that you take in your people, a pride that invites a renewal of faith and hope, all of us want to renew our “yes”.  How happy is Holy Mother Church to hear you manifest your love for the Lord and for the mission that he has given you!  How she rejoices to see your desire to keep returning to your “first love” (Rev 2:4)!  I pray that the Holy Spirit will always grant you the wisdom to call things by their name, the courage to seek forgiveness and to learn to hear whatever he wants to tell us.

         Dear brothers and sisters, whether we like it or not, we are called to face reality as it is.  Times change and we need to realize that often we do not know how to find our place in new scenarios: we keep dreaming about the “leeks of Egypt” (Num 11:5), forgetting that the promised land is before us, not behind us, and in our lament for times past, we are turning to stone.  Instead of proclaiming Good News, we announce a dreary message that attracts no one and sets no one’s heart afire.

         We are gathered in this Cathedral dedicated to the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary to share, as a family, what is happening in our lives.  Like a family born in the “yes” that Mary spoke to the angel.  Not even for a moment did she look backwards.  We hear about this first chapter of the mystery of the incarnation from the evangelist Luke.  From his account, we may perhaps find an answer to the questions you asked today, and the incentive needed to respond with the same generosity and concern as Mary.

         Saint Luke draws a parallel between events in the lives of Saint John the Baptist and Jesus Christ.  By contrasting them, he wants to make us see how God’s acting and our way of relating to him in the Old Testament is yielding to the new way brought to us by the Son of God made man.

         Obviously, in the two Annunciations there is the appearance of an angel.  The first takes place in the most important city of Judea – Jerusalem – not just anywhere but in the Temple and, within it, the Holy of Holies, and the announcement is made to a man and a priest.  On the other hand, the announcement of the incarnation is made in Galilee, in a remote and conflict-ridden region and a little town – Nazareth.  It takes place in a house, not a synagogue or a religious place, and is made to a layperson and a woman.  What has changed?  Everything.  And in this change, we find our deepest identity.

         You asked what to do about the crisis of priestly identity, how to counteract it?  In this regard, what I want to say specifically to priests is something that all of us (bishops, catechists, consecrated persons, seminarians) are called to cultivate and foster.

         In a crisis of priestly identity, sometimes we need to step away from important and solemn places, and return to the places from which we were called, where it was clear that the initiative and the power was from God.  At times, without wanting it, and with no moral fault, we get used to identifying our daily activity as priests with certain rituals, with meetings and conversations, where our presence in those meetings, at the table or in the hall is “hierarchical”.  Then we are more like Zechariah than like Mary.  Yet, “I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that the priest is very little indeed: the incomparable grandeur of the gift granted us for the ministry sets us among the least of men.  The priest is the poorest of men unless Jesus enriches him by his poverty, the most useless of servants unless Jesus calls him his friend, the most ignorant of men unless Jesus patiently teaches him as he did Peter, the frailest of Christians unless the Good Shepherd strengthens him in the midst of the flock.  No one is more ‘little’ than a priest left to his own devices; and so our prayer of protection against every snare of the Evil One is the prayer of our Mother: I am a priest because the Lord has regarded my littleness (cf. Lk 1:48)” (Homily at Chrism Mass, 17 April 2014).

         Returning to Nazareth can be the way of facing a crisis of identity and being renewed as shepherds, disciples and missionaries.  You yourselves spoke of a certain exaggerated concern with managing resources or caring for our personal well-being.  We then take “circuitous routes” that frequently end up giving priority to activities with a guaranteed recompense, and these make us resist devoting our lives to everyday pastoral care.  The image of that simple young woman in her home, as opposed to all the activities of the Temple and the city of Jerusalem, can be a mirror in which we see the complications and concerns that dim and dissipate the generosity of our “yes”.

         Zechariah’s doubts and his need for explanations contrast with the “yes” of Mary, who asks only to know how everything spoken to her was to come about.  Zechariah could not overcome his desire to control everything; he could not abandon the mindset of someone needing to be responsible for making things happen.  Mary did not hesitate or think about herself: instead, she surrendered herself; she trusted.  It is a constant struggle to experience our relationship with God like Zechariah, like a doctor of the law: always complying, always judging whether the recompense is proportionate to the work done, whether it is my due if God blesses me, whether the Church is bound to recognize my virtues and my hard work.  We should not be running for our own benefit; rather, our weariness should be related to our “ability to show compassion; our hearts are to be ‘moved’ and fully engaged in carrying them out.  We are to rejoice with couples who marry; we are to laugh with the children brought to the baptismal font; we are to accompany young fiancés and families; we are to suffer with those who receive the anointing of the sick in their hospital beds; we are to mourn with those burying a loved one” (Homily at Chrism Mass, 2 April 2015).

         We often spend hours and days accompanying a mother with AIDS, an orphaned child, a grandmother taking care of many grandchildren, or a young person who came to the city and is desperate because he or she cannot find a job...  “All these emotions can exhaust the heart of a pastor.  For us priests, what happens in the lives of our people is not like a news bulletin: we know our people, we sense what is going on in their hearts.  Our own heart, sharing in their suffering, feels ‘com-passion’, is exhausted, broken into a thousand pieces, moved and even ‘consumed’ by the people.  Take this, eat this…  These are the words the priest of Jesus whispers repeatedly while caring for his faithful people: Take this, eat this; take this, drink this…  In this way our priestly life is given over in service, in closeness to the People of God… and this always leaves us weary” (ibid.).

         Renewing our vocation often entails discerning if our weariness and worries are the result of a certain “spiritual worldliness” imposed by “the allure of a thousand distracting commercial advertisements in order to walk ahead, freely, along paths that lead us to love of our brothers and sisters, to the Lord’s flock, to the sheep who wait for the voice of their shepherds” (Homily at Chrism Mass, 24 March 2016).  Renewing our call has to do with choosing to say yes and to let our weariness come from things that bear fruit in God’s eyes, things that make present and incarnate his son Jesus.  Would that we might find, in such salutary weariness, the wellspring of our identity and happiness!

         Would too that our young people might see that we allow ourselves to be “eaten and drunk”, and be inspired themselves to follow Jesus and, radiant with the joy of a daily commitment, not imposed but fostered and chosen in silence and prayer, desire to say their own “yes”.   You who are still asking, or you who are already on the path to definitive consecration, should never forget that “the stress and quick pace of the world constantly bombarding us with stimuli can leave no room for that interior silence in which we can perceive Jesus’ gaze and hear his call.  In the meantime, many attractively packaged offers will come your way.  They may seem appealing and exciting, although in time they will only leave you feeling empty, weary and alone.  Don’t let this happen to you, because the maelstrom of this world can drive you to take a route without real meaning, without direction, without clear goals, and thus thwart many of your efforts.  It is better to seek out that calm and quiet that enable you to reflect, pray, look more clearly at the world around you, and then, with Jesus, come to recognize the vocation that is yours in this world” (Christus Vivit, 277).

         The study in contrasts presented to us by the evangelist Luke culminates in the encounter between two women: Elizabeth and Mary.  The Blessed Virgin visits her elderly cousin and everything is one great celebration of praise.  There is a part of Israel that grasped the profound and dizzying change in God’s plan, and allowed itself to be visited.  As a result, the child leaps in the womb.  For a moment, in a patriarchal society, the world of men steps back and is silent, like Zechariah.  Today too, we need catechists, Mozambican women who remind you that nothing should make you lose your enthusiasm for evangelizing, for carrying out your baptismal mission.  In them, we can see all those others who go forth to encounter their brothers and sisters: those who, like Mary, visit others, and those who allow themselves to be visited, who allow others to change their lives by sharing with them their culture, their ways of living and expressing the faith.

         The concern you expressed shows us that inculturation will always be a challenge, shuttling back and forth, as it were, between those two women who were both changed by encounter, dialogue and service.  “Particular Churches should actively promote at least preliminary forms of inculturation.  The ultimate aim should be that the Gospel, as preached in categories proper to each culture, will create a new synthesis with that particular culture.  This is always a slow process and at times we can be overly fearful.  But if we allow doubts and fears to dampen our courage, instead of being creative, we will remain comfortable and make no progress whatsoever.  In this case, we will not take an active part in historical processes, but become mere onlookers as the Church gradually stagnates” (Evangelii Gaudium, 129).

         The “distance” between Nazareth and Jerusalem is shortened and disappears with that “yes” spoken by Mary.  Because distance, provincialism and party spirit, the constant building of walls, undermine the dynamic of the incarnation, which has broken down the wall that separated us (cf. Eph 2:14).  You, at least the older ones among you, witnessed how division and conflict ended in war.  You must always be ready to “visit”, to shorten distances.  The Church in Mozambique is invited to be the Church of the Visitation; it cannot be part of the problem of rivalry, disrespect and division that pits some against others, but instead a door to solutions, a space where respect, interchange and dialogue are possible.

         The question raised about how to react to interreligious marriages challenges this persistent tendency of ours for fragmentation, for separating rather than uniting.  The same is true of relations between nationalities and races, between North and South, between communities, priests and bishops.  It represents a challenge because developing “a peaceful and multifaceted culture of encounter” requires “an ongoing process in which every new generation must take part: a slow and arduous effort calling for a desire for integration and willingness to achieve this”.  This is the necessary condition for “progress in building a people in peace, justice and fraternity”, for “the development of life in society and the building of a people where differences are harmonized within a shared pursuit” (Evangelii Gaudium, 220, 221).  Just as Mary journeyed to the house of Elizabeth, we too, as a Church, have to find the road to take in the face of new problems, taking care not to remain paralyzed by the mindset of opposition, division and condemnation.  Set out on that path, and seek answers to these challenges by imploring the unfailing help of the Holy Spirit.   For he is the Teacher who can show us new paths to follow.

         Let us, then, revive our vocation and calling in this magnificent temple dedicated to Mary.  May our committed “yes” proclaim the greatness of the Lord and make the spirit of our people rejoice in God our Saviour (cf. Lk 1:46-47).  May it fill with hope, peace and reconciliation this, your country, our beloved Mozambique!

         I ask you please to pray for me, and to invite others to do the same.
         May the Lord bless you and the most holy Virgin watch over you.
         Thank you.
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The Modern World met a Mother who Loved...10 ways Mother Teresa of Calcutta changed the World to SHARE

Mother Teresa has touched the hearts of Millions around the world with her love....
 Mother Teresa's real name was Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu and she was born Aug. 26, 1910, in Macedonia. Agnes' father died when she was 8.  When she was 18, Agnes left home and joined the Sisters of Loreto in Ireland. Agnes never saw her mother or sister again after she left for Ireland.  Sister Teresa transferred to the Sisters of Loreto convent in Darjeeling, India.  Sr. Teresa took her vows in 1931, and choose the name Teresa to honor Saints Therese of Lisieux and Teresa of Avila.  She taught for  for 15 years with the Sisters of Loreto. In 1946 Teresa traveled to Darjeeling for a retreat. Mother Teresa was Canonized a Saint on September 4, 2016.
1. Mother Teresa obeyed the voice of God: “I heard the call to give up all and follow Christ into the slums to serve him among the poorest of the poor.” She obtianed permission from the Sisters of Loreto to leave the order – permission of the Archbishop of Calcutta to live and work among the poor. She also prepared by taking a nursing course.
2. In 1948 Sister Teresa changed her nun’s habit – using a simple sari and sandals worn by the poor women. She moved to the slums to begin her work. She obtained food and supplies by begging.
3. She taught the children of the poor to read and write by writing in the dirt with sticks. She also taught the children basic hygiene. She visited families, finding their needs and helped them with supplies.
4.In 1950 she started the Mission of Charity. This congregation is dedicated to caring for “the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the lepers, all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared for throughout society, people that have become a burden to the society and are shunned by everyone.”
5. Mother Teresa opened hospices for the poor, a home for sufferers of leprosy, and a home for orphans and homeless youths.
6. Mother Teresa's Sisters spend 1 hour in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament each day.Their day begins with prayer and Mass where they encounter Jesus the source of their strength.
7 . Mother Teresa was honored with many awards throughout her life, from the Indian Padma Shri in 1962 to the inaugural Pope John XXIII Peace Prize in 1971  most famously, the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.
8. She refused the traditional Nobel honor banquet, instead requesting that the $192,000 budget be given to help the poor of India.  She continued her work with the poor for the rest of her life, leading the Missionaries of Charity until just months before her death Sept. 5, 1997.
9. Her Sisters have hundreds of houses throughout the world. They have helped millions of people.
10. Mother Teresa was Officially Canonized as a Saint by Pope Francis on Sept. 4, 2016.

Wow Pope Francis meets with Thousands of Interreligious Youth in Mozambique "... write a new page of history, a page full of hope, peace..." Full Text + Video

Pope addresses Mozambique’s youth: Full text - SEE FULL Video Below - in English
Pope Francis addresses Mozambique’s young people, the second engagement of his Apostolic Journey.
The full text of his prepared remarks is below:
Address of His Holiness Pope Francis
Interreligious Meeting with Youth
Maputo, Maxaquene Stadium
Thursday, 5 September 2019

         Thank you very much for your words of welcome.  I thank all of you for your fine artistic performances.

                You thanked me for having taken time to be with you.  But what could be more important than for a shepherd than to be with his flock?  What is more important for us pastors than to meet with our young people?  You are important!  You need to know this.  You need to believe it.  You are important!  Because not only are you the future of Mozambique, or of the Church and of humanity.  You are their present!  In everything that you are and do, you are even now contributing to this present by offering the best of yourselves today.  Without your enthusiasm, your songs, your joie de vivre, what would this land be like?  Watching you sing, laugh and dance amid all your difficulties is – as you were just telling us – the best sign that you, young people, are the joy of this land, the joy of our time.

                This joie de vivre is what distinguishes you.  We can see it here here!  A shared and celebrated joy that reconciles is the best antidote to all those who want to create dissension, division and conflict. How much that joie de vivre of yours is needed in some parts of our world!

I thank the members of different religious confessions who have joined us, and those who do not belong to any particular religious tradition.  Thank you for encouraging one another to live and celebrate today the challenge of peace as the family that we are.  You are experiencing that all of us are necessary: with our differences, we are all necessary.  Together, you are the beating heart of this people and all of you have a fundamental role to play in one great creative project: to write a new page of history, a page full of hope, peace and reconciliation.  Do you want to write this page?

You asked me two questions, which in my mind are related.  One of them was: “How do we make young people’s dreams come true?”  The other was: “How do we get young people involved in the problems that plague the country?”  Today you yourselves showed us the way.  You gave us the answer to these questions.

You expressed yourselves with art and music, and all the cultural treasures that you displayed with such pride.  You expressed some of your dreams and realities.  In all of this, we see a variety of ways to bring the world together and to look to the horizon: with eyes ever full of hope, full of the future, full of dreams.  Like adults, young people walk on two feet.  But unlike adults, who keep their feet parallel, you always have one foot in front of the other, ready to set out, to take off.  You have great strength and you are able to look ahead with immense hope.  You are a promise of life, and you have a tenacity (cf. Christus Vivit, 139) that you must never lose or let anyone steal from you.

How do you make your dreams come true?  How do you help to solve your country’s problems?  My words to you are these.  Do not let yourselves be robbed of joy.  Keep singing and expressing yourselves in fidelity to all the goodness that you have learned from your traditions.  Let no one rob you of your joy!  I told you that there are many ways to look at the horizon, our world, the present and the future.  But be on guard against two attitudes that kill dreams and hope.  The attitudes of resignation and anxiety.  These are great enemies of life, because they usually propel us along an easy but self-defeating path, and the toll they take is high indeed…  We pay with our happiness and even with our lives.  How many empty promises of happiness end up ruining lives!  Surely you know friends or acquaintances – or have even experienced it yourselves – that in difficult and painful times, when everything seems to be falling apart, it is easy to give up.  You have to be very careful, because this attitude “makes you take the wrong road. When everything seems to be standing still and stagnant, when our personal issues trouble us, and social problems do not meet with the right responses, it does no good to give up” (ibid., 141).

I know most of you are enthused about football.  I remember a great player from these lands who learned not to give up: Eusébio da Silva, the Black Panther. He began his athletic career in this city.  The severe economic hardships of his family and the premature death of his father did not prevent him from dreaming; his passion for football made him persevere, keep dreaming and moving forward.  He managed to score seventy-seven goals for Maxaquene!  Despite having plenty of reasons to give up…

His dream and his desire to play kept him going, but equally important was finding someone to play with.  You know that in a team not everyone is the same; they don’t all do the same things or think the same way.  Each player has his own gifts.  We can see and appreciate this even in this meeting of ours.  We come from different traditions and we may even speak different languages, but this has not stopped us from being here together as a group.

Much suffering has been and still is caused because some people feel entitled to determine who can “play” and who should sit “on the bench”.  Such people spend their lives dividing and separating.  Today, young friends, you are giving an example and a witness to how we should act.  You asked me: “How can we do something for our country?” By doing just as you are doing now, by staying together despite everything that can divide you, by always looking for a chance to realize your dreams for a better country.  But always together.

It is essential never to forget that “social enmity… is destructive. Families are destroyed by enmity. Countries are destroyed by enmity. The world is destroyed by enmity.  And the greatest enmity of all is war.  Today we see that the world is destroying itself by war…  So find ways of building social friendship.  It is not easy; it always means having to give something up and to negotiate, but if we do it for the sake of helping others, we can have the magnificent experience of setting our differences aside and working together for something greater.  If, as a result of our own simple and at times costly efforts, we can find points of agreement amid conflict, build bridges and make peace for the benefit of all, then we will experience the miracle of the culture of encounter” (ibid., 169).

An old proverb says: “If you want to get somewhere in a hurry, walk alone; if you want to go far, walk with others”.  We need always to dream together, as you are doing today.  Dream with others, never against others.  Keep dreaming the way you dreamed and prepared for this meeting: all together and without barriers.  This is part of Mozambique’s “new page of history”.

Playing as a team makes us see that the enemy of dreams and commitment is not just giving up but also anxiety. This “anxiety can work against us by making us give up whenever we do not see instant results.  Our best dreams are only attained through hope, patience and commitment, and not in haste.  At the same time, we should not be hesitant, afraid to take chances or make mistakes” (ibid., 142).  The most beautiful things take shape over time, and if something doesn’t work out at first, don’t be afraid to keep trying.  Don’t be afraid to make mistakes!  We can make a thousand mistakes, but we must never fall into the trap of giving up because things did not go well at first.  The worst mistake would be to let worrying make you abandon your dreams of a better country.

For example, you have before your eyes that beautiful testimony given by Maria Mutola, who learned to persevere, to keep trying, even though she did not attain the goal of a gold medal in her first three Olympic Games.   Then, on her fourth attempt, this 800-metre athlete won the gold medal at the Sydney Olympics.  Her efforts did not make her self-absorbed; her nine world titles did not let her forget her people, her roots: she continued to look out for the needy children of Mozambique.  We see how sport teaches us to persevere in our dreams!

I would like to add another important thing: pay attention to older people.

The elderly can help keep your dreams and aspirations from fading, from faltering at the first experience of difficulty or powerlessness.  They are our roots.  “Think about it: if someone tells young people to ignore their history, to reject the experiences of their elders, to look down on the past and to look forward to a future that he holds out, doesn’t it then become easy to draw them along so that they only do what he tells them?  He needs the young to be shallow, uprooted and distrustful, so that they can trust only in his promises and act according to his plans.  That is how various ideologies operate: they destroy (or deconstruct) all differences so that they can reign unopposed.  To do so, however, they need young people who have no use for history, who spurn the spiritual and human riches inherited from past generations, and are ignorant of everything that came before them” (ibid., 181).

Older generations have much to tell you and offer you.  True, sometimes we elderly people can be overbearing and nagging, or we can try to make you act, speak and live the same way we do.  You will have to find your own way, but by listening to and appreciating those who have gone before you.  Isn’t this what you did with your music?  In the marrabenta, the traditional music of Mozambique, you incorporated other modern rhythms, and the pandza was born.  What you listened to, what you saw your parents and grandparents singing and dancing to, you took and made your own.  This, then, is the path that I would point out to you, a path “born of freedom, enthusiasm, creativity and new horizons, while at the same time cultivating the roots that nourish and sustain us” (ibid., 184).

All of these are little things, but they can give you the support you need not to give up in times of trouble but to move forward with hope, to find new ways and outlets for expressing your creativity, and to face problems together in a spirit of solidarity.

Many of you were born at a time of peace, a hard-won peace that was not always easy to achieve and took time to build.  Peace is a process that you too are called to advance, by being ever ready to reach out to those experiencing hardship.  What power there is in an outstretched hand and a friendship that finds concrete expression!  I think of the suffering of those young people who came full of dreams to find work in the city, and who today are homeless, without family and real friends.  How important it is to learn to offer others a helping and outstretched hand!  Try to grow in friendship with those who think differently than you, so that solidarity will increase among you and become the best weapon to change the course of history.

The image of an outstretched hand also makes us think of the need to be committed to caring for the earth, our common home.  You have indeed been blessed with stupendous natural beauty: forests and rivers, valleys and mountains and so many beautiful beaches.

Sadly, however, a few months ago you suffered the collision of two cyclones, and saw the consequences of the ecological disaster that we are experiencing.  Many people, including a great number of young people, have already taken up the pressing challenge of protecting our common home.  This is the challenge before us: to protect our common home.  Here you have a beautiful dream to cultivate together, as a family, a great challenge that can keep you united.  I am convinced that you can be the agents of this much-needed change: protecting our common home, a home that belongs to all and is meant for all.

Let me leave you with one last thought: God loves you, and this is something on which all our religious traditions are agreed.  “For him, you have worth; you are not insignificant. You are important to him, for you are the work of his hands. That is why he is concerned about you and looks to you with affection. Trust the memory of God…  His memory is a heart filled with tender compassion, one that finds joy in ‘deleting’ from us every trace of evil.  He does not keep track of your failings and he always helps you learn something even from your mistakes.  Because he loves you.  Try to keep still for a moment and let yourself feel his love.  Try to silence all the noise within, and rest for a second in his loving embrace” (Christus Vivit, 115).

This love of God is simple, silent and discreet: it does not overpower us or force itself on us; it is not strident or flashy.  It is “a love that is free and freeing, a love that heals and raises up.  The love of the Lord has to do more with raising up than knocking down, with reconciling than forbidding, with offering new changes than condemning, with the future than the past” (ibid., 116).

I know that you believe in this love that makes reconciliation possible.  And because you believe in this love, I am certain that you are hopeful and that you will not fail to walk joyfully in the ways of peace.

Thank you very much and, please, do not forget to pray for me.

God bless you all.

#BreakingNews Pope Francis arrives in Mozambique, Africa - "Peace has made possible..." Full Text + Video

(4 - 10 SEPTEMBER 2019)
Ponta Vermelha Palace (Maputo)
Thursday, 5 September 2019

Mr President,
Members of the Government and Diplomatic Corps,
Distinguished Authorities,
Representatives of Civil Society,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I thank you, Mr President, for your words of welcome and for your kind invitation to visit this nation. I am happy once more to be in Africa and to inaugurate this Apostolic Journey in your country, so blessed by its natural beauty and by a great cultural richness born of the evident joy in life of your people and their hope in a better future.
I cordially greet the Members of the Government, the Diplomatic Corps, and the Representatives of civil society here present. Through you, I wish to approach and affectionately greet the entire Mozambican people, from Rovuma to Maputo, who have opened their doors to us in order to foster a renewed future of peace and reconciliation.
I would like my first words of closeness and solidarity to be addressed to all those struck by cyclones Idai and Kenneth, whose devastating effects continue to be felt by so many families, especially in those places where it is not yet possible to rebuild, because they require this special attention. Sadly, I will not be able to go personally to visit you, but I want you to know of my own participation in your anguish and suffering, and the commitment of the Catholic community to respond to this most difficult situation. Amid the catastrophe and desolation, I pray that, in God’s providence, constant concern will be shown by all those civil and social groups who make people their priority and are in a position to promote the necessary rebuilding.
I want also to express my personal gratitude, and that of the larger international community, for the efforts made in recent decades to ensure that peace is once more the norm, and reconciliation the best path to confront the difficulties and challenges that you face as a nation. In this spirit and with this intent, a month ago you signed in Serra da Gorongosa the Agreement for a definitive cessation of military hostilities between brother Mozambicans. A landmark that we greet with the hope that it will prove decisive and a further courageous step on the path of peace that began with the General Peace Agreement of 1992 in Rome.
How much has happened since the signing of the historic treaty that sealed the peace and has gradually begun to bear fruit! Those first fruits sustain hope and the determination to make your future not one of conflict, but of the acknowledgement that you are all brothers and sisters, sons and daughters of a single land, stewards with a shared destiny. Courage brings peace! Genuine courage: not the courage of brute force and violence, but one expressed concretely in the tireless pursuit of the common good (cf. PAUL VI, Message for the 1973 World Day of Peace).
You have experienced suffering, sorrow and affliction, but you have refused to let human relationships be governed by vengeance or repression, or to allow hatred and violence to have the final word. As my Predecessor Saint John Paul II recalled during his visit to your country in 1988: “Many men, women and children suffer from lack of housing, adequate food, schools for instruction, hospitals for health care, churches in which to meet and to pray, and fields to provide workers with labour. Thousands of persons are forced to relocate in order to find security and the means of survival; others have taken refuge in nearby countries… No to violence, and yes to peace!” (Visit to the President of the Republic, 16 September 1988, 3).
In the course of these years, you have come to realize how the pursuit of lasting peace – a mission incumbent upon all – calls for strenuous, constant and unremitting effort, for peace is “like a delicate flower, struggling to blossom on the stony ground of violence” (Message for the 2019 World Day of Peace). As a result, it demands that we continue, with determination but without fanaticism, with courage but without exaltation, with tenacity but in an intelligent way, to promote peace and reconciliation, not the violence that brings only destruction.
As we know, peace is not merely absence of war but a tireless commitment – especially on the part of those of us charged with greater responsibility – to recognize, protect and concretely restore the dignity, so often overlooked or ignored, of our brothers and sisters, so that they can see themselves as the principal protagonists of the destiny of their nation. Nor can we neglect the fact that “without equal opportunities, the different forms of aggression and conflict will find a fertile terrain for growth and eventually explode. When a society – whether local, national or global – is willing to leave part of itself on the fringes, no political programs or resources spent on law enforcement or surveillance systems can indefinitely guarantee tranquility” (Evangelii Gaudium, 59).
Peace has made possible the development of Mozambique in a number of areas. Promising advances have been made in the fields of education and health care. I encourage you to continue your efforts to build up the structures and institutions needed to ensure that no one feels abandoned, especially the young who make up so great a part of your country’s population. They are not only the hope of this land; they are also its present, a present that challenges, seeks out and needs to find worthy channels that can allow them to make good use of all of their talents. They have the potential to sow the seeds for the growth of that social harmony desired by all.
A culture of peace requires “an ongoing process in which every new generation must take part” (ibid., 220). For this reason the path to be taken must be one that favours and is fully imbued with a culture of encounter: acknowledging others, creating bonds and building bridges. In this regard, it is essential to cherish memory as a path opening up towards the future, as a journey leading to the attainment of common goals, shared values and ideas that can help to overcome narrow corporative or partisan interests. In this way, the true wealth of your nation can be found in the service of others, especially the poor. You have a courageous historical mission to undertake. May you not desist as long as there are children and young people without schooling, families that are homeless, unemployed workers, farmers without land to cultivate. These are the foundations for a future of hope, because it will be a future of dignity! These are the weapons of peace.
Peace invites us also to look to the earth, our common home. From this standpoint, Mozambique is a nation greatly blessed, and you have a special responsibility to care for this blessing. The protection of the land is also the protection of life, which demands particular attention whenever we see a tendency towards pillaging and exfoliation driven by a greed generally not cultivated even by the inhabitants of these lands, nor motivated by the common good of your people. A culture of peace implies a productive, sustainable and inclusive development, where all Mozambicans can feel that this land is theirs, where they can establish relations of fraternity and equity with their neighbours and all their surroundings.
Mr President, distinguished Authorities! All of you are meant to help create a magnificent work of art: the dawn of peace and reconciliation which can safeguard the right of your sons and daughters to the future. It is my prayer that, in this time that I will spend with you, I too, in communion with my brother bishops and the Catholic Church in this land, can help make peace, reconciliation and hope reign definitively in your midst. Thank you.

RIP French Cardinal Roger Etchegaray - Cardinal Dies at age 96 - former President the Pontifical Councils for Justice and Peace

French Cardinal Etchegaray dies. Pope Francis: a man of dialogue
French Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, President emeritus of the Vatican’s Pontifical Councils for Justice and Peace, and of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum", has passed away. The 96-year old cardinal died on 4 September in Cambo-les-Bains, in the Diocese of Bayonne, France.
By Robin Gomes

Pope Francis pained
Pope Francis learned about the death of Cardinal Etchegaray "with pain" Thursday morning, reported the director of the Vatican Press Office, Matteo Bruni.  During the Holy Mass, celebrated in the Nunciature of Maputo, Mozambique, where the Pope is on an apostolic visit, Bruni said, the Holy Father recalled the French Cardinal as a man of dialogue and peace.

The Pope also remembered Colombian Cardinal José de Jesús Pimiento Rodríguez who died the previous day, September 3.

Cardinal Etchegaray was born 25 September 1922 in Espelette, in the Diocese of Bayonne, France. After studying at the minor seminary at Ustaritz, he continued his studies at the major seminary at Bayonne and at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, obtaining a licentiate in sacred theology and a doctorate in canon law.

After his priestly ordination on 13 July 1947, he started working in the Diocese of Bayonne.  In 1961, he began working for the Bishops’ Conference of France, and from 1966 to 1970 he became its Secretary-General.

Pope St. Paul VI appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Paris on 29 March 1969 and on 22 December 1970 he became Archbishop of Marseille and in 1975 was elected president of the Bishops’ Conference of France, a post he held for a second term until 1981.

In 1971, Cardinal Etchegaray became the first president of the newly formed Council of the Bishops' Conferences of Europe.

In 1979, he was made a cardinal by Pope St. John Paul II.

On 8 April 1984, he was appointed President of the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace, as well as of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum.

Throughout the years, Cardinal Etchegaray untiringly served the cause of peace, human rights and the needs of the poor, bringing the message and love of the Pope to many nations.

He organized the historic Assisi Peace Meeting in 1986 between representatives of the main religions, in the face of growing tensions in the world divided into blocs and in the face of fears of nuclear war.

On 15 November 1994, he was named President of the Central Committee that oversaw the observance of the Holy Year 2000.

Cardinal Etchegaray also carried out important diplomatic missions for the Holy See.  In May 2002, he was in Jerusalem seeking for peace in the Middle East,  and in February 2003, he was in Baghdad carrying the Pope's message of reconciliation.

On 30 April 2005, Pope Benedict XVI approved the election of Cardinal Etchegaray as Vice Dean of the College of Cardinals, from which he stepped down in June 2017, because of his advanced age.  He was 94. Pope Francis personally greeted him as he left Rome for his native land.

The funeral of Cardinal Etchegaray is scheduled for 9 September in the Cathedral of Santa Maria in Bayonne.

With his death, the number of cardinals now stands at 213 cardinals, 118 of whom are electors and 95 non-electors.

Novena to Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta - Official Prayer #Novena from the Missionaries of Charity

Shared from the Missionaries of Charity
Official Novena Prayer to Saint Teresa of Calcutta

Prayed each day of the Novena

Saint Teresa of Calcutta, you allowed the thirsting love of Jesus on the Cross to become a living flame within you, and so became the light of His love to all. Obtain from the Heart of Jesus (here make your request). Teach me to allow Jesus to penetrate and possess my whole being so completely that my life, too, may radiate His light and love to others. Amen. Immaculate Heart of Mary, Cause of Our Joy, pray for me.
Saint Teresa of Calcutta, pray for me.
“Jesus is my All in All”

First Day – Know the Living Jesus 
Thought for the day:“Don’t search for Jesus in far lands; He is not there. He is close to you; He is in you.”

Ask for the grace of an intimate knowledge of Jesus.

Recite the prayer to Saint Teresa
Second Day –Jesus Loves You
Thought for the day:
“Do not be afraid - you are precious to Jesus. He loves you.”
Ask for the grace to be convinced of Jesus’ unconditional and personal love for you.

Recite the prayer to Saint Teresa
Third Day – Hear Him Say to You: “I Thirst”
Thought for the day:
“Just think! God is thirsting for you and me to come forward to satiate His thirst.”
Ask for the grace to understand Jesus’ cry of thirst.

Recite the prayer to Saint Teresa
Fourth Day – Our Lady Will Help You
Thought for the day:
“How close we must keep to Our Lady who understood what depth of Divine Love was being revealed as she stood at the foot of the Cross and heard Jesus cry out: ‘I thirst.’ 
Ask for the grace to learn from Our Lady to quench Jesus’ thirst as she did.

Recite the prayer to Saint Teresa
Fifth Day – Trust Jesus Blindly
Thought for the day:
“Confidence in God can do all things. It is our emptiness and lowliness that God needs and not our plenitude.
Ask for the grace to have an unshakeable trust in the God’s power and love for you and for all.

Recite the prayer to Saint Teresa
Sixth Day - True Love is Surrender
Thought for the day: “Allow God to use you without consulting you.”
Ask for the grace to surrender your whole life to God.

Recite the prayer to Saint Teresa
Seventh Day – God Loves a Cheerful Giver
Thought for the day:“Joy is the sign of union with God, of God’s presence. Joy is love, the normal result of a heart burning with love.”
Ask for the grace to find joy in loving and to share this joy with all you meet.

Recite the prayer to Saint Teresa
Eighth Day – Jesus Made Himself the Bread of Life and the Hungry One
Thought for the day: “Believe that He, Jesus, is in the appearance of Bread and that He, Jesus, is in the hungry, naked, sick, lonely, unloved, homeless, helpless and hopeless.”
Ask for the grace of a deep faith to see Jesus in the Bread of Life and to serve Him in the distressing disguise of the poor.

Recite the prayer to Saint Teresa
Ninth Day – Holiness is Jesus Living and Acting in Me
Thought for the day: “Charity for each other is the surest way to great holiness.”
Ask for the grace to become a saint.

Recite the prayer to Saint Teresa

The Oldest Cardinal in the World Dies - RIP Cardinal Pimiento of Colombia dies at age 100

VaticanNews: Cardinal Pimiento of Colombia dies at age 100
Cardinal José de Jesús Pimiento Rodríguez, Archbishop emeritus of Manizales, died on 3 September. At age 100, he was the oldest cardinal.
By Robin Gomes

Colombian Cardinal José de Jesús Pimiento, who at 100 was the oldest in the world and served under seven popes, passed away on Tuesday.

“The Catholic bishops of Colombia mourn the death of Cardinal José de Jesús Pimiento Rodríguez, Archbishop emeritus of the Archdiocese of Manizales," the Episcopal Conference of Colombia (CEC) wrote in a Twitter post.

Julio César Pimiento, nephew of the cardinal, told reporters that the cardinal, who was in poor health, suffered a heart attack on Tuesday afternoon in the town of Floridablanca in Bucaramanga Archdiocese,  where he spent the last years of his life in Casa San José, a retreat centre for priests in the.

The bishops of Colombia offer prayers for the late cardinal and thank God for the testimony of his vocation and long life, his contribution to peace in the country and for raising awareness about development and the common good.   At the same time, they extend their fraternal condolences to the family of the deceased cardinal and to the clergy of the Archdiocese of Bucaramanga.

Cardinal Pimiento was born in Zapatoca on 18 February 1919 and was ordained a priest on 14 December 1941.

Pope Pius XII appointed him Auxiliary Bishop of Pasto in December 1955, and, four years later, Pope St. John XXIII made him Bishop of Montería, from where Pope St. Paul VI transferred him to the Diocese of Garzón-Neiva in February 1964.

Between 1962 and 1965 he participated in the sessions of the Second Vatican Council and in 1972 he was elected president of the Episcopal Conference of Colombia, a position he held until 1978.

In May 1975 he was appointed by Paul VI to the Archbishop's seat in Manizales, which he led for 21 years until his retirement in 1995, at the age of 77 under Pope St. John Paul II.

Just four days short of his 96th birthday, he was created a cardinal in the consistory of February 14, 2015, by Pope Francis.  Being above 80 years of age, he was a non-elector cardinal, meaning he could not participate in a conclave to vote for a new pope.

Due to his advanced age, he could not be present at the consistory in the Vatican, but his cardinal’s hat and ring were sent to him which he received at a ceremony in the Cathedral of the Colombian capital, Bogota. The Episcopal Conference of Colombia regarded his elevation as "a recognition of his life and pastoral ministry”.

With the death of Cardinal Pimiento,  the number of cardinals now stands at 214 cardinals, of whom 118 electors and 96 non-electors.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thursday, September 5, 2019 - #Eucharist

Thursday of the Twenty-second Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 434

Reading 1COL 1:9-14

Brothers and sisters:
From the day we heard about you, we do not cease praying for you
and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God's will
through all spiritual wisdom and understanding
to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord,
so as to be fully pleasing, in every good work bearing fruit
and growing in the knowledge of God,
strengthened with every power, in accord with his glorious might,
for all endurance and patience,
with joy giving thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to share
in the inheritance of the holy ones in light.
He delivered us from the power of darkness
and transferred us to the Kingdom of his beloved Son,
in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Responsorial PsalmPS 98:2-3AB, 3CD-4, 5-6

R. (2) The Lord has made known his salvation.
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 made known his salvation.
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 made known his salvation.
Sing praise to the LORD with the harp,
with the harp and melodious song.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
sing joyfully before the King, the LORD.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.

AlleluiaMT 4:19

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come after me, says the Lord,
and I will make you fishers of men.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 5:1-11

While the crowd was pressing in on Jesus and listening to the word of God,
he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret.
He saw two boats there alongside the lake;
the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets.
Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon,
he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore.
Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.
After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon,
"Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch."
Simon said in reply,
"Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing,
but at your command I will lower the nets."
When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish
and their nets were tearing.
They signaled to their partners in the other boat
to come to help them.
They came and filled both boats
so that the boats were in danger of sinking.
When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at the knees of Jesus and said,
"Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man."
For astonishment at the catch of fish they had made seized him
and all those with him,
and likewise James and John, the sons of Zebedee,
who were partners of Simon.
Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid;
from now on you will be catching men."
When they brought their boats to the shore,
they left everything and followed him.