Thursday, October 10, 2019

Saint October 11 : Saint John XXIII the Pope who started Vatican Council II and Patron of Christian Unity


1958-1963 Release: When on October 20, 1958 the cardinals, assembled in conclave, elected Angelo Roncalli as pope many regarded him, because of his age and ambiguous reputation, as a transitional pope, little realizing that the pontificate of this man of 76 years would mark a turning point in history and initiate a new age for the Church. He took the name of John in honor of the precursor and the beloved disciple—but also because it was the name of a long line of popes whose pontificates had been short.

Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, the third of thirteen children, was born on November 25, 1881 at Sotto il Monte (Bergamo) of a family of sharecroppers. He attended elementary school in the town, was tutored by a priest of Carvico, and at the age of twelve entered the seminary at Bergamo. A scholarship from the Cerasoli Foundation (1901) enabled him to go on to the Apollinaris in Rome where he studied under (among others) Umberto Benigni, the Church historian. He interrupted his studies for service in the Italian Army but returned to the seminary, completed his work for a doctorate in theology, and was ordained in 1904. Continuing his studies in canon law he was appointed secretary to the new bishop of Bergamo, Giacomo Radini-Tedeschi. Angelo served this social-minded prelate for nine years, acquiring first-hand experience and a broad understanding of the problems of the working class. He also taught apologetics, church history, and patrology.

With the entry of Italy into World War I in 1915 he was recalled to military service as a chaplain. On leaving the service in 1918 he was appointed spiritual director of the seminary, but found time to open a hostel for students in Bergamo. It was at this time also that he began the research for a multi-volume work on the episcopal visitation of Bergamo by St. Charles Borromeo, the last volume of which was published after his elevation as pope.

In 1921 he was called to Rome to reorganize the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. Nominated titular archbishop of Areopolis and apostolic visitator to Bulgaria (1925), he immediately concerned himself with the problems of the Eastern Churches. Transferred in 1934 to Turkey and Greece as apostolic delegate, he set up an office in Istanbul for locating prisoners of war. In 1944 he was appointed nuncio to Paris to assist in the Church's post-war efforts in France, and became the first permanent observer of the Holy See at UNESCO, addressing its sixth and seventh general assemblies in 1951 and 1952. In 1953 he became cardinal-patriarch of Venice, and expected to spend his last years there in pastoral work. He was correcting proofs of the synodal Acts of his first diocesan Synod (1958) when he was called to Rome to participate in the conclave that elected him pope.

In his first public address Pope John expressed his concern for reunion with separated Christians and for world peace. In his coronation address he asserted "vigorously and sincerely" that it was his intention to be a pastoral pope since "all other human gifts and accomplishments—learning, practical experience, diplomatic finesse—can broaden and enrich pastoral work but they cannot replace it." One of his first acts was to annul the regulation of Sixtus IV limiting the membership of the College of Cardinals to 70; within the next four years he enlarged it to 87 with the largest international representation in history. Less than three months after his election he announced that he would hold a diocesan synod for Rome, convoke an ecumenical council for the universal Church, and revise the Code of Canon Law. The synod, the first in the history of Rome, was held in 1960; Vatican Council II was convoked in 1962; and the Pontifical Commission for the Revision of the Code was appointed in 1963.

His progressive encyclical, Mater et Magistra, was issued in 1961 to commemorate the anniversary of Leo XIII's Rerum novarumPacem in terris, advocating human freedom and dignity as the basis for world order and peace, came out in 1963. He elevated the Pontifical Commission for Cinema, Radio, and Television to curial status, approved a new code of rubrics for the Breviary and Missal, made notable advances in ecumenical relations by creating a new Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity and by appointing the first representative to the Assembly of the World Council of Churches held in New Delhi (1961). In 1960 he consecrated fourteen bishops for Asia, Africa, and Oceania. The International Balzan Foundation awarded him its Peace Prize in 1962.

Since his death on June 3, 1963, much has been written and spoken about the warmth and holiness of the beloved Pope John. Perhaps the testimony of the world was best expressed by a newspaper drawing of the earth shrouded in mourning with the simple caption, "A Death in the Family."
 Official Prayer to St. John XXIII Dear Pope John, Your simplicity and meekness carried the scent of God and sparked in people’s hearts the desire for goodness. You spoke often of the beauty of the family gathered around the table to share bread and faith: pray for us that once again true families would live in our homes. With outstretched hands you sowed hope, and you taught us to listen for God’s footsteps as he prepares a new humanity: help us have a healthy optimism of defeating evil with good. You loved the world with its light and darkness, and you believed that peace is possible: help us be instruments of peace at home and in our communities. With paternal gentleness you gave all children a caress: you moved the world and reminded us that hands have been given to us not for striking, but for embracing and drying tears. Pray for us so that we do not limit ourselves to cursing the darkness but that we bring the light, bringing Jesus everywhere and always praying to Mary. Amen. 

Latest from the Amazon Synod "...opting for an integral ecology, recognizing the dignity of people, and that of all cultures." Full Video

Amazon Synod Briefing: Ministers of the Word, face of indigenous Church
Participants share their personal experiences along with their impressions of Day 4 of the Synod for the Amazon with journalists during Thursday’s briefing in the Holy See Press Office.
By Vatican News

The Prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Communication, Dr Paolo Ruffini, opened the press briefing by summarizing the main points covered during the Wednesday afternoon's session of the Synod for the Amazon. The first series of interventions by the Synod Fathers concluded on Wednesday evening, he said. Among these interventions was one by Pope Francis himself.

Summary by Dr Paolo Ruffini
The issues discussed during the morning session were all interconnected in some way, added Dr Ruffini. They concerned ecological questions, the future of the planet, the value the Amazon Region represents for the entire planet, the violence committed toward the Amazon as an area, and toward the people who live there, the need to change the paradigm, to respect human rights, and to combat all forms of violence. These issues themselves are connected with culture, dialogue among cultures, evangelization and the inculturation of the Gospel.

Other questions regarded how to “be Church in the Amazon”, and how people living there see the Church. Observations confirmed the lack of vocations in the Amazon region, the need for new forms of ministry, both ordained and non-ordained, the role of women, and the importance of the sacraments in the community. Emphasis was placed on the need to give suitable formation and responsibility to lay people, and to let go of a “clerical vision” in the Church.

Comments by Fr Giacomo Costa SJ
Jesuit Fr Giacomo Costa is Secretary of the Information Commission for the Synod. He developed the connectivity among the themes discussed at the morning session. While examining the Amazon Region, he said, the Synod is also connecting it on the universal level, because the impact of what is happening there affects the entire Church throughout the world.

Fr Costa used the term “missionary synodality” to explain the way the Church can contribute in a specific region. He spoke of a “new way of being Church” that values the contribution of everyone: laity, indigenous, etc.

The Synod has moved on to the next step, he said, describing the so-called “circoli minores”, or small language groups, that began their work on Thursday morning. These groups allow for greater sharing, comparing and exchange of ideas among their members. All these are connected with the interventions in the Synod Hall, he said, and are the result of a period of profound listening, aimed at discerning the new paths of evangelization. These small groups will continue their work on Thursday afternoon and on Friday. The General Congregation will pick up again from Saturday to Tuesday. The relations of the groups will be presented in a week’s time, on the evening of Thursday 17 October and will be published.

Presentation by Bishop Wilmar Santin, O.CARM., of Itaituba, Brazil
Bishop Wilmar Santin spoke of his personal experience ministering in an area that covers 175 thousand square km. His prelature was established in 1988, he said, but the Church’s work with the indigenous peoples dates back to 1910 or 1911. It was the Franciscans who began working there. They were followed by the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, the same Congregation as Sister Dulce Lopes Pontes who will be canonized this Sunday.

Bishop Wilmar told the story of how the indigenous people did not want to approach the missionaries at first, until a Franciscan missionary won them over by playing his flute. Most of the people in the area where Bishop Santin ministers are baptized in the Catholic Church, he said. A Baptist mission headed by a Swiss couple is also there. The relationship between the Catholic missionaries and pastors of the Baptist Church has always been good, he added. They have been collaborating under a banner of dialogue since 1963.

The Bishop’s said his experience and intention has been to intensify the indigenous pastoral ministry. He spoke of how the local Church is putting into practice “what the Pope is calling us to do”: namely, that it should be the indigenous peoples themselves who shape the Church in the Amazon. An important aspect, said Bishop Wilmar, is that the people he works with should have their own leaders. Until now, these have always been foreigners. Pope Francis, said the Bishop, told someone how he dreamed of seeing an indigenous priest in every village. When Bishop Wilmar asked how to fulfil that dream, the Pope said he should start with what the Church already allows: the permanent diaconate. Which is what they decided to do. They developed a plan with an Italian priest who had worked in the indigenous missions in Amazonia all his life. The first step involved creating Ministers of the Eucharist, then ministries that Deacons perform in order to move toward being ordained as Deacons. They chose to begin with the Ministry of the Word, as the Eucharist cannot be preserved in these territories for very long. Formation for Ministers of the Word began in November 2017. 20 men and 4 women were appointed and began preaching the word of God in their own language.

This past March, Bishop Santin said he returned to that village and found another 24 Ministers of the Word, making a total of 48, who preach in their local language. The Bishop said it filled him with joy as he thought of the day of Pentecost when so many heard about the wonders of God, in their own language. This type of formation is advancing toward forming Ministers to baptize, and later to witness marriages, he said. The local people give great importance to the Sacrament of Baptism, he added, and they want to be married in Church. They desire God’s blessings. Which is why there have to be ministers to perform baptisms and marriages in every village. This will help the people very much, concluded Bishop Santin and in the future, hopefully, the ordination of deacons will be possible.

Presentation by Bishop Medardo de Jesús Henao Del Río, M.X.Y., Apostolic Vicar of Mitú, and Titular Bishop of Casae Medianae, in Colombia
Bishop Del Rio represents an area of the Amazon where 90% of the population are indigenous people. The nearest city is one hour away by plane. He described the situation there as particularly difficult. The drug trade, he said, is exploiting indigenous people in the area. While there is a school and a paramedic station, there is widespread malnutrition and many live abandoned. The Bishop told the story of a woman who was experiencing a difficult pregnancy. She had nowhere to go and had to perform a C-section on herself. Her husband managed to get her to the hospital where the gynecologist was shocked this could have happened. In this case, the woman and her child survived. In other cases, men have had to help their wives deliver babies using knives, and women sometimes die as a result. The Health Ministry has been asked to focus more on health care but a court proceeding has been going ahead with no results.

The Church has been intervening in these areas, said Bishop Del Rio. He quoted Pope Francis saying that the Amazon has never been so threatened, not only because the State is absent, but because so many companies come to exploit it. It is not just a matter of planting trees or collecting rubbish, said the Bishop, “we need an integral ecology”. Land is very important for the indigenous peoples, he continued, because that is where their family is buried. Sometimes entire communities disappear, said the Bishop, because of the multi-nationals that force them to leave their lands. Some deceive the people by obtaining legal permission, or getting signatures from leaders through devious means, including using alcohol. The Church is trying to support these people by exposing the exploitation of the multi-nationals, continued Bishop Del Rio. Sometimes they sign things without being fully aware of what they are signing. These are sacred lands for them. Contaminated water causes problems, he added, because it is their drinking water.

Bishop Del Rio recently ordained an indigenous deacon, using some symbols from both the Latin rite, and some used in similar ceremonies in the indigenous culture. We need to take on some of the symbols and values of the indigenous people, said the Bishop, because this is what provides meaning for them. The local people have a tradition of giving what they have in abundance, and offering it to others with dancing. We incorporate this into the Offertory, he said. In this way, we connect both the culture and the Christian experience. We use elements, situations and celebrations that have the seed of God in them, concluded the Bishop.

Sister Gloria Liliana Franco Echeverri, O.D.N., President of the Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Religious (C.L.A.R.), from Colombia
Sister Echeverri shared her experience of how, at the end of August this year, a group of men and women religious from the 9 countries of Amazon got together, some of them travelling for 5 to 6 days. They call themselves itinerant men and women religious, and they accompany the people of the Amazon day by day in order to show them the face of Jesus. They offer them a word that can transform and help them to live with more dignity. C.L.A.R. comprises both men and women religious and comprises 22 countries. Sister Echeverri described their challenges as being called to live their proper vocation and to communicate and share the gift they have received with compassion and joy. She spoke of the importance of walking with the Church, one that is more synodal and more participative, listening and discerning.

Sister Echeverri spoke of feeling the need to renew the option for the poor and the excluded. They confront many complex realities, she said: poverty, corruption, migration. They also feel the need to foster the culture of encounter, to foster prophecy in the Church. The most effective way to do this, she said, is through fraternity. Sister Echeverri also urged opting for an integral ecology, recognizing the dignity of people, and that of all cultures. She spoke of the importance of caring for all the goods of Creation, encouraging alternative styles of life that are less consumeristic and more able to care for Creation.

A question about the impact of Evangelical Churches
In response to a question regarding the impact of Pentecostal churches in the Amazon, Bishop Santin cited indigenous people as confirming how some pastors have been very aggressive towards local cultures. Indigenous people are forbidden even to speak their own language or to paint their bodies. There is separation taking place between the Catholic community and some evangelical communities. The Gospel, he said, sometimes causes separation, not with everyone, only some.

As the Synod has been saying, we are trying to find new paths because this is a new reality. The challenges are different compared with those of 10 years ago. The Bishop gave the example of when he visited Agua Branca where gold is mined. There he met a woman, a nurse, who takes care of the Catholic community. She greeted everyone she met and asked some of them to meet the Bishop. She addressed them by name. One of them was an Evangelical, who told the Bishop he had two brother priests and a sister who is a nun. When the Bishop asked why he had converted from Catholicism to being an Evangelical, he replied that when he arrived here there was no Catholic Church. He wanted to hear the Word of God so he went to the Evangelical Church, which is where he stayed. We cannot get to all the places where the people are, said the Bishop. We need to change the Church’s structure so that the Church can move more quickly and that not everything depends on the priest, to the point where the Church cannot carry out her mission. We are slow, he added, and we cannot preach everywhere as we ought to. Which is why, sometimes, Catholics have to quench their thirst for the Word of God in another Christian Church. We need to make sure that we can carry out our mission in a much more effective way, he concluded.

A question about women deacons
Journalists present in the Holy See Press Office were reminded there are nearly 40 women at the Synod. Many more participated in the pre-Synodal consultations. The Church has a feminine face, said Sister Echeverri, she is Mother. There is a path for us to pursue as women, she added. We are not protagonists because many others have gone before us, like Saint Clare. She went on to mention the indigenous women of the Amazon, mothers and grandmothers. The Church discerns, she added. We do not know if this is the moment, but many people are seeking the “feminine face of the Church”, not one of of power, but of service. This is a moment of grace, “Kairos”. This is part of the discernment toward new paths, she concluded.

A question about drug trafficking
Bishop Del Rio responded to a question regarding how the drug trade affects the indigenous people, by describing the situation in Colombia, where he is Apostolic Vicar of Mitù. Despite the peace process, it is a violent area where guerilla fighters hide and where illegal crops are grown, he said. Once he saw four or five planes taking off, all of them filled with drugs. Young people try to become members of those groups because of the easy money they promise. One community started changing their way of life, said the Bishop, by updating their forms of food. Many indigenous peoples have left to find a “better” life and never return, said Bishop Del Rio.

A question about infanticide and violence against women
The example was given of the Mundurukus, a warlike people who used to  cut off the heads of their enemy to use as a trophy. Prior to the arrival of missionaries, infanticide was practiced in cases where children were deformed. It was confirmed, however, that the dedication of women religious, working as nurses and teachers, has slowly made this practices disappear. But he concluded asking why people in the West should be scandalized when abortion in western hospitals is so widespread.

Sister Echeverri responded to the question about violence against women, saying “the Synod speaks to everyone”. What happens in the Amazon happens everywhere, she said, including violence against women. She mentioned human trafficking, in particular, saying it is connected to migration and sexual exploitation. Sister Echeverri also spoke of women being denied the right or possibility to study. She mentioned how women religious who have served the indigenous peoples have been murdered. These martyrs have made the Amazonian land fruitful, she added.

Wow Pope Francis allows another Ordination of a Seminarian with Terminal Cancer to Priesthood in Cathedral - Video

* «It was the most beautiful thing that happened to me, not because they called me to be a priest, which in itself is a lot of joy, but because the disease helped me discover the love of Jesus Christ. He has manifested his work in me and also wants it for the lives of others. I am in God's hands and if things become very serious for me, I have begged you to fill me with strength to take on the pain with much love, although my pains have been small in front of people who have really suffered. I want to die with the chasuble on, because dying as a priest is worth everything, just like Polish father Michel Los died. I feel happy that the will of Jesus Christ is done, no matter if it is after the ordination or later, if God gives me a little more time »

He is in the final phase of his disease, a nasopharyngeal cancer.

Although he had been moved by the pontiff's decision to allow the seminarian Michel Los to become a priest on his sickbed at the Warsaw Military Hospital, last May, this 23-year-old seminarian never imagined that a few months later he would receive a similar news.
 Diego Omar is aware that his case - like Michel's - is a “world news”, although every time he insists he never tires of saying that he does not want recognition Personal: “I never asked for ordination… it was God who wanted it for me. It is He in his infinite goodness who has manifested in this way. ”

When he was 16 years old and was a young man who went out to dance, had friends, played football, almost never went to mass and traveled the streets of his town, Saladoblanco (department of Huila, in southern Colombia). . At that time he decided to return to the church where on Sunday he felt that during the Eucharist he "had been healed." From that moment - Peña Navia tells the journalist Humberto Sosa in the “Focus” program of the San.TV Channel - “my priestly vocation was born and I decided to surrender to the Lord”. Diego Omar entered the Conciliar María Inmaculada de Garzón Seminar on February 1, 2015 and is currently in the third year of Philosophy.

Shortly after, on February 1, 2015 he entered the Diocesan Seminary of Mary Immaculate, in Garzón, where he already recovered began his studies to become a priest and follow in the footsteps of José Ervin, his older brother. Diego Omar is currently in the third year of Philosophy. For four years, the seminarian fully complied with the demanding academic program of one of the most prestigious seminars in Colombia, but again, cancer attacked him this year 2019 with such fierceness that he had to divide his time between studies, trips to Bogotá, consultations with dozens of specialists, strenuous examinations and a terrible diagnosis: the disease had advanced and had to prepare for the worst.

Even so, it remains attached to God, to prayers and to the divine will. Diego Omar says it calmly and without drama: “It has been the most beautiful thing that has happened to me, not because they called me to be a priest, which in itself is a lot of joy, but because the disease helped me discover the love of Jesus Christ . He has manifested his work in me and also wants it for the lives of others. ”

The future priest affirms that he is not afraid of death, but of the pain and physical suffering he may feel as a result of the final attack of the disease and the ineffectiveness of medications. “If death came at this time and I was in the presence of Jesus Christ, that would make me very happy, although I know that I am a great sinner and that I am not yet modeled as God would like, for example, as a great saint, type the priest de Ars ”, emphasizes the Colombian seminarian.

Edited from Source:

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thursday, October 10, 2091 - #Eucharist

Thursday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 464

Reading 1MAL 3:13-20B

You have defied me in word, says the LORD,
yet you ask, "What have we spoken against you?"
You have said, "It is vain to serve God,
and what do we profit by keeping his command,
And going about in penitential dress
in awe of the LORD of hosts?
Rather must we call the proud blessed;
for indeed evildoers prosper,
and even tempt God with impunity."
Then they who fear the LORD spoke with one another,
and the LORD listened attentively;
And a record book was written before him
of those who fear the LORD and trust in his name.
And they shall be mine, says the LORD of hosts,
my own special possession, on the day I take action.
And I will have compassion on them,
as a man has compassion on his son who serves him.
Then you will again see the distinction
between the just and the wicked;
Between the one who serves God,
and the one who does not serve him.
For lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven,
when all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble,
And the day that is coming will set them on fire,
leaving them neither root nor branch,
says the LORD of hosts.
But for you who fear my name, there will arise
the sun of justice with its healing rays.

Responsorial PsalmPS 1:1-2, 3, 4 AND 6

R.(Ps 40:5a) Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Not so the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

AlleluiaSEE ACTS 16:14B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Open your hearts, O Lord,
to listen to the words of your Son.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 11:5-13

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Suppose one of you has a friend
to whom he goes at midnight and says,
'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,
for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey
and I have nothing to offer him,'
and he says in reply from within,
'Do not bother me; the door has already been locked
and my children and I are already in bed.
I cannot get up to give you anything.'
I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves
because of their friendship,
he will get up to give him whatever he needs
because of his persistence.

"And I tell you, ask and you will receive;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives;
and the one who seeks, finds;
and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
What father  among you would hand his son a snake
when he asks for a fish?
Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg?
If you then, who are wicked,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit
to those who ask him?"