Thursday, October 24, 2019

Saint October 25 : St. Crispin and St. Crispianus who were Brothers and Martyrs - the Patrons of #Shoemakers

The French say Crispin and his brother Crispianus were born into a wealthy Roman family in the third century A.D. During the Diocletian persecution of Christians they escape to Noviodunum in France—later known as Soissons. Effectively disinherited and forced to fall back upon their own resources, Crispin and Crispianus become shoemakers. Though teaching the gospel was their life's work, they made shoes for the poor. Arrested and led before the Roman authorities, they were urged to recant. Both refused. Millstones were hung about their necks and they were thrown into the river Aisne. But both had the makings of sainthood in them even then and they refused to drown. At this point they were thrown into a cauldron of boiling lead, then a cauldron of pitch, then fat and oil but, they emerged unscathed. Legend suggests that they frolicked and sang until delivered by an angel. They were beheaded on November 8th, 288 A.D. on a plain near Soissons, which later became known as St. Crepin-en-Chaye.

The English version depicts Crispin and his brother as the sons of the queen of Logia, or Kent. To escape the persecution of Christians by Diocletian, the brothers dressed in commoners’ clothes and left their mother and the town of their birth—now known as Canterbury. Arriving in Faversham in the middle of the night, they knocked on a door from which a merry song emanated. This was the house of Robards, a master shoemaker. Impressed by their manners, Robards took them in. Straightaway they entered a seven year apprenticeship. So good was their work that Robards soon found himself appointed shoemaker to Maximinus, Diocletian's associate Emperor. Sent to Canterbury with shoes for Ursula, the Emperor’s daughter, Crispin was struck by her beauty and fell in love with her. After all the trials and tribulations that love and class can inflict upon them, Ursula and Crispin secretly married. When Maximinus learned of Crispin's high birth, he became reconciled to their marriage and blessed their son saying: "A shoemaker's son is a prince born." The marriage was confirmed October the 25th and celebrated with feasting and drinking. That day has ever since been the shoemakers' holiday. Shared from - Image SHARE Google Images

Latest from the Amazon Synod - More Discussions on an Amazonian Rite - A question about Celibacy - #AmazonSynod - Full Video

Amazon Synod Briefing: an Amazonian rite and indigenous spirituality
While the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon continues discussions of the draft of the final document that will be voted on this Saturday, five Synod participants share their impressions and experiences at a press briefing in the Holy See Press Office.
By Vatican News

The five presentations provided journalists and media professionals with an opportunity to hear impressions of the Synod, from the inside out.

Sr Mariluce dos Santos Mesquita, FMA
Sister Mariluce dos Santos Mesquita, FMA, of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, is a religious belonging to the Barassana ethnic community in Brazil. She comes from the “most indigenous of all dioceses in Amazonia”, she said.

Fr Eleazar Lòpez Hernández
Father Eleazar Lòpez Hernández is an expert in indigenous theology, and a member of the Zapoteca people in Mexico. He described the Synod as “the realization of a dream”. It represents a “new kind of relationship”, he said, based on encounter. Speaking in terms of his understanding of indigenous culture, Fr Hernández said his people “cannot separate God and life”: theology, science, and life are all interrelated for them, he said.

Mr Delio Siticonatzi Camaiteri
Mr Delio Siticonatzi Camaiteri is a member of the Ashaninca indigenous people in Peru. He said he came to the Synod to reaffirm “the importance of defending the earth where we live”. He said the Synod experience is a source of hope for indigenous people that has allowed them to speak up for their rights. When they do so in other circumstance, said Mr Camaiteri, “we are murdered”. Instead, he added, this Synod “opens a space for dialogue and encounter” to protect both the Amazon and whole world.

Archbishop Alberto Taveira Correa
Archbishop Alberto Taveira Correa heads the archdiocese of Belém do Pará in Brazil, which includes “river communities”, and cities that experience “all the challenges of a metropolis”. He said he came to the Synod in order “to seek answers and to give value to all indigenous realities of the Amazon Region”. In his ten years as Archbishop, he said he could testify to the “growth in vocations” in his own, and in nearby dioceses.

Cardinal Beniamino Stella
Cardinal Beniamino Stella is Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy. When he was Apostolic Nuncio to Colombia, he had many opportunities to visit the territories of the Amazon Region. He said he saw for himself the “problems of communications and distance”. Which is why the Cardinal said he so admires “bishops with a missionary heart”, those he called “heroic pastors”, and their “commitment to their territory”. This Synod has allowed him to “relive the experiences and memories of Latin America”, he said.

A question about an Amazonian rite
The first question was addressed to Cardinal Stella and regarded the proposal to adopt an “Amazonian rite”. The Cardinal responded saying it was natural for people to want to communicate through their “local language and symbols, colours, and stories”.

He recalled how the bishops of the Amazon Region are dealing with “diversified realities” that are multi-ethnic and multi-linguistic. Any rite expresses the history and the spirituality of a people, he said.

Fr Eleazar Lòpez Hernández confirmed that the Churches of Latin America need to express their faith according to their traditions. This is what the proposal for an Amazonian rite is based on, he said. We need to generate something that is “in tune with local traditions”, added Fr Hernández. “Our people have their own religious experiences that give meaning to their lives”. We cannot focus on only one culture or follow a single pathway, he explained.

Sr Mariluce dos Santos Mesquita added that, as indigenous people, they are here “to say we have our own spirituality”. “We already celebrate rites and live with our cultural values and traditions”, she said. “We are the result of evangelization but we interact and live our celebrations bringing our symbols and Jesus’ message”, said Sister Mariluce. “We need to delve deeper into our spirituality and the Word of God”, through sharing, fraternity, and gestures of solidarity, she said.

Mr Delio Siticonatzi Camaiteri intervened saying the indigenous people of the Amazon Region have their own “world view”, which encompasses nature, and which “brings us closer to God”. As indigenous people, “we experience harmony with all living beings”, he said. “We have our own rituals but they are centered on Jesus Christ. There is nothing else”, he concluded.

A question about expectations
Archbishop Correa was asked whether he was afraid of “disappointing” peoples’ expectations regarding the outcome of this Synod. He responded saying the Synod Fathers have no “wish list”. “We are walking and sharing together”, in an “enriching dialogue”, he said. Quoting Pope Francis, the Archbishop added: “Without the Holy Spirit, there is no Synod”.

A question about Mary
Responding to a question about Marian devotion in the Amazon Region, Father Eleazar Lòpez Hernández explained how, in the indigenous ancestral tradition, the “relationship with God includes a feminine element”. Strengthening and promoting life “includes male and female components”, he said. God is mercy, and part of mercy is “the feminine element of tenderness”. That is why Mary plays an important role in Latin America, said Fr Hernández. Still, “we need to recover popular religiosity”, he said.

“Maternity, the family, tenderness, these are all associated with Mary”, added Archbishop Correa.

A question about celibacy
Cardinal Stella answered a question about celibacy, confirming the need for a solid priestly formation, and paying special attention to “human characteristics” before deciding to ordain someone. The Catholic Church is the “only institution that preaches commitment for life”, said the Cardinal. This is a great challenge, he said. Celibacy is “a gift” that must be accepted “in awareness, with personal discipline, cultivating spirituality, and growing in prayer”. In this way, celibacy has meaning and impact, and becomes a reality, he added. Celibacy is “something beautiful”, concluded the Cardinal, “it is a gift from God, to be preserved as a treasure in clay vessels”.

A question about funding
Finally, in response to a question regarding the funding of the Synod, the Prefect of the Dicastery for Communications, Dr Paolo Ruffini, stated that the Synod of Bishops is “an ecclesial event”, and is funded exclusively “by the Holy See”.
Full Text Source: - Image Source: Screen Shot

Wow “One Million Children Praying the Rosary for unity and peace in the world” Initiative also sees children from Jerusalem participating

JERUSALEM – On Thursday, October 17, 2019, and in response to the initiative of the Pontifical Foundation Aid to the Church in Need, “One Million Children Praying the Rosary for unity and peace in the world”, the Catechetical Office of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem invited students from local Catholic schools to pray the Rosary at the Co-Cathedral of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. 171 Students and their teachers from Terra Sancta School, Our Lady of the Pillar School, Schmidt School and Rosary Sisters School have joined on this joyful morning to pray the Luminous Mysteries.
As the students were welcomed into the Co-Cathedral; each student was given a Rosary to help them keep up with the prayer and to encourage them to pray it at home. The morning started with an interactive introduction between the students and Miss Nadine Bitar on “what is the Rosary and why do we pray it?” And from where we got the Hail Mary prayer, after which Miss Mariana Kanzou’a introduced the Sacred Mysteries of the Rosary (Joyful, Glorious, and Sorrowful).
As Saint Therese of Lisieux said: “If the Church has a body, then it cannot fail to have the most necessary and most noble part of all, a heart”. And being part of the sacred Body of Christ and the heart of all churches; Jerusalemite students started with praying the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary.
The first Mystery is Baptism. Jesus is baptized by John in the Jordan River; Terra Sancta students offered this Mystery for the Rosary Sisters school.
The second Mystery the Wedding in Cana. Jesus reveals His power at the wedding in Cana; Our Lady of Pillar students offered this Mystery for De La Salle Brothers School.
The third Mystery the Proclamation of the Kingdom of God. Jesus proclaims the Kingdom of God through His teaching; Schmidt students offered this Mystery for Terra Sancta School.
The fourth Mystery the Transfiguration of Our Lord. Jesus is transfigured on top of Mount Tabor; Rosary Students offered this Mystery for Schmidt School.
The fifth Mystery the Institution of the Eucharist. Jesus gives Himself to us in the Eucharist; the catechists of the four schools offered this Mystery for Our Lady of the Pillar School.
In response to this initiative and after the invitation of Pope Francis to dedicate the month of October to the Church’s mission and missionaries under the title of “Baptized and Sent: the Church of Christ on mission in the world”; the participants also prayed for the missionary work in keeping the Word of God alive through preaching the Good News to the world.
At the end of this Luminous gathering, the students were blessed with consecrating themselves to Our Lady of the Rosary to protect and bless them; and returned to their schools filled with love, joy, and happiness in their hearts.
Nadine Bitar
Catechetical Office
Full Text Source: Patriarchate of Jerusalem:

Vatican Releases New Book by Pope Francis "Our Mother Earth" -Unity of the human family and the vision of the believer: Beginning from the Eucharist

Pope Francis: The Christian foundations for the care of creation
Coinciding with the final days of the Synod for the Amazon, and a few days ahead of the fourth anniversary of “Laudato sí”, a new book has been issued, which gathers together writings and discourses from Pope Francis on the environment. The book aims to explain a Christian vision of ecology.
By Vatican News

The Vatican publishing house, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, on Thursday released a new book of Pope Francis’ thoughts on the environment, including a previously unpublished text. “Our Mother Earth: A Christian reading of the environmental challenge” (Italian: Nostra Terra Madre. Una lettura Cristiana della sfida dell’ambiente) also includes a preface by Bartholomew, the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, that retraces the stages of their collaboration on this topic. In particular, Bartholomew points to their messages on the occasion of the World Days of Prayer for the Care of Creation, instituted in 2015, which unite the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches in common “concerns for the future of creation”.

The unity of the human family
In the first chapter of Our Mother Earth, entitled “Integral Vision”, various texts have been selected, including numerous excerpts from Laudato sí, which highlight the need to protect our common home through the union of “the whole human family in the search for a sustainable and integral development”.

This premise is developed in the second chapter, “From an epochal challenge to a global opportunity”, through an analysis of some passages from the Pope’s encyclical on the current state of environmental crises. Pollution, global warming, climate change, and loss of biodiversity, the effect of uncontrolled exploitation, are destined to grow exponentially if there is no change of direction in the short term. We need an “environmental conversion”, Pope Francis says, that is possible through the promotion of a truly ecological education that would create, especially in the young, a renewed awareness and ultimately a renewed conscience.

Safeguarding creation and the right to life
A further section, which collects excerpts from speeches, homilies, and reflections at audiences, makes it clear that Pope Francis, from the very beginning of his pontificate, has not shied away from facing with the utmost urgency a problem that can no longer be deferred. It is a matter of safeguarding the immense gift given by God to every living being, but especially to man, the only creature that has received the breath of God “blown on his face”. From the words of Genesis, Pope Francis emphasizes how safeguarding creation, on the one hand, and human life, on the other, are intimately connected an inseparable. The Pope’s words are a continuous appeal for the right to life, a right that is encompassed in key words such as responsibility, justice, equality, and solidarity. For these fundamental reasons, Pope Francis calls for free access to the goods of the earth necessary for survival – and first of all water – without any discrimination between peoples.

A spiritual reading of ecology
In the new article that concludes Our Mother Earth, Pope Francis turns his gaze upwards, in order to offer an even wider vision of a discourse that is not focused solely on the concern for the protection of the environment. Although there are many shared aspects, a Christian vision is not comparable to a secular vision of ecology. In this final chapter, Pope Francis develops the “theology of ecology” in a profoundly spiritual discourse.

The love of God at the centre of everything
Creation, the Pope says, is the fruit of God’s love: His love for each of His creatures, and especially for man, to whom He has given the gift of creation, as a place in which “we are invited to discover a presence”.

However, the Pope continues, “this means that it is for humanity’s capacity for communion to condition the state of creation […] It is therefore humanity’s destiny to determine the destiny of the universe”. The connection between humanity and creation lives in love, and is corrupted if it is lacking, and if it fails to recognise the gift that has been given. The Pope explains that the exploitation of resources, in an irresponsible way, in order to gain power and wealth, that is then concentrated in the hands of a few people, creates an imbalance destined to destroy the world, and humanity itself.

Structures of sin
Pope Francis asks if this state of environmental emergency might not become an opportunity to turn back, to choose life, and thus to review economic and cultural models, thereby realising justice and sharing, where every human being can enjoy equal dignity and equal rights. In our time, he said, we have forgotten the active and open dimension of “being”, instead privileging the dimension of “having” – a possessiveness that leads to closure, where human beings define themselves, and recognizes themselves, only to the extent of their material goods. In such a situation, those who have little or nothing “risk losing their faces, so that they disappear, becoming one of those ‘invisibles’ who populate our cities”.

Referring back to St John Paul II’s encyclical Sollicitudo rei socialis, Pope Francis says that the structures of sin “produce evil, pollute the environment, hurt and humiliate the poor, [and] favour the logic of possession and of power”.

Starting again from the Holy Spirit and forgiveness
The Holy Father, however, cautions that a technological revolution and individual commitment are not enough. Awareness, he says, is gained primarily through an “authentic spirit of communion”.  We must start again from forgiveness: asking forgiveness of the poor and the exclusive, first of all, in order to be capable of asking forgiveness also of “the earth, the sea, the air, the animals…” For Pope Francis, seeking forgiveness means totally revising one’s own way of thinking; it means profound personal renewal.

Forgiveness, he says, is only possible in and through the Holy Spirit. It is a grace to be implored humbly from the Lord. Forgiveness, then, is to become active, undertaking a journey together, and never in solitude.

The vision of the believer: Beginning from the Eucharist
Pope Francis says that, in addition to reviewing one’s own lifestyle and changing one’s mentality, we must also have a vision. Believers can find this vision in the liturgy, and especially in the celebration of the Mass. Bread and wine are the first foods that humans obtained by transforming the fruits of nature, the wheat and the grapes, through their own ingenuity. In the Mass, humans offer bread and wine to God; and God, through the Holy Spirit, transforms them into the Body and Blood of Christ. He restores them to humans in His greatest gift, the gift of His Son. Bread and wine, the Pope says, are inserted into a circle of symbols: gift of God, commitment of man, work, effort; necessary food and daily bread; joy and the feast of wine. “And just as in the Eucharist the bread and the wine become Christ because they are bathed by the Spirit, the personal love of the Father; so creation becomes the personal word of God when it is used with love”. In these words we can see Pope Francis’ hope.
Full Text Source:

Canadian Catholic Bishops Release New Document on Poverty “The Church’s love for the poor . . . is a part of her constant tradition.”

CCCB Releases Statement on Poverty in Canada 
Today, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), through the Commission for Justice and Peace, is releasing a statement entitled Poverty in Canada: Ensuring Safe, Secure and Affordable Housing in anticipation of the Third World Day of the Poor to be held on 17 November 2019. Poverty is a serious issue not only in developing countries, but also in Canada. The statement presents a brief overview of poverty in Canada today, with a focus on the current housing crisis, and provides a short list of some key Catholic organizations engaged in the alleviation of poverty in our country. Through this statement, the Catholic Bishops of Canada call for collaboration between charitable organizations, all levels of government, and dioceses/eparchies, as well as local parishes, to support individuals who are in need. (Source: CCCB)
Excerpts from the 10 page document:

The Catechism of the Catholic Church n. 2444 teaches that:
“The Church’s love for the poor . . . is a part of her constant tradition.” This love is inspired by the Gospel of the Beatitudes, of the poverty of Jesus, and of his concern for the poor. Love for the poor is even one of the motives for the duty of working so as to “be able to give to those in need.” It extends not only to material poverty but also to the many forms of cultural and religious poverty. 

We are likewise challenged by these words of Pope Francis: 
While encouraging the development of a better world, we cannot remain silent about the scandal of poverty in its various forms. Violence, exploitation, discrimination, marginalization, restrictive approaches to fundamental freedoms, whether of individuals or of groups: these are some of the chief elements of poverty which need to be overcome. Often these are precisely the elements which mark migratory movements, thus linking migration to poverty. (Pope Francis, Message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Aug. 5, 2013)
(Image Source: Google Images)

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thursday, October 24, 2019 - #Eucharist

Thursday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 476

Reading 1ROM 6:19-23

Brothers and sisters:
I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your nature.
For just as you presented the parts of your bodies as slaves to impurity
and to lawlessness for lawlessness,
so now present them as slaves to righteousness for sanctification.
For when you were slaves of sin, you were free from righteousness.
But what profit did you get then
from the things of which you are now ashamed?
For the end of those things is death.
But now that you have been freed from sin and have become slaves of God,
the benefit that you have leads to sanctification,
and its end is eternal life.
For the wages of sin is death,
but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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

R.(Ps 40:5) 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.

AlleluiaPHIL 3:8-9

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I consider all things so much rubbish
that I may gain Christ and be found in him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 12:49-53

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I have come to set the earth on fire,
and how I wish it were already blazing!
There is a baptism with which I must be baptized,
and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished!
Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth?
No, I tell you, but rather division.
From now on a household of five will be divided,
three against two and two against three;
a father will be divided against his son
and a son against his father,
a mother against her daughter
and a daughter against her mother,
a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”