Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Saint December 5 : St. Sabbas a Hermit who Died 532

St. Sabbas HERMIT Feast: December 5 

439 at Motalala, Cappadocia
Hermit, born at Mutalaska near Caesarea in Cappadocia, 439; died in his laura 5 December, 532. He entered a Basilian monastery aat the age of eight, came to Jerusalem in 456, lived five years in a cavern as a disciple of St. Euthymius, and, after spending some time in various monasteries, founded (483) the Laura Mar Sabe (restored in 1840) in the gorges of the Cedron, southeast of Jerusalem. Because some of his monks opposed his rule and demanded a priest as their abbot, Patriarch Salustius of Jerusalem ordained him in 491 and appointed archimandrite of all the monasteries in Palestine in 494. The opposition continued and he withdrew to the new laura which he had built near Thekoa. A strenuous opponent of the Monophysites and the Origenists he tried to influence the emperors against them by calling personally on Emperor Anastasius at Constantinople in 511 and on Justinian in 531. His authorship of "Typicon S. Sabæ" (Venice, 1545), a regulation for Divine worship throughout the year as well as his authorship of a monastic rule bearing the same title (Kurtz in "Byzant, Zeitschrift", III, Leipzig, 1894, 167-70), is doubtful. After him was named the Basilica of St. Sabas with its former monastery on the Aventine at Rome. His feast is on 5 December.
source The Catholic Encyclopedia

Novena to St. Barbara and Prayers to the Patron of Architects, Builders, Mathematicians, Miners, and Sudden Death

St. Barbara is the patroness of architects, builders, miners and artillery men, and she is invoked against lightning, fire and sudden death.
Prayer of the Church
O GOD, Who among the wonders of Thy might didst grant the victory of Martyrdom also to the weaker sex, graciously grant us that we, by recalling the memory of Thy blessed Virgin and Martyr Barbara, through her example may be led to Thee. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Novena in Honor of St. Barbara
Preparatory Prayer
For Each  Novena to a Holy Helper
ALMIGHTY and eternal God! With lively faith and reverently worshiping Thy Divine Majesty, I prostrate myself before Thee and invoke with filial trust Thy supreme bounty and mercy. Illumine the darkness of my intellect with a ray of Thy Heavenly light and inflame my heart with the fire of Thy Divine love, that I may contemplate the great virtues and merits of the Saint in whose honor I make this novena, and following his example imitate, like him, the life of Thy Divine Son.
Moreover, I beseech Thee to grant graciously, through the merits and intercession of this powerful Helper, the petition which through him I humbly place before Thee, devoutly saying, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven." Vouchsafe graciously to hear it, if it redounds to Thy greater glory and to the salvation of my soul. Amen.
Prayer in Honor of St. Barbara
O GOD, Who didst adorn Thy holy Virgin and Martyr Barbara with extraordinary fortitude in the confession of the Faith, and didst console her in the most atrocious torments; grant us through her intercession perseverance in the fulfillment of Thy law and the grace of being fortified before our end with the holy Sacraments, and of a happy death. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Invocation of St. Barbara  
 INTREPID Virgin and Martyr, St. Barbara, through thy intercession come to my aid in all needs of my soul. Obtain for me the grace to be preserved from a sudden and unprovided death; assist me in my agony, when my senses are benumbed and I am in the throes of death. Then, O powerful patroness of the dying, come to my aid! Repel from me all the assaults and temptations of the evil one, and obtain for me the grace to receive before death the holy Sacraments, that I breathe forth my soul confirmed in faith, hope, and charity, and be worthy to enter eternal glory. Amen.
St. Barbara, at my last end
  Obtain for me the Sacrament;
Assist one in that direst need
  When I my God and Judge must meet:
That robed in sanctifying grace
  My soul may stand before His face.
My Lord and God! I offer up to Thee my petition in union with the bitter passion and death of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, together with the merits of His immaculate and blessed Mother, Mary ever virgin, and of all the Saints, particularly with those of the holy Helper in whose honor I make this novena.
Look down upon me, merciful Lord! Grant me Thy grace and Thy love, and graciously hear my prayer. Amen.
THE FOURTEEN HOLY HELPERS, Fr. Bonaventure Hammer, O.F.M.
TAN BOOKS AND PUBLISHERS, 1995; with Imprimatur, Imprimi Potest and Nihil Obstat.

Saint December 4 : St. John Damascene a Doctor of the Church

676, Damascus
December 4, 749, Mar Saba, Jerusalem
DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH This Doctor of the Church was born in Damascus, Syria, and his father was a government official under both the Byzantine emperor and the Muslim rulers of Damascus. Receiving an excellent classical education, and fluent in Arabic as well as Greek, St. John Damascene worked in the Muslim court until the hostility of the caliph toward Christianity caused him to resign his position, about the year 700.
He migrated to Jerusalem and became a monk at Mar Sabas monastery near Jerusalem. He taught in the monastery, preached many of his luminous sermons in Jerusalem, and began to compose his theological treatises.
It was about this time that the iconoclast controversy shook the Churches of the East, when the Byzantine emperor ordered the destruction of images in Christian churches. John fought the heresy, bringing down upon himself the wrath of the emperor and the hatred of the iconoclast party.
He has left a rich legacy of writings, including his principal dogmatic work, , which was a , a refutation of heresy, an exposition of the Orthodox faith, and a study of contemporary religious issues. His writings on Mary constitute a true theology of the Mother of God, and his sermons of the saints, the liturgical feasts, and the Gospels show not only vast learning but also give us information about local customs and contemporary happenings.
Since he lived in the midst of political and theological turmoil, John wrote much to clarify true doctrine and to do his part in spreading the Gospel. The fact that he lived and worked in Jerusalem itself gives his sermons, delivered at many of the holy places, a special appeal.
He died at a very old age, some say one hundred four, in the midst of his labors, beloved by his fellow monks and revered by the people. He was buried at the monastery of Mar Sabas and was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1890.
source: The Catholic Encyclopedia

Pope Francis warns "Please: Magic is not Christian!" and says " The grace of Christ brings you everything: pray and entrust yourself to the Lord." Full Text


St. Peter's Square
Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Catechesis on the Acts of the Apostles - 17. "Watch over yourselves and over the whole flock" (Acts 20:28). Paul's ministry in Ephesus and leave from the elders

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

The journey of the Gospel in the world continues unabated in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, and passes through the city of Ephesus showing all its salvific significance. Thanks to Paul, about twelve men receive baptism in the name of Jesus and experience the outpouring of the Holy Spirit who regenerates them (see Acts 19: 1-7). The prodigies that take place through the Apostle are different: the sick recover and the obsessed are freed (see Acts 19: 11-12). This happens because the disciple resembles his Master (see Lk 6,40) and makes him present by communicating to his brothers the same new life that he received from Him.

The power of God that breaks into Ephesus unmasks those who want to use the name of Jesus to perform exorcisms but without having the spiritual authority to do so (see Acts 19: 13-17), and reveals the weakness of the magical arts, which are abandoned by a large number of people who choose Christ and abandon the magical arts (see Acts 19: 18-19). A real reversal for a city, like Ephesus, which was a center famous for the practice of magic! Luke thus emphasizes the incompatibility between faith in Christ and magic. If you choose Christ you cannot have recourse to the magician: faith is trustful abandonment in the hands of a reliable God who makes himself known not through hidden practices but by revelation and with gratuitous love. Perhaps some of you will tell me: "Ah, yes, this magic is an ancient thing: today, with Christian civilization this does not happen". But be careful! I ask you: how many of you go to get tarot cards done, how many of you go to get your hands read from fortune tellers or have your cards read? Even today, in the big cities, practicing Christians do these things. And to the question: "But why, if you believe in Jesus Christ, do you go to the magician, to the fortune teller, to all these people?", They answer: "I believe in Jesus Christ but out of luck I also go to them". Please: magic is not Christian! These things that are done to guess the future or guess many things or change life situations are not Christian. The grace of Christ brings you everything: pray and entrust yourself to the Lord.

The spread of the Gospel in Ephesus damages the trade in silversmiths - another problem - which manufactured the statues of the goddess Artemis, making a religious practice a real bargain. I ask you to think about this. Seeing that activity that yielded a lot of money diminish, the silversmiths organize a riot against Paul, and Christians are accused of having undermined the category of artisans, the sanctuary of Artemis and the cult of this goddess (see Acts 19: 23-28 ).

Paul then left Ephesus for Jerusalem and reached Miletus (see Acts 20: 1-16). Here he sent for the elders of the Church of Ephesus - the presbyters: they would be the priests - to make a "pastoral" handover (see Acts 20: 17-35). We are at the end of the apostolic ministry of Paul and Luke presents his farewell address, a sort of spiritual testament that the Apostle addresses to those who, after his departure, will have to lead the community of Ephesus. And this is one of the most beautiful pages of the Book of the Acts of the Apostles: I advise you to take the New Testament, the Bible, chapter XX today and read this farewell to Paul from the presbyters of Ephesus, and he does so in Miletus. It is a way of understanding how the Apostle is dismissed and also how priests today must take leave and also how all Christians must take their leave. It's a beautiful page.
In the exhortation part, Paul encourages the leaders of the community, who knows he sees for the last time. And what does he say to them? "Watch over yourself and the whole flock". This is the work of the shepherd: waking, watching over himself and the flock. The pastor must watch over, the pastor must watch, do the vigil, the presbyters must watch, the Bishops, the Pope must watch. Do the vigil to guard the flock, and also to watch over oneself, examine the conscience and see how this duty to watch is accomplished. "Watch over yourselves and over the whole flock, in the midst of which the Holy Spirit has constituted you as guardians to be shepherds of the Church of God, which was acquired with the blood of his own Son" (Acts 20:28): so says Saint Paul. The maximum closeness to the flock is demanded of the bishops, redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, and the readiness to defend it from the "wolves" (v. 29). The Bishops must be very close to the people to guard it, to defend it; not detached from the people. Having entrusted this task to the leaders of Ephesus, Paul puts them in the hands of God and entrusts them to the "word of his grace" (v. 32), the leaven of all growth and the path of holiness in the Church, inviting them to work with their own hands, like him, not to be a burden to others, to help the weak and to experience that "one is more blessed in giving than in receiving" (v. 35).

Dear brothers and sisters, let us ask the Lord to renew in us love for the Church and for the deposit of the faith that it preserves, and to make us all co-responsible in the custody of the flock, supporting the pastors in prayer so that they manifest firmness and tenderness of the Divine Shepherd.

Greetings in Various Languages:
Je salue cordialement les pèlerins de langue française, en particulier la Délégation Lorraine, avec Monseigneur Jean-Louis Papin, et l’Association des amis de Saint Nicolas des Lorrains. Demandons au Seigneur de renouveler en nous l’amour de l’Eglise pour le dépôt de la foi dont elle est la gardienne, soutenant par la prière ses pasteurs afin qu’ils manifestent toujours la vigilance et la tendresse du Christ lui-même. Que Dieu vous bénisse !
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially the groups from Malta, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Canada and the United States of America. I pray that each of you, and your families, may experience a blessed Advent, in preparation for the coming of the newborn Saviour at Christmas. May God bless you!
Herzlich grüße ich die Pilger deutscher Sprache, insbesondere die Mitglieder und Freunde der Schönstattbewegung und die Gruppe aus der Pfarre Sankt Martin Riegersburg. Beten wir für alle Hirten der Kirche, dass sie mit der Standhaftigkeit und Zärtlichkeit des Guten Hirten die ihnen anvertraute Herde leiten, indem sie den Schatz des Glaubens treu bewahren und freimütig weitergeben.
Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española, venidos de España y de Latinoamérica. Pidamos al Señor un renovado amor por la Iglesia tomando conciencia de nuestra responsabilidad ante nuestros hermanos, y rezando además por los pastores, para que revelen la firmeza y la ternura del Buen Pastor. Que Dios los bendiga a todos.
Saúdo com afeto os peregrinos de língua portuguesa, em particular o grupo brasileiro de Nossa Senhora do Livramento, de Vitória de Santo Antão, encorajando-vos a todos a apostar em ideais grandes, ideais de serviço que engrandecem o coração e tornam fecundos os vossos talentos. Confiai em Deus, como a Virgem Maria!
[I greet with affection the Portuguese-speaking pilgrims, in particular the Brazilian group Nossa Senhora do Livramento, of Vitória de Santo Antão, encouraging you all to bet on great ideals, ideals of service that broaden the heart and make your talents fruitful. Trust in God, like the Virgin Mary!]
أرحبُ بالحاضرينَ الناطقينَ باللغة العربية، وخاصةً القادمينَ من الأراضي المقدسة ومن مصر ومنَ الشرقِ الأوسط. أدعوكم مع بداية زمن المجيء إلى عيش خبرة أن السعادة في العطاء هي أعظم منها في الأخذ، وإن الله يُحِبُّ مَن يعطي مُتَهَلِّلاً. ليُبارِكْكُم الربُّ جميعًا ويَحرُسْكُم دائمًا من الشرير!
[I cordially welcome the Arabic-speaking pilgrims, in particular those from the Holy Land, Egypt and the Middle East. I invite you at the beginning of Advent to experience that "one is more blessed in giving than in receiving", and that God loves one who gives with joy. May the Lord bless you all and always protect you from the evil one!]
Serdecznie witam polskich pielgrzymów. Pozdrawiam szczególnie organizatorów i uczestników konferencji poświęconej księdzu Jerzemu Popiełuszce, jaka miała miejsce na Uniwersytecie Urbanianum, na rozpoczęcie wystawy jemu poświęconej. Dziękuję wam za podtrzymywanie pamięci tego gorliwego kapłana i męczennika, który, barbarzyńsko zamordowany przez służby komunistyczne, oddał życie z miłości do Chrystusa, do Kościoła i do ludzi, zwłaszcza pozbawionych wolności i godności.
W niedzielę, w Polsce przypada XX Dzień modlitwy i pomocy materialnej Kościołowi na Wschodzie”. Polecam wam to ważne dzieło i dziękuję wszystkim Polakom, którzy angażują się na rzecz sąsiadujących Kościołów, w duchu braterskiej miłości. Niech Bóg wam błogosławi!
[I welcome Polish pilgrims. In a special way I greet the organizers and participants of the conference dedicated to Blessed Father Popieluszko, which took place at the Urbaniana University, at the opening of the exhibition dedicated to him. I thank you for maintaining the memory of this zealous priest and martyr who, brutally murdered by the communist services, gave his life for the love of Christ, of the Church and of men, especially those deprived of freedom and dignity.

Sunday in Poland the XX Day of Prayer and Help for the Church of the East falls. I commend this important work to you and I thank all the Poles who are committed to the neighboring Churches, in the spirit of brotherly love. God bless you!]

* * *****

I warmly welcome the Italian-speaking pilgrims. In particular, I greet the professors of Seminaries of Mission Territories, who participate in the course promoted by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples; and parish groups.

I also greet the participants in the National Assembly of the Italian Federation of Educational Activities; the boys of Calusco d’Adda; the Galatone Senior Center; and the flag-wavers and musicians Città di Foligno.

Finally, I greet the young, the elderly, the sick and newlyweds. Next Friday is the memory of St. Nicholas of Bari. Let us imitate his virtues, learning not to put anything before charity towards those most in need, seeking in it the face of God who became man.

Wow Ancient Chant that will Touch your Soul "Vox clara ecce Intonat" for #Advent sung by Heavenly Abbey Choir

Vox clara ecce intonat is a Latin hymn used traditionally in the Liturgy of the Hours at Lauds during Advent. Originated in the 6th century or earlier possibly by St Ambrose,
It speaks of the preaching of John the Baptist, announcing the coming of Christ in Luke's Gospel.
  Vox clara ecce intonat
 1 VOX clara ecce intonat, obscura quaeque increpat: procul fugentur somnia; ab aethere Christus promicat.
 2 Mens iam resurgat torpida quae sorde exstat saucia; sidus refulget iam novum, ut tollat omne noxium.
 3 E sursum Agnus mittitur laxare gratis debitum; omnes pro indulgentia vocem demus cum lacrimis, 4 Secundo ut cum fulserit mundumque horror cinxerit, non pro reatu puniat, sed nos pius tunc protegat.
 5 Summo Parenti gloria Natoque sit victoria, et Flamini laus debita per saeculorum saecula. Amen.
 1 Hark! a herald voice is calling: 'Christ is nigh,' it seems to say; 'Cast away the dreams of darkness, O ye children of the day!' 2 Startled at the solemn warning, Let the earth-bound soul arise; Christ, her Sun, all sloth dispelling, Shines upon the morning skies. 3 Lo! the Lamb, so long expected, Comes with pardon down from heaven; Let us haste, with tears of sorrow, One and all to be forgiven; 4 So when next he comes with glory, Wrapping all the earth in fear, May he then as our defender Of the clouds of heaven appear. 5 Honour, glory, virtue, merit, To the Father and the Son, With the co-eternal Spirit, While unending ages run.[11]

Pope Francis on Climate Change "...safeguard the conditions of a life worthy of humanity on a “healthy” planet for today and tomorrow.." Full Text


To Her Excellency, Mrs. Carolina Schmidt,
Minister of Environment of Chile,
President of the COP25, Twenty-Fifth Session of the Conference of States Parties
to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

(Madrid, 2-13 December 2019)
On December 12, 2015, the COP 21 adopted the Paris Agreement, the implementation of which “will require concerted commitment and generous dedication by each one”.[1]
Its rapid entry into force, in less than a year, and the numerous meetings and debates aimed at reflecting on one of the main challenges for humanity,[2] that of climate change, and at identifying the best ways to implement the Paris Agreement, showed a growing awareness on the part of the various actors of the international community of the importance and need to “work together in building our common home”.[3]
Sadly, after four years, we must admit that this awareness is still rather weak, unable to respond adequately to that strong sense of urgency for rapid action called for by the scientific data at our disposal, such as those described by the recent Special Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).[4] These studies show that the current commitments made by States to mitigate and adapt to climate change are far from those actually needed to achieve the goals set by the Paris Agreement.
They demonstrate how far words are from concrete actions!
Presently, there is a growing agreement on the need to promote processes of transition as well as a transformation of our development model, to encourage solidarity and to reinforce the strong links between the fight against climate change and poverty. This is further demonstrated by the many initiatives implemented or in progress, not only by Governments but also by local communities, the private sector, civil society and individuals. There remains, however, much concern about the ability of such processes to respect the timeline required by science, as well as the distribution of the costs they require.
From this perspective, we must seriously ask ourselves if there is the political will to allocate with honesty, responsibility and courage, more human, financial and technological resources to mitigate the negative effects of climate change, as well as to help the poorest and most vulnerable populations who suffer from them the most.[5]
Numerous studies tell us that it is still possible to limit global warming. To do this we need a clear, far-sighted and strong political will, set on pursuing a new course that aims at refocusing financial and economic investments toward those areas that truly safeguard the conditions of a life worthy of humanity on a “healthy” planet for today and tomorrow.
All this calls us to reflect conscientiously on the significance of our consumption and production models and on the processes of education and awareness to make them consistent with human dignity.
We are facing a “challenge of civilization” in favour of the common good and of a change of perspective that places this same dignity at the centre of our action, which is clearly expressed in the “human face” of climate emergencies. There remains a window of opportunity, but we must not allow it to close. We need to take advantage of this occasion through our responsible actions in the economic, technological, social and educational fields, knowing very well how our actions are interdependent.
Young people today show a heightened sensitivity to the complex problems that arise from this “emergency”. We must not place the burden on the next generations to take on the problems caused by the previous ones. Instead, we should give them the opportunity to remember our generation as the one that renewed and acted on - with honest, responsible and courageous awareness - the fundamental need to collaborate in order to preserve and cultivate our common home. May we offer the next generation concrete reasons to hope and work for a good and dignified future! I hope that this spirit will animate the work of COP25, for which I wish every success.
Receive, Madam President, my warmest and most cordial greetings.
From the Vatican, 1 December 2019

[1] Words following the Angelus Address, 13 December 2015.
[2] Cfr. Laudato si’, n. 25.
[3] Cfr. Laudato si’, n. 13. Cfr. Message to the COP 23, Marrakesh, 10 November 2016.
[4] Cfr. IPCC: Summary for Policymakers of the Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty, 6 October 2018. IPCC: Summary for Policymakers of the Special Report on Climate Change, Desertification, Land Degradation, Sustainable Land Management, Food Security, and Greenhouse Gas Fluxes in Terrestrial Ecosystems, 7 August 2019; IPCC: Summary for Policymakers of the Special Report on The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate, 24 September 2019.

#BreakingNews Woman hit with Bullet and Seriously Injured while Praying Novena at Catholic Church in Haiti

Port au Prince (Agenzia Fides) - Chaos, fear, confusion, insecurity not only in streets but everywhere: this is the situation that the Haitian people live in these days of constant demonstrations against the authorities. Father Renold Antoine, CSsR, Redemptorist priest, parish priest of San Gerardo parish, in the capital, contacted by Agenzia Fides, reports the serious episode that struck one of his parishioners.
"Jean Barthélemy, a Catholic faithful very well known in the parish as 'Madame Jean', was hit by a bullet and seriously injured in the late afternoon of Monday, December 2 while participating in the novena in our parish", confirms the priest. In fact, demonstrations, clashes and vandalism, with the burning of cars, tires and other materials, followed one another in the afternoon of Monday, December 2, in Carrefour-Feuilles, a district of Port-au-Prince, where the parish is located. "We immediately interrupted the novena and rushed Madame Jean to the hospital, where she underwent surgery shortly afterwards because the bullet had reached her left eye", Father Renold told Fides. "Only much later did we learn from the hospital that her life is not in danger. We pray for her", he concludes.
Father Renold Antoine describes the situation to Fides: "It is no secret to anyone, Haiti is the poorest country in the northern hemisphere. This country that was considered during the colonial era as "the pearl of the Antilles" has today become a real dump. This country in 1804 changed the course of human history by freeing itself from slavery and at the same time declaring its independence and becoming the first "Republic of blacks in the world". Today demonstrations and protests throughout the country have been taking place for several months, demanding the resignation of the President of the Republic, Jovenel Moïse. What the island is experiencing is a real revolt against unemployment, poverty, social injustice, insecurity, exclusion, impunity and moral crime, manipulation, corruption, deterioration of purchasing power, bad management, new inflation devaluations of the national currency. As a result, many Haitians leave the country in search of a better situation elsewhere, sometimes risking their lives or their rights. Faced with this situation, the State responds through repression".
Quoting the message of the Episcopal Conference, recently published (see Fides, 3/12/2019), Father Renold states: "the Bishops recognize that people's demands are just and legitimate, so they ask for demonstrations to take place peacefully, without resorting to violence. It is unacceptable that some live in arrogant and scandalous opulence and the majority languish in shameful poverty". Although the President calls for international intervention to curb the crisis affecting the country, many people believe that the real hunger of the population is not just bread and water, but hunger for development, equity, security and a better life", concludes Father Renold.
The church of San Gerardo, is housed in a temporary structure after its destruction during the earthquake of 12 January 2010. The community of Redemptorist missionaries also manages three schools that welcome a large number of children and that these days have had to close to ensure the safety of children. (CE) (Full Text Source: Agenzia Fides, 4/12/2019) Image Source: Google Images - Global Sisters Report

Pope Francis tells Trade Union "...may always be inspired by the Christian rule: “Bear one another’s burdens” Full Text

Room adjacent to Paul VI Audience Hall
Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen,
I cordially welcome you and thank you for this visit, on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the foundation of the independent and autonomous trade union “Solidarnosc” in Poland. As recent history shows, it has been the protagonist of political and social changes in your country and has also played an inspiring role beyond its borders.
I congratulate you on your service to the common good and to the various professional groups in Poland; and I wish to recall that the sincere pursuit of goodness, truth and justice by individuals and groups is always accompanied by the presence of God (cf. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium, 71). Forty years ago, Saint John Paul II invoked for his fellow countrymen this very presence of God and the breath of the Holy Spirit, exclaiming: “Let your Spirit come down! And renew the face of the earth. Of this land!” (Homily, Warsaw, 2 June 1979).
A sign of openness to the Spirit of God is the attitude of solidarity with people deprived of their inalienable rights, solidarity that is found in the fields of work and study, in social, economic, political and international relations (cf. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium, 205). “The word ‘solidarity’ is a little worn and at time poorly understood, but it refers to something more than a few sporadic acts of generosity” (ibid., 188). It is a sensitivity to the voice of brothers and sisters who have been deprived of the right to decent working conditions, to the just reward necessary to support the family, to health care or to rest.
“In her dialogue with the State and with society, the Church does not have solutions for every particular issue”. Nevertheless, “Together with the various sectors of society, she supports those programmes which best respond to the dignity of each person and the common good” (ibid., 241). It must be remembered that the condition for positive changes in social structures is above all a change in mentality, convictions and attitudes, in which the younger generations must be educated. Otherwise, sooner or later, the new structures themselves will no longer serve the common good, but particular groups, and will become corrupt, oppressive and ineffective, and even harmful (cf. ibid., 189).
I ask God for the gifts of the Holy Spirit for you and for all the members of your union, so that the initiatives you undertake may always be inspired by the Christian rule: “Bear one another’s burdens” (Gal 6: 2). In invoking the intercession of the Mother of God, Queen of Poland, I hope for the fruitful continuation of your work of assistance and support. God bless you!

#BreakingNews Bishop Malone of Buffalo Diocese Resigns and Pope Appoints Bishop Scharfenberger as Apostolic Administrator

Bishop Richard J. Malone of the Diocese of Buffalo, NY, USA has submitted his early resignation to Pope Francis. This was due to accusations that he mishandled situations of abuse in the diocese. In a three page Letter Bishop Malone explained:
As you are well aware, we have faced tremendous turmoil over the past year and a half. Some have attributed this to my own shortcomings, but the turmoil also reflects the culmination of systemic failings over many years in the worldwide handling of sexual abuse of minors by members of the clergy. The crisis our Church is facing relates not only to the immoral and criminal acts of those who committed unconscionable offenses toward the most vulnerable, but also to the failure to regard these violations as grave offenses that warranted the full weight of civil and ecclesiastical justice. As you know, major reforms were undertaken in this country in 2002 by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and in the implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. But, of course, the injury caused by past abuse continues to bring immense suffering around the world and here in our Diocese. 
I have met with many survivors of child sexual abuse and felt deeply their anguish, which words and gestures alone are inadequate to soothe. I have acknowledged on many occasions the mistakes I have made in not addressing more swiftly personnel issues that, in my view, required time to sort out complex details pertaining to behavior between adults. In extensive listening sessions across our Diocese, I have heard your dismay and rightful concerns. I have been personally affected by the hurt and disappointment you have expressed, all of which have informed our actions. I have sought your understanding, your advice, your patience and your forgiveness.
Diocese of Buffalo release:
Pope Appoints Bishop Scharfenberger Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Buffalo 
Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Buffalo following the resignation of Bishop Richard J. Malone on Dec. 4. The appointment is effective immediately. Bishop Scharfenberger will continue to lead and serve the Diocese of Albany simultaneously. Bishop Scharfenberger, who will serve until a new Bishop of Buffalo is named at a later date, will oversee all aspects of the eight-county diocese in Western New York and plans to visit the Diocese of Buffalo weekly.
As Apostolic Administrator, he maintains all the rights, offices and faculties that belong to a diocesan bishop. “I am honored to serve as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Buffalo during these challenging times, and I am humbled by the task put before me. I ask for your prayers as we begin this journey together, and I look forward to getting to know the people of this great diocese,” Bishop Scharfenberger said. “I will be doing a lot of listening and learning,” he added, expressing a desire for openness and transparency in his new diocesan appointment, as has been his model in the Diocese of Albany.
 In his five and a half years as Bishop of Albany, Bishop Scharfenberger has been a national leader in responding to the clergy abuse crisis. He published a list of offenders in the diocese four years ago, was among the first bishops in the country to call for an independent lay-led investigation of the scandal involving former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, revamped the diocesan review board, and established a predominantly lay task force on sexual abuse last year to make recommendations to the diocese on its response to survivors and its internal policies.
To read Bishop Scharfenberger’s statements and columns related to the sexual abuse crisis,
For Bishop Scharfenberger’s bio, visit .

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wednesday, December 4, 2019 - #Eucharist

Wednesday of the First Week of Advent
Lectionary: 177

Reading 1IS 25:6-10A

On this mountain the LORD of hosts
will provide for all peoples
A feast of rich food and choice wines,
juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines.
On this mountain he will destroy
the veil that veils all peoples,
The web that is woven over all nations;
he will destroy death forever.
The Lord GOD will wipe away
the tears from all faces;
The reproach of his people he will remove
from the whole earth; for the LORD has spoken.

On that day it will be said:
"Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us!
This is the LORD for whom we looked;
let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!"
For the hand of the LORD will rest on this mountain.

ResponsorialPSALM PS 23:1-3A, 3B-4, 5, 6

R. (6cd) I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
Beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
R. I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
He guides me in right paths
for his name's sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
R. I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.
R. I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.


R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Behold, the Lord comes to save his people;
blessed are those prepared to meet him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 15:29-37

At that time:
Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee,
went up on the mountain, and sat down there.
Great crowds came to him,
having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute,
and many others.
They placed them at his feet, and he cured them.
The crowds were amazed when they saw the mute speaking,
the deformed made whole,
the lame walking,
and the blind able to see,
and they glorified the God of Israel.

Jesus summoned his disciples and said,
"My heart is moved with pity for the crowd,
for they have been with me now for three days
and have nothing to eat.
I do not want to send them away hungry,
for fear they may collapse on the way."
The disciples said to him,
"Where could we ever get enough bread in this deserted place
to satisfy such a crowd?"
Jesus said to them, "How many loaves do you have?"
"Seven," they replied, "and a few fish."
He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground.
Then he took the seven loaves and the fish,
gave thanks, broke the loaves,
and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds.
They all ate and were satisfied.
They picked up the fragments left over–seven baskets full.