Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Saint February 20 : Saints Jacinta and Francesco of Fatima a short History with Special Prayers

Francisco Marto (June 11, 1908 – April 4, 1919) and his sister Jacinta Marto (March 11, 1910 – February 20, 1920),  together with their cousin, Lúcia dos Santos (1907–2005) were from Aljustrel near Fátima, Portugal. They saw three apparitions of an angel in 1916 and the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1917. They reported visions of Our Lady of Fatima.  The youngest children of Manuel and Olimpia Marto were Francisco and Jacinta. They were illiterate and they worked with cousin Lucia, tending sheep. Francisco preferred to pray alone, as he said "to console Jesus for the sins of the world". They saw terrifying vision of Hell at the third apparition. All three children practiced prayer and penance for sin as the lady asked. Jacinta told her parents ‘Oh, Mother! I saw Our Lady today!’. On 13th August, The Administrator, Santos, ‘kidnapped’ the children to prevent them going to the next Apparition, and threatened them with a cauldron of boiling oil. On Sunday, 19th August, the children witnessed their fourth Apparition. 

At the Apparitions in 1917 Francisco heard nothing and had to rely on Lucia and Jacinta to tell him what was said by the Lady. Jacinta and Francesco became very ill during the Spanish Influenza epidemic in October, 1918.  The priest heard Francisco’s confession on the evening of 2nd April and brought Communion to him the next morning.Opening his eyes, he asked: ‘When will you bring me the Hidden Jesus again?’ This was what he said when talking of the Host in the Tabernacle. 
Jacinta developed pneumonia and then tuberculosis. She died in hospital just before her 11th birthday. Visitors who saw Jacinta in her open coffin exclaimed that she seemed to be alive, with the loveliest colour. When Jacinta’s coffin was opened on 12th September, 1935 and her face was seen to be perfectly incorrupt. 

 Jacinta's relics and those of Francisco lie in the Basilica at Fatima, with the simple inscription: “Here lie the mortal remains of Francisco and Jacinta to whom Our Lady appeared.” Jacinta and her brother Francisco were beatified- declared ‘Blessed’, by Pope John Paul II on 13th May, 2000 at Fatima. 

Our Lady of Fatima:
My God, I believe, I adore, I trust and I love Thee! I beg pardon for all those that do not believe, do not adore, do not trust and do not love Thee. O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy. Amen.

O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary I beg the conversion of poor sinners. The Angel's Prayer is an Act of Reparation to The Holy Trinity.
Edited from “The Message of Fatima” by Fr. Martindale, S.J. and other sources. (All Images Google )


Pope Francis explains "Meekness is capable of winning the heart...because people get angry but then calm down,...and so it can be rebuilt with mildness." Full Text/Video

GENERAL Audience

Paul VI Hall
Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Catechesis on the Beatitudes: 4. Blessed are the meek

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

In today's catechesis we deal with the third of the eight beatitudes of Matthew's Gospel: "Blessed are the meek because they will inherit the earth" (Mt 5: 5).

The term "mild" used here literally means sweet, gentle, gentle, free of violence. Meekness manifests itself in moments of conflict, you can see how you react to a hostile situation. Anyone might seem mild when everything is calm, but how does he react "under pressure" if he is attacked, offended, attacked?

In one passage, Saint Paul recalls "the sweetness and meekness of Christ" (2 Cor 10: 1). And St. Peter in turn recalls Jesus' attitude in the Passion: he did not respond and did not threaten, because "he entrusted himself to the one who judges with justice" (1 Pt 2,23). And the meekness of Jesus is strongly seen in his Passion.

In Scripture the word "meek" also indicates one who has no landed property; and therefore we are struck by the fact that the third beatitude says precisely that the meek "will inherit the earth".

In fact, this bliss quotes Psalm 37, which we listened to at the beginning of the catechesis. There, too, mildness and possession of the land are related. These two things, when you think about it, seem incompatible. In fact, possession of land is the typical area of ​​conflict: one often fights for a territory, to obtain hegemony over a certain area. In wars the strongest prevails and conquers other lands.

But let's look carefully at the verb used to indicate the possession of myths: they do not conquer the earth; does not say "blessed are the myths because they will conquer the earth". They "inherit" it. Blessed are the myths because they will "inherit" the earth. In the scriptures, the verb "inherit" has an even greater sense. The People of God call the land of Israel, which is the Land of Promise, "inheritance".

That land is a promise and a gift for the people of God, and becomes a sign of something much bigger than a simple territory. There is a "land" - allow the play on words - that is Heaven, that is, the earth to which we walk: the new heavens and the new earth to which we go (cf. Is 65.17; 66.22; 2 Pt 3,13; Ap 21,1).

Then the meek is the one who "inherits" the most sublime of the territories. He is not a coward, a "weak" who finds a makeshift morality to stay out of trouble. Far from it! He is a person who has received an inheritance and does not want to disperse it. The meek is not an accommodating person but it is the disciple of Christ who has learned to defend quite another earth. He defends his peace, defends his relationship with God, defends his gifts, the gifts of God, preserving mercy, brotherhood, trust, hope. Because meek people are merciful, fraternal, confident people and people with hope.

Here we must mention the sin of anger, a violent movement whose impulse we all know. Who hasn't got angry sometimes? All. We must reverse bliss and ask ourselves a question: how many things have we destroyed with anger? How many things have we lost? A moment of anger can destroy many things; you lose control and do not evaluate what is really important, and you can ruin the relationship with a brother, sometimes without remedy. In anger, many brothers no longer talk to each other, they move away from each other. It is the opposite of mildness. Gentleness gathers, anger separates.

Gentleness is conquest of many things. Meekness is capable of winning the heart, saving friendships and much more, because people get angry but then calm down, rethink and retrace their steps, and so it can be rebuilt with mildness.

The "earth" to be conquered with mildness is the salvation of that brother of whom Matthew's Gospel speaks: "If he listens to you, you will have earned your brother" (Mt 18:15). There is no land more beautiful than the heart of others, there is no more beautiful territory to be gained than the peace found with a brother. And that is the land to be inherited with mildness!

Greetings in Various Languages:
Je salue cordialement les pèlerins venus de France et d’autres pays francophones, en particulier les diocésains du Mans avec Mgr Yves Le Saux, les diocésains de Bourges avec Mgr Jérôme Beau, les représentants de la Confédération française des travailleurs chrétiens, ainsi que les jeunes et les pèlerins de plusieurs paroisses. Chers frères et sœurs, je vous invite à demander à Dieu de nous faire le don de la douceur pour construire ensemble un monde plus fraternel. Que Dieu vous bénisse.
[I cordially greet the pilgrims from France and other French-speaking countries, in particular those from the Dioceses of Le Mans, with Msgr. Yves Le Saux, and from Bourges, with Msgr. Jérôme Beau, the representatives of the French Confederation of Christian Workers as well as young people and pilgrims from different parishes. Dear brothers and sisters, I invite you to ask God to give you the gift of meekness to build a more fraternal world together. God bless you.]
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially the groups from England, Norway, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and the United States of America. Upon all of you and your families, I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. May God bless you!
Einen herzlichen Gruß richte ich an die Pilger und Besucher deutscher Sprache, besonders an die verschiedenen Schülergruppen. Willkommen! Der Heilige Geist leite uns an, die Welt mit den Augen Gottes zu sehen und den Mitmenschen mit der Sanftmut des Herzens Gottes zu begegnen. Euch allen einen guten Aufenthalt in Rom!
[I extend a cordial greeting to the German-speaking pilgrims, in particular to the various school groups. Welcome! May the Holy Spirit teach us to look to the world with the eyes of God and to treat our brothers and sisters with the gentleness of His heart. Enjoy your stay in Rome!]
Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española, venidos de España y de Latinoamérica. Pidamos al Señor que nos ayude a ser mansos y humildes de corazón, y a reconocer los momentos en que perdemos la calma para que, con la gracia del Señor, podamos volver a encontrar y a construir la paz. Que Dios los bendiga.
De coração saúdo os peregrinos de língua portuguesa, em particular vós vindos de Portugal e do Brasil, encorajando-vos a ser por todo o lado testemunhas de esperança e caridade. E, se alguma vez tiverdes de enfrentar situações que vos turvam a alma, ide procurar refúgio sob o manto da Santa Mãe de Deus; lá encontrareis paz e mansidão. Sobre vós e vossas famílias desça a Bênção do Senhor!
[I warmly greet the Portuguese-speaking pilgrims, especially you who have come from Portugal and Brazil, and I encourage you to be witnesses of hope and charity everywhere. And, if sometimes you have to face situations that upset your soul, go to seek refuge under the mantle of the Holy Mother of God; there you will find peace and mildness. May the Blessing of the Lord descend on you and your families.]
أُرحّبُ بالحجّاجِ الناطقينَ باللغةِ العربية، وخاصةً القادمينَ من الشرق الأوسط. إنّ الانسان الوديع هو الانسان الهادئ والطيّب والبسيط والمطيع والمسالم، يُحسن معاملة الناس ولا يُخاصم أحدًا. هذه الصفات تجعله محبوبًا من جميع الناس، لأنه يعيش معهم في سلام وهدوء. وبالتالي، إضافة إلى ملكوت الله، إنه يرث الأرض أيضًا. ليبارككُم الرب!
[I warmly welcome the Arabic-speaking pilgrims, especially those from the Middle East! The meek man is the calm, kind, simple, obedient and peaceful man who treats people well and does not argue with anyone. Such traits make him lovable by all people, because he lives with them in peace and quiet. So in addition to the kingdom of God, he also inherits the earth. The Lord bless you!]
Serdecznie pozdrawiam polskich pielgrzymów. Drodzy bracia i siostry, cichość, o której mówimy dzisiaj, może zapanować w sercu i przezwyciężyć gniew, ocalić przyjaźnie i odbudować relacje wystawione na próbę przez ambicje i ducha rywalizacji. Pamiętajcie zawsze o zaproszeniu Pana Jezusa: „uczcie się ode Mnie, bo jestem cichy i pokorny sercem, a znajdziecie ukojenie dla dusz waszych” (Mt 11, 29). Z serca wam błogosławię. Niech będzie pochwalony Jezus Chrystus!
[I cordially greet the Polish pilgrims. Dear brothers and sisters, meekness, of which we speak today, is capable of overcoming the heart and defeating anger, saving friendships and rebuilding relationships tested by ambitions and the spirit of rivalry. Always remember the invitation of the Lord Jesus: "Learn from me, who am meek and humble of heart, and you will find refreshment for your souls" (Mt 11, 29). I cordially bless you. Praised be Jesus Christ!]

* * *

I cordially welcome the Italian-speaking faithful. In particular, I greet the men and women religious; parish groups; and the delegation of the Benedictine Torch, with the Archbishop of Spoleto-Norcia, Mons. Renato Boccardo and the Abbot of Montecassino, Dom Donato Ogliari.

I also greet the Command Brigade Aosta, of Messina; the Italian Society of Odontostomatology for the handicapped; and the pediatric ward of the National Cancer Institute of Milan.

Lastly, I greet the young, the elderly, the sick and newlyweds. Trust the Lord and strive to enter into his designs, accepting that his salvation may come to us by ways other than those which we would expect.
Full Text + Image Source: - Unofficial Translation

Archbishop Nelson Perez Installed as Archbishop of Philadelphia replacing Chaput with over 1,000 in attendance - Full Video

Diocese of Cleveland Release:
Archbishop Perez says a fond farewell to Cleveland during his installation as Philadelphia’s archbishop
 News of the Diocese  February 18, 2020

“I can’t do this alone. It’s not about me,” Archbishop Nelson Perez said during the homily of his installation Mass as archbishop of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

He said many people helped him to get where he is today, including his family and those he worked with in the archdiocese, the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York, where he served five years as an auxiliary bishop, and the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland where he was bishop for the past 2½ years.

“I want to give a special shout-out to the people of Cleveland who welcomed me so warmly. It was two years of utter joy. I was so incredibly blessed to me in Cleveland,” he said, recalling how surprised he was to learn he would be returning to Philadelphia, where he had been ordained to the priesthood and served more than 20 years as a priest, pastor and in other roles for the archdiocese.

“I will always have a special place in my heart for the people of Cleveland,” he said. “And, as I’ve often said, Cleveland rocks!”

The installation liturgy took place on Feb. 18 at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul and the Shrine of St. Katharine Drexel. The new archbishop was ordained a priest in 1989 in the same cathedral where he was installed as archbishop. He was ordained as an auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Rockville Centre in 2012 and in July 2017, he was named as the 11th bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland.

An overflow crowd of about 1,500 people filled the cathedral church and hundreds more watched the Mass on screens in the adjacent chapel.

About 50 bishops and archbishops were in attendance including Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the papal nuncio; Cardinal Justin Rigali, a Philadelphia archbishop emeritus; Bishop emeritus Martin Amos, retired bishop of Davenport, Iowa and a Cleveland native; Toledo Bishop Daniel Thomas, former apostolic administrator of the Cleveland Diocese and a native Philadelphian; and Columbus Bishop Robert Brennan, who served with Archbishop Perez as an auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

A contingent of priests from Cleveland, including Father Don Oleksiak, vicar general; Father Gary Yanus, judicial vicar; Father Dan Schlegel, vicar for clergy and religious; Father Mark Latcovich, president-rector of Borromeo and Saint Mary seminaries; Father Bill Thaden, pastor of Sacred Heart Chapel in Lorain; Father Steve Vellenga, director of the diocesan Society for the Propagation of the Faith/mission office and pastor of St. Mary Parish in Painesville; and Benedictine Abbot Gary Hoover, were among hundreds of concelebrants at the Mass.

Several Cleveland diocesan senior staff members, including Sister Rita Mary Harwood, SND, secretary for parish life and development; Mary Ann Blakely, director of human resources; Kevin Burke, diocesan legal counsel; Jim Gulick, diocesan chief financial officer; Patrick Grace, executive director of the Catholic Community Foundation; and Larry Murtaugh, director of facilities services; as well as a few others from the diocese travelled to Philadelphia for the special occasion.

After processing into the cathedral, Archbishop Perez sat near the ambo while Archbishop Pierre offered thanks to retiring Archbishop Charles Chaput. “You deserve a little rest,” he told him.

Archbishop Chaput led the archdiocese for nearly nine years before submitting his resignation letter – as required by Church law -- to Pope Francis on Sept. 26, 2019, his 75th birthday. The pope accepted his resignation last month and announced the appointment of Archbishop Perez as his successor on Jan. 23.

“Archbishop Perez, you don’t get to rest,” the nuncio quipped. He told the new archdiocesan shepherd that he needs to meet his flock “with energy, zeal and warmth.” The archdiocese is not the same as it was in 2012 when Archbishop Perez left for Rockville Centre, the nuncio said. He urged Archbishop Perez to continue the mission of evangelization and asked him to be close to the clergy who have suffered and close to the people of the archdiocese.

“Your smile comes from within. We’ve learned from you what it is to smile,” Archbishop Pierre said. “Yours is not an easy task but the people of Philadelphia will support you with their prayers.”

The nuncio then read the English translation of the papal bull appointing Archbishop Perez as the 14th bishop and 10th archbishop of Philadelphia and invited the new archbishop to show the document to the archdiocesan College of Consultors, the other priests, bishops and the congregation. After that, Archbishop Chaput escorted him to the cathedra, officially making him the archdiocese’s new archbishop.

In his homily, Archbishop Perez credited his predecessor for leading the archdiocese through some difficult times, calling him steadfast. “I owe him much gratitude,” he said, as the congregation applauded.

Addressing the assembled priests and seminarians, the new archbishop offered some advice: “If the nuncio calls and asks if you’re alone, watch out,” he quipped, referring to the calls informing him of his episcopal appointments.

The archbishop also offered special thanks to city officials, including the safety forces and Philadelphia’s new police commissioner, Catholic TV from Boston and Catholic Faith Network from Rockville Centre, both of which carried a live feed of the installation Mass, and the rest of the media. “You provide an incredible service to society,” he said.

He also had kind words for the archdiocesan staff who scrambled to organize and implement the installation in 3½ weeks. “It’s amazing what they did.”

He chose “Jesus, Hope of the World” as the theme for the installation celebration. After reading a definition of hope, he described it as a gift from God, pointing out hope is all around us – it’s at the core of our Christian faith. Archbishop Perez shared the story of a man who asked him during an event at the Cleveland Clinic if – given all going on in the world – he has hope.

“I told him yes, I did. I gave my life to a faith that believes a dead man came back to life so yes, I have hope,” he said.

Archbishop Perez also offered his apology for people who were deeply hurt by the clergy abuse scandal, offering his hope for healing.

Hope is a steadfast faith that all things work for the good of God, he said, and the source of that hope is in Christ who is present in us through his word. “He is food for our journey. He’s waiting for us with open arms,” the archbishop said, appealing to those who have fallen away from the Church. “It’s time to come back to church,” he said.

The archbishop also talked about Pope Francis’ view of the Church as a community of missionary disciples, something he also embraces.

He asked the congregation to learn and repeat a phrase he often uses at confirmations: “Never underestimate the power of the spirit of God working in you, through you and despite you. Take the initiative and move forward, Go out and seek the fallen away outcasts,” he said.

After Mass, the new archbishop spent time greeting and taking photos with hundreds of people before heading to a private reception.

“I’ll be at work tomorrow morning,” he promised. Full Text Release by the Diocese of Cleveland

Caritas Philippines launches New Measures to prevent clergy sexual abuse

Caritas PH takes measures to prevent clergy sexual abuse

Fr Edwin Gariguez, executive secretary of Caritas Philippines, speaks during the launching of the “Alay Kapwa” for Luzon at the Cathedral Shrine and Parish of the Good Shepherd in Quezon City on Feb. 3.

By Minnie Agdeppa - February 14, 2020 - Manila, Philippines

The Catholic Church’s social action arm has joined efforts to curtail the sexual abuse of minors by priests in the country.

Fr. Edwin Gariguez, executive secretary of Caritas Philippines, said that part of the measure is to conduct ‘background checks’ of all social action directors.

“(We will) proactively make background checks of all Caritas directors on national and diocesan levels,” he said.

The priest made the statement during the launching of the “Alay Kapwa” Lenten campaign for Luzon at the Cathedral Shrine and Parish of the Good Shepherd in Quezon City on Feb. 3.

Caritas Philippines is also known as the National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice and Peace (Nassa).

Gariguez clarified that the goal is to determine whether a priest has been involved in any abuse case, particularly of children.

Addressing the diocesan social action directors present, he said that “we hope you won’t be offended. We are doing this to show that we do not tolerate cases like these.”

“Thus, if the need for each diocese to have a training on this matter and the mechanism on how this will be done, we will create and provide it for the protection ministry,” he said.

Clerical abuse should not be happening within the confines of the Church, he said: “but admit it or not, and though we rarely admit it, it is happening.”

“Thus, we should have a mechanism on how cases like this should be reported and how to address this problem,” said Gariguez.

In July 2019, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) agreed to create a new office that will look into the cases of clerical abuse and augment the efforts in the diocesan level.

In May last year, Pope Francis’ moto propio “Vos estis lux mundi” decreed that all dioceses must have a “public, accessible and reliable” system for reporting cases of clergy sex abuses.
Full Text Release by CBCP - Bishops of the Philippines

#BreakingNews Coronavirus Death Toll surpasses 2,000 - U.S. Catholic Bishops issue Statement "We offer our prayers for healing and support those organizations..." Full Text

The Coronavirus, or COVID-19, death toll has reached 2,000.  Russia announced the closure of its borders to Chinese citizens. The Beijing National Health Commission announced that Covid-19 killed 2,007 people. About 95% of the deaths occurred in the epicenter of the epidemic, the province of Hubei. Beijing also reported 74,279 Covid-19 cases reported in China. 25 other nations report a total of 920 cases, in addition to three deaths. A note from the World Health Organization (WHO) today reports about 100 human-to-human transmission cases outside China.

US Bishops' Release: Catholic Response to Outbreak of Coronavirus

February 18, 2020

WASHINGTON - Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace; Sean Callahan, president of Catholic Relief Services; and Sr. Mary Haddad, RSM, president of the Catholic Health Association of the United States, issued a statement addressing the Catholic response to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Their joint statement follows:

“As communities and public health officials respond to the outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in China and closely monitor its presence and progression in other parts of the world, we join in solidarity and prayer for those impacted or working to treat those infected by the disease. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Relief Services, and the Catholic Health Association of the United States hope that governments will work together in partnership to improve all nations’ capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to this virus.

“The Catholic Church in the United States stands in solidarity with those affected by the coronavirus and their families, health workers who are valiantly trying to diagnose and treat patients, and those under quarantine awaiting results of their screening for the virus. We offer our prayers for healing and support those organizations, both domestic and international, working to provide medical supplies and assistance to address this serious risk to public health.

“In early February, the Holy See sent 700,000 respiratory masks to China to help prevent the spread of the disease. Within the United States, Catholic healthcare providers are at the front line of providing treatment and care to those impacted by the virus.

“We also commend the U.S. government for transporting more than 17 tons of donated medical supplies to China. This response to the novel coronavirus demonstrates the critical importance of the need to work together and to invest in crucial health care systems here and in other countries, thus preventing and responding to community-wide emergencies. We urge the U.S. Congress to support these efforts by protecting access to domestic health care safety net programs and by providing additional emergency international assistance to areas impacted by the virus.

“We also urge individuals to stay informed as information becomes available by going to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at .
Source: USCCB  

Vatican Judiciary launches Investigation into Financial Investments - Msgr Alberto Perlasca’s house and office items Seized

Vatican News : Documents and computer equipment belonging to Msgr Perlasca seized
Last October the Vatican judiciary launched an investigation into financial and real estate investments which led to the suspension of 5 Holy See employees.
By Vatican News

The investigation which began last October and focused on five Holy See employees who were suspended, has been enlarged. A communiqué issued by the Holy See Press Office made the following public: “within the context of a search ordered by the Promoter of Justice, Gian Piero Milano, and by the Adjunct Promoter of Justice, Alessandro Diddi, documents and computer equipment in Msgr Alberto Perlasca’s house and office were seized.” Msgr Perlasca is a former head of the Administrative Office of the First Section of the Secretariat of State. He is originally from Como, Italy, is 59 years old, and as of July 2019 has been exercising the office of substitute Promoter of Justice at the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. Thus, Msgr Perlasca becomes the sixth suspect in the investigation.

The communiqué states that, “the measure was undertaken pursuant to the investigation into financial and real estate investments by the Secretariat of State, and is linked, while respecting the presumption of innocence, to what emerged in the initial interrogations of the officials under investigation who had already been suspended”.

The Promoter of Justice’s Office and the Gendarmerie Corps of Vatican City State are proceeding with an investigation at the administrative and financial levels in collaboration with foreign investigative bodies. The investigation seeks to substantiate the allegation of specific crimes, such as embezzlement, abuse of authority and corruption. As has already been reported, the investigation was initiated by the Vatican judiciary in response to reports received from internal supervisory financial organisms, from the Vatican Bank (IOR), and the Auditor General.

As specified in the communiqué, the principle of the presumption of innocence applies to all parties involved, even if the documentation examined in these months seems to reinforce the underlying allegations. It is possible that the investigatory phase of the process will conclude toward the beginning of summer.

On opening the judicial year in the Vatican on Saturday, 15 February, Pope Francis mentioned the investigation regarding the management of funds and real estate (such as that of Sloan Avenue in London). He spoke of “suspicious financial situations, which aside from their possible unlawfulness, are not in keeping with the nature and purpose of the Church, and have generated disorientation and anxiety in the community of the faithful”. The Pope then added that, “a positive fact is that precisely in this case, the first reports were made by internal Vatican Authorities, active, albeit with different competences, in the economic and financial sectors. This demonstrates the effectiveness and efficiency of law enforcement actions, as required by international standards.”
Full Text Release - Image of Msgr Alberto Perlasca -

Bishops of Costa Rica Launch Jubilee "..moving forward on the path of social justice, the common good, human rights...and the social peace of our people".

AMERICA/COSTA RICA - Jubilee Year: "time to relaunch the commitment and hope that comes from the social dimension of Christian life"
Limon (Agenzia Fides) - An appeal to the authorities and the protagonists of society to unite "to find solutions to the suffering of many Costa Ricans, in particular in the fields of work, health, violence, especially against children and women, citizens' safety, education, housing, pensions, situations of poverty, inequality, in addition to the humanitarian challenges of immigration". This is what the Bishops of Costa Rica launched in the message published at the end of the Plenary Assembly of the Bishops’ Conference held in Limon, which bears the date of February 13, 2020, the opening day of the Jubilee.
The Jubilee Year has been announced for the centenary of the creation of the ecclesiastical province of Costa Rica, from 13 February 2020 to 16 February 2021 (see Fides, 22/1/2020), and the Bishops invite all Christians "to live intensely this time of grace", in the awareness that "the Church has contributed to giving life and developing our national identity, and its action is inseparable from the life of society and the history of the country".
This Jubilee and the celebration of the Bicentenary of Costa Rica's independence in 2021 "go together and it could not be otherwise - they write -, because we know the relevance and urgency of the dialogue between faith and the community and social dimension of culture. Therefore, as citizens and pastors, we echo the cry of a country that wants to continue moving forward on the path of social justice, the common good, human rights - whose essence is the dignity of the person - and the social peace of our people".
In the message, sent to Agenzia Fides, the Bishops mention some of the "many and complex issues of national reality that concern Costa Ricans". Firstly, the urgency of national dialogue, because "we cannot continue on the path of division, controversy and mutual distrust. As a society, we must promote the centrality of common issues, in an environment of respect that favors a prudent and measured process of discernment, to face what really happens in the country".
In order to guarantee unity and social peace, it is therefore necessary to heal and strengthen the tax system: the Bishops have constantly denounced "the national problems facing a public administration trapped by an institutional tangle dragged on for years and which today shows its social and economic effects".
Another worrying topic is unemployment, which has reached the highest levels of the decade, despite government initiatives. "We see with pain the desperation of young people, women, immigrants, informal workers - say the Bishops -. In this jubilee year we are called to combine mercy and justice, because one of the serious difficulties of today is that precarious work, without workers' rights and poorly paid, has become normal employment, a lifeline for thousands of compatriots".
The last point concerns support for the rural world, because for the Bishops the country needs "a real agricultural policy that addresses poverty reflected in the social inequality, unemployment, poverty and basic needs of this sector; without forgetting a solidarity economy that improves the situation of farmers and artisanal fishermen".
Invoking the intercession of Our Lady of the Angels, Patroness of Costa Rica, and Saint Vincent de Paoli, Patron of the Diocese of Limón, the Bishops conclude their message by recalling that "the Jubilee Year is a time to revive the commitment and the hope that comes from the social dimension of Christian life "and asking the Lord, as a special grace, that "our Jubilee rekindles the solidarity of our people".
Pope Francis spiritually joined the opening of the Jubilee Year in Costa Rica with a Letter, signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, in which he participates "in thanking the Lord, for all the fruits obtained in these 100 years and invites lay and consecrated persons to continue "their tireless evangelising activity, bringing the joy of the Gospel to everyone, especially the most needy and the most distant, and to give a true witness of Christian life in the various circles of society". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 18/2/2020)

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wednesday, February 19, 2020 - #Eucharist

Wednesday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 337
Reading 1JAS 1:19-27
Know this, my dear brothers and sisters:
everyone should be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger
for anger does not accomplish
the righteousness of God.
Therefore, put away all filth and evil excess
and humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you
and is able to save your souls.
Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer,
he is like a man who looks at his own face in a mirror.
He sees himself, then goes off and promptly forgets
what he looked like.
But the one who peers into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres,
and is not a hearer who forgets but a doer who acts;
such a one shall be blessed in what he does.
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue
but deceives his heart, his religion is vain.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this:
to care for orphans and widows in their affliction
and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

Responsorial Psalm15:2-3A, 3BC-4AB, 5

R.    (1b)  Who shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord?
He who walks blamelessly and does justice;
who thinks the truth in his heart
and slanders not with his tongue.
R.    Who shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord?
Who harms not his fellow man,
nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor;
By whom the reprobate is despised,
while he honors those who fear the LORD.
R.    Who shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord?
Who lends not his money at usury
and accepts no bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things
shall never be disturbed.
R.    Who shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord?

AlleluiaEPH 1:17-18

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
enlighten the eyes of our hearts,
that we may know what is the hope
that belongs to his call.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia

GospelMK 8:22-26

When Jesus and his disciples arrived at Bethsaida,
people brought to him a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him.
He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village.
Putting spittle on his eyes he laid his hands on the man and asked,
“Do you see anything?”
Looking up the man replied, “I see people looking like trees and walking.”
Then he laid hands on the man’s eyes a second time and he saw clearly;
his sight was restored and he could see everything distinctly.
Then he sent him home and said, “Do not even go into the village.”