Saturday, February 29, 2020

Saint March 1 : St. David a Bishop and the Patron of Wales who Founded 12 Monasteries and was known for Miracles

(DEGUI, DEWI). Bishop and Confessor, patron of Wales. He is usually represented standing on a little hill, with a dove on his shoulder. From time immemorial the Welsh have worn a leek on St. David's day, in memory of a battle against the Saxons, at which it is said they wore leeks in their hats, by St. David's advice, to distinguish them from their enemies. He is commemorated on 1 March. The earliest mention of St. David is found in a tenth-century manuscript Of the "Annales Cambriae", which assigns his death to A.D. 601. Many other writers, from Geoffrey of Monmouth down to Father Richard Stanton, hold that he died about 544, but their opinion is based solely on data given in various late "lives" of St. David, and there seems no good reason for setting aside the definite statement of the "Annales Cambriae", which is now generally accepted. Little else that can claim to be historical is known about St. David. The tradition that he was born at Henvynyw (Vetus-Menevia) in Cardiganshire is not improbable. He was prominent at the Synod of Brevi (Llandewi Brefi in Cardiganshire), which has been identified with the important Roman military station, Loventium. Shortly afterwards, in 569, he presided over another synod held at a place called Lucus Victoriae. He was Bishop (probably not Archbishop) of Menevia, the Roman port Menapia in Pembrokeshire, later known as St. David's, then the chief point of departure for Ireland. St. David was canonized by Pope Callistus II in the year 1120.
The first biography that has come down to us was written near the end of the eleventh century, about 500 years after the saint's death, by Rhygyfarch (Ricemarchus). According to these other writers St. David was the son of Sant or Sandde ab Ceredig ab Cunnedda, The saint's mother was Nonna, or Nonnita (sometimes called Melaria), a daughter of Gynyr of Caergawch. She was a nun who had been violated by Sant. St. David's birth  took place at "Old Menevia" somewhere about A.D. 454. Afterwards he spent ten years studying the Holy Scripture at Whitland in Carmarthenshire, under St. Paulinus (Pawl Hen), whom he cured of blindness by the sign of the cross. At the end of this period St. Paulinus, warned by an angel, sent out the young saint to evangelize the British. St. David journeyed throughout the West, founding or restoring twelve monasteries (among which occur the great names of Glastonbury, Bath, and Leominster), and finally settled in the Vale of Ross, where he and his monks lived a life of extreme austerity.  Here also his monks tried to poison him, but St. David, warned by St. Scuthyn, who crossed from Ireland in one night on the back of a sea-monster, blessed the poisoned bread and ate it without harm. From thence, with St. Teilo and St. Padarn, he set out for Jerusalem, where he was made bishop by the patriarch. Here too St. Dubric and St. Daniel found him, when they came to call him to the Synod of Brevi "against the Pelagians". St. David was with difficulty persuaded to accompany them; on his way he raised a widow's son to life, and at the synod preached so loudly, from the hill that miraculously rose under him, that all could hear him, and so eloquently that all the heretics were confounded. St. Dubric resigned the "Archbishopric of Caerleon", and St. David was appointed in his stead. One of his first acts was to hold, in the year 569, yet another synod called "Victory", against the Pelagians, of which the decrees were confirmed by the pope. With the permission of King Arthur he removed his see from Caerleon to Menevia, whence he governed the British Church for many years with great holiness and wisdom. He died at the great age of 147, on the day predicted by himself a week earlier. His body is said to have been translated to Glastonbury in the year 966. (Edited from Catholic Encyclopedia)
Prayer: O God, who graciously bestowed on your Bishop Saint David of Wales
the virtue of wisdom and the gift of eloquence, and made him an example of prayer and pastoral zeal; grant that, through his intercession, your Church may ever prosper and render you joyful praise. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Pope Francis tells Regnum Christi Order "... a true conversion of heart and mind....was possible because you have been docile to the help...the Church has offered you, having realized the actual need for a renewal..."

Address of the Holy Father to the participants in the General Chapter of the Legionaries of Christ, and to the General Assemblies of the Consecrated Women and the Consecrated Laity of the Regnum Christi, 29.02.2020

We publish below the speech of the Holy Father Francis sent to the participants in the General Chapter of the Legionaries of Christ, and to the General Assemblies of the Consecrated Women and the Consecrated Lay People of the Regnum Christi:

Speech of the Holy Father

Dear brothers and sisters,

I am happy with this meeting with you at the end of a stage of the journey you are traveling under the maternal guidance of the Church. You, Legionaries of Christ, have recently concluded the General Chapter and you, Consecrated and Lay Consecrated Persons of Regnum Christi, your General Assemblies. They were elective events of the new general governments, the conclusion of a stage on the path you are taking. This means that it is not accomplished, but must continue.

The criminal behavior of your founder, Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, which emerged in their gravity, has produced a strong institutional and individual crisis throughout the entire reality of Regnum Christi. In fact, on the one hand it cannot be denied that he was the "historical" founder of all the reality you represent, but on the other you cannot consider it as an example of holiness to imitate. He managed to make himself considered a point of reference, through an illusion that he had managed to create with his double life. Furthermore, his long personalized government had to some extent polluted the charisma that the Spirit originally donated to the Church; and this was reflected in the norms, as well as in the practice of government and obedience and in the way of life.

In the face of the discovery of this situation, the Church has not failed to give up her maternal concern and has come to meet you with different means, placing people of great human and pastoral sensitivity alongside her, as well as with recognized juridical competence. Among them I wish to mention the late Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, Pontifical Delegate. The new Constitutions and the new Statutes are truly "new", both because they reflect a new spirit and a new vision of religious life consistent with the Second Vatican Council and the guidelines of the Holy See, and because they are the product of a three-year work, in which all your communities have been involved and which has led to a change in mentality. It was an event that brought about a true conversion of heart and mind. This was possible because you have been docile to the help and support that the Church has offered you, having realized the actual need for a renewal that would have brought you out of self-reference, in which you had closed yourself.

You courageously opened yourself to the action of the Holy Spirit, thus entering the path of true discernment. Accompanied by the Church, you have done patiently and willingly a demanding job to overcome even the very strong tensions that have sometimes occurred. This prompted a further change of mentality, because it required a new vision in the mutual relationships between the different realities that make up Regnum Christi. I know well that it was not easy, because what we are most strongly attached to are our ideas and we often lack real indifference, to which we must open up with an act of our will, to make the Holy Spirit work within us. The Spirit leads us to detachment from ourselves and to the search for the will of God alone, because only from it does the good of the whole Church and of each one of us come.

This work led to the establishment of the Federation of Regnum Christi, made up of the religious Institute of the Legion of Christ, the Society of Apostolic Life of the Consecrated Women of Regnum Christi and the Society of Apostolic Life of the Consecrated Lay People of Regnum Christi. Numerous lay people who do not take on the evangelical counsels join this reality of the Federation, thus constituting a "spiritual family", a wider reality of the Federation itself. The Federation is a canonically "new" reality, but also an "ancient" one, because the unity and autonomy you already lived in fact in the years after 2014. There is still a very large field that must be discerned by your. So the journey must continue, looking forward, not backward. You can only look back to find trust in God's support, which has never been missing.
It is a question of determining the concrete application of the Federation Statutes. This requires discernment of both the collegial governing bodies and the general and territorial governments of the three federated entities. The Statutes must always stimulate discernment. However, if this is not easy on a personal level, much less it is in a government group. Discernment requires from everyone a lot of humility and prayer; and the latter, nourished by the contemplation of the mysteries of the life of Jesus, leads to assimilate to him and to see reality with his eyes. In this way you can act objectively, with a healthy detachment from your ideas: which does not mean not having your own assessment of the reality and the problem that you have to face, but it means submitting your point of view to the common good.

You have elected the new Superior Generals and their Councils. Certainly the Directors responsible for addressing the Legion of Christ or the Consecrated Women and the Lay Consecrated Persons of Regnum Christi are their Directors, but the Councils have a very important function, even if the Councilors are not Superiors. In fact, the Councils must be a valid aid to the Superiors in their government, but at the same time they also have a function of control over the work of the Superiors themselves. In fact, they are called to govern in the consideration of people and in respect of the common law of the Church and of that proper to the Institute or Society. For this reason, the canonical legislation provides that when a matter is submitted to the consent of the Council, the Superior cannot vote, precisely to leave the Councilors more free (cf. cann. 627 §2; 127 CIC; Pont. Commission for the Authentic Interpretation of the Code of Canon Law, Reply dated August 1, 1985, in AAS 77 [1985] 771).

I hope that your new governments are aware that the path of renewal has not ended, because the change of mentality in individual people and in an institution requires a long time of assimilation, therefore a continuous conversion. It is a change that must continue in all members of the Federation. Returning to the past would be dangerous and meaningless. This journey is called to travel with perseverance and patience the individual governments of the three federated realities, both with regard to their own religious Institute or Society of Apostolic Life and with regard to the Federation and the laity associated with it. This requires that the three governments have a vision consistent with the will that the Church has shown in all these years with her closeness and with all the concrete means she has made available.

You, members of the new general governments, have received the mandate from the Church to continue on the path of renewal, reaping and consolidating the fruits matured in these years. I urge you to act fortiter et suaviter: energetically in substance and gently in ways, knowing how to grasp with courage and at the same time with prudence what other paths are to be taken in the line drawn and approved by the Church. If you docilely go to the school of the Holy Spirit you will not be overwhelmed by fear and doubt, which upset the soul and prevent action. I entrust you to the maternal protection of the Virgin Mary; I accompany you with my affection and my prayerful memory and from my heart I impart the Apostolic Blessing, which I extend to the whole Family of Regnum Christi. And please, don't forget to pray for me.

Quote to SHARE by St. Mother Teresa "As Lent is the time for greater love, listen to Jesus' thirst...'Repent and Believe' Jesus tells us..." #Lent

 "As Lent is the time for greater love, listen to Jesus' thirst...'Repent and believe' Jesus tells us. What are we to repent? Our indifference, our hardness of heart. What are we to believe? Jesus thirsts even now, in your heart and in the poor -- He knows your weakness. He wants only your love, wants only the chance to love you." -- Saint Teresa of Calcutta

#BreakingNews Churches in the Middle East Release Precautions to Avoid Coronavirus Transmission

Mideast Churches adopt precautionary guidelines to deal with coronavirus
For Mgr Pizzaballa, measures are needed to counter the rapid spread of the virus, like emptying fonts and receiving the Communion by hand. The Chaldean Church is vetting the possibility of suspending services. In Lebanon, the situation is still normal.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews) – From Iraq to the Holy Land, the Churches in the Middle East are taking action against the new coronavirus emergency by setting certain guidelines for the faithful to minimise the danger of infection.

In the most affected areas, Church leaders have not ruled out suspending Lent services – as a precaution – waiting to see how the outbreak develops more broadly.

In a message to bishops, priests, nuns and believers, Mgr Pierbattista Pizzaballa, apostolic administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, has provided some precautionary guidelines for the Mass.

"The threat of the new coronavirus (Covid-19),” writes the prelate, requires measures to counter its rapid spread to “many areas and countries around the world.”

“Thousands of pilgrims from different parts of the world come to the Holy Land to visit the holy sites”. Given “our unique situation and after hearing from the Authorities, the following preliminary guidelines are issued in the Diocese of Jerusalem during the celebration of Masses:”

First of all, “receiving Communion” must be by “hand only,” avoiding the use of the chalice (except for people with celiac disease) to reduce the risk of infection.

“Another preventive suggestion is to empty the holy water fonts, especially in the holy sites and sanctuaries.

“During this time of Lent, we ask for our Lord’s mercy, as we pray for all who are distressed by this infirmity and eternal rest for those who have died.”

In the rest of the Middle East, the alert level is high to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, especially in Iran, the second most affected country in the world with 26 deaths and 270 cases. Local authorities have adopted a policy to quarantine individuals, not cities or regions.

Cases of infection have been reported in Kuwait, Lebanon, Iraq, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, whilst Saudi Arabia has suspended entry for pilgrims.

The Chaldean Church has issued some “practical recommendations” for parishes and communities to contain the outbreak.

“The Patriarchate” has ordered “its priests to follow certain preventive steps.” As in the Holy Land, the first one concerns the cleaning and emptying of holy water fonts, since they could facilitate contagion.

Another one is about the Communion, which should be given "by hands and not in the mouth". It is also advisable to "avoid holding hands or exchanging kisses of greeting" during the services.

As it waits for developments, the Iraqi Church is vetting possibly more drastic and restrictive measures, like “cancelling Masses and other activities” should “the outbreak spread further.”

At the same time, the Church is calling for prayers to the Lord “to protect our country and the whole world”.

In Lebanon, services are being held as usual; no cancellations or changes are expected, Caritas Lebanon president Fr Paul Karam told AsiaNews.

“We have taken certain precautions, especially in dispensaries,” he said, but for the rest "we are relying on God's help".
Full Text Source: AsiaNews.IT - Image Source: Google Images Middle East Moniter

Cardinal Turkson says "We must not forget that the fundamental right to health and care pertains to the value of justice..." Full Text

Message from the Prefect of the Dicastery for the Integral Human Development Service on the occasion of the XIII Day of Rare Diseases (29 February 2020), 29.02.2020

We publish below the Message of the Prefect of the Dicastery for the Integral Human Development Service, the Most Card. Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, on the occasion of the XIII Day of Rare Diseases, which occurs today February 29:

Message from Card. Peter K. A. Turkson

To the Presidents of the Episcopal Conferences,
To the Bishops in charge of Health Pastoral Care,
To men and women religious,
To socio-health and pastoral workers,
To the Volunteers and to all the People of good will,
And, above all, to the Dear Brothers and Sisters affected by rare diseases and their Families,

Rare Disease Day puts the emphasis this year on fairness and fairer conditions for people affected by these conditions. There are over 300 million people worldwide with a rare disease, a considerable number that cannot be ignored and deserves attention.

Rare diseases are often difficult to diagnose and, more often than not, patients affected by these pathologies and their families live in stigma, in solitude and with a sense of helplessness, often exasperated by the difficulties in having a specific treatment for the pathology. rare and adequate care. Unfortunately, this situation is perceived even more serious in all those countries where the health system is more vulnerable.

We must not forget that the fundamental right to health and care pertains to the value of justice and that the unequal distribution of economic resources, especially in low-income countries, does not allow to guarantee a health justice that protects the dignity and health of each person. , especially the most needy and poor.

In rare diseases, scientific research plays a substantial role in improving the life of the sick, not only in identifying the pathology and providing available therapy but also in indicating the most suitable assistance. At the same time, scientific research needs the participation of the sick to obtain meaningful results targeted to their needs. For this reason, the scientific knowledge and research of the pharmaceutical industries, even if they relate to their own laws, such as the protection of intellectual property and a fair profit as a support for innovation, must find appropriate compositions with the right to diagnosis and access to essential therapies especially in the case of rare diseases [1].

The principles of subsidiarity and solidarity must inspire the international community as well as health policies to ensure that everyone, especially the most vulnerable populations, is guaranteed efficient health systems, fair access to diagnosis and treatment, as well as support and assistance. specific to the sick and their families [2].

The impact of rare diseases on the daily life of families is disruptive both from a psychic, emotional, physical and economic point of view. They often make up for the absence or shortage of health care and social assistance. Rare disease, in fact, involves all aspects of family life: we must not only deal with the problem of disease but we must also worry about all the other aspects of life, such as, for example, nutrition, activity rehabilitation or sports, organize free time.

It is important to study activities, in synergy with the various actors present in the area, which can enhance the potential of rare patients, as, sometimes, the patient can feel a lack of humanity precisely because "in the disease the person feels compromised not only one's physical integrity, but also the relational, intellectual, affective, spiritual dimensions; and therefore awaits, in addition to therapies, support, concern, attention ... in short, love "[3].

It would be really nice if all together, alongside family members, health workers, social workers, pastoral workers and volunteers, in a spirit of fraternity, we took care of our brothers and sisters suffering from a rare disease, integrating medical care with activities and commitments social networks that make them feel a dynamic part of society.

I entrust to Mary, Salus infirmorum, all those who suffer from rare diseases, so that it helps us to be attentive to each other's needs and to know how to give with a generous heart.

Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson


[1] Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers, New Charter for Health Care Workers, 2016, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, n. ninety two.
[2] Ibid, nn. 141-142.
[3] Francis, Message for the World Day of the Sick, 11 February 2020.

Bishops in New Zealand Warn proposed abortion law removes Rights of Unborn Babies - Full Text

Catholic bishops warn proposed abortion law removes tenuous rights of unborn babies
19 Feb 2020 | Bioethics
Beehive and Parliament2

New Zealand’s Catholic bishops are concerned that unborn babies will lose their existing tenuous legal rights if Parliament passes the Abortion Legislation Bill in the form proposed by a select committee.

And unborn babies with a fetal disability will have even less protection than under the current law, the bishops note.

Speaking on behalf of the bishops, Catholic lecturer Ms Cynthia Piper says an unborn child is entitled to a place in the human family, along with all the rights that go with that.

“In the womb, the child already has its own unique genetic identity and whakapapa. Our abortion laws must reflect this reality,” says Ms Piper. “It is a major failing of the proposed new law that there will no longer be any statutory requirement to consider the rights of the unborn child. That is totally unacceptable to the bishops and many New Zealanders.”

Parliament’s Abortion Legislation Select Committee – set up to hear public submissions on a bill to replace New Zealand’s existing abortion laws – has recommended enacting a new law based on the Law Commission’s “Model C”, one of three alternatives the commission suggested in a 2018 report to the Government.

Model C as adopted by the select committee removes the need for any statutory tests for an abortion up to 20 weeks gestation, effectively introducing abortion on demand, says Ms Piper, a lecturer with the Church’s Te Kupenga - Catholic Leadership Institute.

Cynthia Piper

For pregnancies of more than 20 weeks gestation, a health practitioner would need to reasonably believe that the abortion is appropriate in the circumstances having regard to the woman’s physical and mental health and well-being.

But Ms Piper says the criteria referred to for that are undefined and ultimately subjective and broad.

The bishops are also concerned that the proposed bill as reported from the committee also removes all references to fetal abnormalities, unlike the existing law which cites them as a reason for abortion up to 20 weeks, but not after.

“It is clear that the legal changes being proposed for pregnancies greater than 20 weeks will significantly widen the ability for a woman to have an abortion on the basis of disability,” Ms Piper says. “That represents a significant change from the current law which does not allow late term abortions on the basis of fetal abnormality.”

Additionally, the bishops fear the proposed changes will harm the well-being of many women. Ms Piper says she has worked with many women who have had abortions and experienced long-lasting negative effects, especially when they felt pressured into having an abortion.

“The coercive reality of societal, familial and economic pressures that arise when a woman suddenly finds herself with an unplanned pregnancy is well documented. The select committee itself acknowledges that they heard from several submitters, particularly young women, who believed they might not have chosen abortion if they had received more support. But what is being proposed will not help women in this situation make different decisions.”

Footnote: The select committee received 25,718 written submissions on the proposed law change, of which more than 90 per cent were opposed. Approximately 2800 submitters asked to make an oral submission with the committee hearing from 139.

• Vatican News has interviewed Cynthia Piper about the legislation. You can listen to the interview here.

•    A full copy of the joint submission made by the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference and the bishops’ bioethics Nathaniel Centre can be found here. The Committee’s Report can be accessed here.

Click on this link for a copy of the Key Concerns document sent on 18 February to parishes about the select committee report.

Today's Mass Readings and Video - Saturday, February 29, 2020 - #Eucharist

Saturday after Ash Wednesday
Lectionary: 222

Reading 1IS 58:9B-14

Thus says the LORD:
If you remove from your midst oppression,
false accusation and malicious speech;
If you bestow your bread on the hungry
and satisfy the afflicted;
Then light shall rise for you in the darkness,
and the gloom shall become for you like midday;
Then the LORD will guide you always
and give you plenty even on the parched land.
He will renew your strength,
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring whose water never fails.
The ancient ruins shall be rebuilt for your sake,
and the foundations from ages past you shall raise up;
“Repairer of the breach,” they shall call you,
“Restorer of ruined homesteads.”
If you hold back your foot on the sabbath
from following your own pursuits on my holy day;
If you call the sabbath a delight,
and the LORD’s holy day honorable;
If you honor it by not following your ways,
seeking your own interests, or speaking with malice--
Then you shall delight in the LORD,
and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
I will nourish you with the heritage of Jacob, your father,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

Responsorial Psalm86:1-2, 3-4, 5-6

R.    (11ab)  Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.
Incline your ear, O LORD; answer me,
for I am afflicted and poor.
Keep my life, for I am devoted to you;
save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God.
R.    Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.
Have mercy on me, O Lord,
for to you I call all the day.
Gladden the soul of your servant,
for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
R.    Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.
For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
abounding in kindness to all who call upon you.
Hearken, O LORD, to my prayer
and attend to the sound of my pleading.
R.    Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.

Verse Before The GospelEZ 33:11

I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked man, says the Lord,
but rather in his conversion, that he may live.

GospelLK 5:27-32

Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, “Follow me.”
And leaving everything behind, he got up and followed him.
Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house,
and a large crowd of tax collectors
and others were at table with them.
The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples, saying,
“Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
Jesus said to them in reply,
“Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do.
I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.”