Monday, March 2, 2020

Saint March 3 : St. Katharine Drexel - Foundress of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and Patron of Philanthropists, Racial justice


November 26, 1858, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
March 3, 1955, Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania
2000 by Pope John Paul II
Major Shrine:
Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania
Patron of:
philanthropists, racial justice
 Saint Katharine Drexel was born in Philadelphia on November 26, 1858, the second child of Hannah and Francis Anthony Drexel. Hannah died five weeks after her baby’s birth. For two years Katharine and her sister, Elizabeth, were cared for by their aunt and uncle, Ellen and Anthony Drexel. When Francis married Emma Bouvier in 1860 he brought his two daughters home. A third daughter, Louise, was born in 1863. The children grew up in a loving family atmosphere permeated by deep faith. The girls were educated at home by tutors. They had the added advantage of touring parts of the United States and Europe with their parents. By word and example Emma and Francis taught their daughters that wealth was meant to be shared with those in need. Three afternoons a week Emma opened the doors of their home to serve the needs of the poor. When the girls were old enough, they assisted their mother.  When Francis purchased a summer home in Torresdale, Pa., Katharine and Elizabeth taught Sunday school classes for the children of employees and neighbors. The local pastor, Rev. James O’Connor (who later became bishop of Omaha), became a family friend and Katharine’s spiritual director.
She inherited a vast fortune from her father and step-mother, and spent her wealth to helping these disadvantaged people.  In audience with Pope Leo XIII, she asked him to recommend a religious congregation to staff the institutions which she was financing. 
In 1891, with a few companions, Mother Katharine founded the  Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Indians and Colored People. In 1935 Mother Katharine suffered a heart attack. She spent her last years to Eucharistic adoration. She died at the age of 96 at Cornwell Heights, Pennsylvania, on 3 March 1955. 

Vatican Officially opens Secret Archives of Pope Pius XII a pontificate during WWII

Vatican News reports that the Holy See has opened archives on Pope Pius XII.
The Holy See opens its archives on the pontificate of Pius XII, offering researchers the opportunity to shed light on a dark period in world history.
By Benedict Mayaki

From Monday, 2 March 2020, the Vatican Apostolic Archives, alongside several other archives of the Holy See on the pontificate of Pius XII (1939 – 1958), have been opened to consultation by scholars.

First announced by Pope Francis on 4 March 2019, the opening is the result of more than fourteen years of preparation by the Historical Archives relating to the Vatican's Section for Relations with States.

The vast quantity of material available for consultation includes about 120 Series and Archives from the Secretariat of State, Roman Congregations, and Curia offices, which make up about 20,000 archival units.

A large portion of these resources is available in digital form according to a statement released on Monday by the Vatican Apostolic Archives.

Limited reservation space
The various archives of the Holy See can host about 120 researchers at a time.

The Vatican archives, which will exhibit documents from the pontificate of Pius XII, is only accessible by reservation. Bookings began in October and those made so far have been distributed over the period of several months (until May – June) to ensure equal access to materials to scholars of Pope Pius XII’s pontificate.

Pope Pius XII’s pontificate spanned nearly 20 years and covered important events in the life of the Church and society during the Second World War.

The period also saw opposition between the Eastern and Western political blocs, and the successive opening up of the Church to a less Eurocentric and more universal spirit.

Pope Pius XII met with many people including war criminals, farmers, miners, sportsmen, journalists, and sports psychologists, doctors, artists, and astronomers. Archive material will tell about those encounters.

Opening up the archives
Only a Pope can grant access to the documents of his predecessors.

In 1881, Leo XII opened the Vatican Archives for the period up to 1815. In 1921, Benedict XV extended it till 1830.

In more recent times, Pope Benedict XVI made the documents of the pontificate of Pius XI accessible.

The goal of opening up the archives on Pius XII is to give scholars the possibility of accessing sources that were unavailable up until now.
In a separate report Vatican News notes
In terms of size, Archbishop Gallagher says the archive is pretty big:
“About 2 million documents! And if you put it all together – and it is together – it measures 323 linear meters of documents in boxes, cases, etc.” He says the documents cover a vast area of activity: the actions of the Holy See during WW2, its diplomacy, Concordats negotiated, the humanitarian work of the Church, reports on particular religious and political issues, educational reports, and documents concerning Vatican City State.
 Gallagher notes the material also highlights the work of some of those who emerged as protagonists during that era, including Monsignor Montini, the future Pope Paul VI. “1939 to 1948 is completely ready and will be made available on 2 March,” he says, whilst for the years that go from ’48 to ’58, the work is well advanced but is not yet complete and therefore is not yet available. The Church and the Pope during WWII and the Cold War Of course, many of the documents contained in the archives relate to the activities of the Pope and of the Holy See during the years of the Second World War.
 The Archbishop says Pope Pius XII “emerges as a great champion of humanity, a man deeply concerned about the fate of humankind during those terrible years, somebody who was very sensitive and concerned about those who were being persecuted, somebody who was also the object of the hatred of Nazis and fascism.”
They also make quite clear how those attacks were directed not just at the Pope but at the Church in general, he says.
Another particularly interesting section of the archives shines a new light on the initial period of the ‘Cold War’.
Gallagher reveals that they document the role of Pope Pacelli and that of Cardinal Casaroli in those years after the war, and of the work of religious and priests “who were trying to make contact with local Soviet authorities in order to try and work out some difficult but necessary modus vivendi for the Church to create a space.
This, he says, is exactly what Casaroli went on to do later in Eastern Europe “to try and create a degree of understanding and a space in which the Church could operate.”
Archbishop Gallagher concludes explaining the advantages of having digitalized the Archives:
“One advantage is the possibility to preserve, to conserve the documents because through digitalization people are granted access but you don’t have to take the documents out of the place where they are being stored, they don’t have to be touched and exposed to the atmosphere,” he notes.
The second principle advantage, he says, is the facility with which they can be accessed because they include inventories and catalogues that make consultation easy. Finally, he notes, “It also means that people can work on the same document at the same time, which is a great advantage for historians and students alike! Source: Image Source Youtube screenshot - Google Images

The Month of March is Dedicated to St Joseph so here are 10 Amazing Facts about St. Joseph to SHARE that you might not Know!

1. The entire month of March is dedicated to St. Joseph - March 19 is known as St. Joseph Day, or the Solemnity of St. Joseph (if celebrated in Lent you can break the Fast)
 2.  In Europe the people dedicate an altar to him, also known as “St. Joseph’s Table” or “la tavola di San Giuseppe.” People decorate it with flowers, candles, wine and “lucky” foods.
3. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the Apocryphal Date for Joseph's birth is 90 BC in Bethlehem and the Apocryphal Date of his death is July 20, AD 18 in Nazareth.
4. The Church celebrates two feast days uniquely for Saint Joseph: March 19 for Joseph the Husband of Mary and May 1 for Joseph the Worker. In 1955 Pope Pius XII established the Feast of "St. Joseph the Worker" . This is also May Day (International Workers' Day) since he is the patron of workers.
5. Joseph has no recorded words in Scripture
6. Veneration of St. Joseph goes back at least to the 9th century An early title used to honor him was nutritor Domini, meaning “guardian of the Lord.”
 7.  He is the patron of the Universal Church, a happy death, families, unborn, fathers, expectant mothers, travelers, immigrants, craftsmen, engineers, and workers. He’s also the patron of the Sicily, Americas, Canada, China, Croatia, Mexico, Korea, Austria, Belgium, Peru, the Philippines and Vietnam.
 8. Josephology sub-disciplines of theology, in the 20th century did some people start to gather the Church’s insights about him. In the 1950s, three centers dedicated to the study of St. Joseph.
9. It’s tradition to wear red on St. Joseph’s Day.
10. He is mentioned in the Canon of the Mass.

Novena to St. Joseph - Miracle Prayer with Litany to Share!

“St. Joseph was chosen among all men, to be the protector and guardian of the Virgin Mother of God; the defender and foster-father of the Infant-God, and the only co-operator upon earth, the one confidant of the secret of God in the work of the redemption of mankind.” -- St. Bernard of Clairvaux

RIP Fr. Ernesto Cardenal - Controversial Nicaraguan Priest Dies at age 95 after Suspension Lifted by Pope Francis

 The controversial Nicaraguan liberation theologian Fr. Ernesto Cardenal died on March 1st, 2020 at the age of 95. The priest-poet was suspended from the priesthood because of his political engagement in 1985, and Pope Francis lifted the suspension in 2019. The politically left-wing Cardenal was temporarily a minister of the then revolutionary government of Nicaragua.
Fr. Ernesto was able to celebrate Mass again after 35 years. His homeland of Nicaragua, considers him one of its best writers and poets. The priest was Minister of Culture during the Sandinista government. Pope John Paul II publicly confronted him in 1983, while in Nicaragua. The Vatican suspended Cardenal a divinis in 1984, since he wouldn't leave his political office. Pope Francis lifted the sanction last year at the old priest's request to celebrate Mass again.

#BreakingNews Coronavirus Death Toll reaches over 3000 people with over 80,000 Infected - COVID-19

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) the Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic  has resulted in the UN Humanitarian Chief Mark Lowcock, on March 1, releasing US$15 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to help fund global efforts to contain the COVID-19 virus.
Washington Post released the latest statistics that the death toll has reached over 3 thousand dead worldwide.
The WHO explains:
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. 
Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

In the rest of the world there is an increase in infections and deaths; in China the number of deaths per day is decreasing. Yesterday there were 42 deaths, all in Hubei. In the rest of the world, the confirmed cases are 8848 and the deaths are 129, distributed in 63 countries.

The number of deaths due to the new coronavirus epidemic has now passed the threshold of 3,000 deaths worldwide. Of these, 2915 are in China; 2803 only in Hubei, the epicenter of the infection.

But while there is an increase in infections and deaths in the rest of the world, in China the number of deaths per day is decreasing and for a week there have been less than 100 deaths a day.

Yesterday, Chinese health authorities registered 202 new cases of infection, the lowest since January, when the alarm was raised. Most of the new cases have been registered in Hubei. Yesterday there were also 42 deaths, all of which occurred in Hubei. The total number of infected in China has risen to 80174. Over half, 44518, have recovered.

In the rest of the world, the confirmed cases are 8848 and the deaths are 129, spread across 63 countries. Among the hardest hit are Iran (54 dead), Italy (34); South Korea (22); Japan (12).

The United States confirmed today that it registered a second death. A death occurred in Australia over the weekend. Yesterday, the Czech Republic and the Dominican Republic recorded the first cases of coronavirus.

The Washington Post released the following:
Here are the latest developments:

  • South Korea announced 599 new cases, bringing its total to 4,335 with 22 deaths. In China, the number of new cases was 202, bringing its total to 80,026, including 2,912 deaths.
  • The United States announced two deaths from covid-19 over the weekend, both in Washington state, and a new case was found in New York. The U.S. government has confirmed 87 coronavirus cases. Kirkland, Wash., has become a hub for the coronavirus response, as evidence suggests the virus may have spread undetected in the state for weeks.
  • Following heavy losses on global markets last week, global stocks recovered Monday as comments by the Bank of Japan chief stoked speculation of a coordinated global response from central banks. The turnaround comes amid fears that prolonged economic disruption due to the virus could trigger a worldwide recession.
  • With cases soaring in South Korea, Italy and Iran, officials are expecting more cases in other countries. “It is no longer possible to absolutely prevent new cases coming in,” Brendan Murphy, Australia’s chief medical officer, told reporters Monday. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the day before that he expected the outbreak to “spread a bit more” in Britain, where there are 39 confirmed cases.
Edited from AsiaNews/Washington Post and WHO

Pope Francis appoints New Auxiliary Bishop of San Diego Fr. Bejarano and 3 New Auxiliaries for Newark Msgr. Studerus, Fr. Lorenzo, and Fr. Saporito

Pope Francis Names New Auxiliary Bishop of San Diego

February 27, 2020
WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has appointed the Rev. Ramon Bejarano as Auxiliary Bishop of San Diego.

Father Bejarano is a priest of the Diocese of Stockton and currently serves as Pastor of St. Stanislaus Parish in Modesto, CA. The appointment was publicized today in Washington, D.C. by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Father Bejarano was born July 17, 1969 in Laredo, TX. His family is from Chihuahua, Mexico, and he lived there from 1972 until 1987 when he moved with his family to Tracy, CA in the Diocese of Stockton. In 1989, he entered formation for the Diocese of Stockton. Bishop-elect Bejarano attended and received his Master of Philosophy from Seminario Diocesano de Tijuana (1989-1992) and his Master of Divinity from Mount Angel Seminary in Oregon (1992-1998). He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Stockton on August 15, 1998.

Assignments after ordination include: Parochial Vicar at St. George Church, Stockton, CA (1998-2003) and Sacred Heart Church, Turlock, CA (2004-2006), Founding Pastor of Holy Family Parish in Modesto, CA (2006-2008). From 2008 until present, he has served as Pastor of Saint Stanislaus Parish in Modesto, CA. Father Bajarano has served on the Presbyteral Council and the Board of Consultors for the Diocese of Stockton. He is fluent in both English and Spanish.

The Diocese of San Diego is comprised of 8,852 square miles in the state of California and has a total population of 3,484,311 of which 1,391,278 are Catholic. Bishop Robert W. McElroy is the current bishop of San Diego.
Source: USCCB

Pope Francis Names Three New Auxiliary Bishops of Newark

February 27, 2020
WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has appointed Rev. Msgr. Gregory Studerus, Rt. Rev. Elias Lorenzo, O.S.B., and Rev. Michael Saporito as Auxiliary Bishops of Newark.
Monsignor Studerus is a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark and currently serves as Pastor of St. Joseph of the Palisades Church in West New York, NJ. Rt. Rev. Elias Lorenzo, O.S.B. is a monk of St. Mary’s Abbey in Morristown, NJ and serves as Abbot President of the American Cassinese Benedictine Congregation. Father Michael Saporito is a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark and currently serves as Pastor of St. Helen Parish in Westfield, NJ. The appointments were publicized today in Washington, D.C. by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
Bishop-elect Studerus was born March 31, 1948 in West Orange, NJ. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education (1970) from Montclair State College. He received his Master of Divinity from the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, NY and was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Newark on May 31, 1980.
Assignments after ordination include: Curate at St. Aloysius Parish (1980) where he founded and developed the Spanish community; Pastor at St. Bridget Parish (1990-1997); Pastor at Parish of Resurrection (including St. Michael, St. Bridget, St. Peter and St. Boniface) (1997-2005). Monsignor Studerus has served as a member of the Archdiocesan Presbyteral Council (1991-1994), as well as Dean of the Jersey City Downtown Deanery (1991-1998 and 2002-2005), and the Dean of the Hudson North Deanery (2013-2016), and Episcopal Vicar of Hudson County (2015). He was named a Chaplain to His Holiness by Pope Benedict XVI with the title of “Monsignor” in 2005. He has been serving as Pastor of St. Joseph of the Palisades Church in West New York, NJ since 2005.
Bishop-elect Lorenzo was born October 6, 1960, in Brooklyn, NY. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy (1982) from Don Bosco College Seminary in Newton, NJ. In 1983, Abbot Lorenzo entered Saint Mary’s Abbey, Benedictine Monastery, American Cassinese Congregation in Morristown, NJ. In 1985, he made his First Profession, and his Solemn Profession in 1988, both at St. Mary’s Abbey in Morristown, NJ. He was ordained a priest on June 24, 1989.
Abbot Lorenzo also holds a Master of Arts in Liturgical Theology from St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN; a Master of Art in Education in Counseling Psychology from Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ, and a Licentiate in Canon Law from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. From 1983 to 2005, Abbot Lorenzo held different faculty, administrative and leadership positions at Delbarton School in Morristown, NJ. He was also Director of Liturgy at Saint Mary’s Abbey (1988-1998), Prior of Saint Mary’s Abbey (1995-2002), and Rector of Abbey Church (1995-2009).
Abbot Lorenzo’s service includes the Paterson Diocesan Liturgical Commission (1988-2000), Chairman of the Paterson Diocesan Liturgical Commission (1991-2000), President of Abbey Woods (senior health care/housing) (2001-2005), Liaison for Abbey Review Board regarding cases of sexual misconduct (2002), and Vicar for Religious in the Diocese of Metuchen (2005-2009). Additionally, his work has included: Prior of the Primatial Abbey of Sant’ Anselmo, Rome (2009-2016); Procurator General for American Benedictine monks and nuns (2009-2016); President of the International Benedictine Confederation (2011-2016); and Canonical Counsel for Praesidium, Inc. (2007-2009) where he currently serves on their advisory board. His work as a member of the advisory board for Operation Smile International (1999-2009) has taken him on numerous international medical missions. Abbot Lorenzo is a founding member of the International Commission for Benedictine Education (1999-present), President of the International Commission for Benedictine Education (2013-present), Abbot President of the American Cassinese Congregation of the Order of St. Benedict (2016-present), and a member of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, as well as a member of the Union of Superior General (2016-present).
Father Saporito was born May 3, 1962. He holds a Bachelor of Accountancy from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ (1984) and a Master of Divinity from the Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology, South Orange, NJ (1992). He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Newark on May 30, 1992.
Father Saporito’s assignments after ordination include various parishes throughout the State of New Jersey: Parochial Vicar at St. Joseph Parish in West Orange (1992-1994), St. Peter the Apostle Parish in River Edge (1994-1999), Our Lady of the Visitation Parish in Paramus (1999-2001), and St. Elizabeth in Wyckoff (2001-2004). From 2004 to 2011, Father Saporito served as Pastor at St. Joseph in Maplewood, NJ, and since 2011, he has been serving as a pastor at St. Helen Parish in Westfield, NJ.   
The Archdiocese of Newark is comprised of 513 square miles in the state of New Jersey and has a total population of 2,965,397 of which 1,220,143 are Catholic. Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, CSsR is the current archbishop of Newark.

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Monday, March 2, 2020 - #Eucharist with Cardinal Collins

Monday of the First Week of Lent
Lectionary: 224

Reading 1LV 19:1-2, 11-18

The LORD said to Moses,
“Speak to the whole assembly of the children of Israel and tell them:
Be holy, for I, the LORD, your God, am holy.
“You shall not steal.
You shall not lie or speak falsely to one another.
You shall not swear falsely by my name,
thus profaning the name of your God.
I am the LORD.
“You shall not defraud or rob your neighbor.
You shall not withhold overnight the wages of your day laborer.
You shall not curse the deaf,
or put a stumbling block in front of the blind,
but you shall fear your God.
I am the LORD.
“You shall not act dishonestly in rendering judgment.
Show neither partiality to the weak nor deference to the mighty,
but judge your fellow men justly.
You shall not go about spreading slander among your kin;
nor shall you stand by idly when your neighbor’s life is at stake.
I am the LORD.
“You shall not bear hatred for your brother in your heart.
Though you may have to reprove him,
do not incur sin because of him.
Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against your fellow countrymen.
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
I am the LORD.”

Responsorial Psalm19:8, 9, 10, 15

R.    (John 6:63b)  Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
R.    Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart.
The command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
R.    Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
The ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
R.    Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.
Let the words of my mouth and the thought of my heart
find favor before you,
O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
R.    Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.

Verse Before The Gospel2 COR 6:2B

Behold, now is a very acceptable time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.

GospelMT 25:31-46

Jesus said to his disciples:
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory,
and all the angels with him,
he will sit upon his glorious throne,
and all the nations will be assembled before him.
And he will separate them one from another,
as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the king will say to those on his right,
‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father.
Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
a stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me,
ill and you cared for me,
in prison and you visited me.’
Then the righteous will answer him and say,
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you,
or thirsty and give you drink?
When did we see you a stranger and welcome you,
or naked and clothe you?
When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’
And the king will say to them in reply,
‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did
for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’
Then he will say to those on his left,
‘Depart from me, you accursed,
into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels.
For I was hungry and you gave me no food,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
a stranger and you gave me no welcome,
naked and you gave me no clothing,
ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’
Then they will answer and say,
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty
or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison,
and not minister to your needs?’
He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you,
what you did not do for one of these least ones,
you did not do for me.’
And these will go off to eternal punishment,
but the righteous to eternal life.”