Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Saint March 5 : St. John Joseph of the Cross a Confessor who had a great devotion was to our Blessed Lady

St. John Joseph of the Cross
August 15, 1654, Ischia
March 5, 1739
1839, Rome by Pope Gregory XVI
Patron of:
Born on the Island of Ischia, Southern Italy, 1654; d. 5 March, 1739. From his earliest years he was given to prayer and virtue. So great was his love of poverty that he would always wear the dress of the poor, though he was of noble birth. At the age of sixteen years he entered the Order of St. Francis at naples, amongst the Friars of the Alcantarine Reform, being the first Italian to join this reform which had been instituted in Spain by St. Peter of Alcantara. Throughout his life he was given to the greatest austerity: he fasted constantly, never drank wine, and slept but three hours each night. In 1674 he was sent to found a friary at Afila, in Piedmont; and he assisted with his own hands in the building. Much against his will, he was raised to the priesthood. As superior, he always insisted upon performing the lowliest offices in the community. In 1702 he was appointed Vicar Provincial of the Alcantarine Reform in Italy. He was favoured in a high degree with the gift of miracles, people of every condition being brought to him in sickness. His zeal for souls was such that even in sickness he would not spare any labour for them. His great devotion was to our Blessed Lady, and he was urgent with his penitents that they also should cultivate this. He was beatified in 1789, and canonized in 1839.
(Taken From Catholic Encyclopedia)

Find Peace in a Busy World with this Easy Prayer to Our Lady of Silence to Help your Journey in Life and Lent

Find Peace in a Busy World with this Easy Prayer to Our Lady of Silence to Help your Journey in Life...and Lent
Oh, beloved Mother, I come to you, tonight, Seeking for rest? To find, in silence, the serenity
For which my heart thirsts? After the weariness of the day, And the fever of action,
I come to you, Our Lady!

Haven of silence, Fountain of peace, Abyss of gentleness! I come to you, to renew my soul
To forget my cares, To flee from speech, And to escape from the hectic life, Of which, tonight, I am weary.

I come to you, Our Lady, Teacher of silence and of shaded retreats, Of wisdom and of joy, I come to You! I want but one thing: To remain in your sight, To think of You, Virgin of silence.
And if I am too broken to think, And too weary to pray, Too wounded even to smile, To simply be there at your feet, In your silence. To savour your silence, your calm,
To plunge into it, to quench my thirst in it!

To be at your feet, O Mary! To love you with all my heart, Without words, without discourses,
In silence! Oh! Our Lady, I come to you? May my heart contemplate, In your silence, The silence of adoration! Amen
Source of Prayer:
Share this Beautiful Prayer to help others find Peace this Lent!

Thousands of Migrants Stranded at Border between Turkey-Greece and Don't Know where to Turn

Asia News reports that they are deluded by Erdogan, rejected by Europe. The tragedy of thousands of migrants on the border
From the euphoria of a possible expatriation to despair in the face of  Athens' wall. The vanished dream of a free and dignified life. The violence of the Greek military, which pushes migrants back to no man's land. Athens or Ankara "is the same thing". The Turkish president uses migrants and refugees as a weapon of war against Brussels.

Istanbul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Destroyed, demoralized, without knowing where to go, trapped in a no-man's land between Turkey and Greece, or Europe, unable to continue but - at the same time - without any desire to go back. In the space of a few days, thousands of migrants went from the euphoria of the green light for expatriation by Turkish government, to despair over the wall opposed by the Athens government and the violence of the Hellenic far right groups. They arrived, they say, at the border by train, on board buses, in taxis convinced "to get over to the other side".

The dream of these people - not millions as threatened by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, but certainly several thousand - of leading a free and dignified life in Europe seems to have broken on the barbed wire of the Turkish border crossing of Pazarkule (Kastanies). "After being pounded with tear gas by the Greek police,"Mahmut, a young Iraqi father told Le Monde, "we have turned back back" and now "we don't know what will happen".

Sitting on the curb, 29-year-old Hossein and 27-year-old Nafiseh, a young couple from Tehran, are so stunned that it is difficult to speak: “It was very hard. After finding our hiding place, an abandoned house where we had taken refuge, masked Greek soldiers beat us. Then they stripped us of sleeping bags, wallets, cell phones and our documenments", concludes the girl, "we have nothing left".

Ahmed, a young Afghan, was also subjected to violence and beatings after believing he had arrived "in Europe"; on the contrary, he was in no-man's-land between Greece and Turkey. Athens or Ankara, he says, “for me it is the same thing. Whether on one side or the other, we are tossed about like bags of dirty laundry. "

From 5 to 10 thousand migrants have been massed for three days in the buffer zone of Pazarkule, who refuse to leave still believing in a miracle. The Turks let them pass, while the Greeks repel them with water or tear gas to disperse them, in vain. Erdogan uses them as a weapon of war against Brussels, to which he has communicated that he has broken the controversial agreement on migrants signed in 2016, after benefiting from it in economic terms in recent years. "Soon - he warns - their number will become millions".

The statements by the Turkish president raised the harsh reaction of Fevzi Pekcanli, Edirne representative of the Republican People's Party (Chp, opposition), inspired by Atatürk. Outraged by the fact that refugees have become an "instrument of pressure between states", he attacks Erdogan accusing him of spreading "totally false" data and of being careless in the face of the humanitarian drama in the region: "If it continues like this - he says - we will many Aylan Kurdi ".

In the background, inert and unable to express a firm position, the European Union is called to face the most difficult, but certainly not unpredictable, scenario: a migratory wave from the southern border triggered by Turkish policies, while the more general indifference drama of thousands of human lives.
Full Text Release AsiaNewIT - Image Source: Middle East Eye - Google Images

Details Emerge about Collaborative Mission against Abuse by Vatican and Mexican Church

The Conference of the Mexican Episcopate (CEM) offered details about the collaborative mission between the Holy See and the Mexican Church around the protection of minors, announced on Monday.

In a press conference, (see Video at bottom) they explained that this mission will basically consist of a technical advisory service, fraternal help and dialogue that will help the Church to move forward on the path already undertaken to give due response to victims of sexual abuse of minors committed in the ecclesial scope.

In a statement read by the Secretary General of the organization, Monsignor Alfonso Miranda Guardiola, the Episcopate recalled that the mission will be integrated by Monsignor Charles Scicluna, Archbishop of Malta and Deputy Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and by the Spanish priest Jordi Bertomeu, who will remain for a week in the Apostolic Nunciature to receive people who wish to express something on the subject.

On this mission that will take place from March 20 to 27, the apostolic nuncio Franco Coppola, who was also present at the conference, said that it was requested by the CEM to the Holy See in order to move in the right direction, "Well, there is still much to do," he said.

After considering that it is an opportunity that the Holy See offers to the people of God to continue walking in the right direction, Coppola called to trust this initiative that seeks to explore other ways: “The seriousness of the situation and the pain for the crime committed deserves that we try all the roads, ”he said.

It is worth mentioning that for a few months the Apostolic Nuncio has made his email public. In this regard, he explained that precisely in the absence of trust, at the beginning there was no response, but between December of last year and January of the present, he began receiving signaling of several situations.

For his part, the president of the organization, Monsignor Rogelio Cabrera López, detailed the walk of the Conference of the Mexican Episcopate in the fight against clerical pedophilia, and in this regard, highlighted the creation of the National Council for the Protection of Minors, an agency multidisciplinary department of the General Secretariat of the CEM, as well as its strategic plan 2019-2021.

During this time - said Cabrera López - the number of priests accused of child sexual abuse is 271; of which 103 have been resigned from the clerical state. Of the rest, 123 cases are still pending conclusion and 45 received a resolution different from the resignation.

Referring to the mission of the Holy See, the archbishop of Monterrey also insisted that it was the CEM who requested support from the Holy See in order to certify the path already undertaken; that is to say, "give certainty that things are being carried out correctly".

He said that the Pontifical Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has recognized that the walk of the Mexican Church in the protection of minors is on track. "We are very happy that Monsignor Charles Scicluna comes to fortify our path, but also always with the freedom he must have to take the information he needs." He recalled that the telephone of the Apostolic Nunciature is open in case anyone wishes to speak with Scicluna.

As a result of this visit, the Mexican Episcopate awaits a diagnosis that determines the actions to be performed. “We are in an attitude that is totally open for this to walk more clearly and to work incessantly so that, at least in what depends on us, it can be resolved conveniently. They will tell us if there are any serious things to solve and notify the nunciature and the Commission for the Doctrine of the Faith if someone deserves a sanction. ”
Mons. Charles Scicluna at the Pontifical University. Photo: María Langarica. - Edited from

Pope Francis Appoints Missionary Priest Fr. Luis Romero Fernandez, Auxiliary Bishop of Rockville Centre, New York

Pope Francis Names New Auxiliary Bishop of Rockville Centre 
  March 3, 2020
WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has appointed Rev. Luis M. Romero Fernandez, M. Id. as Auxiliary Bishop of Rockville Centre.
Bishop-elect Romero is a priest of the Institute of Christ the Redeemer (Idente Missionaries) and currently serves as Pastor of Our Lady of Loretto Parish in Hempstead, NY. The appointment was publicized today in Washington, D.C. by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
Father Romero was born June 16, 1954 in Palencia, Spain. He studied Philosophy and Theology at the International Seminary of Idente Missionaries in Tenerife, Spain (1974-1980). He holds graduate degrees in Biological Sciences (University of Seville, Spain, 1978), Philosophy and Letters (Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain, 1985), and a Doctoral degree in Medicine (University of Saragossa, Spain, 1987).
He entered the Idente Missionaries in 1972 and was ordained to the priesthood on September 11, 1981 in Tenerife, Spain.  
Father Romero’s assignments after ordination include: Provincial Superior of Idente Missionaries in Saragossa, Spain (1981-1987), La Paz, Bolivia (1987-1996) and Santiago, Chile (1994-1997). From 1987 to 1994, Father Romero served as Director of the University Pastoral (Campus Ministry) and Religious Sciences Department of the Catholic University of Bolivia in La Paz, Bolivia. He was also Adjunct Director of the Religious Sciences Department at the Catholic University of Bolivia (1991-1994).
Father Romero served as Chaplain of the Convent of the Order of Immaculate Conception in La Paz, Bolivia (1987-1994). From 1994-1996, he was Pastor of Holy Mary of Pura Pura Parish and Dean of the Deanery of Munaypata (4 parishes) in the Archdiocese of La Paz, Bolivia; Pastor of Saint Norberto Parish, Archdiocese of Santiago, Chile (1996-1997); Pastoral Assistant (Chaplain for Campus Ministry) at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Santiago (1996-1997); Chancellor and Rector-Chancellor (President) of the Private Technical University of Loja, Ecuador (1996-2009).
From 2009 to 2010, Father Romeo was part of several missions in the headquarters of Idente Missionaries Institution in Rome, Italy, and the General See of the Male Branch in Madrid, Spain. He served as Director of the University Pastoral Department (Campus Ministry) in the Diocese of Cadiz, Spain (2009-2011); Counsellor of the General See of Idente Missionaries, Men’s Branch (2009-2017). From 2011 to 2013, he served as Provincial Superior of Idente Missionaries in India (Cochin). Bishop-elect Romero has also held positions as Professor/Researcher, University of Saragosa, Spain (1978-1987), Professor/Researcher, Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, La Paz, Bolivia (1990-1996), and Professor, School of Medicine and School of Biochemistry, Private Technical University of Loja, Ecuador (1998-2008).
In 2014, Father Romero was named Pastor of Our Lady of Loretto Parish in the Diocese of Rockville Centre in Hempstead, New York. He is fluent in English and Spanish, and also has familiarity with French, Portuguese and Italian languages.
The Diocese of Rockville Centre is comprised of 1,198 square miles in the state of New York and has a total population of 3,004,366 of which 1,428,296 are Catholic. Bishop John O. Barres is the current bishop of Rockville Centre.
--- FULL TEXT Release by USCCB - US Bishops' Conference

#BreakingNews 25 People Killed in Tennessee by Tornadoes that caused Major Damage to Buildings and Churches

CBC news reports that a Tennessee tornadoes killed at least 25 people, many in their sleep.
Some voters were prevented from participating in Super Tuesday voting for the Democrats.

Tornadoes ripped across Tennessee early Tuesday, March 3, 2020, shredding more than 140 buildings and burying people in piles of rubble and wrecked basements. At least 25 people were killed, some before they could even get out of bed, authorities said.

In the hours after midnight moved so quickly that many people in their path could not flee to safer areas.

"It hit so fast, a lot of folks didn't have time to take shelter," Putnam County Mayor Randy Porter said. "Many of these folks were sleeping."

Early findings by National Weather Service survey teams indicated that the damage just east of Nashville was inflicted by a tornado of at least EF-3 intensity, the agency said.

One twister caused severe damage across a 16-kilometre stretch of downtown Nashville, wrecking businesses and homes and destroying the tower and stained glass of a historic church. Another erased homes from their foundations along a three-kilometre path in Putnam County.

The death toll jumped to 25 Tuesday afternoon, as first responders pulled apart wreckage, hoping to find people alive in the rubble of their homes. 

"A lot of these homes had basements and we're hopeful there are still people down in there," he said.

The historic Catholic Church of the Assumption in the Germantown area of Nashville suffered some significant damage in the tornado. Fr. Bede, the pastor, is safe and removed the Blessed Sacrament during the storm. The Church of the Holy Name, across the Cumberland River on Woodland Street had roof damage.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced plans to visit the disaster area on Friday. "We send our love and our prayers of the nation to every family that was affected," he said. "We will get there, and we will recover, and we will rebuild, and we will help them."

The tornadoes were started by a line of severe storms that stretched from Alabama into western Pennsylvania.

Metro Nashville police said crews were responding to about 40 building collapses in their area. Putnam authorities said an aerial tour revealed more than 100 structures destroyed or damaged.

The outage also extended to the capitol building, forcing the cancellation of legislative meetings.

Metro Nashville Public Schools said its schools would be closed Tuesday because of the tornado damage.

The storm knocked out electricity, Thompson said, but the precinct's two electronic voting machines had battery backups and a few people had cast ballots less than an hour later.

Edited from CBC News and Facebook - Image Source: Google Images CityNews 1130

Newly Elected Head of German Catholic Bishops Georg Bätzing of Limburg, replacing Cardinal Marx, meets Approval

German Bishops and Associations Congratulate New DBK Chairman
"He is now the right man for the Bishops' Conference and for the Catholic Church in Germany": Numerous German bishops and Catholic associations react extremely positively to Georg Bätzing's election as new DBK chairman. One even reveals how quickly Bätzing was chosen.

The election of Bishop Georg Bätzing of Limburg as chairman of the German Bishops' Conference (DBK) has triggered numerous positive reactions. Archbishop of Freiburg Stephan Burger congratulated the new bishops' conference chair and praised Bätzing for his ability to promote exchange and dialogue. He wished Bätzing "that with patience, perseverance and prudence he would strengthen the unity among us bishops and with the Holy Father so that we as a church can work with all our might for the people," said Burger. Only a united church has a future.

The German bishops elected Bätzing (age 58) on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 in Mainz as the new chair of their conference and thus the successor to Cardinal Reinhard Marx. Bätzing has been Bishop of Limburg since 2016. In the episcopal conference, he has headed the sub-commission for interreligious dialogue and worked for the world church commission.

Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki of Cologne wished Bätzing on Twitter "God's blessing and a happy hand". Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck shared the congratulations of his diocese Essen on Facebook. Münster's Bishop Felix said: "Georg Bätzing is someone who can integrate, inspire and moderate." These skills are required when it comes to the reform dialogue of the Catholic Church in Germany - the Synodal Way - "but also when we as a church want to give a more credible picture again".

Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier is very happy about Bätzing's choice. "He was my preferred candidate," said Ackermann on Tuesday, adding: "He is now the right man for the Bishops' Conference and for the Catholic Church in Germany. He can integrate well and is also a strong leader."

Hildesheim Bishop Heiner Wilmer wishes Bätzing "a lot of skill and foresight in dealing with challenges such as the Synodal Way, which our German Catholic Church has to overcome now and in the future", says a statement published on Tuesday by the Diocese of Hildesheim. Bätzing should give the Catholic Church in Germany a voice and a face and represent it powerfully in society, ecumenism and in interreligious dialogue.

For the Rottenburg-Stuttgart Bishop Gebhard Fürst, Bätzing is an experienced bridge builder and a man of balance, says the head shepherd. With regard to the dialogue process of the Catholic Church, Fürst was convinced that Bätzing would continue the synodal path that had started.

According to Bishop Franz Jung of Würzburg, it quickly became clear in the election on Tuesday that Georg Bätzing would be the new DBK chairman.

According to Bishop Franz Jung of Würzburg, the election process "showed very quickly that it could amount to Bishop Bätzing". He was very pleased with this result and heartily congratulated Bätzing on this new task, said Jung, according to a message from the diocese. "I thank him for his willingness to accept the choice given the tasks to be accomplished." It has become clear that in future no one can and should shoulder this task alone, without involving the other bishops and building on their competence, said Jung.

The Bishop of Fulda Michael Gerber congratulated his Limburg counterpart on his election and thanked him for his willingness to take on the task. "Bishop Bätzing has important qualifications for this. For example, during his time as vicar general of the diocese of Trier, he played a key role in shaping the synod there," said Gerber, according to a message from the diocese. He can now use this experience in the progress of the Synodal Way and in other important processes of the Catholic Church in Germany. Bishop Heinz Josef Algermissen, emeritus of Fulda, also congratulated Bätzing on the election and wished him "in the face of this great and certainly not easy task" deep trust in God's leading companion. At the same time, he promised him his prayer for the "spirit of direction" on the way to the future.

The president of the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK), Thomas Sternberg, said in Bonn that he had got to know Bätzing as a clever and thoughtful partner. In the diocese of Limburg, which was badly shaken, he quickly achieved high esteem.
Edited and Translated from

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wednesday, March 4, 2020 - #Eucharist

Wednesday of the First Week in Lent

Lectionary: 226 Reading 1JON 3:1-10

The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time:
“Set out for the great city of Nineveh,
and announce to it the message that I will tell you.”
So Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh,
according to the LORD’s bidding.
Now Nineveh was an enormously large city;
it took three days to go through it.
Jonah began his journey through the city,
and had gone but a single day’s walk announcing,
“Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed,”
when the people of Nineveh believed God;
they proclaimed a fast
and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth.
When the news reached the king of Nineveh,
he rose from his throne, laid aside his robe,
covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in the ashes.
Then he had this proclaimed throughout Nineveh,
by decree of the king and his nobles:
“Neither man nor beast, neither cattle nor sheep,
shall taste anything;
they shall not eat, nor shall they drink water.
Man and beast shall be covered with sackcloth and call loudly to God;
every man shall turn from his evil way
and from the violence he has in hand.
Who knows, God may relent and forgive, and withhold his blazing wrath,
so that we shall not perish.”
When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way,
he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them;
he did not carry it out.

Responsorial Psalm51:3-4, 12-13, 18-19

R.    (19b) A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.
R.    A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R.    A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
For you are not pleased with sacrifices;
should I offer a burnt offering, you would not accept it.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
R.    A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.

Verse Before The GospelJL 2:12-13

Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart
for I am gracious and merciful.

GospelLK 11:29-32

While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them,
“This generation is an evil generation;
it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it,
except the sign of Jonah.
Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites,
so will the Son of Man be to this generation.
At the judgment
the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation
and she will condemn them,
because she came from the ends of the earth
to hear the wisdom of Solomon,
and there is something greater than Solomon here.
At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation
and condemn it,
because at the preaching of Jonah they repented,
and there is something greater than Jonah here.”