Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Saint March 18 : St. Cyril of Jerusalem a Bishop of Jerusalem and Doctor of the Church

 born about 315; died probably 18 March, 386. In the East his feast is observed on the 18th of March, in the West on the 18th or 20th. Little is known of his life. We gather information concerning him from his younger contemporaries, Epiphanius, Jerome, and Rufinus, as well as from the fifth-century historians, Socrates, Sozomen and Theodoret. Cyril himself gives us the date of his "Catecheses" as fully seventy years after the Emperor Probus, that is about 347, if he is exact. Constans (d. 350) was then still alive. Mader thinks Cyril was already bishop, but it is usually held that he was at this date only as a priest. St. Jerome relates (Chron. ad ann. 352) that Cyril had been ordained priest by St. Maximus, his predecessor, after whose death the episcopate was promised to Cyril by the metropolitan, Acacius of Caesarea, and the other Arian bishops, on condition that he should repudiate the ordination he had received from Maximus. He consented to minister as deacon only, and was rewarded for this impiety with the see. Maximus had consecrated Heraclius to succeed himself, but Cyril, by various frauds, degraded Heraclius to the priesthood. So says St. Jerome; but Socrates relates that Acacius drove out St. Maximus and substituted St. Cyril. A quarrel soon broke out between Cyril and Acacius, apparently on a question of precedence or jurisdiction. At Nicaea the metropolitan rights of Caesarea had been guarded, while a special dignity had been granted to Jerusalem. Yet St. Maximus had held a synod and had ordained bishops. This may have been as much as the cause of Acacius' enmity to him as his attachment to the Nicene formula. On the other hand, Cyril's correct Christology may have been the real though veiled ground of the hostility of Acacius to him. At all events, in 357 Acacius caused Cyril to be exiled on the charge of selling church furniture during a famine. Cyril took refuge with Silvanus, Bishop of Taraus. He appeared at the Council of Seleucia in 359, in which the Semi-Arian party was triumphant. Acacius was deposed and St. Cyril seems to have returned to his see. But the emperor was displeased at the turn of events, and, in 360, Cyril and other moderates were again driven out, and only returned at the accession of Julian in 361. In 367 a decree of Valens banished all the bishops who had been restored by Julian, and Cyril remained in exile until the death of the persecutor in 378. In 380, St. Gregory of Nyssa came to Jerusalem on the recommendation of a council held at Antioch in the preceding year. He found the Faith in accord with the truth, but the city a prey to parties and corrupt in morals. St. Cyril attended the great Council of Constantinople in 381, at which Theodosius had ordered the Nicene faith, now a law of the empire, to be promulgated. St. Cyril then formally accepted the homoousion; Socrates and Sozomen call this an act of repentance. Socrates gives 385 for St. Cyril's death, but St. Jerome tells us that St. Cyril lived eight years under Theodosius, that is, from January 379.
Source The Catholic Encyclopedia

State of Emergency in Ontario - Forcing All Churches to Suspend Masses but Doors remain Open and Priests say Private Masses

 The Premier of Ontario, Canada, Doug Ford, has declared a state of emergency on March 17, 2020. The Catholic dioceses have released statements indicating that all public Masses be cancelled, both during the week and on the weekend.   Churches will be available for individual private prayer. Cardinal Collins noted, "We are facing many trials during our Lenten journey this year. We take these to prayer..." The priests of the archdiocese will celebrate Mass every day privately for the intentions of the people.
Please find below the press releases from Cardinal Collins of the Archdiocese of Toronto, Ontario, and the full text press release of Archbishop Prendergast of Ottawa, Ontario.
FULL TEXT Cardinal's Message on COVID-19 - March 17, 2020.
Tuesday, March 17, 2020

My dear faithful of the Archdiocese of Toronto,

I wish to provide you with a further update on our response as a Christian community to the COVID-19 situation which is evolving rapidly. Today, the Premier of Ontario has declared a state of emergency.

Once again in the history of our archdiocese we are in the midst of an epidemic. I am deeply grateful for the priests, deacons and lay pastoral workers of the archdiocese who have acted in this emergency with such loving pastoral care. We are called to ensure that this continues even more in the time ahead. For example, I encourage all pastors to organize the members of their parish to assist those who are isolated and vulnerable, especially the elderly, while always following the directions of the health authorities.

For the duration of this health emergency, I decree that the following be implemented in all parishes, missions and chaplaincies throughout the Archdiocese of Toronto:

Mass – In view of the requirements of the Government of Ontario, during this medical emergency, beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020, I instruct that all public Masses be cancelled, both during the week and on the weekend. Churches will be available for individual private prayer.

The priests of the archdiocese will celebrate Mass every day privately for the intentions of the people.

The faithful will be able to watch, via livestream, a Mass which will be celebrated every day at 7:30 a.m. at St. Michael's Cathedral Basilica, which will be followed by the Angelus and the Rosary. I will personally celebrate this Mass as much as is possible. This Mass, Rosary and Angelus will also be available on the Archdiocese of Toronto's YouTube channel for those who cannot join at 7:30 a.m. These Masses and prayers will be offered for the intentions of everyone as we go through these trying times.

In addition, Mass will be broadcast daily on Salt & Light Catholic Media Foundation, VisionTV (Daily TV Mass) and EWTN.

So many of our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world are deprived of the opportunity to celebrate the Holy Eucharist, for many reasons. Due to this health emergency we also will now experience their suffering. Perhaps this sacrifice will help us to cherish more profoundly the great gift of the Holy Eucharist. There is no substitute for personally participating in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which is the source and summit of our life in Christ, and we pray for the time when this may be universally available once more.

It is important to follow carefully the provisions of the health authorities, but it also essential that our spiritual life be enhanced and strengthened all the more during this crisis. At this time, when we are reminded of the brevity of life and of our own mortality, we are called to go deeper to our spiritual foundations. I encourage all people who remain at home and who are cut off from regular social interaction to engage in prayer – to pray the Rosary, to read the Scriptures and to offer prayers for those who are suffering the most in this crisis. We should also pray for the health care workers and others who are engaged in fighting this pandemic on the frontlines.

Baptism – At this time, communal celebrations of Baptism are not allowed. Individual Baptism is allowed with immediate family and following the regulations established by the health authorities.

RCIA – I dispense the catechumens from the scrutinies. Information will be sent out later on the Triduum and reception into the Church.

First Holy Communion, First Reconciliation and Confirmation will be postponed for the duration of the emergency.

Sacrament of Reconciliation – Communal celebrations of the Sacrament of Reconciliation are not allowed at this time. All those who wish to receive the sacrament should contact a priest. The sacrament is to be celebrated not in a confessional but rather in another location, where confidentiality may be ensured and where the distance required by the health officials can be maintained.

Marriage – Marriages without Mass may take place with the immediate family members, provided they follow the regulations established by the health authorities. The postponement of the wedding may be requested given these circumstances, but if this is granted there may be a need for revision of the canonical requirements.

Marriage Preparation is very important. At this time, however, marriage preparation classes are cancelled and pastors are to arrange for individual couples to be prepared properly for marriage.

Visits to the Sick and Homebound should continue as much as possible. As previously communicated, visiting clergy and volunteers should take direction from the health care facility. Parishes should also take care to contact the homebound and vulnerable.

Funerals – During this emergency, there will be no vigils or wake services. The Rite of Committal will take place with the immediate family at the cemetery. There will be no funeral Mass at this time, but we encourage the celebration of a funeral Mass at a later date when it is possible.

Parish Meetings and Events are cancelled at this time.

Parish Offices – While parish offices may offer more limited operating hours, they should maintain an active presence in the community and be accessible to the faithful. Parishes are encouraged to follow the direction of the Archdiocese of Toronto's Human Resources department, providing flexibility for staff as appropriate. The Archdiocese of Toronto's Catholic Pastoral Centre will also follow this practice, ensuring that offices remain accessible.

We will review our emergency provisions regularly in accord with the requirements of the public health officials and we will provide updates at: www.archtoronto.org/covid19.

While it is a painful moment in the life of the Church to take these extreme measures, we pray that they will aid in combating the pandemic that has affected so many in our own community and around the world.

Once again, we pray for those suffering and for those who are caring for the sick. We are facing many trials during our Lenten journey this year. We take these to prayer, and look for opportunities to be the face of Jesus to all those whom we encounter. May God continue to bless you.

In Christ,

Thomas Cardinal Collins
Archbishop of Toronto
Source: https://www.archtoronto.org/media-centre/news-archive/chancery-news/cardinals-message-on-covid19--march-17-2020

Ottawa, March 17, 2020
The Archdiocese of Ottawa announced this afternoon the suspension of Masses amid the current health threat due to the novel coronavirus COVID-19. “It is with regret that we must temporarily suspend all public celebration of the Mass and other gatherings of Catholics in the Archdiocese,” said Archbishop Terrence Prendergast in a statement to the clergy, religious, and faithful of the Archdiocese. “This extraordinary step is being taken out of concern especially for the most vulnerable to the deadly coronavirus in our families and our society and in cooperation with the requests made by those responsible for public health in our region, province, and country.” The request to limit the size of groups gathering for social and even religious purposes made taking this step necessary.
The Archbishop noted that this was a difficult decision not taken lightly because of the central role that the Mass plays in Catholic life. He requested continuing prayers for those who have been afflicted by the virus, their families, and caregivers as well as those who are fearful at this critical time. “We need also to keep in our prayers the medical professionals—the doctors, nurses, public health and civil authorities striving to assist those who are ill and to contain the outbreak,” the Archbishop noted. Catholics are encouraged at this time to participate in the holy sacrifice of the Mass via Mass shown on television or the internet. They are invited to continue to pray at home with their families and join with the virtual Mass by making an act of spiritual communion. Initially, the suspension of the public celebration of Masses will be from March 18 to April 5. Decisions regarding the celebration of Holy Week and Easter will be taken later.
Source: https://ec-prod-sites.s3.amazonaws.com/2437/documents/2020/3/200317%20Archdiocese%20of%20Ottawa%20Announces%20Suspension%20of%20Masses%20Amid%20COVID-19%20Pandemic.pdf

#BreakingNews Latest Death Toll with over 100,000 Cases and List of Countries on Lockdown from COVID-19

Some countries have placed their citizens on lockdown.
(above image of coffins prepaid for the dead from the Coronavirus in Italy goes viral on Social Media)
 According to Business Insider and BBC, Italy, China, El Salvador, New Zealand, Poland, Ireland, Denmark, Spain, and France have set in place the world's largest and most restrictive mass quarantines.
More than 7,905 people have died and over 197,185 have been infected by the Coronavirus worldwide.
Italy has the highest coronavirus death toll in the world outside China: At least 27,900 people have been infected and more than 2,500 have died there as of March 17. France's lockdown, announced Monday, may be the largest quarantine outside of China. Almost half of China's population — about 780 million people — were under some kind of travel restriction as of February 17, according to an estimate by CNN.
After a large increase in COVID-19 cases in Italy, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte put the entire country on lockdown last week, restricting travel, leisure, work, churchgoing, and other aspects of life for its 60 million citizens. Spain and France followed, ordering residents to stay in their homes. Governments are limiting travel - both inward and outward - to curb the movement of people. South Korea and China, both wary of imported infections, have tightened requirements for international arrivals.
Here is a Screenshot from March 17, 2020 with Stats from the John Hopkins University:

More cases are now being reported outside China, where the virus called COVID-19 first originated late last year, than inside.

 Other countries have also closed their borders, and the EU has shut down all non-essential travel. El Salvador imposed a national quarantine on its population of 6.4 million people and banned foreigners from entering the country, despite having no confirmed cases of the virus so far. The World Health Organization (WHO), which has officially declared the outbreak a pandemic, called on "all countries to continue efforts that have been effective in limiting the number of cases and slowing the spread of the virus." "Lockdown" can refer to anything from mandatory geographic quarantines to non-mandatory recommendations to stay at home, closures of certain types of businesses, or bans on events and gatherings.

Here are the latest country updates (Edited from Aljazeera News and BI):

France will deploy 100,000 police to enforce a lockdown, and fixed checkpoints will be set up across the country.

"Stay at home," Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said, adding that fines of up to 135 euros ($151) would be handed out to those who do not respect the new restrictions, which are centred on avoiding all but essential social contact.

Coronavirus has killed 148 people and infected more than 6,600 in France, where, along with Spain, infections and fatalities have been surging at a pace just days behind that of Italy, the epicentre of the outbreak in Europe.

In a televised address to the nation, Macron said people should stay at home and only go out for essential activities. He said that anyone flouting the restrictions would be punished.

It said on its website that the number of cases had risen to 6,633, up from 5,423 on Sunday, which is a rise of more than 20% in 24 hours.

- Egypt reports two deaths, 40 new cases
Egypt reported 40 new confirmed cases and two more deaths because of coronavirus, bringing the total of COVID-19 related deaths in the country to four, the health ministry said in a statement.

Serbia's state election commission has postponed the April 26 general elections due to the coronavirus outbreak and until after the abolishment of the state of emergency, it said in a statement.

"All the deadlines regarding the election process will be set after the end of the state of emergency," it said.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, who is also the head of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party, on Sunday declared the state of emergency in a bid to halt spreading of the coronavirus disease.

Ireland expects its number of coronavirus cases to increase to around 15,000 by the end of the month from 169 currently, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said, predicting it would be dealing with the pandemic for many months.

US President Donald Trump issued new guidelines to help fight the coronavirus, including a recommendation that people avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people, discretionary travel, and going to bars, restaurants and food courts.

At a White House news briefing, Trump said the new guidelines from his coronavirus task force applied for 15 days and were meant to slow the spread of the virus.

Poland's Environment Minister Michal Wos has tested positive for coronavirus, he said in a tweet.

"I feel good ... and I express solidarity with all those who are sick," he wrote.

Poland has 156 confirmed coronavirus cases and three deaths so far.

Germany reported a jump in coronavirus cases by more than 1,100 to now 6,012 compared to the previous day, according to Robert Koch Institute for disease control said.

The number of confirmed deaths related to the coronavirus rose by one to now 13, with the three most populous states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg among the most affected regions, the institute added.

Russia bans entry of foreign nationals until May
Russia will ban the entry of foreign nationals and stateless people from March 18 to May 1 in response to the coronavirus outbreak, the government said.

The ban will not apply to diplomatic representatives, airplane crew members and some other categories of people, it said.

Russia has reported 93 cases of the virus so far.

Canada has closed its borders to all foreign nationals, except US citizens, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged people to stay at home to help stem the spread of the new coronavirus.

"We will be denying entry into Canada to people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents," Trudeau told reporters at a news conference outside his home, where he is under self-quarantine after his wife tested positive for the virus.

He said Americans were exempted from the border ban.

Trudeau also said he will restrict international flights to four Canadian airports from March 18. Domestic flights will not be affected.

India will close the iconic Taj Mahal to visitors from Tuesday as part of measures to try and combat the coronavirus pandemic, the tourism ministry said.

"All ticketed monuments and all other museums have been directed to be closed until March 31," Tourism Minister Prahlad Patel tweeted.

Most schools and entertainment facilities, including cinemas, have already been closed across India, which has reported 114 positive cases and two deaths from the virus.

Turkey will impose flight bans to six more countries including the United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates, making the total number of countries 20, the country's health minister announced.

Switzerland, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Ireland would also be added to the list, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca told reporters.

Turkey has identified a total of 18 coronavirus cases, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said.

 Italy virus deaths surpass 2,000
Italy has reported 349 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, taking its total since last month to over 2,500, the most after China.

Italy now has 27,980 infections, compared to 15,113 four days ago.

The European, American and final world qualifying boxing tournaments for the Tokyo Olympic Games have been suspended due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, the International Olympic Committee said.

Iraq has suspended flights at its domestic airports from March 17 to March 24 as the coronavirus spreads, the civil aviation authority said according to the state news agency.

On Sunday, Iraq suspended all flights to and from Baghdad international airport over the same period.

British people need to stop non-essential contact with each other and avoid unnecessary travel to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

"Now is the time for everyone to stop non-essential contact with others and to stop all unnecessary travel," Johnson said at a news conference.

The European Union's top official proposed a 30-day ban on anyone entering the bloc unless their travel is essential, while insisting on the need to keep the internal borders between the 27 member states open as much as possible.

Speaking after an extraordinary video-conference meeting of the leaders of the G-7 countries, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said travel restrictions should be in place for an initial period that can be prolonged if necessary.

"The less travel, the more we can contain the virus," von der Leyen said.

Guatemala will close its borders for the next two weeks as part of measures aimed at containing coronvirus, President Alejandro Giammattei said.

"From tomorrow, we will be cut off from the rest of the world," he said in a national televised address.

The Swiss government has declared a state of emergency lasting until April 19 in a bid to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

The government banned all public and private events from midnight and mobilised up to 8,000 members of the military after declaring the rapidly spreading coronavirus an "exceptional" emergency.

Lebanon state of emergency over coronavirus

Portugal, Spain suspend passenger air, rail traffic
Portugal's Interior Minister Eduardo Cabrita said that all passenger air and rail traffic with neighbouring Spain will be suspended until April 15 from 23:00 GMT due to the coronavirus outbreak after an agreement between the two countries.

Spain's Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska said it would establish controls at land borders and will only allow Spaniards, residents of Spain, cross-border workers, diplomats and people justifying force majeure into the country.

 WHO chief: 'Test, test, test' for coronavirus
The World Health Organization (WHO) called on all countries to ramp up their testing programmes as the best way to slow the advance of the coronavirus pandemic.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference in Geneva.

Sudan closes airports and borders
Sudan's ruling sovereign council closed all airports, ports and land crossings and declared a public health emergency over fears about the spread of coronavirus.

Only humanitarian, commercial and technical support shipments would be excluded from the restrictions, according to a spokesman for the ruling council, in charge of the country since the ouster of veteran ruler Omar al-Bashir.

Afghan patients break out of quarantine
Dozens of Afghan patients held in isolation, including at least one confirmed to have the coronavirus, escaped from a quarantine facility in western Afghanistan after breaking windows and attacking hospital staff, officials said.

Dr. Abdul Hakim Tamana, head of the health department of Herat province, said the 38 people who escaped had all recently returned from Iran.

Finland to close schools and universities: PM
Finland's government will pass emergency legislation on Tuesday to close all its schools and universities from Wednesday among other measures in response to the spread of the coronavirus, Prime Minister Sanna Marin said on Monday.

There were 272 confirmed coronavirus cases and no linked deaths in Finland as of Monday according to health authority.

Turkey to temporarily close gyms, cafes, cinemas
Turkey is temporarily closing cafes, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, gyms and other venues as of midnight on Monday as a precaution to halt the spread of coronavirus, Turkish interior ministry said.

In a statement, the ministry also said that all gatherings and activities by non-governmental organisations will be postponed.

Italy death toll rises by 202: Reuters
The death toll the coronavirus outbreak in the northern Italian region of Lombardy has risen over the past day to 1,420 from 1,218, two sources with access to the data told Reuters New Agency.

The number of new cases in the region, which includes Italy's financial capital Milan, had risen by 1,377 over the past 24 hours - a slower rate of increase than seen recently.

The latest national death toll figures are due to be released later in the day. On Sunday, the country-wide tally stood at 1,809.

 Germany to close most shops, bars, churches
Germany's federal and state governments have agreed sweeping rules shutting everything from non-essential shops to bars, clubs, theatres, museums, brothels and churches in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the federal government said.

In a statement, the government said grocery shops, markets, banks, pharmacies and delivery services would remain open, while restaurants and other eating establishments would generally be allowed to open between 6am and 6pm.

Qatar reports 38 new cases, total now 439
Qatar has reported 38 new coronavirus cases, taking the total number of infections to 439, according to the health ministry.

The new cases had contact with expatriate workers, who are currently quarantined, the ministry said in a statement.

Also three cases have been registered for Qatari citizens returning from travel and from several countries, includuding the United Kingdom, Spain and Switzerland.

 Malaysia announces two-week lockdown
Malaysia's Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has announced a drastic two-week lockdown in the country starting on Wednesday, following a sharp spike in the number of virus cases.

Muhyiddin said religious institutions, schools, businesses and government offices will be shut from March 18 until March 31.

Travel in and out of the country will also be banned. Only essential services including supermarkets, banks, gas stations and pharmacies will be allowed to stay open.

Algeria's Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad announced a suspension of all scheduled travel links with Europe in a bid to forestall the spread of coronavirus.

The measure, to take effect from Thursday, will hit all "air and sea travel to and from European countries", the prime minister's office said.

"This exceptional suspension... will be accompanied by a repatriation plan for our citizens currently in the countries concerned," it said.

UK coronavirus cases rise to 1,543
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United Kingdom has risen to 1,543, the health ministry said.

The number was up from 1,372 on Sunday. The number of deaths remained at 35, it said.

 Moscow bans outdoor events amid coronavirus
Moscow has banned all outdoor events and limited indoor public events to no more than 50 people until April 10, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said in a blog post on his personal website, amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Catalan deputy head of government, Pere Aragones, announced on Sunday that he had also tested positive.

Quim Torra is the second politician of the Catalan government to test positive for the coronavirus Chile to close borders to foreign travellers
Chile will close its borders to foreigners beginning on Wednesday to limit the spread of coronavirus in the South American nation, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said.

He also confirmed 155 cases of the virus in Chile.

Trading halted on Wall Street as stocks tumble
The S&P 500 tumbled 8 percent at opening, triggering an automatic 15-minute halt of Wall Street's three main indexes for the third time in six days, as traders reacted to drastic weekend measures from the Federal Reserve to stave off a global recession.

The second emergency cut in interest rates by the US central bank in a fortnight only added to the sense of panic among investors, worried that the coronavirus pandemic is paralysing supply chains and squeezing company finances.

 Fifteen more people test positive in Pakistan
The number of coronavirus cases in Pakistan have increased to 122, with 76 of those among people who were released after a 14-day quarantine at Taftan on the Pakistan-Iran border.

Dutch coronavirus infections rise to 1,413
The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in the Netherlands have risen by 278 to 1,413, the National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) said.

The death toll rose by four to 24 from Sunday, the RIVM said.

Morocco to close all mosques, eateries, entertainment venues
Morocco will close all mosques from today as a protective measures against the coronavirus outbreak, the country's supreme religious council said.

Morocco will also close eateries, cinemas, theatres, sports, public clubs, baths, and other entertainment venues starting from Monday, the Interior Ministry said earlier in the day.

Lufthansa's Austrian unit Austrian Airlines said it would temporarily stop flight operations due to worldwide travel restrictions and falling passenger numbers from Wednesday night.

The halt was currently planned to last until March 28, the carrier said.

Tanzania confirms first case of coronavirus
Tanzania has confirmed it's first case of coronavirus, said Gerald Chami, a spokesman at the ministry of health.

 Singapore reports 17 new cases of coronavirus
Singapore confirmed 17 more cases of the coronavirus, its health ministry said, marking the city-state's biggest daily jump.

Singapore has reported a total 243 infections to date. Eleven of Monday's cases were imported.

Spain's Civil Guards seize 150,000 surgical masks for health services
Spain's police have requisitioned 150,000 surgical masks from a factory in the southern city of Jaen to supply health services,  the Civil Guards police force said in a statement.

Jewish worshippers urged not to kiss Western Wall
The Jewish faithful should refrain from kissing the stones of the Western Wall, the chief rabbi of the Jerusalem site said.

"Do not kiss the Western Wall stones," the site's rabbi, Shmuel Rabinowitz, instructed Jews in a statement. Worshippers should maintain "proper distance" between one another and "abide by required hygiene practices," he said.

The Western Wall abuts the sacred compound known to Jews as Har ha-Bayit, or Temple Mount, and to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif, or The Noble Sanctuary.

Kazakhs told to work remotely where possible
Kazakhstan instructed local companies to allow their employees to work remotely where possible due to the coronavirus outbreak.

"Today all companies, state-owned and private, that can switch to remote work must do so," Labour and Social Protection Minister Birzhan Nurymbetov told a briefing.

 Greece imposes 14-day quarantine on new arrivals, shuts shops
Greece said people arriving in the country from abroad will be placed in a two-week quarantine, while shops will be shut effective on Wednesday.

Supermarkets, pharmacy stores and food delivery services were exempted from the latest measures, the country's alternate government spokesman said.

Pakistan's spike in cases raises quarantine concerns
Pakistan has recorded its biggest single-day spike in coronavirus infections, taking the tally to 106, amid reports of ineffective quarantine procedures as 61 of those are reported to be among those who had been held at a quarantine camp at the country's Taftan border crossing with Iran.

Kuwait, Jordan report new coronavirus cases
A spokesman for Kuwait's health ministry said another 11 people were infected with the new coronavirus.

Jordan also confirmed three new infections in the country, bringing the total infections in the Arab state to 15, country's official news agency Petra quoted health sources as saying.

The new cases include two Jordanian citizens who recently visited Spain.

Armenia declares state of emergency for one month
The Armenian government declared a state of emergency from March 16 until April 16 to slow the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.

Armenia has reported 30 coronavirus cases so far. One patient has recovered, and more than 300 people remain in quarantine, authorities say.

All educational institutions in the country are shut, while the borders with neighbouring Georgia and Iran are closed.

 Germany advises against all non-essential travel abroad
Germany is advising its citizens to refrain from all non-essential trips abroad due to the spread of the coronavirus, a spokeswoman for the foreign ministry said.

She added there were currently thousands of Germans abroad who would like to return and that the ministry was currently in discussions with airline Lufthansa about repatriating them.

Spain's coronavirus tally rises to 8,744 cases
Spain's tally of coronavirus cases rose to 8,744 and the number of fatalities rose to 297, said Fernando Simon, the head of the country's health emergency centre.

The previous tally was 7,753 cases on Sunday, with 288 fatalities.

 Iran announces 129 new virus deaths
Iran state TV says new coronavirus has killed another 129 people, pushing death toll to 853 amid 14,991 confirmed cases.

"Our plea is that everyone take this virus seriously and in no way attempt to travel to any province," health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said in a televised news conference.

 Hungary to shut borders to international passengers
Hungary will close its borders for international passengers, close cultural and sports events and establishments and limit the opening hours of restaurants, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told Parliament.

All shops will be shut except food stores, pharmacies and drug stores, he said, asking those over 70 to stay at home and all events to be cancelled except for family gatherings. Restaurants must close at 3 pm.

Dubai closes bars, lounges with immediate effect
Dubai is closing all bars and lounges in the emirate with immediate effect until the end of March due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to a government circular.

South Africa revokes 10,000 visas to China, Iran
South Africa will revoke nearly 10,000 visas issued this year to people from China and Iran, and visas will now be required for other high-risk countries that had been visa-free, including Italy and the United States.

Archbishop of Gomez writes "..we have been forced to temporarily suspend public....Mass in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, at least ...through the weekend of March 28-29..." Full Text

How the world has changed in just a few weeks. It seems hard to remember life before the worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus, and right now it is hard to imagine that life might one day return to normal.

As I write, world health officials have declared the virus to be a “pandemic,” and there are more than 6,500 deaths already, across many nations. A national emergency has been declared by the president, and the governor of California and the mayor of Los Angeles have each announced new restrictions on public gatherings and other measures aimed at preventing the spread of the virus.

In the midst of this grave and extraordinary moment, I regret to say that we have been forced to temporarily suspend public celebration of the Mass in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, at least for the next two weeks, through the weekend of March 28-29. We have also closed our Catholic schools at least until March 31, and canceled most gatherings in the archdiocese.

What we do in the Church, we do out of love for God and love for our brothers and sisters. We have taken this extraordinary step of suspending Masses out of love for those in our families and communities who are most vulnerable to this deadly virus.

It was fitting that the Gospel this past weekend was the beautiful story of Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at the well. Jesus’ words struck me: “The hour is coming, and is now here, when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him.”

It seems to me that in this moment, in this time when so many are afraid and uncertain, our Father is calling us to intensify our worship, our discipleship. He is calling us to seek him with all our hearts, to serve him with our whole lives. He is calling us to trust in his Providence, in his plan for our lives and our world.

With the worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus, we see how the forces of “globalization” have made us one family, and that what afflicts our brothers and sisters in one country can no longer be isolated. We are confronted, not only with the reality of our common humanity, but also with our responsibility for one another. As St. Paul said, if one of us is suffering, we all suffer together.

These are troubling times. People are getting sick, people are dying. Many families are struggling with the dislocations caused by the shutting down of businesses and schools. People are feeling the anguish of being separated and far away from loved ones in a time of need. Some have relatives dying in other parts of the world, and they cannot reach them.

Now is the time to intensify our prayers and sacrifices for the love of God and the love of our neighbor. Let us draw closer to one another in our love for him. We are called to bear one another’s burdens and we need to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters, as one family. We need to reflect on the fragility of our lives, and rediscover what truly matters.

We are a people of faith, not of fear.

“Be not afraid!” is what the angel told Mary at the Annunciation. Jesus spoke these same words to his disciples after the resurrection. And in this time of trial and testing, I think he is speaking these words to his disciples again.

Jesus has passed through the valley of the shadow of death, so there is no evil that we should be afraid of. He has promised to be with us until the close of the age. And there is no promise that Jesus makes that he will not keep.

St. John writes that “perfect love casts out fear.” Of course, we know that our love is far from perfect. But we also know that God does not abandon us. Throughout the history of the Church, Jesus continues to walk with us: through persecutions, plagues, and pestilence, and now a pandemic.

Jesus goes with us even now and we know that in all things he works for good for those who love him. And we have his promise: “In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have overcome the world.”

Pray for me this week, and I will pray for you. And let us pray for all those afflicted by this virus and all those working to care for them.

And I invite you to join me in seeking the maternal intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe for our nation and our world.

You can find a special prayer for this time of the coronavirus on our website: archla.org/prayer.</div>

#BreakingNews Government in Germany Bans all "meetings in churches, mosques, synagogues and meetings of other faith communities" due to COVID-19

Government: Services are to be banned for the time being
As in Italy, public services are apparently now completely prohibited in Germany as well: the federal government has agreed corresponding strict guidelines with the federal states. "Meetings in churches, mosques, synagogues" are to be banned because of the corona pandemic.

The federal government and the federal states have agreed new, strict guidelines in the corona crisis. Accordingly, "meetings in churches, mosques, synagogues and meetings of other faith communities" should be prohibited. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) explained the measures at a press conference in Berlin on Monday evening. Far-reaching restrictions are also recommended for sports, culture and gastronomy.

Accordingly, "expressly NOT closed" are retail businesses for food and feed, weekly markets, delivery services, pharmacies, medical supply stores, drug stores, petrol stations, banks and savings banks, post offices, laundromats and wholesalers. The Sunday sales bans for these shops are to be "generally suspended until further notice". For a number of other shops, such as DIY, garden and pet stores, conditions should ensure that queues are avoided wherever possible.

According to this, restaurants and inns should be allowed to open between 6 and 6 p.m. Service providers and artisans should be able to continue their jobs. All health care facilities should "remain open, taking into account the increased hygienic requirements". Strict visiting rules are envisaged in hospitals and nursing homes, for example. At universities, schools and kindergartens, a general ban on visiting should apply to those who have been in risk areas in the past 14 days. Among other things, theaters, operas, concert halls and museums as well as facilities where sports are practiced, bars, clubs and trade fairs are to be closed. Some federal states had already decided on corresponding measures at the weekend.

Merkel explained that the measures were "drastic" and "unique" in the history of the Federal Republic; however, they are necessary to reduce the number of infections. The Chancellor renewed her appeal to reduce social contacts. She stressed that economic processes should be preserved as much as possible; Energy supply, nutrition and a large part of the services would be maintained. Merkel said she hoped people would understand; there will also be controls. (KNA)
Source: https://www.katholisch.de/artikel/24865-regierung-gottesdienste-sollen-vorerst-verboten-werden

Free Catholic Movie : St. Patrick The Irish Legend with Actor Pat Bergin -


St. Patrick: The Irish Legend (2000) TV Movie - 100 min - Drama | Adventure | Fantasy - A young Christian boy's home area is attacked by invading Irish tribes. Taken captive, he is taken back to Ireland to become a slave. Enduring many hardships, he finds friends.
For Breaking News, Prayers,  Inspirational Stories, and Free Catholic Movies LIKE http://fb.com/catholicnewsworld
Director: Robert Hughes Writers: Martin Duffy, Robert Hughes Stars: Patrick Bergin, Luke Griffin, Alan Bates |

Novena to St. Patrick SHARE this Powerful Prayer with your Friends!

 Novena Prayer to St. Patrick: (say for 9 days)

Blessed saint Patrick, glorious Apostle of Ireland, who didst become a friend and father to me for ages before my birth, hear my prayer and accept, for God, the sentiments of gratitude and veneration with which my heart is filled. Through thee I have inherited that faith which is dearer than life. I now make thee the representative of my thanks, and the mediator of my homage to Almighty God. Most holy Father and patron of my country, despise not my weakness; remember that the cries of little children were the sounds that rose, like a mysterious voice from heaven, and invited thee to come amongst us. Listen, then, to my humble supplication; may my prayer ascend to the throne of God, with the praises and blessings which shall ever sanctify thy name and thy memory.
May my hope be animated by the patronage and intercession of our forefathers, who now enjoy eternal bliss and owe their salvation, under God, to thy courage and charity. Obtain for me grace to love God with my whole heart, to serve him with my whole strength, and to persevere in good purposes to the end, o faithful shepherd of the Irish flock, who wouldst have laid down a thousand lives to save one soul, take my soul, and the souls of my countrymen, under thy special care. Be a father to the Church of Ireland and her faithful people.
Grant that all hearts may share the blessed fruits of that Gospel thou didst plant and water. Grant that, as our ancestors of old had learned, under thy guidance, to unite science with virtue, we too, may learn, under thy patronage, to consecrate all Christian duty to the glory of God. I commend to thee my native land, which was so dear to thee while on earth. Protect it still, and, above all, direct its chief pastors, particularly those who teach us. Give them grace to walk in thy footsteps, to nurture the flock with the word of life and the bread of salvation, and to lead the heirs of the Saints thou hast formed to the possession of that glory which they, with Thee, enjoy in the kingdom of the Blessed: through Christ Jesus, our Lord. Amen. V. Pray for us, O glorious saint Patrick. R. And obtain for us the intention of this Novena. Say 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and 1 Glory Be each day of the Novena. 

Wow Catholic Church offers Outdoor Parking Lot Mass while Parishioners Pray in their Cars due to COVID-19

St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Sunman, Indiana held their 1st Parking Lot Mass and it was a success! The priest Fr. Shaun offered Mass in a small trailor on the parish hill while the parishioners prayed in their cars. According to their Facebook Page they had positive feedback!

They thanked their Parish priest Fr. Shaun Whittington for coming up with an innovative solution so that we are able to attend Mass and receive Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament while also being compliant to the COVID-19 safeguard directives. They also had many wonderful people who helped carry it out. The readings will be printed in the bulletin next weekend.
SHARE this True Story to encourage other Parishes to do the same!
Source: https://www.facebook.com/StNicholasSunman/

Pope Francis at LIVE Mass says " When we go to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, let’s first ask ourselves: Do I forgive?" and Prays for Elderly

Pope at Mass prays for the elderly
Before beginning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta on Tuesday morning, Pope Francis asks everyone to pray for the elderly “who are suffering in a particular way from interior solitude”.
By Vatican News

“Today I would like us to pray for the elderly”, were Pope Francis’ first words as he began Mass at the Casa Santa Marta on Tuesday morning. They “are suffering in a particular way at this moment: with great interior solitude, many times with a lot of fear. Let us pray to the Lord that He might be near our grandparents and all the elderly, that He might give strength to those who have given us wisdom, life, our story. May we also be near them with our prayer.”

During his homily, Pope Francis reflected on Jesus’ teaching on forgiveness from the day’s Gospel from Matthew (18:21-35).

Fraternity attracts God’s goodness
Pope Francis began his homily saying that Jesus left us a “catechesis” about fraternal unity. “I assure you, when two or three of you agree, and ask for a grace, it will be granted you”, he quoted (cf Mt 18:19).

“Unity, friendship, peace among brothers attracts God’s goodness”.

Forgive always
To Peter’s question about whether forgiving someone seven times was sufficient, the Pope said that Jesus’s response means that “we always need to forgive”.

“It's not easy to forgive because our self-centered hearts are always attached to hatred, revenge, resentment. We've all seen families destroyed by hatred…. It gets passed down from one generation to the next. Siblings, who in front of a parent’s coffin, don't even greet each other because they're carrying past resentments. It seems that attachment to hatred is stronger than attachment to love.”

God forgives and forgets
This is the devil’s “treasure”, the Pope continued. He incites our hatred to destroy everything. It’s “often even over small things”, he said.

“It’s what destroyed this God who came not to condemn but to forgive. This God who is able to throw a feast for a sinner who draws near to Him and forget everything. When God forgives us He forgets all the evil we’ve done. Someone has said it's God’s sickness. He doesn't have a memory. He can lose His memory in these cases. God loses his memory regarding the ugly story of so many sinners, of our sins. …. He only asks us to do the same, to learn how to forgive.”

Condition for going to heaven
Pope Francis reminded us of another Gospel passage where we are asked to reconcile ourselves with someone who has something against us (Mt 5:24). “Don’t come to me with love for me in one hand and hatred for your brother or sister in the other”, Pope Francis put on God’s lips.

“Forgiving is a condition for going to heaven: the parable that Jesus tells us is very clear…. The Lord teaches us this wisdom of forgiving which is not easy... When we go to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, let’s first ask ourselves: Do I forgive?  If I feel that I do not forgive, I can’t make believe that I’m asking forgiveness because I will not be forgiven. Asking forgiveness means forgiving. Both go together. They cannot be separated.”

Pope Francis’ prayer
Pope Francis concluded his homily with the prayer:

“May the Lord help us understand this, to lower our heads so as not to be proud but magnanimous in forgiving.”

At the end of Mass, the Blessed Sacrament was exposed for adoration. Pope Francis and the few other persons present, remained in adoration for several minutes. In giving the final blessings, Pope Francis blessed everyone with the Blessed Sacrament.

FULL TEXT Source - VaticanNews.va

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tuesday, March 17, 2020 - #Eucharist

Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent
Lectionary: 238 Reading 1DN 3:25, 34-43
Azariah stood up in the fire and prayed aloud:
“For your name’s sake, O Lord, do not deliver us up forever,
or make void your covenant.
Do not take away your mercy from us,
for the sake of Abraham, your beloved,
Isaac your servant, and Israel your holy one,
To whom you promised to multiply their offspring
like the stars of heaven,
or the sand on the shore of the sea.
For we are reduced, O Lord, beyond any other nation,
brought low everywhere in the world this day
because of our sins.
We have in our day no prince, prophet, or leader,
no burnt offering, sacrifice, oblation, or incense,
no place to offer first fruits, to find favor with you.
But with contrite heart and humble spirit
let us be received;
As though it were burnt offerings of rams and bullocks,
or thousands of fat lambs,
So let our sacrifice be in your presence today
as we follow you unreservedly;
for those who trust in you cannot be put to shame.
And now we follow you with our whole heart,
we fear you and we pray to you.
Do not let us be put to shame,
but deal with us in your kindness and great mercy.
Deliver us by your wonders,
and bring glory to your name, O Lord.”

Responsorial Psalm25:4-5AB, 6 AND 7BC, 8-9

R.    (6a)  Remember your mercies, O Lord.
Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
teach me your paths,
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior.
R.    Remember your mercies, O Lord.
Remember that your compassion, O LORD,
and your kindness are from of old.
In your kindness remember me,
because of your goodness, O LORD.
R.    Remember your mercies, O Lord.
Good and upright is the LORD;
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice,
he teaches the humble his way.
R.    Remember your mercies, O Lord.

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.

GospelMT 18:21-35

Peter approached Jesus and asked him,
“Lord, if my brother sins against me,
how often must I forgive him?
As many as seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.
That is why the Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who decided to settle accounts with his servants.
When he began the accounting,
a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount.
Since he had no way of paying it back,
his master ordered him to be sold,
along with his wife, his children, and all his property,
in payment of the debt.
At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said,
‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’
Moved with compassion the master of that servant
let him go and forgave him the loan.
When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants
who owed him a much smaller amount.
He seized him and started to choke him, demanding,
‘Pay back what you owe.’
Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him,
‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’
But he refused.
Instead, he had him put in prison
until he paid back the debt.
Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened,
they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master
and reported the whole affair.
His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant!
I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to.
Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant,
as I had pity on you?’
Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers
until he should pay back the whole debt.
So will my heavenly Father do to you,
unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart.”