Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Wednesday May 13, 2020 - #Eucharist in Eastertide - Your Virtual Church

Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter

Lectionary: 287
Reading 1ACTS 15:1-6
Some who had come down from Judea were instructing the brothers,
“Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice,
you cannot be saved.”
Because there arose no little dissension and debate
by Paul and Barnabas with them,
it was decided that Paul, Barnabas, and some of the others
should go up to Jerusalem to the Apostles and presbyters
about this question.
They were sent on their journey by the Church,
and passed through Phoenicia and Samaria
telling of the conversion of the Gentiles,
and brought great joy to all the brethren.
When they arrived in Jerusalem,
they were welcomed by the Church,
as well as by the Apostles and the presbyters,
and they reported what God had done with them.
But some from the party of the Pharisees who had become believers
stood up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise them
and direct them to observe the Mosaic law.”

The Apostles and the presbyters met together to see about this matter.

Responsorial Psalm122:1-2, 3-4AB, 4CD-5
R.    (see 1)  Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
R.    Alleluia.
I rejoiced because they said to me,
“We will go up to the house of the LORD.”
And now we have set foot
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
R.    Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
R.    Alleluia.
Jerusalem, built as a city
with compact unity.
To it the tribes go up,
the tribes of the LORD.
R.    Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
R.    Alleluia.
According to the decree for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
seats for the house of David.
R.    Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
R.    Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 15:4A, 5B
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Remain in me, as I remain in you, says the Lord;
whoever remains in me will bear much fruit.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 15:1-8
Jesus said to his disciples:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.
He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit,
and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.
You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.
Remain in me, as I remain in you.
Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own
unless it remains on the vine,
so neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit,
because without me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me
will be thrown out like a branch and wither;
people will gather them and throw them into a fire
and they will be burned.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you,
ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.
By this is my Father glorified,
that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”

Prayer to make spiritual communion:

People who cannot communicate now make spiritual communion.
At your feet, O my Jesus I bow down and offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which abysses itself into its nothingness and Your holy presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your love, the ineffable Eucharist. I wish to receive you in the poor home that my heart offers you. In anticipation of the happiness of sacramental communion, I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me, oh my Jesus, that I may come to you. May Your love inflame my whole being, for life and death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you. So be it. Amen
Press Play on the Video Below - Mass starts at 2:35 - Fastforward

Saint May 13 : Our Lady of Fatima who appeared to the 3 Shepherd Children in 1917 and Revealed 3 Secrets

Our Lady of Fatima
Feast Day: May 13
The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, appeared six times to three shepherd children a("The Three Seers") near the town of Fatima, Portugal between May 13 and October 13, 1917. Appearing to the children, the Blessed Virgin told them that She had been sent by God with a message for every man, woman and child living in our century. Coming at a time when civilization was torn asunder by war and bloody violence, She promised that Heaven would grant peace to all the world if Her requests for prayer, repration and consecration were heard and obeyed.
"If My requests are granted ... there will be peace" Our Lady of Fatima explained to the children that war is a punishment for sin and warned that God would further castigate the world for its disobedience to His Will by means of war, hunger and the persecution of the Church, the Holy Father and the Catholic Faithful. God's Mother prophesied that Russia would be God's chosen "instrument of chastisement," spreading the "errors" of atheism and materialism across the earth, fomenting wars, annihilating nations and persecuting the Faithful everywhere.
"If My requests are not granted, Russia will spread its errors throughout the world, raising up wars and persecutions against the Church. The good will be martryed, the Holy Father will suffer much and various nations will be annihilated." In all Her appearances at Fatima, the Blessed Mother repeatedly emphasized the necessity of praying the Rosary daily, of wearing the Brown Scapular of Mount Carmel and of performing acts of reparation and sacrifice. To prevent the terrible chastisement at the hands of Russia and to convert "that poor nation", Our Lady requested the solemn public Consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart by the Pope and all the Catholic bishops of the world. She also asked that the Faithful practice a new devotion of reparation on the first Saturday of five consecutive months ("The Five First Saturdays")
The heart of Our Lady's Message to the world is contained in what has come to be called the "Secret" which She confided to the three child seers in July 1917. The Secret actually consists of three parts, the first two of which have been publicly revealed. The first part of the Secret was a horrifying Vision of hell "where the souls of poor sinners go" and contained an urgent plea from Our Lady for acts of prayer and sacrifice to save souls. The second part of the Secret specifically prophesied the outbreak of World War II and contained the Mother of God's solemn request for the Consecration of Russia as a condition for world peace. It also predicted the inevitable triumph of Her Immaculate Heart following Russia's consecration and the conversion "of that poor nation" to the Catholic Faith. The last part of the Secret (often called the "Third Secret") has not yet been made public, but was written down by Lucy Dos Santos, the last living Fatima seer, in 1944 and has been in the possession of the Holy See since 1957. Most informed sources speculate that this portion of the Secret concerns chaos in the Catholic Church, predicting widespread apostasy and a loss of faith beginning in the seventh decade of the 20th Century. Text Source: Fatima.org

Novena to Our Lady of Fatima - Litany and #Fatima Prayers - 5 Saturday #Devotion - SHARE


Pope Francis Invites Everyone in the World to Join in Prayer, Fasting or Acts of Charity on May 14

Covid-19: Faithful respond to Pope's invitation to pray on 14 May
As Pope Francis invites people of all faiths to pray on 14 May for an end to the coronavirus pandemic, we get a snapshot of people around the world who plan on taking part in this unique initiative.
Vatican News Report

On Thursday 14 May, believers around the world will join - whether through prayer, fasting or by performing acts of charity - to pray for an end to the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking before the Regina Coeli on 3 May, Pope Francis said "since prayer is a universal value, I have accepted the proposal of the Higher Committee for Human Fraternity for believers of all religions to unite spiritually this 14 May for a day of prayer, fasting, and works of charity, to implore God to help humanity overcome the coronavirus pandemic. Remember: 14 May, all believers together, believers of different traditions, to pray, fast, and perform works of charity".

As you watch the video above, you will see brothers and sisters around the world who are being affected by the world-wide pandemic. We hear their voices in a chorus of hope.

"Prayer is our greatest weapon against the virus."

"What will we remember from this time? The things that unite us."

"Let us pray to feel like Church, family, and to defeat the pandemic."

"Let us pray so as to love neighbor".

"In the face of the coronavirus, we cannot be demoralized."
FULL TEXT Source: VaticanNews.va

Pope Francis' Message and Blessing to Nurses "Every day we witness the testimony of courage and sacrifice..." Full Text


Dear brothers and sisters,
Today we celebrate International Nurses Day, in the context of the International Year of Nurses and Midwives officially declared by the World Health Organization. At this same time, we observe the bicentennial of the birth of Florence Nightingale, the pioneer of modern nursing.
At this critical moment, marked by the global health emergency caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, we have rediscovered the fundamental importance of the role being played by nurses and midwives. Every day we witness the testimony of courage and sacrifice of healthcare workers, and nurses in particular, who, with professionalism, self-sacrifice, and a sense of responsibility and love for neighbour, assist people affected by the virus, even to the point of putting their own health at risk. Sadly, this can be seen in the high number of healthcare workers who have died as a result of their faithful service. I pray for them – the Lord knows each of them by name – and for all the victims of this epidemic. May the Risen Lord grant to each of them the light of heaven and to their families the consolation of faith.
Nurses have historically played a central role in health care. Every day, in their contact with the sick, they experience the trauma caused by suffering in people’s lives. They are men and women who have chosen to say “yes” to a very special vocation: that of being good Samaritans who are concerned for the life and suffering of others. They are guardians and preservers of life, who, even as they administer necessary treatments, offer courage, hope and trust.[1]
Dear nurses, moral responsibility is the hallmark of your professional service, which cannot be reduced to scientific-technical knowledge alone, but must be constantly inspired by your human and humanizing relationship with the sick. “Taking care of women and men, of children and elderly, in every phase of their life, from birth to death, you are tasked with continuous listening, aimed at understanding what the needs of that patient are, in the phase that he or she is experiencing. Before the uniqueness of each situation, indeed, it is never enough to follow a protocol, but a constant – and tiresome! – effort of discernment and attention to the individual person is required”.[2]
You – and here I think too of midwives – are close to people at crucial moments in their existence – birth and death, disease and healing – helping them deal with traumatic situations. Sometimes you find yourself at their side as they are dying, giving comfort and relief in their last moments. Because of your dedication, you are among the “saints next door”.[3] You are an image of the Church as a “field hospital” that continues to carry out the mission of Jesus Christ, who drew near to and healed people with all kinds of sickness and who stooped down to wash the feet of his disciples. Thank you for your service to humanity!
In many countries, the pandemic has also brought to light a number of deficiencies in the provision of health care. For this reason, I would ask leaders of nations throughout the world to invest in health care as the primary common good, by strengthening its systems and employing greater numbers of nurses, so as to ensure adequate care to everyone, with respect for the dignity of each person. It is important to recognize in an effective way the essential role your profession plays in patient care, local emergency activity, disease prevention, health promotion, and assistance in family, community and school settings.
Nurses, as well as midwives, deservedly have the right to be better and more fully valued and involved in processes concerning the health of individuals and communities. It has been shown that investing in them improves overall care and health. Their professionalism should thus be enhanced by providing suitable scientific, human, psychological and spiritual tools for their training, by improving their working conditions and by guaranteeing their rights, so that they can carry out their service in full dignity.
In this regard, associations of healthcare workers play an important role. In addition to offering comprehensive training, they support their individual members, making them feel part of a larger body, never dismayed and alone as they face the ethical, economic and human challenges that their profession entails.
I would like to say a special word to midwives who assist women in their pregnancies and help them give birth to their children. Your work is among the most noble of professions, for it is directly dedicated to the service of life and of motherhood. In the Bible, the names of two heroic midwives, Shiphrah and Puah, are immortalized in the Book of Exodus (cf. 1:15-21). Today, too, the heavenly Father looks to you with gratitude.
Dear nurses, dear midwives, may this annual celebration highlight the dignity of your work for the benefit of the health of society as a whole. With the assurance of my prayers for you, your families and those for whom you care, I cordially impart to all of you my Apostolic Blessing.
Rome, from Saint John Lateran, 12 May 2020


[1] Cf. The New Charter for Health Care Workers, Nos. 1-8.
[3] Homily on Holy Thursday, 9 April 2020.
FULL TEXT   Vatican.va - Official Translation - Image Source: Google Images

Pope Francis Appoints Fr. Louis Tylka of Chicago as Coadjutor Bishop of Peoria, Illinois

Pope Francis Names Father Louis Tylka of Archdiocese of Chicago as Coadjutor Bishop of Peoria

May 11, 2020
WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has named Father Louis Tylka, a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago as the Coadjutor Bishop of Peoria.

The appointment was publicized in Washington, D.C. on May 11, 2020 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States. Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC is the current bishop of Peoria, and the appointment as coadjutor bishop confers on Bishop-elect Tylka the right of succession for the Diocese of Peoria.

Bishop-elect Tylka was born on May 26, 1970 in Harvey, Illinois and ordained to the priesthood on May 18, 1996 for the Archdiocese of Chicago. He attended Niles College Seminary of Loyola University Chicago (1989-1992) and received a Bachelor of Arts from Loyola University Chicago (1992). Father Tylka attended Mundelein Seminary, IL (1992-1996) where he received his Bachelor of Sacred Theology (1995) and his Master of Divinity (1996). 

Father Tylka’s assignments in the Archdiocese of Chicago after ordination include: Associate Pastor at St. Michael Paris in Orland Park (1996-2003); Associate Pastor at Ss. Faith, Hope & Charity Parish in Winnetka (2003-2004); and Pastor at Mater Christi Parish in North Riverside (2004-2014). Since 2014, Father Tylka has served as President of the Archdiocesan Presbyteral Council and Pastor of St. Julie Billiart Parish in Tinley Park.

The Diocese of Peoria is comprised of 16,933 square miles in the State of Illinois and has a total population of 1,492,335 of which 139,835 are Catholic.


Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament - a Short History and Novena Prayers to Our Lady

History of the Title of 'Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament'
Feast Day, May 13
St. Peter Julian Eymard, of France, had a strong devotion to the Holy Eucharist and Our Lady and began his priestly life in the Society of Mary. “But his heart burned with the desire to establish perpetual adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament exposed upon a royal throne and surrounded by a large court of adorers. On February 2, 1851, at the shrine of Fourvière, the most Blessed Virgin had made him understand its necessity. ‘All the mysteries of my Son have a religious order of men to honor them. The Eucharist alone has none . . . .’ After several years of prudent reflection and interior combat, encouraged by Pope Pius IX, he founded the Congregation of the Most Blessed Sacrament at Paris on May 13, 1856” (St. Peter Julian Eymard: Apostle of the Eucharist Novena, p. 20).
The title of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament was first given to Mary by St. Peter Julian Eymard in May 1868, while speaking to his novices. A few years later he described what her statue should look like: "The Blessed Virgin holds the Infant in her arms; and He holds a chalice in one hand and a Host in the other." He exhorted them to invoke Mary: "Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, pray for us who have recourse to thee!"
Later, Pius IX enriched the invocation with indulgences. Twice, St. Pius X did the same. On December 30, 1905, he granted a 300 days indulgence to the faithful who pray: “Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament, pray for us.”
"This title, Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, is perhaps the most meaningful of all," said St. Pius X.
In 1921 the Sacred Congregation of Rite authorized the Blessed Sacrament Congregations to celebrate each year, on the 13th of May, a "solemn commemoration of the Blessed Virgin," with the intention of honoring Mary under the title of "Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament." And of course this Feast is still celebrated today with great joy by all the spiritual sons and daughters of St. Peter Julian Eymard.
Pope Bl. John XXIII codified the title of Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament when he declared St. Peter Julian Eymard a saint on December 9, 1962, at the end of the last session of the Second Vatican Council. (Text shared from Jesus Youth Switzerland)
9 Day Novena to Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament

O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment thine.
Blessed be the holy and Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God!
O Virgin Immaculate, Mother of Jesus and our tender Mother, we invoke thee under the title of Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament, because thou art the Mother of the Savior who lives in the Eucharist, and because it was from thee that He took the Flesh and Blood with which He there feeds us! We invoke thee under that title because, again, thou art the sovereign dispensatrix of all graces and, consequently, of those contained in the august Eucharist, also, because thou didst first fulfill the duties of the Eucharistic life, teaching us by thy example how to assist properly at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, how to communicate worthily, and how to visit frequently and piously the Most Blessed Sacrament.
V. Pray for us, O Virgin Immaculate, Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament. R. That the Eucharistic Kingdom of Jesus Christ may come among us!
Lord Jesus Christ, our King and our God, who having become Man to make us sharers in Thy Divinity, art truly our Bread in the adorable Eucharist, grant, we beseech Thee, that in venerating so great a Mystery, we may be mindful of the most sweet Virgin Mary, of whom Thou didst will to be conceived by the operation of the Holy Ghost! Grant, also that we may imitate the worship that she rendered while on earth to this most august Sacrament, so we may behold Thy Eucharistic Kingdom spread and flourish throughout the whole world! O Thou who livest and reignest forever and ever! Amen.
O Virgin Mary, Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament, the glory of Christians, the joy of the universal Church, and the hope of the world, pray for us. Kindle in all the faithful a lively devotion to the most Holy Eucharist, so that they may be worthy to receive Holy Communion every day. Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament, pray for us. Let us with Mary Immaculate adore, thank, supplicate, and console the most sacred and beloved Eucharistic Heart of Jesus.

O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment thine.
Blessed be the holy and Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God!
O Virgin Immaculate, after having been present at the death of thy Divine Son on Calvary, where thou didst unite thy immense sorrow to the Redeemer?Ts sacrifice, thou didst frequently assist at the real, though mysterious, renewal of that adorable sacrifice in the celebration of the Holy Mass. Teach us by thy example to esteem as it deserves the divine action performed at the altar, and obtain for us the grace to be able often, and even daily, to assist piously at the Holy Sacrifice.
Versicle, Response, and Prayer as on the first day.

O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment thine.
Blessed be the holy and Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God!
O Virgin Immaculate, thy Communions were the most fervent, the most holy that were ever made! When thou didst possess thy Divine Son in thy breast, thou didst love Him with a love exceeding that of any other creature soever for his God. Teach us to make Holy Communion the center of our life, and may that life be spent in preparing us for so great an action and in thanking God for so inappreciable a benefit!
Versicle, Response, and Prayer as on the first day.

O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment thine.
Blessed be the holy and Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God!
O Virgin Immaculate, who after the ascension of thy Divine Son, didst console thy exile on earth by thy Real Presence of Jesus in the Sacrament, and didst spend before the tabernacle the greater part of thy days and even thy nights, make us comprehend the treasure we possess on the altar. Inspire us to visit often the God of Love in the Sacrament in which He abides to receive the homage that He deserves by so many titles, and to guide, protect, and console us in this exile!
Versicle, Response, and Prayer as on the first day.

O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment thine.
Blessed be the holy and Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God!
O Virgin Immaculate, thou art our perfect Model in the service of the Divine Eucharist. With the most lively faith and the most profound respect thou didst adore Jesus hidden under the sacramental veils. After thy example, we desire to render to the Sacred Host all the honor due the Divinity and the glorified Humanity of the Son of God made Man. We wish to maintain at all times in the holy place the modesty and recollection becoming true adorers.
Versicle, Response, and Prayer as on the first day.

O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment thine.
Blessed be the holy and Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God!
O Virgin Immaculate, who didst return to Jesus so perfect Thanksgiving for the institution of the Divine Eucharist and the ineffable Gift in which the Savior exhausted His power and the treasures of His Heart, teach us to thank thy Divine Son for this great benefit, and especially to make our thanksgiving well when we have had the happiness of receiving Him in Holy Communion.
Versicle, Response, and Prayer as on the first day.

O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment thine.
Blessed be the holy and Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God!
O Virgin Immaculate, thou didst adore thy Divine Son in His state of perpetual Victim, always immolated on our altars, incessantly demanding, by His death, grace and mercy for sinners. We unite with thy dolors and thy perfect reparation. We desire to accept our daily trials for love of Him, and with thee to console Jesus for the ingratitude of men and the outrages He daily receives in the Blessed Sacrament.
Versicle, Response, and Prayer as on the first day.

O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment thine.
Blessed be the holy and Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God!
O Virgin Immaculate, while the Apostles went to preach the Gospel, thou didst remain close to the tabernacle, supplicating for them the goodness of the Savior, and thy prayer obtained for them the grace to convert the world! Teach us to pray, above all, to pray near the tabernacle, where Jesus wills to abide continually in order to hear our petitions. Teach us to pray for the extension of the Eucharistic kingdom, for the salvation of the whole world, for the exaltation of the Holy Church, and most especially for the sanctification of the clergy and the conversion of sinners.
Versicle, Response, and Prayer as on the first day.

O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment thine.
Blessed be the holy and Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God!
O Virgin Immaculate, Mother most loving and admirable Model of adorers of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, thou art also the dispensatrix of the graces necessary to fulfill that great duty! Grant us, then, we beseech thee, as the fruit of this novena, the virtues that will render our adoration less unworthy of thy Divine Son. Teach us to honor so well this Mystery of mysteries that we may receive here below the graces it contains, in order to enjoy in heaven the eternal life of which it is the pledge!
Versicle, Response, and Prayer as on the first day.

Archdiocese explains Catholic Marriage is Celebrated Only "In Person" and Not Online even during Pandemic

ASIA/SINGAPORE - Catholic marriage is celebrated only "in person" and not through online platforms, in times of pandemic
Monday, 11 May 2020

Singapore (Agenzia Fides) - The Archdiocese of Singapore has refused the possibility of celebrating and therefore validating a marriage by connecting to an online platform. The solution, in times of Covid-19, is provided for by the new law entitled "Temporary measures for the celebration and registration of marriages", approved in Parliament on May 5, for civil weddings. According to the law, the celebration of civil marriages, during the Covid-9 pandemic, can take place virtually via a live video connection of the spouses, civil officers and witnesses. The procedure also applies to official wedding registrations, in a civil venue. The new law should enter into force as early as the second half of May, as announced by the Ministry of social and family development.
In light of the new law, the archdiocese of Singapore has expressed its position for the celebration of the rite of religious marriage. The note of the archdiocese, sent to Fides, underlines "the importance of the physical interaction of the people who celebrated the sacrament of marriage and other sacraments". Quoting Pope Francis, in his homily on April 17, 2020, recalls that "the Church, the Sacraments, the People of God are concrete".
As such, while the Church appreciates the efforts by the authorities in making marriage more accessible to couples in this difficult time, the Catholic Church in Singapore will not be able to solemnise marriages via video link, the statement pointed out.
"Our aim is to help our couples celebrate the milestone in person, while observing all health directives and social distancing measures implemented by the authorities", it says. The presence of the couple, the priest, the witnesses must be real. The Internet can, however, become a useful means of reaching out to extended families and friends who wish to join in this celebration in real time. In this way, the Church notes, both the needs and the profound meaning of canonical marriage in the Catholic religious rite can be respected, while also letting friends and families witness the occasion without going against safety and health requirements.
The population in Singapore is 5.7 million, of whom approximately 383,000 are Catholic (9% of the population). (SD-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 11/5/2020)
Image Source: Google Images - Weddingforward.com

US Bishops Chairmen Urge Leaders to Examine Impact of COVID-19 on African American Communities - Full Text

U.S. Bishop Chairmen Issue Statement Urging State and National Leaders to Examine Impact of COVID-19 Virus on African American Communities

May 4, 2020
WASHINGTON- Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux and chairman of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City and chairman of USCCB’s Domestic Justice and Human Development, Archbishop Nelson J. Perez of Philadelphia, and chairman of the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church, and Bishop Joseph N. Perry, auxiliary bishop of Chicago, and chairman of Subcommittee on African American Affairs have released the following statement in response to the impact of the COVID-19 virus in African American communities.

“Our hearts are wounded for the many souls mourned as African American communities across the nation are being disproportionately infected with and dying from the virus that causes COVID-19. We raise our voices to urge state and national leaders to examine the generational and systemic structural conditions that make the new coronavirus especially deadly to African American communities.

“We stand in support of all communities struggling under the weight of the impact this virus has had not only on their physical health, but on their livelihoods, especially front line medical and sanitation workers, public safety officers, and those in the service industry. We are praying fervently for an end to the pandemic, and for physical health for all, and emotional healing amongst all who have lost loved ones.” FULL TEXT Source: USCCB

At Mass, Pope Francis explains "..that peace, this which Jesus gives us, is peace for now and for the future." Full Text

How does the world give peace and how does the Lord give it?"
Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Today is the nurses' day. Yesterday I sent a message. Let us pray today for nurses and nurses, men, women, boys and girls who carry out this profession, which is more than a profession, it is a vocation, a dedication. May the Lord bless them. At this time of the pandemic, they set an example of heroicity and some gave their lives. Let us pray for nurses and nurses.
Before leaving, the Lord greets his own and gives the gift of peace (cf. Jn 14 : 27-31), the peace of the Lord: «I leave you peace, I give you my peace. Not as the world gives it, I give it to you "(v. 27). It is not about universal peace, that peace without wars that we all want always to be, but the peace of the heart, the peace of the soul, the peace that each of us has inside. And the Lord gives it, but - he underlines - "not as the world gives it" (v. 27). How does the world give peace and how does the Lord give it? Are they different? Yup.
The world gives you "inner peace" - we are talking about this, the peace of your life, this living with the "heart in peace" -, it gives you inner peace as your possession, as something that is yours and isolates you from others, keeps you in you, is your purchase: I have peace. And without realizing it, you close yourself in that peace, it is a peace a little for you, for everyone; it is a "lonely" peace, it is a peace that makes you calm, even happy. And in this tranquility, in this happiness you fall asleep a little, anesthetize you and make you stay with yourself in a certain tranquility. It is a little selfish: peace for me, closed in me. Thus the world gives it (cf. v. 27). It is an expensive peace, because you have to continually change the "instruments of peace": when one thing excites you, one thing gives you peace, then it ends and you have to find another ... It is expensive because it is temporary and sterile .
Instead, the peace that Jesus gives is another thing. It is a peace that sets you in motion : it does not isolate you, it sets you in motion, makes you go to others, creates communities, creates communication. That of the world is expensive, that of Jesus is free, it is free; it is a gift from the Lord, the peace of the Lord. It is fruitful, it always carries you forward.
An example of the Gospel that makes me think how world peace is, is that gentleman who had the barns full and that year's harvest seemed to be very full and he thought: “I will have to build other warehouses, other barns to put this and then I will be calm ..., it is my tranquility, with this I can live calm ". "Fool, says God, you will die tonight" (cf. Lk 12 : 13-21). It is an immanent peace that does not open the door to the afterlife. Instead the peace of the Lord is open to where He has gone, it is open to Heaven, it is open to Heaven. It is a fruitful peace that opens up and also brings others with you to Heaven.
I think it will help us to think a little: what is my peace, where do I find peace? In things, in well-being, in travel - but now, today you cannot travel - in possessions, in many things, or do I find peace as a gift from the Lord? Do I have to pay for peace or do I get it for free from the Lord? How is my peace? When I miss something, do I get angry? This is not the peace of the Lord. This is one of the tests. Am I peaceful in my peace, "I fall asleep"? It is not of the Lord. Am I at peace and want to communicate it to others and carry on something? That's the peace of the Lord! Even in bad, difficult moments, does that peace remain in me? It is of the Lord. And the peace of the Lord is fruitful also for me because it is full of hope, that is, look at Heaven.
Yesterday - sorry if I say these things, but they are things in life that are good for me - yesterday I received a letter from a priest, a good priest, good, and he told me that I speak little of Heaven, that I should talk more about it . And he's right, he's right. This is why today I wanted to underline this: that peace, this which Jesus gives us, is peace for now and for the future. It is starting to live Heaven, with the fruitfulness of Heaven. It is not anesthesia. The other, yes: you anesthetize yourself with the things of the world and when the dose of this anesthesia ends take another and another and another ... This [of Jesus] is a definitive peace , fruitful and contagious too . It is not narcissistic, because it always looks to the Lord. The other looks at you, it's a little narcissistic.
May the Lord give us this peace full of hope, which makes us fruitful, makes us communicative with others, which creates community and which always looks at the definitive peace of Paradise.
FULL TEXT + Image Source: Vatican.va - a Translation from the Italian