Saturday, December 19, 2020

Sunday Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Advent Sunday, December 20, 2020 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church

Fourth Sunday of Advent
Lectionary: 11
Reading 1
2 SM 7:1-5, 8B-12, 14A, 16
When King David was settled in his palace,
and the LORD had given him rest from his enemies on every side,
he said to Nathan the prophet,
“Here I am living in a house of cedar,
while the ark of God dwells in a tent!”
Nathan answered the king,
“Go, do whatever you have in mind,
for the LORD is with you.”
But that night the LORD spoke to Nathan and said:
“Go, tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD:

 Should you build me a house to dwell in?’“
"'It was I who took you from the pasture
and from the care of the flock 
to be commander of my people Israel.
I have been with you wherever you went,
and I have destroyed all your enemies before you.
And I will make you famous like the great ones of the earth.
I will fix a place for my people Israel;
I will plant them so that they may dwell in their place
without further disturbance.
Neither shall the wicked continue to afflict them as they did of old,
since the time I first appointed judges over my people Israel.
I will give you rest from all your enemies.
The LORD also reveals to you
that he will establish a house for you.
And when your time comes and you rest with your ancestors,
I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins,
and I will make his kingdom firm.
I will be a father to him,
and he shall be a son to me.
Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me;
your throne shall stand firm forever.'”
Responsorial Psalm
PS 89:2-3, 4-5, 27, 29
R. (2a) For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
The promises of the LORD I will sing forever;
through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness.
For you have said, “My kindness is established forever”;
in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
“I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant:
Forever will I confirm your posterity
and establish your throne for all generations.”
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
“He shall say of me, ‘You are my father,
my God, the Rock, my savior.’
Forever I will maintain my kindness toward him,
and my covenant with him stands firm.”
R. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
Reading 2
ROM 16:25-27
Brothers and sisters:
To him who can strengthen you,
according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ,
according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret for long ages
but now manifested through the prophetic writings and,
according to the command of the eternal God,
made known to all nations to bring about the obedience of faith,
to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ
be glory forever and ever.
LK 1:38
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
LK 1:26-38
The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
“Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.
Prayer to Make a 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

Saint December 20 : St. Dominic of Silos whom the Founder of the Dominicans was Named after and Patron of Against Rabies; Captives; Pregnant Women; Prisoners; Shepherds

1000, CaƱas (modern Rioja), Spain
December 10, 1073, Silos
Patron of:
against rabies; against rabid dogs; against insects; captives; pregnant women; prisoners; shepherds
St. Dominic, founder of the Order of Preachers, was named after this Benedictine abbot, who lived a century before him. According to Dominican tradition, St. Dominic of Silos appeared to Blessed Joan of Aza (the mother of the later St. Dominic), who made a pilgrimage to his shrine before the birth of her son, and named him after the abbot of Silos.
Our saint today, Dominic of Silos, was born in Spain around the year 1000 into a peasant family. As a young boy he spent time in the fields, where he welcomed the solitude. He became a Benedictine priest and served in numerous leadership positions. Following a dispute with the king over property, Dominic and two other monks were exiled. They established a new monastery in what at first seemed an unpromising location. Under Dominic’s leadership, however, it became one of the most famous houses in Spain. Many healings were reported there. About 100 years after Dominic’s death, a young woman made a pilgrimage to his tomb. There Dominic of Silos appeared to her and assured her that she would bear another son. The woman was Joan of Aza, and the son she bore grew up to be the “other” Dominic—the one who founded the Dominicans. For many years thereafter, the staff used by Saint Dominic of Silos was brought to the royal palace whenever a queen of Spain was in labor. That practice ended in 1931. Reflection Saint Dominic of Silos’ connection with the Saint Dominic who founded the Dominican Order brings to mind the film Six Degrees of Separation: we are all connected it seems. God’s providential care can bring people together in mysterious ways, but it all points to his love for each of us. Text from Franciscan media

RIP to 8 Catholic Nuns who Died in 1 Week from COVID-19 in Wisconsin - Beloved Religious Sisters whose Lives Touched Thousands

Eight elderly Catholic nuns at Notre Dame retirement home of Elm Grove, Wisconsin, died from COVID-19 in one week. This despite best efforts to maintain safety. Here are the names of the religious sisters who died: Sister Cynthia Borman, Sister Rose M. Feess, Sister Joan Emily Kaul, Sister Lillia Langreck; Sister Dorothy MacIntyre, Sister Mary Alexius Portz, Sister Mary Elva Wiesner, Sister Michael Marie Laux Eight Sisters.

They belonged to the order of School Sisters of Notre Dame Central Pacific Province. 

“The Sisters, we’re being extra careful in terms of getting their meals in rooms and they can’t congregate together,” Sister Debra Sciano, Provincial Leader of the School Sisters of Notre Dame Central Pacific Province said. “More testing, being tested twice a week for the virus.”

Sciano says they are heartbroken to lose these eight women. Combined, they had over half a millennium of service to the community.

Here is a brief glimpse into their lives:

Sister Mary Elva Weisner had a special love for teaching children the sacraments, Sciano said. She would sing with them and bring a bright and cheery attitude.

Sister Mary Alexius Portz was a musician. While all of these women were retired, Sciano says Portz worked into her 80s, giving music lessons.

Sister Rose Feess was a staunch advocate for young women. Sciano says she focused her efforts at the Notre Dame School in Milwaukee, where she focused on helping Hispanic girls succeed.

Sister Cynthia Borman, an educator as well, was also something of a handy-woman. She was the fixer-upper of the church. Sciano says if you needed something fixed, she was the one to turn to.

Sister Dorothy MacIntyre was more into arts and crafts. A giver, she’d gift her works to people and create other things to share with people.

Sister Joan Emily Kaul served as a secretary for many parishes in the area on top of teaching. It was her smile that cut through to people’s hearts; bringing joy to many.

Sister Michael Marie Laux has been all over the world, sharing her knowledge. From Guam to Alaska back to Cream City. Her work around the world is something Sciano marvels at.

Sister Lillia Langreck’s work for much of the last 60 years is something you could see her doing to this very day. She was heavily involved in racial and social justice efforts alongside people like Father James Groppi during the Milwaukee marches for fair housing, integrated bussing and more.

“We realize, we’re not the only ones,” Sciano said. “So many are suffering. We appreciate the love, the care, the concern from the broader community but we encourage everyone to support those who have lost loved ones and who continue to have economic issues and so many other things. We’re with them as well. We continue to do that as we struggle. Of course, it is difficult but for us, in the church, we’re celebrating the season of advent right now. It’s a time of waiting. It’s really a poignant time as we experience these losses, it’s in preparation for celebration. It’s letting go during the time of advent that’s much more dramatic at this time.”

Edited from - Milwaukee - Image Source: Screen Shot SSND

Archdiocese of Washington Releases Statement after Government Lifts 50-Person Cap on Worshippers

 Archdiocese of Washington Statement on the New Executive Order in the District of Columbia
 December 17, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Below is the statement from the Archdiocese of Washington in response to the December 17 Executive Order from the Mayor of the District of Columbia. The order now allows D.C. churches up to 25 percent capacity for religious services with a maximum cap of 250 people of worshippers and leaders at Mass combined. The order comes after the Archdiocese of Washington filed a lawsuit on December 11 petitioning the D.C. District Court to lift the 50-person cap on indoor religious gatherings in the District of Columbia.
Last night, the Mayor issued a new Executive Order lifting the 50-person cap on religious services in the District of Columbia and replacing it with new restrictions on religious worship.  We are grateful that the new order will allow us to welcome more of the faithful to Church during the Christmas season and beyond. We are continuing to evaluate the impact of these new rules, and it may still be necessary for the court to weigh in on the proper balance between public safety and the fundamental right to worship. As always, we welcome continued dialogue with the Mayor’s Office to ensure that current and future restrictions are fairly applied and do not unduly burden the free exercise of religion.   

Prayers Answered as 344 Students Kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria are Released

AFRICA/NIGERIA - Kankara school students released: "Nigeria runs the risks of exploding" warns a Nigerian prelate

Friday, 18 December 2020 

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - The 344 students kidnapped from the Kankara public secondary school in Katsina state, northwestern Nigeria, attacked on the night of December 11-12, have been released (see Fides, 14/12/2020). This was announced by the local authorities, who deny having paid any ransom.

The jihadist group Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the kidnapping through an unverified video and audio message, but Katsina state authorities say the mass kidnapping is the work of local criminal groups.

Katsina State is the home state of President Buhari, whose administration is struggling to contain widespread insecurity in parts of northern and central Nigeria. In recent years, Boko Haram's decades-long conflict with the army has been concentrated in the north-eastern part, involving neighboring Cameroon, Chad and Niger. If the insurgents were involved in the assault on Kankara, it could represent an expansion of the areas threatened by the group.

The insecurity of the country, linked to the exploitation of religion for political purposes, is stigmatized by Mgr. Obiora Ike, Director of the Catholic Institute for Development, Justice, Peace and Caritas (CIDJAP), in a statement sent to Fides. "More than 100,000 people have been killed in ten years due to religiously motivated killings, the highest in any country in the world at this time", denounces Mgr. Obiora Ike. "Nigeria is not at war with another country, and has never been. However, the northern parts of the country, with the Boko Haram terrorist organization, the Fulani herdsmen, now called “bandits,” and some Muslim religious fanatics, have followed the paths of the politicians who in the year 2000 tried to undermine democracy in Nigeria by forcefully, and contrary to the federal constitution, pushing through the Sharia law upon 12 States of the country".

Archbishop Ike addresses "an urgent and crucial call to the international community to focus on Nigeria, where now ethnic intolerance, terrorism and State-sponsored religious fundamentalism are growing, before it is too late. The migration and security issues and its conflagration for the globe would be too much to handle aside the humanitarian crisis in the event of a full-blown confrontation. The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria and the Christian Association of Nigeria, moderate Muslims, the Vatican, and some enlightened voices continue to call for mutual understanding, peace, stability, and progress in Africa’s largest economy and most populated country".

"Unfortunately, Christians and many others in Nigeria feel the lack of interest from the West in the Nigerian conflict which, if left unchecked, could have catastrophic consequences", concludes the Nigerian prelate. (L.M.) (FULL TEXT release from Agenzia Fides, 18/12/2020)

Pope Francis Tells Students "...enter into dialogue with a world where there seems to be ever less space for religion." FULL TEXT



Clementine Hall
Friday, 18 December 2020


Dear friends, good morning!

I am pleased to welcome all of you, students and leaders of the Theologisches Studienjahr of the Abbey of the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Jerusalem. Due to the current pandemic, this year, for the first time, the study programme cannot take place in the Holy Land, but is hosted at the Pontifical Athenaeum Sant'Anselmo in Rome. In this way, divine providence has granted us this opportunity to meet in the Vatican.

The Studienjahr is an opportunity for Catholic and Protestant theology students to get to know the biblical sites and to encounter the Eastern Churches, as well as the Jewish and Islamic worlds. Even if you cannot experience the Holy Land this year, being almost in "exile" - as Father Schnabel defines it - the in-depth study of sacred scripture, ecumenism and interreligious dialogue will always remain a distinctive feature of your programme. I am convinced that Rome too will offer you various possibilities in this regard.

As young people studying theology, you are witnesses for your peers and for the men and women of today to the importance of God in their lives and to the fullness which a lived faith brings. It will be your task to enter into dialogue with a world where there seems to be ever less space for religion. A task that we share with all believers of the different religions, knowing that making God present is good for our societies. We are convinced that religions make a valuable contribution to building fraternity and defending justice in society. On the other hand, we believe that when, for various reasons, people want to exclude God from society, they end up worshipping idols, and man soon loses himself (cf. Encyclical Fratelli tutti 271274).

I hope that this Theologisches Studienjahr will be an important stage in your formative, spiritual and human journey, and that after this "exile" you will soon have the opportunity to get to know the "promised land", the holy places of the Bible. As we celebrate Holy Christmas in a week's time, we will all be pilgrims in spirit at the cave in Bethlehem. May the Emmanuel fill you with His joy and peace, and make you true witnesses of God-with-us. May the Lord bless and keep you and all your loved ones. And please do not forget to pray for me.

Bulletin of the Holy See Press Office, 18 December 2020

FULL TEXT Source: - Image Source: Screen Shot from

Christmas Novena : Day 3 : Official Version with Plenary Indulgence - Powerful Prayers to Prepare for Christmas!

A novena is a prayer said over 9 days. See links below for the full prayers for the nine days.
Opening Prayer:
V. O God, come to my assistance.
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father and to
the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now
and ever shall be, world without
Our Father, Who art in heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name;
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Day 3 Prayers

The Expectation of Birth.
O most sweet infant Jesus, who waited for nine months
enclosed in the womb, and inflamed the heart of the
Virgin Mary and St. Joseph with the most powerful love
and expectation, all for the salvation of the world. 
Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, 0 Lord. Have mercy on us.
Hail Mary...
NOVENA PREPARATORY TO CHRISTMAS In order to the devout preparation of ourselves for the glorious Birthday of our most loving Saviour, Jesus Christ, which the holy Church recalls to our memory every year on the 25th of December, and at the same time to render Him thanks for this great benefit, Pope Pius VII., by a Rescript of the Segretaria of the Memorials, dated August 12th, 1815 (which said Rescript is preserved in the Segretaria of the Vicariate), granted to all faithful Christians who, being contrite in heart, should prepare themselves for that great solemnity by a novena, consisting of pious exercises, prayers, acts of virtue, &c. -
i. An indulgence of 300 days each day of the said novena, and -
ii. A plenary indulgence to be gained on Christmas day, or on some day in its octave, by those who, after Confession and Communion, shall have made the said novena every day, and who shall pray according to the intentions of the Sovereigns Pontiff: and note that the Confession and Communion may be made on  any one of the days of the said novena, provided the novena is correctly kept. This was declared by Pope Pius VIII., of holy memory, by means of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, July 9, 1830. These indulgences were extended by the above-named Pius VII. to one other time in the year, besides the the specified, when any one should make the aforesaid novena in honour of the Child Jesus.