Monday, January 18, 2021

Saint January 18 : St. Volusian a Married Bishop of Tours who Died in 496

Died - 496
Volusian was bishop of Tours, in France, the see made famous by St. Martin two centuries earlier. He lived at a time before clerical celibacy had been enforced in the West and was married to a woman famous for her violent temper, which was a great trial to the bishop. He also lived in a time when the barbarian invasions had begun and the fear of the Goths was everywhere.
In writing to a friend of his, a certain Bishop Ruricius, of nearby Limoges, St. Volusian expressed his fear of the Goths who were beginning to terrorize his diocese. Ruricius humorously replied that someone who lived with terror inside his house, meaning his wife, should have no fear of terrors from the outside.
Volusian was of senatorial rank, very wealthy, a relative of the bishop who preceded him, St. Perpetuus, and he lived in the days when Clovis was king of the Franks, the avowed enemy of the Goths.
As the Goths began to overrun Volusian's diocese, they suspected him of sympathies with Clovis and of wanting to subject them to the Franks, so Volusian was driven from his see and sent into exile.
He held the office of bishop in a very difficult time, when the whole of Western Europe was in turmoil, in the wake of the barbarian invasions from the East. Cities were sacked, government disrupted, and bishops were the only agents of stability as civil government collapsed. Gregory of  Tours, who succeeded Volusian as bishop of Tours a century later, describes the turmoil of the times, and it is from his writings that we get our knowledge of Volusian.
We have no further information about Volusian's wife or his family, and we are not sure whether he died in southern France or in Spain. It is simply known that he was driven from his see, went into exile, and died after ruling as bishop for seven years.
Source: EWTN

Pope Francis Sends Message for Martin Luther King Jr. Day "Dr King’s dream of harmony and equality for all people, attained through nonviolent and peaceful means, remains ever timely..."

Vatican News reports that Pope Francis sent a message to participants at a Commemorative Service honouring the life and achievements of Dr Martin Luther King Jr, and encourages all children of God to be artisans of peace.

By Vatican News staff writer

Marking a Commemorative Service honouring the life and the achievements of Dr Martin Luther King Jr, Pope Francis sent a message on Monday to participants at the ceremony in which he recalled Dr King’s peaceful activism for harmony and equality for all people.

The “Beloved Community Commemorative Service” on 18 January is the culminating event of a weeklong celebration of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and legacy.

In his message, the Pope sends his “cordial greetings and good wishes” to all taking part in the event.

“In today’s world, which increasingly faces the challenges of social injustice, division and conflict that hinder the realization of the common good, Dr King’s dream of harmony and equality for all people, attained through nonviolent and peaceful means, remains ever timely,” he writes.

Pope Francis goes on to quote from his encyclical, Fratelli tutti, saying “Each one of us is called to be an artisan of peace, by uniting and not dividing, by extinguishing hatred and not holding on to it, by opening paths of dialogue.”

“In this way, we will be able to see ourselves, not as “others”, but as neighbours, in the truth of our shared dignity as children of Almighty God. Only by striving daily to put this vision into practice can we work together to create a community built upon justice and fraternal love,” he says.

Pope Francis concludes invoking the divine blessings of wisdom and peace upon all present at the Commemorative Service.


Free Catholic Movie : "Lilies of the Field" - Stars Sidney Poitier

The film Lilies of the Field, released in 1963,  a wandering ex-G.I. stops by a farm being run by five German nuns and agrees to help them out with various and sundry tasks and chores. At their insistence, he stays on to build a chapel for them, and the nuns are sure that he is a miracle sent from God. Frankly, the real miracle here is that this movie got made at all.  It was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Moreover, Lilies of the Field achieved motion picture history as Sidney Poitier was awarded the Best Actor Oscar, marking the first time in history an Academy Award was awarded to a black man. 

#BreakingNews Catholic Priest Brutally Killed in Nigeria and 17 others Kidnapped - RIP Beloved Fr. John Gbakaan

Fr. John Gbakaan, parish priest of the Saint Anthony Church in Gulu, in the diocese of Minna, in Nigeria, Africa, was kidnapped and murdered on January 15, 2021. He was along the road from Lambata to Lapai in the state of Niger. According to Agenzia Fides, Fr. Gbakaan, together with his brother and another priest, had gone to Makurdi in the state of Benue on January 14th to visit his mother. All Africa News reports that 17 people were also kidnapped on Saturday night in Madagwa, Wongo and Marenje communities.

On January 15, the priest and his brother were ambushed by armed men on their way back along the road from Lambata to Lapai. The attack took place around 9 p.m. near the village of Tufa. The two brothers were abducted by armed men who turned to the diocese of Minna with a ransom demand on Saturday, January 16. Initially, the kidnappers demanded a sum of thirty million naira.

The priest's lifeless body was found near the site of the kidnapping. Father Gbakaan was allegedly executed with a machete in such a brutal manner that identification was hardly possible. The Toyota Venza that the priest was traveling in was also found in the bush. There is still no news of his brother, who is said to be still in the hands of the kidnappers.

The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, at the national level, has asked the Federal Government to put an end to the abduction and killing of religious leaders by bandits in the country.  Fr. John Gbakaan Yaji during the weekend, described the killing of the Catholic priest as ‘shocking and painful’, stating that insecurity in the North had assumed a more alarming dimension. "We received the news of the kidnapped and killing of our dear Rev Father John with great shock and pains", said CAN’s Vice Chairman (Northern region), Rev. John Hayab. "Today in Northern Nigeria many people are living in fear and many young people are afraid to become pastors because pastors lives are in great danger". "When bandits or kidnappers realised that their victim is a priest or a pastor it seems a violent spirit do take over their heart to demand more ransom and in some cases go to the extent of killing the victim", he emphasized on behalf of the Association of Christian Denominations. "We are simply pleading with the Federal Government and all security agencies to do whatever it will take to bring this evil to a stop". (L.M.) (Edited from Agenzia Fides, 18/1/2021)

RIP Joseph Scheidler - Pro-Life Hero and Activist Dies surrounded by Family - Known as the "Godfather of Pro-Life Activism"

Release: The Pro-Life Action League is grieved to report the passing away of our founder, Joe Scheidler, the "Godfather of Pro-Life Activism." Joe died this morning peacefully, surrounded by the family of which he was so proud. Please remember Joe, his extensive family, and the Pro-Life Action League in your prayers. May he rest in peace.

 Joseph M. Scheidler was the National Director of the Pro-Life Action League, a national pro-life educational and activist organization headquartered in Chicago. Joe left a career in public relations to become a full-time pro-life activist shortly after the U. S. Supreme Court issued its Roe v. Wade opinion in 1973. When his brand of on-the-streets direct action met with resistance from established pro-life organizations, he and his wife, Ann decided to found the Pro-Life Action League in 1980. It has been said that Joseph Scheidler defined pro-life direct action. Father of Pro-Life Activism Joe Scheidler was called the “Green Beret” of the pro-life movement by syndicated columnist Patrick Buchanan. 

He wrote the book on fighting abortion, CLOSED: 99 Ways to Stop Abortion, in 1985 and updated it in 1993. Joe produced the videos Meet the Abortion Providers and Abortion: The Inside Story, featuring former abortionists who testify to what really goes on in the abortion clinics. Joe also produced the definitive video on sidewalk counseling, No Greater Joy, and Face the Truth, an 11-minute video on a unique, highly visible pro-life demonstration using large graphic abortion posters to bring the truth about abortion to the American public. 

To celebrate the League’s 25th Anniversary, Joe produced the video, Action Speaks Louder Than Words, a chronicle of the Pro-Life Action League’s activities and the importance of pro-life activism. His memoir of more than forty years as a pro-life activist, Racketeer for Life, was published in November, 2016. NOW v Scheidler Joe Scheidler was the chief defendant in a RICO lawsuit brought against him, the League and other pro-life activists by the National Organization for Women and two abortion clinics. The RICO case, NOW v. Scheidler, was filed in 1986. He originally won in the lower courts, but the case was sent back to the Federal Court by the Supreme Court in January, 1994. After a seven-week trial, Scheidler and the other defendants were found guilty of racketeering by a six-member jury. That finding was finally overturned by the Supreme Court in February 2003. Unwilling to concede defeat, NOW appealed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to undo the Supreme Court’s mandate. The U.S. Supreme Court heard the case again in November 2005 and issued a unanimous decision in favor of Scheidler in February 2006. However, NOW continued to wrangle over the details of the final judgment in district court and did not finally conclude until 2014, when NOW was finally required to pay final costs to the Pro-Life Action league. A Dynamic Speaker and Media Guest Joe Scheidler is a stimulating and controversial guest on radio and TV interviews and talk shows and has appeared on more than a thousand programs including: ABC News Nightline, Donahue, Crossfire, Face the Nation, Good Morning America, MacNeil/Lehrer Report, The O’Reilly Factor and others. He wrote many guest columns for newspapers such as USA Today and The Wanderer and has published articles in several national publications. 

Joe was a dynamic speaker on the moral dimensions of the abortion issue and the effectiveness of direct action. Nationwide, he has spoken in more than 1,000 towns and cities since 1980, in 48 of the fifty states and has conducted on-site workshops and lectures in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada, and Italy. Joe Scheidler is a recognized expert on the abortion culture, sidewalk counseling, the spiritual dimension of pro-life activism, fetal experimentation, working with the media, the responsibility of the church to fight abortion, battling the courts and the need for a return to morality. Pro-Life Action News Hotline. 

Joe lived in Chicago with his wife, Ann, the Vice President of the Pro-Life Action League. The couple have seven children and twenty-two grandchildren.

- Source:

US Bishops Statement for Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day "This is our Christian duty in this moment — to be healers and peacemakers..." FULL TEXT

Statement for Observance of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Most Reverend José H. Gomez
Archbishop of Los Angeles
President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
For much of the past year, America has been reckoning with the legacy of slavery and the persistence of racial injustice in our country. Sadly, it is still true that the “color of our skin” often matters more in our society than the “content of our character,” as Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., said a half-century ago.
This year as we commemorate the legacy of this great American, we remember especially Rev. King’s belief in nonviolence and the power of love.
As we witnessed in the violence in our cities last summer and in the violence that broke out again last week at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., our country has become too angry, too bitter, and too divided.
And as we confront our deep divisions, we face the same choices that Rev. King and the civil rights movement faced. For us, too, the question is how will we struggle against the injustices in our society, what means will we use?
In 1958, Rev. King wrote: “Along the way of life, someone must have the sense enough and the morality enough to cut off the chain of hate. This can only be done by projecting the ethics of love to the center of our lives.” This is the challenge for every one of us who believes in the promise of America and seeks to renew the soul of this great nation.  
In the spirit of Rev. King, we must meet the forces of hate and ignorance with the power of love. We must learn again the wisdom of the Gospel and love our enemies and bless those who oppose us. In this moment, Rev. King would counsel everyone in public life to seek reconciliation and reject the easy temptation to reprisals and recrimination.
We do not love those who oppose us because they are loveable, or even likable, Rev. King once said. We love them because God loves them. And by our love, we seek their conversion and friendship, not their humiliation. This is our Christian duty in this moment — to be healers and peacemakers, to overcome evil and lies, not by more of the same, but with words of truth and works of love.
We ask our Blessed Mother Mary, the Queen of Peace, to guide us in this moment of transition and uncertainty in our country. May she help us to keep believing in the power of love.
Source: USCCB

Vatican Announces that Pope Francis Names New Secretary of Congregation for Causes of Saints : Bishop Fabio Fabene

On Monday, January 18, 2021, Pope Francis named a new Secretary of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints.
Pope Francis appointed Bishop Fabio Fabene as the new Secretary of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints.
Bishop Fabio Fabene, the titular bishop of Montefiascone, and had served since 8 February 2014 as the Under-Secretary of the Synod of Bishops. (Source:

His Excellency Monsignor Fabio Fabene (born 12 March 1959) has been the Under-Secretary of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops since his appointment on 8 February 2014 by Pope Francis

Fabene studied at the minor seminary in the diocese of Montefiascone. He went on to complete his studies in theology at the Pontifical Regional Seminary in Viterbo and was ordained a priest for the diocese of Montefiascone on 26 May 1984. He was sent to Rome where he earned a doctorate in Canon law (JCD) from the Pontifical Lateran University.

He did pastoral work in the diocese and was later appointed chancellor, serving from 1984 until 1998. After this appointment, he taught canon law. Since 1 January 1998 he entered the service of the Roman Curia serving in the Congregation for Bishops where he went on to become head of office in 2010.

Since 1996 he worked as a judge in the marriage tribunal of Lazio for Diocese of Rome.

He was appointed Under-Secretary of the Synod of Bishops on 8 February 2014 and two months later elevated to the episcopate as Titular Bishop of Aquipendium. 

He was consecrated bishop on 30 May 2014 by Pope Francis, Giovanni Battista Cardinal Re and Lorenzo Cardinal Baldisseri.

Image source (Screenshot) and Biographical Source:

US President Trump's Proclamation on National Sanctity of Human Life Day, 2021 "...renew our resolve to build a culture of life.." FULL Official TEXT

 Proclamation on National Sanctity of Human Life Day, 2021

Every human life is a gift to the world.  Whether born or unborn, young or old, healthy or sick, every person is made in the holy image of God.  The Almighty Creator gives unique talents, beautiful dreams, and a great purpose to every person.  On National Sanctity of Human Life Day, we celebrate the wonder of human existence and renew our resolve to build a culture of life where every person of every age is protected, valued, and cherished.
This month, we mark nearly 50 years since the United States Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.  This constitutionally flawed ruling overturned State laws that banned abortion, and has resulted in the loss of more than 50 million innocent lives.  But strong mothers, courageous students, and incredible community members and people of faith are leading a powerful movement to awaken America’s conscience and restore the belief that every life is worthy of respect, protection, and care.  Because of the devotion of countless pro-life pioneers, the call for every person to recognize the sanctity of life is resounding more loudly in America than ever before.  Over the last decade, the rate of abortions has steadily decreased, and today, more than three out of every four Americans support restrictions on abortion.
Since my first day in office, I have taken historic action to protect innocent lives at home and abroad.  I reinstituted and strengthened President Ronald Reagan’s Mexico City Policy, issued a landmark pro-life rule to govern the use of Title Ten taxpayer funding, and took action to protect the conscience rights of doctors, nurses, and organizations like the Little Sisters of the Poor.  My Administration has protected the vital role of faith-based adoption.  At the United Nations, I made clear that global bureaucrats have no business attacking the sovereignty of nations that protect innocent life.  Just a few months ago, our Nation also joined 32 other countries in signing the Geneva Consensus Declaration, which bolsters global efforts to provide better healthcare to women, protect all human life, and strengthen families.
As a Nation, restoring a culture of respect for the sacredness of life is fundamental to solving our country’s most pressing problems.  When each person is treated as a beloved child of God, individuals can reach their full potential, communities will flourish, and America will be a place of even greater hope and freedom.  That is why it was my profound privilege to be the first President in history to attend the March for Life, and it is what motives my actions to improve our Nation’s adoption and foster care system, secure more funding for Down syndrome research, and expand health services for single mothers.  Over the past 4 years, I have appointed more than 200 Federal judges who apply the Constitution as written, including three Supreme Court Justices — Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett.  I also increased the child tax credit, so that mothers are financially supported as they take on the noble task of raising strong and healthy children.  And, recently, I signed an Executive Order on Protecting Vulnerable Newborn and Infant Children, which defends the truth that every newborn baby has the same rights as all other individuals to receive life-saving care.
The United States is a shining example of human rights for the world.  However, some in Washington are fighting to keep the United States among a small handful of nations — including North Korea and China — that allow elective abortions after 20 weeks.  I join with countless others who believe this is morally and fundamentally wrong, and today, I renew my call on the Congress to pass legislation prohibiting late-term abortion.
Since the beginning, my Administration has been dedicated to lifting up every American, and that starts with protecting the rights of the most vulnerable in our society — the unborn.  On National Sanctity of Human Life Day, we promise to continue speaking out for those who have no voice.  We vow to celebrate and support every heroic mother who chooses life.  And we resolve to defend the lives of every innocent and unborn child, each of whom can bring unbelievable love, joy, beauty, and grace into our Nation and the entire world.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 22, 2021, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day.  Today, I call on the Congress to join me in protecting and defending the dignity of every human life, including those not yet born.  I call on the American people to continue to care for women in unexpected pregnancies and to support adoption and foster care in a more meaningful way, so every child can have a loving home.  And finally, I ask every citizen of this great Nation to listen to the sound of silence caused by a generation lost to us, and then to raise their voices for all affected by abortion, both seen and unseen.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventeenth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.

Martin Luther King Jr. - 5 Amazing Facts you might not know and what Pope Paul VI said after his Death to SHARE

Martin Luther King Jr.(born Michael King Jr., January 15, 1929 – died - April 4, 1968) was an American Baptist minister and activist. He advanced the civil rights movement using nonviolence and civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs and inspired by Mahatma Gandhi. After MLK Jr. was killed, Pope Paul VI in his Angelus address, said that the he was “a Christian prophet for racial integration.” January 18, is designated as MLK Jr. Day in the USA.

Here are five interesting facts about Martin Luther King Jr.
1. King’s father was born Michael King, but changed his name in 1931 in reverence to the German theologian Martin Luther.
2. Martin was almost assassinated before many of his famous civil rights accomplishments in the early 1960s. Izola Ware Curry approached Martin at a book signing for “Stride Towards Freedom.” After receiving confirmation that he was indeed Martin Luther King Jr. she exclaimed “I’ve been looking for you for five years” and stabbed Martin in the chest with a letter opener.  The blade pressed against his aorta and took several hours of careful surgery to remove.
3. Martin Luther King Jr. won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 at the age of 35.  This made him the youngest male recipient of the prestigious award.  He donated the entire prize of $54,123 (now equivalent to $400,000) to the civil rights movement. Martin won dozens more awards for his work including the Medal of Freedom, Congressional Gold Medal, and a Grammy.  The Grammy was for Best Spoken Word Album, awarded in 1971 for King’s “Why I Oppose the War in Vietnam.”
4. Martin Luther King Jr. was targeted by the FBI for being “the most dangerous Negro of the future in this nation" from the standpoint of communism, the Negro, and Records of Martin taken by the FBI are held in the National Achieve but remain sealed from public access until 2027.
5.   His most famous speech "I have a Dream" continues to be an inspiration.