Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Wednesday, April 14, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church - Eastertide

 Wednesday of the Second Week of Easter
Lectionary: 269
Reading I
Acts 5:17-26
The high priest rose up and all his companions,
that is, the party of the Sadducees,
and, filled with jealousy,
laid hands upon the Apostles and put them in the public jail.
But during the night, the angel of the Lord opened the doors of the prison,
led them out, and said,
“Go and take your place in the temple area,
and tell the people everything about this life.”
 When they heard this,
they went to the temple early in the morning and taught.
When the high priest and his companions arrived,
they convened the Sanhedrin,
the full senate of the children of Israel,
and sent to the jail to have them brought in.
But the court officers who went did not find them in the prison,
so they came back and reported,
“We found the jail securely locked
and the guards stationed outside the doors,
but when we opened them, we found no one inside.”
When the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests heard this report, 
they were at a loss about them,
as to what this would come to.
Then someone came in and reported to them,
“The men whom you put in prison are in the temple area
and are teaching the people.” 
Then the captain and the court officers went and brought them,
but without force,
because they were afraid of being stoned by the people.
Responsorial Psalm
34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
R.    (7a) The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
R.    Alleluia.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
    his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
    the lowly will hear me and be glad.
R.    The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
R.    Alleluia.
Glorify the LORD with me,
    let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
    and delivered me from all my fears.
R.    The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
R.    Alleluia.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
    and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
    and from all his distress he saved him.
R.    The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
R.    Alleluia.
The angel of the LORD encamps
    around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
    blessed the man who takes refuge in him.
R.    The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
R.    Alleluia.
Jn 3:16
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God so love the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jn 3:16-21
God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him will not be condemned,
but whoever does not believe has already been condemned,
because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.
And this is the verdict,
that the light came into the world,
but people preferred darkness to light,
because their works were evil.
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light
and does not come toward the light,
so that his works might not be exposed.
But whoever lives the truth comes to the light,
so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.
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 April 14 : St. Lydwine of Schiedam who Suffered from a Fall through the Ice but was Gifted with Miracles - Patron of Ice Skaters and Chronic Pain

Born at Schiedam, Holland, 18 April 1380;
Died 14 April, 1433.
Patronof sickness; chronically ill, ice skaters, town of Schiedam
Her father, Peter by name, came of a noble family while her mother Petronella, born at Kethel, Holland, was a poor country girl. Both were poor. Very early in her life St. Lidwina was drawn towards the Mother of God and prayed a great deal before the miraculous image of Our Lady of Schiedam. During the winter of the year of 1395, Lidwina went skating with her friends, one of whom caused her to fall upon some ice with such violence that she broke a rib in her right side. This was the beginning of her martyrdom. No medical skill availed to cure her. Gangrene appeared in the wound caused by the fall and spread over her entire body. For years she lay in pain which seemed to increase constantly. Some looked on her with suspicion, as being under the influence of the evil spirit. Her pastor, Andries, brought her an unconsecrated host, but the saint distinguished it at once. But God rewarded her with a wonderful gift of prayer and also with visions. Numerous miracles took place at her bed-side. The celebrated preacher and seer, Wermbold of Roskoop, visited her after previously beholding her in spirit. The pious Arnold of Schoonhoven treated her as a friend. Hendrik Mande wrote for her consolation a pious tract in Dutch. When Joannes Busch brought this to her, he asked her what she thought of Hendrik Mande's visions, and she answered that they came from God. In a vision she was shown a rose-bush with the words, "When this shall be in bloom, your suffering will be at an end." In the spring of the year 1433, she exclaimed, "I see the rose-bush in full bloom!" From her fifteenth to her fifty-third year, she suffered every imaginable pain; she was one sore from head to foot and was greatly emaciated. On the morning of Easter-day, 1433, she was in deep contemplation and beheld, in a vision, Christ coming towards her to administer the Sacrament of Extreme Unction. She died in the odour of great sanctity. At once her grave became a place of pilgrimage, and as early as 1434 a chapel was built over it. Joannes Brugmann and Thomas à Kempis related the history of her life, and veneration of her on the part of the people increased unceasingly. In 1615 her relics were conveyed to Brussels, but in 1871 they were returned to Schiedam. On 14 March, 1890, Leo XIII put the official sanction of the Church upon that veneration which had existed for centuries.
Shared From The Catholic Encyclopedia
Prayer to St. Lidwina
Let us ask for her intercession for all those suffering from consistent daily chronic pain. St. Lidwina can raise our prayers to God to bring relief to those who are suffering and bring forth healing, not only to their physical pain but also to their suffering souls. Prayer for St. Lidwina’s Intercession 
St. Lidwina, in your sufferings you knew the weight of the cross. Please pray for all who are burdened in life. Teach us by your example to never waste one drop of pain, but to lovingly and courageously “offer it up” to our Lord, who patiently suffered for us. Amen.

WATCH The Chosen Season 2 - Popular Series on Jesus' Life with his Apostles - FULL Episode

‘The Chosen’ is a TV Series on the Life of Christ is produced by VidAngel Studios.’ It is crowdfunded production which portrays the biblical Jesus in  the ancient world. Dallas Jenkins, an evangelical,  created The Chosen — a projected eight-season TV series on Jesus Christ. The first season was released a year ago. He intends The Chosen to be faithful to Scripture. The  show has a Catholic consultant, Holy Cross Father David Guffey, who describes it as an Ignatian meditation on the Gospels. The main actor, who plays Jesus is also Catholic. 
WATCH Season 2: Episode 1 Below   - After introduction by Dallas Jenkins
 STARTS at 23:41 on the VIDEO Below:

Bishops Conference of Haiti Calls on Public Authorities to Solve Crisis after 5 Priests and 2 Nuns are Kidnapped with $1 Million US Demanded in Ransom

Pope Francis Sets Saint Teresa of Avila as an Example "the flame that Jesus lit in Teresa continues to shine in this world..." on Anniversary

Vatican News reports that Pope Francis marked the 50th anniversary of the proclamation of Saint Teresa of Ávila as a Doctor of the Church, and stresses her importance even today, especially in highlighting the role of women in the Church and in society.
By  Vatican News staff writer
Opening his message to Archbishop Gil Tamayo of Ávila, Spain, Pope Francis noted that St Teresa was the first woman to become a Doctor of the Church.
He said the title was a recognition of the "precious teaching that God has transmitted to us through her writings and the testimony of her life." 
Fifty years ago, on 27 September 1970, Pope St Paul VI conferred the title of Doctor of the Church on St. Teresa of Ávila.
The Catholic University of Ávila, which is dedicated to the Spanish mystic, is celebrating this historic anniversary with an international congress entitled "Exceptional woman," as Pope Paul VI described her himself. It runs until 15 April. 
Courageous witness, able to break down walls
Saint Teresa was born in 1515 and died in 1582. Pope Francis wrote in his message that even now, nearly half a millenium since her death, wrote that "the flame that Jesus lit in Teresa continues to shine in this world, always in need of courageous witnesses, capable of breaking down any wall, whether physical, existential or cultural." 
He also cited her intelligence and tenacity, which she joined to "a sensitivity to beauty and a spiritual motherhood toward all those who approached her work."
The Pope added that she was an example of the "extraordinary role that women have played throughout history in the Church and in society."
A message for those seeking purification
Saint Teresa of Ávila still speaks to us today, thanks to her writings.
Pope Francis noted that her message and example are for everyone, "for those who feel the call to religious life," but also "for all those who wish to progress on the path of purification from all worldliness, which leads to union with God, to the lofty abodes of the interior castle."
"Having her as a friend companion and guide in our earthly pilgrimage confers security and tranquility," he said. 
The Pope concluded his message by recalling Teresa's great devotion to St. Joseph and by encouraging all the faithful to continue to look deeper into her message and teachings.
Source: Vatican News va

Police Issue Statement of Regret after Disrupting Good Friday Service at Christ the King, Polish Catholic Church in England - FULL TEXT

On Good Friday, April 2nd, 2021, police interrupted the Catholic Service at Christ the King church in Balham, London. The Archdiocese and Police have issued statements.  (Raw video below of the service - See Police Statement below statements by Archdiocese)

Press Statement: Sunday 11th April 2021
A Joint Commitment to Healing and Collaboration 
Good Friday and Christ the King Polish Catholic Church, Balham

Healing and Collaboration at Christ the King Catholic Polish Church (Images: Marcin Mazur)
On Good Friday, 2 April 2021, the Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion at Christ the King Polish Catholic Church in Balham, South West London, was brought to an end by Officers of the Metropolitan Police Service. The Church is situated in the Archdiocese of Southwark. On Holy Saturday, 3 April 2021, the Archbishop of Southwark, the Most Reverend John Wilson, made a pastoral visit to the Parish. Together with the Metropolitan Police Service, a process of reflection has taken place resulting in the commitment of all parties to work together for healing through renewed collaboration and engagement in a spirit of friendship.


On the Second Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday, 11 April 2021, Archbishop Wilson, together with Superintendent Roger Arditti and Detective Superintendent Andy Wadey of the Metropolitan Police Service visited the Polish Catholic Church of Christ the King.
At the end of the 10.45am Mass, Archbishop Wilson and Detective Superintendent Wadey each addressed the congregation. A message was also read on behalf of Mgr Stefan Wylężek, Vicar Delegate of the Polish Catholic Mission for England and Wales. The text of each of address is given below.

Address of the Most Reverend John Wilson
Archbishop of Southwark

Dear brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ
Chrystus zmartwychwstał!
It is a great joy to be able to greet you with these words on this Second Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday. Christ is risen; He is risen indeed. In a special way we give thanks to God for the life and witness of St Maria Faustina Kowalska, the Apostle of Divine Mercy; and we thank St John Paul II who established this Feast of Divine Mercy throughout the whole Church. Thank you, Poland, for giving us these two remarkable saints. St Faustina and St John Paul, please pray for us.
The Gospel of St John recalls that, after the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, the disciples were gathered in fear. But the risen Christ broke through the barriers of separation. He came and stood among them and said to them: ‘Peace be with you.’
Dear friends, we are all deeply saddened by the events that took place in this church on Good Friday afternoon. Since then, the genuine concerns of the Polish Catholic Mission, and Christ the King Parish community, have been heard directly by the Metropolitan Police Service. We all share the same desire to move forward in friendship, working together for the common good. We are committed to enabling freedom of worship for everyone, in safe and secure environments. We place our sorrow before the risen Lord who asks us to be instruments of his peace. 
Today, I am pleased to be accompanied by Superintendent Roger Arditti and Detective Superintendent Andy Wadey from the Metropolitan Police Service. We come at the invitation of the Rector of the Polish Catholic Mission in England and Wales, Mgr Stefan, and your Parish Priest, Mgr Władysław. I thank them for their kindness and the very fruitful conversations we have had together with the Police this past week. In a moment Detective Superintendent Wadey will address some words to each of you present here in the Church, and to every member of the Polish Catholic Community in Balham. Our presence with you is a sign of our commitment to work together for healing.
 Immediately after this Mass, Superintendent Arditti and Dectective Superintendent Wadey will meet with me and your parish clergy and representatives to begin a conversation about how the Polish Catholic Community in Balham and the Metropolitan Police Service can work to enhance communication and engagement with each other.
On this beautiful Feast of Divine Mercy we remember some words of St Faustina: ‘The past does not belong to me; the future is not mine; with all my soul I try to make use of the present moment.’
My brothers and sisters, let us make use of this present moment, of every present moment, in the service of reconciliation. ‘Peace be with you,’ said the Risen Lord. Let us speak and hear these words to and from each other. 
I assure you of my prayers and blessing - to you, to your families, and to your loved ones.

Address of Detective Superintendent Andy Wadey, Metropolitan Police Service
Metropolitan Police Service - Frontline Policing
South West BCU Senior Leadership Team

Message to the Polish Catholic Parish of Christ the King, Balham

I would like to start by thanking you all for your invite to myself, Detective Supt Andy Wadey, and my colleague Supt Roger Arditti who is responsible for the local neighbourhood policing teams, to join you today, the Second Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday. It is really important for us to be here, and I thank you all for the hand of friendship that you have shown us, and the Metropolitan Police.
The last year has been terrifically difficult for everyone in London. The pandemic has caused significant challenges for us all, and we have all had to live our lives differently. The restrictions have been challenging for everyone, including faith communities, and also on occasions for the MPS as we seek to keep people safe. The MPS is a community based policing service, and we are proud to serve all the communities of London, including all of you here and the wider Catholic and Polish communities.
We are all aware of the events that happened here in the afternoon of Good Friday. The intention of the MPS is to protect and support communities in staying safe during the pandemic. We know, however, that many people were very upset by what happened on Good Friday and we deeply regret that.
Since then, there has been significant reflection and learning by myself and Roger; our colleagues who work with us locally, and also Senior Leaders at New Scotland Yard.
The Metropolitan Police truly wishes to serve and protect you in the best possible way. I truly hope that today marks the start of a renewed deep and lasting relationship, with the Parish of Christ the King, Balham and also the wider Polish communities.
Once again, thank you for inviting us to join you today.

Bishop Stika says "As a nation, we must commit ourselves to work to turn away from violence..." after Highschool Shooting in Tennessee - FULL TEXT

A student opened fire on officers, at a highschool, who came after a report of a possible gunman at the Tennessee school. On Monday, April 12th the police shot back and killed the student. The shooting wounded an officer.

Below FULL TEXT  - Bishop issues statement on fatal shooting in Knoxville

April 12, 2021

Bishop Richard F. Stika of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Knoxville has issued this statement following the fatal shooting at Austin-East High School on Monday, April 12: 

“Once again and regrettably, I am asking for prayers for the victims of another terrible shooting in Knoxville. I have been monitoring today’s unfortunate and violent incident and offer my personal prayers for all of the victims, including a law- enforcement officer.  The series of tragic events that has taken place in recent weeks in Knoxville, especially involving the Austin-East community, and those that have taken place throughout the United States, demonstrate that violence in our society remains a serious, almost daily occurrence and that it claims victims in many different ways. As a nation, we must commit ourselves to work to turn away from violence and find real solutions that lead us to love, compassion, and decency. As Bishop of the Diocese of Knoxville, I pledge to do what I can to help. Prayers are important, but communities must come together to find positive solutions to this ongoing problem in our country.”    

Source: https://dioknox.org/news/bishop-issues-statement-on-fatal-shooting-in-knoxville

Bishops of Scotland Issue Letter on "Putting Human Life and Dignity at the Centre" Ahead of Government Elections - FULL TEXT

Scottish Parliament Election 2021 - Putting Human Life and
Dignity at the Centre

A letter from the Catholic Bishops of Scotland
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This election presents us with an opportunity to play our part in putting human life and the inviolable
dignity of the human person at the centre of Scotland’s political discourse.
We often see politics through a party prism, which can create a divisive, and occasionally fractious,
political environment. Whilst party politics can be an important consideration, particularly in the
Scottish Parliament list system, it is individuals who will make up the parliament and form a
government; and some of the most important issues, including abortion and assisted suicide, are
commonly decided by a conscience, or free, vote. Therefore, it is critical to ascertain candidates’
personal values and opinions and not concentrate solely on party policies.
As Catholics we have a duty: to share the Gospel and to help form the public conscience on key moral
issues. It is a duty of both faith and citizenship. This election is an opportunity to be the effective
witness our Baptism calls us to be.
The new parliament and government will be tasked with leading the recovery from the damage
wrought by the current health crisis and to tackle the significant impact it has had on many aspects of
life including health care, mental health and wellbeing, religious freedom, and care for the poor. It must also build on the positives arising from the Pandemic, including caring for the most vulnerable,
and a renewed sense of respect for human life, human dignity, and the value of community.
These are some of the issues you may want to consider in the forthcoming election:
Beginning and end of life
It is the duty of parliamentarians to uphold the most basic and fundamental human right to life.
Elected representatives ought to recognise the existence of human life from the moment of
conception and be committed to the protection of human life at every stage. Caring for the unborn
and their mothers is a fundamental measure of a caring and compassionate society; a society which puts human dignity at the centre.
We ought to be mindful of a further attempt to legalise assisted suicide in Scotland, likely to happen
in this parliament. Legalising assisted suicide or euthanasia suggests that some lives are not worth living, contrary to the Christian belief that every life has equal dignity and value. It is incumbent upon
our parliamentarians to show compassion for the sick and dying. This is not achieved by assisted suicide or euthanasia but by ensuring support is provided through caring and attentive politics,
including investment in palliative care.
Family and Work
Society relies on the building block of the family to exist and flourish. The love of man and woman in
marriage and openness to new life is the basic, fundamental cell upon which every society is built. The wellbeing of Scotland and its future depends on the flourishing of family life and government should
respond to this reality with policies creating economic and fiscal advantages for families with children.
The pandemic has placed immeasurable pressure on businesses and many people have lost their livelihood. The state has a duty to sustain business activities by creating conditions which will ensure Catholic Parliamentary
Office job opportunities, especially in times of crisis. This must be accompanied by a just wage to provide a
dignified livelihood for the worker and their family.
Poverty, Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery
Sadly, poverty remains a scourge for too many people. The marginalised, the homeless, and the lonely
and isolated have been cast further adrift because of the pandemic. And poverty now affects 24% of
children in Scotland. We need elected representatives who respect a preferential option for the poor,
who are willing to prioritise their need and respect their human dignity.
Our government must also work with the international community to adopt an even more effective
strategy against human trafficking and modern slavery, so that in every part of the world, men and
women may no longer be used as a means to an end, and that their inviolable dignity will always be
The next group of MSPs will be tasked with protecting our neighbours at home and abroad from the
poverty and climate crises which continue to rage on. In November Glasgow will play host to the
COP26 international climate change summit. We should listen to Pope Francis’ call to ‘hear the cry of
the earth and the cry of the poor’ by lifting up the voices of the global south and coming together to
rebuild our Common Home in a way that leaves no-one behind. Scotland can also demonstrate global
leadership by strengthening its commitment to becoming a carbon neutral country.
Free speech, free expression, and freedom of thought, conscience and religion
If Scotland is to be a tolerant, open, diverse country then we must be free to discuss and debate ideas,
even those which are deemed by some to be controversial. Whilst being mindful of the need to protect
citizens from hate, government must not overstep into the realm of unjust restrictions on free speech,
free expression and freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This must include, among others,
the freedom to express belief in the biological reality of sex and gender.
Catholic schools
The right of parents to choose a school for their children which corresponds to their own convictions
is fundamental. Public authorities have a duty to guarantee this parental right and to ensure the
concrete conditions for its exercise. Thus, parliamentarians ought to continue to support an open and
diverse state education system which includes Catholic schools.
We pray that this election will put human life and the dignity of the human person at the centre, and
that candidates will ensure debate is respectful and courteous.
We urge you to visit the website rcpolitics.org and to use the resources there to help you in your
consideration of election issues and to use the tools available to question candidates.
+ Hugh Gilbert, President, Bishop of Aberdeen
+ John Keenan, Vice President, Bishop of Paisley
+ Brian McGee, Episcopal Secretary, Bishop of Argyll and the Isles
+ Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh
+ Joseph Toal, Bishop of Motherwell
+ Stephen Robson, Bishop of Dunkeld
+ William Nolan, Bishop of Galloway
Monsignor Hugh Bradley, Archdiocesan Administrator, Archdiocese of Glasgow
Press Release: https://www.bcos.org.uk/

Franciscans and Diocese Statements after Fr. David Morrier, who Worked at Franciscan University of Steubenville, is Removed from Public Ministry on Allegations of Sexual Misconduct

FULL TEXT Statement: 
Franciscan Friars Third Order Regular of Saint Francis Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

Minister Provincial

Media Advisory - Charges Filed Against Fr. David Morrier

April 9, 2021

Yesterday, the Third Order Regular Franciscans, Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, learned that Fr. David Morrier, a member of the Province, was charged with one count of rape and two counts of sexual battery by a grand jury in Jefferson County (OH). The alleged charges occurred between November 2010 and the spring of 2013.

Fr. Morrier was removed from public ministry in 2015 due to allegations of sexual misconduct. He has not exercised public ministry since that time. Being removed from public ministry means that he has not publicly celebrated Mass or any sacraments. The Province has cooperated fully with the investigation into this matter.

The Province takes all allegations of sexual misconduct seriously and urges anyone who has been a victim of sexual misconduct to call law enforcement officials immediately.

Office of the Minister Provincial

Franciscan Friars, TOR P. O. Box 137, Loretto, PA 15940-0137 Phone: (814) 419-8890 Fax: (814) 472-8992

 Diocese Reacts to Franciscan Priest’s Indictment The Jefferson County grand jury indicted Third Order Regular (TOR) of St. Francis Father David A. Morrier on rape and sexual battery charges April 7. 
The Steubenville Diocese first became aware of the case when the alleged victim presented the allegations to the diocese in November, 2018. Although Father Morrier is not a priest of the Steubenville Diocese, the diocese began an immediate preliminary investigation with the alleged victim and officers with the Steubenville police department. The Diocese of Steubenville submitted a report to the Minister General of the TOR’s in Rome as well as to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Holy See on December 11, 2018. Since that time, the diocese has continued to work with the Steubenville police department and has provided updates on the investigation to the Holy See. The Diocese of Steubenville takes allegations of abuse most seriously and encourages victims of abuse to contact the local police department in whose jurisdiction the abuse occurred. Source: https://diosteub.org/

Saint April 13 : Blessed Margaret of Castello - Abandoned by her Parents due to her Disabilities - Patron of Disabled, Pro-Life, Unwanted, the Ugly with Novena Prayer

Patron of the Ugly, Unwanted, Abandoned, Pro-Life movements and the Disabled.
Bl. Margaret of Castello was born in the fourteenth century in Metola, Italy to noble parents who wanted a son. When the news was brought to the new mother that her newborn daughter was a blind, hunchbacked dwarf, both parents were horrified. Little Margaret was kept in a secluded section of the family castle in the hopes that her existence would be kept secret. However, when she was about six years old, she accidentally made her presence known to a guest. Determined to keep her out of the public eye, her father had a room without a door built onto the side of the parish church and walled Margaret inside this room. Here she lived until she was sixteen, never being allowed to come out. Her food and other necessities were passed in to her through a window. Another window into the church allowed her to hear Mass and receive Holy Communion. The parish priest became a good friend, and took upon himself the duty to educate her. He was amazed at her docility and the depth of her spiritual wisdom.

When Margaret was sixteen years old, her parents heard of a shrine in Citta di Castello, Italy, where many sick people were cured. They made a pilgrimage to the shrine so that she could pray for healing. However, Margaret, open to the will of God, was not healed that day, or the next, so her parents callously abandoned her in the streets of the town and left for home, never to see her again. At the mercy of the passersby, Margaret had to beg her food and eventually sought shelter with some Dominican nuns.

W. R. Bonniwell writes, “Her cheerfulness, based on her trust in God’s love and goodness, was extraordinary. She became a Dominican tertiary and devoted herself to tending the sick and the dying” as well as prisoners in the city jail.

 Bl. Margaret helped innumerable others by her life and her good deeds, finding holiness by uniting her sufferings to Christ’s. And now, some 670 years after her death, she teaches us valuable lessons by her very being.

Bl. Margaret lived a life of hope and faith, practicing heroic charity, though little was shown her in return. She came from a home where she was deprived, not because her parents had no wealth, but because they valued their material wealth and status more than their spiritual treasures.

Deprived of all human companionship, Margaret learned to embrace her Lord in solitude. Instead of becoming bitter, she forgave her parents for their ill treatment of her and treated others as well as she could. Her cheerfulness stemmed from her conviction that God loves each person infinitely, for He has made each person in His own image and likeness. This same cheerfulness won the hearts of the poor of Castello, and they took her into their homes for as long as their purses could afford. She passed from house to house in this way, “a homeless beggar being practically adopted by the poor of a city” (Bonniwell, 1955).

Bl. Margaret died on April 13, 1320 at the age of 33. More than 200 miracles have been credited to her intercession since her death. She was beatified in 1609. Thus, the daughter that nobody wanted is now one of the glories of the Church. Her body remains incorrupt.
Text Edited from the Nashville Dominicans.
(Novena from Catholic Doors Ministry)

First Day:

O Blessed Margaret of Castello, In embracing your life just as it was,
You gave us an example of resignation To the Will of god. In so accepting God’s Will,
You knew that you would grow in virtue, Glorify God, save your own soul,
And help the souls of your neighbors. Obtain for me the grace,
To recognize the will of God, In all that may happen to me in my life,
And so resign myself to it. Obtain for me also the special favor,
Which I now ask, Through your intercession with God.

Say this prayer Each day of the Novena: Let us pray…O God by whose Will The blessed virgin, Margaret, Was blind from birth, That the eyes of her mind
Being inwardly enlightened She might think without ceasing
On You alone; Be the light of our eyes,
That we may be able To flee the shadows in this world,
And reach the home Of never-ending light.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Glorify your servant blessed Margaret,
By granting the favor We so ardently desire. This we ask in humble submission
To God’s Will, For His Honor and Glory And the salvation of souls.
Say 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and 1 Glory be each day of the Novena.

Second Day:

O Blessed Margaret of Castello, In reflecting so deeply
Upon the sufferings and death Of our Crucified Lord,
You learned courage And gained the grace To bear your own afflictions.
Obtain for me The grace and courage That I so urgently need
So as to be able to bear My infirmities and endure my afflictions
In union with our Suffering Savior. Obtain for me also The special favor which I now ask
Through your intercession with God. Let us pray…

Third Day:

O Blessed Margaret of Castello, Your love for Jesus
In the Blessed Sacrament Was intense and enduring.
It was here In intimacy with the Divine Presence
That you found spiritual strength To accept suffering,
To be cheerful, patient and kindly Towards others.
Obtain for me the grace That I may draw from this same source,
As from an exhaustible font, The strength whereby I may be
Kind and understanding Of everyone despite whatever pain or discomfort
May come my way. Obtain for your intercession with God.
Let us pray…

Fourth Day:

O Blessed Margaret of Castello, You unceasingly turned to God in prayer
With confidence and trust In His Fatherly love.
It was only through continual prayer That you were enabled
To accept your misfortunes, To be serene, patient, and at peace.
Obtain for me the grace To persevere in my prayer,
Confident that God will give me The help to carry whatever cross
Comes into my life. Obtain for me also the special favor
Which I now ask Through your intercession with God.
Let us pray…

Fifth Day:

O Blessed Margaret of Castello, In imitation of the Child Jesus,
Who was subject to Mary and Joseph, You obeyed your father and mother,
Overlooking their unnatural harshness. Obtain for me
That same attitude of obedience Toward all those
Who have legitimate authority over me,
Most especially toward The Holy Roman Catholic Church.
Obtain for me also The special favor which I now ask
Through your intercession with God.

Let us pray…

Sixth Day:

O Blessed Margaret of Castello, Your miseries taught you
Better than any teacher The weakness and frailty
Of human nature. Obtain for me The grace to recognize
My human limitations And to acknowledge
My utter dependence upon God. Acquire for me
That abandonment which leaves me Completely at the mercy of God
To do with me whatsoever He wills. Obtain for me also
The special favor which I now ask Through your intercession with God.
Let us pray…

Seventh Day:

O blessed Margaret of Castello, You could have so easily
Become discouraged and bitter; But, instead, you fixed your eyes
On the suffering Christ And there you learned from Him
The redemptive value of suffering - How to offer your pains and aches,
In reparation for sin And for the salvation of souls.
Obtain for me the grace To learn how to endure
My sufferings with patience. Obtain for me also
The special favor which I now ask Through your intercession with God.

Let us pray…

Eigth Day:

O Blessed Margaret of Castello, How it must have hurt
When your parents abandoned you! Yet you learned from this
That all earthly love and affection, Even for those who are closest,
Must be sanctified. And so, despite everything,
You continued to love your parents – But now you loved them in God.
Obtain for me the grace That I might see
All my human loves and affections In their proper perspective…
In God and for god. Obtain for me also
The special favor which I now ask
Through your intercession with God.

Let us pray…

Ninth Day:

O Blessed Margaret of Castello, Through your suffering and misfortune,
You became sensitive To the sufferings of others.
Your heart reached out To everyone in trouble –
The sick, the hungry, the dying prisoners. Obtain for me the grace
To recognize Jesus in everyone With whom I come into contact,
Especially in the poor, The wretched, the unwanted!
Obtain for me also The special favor which I now ask
Through your intercession with God.

Let us pray…

Last Day of Novena Prayer

O my God, I thank you For having given
Blessed Margaret of Castello To the world as an example
Of the degree of holiness That can be attained by anyone
Who truly loves you, Regardless of physical abnormalities.
In today’s perverted culture, Margaret would have, most likely,
Never been born; Death through abortion
Being preferable to life, Especially life In an ugly distorted twisted body.
But Your ways are not the world’s ways… And so it was Your Will
That Margaret would be born into the world With just such a malformed body.
It is Your way that uses our weakness To give testimony to Your power.
Margaret was born blind, So as to see You more clearly;
A cripple, so as to lean on You completely; Dwarfed in physical posture,
So as to become a giant in the spiritual order; Hunch-backed,
So as to more perfectly resemble The twisted, crucified body of Your Son.
Margaret’s whole life Was an enactment of the words
Expressed by Paul: “So I shall be very happy
To make my weaknesses my special boast
So that the power of Christ may stay over me
And that is why I am content With my weaknesses,
And with insults, hardships, Persecutions and the agonies
I go through for Christ’s sake. For it is when I am weak that I am strong.” (2 Cor 12:10).

I beseech you, O God, To grant through the intercession
Of Blessed Margaret of Castello, That all the handicapped …
And who among us is not?… All rejected, all unwanted of the world
May make their weaknesses Their own special boast
So that your power may stay over them
Now and forever.


Blessed Margaret of Castello, pray for us.

RIP Cardinal Edward Cassidy - Death of Former President of Pontifical Council for Christian Unity at Age 96 in Australia

The former President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Cardinal Edward Cassidy, died in Newcastle, Australia, on Saturday, April 10, 2021, at the age of 96.
Biography from Vatican.va
Cardinal Edward I. Cassidy, President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, was born on 5 July 1924 in Sydney, Australia.
After having finished his secondary schooling in Parramatta, Sydney, he took a state government job in New South Wales, and for about three months he worked at the Ministry of Transport and Traffic Control. In February 1943 he entered the seminary of St. Colombia in Springwood, and the following year he attended the College of St. Patrick in Manly, where he finished his studies. He was ordained to the priesthood on 23 July 1949 at St. Mary’s Cathedral. From 1950 to 1952 Father Edward served in the parish of Yenda in the diocese of Wagga Wagga.
Beginning in 1952 he studied Canon Law at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome, earning his doctorate in 1955 with high honours for his historical and juridical study on the Apostolic Delegate of the Church. In 1953 he trained at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy at Piazza della Minerva. He received his diploma and entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See. His first post was at the Apostolic Internunciature in India (1955-1962); he then spent five years, from 1962 to 1967, at the Apostolic Nunciature of Dublin; two years in El Salvador (1967-1969); one year in Argentina.
He was elected Titular Archbishop of Amanzia on 27 October 1970 and at the same time he was appointed Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to the Republic of China (Taiwan). He received episcopal ordination on 15 November 1970. In 1972 he was appointed the first Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to Bangladesh, a country that had just obtained independence, as well as the Apostolic Delegate to Burma. On 25 March 1979 he was named Apostolic Delegate to South Africa and Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to Lesotho, assignments he held until 6 November 1984, when he was sent as Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to the Netherlands.
On 23 March 1988 Archbishop Cassidy was appointed Substitute of the Secretary of State for General Affairs, the post he filled until 12 December 1989, when he was appointed President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity.
President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, 3 March 2001.
President Delegate of the Special Assembly for Oceania of the Synod of Bishops, November-December 1998.
He was also member of the Committee of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000.
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by St. John Paul II in the consistory of 28 June 1991, of the Title of S. Maria in via Lata (St. Mary in Via Lata), deaconry elevated pro hac vice to presbyteral title on 26 February 2002.

Religious Leaders in Northern Ireland Write Open Letter to Government for Peace Amid Violence - FULL TEXT

 Church Leaders call for unified political response to address violence and community tensions
13. APR, 2021
Following recent disturbances in Northern Ireland, the Church Leaders Group (Ireland) has written an open letter to political leaders in Northern Ireland, the Governments of the United Kingdom and Ireland, and the European Union. 
In the letter Church Leaders:
Echo the appeal from local Church and community leaders for political leaders to treat Northern Ireland’s fragile peace with car;
Emphasise the importance of the three strands of the Good Friday Agreement and the consequent responsibility to respect all identities and foster good relations within Northern Ireland, on the island of Ireland and between the UK and Ireland; 
Call on the Northern Ireland Executive to make a joint approach to the UK Government and the European Union in relation to the challenges posed by the Northern Ireland/Ireland Protocol; and,  
Express their support for the PSNI and underline the importance of ensuring that any concerns about policing are addressed in a way that supports and strengthens democratic institutions and processes. 
The full letter reads as follows:
‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God’
As Christian Church Leaders from across the island of Ireland we appeal to our political leaders to come together in a unified response to the heartbreaking scenes witnessed on our streets last week and renew their commitment to peace, reconciliation and the protection of the most vulnerable. 
The causes of this most recent outbreak of violence are complex and, in some respects, deep-rooted. Church representatives and other community leaders working on the ground in affected communities have spoken to us of their frustration at seeing another generation of young people risk their lives and their futures because repeated warnings about the need to treat our fragile peace with care went unheeded. 
The Good Friday/Belfast Agreement has rightly been held up as a beacon of hope for societies in conflict around the world. The significant reduction in violence since 1998 is a major achievement that serves to remind us that the problems we face at present are not insuperable. But that experience also teaches us that these challenges can only be addressed by political leaders coming together with a genuine desire to find solutions and accommodations which meet the legitimate concerns of others as well as their own. The Good Friday/Belfast Agreement, and the subsequent agreements that built on its foundations, recognised our interdependence on these islands and the consequent responsibility to respect all identities and foster good relations within Northern Ireland, on the island of Ireland and between the UK and Ireland. 
We have previously advocated for the need to protect all these relationships in the context of Brexit. The Northern Ireland/Ireland Protocol presents many challenges to the flow of trade and also the flow of goodwill across and between these islands. Some of the challenges were foreseeable and have been planned for and mitigated (at least in part). The political outcomes of the Protocol are more difficult to address because they are tied in with very big issues of world trade and sovereignty. The only way in which these will be constructively handled, from a Northern Ireland point of view, and with a good chance of a successful outcome, is if the European Union (including the Irish Government) and the Government of the United Kingdom are approached jointly by the entire Northern Ireland Executive advocating for the protection of the common good across the whole of Northern Ireland. Such a joint approach would be difficult to turn down, but to develop it will require a renewed generosity of spirit from political leaders on all sides of our community.
Leaders, organisations and communities make mistakes. As Christian leaders we are conscious of the need to acknowledge the failings of leadership from the churches in our ministry to divided communities. In such circumstances there is nothing ignoble in showing genuine sorrow. It is hardly surprising, given the complexities of our relationships at home and abroad, that politicians, political parties and others in leadership make miscalculations. Learning from the consequences of miscalculations is much better than an endless scramble to paper over the cracks.
We also have to face the difficult questions about who pays the price for our failings. In the past week we have seen people afraid to leave their homes, others at risk of violence as they go about their work and young people feeling that they have no stake in society or hope for the future. Much good work on the ground has been undermined as tension has risen and confidence has plummeted. It has been horrific to witness the intensity of the violence directed against the PSNI and the extent of the injuries sustained by officers. All of us in Northern Ireland have created a society in which even-handed policing requires the wisdom of Solomon combined with the patience of Job. The PSNI is relentlessly scrutinised by the Policing Board, and other organs of accountability. In that sense the PSNI has a political legitimacy across this community which is enjoyed by few other institutions. It is vital that we address concerns in a way that strengthens our democratic processes rather than undermining them. 
We are conscious too that Churches are only a small part of the wider civic leadership in our society, and that all civic leaders have a responsibility to support our elected representatives as they seek to negotiate difficult compromises and find new accommodations for the common good. At the same time, we have a responsibility to hold them to account, and the persistent levels of socio-economic inequality in the areas worst impacted by violence, over two decades after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, demand more sustained attention and meaningful intervention by political leaders. The Agreement provided for regular and transparent engagement of civic leaders in policy development, but in practice this has been implemented only in a very limited way, and all too often as an emergency response rather than a preventative measure. Churches, together with other civic leaders, are keen to play our part in addressing the root causes of violence and working to ensure all communities here can enjoy the benefits of peace into the future. 
Please be assured of our continued prayerful support for your leadership at this critical time.
Yours sincerely,
The Most Revd John McDowell
Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland
The Most Revd Eamon Martin
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland
The Rt Revd Dr David Bruce
Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland
The Revd Dr Tom McKnight
President of the Methodist Church in Ireland
The Very Revd Dr Ivan Patterson
President of the Irish Council of Churches
Note to Editors
The Church Leaders’ open letter has been sent to the following persons:
The Ministers of the Northern Ireland Executive
The Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Rt Hon Brandon Lewis MP, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
Mr Micheál Martin TD, An Taoiseach
Mr Leo Varadkar TD, An Tánaiste
Mr Simon Coveney TD, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Government of Ireland
Dr Ursula van der Leyen, President of the European Commission
Mr Charles Michel, President of the European Council

RIP Daunte Wright - Archbishop of Minneapolis says "I hope that we as a community might be able to pause and pray...." FULL TEXT Statement

 Daunte Wright, age 20, was fatally shot by a police officer while trying to flee a traffic stop, he was unarmed. The police officer appeared to be reaching for her taser and not her gun, the police chief said Monday. The shooting occurred in the US city of Brooklyn Center in Minnesota 10 miles from the trial of police officer Derek Chauvin. Protests have started due to this latest police killing which occurred on Sunday April 11, 2021.
Statement Regarding the Death of Daunte Wright
 April 12, 2021     
From Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda
I offer my condolences to the family and friends of Daunte Wright for the loss of their son, father, brother and friend. I have also been praying for his eternal repose, for his family and for all those who loved him. Daunte was created by God in his image and likeness and for a “definite purpose,” as St. John Henry Newman wrote, and we grieve the loss of his young life.
I also am praying for the Brooklyn Center Police officer involved in the shooting, and for her family and friends. I suspect that they are grieving in a different way.
While early indications point towards the shooting being accidental, I encourage allowing investigators from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to complete a thorough investigation before coming to any personal judgments as to what occurred. I hope that we as a community might be able to pause and pray, particularly during this time of already heightened tension due to the Chauvin trial. I am encouraged and inspired by the pleas for peace that have continued to come from the family of George Floyd.
As I did last month when the trial began, I ask that all of us take time daily to pray for justice, but also for peace in our families and in our communities.
From Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda

Pope Francis Asks Bishop Michael Hoeppner to Resign after "Vos estis lux mundi" Investigation - FULL TEXT Statement

Official Statements

Statement re: Resignation of Bishop Michael Hoeppner

CROOKSTON, MINNESOTA, April 13, 2021 – It has been announced today that, after an extensive investigation, the Holy Father, Pope Francis, asked for, and has now accepted the resignation of Bishop Michael Hoeppner from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Crookston. The investigation which led to the acceptance of Bishop Hoeppner’s resignation arose from reports that he had at times failed to observe applicable norms when presented with allegations of sexual abuse involving clergy of the Diocese of Crookston. The investigation was conducted pursuant to the motu proprio, Vos estis lux mundi, which had been promulgated by the Holy Father in mid-2019. The investigation was conducted under the supervision of Archbishop Bernard Hebda, the Metropolitan Archbishop of the Province of St. Paul and Minneapolis, which includes the Diocese of Crookston.

At the same time that the Holy Father accepted the resignation of Bishop Hoeppner, he has also appointed the Most Rev. Richard E. Pates, Bishop Emeritus of Des Moines, to serve as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Crookston until a new bishop is designated. Bishop Pates’ appointment as Apostolic Administrator takes effect immediately.

FULL TEXT Source: https://www.crookston.org/bishop/from-the-bishop/2253-hoeppnerresignation