Monday, May 17, 2021

Happy 101th Birthday Saint Pope John Paul II - Born in 1920 in Poland as Karol Wojtyla - #JP2

Pope John Paul II, who was born in Poland on May 18, 1920, reigned as Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from October 16, 1978 until his death on April 2, 2005.
He was born in Wadowice, Poland with the name: Karol Jozef Wojtyla.
His father was Karol Wojtyla, an officer in the Polish Army and his mother was Emilia Wojtyla.
His mother's maiden surname was Scholz. Emilia, who was a schoolteacher, died in childbirth in 1929, when Wojtyła was eight years old. His elder sister Olga had died before his birth, and his brother Edmund, nicknamed Mundek, was 13 years his senior. Edmund's work as a physician led to his death from scarlet fever.
Karol received a doctorate in Philosophy and a Doctorate in Sacred Theology, Jagiellonian University. Saint Pope John Paul II was canonized on April 27, 2013, at a celebration in Saint Peter's Square, presided by Pope Francis. His Feast day is October 22. He wrote: Apostolic Letters‎: ‎45 Encyclicals‎: ‎14 Apostolic Exhortations‎: ‎14. He was the first non-Italian Pope in 400 years. Pope John Paul II was famous for his influence in bringing down the wall in Germany and fighting Communism. (in the pic. below Pope Francis kneels in prayer before the tomb of St. John Paul II)

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Tuesday, May 18, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church - Eastertide

 Tuesday of the Seventh Week of Easter
Lectionary: 298
Reading I
Acts 20:17-27
From Miletus Paul had the presbyters
of the Church at Ephesus summoned. 
When they came to him, he addressed them,
“You know how I lived among you
the whole time from the day I first came to the province of Asia.
I served the Lord with all humility
and with the tears and trials that came to me
because of the plots of the Jews,
and I did not at all shrink from telling you
what was for your benefit,
or from teaching you in public or in your homes.
I earnestly bore witness for both Jews and Greeks
to repentance before God and to faith in our Lord Jesus.
But now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem.
What will happen to me there I do not know,
except that in one city after another
the Holy Spirit has been warning me
that imprisonment and hardships await me.
Yet I consider life of no importance to me,
if only I may finish my course
and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus,
to bear witness to the Gospel of God’s grace.
“But now I know that none of you
to whom I preached the kingdom during my travels
will ever see my face again.
And so I solemnly declare to you this day
that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you,
for I did not shrink from proclaiming to you the entire plan of God.”
Responsorial Psalm
68:10-11, 20-21
R.    (33a)  Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
R.    Alleluia.
A bountiful rain you showered down, O God, upon your inheritance;
    you restored the land when it languished;
Your flock settled in it;
    in your goodness, O God, you provided it for the needy.
R.    Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
R.    Alleluia.
Blessed day by day be the Lord,
    who bears our burdens; God, who is our salvation.
God is a saving God for us;
    the LORD, my Lord, controls the passageways of death. 
R.    Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
R.    Alleluia.
Jn 14:16
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I will ask the Father
and he will give you another Advocate
to be with you always.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jn 17:1-11a
Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said,
“Father, the hour has come.
Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you,
just as you gave him authority over all people,
so that your son may give eternal life to all you gave him.
Now this is eternal life,
that they should know you, the only true God,
and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.
I glorified you on earth
by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do.
Now glorify me, Father, with you,
with the glory that I had with you before the world began.
“I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world.
They belonged to you, and you gave them to me,
and they have kept your word.
Now they know that everything you gave me is from you,
because the words you gave to me I have given to them,
and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you,
and they have believed that you sent me.
I pray for them.
I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me,
because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours
and everything of yours is mine,
and I have been glorified in them.
And now I will no longer be in the world,
but they are in the world, while I am coming to you.”

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

#Novena to the Holy Spirit for Pentecost - Prayers to Share! - 5

 A novena is a prayer said over 9 days. The novena to the Holy Ghost remembers the time when the disciples of Jesus gathered in the upper room after the Ascension of Jesus into heaven. After the 9th day of prayer the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples. (This is day 5 of the prayer, links for day 1-9 can be found below - it can be prayed any time during the year but especially before Pentecost)ACT OF CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY GHOST

On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses I offer myself, soul and body to You, Eternal Spirit of God. / I adore the brightness of Your purity the unerring keenness of Your justice and the might of Your love. You are the Strength / and Light of my soul. In You I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve You by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart! To be kept from the smallest sin against You. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Your light: and listen to Your voice and follow Your gracious inspirations. I cling to You and give myself to You and ask You / by Your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of Jesus and looking at His Five Wounds / and trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened Side and stricken Heart / I implore You / Adorable Spirit I Helper of my infirmity, so to keep me in Your grace that I may never sin against You. Give me grace O Holy Ghost, Spirit of the Father and the Son to say to You always and everywhere / "Speak Lord for Your servant heareth." Amen.


O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Ghost to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul / the work of Your grace and Your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth / the Spirit on Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude, that I may bear my cross with You I and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God find know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable / the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me, dear Lord with the sign of Your true disciples / and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.

Light immortal! Light Divine! Visit Thou these hearts of Thine, And our inmost being fill!
The Gift of Knowledge
The gift of Knowledge enables the soul to evaluate created things at their true worth--in their relation to God. 
Knowledge unmasks the pretense of creatures, reveals their emptiness, and points out their only true purpose 
as instruments in the service of God. It shows us the loving care of God even in adversity, and directs us to glorify 
Him in every circumstance of life. Guided by its light, we put first things first, and prize the friendship of God 
beyond all else. "Knowledge is a fountain of life to him that possesseth it."
Come, O Blessed Spirit of Knowledge, and grant that I may perceive the will of the Father; show me the 
nothingness of earthly things, that I may realize their vanity and use them only for Thy glory and my own 
salvation, looking ever beyond them to Thee, and Thy eternal rewards. Amen(Our Father and Hail Mary
ONCE. Glory be to the Father. Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts)

Novena Day 1
Day 2
Day 3

Day 4

Day 5
Day 6
Day 7
Day 8
Day 9

Saint May 18 St. John I a Pope and Martyr who Died in 526 AD


POPE Feast: May 18

Populonia, Tuscany, Italy
18 May 526 in Ravenna, Italy
Died at Ravenna on 18 or 19 May (according to the most popular calculation), 526. A Tuscan by birth and the son of Constantius, he was, after an interregnum of seven days, elected on 13 August, 523, and occupied the Apostolic see for two years, nine months, and seven days.

We know nothing of the matter of his administration, for his Bullarium contains only the two letters addressed to an Archbishop Zacharias and to the bishops of Italy respectively, and it is very certain that both are apocryphal.

We possess information -- though unfortunately very vague -- only about his journey to Constantinople, a journey which appears to have had results of great importance, and which was the cause of his death. The Emperor Justin, in his zeal for orthodoxy, had issued in 523 a severe decree against the Arians, compelling them, among other things, to surrender to the Catholics the churches which they occupied. Theodoric, King of the Ostrogoths and of Italy, the ardent defender of Arianism, keenly resented these measures directed against his coreligionists in the Orient, and was moreover highly displeased at seeing the progress of a mutual understanding between the Latin and Greek Churches, such as might favour certain secret dealings between the Roman senators and the Byzantine Court, aiming at the re-establishment of the imperial authority in  Italy. To bring pressure to bear upon the emperor, and force him to moderate his policy of repression in regard to the heretics, Theodoric sent to him early in 525 an embassy composed of Roman senators, of which he obliged the pope to assume the direction, and imposed on the latter the task of securing a withdrawal of the Edict of 523 and -- if we are to believe "Anonymous Valesianus" -- of even urging the emperor to facilitate the return to Arianism of the Arians who had been converted.
There has been much discussion as to the part played by John I in this affair. The sources which enable us to study the subject are far from explicit and may be reduced to four in number: "AnonymousValesianus", already cited; the "Liber Pontificalis"; Gregory of Tours's "Liber in gloria martyrum"; and the "Liber Pontificalis Ecclesiæ Ravennatis". But it is beyond question that the pope could only counsel Justin to use gentleness and discretion towards the Arians; his position as head of the Church prevented his inviting the emperor to favour heresy. That this analysis of the situation is correct is evident from the reception which the pope was accorded in the East -- a reception which certainly would not have been kindly, had the Roman ambassadors opposed the emperor and this Catholic subjects in their struggle waged against the Arian sect. The inhabitants of Constantinople went out in throngs to meet John. The Emperor Justin on meeting him prostrated himself, and, some time afterwards, he had himself crowned by the pope. All the patriarchs of the East made haste to manifest their communion in the Faith with the supreme pontiff; only Timothy of Alexandria, who had shown himself hostile to the Council of Chalcedon, held aloof. Finally, the pope, exercising his right of precedence over Epiphanius, Patriarch of Constantinople, solemnly officiated at St. Sophia in the Latin Rite on Easter Day, 19 April, 526. Immediately afterwards he made his way back to the West.
If this brilliant reception of John I by the emperor, the clergy, and the faithful of the Orient proves that he had not been wanting in his task as supreme pastor of the Church, the strongly contrasting behaviour of Theodoric towards him on his return is no less evident proof. This monarch, enraged at seeing the national party reviving in Italy, had just stained his hands with the murder of Boethius, the great philosopher, and of Symmachus his father-in-law. He was exasperated against the pope, whose embassy had obtained a success very different from that which he, Theodoric, desired and whom, moreover, he suspected of favouring the defenders of the ancient liberty of Rome. As soon as John, returning from the East, had landed in Italy, Theodoric caused him to be arrested and incarcerated at Ravenna. Worn out by the fatigues of the journey, and subjected to severe privations, John soon died in prison.
His body was transported to Rome and buried in the Basilica of St. Peter. In his epitaph there is no allusion to his historical role. The Latin Church has placed him among its martyrs, and commemorates him on 27 May, the ninth lesson in the Roman Breviary for that date being consecrated to him.

(Taken From Catholic Encyclopedia)

Crowd at Parliament Hill as Hundreds Gather for March for Life Despite Lock-Down in Canada

In Ottawa, the capital city of Canada, hundreds of people marched through the streets on Thursday, May 13, 2021 despite the government's stay-at-home orders. Thousands who normally attend in person, watched the livestream (see bottom of post) online of the National March for Life.
Last year the march in Ottawa was cancelled due to the pandemic.  The leaders of Campaign Life Coalition, insisted that the march would take place this year.   300 roses were distributed during the march which symbolize the 300 babies aborted every day in Canada.  Independent MP Derek Sloan was the only government leader to attend. However, the Christian Heritage Party (CHP) leader Rod Taylor was also in attendance. The marchers traveled through the downtown streets of the capital, with the police monitoring and re-directing traffic. Special pro-life Masses were held by Bishops throughout the country.  There was also a special youth conference that was live streamed and a candle light vigil the night before. (Image Screenshot CLC ) 

Pope Francis Meets with Iran's Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif, at the Vatican - VIDEO

Pope Francis met with Iran's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohammad Javad Zarif, at the Vatican. The Pope and Zarif exchanged gifts as is the custom. “How beautiful. How nice. Thank you.” The Pope gave the minister his message of peace as well as the principal texts of his papacy. Including the document on human fraternity which he signed jointly with the Sunni Muslim leader Ahmad Al-Tayyeb. After the meeting, the Iranian minister met with the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin. “Thank you very much Your Eminence for receiving us.” “It's a pleasure, it is a pleasure. Welcome you and your delegation.” Iran and the Vatican established diplomatic relations in 1954 during the pontificate of Pius XII. (Edited from Rome Reports and After the meeting Minister Zarif Tweeted pictures from the event:

Supreme Court to Hold Hearing Challenging Roe vs. Wade - Pro-Life Groups are Hopeful that Unborn Babies will be Protected

Life News reports that the Supreme Court agreed Monday to hold a hearing on a major abortion case that could limit Roe v. Wade and protect babies from late-term abortions.  The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a law that bans killing babies in abortions after 15 weeks.

The 2018 Mississippi law prohibits abortions after 15 weeks except when there are risks to the life or physical health of the mother, or fatal fetal anomalies. Based on state health records, about 200 unborn babies between 15 and 20 weeks are aborted every year in Mississippi and the law would save their lives.

Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch asked the high court to consider the 15-week abortion ban last year.

“The petition asks the court to clarify its jurisprudence on abortion to allow states like ours to enact laws that further their legitimate interests in protecting maternal health, safeguarding unborn babies, and promoting respect for innocent and vulnerable life,” Fitch said in a statement in June. “We are hopeful that the court will accept our case and allow Mississippi to defend innocent life as the legislature and the people of this great state intend.”

“This case remains an ideal vehicle to promptly resolve both that question and the first question presented—the contradictions in this Court’s decisions over use of ‘viability’ as a bright line for measuring pro-life legislation,” she wrote.

Mississippi’s law highlights a conflict between the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade and the court’s repeated affirmation in subsequent cases that states have a legitimate interest in limiting abortion and protecting “vulnerable and innocent life” from the moment of conception.

“Every human life is valuable, and Mississippi’s law is a commonsense step toward protecting unborn children and their mothers from the harms of late-term abortion,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Denise Harle. “The law protects the life of a baby who can already move around and kick in her mom’s womb—a child who has a heartbeat, can taste what her mom eats, and can experience pain. And the law also protects women, since late-term abortions grow increasingly dangerous to the mother’s health. Women and their children both deserve real health care; that’s why we’re glad the Supreme Court has decided to take up this matter.”

The state argues that “viability” is an arbitrary standard for determining when a state’s interests are sufficient to regulate, and that the Supreme Court has already recognized that the state has a legitimate interest in protecting the unborn infant and the health of the mother from the very beginning of pregnancy.

“The Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized that states are free to regulate late-term abortions,” said ADF Senior Counsel and Vice President of Appellate Advocacy John Bursch. “Thanks to amazing progress in scientific research and medical technology, the concept of ‘viability’ is an ever-moving target as younger children have survived and thrived after preterm birth."

Many states have pro-life laws that protect unborn children after 20-24 weeks of pregnancy, which is the most they are able to do considering the Supreme Court refuses to allow states to ban abortions prior to viability. Through this new case, Mississippi is challenging that precedent.

Polls consistently find strong public support for abortion restrictions after the first trimester. Gallup has been asking about the legality of abortions by trimester for decades. Its polls have found steady, strong opposition to abortions in the second and third trimesters.

Roe vs. Wade made the United States one of only seven countries in the world that allows elective abortions after 20 weeks.

There is more hope that the Supreme Court may consider overturning Roe, especially now that Justice Amy Coney Barrett has been confirmed.

Source: Edited from

New Bishop Appointed for Hong Kong - Jesuit Reverend Stephen Chow Sau-yan Appointed by the Pope

The Vatican has just announced today that Pope FRANCIS has appointed the Reverend Stephen CHOW Sau-yan, a member of the Society of Jesus, as the new Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong.
Rev. Stephen CHOW, S.J., Bishop-elect, is aged 62. He was born in Hong Kong in 1959 and was ordained a priest in Hong Kong in 1994. He holds a Doctorate in Education from Harvard University, USA. Currently he is Provincial Superior of the Jesuit Chinese Province and Supervisor of Wah Yan College (Hong Kong and Kowloon).
In view of the arrangements of the Society of Jesus for the appointment of a new Provincial Superior for the Chinese Province, the episcopal consecration of Rev. Stephen CHOW will be postponed to 4 December 2021 (Saturday), with details to be announced later.
In compliance with Church Law, Cardinal John TONG, currently Apostolic Administrator, will continue to be the head of the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong until Rev. Stephen CHOW has received episcopal consecration and has taken canonical possession of the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong (i.e, has officially taken office) at the Cathedral.
The Diocese will hold a press conference tomorrow, May 18 (Tuesday), at 10:00am, at the Catholic Diocese Centre, 9/F, 16 Caine Road, Hong Kong, for Rev. Stephen CHOW to meet with the media.
Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong
17 May 2021
** CV & photo of the Bishop-elect enclosed
Media Enquiry : 2525 5588
Curriculum Vitae
Rev.Stephen Sau-Yan CHOW, S.J., Ed.D.
The Bishop-elect of the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong
1959                                    Born in Hong Kong and baptized a Catholic
1979-1982 Obtained a Degree in Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Philosophy (double majors) from the University of Minnesota, Duluth
1982-1984 Obtained a Degree in Master of Arts in Educational Psychology from the University of Minnesota, Duluth
1984-1986 Accepted by the Society of Jesus and have Novitiate training in Ireland
1986-1988      Obtained a Degree in Licentiate in Philosophy (Lic.Phil.) from the Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy, Dublin, Ireland
1988 -1990 Regency (training in teaching and pastoral work) in Hong Kong
1990 – 1993 Obtained a Degree in Bachelor of Sacred Theology (S.T.B.) from the Holy Spirit Seminary College, Hong Kong
1993 Ordained to the Order of Deacon (Roman Catholic Church)
1993 – 1995 Obtained a Degree in Master of Science in Organization Development (M.S.O.D.) from Loyola University, Chicago
1994 Ordained to the Order of Priesthood (Roman Catholic Church)
2006 Doctor of Education (Ed.D.), Harvard University, granted on June 8, 2006Dissertation: Understanding Moral Culture in Hong Kong Secondary Schools: Relationships among Moral Norm, Moral Culture, Academic Achievement Motivation, and Empathy
2007-2014 Appointed Honorary Assistant Professor by the University of Hong Kong for the Faculty of Education in 4 consecutive terms
2012 – Guest Professor of the Holy Spirit Seminary College of Theology & Philosophy, Hong Kong
2007 School Supervisor and Chairman of the School/Incorporated
Management Committee of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong & Kowloon
2018 – Provincial Superior of the Chinese Province, Society of Jesus
2019 Silver Jubilee of priesthood
2020 Vice Chairman of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of
Men in Hong Kong
Press Release from the diocese of Hong Kong

#BreakingNews Catholic Priest, who Helps the Poor, Arrested by the Army, in Myanmar - Please Pray for Fr. Colombano

Agenzia Fides reports that a priest from the diocese of Banmaw was arrested by the army. The Myanmar army has arrested Father Colombano Labang Lar Di, a Catholic priest from the diocese of Banmaw. According to information confirmed to Agenzia Fides by the local Church, the priest was arrested on May 14 while on his way to the city of Myitkyina where he was supposed to collect aid funds to support poor families who are unemployed and who are participating in the disobedience movement against the military coup that took place in Myanmar on February 1. 
According to people close to him, the priest helped many civilians. He assisted and brought humanitarian aid to those who took to the streets or joined in one way or another in the peaceful demonstration, working in a spirit of solidarity and Christian charity. The news of the priest's arrest, which immediately went viral on social media, has generated reactions from civil society and the Burmese Church and marks another step forward in military violence, who intimidate Catholic personnel and religious leaders. According to some reports, the priest should have been released but the Banmaw parish where the missionary works has denied rumors of his release. Many priests, men and women religious throughout the country continue to help the civilian population, helpless and defenseless, destitute or unemployed, by providing them with humanitarian aid and food supplies. This service is now seriously threatened. Many professionals and workers in Myanmar, whose work is vital to the country's economy, are leading the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) against the military junta. Health workers and doctors, bankers, lawyers, teachers, engineers, civil servants across the country have called on the military to restore democratic institutions by refusing to return to work. Zwe Min Aung, surgeon in Naypyidaw explained that "this special boycott does not have a leader but was born spontaneously from below, to protest in a peaceful and non-violent way", and that it takes place and spreads mainly thanks to social media. In response to all this, the military junta on May 16 fired over 150,000 teachers from schools at all levels, from primary schools to universities, arresting a total of 10,000 civilian staff across the country. Since February 1, the army has arrested hundreds of members of the National League for Democracy, the party that had won the elections in November 2020, led by leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who is also under arrest. The Catholic diocese of Banmaw, which has 34,000 Catholics, is located in the Kachin state, in northeastern Myanmar. (JM-PA) (Press Release: Agenzia Fides, 17/5/2021)

US Bishops' Statement on Violence between Israel and Palestine “We call on all parties to cease the violence. The maiming and killing of one’s neighbor only serves to demonize one’s adversary..." FULL TEXT

U.S. Bishops’ Chairman for International Justice and Peace Renews Prayers for Israel and Palestine Amidst Recent Violence
MAY 13, 2021 
WASHINGTON — In the midst of recent heightened violence in Jerusalem and Gaza, Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on International Justice and Peace expressed renewed commitment to the people of the Holy Land and called for prayer.
Bishop Malloy’s statement follows:
“We are greatly saddened that simmering tensions erupted into violence in the Holy Land this week. It is a cycle we have unfortunately witnessed and spoken out against many times, but because of our great love in Christ Jesus, we remain ever present and close to the people of this land until the Peace of God reigns in its fullness forever.
“We call on all parties to cease the violence. The maiming and killing of one’s neighbor only serves to demonize one’s adversary and deepen passions that divide and destroy. The Holy Father reminded the world on Sunday, ‘Violence begets violence. Enough with the clashes.’
“The U.S. bishops have long called for upholding the Status Quo of the Holy Places, including the Al-Aqsa Compound, the site of much of this week’s violence. We affirm the need to adhere to international law in settling these disputes, rightly rooted in moral law, the rights of nations, and equal dignity of every people.
“We join with the Holy Father, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and other brethren who have called on the international community to intervene in the promotion of a just peace in the Holy City. We especially offer our prayers for all those who rightfully call the Holy Land home, as it is through them any lasting peace will come. May the primary adversaries in this conflict be given the guidance, strength, and courage that only comes from on High to build trust amidst those who are eager for belligerence. With our suffering Lord as our model, we renew our enduring commitment to our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land.”