Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Wednesday, May 19, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church

Wednesday of the Seventh Week of Easter
Lectionary: 299
Reading I
Acts 20:28-38
At Miletus, Paul spoke to the presbyters of the Church of Ephesus:
“Keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock
of which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers,
in which you tend the Church of God
that he acquired with his own Blood.
I know that after my departure savage wolves will come among you,
and they will not spare the flock.
And from your own group, men will come forward perverting the truth
to draw the disciples away after them.
So be vigilant and remember that for three years, night and day,
I unceasingly admonished each of you with tears.

And now I commend you to God
and to that gracious word of his that can build you up
and give you the inheritance among all who are consecrated.
I have never wanted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing.
You know well that these very hands
have served my needs and my companions.
In every way I have shown you that by hard work of that sort
we must help the weak,
and keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus who himself said,
‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
When he had finished speaking
he knelt down and prayed with them all.
They were all weeping loudly
as they threw their arms around Paul and kissed him,
for they were deeply distressed that he had said
that they would never see his face again.
Then they escorted him to the ship.
Responsorial Psalm
68:29-30, 33-35a, 35bc-36ab
R.    (33a)  Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
R.    Alleluia.
Show forth, O God, your power,
    the power, O God, with which you took our part;
For your temple in Jerusalem
    let the kings bring you gifts.
R.    Sing to God, O Kingdoms of the earth. 
R.    Alleluia.
You kingdoms of the earth, sing to God,
    chant praise to the Lord
    who rides on the heights of the ancient heavens.
Behold, his voice resounds, the voice of power:
    “Confess the power of God!”
R.    Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
R.    Alleluia.
Over Israel is his majesty;
    his power is in the skies.
Awesome in his sanctuary is God, the God of Israel;
    he gives power and strength to his people.
R.    Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth.
R.    Alleluia.
See Jn 17:17b, 17a
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Your word, O Lord, is truth;
consecrate us in the truth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jn 17:11b-19
Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed, saying:
“Holy Father, keep them in your name
that you have given me,
so that they may be one just as we are one.
When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me,
and I guarded them, and none of them was lost
except the son of destruction,
in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
But now I am coming to you.
I speak this in the world
so that they may share my joy completely.
I gave them your word, and the world hated them,
because they do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
I do not ask that you take them out of the world
but that you keep them from the Evil One.
They do not belong to the world
any more than I belong to the world.
Consecrate them in the truth. 
Your word is truth.
As you sent me into the world,
so I sent them into the world.
And I consecrate myself for them,
so that they also may be consecrated in truth.”

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 May 19 St. Celestine V a Humble Pope who Resigned and Went to a Monastery in 1294 and Died 1296 AD

1210 at Isneria, Abruzzi, Italy
19 May 1296 in Ferentino, Italy
Prayer for the Intercession of St. Celestine St. Celestine, you were pope for only five months, for in that short amount of time it was apparent that although you were very holy, you were not a natural leader, as you could not say no to anyone. You went again to the cardinals and begged that the position be taken away from you. They were deeply impressed by your humility. They chose a new pope, who decided to keep you in a cell so that no one could take advantage of you and make you into an anti-pope. In this prison you lived out the rest of your days in prayer. St. Celestine, you were not the slightest ambitious for clerical power. Please pray that we may grow in humility as you did and not yearn for worldly honors. St. Celestine, you realized you were incapable of governing the people through the duties of a pope and resigned. The next pope to resign of his own accord was our Benedict XVI. Please pray for all our popes, for you know how terribly burdensome and stressful this position is. We thank you for your gentle intercession. Amen.
Humility raised this saint above the world, and preserved his soul free from its poison, both amidst its flatteries and under its frowns. He was born in Apulia about the year 1221. His parents were very virtuous, and charitable to the poor to the uttermost of their abilities. After his father's death, his mother, though she had eleven other sons, seeing his extraordinary inclination to piety, provided him with a literary education. His progress gave his friends great expectations; but he always considered that he had only one affair in this world, and that an affair of infinite importance, the salvation of his soul: that no security can be too great where an eternity is at stake: moreover, that the way to life is strait, the account which we are to give of all our actions and thoughts most rigorous, the judge infinitely just, and the issue either sovereign happiness or sovereign misery. He therefore made the means, by which he might best secure to himself that bliss for which alone he was created, his constant study. An eremitical state is only the vocation of souls, which are already perfect in the exercises of penance and contemplation. Peter had made the practice of both familiar to him from his tender years; and by a long noviceship was qualified for such a state, to which he found himself strongly inclined. Therefore at twenty years of age he left the schools, and retired to a solitary mountain, where he made himself a little cell under ground, but so small that he could scarce stand or lie down in it. Here he lived three years in great austerities, during which he was often assailed by violent temptations; but these he overcame by the help of such practices and austerities as the grace of God suggested to him. Notwithstanding the care he took to sequester himself from the world, he was discovered, and some time after compelled to enter into holy orders. He was ordained priest at Rome; but in 1246 returned into Abruzzo, and lived five years in a cave on mount Morroni, near Sulmona. He received great favors from heaven, the usual recompense of contemplative souls who have crucified their affections to this world: but then they are purchased through severe interior trials; and with such Peter was frequently visited. He was also molested with nocturnal illusions during his sleep, by which he was almost driven to despair, insomuch that he durst not say mass, and once determined to abandon his solitude; but was encouraged by the advice of a religious man, his confessor, who assured him that it was no more than a stratagem of the enemy, by which he could not be hurt if he despised it. For further satisfaction, he determined to go to Rome to consult the pope on that subject, and received great comfort by a vision he was favored with on the road; a certain holy abbot lately deceased appearing to him, who gave him the same counsel, and ordered him to return to his cell and offer every day the holy sacrifice, which he accordingly did. The wood on his mountain being cut down in 1251, he with two companions removed to mount Magella. There, with the boughs of trees and thorns, these three servants of God made themselves a little enclosure and cells, in which they enjoyed more solid pleasure than the great ones of the world can find in their stately palaces and gardens. The devil sometimes endeavored to disturb them; but they triumphed over his assaults. Many others were desirous to put themselves under his direction; but the saint alleged his incapacity to direct others. However, his humility was at length overcome, and he admitted those who seemed the most fervent.

Peter spent always the greatest part of the night in prayer and tears which he did not interrupt, while he was employed in the day in corporal labor or in copying books. His body he always treated as a most dangerous domestic enemy. He never ate flesh; he fasted every day except Sunday. He kept four lents in the year, during three of which, and on all Fridays, he took nothing but bread and water, unless it were a few cabbage leaves in lieu of bread. The bread which he used was so hard, that it could only be chopped in pieces. His austerities were excessive, till he was admonished in a vision not to destroy that body which his duty to God required him to support. If the Holy Ghost sometimes conducted the saints by extraordinary paths, we must learn from their fervor the condemnation of our sloth, who dare undertake nothing for the sake of virtue, and who shrink often under indispensable duties. St. Peter wore a shirt of horse-hair full of knots, and a chain of iron about his waist. He lay on the ground, or on a board, with a stone or log of wood for a pillow. It was his chiefest care always to nourish his soul with heavenly contemplation and prayer; yet he did not refuse to others the comfort of his spiritual succors. He gave advice, except on Wednesdays and Fridays, and during his rents, which he passed in inviolable silence. Finding his solitude too much disturbed, he went with some of his disciples to a cavern which was almost inaccessible on the top of mount Magella. This did but increase the ardor of others to pursue him. Wherefore he returned to mount Morroni, where many lived in scattered cells under his direction, till he assembled them in a monastery; and in 1271 obtained of pope Gregory X. the approbation of his religious order, under the rule of St. Bennet, which he restored to its primitive severity. The saint lived to see thirty-six monasteries, and six hundred monks and nuns; and this institute has been since propagated over all Europe, but is at present much mitigated.
Upon the death of Nicholas IV. the see of Rome continued vacant two years and three months, when the cardinals assembled at Perugia unanimously chose our saint for his successor, out of pure regard for his eminent sanctity. This election, on account of its disinterestedness, met with a general applause, and the saint seemed the only person afflicted on the occasion. He was indeed alarmed beyond measure at the news; and finding all the reasons he could allege for his declining the charge ineffectual, betook himself to flight in company with Robert, one of his monks, but was intercepted. He would gladly have engaged Robert still to attend him, but the good monk excused himself by an answer worthy of a disciple of the saint: "Compel me not," says he, "to throw myself upon your thorns. I am the companion of your flight, not of your exaltation." Peter thereupon dropped his request, and sighing before God, returned to Morroni, where the kings of Hungary and Naples, besides many cardinals and princes, waited for him. Thence he proceeded to the neighboring cathedral of Aquila, to be ordained bishop of Rome, being accompanied by the two kings, and an incredible number of princes and others; yet could not be prevailed upon to travel any other way than riding on an ass: he even thought it a great deal that he did not go on foot, as he desired to do. He was consecrated and crowned at Aquila on the 29th of August, taking the name of Celestine V., from an allusion to the Latin name of heaven, where he always dwelt in his heart: his monks have been distinguished by the name of Celestines ever since. Charles, king of Naples, persuaded him to go with him to his capital, to regulate certain ecclesiastical affairs of that kingdom, and to fill the vacant benefices. The new pope disgusted many of the cardinals by employing strangers in the conducting matters, the care of which had been usually intrusted to them. He was sometimes led by others into mistakes, which gave occasion to complaints, and increased his own scruples for having taken upon him so great a charge, to which he found himself unequal; especially on account of his want of experience in the world, and his not having studied the canon law. He continued his former austerities, and built himself a cell of boards in the midst of his palace, where he lived in solitude amidst the crowds which surrounded him, humble on the pinnacle of honor, and poor in the midst of riches. He shut himself up to spend the Advent in retirement, that he might prepare himself for Christmas, having committed the care of the church to three cardinals. This again was an occasion of fresh scruples, when he reflected that a pastor is bound himself to a personal attendance on the duties of his charge. These fears of conscience, the weight of his dignity, which he felt every day more and more insupportable, and the desire of enjoying himself in solitude, moved him at length to deliberate whether he might not resign his dignity. He consulted cardinal Benedict Cajetan, a person the best skilled in the canon law, and others, who agreed in their advice, that it was in the power of a pope to abdicate. When this became public, many vigorously opposed the motion; but no solicitations or motives could make the holy man alter his resolution. Wherefore, some days after, he held at Naples a consistory of the cardinals, at which the king of Naples and many others were present: before them he read the solemn act of his abdication, then laid aside his pontifical robes and ornaments, put on his religious habit, came down from his throne, and cast himself at the feet of the assembly, begging pardon for his faults, and exhorting the cardinals to repair them in the best manner they were able, by choosing a worthy successor to St. Peter. Thus, having sat in the chair four months, he abdicated the supreme dignity in the church, on the 13th of December, 1294, with greater joy than the most ambitious man could mount the throne of the richest empire in the world. This the cheerfulness of his countenance evidenced, no less than his words. Cardinal Benedict Cajetan, the ablest civilian and canonist of his age, was chosen in his place, and crowned at Rome on the 16th of January following.

Men, as it usually happens on such occasions, were divided in their sentiments with regard to this extraordinary action, of which we see a specimen in the writings of those great men who in that age began to restore at Florence the true taste of polite literature. Dante, who has stained his reputation with many blots in his moral and civil conduct, and his works with many falsities and unjust prepossessions, ascribes this cession of Celestine to pusillanimity. But this base censure is justly chastised by his country man Petrarch, who passed his unjust and glorious banishment at Vaucluse near Avignon, respected by the whole world, till he was courted by his fellow-citizens to honor his native country again with his presence, though he preferred to it a retirement to Papua. This great man, speaking of the abdication of our holy pope, says: "This action I call a sublime and heavenly fortitude, which he only possesses who knows the emptiness of all worldly dignities. The contempt of honors arises from a heroic courage, not from a want of that virtue; as the desire of them shows that a soul raiseth not herself above herself."

St. Celestine immediately stole away privately to his monastery of the Holy Ghost, at Morroni. But several who were offended at some acts of justice and necessary severity in the new pope, raised various reports, as if he had by ambition and fraud supplanted Celestine: others advanced that a pope could not resign his dignity. Boniface, moreover, was alarmed at the multitudes which resorted to Morroni to see Celestine, on account of the great reputation of his sanctity; and fearing he might be made a handle of by designing men, the consequence whereof might be some disturbance in the church, he entreated the king of Naples to send him to Rome. The saint, seeing that he could not be permitted to return to his cell, betook himself to flight, and put to sea, with a view to cross the Adriatic gulf; but was driven back by contrary winds into the harbor of Vieste, where he was secured by the governor, pursuant to an order of the king of Naples, and conducted to pope Boniface at Anagni. Boniface kept him some time in his own palace, often discoursing with him, that he might discover if he had ever consented to those that called his abdication null and invalid. The saint's unfeigned simplicity bearing evidence to the contrary, many advised the pope to set him at liberty, and send him to his monastery. But Boniface, alleging the danger of tumults and of a schism, confined him in the citadel of Fumone, nine miles from Anagni, under a guard of soldiers. The authors of the life of the saint say, that he there suffered many insults and hardships, which yet never drew from his mouth the least word of complaint. On the contrary, he sent word to Boniface, by two cardinals who came to see him, that he was content with his condition, and desired no other. He used to say, with wonderful tranquillity: "I desired nothing in the world but a cell; and a cell they have given me." He sang the divine praises almost without interruption, with two of his monks who were assigned him for his companions. On Whit-Sunday, in 1296, after he had heard mass with extraordinary fervor, he told his guards that he should die before the end of the week. He immediately sickened of a fever, and received extreme unction. Even in that dying condition he would never suffer a little straw to be strewed on the hard boards upon which he always lay, and prayed without interruption. On Saturday, the 19th of May, finishing the last psalm of lauds at those words, Let every spirit praise the Lord, he calmly closed his eyes to this world, and his soul passed to the company of the angels, he being seventy-five years old. During his ten months' imprisonment he never abated any thing of his ordinary austerities. Pope Boniface, with all the cardinals, performed his funeral obsequies at St. Peter's. His body was sumptuously buried at Ferentino; but was afterwards translated to Aquila, and is kept in the church of the Celestines near that city. Many miracles are authentically recorded of him, and he was canonized by Clement V., in 1313. Boniface fell into great calamities. Philip the Fair, Icing of France, who was his declared enemy, sent a body of troops, under the command of William Noggret, to support the conspiracy of Stephen and Chiarra Colonna against him, by whom he was made prisoner at Anagni. After much ill-treatment, he was rescued out of their hands by the Ursini from Rome; but died soon after of grief, in 1303.

A spirit of retirement, or a love of holy solitude and its exercises, and an habitual interior recollection, are essential to piety and a true Christian life. Some, by a particular call of God, dedicate themselves to his service in a state of perfect solitude, in which the first motive may be self-defence of preservation. In the world, snares are laid everywhere for us, and its lusts often endeavor to court and betray us, and the torrent of its example, or the violence of its persecutions, to drive and force us into death. Whoever, therefore, prudently fears that he is not a match for so potent an enemy, may, nay sometimes ought, to retire from the world. This is not to decline the service of God or man, but sin and danger: it is not to prefer ease and security before industry and labor, but before a rash presumption and a fatal overthrow. But entire solitude is a safer state only to those who are animated with such a love and esteem for all its exercises as give an assurance of their constant fervor in them; also who seriously cultivate interior solitude of mind, and will never suffer it to gad abroad after the objects of worldly affairs, vanities, or pleasures: lastly, whose souls are free from envy, emulation, ambition, desire of esteem, and all other busy and turbulent passions, which cannot fail by desires and hankerings to discompose the mind, and muddy the pure stream, and adulterate the relish of a retired life. The soul must be reduced to its native purity and simplicity, before it will be able to taste the blessings of true liberty, of regular devotion, and elevated meditation.

Secondly: An indication that God designs certain persons for retirement, is the discovery of talents fitted for this state rather than for any public station. For there are active and contemplative gifts. Those who are destined by heaven to a retired life, in it become most eminently serviceable to the world,  by proving excellent examples of innocence, and the perfect spirit of every Christian virtue, and by their prayers and continual pure homages of praise and thanksgivings to God, from which others may reap far more valuable benefits than from the labors of the learned or the bountiful alms of the rich. Thus the world never loses a member, but enjoys Its service in its proper place, and the most effectual manner, says an ingenious Protestant writer; who adds, that such a one retires not from the world to avoid its service, but its fooleries.

Thirdly: The same author observes, that the main end of retirement ought always to be to dedicate ourselves entirely to God by the exercises of compunction and holy contemplation. This may be easily demonstrated both from reason and religion, and from the examples of so many illustrious saints. Retirement is recommended by particular motives to persons who, after going through the station of a public life, are at liberty to embrace it in order to fit themselves for eternity. Lives of the Saints by Alban Butler##

Top 10 Saint Pope John Paul II Quotes to SHARE - #JP2 We Love You!

1.  "Trust Christ because Christ trusts you" (World Youth Day 2002).
2. "Life with Christ is a wonderful adventure."
3. "Faith and Reason are like two wings of the human spirit by which is soars to the truth.” 
4. “I plead with you! Never, ever give up on hope, never doubt, never tire, and never become discouraged. Be not afraid.

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5. “Do not be afraid to take a chance on peace, to teach peace, to live peace...Peace will be the last word of history.”
6. “It is the duty of every man to uphold the dignity of every woman.” 
7.  “We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures; we are the sum of the Father’s love for us and our real capacity to become the image of his Son.” (WYD, Closing Homily, 5)
8. “The future is in your hearts and in your hands. God is entrusting to you the task, at once difficult and uplifting, of working with him in the building of the civilization of love.” (Downsview Address, 4) 
9. “Dear young people, let yourselves be taken over by the light of Christ, and spread that light wherever you are.” (Downsview Address, 5) 
10. " And if, in the depths of your hearts, you feel the same call to the priesthood or consecrated life, do not be afraid to follow Christ on the royal road of the Cross!” (Closing Homily, 5) 

Catechists are the Backbone of the Catholic Church in Bangladesh - The Life of a Catechist Among the Poor

Catechists are the Backbone of Roman Catholic Church in Bangladesh (Bangladesh is a country that once belonged to India, with a population of approximately 168 Million people, about 89% are Muslims, 10% Hindu and 1 % are Christians)

  The Life of a Catechist in Bangladesh

The Apostle St. Thomas founded Christianity in the Indian sub-continent. A short History of How the Christian Religion Arrived in Bangladesh is found below the story.    

The Life of a Catechist in Bangladesh's Roman Catholic church 

 The country of Bangladesh is a land of a thousand of rivers. There are many nationalities, cultures, languages.  More than  90% peoples belong to the religion of Islam  ( Muslims) then a few of the people are Hindu and Buddhist. There are more than 45 indigenous  communities who live in Bangladesh. So it is not easy to preach the Holy Gospel to the people and inspire them. It’s very difficult  to work with a multi-cultural people. There were missionaries who needed a helping hand to preach the Holy Gospel. The church needed volunteers to spread the Christian faith. As a result,  church volunteers became Catechists.  The Christian population of Bangladesh has grown for 500 years by the help of many dedicated Catechists. (picture below of a catechist and his family)

                                      The major duties of Catechist

1 / Preaching the Holy Gospel door to door.

2/ Teaching the Holy Gospel, religious prayers, songs including during Holy mass .

3/ Proxy (instead of priest) offering, every Sunday Church service, funeral Mass (without communion or Eucharist ) 

4/ Arranging holy Mass and prayer different villages. 

5/ Daily works at different remote parts of countywide. (Stay with villagers at their homes)  

6/ Moderator for parish activities .

7/ Social networking with different communities  .

8/ Advocacy and  communications with  government  and non-government  office or organizations .

9/ Stewardship 

10/ Preparing people who want to receive Jesus Christ by helping them to convert to the Christian religion. 

(Picture below Catholics gather during Good Friday for prayer)


  Though it's very difficult, there are still many religious nuns and priests and religious brothers preaching the Holy Gospel to them but catechists are playing a majority roll in motivation and inspiration. Because there is a large population with more than 45 communities. Thus, there are more than 6000 (six thousand) people who are working as a catechists for the Roman Catholic Church in Bangladesh.    There are many catechists who have been working for a long time.  These catechists are working as volunteers not with a paid salary. Although, it's true that most catechists have family members, they sacrifice everything for JESUS CHRIST and the Roman Catholic Church. Every catechist is made for Jesus Christ's love.  99.9 % of catechists live under the poverty line and are not highly educated.  But they have strong faith and morals rooted in the Christian faith. They are a power house  to  preach the Holy Gospel to the people.  More than 6000 catechists are  working as the apostolic wing of catholic churches in Bangladesh. These catechists continuously preach the Gospel and motivate more than 45 indigenous communities, including some Hindus and Buddhists communities. Catechists work door to door.  They live with different communities of people for years. Sometimes for two or more than three years; to follow their languages and cultures and rituals. Living among them and having different kinds of foods to eat is not very easy. After this time, the Catechist becomes a trusted person to the non-believers. The Catechist preaches the holy gospels and Christians religious values and morals to the non-Christian people. It is very difficult to motivate and inspire people about Jesus Christ and the Christian religion because there are different superstitions, social leaders are tortured, political issues and some fundamental extremists threats.   The catechist must tolerate everything and have a type of liquid personality. It's very difficult but a catechist takes all these challenges in their daily apostolic life. As a result there are many non-Christians people receiving JESUS CHRIST and converting to become Christian. We can see in Bangladesh a large number of people who are professed Christians and following Christian values in their daily lifestyle. For the most part, this has been accomplished by direct interactions with a catechist.  A Catechist has to sacrifice so much; beyond what we can ever imagine. We never realize a Catechist's pains.   The Catechist also leaves their family for a long time; their family members especially parents and/or wife and children must sacrifice too. These sacrifices are beyond any monetary recompense.

I salute all catechists from my heart. But, the sad reality is, that at the last moment a catechist rarely gets appreciated by our church leaders. I never blame churches or church leaders but it's true. I humbly request all of church leaders or those in authority to please recognize all catechists and their apostolic works. Because priest, nuns or religious brothers get daily food and others basic necessities provided from churches or bishops fund; but a catechist volunteers their services.  Often,  a Catechist has family, so  it’s time to think about theirs basic needs. In Bangladesh a four or five member family need a minimum of $250-$350  US dollars for essential needs. Monthly spending includes food, clothes, education and medical treatment. But often a catechist gets an honorarium of only $30 US dollars while some might get $70. This an injustice for a catechist; but no catechists ever protests because they love the Holy Gospel and Jesus CHRIST. That's why there are still so many  catechists working for the Bangladesh Catholic Church. I don't mention any catechist by name, because all catechists work the same way in the Bangladesh. We are proud and grateful to all catechists and their families. At the same time let’s pray for those catechists who have died; for their departed souls and their families. 

Written  by  Francis Rony Tirky - Bangladesh Correspondent for Catholic News World



                  History the Christian Religion in Bangladesh

In 1537, Portugal established a settlement of Dianga in the area of Chittagong in Bangladesh, bringing the Catholic Church and missionaries with them. The first churches were set up in 1600 in a settlement which now forms Dianga and the city of Chittagong. Jesuit Father Francesco Fernandez, who came to Dianga in 1598, and who was blinded and tortured and died in captivity on November 14, 1602, is Bengal's first martyr.

In 1845 Chittagong became the seat of the first Apostolic Vicariate of Eastern Bengal, and later the administration was transferred to Dhaka. Noakhali was also the first place to have the Holy Cross missionaries who arrived there in June, 1853.

 Although Christianity originated in India in the first century after the arrival of St. Thomas, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ, in South India, the second line of Christian arrival ---- the Syrian Christians, the third - came to the subcontinent many centuries before the Portuguese. The adventurous Portuguese nation passed through the riverine era in the realm of culture and civilization and during the maritime era, in the hands of the lucrative trade of the Eastern world and especially India, established the first Christian religion in Bangladesh along with the Sultanate of Bengal and the Mughal Empire. Despite the Portuguese conversion process, the history of European imperialism and colonialism in India, the Portuguese were the first to bring European civilization and culture to the Bengal region. In fact, the new currents of life brought to the country by the Portuguese merchants who believed in Christianity became permanent and based on their special contribution to the most remote areas of Bengal, in Bengali language and literature, civilization and culture.

Mughal Emperor Akbar allowed the Portuguese to settle in Bengal and the Jesuit priests arrived in Bengal.

In 156 AD, the Mughal emperor Akbar was pleased with the Portuguese clergy and ordered them to establish a city somewhere in Bengal in order to establish an alliance with the Portuguese. The letter of intent further stated that missionaries in Bengal could preach Christianity, build churches and convents, and freely convert all Indians who were interested in following the "Injil" or the Gospel and the precepts of Christianity. . '' (Manrique, S: Itenerario de las Missiones 1629- 1641 Eng Tr. 1915-Calcutta.). According to the Jesuit sect, the first priestly community to come to Bengal, Fr. Antony Vaz and Father Padro Dias arrived in Bengal in 156 AD. It was the Jesuits who built the first church in Bengal, the "Name of Jesus", in 1599 AD, at Chandeka, Ishwaripur, in the historic Jessore, the capital of King Pratapaditya, 50 miles south of the present-day city of Satkhira. On January 1, 1800, King Pratapaditya inaugurated the first church in Bengal with great pomp. During his visit to Bangladesh, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid obeisance at the Kali Mandir in Ishwaripur. A short distance away is the site of the first church in Bengal. Ever since the arrival of the Portuguese in the Indian subcontinent, the Portuguese Jewish priestly community, interested in kings, emperors and zamindars, has been working unhindered in various states of India, including Bengal, under the umbrella and patronage of Mughal emperors Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan. The most reliable sources of information and theories about the arrival of the Portuguese in Bangladesh, especially in Dhaka, their movements and activities are Frey Sebastian and Manrique, who visited Bengal in 1840 and wrote a list of four hundred years before the Augustinian churches built in 1841. Dedicated to the holy name of Jesus Christ, the grand opening of the church took place on January 1, 1800. Sandwip was a Christian settlement between Chittagong and South Bengal. After defeating the Arakanese king and leaving Carvalho Island, Firingi and other Christians left Sandwip in groups and took refuge in Bakla, Sreepur and Jessore. Christian settlements also developed in Larikul and Tarikul. As such, the Christian population of Bangladesh has been cherished for 450 years.

Prince of Bhushan ------ The stirring Christian preacher Dom Antonio

 There is no doubt that Christian settlements started in different parts of Bangladesh even before the first church of Bengal was established in present day Satkhira. In some villages on the banks of the river Padma and in the adjoining areas, local Portuguese settlements were established by the Portuguese and their converts. When the Kirtinasha Padma submerged in the Narikul port on the banks of the Padma and the Christian settlements of Tarikul sank in the caves of the Padma, many were displaced and shifted to Meghla, Malekanda, Nagarkanda, Orikul, Narisha, Sutarpara etc. in the present Dohar upazila. When some more villages were submerged in the subsequent erosion of the omnivorous Padma, new settlements were established in some villages around Kalakopa-Bandura, some moved to Shulpur of Sirajdigha police station and some to Nagari villages in Bhawal Pargana region.

After the accession of Arangzeb to the throne in the middle of the seventeenth century, the prestige of the Jesuits in Bengal was greatly diminished due to the massive financial losses of the Portuguese. The existence of the Augustinian empire is also in crisis due to the small number of priests and finances of the Augustine community. Dom Antonio's emergence in Bengal at a time when the Jesuits were leaving Bengal and the plight of the Augustinian community.

Approximately, in 173 AD, the Mughal children were kidnapped by the Mughal bandits and taken to Arakan in the Bhusana kingdom on the banks of the Madhumati river in the greater Faridpur district. After the abduction, the Mogeras, knowing the boy's lineage, sold him to Father Manuel D'Rosario, a Portuguese priest from the Augustine community in Chittagong, Arakan. Due to the identity of the aristocracy, the Roman Catholic custom changed his name to Father Manuel before the boy's name, Dom (Dom means prince in Bengali). (Historical excerpt from Wikipedia)

Pope Francis' Message for Institutes of Consecrated Life "It is understood by consecrating oneself every day." FULL TEXT + Video



[Madrid, May 17-22, 2021] 

Dear brothers and sisters who are participating in this 50 - or 49-50, because last year it could not be done - Week of Religious Life, which began there when the now Cardinal Aquilino Bocos Merino, from the magazine Vida Religiosa, began to move the environment.

I want to publicly thank Don Aquilino, the priest, the religious, who never stopped being a religious and a priest, and who always serves the Church in this way. I want to thank that continually sowing concern to understand the richness of consecrated life and make it bear fruit. Not just understand, live it. Not just theory, no, practice. In any case, catechesis to practice it better. So I publicly thank Cardinal Aquilino for all this.

And I see the program, I have it here, I see that there are people who have a lot of experience in religious life, and universal experience, and experience of the limit. For example, the president of CLAR, Sister Liliana: the limit in Latin America, which has appeared so many times at the Synod for the Amazon; or Cardinal Cristóbal, from Rabat: the limit with the Islamic world. And so many other participants from every point of view.

I like the message, I am seeing it now for the first time the program. And I want to tell you that I am close to you in the realization of this 49-50 —more is 50— National Week for Institutes of Consecrated Life. In consecrated life you understand walking, as always. It is understood by consecrating oneself every day. It is understood in dialogue with reality. When consecrated life loses this dimension of dialogue with reality and reflection on what happens, it begins to become sterile. I wonder about the sterility of some institutes of consecrated life, to see the cause, generally it is in the lack of dialogue and commitment to reality. Don't stop this. Consecrated life is always a dialogue with reality. Some will say "yes, now this modern form." Not! Let's think of Saint Teresa. Saint Teresa saw reality and made a reform option and went ahead. Later, along the way, there were attempts to transform that reform into a confinement, there always is. But reform is always a path, it is a path in contact with reality and the horizon in the light of a founding charism. And these days, these meetings, these weeks of consecrated life help to lose fear.

And also, it is sad to see how some institutes, to seek certain security, to be able to control themselves, have fallen into ideologies of any sign, of the left, of the right, of the center, whatever. When an institute reformulates itself from charisma to ideology, it loses its identity, it loses its fruitfulness. Keeping the founding charism alive is keeping it on the way and growing, in dialogue with what the Spirit is telling us in the history of time, in places, in different times, in different situations. It involves discernment and it involves prayer. A foundational charism cannot be maintained without apostolic courage, that is, without walking, without discernment and without prayer. And this is what you guys are trying to do with this week. It is not getting together to play the guitar and say "how beautiful is the consecrated life", no - yes,

Don't be afraid of limits! Don't be afraid of borders! Don't be afraid of the peripheries! Because there the Spirit is going to speak to them. Get “within range” of the Holy Spirit. And these weeks will certainly help to get "on target".

May God bless you, may Our Lady take care of you. And if you have a “little bit” of time, pray for me. Thanks.

 FULL TEXT + Image Screenshot from Vatican.va - unofficial Translation

Novena to the Holy Spirit for #Pentecost Prayers to Share! - 6


 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 6 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 - the Full Novena Prayers are also on our Video)
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.
If Thou take Thy grace away, nothing pure in man will stay, All his good is turn'd to ill.
The Gift of Understanding
Understanding, as a gift of the Holy Spirit, helps us to grasp the meaning of the truths of our holy religion BY faith we know them, but by Understanding we learn to appreciate and relish them. It enables us to penetrate the inner meaning of revealed truths and through them to be quickened to newness of life. Our faith ceases to be sterile and inactive, but inspires a mode of  life that bears eloquent testimony to the faith that is in us; we begin to "walk worthy of God in all things pleasing, and increasing in the knowledge of God."
Come, O Spirit of Understanding, and enlighten our minds, that we may know and believe all the mysteries of salvation; and may merit at last to see the eternal light in Thy Light; and in the light of glory to have a clear vision of Thee and the Father and the Son. Amen.

(Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father. Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts)
Novena Day 1 https://www.catholicnewsworld.com/2021/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-for-pentecost-day.html
Day 2 https://www.catholicnewsworld.com/2021/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-for-pentecost.html
Day 3 https://www.catholicnewsworld.com/2020/05/powerful-novena-to-holy-spirit-for.html

Day 4 https://www.catholicnewsworld.com/2020/05/powerful-novena-to-holy-spirit-for_25.html

Day https://www.catholicnewsworld.com/2020/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-for-pentecost_28.html

Day 6 https://www.catholicnewsworld.com/2020/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-for-pentecost_23.html
Day 7 https://www.catholicnewsworld.com/2020/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-for-pentecost-to.html
Day 8 https://www.catholicnewsworld.com/2020/05/powerful-novena-to-holy-spirit-for_30.html
Day 9 https://www.catholicnewsworld.com/2020/05/novena-to-holy-spirit-for-pentecost-to_31.html

Resignation of Jesuit Fr. Kevin O'Brien, who Presided at President Biden's Inaugural Mass, as Santa Clara University President

Fr. Kevin O'Brien, SJ, a 54-year-old Jesuit priest, and former president of Santa Clara University, has been on administrative leave since March.  During that time his Jesuit province investigated reports of his alleged misconduct. Due to the review he was taking part in an outpatient therapy program for alcohol use and stress management. Subsequent to this he submitted his resignation letter to the California Jesuit University.  Fr. O'Brien presided at the Inaugural Mass for President Joe Biden. (Edited from America Magazine)

FULL TEXT Letter from Fr. Kevin O'Brien, SJ :

May 12, 2021

Dear Santa Clara University community,

With a heavy heart but clear mind, I write to share with you personally my decision to resign as president of Santa Clara University. As I have written to you at other times during these remarkable two years, I want to share with you directly the reasons for my decision.

In early March, my Jesuit Provincial, Scott Santarosa, S.J., expressed concerns to me about my well-being. These concerns were based on accounts of my behavior over the past year in certain social settings with adults that did not meet the highest standards of decorum expected of me as a Jesuit. The Province investigated these concerns, and based on the results of that review, Father Santarosa asked me to enter a therapeutic program to address related personal issues, including my use of alcohol and stress management.

Throughout the process, I asked for no preferential treatment because of my position, presumed the good will of all involved, and fully cooperated. In April, I entered an outpatient or nonresidential treatment program, which many Jesuits over the years have found helpful in living a full, healthy life of service. In my case, the program is expected to take four to six months.

My extended absence from campus during these challenging times does not serve the university well. After much prayer and thought and out of deep love for Santa Clara, I have concluded that the best service I can offer to our beloved university is to step aside now. While my deepest desire and skill set are attuned to return to leadership, I will not know until the program’s completion how and when I can do so most effectively. As I engage this personal work, I cannot leave the university waiting, amid all the challenges we face in a very competitive landscape and given the opportunities we need to seize as we pivot to a post-pandemic context.  Finally, if the Board wishes to begin planning a search for my successor, it is vital that this work begin now.

At the successful completion of my treatment program, Father Santarosa expects that I will return to active ministry as a Jesuit priest, but, for the reasons above, it will not be at Santa Clara as president – a statement which is very hard for me to write. As together we addressed challenges during the pandemic and in our movements to greater racial justice, I have loved my service here, primarily because of the people. Thank you for your company and your support, especially when the days and decisions were hard. I trust that God will use my labor here for good, even when I fell short of my or your expectations.

We are positioned well to emerge from these challenging months with strength and clarity of purpose. We are in very good hands with Acting President Lisa Kloppenberg’s exceptional and visionary leadership. She exemplifies the best of Jesuit education. We are also blessed with the wise and skilled stewardship of our university cabinet, deans and other university leaders.

I am at heart a teacher and an educator, so I wish to close with a message for our students. It is important to have friends in your life, as I do now, who can speak honestly when they are concerned about you. Equally important, no matter the success or positions you achieve in life, everyone needs help at times, and it is OK to ask for help when you need it, and to allow others to care for you.

Know that my days begin with prayers for Santa Clara and its mission which endures with the grace of God and the goodness of so many. Wherever I might land in my next mission as a Jesuit, I will carry you with me.

Gratefully yours,

Kevin O’Brien, S.J.

New Auxiliary Bishop of Galveston-Houston, Texas - Pope Appoints Italian Born Fr. Italo Dell’Oro, C.R.S.

Pope Francis Names New Auxiliary Bishop of Galveston-Houston
MAY 18, 2021 
USSB Release from WASHINGTON - Pope Francis has appointed the Rev. Italo Dell’Oro, C.R.S. as auxiliary bishop of Galveston-Houston. Bishop-elect Dell’Oro is a priest of the Congregation of the Somascan Fathers and currently serves as vicar for clergy for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. The appointment was publicized in Washington, D.C. on May 18, 2021 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
Father Dell’Oro was born June 20, 1953 in Malgrate, Italy. He attended the Somascan Novitiate and Theologate in Rome and made his first religious profession in 1978, and his solemn profession in 1981. He received his baccalaureate in sacred theology from the University of St. Anselmo in Rome, Italy in 1982 and a master’s degree in counseling and psychotherapy from Rivier University in Nashua, New Hampshire in 1988. He was ordained to the priesthood in Como, Italy on September 11, 1982.
Bishop-elect Dell’Oro’s assignments after ordination include: priest assistant at Pine Haven Boys Center in Allenstown, New Hampshire (1985-1992); pastor at Assumption Parish in Houston, Texas (1992-2000); dean of the Northeast Deanery in Houston (2000); vocations director at the Somascan Fathers House of Formation (2001-2005); and archdiocesan director of ministry to priests (2005-2015). He has served as the Archdiocese of Houston-Galveston’s vicar for clergy and secretariat director for clergy formation and chaplain services since 2015, and the episcopal vicar for marriage affairs since 2016. He speaks English, Italian, and Spanish.
The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston is comprised of 8,880 square miles in the state of Texas and has a total population of 7,247,207 of which 1,700,000 are Catholic. Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo is the current archbishop of Galveston-Houston. 
(Below Video of Bishop-elect Italo)

Diocese of Brooklyn Calls on Police to Patrol Churches After 2nd Act of Vandalism Discovered with Statues Decapitated


            The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn is announcing that a statue depicting the Blessed Virgin Mary holding her son Jesus, was vandalized over the weekend on the grounds of the Diocesan administrative offices, located at 310 Prospect Park West in the Windsor Terrace section of Brooklyn.

Jesus, held in the arms of His Mother Mary, was decapitated. The destruction was discovered by a facilities manager and immediately reported to the New York City Police Department. The crime is currently being investigated as a hate crime. The Diocese is already working towards repairing the statue to its original form.

This is the second incident in a matter of three days. During the early morning hours of Friday, May 14, a Crucifix was toppled and damaged, and an American Flag burned, at St. Athanasius Roman Catholic Church in Bensonhurst. Parishioners gathered Friday evening in prayer.

“We are definitely concerned that there is a pattern of hate crimes against Catholics. There was a hate crime at a Bensonhurst parish on Friday morning and now, just a few days later, this is act of hatred has been discovered at the Diocesan offices. The Diocese will be notifying our churches to be on alert, and we are asking the NYPD to increase patrols in and around the area of our churches. Hatred and intolerance of the Catholic faith, and for that matter any faith, has no place here,” said Monsignor Anthony M. Hernandez, Moderator of the Curia for the Diocese of Brooklyn.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477).  A photo of the damaged statue is attached.

Source: Press Release: https://dioceseofbrooklyn.org/press-releases/diocese-of-brooklyn-calls-on-nypd-to-increase-patrol-around-churches-as-second-act-of-vandalism-is-discovered-within-three-days-2/