Friday, May 21, 2021

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Saturday, May 22, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church

Saturday of the Seventh Week of Easter
Mass in the Morning
Lectionary: 302
Acts 28:16-20, 30-31
Acts 28:16-20, 30-31
When he entered Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself,
with the soldier who was guarding him.
Three days later he called together the leaders of the Jews.
When they had gathered he said to them, “My brothers,
although I had done nothing against our people
or our ancestral customs,
I was handed over to the Romans as a prisoner from Jerusalem.
After trying my case the Romans wanted to release me,
because they found nothing against me deserving the death penalty.
But when the Jews objected, I was obliged to appeal to Caesar,
even though I had no accusation to make against my own nation.
This is the reason, then, I have requested to see you
and to speak with you, for it is on account of the hope of Israel
that I wear these chains.” 
He remained for two full years in his lodgings.
He received all who came to him, and with complete assurance
and without hindrance he proclaimed the Kingdom of God
and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.
Responsorial Psalm
11:4, 5 and 7
R.    (see 7b)  The just will gaze on your face, O Lord.
R.    Alleluia.
The LORD is in his holy temple;
    the LORD’s throne is in heaven.
His eyes behold,
    his searching glance is on mankind.
R.    The just will gaze on your face, O Lord.
R.    Alleluia.
The LORD searches the just and the wicked;
    the lover of violence he hates.
For the LORD is just, he loves just deeds;
    the upright shall see his face.
R.    The just will gaze on your face, O Lord.
R.    Alleluia.
Jn 16:7, 13
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I will send to you the Spirit of truth, says the Lord;
he will guide you to all truth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jn 21:20-25
Peter turned and saw the disciple following whom Jesus loved,
the one who had also reclined upon his chest during the supper
and had said, “Master, who is the one who will betray you?”
When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about him?”
Jesus said to him, “What if I want him to remain until I come?
What concern is it of yours?  
You follow me.”
So the word spread among the brothers that that disciple would not die.
But Jesus had not told him that he would not die,
just “What if I want him to remain until I come?
What concern is it of yours?”
It is this disciple who testifies to these things
and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true.
There are also many other things that Jesus did,
but if these were to be described individually,
I do not think the whole world would contain the books
that would be written.

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 to Share - Powerful Prayers to Help You! - 9

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 9 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.


Thou, on those who evermore Thee confess and Thee Adore, in Thy sevenfold gift, Descend; Give Them Comfort when they die; Give them Life with Thee on high; Give them joys which never end. Amen 
The Fruits of the Holy Spirit 
The gifts of the Holy Spirit perfect the supernatural virtues by enabling us to practice them with greater docility to divine inspiration. As we grow in the knowledge and love of God under the direction of the Holy Spirit, our service becomes more sincere and generous, the practice of virtue more perfect. Such acts of virtue leave the heart filled with joy and consolation and are known as Fruits of the Holy Spirit. These Fruits in turn render the practice of virtue more attractive and become a powerful incentive for still greater efforts in the service of God, to serve Whom is to reign.
Come, O Divine Spirit, fill my heart with Thy heavenly fruits, Thy charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, faith, mildness, and temperance, that I may never weary in the service of God, but by continued faithful submission to Thy inspiration may merit to be united eternally with Thee in the love of the Father and the Son. Amen. 

(Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE. Glory be to the Father 7 TIMES. Act of Consecration, Prayer for the Seven Gifts) 

Novena Day 1
Day 2
Day 3

Day 4


Day 6
Day 7
Day 8
Day 9

Saint May 22 : St. Rita of Cascia the Patron of Impossible Causes, Marriage Problems and Abuse Victims

Born: 1381, Roccaporena, Perugia, Umbria, Italy
Died: May 22, 1457, Cascia, Perugia, Umbria, Italy Canonized:
May 24, 1900, Rome by Pope Leo XIII
Feast Day:
May 22
Patron of:
Lost and impossible causes, sickness, wounds, marital problems, abuse, mothers
The Precious Pearl/The Story of Saint Rita of Casica (Abridged) by Michael DiGregorio, OSA
Antonio and Amata Lotti, natives of Roccaporena, a tiny village in the Umbrian Hills of the republic of Cascia, were well-respected peacemakers in their town who welcomed their only child, Margherita in 1381.  In the local dialect, her name meant “pearl” and she was known as Rita.  Baptized in the church of St. Augustine in Cascia, Rita became acquainted with the local Augustinian nuns of St. Mary Magdalene and was attracted to their way of life.  But her parents arranged a marriage for her in order to provide safety and security, and so Rita obediently married Paolo Mancini with whom she had two sons.  In the climate of the times, there was often open conflict between families, and her husband Paolo was murdered.  Her sons were young, but the expectation would be for them eventually to avenge the murder of their father to defend family honor.  Rita, influenced by the peacemaking example of her parents, pledged to forgive her husband’s killers.  She faced a steep challenge, however, in convincing her sons to do the same.  Tradition has it that she often pointed out to them the image of the crucified Christ and the fact that he forgave those who killed him.  Within a year, however, both sons succumbed to a deadly illness leaving Rita not only a widow, but also childless.  Following these tragedies, Rita placed her trust in God, accepting them and relying on her deep faith to find her way.  After eighteen years of marriage, Rita felt called to a second but familiar vocation, to religious life in the Augustinian convent.
#Novena Prayer to St. Rita - Patron of Impossible

But the sisters were hesitant and refused her request; however, Rita was not discouraged, convinced that she was called to the contemplative community.  The sisters even more firmly refused, citing that although Rita had forgiven her husband’s killers, her family had not.  There were members of the rival family in the convent; her presence would be detrimental to community harmony.  And so, inspired by her three patron saints (Augustine, Nicholas of Tolentino and John the Baptist), Rita set out to make peace between the families.  She went to her husband’s family and exhorted them to put aside their hostility and stubbornness.  They were convinced by her courage and agreed.  The rival family, astounded by this overture of peace, also agreed.  The two families exchanged a peace embrace and signed a written agreement, putting the vendetta to rest forever.  A fresco depicting the scene of the peace embrace was placed on a wall of the Church of Saint Francis in Cascia, an enduring reminder of the power of good over evil and a testament to the widow whose forgiving spirit achieved the impossible.<br />
At the age of 36, Rita finally was accepted into the Augustinian convent.  She lived a regular life of prayer, contemplation and spiritual reading, according to the Rule of Saint Augustine.  For forty years she lived this routine lifestyle, until fifteen years before her death, on Good Friday 1442, she had an extraordinary experience.  In contemplation before an image of Jesus that was very dear to her, the Jesus of Holy Saturday or, as it is also known,the Resurgent Christ, she was moved by a deeper awareness of the physical and spiritual burden of pain which Christ so freely and willingly embraced for love of her and of all humanity.  With the tender, compassionate heart of a person fully motivated by grateful love, she spoke her willingness to relieve Christ’s suffering by sharing even the smallest part of his pain.  Her offer was accepted, her prayer was answered, and Rita was united with Jesus in a profound experience of spiritual intimacy, a thorn from his crown penetrating her forehead.  The wound it caused remained open and visible until the day of her death.
Toward the end of her life, Rita progressively weakened physically.  Several months before her death, she was visited by a relative from Roccaporena who asked if she could do something for her.  Rita at first declined, but then made a simple request to have a rose from the garden of her family home brought to her.  However, it was January, the dead of winter in the hills of Umbria.  But upon her return home, the relative passed Rita’s family garden and found to her astonishment a single fresh rose in the snow-covered garden on an otherwise barren bush.  She immediately returned to the convent where she presented it to Rita who accepted it with quiet and grateful assurance.  For the four decades she had spent in Casica’s convent she had prayed especially for her husband Paolo, who had died so violently, and for her two sons, who had died so young.  The dark, cold earth of Roccaporena, which held their mortal remains, had now produced a beautiful sign of spring and beauty out of season.  So, Rita believed, had God brought forth, through her prayers, their eternal life despite tragedy and violence.  She now knew that she would soon be one with them again.
Rita died peacefully on May 22, 1457.  An old and revered tradition records that the bells of the convent immediately began to peal unaided by human hands, calling the people of Cascia to the doors of the convent, and announcing the triumphant completion of a life faithfully lived.  The nuns prepared her for burial and placed her in a simple wooden coffin.  A carpenter who had been partially paralyzed by a stroke, voiced the sentiments of many others when he spoke of the beautiful life of this humble nun in bringing lasting peace to the people of Cascia.  “If only I were well,” he said, “I would have prepared a place more worthy of you.”  With those words, Rita’s first miracle was performed, as he was healed.  He fashioned the elaborate and richly decorated coffin which would hold Rita’s body for several centuries.  She was never buried in it, however.  So many people came to look upon the gentle face of the “Peacemaker of Cascia” that her burial had to be delayed.  It became clear that something exceptional was occurring as her body seemed to be free from nature’s usual course.  It is still preserved today, now in a glass-enclosed coffin, in the basilica of Cascia. Text from St. Rita Shrine

Saint May 21 : Saint Cristóbal Magallanes and Companions who Established a Secret Seminary in Mexico

Saint Cristóbal Magallanes and Companions
Saint of the Day for May 21
(d. between 1915 and 1937)

 Cristóbal and his 24 companion martyrs lived under a very anti-Catholic government in Mexico, one determined to weaken the Catholic faith of its people. Churches, schools, and seminaries were closed; foreign clergy were expelled. Cristóbal established a clandestine seminary at Totatiche, Jalisco. He and the other priests were forced to minister secretly to Catholics during the presidency of Plutarco Calles (1924-28).

All of these martyrs, except three, were diocesan priests. David, Manuel and Salvador were laymen who died with their parish priest, Luis Batis. They all belonged to the Cristero movement, pledging their allegiance to Christ and to the Church that he established, to spread the Good News in society—even if Mexico’s leaders had made it a crime to receive baptism or celebrate the Mass.

These martyrs did not die as a single group but over 22 years time in eight Mexican states, with Jalisco and Zacatecas having the largest number. They were beatified in 1992 and canonized eight years later.
Edited from FranciscanMedia

Saint May 21 : St. Godric of Finchale a Hermit who Prayed with many Tears for Grace


1069 at Walpole, Norfolk, England
1170 at Finchale, County Durham, England
He was born of very mean parents at Walpole, in Norfolk, and in his youth carried about little peddling wares which he sold in villages. Having by degrees improved his stock, he frequented cities and fairs, and made several voyages by sea to traffic in Scotland. In one of these he called at Holy Island, or Lindisfarne, where he was charmed and exceedingly edified with the retirement and religious deportment of the monks, and especially with the account which they gave him of the wonderful life of St. Cuthbert. He inquired of them every particular relating to him, visited every corner of that holy solitude and of the neighboring isle of Fame, and falling on his knees, prayed with many tears for grace to imitate the fervor of that saint in serving God, resolving for that purpose to give up all earthly pretensions. He entered upon a new course of life by a penitential devout pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and visited Compostella in his way home. After his return into Norfolk, he accepted the charge of house-steward in the family of a very rich man. The servants were not very regular, and for  their private junketings often trespassed upon their neighbors. Godrick finding he was not able to prevent these injustices, and that the nobleman took no notice of his complaints about them, being easy so long as he was no sufferer himself, left his place for fear of being involved in the guilt of such an injustice.

After making a pilgrimage to St. Giles in France, and to Rome, he went to the north of England in order the better to carry into execution his design of devoting himself wholly to a retired life. A fervent servant of God, named Godwin, who had passed a considerable time in the monastery of Durham, and by conversing with the most holy monks and exercising himself in the interior and exterior practices of all virtues, was well qualified to be a director to an inexperienced novice, joined our saint, and they led together an austere anchoretical life in a wilderness situated on the north to Carlisle, serving one another, and spending both the days and nights in the praises of God. After two years God called Godwin to himself by a happy death after a short sickness. St. Godrick having lost his companion, made a second painful pilgrimage to Jerusalem. After his return he passed some time in the solitude of Streneshalch, now Whitby; but after a year and some months went to Durham to offer up his prayers before the shrine of St. Cuthbert, and from thence retired into the desert of Finchal, or Finkley, three miles from Durham, near the river Wear. St. John Baptist and St. Cuthbert he chose for his principal patrons and models. The austerities which he practiced are rather to be admired than imitated. He had his regular tasks of devotion, consisting of psalms and other prayers which he had learned by heart, and which he constantly recited at midnight, break of day, and the other canonical hours, besides a great number of other devotions. Though he was ignorant of the very elements of learning, he was too well experienced in the happy art of conversing with God and his own soul ever to be at a loss how to employ his time in solitude. Whole days and nights seemed too short for his rapturous contemplations, one of which he often wished with St. Bruno he could have continued without interruption for eternity, in inflamed acts of adoration, compunction, love, or praise. His patience under the sharpest pains of sicknesses or ulcers, and all manner of trials, was admirable; but his humility was vet more astonishing. His conversation was meek, humble, and simple. He concealed as much as possible from the sight and knowledge of all men whatever might procure their esteem, and he was even unwilling any one should see or speak with him. Yet this he saw himself obliged to allow on certain days every week to such as came with the leave of the prior of Durham, under whose care and obedience he died. A monk of that house was his confessor, said mass for him, and administered him the sacraments in a chapel adjoining to his cell, which the holy man had built in honor of St. John Baptist. He was most averse from all pride and vanity, and never spoke of himself but as of the most sinful of creatures, a counterfeit hermit, an empty phantom of a religious man: lazy, slothful, proud, and imperious, abusing the charity of good people who assisted him with their alms. But the more the saint humbled himself, the more did God exalt him by his grace, and by wonderful miraculous gifts. For several years before his death he was confined to his bed by sickness and old age. William of Newbridge, who visited him during that time, tells us that though his body appeared in a manner dead, his tongue was ever repeating the sacred names of the three divine Persons, and in his countenance there appeared a wonderful dignity, accompanied with an unusual grace and sweetness. Having remained in the desert sixty-three years, he was seized with his last illness, and happily departed to his Lord on the 21st of May, 1170, in the reign of Henry II. His body was buried  in the chapel of St. John Baptist. Many miracles confirmed the opinion of his sanctity, and a little chapel was built in his memory by Richard, brother to Hugh Pidsey, bishop of Durham. See William of Newbridge, 1. 2, c. 20; Matthew Paris, Matthew of Westminster, his life written by Nicholas of Durham his confessarius, and abridged by Harpsfield, Saec. 12, c. 45. Source : Lives of the Saints by Alban Butler

Fragile Ceasefire Agreement Between Israel and Palestine as Death Toll Reaches 248 Killed in Palestine and 13 in Israel

A ceasefire agreement has been reached between Israel and Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip. However, there was some disturbance in occupied East Jerusalem where Israeli police stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and fired tear gas at Palestinians after Friday prayers.
The Egyptian-brokered ceasefire came into effect in the early hours of Friday, May 21, 2021, after 11 days of ongoing Israeli bombing of Gaza and thousands of rockets launched into Israel by Hamas, the group ruling the Strip. The death toll, in Gaza, is at 248  people killed, including 66 children, with 1,900 injured and 13 were killed in Israel.
There were people celebrating on both sides due to the ceasefire, but there is still tension and fear.
There is now widespread damage to the already impoverished territory. 
Pope Francis said, "I thank God for the decision to halt the armed conflicts and acts of violence, and I pray for the pursuit of paths of dialogue and peace. I take this occasion to ask all the pastors and faithful of the Catholic Church to unite themselves spiritually with this prayer. May every community pray to the Holy Spirit “that Israelis and Palestinians may find the path of dialogue and forgiveness, be patient builders of peace and justice, and be open, step by step, to a common hope, to coexistence among brothers and sisters.”
Saudi Arabia  welcomed the declaration of a ceasefire and said it appreciates Egyptian and international mediation efforts, state news agency (SPA) said, citing a Foreign Ministry statement.
President Biden released a White House statement saying, " I believe the Palestinians and Israelis equally deserve to live safely and securely and to enjoy equal measures of freedom, prosperity, and democracy."
 Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas  received a phone call from US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.
Abbas’ office says the two discussed the latest developments. The Palestinian leader urged the Biden administration to pressure Israel to halt the violence in occupied East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.
The statement said Abbas appreciated US efforts to “provide humanitarian aid and mobilise the international support necessary for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, in coordination with the Palestinian Authority”

At the UN briefing in New York, Stéphane Dujarric, spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said the truce has allowed much-needed humanitarian aide to reach Gaza following a partial reopening of the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom in Hebrew) crossing.
“Today, 13 humanitarian trucks with food, COVID-19 vaccines, medical disposables and drugs, including emergency medicines, first aid kits for multiple UN agencies and NGO partners crossed into Gaza following the partial reopening of the Kerem Shalom crossing,” Dujarric said.
Iran leader urges Muslim states to back Palestinians militarily, financially
Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Hosseini Khamenei has called on Muslim states to support Palestinians militarily and financially and help rebuild Gaza, Iranian media has reported.
“Muslim states must sincerely support the Palestinian people, through military … or financial support … or in rebuilding Gaza’s infrastructure,” Khamenei said in a statement carried by media outlets.
At a UN briefing in New York, Stéphane Dujarric, spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said both sides must “show restraint” and that the status quo at the holy sites must be respected.
“In these situations, both political leaders, religious leaders have a responsibility to speak out against anyone who disrupts peace. And we should all stand firmly against incitement and violence, especially in such a tense environment,” Dujarric said.
Fabrizio Carboni, regional director for the Near and Middle East at the International Committee of the Red Cross, has estimated there are “several hundred” pieces of unexploded ordnance strewn about in Gaza and said medical supplies were a pressing need.
He said the ceasefire feels “fragile” and lamented the “unbearable and unacceptable cost this has had for the civilian population. And I know that applies to people in Israel, too.” Edited from Al-Jazeera and Whitehouse and

Pope Francis Approves New Synodal Program for Bishops for a 3-Year Global Synodal Journey - FULL TEXT

In October, Pope Francis will open a three-year synodal journey with three phases (diocesan, continental, universal) of consultations and discernment, culminating with the assembly in October 2023 in Rome.  This is to help establish the synodality desired by Pope Francis since the beginning of his pontificate. The next Synod of Bishops, scheduled for October 2023, will not only be celebrated in the Vatican but in each particular Church of the five continents, following a three-year itinerary divided into three phases: diocesan, continental and universal. (Edited from Vatican News Excerpt)

FULL TEXT Release: XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops

“For a synodal Church: communion, participation and mission”

 Pope Francis, on the 24 April 2021, approved a new synodal programme for the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. Initially the Synod, “For a synodal Church: communion, participation and mission,” was hoped to commence in the month of October 2022. The General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops has proposed new method for the journey toward the Synod.

This path toward the celebration of the Synod comprises of three phases, between October 2021 and October 2023, a diocesan phase and a continental phase that will give life to two different Instrumentum Laboris, and finally a conclusive phase at the level of the Universal Church.

The Synod of Bishops is the dynamic point of convergence that calls for mutual listening to the Holy Spirit at every level of the Church's life(cf.Address of His Holiness, Pope Francis, Ceremony Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the institution of the Synod of Bishops, 17 October 2015).The articulation of the different phases of the synodal process will help to make possible a true listening to the People of God to ensure the participation of all in the synodal process. It is not just an event, but also a process that involves in synergy the People of God, the College of Bishops and the Bishop of Rome, each according to their proper function.

The journey toward the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will follow the following path.

- Opening of the Synod (October 2021)

The opening of the Synod will take place in the Vatican and in every diocese. The Holy Father in the Vatican will inaugurate this synodal path: 9-10th October. Under the guidance of the local bishop, each diocese will open with the same celebration on Sunday 17th October.

- Diocesan Phase (October 2021 – April 2022)

The objective of this phase is to consult the People of God (cf.Episcopalis Communio, 5,2) so that the synodal process is carried out through listening to all of the baptised, who are the subject of the sensus fidei – infallible –in credendo.

The General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops

The General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops will send a Preparatory Document, accompanied by a Questionnaire and aVademecumwith proposals forconsultation in each local church.

The Dicasteries of the Roman Curia, the Union of Superiors General - International Union Superiors General (USG - UISG) and other Unions and Federations of Consecrated life, international lay movements, and University/Faculties of Theology will also receive this Document.

Dioceses (local churches) and Episcopal Conferences or other corresponding bodies

Each bishop will appoint a diocesan contact person (and eventually a team) for the synodal consultation; they shall be a point of reference and link with theEpiscopalConference. They will accompany all the stages of the consultation process in thelocalchurch.(BeforeOctober 2021)

EachEpiscopal Conference will also appoint a contact person (and eventually a team) responsible for liaising with both diocesan officials and with the General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops.(BeforeOctober 2021)


Consultation in the particular Churches will include those groups of participation as envisioned in Episcopalis Communio, without excluding other modalities deemed appropriate for the consultation to be real and effective (cf.Episcopalis Communio, 6).

Consultation with the People of God in each particular Church will conclude witha pre-synodal meeting, which will be the culmination of diocesan discernment.

After the conclusion of the diocesan phase, each particular Church will submit their contributions to their Episcopal Conference on a date determined by the Episcopal Conference itself. The Eastern Churches will submit their contributions to their corresponding bodies.

Episcopal Conferences or corresponding bodies

A period of discernment will begin for bishops gathered in an assembly (Episcopal Conference). They will listen to what the Spirit has inspired in the churches entrusted to them.

Participants in the drafting process of the synthesis include the contact person of the Episcopal Conference with regard to the synodal process and their team, as well as those representatives elected to participate in the Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod, following their ratification by the Holy Father.

This synthesis will be sentto the General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops along with the contributions of eachof the local churches.(Before April 2022)

Other contributions

The Dicasteries of the Roman Curia, the Universities/Faculties of Theology, the Union of Superiors General/International Union Superiors General (USG/UISG) and other Unions and Federations of Consecrated life, and international lay movements, shall also provide their own contributions to the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops.(Before April 2022)

General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops

The General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops will proceed with the drafting of the firstInstrumentum Laboris.(BeforeSeptemberof2022)

- Continental Phase (September 2022 – March 2023)

The purpose of this phase is to promote dialogue at the continental level about the textof the firstInstrumentumLaboris and deepen discernmentwithin the specific cultural context of each continent.

General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops

The General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops will publish and release the firstInstrumentum Laboris.(Septemberof2022)

International Reunions of Episcopal Conferences

Each International Reunion of Episcopal Conferences will also appoint a contact person to liaise with both the Episcopal Conferences and the General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops.(Before September 2022)

Pre-synodaldiscernment in the continental Assemblies.The criteria for the participation of the residential bishops and other members of the People of God is to be established.

The Assemblies will conclude with the drafting of a final document to be sent to the General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops.(March 2023)

General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops

The General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops will proceed to draft the secondInstrumentum Laboris.(BeforeJune2023)

- Universal Church Phase (October 2023)

The General Secretariat for the Synod of Bishops will send the secondInstrumentum Laboristo the participants of the Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.

Celebration of the Synod of Bishops will take place in Rome according to the norms established in the Apostolic ConstitutionEpiscopalis Communio.(October 2023)

[00693-EN.01] [Original text: Italian]

FULL TEXT Release:

RIP to 168 Catholic Priests and 143 Nuns Who Died from COVID-19 in India Especially Among Those who Helped the Poor

In India, the Covid-19 has already killed 168 Catholic priests, including 3 bishops, and 143 nuns.

The priests and religious are affected in a higher percentage than the rest of the population. A capuchin priest named Fr. Mathew  is collecting the data. He explained to Asia News that "Many even the 40-year-olds. Many nuns who died from the pandemic worked in rural areas where there is no adequate health care".

  Father Suresh Mathew, a Capuchin friar, is the editor-in-chief of the Indian Currents magazine. He is keeping the count of the victims of the clergy and religious which continue to grow because the number of deaths in the country remains high: even today the Indian government speaks of 4,209 victims of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours. The country is now very close to the threshold of 300,000 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

An important fact is the fact that many priests who died of Covid-19 were aged around 40, so they were in their prime. They weren't vaccinated, as doses were only given to those over 45 in April. 

Some contracted the virus by presiding over the funerals of confreres, while following all anti-Covid protocols. Many nuns have died in rural areas, where there are no adequate health care facilities. They worked among the poor and the marginalized where there is not even a basic medical centre. 

Some congregations were particularly affected: “At least 23 priests who died of Covid-19 - comments Fr. Mathew - were Jesuits, while 12 are the sisters of the Missionaries of Charity, the congregation founded by Mother Teresa. Edited from Asia News IT

Pope Francis says "..I invite you to be witnesses, witnesses of God's mercy and goodness." FULL TEXT + Video



Friday, May 21, 2021

 Dear friends,

I am pleased to welcome you members of the “ Lazare ” Association , in this year in which you are celebrating your tenth anniversary. I thank God for this meeting, which last year was canceled due to the health crisis.

It is always a joy to see that even today many people, full of faith, good will and courage, are committed to living the experience of service and fraternity.

Your Association is built on simple principles, such as: "be yourself with others, find joy, feel loved, learn kindness as in a family, live together very simply". These principles make sense and shape a stable group only if they spring from a strong friendship with Christ, the source of your work for good. By going out to meet others in their situations and forming a family in which harmony and the joy of living together reign, you participate in the Church's mission to go to the peripheries of our society. As I told you in the videoconference of May 29, 2020, “the existential peripheries are the center of the heart of God. Jesus wanted to come to our existential peripheries. He himself became an existential periphery ».

Dear young people, you have chosen to place yourselves at the service of human dignity, to make yourselves close to people who are excluded, homeless, rejected, often betrayed in their rights. By serving them, you are serving the Lord himself. With your apostolate, you help us understand that each person is a sacred history, a priceless gift. Indeed, "the Lord invites us to get involved generously, to overcome fear with the courage of love, to overcome passivity that becomes complicity" ( Homily at the Mass for the World Day of the Poor, November 15, 2020). In these times of uncertainty, of fragility, instead of wasting your life thinking only of yourself, you experience solidarity cohabitation. This gives you a way to enrich your life by becoming a source of hope for those who no longer believe in themselves and feel humiliated.

You wanted to be, for the people you serve, the hand, the eyes, the ears, the smile of God. You show them the closeness of the Lord who takes care of his people, especially those who are wounded and life, because "love of neighbor is realistic and does not waste anything that is necessary for a transformation of history aimed at the benefit of the least" (Enc. Fratelli tutti , 165 ). With your commitment and dedication, try to be Christian not only in words but in deeds. Thus you bear much fruit and this is seen in the expansion of your Association in other countries and continents.

Do not be afraid to transmit the torch of hope and love. Be witnesses of God's tenderness in the midst of the culture of selfishness, individualism, indifference, waste, contempt for the poor and the weak.

Dear friends, benefiting from this initiative of love, you who live this beautiful adventure with your story sometimes full of sadness, loneliness, tears, trials, exclusion and rejection, you are a precious gift that makes us see the love of the Lord. You are not waste, inferior men, failed people, as society sometimes wants us to believe. In God's eyes, you are a treasure, a gift, a life, a dignity. On your faces, we see the suffering face of Christ who invites us to an urgent love and an open heart.

Having received so much good and so much attention from others, you in turn become men and women capable of lifting up, of consoling, of soothing wounds and of making God present in the heart of your lives. I encourage you to give the best of yourself, to live every moment of existence as a grace, to come out of anonymity and make your life an offer for the beautiful, for the good. In fact, "Lazarus means offering, humanity's offering, of what is best: the awareness of limits" ( Videoconference with the “Lazare” Association , 29 May 2020).

I urge you all to stay true to your goals. Today more than ever we need to build a world, a society of fraternal and full of life relationships. Because «actions derive from a union that increasingly inclines towards the other, considering him as precious, worthy, pleasing and beautiful, beyond physical or moral appearances. Love for the other for what he is pushes us to seek the best for his life. Only by cultivating this way of relating will we make possible social friendship that excludes no one and fraternity open to all "(Enc. Fratelli tutti , 94 ). Therefore, I invite you to be witnesses, witnesses of God's mercy and goodness.

I entrust each one of you and your families, as well as the members of the Association to the intercession of the Virgin Mary and of Saint Lazarus, and I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing to you. Please don't forget to pray for me.

RIP Father Alphonsus Bello - Young Catholic Priest Killed in Nigeria and Another Priest is Kidnapped while others Wounded

A Catholic priest was killed and another kidnapped in northern Nigeria on  Thursday, May 20, 2021. Father Alphonsus Bello, age 30, was killed and Fr. Joe Keke was kidnapped.  Unidentified armed men attacked the parish of St. Vincent Ferrer in Malunfashi, in the State of Katsina, in northern Nigeria. The group of armed men who entered the parish on the night of 20 May fired some shots and wounded some people. The Director of National Social Communications of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Fr. Mike Umoh, explained that the criminals left the lifeless body of Fr Alphonsus Bello on the farmland behind the catechetical training school. The whereabouts of Fr. Joe Keke are still unknown. Umoh said: "Last night, one of the parishes in the diocese of Sokoto - the Catholic church of St. Vincent Ferrer in Malunfashi, in the state of Katsina - was attacked by unidentified gunmen. Two priests were kidnapped, Father Joe Keke and Alphonsus Bello. Father Keke, the former parish priest, is about 70 years old while Fr. Bello, the current murdered parish priest, was thirty years old". "
Please Pray for the victims. (Edited from Fides and VaticanNews)

Pope Francis says "May every community pray to the Holy Spirit “that Israelis and Palestinians may find the path of dialogue and forgiveness, be patient builders of peace..." to Ambassadors FULL TEXT




Clementine Hall
Friday, 21 May 2021


Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased to welcome you as you present the Letters accrediting you as Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of your countries to the Holy See: Singapore, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Algeria, Sri Lanka, Barbados, Sweden, Finland, and Nepal. As the effects of the coronavirus continue to be felt, travelling remains difficult, and so I thank each one of you for your presence here today. I would ask you to convey to the Heads of State whom you represent my sentiments of gratitude and esteem for themselves and for their noble mission at the service of their people.

As a result of the pandemic, the social and economic crisis worldwide has become all the more severe. On a personal level, many have lost loved ones and their means of livelihood. Families in particular are facing grave economic difficulties and often lack adequate social protection. The pandemic has made us more conscious of our interdependence as members of the one human family and our need to be attentive to the poor and the vulnerable in our midst. As we seek to emerge from the present crisis, our societies are challenged to take concrete, and indeed courageous, steps to develop a global “culture of care” (cf. Message for the 2021 World Day of Peace) that can inspire new relationships and structures of cooperation in the service of solidarity, respect for human dignity, mutual assistance and social justice.

Sadly, the pandemic has also made us acutely aware that the international community is experiencing “a growing difficulty, if not the inability, to seek common and shared solutions to the problems of our world” (Address to the Diplomatic Corps8 February 2021). In this regard, I think of the need to confront such pressing global issues as migration and climate change, as well as the humanitarian crises that they often bring in their wake. I think too of the economic debt that burdens many countries struggling to survive and the “ecological debt” that we owe to nature itself, as well as to peoples and countries affected by human-induced ecological degradation and loss of biodiversity. These issues are not simply political or economic; they are questions of justice, a justice that can no longer be ignored or deferred. Indeed, they entail a moral obligation towards future generations, for the seriousness with which we respond to them will shape the world we leave to our children.

In the development of a global consensus capable of responding to these ethical challenges facing our human family, your work as diplomats is of paramount importance. For its part, the Holy See, through its diplomatic representations, and its activity within the international community, supports every effort to build a world in which the human person is at the centre, finance is at the service of an integral development, and the earth, our common home, is protected and cared for. Through her works of education, charity and healthcare worldwide, the Church seeks to advance the integral development of individuals and peoples, and in this way contribute to the cause of peace.

In this regard, my thoughts turn to the events taking place these days in the Holy Land. I thank God for the decision to halt the armed conflicts and acts of violence, and I pray for the pursuit of paths of dialogue and peace. Tomorrow evening, the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land, together with their faithful, will gather to celebrate the Vigil of Pentecost in Saint Stephen’s Church in Jerusalem and to implore the gift of peace. I take this occasion to ask all the pastors and faithful of the Catholic Church to unite themselves spiritually with this prayer. May every community pray to the Holy Spirit “that Israelis and Palestinians may find the path of dialogue and forgiveness, be patient builders of peace and justice, and be open, step by step, to a common hope, to coexistence among brothers and sisters” (Regina Coeli, 16 May 2021).

Dear Ambassadors, with these thoughts, I now offer you my prayerful good wishes for the responsibilities you now undertake, and I assure you of the support and assistance of the offices of Holy See in the fulfilment of your duties. Upon you and your families, your colleagues and co-workers, and all your fellow citizens, I cordially invoke God’s blessings of wisdom, strength and peace.

US Bishops Call for Prayers for Church and Peoples of China - FULL TEXT

U.S. Bishops’ Chairman for International Justice and Peace calls for Prayers for Church and Peoples of China
MAY 20, 2021
WASHINGTON – In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI designated May 24, the feast of Our Lady Help of Christians, as the Worldwide Day of Prayer for the Church in China. Since this declaration was made, the faithful make annual pilgrimages to the Basilica in Sheshan on May 24 to honor the apparition of Our Lady of China and recite the Prayer to Our Lady of Sheshan. This past March, Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, archbishop of Yangon (Myanmar) and president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, called for the expansion of the day of prayer to a Week of Prayer for the Church in China to be observed May 23-30, 2021. Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on International Justice and Peace, voiced his support for Cardinal Bo in his appeal for prayers for the Church and the peoples of China.

Bishop Malloy’s full statement follows:

“On March 14, 2021 Cardinal Bo, the archbishop of Yangon in Myanmar, called for an expansion of the day of prayer to a full week, to be observed May 23-30. Given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, His Eminence asked that prayers be offered not only for the Church, but ‘to protect all humanity and therefore the dignity of each and every person in China.’

“Recognizing China’s growing global power, Cardinal Bo has expressed his hope that through these prayers, China ‘may become a force for good and a protector of the rights of the most vulnerable and marginalized in the world.’ Similarly, Pope Francis has also affirmed his prayers for Catholics in China, acknowledging their difficulties, assuring them of his daily prayers, and exhorting them to be good citizens, ‘to make a prophetic and constructive contribution born of their faith in the kingdom of God.’

“In unity and great love, let us join with the Church universal in our prayers to Our Lady Help of Christians, for China.”


Pope Francis writes "..respect for each person, created in God’s image and likeness, is all the more necessary in uniting sincere love..." to Fraternity Conference - FULL TEXT




To Cardinal Peter Turkson
Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development

On the occasion of the online Conference “Building Fraternity, Defending Justice. Challenges and Opportunities for Insular Peoples”, to be held on 21 May 2021, under the auspices of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and the Anglican Centre of Rome, I would ask you to convey my greetings and prayerful best wishes to the organizers and to all taking part. I offer a particular greeting to His Excellency Wavel Ramkalawan, President of the Republic of Seychelles and to His Grace Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, with appreciation for their participation.

This important ecumenical initiative, involving mutual dialogue born of the wisdom and experience of various Christian traditions, offers an opportunity for believers, government leaders and members of the broader civil society, especially the young, to address the particular challenges faced by insular peoples. Among these, I would mention violence, terrorism, poverty, hunger and the many forms of social and economic injustice and inequality that nowadays bring harm to all, but in particular to women and children. Of concern too is the fact that many island peoples are exposed to extreme environmental and climate changes, some of which result from an unbridled exploitation of natural and human resources. As a result, they are experiencing not only environmental deterioration but also a human and social deterioration that increasingly puts at risk the lives of the inhabitants of these island and sea territories. It is my hope that the Conference will contribute to the development of practical international and regional policies aimed at meeting such challenges more effectively and strengthening the awareness of everyone’s responsibility to care for our common home.

In these months of pandemic, we have become ever more conscious of our fragility and consequently of the need for an integral ecology that can sustain not only physical ecosystems but human ones as well. Since “everything is interconnected… genuine care for our own lives and our relationships with nature is inseparable from fraternity, justice and faithfulness to others” (Laudato Si’, 70). For this reason, an attitude of solidarity and respect for each person, created in God’s image and likeness (cf. Gen 1:26-27), is all the more necessary in uniting sincere love for our brothers and sisters with an unwavering commitment to resolve the environmental and social problems affecting those living in island and maritime areas. I am grateful for the ongoing efforts being made to build fraternity and defend justice in the societies of these regions (cf. Fratelli Tutti, 271) and I trust that the work accomplished during this meeting will be a sign of the important role that island peoples can play in furthering the growth of a more human and inclusive world.

With these sentiments I cordially invoke upon the participants in the Conference God’s blessings of wisdom, strength and peace.

Rome, from Saint John Lateran, 21 May 2021