Sunday, January 19, 2014



(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis is making a pastoral visit to Rome’s Sacro Cuore Basilica on Sunday afternoon, in the context of the Church’s 100th annual World Day for Migrants and Refugees. The parish of the Basilica dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is run by the Salesians of Don Bosco, and operates an outreach to the city’s homeless and itinerant populations, as well as a centre of welcome and hospitality for more than 400 young refugees and asylum seekers. 
Located in the heart of the city, in the vicinity of Rome’s central Termini railway station, the Basilica parish serves one of those “existential outskirts” that Pope Francis has called on Christians in every state of life – and especially those in religious life – to place at the centre of their work and witness in behalf of the Gospel. Sacro Cuore offers a range of services to the people it assists, from Italian language courses to driving lessons, remedial education for middle school equivalency, computer literacy, job training and placement.

The schedule of the Pope’s projected four-hour-plus visit includes encounters with children and the faithful of the parish in the courtyard of the basilica, a meeting with refugees, another with homeless persons, an exchange of greetings with families that have had children baptised over the course of the past year, Mass in the Basilica, a visit with the Basilica’s Salesian community, and a moment with young people.

Text from Vatican Radio website 

The 125-foot (38 meter) Christ the redeemer statue is located in Brazil, South America on steep mountain and is often hit by strikes.  A lightning bolt broke off a few fingers on his right hand. 
On Thursday, January 16, 2014 more than 40,000 lightning flashes hit the area during the three hour storm. On average, Christ the Redeemer usually gets struck with lightning 3-5 times per year. 
 The statue underwent a $4 million renovation in 2010 to repair badly eroded parts of its face and hands. The Archdiocese of Rio manages the statue. Father Omar Raposo told Globo Radio that repairs will soon be made. He says the church has a stock of the same stone originally used to build the statue, which was erected in 1931.
Edited from Times of India and other news sources



The French responded in large numbers to the call of the collective  in March for Life, this Sunday, January 19. From all over France, there were nearly 40,000 according to the counting system in place (evaluation 16:30). This figure is a record for this annual event held for ten years. It is true that the support of two iconic figures meant the importance of this work: Pope Francis and Jane Roe, muse of the legalization of abortion in the United States (Supreme Court 1973 Roe / Wade.

Claims were clear
1 / The immediate withdrawal of the disputed amendments added in secret in the draft law on equality between women and men debated in the Assembly on 20 January and which have as their object:    
   => Remove the distress as a condition for abortion                   

   => And extend the offense of obstructing abortion.          
2 / stop discriminatory practices of prenatal sex selection particularly developed in France in the case of children with trisomy 21.               
3 / The consideration by the government of the reality of the tragedy of abortion and the establishment of a genuine policy of support for pregnant women in need who wish to continue their pregnancy.
- See more at:


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis made an appeal for migrants and refugees on Sunday – the Church’s 100th annual World Day for Migrants and Refugees. After the Angelus prayer, speaking to faithful gathered in St Peter’s Square beneath the window of the Papal apartments in the Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father said, “I extend a special greeting to the representatives of various ethnic communities gathered here, in particular the Catholic communities in Rome.” Pope Francis went on to say, “Dear friends, you are close to the heart of the Church, because the Church is a people on a journey toward the Kingdom of God, that Jesus Christ brought into our midst.”
“Do not lose hope for a better future!” said Pope Francis, expressing his hope that migrants and refugees might be able to live in peace in the countries that welcome you, and that they might be able to maintain the values of their culture of origin.” The theme of the Holy Father’s Message to mark the recurrence in 2014 is Migrants and Refugees: toward a better world. In the Message, published in August of 2013, the Holy Father writes, “A change of attitude towards migrants and refugees is needed on the part of everyone, moving away from attitudes of defensiveness and fear, indifference and marginalization – all typical of a throwaway culture – towards attitudes based on a culture of encounter, the only culture capable of building a better, more just and fraternal world.” 


(Vatican Radio). Sunday 19th January the Church marks the 100th World Day of Migrants and Refugees. In his message to mark this occasion, Pope Francis urged countries to welcome and respect migrants and refugees and not to treat them as “pawns on the chessboard of humanity”.
In a world in which there are some 200 million migrants – 44 million of whom are refugees and internally displaced people – the Pope said “They are children, women and men who leave or who are forced to leave their homes for various reasons, who share a legitimate desire for knowing and having, but above all for being more.”
He also repeats his condemnation of “slave labour” and trafficking, develops his criticism of a “throwaway culture, and reiterates there must be a change in attitude on the part of host countries”.
Vatican Radio’s Linda Bordoni spoke to Jesuit Father Peter Balleis, International Director of the Rome-based Jesuit Refugee Service about the Pope’s message, about how we can transform what is largely perceived as a problematic issue into a richness for us all, and about the significance – today – of this annual occurrence marked by the Church…

Listen to the interview… RealAudioMP3 

The Church – Father Balleis says – is also a migrant Church, “many people – many Christians but not just Christians – are on the move” and the Church has always accompanied migrants. The Church – he points out – accompanied migrants from Europe when they moved to the United States – “the Jesuits when they were re-installated 200 years ago worked a lot in the US, they set up schools and universities in many places where the settlers were moving”.

Our history – he says – “is full of migration, so it’s right that the Church makes it a point to recall that”. Of course in our day – our particular concern as Jesuit Refugee Service – is not just about migrants, “it’s the fact that out of the 200 million people on the move, there are about 44 million refugees and internally displaced people, forcibly displaced people”.

Refugees – he explains – are “those people who have no choice but to run” for whatever reason. And “that number has significantly gone up in 2013 – it has reached 15 million refugees outside their home country, and 28 million inside their countries”.

So – Father Balleis points out – even more than to commemorate the 100th anniversary of a Day which the Church established, in these days with such a large number of refugees it is even more significant.

He also says that it is interesting to note that the Refugee Day marked by the United Nations in June isn’t as old as the 100-year-old migration Day marked by the Church.

So – he says – “the Church was ahead of the times and taking the migration issue very seriously 100 years ago”.

Father Balleis recalls Pope Francis’ words during a recent homily in which he remembered that Jesus himself was a refugee…

He says the Pope’s attention towards migrants and refugees – underlined by his visits to the Island of Lampedusa and to the Astalli Centre for Refugees in Rome – has helped to draw attention to the issue in a positive way. He has helped change the attitude of many ordinary people as “He is not talking as a politician who has to defend borders or discuss laws, but he is talking from the faith perspective of a person who is concerned for people in need. That brings the whole issue to the attention in a different way: migrants and refugees are not seen in a political way but as our brothers and sisters who are in need. That – he says – has definitely helped everyone who works with refugees – including the UN High Commissioner for Refugees who met recently with the Pope – because as a world leader he gives attention to a group to which many politicians don’t give attention”.

Speaking of the Pope’s message Father Balleis says its title: “Migrants and Refugees –Towards a Better World” is an interesting title because it puts the issue in a positive context. Normally migrants and refugees are seen in the context of a world that is not in a good shape, which is even getting worse. But – he says – seen within the drama of a world that produces more and more forced migrants, forcibly displaced people and refugees, his perspective shines the light on how we can move towards a better world. And – he points out – “what are the elements for a better world?
The very first element is the people themselves who suffer from war – they want peace, they are the agents of peace. Migrants and refugees who have given up – or had to give up – their homes, they want to build a new life. They are a great asset for any society and economy. So they help us along the path to a better world. They are part of a changing world: they give us the possiblity to learn about cultural diversity and the richness of the different cultures. The world is moving towards that”.
He says that having people who have the courage and the need to move to another country means having people who are builders of this new world. “And of course the way countries reach out generously with an open heart to their brothers and sisters in need is a contribution to a better world. So in the whole drama of refugees in particular there are a lot of elements that help us to move towards a better world”.
Finally, Father Balleis says that as JRS “we have a special focus on education because we are convinced that to equip refugees with education is the key for the future”. It gives hope, but it equips people with the skills needed to build up their lives. He says in urban and rural places across the world, refugees want to learn English and Computers. This is because these are the global languages of communication today, and the desire of young people in the most remote places on the globe is to connect with the rest of the world.

Text from  Vatican Radio website 


Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 64


Reading 1               IS 49:3, 5-6

The LORD said to me: You are my servant,
Israel, through whom I show my glory.
Now the LORD has spoken
who formed me as his servant from the womb,
that Jacob may be brought back to him
and Israel gathered to him;
and I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD,
and my God is now my strength!
It is too little, the LORD says, for you to be my servant,
to raise up the tribes of Jacob,
and restore the survivors of Israel;
I will make you a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.

Responsorial Psalm                         PS 40:2, 4, 7-8, 8-9, 10

R/ (8a and 9a) Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
I have waited, waited for the LORD,
and he stooped toward me and heard my cry.
And he put a new song into my mouth,
a hymn to our God.
R/ Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
Sacrifice or offering you wished not,
but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Holocausts or sin-offerings you sought not;
then said I, “Behold I come.”
R/ Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
“In the written scroll it is prescribed for me,
to do your will, O my God, is my delight,
and your law is within my heart!”
R/ Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.
R/ Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.

Reading 2                      1 COR 1:1-3

Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
and Sosthenes our brother,
to the church of God that is in Corinth,
to you who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be holy,
with all those everywhere who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
their Lord and ours.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Gospel                   JN 1:29-34

John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said,
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.
He is the one of whom I said,
‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me
because he existed before me.’
I did not know him,
but the reason why I came baptizing with water
was that he might be made known to Israel.”
John testified further, saying,
“I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven
and remain upon him.
I did not know him,
but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me,
‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain,
he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’
Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”



St. Canute IV
Feast: January 19

Feast Day:January 19
1043, Denmark
Died:July 10, 1086, Odense
Major Shrine:Saint Canute's Cathedral, Odense
Patron of:Denmark
Martyr and King of Denmark, date of birth uncertain; d. 10 July 1086, the third of the thirteen natural sons of Sweyn II surnamed Estridsen. Elected king on the death of his brother Harold about 1080, he waged war on his barbarous enemies and brought Courland and Livonia to the faith. Having married Eltha, daughter of Robert, Count of Flanders, he had a son Charles, surnamed the good. He was a strong ruler, as is proved by his stern dealing with the pirate Eigill of Bornholm. The happiness of his people and the interests of the Church were the objects he had most at heart. To the cathedral of Roskilde, still the royal burying-place, he gave his own diadem. His austerity was equalled by his assiduity in prayer. An expedition to England, in favour of the Saxons against William the Conqueror, planned by him in 1085, failed through the treachery of his brother Olaf. His people having revolted on account of the cruelties of certain tax-collectors, Canute retired to the island of Funen. There, in the church of St. Alban, after due preparation for death, the king, his brother Benedict, and seventeen others were surrounded and slain, 10 July, 1086. His feast is 19 January, translation, 10 July; his emblems, a lance or arrows, in memory of the manner of his death.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)

9 days 
9 days 
9 days 

On January 22 our nation will mark the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal throughout the U.S.
Promotional and planning resources are available for leaders.
Since that tragic decision, more than 55 million children's lives have been lost to abortion, and many suffer that loss -- often in silence. 
Join thousands of Catholics across the country coming together in prayer for a "culture of life" from Saturday, January 18 -  Sunday, January 26!
9 days 
This year, you have more ways than ever to get involved!

9 days 
DAILY REFLECTIONS JANUARY 18 - 26, 2014 Printable Version
(black and white)
         Saturday, January 18
          Sunday, January 19
          Monday, January 20
          Tuesday, January 21
          Wednesday, January 22
          Thursday, January 23
          Friday, January 24
          Saturday, January 25
          Sunday, January 26

Daily Reflections

Day One: Saturday, January 18, 2014

Printable versions of Day One: (color) (black and white)
Intercession: For the mother who awakens each morning with the memory of abortion fresh in her mind: that the Lord may still the terror in her heart and lead her gently to the well-spring of his love and mercy in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. May she, and all who’ve been involved in an abortion decision, find healing and hope through Project Rachel Ministry.
Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be
Reflection: Today’s Gospel reading from Mark recounts Jesus dining with tax collectors and sinners. When the Pharisees question Jesus about this, he responds, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” In a society where millions of people have fallen prey to the false promises of the culture of death, let us witness to the mercy of Jesus and invite all who’ve been harmed to experience his abundant love and healing.
Acts of Reparation (choose one):
  • Take time to write a handwritten note to someone who is lonely or needing encouragement.
  • Pray for your deceased relatives and those who have no one to pray for them.
  • "Spiritually adopt" a baby by saying this prayer every day: "Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I love you very much. I beg you to spare the life of [baby's name], the unborn baby that I have spiritually adopted who is in danger of abortion." – Prayer of Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Day Two: Sunday, January 19, 2014

Printable versions of Day Two: (color) (black and white)
Intercession: For the father whose child died with his cooperation and consent: that the Lord grant him the grace to repent and be reconciled with God.
Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be
Reflection: In today’s Gospel reading (Jn 1:29-34), John the Baptist testifies that Jesus is both the Son of God and “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” At every Mass we repeat these words, but how often do we meditate on this great mystery? There is nothing we could ever accomplish on our own that could atone for our daily failures to love others with the merciful and sacrificial love of Christ. But in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, he forgives our faults, wipes the stain of sin from our souls and gives us the strength to begin anew with the help of his grace. Let us live each day in gratitude for the mercy God has shown us!
Acts of Reparation (choose one):
  • When others are speaking uncharitably about someone else, change the conversation, leave, or offer a counter opinion that is kind and charitable.
  • Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet. . . for mothers and fathers who've lost a child through abortion, asking that they find the courage to seek Reconciliation and counseling through Project Rachel Ministry.
  • Read about the life of a modern (19th or 20th century) saint. You might be surprised by how much you have in common with them.

Day Three: Monday, January 20, 2014

Printable versions of Day Three: (color) (black and white)
Intercession: For the parents who influenced their child's choice to abort their grandchild: that they may have the humility and wisdom to see the wrong they've done and to seek forgiveness from God and from their child.
Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be
Reflection: Today is the memorial of St. Sebastian, the famous martyr and patron of athletes, who lived his faith courageously in the midst of intense Roman persecution. St. Sebastian’s life reminds us that in the midst of threats to the faith, living and dying for Christ is the ultimate witness – one that changes others. In today’s Mass readings, the prophet Samuel chastises King Saul for failing to obey the Lord’s command, reminding him that God values our obedience more than sacrificial offerings. The Psalm, too, reminds us that an upright life is more pleasing to God than empty professions of faith. Are our actions always consistent with what we profess as Catholics? Do we sometimes hope that God will overlook our disobedient hearts by distracting him with rote prayers?
Acts of Reparation (choose one):
  • It's easy to put our headphones on and ignore our siblings or parents in the car. Instead, enjoy the opportunity you have to talk to them, ask them how they are doing.
  • Smile. Ask God today for the grace to be extra joyful and share your love for Christ with those who need that encouragement the most today. "Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing." –Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta
  • We can sometimes forget how blessed we are to have many of our daily comforts. Give up sleeping with your pillow tonight.

Day Four: Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Printable versions of Day Four: (color) (black and white)
Intercession: For the doctors, nurses and counselors who now know they were wrong in cooperating with abortion: may God grant them the courage to renounce their involvement in the abortion industry and open their hearts to doing his will from now on.
Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be
Reflection: Today we honor the life of St. Agnes, a 12-year-old girl martyred in Rome in 304 AD, during the Diocletian persecution. Agnes never wavered in her commitment to remain a virgin and to give her whole life to the Lord, refusing proposals to marry. Her innocence and heroism facing death helped bring an end to the persecution of Christians in Rome. Following the example of St. Agnes, let us remain steadfast in recognizing Christ, who is Love Incarnate, as the source and summit of our lives. May his love give us the determination and courage to live for him and for others, especially the most vulnerable among us.
Acts of Reparation (choose one):
  • Go to an abortion clinic and pray, or set aside an hour today to pray for those who are struggling with a decision of life or death for their unborn child.
  • Pray the Rosary today for someone who has hurt or disappointed you, and ask for the grace to forgive that person.
  • Instead of donating "old clothes," offer to buy a new piece of clothing or item a charity is seeking.

Day Five: Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Printable versions of Day Five: (color) (black and white)
Intercession: For an end to legal abortion in our nation and for the conversion of all hearts, so that the inherent rights of every human being—especially those most at risk of abuse and rejection—will be upheld.
Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be
Reflection: Today, on this 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we consider the past four decades in which our society has legally permitted abortion and wandered far from God. Instead of accepting children in joy and hope, many hearts seem hardened against making commitments to others, fearing the demands others may make on our time or our freedom. We are becoming a culture marked by rejection, by loneliness and sorrow. In today’s Gospel, we hear how Jesus grieved over the Pharisees’ hardness of heart, as he heals the man with the withered hand. They remained silent when Jesus pointedly asked them: “Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” Our laws now make it legal to destroy life by abortion, by abortifacient drugs, in destructive embryo research, in the course of in vitro fertilization procedures, and in some states by assisted suicide and the death penalty. How Jesus must grieve over this culture of death! Let us open our hearts in faith, entrusting our culture to the healing power of Christ, the One who has overcome sin and the power of evil.
Acts of Reparation (choose one):
  • Today is a day of prayer and penance for restoration of the right to life.  Step out of your comfort zone and witness publicly to life in a march or rally, or call your elected representatives to ask them to promote policies and laws that respect life. 
  • Gratitude helps us love God and neighbor. Today try to not complain or be negative. Say a prayer of thanksgiving instead.
  • Don't push the snooze button. Get right out of bed and offer your day in prayer to God. "Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light" (Ephesians 5:14).

Day Six: Thursday, January 23, 2014

Printable versions of Day Six: (color) (black and white)
Intercession: For those whose work involves promoting abortion and contraceptive use: may God help them understand that the casual sex they foster undermines the capacity for the self-giving, faithful and enduring love that is the longing of every heart..
Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be
Reflection: Today marks the feast day of the newly canonized American saint, Mother Marianne Cope, OSF (1838-1918). St. Marianne Cope emigrated with her family from Germany as an infant and grew up in Utica, NY. She joined the Sisters of St. Francis at the age of twenty-four and later helped to found and operate two regionals hospitals in upstate New York. In 1883, she answered the plea of Hawaii’s king to operate hospitals and care for the victims of leprosy, travelling to Hawaii with six Franciscan sisters. During the last thirty years of her life, she chose to be exiled on the island of Molokai where she cared for women and children with leprosy. She was a life-long witness to the equal dignity and value of every human being. She brought beauty and order to the lives of these outcasts, and provided them with educational and religious instruction as well as teaching them music and the decorative arts. St. Marianne, help us to see the beauty and value in every human life!
Acts of Reparation (choose one):
  • Learn how to pray the Angelus. . . prayer, and get into the habit of saying it every day—at noon or 6 pm or on awakening (or all three times).
  • Today ignore your sweet tooth. Make healthy eating choices.
  • Clean a room in your house without being asked or without telling anyone. Pray for your family members while you clean, "and your Father who sees in secret will repay you" (Matthew 6:6).
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Day Seven: Friday, January 24, 2014

Printable versions of Day Seven: (color) (black and white)
Intercession: For elected leaders who oppose any restriction on the abortion license: may God allow them to grasp the brutal violence of abortion and the reality of post-abortion suffering experienced by countless women and men.
Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be
Reflection: On this feast of St. Francis de Sales, let us consider these words of the great saint: “All that we do must be motivated by love and not force. We must love to obey rather than fear to disobey.” St. Francis reminds us that all of our actions must be borne of a spirit of love, and that we find our freedom in living the truth. As we defend the dignity of human life, let us ask St. Francis de Sales to pray for us so that everything we say and do for unborn children and their grieving parents is imbued with both compassion and truth.
Acts of Reparation (choose one):
  • Go to Confession—today, if possible—or during this week.
  • Fast from snacking today. Eat three meals only.
  • Today, go visit an adoration chapel and spend an hour with Jesus.

Day Eight: Saturday, January 25, 2014

Printable versions of Day 8: (color) (black and white)
Intercession: For scientists and pharmaceutical employees who help create and manufacture contraceptive and abortifacient drugs: that the Lord will open their eyes to the moral danger and health risks these drugs pose for women and prompt them to work only on medications that benefit human life.
Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be
Reflection: Today’s reading from Acts tells the story of St. Paul’s conversion. Before, he was “breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord.” After encountering Christ, Paul became a “chosen instrument,” filled with the Holy Spirit, and ready to suffer for Jesus’ name. There is absolutely nothing and no one outside of the power of God’s loving embrace. Today we remember the children, the mothers, fathers, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and all those who have been involved in or affected by abortion. We entrust them to the unfathomable healing mercy of God, recalling the words of Jesus to St. Faustina: “The greater the misery of a soul, the greater its right to My mercy” (Diary, 1182).
Acts of Reparation (choose one):
  • Read about a Church teaching you don't understand in the Catechism.
  • Make an honest assessment of your "giving finances" – are you giving too little? Make a resolution to give a set weekly or monthly donation to your parish or favorite local charity.
  • Do you love your cup of tea or coffee in the morning? Fast from caffeine today or try your coffee black.

Day Nine: Sunday, January 26, 2014

Printable versions of Day Nine: (color) (black and white)
Intercession: For repentance, healing and peace, in every heart and every nation.
Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be
Reflection: In today’s Gospel Jesus preaches, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” And after calling the first apostles, he went around all of Galilee, “proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness among the people” (Mt 4:23). Repentance is necessary for healing, but the Lord doesn’t want us to remain stuck in misery over our sins. With healing comes peace and the joy of knowing we are loved and forgiven by God. The message of the Gospel of Life is one of great joy! Our call to live this Gospel is not marked with sadness and despair, but with hope, expectation and exuberant joy. “It is up to you, young followers of Christ, to show the world that faith brings happiness and a joy which is true, full and enduring. … The Gospel is the “good news” that God loves us and that each of us is important to him. Show the world that this is true!” (Pope Benedict XVI, Message for the 27th World Youth Day, March 15, 2012).
Acts of Reparation (choose one):
  • Spend quality time with a family member or friend; ask them if they would like to help out at a local charity with you.
  • Say three Hail Mary's for your parish priest. Without our priests, we could not have the sacraments.
  • Make a "quiet hour" today, turning off all electronic devices (cell phone, iPod, computer, television, radio, video game system), and retreat to your room.
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