Wednesday, February 19, 2014



Pope Francis calls for Prayer and Peace for the Ukraine



(Vatican Radio) At his weekly General Audience, Pope Francis called for peace in the Ukraine: “With a worried soul I have been following what is happening in Kyiv in these days.” The Holy Father assured the Ukrainian people of his closeness to them, and prayed for the victims of violence, for their families, and for the injured. The Pope called “on all parties to cease all violence and to seek harmony and peace in the country.” Violence erupted on Tuesday in Kyiv as police and security forces attempted to clear massive demonstrations against government corruption. Ukraine has been rocked by three months of protests that began in late November after President Viktor Yanukovych turned away from a long-anticipated deal with the European Union in exchange for a $15 billion bailout from Russia. Text from Vatican Radio website


James Thomas Fallon was born September 19, 1974 in New York. He is the New host of "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon." This is a late-night talk show that airs on NBC. Prior to that, he appeared in several films, and was best known as a cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1998 to 2004 and was the host of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon from 2009 to 2014. Fallon replaced Jay Leno as host of The Tonight Show.  He and his wife Nancy Juvonen (2007–present) have 1 daughter named Winnie (born: 2013).
In a 2011 Radio Interview with NPR Fallon spoke of growing up Catholic and that he wanted to be a priest.
This is an excerpt from the transcript:
GROSS, host:  Jimmy Fallon, from his new book "Thank You Notes." And Jimmy, you know, sometimes Friday nights, the last thing I hear before going to sleep is your thank-you notes. (Soundbite of applause) (Soundbite of laughter)
GROSS: So you went to Catholic school when you were young.
FALLON: Oh yeah.
 GROSS: Did you have...
 Mr. FALLON: I wanted to be a priest.
 GROSS: Did you really?
 Mr. FALLON: Yeah. I loved it.
 GROSS: Why?
 Mr. FALLON: I just, I loved the church. I loved the idea of it. I loved the smell of the incense. I loved the feeling you get when you left church. I loved like how this priest can make people feel this good. I just thought it was, I loved the whole idea of it. My grandfather was very religious, so I used to go to mass with him at like 6:45 in the morning serve mass and then you made money too if you did weddings and funerals. They'd give you, you'd get like five bucks. And so I go okay, I can make money too. I go this could be a good deal for me. I thought I had the calling.
 GROSS: Do you think part of that calling was really show business? 'Cause like the priest is the performer at church.
 Mr. FALLON: Yeah. You know what - I really Terry, I'm, I recently thought about this. Again, I've never been to therapy but I guess that would be, it's being on stage. It's my first experience on stage is as an altar boy. You're on stage next to the priest, I'm a co-star. (Soundbite of laughter) Mr. FALLON: I'm, I've got... GROSS: Also starring Jimmy Fallon. (Soundbite of laughter) Mr. FALLON: Yeah, I have no lines but I ring bells. I ring bells and I swing the incense around. But it was my - and you know, you are performing. You enter through a curtain, you exit through the, I mean you're backstage. I mean have you ever seen backstage behind an alter? It's kind of fascinating. GROSS: Right. Mr. FALLON: So I think it was, I think it was my first taste of show business and I think - or acting or something. GROSS: And there are comparisons, I think, between a theater and a church. There are just kind of places that are separated from outside reality. Mr. FALLON: Yeah. And I remember I had a hard time keeping a straight face at church as well. GROSS: Did you? Mr. FALLON: Which - yeah... GROSS: Did you do imitations of the priest? (Soundbite of laughter)
FALLON: Oh, of course. Yeah. I used to do Father McFadden all the time. He's the fastest talking priest ever. He's be like... (Soundbite of mumbling) (Soundbite of laughter)
FALLON: And then you leave and you go, that - what was that? (Soundbite of laughter) Mr. FALLON: That guy's the best. I mean that was church? Sign me up. I'll do church I'll do it 10 times a day if that's church. He was great.


The car bombs exploded in crowded places: shopping malls and bus stations. Nearly 500 deaths between January and February. 2013, most violent year. In April the legislative elections.

Baghdad (AsiaNews ) - At least 49 people were killed yesterday in a series of car bombings in the capital and Hilla , a town 100 km south of Baghdad.

Police have confirmed that a car exploded near shopping centers and bus stations to hit as many people as possible. In Baghdad, the attacks were concentrated in the Shiite areas of the city. The day before, also in Baghdad, 23 other people were killed.

According to government figures, last month more than 1,000 people have been killed in attacks aimed at government or Shiite targets.

Security and hospital sources say that so far in February, there have been already nearly 500 victims.

The attacks are not claimed by anyone, but it is thought that they being carried out by Sunni groups fighting Prime Minister al-Maliki , a Shiite , and by fundamentalist groups linked to Al Qaeda.

In April, there will be general elections and the people fear an increase in similar attacks. Since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, 2013 has been the most violent year in Iraq, surpassing even the violence of the 2006-2007 period.

USA: Elderly nun found guilty of breaking into nuclear site | Sister Megan Rice, Michael Walli, Greg Boertje-Obed,  Y-12, Oak Ridge, Tennessee,

Sister Megan Rice, 83 - image Facebook
Ind. Catholic News report: US nun, 84, jailed for three years for anti-nuclear protest |
An elderly Catholic nun and two peace activists have been convicted for damage they caused while breaking into a US nuclear defence site UCAN reported last night. Sister Megan Rice, 83, a member of the Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus, Michael Walli, 64, and Greg Boertje-Obed, 56, admitted to cutting fences and entering the Y-12 site in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, which processes and stores uranium. The incident in July 2012 prompted security changes. Sister Megan said she regretted only having waited 70 years to take action. A jury deliberated for two and a half hours before handing down its verdict. The three face up to 20 years in prison following their conviction for sabotaging the plant, which was first constructed during the Manhattan Project that developed the first nuclear bomb. The three, who belong to the group Transform Now Plowshares, were also found guilty of causing more than $1,000 (£643) of damage to government property, for which they could face up to 10 years in prison. Walli and Boertje-Obed, a house painter, testified in their own defence, telling jurors they had no remorse for their actions. Sister Megan stood and smiled as the verdict was read out at a court in Knoxville, Tennessee. Supporters in the courtroom gasped and wept and sang a hymn as the judge left. The break-in disrupted operations there, and reportedly caused more than $8,500 of damage. "We are a nation of laws," prosecutor Jeffrey Theodore said during closing arguments. "You can't take the law into your own hands and force your views on other people." But defence lawyers said the break-in was symbolic and was not intended to hurt the facility, and officials have acknowledged the protesters never got near the nuclear material. "The shortcomings in security at one of the most dangerous places on the planet have embarrassed a lot of people," said lawyer Francis Lloyd. "You're looking at three scapegoats behind me." Sister Megan said her only regret was waiting so long to stage her protest. "It is manufacturing that which can only cause death," she said. In a statement to the court, Boertje-Obed said: "Nuclear weapons do not provide security. Our actions were providing real security and exposing false security." The three activists admitted to cutting the fence to get into the site, walking around, spray-painting words, stringing crime scene tape and chipping a wall with hammers. They spent two hours inside. They also sprayed the exterior of the complex with baby bottles containing human blood. When a guard approached, they offered him food and started singing. In the wake of the episode, Congress and the energy department investigated the facility and found "troubling displays of ineptitude" there. Top officials were reassigned, including at the National Nuclear Security Agency. WSI, the company providing security at the site, was dismissed and other officers were sacked, demoted or suspended. To see an interview with Sr Megan after she was released from prison last August.
 Source: UCAN/BBC

POPE FRANCIS "Be brave and go to Confession !"

The general audience this morning took place at 10.15 am in St. Peter's Square where the Holy Father Francis met groups of pilgrims and faithful from Italy and all over the world .
In his speech in Italian , the Pope, continuing the cycle of catechesis dedicated to the Sacraments , has focused his meditation on the sacrament of Penance.
After summarizing his catechesis in various languages ​​, the Holy Father addressed a special greeting to groups of worshipers. So he made ​​an appeal for peace in Ukraine.
The General Audience ended with the singing of the Pater Noster and the Apostolic Blessing.

 Dear brothers and sisters , good morning!

Through the sacraments of Christian initiation , Baptism , Confirmation and the Eucharist , man receives the new life in Christ. Now , we all know , we carry this life " in earthen vessels " (2 Cor 4:7) , we are still subject to temptation , suffering , and death , because of sin , we may even lose your new life. For this reason the Lord Jesus has willed that the Church will continue his work of salvation even to their own members, in particular with the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the Anointing of the Sick , which can be united under the name of " sacraments of healing" . The Sacrament of Reconciliation is a sacrament of healing. When I go to confession is to heal , heal the soul , heal your heart and something I did not go that well. The biblical image that best expresses them in their deep bond , is the episode of forgiveness and healing of the paralytic , where the Lord Jesus is revealed at the same time the physician of souls and bodies (cf. Mk 2:1-12 / / Mt 9,1-8 , Lk 5.17 to 26 ) .

1 . The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation springs directly from the paschal mystery. In fact, the same night of Passover , the Lord appeared to the disciples in the upper room closed , and, after greeting them , "Peace be with you" , he breathed on them and said, " Receive the Holy Spirit . For those whose sins you forgive , they are forgiven "(Jn 20:21-23 ) . This passage reveals the deeper dynamics that is contained in this sacrament. First of all , the fact that the forgiveness of our sins is not something that we can give ourselves . I can not say I forgive sins . Forgiveness is asked , it asks another in confession and ask for forgiveness in Jesus Forgiveness is not the result of our efforts, but it is a gift, is a gift of the Holy Spirit, who fills us with the washing of mercy and grace that flows incessantly from the heart of the crucified and risen Christ opened . Secondly, it reminds us that if we are reconciled with the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ with our brothers we can be truly in peace. This we have heard it all in my heart when we go to confession , with a weight in the soul, a bit 'sad , and when we receive the forgiveness of Jesus we are at peace with the peace of the soul so beautiful that only Jesus can give only Him
2 . Over time, the celebration of this sacrament is passed from one form to the public - because in the beginning it was publicly - to the staff , to the shape of the Confession reserved . However, this should not make us lose the ecclesial matrix , which is the vital context . In fact, the Christian community is the place where this makes the Spirit , who renews our hearts the love of God and makes all the brothers are one in Christ Jesus Here then why not just ask the Lord's forgiveness in own mind and in your heart, but you need to confidently and humbly confess their sins to a minister of the Church . In celebration of this sacrament , the priest is not only God, but the whole community , which recognizes the fragility of each of its members , who listens to his heartfelt repentance, which is reconciled with him, that I am heartened and accompanies him on the journey of conversion and human and Christian maturity . One can say : I confess only to God Yes, you can say to God, " Forgive me ," and tell your sins, but our sins are also against the brethren , against the Church. For this you need to ask forgiveness for the Church , brothers , in the person of the priest. " But father , I am ashamed ... " . Even shame is good, it is healthy to have a little ' shame, because shame is healthy . When a person has no shame , in my country we say it is a " shameless ", a "sin verguenza ." But the shame is good , because it makes us more humble, and the priest receives with love and tenderness with this confession and pardon in the name of God . Even from a human point of view , to let off steam , it's good to talk with his brother and tell the priest those things which are so heavy in my heart. And one feels that is unleashed before God, with the Church , with his brother . Do not be afraid of Confession ! One, when it is in the queue for confession , he hears all these things , even shame, but then when it ends Confession comes free , big , beautiful, forgiven , white , happy. And ' This is the beauty of Confession ! I would like to ask you - but do not tell aloud , everyone responds in his heart - when was the last time you confessed that you confessed? Everyone there ... I think two days, two weeks , two years, twenty years , forty years? Each face of the bill, but everyone will say, when was the last time I went to confession ? And if it's been a long time , do not waste one more day , see , that the priest will be good. And ' Jesus there, and Jesus is more good priests , Jesus receives you , receives you with so much love . Be brave and go to Confession !
3. Dear friends, celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation means to be wrapped up in a warm hug: is the embrace of the infinite mercy of the Father. Recall that beautiful, beautiful parable of the son who has gone to his house with the money of the inheritance; wasted all the money, and then, when she had nothing, she decided to go home, not as a son, but as a servant. So much guilt in his heart and had so much shame. The surprise was that when he began to speak, to ask for forgiveness, the father would not let him speak, embraced him, kissed him, and made the party. But I tell you, every time we confess, God embraces us, God makes the party! Let us go forward on this path. May God bless you!


St. Conrad of Piacenza
Feast: February 19

Feast Day:February 19
1290, Piacenza, Province of Piacenza, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Died:February 19, 1351, Noto, Province of Syracuse, Sicily, Italy
Patron of:cure of hernias
Hermit of the Third Order of St. Francis, date of birth uncertain; died at Noto in Sicily, 19 February, 1351. He belonged to one of the noblest families of Piacenza, and having married when he was quite young, led a virtuous and God-fearing life. On one occasion, when he was engaged in his usual pastime of hunting, he ordered his attendants to fire some brushwood in which game had taken refuge. The prevailing wind caused the flames to spread rapidly, and the surrounding fields and forest were soon in a state of conflagration. A mendicant, who happened to be found near the place where the fire had originated, was accused of being the author. He was imprisoned, tried, and condemned to death. As the poor man was being led to execution, Conrad, stricken with remorse, made open confession of his guilt; and in order to repair the damage of which he had been the cause, was obliged to sell all his possessions. Thus reduced to poverty, Conrad retired to a lonely hermitage some distance from Piacenza, while his wife entered the Order of Poor Clares. Later he went to Rome, and thence to Sicily, where for thirty years he lived a most austere and penitential life and worked numerous miracles. He is especially invoked for the cure of hernia. In 1515 Leo X permitted the town of Noto to celebrate his feast, which permission was later extended by Urban VIII to the whole Order of St. Francis. Though bearing the title of saint, Conrad was never formally canonized. His feast is kept in the Franciscan Order on 19 February.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)



Wednesday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 337

Reading 1        JAS 1:19-27

Know this, my dear brothers and sisters:
everyone should be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger
for anger does not accomplish
the righteousness of God.
Therefore, put away all filth and evil excess
and humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you
and is able to save your souls.

Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer,
he is like a man who looks at his own face in a mirror.
He sees himself, then goes off and promptly forgets
what he looked like.
But the one who peers into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres,
and is not a hearer who forgets but a doer who acts;
such a one shall be blessed in what he does.

If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue
but deceives his heart, his religion is vain.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this:
to care for orphans and widows in their affliction
and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

Responsorial Psalm                   PS 15:2-3A, 3AB-4AB, 5

R. (1b) Who shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord?
He who walks blamelessly and does justice;
who thinks the truth in his heart
and slanders not with his tongue.
R. Who shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord?
Who harms not his fellow man,
nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor;
By whom the reprobate is despised,
while he honors those who fear the LORD.
R. Who shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord?
Who lends not his money at usury
and accepts no bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things
shall never be disturbed.
R. Who shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord?

Gospel                            MK 8:22-26

When Jesus and his disciples arrived at Bethsaida,
people brought to him a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him.
He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village.
Putting spittle on his eyes he laid his hands on the man and asked,
“Do you see anything?”
Looking up the man replied, “I see people looking like trees and walking.”
Then he laid hands on the man’s eyes a second time and he saw clearly;
his sight was restored and he could see everything distinctly.

Then he sent him home and said, “Do not even go into the village.”


Kamil Wiktor Stoch (born 25 May 1987 in Zakopane) is a Polish ski jumper. He won Gold twice at the  2014 Olympics in Sochi.  On January 26, 2013 he became the joint Polish ski flying record holder with a jump of 232.5."I always make a Sign of the Cross before my jumps. Since I was little. It is not because I am afraid, but it is a symbol of faith. Every jump I dedicate to the Lord God. I am not ashamed of that." Reporters asked Stoch if he missed Mass since the event was being held on a Sunday. He answered: "I went to Mass on Saturday evening". Kamil Stoch was born in Zakopane, Poland, to Krystyna and BronisÅ‚aw Stoch. He has two older sisters – Anna (born 1983) and Natalia (born 1985). He was granted a Masters in Physical Education. He married Ewa Bilan on the 7th of August 2010. In one interview Stoch said: "I would like to thank the Lord God for everything that has occurred and everything that will occur in the future."

Stoch said, "When something does not go right, I put myself under the protective wings of the Lord God. Then I know He is next to me, I feel it. I pray that none of the athletes be harmed in our competitions. That I will know how to be joyful in victory and with dignity accept defeat. I thank the Lord God for everything, because I owe everything to Him." He cherishes the message of the late Pope John Paul II: "You must demand of yourselves even when others will not demand it of you."
He also proclaimed: "I believe in the following rule 'If God is in first place, then everything is in its right place.' Everyday I feel the presence and help of God. That I wake up in the morning and have strength and health to do what I do, as well as joy and satisfaction that it brings me, must come from the Lord. God always helps me, he puts on my road people of kindness. I thank the Lord God for all the difficult moments, because after them I become stronger. I believe, that if a person works hards, believes in what he is doing, has a positive outlook on the world and trusts in God, then there are no impossible things! As long as you are fighting, you are victorious."
Source of quotes from Polish articles:

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