Thursday, April 3, 2014

Catholic News World : Thurs. April, 3, 2014 - Share


Pray for victims of Earthquake and Tsunami in Chile which killed 6

6 people were killed in an 8.2-magnitude earthquake offshore and subsequent tsunami hit Chile. Almost 928,000 people were evacuated. More than 2,500 homes were seriously damaged. The 7.6-magnitude aftershock struck the region late Wednesday, April 2, 2014. Chile is in an earthquake region of the world. They are located on fault lines. In February 2010, about 500 people died when there was an 8.8-magnitude earthquake. 293 inmates escaped from prison in Iquique, but 131 turned themselves in voluntarily. The quake had a depth of 12.5 miles according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Pope Francis meets President of Cape Verde - Portuguese Island near Africa

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday met with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Cape Verde, José Maria Pereira Neves. Cape Verde is a Portuguese speaking island nation located in the Atlantic Ocean, 570 kilometres off the coast of Africa. It has a population of over 500,000, of which over 75% is Catholic.

After his meeting with Pope Francis, the Prime Minister met with the Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State, and the Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, to exchange the instruments of ratification of the Agreement between the Holy See and the Republic of Cape Verde on the Statute of the Juridical Status of the Catholic Church in Cape Verde, signed in Praia June 10, 2013.

The Agreement further strengthens the bonds of friendship and cooperation between the two Parties, consisting of thirty articles and establishing the legal and regulatory framework for relations; it recognizes Sunday as a holiday and regulates various areas of common interest, such as the protection of places of worship and religious celebrations; it deals with the civil effects of marriage and canonical effects of ecclesiastical matters; it guarantees Catholic institutions of education and training as well as dealing with the teaching of religion in schools; it recognizes the welfare and charitable activities of the Church; it also provides for pastoral care in the military, in prison facilities and hospitals; and covers various economic and tax matters.

In an address at the signing ceremony, Cardinal Parolin said the signing of the agreement was a “historic event” for the Church in Cape Verde, and a sign of the “excellent cooperation” between the political authorities and the Catholic community.

Text from  Vatican Radio website 

PRAY for Mudslide Victims in Washington State - death toll at 28 - 20 missing

A landslide on March 22 in Washington State killed 28 people. Rescuers are looking through the mud (70 feet thick in places) for the 20 that are still missing. Snohomish County released the names of 22 deceased victims, in age from 4 months to 71 years. The debris area is full of dangerous mud which is made of human waste, chemicals from homes, propane tanks, oil and gas. Some places are too unstable for crews to work. Whole houses were displaced and destroyed. Please pray for victims and families.

Pope Francis “I join with all my heart in mourning,” - Remembering Rwanda's Genocide 20th anniversary

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received the bishops of Rwanda on Thursday, during the course of their ad limina visits. In remarks prepared for the occasion and delivered to the bishops during the audience in the Vatican, the Holy Father recalled the genocide in the country, the 20th anniversary of the beginning of which is to be marked in a few days’ time. “I join with all my heart in mourning,” said Pope Francis, “and I assure you of my prayers for yourselves, for your often torn communities, for all victims and their families, for all Rwandans,” regardless of religion, ethnicity or political affiliation.

The Holy Father went on to say that, two decades after these tragic events, reconciliation and the healing of wounds remain the priority of the Church in Rwanda. He encouraged the bishops to persevere in their commitment to healing and reconciliation. “Forgiveness of sins and genuine reconciliation,” he said, a are a gift of Christ that it is possible to receive,” even though they might seem to human sight to be impossible in the wake of such suffering as the people of Rwanda have experienced, “even if the road is long and requires patience, dialogue and mutual respect.” Pope Francis said, “The Church has its place, therefore, in the reconstruction of a reconciled Rwandan society: with all the strength of your faith and Christian hope.” He added, “go ahead vigorously, constantly bearing witness to the truth.”

Calling on the bishops also to highlight the contribution of the Church to the common good, and to concentrate especially on education as a main key to the country’s future, Pope Francis said, “It is therefore the duty of the Church to form children and young people in Gospel values, which ​​they shall find especially in a particular familiarity with the Word of God, which will be for them like a compass indicating the route.”

Pope Francis also spoke of the “crucial role” of the laity in evangelization and reconstruction, saying that the bishops ought to give particular attention to training and support for lay people. “In both their spiritual life and in their human and intellectual life, their formation must be of high quality.” he said.

Pope Francis concluded on a Marian note, praying that the Marian shrine at Kibeho, “might radiate even more the love of Mary for her children, especially the poorest and most [gravely] injured, and be for the Church of Rwanda – and beyond – a call to turn with confidence to Our Lady of Sorrows,” by whose intercession Rwanda and the world might receive the gifts of reconciliation and peace.

Text from Vatican Radio website 

POPE FRANCIS "Prayer changes us our heart. It helps us better...

(Vatican Radio) The dialogue between God on Moses Mount Sinai contained in the first reading of the daily liturgy was the focus of Pope Francis’ homily at Thursday morning Mass in Casa Santa Marta. God wants to punish His people because they have created an idol, the golden calf. Emer McCarthy reports:

Moses prays to the Lord to think again. Pope Francis said “this prayer is a real struggle with God. A struggle [on the part of ] the leader of a people to save his people, who are the people of God . Moses speaks freely in front of the Lord and in doing so teaches us how to pray without fear, freely, even with insistence. Moses insists. He is courageous. Prayer must also be a "negotiation with God", to which we bring our "arguments". Moses eventually convinces God and the reading says that "the Lord repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to His people". "But – the Pope asked - who changed here? Has the Lord changed? I think not".

"Moses is the one who has changed, because Moses believed that the Lord would do this, he believed that the Lord would have destroyed the people and he searches, he tries to remember, how good the Lord has been to His people, how he led them from slavery in Egypt and guided them with a promise. With these arguments, he tries to convince God, but in doing so, he rediscovers the memory of his people, and God's mercy. This Moses, who was afraid, afraid that God would do this thing, in the end comes down from the mountain with a something great in his heart: Our God is merciful. He knows how to forgive. He can go back on His decisions. He is a Father".
Moses knew all of this - Pope Francis observes - "but he vaguely knew it. Instead he rediscovers it in prayer. This is what prayer does to us: it changes our heart".

"Prayer changes us our heart. It helps us better understand our God. This is why it is important to speak with the Lord, not with empty words - Jesus says: 'As pagans do'. No, no, talk with [Him about] reality: ‘Look , Lord, I have this problem, in my family, with my child, with this, with that ... What can you do? You cannot leave me like this!'. This is prayer! Does this prayer take a long time? Yes, it takes time".

It takes the time we need to get to know God better,[the same time we take] with a friend, because Moses - the Bible says - prays to the Lord like one friend speaking to another:

"The Bible says that Moses spoke to God face to face, as a friend. This is how our prayer must be: free, insistent, with arguments. Even rebuking the Lord a little': 'You promised me this but you didn’t do it... ' , just like talking with a friend. Open your heart to this prayer. Moses came down from the Mount invigorated: ' I have known more of the Lord ' , and with that strength given him by prayer, he resumed the task of leading his people to the Promised Land. Because prayer invigorates: it is invigorating. May the Lord give us all this grace, because prayer is a grace".

"The Holy Spirit is in every prayer” - the Pope concluded. “You cannot pray without the Holy Spirit . It is He who prays in us, He makes us change our heart, it is He who teaches us to call God 'Father'. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to teach us to pray, as Moses prayed, to negotiate with God, with freedom of spirit, with courage. And may the Holy Spirit, who is always present in our prayer, lead us on this path".

Text from  Vatican Radio website 



St. Richard
Feast: April 3

Feast Day:April 3
Born:1197 at Droitwich, Worcestershire, England
Died:3 April 1253 at Dover, England
Canonized:1262 by Pope Urban IV
Major Shrine:Chichester Cathedral
Patron of:coachmen
St. Richard was born at the manor of Wiche, famous for its salt wells four miles from Worcester, being second son to Richard and Alice de Wiche In order to keep faithfully his baptismal vows, he from his infancy always manifested the utmost dislike to gay diversions, and ever held in the highest contempt all worldly pomp: instead of which his attention was wholly employed In establishing for himself a solid foundation of virtue and learning. Every opportunity of serving others he regarded as his happiness and gain. The unfortunate situation of his eldest brother's affairs gave him an occasion of exercising his benevolent disposition. Richard condescended to become his brother's servant, undertook the management of his farms and by his industry and generosity effectually retrieved his brother's before distressed circumstances. Having completed this good work, he resumed at Paris those studies he had begun at Oxford, leading with two select companions, a life of piety and mortification, generally contenting himself with coarse bread and simple water for his diet; except that on Sundays and on particular festivals he would, in condescendence to some visitors, allow himself a little meat or fish. Upon his return to England, he proceeded to become master of arts at Oxford, from whence he went to Bologna, in Italy, where he applied himself to the study of the canon law, and was appointed public professor of that science. After having taught there a short time, he returned to Oxford, and, on account of his merit, was soon promoted to the dignity of chancellor in that university. St. Edmund, archbishop of Canterbury. having the happiness of gaining him for his diocese, appointed him his chancellor, and intrusted him with the chief direction of his archbishopric; and Richard was the faithful imitator of his patron's piety and devotions. The principal use he made of his revenues was to employ them to charitable purposes, nor would he on any terms be prevailed on to accept the least present in the execution of his office as ecclesiastical judge. He accompanied his holy prelate in his banishment into France, and after his blessed death at Pontigni, retired into a convent of Dominican friars in Orleans. Having in that solitude employed his time in the improving himself in theological studies, and received the order of priesthood, he returned to England to serve a private curacy, in the diocese of Canterbury. Boniface, who had succeeded St. Edmund in that metropolitan see, compelled him to resume his office of chancellor, with the care of his whole diocese. Ralph Nevil, bishop of Chichester, dying in 1244, king Henry III. recommended to that see an unworthy court favorite, called Robert Passelew: the archbishop and other prelates declared the person not qualified, and the presentation void: and preferred Richard de Wiche to that dignity. He was consecrated in 1245. But the king seized his temporalities, and the saint suffered many hardships and persecutions from him and his officers, during two years, till his majesty granted him a replevin: upon which he recovered his revenues, but much impaired. And as, after having pleaded his cause at Rome before pope Innocent IV. against the king's deputies, and obtained a sentence confirming his election, he had permitted no persecution, fatigue. or difficulty to excuse him to himself for the omission of any part of his duty to his flock so now, the chief obstacles being removed, he redoubled his fervor and attention. He, in person, visited the sick, buried the dead, and sought out and relieved the poor. When his steward complained that his alms exceeded his income: "then," said he, "sell my plate and my horse." Having suffered a great loss by fire, instead of being more sparing in his charities, he said, "Perhaps God sent us this loss to punish our covetousness;" and ordered upon the spot more abundant alms to be given than usual. Such was the ardor of his devotion that he lived as it were in the perpetual contemplation of heavenly things. He preached the word of God to his flock with that unction and success which only an eminent spirit of prayer could produce. The affronts which he received, he always repaid with favors, and enmity with singular marks of charily. In maintaining discipline he was inflexible, especially in chastising crimes in the clergy, no intercession of the king, archbishop, and several other prelates could prevail with him to mitigate the punishment of a priest who had sinned against chastity. Yet penitent sinners he received with inexpressible tenderness and charity. While he was employed in preaching a holy war against the Saracens, being commissioned thereto by the pope, he fell sick of a fever, foretold his own death, and prepared himself for it by the most melting ejaculations of divine love and thanksgiving. He died in an hospital at Dover, called God's House, on the 3d of April, in the year of our Lord 1253, of his episcopal dignity the ninth, of his age the fifty-sixth. His body was conveyed to Chichester, and interred before the altar which he himself had consecrated in his cathedral to the memory of St. Edmund. It was removed to a more honorable place in 1276, on the 16th of June, on which day our ancestors commemorated his translation. The fame of miraculous cures of paralytic and other distempers, and of three persons raised to life at his tomb, moved the pope to appoint commissaries to inquire into the truth of these reports, before whom many of these miracles were authentically proved upon the spot; and the saint was solemnly canonized by Urban IV, in 1262.
source: EWTN

POPE JOHN PAUL II - Anniversary of his death on April 2, 2005 - JPII we love you!

Today marks the 9th anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II.
Born: May 18, 1920 - Died: April 2, 2005.Karol Józef Wojtyła became Pope John Paul II from 16 October 1978 to his death in 2005. He held this position as the second longest in history. Pope JPII visited 129 countries during his pontificate. He beatified 1,340 people and canonized 483 saints any other Pope. Pope Francis will canonize both Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII on 27 April, 2014.
Karol Józef Wojtyła was born in Poland in the town Wadowice. He was born to Karol Wojtyła (1879–1941),  and Emilia Kaczorowska (Scholz) (1884–1929) Emilia was a teacher but died in childbirth in 1929. Karol was only 8 years old at her death. The eldest sister Olga also died early on. Karol's brother Edmund, was a Doctor but died from fever. Karol was ordained as a priest on All Saints' Day, 1 November 1946. Wojtyła earned his Doctorate in 1948 in Rome. 

POPE FRANCIS "The real ‘wedding gift’ is this: Your marriage is a reflection of the Holy Trinity...

(Vatican Radio) Married couples should never let the sun set on an argument; instead they must make peace by remembering to always say 'please,' 'thank you,' and 'sorry.' This was Pope Francis’ advice to husbands and wives Wednesday as he concluded his general audience catechesis on the Sacrament of Marriage.

As has become tradition, the Pope toured among the cheering crowds in his open topped jeep, alighting to greet a group of children who were vigorously waving flags and banners in greeting. In his general comments in Italian, Pope Francis said: “When a man and a woman celebrate the sacrament of marriage, God, so to speak, is ‘mirrored’ in them, He marks them with His features and the indelible character of His love.”

Even God “is a communion of the three persons of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, who live forever and are forever in perfect unity. And this is the mystery of marriage: God makes one existence of the two spouses — the Bible says ‘one flesh’ — in the image of His love, in a communion which draws its origin and its strength from God.”

The Pope then asked those husbands and wives present if they are aware of this “great gift” that the Lord has given them: “The real ‘wedding gift’ is this: Your marriage is a reflection of the Holy Trinity, and with the grace of Christ, you are a living and credible icon God and His love.”

“The plan that is inherent in the Sacrament of Marriage is truly wonderful! It takes place in the simplicity and also the fragility of the human condition. We know the many trials and difficulties that the lives of a married couple encounter... The important thing is to keep alive the link with God, which is the basis of the marital bond.”

Joking, the Pope added: “You don’t need to call the United Nations to your home to make peace: a small gesture is enough, a caress, and tomorrow is a new day.”

“The family that prays together stays together" (Servant of God Patrick Peyton). How much we need to go to pray in our families! At the beginning and at the end of the day, before meals, at such times and in the most delicate passages of life... We can rediscover the Rosary, which helps us feel the presence of Mary, Queen of the family and model, along with her husband Joseph, for every family... At the centre, then, can only be the celebration of the Eucharist, lived together, on Sunday: there, from the table of the Word and the Body of Christ, the bride and groom draw the strength to love each other, help each other, and forgive each other in everyday life. In this regard, a special thought should be reserved for married couples who find themselves in difficulty, so that God can help them with His love and fill them with His mercy. Dear friends, we thank the Lord for the many families who continue to animate our Christian communities, providing a precious service and a strong testimony of faith.”

Below please find the English language summary of the Holy Father’s catechesis:

Speaker: Dear Brothers and Sisters: Today we conclude our catechesis on the sacraments with the sacrament of Matrimony, which brings us to the very heart of God’s loving plan for the human family. The Triune God created us — men and women — in his image and calls us to mirror the mystery of his love. Married couples carry out this vocation in a full and definitive communion of life. As “one flesh” they become living icons of God’s love in our world, building up the Church in unity and fidelity. Christian marriage also reflects the mystery of Christ’s own faithful and sacrificial love for His body, the Church. Christian spouses thus receive a special consecration and a special mission. While a noble vocation, marriage is not an easy one: it must constantly be strengthened by a living relationship with the Lord through prayer: mornings and evenings, at meals, in the recitation of the Rosary, and above all through the Sunday Eucharist. Today let us pray for all families, especially those experiencing difficulties, so that by God’s mercy they can always be joyful models of faith, love and generous service in our communities.

SpeakerI greet all the English-speaking pilgrims present at today’s Audience, including those from England, Wales, Denmark, Norway, Malta, Japan, Canada and the United States. I am pleased to welcome the Catholic Health Care Federation from the United States and the priests of the Institute for Continuing Theological Formation at the Pontifical North American College. Upon all of you, and upon your families, I invoke joy and peace in Christ our Lord.

Text from  Vatican Radio website 

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