Thursday, November 13, 2014

Catholic News World : Thursday November 13, 2014 - Share!


#PopeFrancis "There is the Kingdom of God, hidden, in the holiness of daily life, every day holiness."

Pope Francis at Mass in the Casa Santa Marta chapel Thursday morning - OSS_ROM
13/11/2014 11:28
(Vatican Radio) The Kingdom of God is growing every day thanks to those who witness without making any "noise", praying and living their faith in the family, at work, in communities, said Pope Francis at morning Mass, Thursday in Casa Santa Marta.In the silence of a home, where there may only be 50 cents left until the end of the month, but where there is always prayer, care for children and grandparents, there is the Kingdom of God. Far from the noise of the crowd, because the Kingdom of God "does not attract attention" in the same way a seed that grows underground does not attract [attention].

Pope Francis based his homily on the Gospel of the Day from St. Luke, where asked by the Pharisees ‘when the Kingdom of God would come', Jesus replies: a day will come when they will say to you "there he is”, or 'here he is'; do not go, do not follow them".  Pope Francis said : "The Kingdom of God is not a spectacle. The spectacle is often a caricature of the Kingdom of God ":
A spectacle! The Lord never says that the Kingdom of God is a spectacle. It is a celebration! But that is different. Certainly it is a beautiful celebration. A great celebration. And Heaven will be a celebration, but not a spectacle.However, our Pope Francis continued noting that celebrations are often transformed into spectacles - weddings for example – where people seem more intent on putting on a “fashion show, being seen, vanity” rather than receiving the Sacrament. Instead  "the Kingdom of God is silent, it grows inside. The Holy Spirit nourishes it through our willingness, in our land, which we have to prepare".  
Then, quoting the words of Jesus, the Pope said the day will come when the Kingdom will be manifest in all its power, but it will only be the end of time: lighting up the sky from one side to the other . So shall the Son of man be on his day, the day that he will make noise. And when one thinks of the perseverance of many Christians, who struggle to raise their family - men, women - who care for children, care for grandparents and arrive at the end of the month with only half a euro, but who pray. There is the Kingdom of God, hidden, in the holiness of daily life, every day holiness. Because the Kingdom of God is not far from us, it is near! This is one of its features: it is close to us everyday".
Pope Francis continued that even when he describes his return in a display of glory and power, Jesus immediately adds that "first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation". The Pope noted this means that "even suffering, the Cross, the cross of everyday life - the cross of work, family, to carry on doing good things - this small daily cross is part of the Kingdom of God". Pope Francis concluded by inviting all to ask the Lord for the grace "to nurture the kingdom of God that is within us" with "prayer, worship, service of charity, silently":
The Kingdom of God is humble, like the seed: humble but it becomes great by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is up to us to to let it grow in us, without boasting about it: let the Spirit come, change our soul and carry us forward in silence, in peace, in tranquility, in closeness to God, to others, in worship of God, without spectacle". 
Shared from RadioVaticana/Emer McCarthy

Latest News from Vatican Information Service - #Vatican #CatholicNews

13-11-2014 - Year XXII - Num. 200 

Pope Francis receives the president of Austria
- “Habemus Papam”: first historical documentation of the music of a Conclave
- Catholics and Muslims, working together to serve others
- Audiences
Pope Francis receives the president of Austria
Vatican City, 13 November 2014 (VIS) – This morning, in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father Francis received in audience the president of the Republic of Austria, Heinz Fischer, who subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.
During the cordial discussions, after emphasising the positive bilateral relations between Austria and the Holy See, the Parties focused on themes of common interest, including the importance of promoting religious freedom and human rights, and commitment to interreligious and intercultural dialogue.
Finally, various issues of an international nature were examined, especially regarding the situation in the Middle East.
“Habemus Papam”: first historical documentation of the music of a Conclave
Vatican City, 13 November 2014 (VIS) – This morning a press conference was held in the Holy See Press Office to present the CD “Habemus papam”, a compilation of the music of all the celebrations of the 2013 Conclave performed by the Pontifical Sistine Chapel Choir under the direction of the maestro Msgr. Massimo Palombella, S.D.B. and issued by Deutsche Grammaphon. The speakers at the conference were Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture; Msgr. Massimo Palombella, S.D.B., director of the Pontifical Sistine Chapel Choir; Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., director general of Vatican Radio, and Mirko Gratton, director of the Classical Division of Deutsche Grammophon Italia.
Maestro Palombella explained that in September 2014 an exclusive agency contract was signed between the record label Deutsche Grammophon and the Pontifical Sistine Chapel Choir two produce two musical collections. The first, “great ecclesial events”, which opens with the CD “Habemus papam”, is dedicated to live recordings by Vatican Radio of celebrations at which Pope Francis has presided. The second consists of studio recordings by the Sistine Chapel Choir of its characteristic repertoire, music composed throughout history for papal celebrations.
The double CD “Habemus papam”, on sale in Italy from 11 November and in the rest of the world from 28 November, contains all the music performed during the celebrations of the Conclave in 2013 (Mass for the election of the Roman Pontiff in St. Peter’s Basilica, entry into the Conclave, Mass with the Cardinal Electors in the Sistine Chapel and Mass for the inauguration of the Petrine Ministry in St. Peter’s Square), along with the “Habemus Papam” announcement and Pope Francis’ first address from the Loggia of the Blessings. This publication is presented as the first historical documentation of the music of a Conclave”, commented Msgr. Palombella. “They are all live recordings, with the qualities and limits that this entails. Indeed, one perceives the freshness of “authenticity” along with the background noise, coughs, the clicks of cameras and even a helicopter circling above St. Peter’s Square”.
The prelate remarked that the Pontifical Choir is the oldest choral institution in the world and is composed of 20 permanent adult singers and around 30 child choristers. The Choir normally performs at Celebrations presided at by the Pope, providing a primarily ecclesial service. Its concert activity is therefore directed exclusively towards evangelisation and to the promotion of ecumenical dialogue. To this end, on the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, the Choir sang alongside the Anglican Choir of Westminster, in 2013 with the Leipzig Thomanerchor, and in 2014, with the Orthodox Choir of the Patriarchate of Moscow. In September 2014, the Choir made an historic tour in China, performing in Hong Kong, Macao and Taipei.
“For the Pontifical Sistine Chapel Choir, the agreement with the prestigious German record label Deutsche Grammophon is a tangible response to its mandate, which requires it on the one hand to safeguard the great musical heritage of the Church, and on the other, especially in the liturgical sphere, to participate in fruitful dialogue with modernity”, concluded the maestro.
The director of Vatican Radio, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., spoke about the experience accumulated by the radio station in the field of sound recording and broadcasting of numerous concerts in the Vatican, especially in the Paul VI Hall. “We all recall the concerts of exceptional quality during the pontificate of Benedict XVI”. He offered the example of the extraordinary Christmas 1937 concert in the Hall of Blessings, broadcast live to 23 countries. “A concert directed by the Maestro Lorenzo Perosi, Msgr. Palombella's predecessor, with the Pontifical Sistine Chapel Choir, recorded by Vatican Radio and broadcast with the help of German technology”, as during that year the new Telefunken transmitter was inaugurated.
Fr. Lombardi also highlighted the activity of Vatican Radio in the production and exchange of quality recordings within the framework of the EBU/UER, the European Broadcasting Union, which brings together the public broadcasters of all European countries. Vatican Radio offers on average around ten high quality recordings per year as part of the EBU concert exchange circuit. Vatican Radio is also engaged in research and experimental activities in the field of sound recording, using new generation microphones, in collaboration with the Centre for Technological Research and Innovation of the Technological Strategies Directorate of the RAI (Radiotelevisione Italiana).
Catholics and Muslims, working together to serve others
Vatican City, 13 November 2014 (VIS) – The third seminar of the Catholic-Muslim Forum was held in Rome from 11 to 13 November, on the theme “Working Together to Serve Others”. Three specific issues were considered: working together to serve young people, enhancing interreligious dialogue, and service to society.
The Catholic delegation was headed by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan, co-ordinator of the Muslim side, was unable to attend the event for health reasons. The assembled participants sent him a message expressing their good wishes. The Muslim delegation was therefore headed by Seyyed Hossein Nasr, professor of Islamic Studies at the George Washington University, Washington D.C., U.S.A.
The delegates acknowledged many examples across the world of active Catholic-Muslim collaboration in educational, charitable, and relief efforts. After the presentations of the papers and the discussions, which ensued in a cordial and fraternal atmosphere, the participants agreed on the following points:
1. The delegates recognised that their gathering took place in a time of severe tension and conflict in the world, underlining the vital importance of enhanced service and mutual cooperation. In this context the delegates unanimously condemned acts of terrorism, oppression, violence against innocent persons, persecution, desecration of sacred places, and the destruction of cultural heritage. It is never acceptable to use religion to justify such acts or to conflate such acts with religion.
2. The education of young people, be it in the family, school, university, church or mosque, is of the utmost importance for the promotion of a well-rounded identity which builds respect for others. To this end, school curricula and textbooks should portray an objective and respectful image of the other.
3. The participants affirmed the importance of the culture of interreligious dialogue for deepening mutual understanding. This is required to overcome prejudice, distortions, suspicions, and inappropriate generalisations, all of which damage the peaceful relationships we all seek.
4. It was felt that dialogue should lead to action, particularly among young people. The participants encouraged Christians and Muslims to multiply opportunities for encounter and cooperation on joint projects for the common good.
On Wednesday, 12 November, Pope Francis received the participants in audience, encouraging them to persevere on the path of Christian-Muslim dialogue, and he expressed his approval of their shared commitment to the selfless service of society.
Finally, the delegates expressed their satisfaction at this fruitful encounter and their hopes for the next meeting of the Forum.
Vatican City, 13 November 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has received in audience:
- Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity;
- Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”;
- Archbishop Joseph Marino, apostolic nuncio in Malaysia and East Timor, apostolic delegate in Brunei.

Catholic Muslim Forum in Rome Concludes Full Text Statement #Interreligious

(Vatican Radio) The Catholic-Muslim Forum held its third Seminar in Rome from Tuesday 11th to Thursday 13th November 2014. The theme it took as its main topic for deliberation was "Working Together to Serve Others". Three particular issues were dealt with in papers from both sides: working together to serve young people, enhancing our interreligious dialogue, and service to society. Below please find the final statement published at the conclusion of the forum The delegates acknowledged many examples across the world of active Catholic-Muslim collaboration in educational, charitable, and relief efforts.
After the presentations of the papers and the discussions which ensued in a cordial and fraternal atmosphere, the participants agreed on the following points:
1. The delegates recognised that their gathering took place in a time of severe tension and conflict in the world, underlining the vital importance of enhanced service and mutual cooperation. In this context the delegates unanimously condemned acts of terrorism, oppression, violence against innocent persons, persecution, desecration of sacred places, and the destruction of cultural heritage. It is never acceptable to use religion to justify such acts or to conflate such acts with religion.
2. The education of young people, be it in the family, school, university, church or mosque, is of the utmost importance for the promotion of a well-rounded identity which builds respect for others. To this end, school curricula and textbooks should portray an objective and respectful image of the other. 3. The participants affirmed the importance of the culture of interreligious dialogue for deepening mutual understanding. This is required to overcome prejudice, distortions, suspicions, and inappropriate generalisations, all of which damage the peaceful relationships we all seek.
 4. It was felt that dialogue should lead to action, particularly among young people. The participants encouraged Christians and Muslims to multiply opportunities for encounter and cooperation on joint projects for the common good. On Wednesday 12th November, His Holiness Pope Francis gave an audience in which he greeted all the participants, encouraging them to persevere on the path of Christian-Muslim dialogue, and was pleased to note their shared commitment to the selfless and disinterested service of society. Finally, the delegates expressed their satisfaction at their fruitful encounter, and looked forward to the next meeting of the Forum.
The Catholic delegation was headed by His Eminence Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID), and was composed of: Rev. Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, M.C.C.I., Secretary of PCID Mons. Khaled Akasheh, Bureau Chief for Islam, PCID H.E. Mons. Ilario Antoniazzi, Archbishop of Tunis, Tunisia Rev. Michael Weninger, PCID, Islam in Europe, Central Asia and South America Prof. Vincenzo Buonomo, Director, Doctoral Course for Jurisprudence, Pontifical Lateran University, Rome, Italy Prof. Paolo Carozza, Director, Kellogg Institute for International Studies, University of Notre Dame, USA Rev. Dr. Damian Howard, S.J., Heythrop College, University of London, UK H.E. Mrs Pascale Warda, Former Minister of Migration and Displacement, Iraq H.E. Mrs Anne Leahy, Ambassador Emeritus of Canada to the Holy See, Adjunct Professor, McGill University, Montreal, Canada Dr. A. Tom Adaba, Abuja, Nigeria Mr Asset Shutenov, Almaty, Kazakhstan HRH Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan, co-ordinator of the Muslim side, could not attend the event for health reasons.
The assembled participants sent him a message expressing their good wishes. The Muslim delegation was led by H.E. Prof. Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Professor of Islamic Studies at The George Washington University, Washington DC, USA, and consisted of: Prof. S. Abdallah Schleifer, Senior Fellow of the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought and Editor-in-Chief of the Muslim 500 H.E. Prof. Muhammad Hashim Kamali, Founding CEO, International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS), Malaysia H.E. Prof. Mustapha Cherif, Philosopher and Former Minister of Higher Education of Algeria H.E. Prof. Mustafa Ceric, Former Grand Mufti of Bosnia and Herzegovina H.E. Prof. M. Din Syamsuddin, President of Muhammadiyah and General Chairman of the Indonesian Council of Ulama Prof. Abdal Hakim Murad Winter, University Lecturer in Islamic Studies, Faculty of Divinity, Cambridge University H.E. Sheikh Naim Tërnava, Grand Mufti of Kosovo H.E. Prof. Aref Ali Nayed, Founder and Direcctor of Kalam Research and Media, UAE Prof. Ingrid Mattson, London and Windsor Community Chair in Islamic Studies, Huron University College, University of Western Ontario, Canada H.E. Mr. Omar Abboud, General Secretary of the Institute for Interreligious Dialogue, Buenos Aires, Argentina Imam Yahya Sergio Yahe Pallavicini, Vice President, Islamic Religious Community (COREIS), Italy (Emer McCarthy)

Novena to Saint Frances Cabrini - Patron of Immigrants - SHARE this Prayer!

Novena to St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Almighty and Eternal Father, Giver of all Gifts, show us Your mercy, and grant, we beseech You, through the merits of Your faithful Servant, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, that all who invoke her intercession may obtain what they desire according to the good pleasure of Your Holy Will.
 [Mention your request]
 O Lord Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, mindful of Your bountiful goodness and love, deign, we implore You, through the tender devotion of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini for Your Sacred Heart, to hear our prayers and grant our petitions.
 O God, the Holy Spirit, Comforter of the afflicted, Fountain of Light and Truth, through the ardent zeal of Your humble handmaid, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, grant us Your all-powerful aid in our necessities, sanctify our souls and fill our minds with Divine Light that we may see the Holy Will of God in all things. St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, beloved spouse of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, intercede for us that the favor we now ask may be granted.
 Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be (three times)

Today's Mass Readings : Thursday November 13, 2014

Memorial of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, Virgin
Lectionary: 494

Reading 1PHLM 7-20

I have experienced much joy and encouragement from your love,
because the hearts of the holy ones
have been refreshed by you, brother.
Therefore, although I have the full right in Christ
to order you to do what is proper,
I rather urge you out of love,
being as I am, Paul, an old man,
and now also a prisoner for Christ Jesus.
I urge you on behalf of my child Onesimus,
whose father I have become in my imprisonment,
who was once useless to you but is now useful to both you and me.
I am sending him, that is, my own heart, back to you.
I should have liked to retain him for myself,
so that he might serve me on your behalf
in my imprisonment for the Gospel,
but I did not want to do anything without your consent,
so that the good you do might not be forced but voluntary.
Perhaps this is why he was away from you for a while,
that you might have him back forever,
no longer as a slave but more than a slave, a brother,
beloved especially to me, but even more so to you,
as a man and in the Lord.
So if you regard me as a partner, welcome him as you would me.
And if he has done you any injustice
or owes you anything, charge it to me.
I, Paul, write this in my own hand: I will pay.
May I not tell you that you owe me your very self.
Yes, brother, may I profit from you in the Lord.
Refresh my heart in Christ.

Responsorial Psalm PS 146:7, 8-9A, 9BC-10

R. (5a) Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
R. Alleluia.
The LORD secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free.
R. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
R. Alleluia.
The LORD gives sight to the blind.
The LORD raises up those who were bowed down;
the LORD loves the just.
The LORD protects strangers.
R. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.
R. Alleluia.
The fatherless and the widow he sustains,
but the way of the wicked he thwarts.
The LORD shall reign forever;
your God, O Zion, through all generations. Alleluia.
R. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob.or:
R. Alleluia.

Gospel LK 17:20-25

Asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God would come,
Jesus said in reply,
“The coming of the Kingdom of God cannot be observed,
and no one will announce, ‘Look, here it is,’ or, ‘There it is.’
For behold, the Kingdom of God is among you.”

Then he said to his disciples,
“The days will come when you will long to see
one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it.
There will be those who will say to you,
‘Look, there he is,’ or ‘Look, here he is.’
Do not go off, do not run in pursuit.
For just as lightning flashes
and lights up the sky from one side to the other,
so will the Son of Man be in his day.
But first he must suffer greatly and be rejected by this generation.”


Saint November 13 : St. Francis Xavier Cabrini : Patron of Immigrants and hospital administrators

St. Francis Xavier Cabrini
Feast: November 13
Feast Day:
November 13
July 15, 1850, Sant'Angelo Lodigiano, Italy
December 22, 1917, Chicago
July 7, 1946 by Pope Pius XII
Major Shrine:
Chapel of Mother Cabrini High School, New York City
Patron of:
immigrants, hospital administrators

As saint of our own time and as the first United States citizen to be elevated to sainthood, Mother Cabrini has a double claim on our interest. Foundress of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart and pioneer worker for the welfare of dispersed Italian nationals, this diminutive nun was responsible for the establishment of nearly seventy orphanages, schools, and hospitals, scattered over eight countries in Europe, North, South, and Central America. Still living are pupils, colleagues, and friends who remember Mother Cabrini vividly; her spirit continues to inspire the nuns who received their training at her hands. Since the record remains fresh in memory, and since the saint's letters and diaries have been carefully preserved, we have more authentic information about her, especially of the formative years, than we have concerning any other saint.
Francesca Cabrini was born on July 15, 1850, in the village of Sant' Angelo, on the outskirts of Lodi, about twenty miles from Milan, in the pleasant, fertile Lombardy plain. She was the thirteenth child of a farmer's family, her father Agostino being the proprietor of a modest estate. The home into which she was born was a comfortable, attractive place for children, with its flowering vines, its gardens, and animals; but its serenity and security was in strong contrast with the confusion of the times. Italy had succeeded in throwing off the Austrian yoke and was moving towards unity. Agostino and his wife Stella were conservative people who took no part in the political upheavals around them, although some of their relatives were deeply concerned in the struggle, and one, Agostino Depretis, later became prime minister. Sturdy and pious, the Cabrinis were devoted to their home, their children, and their Church. Signora Cabrini was fifty-two when Francesca was born, and the tiny baby seemed so fragile at birth that she was carried to the church for baptism at once. No one would have ventured to predict then that she would not only survive but live out sixty-seven extraordinarily active and productive years. Villagers and members of the family recalled later that just before her birth a flock of white doves circled around high above the house, and one of them dropped down to nestle in the vines that covered the walls.
The father took the bird, showed it to his children, then released it to fly away.
Since the mother had so many cares, the oldest daughter, Rosa, assumed charge of the newest arrival. She made the little Cecchina, for so the family called the baby, her companion, carried her on errands around the village, later taught her to knit and sew, and gave her religious instruction. In preparation for her future career as a teacher, Rosa was inclined to be severe. Her small sister's nature was quite the reverse; Cecchina was gay and smiling and teachable. Agostino was in the habit of reading aloud to his children, all gathered together in the big kitchen. He often read from a book of missionary stories, which fired little Cecchina's imagination. In her play, her dolls became holy nuns. When she went on a visit to her uncle, a priest who lived beside a swift canal, she made little boats of paper, dropped violets in them, called the flowers missionaries, and launched them to sail off to India and China. Once, playing thus, she tumbled into the water, but was quickly rescued and suffered only shock from the accident.
At thirteen Francesca was sent to a private school kept by the Daughters of the Sacred Heart. Here she remained for five years, taking the course that led to a teacher's certificate. Rosa had by this time been teaching for some years. At eighteen Francesca passed her examinations, , and then applied for admission into the convent, in the hope that she might some day be sent as a teacher to the Orient. When, on account of her health, her application was turned down, she resolved to devote herself to a life of lay service. At home she shared wholeheartedly in the domestic tasks. Within the next few years she had the sorrow of losing both her parents. An epidemic of smallpox later ran through the village, and she threw herself into nursing the stricken. Eventually she caught the disease herself, but Rosa, now grown much gentler, nursed her so skillfully that she recovered promptly, with no disfigurement. Her oval face, with its large expressive blue eyes, was beginning to show the beauty that in time became so striking.
Francesca was offered a temporary position as substitute teacher in a village school, a mile or so away. Thankful for this chance to practice her profession, she accepted, learning much from her brief experience. She then again applied for admission to the convent of the Daughters of the Sacred Heart, and might have been accepted, for her health was now much improved. However, the rector of the parish, Father Antonio Serrati, had been observing her ardent spirit of service and was making other plans for her future. He therefore advised the Mother Superior to turn her down once more.
Father Serrati, soon to be Monsignor Serrati, was to remain Francesca's lifelong friend and adviser. From the start he had great confidence in her abilities, and now he gave her a most difficult task. She was to go to a disorganized and badly run orphanage in the nearby town of Cadogno, called the House of Providence. It had been started by two wholly incompetent laywomen, one of whom had given the money for its endowment. Now Francesca was charged "to put things right," a large order in view of her youth-she was but twenty-four-and the complicated human factors in the situation. The next six years were a period of training in tact and diplomacy, as well as in the everyday, practical problems of running such an institution. She worked quietly and effectively, in the face of jealous opposition, devoting herself to the young girls under her supervision and winning their affection and cooperation. Francesca assumed the nun's habit, and in three years took her vows. By this time her ecclesiastical superiors were impressed by her performance and made her Mother Superior of the institution. For three years more she carried on, and then, as the foundress had grown more and more erratic, the House of Providence was dissolved. Francesca had under her at the time seven young nuns whom she had trained. Now they were all homeless.
At this juncture the bishop of Lodi sent for her and offered a suggestion that was to determine the nun's life work. He wished her to found a missionary order of women to serve in his diocese. She accepted the opportunity gratefully and soon discovered a house which she thought suitable, an abandoned Franciscan friary in Cadogno. The building was purchased, the sisters moved in and began to make the place habitable. Almost immediately it became a busy hive of activity. They received orphans and foundlings, opened a day school to help pay expenses, started classes in needlework and sold their fine embroidery to earn a little more money. Meanwhile, in the midst of superintending all these activities, Francesca, now Mother Cabrini, was drawing up a simple rule for the institute. As one patron, she chose St. Francis de Sales, and as another, her own name saint, St. Francis Xavier. The rule was simple, and the habit she devised for the hard-working nuns was correspondingly simple, without the luxury of elaborate linen or starched headdress. They even carried their rosaries in their pockets, to be less encumbered while going about their tasks. The name chosen for the order was the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart.
With the success of the institute and the growing reputation of its young founder, many postulants came asking for admission, more than the limited quarters could accommodate. The nuns' resources were now, as always, at a low level; nevertheless, expansion seemed necessary. Unable to hire labor, they undertook to be their own builders. One nun was the daughter of a bricklayer, and she showed the others how to lay bricks. The new walls were actually going up under her direction, when the local authorities stepped in and insisted that the walls must be buttressed for safety. The nuns obeyed, and with some outside help went on with the job, knowing they were working to meet a real need. The townspeople could not, of course, remain indifferent in the face of such determination. After two years another mission was started by Mother Cabrini, at Cremona, and then a boarding school for girls at the provincial capital of Milan. The latter was the first of many such schools, which in time were to become a source of income and also of novices to carry on the ever-expanding work. Within seven years seven institutions of various kinds, each founded to meet some critical need, were in operation, all staffed by nuns trained under Mother Cabrini.
In September, 1887, came the nun's first trip to Rome, always a momentous event in the life of any religious. In her case it was to mark the opening of a much broader field of activity. Now, in her late thirties, Mother Cabrini was a woman of note in her own locality, and some rumors of her work had undoubtedly been carried to Rome. Accompanied by a sister, Serafina, she left Cadogno with the dual purpose of seeking papal approval for the order, which so far had functioned merely on the diocesan level, and of opening a house in Rome which might serve as headquarters for future enterprises. While she did not go as an absolute stranger, many another has arrived there with more backing and stayed longer with far less to show.
Within two weeks Mother Cabrini had made contacts in high places, and had several interviews with Cardinal Parocchi, who became her loyal supporter, with full confidence in her sincerity and ability. She was encouraged to continue her foundations elsewhere and charged to establish a free school and kindergarten in the environs of Rome. Pope Leo XIII received her and blessed the work. He was then an old man of seventy-eight, who had occupied the papal throne for ten years and done much to enhance the prestige of the office. Known as the "workingman's Pope" because of his sympathy for the poor and his series of famous encyclicals on social justice, he was also a man of scholarly attainments and cultural interests. He saw Mother Cabrini on many future occasions, always spoke of her with admiration and affection, and sent contributions from his own funds to aid her work.
A new and greater challenge awaited the intrepid nun, a chance to fulfill the old dream of being a missionary to a distant land. A burning question of the day in Italy was the plight of Italians in foreign countries. As a result of hard times at home, millions of them had emigrated to the United States and to South America in the hope of bettering themselves. In the New World they were faced with many cruel situations which they were often helpless to meet. Bishop Scalabrini had written a pamphlet describing their misery, and had been instrumental in establishing St. Raphael's Society for their material assistance, and also a mission of the Congregation of St. Charles Borromeo in New York. Talks with Bishop Scalabrini persuaded Mother Cabrini that this cause was henceforth to be hers.
In America the great tide of immigration had not yet reached its peak, but a steady stream of hopeful humanity from southern Europe, lured by promises and pictures, was flowing into our ports, with little or no provision made for the reception or assimilation of the individual components. Instead, the newcomers fell victim at once to the prejudices of both native-born Americans and the earlier immigrants, who had chiefly been of Irish and German stock. They were also exploited unmercifully by their own padroni, or bosses, after being drawn into the roughest and most dangerous jobs, digging and draining, and the almost equally hazardous indoor work in mills and sweatshops. They tended to cluster in the overcrowded, disease-breeding slums of our cities, areas which were becoming known as "Little Italies." They were in America, but not of it. Both church and family life were sacrificed to mere survival and the struggle to save enough money to return to their native land. Cut off from their accustomed ties, some drifted into the criminal underworld. For the most part, however, they lived forgotten, lonely and homesick, trying to cope with new ways of living without proper direction. "Here we live like animals," wrote one immigrant; "one lives and dies without a priest, without teachers, and without doctors." All in all, the problem was so vast and difficult that no one with a soul less dauntless than Mother Cabrini's would have dreamed of tackling it.
After seeing that the new establishments at Rome were running smoothly and visiting the old centers in Lombardy, Mother Cabrini wrote to Archbishop Corrigan in New York that she was coming to aid him. She was given to understand that a convent or hostel would be prepared, to accommodate the few nuns she would bring.
Unfortunately there was a misunderstanding as to the time of her arrival, and when she and the seven nuns landed in New York on March 31, 1889, they learned that there was no convent ready. They felt they could not afford a hotel, and asked to be taken to an inexpensive lodging house. This turned out to be so dismal and dirty that they avoided the beds and spent the night in prayer and quiet thought. But the nuns were young and full of courage; from this bleak beginning they emerged the next morning to attend Mass. Then they called on the apologetic archbishop and outlined a plan of action. They wished to begin work without delay. A wealthy Italian woman contributed money for the purchase of their first house, and before long an orphanage had opened its doors there. So quickly did they gather a house full of orphans that their funds ran low; to feed the ever-growing brood they must go out to beg. The nuns became familiar figures down on Mulberry Street, in the heart of the city's Little Italy. They trudged from door to door, from shop to shop, asking for anything that could be spared—food, clothing, or money.
With the scene surveyed and the work well begun, Mother Cabrini returned to Italy in July of the same year. She again visited the foundations, stirred up the ardor of the nuns, and had another audience with the Pope, to whom she gave a report of the situation in New York with respect to the Italian colony. Also, while in Rome, she made plans for opening a dormitory for normal-school students, securing the aid of several rich women for this enterprise. The following spring she sailed again for New York, with a fresh group of nuns chosen from the order. Soon after her arrival she concluded arrangements for the purchase from the Jesuits of a house and land, now known as West Park, on the west bank of the Hudson. This rural retreat was to become a veritable paradise for children from the city's slums. Then, with several nuns who had been trained as teachers, she embarked for Nicaragua, where she had been asked to open a school for girls of well-to-do families in the city of Granada. This was accomplished with the approbation of the Nicaraguan government, and Mother Cabrini, accompanied by one nun, started back north overland, curious to see more of the people of Central America. They traveled by rough and primitive means, but the journey was safely achieved. They stopped off for a time in New Orleans and did preparatory work looking to the establishment of a mission. The plight of Italian immigrants in Louisiana was almost as serious as in New York. On reaching New York she chose a little band of courageous nuns to begin work in the southern city. They literally begged their way to New Orleans, for there was no money for train fare. As soon as they had made a very small beginning, Mother Cabrini joined them. With the aid of contributions, they bought a tenement which became known as a place where any Italian in trouble or need could go for help and counsel. A school was established which rapidly became a center for the city's Italian population. The nuns made a practice too of visiting the outlying rural sections where Italians were employed on the great plantations.
The year that celebrated the four hundredth anniversary of Columbus' voyage of discovery, 1892, marked also the founding of Mother Cabrini's first hospital. At this time Italians were enjoying more esteem than usual and it was natural that this first hospital should be named for Columbus. Earlier Mother Cabrini had had some experience of hospital management in connection with the institution conducted by the Congregation of St. Charles Borromeo, but the new one was to be quite independent. With an initial capital of two hundred and fifty dollars, representing five contributions of fifty dollars each, Columbus Hospital began its existence on Twelfth Street in New York. Doctors offered it their services without charge, and the nuns tried to make up in zeal what they lacked in equipment. Gradually the place came to have a reputation that won for it adequate financial support. It moved to larger quarters on Twentieth Street, and continues to function to this day.
Mother Cabrini returned to Italy frequently to oversee the training of novices and to select the nuns best qualified for foreign service. She was in Rome to share in the Pope's Jubilee, celebrating his fifty years as a churchman. Back in New York in 1895, she accepted the invitation of the Archbishop of Buenos Aires to come down to Argentina and establish a school. The Nicaraguan school had been forced to close its doors as a result of a revolutionary overthrow of the government, and the nuns had moved to Panama and opened a school there. Mother Cabrini and her companion stopped to visit this new institution before proceeding by water down the Pacific Coast towards their destination. To avoid the stormy Straits of Magellan they had been advised to make the later stages of the journey by land, which meant a train trip from the coast to the mountains, across the Andes by mule-back, then another train trip to the capital. The nuns looked like Capuchin friars, for they wore brown fur-lined capes. On their unaccustomed mounts, guided by muleteers whose language they hardly understood, they followed the narrow trail over the backbone of the Andes, with frightening chasms below and icy winds whistling about their heads. The perilous crossing was made without serious mishap. On their arrival in Buenos Aires they learned that the archbishop who had invited them to come had died, and they were not sure of a welcome. It was not long, however, before Mother Cabrini's charm and sincerity had worked their usual spell, and she was entreated to open a school. She inspected dozens of sites before making a choice. When it came to the purchase of land she seemed to have excellent judgment as to what location would turn out to be good from all points of view. The school was for girls of wealthy families, for the Italians in Argentina were, on the average, more prosperous than those of North America. Another group of nuns came down from New York to serve as teachers. Here and in similar schools elsewhere, today's pupils became tomorrow's supporters of the foundations.
Not long afterward schools were opened in Paris, in England, and in Spain, where Mother Cabrini's work had the sponsorship of the queen. From the Latin countries in course of time came novice teachers for the South American schools. Another southern country, Brazil, was soon added to the lengthening roster, with establishments at Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. Back in the United States Mother Cabrini started parochial schools in and around New York and an orphanage at Dobbs Ferry. In 1899 she founded the Sacred Heart Villa on Fort Washington Avenue, New York, as a school and training center for novices. In later years this place was her nearest approach to an American home. It is this section of their city that New Yorkers now associate with her, and here a handsome avenue bears her name.
Launching across the country, Mother Cabrini now extended her activities to the Pacific Coast. Newark, Scranton, Chicago, Denver, Seattle, Los Angeles, all became familiar territory. In Colorado she visited the mining camps, where the high rate of fatal accidents left an unusually large number of fatherless children to be cared for. Wherever she went men and women began to take constructive steps for the remedying of suffering and wrong, so powerful was the stimulus of her personality. Her warm desire to serve God by helping people, especially children, was a steady inspiration to others. Yet the founding of each little school or orphanage seemed touched by the miraculous, for the necessary funds generally materialized in some last-minute, unexpected fashion.
In Seattle, in 1909, Mother Cabrini took the oath of allegiance to the United States and became a citizen of the country. She was then fifty-nine years old, and was looking forward to a future of lessened activity, possibly even to semi-retirement in the mother house at Cadogno. But for some years the journeys to and fro across the Atlantic went on; like a bird, she never settled long in one place. When she was far away, her nuns felt her presence, felt she understood their cares and pains. Her modest nature had always kept her from assuming an attitude of authority; indeed she even deplored being referred to as "head" of her Order. During the last years Mother Cabrini undoubtedly pushed her flagging energies to the limit of endurance. Coming back from a trip to the Pacific Coast in the late fall of 1917, she stopped in Chicago. Much troubled now over the war and all the new problems it brought, she suffered a recurrence of the malaria contracted many years before. Then, while she and other nuns were making preparations for a children's Christmas party in the hospital, a sudden heart attack ended her life on earth in a few minutes. The date was December 22, and she was sixty-seven. The little nun had been the friend of three popes, a foster-mother to thousands of children, for whom she had found means to provide shelter and food; she had created a flourishing order, and established many institutions to serve human needs.
It was not surprising that almost at once Catholics in widely separated places began saying to each other, "Surely she was a saint." This ground swell of popular feeling culminated in 1929 in the first official steps towards beatification. Ten years later she became Blessed Mother Cabrini, and Cardinal Mundelein, who had officiated at her funeral in Chicago, now presided at the beatification. Heralded by a great pealing of the bells of St. Peter's and the four hundred other churches of Rome, the canonization ceremony took place on July 7, 1946. Hundreds of devout Catholics from the United States were in attendance, as well as the highest dignitaries of the Church and lay noblemen. Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, the first American to be canonized, lies buried under the altar of the chapel of Mother Cabrini High School in New York City.

Scandal! Scandal! Read All About It! - A Reflection by Fr. Denis

Blog Share from Fr. Denis Lemieux: (picture added from Google Images by JCE)
Scandal! Scandal! Read All About It! Again and again, in every corner of the world, like a flame bursting from blackened ashes, there would appear the old tale of the Brown Scandal, or Priest Ruins Potter Home. Tireless apologists of the priest's party watched for it, and patiently tagged after it with contradictions and exposures and letters of protest. Sometimes the letters were published in the papers; and sometimes they were not. But still nobody knew how many people had heard the story without hearing the contradiction. It was possible to find whole blocks of blameless and innocent people who thought the Mexican Scandal was an ordinary recorded historical incident like the Gunpowder Plot. Then somebody would enlighten these simple people, only to discover that the old story had started afresh among a few quite educated people, who would seem the last people on earth to be duped by it.
 And so the two Father Browns chase each other round the world for ever; the first a shameless criminal fleeing from justice; the second a martyr broken by slander, in a halo of rehabilitation. But neither of them is very like the real Father Brown, who is not broken at all; but goes stumping with his stout umbrella through life, liking most of the people in it; accepting the world as his companion, but never as his judge. GK Chesterton, The Scandal of Father Brown Reflection – One of the downsides or upsides (I can’t decide which, really) of being on social media is that whether you like it or not, you end up knowing about the latest scandals of the day, the stories that are rocking the zeitgeist house, or at least that little portion of the zeitgeist that you personally occupy. You end up at least knowing about them (after the 50th time some story or other pops up in your newsfeed), whether you have the slightest interest in them or not. I think part of the wise use of social media is being vigilant about being swept along in the current of scandal, simply thinking, reading, and caring about some story or other for no other reason than that everyone else is thinking, reading, and caring about it. We need to actively fight against that tendency in our on-line, wired-in world.
Just because (for example) some woman got cat-called walking down a street in New York and made a video about it, we don’t by that very fact have to Have A National Conversation about harassment. Really. We don’t. Or, I understand that there is some Cardinal or other in Rome who’s gotten moved from one job to another (the details escape me), and this presages the coming of the antichrist or something. As has been foretold: “Lo, and I saw the seventh seal being broken open, and a voice from heaven cried, let the curial officials be transferred without a full explanation being given to those who Feed on the Buzz. And there was a great outcry and lamentation in the heavens, and a third of the bureaucrats fell from the heavens.” (The Apocalypse of Rorate Caeli 6: 66). Yeah, anyhow, whatever. Not my circus, not my monkeys, as the saying goes. All of this (which I have absolutely no intention of taking further interest in, writing about, or debating), puts me powerfully in mind of that wonderful Chesterton story “The Scandal of Father Brown.” As with many GKC stories, the plot is irrelevant. Essentially Fr. Brown is caught up in an affair where he appears to be helping a woman run away from her husband with her lover, and an American journalist on the scene dashes off an expose of this perfidious deed. It then turns out that the journalist got the characters wrong, and that the lover was the husband and vice versa, and Fr. Brown was restoring the marriage to right order. But it’s this last bit of the story that I find especially relevant, where the scandal rages in the media, denunciations and defenses, pro-Burke and anti-Burke (oops, I meant to write Brown) camps forming, and high drama ensuing as the man is pilloried and then vindicated, pilloried and vindicated. Zzzzzzz… oh, sorry, nodded off there. My goodness, how boring and pointless I find all this scandal mongering. And meanwhile, the real Cardinal Brown (oops, I mean to write… well, you know), is neither pilloried nor vindicated, not broken at all, but I hope is stumping along with his umbrella, so to speak, accepting (and here’s the money phrase) ‘the world as his companion, and never his judge.’ That’s it, there. The trouble with all this stupid tiresome SCANDAL, SCANDAL all the time, in the Church, out of the Church, wherever, is that it gives the ‘world’, be it Buzzfeed, Gawker, the NY Times or CNN, wayyyyy too much power. These people are not our judges. They’re no one’s judges. They really, truly, utterly Do Not Matter.
 For that matter, the Pope is not our judge, either. If Pope Francis phones me up today and transfers me to Ulan Bator or something, who cares? Off I will go to Mongolia, and see what awaits me there. There is one Judge, and one Judge only, and all of us are to spend our lives stumping along and attending to our duties, being obedient, and loving as best we can, where we are, under the merciful eyes of the One Judge of men. Everything else is a distraction, pure and simple. And that, my brothers and sisters, is all I have to say on that subject. By : Fr. Denis Lemieux
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Latest Statistics of the Catholic Church to SHARE - 1.2 Billion Catholics!

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) – As every year, in view of World Mission Day, this year celebrated on Sunday, October 19, Fides News Service offers some statistics chosen to give a panorama of the missionary Church all over the world. The tables are taken from the latest edition of the “Church’s Book of Statistics” published (updated to 31 December 2012) regarding members of the Church, church structures, healthcare, welfare and education. Please note that variations, increase or decrease, emerging from our own comparison with last year's figures, are marked increase + or decrease – in brackets.
 To 31 December 2012 the world population was 7,023,377,000 with an increase of 90,067,000 units compared with the previous year. Population growth was registered on every continent above all in Asia (+ 51,473,000) and Africa (+ 26,664,000) followed by America (+ 8,639,000); Europe (+ 2,977,000) and Oceania (+ 314,000).
On the same date Catholics in the world numbered 1,228,621,000 units with an overall increase of 15.030.000 more than the previous year. The increase affects all continents especially America (+ 6,509,000) and Africa (+4.920,000) followed by Asia (+ 2,403,000); Europe (+ 1,122,000) and Oceania (+ 76,000). The world percentage of Catholics slightly decreased by 0.01 %, settling at 17.49%. By continent: increases were registered in America (+ 0.12) and Asia (+ 0.01) while decrease was shown in Europe (-0.01) and Oceania (- 0.02), unvaried in Africa.
 Mission stations with a resident priest number 1,847 (65 more than in the previous year) and increases registered in America (+31), Asia (+51) and Oceania (+11). Decreases in Africa (-23) and Europe (-5). Mission Stations without a resident priest decreased in number by 658 units, to 130,795. Compared to the previous year, increase is registered in Africa (+1.152) and Asia (+433); whereas the number dropped in America (- 2,038); Europe (- 4) and Oceania (- 201). The total number of priests in the world increased by 895 units, to 414,313. The only continent which registered a decrease was again Europe (- 1,375) America (- 90) and Oceania (-80), whereas figures grew in Africa (+ 1,076); and Asia (+ 1,364).
 An overall decrease in the number of women religious (- 10,677), today 702,529. An increase was registered in Africa (+ 727) and Asia (+ 2,167), decrease in America (– 4,288), Europe (- 9,051) and Oceania (- 232). The number of lay missionaries in the world is 362,488 units, with an overall decrease of 19.234 units. Numbers increase in: Asia (+ 324) and Europe (+ 71). Numbers decrease in Africa (- 578), America (+ 18,794) and Oceania (-257). Catechists in the world increased by 45,408 units to a total of 3,170,643. The only increase was in Asia (+ 61.913), but numbers dropped in: Africa (+ 7,254), America (- 4,090), Europe (- 4,341) and Oceania (- 820).
In the field of education, the Catholic Church runs 71,188 kindergartens with 6,728,670 pupils; 95,246 primary schools with 32,299,669 pupils; 43,783 secondary schools with 18,869,237 pupils. The Church also cares for 2,381,337 high school pupils, and 3,103,072 university students. Charity and healthcare centres run in the world by the Church are 115,352. The ecclesiastical Circumscriptions dependent on the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (Cep) to 8 October 2014 are 1,109. Most of the ecclesiastical circumscriptions are mainly in Africa (507) and in Asia (476). Followed by America (80) and Oceania (46). (SL) (Agenzia Fides 17/10/2014]
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