Wednesday, June 17, 2015

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17-06-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 113 

- The family faced with death
- Appeal for the defence of creation and aid to refugees
- Consistory for the canonisation of blesseds Vincenzo Grossi, Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Louis Martin and Marie-Azelie Guerin
- Other Pontifical Acts

- Members and substitutes for the 14th General Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops
- Audiences
- Other Pontifical Acts
The family faced with death
Vatican City, 17 June 2015 (VIS) – Bereavement in the family was the theme of Pope Francis' catechesis during this Wednesday's general audience in St. Peter's Square, attended by more than fifteen thousand people.
“Death is an experience that affects all families, without exception. It is part of life; however, when it touches someone close to us, it never appears natural to us. For parents, the loss of a child … is an affront to the promises, gifts and sacrifices of love joyfully offered to the life we have brought into being. The whole family is paralysed, silenced. And a child suffers something similar when he or she is left alone by the loss of one or both parents. The emptiness and abandonment that opens up inside the child is even more distressing on account of the fact that he does not have the sufficient experience to 'give a name' to what has happened. In these cases death is like a black hole that opens up in the life of families, for which we are unable to give any explanation. And at times we even reach the point of blaming God”.
“But many people – and I understand them – become angry with God, and blaspheme. 'Why have you taken my son, my daughter from me? There is no God, God does not exist! Why has He done this to me?'. But this anger arises from great pain; the loss of a son or a daughter, a father or mother, is an immense pain. … In these cases, death seems like a hole”.
But physical death, the Pope warned, has “accomplices” that are even worse: “hatred, envy, pride and greed, the sin of the world that works for death and renders it even more painful and unjust. Family ties appear to be the predestined and helpless victims of these powerful auxiliaries of death that accompany human history. Think of the absurd 'normality' with which, in certain moments and in certain places, the events that add horror to death are provoked by the hatred and indifference of other human beings. May the Lord free us from growing accustomed to this”.
Thanks to God's compassion given to us in Jesus, “many families demonstrate in their actions that death does not have the last word. Every time that a bereaved family – even terribly – finds the strength to keep the faith and love that unite us to those whom we love, it prevents death from claiming everything. The darkness of death must be faced with more intense love. In the light of the Resurrection of the Lord, Who never abandons any of those whom the Father has entrusted to Him, we can remove the 'sting' from death, as the apostle Paul said; we can prevent it from poisoning life, from spoiling our affections, from making us fall into the darkest emptiness. In this faith, we are able to console each other, knowing that the Lord has defeated death once and for all. Our dear ones have not disappeared into the darkness of nothing: hope assures us that they are in the good and strong hands of God. Love is stronger than death”, the Pope emphasised. If we let ourselves be supported by this faith, “the experience of bereavement can generate a stronger solidarity in family ties, a new openness to the suffering of other families, a new fraternity with those families who are born and reborn in hope”.
 Faith gives us birth and rebirth in hope, reiterated Francis, recalling the passage from the Gospel in which Jesus revives the widower's son, restoring him to his mother. “This is our hope”, he exclaimed. “Jesus will restore to us all our dear ones who have passed away, He will return them to us and we will meet them again. … Let us remember this gesture of Jesus … as the Lord will do the same with the loved ones in our family”. This faith, he said, “protects us from a nihilistic vision of death, as well as from the false consolations of the world, 'so that the Christian truth does not risk mixing itself with myths of various types'”, giving way to rites of superstition, ancient or modern”.
The Pope concluded by urging all pastors and all Christians to express in the most concrete way the sense of faith in relation to the family experience of bereavement. “The right to weep must not be denied”, he exclaimed. “Even Jesus was deeply moved and profoundly troubled by the bereavement of a family he loved. We can, instead, draw from the simple and powerful witness of many families who have known how to grasp, in the difficult passage of death, also the safe passage offered by the Lord, crucified and risen, with his irrevocable promise of the resurrection of the dead. The work of God's love is stronger than the work of death. We must seek to be 'accomplices' to that love, with our faith. … Death was defeated by Jesus on the cross. Jesus will restore all of us to our families”.
Appeal for the defence of creation and aid to refugees
Vatican City, 17 June 2015 (VIS) – Following today's catechesis the Pope mentioned thattomorrow the Encyclical on the care of creation, our “common home”, will be published. “Our home is being ruined and this damages everyone, especially the poorest. I therefore make an appeal for responsibility, on the basis of the task that God assigned to the human being in creation: 'to tend and to keep' the 'garden' in which He placed him. I invite everyone to welcome with an open heart this Document which is in line with the social doctrine of the Church”.
 He also drew attention to World Refugee Day, organised by the United Nations and to be heldnext Saturday, and called for prayers “for the many brothers and sisters who seek refuge far from the lands of their birth, in search of a place where they can live without fear, so that their dignity may always be respected”. He added, “I encourage the work of the many who help them, and hope that the international community will act in a concerted and effective way to prevent the causes of forced migration”.
In his greetings to Polish pilgrims, the Holy Father mentioned St. Albert Chmielowski, whose memory is celebrated today. “Remembering his commitment to the poor, to the homeless, to the incurably sick, we open our hearts to the needs of our brothers. From this we learn to serve Christ in the poor and to be good for others, like bread. Let us imitate him in aspiring to holiness”.
Consistory for the canonisation of blesseds Vincenzo Grossi, Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Louis Martin and Marie-Azelie Guerin
Vatican City, 17 June 2015 (VIS) – On Saturday 27 June, in the Consistory Hall of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father will preside at the celebration of Terce and the ordinary public consistory for the canonisation of the blesseds Vincenzo Grossi, Italian diocesan priest and founder of the Institute of Daughters of the Oratory (1845-1917); Mary of the Immaculate Conception (nee Maria Isabel Salvat Romero), Spanish superior general of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Company of the Cross (1926-1998); and the French spouses Louis Martin (1823-1894) and Marie-Azelie Guerin (1831-1877), parents of St. Therese of Lisieux.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 17 June 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, professor of theoretical physics at the University of Potsdam and director of the Institute for Climate Impact in Potsdam, Federal Republic of Germany, as ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
16-06-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 112 
Members and substitutes for the 14th General Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops
Vatican City, 16 June 2015 (VIS) – The following is a list of members and substitutes from the competent bodies for the 14th General Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, confirmed by the Holy Father Francis on 22 May 2015. The previous list was published on 25 March.
A) Episcopal Conferences
Member: Bishop Emilio Sumbelelo of Uije, Angola
Substitute: Archbishop Jose de Queiros Alves, C.SS.R., of Huambo, Angola
Member: Bishop Eugene Cyrille Houndekon of Abomey, vice president of the Episcopal Conference
Substitute: Bishop Antoine Sabi Bio of Natitingou
Members: Archbishop Joseph Atanga, S.J., of Bertoua
Archbishop Samuel Kleda of Douala, president of the Episcopal Conference
Substitutes: Bishop Barthelemy Yaouda Hourgo of Yagoua
Bishop Andrew Nkea Fuanya of Mamfe
Member: Bishop Urbain Ngassongo of Gamboma, president of the Episcopal Commission for Family Pastoral Ministry
Substitute: Bishop Louis Portella Mbuyu of Kinkala
Member: Bishop Mathieu Madega Lebouakehan of Mouila, president of the Episcopal Conference
Substitute: Bishop Jean-Vincent Ondo Eyene of Oyem
Member: Bishop Charles Allieu Matthew Campbell of Bo, Sierra Leone
Substitute: Bishop Henry Aruna of Makeni, Sierra Leone
Member: Archbishop Thomas Luke Msusa, S.M.M., of Blantyre, president of the Episcopal Conference
Substitute: Bishop Emmanuel Kanyama of Dedza
Member: Bishop Maurice Piat, C.S.Sp., of Port-Louis, Mauritius, president of the Episcopal Conference
Substitute: Bishop Gilbert Aubry of Saint-Denis-de-La Reunion, Reunion, France
Member: Bishop Cyr-Nestor Yapaupa of Alindao
Substitute: Archbishop Dieudonne Nzapalainga, C.S.Sp., of Bangui, president of the Episcopal Conference
Member: Archbishop Benjamin Ndiaye of Dakar, president of the Episcopal Conference, Senegal
Substitute: Bishop Paul Abel Mamba of Ziguinchor, Senegal, vice president of the Episcopal Conference
Members: Bishop Tarcisius J. M. Ngalalekumtwa of Iringa, president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Renatus Leonard Nkwande of Bunda
Substitutes: Bishop Joseph Roman Mlola of Kigoma
Bishop John Chrisostom Ndimbo of Mbinga
Member: Bishop Benjamin Phiri, auxiliary of Chipata
Substitute: Bishop Patrick Chisanga, O.F.M. Conv., of Mansa
Members: Archbishop Sergio Da Rocha of Brasilia, president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Joao Carlos Petrini of Camacari
Archbishop Geraldo Lyrio Rocha of Mariana
Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer, archbishop of Sao Paulo
Substitutes: Bishop Joao Bosco Barbosa De Sousa, O.F.M., of Osasco
Bishop Leonardo Ulrich Steiner, O.F.M., auxiliary of Brasilia
Members: Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher of Gatineau, president of the Episcopal Conference
Bishop Noel Simard of Valleyfield
Cardinal Thomas Christopher Collins, archbishop of Toronto
Archbishop Richard William Smith of Edmonton
Substitutes: Bishop Lionel Gendron, P.S.S., of Saint-Jean - Longueuil
Archbishop J. Michael MILLER, C.S.B., of Vancouver
Members: Bishop Pablo Emiro Salas Anteliz of Armenia
Cardinal Ruben Salazar Gomez, archbishop of Bogota
Archbishop Oscar Urbina Ortega of Villavicencio
Substitute: Archbishop Ricardo Antonio Tobon Restrepo of Medellín
Member: Bishop Jose Francisco Ulloa Rojas of Cartago, president of the Episcopal Commission for Family Pastoral Ministry
Substitute: Bishop Oscar Gerardo Fernandez Guillen of Puntarenas, president of the Episcopal Conference
Member: Bishop Constantino Barrera Morales of Sonsonate
Substitute: Bishop Fabio Reynaldo Colindres Abarca, military ordinary of El Salvador
Member: Archbishop Roberto Octavio Gonzalez Nieves, O.F.M., of San Juan de Puerto Rico, president of the Episcopal Conference
Substitute: Bishop Alvaro Corrada Del Rio, S.J. of Mayaguez
Member: Bishop Gregorio Nicanor Pena Rodriguez of Nuestra Senora de la Altagracia en Higuey, president of the Episcopal Conference
Substitute: Bishop Fausto Ramon Mejia Vallejo of San Francisco de Macorís
Member: Bishop Paul Ponen Kubi, C.S.C, of Mymensingh, president of the Episcopal Family Life Commission
Substitute: Bishop Sebastian Tudu of Dinajpur
Member: Peter Kang U-Il of Cheju
Substitute: Archbishop Hyginus Kim Hee-Joong of Gwangju, president of the Episcopal Conference
Member: Archbishop Joseph Mitsuaki Takami, P.S.S. of Nagasaki, vice president of the Episcopal Conference
Substitute: Bishop Dominic Ry?ji Miyahara of Fukuoka
Members: Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Bombay, president of the Episcopal Conference
Archbishop Filipe Neri Antonio Sebastiao Do Rosario Ferrao of Goa and Damao
Bishop Selvister Ponnumuthan of Punalur
Archbishop Dominic Jala, S.D.B. of Shillong
Substitute: Bishop Singaroyan Sebastianappan of Salem
Member: Bishop Harold Anthony Perera of Kurunegala
Substitute: Bishop Norbert Marshall ANDRADI, O.M.I. of Anuradhapura
Member: Bishop Johan Jozef Bonny of Antwerpen, Anvers
Substitute: Bishop Lucas Van Looy, S.D.B., of Gent, Gand
Member: Bishop GheorghiIvanov Jovcev of Sofia and Plovdiv
Substitute: Bishop Christo Proykov, apostolic exarch of Sofia for Catholics of Byzantine-Slav rite resident in Bulgaria, president of the Episcopal Conference
Members: Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, archbishop of Genoa, president of the Episcopal Conference
Cardinal Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan
Bishop Franco Giulio Brambilla of Novara
Bishop Enrico Solmi of Parma, president of the Commission for Life and the Family of the Italian Episcopal Conference
Substitutes: Bishop Gennaro Pascarella of Pozzuoli
Bishop Luciano Monari of Brescia
Member: Bishop Mario Grech of Gozo, president of the Episcopal Conference
Substitute: Archbishop Charles Jude Scicluna of Malta
Members: Archbishop Stanis?aw Gadecki, of Poznan, president of the Episcopal Conference
Archbishop-Bishop Henryk Hoser, S.A.C. of Warszawa-Praga
Bishop Jan Franciszek Watroba of Rzeszow
Substitutes: Archbishop Jozef Michalik of Przemysl of the Latins
Archbishop Marek Jedraszewski of Lodz
Member: Bishop Petru Gherghel of Iasi
Substitute: Bishop Cornel Damian, auxiliary of Bucharest
Member: Archbishop Stanislav Zvolensky of Bratislava, president of the Episcopal Conference
Substitute: Bishop Jozef Hal'Ko, auxiliary of Bratislava
Member: Archbishop Stane Zore, O.F.M., of Ljubljana
Substitute: Bishop Andrej Glavan of Novo Mesto, president of the Episcopal Conference
Member: Archbishop Levon Boghos Zekiyan of Istanbul of the Armenians
Substitute: Bishop Louis Pelatre, A.A., apostolic vicar of Istanbul, apostolic administrator of the apostolic exarchate of Istanbul for faithful of Byzantine rite resident in Turkey
Member: Archbishop Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki of Lviv of the Latins, president of the Episcopal Conference
Substitute:Bishop Radoslaw Zmitrowicz, O.M.I., auxiliary of Kamyanets-Podilskyi of the Latins
Member: Bishop Andras Veres of Szombathely
Substitute: Bishop Laszlo Biro, military ordinary of Hungary
Member: Archbishop Peter Loy Chong of Suva, Fiji Islands
Substitute: Cardinal Soane Patita Paini Mafi, bishop of Tonga, Tonga, president of the Episcopal Conference
Members: Bishop Antoine Nabil Andari, auxiliary and syncellus of Joubbe, Sarba and Jounieh of the Maronites, president of the Episcopal Commission for the Family and Life, Lebanon
Bishop Antoine Tarabay, O.L.M. of Saint Maron of Sydney of the Maronites, Australia
Substitutes: Bishop Michel Aoun of Jbeil, Byblos of the Maronites, Lebanon
Bishop Gregory John Mansour of Saint Maron of Brooklyn of the Maronites, U.S.A.
Members: Fr. Adolfo Nicolas Pachon, S.J., prepositor general of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits)
Fr. Marco Tasca, O.F.M. Conv., minister general of the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor Conventual
Fr. Mario Aldegani, C.S.I., superior general of the Congregation of St. Joseph (Josephites of Murialdo)
Fr. Richard Kuuia Baawobr, M.Afr., superior general of the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers)
Fr. Bruno Cadore, O.P., master general of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans)
Fr. Jesus Diaz Alonso, S.F., superior general of the Sons of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
Fr. Michael Brehl, C.SS.R., superior general of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorists or Liguorini)
Fr. Javier Alvarez-Ossorio, SS.CC., superior general of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (Picpus)
Fr. Ab. D. Jeremias Schroder, O.S.B., arch-abbot president of the Benedictine Congregation of St. Odile
B. Herve JANSON, P.F.J., prior general of the Little Brothers of Jesus (Foucauld)
Substitutes: Fr. Edmund Jan Michalski, M.S.F., superior general of the Missionaries of the Holy Family
Fr. Gregory Gay, C.M., superior general of the Congregation of the Mission (Lazzarists)
Vatican City, 16 June 2015 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, with Fra' Matthew Festing, prince and grand master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
Other Pontifical Acts
Vatican City, 16 June 2015 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed:
- Cardinal Paul Poupard, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Culture, as his special envoy to the celebration of the millennium of the foundation of the Cathedral of Strasbourg, France, to be held on 15 August.
- Cardinal Raul Eduardo Vela Chiriboga, archbishop emeritus of Quito, as his special envoy to the tenth National Eucharistic Congress of Peru, to be celebrated in Piura, Peru, from 13 to 16 August.
Chris Pratt, star of the new movie “Jurassic World” recently discussed when he and his wife, actress Anna Faris, had their newborn son that was born nine weeks prematurely. The baby spent the first month of his life in an intensive care unit. He describes how they relied on their faith in the Lord to get them through a very dark time. “We were scared for a long time. We prayed a lot,” Pratt explained. “It restored my faith in God, not that it needed to be restored, but it really redefined it. The baby was so beautiful to us, and I look back at the photos of him and it must have been jarring for other people to come in and see him, but to us he was so beautiful and perfect.” Though some of the doctors said their son would suffer a lifetime of disabilities, God healed their son while Pratt and his wife prayed for their baby boy at his side for weeks straight. Pratt often posts Bible verses on his Facebook page.  “I have my eyes on the prize. The big picture is my wife and my son and I living somewhere other than L.A., just being able to be a Boy Scout leader, drink beer on Saturday, go to church on Sunday, having fun. I could coach him in football. That’s the goal, and I need to do as many big movies as I can while there’s still time. Because you never know what’s next,” he said.    The actor attributed meeting his lovely wife thanks to the help of God. “Anna and I are meant to be together. Our relationship has made me believe in divine intervention and destiny,” Pratt said (H/T Q Political). Edited from Conservative Tribune

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Wed. June 17, 2015

Wednesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 367

Reading 12 COR 9:6-11

Brothers and sisters, consider this:
whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly,
and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion,
for God loves a cheerful giver.
Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you,
so that in all things, always having all you need,
you may have an abundance for every good work.
As it is written:

He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.

The one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food
will supply and multiply your seed
and increase the harvest of your righteousness.

You are being enriched in every way for all generosity,
which through us produces thanksgiving to God.

Responsorial PsalmPS 112:1BC-2, 3-4, 9

R. (1b) Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Blessed the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commands.
His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth;
the upright generation shall be blessed.
R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Wealth and riches shall be in his house;
his generosity shall endure forever.
Light shines through the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious and merciful and just.
R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
R. Alleluia.
Lavishly he gives to the poor;
his generosity shall endure forever;
his horn shall be exalted in glory.
R. Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
R. Alleluia.

AlleluiaJN 14:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him
and we will come to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 6:1-6, 16-18

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Take care not to perform righteous deeds
in order that people may see them;
otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.
When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you,
as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets
to win the praise of others.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you give alms,
do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,
so that your almsgiving may be secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites,
who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners
so that others may see them.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door,
and pray to your Father in secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites.
They neglect their appearance,
so that they may appear to others to be fasting.
Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward.
But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
so that you may not appear to others to be fasting,
except to your Father who is hidden.
And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.”

#PopeFrancis “I Encourage the work of those who bring help to those in need,” Audience

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis held his weekly General Audience on Wednesday in St. Peter’s Square. In remarks to the pilgrims and tourists gathered for the occasion, the Holy Father continued his series of catechetical reflections on the family. Specifically, this Wednesday’s meditation was devoted to the theme of loss in the family: the pain and suffering that the passing of a family member can bring, and the duty we have to comfort and console those who mourn.
Please find the official English summary of the Holy Father’s remarks, below
******************************** Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In our ongoing catechesis on the family, I wish to reflect on one of the more dramatic and painful events that every person, without exception, has to deal with, namely, the death of a family member. Jesus has compassion on those who mourn, as today’s Scripture reading reminds us, because the death of a loved one is never without pain for families; this is especially true of parents who lose a child. Jesus’ presence with the widow at Na’in assures us that he is with us in our darkest moments and that he is with us in our loss and mourning. Through faith in him, in his Resurrection and his abiding presence, we can face our loss, “the sting of death”, as Saint Paul calls it, make sense of it, and have confidence that death does not have the last word. May we, with Christ-like tenderness and compassion, know how to be close and offer consolation to families suffering the loss of a loved one. Above all, may we always be witnesses to the love which Christ revealed through his cross and resurrection, a love stronger than death. Let us also be grateful for our faith in him, which is the only adequate response to our deepest needs in the face of the death of a loved one.
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has renewed his call on the international community to take effective action on behalf of refugees. In remarks to pilgrims and tourists gathered for his weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday, Pope Francis said, “We pray for the many brothers and sisters who seek refuge far from their native lands, who seek a home where they can live without fear: that they might always be respected in their dignity.”
The Holy Father made his appeal ahead of the UN-sponsored World Refugee Day, marked each year on June 20th. “I Encourage the work of those who bring help to those in need,” said Pope Francis.
The Holy Father concluded saying, “It is my hope that the international community should act in a fitting and effective way to prevent the causes of forced migration.”
Please find Vatican Radio's English translation of the full text of the Holy Father's appeal, below ****************************************************** This coming Saturday [June 20, 2015] marks World Refugee Day, promoted by the United Nations. We pray for the many brothers and sisters who seek refuge far from their native lands, who seek a home where they can live without fear: that they might always be respected in their dignity. I encourage the work of those who bring help to those in need, and it is my hope that the international community should act in a fitting and effective way to prevent the causes of forced migration.
And I invite everyone to ask forgiveness for those persons and institutions that close the doors on these people who are searching for family, that are searching for safety.

Saint June 17 : St. Avitus : Abbot : Died 530

St. Avitus
Feast: June 17

Feast Day:June 17
ST. AVITUS was a native of Orleans, and, retiring into Auvergne, took the monastic habit, together with St. Calais, in the abbey of Menat, at that time very small, though afterward enriched by Queen Brunehault, and by St. Boner, Bishop of Clermont. The two Saints soon after returned to Miscy, a famous abbey situated a league and a half below Orleans. It was founded toward the end of the reign of Clovis I. by St. Euspicius, a holy priest, honored on the 14th of June, and his nephew St. Maximin or Mesnim, whose name this monastery, which is now of the Cistercian Order, bears. Many call St. Maximin the first abbot, others St. Euspicius the first, St. Maximin the second, and St. Avitus the third. But our Saint and St. Calais made not a long stay at Miscy, though St. Maximin gave them a gracious reception. In quest of a closer retirement, St. Avitus, who had succeeded St. Maximin, soon after resigned the abbacy, and with St. Calais lived a recluse in the territory now called Dunois, on the frontiers of La Perche. Others joining them, St. Calais retired into a forest in Maine, and King Clotaire built a church and monastery for St. Avitus and his companions. This is at present a Benedictine nunnery, called St. Avy of Chateaudun, and is situated on the Loire, at the foot of the hill on which the town of Chateaudun is built, in the diocese of Chartres. Three famous monks, Leobin, afterwards Bishop of Chartres, Euphronius, and Rusticus, attended our Saint to his happy death, which happened about the year 530. His body was carried to Orleans, and buried with great pomp in that city.

(Taken from Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

#PopeFrancis "This is the theology of poverty: This is because poverty is at the heart..." Homily

Pope Francis at Mass - OSS_ROM
16/06/2015 14:58

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis said Mass in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta on Tuesday morning. Following the readings of the day, the Holy Father reflected on the place of poverty in the Gospel, saying that the Gospel becomes incomprehensible if poverty is removed from it, and that it is unfair to label priests who show a pastoral concern for the poor as, “Communists”.  
In the 1st reading, which tells  of how St. Paul  organized a collection in the Church of Corinth, for the benefit of  to the Church of Jerusalem, whose members were facing great hardship. Pope Francis noted that, today as then, poverty is “a word that always embarrasses.” Many times, he said, we hear: “But this priest talks too much about poverty, this bishop speaks of poverty, this Christian, this nun talks about poverty ... aren’t they a little communist, right?” On the contrary, he warned, “Poverty is at the very center of the Gospel: if we remove poverty from the Gospel, no one would be able to understand anything about the message of Jesus.”
When faith does not reach the pockets it is not genuine
St. Paul, he said, speaking to the Church of Corinth, highlights what is their real wealth: “You are rich in everything, in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and love that we have taught you.” The exhortation of the Apostle is: “as you are rich, be you also great in this generous work in “this collection”:
“If you have so much richness in the heart, these great riches of zeal, charity, the Word of God, the knowledge of God - let this wealth reach your pockets – and this is a golden rule: when faith does not come with pockets, not a genuine faith. It is a golden rule here that Paul says, in essence: ‘You are rich in many things now, so be generous in this work of generosity.’ here is this contrast between wealth and poverty. The Church of Jerusalem is poor, is in economic difficulty, but it is rich, because it has the treasure of the Gospel message. This poor Church of Jerusalem, has enriched the Church of Corinth with the Gospel message; it has given the richness of the Gospel.”
Let the poverty of Christ enrich us
Continuing his paraphrase of St. Paul, Pope Francis went on to call on all of us to follow the example of the Church of Corinth: the Church, whose members had a great deal of material wealth and so many things, who were poor without the proclamation of the Gospel, but who enriched the Church of Jerusalem, helping to build up the People of God. Here is the foundation of the “theology of poverty”: Jesus Christ, who was rich – with the very richness of God – made Himself poor, He lowered Himself for us. This then, is the meaning of the first Beatitude: ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit,’ i.e. “to be poor is to let oneself be enriched by the poverty of Christ, to desire not to be rich with other riches than those of Christ”:
“When we give help to the poor, we are not doing the work of aid agencies ‘in a Christian way’. Those are good, it is a decent thing to do – aid work is good and quite human – but it is not Christian poverty, which St. Paul desires of us and preaches to us. Christian poverty is that I give of my own, and not of that which is left over – I give even that, which I need for myself, to the poor person, because I know that he enriches me. Why does the poor person enrich me? Because Jesus Himself told us that He is in the poor person.”
Christian poverty is not an ideology
When one divests oneself of something, not only from our abundance, to give to a poor person, to a poor community, one is thereby enriched. Jesus acts in one who does this, when he does it, and Jesus acts in the poor person, who enriches one who gives to him of his substance:
“This is the theology of poverty: This is because poverty is at the heart of the Gospel; it is not an ideology. It is precisely this mystery, the mystery of Christ who humbled Himself, who let Himself be impoverished in order to enrich us. So it is understandable why the first of the Beatitudes is ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit.’ Being poor in spirit means going on this path of the Lord: the poverty of the Lord, who lowers Himself even so far as to become bread for us, in this sacrifice [of the Mass]. He continues to lower Himself into the history of the Church, into the memorial of His passion, and by the memorial of His humiliation, the memorial of His poverty, by this bread He enriches us.” 

Saint June 16 : St. John Francis Regis : #Jesuit Evangelist : Patron of Social Workers

St. John Francis Regis
Feast: June 16

Feast Day:June 16
Born:January 31, 1597, Fontcouverte, Aude, Languedoc, France
Died:December 30, 1640, La Louvesc, Dauphine, France
Canonized:April 5, 1737, Rome by Pope Clement XII
Major Shrine:La Lovesc
Patron of:lacemakers, social workers
Born 31 January, 1597, in the village of Fontcouverte (department of Aude); died at la Louvesc, 30 Dec., 1640. His father Jean, a rich merchant, had been recently ennobled in recognition of the prominent part he had taken in the Wars of the League; his mother, Marguerite de Cugunhan, belonged by birth to the landed nobility of that part of Languedoc. They watched with Christian solicitude over the early education of their son, whose sole fear was lest he should displease his parents or his tutors. The slightest harsh word rendered him inconsolable, and quite paralyzed his youthful faculties. When he reached the age of fourteen, he was sent to continue his studies in the Jesuit college at Béziers. His conduct was exemplary and he was much given to practices of devotion, while his good humour, frankness, and eagerness to oblige everybody soon won for him the good-will of his comrades. But Francis did not love the world, and even during the vacations lived in retirement, occupied in study and prayer. On one occasion only he allowed himself the diversions of the chase. At the end of his five years' study of the humanities, grace and his ascetic inclinations led him to embrace the religious life under the standard of St. Ignatius Loyola. He entered the Jesuit novitiate of Toulouse on 8 December, 1616, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. Here he was distinguished for an extreme fervour, which never afterwards flagged, neither at Cahors, where he studied rhetoric for a year (Oct., 1618-Oct., 1619), nor during the six years in which he taught grammar at the colleges of Billom (1619-22), of Puy-en-Velay (1625-27), and of Auch (1627-28), nor during the three years in which he studied philosophy in the scholasticate at Tournon (Oct., 1622-Oct., 1625). During this time, although he was filling the laborious office of regent, he made his first attempts as a preacher. On feast-days he loved to visit the towns and villages of the neighbourhood, and there give an informal instruction, which never failed--as attested by those who heard him--to produce a profound impression on those present.

As he burned with the desire to devote himself entirely to the salvation of his neighbour, he aspired with all his heart to the priesthood. In this spirit he began in October, 1628, his theological studies. The four years he was supposed to devote to them seemed to him so very long that he finally begged his superiors to shorten the term. This request was granted, and in consequenceFrancis said his first Mass on Trinity Sunday, 15 June, 1631; but on the other hand, in conformity with the statutes of his order, which require the full course of study, he was not admitted to the solemn profession of the four vows. The plague was at that time raging in Toulouse. The new priest hastened to lavish on the unfortunate victims the first-fruits of his apostolate. In the beginning of 1632, after having reconciled family differences at Fontcouverte, his birthplace, and having resumed for some weeks a class in grammar at Pamiers, he was definitively set to work by his superiors at the hard labour of the missions. This became the work of the last ten years of his life. It is impossible to enumerate the cities and localities which were the scene of his zeal. On this subject the reader must consult his modern biographer, Father de Curley, who has succeeded best in reconstructing the itinerary of the holy man. We need only mention that from May, 1632, to Sept., 1634, his head-quarters were at the Jesuit college of Montpellier, and here he laboured for the conversion of the Huguenots, visiting the hospitals, assisting the needy, withdrawing from vice wayward girls and women, and preaching Catholic doctrine with tireless zeal to children and the poor. Later (1633-40) he evangelized more than fifty districts in le Vivarais, le Forez, and le Velay. He displayed everywhere the same spirit, the same intrepidity, which were rewarded by the most striking conversions. "Everybody", wrote the rector of Montpellier to the general of the Jesuits, "agrees that Father Regis has a marvellous talent for the Missions" (Daubenton, "La vie du B. Jean-François Régis", ed. 1716, p. 73). But not everyone appreciated the transports of his zeal. He was reproached in certain quarters with being impetuous and meddlesome, with troubling the peace of families by an indiscreet charity, with preaching not evangelical sermons, but satires and invectives which converted no one. Some priests, who felt their own manner of life rebuked, determined to ruin him, and therefore denounced him to the Bishop of Viviers. They had laid their plot with such perfidy and cunning that the bishop permitted himself to be prejudiced for a time. But it was only a passing cloud. The influence of the best people on the one hand, and on the other the patience and humility of the saint, soon succeeded in confounding the calumny and caused the discreet and enlightened ardour of Regis to shine forth with renewed splendour (Daubenton, loc. dit., 67- 73). Less moderate indeed was his love of mortification, which he practiced with extreme rigour on all occasions, without ruffling in the least his evenness of temper. As he returned to the house one evening after a hard day's toil, one of his confrères laughingly asked: "Well, Father Regis, speaking candidly, are you not very tired?" "No", he replied, "I am as fresh as a rose." He then took only a bowl of milk and a little fruit, which usually constituted both his dinner and supper, and finally, after long hours of prayer, lay down on the floor of his room, the only bed he knew. He desired ardently to go to Canada, which at that time was one of the missions of the Society of Jesus where one ran the greatest risks. Having been refused, he finally sought and obtained from the general permission to spend six months of the year, and those the terrible months of winter, on the missions of the society. The remainder of the time he devoted to the most thankless labour in the cities, especially to the rescue of public women, whom he helped to persevere after their conversion by opening refuges for them, where they found honest means of livelihood. This most delicate of tasks absorbed a great part of his time and caused him many annoyances, but his strength of soul was above the dangers which he ran. Dissolute men often presented a pistol at him or held a dagger to his throat. He did not even change colour, and the brightness of his countenance, his fearlessness, and the power of his words caused them to drop the weapons from their hands. He was more sensitive to that opposition which occasionally proceeded from those who should have seconded his courage. His work among penitents urged his zeal to enormous undertakings. His superiors, as his first biographers candidly state, did not always share his optimism, or rather his unshaken faith in Providence, and it sometimes happened that they were alarmed at his charitable projects and manifested to him their disapproval. This was the cross which caused the saint the greatest suffering, but it was sufficient for him that obedience spoke: he silenced all the murmurs of human nature, and abandoned his most cherished designs. Seventy-two years after his death a French ecclesiastic, who believed he had a grievance against the Jesuits, circulated the legend that towards the end of his life St. John Francis Regis had been expelled from the Society of Jesus. Many different accounts were given, but finally the enemies of the Jesuits settled on the version that the letter of the general announcing to John his dismissal was sent from Rome, but that it was late in reaching its destination, only arriving some days after the death of the saint. This calumny will not stand the slightest examination. (For its refutation see de Curley, "St. Jean-François Régis", 336-51; more briefly and completely in "Analecta Bollandiana", XIII, 78-9.) It was in the depth of winter, at la Louvesc, a poor hamlet of the mountains of Ardèche, after having spent with heroic courage the little strength that he had left, and while he was contemplating the conversion of the Cévennes, that the saint's death occurred, on 30 December, 1640. There was no delay in ordering canonical investigations. On 18 May, 1716, the decree of beatification was issued by Clement XI. On 5 April, 1737, Clement XII promulgated the decree of canonization. Benedict XIV established the feast-day for 16 June. But immediately after his death Regis was venerated as a saint. Pilgrims came in crowds to his tomb, and since then the concourse has only grown. Mention must be made of the fact that a visit made in 1804 to the blessed remains of the Apostle of Vivarais was the beginning of the vocation of the Blessed Curé of Ars, Jean-Baptiste Vianney, whom the Church has raised in his turn to her altars. "Everything good that I have done", he said when dying, "I owe to him" (de Curley, op. cit., 371). The place where Regis died has been transformed into a mortuary chapel. Near by is a spring of fresh water to which those who are devoted to St. John Francis Regis attribute miraculous cures through his intercession. The old church of la Louvesc has received (1888) the title and privileges of a basilica. On this sacred site was founded in the beginning of the nineteenth century the Institute of the Sisters of St. Regis, or Sisters of Retreat, better known under the name of the Religious of the Cenacle; and it was the memory of his merciful zeal in behalf of so many unfortunate fallen women that gave rise to the now flourishing work of St. Francis Regis, which is to provide for the poor and working people who wish to marry, and which is chiefly concerned with bringing illegitimate unions into conformity with Divine and human laws.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)
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