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Friday, January 16, 2015

Catholic News World : Friday January 16, 2015 - Share!

 2015

Pope Francis made a surprise visit to over 300 rescued street children on Friday, 16 Jan 2015.  The children had sent the Holy Father thousands of letters asking him to visit. The ANAK-Tnk Foundation  He spent about half an hour with them while they were singing and dancing in joy. The children had made small gifts for the Holy Father, including a wooden image of Our Lady and a photo of the Holy Sacrament amid rubbish for the adoration of group of scavengers. The ANAK center is run by Fr. Mathieu Dauchez , a French priest, it is home to 20 children. The center launched a letter-writing campaign “Even us?” last September asking a visit from the Pope. Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, archbishop of Manila, gave a thousand letters from the children, plus a video about their lives, to Pope Francis in Rome in October. Fr Matthieu told the Holy Father: “Those children, the poorest among the poor, are for sure the most vulnerable victims of our society. But they remain masters of joy, as one can see on their smiling faces.” One boy Alvin, aged 10, said: “This is awesome… He gave me such a huge, warm hug.”  The ANAK-Tnk Foundation was founded in Manila in 1998. It has helped many thousands of children to escape the streets over the past 16 years. On Sunday, two children from the Foundation will speak before the Pope at a youth meeting.



Pope Francis 'You must make time each day for prayer. ' Full Text to Families - Video


(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis told families in the Philippines Friday that they should take time to rest and to pray together and to be examples of holiness.  On the second day of his five day trip to the Asian archipelago, Pope Francis told tens of thousands of people gathered for a meeting with families that the world “needs good and strong families” to overcome threats of poverty, materialism, destructive lifestyles, and those caused by separation due to migration. In his discourse, delivered at the “Mall of Asia Arena,” Manila’s principle sports arena, the Pope said “the Philippines needs holy and loving families to protect the beauty and truth of the family in God’s plan.”  
 Below, please find the the full text of the Pope's address 
(including his off-the cuff remarks in Spanish which were translated into English)  
Dear Families, Dear Friends in Christ,             I am grateful for your presence here this evening and for the witness of your love for Jesus and his Church.  I thank Bishop Reyes, Chairman of the Bishops’ Commission on Family and Life, for his words of welcome on your behalf.  And, in a special way, I thank those who have presented testimonies and have shared their life of faith with us. 
The Scriptures seldom speak of Saint Joseph, but when they do, we often find him resting, as an angel reveals God’s will to him in his dreams.  In the Gospel passage we have just heard, we find Joseph resting not once, but twice.  This evening I would like to rest in the Lord with all of you, and to reflect with you on the gift of the family. 
It is important to dream in the family. All mothers and fathers dream of their sons and daughters in the womb for 9 months. They dream of how they will be. It isn’t possible to have a family without such dreams. When you lose this capacity to dream you lose the capacity to love, the capacity to love is lost. I recommend that at night when you examine your consciences, ask yourself if you dreamed of the future of your sons and daughters. Did you dream of your husband or wife? Did you dream today of your parents, your grandparents who carried forward the family to me? It is so important to dream and especially to dream in the family. Please don’t lose the ability to dream in this way. How many solutions are found to family problems if we take time to reflect, if we think of a husband or wife, and we dream about the good qualities they have. Don’t ever lose the memory of when you were boyfriend or girlfriend. That is very important.
Joseph’s rest revealed God’s will to him.  In this moment of rest in the Lord, as we pause from our many daily obligations and activities, God is also speaking to us.  He speaks to us in the reading we have just heard, in our prayer and witness, and in the quiet of our hearts.  Let us reflect on what the Lord is saying to us, especially in this evening’s Gospel.  There are three aspects of this passage which I would ask you to consider: resting in the Lord, rising with Jesus and Mary, and being a prophetic voice.
Resting in the Lord.  Rest is so necessary for the health of our minds and bodies, and often so difficult to achieve due to the many demands placed on us.  But rest is also essential for our spiritual health, so that we can hear God’s voice and understand what he asks of us.  Joseph was chosen by God to be the foster father of Jesus and the husband of Mary.  As Christians, you too are called, like Joseph, to make a home for Jesus.  You make a home for him in your hearts, your families, your parishes and your communities.
To hear and accept God’s call, to make a home for Jesus, you must be able to rest in the Lord.  You must make time each day for prayer.  But you may say to me: Holy Father, I want to pray, but there is so much work to do!  I must care for my children; I have chores in the home; I am too tired even to sleep well.  This may be true, but if we do not pray, we will not know the most important thing of all: God’s will for us.  And for all our activity, our busy-ness, without prayer we will accomplish very little. 
Resting in prayer is especially important for families.  It is in the family that we first learn how to pray. And don’t forget when the family prays together, it remains together.  This is important.  There we come to know God, to grow into men and women of faith, to see ourselves as members of God’s greater family, the Church.  In the family we learn how to love, to forgive, to be generous and open, not closed and selfish.  We learn to move beyond our own needs, to encounter others and share our lives with them.  That is why it is so important to pray as a family!  That is why families are so important in God’s plan for the Church!
I would like to tell you something very personal. I like St Joseph very much. He is a strong man of silence. On my desk I have a statue of St Joseph sleeping. While sleeping he looks after the Church.  Yes, he can do it!  We know that. When I have a problem or a difficulty, I write on a piece of paper and I put it under his statue so he can dream about it. This means please pray to St Joseph for this problem.
Next, rising with Jesus and Mary.  Those precious moments of repose, of resting with the Lord in prayer, are moments we might wish to prolong.  But like Saint Joseph, once we have heard God’s voice, we must rise from our slumber; we must get up and act (cf. Rom 13:11).  Faith does not remove us from the world, but draws us more deeply into it.  Each of us, in fact, has a special role in preparing for the coming of God’s kingdom in our world.
Just as the gift of the Holy Family was entrusted to Saint Joseph, so the gift of the family and its place in God’s plan is entrusted to us so we can carry it forward. To each one of you and us because I too am the son of a family.
The angel of the Lord revealed to Joseph the dangers which threatened Jesus and Mary, forcing them to flee to Egypt and then to settle in Nazareth.  So too, in our time, God calls upon us to recognize the dangers threatening our own families and to protect them from harm.  We must be attentive to the new ideological colonization.
Beware of the new ideological colonization that tries to destroy the family. It’s not born of the dream that we have from God and prayer – it comes from outside and that’s why I call it a colonization. Let us not lose the freedom to take forward the mission God has given us, the mission of the family.  And just as our peoples were able to say in the past “No” to the period of colonization, as families we have to be very wise and strong to say “No” to any attempted ideological colonization that could destroy the family. And to ask the intercession of St Joseph to know when to say “Yes” and when to say “No”….
The pressures on family life today are many.  Here in the Philippines, countless families are still suffering from the effects of natural disasters.  The economic situation has caused families to be separated by migration and the search for employment, and financial problems strain many households.  While all too many people live in dire poverty, others are caught up in materialism and lifestyles which are destructive of family life and the most basic demands of Christian morality.  The family is also threatened by growing efforts on the part of some to redefine the very institution of marriage, by relativism, by the culture of the ephemeral, by a lack of openness to life. 
I think of Blessed Paul VI in the moment of that challenge of population growth, he had the strength to defend openness to life. He knew the difficulties families experience and that’s why in his encyclical (Humanae Vitae) he expressed compassion for specific cases and he taught  professors to be particularly compassionate for particular cases. And he went further, he looked at the people on the earth and he saw that lack (of children) and the problem it could cause families in the future. Paul VI was courageous, a good pastor  and he warned his sheep about the wolves that were approaching.  And from the heavens he blesses us today.
Our world needs good and strong families to overcome these threats!  The Philippines needs holy and loving families to protect the beauty and truth of the family in God’s plan and to be a support and example for other families.  Every threat to the family is a threat to society itself.  The future of humanity, as Saint John Paul II often said, passes through the family (cf. Familiaris Consortio, 85).  So protect your families!   See in them your country’s greatest treasure and nourish them always by prayer and the grace of the sacraments.  Families will always have their trials, but may you never add to them!  Instead, be living examples of love, forgiveness and care.  Be sanctuaries of respect for life, proclaiming the sacredness of every human life from conception to natural death.  What a gift this would be to society, if every Christian family lived fully its noble vocation!  So rise with Jesus and Mary, and set out on the path the Lord traces for each of you.
Finally, the Gospel we have heard reminds us of our Christian duty to be prophetic voices in the midst of our communities.  Joseph listened to the angel of the Lord and responded to God’s call to care for Jesus and Mary.  In this way he played his part in God’s plan, and became a blessing not only for the Holy Family, but a blessing for all of humanity.  With Mary, Joseph served as a model for the boy Jesus as he grew in wisdom, age and grace (cf. Lk 2:52).  When families bring children into the world, train them in faith and sound values, and teach them to contribute to society, they become a blessing in our world.  God’s love becomes present and active by the way we love and by the good works that we do.  We extend Christ’s kingdom in this world.  And in doing this, we prove faithful to the prophetic mission which we have received in baptism.
During this year which your bishops have set aside as the Year of the Poor, I would ask you, as families, to be especially mindful of our call to be missionary disciples of Jesus.  This means being ready to go beyond your homes and to care for our brothers and sisters who are most in need.  I ask you especially to show concern for those who do not have a family of their own, in particular those who are elderly and children without parents.  Never let them feel isolated, alone and abandoned, but help them to know that God has not forgotten them.
I was very moved after the Mass today when I visited that shelter for children with no parents. How many people in the Church work so that that house is a home, family? This is what it means to take forward, prophetically, the meaning of family.  You may be poor yourselves in material ways, but you have an abundance of gifts to offer when you offer Christ and the community of his Church.  Do not hide your faith, do not hide Jesus, but carry him into the world and offer the witness of your family life!
Dear friends in Christ, know that I pray for you always!  I pray that the Lord may continue to deepen your love for him, and that this love may manifest itself in your love for one another and for the Church.  Pray often and take the fruits of your prayer into the world, that all may know Jesus Christ and his merciful love.  Please pray also for me, for I truly need your prayers and will depend on them always! 

Saint January 16 : St. Berard of Carbio : Friar Minor : Martyr


St. Berard of Carbio
FRIAR MINOR AND MARTYR
Feast: January 16


     Information:
Feast Day:January 16
Born:
Carbio, Umbria, Italy
Died16 January 1220, Morocco
Canonized:1481, Rome by Pope Sixtus IV
Of the noble family of Leopardi, and a native of Carbio in Umbria, Berard was received into the Franciscan Order by the Seraphic Patriarch  himself, in 1213. He was well versed in Arabic, an eloquent preacher, and was chosen by St. Francis, together with two other priests, Peter and Otho, and two lay-brothers, Accursius and Adjutus, to evangelize the infidels of the East. On the conclusion of the Second General Chapter in 1219, St. Francis believed that the time had then come for the religious of his order to extend their apostolic labours beyond the Italian peninsula and Northern Europe; and, choosing for himself and twelve other religious the greater part of Syria and Egypt, he allotted to Berard and his companions the missions of Morocco. The five missionaries set sail from Italy, and after sojourning some time in Spain and Portugal finally arrived in the Kingdom of Morocco. Their open preaching of the Gospel there and their bold denunciation of the religion of Mahomet soon caused them to be apprehended and cast into prison. Having vainly endeavoured to persuade them to abandon the true religion, the Moorish king in a fit of rage opened their heads with his scimitar, and thus were offered to God the first fruits of the blood of the Friars Minor. Berard and his companions were canonized by Sixtus V, in 1481. The feast of the martyrs of Morocco is kept in the order on the 16th of January.


SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/B/stberardofcarbio.asp#ixzz1jgDSWojq

LIVE Pope Francis celebrates Mass in Philippines #PopeinPH



(Vatican Radio) Celebrating Mass in Manila's Cathedral on Friday, Pope Francis urged 
Catholics in the Philippines to be ambassadors for Christ and ministers of reconciliation, proclaiming the Good News of God's infinite love, mercy and compassion. Speaking to bishops, priests, religious and seminarians gathered in the Cathedral, the Pope said the Church in the Philippines is called to acknowledge and combat the causes of the deeply rooted inequality and injustice which mar the face of Filipino society, plainly contradicting the teaching of Christ.
As Filipinos prepare to mark the fifth century of the arrival of the Church in the Asian nation, the Pope said Catholics must build on that legacy of the past by building a society inspired by the Gospel message of charity, forgiveness and solidarity in the service of the common good.
Please find below the full text of Pope Francis' homily for the Mass in Manila's Cathedral
Mass with Bishops, Priests and Religious in Manila's Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception-16 January 2015
            “Do you love me?…  Tend my sheep” (Jn 21:15-17).  Jesus’ words to Peter in today’s Gospel are the first words I speak to you, dear brother bishops and priests, men and women religious, and young seminarians.  These words remind us of something essential.  All pastoral ministry is born of love.  All consecrated life is a sign of Christ’s reconciling love.  Like Saint Therese, in the variety of our vocations, each of us is called, in some way, to be love in the heart of the Church. 
            I greet all of you with great affection.  And I ask you to bring my affection to all your elderly and infirm brothers and sisters, and to all those who cannot join us today.  As the Church in the Philippines looks to the fifth centenary of its evangelization, we feel gratitude for the legacy left by so many bishops, priests and religious of past generations.  They labored not only to preach the Gospel and build up the Church in this country, but also to forge a society inspired by the Gospel message of charity, forgiveness and solidarity in the service of the common good.  Today you carry on that work of love.  Like them, you are called to build bridges, to pasture Christ’s flock, and to prepare fresh paths for the Gospel in Asia at the dawn of a new age.
            “The love of Christ impels us” (2 Cor 5:14).  In today’s first reading Saint Paul tells us that the love we are called to proclaim is a reconciling love, flowing from the heart of the crucified Savior.  We are called to be “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Cor 5:20).  Ours is a ministry of reconciliation.  We proclaim the Good News of God’s infinite love, mercy and compassion.  We proclaim the joy of the Gospel.  For the Gospel is the promise of God’s grace, which alone can bring wholeness and healing to our broken world.  It can inspire the building of a truly just and redeemed social order.
            To be an ambassador for Christ means above all to invite everyone to a renewed personal encounter with the Lord Jesus (Evangelii Gaudium, 3).  This invitation must be at the core of your commemoration of the evangelization of the Philippines.  But the Gospel is also a summons to conversion, to an examination of our consciences, as individuals and as a people.  As the Bishops of the Philippines have rightly taught, the Church in the Philippines is called to acknowledge and combat the causes of the deeply rooted inequality and injustice which mar the face of Filipino society, plainly contradicting the teaching of Christ.  The Gospel calls individual Christians to live lives of honesty, integrity and concern for the common good.  But it also calls Christian communities to create “circles of integrity”, networks of solidarity which can expand to embrace and transform society by their prophetic witness.
            As ambassadors for Christ, we, bishops, priests and religious, ought to be the first to welcome his reconciling grace into our hearts.  Saint Paul makes clear what this means.  It means rejecting worldly perspectives and seeing all things anew in the light of Christ.  It means being the first to examine our consciences, to acknowledge our failings and sins, and to embrace the path of constant conversion.  How can we proclaim the newness and liberating power of the Cross to others, if we ourselves refuse to allow the word of God to shake our complacency, our fear of change, our petty compromises with the ways of this world, our “spiritual worldliness” (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 93)?
            For us priests and consecrated persons, conversion to the newness of the Gospel entails a daily encounter with the Lord in prayer.  The saints teach us that this is the source of all apostolic zeal!  For religious, living the newness of the Gospel also means finding ever anew in community life and community apostolates the incentive for an ever closer union with the Lord in perfect charity.  For all of us, it means living lives that reflect the poverty of Christ, whose entire life was focused on doing the will of the Father and serving others.  The great danger to this, of course, is a certain materialism which can creep into our lives and compromise the witness we offer.  Only by becoming poor ourselves, by stripping away our complacency, will we be able to identify with the least of our brothers and sisters.  We will see things in a new light and thus respond with honesty and integrity to the challenge of proclaiming the radicalism of the Gospel in a society which has grown comfortable with social exclusion, polarization and scandalous inequality.
            Here I would like to address a special word to the young priests, religious and seminarians among us.  I ask you to share the joy and enthusiasm of your love for Christ and the Church with everyone, but especially with your peers.  Be present to young people who may be confused and despondent, yet continue to see the Church as their friend on the journey and a source of hope.  Be present to those who, living in the midst of a society burdened by poverty and corruption, are broken in spirit, tempted to give up, to leave school and to live on the streets.  Proclaim the beauty and truth of the Christian message to a society which is tempted by confusing presentations of sexuality, marriage and the family.  As you know, these realities are increasingly under attack from powerful forces which threaten to disfigure God’s plan for creation and betray the very values which have inspired and shaped all that is best in your culture.
            Filipino culture has, in fact, been shaped by the imagination of faith.  Filipinos everywhere are known for their love of God, their fervent piety and their warm devotion to Our Lady and her rosary.  This great heritage contains a powerful missionary potential.  It is the way in which your people has inculturated the Gospel and continues to embrace its message (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 122).  In your efforts to prepare for the fifth centenary, build on this solid foundation.
            Christ died for all so that, having died in him, we might live no longer for ourselves but for him (cf. 2 Cor 5:15).  Dear brother bishops, priests and religious: I ask Mary, Mother of the Church, to obtain for all of you an outpouring of zeal, so that you may spend yourselves in selfless service to our brothers and sisters.  In this way, may the reconciling love of Christ penetrate ever more fully into the fabric of Filipino society and, through you, to the farthest reaches of the world. 

LIVE Pope Francis meets President of Philippines - #PopeinPH - Full Video - Watch

Pope in Philippines - Visit to the President - 2015.01.16 (VIDEO BELOW TEXT)
(Vatican Radio) At the start of his first full day in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, Pope Francis met with President Benigno Aquino, together with other political leaders, urging them to reject corruption and promote "honesty, integrity and commitment to the common good". Speaking to the civil authorities and diplomats gathered in Manila's Rizal Cerimonial Hall on Friday, the Pope spoke of the need to defend families, young people and the elderly, ensuring social justice and respect for the human dignity of all.
Pope Francis is making a three day pastoral visit to the Philippines and is scheduled to travel on Saturday to the central city of Tacloban, southest of the capital, where he'll meet survivors of the devastating typhoon Yolanda that left over seven thousand people dead or missing in November 2013.
Please find below the full text of Pope Francis' address to the authorities and diplomatic corps in Manila's MalacaƱang Palace on Friday January 16
Ladies and Gentlemen,
            I thank you, Mr President, for your kind welcome and for your words of greeting in the name of the authorities and people of the Philippines, and the distinguished members of the Diplomatic Corps.  I am most grateful for your invitation to visit the Philippines.  My visit is above all pastoral.  It comes as the Church in this country is preparing to celebrate the fifth centenary of the first proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ on these shores.  The Christian message has had an immense influence on Filipino culture.  It is my hope that this important anniversary will point to its continuing fruitfulness and its potential to inspire a society worthy of the goodness, dignity and aspirations of the Filipino people.
            In a particular way, this visit is meant to express my closeness to our brothers and sisters who endured the suffering, loss and devastation caused by Typhoon Yolanda.  Together with many people throughout the world, I have admired the heroic strength, faith and resilience demonstrated by so many Filipinos in the face of this natural disaster, and so many others.  Those virtues, rooted not least in the hope and solidarity instilled by Christian faith, gave rise to an outpouring of goodness and generosity, especially on the part of so many of the young.  In that moment of national crisis, countless people came to the aid of their neighbors in need.  At great sacrifice, they gave of their time and resources, creating networks of mutual help and working for the common good. 
            This example of solidarity in the work of rebuilding teaches us an important lesson.  Like a family, every society draws on its deepest resources in order to face new challenges.  Today the Philippines, together with many other countries in Asia, faces the challenge of building on solid foundations a modern society – a society respectful of authentic human values, protective of our God-given human dignity and rights, and ready to confront new and complex political and ethical questions.  As many voices in your nation have pointed out, it is now, more than ever, necessary that political leaders be outstanding for honesty, integrity and commitment to the common good.  In this way they will help preserve the rich human and natural resources with which God has blessed this country.  Thus will they be able to marshall the moral resources needed to face the demands of the present, and to pass on to coming generations a society of authentic justice, solidarity and peace.
            Essential to the attainment of these national goals is the moral imperative of ensuring social justice and respect for human dignity.  The great biblical tradition enjoins on all peoples the duty to hear the voice of the poor.  It bids us break the bonds of injustice and oppression which give rise to glaring, and indeed scandalous, social inequalities.  Reforming the social structures which perpetuate poverty and the exclusion of the poor first requires a conversion of mind and heart.  The Bishops of the Philippines have asked that this year be set aside as the “Year of the Poor”.  I hope that this prophetic summons will challenge everyone, at all levels of society, to reject every form of corruption which diverts resources from the poor, and to make concerted efforts to ensure the inclusion of every man and woman and child in the life of the community. 
            A fundamental role in the renewal of society is played, of course, by the family and especially by young people.  A highlight of my visit will be my meetings with families and with young people here in Manila.  Families have an indispensable mission in society.  It is in the family that children are trained in sound values, high ideals and genuine concern for others.  But like all God’s gifts, the family can also be disfigured and destroyed.  It needs our support.  We know how difficult it is for our democracies today to preserve and defend such basic human values as respect for the inviolable dignity of each human person, respect for the rights of conscience and religious freedom, and respect for the inalienable right to life, beginning with that of the unborn and extending to that of the elderly and infirm.  For this reason, families and local communities must be encouraged and assisted in their efforts to transmit to our young the values and the vision which can help bring about a culture of integrity – one which honors goodness, truthfulness, fidelity and solidarity as the firm foundation and the moral glue which holds society together.
            Mr President, distinguished authorities, dear friends:
            As I begin my visit to this country, I cannot fail to mention the Philippines’ important role in fostering understanding and cooperation among the countries of Asia.  I would also mention the oft-neglected yet real contribution of Filipinos of the diaspora to the life and welfare of the societies in which they live.  It is precisely in the light of the rich cultural and religious heritage of which your country is proud that I leave you with a challenge and a word of prayerful encouragement.  May the deepest spiritual values of the Filipino people continue to find expression in your efforts to provide your fellow citizens with an integral human development.  In this way, each person will be able to fulfill his or her potential, and thus contribute wisely and well to the future of this country.  I am confident that the praiseworthy efforts to promote dialogue and cooperation between the followers of the different religions will prove fruitful in the pursuit of this noble goal.  In a particular way, I express my trust that the progress made in bringing peace to the south of the country will result in just solutions in accord with the nation’s founding principles and respectful of the inalienable rights of all, including the indigenous peoples and religious minorities.
            Upon all of you, and upon all the men, women and children of this beloved nation, I cordially invoke God’s abundant blessings.