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Saturday, June 25, 2016

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2016


#PopeFrancis "God has chosen us, loved us, called us and forgiven us." #Homily FULL TEXT - Video of Mass


Holy Mass Saturday in Gyumri, Armenia, with Pope Francis  
Below, please find the full English translation of Pope Francis’ Homily at Holy Mass in Gyumri, Armenia:
“They shall build up the ancient ruins… they shall repair the ruined cities” (Is61:4).  In this place, dear brothers and sisters, we can say that the words of the Prophet Isaiah have come to pass.  After the terrible devastation of the earthquake, we gather today to give thanks to God for all that has been rebuilt.
Yet we might also wonder: what is the Lord asking us to build today in our lives, and even more importantly, upon what is he calling us to build our lives?  In seeking an answer to this question, I would like to suggest three stable foundations upon which we can tirelessly build and rebuild the Christian life.
The first foundation is memory.  One grace we can implore is that of being able to remember: to recall what the Lord has done in and for us, and to remind ourselves that, as today’s Gospel says, he has not forgotten us but “remembered” us (Lk 1:72).  God has chosen us, loved us, called us and forgiven us.  Great things have happened in our personal love story with him, and these must be treasured in our minds and hearts.  Yet there is another memory we need to preserve: it is the memory of a people.  Peoples, like individuals, have a memory.  Your own people’s memory is ancient and precious.  Your voices echo those of past sages and saints; your words evoke those who created your alphabet in order to proclaim God’s word; your songs blend the afflictions and the joys of your history.  As you ponder these things, you can clearly recognize God’s presence.  He has not abandoned you.  Even in the face of tremendous adversity, we can say in the words of today’s Gospel that the Lord has visited your people (cf. Lk 1:68).  He has remembered your faithfulness to the Gospel, the first-fruits of your faith, and all those who testified, even at the price of their blood, that God’s love is more precious than life itself (cf. Ps 63:4).  It is good to recall with gratitude how the Christian faith became your people’s life breath and the heart of their historical memory.
Faith is also hope for your future and a light for life’s journey.  Faith is the second foundation I would like to mention.  There is always a danger that can dim the light of faith, and that is the temptation to reduce it to something from the past, something important but belonging to another age, as if the faith were a beautiful illuminated book to be kept in a museum.  Once it is locked up in the archives of history, faith loses its power to transform, its living beauty, its positive openness to all.  Faith, however, is born and reborn from a life-giving encounter with Jesus, from experiencing how his mercy illumines every situation in our lives.  We would do well to renew this living encounter with the Lord each day.  We would do well to read the word of God and in silent prayer to open our hearts to his love.  We would do well to let our encounter with the Lord’s tenderness enkindle joy in our hearts: a joy greater than sadness, a joy that even withstands pain and in turn becomes peace.  All of this renews our life, makes us free and open to surprises, ready and available for the Lord and for others. 
It can happen too that Jesus calls us to follow him more closely, to give our lives to him and to our brothers and sisters.  When he calls – and I say this especially to you young people – do not be afraid; tell him “Yes!”  He knows us, he really loves us, and he wants to free our hearts from the burden of fear and pride.  By making room for him, we become capable of radiating his love.  Thus you will be able to carry on your great history of evangelization.  This is something the Church and the world need in these troubled times, which are also a time of mercy. 
The third foundation, after memory and faith, is merciful love: on this rock, the rock of the love we receive from God and offer to our neighbour, the life of a disciple of Jesus is based.  In the exercise of charity, the Church’s face is rejuvenated and made beautiful.  Concrete love is the Christian’s visiting card; any other way of presenting ourselves could be misleading and even unhelpful, for it is by our love for one another that everyone will know that we are his disciples (cf. Jn 13:35).  We are called above all to build and rebuild paths of communion, tirelessly creating bridges of unity and working to overcome our divisions.  May believers always set an example, cooperating with one another in mutual respect and a spirit of dialogue, knowing that “the only rivalry possible among the Lord’s disciples is to see who can offer the greater love!” (JOHN PAUL II, Homily, 27 September 2001: Insegnamenti XXIV/2 [2001], 478).
In today’s first reading, the prophet Isaiah reminds us that the Spirit of the Lord is always with those who carry glad tidings to the poor, who bind up the brokenhearted and console the afflicted (cf. 61:1-2).  God dwells in the hearts of those who love him.  God dwells wherever there is love, shown especially by courageous and compassionate care for the weak and the poor.  How much we need this!  We need Christians who do not allow themselves to be overcome by weariness or discouraged by adversity, but instead are available, open and ready to serve.  We need men and women of good will, who help their brothers and sisters in need, with actions and not merely words.  We need societies of greater justice, where each individual can lead a dignified life and, above all, be fairly remunerated for his or her work.
All the same, we might ask ourselves: how can we become merciful, with all the faults and failings that we see within ourselves and all about us?  I would like to appeal to one concrete example, a great herald of divine mercy, one to whom I wished to draw greater attention by making him a Doctor of the Universal Church: Saint Gregory of Narek, word and voice of Armenia.  It is hard to find his equal in the ability to plumb the depths of misery lodged in the human heart.  Yet he always balanced human weakness with God’s mercy, lifting up a heartfelt and tearful prayer of trust in the Lord who is “giver of gifts, root of goodness… voice of consolation, news of comfort, joyful impulse… unparalleled compassion, inexhaustible mercy… the kiss of salvation” (Book of Lamentations, 3, 1).  He was certain that “the light of God’s mercy is never clouded by the shadow of indignation” (ibid., 16, 1).  Gregory of Narek is a master of life, for he teaches us that the most important thing is to recognize that we are in need of mercy.  Despite our own failings and the injuries done to us, we must not become self-centred but open our hearts in sincerity and trust to the Lord, to “the God who is ever near, loving and good” [ibid., 17, 2), “filled with love for mankind … a fire consuming the chaff of sin (ibid., 16, 2).
In the words of Saint Gregory, I would like now to invoke God’s mercy and his gift of unfailing love: Holy Spirit, “powerful protector, intercessor and peace-maker, we lift up our prayers to you…  Grant us the grace to support one another in charity and good works…  Spirit of sweetness, compassion, loving kindness and mercy…  You who are mercy itself… Have mercy on us, Lord our God, in accordance with your great mercy” (Hymn of Pentecost).

#PopeFrancis "...the altar of Christ’s sacrifice in the fullness of Eucharistic communion" #Ecumenical

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Saturday urged young people in Armenia to be active peacemakers in a world suffering from persecutions and conflict. Speaking at an open air prayer service in Yerevan to leaders of all the Churches in Armenia, the Pope called on people of faith to abandon “rigid opinions and personal interests”, showing instead humility and generosity on the path towards full Christian unity.
During the prayer service for peace in Yerevan’s central Republic Square, the leader of the Armenian Apostolic Church, to which most believers in the country belong, Catholicos Karekin II spoke bluntly about the suffering and conflicts that plague the Caucasus region today. He recalled the fighting that flared again last April in the contested Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh where, he said, “Armenian villages were bombarded”, killing both soldiers and civilians.
The Patriarch also talked again about the Armenian genocide a century ago, noting how countries including Germany, an ally of Turkey during the First World War, have recently moved to recognize the atrocities as a key step towards peace and reconciliation in the region.
Pope Francis, in his words to the Christian leaders, also spoke of that “immense and senseless slaughter”, saying it is not only right, but also a duty to keep the memory of that tragedy alive. But memory, he insisted, must be transformed by love and by the driving force of faith to sow seeds of peace for the future. Memory, infused with love, he said, becomes capable of setting out on new and unexpected paths, where designs of hatred become projects of reconciliation
The Pope also spoke of the wars and conflicts in the Middle East today, fueled by the proliferation of weapons and by the arms trade. Adressing the young people present in the windswept square, he urged them to become peacemakers, “actively engaged in building a culture of encounter and reconciliation”.
Citing a famous 12th century Armenian figure, Catholicos Nerses IV, remembered as a champion of efforts towards church unity, Pope Francis said Christians must find the courage to abandon rigid opinions and personal interests in order to “heal memories and bind up past wounds”. He urged Armenians to work with humility and generosity for a peaceful society, based on dignified employment for all, care for those most in need and the elimination of corruption.
At the end of the prayer service, the Pope and the Patriarch watered seedlings of a vine planted by young Armenians in a model of Noah's Ark, believed to have come to rest after the great flood on the slopes of Mount Ararat, whose snow capped peaks dominate the eastern part of the country
Please find below the English translation of Pope Francis’ address at the Ecumenical Prayer Vigil for Peace in Yerevan
Venerable and Dear Brother, Supreme Patriarch-Catholicos of All Armenians,
Mr President, Dear Brothers and Sisters,
            God’s blessing and peace be with all of you!
            I have greatly desired to visit this beloved land, your country, the first to embrace the Christian faith.  It is a grace for me to find myself here on these heights where, beneath the gaze of Mount Ararat, the very silence seems to speak.  Here the khatchkar – the stone crosses – recount a singular history bound up with rugged faith and immense suffering, a history replete with magnificent testimonies to the Gospel, to which you are heir.  I have come as a pilgrim from Rome to be with you and to express my heartfelt affection: the affection of your brother and the fraternal embrace of the whole Catholic Church, which esteems you and is close to you.
            In recent years the visits and meetings between our Churches, always cordial and often memorable, have, thank God, increased.  Providence has willed that on this day commemorating the Holy Apostles of Christ we meet once again to confirm the apostolic communion between us.  I am most grateful to God for the “real and profound unity” between our Churches (cf. JOHN PAUL II, Ecumenical Celebration, Yerevan, 26 September 2001: Insegnamenti XXIV/2 [2001], 466), and I thank you for your often heroic fidelity to the Gospel, which is a priceless gift for all Christians.  Our presence here is not an exchange of ideas, but of gifts (cf. ID., Ut Unum Sint, 28): we are reaping what the Spirit has sown in us as a gift for each (cf. Evangelii Gaudium, 246).  With great joy, we are walking together on a journey that has already taken us far, and we look confidently towards the day when by God’s help we shall be united around the altar of Christ’s sacrifice in the fullness of Eucharistic communion.  As we pursue that greatly desired goal, we are joined in a common pilgrimage; we walk with one another with “sincere trust in our fellow pilgrims, putting aside all suspicion and mistrust” (ibid., 244).
            On this journey, we have been preceded by, and walk with, many witnesses, particularly all those martyrs who sealed our common faith in Christ by their blood.  They are our stars in heaven, shining upon us here below and pointing out the path towards full communion. Among the great Fathers, I would mention the saintly Catholicos Nerses Shnorhali.  He showed an extraordinary love for his people and their traditions, as well as a lively concern for other Churches.  Tireless in seeking unity, he sought to achieve Christ’s will that those who believe “may all be one” (Jn 17:21).  Unity does not have to do with strategic advantages sought out of mutual self-interest.  Rather, it is what Jesus requires of us and what we ourselves must strive to attain with good will, constant effort and consistent witness, in the fulfilment of our mission of bringing the Gospel to the world.
            To realize this necessary unity, Saint Nerses tells us that in the Church more is required than the good will of a few: everyone’s prayer is needed.  It is beautiful that we have gathered here to pray for one another and with one another.  It is above all the gift of prayer that I come this evening to ask of you.  For my part, I assure you that, in offering the bread and cup at the altar, I will not fail to present to the Lord the Church of Armenia and your dear people.
            Saint Nerses spoke of the need to grow in mutual love, since charity alone can heal memories and bind up past wounds.  Memory alone erases prejudices and makes us see that openness to our brothers and sisters can purify and elevate our own convictions.  For the sainted Catholicos, the journey towards unity necessarily involves imitating the love of Christ, who, “though he was rich” (2 Cor  8:9), “humbled himself” (Phil 2:8).  Following Christ’s example, we are called to find the courage needed to abandon rigid opinions and personal interests in the name of the love that bends low and bestows itself, in the name of the humble love that is the blessed oil of the Christian life, the precious spiritual balm that heals, strengthens and sanctifies.  “Let us make up for our shortcomings in harmony and charity”, wrote Saint Nerses (Lettere del Signore Nerses Shnorhali, Catholicos degli Armeni, Venice, 1873, 316), and even – he suggested – with a particular gentleness of love capable of softening the hardness of the heart of Christians, for they too are often concerned only with themselves and their own advantage.  Humble and generous love, not the calculation of benefits, attracts the mercy of the Father, the blessing of Christ and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.  By praying and “loving one another deeply from the heart” (cf. 1 Pet 1:22), in humility and openness of spirit, we prepare ourselves to receive God’s gift of unity.  Let us pursue our journey with determination; indeed, let us race towards our full communion!
            “Peace I give to you.  Not as the world gives it, do I give it to you” (Jn 14:27).  We have heard these words of the Gospel, which invite us to implore from God that peace that the world struggles to achieve.  How many obstacles are found today along the path of peace, and how tragic the consequences of wars!  I think of all those forced to leave everything behind, particularly in the Middle East, where so many of our brothers and sisters suffer violence and persecution on account of hatred and interminable conflicts.  Those conflicts are fueled by the proliferation of weapons and by the arms trade, by the temptation to resort to force and by lack of respect for the human person, especially for the weak, the poor and those who seek only a dignified life.
            Nor can I fail to think of the terrible trials that your own people experienced.  A century has just passed from the “Great Evil” unleashed upon you.  This “immense and senseless slaughter” (Greeting, Mass for Faithful of the Armenian Rite, 12 April 2015), this tragic mystery of iniquity that your people experienced in the flesh, remains impressed in our memory and burns in our hearts.  Here I would again state that your sufferings are our own: “they are the sufferings of the members of Christ’s Mystical Body” (JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Letter on the 1700th Anniversary of the Baptism of the Armenian People, 4: Insegnamenti XXIV/1 [2001], 275).  Not to forget them is not only right, it is a duty.  May they be a perennial warning lest the world fall back into the maelstrom of similar horrors!
            At the same time, I recall with admiration how the Christian faith, “even at the most tragic moments of Armenian history, was the driving force that marked the beginning of your suffering people’s rebirth” (ibid., 276).  That is your true strength, which enables you to be open to the mysterious and saving path of Easter.  Wounds still open, caused by fierce and senseless hatred, can in some way be configured to the wounds of the risen Christ, those wounds that were inflicted upon him and that he bears even now impressed on his flesh.  He showed those glorious wounds to the disciples on the evening of Easter (cf. Jn 20:20).  Those terrible, painful wounds suffered on the cross, transfigured by love, have become a wellspring of forgiveness and peace.  Even the greatest pain, transformed by the saving power of the cross, of which Armenians are heralds and witnesses, can become a seed of peace for the future.
            Memory, infused with love, becomes capable of setting out on new and unexpected paths, where designs of hatred become projects of reconciliation, where hope arises for a better future for everyone, where “blessed are the peacemakers” (Mt 5:9).  We would all benefit from efforts to lay the foundations of a future that will resist being caught up in the illusory power of vengeance, a future of constant efforts to create the conditions for peace: dignified employment for all, care for those in greatest need, and the unending battle to eliminate corruption.
            Dear young people, this future belongs to you.  Cherish the great wisdom of your elders and strive to be peacemakers: not content with the status quo, but actively engaged in building the culture of encounter and reconciliation.  May God bless your future and “grant that the people of Armenia and Turkey take up again the path of reconciliation, and may peace also spring forth in Nagorno Karabakh (Message to the Armenians, 12 April 2015).
            In this perspective, I would like lastly to mention another great witness and builder of Christ’s peace, Saint Gregory of Narek, whom I have proclaimed a Doctor of the Church.  He could also be defined as a “Doctor of Peace”.  Thus he wrote in the extraordinary Book that I like to consider the “spiritual constitution of the Armenian people”: “Remember [Lord,] those of the human race who are our enemies as well, and for their benefit accord them pardon and mercy… Do not destroy those who persecute me, but reform them; root out the vile ways of this world, and plant the good in me and them” (Book of Lamentations, 83, 1-2).  Narek, “profoundly conscious of sharing in every need” (ibid., 3, 2), sought also to identify with the weak and sinners of every time and place in order to intercede on behalf of all (cf. ibid., 31, 3; 32, 1; 47, 2).  He became “the intercessor of the whole world” (ibid., 28, 2).  This, his universal solidarity with humanity, is a great Christian message of peace, a heartfelt plea of mercy for all.  Armenians are present in so many countries of the world; from here, I wish fraternally to embrace everyone.  I encourage all of you, everywhere, to give voice to this desire for fellowship, to be “ambassadors of peace” (JOHN PAUL II, Apostolic Letter for the 1700th anniversary of the Baptism of the Armenian People, 7: Insegnamenti XXIV/1 [2001], 278).  The whole world needs this message, it needs your presence, it needs your purest witness.  Kha’ra’rutiun amenetzun! (Peace to you!).

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Saturday June 25, 2016


Saturday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 376


Reading 1LAM 2:2, 10-14, 18-19

The Lord has consumed without pity
all the dwellings of Jacob;
He has torn down in his anger
the fortresses of daughter Judah;
He has brought to the ground in dishonor
her king and her princes.

On the ground in silence sit
the old men of daughter Zion;
They strew dust on their heads
and gird themselves with sackcloth;
The maidens of Jerusalem
bow their heads to the ground.

Worn out from weeping are my eyes,
within me all is in ferment;
My gall is poured out on the ground
because of the downfall of the daughter of my people,
As child and infant faint away
in the open spaces of the town.

In vain they ask their mothers,
“Where is the grain?”
As they faint away like the wounded
in the streets of the city,
And breathe their last
in their mothers’ arms.

To what can I liken or compare you,
O daughter Jerusalem?
What example can I show you for your comfort,
virgin daughter Zion?
For great as the sea is your downfall;
who can heal you?

Your prophets had for you
false and specious visions;
They did not lay bare your guilt,
to avert your fate;
They beheld for you in vision
false and misleading portents.

Cry out to the Lord;
moan, O daughter Zion!
Let your tears flow like a torrent
day and night;
Let there be no respite for you,
no repose for your eyes.

Rise up, shrill in the night,
at the beginning of every watch;
Pour out your heart like water
in the presence of the Lord;
Lift up your hands to him
for the lives of your little ones
Who faint from hunger
at the corner of every street.

Responsorial PsalmPS 74:1B-2, 3-5, 6-7, 20-21

R. (19b) Lord, forget not the souls of your poor ones.
Why, O God, have you cast us off forever?
Why does your anger smolder against the sheep of your pasture?
Remember your flock which you built up of old,
the tribe you redeemed as your inheritance,
Mount Zion, where you took up your abode.
R. Lord, forget not the souls of your poor ones.
Turn your steps toward the utter ruins;
toward all the damage the enemy has done in the sanctuary.
Your foes roar triumphantly in your shrine;
they have set up their tokens of victory.
They are like men coming up with axes to a clump of trees.
R. Lord, forget not the souls of your poor ones.
With chisel and hammer they hack at all the paneling of the sanctuary.
They set your sanctuary on fire;
the place where your name abides they have razed and profaned.
R. Lord, forget not the souls of your poor ones.
Look to your covenant,
for the hiding places in the land and the plains are full of violence.
May the humble not retire in confusion;
may the afflicted and the poor praise your name.
R. Lord, forget not the souls of your poor ones.

ALLELUIAMT 8:17

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Christ took away our infirmities
and bore our diseases.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 8:5-17

When Jesus entered Capernaum,
a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying,
“Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.”
He said to him, “I will come and cure him.”
The centurion said in reply,
“Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof;
only say the word and my servant will be healed.
For I too am a man subject to authority,
with soldiers subject to me.
And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes;
and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes;
and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him,
“Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith.
I say to you, many will come from the east and the west,
and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven,
but the children of the Kingdom
will be driven out into the outer darkness,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”
And Jesus said to the centurion,
“You may go; as you have believed, let it be done for you.”
And at that very hour his servant was healed.

Jesus entered the house of Peter,
and saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever.
He touched her hand, the fever left her,
and she rose and waited on him.

When it was evening, they brought him many
who were possessed by demons,
and he drove out the spirits by a word and cured all the sick,
to fulfill what had been said by Isaiah the prophet:

He took away our infirmities and bore our diseases.

#PopeFrancis "Hear us, O Lord, and have mercy. Forgive us, expiate and remit our sins." at #Armenian Memorial - FULL Video - Text


(Vatican Radio) On Saturday 25th of June, the second day of his Apostolic journey to Armenia, Pope Francis participated in a prayer service at the Tzitzernakaberd Memorial to the Metz Yeghern, or 'Great Evil', as Armenians refer to the 1915 massacres. A dark chapter for this nation which Pope Francis has referred to as 'genocide'. 
The monument built in the 1960’s during the Soviet era has become since independence a symbol of national renaissance. While here Pope Francis prayed at length. In a special way during an ecumenical prayer service, held in memory of those fallen in the massacre of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire in 1915, which consisted in the Our Father, the reading of two Biblical passages and an intercessory prayer.
It was a moving ceremony during which Pope Francis also prayed in silence and  laid a wreath of flowers by the 44 metre column which symbolizes the renaissance of Armenia as well as two roses with the Vatican colours, so one yellow one white by the eternal flame of the Memorial complex. 
The Memorial stood out against the backdrop of snow capped Mount Ararat with its biblical connotations and the ceremony was accompanied by mournful music. It  ended with Pope Francis planting a fir tree in a gesture symbolic of hope and peace.
But there was one last significant event during this ceremony, the encounter of Pope Francis with ten descendants of the Armenain refugees who found a safe haven in the Vatican apostolic palace of Castelgandolfo in the 1920’s under the pontificate of  Pius XI. 
During his visit to the Tzitzernakaberd Memorial Complex – which commemorates the ‘Metz Yeghern’ (Armenian for ‘Great Evil’, the massacre of Armenians in the early part of the twentieth century) – Pope Francis signed his name in the ‘book of honour’.
He also left a message in memory of his visit. “I pray here,” he said, “with sorrow in my heart, that there might never more be tragedies like this one, that humanity might never forget, and might know how to overcome evil with goodness; may God grant tot he beloved Armenian people and to the whole world peaceand consolation.”

Afterwards he wrote, “May God preserve the memory of the Armenian people. The memory must not be either watered down or forgotten; memory is the fount of peace and of the future.”
Pope Francis participated in a prayer service at the Tzitzernakaberd Memorial to the Metz Yeghern, or 'Great Evil', in Armenia on Saturday morning, offering an intercessory prayer and extensive silent prayer for the dead.
The ecumenical prayer service, held in memory of those fallen in the massacre of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire in 1915, consisted in the Our Father prayer, the reading of two Biblical passages (Heb 10,32-36 & John 14,1-13), and an intercessory prayer by Pope Francis.
Also present at the prayer service was a small group of descendants of the Armenian refugees whom Pope Pius XI hosted at the papal residence in Castel Gandolfo after the Metz Yeghern.
At the conclusion of the service, the Holy Father stopped briefly to bless and water a tree in remembrance of his visit to the Tzitzernakaberd Memorial.
Below, please find a Vatican Radio English translation of the Pope's intercessory prayer:
Christ, who crowns your saints,
who fulfills the will of your faithful
and looks with love and tenderness upon your creatures,
hear us from your holy heavens,
by the intercession of the holy Generatrix of God
and by the prayer of your saints
and those whom we remember today.
Hear us, O Lord, and have mercy.
Forgive us, expiate and remit our sins.
Make us worthy to glorify you with thankful hearts,
together with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
now and forever. Amen.

Saint June 25 : St. William of Vercelli : Founder of de Monte-Vergine


St. William of Vercelli
ABBOT AND FOUNDER
Feast: June 25


     Information:
Feast Day:June 25
Born:1085 at Vercelli, Italy
Died:25 June 1142 at Guglietto, Italy
ST. WILLIAM, having lost his father and mother in his infancy, was brought up by his friends in great sentiments of piety; and at fifteen years of age, out of an earnest desire to lead a penitential life, he left Piedmont, his native country, made an austere pilgrimage to St. James's in Galicia, and afterward retired into the kingdom of Naples, where he chose for his abode a desert mountain, and lived in perpetual contemplation and the exercises of most rigorous penitential austerities. Finding himself discovered and his contemplation interrupted, he changed his habitation and settled in a place called Monte-Vergine, situated between Nola and Benevento, in the same kingdom; but his reputation followed him, and he was obliged by two neighboring priests to permit certain fervent persons to live with him and to imitate his ascetic practices. Thus, in 1119, was laid the foundation of the religious congregation called de Monte-Vergine. The Saint died on the 25th of June, 1142.

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

#ProLife Cardinal Collins “There are two ways, the way to life..." Encourages Action against Euthanasia Legislation

​​​​​Cardinal Thomas Collins has issued a statement regarding the government's passage of Bill C-14, which legalized euthanasia/assisted suicide on Friday, June 17.

Euthanasia comes to Canada
“There are two ways, the way to life and the way to death, and there is a great difference between them.” These wise words from an ancient Christian writer come to mind as we mark Parliament’s enactment of the law implementing the Supreme Court’s decision on euthanasia and assisted suicide, which is a fundamentally misguided decision.
Though I do not question the good intentions of either judges or legislators, their decisions have set our country down a path that leads not simply, and obviously, towards physical death for an increasing number of our fellow citizens, but towards a grim experience for everyone in our society of the coldness of spiritual death. That death is found in a loss of respect for the dignity of the human person, in a deadening pressure upon the vulnerable to be gone, and in an assault upon the sanctuary of conscience to be suffered by good individuals and institutions who seek only to heal.
To those who are grievously suffering in body or spirit and who desperately seek relief: we need to be sure that you receive it, through whatever medical means are available, and through the loving care that you deserve. The question is not whether you need relief; it is how to find it. Suicide is not the answer to the very real question you face.
Some may be consoled by the fact that the law could be worse: there are some “safeguards” protecting the vulnerable, and there is some conscience protection. Any thankfulness for these positive elements must, however, be set against the fact that in other places where euthanasia has been introduced, it has always been cloaked with “safeguards” that lull the citizens into complacency. Over the years those “safeguards” gradually weaken and finally drop away, and then the full hard cold force of euthanasia is felt. Here is a chilling fact: despite the confidence of the Supreme Court justices that Canada is different from those jurisdictions, in only slightly more than a year since their decision, the “safeguards” are already under vigorous attack.

The deepest roots of this malign development in the history of our country are spiritual, and so in the weeks to come I will be suggesting ways to address them through prayer and penance.
Our broader society also needs to engage in the necessary but lengthy process of reflection upon the dire implications for every aspect of our life together when we lose the fundamental ability to distinguish between dying and being killed. We all need to recognize the profound moral significance of that distinction.
We also need to recognize the destructive consequences of reducing the dignity of the human person to a matter of autonomy, when actually it is our loving inter-dependence, not our independence, which sustains our dignity. In addition, we must not reduce worthiness to live to a matter of the ability to function according to some personally acceptable standard of performance. We must address these and the other shaky foundations for the judicial and legislative actions which are taking us down a path to nowhere. That will take time, and a persistent effort to raise and resolve these deeper issues, with clarity and charity. Life, however, is a marathon, not a sprint; our enterprise is begun and, founded upon both reason and faith, it will succeed, in due time.
Meanwhile, we need to take immediate steps.
First, we need to make available for all Canadians (not just 30% of us) real medical assistance in dying: palliative care, where people who are dying are surrounded with love, and where any pain they experience is countered with the most advanced medical care available.
Second, we need to speak forthrightly. When people feel compelled to use language in a way that does not reveal what is actually happening, but instead conceals it, it is a sign that something is radically wrong (and they know it). The now officially accepted terminology, such as “Medical Assistance in Dying” does not describe medical assistance in dying; it describes killing. Let us say what we mean, and mean what we say.
Finally, we need to assure that those individuals who have dedicated their lives to healing will not be pressured into either directly causing the death of their patients, or into arranging for this to happen. Similarly, we must assure that those health care institutions which are havens of hope, in a tradition whose noble roots long predate Confederation, will in no way be forced to violate their conscience (known as their “mission”).
“Lord, teach us the shortness of life, that we may gain wisdom of heart.”
- Psalm 90:12
Thomas Cardinal Collins
Archbishop of Toronto
June 20, 2016

Help Protect Conscience Rights!

We thank all those who have written to their legislators regarding Bill C-14. Those who remain concerned are encouraged to visit CanadiansforConscience.ca​ and join the Coalition for HealthCARE and Conscience. The coalition represents more than 110 healthcare facilities (with almost 18,000 care beds and 60,000 staff) and more than 5,000 physicians across Canada. The website will provide information on how you can express your concerns regarding conscience rights respectfully to our elected representatives and/or organizations overseeing health care across the country. Shared from Archdiocese of Toronto

#BreakingNews Kidnapped Catholic Priest found Dead - RIP Father John Adeyi - Please Pray

Residents of Otukpa community were on Wednesday  mourning as the decaying body of the kidnapped Catholic Diocese of Otukpo, Rev. Father John Adeyi, was found. His body was abandoned behind the local government council secretariat, Obu Otukpa,  Enenche Enenche Confirmed to DAILY POST. He said, “It is true. “His sister, Sarah confirmed the death after Adeyi brother’s attention was called to the ill sight this morning. “His brother, in the presence of residents and policemen, confirmed the body was his brother’s.” Almost two months of endless wait for his return, the sight of the decomposing body of the first ever Reverend Father of Otukpa extraction remained unbelievable as residents wailed and lamented continuously on Wednesday. The Otukpa-born Catholic Priest, who recently celebrated his silver jubilee in the Priesthood, was abducted in April, ‎along Odoba Otukpa-Okwungaga road. He was on his way to Otukpa, the headquarters of Ogbadibo LGA to settle an issue when the gunmen whisked him away to an unknown destination. The kidnappers collected N2m ransom from the family of the Vicar General of Otukpo, yet, refused to release him.buried1 Efforts to get through to the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, Otukpa Division, CSP Abubakar were futile as at press time. Edited from Nigeria Daily Post 
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