Thursday, January 5, 2017

Catholic News World : Thursday January 5, 2017 - SHARE


#PopeFrancis ""Begin again, yes, but begin again without having lost the ability to dream.." to #Earthquake Victims

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met on Thursday with hundreds of Italians from the archdiocese of Spoleto-Norcia, devastated by a series of powerful earthquakes over the past six months. The central Italian town of Amatrice and surrounding areas were hit by a 6.3 magnitude quake in August which killed nearly 300 people. Other powerful quakes caused major damage in the same region on October 26th and 30th, with the latest tremors reported in Spoleto last Monday, January 2nd.
Around 800 people, led by their Bishop Renato Boccardo and local civic authorities, travelled to Rome for the audience in the Paul VI hall. Many of them had lost their houses, livelihoods and friends or family members in the largest earthquakes which reduced parts of many towns and villages to piles of rubble.  
Regional reconstruction
Pope Francis sat and listened as a survivor and a local parish priest described the immense suffering of people, now seeking to rebuild their shattered communities. In his off-the-cuff response, the Pope said the worst thing to do in such circumstances was to offer a prepared sermon, but instead he reflected on the work of physical, mental and spiritual reconstruction that has been taking place throughout the region.
Healing hands
Pope Francis spoke of the wounds which have affected those who’ve lost their loved ones and the importance of crying together as they seek to heal the pain. He spoke too of the healing hands of doctors, nurses, firemen and all those who worked together to pull survivors from the rubble or offer help to those most in need.
Sharing and solidarity
Finally the Pope spoke of the spirit of solidarity and nearness which is vital for the reconstruction process. While everyone affected by the earthquakes will continue to bear scars, he said it’s important to find the courage to dream again.  Sharing and remaining close together, he said, makes us more courageous and more human as we face this daunting task.
Amatrice visit
The Pope’s words come three months after he made a surprise visit to Amatrice and two neighbouring towns to meet with survivors and relatives of victims. During the visit, he said he had not come to make speeches, but simply to be close to those suffering and to pray with all those affected by the earthquakes.

#HolyMass Etiquette: #Guide of 10 Things To Do And Not Do In Mass to SHARE with Video!

Holy Mass Etiquette: Guide of 10 Things To Do And Not Do In Mass
  1. Hour Fast before Mass. The law of the Church says that one should fast for 1 hour before receiving Holy Communion. Water and medicine can be consumed any time. This is to prepare to receive Jesus in the Eucharist. 
  2. No Food and Drink in Church.  Water is used by the priest or choir and water for those who are ill. Exceptions are made for small children.
  3. Chewing gum in church is not appropriate. Chewing gum breaks your fast, and  is considered impolite in a formal setting.
  4. Make the Sign of the Cross with Holy Water on entering and leaving the church. This sign is a reminder of our Baptism, and thus members of Christ’s Church.  (Touch your forehead, heart, left shoulder and right shoulder while saying In the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit.)
  5. Dress modestly and suitably. Wear your Sunday Best to Chuch. Sleeveless shirts, mini-skirts, extremely tight clothing, shorts, see-through clothes and low-cut blouses are not appropriate. 
  6. Cell phones should never be used in Mass. The exceptions are emergencies. If you need to, please walk out of church to do so. It is appropriate to use the phone for readings or prayers, but try to be discreet.
  7. When entering and leaving Church, genuflect toward the Tabernacle. Christ is present in the Tabernacle. With the touch of our right knee to the floor, we adore our Lord and God in the Eucharist. If someone is physically unable to genuflect, then bow. During Mass, if you pass in front of the altar or tabernacle, bow reverently.
  8. Please be quiet in church. Once you enter the sanctuary –try to be silent. If you must talk do so as quietly and briefly as possible. Remember that your conversation might be disturbing someone in prayer.
  9. Bow before receiving Holy Communion. Show your respect with a bow of the head or genuflexion. This is an traditional practice that has continued until this day.
  10. Do not leave early. We should stay to the end of the procession and the hymn that accompanies it. 

#PopeFrancis "...but entrusting oneself to the mercy and tenderness of the Lord reviving the fidelity to our choices and the freshness of our “first love” on Vocations - FULL TEXT

Dear Brothers and Sisters! At the end of your Congress on vocational pastoral care, organized by the Office of the Italian Episcopal Conference, I am happy to be able to receive you and meet with you. I thank Monsignor Galantino for his courteous words and I congratulate you for the commitment with which you carried forward this annual appointment, in which the joy of fraternity and the beauty of the different vocations is shared.
Opening before us is the horizon and path towards the Synodal Assembly of 2018, on the theme “Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment.” The total and generous “Yes” of a dedicated life is similar to a source of water, hidden for a long time in the depth of the earth, which waits to gush forth and flow outside, in a rivulet of purity and freshness. Young people today are in need of a source of fresh water to quench themselves and then continue on their path of search. “Young people have the desire of a great life. The encounter with Christ, letting oneself be gripped and guided by His love, widens the horizon of existence and gives a solid hope that does not disappoint” (Encyclical Lumen Fidei, 53).
Your service, with its style of vocational proclamation and accompaniment is also placed on this horizon. Such a commitment requires passion and a sense of gratuitousness. The passion of personal involvement, in being able to take care of the lives that are assigned to you, as cases that enclose a precious treasure to be protected, and the gratuitousness of a service and ministry in the Church that calls for great respect of those of whom you are companions on the way. It is the commitment to seek their happiness, and this goes well beyond your preferences and expectations. I make my own Pope Benedict XVI’s words: “Be sowers of trust and hope. Profound, in fact, is the sense of loss that today’s youth often lives. Not rarely, human words are deprived of future and prospect, deprived also of meaning and wisdom. […] Yet, this can be the hour of God” (Address to the participants in the European Congress on Vocational Pastoral Care, July 4, 2009).
To be credible and to be attuned to young people, it is necessary to favor the way of listening, of being able to “lose time” in taking up their questions and desires. Your testimony will be all the more persuasive if you are able to tell with joy and truth the beauty, the astonishment and wonder of being in love with God, of being men and women who live with gratitude their choice of life to help others and leave an unheard of and original mark in history. This requires not being disorientated by external solicitations, but entrusting oneself to the mercy and tenderness of the Lord reviving the fidelity to our choices and the freshness of our “first love” (cf. Revelation 2:5).
The priority of the vocational proclamation is not the efficiency of what we do, but rather the privileged attention we give to vigilance and discernment. It is to have a look that is able to gush positivity in the human and spiritual events we meet; an astonished and grateful heart in face of the gifts that individuals bear in themselves, putting in the light their potentialities more than their limitations, the present and the future in continuity with the past.
Today, there is need of a vocational pastoral of wide horizons and of the breath of communion, capable of reading the reality as it is with courage, with the efforts and resistances, recognizing the signs of generosity and of beauty of the human heart. There is the urgency to bring back within Christian communities a new “vocational culture.” ‘The capacity to dream and to have great desires, the astonishment that enables one to appreciate beauty and to choose it for its intrinsic value, because it renders life good and true, is also a part of this vocational culture’ (Pontifical Work for Vocations, New Vocations for a New Europe, December 8, 1997, 13B).
Dear brothers and sisters do not tire of repeating to yourselves: “I am a mission” and not simply “I have a mission.” ‘It is necessary to recognize oneself as marked by the fire of such a mission to illumine, bless, vivify, relieve, heal and liberate’ (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, 273). To be on permanent mission requires courage, audacity, imagination and the desire to go beyond, of going further. In fact, “Arise, go and fear not”was the theme of your Congress. This helps you to remember the many vocation stories in which the Lord invited those called to go out of themselves to be a gift for others; He entrusts a mission to them and assures them: “Fear not, for I am with you’ (Isaiah 41:10). His blessing gives constant and impassioned encouragement to be able to go beyond the fears that shut one in on oneself and paralyze every desire of the good. It is good to know that the Lord takes charge of our frailty, puts us back on our feet to rediscover, day after day, the infinite patience to begin again.
Let us feel ourselves spurred by the Holy Spirit to identify with courage new ways in the proclamation of the Gospel of vocation, to be men and women that, as watchmen (cf. Psalm130:6), are able to receive the rays of light of a new dawn, in a renewed experience of faith and of passion for the Church and for the Kingdom of God. May the Spirit push us to be capable of a loving patience, which does not fear the inevitable slowness and resistances of the human heart.
I assure you of my prayer, and you, please, do not forget to pray for me. Thank you.
[Original text: Italian] [Working Translation of Pope’s prepared text by ZENIT]

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Thursday January 5, 2017 - #Eucharist

Memorial of Saint John Neumann, Bishop
Lectionary: 208

Reading 11 JN 3:11-21

This is the message you have heard from the beginning:
we should love one another,
unlike Cain who belonged to the Evil One
and slaughtered his brother.
Why did he slaughter him?
Because his own works were evil,
and those of his brother righteous.
Do not be amazed, then, brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.
We know that we have passed from death to life
because we love our brothers.
Whoever does not love remains in death.
Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer,
and you know that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him.
The way we came to know love
was that he laid down his life for us;
so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.
If someone who has worldly means
sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion,
how can the love of God remain in him?
Children, let us love not in word or speech
but in deed and truth.

Now this is how we shall know that we belong to the truth
and reassure our hearts before him
in whatever our hearts condemn,
for God is greater than our hearts and knows everything.
Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us,
we have confidence in God.

Responsorial PsalmPS 100:1B-2, 3, 4, 5

R. (2a) Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
Know that the LORD is God;
he made us, his we are;
his people, the flock he tends.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
his courts with praise;
Give thanks to him; bless his name.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
The LORD is good:
the LORD, whose kindness endures forever,
and his faithfulness, to all generations.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.


R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A holy day has dawned upon us.
Come, you nations, and adore the Lord.
Today a great light has come upon the earth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 1:43-51

Jesus decided to go to Galilee, and he found Philip.
And Jesus said to him, "Follow me."
Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the town of Andrew and Peter.
Philip found Nathanael and told him,
"We have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the law,
and also the prophets, Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth."
But Nathanael said to him,
"Can anything good come from Nazareth?"
Philip said to him, "Come and see."
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him,
"Here is a true child of Israel.
There is no duplicity in him."
Nathanael said to him, "How do you know me?"
Jesus answered and said to him,
"Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree."
Nathanael answered him,
"Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel."
Jesus answered and said to him,
"Do you believe
because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree?
You will see greater things than this."
And he said to him, "Amen, amen, I say to you,
you will see the sky opened and the angels of God
ascending and descending on the Son of Man."

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Saint January 5 : St. John Neumann : #Redemptorist Bishop

28 March 1811 at Prachititz, Bohemia
Died:5 January 1860
19 June 1977 by Pope Paul VI
Major Shrine:National Shrine of Saint John Neumann, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Saint John Neumann’s Story
Perhaps because the United States got a later start in the history of the world, it has relatively few canonized saints, but their number is increasing.
John Neumann was born in what is now the Czech Republic. After studying in Prague, he came to New York at 25 and was ordained a priest. He did missionary work in New York until he was 29, when he joined the Redemptorists and became its first member to profess vows in the United States. He continued missionary work in Maryland, Virginia and Ohio, where he became popular with the Germans.
At 41, as bishop of Philadelphia, he organized the parochial school system into a diocesan one, increasing the number of pupils almost twentyfold within a short time.
Gifted with outstanding organizing ability, he drew into the city many teaching communities of sisters and the Christian Brothers. During his brief assignment as vice provincial for the Redemptorists, he placed them in the forefront of the parochial movement.
Well-known for his holiness and learning, spiritual writing and preaching, on October 13, 1963, John Neumann became the first American bishop to be beatified. Canonized in 1977, he is buried in St. Peter the Apostle Church in Philadelphia.


Neumann took seriously our Lord’s words, “Go and teach all nations.” From Christ he received his instructions and the power to carry them out. For Christ does not give a mission without supplying the means to accomplish it. The Father’s gift in Christ to John Neumann was his exceptional organizing ability, which he used to spread the Good News. Today the Church is in dire need of men and women to continue in our times the teaching of the Good News. The obstacles and inconveniences are real and costly. Yet when Christians approach Christ, he supplies the necessary talents to answer today’s needs. The Spirit of Christ continues his work through the instrumentality of generous Christians.
Source: Franciscanmedia

How to Bless your Home for #Epiphany - CMB Chalk Blessing - SHARE - Christus Mansionem Benedicat

Epiphany means to manifest. Pious customs among Christians have placed the letters 20CMB17 and the year above door posts relating to the blood on the door posts of the Old Testament. CMB means "Christus Mansionem Benedicat" in Latin - May Christ bless this dwelling place. CMB also stand for the 3 Magi Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar.  These were the 3 Kings who visited the Baby Jesus. (Image share from Fr. Trigillio Jr.) 
Prayers to be Said During the Blessing:
Blessing the Chalk
V. Our help is the name of the Lord:
R. The maker of heaven and earth.
V. The Lord shall watch over your going out and your coming in:
R. From this time forth for evermore.

Let us pray.Loving God, bless this chalk which you have created, that it may be helpful to your people; and grant that through the invocation of your most Holy Name that we who use it in faith to write upon the door of our home the names of your holy ones Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, may receive health of body and protection of soul for all who dwell in or visit our home; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
How to Bless the Home
Use the blessed chalk to mark the frame of your front door :
20 + C + M + B + 17 while saying:
The three Wise Men, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar followed the star of God’s Son who became human two thousand and fifteen years ago. May Christ bless our home and remain with us throughout the new year. Amen.
Then offer the following prayer: Visit, O blessed Lord, this home with the gladness of your presence. Bless all who live or visit here with the gift of your love; and grant that we may manifest your love to each other and to all whose lives we touch. May we grow in grace and in the knowledge and love of you; guide, comfort, and strengthen us in peace, O Jesus Christ, now and forever. Amen

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