VATICAN, April 27, 2014 (CNA/EWTN News) - In a packed St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on Divine Mercy Sunday, Pope Francis officially declared former pontiffs John Paul II and John XXIII as Saints.
“For the honor of the Blessed Trinity, the exaltation of the Catholic faith and the increase of the Christian life, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ and of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul and having sought the council of many of our brother Bishops, we declare and define Blessed John XXIII and John Paul II be Saints,” Pope Francis exclaimed April 27 as the crowds cheered.
|Resurrection of Christ by Louis
Comfort Tiffany, 1898
In his 1981 book, My Grandfather's War, William D. Mathieson tells of a Canadian World War II veteran of the trenches walking down the street of his home town. A passerby saw his empty sleeve and began to commiserate with him for the loss of his arm. "I didn't lose it," replied the veteran, "I gave it."
The gospels make it a point to show that Christ's life was not taken from him. He gave it. "No one takes it (my life) from me, but I lay it down of my own accord" (John 10:18), said Christ.
It was given. It would have been sad indeed, if a gift such as the life of God, the Passion and the Resurrection of the Lord, had been a grudging gift, God, as it were, counting the days and the sufferings, asking the Father exactly how much giving would it take to bring about the Redemption of humankind..
|Fr. Jack Nuelle, M.S.,
Executive Director of
the U.S. Catholic
In a recent “Periodic Paper”, Fr. Stephen Bevans, SVD, states that “the 1971 Synod of Bishops made a direct link between preaching the gospel and working for justice.” It intrigued me enough to go back and reread that 1971 document, Justice in the World, which states:
“The Church has received from Christ the mission of preaching the Gospel message, which contains … a subsequent demand for justice in the world… She [the Church] has a proper and specific responsibility which is identified with her mission of giving witness before the world of the need for love and justice contained in the Gospel message, a witness to be carried out in Church institutions themselves and in the lives of Christians” (#36, emphasis added).
So much in that document, written in 1971, still remains pertinent today. How many issues, if they had been given adequate attention, effort and resources then, would no longer be burning matters for us today?
|The first edition of the magazine, “Il Mio Papa”,
completely dedicated to Pope Francis.
Rome, Italy, Mar 3, 2014 / 05:24 pm (CNA) - One of the largest publishing companies in Europe is releasing a first-ever weekly magazine dedicated entirely to Pope Francis due to the impact his pontificate has had in the world over the last year.
On March 3,2014, Mondadori, Italy's largest book and magazine publisher and the third largest in the consumer magazine segment in France, announced their new magazine “Il Mio Papa,” which is to be the world's first magazine dedicated entirely to the Bishop of Rome. Scheduled to hit newsstands every week beginning on Wednesday, March 5, an initial print run of 3 million copies will be released during the first month.
On my morning commute, I observed a driver using flash cards to review spelling words with a child. From the smoothness and pace of the driver’s movements as each word was quickly replaced by another, it was evident that a young child had done his or her homework.
What a compassionate world this might be if people of faith could be quizzed on Catholic Social Teaching (CST) – the body of Catholic Church doctrine that addresses how we treat one another and handle the social issues that arise in society – with such favorable results.
The learning process could begin early when young minds and hearts are first receptive to the love of God and the desire to love others as Jesus commanded. While secular literature and films may not be dubbed Catholic social teaching, they could supplement religious materials that are available in your parish. Parents, educators and youth ministers could use them to highlight principles of CST that are presented in popular culture.
The late John F. Kennedy said, “It is not enough to add years to your life, one must add new life to your years.” As we know, how to do this is a challenge that is not easily met. Since life’s changes are variable, the manner in which each of us moves through our 60’s, 70’s and 80’s is unique to each person.
So first of all, it is important for each of us to take it upon ourselves to do something about our own personal life pattern of prayer, ministry, rest, relationships, diet, exercise and mental attitude, so our senior years do not become the greatest cross of our lives.
One thing certain these days is that we live in a rapidly changing world, and yet it remains God’s world despite the atrocities created by humankind. Since it is God’s world, it becomes our obligation to serve God in that ever-changing world. And one of the ways of serving God is to recognize that we too have changed over the years — that we are no longer the same person we were when we entered religious life...
Hopefully, the intervening years have seen us grow in wisdom and grace, just as some of us have grown in waist and weight and forehead. Hopefully, too, we have grown as persons, so that now in our mature years, we have outgrown the impetuosity, the brashness and the unbridled ambition that can often characterize youth.
How can we grow older gracefully so that our later years will truthfully reflect the beauty of God? We should do all this so that the words of St. Paul still hold true: “…forgetting what is behind, I strain forward to what is before, I press on towards the goal to the prize of God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:13-14).
|Photos of both Fr. Mario and
Isidore, to be beatified
The Servants of God, Fr. Mario Vergara, a priest with the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), and lay catechist, Isidore Ngei Ko Lat, will be beatified. They were killed in hatred of the faith in Shadaw, Myanmar, on May 24, 1950.
Pope Francis made the decision after authorizing the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate the decree concerning their martyrdom. Mgr. Phamo Soter, bishop of Loikaw, who was the son of a catechist trained by Fr. Mario, began the diocesan process for the case in 2003. Hence, the Burmese Church will celebrate its first blessed.
Fr. Mario Vergara was born in Frattamaggiore, near Naples, Italy, on November 18, 1910. In 1929, after studying at the Jesuit minor seminary in Posillipo, he was admitted to the PIME seminary in Monza… In August 1933, he was admitted to the PIME novitiate in Sant'Ilario Ligure under the guidance of Fr. Emilio Milani, who was a missionary in China. On August 26, 1934, he was ordained priest by Card. Ildefonso Schuster in the Church of Bernareggio. By the end of September, he had joined the PIME mission in Burma.
|A young boy in the marketplace in Pestel, Haiti|
Editor: Port Au Prince, Haiti, January 17, 2014 – Four years after a devastating earthquake affected millions in Haiti, Catholic Relief Services continues to help the nation move from recovery to addressing social concerns that pre-dated the catastrophe.
“You can’t help but have great love for Haitians,” Darren Hercyk, Catholic Relief Services’ Country Representative for Haiti based in Port-au-Prince, told CNA Jan. 15.
In Haiti, he said, there are “stories of great courage and hope; at the same time you hear stories of great challenges.”
On Jan. 12, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti near its capital city of Port-au-Prince, leaving 230,000 people dead and over 1.5 million people without shelter. Prior to the earthquake, Catholic Relief Services had already been present and working in Haiti “for a long time,” with a great number of resources and local connection and over 300 employees in the country. After the earthquake, Hercyk explained, “we mobilized all of those resources for lifesaving.”
God is light and we Christians are called to reflect that light in the world. This entails our inviting others into communion with the Church, speaking out against injustice, and striving to exemplify in our life Christ’s example.
Turning to the Gospel message we are warned against hoarding the goods of the earth for our own pleasure, and told to sell all we have and giving alms (Lk 12:33), feed the poor, visit the imprisoned, give drink to the thirsty, and welcome the stranger (Mt 25). The stranger can come in different forms, but one way in particular that she comes into our midst is in the form of the migrant.
Far away from home and dwelling in a new land, often poor with few possessions of their own, migrants can be an especially vulnerable group of people and open to exploitation and abuse. For this reason we should pay special attention to their needs, both religious and material, and advocate on their behalf with the hope of ensuring their protection and well-being.
|(from left) Façade of East Wing of the National
Gallery, Washington, DC; atrium of East Wing
with Alexander Calder’s mobile
I am a visual person, one who is greatly affected by what I see. Often I will take time to visit sights of beauty, including beautiful cities like Boston, Newport and New York, the various seashore points of interest, museums and even buildings. There have been some unusual buildings which have challenged me to learn again how to see beyond the surface.
For example, when I first visited Chinese-born I.M. Pei’s East Wing of the National Gallery in Washington, DC, I was (and still am) attracted by this most unusual building. The outside is comprised of giant geometric figures, looking quite severe. Yet when I enter and walk into the impressively high atrium, which is a welcoming inside courtyard decorated with Connecticut’s own Alexander Calder and his 76-foot-long, multi-colored and overpowering mobile which swooshes through the impressive space, moving slowly round and round above the wayfarers. I remember sitting one time for about two hours, just trying to take in this hub of activity yet a very peaceful space. I felt like I was in an inner world of beauty all its own and the people just added to its life and color.
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Our Province: The Province of Mary, Mother of the Americas, was founded in 2000AD and is one of several provinces in the congregation. The members of this Province serve mainly in the countries of Canada, the United States and the Region of Argentina/Bolivia.
Our Mission: Our La Salette ministry of reconciliation responds to the broad vision given by Mary at La Salette as well as in response to the needs of the Church. As reconcilers, we together with the laity take seriously Mary’s mandate: “You will make (Mary’s) message known to all (her) people.”