Canada's NATIONAL MARCH FOR LIFE 2015 gathered 25,000 people at the nation's capitol, Ottawa, on Parliament Hill on Thursday, May 14. This was the 18th annual March for Life which remembers the year 1969 when abortion became legal. Most of the participants were under 30 years old. Police barracaded the area as marchers made their way through the streets carrying signs defending life from conception onwards.
Many Members of the Canadian Parliament and senators were in attendence. Many Networks from the USA were filming live from the Hill.
There were many Catholic Hierarchy in attendance including Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto, Archbishop Terrence Prendergrast, Bishop Christian Riesbeck and others. Also in attendence were numerous other pro-life groups, parishes and high schools. There were five Masses held in the Cathedral of Notre Dame, St. Patrick's and other parishes.
PLEASE CONSIDER ATTENDING NEXT YEAR'S MARCH FOR LIFE!
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in Ottawa, Canada, on May 5, 2015, was disrupted by a group of topless activists screaming and violently pushing themselves on stage. They are part of the pro-abortion group FEMEN. Cardinal Collins of Toronto and Archbishop Prendergast were also on stage with many Members of Parliament. Police officers took them away. About 25,000 pro-life people marched for Life in Ottawa. The demonstrators interrupted the 18th annual National March for Life rally held by the Campaign Life Coalition. Please Pray for Pro-Lifers in Canada.
- Year XXII - Num. 090
|- Francis receives the president of Romania on the 25th anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic relations with the Holy See|
|- To the bishops of the Central African Republic: justice, truth and honesty in institutional transition|
|- Coaches, be an example of integrity|
|- Canonisation of Marie-Alphonsine Danil Ghattas and Maryam Baouardy: a sign of hope for the men and women of the Middle East|
|- Other Pontifical Acts|
|Francis receives the president of Romania on the 25th anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic relations with the Holy See|
Vatican City, (VIS) – This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace the Holy Father Francis received in audience the president of Romania, Klaus Werner Iohannis, who subsequently met with Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, accompanied by Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary for Relations with States.
During the cordial discussions, which took place on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Romania on 15 May 1990, the parties focused on bilateral relations characterised by fruitful collaboration, as well as the relations between the State authorities and the local Catholic communities, and the healthy co-existence of minorities.
Attention then turned to issues regarding various regions in the world.
|To the bishops of the Central African Republic: justice, truth and honesty in institutional transition|
Vatican City, (VIS) – The role of the Church in the process of national reconciliation, Christian formation and the deepening of faith at all levels, and the defence of the family as the primary locus for learning forgiveness and faith were the central themes of the discourse Pope Francis handed to the bishops of the Episcopal Conference of the Central African Republic this morning, at the end of their “ad Limina” visit. “I would like you to convey to all your people the assurance of my closeness”, writes the Holy Father. “I know of the suffering that they have experienced and continue to experience, as well as the countless testimonies of faith and fidelity Christians have rendered to the risen Christ on numerous occasions. I am particularly aware of all that your communities have done to for victims of violence and for refugees”.
“Your task is difficult, but it touches the very mystery of Jesus Christ, who died and rose again. It is when evil and death seem to triumph that the hope of renewal in Christ emerges. It is when hatred and violence are unleashed that we are called upon – and find the strength through the power of the Cross and the grace of Baptism – to respond with forgiveness and love. If, sadly, this has not always been the case in the recent events that you have experienced, it is a sign that the Gospel has not yet deeply penetrated the heart of the People of God, to the point of changing their reflexes and their behaviour. Your churches are the result of recent evangelisation, and your primary mission is to continue the work recently begun. You must not be discouraged by the storm you are passing through, but on the contrary must find, in faith and hope, a source of renewed enthusiasm and dynamism”.
Christian formation and the deepening of faith at all levels must be the bishops' priorities, “so that the Gospel permeates the life of the baptised, for the good not only of the Christian communities, but also the whole of Central African society. ... You, brothers in the episcopate, must play an indispensable prophetic role during the current institutional transition, recalling and reflecting the witness of the fundamental values of justice, truth and honesty, which are the foundation of any renewal, promoting dialogue and peaceful coexistence between members of different societies and ethnicities, thus encouraging reconciliation and social cohesion, which is the key to the future. … You are called upon to form the conscience of the faithful, and indeed that of all the people, as your voice is heard and respected by all. It is in this way that you should take your rightful place in current developments, avoiding direct involvement in political quarrels. However, by forming and encouraging the laity so they are steadfast in their faith and solidly trained in the social doctrine of the Church, able to engage in political debate and to take responsibility – their role – you are able to gradually transform society according to the Gospel and to prepare a happy future for your people”.
The Pope also emphasises the formation of seminarians and priests, and thanks them for their witness even in the most difficult situations, and he recalls the importance of consecrated persons who live close to afflicted populations and whose devotion is praiseworthy.
Finally, he spoke about families, “who are the first victims of violence and who are too often destabilised or destroyed as a result of the departure of a member, bereavement, poverty, discord and separations. I wish to express to them my closeness and my affection. … Families are not only the privileged location for the announcement of faith, the practice of Christian virtues and the cradle of many priestly and religious vocations, but they are also 'the best setting for learning and applying the culture of forgiveness, peace and reconciliation', which your country needs. It is essential that the family be protected and defended 'so that it may offer society the service expected of it, that of providing men and women capable of building a social fabric of peace and harmony'. I can therefore only encourage you to accord to the pastoral care of marriage the attention that it deserves, and not to be discouraged by resistance due to cultural traditions, human weakness or the new forms of ideological colonisation that are spreading everywhere”.
|Coaches, be an example of integrity|
Vatican City, (VIS) – Pope Francis has sent a message to Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, for the international study seminar on the theme “Coaches: Educating People”, organised by the dicastery's Church and Sport section.
“We all, in life, need educators: mature, wise and balanced people who help us to grow in the family, in study, in work, in faith”, writes the Holy Father. “The presence of a good coach-educator is shown to be providential especially during the years of adolescence and early youth, when the personality is developing and in search of role models to refer to and identify with. ...In this delicate phase of life, a coach bears a great responsibility: he often has the privilege of spending many hours each week with the young and of having a great influence on them in terms of their behaviour and personality. … How important it is, then, that a coach be an example of integrity, coherence, good judgement, impartiality, and also joy, patience, and the capacity for appreciation and benevolence towards all, and especially the most disadvantaged!”.
“And how important it is for him to offer an example of faith!”, he adds. “Faith always helps us to raise our gaze towards God, and not to treat any of our activities as absolute, including sport … as well as to maintain the just distance and wisdom to put into perspective both our defeats and our victories. Faith gives us this outlook of goodness towards others which helps us overcome the temptation of excessive rivalry and aggression, which enables us to understand the dignity of each person, including those who are less gifted or privileged. The coach, in this respect, may make a very valuable contribution to creating a climate of solidarity and inclusion in relation to marginalised young people or those at risk socially, finding suitable ways and methods to involve them in sport and in the experience of socialisation. A coach with human and spiritual balance will also know how to preserve the authentic values of sport and its fundamental nature as a game and social activity, ensuring that it does not become distorted under the pressure of many interests, especially those of an economic nature, which are increasingly evident nowadays”.
|Canonisation of Marie-Alphonsine Danil Ghattas and Maryam Baouardy: a sign of hope for the men and women of the Middle East|
Vatican City, (VIS) – This morning in the Holy See Press Office Fr. Rifat Bader, director of the Catholic Centre for Studies and Media in Amman, Jordan, presented the figure of the Palestinian blesseds Sister Marie-Alphonsine Danil Ghattas, founder of the Sisters of the Most Holy Rosary of Jerusalem, and the descalzed Carmelite Maryam Baouardy (Mary of Jesus Crucified). Along with another two women religious, the French Jeanne-Emilie de Villeneuve and the Italian Maria Cristina of the Immaculate Conception Brando, they will be canonised by Pope Francis this in St. Peter's Square.
The solemn celebration will be attended by cardinals and bishops resident in Rome and from various parts of the world, including a delegation of 2124 people from the Palestine territories and Jordan headed by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal. The Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas will also be present, along with numerous prelates from Lebanon, Iraq, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Cyprus.
“Patriarch Fouad Twal affirmed that 'the declaration of the sainthood of the two nuns from Palestine is a spiritual event of prime importance for the citizens of the Holy Land, amid the difficulties we are experiencing, as the two saints enlighten our path'”, said Fr. Badir. “As the Holy Land, wrecked by violence and dissent, has for some time had a tarnished image, our two saints emerge to restore its sanctity, reminding us that sanctity is possible even in the most difficult circumstances. The canonisation of the two girls from the East during these dark times is an invitation from His Holiness Pope Francis to pray, knowing that only prayer can miraculously help save our faith in the midst of these times of trial. Now we have two new saints who represent a model of perfection for Christians, as well as for Muslims and Jews alike. They are both named Mary, and this name is widespread and commonly used among all three traditions. It is a sign of our modern time which suggests that we can talk about the three religions without any discrimination”.
“This grand event”, added Fr. Badir, “is a message of solidarity and encouragement to the Christians of the Holy Land, especially for those in all other Middle East countries, to those who have been forcibly displaced and deported from their home countries, and to all those who suffer persecution, and whose persecutors sometimes think that by killing they are offering a sacrifice to God, as Jesus Himself warned”.
The new saint Mary of Jesus Crucified was “subjected to acts of extremism and an attempt on her life, seeking to force her to change her religion. She now intercedes for those who are being killed because of their religion and their religious affiliation. Her life and intercession are a cry urging respect for religious and ethnic differences as well as acknowledging human beings as creatures who are made in the image and likeness of God”. St. Marie-Alphonsine “succeeded in gaining the support of the religious authorities to set up the first Arab religious congregation, and placing the Arab world on the map in the fields of education and religious teaching”.
“Furthermore, the rosary schools associated with this Arab religious congregation have a prominent and influential presence in Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, the Gulf states and Rome. We realise that during the late 19th and early 20th century this religious congregation contributed to increasing the Arab role in culture, social awareness, spiritual guidance and education of generations of men and women. Illiteracy has been eliminated in many parts of the Middle East as a direct result of the active contribution of nuns and religious congregations to literacy education”.
He concluded, “The two saintly nuns, whose canonisation coincides with the Church celebrations of the year of consecrated life and the blessed Marian Month of May, pray that the Lord would bring peace and calmness to our hearts and minds, and that we will return to worshipping the Almighty. … We view the consecration of the founder of the Rosary Sisters as an invitation to intensify the daily Rosary prayers in Churches, houses, and parish groups to bring peace, love and mutual respect among all the peoples of the Middle East”.
Vatican City, (VIS) – The Holy Father received in audience:
- Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith;
- Daniel Ramada Piendibene, ambassador of Uruguay to the Holy See, on his farewell visit;
- nine prelates of the Episcopal Conference of the Central African Republic on their “ad Limina” visit:
- Archbishop Dieudonne Nzapalainga, C.S.Sp., of Bangui;
- Bishop Peter Marzinkowski, C.S.Sp., of Alindao, with his coadjutor, Bishop Cyr-Nestor Yapaupa;
- Bishop Edouard Mathos of Bambari;
- Bishop Dennis Kofi Agbenyadzi, S.M.A., of Berberati;
- Bishop Nestor-Desire Nongo-aziagbia, S.M.A., of Bossangoa;
- Bishop Armando Umberto Gianni, O.F.M. Cap., of Bouar;
- Bishop Albert Vanbuel, S.D.B., of Kaga-Bandoro; and
- Bishop Guerrino Perin, M.C.C.I., of Mbaiki.
|Other Pontifical Acts|
Vatican City, (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed:
- Bishop Francescantonio Nole, O.F.M. Conv., of Tursi-Lagonegro, Italy, as metropolitan archbishop of Cosenza-Bisignano (area 2,537, population 384,000, Catholics 382,000, priests 230, permanent deacons 40, religious 377), Italy. He succeeds Archbishop Salvatore Nunnari, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese upon reaching the age limit was accepted by the Holy Father.
- Msgr. Domenico Pompili as bishop of Rieti (area 1,818, population 99,046, Catholics 93,003, priests 96, deacons 15, religious 227), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Rome, Italy in 1963 and was ordained a priest in 1988. He holds a licentiate and doctorate in moral theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and has served in a number of pastoral and administrative roles in the diocese of Anagni-Alatri, including parish priest, special secretary to the bishop, director of the diocesan office for social communications and episcopal vicar for pastoral ministry. He is currently director of the national office for social communications of the Italian Episcopal Conference, under-secretary of the Italian Episcopal Conference, secretary of the Communication and Culture Foundation, and lecturer in moral theology at the Pontifical Theological Leonian Institute of Anagni.
Yesterday, Thursday 14 May, the Holy Father appointed Msgr. Patrick McKinney as bishop of Nottingham (area 13,000, population 4,535,000, Catholics 155,000, priests 163, permanent deacons 39, religious 92), England. The bishop-elect was born in Birmingham, England in 1954 and was ordained a priest in 1978. He holds a licentiate in sacred theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, and has served in a number of pastoral roles in the archdiocese of Birmingham, including parish assistant, teacher of fundamental theology and subsequently rector of the Seminary of St. Mary's, parish priest, episcopal vicar for the northern sector of Birmingham, and vicar forane of the deanery of Dudley. He was named Prelate of Honour of His Holiness in 1990.
13-05-2015 - Year XXII - Num. 089
St. Isidore the Farmer
PATRON OF SPANISH FARMERS, MIRACLE WORKER
Feast: May 15
|It is a misfortune which deserves to be lamented with floods of tears, that ignorance, obstinacy, and vice should so often taint a country life, the state which of all others is most necessary and important to the world; the most conformable to a human condition and to nature; the state which was sanctified by the example of the primitive holy patriarchs, and which affords the most favorable opportunities for the perfect practice of every virtue and Christian duty. What advantageous helps to piety did the ancient hermits seek in the deserts, which the circumstances of a country laborer do not offer? The life of St. Isidore is a most sensible proof of this assertion. He was born at Madrid, of poor but very devout parents, and was christened Isidore from the name of their patron, St. Isidore of Seville. They had not the means to procure him learning or a polite education; but, both by word and example, they infused into his tender soul the utmost horror and dread of all sin, and the most vehement ardor for every virtue, and especially for prayer. Good books are a great help to holy meditation; but not indispensably requisite. St. Irenaeus mentions whole nations which believed in Christ, and abounded in exemplary livers, without knowing the use of ink or paper. Many illustrious anchorets knew no other alphabet than that of humility and divine charity. The great St. Antony himself could not so much as read the Greek or Latin languages: nay, from the words of St. Austin, some doubt whether he could read even his own barbarous Egyptian dialect. Yet in the science of the saints, what philosopher or orator ever attained to the A B C of that great man? Learning, if it puffs up the mind, or inspires any secret self-sufficiency, is an impediment to the communications of the Holy Ghost: simplicity and sincere humility being the dispositions which invite him into the soul. By these was Isidore prepared to find him an interior instructor and comforter. His earnestness in seeking lessons and instructions of piety made him neglect no opportunity of hearing them; and so much the more tender and the deeper were the impressions which they left in his soul, as his desire was the stronger and the more pure. His patience in bearing all injuries and in overcoming the envy of fellow-servants by cordial kindnesses, his readiness to obey his masters, and in indifferent things to comply with the inclinations of others, and humbly to serve every one, gave him the most complete victory over himself and his passions. Labor he considered as enjoined him by God in punishment of sin, and for a remedy against it. And he performed his work in a spirit of compunction and penance. Many object that their labors and fatigues leave them little time for the exercises of religion. But Isidore, by directing his attention according to the most holy motives of faith, made his work a most perfect act of religion. He considered it as a duty to God. Therefore he applied himself to it with great diligence and care, in imitation of the angels in heaven, who in all things fulfil the will of God with the greatest readiness and alacrity of devotion. The more humbling and the more painful the labor was, the dearer it was to the saint, being a means the more suitable to tame his flesh, and a more noble part of his penance. With the same spirit that the saints subdued their bodies by toils in their deserts, Isidore embraced his task. He moreover sanctioned it by continual prayer. While his hand held the plough, he in his heart conversed with God, with his angel guardian, and the other blessed spirits; sometimes deploring the sins of the world, and his own spiritual miseries, at other times in the melting words of the royal prophet, raising his desires to the glory of the heavenly Jerusalem. It was chiefly by this perfect spirit of prayer, joined with, or rather engrafted upon a most profound humility and spirit of mortification, that St. Isidore arrived at so eminent a degree of sanctity as rendered him the admiration of all Spain. In his youth he was retained servant by a gentleman named John de Vargas of Madrid, to till his land and do his husbandry work. The saint afterwards took a most virtuous woman to wife, named Mary Toribia. Those who call her de la Cabeza were deceived by a chapel to which that name is given, because her head is kept in it. After the birth of one child, which died young, the parents, by mutual consent, served God in perfect continency.|
St. Isidore continued always in the service of the same master. On account of his fidelity, he could say to him as Jacob did to Laban,1 that, to guard and improve his stock, he had often watched the nights, and had suffered the scorching heats of summer, and the cold of winter; and that the stock, which he found small, had been exceedingly increased in his hands. Don John de Vargas, after long experience of the treasure he possessed in this faithful ploughman, treated him as a brother, according to the advice of Ecclesiasticus,2 Let a wise servant be dear to thee as thy own soul. He allowed him the liberty of assisting daily at the public office of the church. On the other side, Isidore was careful by rising very early, to make his devotions no impediment to his business, nor any encroachment upon what he owed to his master. This being a duty of justice, it would have been a false devotion to have pretended to please God by a neglect of such an obligation; much less did the good servant indulge his compassionate charity to the poor, by relieving them otherwise than out of his own salary. The saint was sensible that in his fidelity, diligence, and assiduous labor consisted, in great part, the sanctification of his soul; and that his duty to his master was his duty to God. He also inspired his wife with the same confidence in God, the same love of the poor, and the same disengagement from the things of this world: he made her the faithful imitatrix of his virtues, and a partner in his good works. She died in 1175, and is honored in Spain among the saints. Her immemorial veneration was approved by pope Innocent XII. in 1697. See Benedict XIV., de Canoniz. 1. 2, c. 24, p. 246.
St. Isidore being seized with the sickness of which he died, foretold his last hour, and prepared himself for it with redoubled fervor, and with the most tender devotion, patience, and cheerfulness. The piety with which he received the last sacraments drew tears from all that were present. Repeating inflamed acts of divine love, he expired on the 15th of May, 1170, being near sixty years of age. His death was glorified by miracles. After forty years, his body was removed out of the churchyard into the church of St. Andrew. It has been since placed in the bishop's chapel, and during these five hundred years remains entire and fresh, being honored by a succession of frequent miracles down to this time. The following, among others, is very well attested. Philip III., in his return from Lisbon, was taken so ill at Casarubios del Monte, that his life was despaired of by his physicians. Whereupon the shrine of St. Isidore was ordered to be carried in a solemn procession of the clergy, court, and people, from Madrid to the chamber of the sick king. The joint prayers of many prevailed. At the same time the shrine was taken out of the church, the fever left the king; and upon its being brought into his chamber, he was perfectly cured. The year following the body of the saint was put into a new rich shrine, which cost one thousand six hundred ducats of gold. St. Isidore had been beatified a little before by Paul V., in 1619, at the solicitation of the same king. His solemn canonization was performed, at the request of king Philip IV., on the 12th of March, 1622; though the bull was only made public by Benedict XIII. See the life of St. Isidore, written by John of Madrid, one hundred and forty years after his death; and Card. Lambertini, de Canoniz. SS. t. 3.
The Ascension of Jesus is told in the Bible in Acts 1:9-11. This teaching explains that the resurrected Jesus was taken up to Heaven 40 days after the resurrection. The Gospels also describe the ascension of Jesus in Luke 24:50-53 and Mark 16:19. The ascension of Jesus is included in the Nicene Creed and in the Apostles' Creed. The Feast of the Ascension, is celebrated on the 40th day of Easter (always a Thursday). In some countries this Feast is transferred to the Sunday following the Thursday. Jesus said unto them, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation. Jesus led the eleven disciples to Bethany, not far from Jerusalem. Then he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he parted from them, and was carried up into heaven. Acts 1:9 describes the Ascension: "And when he had said these things, as they were looking, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight." The Ascension took place on Mount Olivet. The Chapel of the Ascension in Jerusalem today is venerated by Christians and Muslims. There is a 12x12 meter octagonal structure (called a martyrium—"memorial"—or "Edicule") that remains to this day. Russian Orthodox have a Convent of the Ascension on the top of the Mount of Olives. Christian theology The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains:"Christ's Ascension into heaven signifies his participation, in his humanity, in God's power and authority." CCC 668. In John 20:17 Jesus told St. Mary Magdalene: "I have not yet ascended to the Father; go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God"
Ascension remembers the day when Jesus went up into heaven 40 days after He rose from the dead.
Novena Prayer (Say 9 Times)
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.
V. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created.
R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.
R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.
Let us Pray:
O God, who hast taught the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant that by the gift of the same Spirit we may be always truly wise, and ever rejoice in His consolations,
Through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Our FatherGlory Be