Monday, March 31, 2014

PREPARING FOR THE CANONIZATION OF JOHN XXIII AND JOHN PAUL II

Following is the entire English language version of today's announcement by the Vatican Information Service regarding preparations for the canonizations of Blesseds John XXIII and John Paul II,

Vatican City, 31 March 2014 (VIS) - This morning a press conference was held in the Holy See Press Office to present the initiatives forming part of the preparations for the canonizations of Blesseds John XXIII and John Paul II, to be celebrated on 27 April. The speakers were Cardinal Agostino Vallini, vicar of His Holiness for the diocese of Rome, along with Msgr. Giulio Dellavite, secretary general for the Curia of Bergamo, Msgr. Walter Insero, head of the Office for Social Communications for the Vicariate of Rome, and Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., director of the Holy See Press Office.
The initiatives will include a digital platform, the aim of which is to enable the faithful and pilgrims to have access to news and information regarding the ceremonies as well as a series of spiritual reflections on the life and teachings of both popes. Indeed, the official sitewww.2papisanti.org is an almost-completed portal which offers contacts, sections for press offices, information, videos and images as well as biographical documentation on John XXIII and John Paul II. It will be available in five languages: Italian, English, French, Spanish and Polish.
The application entitled "Santo Subito" , which may be downloaded free in both Android and IOS formats (in Italian, English, Spanish and Polish) and whose title draws on the famed saintliness of both Popes even during their lifetimes, will offer logistical information, as well as access to the main news on the canonisations, and will allow material relating to the various liturgical events to be downloaded.
Existing media include:

Official page of the Postulation with content in five languages:

Official Twitter page with content in five languages:


Portal:  for the beatification of Karol Wojtyla

This latter, developed in 2011, gives a detailed illustration of the stages in the canonical process leading to the recognition of the saintliness of John Paul II and is available in several languages: Italian, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish and Romanian.

The parallel project #2popesaints, realised in collaboration with the students of communication sciences from the Roman university LUMSA involves a series of networks enabling young people to get to know the lives, teachings and testimony of faith of the two new saints. There will be a Facebook page entitled 2popesaints; on Twitter, the account @2popesaints; on Instagram, #2popesaints; and on YouTube, 2popesaints. Every day each one of the above will propose a theme relating to both popes in the media, starting from 16 April until the canonisation, and each event will be transmitted live on each network.

On Google+ there will be the possibility of following in a "hangout" the daily briefings during the week leading up to the canonization. A QR code will also be created to allow rapid access to the site . The initiative "Rome connecting to the World" , a form of "twinning" between the faithful arriving in Rome and the young people of the city, will make it possible to get to know the most important locations in Rome along with the history of John XXIII and John Paul II, providing information on the Facebook page.

In the diocese of Rome, on 22 April in the Basilica of St. John Lateran, Cardinal Agostino Vallini will preside at a meeting addressing young people, with the postulators for the causes of both saints: Msgr. Slavomir Oder (John Paul II) and Fr. Giovangiuseppe Califano (John XXIII).

On 26 April, starting at 9 p.m., there will be a "White night of prayer" and the churches throughout the centre of Rome will remain open for prayer and confession in various languages.
Similarly, the diocese of Bergamo will pay homage to XIII with the initiative "Le Opere Segno" , a series of activities dedicated to charity, human development and solidarity which affect daily lives. They include an aid project for Haiti to guarantee three years' education in the John XXIII school; an invitation to priests to contribute a month's salary and all the alms collected by the parish communities on 27 April to a fund set up in aid of families afflicted by the economic crisis; and the commemoration, on 12 April, of the publication of the encyclical "Pacem in Terris" , to be attended by ambassadors representing the countries where Angelo Roncalli carried out his diplomatic mission as an apostolic nuncio (Bulgaria, Turkey, Greek and France), and which will be presented by Jacques Delors, former president of the European Commission

POPE FRANCIS PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR APRIL


Pope Francis' universal prayer intention for April is
: "That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources".
His intention for evangelization is:
 "That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness" .
(From 31 March 2014 VIS)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

HOLY WEEK SERVICES

Holy Week Services at Sacred Heart and Saint Bridget's
Tintoretto [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Monday, March 24, 2014

INSTITUTION OF THE PONTIFICAL COMMISSION FOR THE PROTECTION OF MINORS

The Holy Father has instituted the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, as announced on 5 December 2013, and has invited the following people to be members:

Marie Collins, co-founder of the Marie Collins Foundation, an NGO providing help and legal assistance to victims of abuse and their families. Ms Collins  suffered sexual abuse as a child and brought the priest responsible to justice in 1997.

Sheila Hollins,  emeritus professor of Psychiatry and former president of the British Medical Association.

Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley O.F.M. Cap.  archbishop of Boston, U.S.A., well-known for his efforts for the protection of children.  He is a member of the Apostolic Visitation of dioceses and seminaries in Ireland in 2010.

 Claudio Papale,  lawyer and professor in the faculty of canon law at the Pontifical Urbaniana University, Rome.

Hanna Suchocka, former prime minister of Poland (1992-1993), is a professor at the University of Poznan, specializing in constitutional law, and the author of various texts on human rights.

Jesuit Fr. Manuel Yanez,  professor of moral theology at the Pontifical Gregorian and Urbaniana Universities.

Fr. Hans Zollner,S.J., psychotherapist and psychologist,  academic vice-rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University, director of the Institute of Psychology, and chair of the Steering Committee of that Institute's “Center for Child Protection"

Their first task of the group will be to define the Commission's competence and functions. The initial members  will subsequently be joined by others, nominated from various geographical areas of the world.
According to the director of the Holy See press Office:,"...the Commission will adopt a multiple approach to promoting the protection of minors, which will include education for the prevention of the exploitation of children, legal procedures relating to offences against minors, civil and canonical duties and responsibilities, and the development of 'best practices' as defined and developed in society as a whole”.
( 22 March 2014 VIS) 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Updated March Calendar

To enlarge: click image

Bishop Loverde's Pastoral Letter on the Solemnity of Saint Joseph


                        Father Krempa urges to read the Bishop Loverde's  Pastoral letter.

                 Here is a link to the Bishop's letter.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

ABBACARE

Once again the Women's Club of Saint Bridget's Chapel in the Field has selected ABBACARE as it's Lenten project. Contributions of needed baby items can be dropped of at the narthex on Sunday's during Lent.
                       The  most needed items are listed on the Saint Bridget website

                             There are other ways you can help ABBACARE




Friday, March 14, 2014

Pope Francis Invited to Address Joint Session of Congress

Aides to House Speaker  John Boehner announced Thursday that he had invited Pope Francis to address a joint session of Congress during his expected  visit to the United States to attend the Global Conference on the Family scheduled for September 2015 in Philadelphia. This is the first time a Pope has been invited to address Congress.

Boehner’s Statement (as reported in Time Magazine):
“It is with reverence and admiration that I have invited Pope Francis, as head of state of the Holy See and the first Pope to hail from the Americas, to address a joint meeting of the United States Congress.
“Pope Francis has inspired millions of Americans with his pastoral manner and servant leadership, challenging all people to lead lives of mercy, forgiveness, solidarity, and humble service.
“His tireless call for the protection of the most vulnerable among us—the ailing, the disadvantaged, the unemployed, the impoverished, the unborn—has awakened hearts on every continent.
“His social teachings, rooted in ‘the joy of the gospel,’ have prompted careful reflection and vigorous dialogue among people of all ideologies and religious views in the United States and throughout a rapidly changing world, particularly among those who champion human dignity, freedom, and social justice.
“These principles are among the fundamentals of the American Idea. And though our nation sometimes fails to live up to these principles, at our best we give them new life as we seek the common good. Many in the United States believe these principles are undermined by ‘crony capitalism’ and the ongoing centralization of political power in the institutions of our federal government, which threaten to disrupt the delicate balance between the twin virtues of subsidiarity and solidarity. They have embraced Pope Francis’ reminder that we cannot meet our responsibility to the poor with a welfare mentality based on business calculations. We can meet it only with personal charity on the one hand and sound, inclusive policies on the other.
“The Holy Father’s pastoral message challenges people of all faiths, ideologies and political parties. His address as a visiting head of state before a joint meeting of the House and Senate would honor our nation in keeping with the best traditions of our democratic institutions. It would also offer an excellent opportunity for the American people as well as the nations of the world to hear his message in full.
“It is with deep gratitude that I have asked Pope Francis to consider this open invitation on behalf of the Congress and the millions of citizens of the United States we serve.”

Although Vatican officials noted that the Pope's visit to the Conference has not as yet been confirmed,
Boehner's action has received wide bipartisan support

Nancy Pelosi's Statement (as reported in Time Magazine):
“As we approach the first anniversary of the inauguration of Pope Francis, I am pleased to join Speaker Boehner in inviting His Holiness to address a Joint Meeting of the United States Congress.
“I had the privilege of attending His Holiness’ inauguration at the Vatican and was inspired by his message of peace, compassion, and brotherhood.
“Whether inspired by St. Francis of Assisi, who cared for all of God’s creation, or by St. Joseph, protector of the church, Pope Francis has lived his values and upheld his promise to be a moral force, to protect the poor and the needy, to serve as a champion of the less fortunate, and to promote love and understanding among faiths and nations.”

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Do we want to be holy? Yes or No

In honor of the one year anniversary of Pope Francis’ election as Bishop of Rome, the Vatican website has published a 72 page online book, compiled of inspiring "mini-homilies" of Francis during the first year of his pontificate.

Entitled “Do we want to be holy? Yes or no?” The online publication can be found here

It is well worth reading.

The Gospel of the Family to be published this week.

The Gospel of the Family is  to be published this week in German and Italian. The book features the reflection with which Cardinal Walter Kasper introduced the forthcoming Synod on the family to cardinals gathered with Pope Francis at February’s consistory. Vatican Radio's Phillipa Hitchens interviewed the retired German cardinal, who previously headed the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. He said the main purpose of his speech to the cardinals was to deepen the theological understanding of challenges facing the family, ahead of the first synod on that subject to be held in the Vatican next October. 

"...While the Church must remain faithful to its teaching on the indissolubility of the sacrament of marriage, he said, it is vital to “help, support, encourage” those experiencing difficulties in their family life….
It’s obvious if you see the answers to the questionnaire of the secretariat of the synod to see that there is a difficulty, an abyss….so the Church has to bridge this abyss….it does not mean pure appeasement policies, but the Church must explain in a new way what is family and matrimony in order to help people and at the same time remain faithful to the Gospel…
I do not like to speak of revolution….there were doctrines of the Holy Office before the (Vatican) Council against ecumenism, yet the Council found a way not to destroy or negate the doctrine, but to find ways to interpret it in an adequate way….and I ask myself why it could not be possible also with other doctrines…
Blessed John Henry Newman wrote a famous essay on listening to the faithful in matters of faith….therefore we have to listen to people living family life – not just listen to people living in celibacy – both belong to the people of God, but the great majority are not these people…"
( from Vatican Radio Website)
Full text of article with mp3 recording of Phillipa Hitchen's interview with Cardinal Kasper  here


Friday, March 07, 2014

STATIONS OF THE CROSS and EVENING LENTEN MEAL

               This evening is the first Friday of the month of March and 
       the first friday of Lent. It is a day of abstinence                          

                       STATIONS OF THE CROSS  AT 7:30PM                  

     THE MEN'S CLUB IS SPONSORING THE FIRST OF OUR       
      MEATLESS MEALS - A FISH FRY - IN HOBERT HALL        
                               FROM 6PM TO 8PM                                          

                                                                                              LOGO FROM

Thursday, March 06, 2014

LENT CHALLENGES OUR ROUTINE AND SETS US ON A PATH OF CONVERSION

On Ash Wednesday, Pope Francis led the traditional procession of penitence from the Church of St. Anselm  to the Basilica of Santa Sabina. Then, he presided over the celebration of the Eucharist with the rite of blessing and the imposition of the ashes. Following the proclamation of the Gospel, his  homily  emphasised that "conversion of the heart"  is the characteristic of Lent. “We are called upon to undertake a path in which, challenging our routine, we make efforts to open … our hearts, to go beyond simply tending our own gardens.

He noted that in today's culture, we run the risk of closing ourselves up, of forgetting others. But only when  we respond to the difficulties and suffering of our brothers,  can we undertake our path of conversion towards Easter. "To walk this spiritual path, three elements are necessary: prayer, fasting and charity. All three involve the importance of not allowing oneself to be dominated by appearances: what counts is not appearance, but what we have inside."

“With its invitation to conversion,  Lent providentially reawakens us, shakes us from our torpor, from our risk of living by inertia. … Why must we return to God? Because something is not quite right in us, and is not right in society or in the Church, and we need to change, to turn things around. This is what is meant by needing to convert! Once again, Lent makes its prophetic call to us, to remind us that it is possible to achieve something new within ourselves and around ourselves, simply because God is faithful … and continues to be rich in goodness and mercy, always ready to forgive and start again from the beginning”.
(From VIS March 6) link

Monday, March 03, 2014

POPE FRANCIS' PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR MARCH --RESPECT RIGHTS and DIGNITY of WOMEN



 The Pope's universal prayer intention for March is “that all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women”.

His prayer intention for evangelisation is “that many young people may accept the Lord's invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel”.
(From, 28 February 2014 VIS)