Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Pope Francis' prayer intentions for January

The Holy Father's universal prayer intention for January 2015 is: “That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace”.

His intention for evangelisation is: “That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal”.
Vatican City, 30 December 2014 (VIS) 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Pope Francis: Christmas Message and Urbi et Orbi Blessing

Pope Francis' 2015 Christmas Message and Blessing is available on the Vatican YouTube Channel.
Here is a link to that page

The first ten minutes of this half hour video consists of crowd shots, panoramas, the Swiss Guards and other military units in the dress uniforms and the Christmas decorations of the Vatican.

The Pope's address is in Italian, but by clicking the appropriate button you can hear a simultaneous translation in one of several selected languages including English

Friday, December 26, 2014

St. Bridget's Christmas Party slide show now on YouTube

The photos taken by Michael Hobert at St. Bridget's  Christmas party are now a YouTube slide show
Here is a link to the slideshow
Thank you Michael

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Help Needed to Decorate St. Bridget's for Christmas

Please help decorate our Church after the Noon Mass on December 23. 

Vatican Nativity Scene to be illuminated today
On the morning of December 19, Pope Francis received delegations from the Italian provinces of Verona and Catanzaro, which provided the Nativity scene with its terracotta figures and the Christmas tree that are decorating St. Peter's Square during the festive season this year, and which will be illuminated before the public that evening.

The Pope said to the delegations:
“Christian values have enriched the culture, literature, music and art of your lands, and today such values continue to constitute a valuable heritage to be preserved and transmitted to future generations....The Nativity and the Christmas tree are evocative festive symbols very dear to our Christian families: they recall the mystery of the Incarnation, the only begotten Son of God, made flesh in order to save us, and the light that Jesus has brought to the world through His birth. But the creche and the tree touch the hearts of all, as they speak of fraternity, intimacy and friendship, calling to people of our time to rediscover the beauty of simplicity, sharing and solidarity. They are an invitation to unity, harmony and peace; an invitation to make room, in our personal and social life, for God, Who does not come with arrogance, imposing His power, but instead offers His omnipotent love through the fragile figure of a Child. The creche and the tree therefore bring a message of light, hope, and love”.
“The Messiah made Himself man and came among us, to dispel the shadows of error and sin, bringing His divine light to humanity. Jesus Himself says of Himself: 'I am the light of the world; whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life'. Let us follow Him, the true light, so as not to lose our way and in turn to reflect light and warmth on those who go through moments of difficulty and inner darkness”.


Nativity Scene Tyrolean Art 
The history of the Nativity Scene that forms a central part of many Church Decorations at Christmas is explained on the web site of the Archdiocese of St. Louis which may be found here


The full text of a communique published yesterday afternoon by the Governorate of Vatican City State follows:

"The Holy Father wishes to express his warm congratulations for the historic decision taken by the Governments of the United States of America and Cuba to establish diplomatic relations, with the aim of overcoming, in the interest of the citizens of both countries, the difficulties which have marked their recent history.
In recent months, Pope Francis wrote letters to the President of the Republic of Cuba, His Excellency Mr Raul Castro, and the President of the United States, The Honorable Barack Obama, and invited them to resolve humanitarian questions of common interest, including the situation of certain prisoners, in order to initiate a new phase in relations between the two parties.
The Holy See received delegations of the two countries in the Vatican last October and provided its good offices to facilitate a constructive dialogue on delicate matters, resulting in solutions acceptable to both parties
The Holy See will continue to assure its support for initiatives which both nations will undertake to strengthen their bilateral relations and promote the well-being of their respective citizens."
from  18 December 2014 (VIS) 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Members of the Commission for the Protection of Minors announced

According to the Vatican Information Service, Pope Francis has nominated new members of the Commission for the Protection of Minors, chosen from various parts of the world, so as to allow a broad representation of different situations and cultures. 
The Commission is composed of the following:

Cardinal Sean O'Malley, OFM Cap. (United States), archbishop of Boston, serves as the president of the Commission and is a member of the Council of Cardinals which advises Pope Francis.

Msgr. Robert Oliver (United States) serves as the Secretary of the Commission, following many years in child protection work for the Archdiocese of Boston, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as the Promoter of Justice.

Rev. Luis Manuel Ali Herrera (Colombia) is the Director of the Department of Psychology, professor of pastoral psychology in the Conciliar Seminary of the Archdiocese of Bogota, and as a parish priest.

Dr. Catherine Bonnet (France) is a child psychiatrist, psychotherapist, researcher, and author on child sexual abuse and perinatal violence and neglect.

Marie Collins (Ireland) is a survivor of child sexual abuse. A founder Trustee of the Marie Collins Foundation she served on the committee which drafted the Catholic Church’s all-Ireland child protection policy, “Our Children Our Church.”

Dr. Gabriel Dy-Liacco (Philippines) is an adult and adolescent psychotherapist and pastoral counsellor for various mental health concerns including of individuals, couples, families and groups, including victims and perpetrators of abuse.

Prof. Sheila the Baroness Hollins (England) has worked as a psychiatrist and psychotherapist with children and adults with intellectual disabilities including those who have been sexually abused, and is a life peer in the House of Lords.

Bill Kilgallon (New Zealand) is Director of the National Office for Professional Standards of the Catholic Church in New Zealand where he has lived for the last four years. Prior to that he had a long career in social work and health services in the UK.

Sr. Kayula Gertrude Lesa, RSC (Zambia) is a development professional, trainer and author on child protection, human trafficking, refugee rights and the right to information. She served as a member of the African Forum for Church Social Teaching (AFCAST).

Sr. Hermenegild Makoro, CPS (South Africa) is a member of the Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood in the Diocese of Mathatha in South Africa. She works as a high school teacher and for several years in the diocese as a trainer in pastoral work. After serving as an Associate Secretary General of the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference for six years, Sr. Hermenegild was appointed as the Secretary General of the SACBC in 2012.

Kathleen McCormack (Australia) is a social welfare worker who served as Director of Welfare of Catholic Care in the Diocese of Wollongong for 29 years and held leadership roles in Family Services, Child Protection, Out Of Home Care and Ageing and Disability Services.

Dr. Claudio Papale (Italy) is a canon lawyer and a civil lawyer, professor of canon law at the Pontifical Urban University, and an official of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Peter Saunders (England) was abused throughout his childhood in Wimbledon, South West London. Later in life, after earning a Business Studies degree, Peter discovered that he was one of millions who had suffered such abuse and who could not find any appropriate support. So he set up NAPAC, the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, for supporting all survivors and for developing greater resources for responding to child abuse.

Hon. Hanna Suchocka (Poland) is a professor of constitutional law and specialist in human rights at the University of Poznan, and was formerly Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland and Ambassador of Poland to the Holy See.

Dr. Krysten Winter-Green (United States) is a New Zealander with post-graduate degrees in Theology, Human Development, Social Work, Religion and Pastoral Psychology. She has served in dioceses around the world with homeless persons and those living with AIDS. Krysten’s concentration in the areas of child abuse include forensics, assessment and treatment of priest/clergy offenders.

Rev. Dr. Humberto Miguel Yanez, SJ (Argentina) is Director of the Department of Moral Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, professor of moral theology at the Gregorian and the Pontifical Urban University, and former Director of the Centre of Research and Social Action in Argentina.

Rev. Dr. Hans Zollner, SJ (Germany) is President of the Centre for Child Protection of the Pontifical Gregorian University and Director and Professor of the Institute of Psychology. He was Chair of the organising committee for the Symposium “Towards Healing and Renewal” on sexual abuse of minors (February 2012)

The next plenary session of the Commission will take place in the Vatican on from 6-8 February 2015

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Christmas Schedule at St. Bridget's Announced

Mass Times for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

December 8, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is a Holy Day of Obligation

Mass will be celebrated at noon at St. Bridget's Chapel. For those unable to attend that Mass, the Mass schedule at Sacred Heart Church is 7am, 8:30am, Noon and 7pm.

In the United States , bishops have received permission from the Vatican to abrogate (temporarily waive) the requirement for Catholics to attend Mass on certain Holy Days of Obligation, when those Holy Days fall on either Saturday or Monday. Thus, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops of the United States of American has made the following general decree concerning holy days of obligation:
"Whenever January 1, the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, or August 15, the solemnity of the Assumption, or November 1, the solemnity of All Saints, falls on a Saturday or on a Monday, the precept to attend Mass is abrogated."

December 8, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, the patronal feast of the United States, is a Holy Day of Obligation  honoring Mary, the Mother of God. It celebrates one of the most important events in salvation history, and is never abrogated when December 8 falls on a Saturday or a Monday.

Monday, December 01, 2014


The Giving Tree, sponsored by the SBWC, will be in the narthex on Sunday December 7th and December 14th.  This is your opportunity to support the efforts of the Clarke County Dept. of Social Services to assist those in need at Christmas

          !.Take an ornament from the tree which contains a request for a specific gift for a person
         2.Purchase the item requested, wrap it and
        3. Attach the ornament on the wrapped gift and return it to the narthex for delivery in              time for Christmas

If you would like to assist with the delivery of the gifts, contact JoAn Drake at 540 955 5556 or JoAn@Drake99.com