Monthly Archives: May 2013

Pope leads Corpus Christi procession

Pope Francis celebrated Mass at the Basilica of St. John Lateran this evening for the Feast of Corpus Christi, which is a holy day in Rome and the Vatican. Following the Mass, he led the faithful through the streets of Rome in a Eucharistic Procession with the Blessed Sacrament to the Basilica of St. Mary Major.

During his homily, he spoke on the Eucharist and Eucharistic Adoration. This weekend, as part of the Yaer of Faith, cathedrals around the world will hold Holy Hours.

Here in San Angelo, Bishop Pfeifer will lead a Diocesan Holy Hour on Monday, June 3, at 6:30 p.m. in the Cathedral Church of the Sacred Heart.

Catholic News Service published a report on today’s annual rites in Rome. Read more

The Concho Padre

The Holy Father’s General Audience

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis held his weekly General Audience on Wednesday. After thanking the pilgrims present in St Peter’s Square for braving the brief, late Spring rainstorm that surprised them, there was read a passage from the Gospel according to St John (19:32-35), in which the episode of the soldiers’ piercing of His side is recounted. Then the Holy Father began his catechesis, which this week began a new series of reflections on the mystery of the Church, based in the documents of the II Vatican Council. Below, please find Vatican Radio’s English translation of the Holy Father’s catechesis.
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Dear brothers and sisters,

Last Wednesday I stressed the deep connection between the Holy Spirit and the Church. Today I would like to start some reflections on the mystery of the Church, a mystery that we all live and of which we are part. I would like to do this, using some well-known phrases taken from the documents of the Second Vatican Council.
Today the first: the Church as Family of God

In recent months, more than once I have made reference to the parable of the prodigal son, or rather of the merciful father (cf. Lk 15:11-32). The youngest son leaves the house of his father, squanders everything, and decides to return because he realizes he made a mistake, though he no longer considers himself worthy of sonship. He thinks he might be welcomed back as a servant. Instead, the father runs to meet him, embraces him, gives him back his dignity as a son, and celebrates. This parable, like others in the Gospel, shows well the design of God for humanity.

What is this God’s plan? It is to make us all the one family of his children, in which each of you feels close to Him and feels loved by Him – feels, as in the Gospel parable, the warmth of being the family of God. In this great design, the Church finds its source. [The Church is] is not an organization founded by an agreement among [a group of] persons, but – as we were reminded many times by Pope Benedict XVI – is the work of God: it was born out of the plan of love, which realises itself progressively in history. The Church is born from the desire of God to call all people into communion with Him, to His friendship, and indeed, as His children, to partake of His own divine life. The very word “Church”, from the Greek ekklesia, means “convocation”.

God calls us, urges us to escape from individualism, [from] the tendency to withdraw into ourselves, and calls us – convokes us – to be a part of His family. This convocation has its origin in creation itself. God created us in order that we might live in a relationship of deep friendship with Him, and even when sin had broken this relationship with God, with others and with creation, God did not abandon us.

The whole history of salvation is the story of God seeking man, offer[ing] humanity His love, embracing mankind. He called Abraham to be the father of a multitude, chose the people of Israel to forge an alliance that embraces all nations, and sent, in the fullness of time, His Son, that His plan of love and salvation be realised in a new and everlasting covenant with humanity. When we read the Gospels, we see that Jesus gathers around him a small community that receives His word, follows Him, shares His journey, becomes His family – and with this community, He prepares and builds His Church.
Whence, then, is the Church born? It is born from the supreme act of love on the Cross, from the pierced side of Jesus from which flow blood and water, a symbol of the sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist. In the family of God, the Church, the lifeblood is the love of God that is realised in loving Him and others, loving all without distinction, without measure. The Church is a family that loves and is loved.
When does the Church manifest itself? We celebrated [the Church’s manifestation] two Sundays ago: the Church manifests itself when the gift of the Holy Spirit fills the hearts of the Apostles and pushes them to go out and start the journey to proclaim the Gospel, to spread the love of God.

Even today, some say, “Christ yes, the Church no,” like those who say, “I believe in God, but in priests, no.” They say, “Christ: yes. Church: no.” Nevertheless, it is the Church that brings us Christ and that brings us to God. The Church is the great family of God’s children. Of course it also has the human aspects: in those who compose it, pastors and faithful, there are flaws, imperfections, sins – the Pope has his, as well: he has lots of them; but the beautiful thing is that, when we become aware that we are sinners, we find the mercy of God. God always forgives: do not forget this. God always forgives, and He receives us in His love of forgiveness and mercy. Some people say – this is beautiful – that sin is an offence against God, but it is also an opportunity: the humiliation of realising [that one is a sinner]
and that there is something [exceedingly] beautiful: the mercy of God. Let us think about this.

Let us ask ourselves today: how much do I love the Church? Do I pray for her? Do I feel myself a part of the family of the Church? What do I do to make the Church a community in which everyone feels welcomed and understood, [in which] everyone feels the mercy and love of God who renews life? Faith is a gift and an act that affects us personally, but God calls us to live our faith together, as a family: as the Church.

We ask the Lord, in a special way in this Year of the faith, that our communities, the whole Church be ever more true families that live and carry the warmth of God.

The Holy Father also had greetings for English-speaking pilgrims, which he delivered through an interpreter:
Dear Brothers and Sisters: In today’s Audience I would like to speak of the Church as God’s family. Like the merciful father in the parable of the prodigal son, God wants all of us to live in his love and to share in his life. The Church is an essential part of this divine plan; we were made to know and love God and, despite our sins, he continues to call us to return to him. In the fullness of time, he sent his Son into our world to inaugurate the new and eternal covenant with humanity through his sacrifice on the cross. The Church was born of this supreme act of reconciling love, in the water and blood which flowed from Christ’s pierced side. At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit sent the Apostles to proclaim the Gospel of God’s love to the ends of the earth. Christ can never be separated from his Church, which he has made the great family of God’s children. Today, let [us] pledge ourselves to renewing our love for the Church and to letting her be God’s true family, where everyone feels welcomed, understood and loved.

Vatican Radio

Washington archbishop at Vatican

This afternoon, our Holy Father, Pope Francis, received in audience in the Apostolic Palace, His Eminence, Donald Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington.

The Concho Padre

Pope Francis’ Wednesday Mass

THE DANGER OF TRIUMPHALISM IN THE CHURCH

From Vatican Radio

http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-at-mass-the-temptation-of-triumphalism

“Morning After” pill a direct attack on the unborn

Geneva, May 28, 2013 (Zenit.org)
by Hilary White

The so-called Morning After Pill, often called “emergency contraception” by the medical establishment, is not a “life-saving commodity,” the head of the Holy See delegation told the 66th World Health Assembly in Geneva this week. Such drugs are in reality “a direct attack” on the life of the unborn child.

In his address, Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski responded to the World Health Organization’s Resolution EB132.R4, which urges member states to improve the quality, supply, and use of 13 “life-saving commodities.”

The list includes “emergency contraception.”

ArchbishopZimowski said the Holy See “strongly agrees with the need to achieve further reductions in the loss of life and prevention of illness through increased access to inexpensive interventions” but insisted that they must all be “respectful of the life and dignity of all mothers and children at all stages of life, from conception to natural death.”

While some of the WHO’s recommendations, he said, “are truly life-saving, that of ‘emergency contraception’ can hardly be labeled as such since it is well known that, when conception already has occurred, certain substances used in ‘emergency contraception’ produce an abortifacient effect.”

“For my delegation, it is totally unacceptable to refer to a medical product that constitutes a direct attack on the life of the child in utero as a ‘life-saving commodity’ and, much worse, to encourage ‘increasing use of such substances in all parts of the world,’” he said.

Patrick Buckley, the international affairs officer of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, commented that the intervention was well placed.

The World Health Assembly is the annual general meeting of the World Health Organization and is discussing universal health coverage, women and children’s health, and monitoring the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals, all of which have relevance to the issue of abortion and artificial contraception.

Earlier this year, abortion advocates used the three-day Global Maternal Health Conference in Tanzania to promote the idea of universal coverage for abortion as part of the MDGs.

Buckley said, “It is good to hear the Holy See speaking out boldly on this fundamental issue. Women are entitled to the truth – and the Catholic Church is serving the best interests of women, children and families worldwide, when it proclaims the truth fearlessly on abortion and abortifacient products in world assemblies.”

In another intervention, Jeanne Head, R.N., National Right to Life vice-president for international affairs and UN representative said that women, especially in the developing world, “face numerous risks with abortion, legal or illegal.”

“Yet some in the international community have focused their resources primarily on legalizing abortion at the expense of women’s lives and health,” she said.

In a submission to the meeting, Scott Fischbach of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Global Outreach, said, “The evidence is overwhelming: Abortion is dangerous for women. Abortion is by its very nature a violent and damaging procedure.”

Speaking for a coalition of international pro-life groups, Fischbach said, “We call upon the WHA to acknowledge that abortion needlessly puts women at serious risk, both physically and psychologically. We urge the World Health Assembly to adopt measures that protect women from abortion and improve women’s health care.”

from zenit.org

News Briefs, May 28

FROM CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

http://www.catholicnews.com/data/briefs/cns/20130528.htm

The Concho Padre

Wednesday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Father,
keep in mind your holy covenant,
sealed with the blood of the Lamb.
Forgive the sins of your people
and let this new day bring us closer to salvation.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
– Amen.

Gospel – Wednesday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Gospel Mk10:32-45

The disciples were on the way, going up to Jerusalem,
and Jesus went ahead of them.
They were amazed, and those who followed were afraid.
Taking the Twelve aside again, he began to tell them
what was going to happen to him.
“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man
will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes,
and they will condemn him to death
and hand him over to the Gentiles who will mock him,
spit upon him, scourge him, and put him to death,
but after three days he will rise.”
Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee,
came to Jesus and said to him,
‘Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.”
He replied, ‘What do you wish me to do for you?”
They answered him,
“Grant that in your glory
we may sit one at your right and the other at your left.”
Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking.
Can you drink the chalice that I drink
or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?”
They said to him, ‘We can.”
Jesus said to them, “The chalice that I drink, you will drink,
and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized;
but to sit at my right or at my left is not mine to give
but is for those for whom it has been prepared.”
When the ten heard this, they became indignant at James and John.
Jesus summoned them and said to them,
“You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles
lord it over them,
and their great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all.
For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Worldwide Holy Hour of Eucharistic Adoration

IN THE DIOCESE OF SAN ANGELO, THE HOLY HOUR WILL TAKE PLACE ON MONDAY, JUNE 3, AT 6:30 PM IN THE CATHEDRAL CHURCH OF THE SACRED HEART IN SAN ANGELO

From the Holy See Press Office

http://www.news.va/en/news/eucharistic-adoration-and-evangelium-vitae-day-key

Following Christ is not a career; it is the way of the Cross

POPE FRANCIS AT TUESDAY MORNING MASS

http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-at-mass-following-christ-is-not-a-career-it-i

From Vatican Radio