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Saint of the day
2 He brought a famine upon them, and by his zeal he made them few in number.
3 By the word of the Lord he shut up the heavens, and also three times brought down fire.
4 How glorious you were, O Elijah, in your wondrous deeds! And who has the right to boast which you have?
9 You who were taken up by a whirlwind of fire, in a chariot with horses of fire;
10 you who are ready at the appointed time, it is written, to calm the wrath of God before it breaks out in fury, to turn the heart of the father to the son, and to restore the tribes of Jacob.
11 Blessed are those who saw you, and those who have been adorned in love; for we also shall surely live.
2 before E'phraim and Benjamin and Manas'seh! Stir up thy might, and come to save us!
14 Turn again, O God of hosts! Look down from heaven, and see; have regard for this vine,
15 the stock which thy right hand planted.
17 But let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, the son of man whom thou hast made strong for thyself!
18 Then we will never turn back from thee; give us life, and we will call on thy name!
11 He replied, "Eli'jah does come, and he is to restore all things;
12 but I tell you that Eli'jah has already come, and they did not know him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of man will suffer at their hands."
13 Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.
18 O that you had hearkened to my commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea;
19 your offspring would have been like the sand, and your descendants like its grains; their name would never be cut off or destroyed from before me."
2 but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff which the wind drives away.
6 for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
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Saturday 4:30 p.m.
Sunday 8:30 a.m. & 10:30 a.m.
Wednesday 6:00 p.m.
Saturday 3:30 p.m.
Or by appointment.
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament occurs every Wednesday evening from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. with confession and benediction.
Monday 7:00 a.m.
Tuesday 8:30 a.m.
Wednesday 8:30 a.m.
Thursday 6:15 a.m. & 8:30 a.m.
Friday 8:30 a.m.
First Friday Adoration
24-hour exposition of the Blessed Sacrament occurs every first Friday of the month from 9:00 a.m. Friday to 9:00 a.m. Saturday.
Vatican City, Dec 17, 2017 / 12:05 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- With Christmas just eight days away, Pope Francis said three simple attitudes can help prepare us to welcome Jesus Christ.
“Saint Paul invites us to prepare for the coming of the Lord by assuming three attitudes: constant joy, persevering prayer and continual thanksgiving,” the Pope said. “Joy, prayer and gratitude are three attitudes that prepare us to live Christmas in an authentic way.”
Pope Francis’ remarks to the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square came ahead of the Angelus for Gaudete Sunday, the Third Sunday of Advent, which this year coincided with Pope Francis’ 81st birthday.
He said the liturgy in recent Sundays has focused on how to be vigilant and how to prepare for the way of the Lord. For Gaudete Sunday, the liturgy invites Christians to joy.
The Pope cited St. Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians, “always be happy.”
“That is to say, always remain in joy, even when things do not go according to our desires,” Francis explained. “Anxieties, difficulties and sufferings permeate our lives, and so many times the reality around us seems to be inhospitable and arid, like the desert in which the voice of John the Baptist resounded, as the Gospel of today recalls.”
John the Baptist’s voice in the desert reveal that Christian joy rests on “the certainty that the desert is inhabited.”
This is Jesus, who in the words of the Prophet Isaiah comes “to bring the good news to the poor, to bind the wounds of broken hearts, to proclaim the freedom of slaves, the release of prisoners, to promulgate the year of grace of the Lord.”
Jesus’ mission in the world consists of “liberation from personal and social sin and the slavery that it produces.”
“He came to earth to give back to men the dignity and freedom of the children of God, which only He can give,” said Pope Francis.
Unceasing prayer helps us enter into relationship with God, the source of true joy.
“The joy of the Christian comes from faith and from the encounter with Jesus Christ, the reason for our happiness,” the Pope continued. “The more we are rooted in Christ, the more we find inner serenity, even in the midst of everyday contradictions.”
The Christian who has met Jesus cannot be “a prophet of misfortune” but must be “a witness and a herald of joy,” said Francis. This is “a joy to share with others; a contagious joy that makes life's journey less tiring.”
St. Paul also stressed “the grateful love of God,” his generosity, mercy, patience and goodness. Christians are to be “living in an endless state of thanksgiving.”
Pope Francis closed his remarks before the Angelus by entrusting the congregation to the intercession of the Virgin Mary.
“She is ‘the cause of our joy,’ not only because she is the Mother of Jesus, but because she continually leads us to Him,” he said.
After the Angelus, the Pope called for the release of six women religious kidnapped in Iguoriakhi in Nigeria’s southern Edo State.
On Nov. 13 gunmen abducted the sisters, three professed women and three aspirants, from their convent. There have been no claims of responsibility for the crime in a country where kidnapping for ransom has become common.
“I unite my heart to the appeal of the bishops of Nigeria for the liberation of the Sisters of the Eucharistic Heart of Christ,” he said.
“I pray with insistence for them and for all the other persons who find themselves in this painful condition,” he continued, adding “may they all, on the occasion of Christmas, finally return to their homes.”
Münster, Germany, Dec 17, 2017 / 07:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- When Father Clemens August von Galen was consecrated Bishop of Münster in October 1933, he chose for his episcopal motto Nec laudibus, nec timore – 'neither by praises nor by fear,' which summed up his ministry throughout Germany's Nazi period.
The motto was taken from the liturgy for episcopal consecration, which prays that the new bishop will love humility and truth, and not be overcome by either praise or fear.
Bishop von Galen wrote in his first pastoral letter that “Neither the praises of men nor fear of men shall move us. Rather, our glory will be to promote the praise of God, and our steadfast effort will be to walk always in a holy fear of God.”
During his entire episcopacy the bishop spoke up against the Nazis' euthanasia program and racial theories, and defended human rights and the cause of justice. He was among the most outspoken of Germany's bishops during that era, and assisted the writing of Pius XI's 1937 anti-Nazi encyclical Mit brennender Sorge.
He was made a cardinal in February 1946, just one month before his March 22 death, and he was beatified in 2005 by Benedict XVI.
Blessed von Galen's motto “would be a great motto to have for a bishop,” Fr. Daniel Utrecht of the Toronto Oratory told CNA. Fr. Utrecht is the author of The Lion of Münster: The Bishop Who Roared Against the Nazis.
Fr. Utrecht was drawn to write about Blessed von Galen because he was a model bishop.
“I was telling some people about him during World Youth Day in 2005, and they said, 'We need bishops like this, why have we never heard of this guy? Someone should write a book about him',” he related.
The priest recalled reading in German a two volume work of Blessed von Galen's documents, letters, and sermons written as a bishop. “They became more and more fascinating, and there just wasn't much in English to read about him. I eventually came to the conclusion that it was up to me to write an English-language biography.”
Blessed von Galen was born into a German noble family in 1878, and was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Münster in 1904. As a priest he wrote on the origins and limits of state power, and the importance of voting as a responsibility for the common good rather than doing so for private interests.
In the later years of the Weimar Republic, Blessed von Galen supported the German Centre Party, which worked to present a Christian voice in defense of Catholic interests and human rights in the public square, and entered into coalition governments with other parties in an effort to balance power.
But the priest was unable to sway many of his acquaintances to support the Centre Party – other Catholics were arguing that the Nazi Party was most compatible with Catholic ideals.
Many bishops had barred Catholics from being members of the National Socialist movement. But when Hitler softened his antireligious stance and stated early in 1933 that Christianity would be prominent in Germany's rule, the bishops took him at his word and began allowing Catholics to join the movement.
But when Blessed von Galen was made a bishop later that year, he maintained his anti-Nazi beliefs. Within a year he clashed with government officials over the rights of Catholic schools and the Nazis' racial and anti-Jewish ideology.
He was most outspoken against the Nazi's involuntary euthanasia program, which under which the disabled, mentally ill, deformed, senile, those with Down syndrome, and the incurably sick were killed. The program began in 1939, and more than 70,000 people were euthanized under it.
Blessed von Galen led Catholic protest against euthanasia. He delivered three sermons in the summer of 1941 which condemned the program, as well as Nazi attacks on the Church, and raised public awareness of what has happening. After the sermons' delivery he was nicknamed “The Lion of Münster”, and they resulted in a Nazi propaganda minister, Walter Tiessler, recommending that he be executed.
The bishop remained outspoken against Nazi atrocities throughout World War II, and afterwards spoke up against injustices committed by the occupying Allied forces.
“I see plenty of parallels today,” Fr. Utrecht told CNA. “I hope that people reading the book get it for themselves.” Blessed von Galen's “example of courage and being able to speak out in defense of human life is of interest, very much of interest today, in the fight against abortion and euthanasia … the defense of liberty, religious liberty, the defense of a place for religion in the public square is a very, very big lesson that he has for us.”
In addition to supporting Catholic witness to the value of human life in the face of abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, and the dictatorship of relativism, Fr. Utrecht said that the cardinal can speak to Catholics facing political dictatorships as well.
The priest shared how during a recent trip to Germany he met a priest from Africa who is “very keen on making von Galen known to the Africans, because he said 'In many places we have totalitarian governments and not enough of the bishops speak out', – so he thought there was a great parallel there.”
Since Cardinal von Galen was beatified 12 years ago, there is a need to develop devotion to him, Fr. Utrecht reflected. “Greater devotion to him is the next step, not just locally, but worldwide.”
“There are plenty of people who do know about him and who are pushing devotion to him, but it needs kind of a new push, so I hope we can get a push, and not only there, but among English- reading people elsewhere.”
This article was originally published on CNA March 22, 2017.
Vatican City, Dec 16, 2017 / 06:25 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Journalism must prize truth and reflection over sensationalism and clamor, Pope Francis told journalists on Saturday.
“It is important that the criteria of judgment and information are offered patiently and methodically so that public opinion is able to understand and discern, and is not stunned and disoriented,” the Pope said Dec. 16, according to Vatican News.
The Pope encouraged journalism that embodies “serenity, precision and completeness.” It must use calm language that favors “fruitful reflection” and thoughtful, clear words that reject “clamorous and ambiguous speech.”
The Pope spoke to about 350 members of the Italian Periodical Press Union and the Italian Federation of Catholic Weeklies, who met him at the Vatican.
“Your free and responsible voice is fundamental for the growth of any society that wants to be called democratic, so that a continuous exchange of ideas and a profitable debate based on real and correctly reported facts are assured,” the pontiff told them.
He noted the dominance of speed and sensationalism in some reporting, which lacks precision and thoroughness. It is dominated by overheated emotions, not thoughtful reflection.
The pontiff stressed the need for reliable information, verified data and news that does not aim to amaze and excite. Rather, it creates in readers a healthy critical sense that allows them to ask appropriate questions and make justified conclusions.
“There is no need to fall into the ‘sins of communications’: misinformation, that is saying only a part which is calumny and which is sensational, or defamation that seeks out things past and old and bringing them to light today,” said Pope Francis. “They are very grave sins that damage the heart of the journalist and damage the people.”
Vatican City, Dec 16, 2017 / 04:26 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis met with the youth of Catholic Action on Saturday as the movement marks its 150th anniversary year.
The pontiff encouraged the young people to meet with the movement’s “grandparents.”
“This is something very beautiful and important,” he said, adding that “the elderly are the historic memory of every community, a heritage of wisdom and faith to be heard, preserved, and valued.”
“These are your peripheries!” he said.
The delegation of 12 boys and girls, accompanied by their teachers, came from 12 different Italian dioceses, Vatican News reports. The movement aims to expand Catholic influence in society.
The Pope encouraged the youth to fix their attention on “the decisive events of the life of Jesus” and “to seek to become ever more like Him, your greatest and most faithful friend.”
He encouraged them to be ready to shoot a photograph and to be “good photographers,” both of the deeds Jesus has done and of the reality of their world.
They should be attentive to those who have forgotten, “the poorest, the weakest, those relegated to the margins society because they are considered as a problem.”
They should seek out those “no one ever sees” and “dare to take the first step to meet them, to give them a little bit of your time, a smile, an act of tenderness.”
For Pope Francis, the meeting with the delegation was joyful because it allowed them to update him on their activities of “solidarity in favor of the poor and of the most disadvantaged.”
Denver, Colo., Dec 16, 2017 / 03:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In recent years, some Catholics have been concerned by pushes from governments in locations such as Louisiana and Australia who challenge the secrecy of the sacrament of confession, asking that priests betray the solemnity of penitents’ confessions when they hear of serious crimes in the confessional.
However, Catholics should not be afraid, because keeping the secrecy of the sacrament of confession is one of the most important promises priests make.
The code of canon law states that “the sacramental seal is inviolable; therefore it is absolutely forbidden for a confessor to betray in any way a penitent in words or in any manner and for any reason.” Priests who violate this seal of confession are automatically excommunicated.
Priests take this solemnity of the seal of confession very seriously; these four priests who died protecting it are witnesses to the extreme lengths to which priests are willing to go to protect the seal of confession.
St. John Nepomucene
Born in Bohemia, or what is now the Czech Republic, between 1340 and 1350, St. John Nepomucene was an example of the protection of sacramental secrecy, being the first martyr who preferred to die rather than reveal the secret of confession.
When he was Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Prague, the now- saint servedas confessor of Sofia of Bavaria, the wife of King Wenceslaus. The king, who had infamous outbursts of anger and jealousy, ordered the priest to reveal the sins of his wife. The saint's refusal infuriated Wenceslaus, who threatened to kill the priest if he did not tell him his wife’s secrets.
King Wenceslaus and John Nepomucene came into conflict again when the monarch wanted to seize a convent in order to take its wealth and give it to a relative. The saint prohibited its seizure because those goods belonged to the Church.
Filled with rage, the king ordered the torture of the saint, whose body was then thrown to the Vltava River in 1393.
St. Mateo Correa Magallanes
Saint Mateo Correa Magallanes was another martyr of the seal of confession. He was shot in Mexico during the Cristero War for refusing to reveal the confessions of prisoners rebelling against the Mexican government.
He was born in Tepechitlán in the state of Zacateca on July 22, 1866 and was ordained a priest in 1893. Fr. Matteo served as chaplain in various towns and parishes and was a member of the Knights of Columbus.
In 1927, the priest was arrested by Mexican army forces under General Eulogio Ortiz. A few days later, the general sent Father Correa to hear the confessions group of people who were to be shot. After Fr. Mateo finished administering the sacrament, the general then demanded that the priest reveal what he had heard.
Fr. Mateo responded with a resounding “no” and was executed. Currently, his remains are venerated in the Cathedral of Durango.
He was beatified Nov. 22, 1992 and canonized by St. John Paul II May 21, 2000.
Fr. Felipe Císcar Puig
Fr. Felipe Císcar Puig was a Valencian priest who is also also considered a martyr of the sacramental seal because he was martyred after keeping confessions secret during the religious persecution of the Spanish Civil War.
During the war, revolutionary and republican forces engaged in violent battles for power, and many Catholics were targeted. This was especially true of the coastal province of Valencia, on the Mediterranean sea.
The Archdiocese of Valencia indicated that, according to the documents collected, Father Císcar was taken to a prison near the end of August 1936. There, a Franciscan friar named Andrés Ivars asked that Fr. Císcar hear his confession before the friar was executed be firing squad.
"After the confession, they tried to extract its contents and before his refusal to reveal it, the militiamen threatened to kill him,” says an archdiocesan statement by a witness to the event. The priest then replied, “Do what you want but I will not reveal the confession, I would die before that.”
"Seeing him so sure, they took him to a sham court where he was ordered to reveal the secrets.” Fr. Císar remained committed to his position, stating that he preferred to die, and the militiamen condemned him to death. Fathers Felipe Císcar and Andrés Ivars were taken by car to another location where they were shot on September 8, 1936. They were 71 and 51 years old, respectively.
Both Felipe Císcar and Andrés Ivars are part of the canonization cause of Ricardo Pelufo Esteve and 43 companions.
Fr. Fernando Olmedo Reguera
Fr. Fernando Olmedo Reguera was also a victim of the Spanish Civil War who opted to die rather than break the secrecy of confession.
Born in Santiago de Compostela Jan. 10, 1873 and ordained a priest in the Capuchin Order of Friars Minor on July 31, 1904, Fr. Olmedo was killed Aug. 12, 1936. He served the order as its provincial secretary until 1936, when he had to leave his convent due to the severe religious persecution in the area.
Fr. Olmedo was then arrested, and beaten in prison. He then was pressured into revealing the confessions of others, but Fr. Olmedo did not give in. According to reports, he was shot at a 19th century fortress outside of Madrid by a populist tribunal. His remains are entombed in the crypt of the Church of Jesus of Medinaceli in Madrid, and he was beatified in Tarragona Oct. 13, 2013.
This article was first published Aug. 22, 2017.