Monday, January 22, 2018

#PopeFrancis Apologizes to Abuse Victims at Papal Plane Interview “covering up abuse is an abuse in itself,"



(JCE Note this Text replaces earlier versions as this provides FULL Quotes):
Vatican Insider Release:
ON THE FLIGHT BACK TO ROME FROM LIMA
“I apologies if I have hurt the victims of abuse with my words on the Barros case”. Pope Francis, answering the journalists’ questions on the flight from Lima back to Rome, admits that he made a mistake in expressing himself on the case of Juan Barros, the Chilean bishop of Osorno, challenged by groups of faithful in his diocese who believe he was aware of the sexual abuse committed by his mentor Father Fernando Karadima and that he had covered them up. In the margins of the mass celebrated last Thursday in Iquique, Francis had answered the question of a local reporter, stating he was willing to evaluate the “proof” on Barros if presented to him and adding that he considered as “calumny” the accusations made against the bishop. Words that provoked a strong reaction from the victims of abuse in Chile and had Cardinal Sean O’ Malley release a statement regarding the matter. But the Pope also spoke about the now famous wedding aboard the papal flight. Francis defended his choice by explaining that the couple was well prepared, had followed pre-marriage courses and approached the sacrament of penance. Finally, Francis called the trip to chile and Peru a “pasteurized” journey, like milk, because we passed from the heat to the cold through various climates. 

On the first day in Chile, you sent out a strong message against child abuse. But then you made that statement about Bishop Barros, speaking of “calumny”. Why do you not believe the victims and believe Barros?  
“In Chile, I have spoken twice about abuses: in front of the government and in the cathedral with the priests. I continue with the zero-tolerance started by Benedict XVI. And in five years I have not signed a single request for grace. If the second instance confirms the first, the only way out is to appeal to the Pope and ask for grace. In five years, I have received about 25 requests for grace. I have not signed one. About the Barros case: I had it studied, investigated. There is really no evidence of guilt. I ask for evidence to change my position. At Iquique, when they asked me about Barros, I said: “the day I will have proof I will speak”. I was wrong to use the word “proof”, I would rather speak of “evidence”: I know that many abused people cannot have proof. They do not and cannot have them, or if they have them, he or she feels ashamed of them: the tragedy of the victims of abuse is terrible. I happened to meet a woman who was abused 40 years ago, married with three children, who did not receive communion because in the priest’s hand she saw the hand of her abuser. The word “proof” was not the best, I would rather say “evidence”. In Barros’ case, I have studied and restudied, there is no evidence to condemn him. And if I condemned without evidence or moral certainty, I would commit a crime of bad judgment.  

One of your letters to the Chilean bishops went public. In the letter, it was mentioned that Barros might take a year off...  
I must explain that letter to you because it is in favor of prudence and tells of a 10-12 months long situation. When the Karadima scandal broke out, we began to see how many of the priests he had tutored, had been abused or carried out the abuses. There are three bishops in Chile that Karadima sent to the seminary. Some people of the Episcopal Conference had suggested that they renounce, take a sabbatical year to let the storm pass: they are good, good bishops, like Barros who had twenty years of episcopacy and was about to finish his mandate as ordinary military. There was talk of asking him to resign. He came to Rome and I said no, because that meant admitting an assumed guilt. I have rejected the resignation. Then, when he was appointed to Osorno, this protest movement arose: I received his resignation for the second time. And I said: no, you continue! Barros has continued to be investigated, but no evidence emerges. I cannot condemn him, I have no evidence, and I am convinced that he is innocent. 

And what about the reaction of the victims to your statements?  
I must apologize for what the abused feel. The word “proof” has hurt many of them. They say: Do I have to go look for a certification? I apologize to them if I hurt them without realizing it, I didn’t’ mean to. And it causes me so much pain, because I meet them: in Chile two meetings are known to the public, the others have not been disclosed. In every trip, there is always a chance to meet the victims, the meeting of Philadelphia went public, but not the other cases. To hear that the Pope tells them: “bring me a letter with proof, is a slap” I realize that my expression didn’t come out very well, and I understand, as Peter writes in one of his letters, that the fire has risen. That’s what I can honestly say. 

Isn’t the victims’ testimony an evidence for you?  
The testimony of the victims is always evidence. In the case of Barros there is no evidence of abuse... 

But the accusation is not of having abused, but of having covered up the abuses....  
There is no evidence of this either.... My heart is open to receive them. 

How did you react to Cardinal O’ Malley’s statement on how your word “calumny” about Barros case caused great pain for the victims?  
O’ Malley said that the Pope has always used “zero tolerance”... Then there is that “bad choice of words”, I spoke of calumny, to say of someone who says something with pertinacity without having evidence. If I say: you stole, and you have not stolen, then I am libeling, because I have no evidence. It was an unfortunate expression. But I have not heard any victim of Barros. They did not come, they did not show themselves, they did not give evidence in court. It’s all in the air. It is true that Barros was in Karadima’s group of young people. But let us be clear: if you accuse someone without evidence with pertinacity, that is calumny. However, if a person arrives and gives me evidence, I will be the first to listen to them. O’ Malley’s statement was very right, and I have thanked him. He spoke about the pain of victims in general. 

The Vatican Commission for the Protection of Children have expired. Does this mean it is no longer a priority?  
The committee had been appointed for three years. Once it expires, a new committee will be studied. It was decided to renew the membership and appoint new members. The definitive list of names arrived before the beginning of this journey, and now it will follow the normal procedure of the Curia. We are studying the new resumes. There were a couple of remarks that needed clarification. But don’t think that we are not going to do it.... these are the normal times required. 

How do you respond to those who say that your visit to Chile was a failure, for the few people, and for the fact that the Church is more divided than before?  
This is the first time I have heard this. I am happy about the trip to Chile, I didn’t expect that many people on the street, and these people were not paid for coming! 

In Peru, the political class has cheated the people with acts of corruption and negotiated pardons (the reference is to the pardon granted by the current president to the former president Alberto Fujimori, ed). What do you think about it?  
I know that there is corruption in some European countries. And in Latin America there are many cases. There is much talk of the Odebrecht case (Brazilian company at the centre of accusations of corruption that also involve the Peruvian president Paolo Kuczynsky, ed), but this is just one example of the list. The origin of corruption is the original sin that leads us to this. I had written a small book whose message was: sinners yes, corrupted no. We are all sinners, when we commit a sin we realize evil and ask for forgiveness. Sin does not frighten me, but corruption does, because it spoils the soul and body. The corrupt is so self-confident that they cannot go back.... it is the destruction of the human person. Politicians have a lot of power, but the entrepreneur who pays half of what he owes to his workers is also a corrupt. A landlady who thinks she can take advantage of her housemaid or treat her badly is corrupt. I once talked to a young 30-year-old professional who treated his domestic staff in a non-noble way, he told me what he did. I told him: it’s a sin! And he said: let’s not make comparisons between these people and me, these people are there for this. This is what those who sexually exploit people think, those who exploit them with slave labor: they are corrupt. 

There is corruption also in the Church, let’s think about the Sodalizio case (secular movement founded in Peru by Luis Figari, now found guilty of abuse, ed).  
Yes, there is corruption in the Church. There have always been cases in the history of the church. The founder of the Sodalizio was reported not only for sexual abuse but also for manipulation of consciences. The Holy See carried out the trial, a conviction was given, he now lives alone, assisted by a person. He declared himself innocent and appealed to the Apostolic Signature, which is the supreme court of justice of the Holy See. But this trial was the opportunity for other victims to make a complaint both in civil and ecclesiastical proceedings. Much more serious things have emerged, civil justice has intervened - in these cases of abuse is always convenient that it does - it is a right - and I believe that the situation has become unfavorable to the founder. But he was not the only problem, there were other things that were not clear, of an economic nature. Sodalizio today is under investigation. A similar case is that of the Legionaries, which has already been resolved: Benedict did not tolerate these things and I learned from him not to tolerate them. 

After the marriage of the steward and hostess on the plane, what would you say to parish priests before couples who want to get married on planes or ships?  
“Are you thinking about wedding cruises?” One of you told me that I am mad to do these things. It was simple. The gentleman (Carlos Ciuffardi, ed.) had taken part in the flight the day before. She (Paula Podest, ed.) instead didn’t. He spoke to me. I noticed that he was testing me... it was a good chat. The next day both of them were there and when we took the photographs they told me that they were married civilly and that eight years before they were supposed to get married in the parish, but the church collapsed due to the earthquake the day before the wedding. And so there was no marriage. They would say: we’ll do it tomorrow, the day after tomorrow. Then life goes on: one daughter comes, then another. I asked them questions and told me that they had done their pre-marriage courses. I judged that they were prepared. The sacraments are for people, all conditions were clear. Why not do what can be done today? Waiting tomorrow would perhaps have meant waiting another ten years. Both prepared themselves before the Lord with the sacrament of penance. They told me that they had anticipated to some of you their intention: “Let us go to the Pope to ask that he marries us. I do not know if that is true. Tell the parish priests that the Pope asked them well, it was a regular situation. 

In Amazonia, you spoke of the “perversion” of certain policies that promote the conservation of nature without taking into account the human being. Do you think there is a kind of environmentalism that ends up being against humanity?  
Yes, I think so. The specific case I was referring to concerns that area of the Amazon: in order to protect the forest, some tribes have been cut off. The forest itself has ended up being exploited. There are statistics. Some tribes have been left out from the real progress. 

One of the Church’s aims is to combat poverty: Chile has lowered the poverty rate from 40 to 11 percent, and it is the result of a liberal policy. Is there any good in liberalism?  
We need to look carefully at the cases of liberal policies. Some countries in Latin America have implemented liberal policies that have led to the greatest poverty. I do not know what to answer, but in general a liberal policy that does not involve all the people, is selective and leads downwards. I don’t know the case of Chile, but in other countries it leads down. 

A news about Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodriguez Maradiaga broke out: he would have taken money from the Catholic University of Honduras. What do you think about it?  
Cardinal Maradiaga has made a statement regarding the matter on television and I repeat what he said. 

What do you take you from this trip?  
“The impression of a faithful people who have gone through and still is experiencing many difficulties and yet have a faith that impresses me. A people who has expressed their joy and faith. They are an “insantata” land, the Latin American people have more saints. From Peru I take with me an impression of joy, faith, hope, and above all I have seen many children! The same image I saw in the Philippines and Colombia: moms and dads raising their children.... This speaks of future, it speaks of hope. Safeguard this wealth. 
– – –
SHARE from Vatican Insider(Replacement of CNS)

#PopeFrancis "discover in the wisdom of their grandparents and their elders, the DNA that guided their great saints.” Farewell Ceremony FULL Video

Vatican News Release: Pope Francis bids farewell to Peru
Pope Francis urges the people of Peru to “protect their hope”, as he leaves the country, the final stop on his journey in Latin America.
Pope Francis has departed Lima following a farewell ceremony at the city’s airport. The Pope’s plane took off at around 7.10pm local time. Before boarding the Pope met with the President of Peru and his wife.
Following Mass earlier at the Las Palmas airbase in Lima, the Holy Father, in farewell greetings, thanked everyone who had made his journey possible.

He said, "I began my pilgrimage among you by speaking of Peru as a land of hope.  A land of hope because of its biodiversity and the beauty of its landscapes, which help us to discover the presence of God. A land of hope because of its rich traditions and customs, which have shaped the soul of this people.  A land of hope for its young people, who are not the future but the present of Peru.”
Pope Francis then urged the people of the country  “to discover in the wisdom of their grandparents and their elders, the DNA that guided their great saints.”  “Do not lose your roots”, he said.
The Pope also urged them, “not to be afraid to be the saints of the XXI century.”
The Holy Father invited the people of this land to “Protect your hope.”  “There is no better way, he added to protect your hope than to remain united, so that these reasons for hope may grow day by day in your hearts.”
Pope Francis’ visit to Peru was the find leg of his journey to Latin America which began in Chile earlier this week. The Pope is due to touch down in Rome on Monday afternoon at around 14.15 local time.

US Bishops Jan. 22 #ProLife Day of "Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children" - with Prayers for Life

USCCB RELEASE: January 22 Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children


A great prayer for life is urgently needed, a prayer which will rise up throughout the world. Through special initiatives and in daily prayer, may an impassioned plea rise to God, the Creator and lover of life, from every Christian community, from every group and association, from every family and from the heart of every believer.

Pope Saint John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, no. 100* 
The over 56 million abortions since the 1973 decisions of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Boltonreflect with heartbreaking magnitude what Pope Francis means by a “throwaway culture.” However, we have great trust in God’s providence. We are reminded time and again in Scripture to seek the Lord’s help, and as people of faith, we believe that our prayers are heard.
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), no. 373, designates January 22 as a particular day of prayer and penance, called the "Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children”: “In all the Dioceses of the United States of America, January 22 (or January 23, when January 22 falls on a Sunday) shall be observed as a particular day of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life and of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion.”

As individuals, we are called to observe this day through the penitential practices of prayer, fasting and/or giving alms. Another way to take part is through participating in special events to observe the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Call your local diocese or parish to find out what events might be taking place in your area.

Blessing of a Child in the Womb

The "Rite for the Blessing of a Child in the Womb" was crafted to support parents awaiting the birth of their child, to encourage parish prayers for -- and recognition of -- the precious gift of the child in the womb, and to foster respect for human life within society. It may be offered within the context of the Mass as well as outside of Mass.

God, author of all life,
bless, we pray, this unborn child;
give constant protection

and grant a healthy birth
that is the sign of our rebirth one day
into the eternal rejoicing of heaven...
~ excerpt from the Prayer of Blessing

#PopeFrancis "Teach us to be missionary disciples of Jesus Christ, the Lord of Miracles, living in Love..." FULL TEXT Prayer at Relics + Video

Vatican.va release: APOSTOLIC JOURNEY OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS TO CHILE AND PERU
(15-22 JANUARY 2018)
PRAYER BEFORE THE RELICS OF THE PERUVIAN SAINTS
Cathedral of Saint John the Apostle, Lima
Sunday, 21 January 2018
[Multimedia]


God our Father,
through Jesus Christ
you founded your Church
on the rock of the Apostles,
that, guided by the Holy Spirit,
she may be a sign and instrument
of your love and mercy in the world:
we thank you for the gifts you have
bestowed upon our Church in Lima.
We thank you in a special way
for the holiness that has flourished in our land.
Our Archdiocesan Church has been made fruitful
by the apostolic labours of Saint Turibius of Mogrovejo,
enlarged by the prayer, penance and charity
of Saint Rose of Lima and Saint Martin de Porres,
adorned by the missionary zeal of Saint Francisco Solano
and the humble service of Saint Juan Macías.
It has been blessed by the witness of Christian life and fidelity to the Gospel
of many others of our brothers and sisters.
We give you thanks for all that you have accomplished in our history
and we ask you to keep us faithful to the heritage we have received.

Help us to be a Church that goes forth,
drawing near to all, especially the less fortunate.
Teach us to be missionary disciples
of Jesus Christ, the Lord of Miracles,
living in love, seeking unity
and practising mercy,
so that, protected by the intercession
of Our Lady of Evangelization,
we may live the joy of the Gospel
and proclaim it before the world.

#BreakingNews Jan. 22 is National Sanctity of Human Life Day by US Government - Pres. Trump - FULL TEXT

WhiteHouse.gov release: 

President Donald J. Trump Proclaims January 22, 2018, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day

 
 Issued on: 
Today, we focus our attention on the love and protection each person, born and unborn, deserves regardless of disability, gender, appearance, or ethnicity. Much of the greatest suffering in our Nation’s history — and, indeed, our planet’s history — has been the result of disgracefully misguided attempts to dehumanize whole classes of people based on these immutable characteristics. We cannot let this shameful history repeat itself in new forms, and we must be particularly vigilant to safeguard the most vulnerable lives among us. This is why we observe National Sanctity of Human Life Day: to affirm the truth that all life is sacred, that every person has inherent dignity and worth, and that no class of people should ever be discarded as “non-human.”
Reverence for every human life, one of the values for which our Founding Fathers fought, defines the character of our Nation. Today, it moves us to promote the health of pregnant mothers and their unborn children. It animates our concern for single moms; the elderly, the infirm, and the disabled; and orphan and foster children. It compels us to address the opioid epidemic and to bring aid to those who struggle with mental illness. It gives us the courage to stand up for the weak and the powerless. And it dispels the notion that our worth depends on the extent to which we are planned for or wanted.
Science continues to support and build the case for life. Medical technologies allow us to see images of the unborn children moving their newly formed fingers and toes, yawning, and even smiling. Those images present us with irrefutable evidence that babies are growing within their mothers’ wombs — precious, unique lives, each deserving a future filled with promise and hope. We can also now operate on babies in utero to stave off life-threatening diseases. These important medical advances give us an even greater appreciation for the humanity of the unborn.
Today, citizens throughout our great country are working for the cause of life and fighting for the unborn, driven by love and supported by both science and philosophy. These compassionate Americans are volunteers who assist women through difficult pregnancies, facilitate adoptions, and offer hope to those considering or recovering from abortions. They are medical providers who, often at the risk of their livelihood, conscientiously refuse to participate in abortions. And they are legislators who support health and safety standards, informed consent, parental notification, and bans on late-term abortions, when babies can feel pain. These undeterred warriors, many of whom travel to Washington, D.C., every year for the March for Life, are changing hearts and saving lives through their passionate defense of and loving care for all human lives. Thankfully, the number of abortions, which has been in steady decline since 1980, is now at a historic low. Though the fight to protect life is not yet over, we commit to advocating each day for all who cannot speak for themselves.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 22, 2018, as National Sanctity of Human Life Day. I call on all Americans to reflect on the value of our lives; to respond to others in keeping with their inherent dignity; to act compassionately to those with disabilities, infirmities, or frailties; to look beyond external factors that might separate us; and to embrace the common humanity that unites us.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this nineteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second.
DONALD J. TRUMP

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Mon. January 22, 2018 - #Eucharist


Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children
Lectionary: 317


Reading 12 SM 5:1-7, 10

All the tribes of Israel came to David in Hebron and said:
"Here we are, your bone and your flesh.
In days past, when Saul was our king,
it was you who led the children of Israel out and brought them back.
And the LORD said to you, 'You shall shepherd my people Israel
and shall be commander of Israel.'"
When all the elders of Israel came to David in Hebron,
King David made an agreement with them there before the LORD,
and they anointed him king of Israel.
David was thirty years old when he became king,
and he reigned for forty years:
seven years and six months in Hebron over Judah,
and thirty-three years in Jerusalem
over all Israel and Judah.

Then the king and his men set out for Jerusalem
against the Jebusites who inhabited the region.
David was told, "You cannot enter here:
the blind and the lame will drive you away!"
which was their way of saying, "David cannot enter here."
But David did take the stronghold of Zion, which is the City of David.

David grew steadily more powerful,
for the LORD of hosts was with him.

Responsorial PsalmPS 89:20, 21-22, 25-26

R. (25a) My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him.
Once you spoke in a vision,
and to your faithful ones you said:
“On a champion I have placed a crown;
over the people I have set a youth.”
R. My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him.
“I have found David, my servant;
with my holy oil I have anointed him,
That my hand may be always with him,
and that my arm may make him strong.”
R. My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him.
“My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him,
and through my name shall his horn be exalted.
I will set his hand upon the sea,
his right hand upon the rivers.”
R. My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him.

AlleluiaSEE 2 TM 1:10

R.  Alleluia, alleluia.
Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death
and brought life to light through the Gospel.
R.  Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 3:22-30

The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said of Jesus,
"He is possessed by Beelzebul," and
"By the prince of demons he drives out demons."

Summoning them, he began to speak to them in parables,
"How can Satan drive out Satan?
If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
And if a house is divided against itself,
that house will not be able to stand.
And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided,
he cannot stand;
that is the end of him.
But no one can enter a strong man's house to plunder his property
unless he first ties up the strong man.
Then he can plunder his house.
Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies
that people utter will be forgiven them.
But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit
will never have forgiveness,
but is guilty of an everlasting sin."
For they had said, "He has an unclean spirit." 

Saint January 22 : St. Vincent Pallotti : Priest - Founder of #Pallottines


Born:
1798 in Rome, Italy
Died:
1850
Canonized:
1963 by Pope John XXIII
St. Vincent Pallotti (1795-1850) founded the Societas Apostolatus Catholici (S.A.C.) in 1835. He was canonized in 1963.
St. Vincent Pallotti was born in Rome, April 21, 1795, the third child of ten. His parents were Peter-Paul Pallotti and his wife Maddalena. From his earliest years his devout parents took him to daily Mass and religious devotions in the many neighborhood churches of Rome. For a time Vincent had trouble with his studies until his mother sought the advice of a close friend, Father Fazzini. He advised her to make a novena to the Holy Spirit with Vincent. The Novena completed, something clicked in the boy's head. He became the brightest student in his class. Vincent had an innate desire to do what he could to help the poor. Before he would give them a coin he would wash it in the nearby fountain. "When I give to the poor," he would say, "I give the coin to Christ. I want it to look nice." He felt called to do penance. He ate little. When his parents informed Father Fazzini of the penances, he replied, "Let us leave Vincent undisturbed. It appears to be a higher call than we have been given. It seems to come from God."
Vincent's first registration in a religious youth group was at his grade school of San Pantaleone, staffed by the Piarist Fathers. The school had been hallowed by the presence of its holy founder, St. Joseph Calasanz who formed a youth apostolate in Counter-reformation Rome. Our Lady had appeared to Joseph Calasanz when he was a teacher in the classroom where Vincent now attended. Joseph had been instrumental in restoring both eye and eyesight to a pupil whose eye had been jabbed out by a pencil thrust into it by an angry classmate. Vincent's Marian development was thus well nurtured in this school with the solemn observances of our Lady's feasts and the devout use of a small rosary of twelve Hail Mary's called the "Crown of Twelve Stars," which St. Calasanz had much promoted among the students of his schools. Vincent was quite religious and of a serious nature. Yet, he loved to play ball with his friends in front of his father's grocery store. Early every morning he walked to Santa Maria in Vallicella. There he put on his cassock and surplice as an altar boy. Under the altar of this church there was reposed the remains of the great youth worker, St. Philip Neri.
In the days before St. John Bosco, the name of St. Philip Neri would first come to mind whenever any program was being instituted for youth. Pallotti was often referred to in later life as the "Second St. Philip Neri."
St. Vincent became a member of a more advanced youth group at the Church of Santa Maria del Pianto. It met every Sunday and Holy Day for catechetical instruction, Marian devotions and recreation. It was under the direction of diocesan priests and among them was St. Gaspar del Bufalo. Vincent as a major seminarian and young priest succeeded St. Gaspar in the directorship of the group. Once when he was on a summer vacation, Father Pallotti wrote to his youth group reminding them that St. Philip Neri had said: "The most insane thing in the whole world was not to want to be a saint. Sanity is to take every means to achieve sanctity and be pleasing to God. When we think of the infinite reward God will give us for that - it is sheer insanity to do the opposite!"
Vincent's high school studies were accomplished at the world-famed Collegio Romanowhich had been established by St. Ignatius Loyola. Among its graduates were the paragons of youthful holiness, St. Aloysius Gonzaga and St. John Berchmans. In Vincent's time the Jesuits had been suppressed for several years and replaced by other clergy. The profound tradition of the Jesuits who had taught there, and the magnificent altar tomb of St. Gonzaga, could not be ignored and was very much kept alive. Pallotti chose St. John Berchmans, a Jesuit seminarian, as his role model to imitate on the path to holiness, particularly in his love for Mary in her Immaculate Conception.
Collegio Romano, as all Jesuit schools once did, had a distinctive youth organization known as the "Sodality of the Blessed Virgin." Because the school's unit was the first Sodality, it bore the distinguished title: "Prima Priaria." Vincent cherished his membership in it and the group heightened his Marian devotion all the more as he practiced it in union with his peers who took their devotion to Mary very seriously. After his entrance into theSapienza University as a theology student, he decided upon a very bold and daring move. Despite the very negative reaction of many toward the clergy, now that he was a seminarian, he chose to wear his cassock and collar in public. He was clearly visible as a man of the Church when most diocesan and non-monastic orders wore a garb that resembled very much what comes to our minds when we think of Benjamin Franklin. For him it was a sign and defiance of the secularized world and its anti-clericalism.
One day Pallotti was leading his youth group at Santa Maria del Pianto to some function elsewhere in Rome. An irate diocesan priest, himself dressed in the "Benjamin Franklin" style garb, sharply upbraided the seminarian as a hypocrite and phony for his use of the cassock. Vincent let the priest rant and rave on. In a few minutes he slipped away from the group and was found in a corner of the sacristy of Santa Maria del Pianto on his knees reciting the Te Deum in thanksgiving for this mistreatment for what he believed was right.
As Vincent neared ordination he was introduced into apostolic work among the farmers who brought their products to Rome from the surrounding towns and villages to sell at the markets. Vincent was assigned to the hay sellers. He organized the young farmers and their children into classes in the evening and helped them to learn how to read and write. He also prepared many of them for the sacraments. From this experience of being a volunteer, he would later encourage others to volunteer to spread the kingdom of God.
Vincent Pallotti was ordained in May, 1818, at the Lateran Basilica. He said his first Mass on the following day in the Jesuit Church in Frascati. He was not assigned to a specific church or rectory. Instead, he lived at home with his family and continued as a teacher at the Sapienza University. In the world of college students he was very well liked. He offered tutoring to those who had found their studies difficult. He began a very successful apostolate of street preaching on the steps of local churches and was able to attract large numbers of people into church afterwards for confession.
In his travels Vincent became aware of a number of young workers whose work hours prevented them from attending daytime classes. He soon gathered these workers at a nearby parish hall and recruited volunteer teachers to give them a basic education. He and several others gave the religious instruction. In a matter of a few years the project mushroomed into many other "night schools" and was relocated to more spacious quarters. By now, 500 young workers were enrolled. At this point Pallotti turned over his project to the supervision of the Christian Brothers to ensure that it would be properly managed.
After ten years at the Sapienza University, the diocesan authorities turned to Father Pallotti for assistance with a very pressing youth problem in Trastevere. This section of Rome was a difficult one. While it had produced saints as lovely as St. Cecilia and St. Frances of Rome, it had also produced many rogues and toughened people. It has been ever the spot where urchins and ragamuffins run rampant.
There was now a great need for a kind, patient and sincere priest who could see beyond brokenness and be capable of drawing the best out of these disorderly youth. They needed to be given the most elemental religious instruction. They needed to be prepared for First Holy Communion. In those days First Communion was received when a child was about twelve years old.
This new assignment would mean relinquishing his teaching position at the University and saying goodbye to his favorite youth group at Santa Maria del Pianto. Father Vincent knew that the assignment would bring many souls to God and strengthen the faith of these Trastevere urchins and so he accepted it willingly.
He was given space in the Ponterotto retreat house which had formerly been the family home of St. Frances of Rome. The rough Trastevere teens, who could have matched any scugnizzi that Charles Dickens could describe with his pen, now got the attention they deserved in order to set them in the right direction. They responded with extraordinary cooperation. Pallotti did not neglect the nobility nor the upper class and he provided retreats for them at another retreat house nearby. His purpose was to inculcate into these men who would be the leaders of the future, a love of virtue, a sense of honor and integrity coupled with a sense of responsibility for those who had less than they.
His knack for getting volunteers involved in his many projects, expanded beyond his concern for youth when he began his broad vision of the Union Of The Catholic Apostolate which strove to accomplish a revival of the Catholic Faith among Catholics and a rekindling of charity toward achieving the salvation of one's neighbor. In his desired UNION, men and women of every social strata, church folks of every rank and religious order would work in harmonious collaboration for the missionary endeavors of the Church. Moreover, the poor, the aged and ailing, the sick and bedridden could offer their prayers and sufferings for the success of the venture. Pope Gregory XVI heartily approved the new movement and it soon had hundreds and hundreds of members.
Not long after its foundation and its first experience of the Epiphany festival as the visible exemplification of its spiritual ideals, philosophy and objectives, the UNION was confronted not by ceremony but by calamity. Deadly cholera struck in 1837 and decimated the population of the Eternal City. Not even Vincent's father was spared. His director, Father Fazzini and his friend, St. Gaspare del Buffalo died. In its wake hundreds were left homeless and hungry.
Orphaned girls roamed the streets. It was their pitiable plight that wounded the heart of Vincent Pallotti who was himself strenuously working day and night and round the clock to care for the destitute and abandoned. What grieved him most was that these orphan girls were being taken advantage of by the unscrupulous. He and a trusted friend, Mr. James Salvati, got the use of a small, former seminarians' residence and fixed it up to receive the orphan girls. A corps of carefully chosen volunteers looked after the girls and taught them the domestic skills they would later need in life. This home became known as the Pious House of St. Agatha. It is still in operation today behind what is now the St. Thomas Aquinas University in Rome. In its chapel Vincent placed the large painting of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The Pious House of St. Agatha occupied much of the Saint's attention and his visits there were a delight for the young girls who loved him dearly. His lay volunteers later became the nucleus of the Pallottine Sisters who would devote much time to the education and Christian formation of young people. He began another orphanage near the Vatican. Later on it was taken over by another religious order, and a third, at Velletri, was already in the planning stage just before Vincent died.
Not the least of St. Vincent's contributions to the apostolate among the young was the magnificent care he gave to the students preparing for the priesthood at the Roman Seminary, Propaganda Fide (where the students from foreign lands came to study), the national colleges of England, Scotland and those of the various Eastern Churches whose students studied in Rome. His was a welcome presence and many looked back at the guidance St. Vincent had given them from as far away as Persia and Baltimore, Maryland, whose Archbishop Martin J. Spalding was able to write forty years later of his spiritual mentor that all Rome regarded him as a saint and a man of profound faith in the divinity and humanity of Jesus Christ. "No cross or aggravation could ruffle him and the memory of his holiness clusters as a halo around my heart!"
John Henry Newman, much admired by the young students of Oxford, had resigned his Anglican ministry and entered the Catholic Church. He and several others were sent to Rome to complete studies for ordination to the Catholic priesthood. Newman believed Pallotti to be a very holy man and said the same to the then Archdeacon of the Anglican Diocese of Chichester. Manning had come on visit to Rome to examine its claims "on location."
Manning went to visit Pallotti and came away with the same conviction. Manning spoke of hearing a group of young men singing a Marian hymn as they passed through the street and was told that it was one of the groups from Pallotti's Night Schools on their way home. Both Newman and Manning later were made Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church.
Youth work was not the only part of Pallotti's apostolate though there is more than enough of it to merit a consideration of its own. He continued his duties as a diocesan priest and led his Union of the Catholic Apostolate in its generous outreach to provide for the local needs of the Church and for those of the foreign missions. He was a great retreat master and preacher. Long lines waited their turn outside his confessional. Yet Pallotti made time for daily visits to the city hospitals and to the jails and prisons where his smile and compassion brought a ray of sunshine to those incarcerated there. He badgered the prison officials incessantly until he had obtained the separation of the youthful offenders from the adults in prison. "If you want to rehabilitate youth and keep them out of jail in the future, then give them the chance to do without a thorough training in criminality they are sure to receive from their elders here!" And he was listened to with respect by the prison authorities, and with thankfulness from those who would now have a new lease on life.
Vincent is still remembered for his unstinting generosity to the prisoners condemned to death. He would spend the entire night with them. He was their last friendly presence at the scaffold. Amid the hubbub and hurry burly of such gruesome scenes, it was he who calmly held the crucifix before their eyes as the headsman's axe swiftly descended. Popes sought his advice and knelt for their own confession before him. Soldiers in their military barracks responded to their beloved priest with extraordinary respect. For those at death's door he was an angel of mercy as he brought the sacraments of the Church and encouragement to trust in God's goodness until the very end.
Only once is it recorded that his contact with youth was a failure. A group of loud, boisterous wise guys were standing before a picture of Our Lady and their language was not of the type one would expect to hear in a convent sacristy! Vincent went up to them and asked them to stop out of respect for the Blessed Mother's picture. The haughty braggarts who feared neither God, man nor beast, stood up to the young priest in the mistaken hope of besting him. The ringleader jeered: "Yeah, Father! What's she going to do about it, kill us?" Suddenly a look of horror came over Vincent's face as he saw into the near future. "Young man you are a fool to continue like this. You will be dead in less than a few minutes. Repent while there is time. At that the teenager let out a stream of profanity that would have twisted the tail of a stone lion. Suddenly he collapsed unconscious to the ground. His astonished following of juvenile delinquents rushed to revive him. They were shocked out of their wits. "He's dead, Father! My God, he's dead!" By use of a clever disguise Vincent was able to get near a young man who was a revolutionist and had promised to kill any priest who came near him. When the man fell asleep with rifle in hand and pistol beneath the pillow, Pallotti removed them and put the cross in his hand. Later the man awoke, astonished and made his confession to Father Vincent and died about a week later reconciled to the Lord.
St. Vincent Pallotti died in 1850 surrounded by a handful of followers which now numbers thousands of priests, brothers and sisters and an even more vast number of lay people committed to the apostolate. He was canonized in 1963 by Pope John XXIII as a model for all active priests and for encouraging the lay people to become more active in the mission of the Church. Also, he was hailed by Popes Pius XI, Pius XII and John XXIII as the precursor of Catholic Action and of the Second Vatican Council.
Shared from the Pallottines.org

Sunday, January 21, 2018

#BreakingNews Gov. Police Attack Churches in Dem. Rep. of Congo by firing on Parishioners - Please Pray - FULL TEXT

FULL TEXT Official Release of the Dominican Order: 
The Dominican brothers working at St Dominic Church, Limete, Kinshasa, DR Congo were attacked together with their parishioners on Sunday, December 31, 2017. They were attacked by security forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo made up of soldiers and the police.
The Catholic bishops of the Democratic Republic of Congo, supported by a coalition of civil society groups, called for peaceful demonstrations after Sunday Mass on December 31, 2017, to denounce a new electoral reform law that came into effect on December 25, and to mark the first-year anniversary of the 31 December 2016 political agreement, facilitated by the bishops.
President Kabila, whose mandate ended in December 2016, had agreed to set an election date by the end of 2017 to ease tensions in the mineral-rich country. However, the country’s election commission has now said that the vote cannot be held until December 2018. Critics accuse Kabila of postponing elections to maintain his grip on power, causing tensions to increase and provoking violence and deadly street demonstrations across the country since the end of 2016.
The government refused permits for the December 31 demonstrations for what it called security reasons, yet more than 160 churches in many parts of the country participated in the call.  Police responded with teargas, rubber bullets and even live ammunition. At least seven people were killed and many others seriously injured. Many were also arrested.
Several police came to St Dominic’s Parish in Kinshasa, run by our Dominican friars, and fired on parishioners in the church grounds and even inside the church. One woman was shot in the forehead by a live bullet, others in their legs, and a friar, Jean Nkongolo, was shot in the face at close range by a rubber bullet.

Another demonstration was planned for Sunday, January 21.
Let us show solidarity with our brothers and sisters in praying for justice and peace in the DRC.
(21 January 2018)
Source; http://www.op.org/en/content/attack-dominican-church-kinshasa-dr-congo