"If my people, who are called by My name, humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and revive their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14
|Caritas Nigeria holds day of prayer for girls abducted from school. Credit: Caritas Nigeria|
(Editor's note: This report was provided by Vatican Information Services.)
Vatican City (VIS) - Half a million people attended the ceremony held April 27 in St. Peter's Square for the canonization of the "two Pope saints": John XXIII and John Paul II. Since it was opened to the public at 5 a.m., the square and its environs were filled with faithful from all over the world; Polish pilgrims, however, constituted one of the largest groups. The event was also attended by delegations from over a hundred countries, more than twenty Heads of State and many figures from the world of politics and culture, including the King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain, King Albert II and Queen Paola of Belgium, Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, the ex-president of the Republic of Poland Lech Walesa, the president of the Argentine parliament Julian Dominguez, and the presidents of the European Union, Herman Van Rompuy, and the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso. The celebration was also attended by Floribeth Mora Diaz and Sister Adele Labianca, the carer of Caterina Capitani - the two women who experienced the miracles attributed to John Paul II.
Banners with portraits of the two saints - the same ones used for their respective beatifications - were displayed on the facade of the Basilica. In the square, adorned with more than 30,000 roses from Ecuador, and in Via della Conciliazione, hundreds of thousands of faithful prepared for the celebration by reciting the chaplet of Divine Mercy, intercalated with texts from the magisterium of both pontiffs and preceded by the Hymn to Blessed John XXIII, "Good Shepherd of Christ's flock." The prayer ended with the Hymn to Blessed John Paul II, "Open the doors to Christ."
Under intermittent rain, and during litanies invoking the protection of the saints, there began the procession of concelebrating cardinals and bishops who, before taking their places, greeted Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, who also concelebrated alongside the Holy Father. A few minutes after 10 a.m., Pope Francis entered the square and, before proceeding with the rite for the proclamation of the new saints, greeted and embraced the Pope emeritus.
Moments later Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B:, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, accompanied by the postulators, asked Pope Francis to inscribe the names of the two Blessed Popes in the Book of Saints, and the Holy Father pronounced the formula for canonization:
" 'For the honor of the Blessed Trinity, the exaltation of the Catholic faith and the increase of the Christian life, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and our own, after due deliberation and frequent prayer for divine assistance, and having sought the counsel of many of our brother Bishops, we declare and define Blessed John XXIII and John Paul II be Saints and we enroll them among the Saints, decreeing that they are to be venerated as such by the whole Church. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen' ".
This was followed by the presentation to the Pope of the relics of the two saints, which were displayed on the altar throughout the ceremony; these were a phial of the blood of John Paul II, which had been displayed on May 1, 2011, and a piece of skin removed from the body of John XXIII when it was exhumed for his beatification on September 3, 2000.
Following the Gospel reading, the Holy Father pronounced a homily in which he defined St. John XXIII as 'the Pope of openness to the Holy Spirit,' and St. John Paul II as 'the Pope of the Family,' recalling that 'at the heart of this Sunday, which concludes the Octave of Easter and which John Paul II wished to dedicate to Divine Mercy, are the glorious wounds of the risen Jesus.'
"He had already shown those wounds when He first appeared to the Apostles on the very evening of that day following the Sabbath, the day of the resurrection," he continued. "But Thomas was not there that evening, and when the others told him that they had seen the Lord, he replied that unless he himself saw and touched those wounds, he would not believe. A week later, Jesus appeared once more to the disciples gathered in the Upper Room, and Thomas was present; Jesus turned to him and told him to touch His wounds. Whereupon that man, so straightforward and accustomed to testing everything personally, knelt before Jesus with the words: 'My Lord and my God!'
"The wounds of Jesus are a scandal, a stumbling block for faith, yet they are also the test of faith. That is why on the body of the risen Christ the wounds never pass away: they remain, for those wounds are the enduring sign of God's love for us. They are essential for believing in God. Not for believing that God exists, but for believing that God is love, mercy, and faithfulness. Saint Peter, quoting Isaiah, writes to Christians: 'by His wounds you have been healed.'
"John XXIII and John Paul II were not afraid to look upon the wounds of Jesus, to touch His torn hands and His pierced side," exclaimed Pope Francis. "They were not ashamed of the flesh of Christ, they were not scandalized by Him, by His cross; they did not despise the flesh of their brother, because they saw Jesus in every person who suffers and struggles. These were two men of courage, filled with the parrhesia of the Holy Spirit, and they bore witness before the Church and the world to God's goodness and mercy.
"They were priests, bishops, and popes of the twentieth century. They lived through the tragic events of that century, but they were not overwhelmed by them. For them, God was more powerful; faith was more powerful - faith in Jesus Christ the Redeemer of man and the Lord of history; the mercy of God, shown by those five wounds, was more powerful; and more powerful too was the closeness of Mary our Mother.
"In these two men, who looked upon the wounds of Christ and bore witness to His mercy, there dwelt a living hope and an indescribable and glorious joy. The hope and the joy which the risen Christ bestows on His disciples, the hope and the joy which nothing and no one can take from them. The hope and joy of Easter, forged in the crucible of self-denial, self-emptying, utter identification with sinners, even to the point of disgust at the bitterness of that chalice. Such were the hope and the joy which these two holy popes had received as a gift from the risen Lord and which they in turn bestowed in abundance upon the People of God, meriting our eternal gratitude.
"This hope and this joy were palpable in the earliest community of believers, in Jerusalem, as we read in the Acts of the Apostles. It was a community which lived the heart of the Gospel, love and mercy, in simplicity and fraternity.
"This is also the image of the Church which the Second Vatican Council set before us. John XXIII and John Paul II cooperated with the Holy Spirit in renewing and updating the Church in keeping with her pristine features, those features which the saints have given her throughout the centuries. Let us not forget that it is the saints who give direction and growth to the Church. In convening the Council, John XXIII showed an exquisite openness to the Holy Spirit. He let himself be led and he was for the Church a pastor, a servant-leader. This was his great service to the Church; he was the pope of openness to the Spirit.
"In his own service to the People of God, John Paul II was the pope of the family. He himself once said that he wanted to be remembered as the pope of the family. I am particularly happy to point this out as we are in the process of journeying with families towards the Synod on the family. It is surely a journey which, from his place in heaven, he guides and sustains."
The Holy Father concluded. "May these two new saints and shepherds of God's people intercede for the Church, so that during this two-year journey toward the Synod she may be open to the Holy Spirit in pastoral service to the family. May both of them teach us not to be scandalized by the wounds of Christ and to enter ever more deeply into the mystery of divine mercy, which always hopes and always forgives, because it always loves."
St. Peter's Basilica will remain open today from 2 to 10 p.m., to enable pilgrims to venerate the bodies of the two canonized Popes displayed in glass cases, to which the word "Saint" has been added.
(Editor's note: This report was provided by Caritas Internationalis.)
The Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria through Caritas Nigeria and the JDPC have joined Nigerians and the world in the #BringBackOurGirls campaign for the safe return of the abducted school girls in Chibok.
On April 14, the principal of a secondary school in Chibok in Borno State reported on the abduction of approximately 230 female students. They were in school to take their exams.
According to a video released on YouTube by Abubakar Shekau the Islamist militant sect leader, Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for abduction of these girls. His rational is that "the girls shouldn't have been in school in the first place."
Lending its voice to the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, Caritas Nigeria organized a one day prayer session at the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria on May 6. Close to a hundred people prayed for the safe return of the abducted girls and for peace in Nigeria.
Caritas Nigeria said, "Our compassion goes towards the abducted children and their families. We pray for speedy rescue and will continue to say our intercessory prayer for the safe return of the abducted girls and for peace in our country."
The Secretary General of the Catholic Secretariat, Rev. Fr. Ralph Madu during the Mass emphasized the need for everyone to engage in constant prayer for the return of the girls, as all efforts seem not to yield fruit. The President of the Nigerian Bishops Conference earlier requested all bishops to set up prayers in their dioceses.
During the prayer session, Executive Secretary/CEO Caritas Nigeria Rev. Fr. Evaristus Bassey said, "It is important at this time in the history of our nation, that we avoid hate speech. Hate speech will not resolve anything.
"Pain does not discriminate whether one is Christian or Muslim. It is immaterial whether the girls missing are Christian or Muslim, what is important is that they are human beings and Nigerians.
"We must come together as both Christians and Muslims, join our hearts and minds together and call on God to preserve the unity of our country Nigeria; for what seems to be the reality is that powerful forces are driving a sharp knife through the heart of this nation and want us to begin tearing one another into pieces."
Boko Haram in Nigeria was formed in 2002 by a Muslim cleric Mohammed Yusuf in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State. He set up a religious complex which included a mosque and an Islamic school.
Many poor Muslim families enrolled their children in there. He was against western education: "Boko Haram" can be loosely interpreted as 'western education is forbidden.' But Boko Haram, as was discovered later, was not only against western education. Its political goal was to create an Islamic state; the school became a recruitment ground for jihadists.
The group started launching attacks on government buildings and individuals killing scores of people in the North East and North Central States in Nigeria after Yusuf was killed by the Nigeria security forces and Boko Haram declared finished.
Unfortunately, there were other members of the group who continued with sporadic attacks on security forces, at first as a means of avenging the summary execution of their leader. These attacks graduated to soft targets such as churches, mosques, parks, with scores of innocent civilians left dead. Boko Haram has now killed more than 10,000 since its inception.
On the abduction of the Chibok girls, President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, during the presidential media chat May 4, promised Nigerians that the government would do its best to ensure the safe return of these girls.
Many Nigerians seem not to have confidence in these assurances. There have been many demonstrations by parents of these children, individuals, civil society organizations, celebrities, and heads of businesses to demand the safe return on the #BringBackOurGirls hash tag campaign.
Parents of these children have even constituted a search team that went into the Sambisa Forest in Borno state where it is believed Boko Haram have their camp and are holding the children captives.
Demonstrations were held in the country's capital Abuja on May 1 and similar protests have also been held in Lagos and Borno states and outside Nigerian embassies in many countries. The social media is not left out in this campaign as Nigerians and other countries have used this tool to cry out in appeal for help for these girls.
Nigeria has also experienced a show of love from other nations who have joined the campaign urging the government to do something fast for the safe return of these girls.
In the midst of all this, many Nigerians are concerned about the fact that it is more than three weeks and the girls are yet to be rescued. They have been appealing to heads of government of other countries to come to the aid of Nigeria. There has also been pressure on the president to call for help from countries like the USA and Britain.
Caritas Nigeria is working with local diocesan Caritas to bring relief to displaced families in the North East region, as many rural communities are deserted because of attacks or fear of attacks by Boko Haram. Caritas conducted an assessment in which possible locations of cash transfer programs could be carried out, as it is dangerous to bring in food and non food items into the area. Caritas Nigeria is asking for help to respond effectively to the magnitude of humanitarian crises in the region.
"The history of our bodies began with the formation of an embryo. We were those embryos, just as we were once fetuses, infants, children, and adolescents. We were never a sperm cell and an egg cell. The formation of the embryo marks the beginning of a new human life: a new and complete organism. Embryology textbooks say so, with no glimmer of uncertainty or ambiguity. That new organism is alive rather than dead" (Ponnuru 78). "A pro-life law would prohibit exactly the type of activity for which just governments are created to prohibit: an activity in which the powerful unjustly poison, burn, suffocate, and/or dismember the powerless" (Beckwith 228). "Mother Teresa made it abundantly clear that there is only one Gospel of Life. And she was not afraid to say to politicians that there was not a different Gospel of Life for those in government" (Anderson 139). Who knows how many abortions could have been avoided would at least speak out against the practice" (136). Chaput states on page 222 of Render Unto Caesar, that the first and best voter guide ever written is the Scripture that says, 'You will know them by their fruits' (Matthew 7:20)." "Catholics and non-Catholics alike cannot accept the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade as settled Constitutional law. They have concluded that the entire edifice of the decision is based upon a falsehood — the denial of the biological humanity of the unborn child. They believe that some day the Supreme Court will be forced to acknowledge this fact and overturn Roe v. Wade" (131).
"Catholics face the world's taunting today: the temptation to think that society is too far gone, that our problems are too complex for any of us to make a difference. But one person can always make a difference" (Chaput 196). "John Paul II preached that love is the 'fundamental and innate vocation' of every human being and is the heart of the Christian faith. That's why we're here. That's our purpose. And it has very practical consequences — including the political kind" (35 & 36). "True love impels us to sing a song that encompasses not only our own souls but also the soul fo the other, be it a spouse, a child, a neighbor, our community, our neighborhood, the stranger, all humanity, the universe and beyond. The narrow circle widens each time we feel we are loved as well as each time we allow ourselves to love something or someone" (Greeley20). "Real love is an act of the will; a sustained choice that proves itself not just by what we say but by what we do" (Chaput 37).
"Christian faith is always personal but never private. Any notion of tolerance that tries to reduce faith to a set of opinions that we can indulge at home but need to be quiet about in public, will always fail. It's like asking a married man to act single in public. He can certainly do that — but he won't stay married for long" (10). "The Christian idea of witness isn't limited to a bloody death in the arena of faith. All Christians have the command to live a life of conscience, witness wherever God places them, no matter how insignificant it seems and whether or not they ever see the results (43).
"The need for Catholic maturity is ever more urgent today. As Catholics and citizens, we need to cultivate the ability to distinguish between legitimate compromise and cowardice; between prudence and weakness in ourselves and our elected officials" (153). "When Catholics take their Church seriously and act on her teaching in the world, somebody, and often somebody with power, won't like it" (57 & 58). "Catholics have ignored an unpleasant truth: that there are active motivated groups in modern American society that bitterly resent the Catholic Church and the Christian Gospel, and would like to silence both" (187). "Americans who go to church (or temple or mosque) regularly are much more likely to oppose abortion than other Americans. But the opposition includes people belong to a variety of faith traditions, including Catholics, evangelicals, Mormons, Muslims, some Jews, and the occasional agnostic or atheist. There is nothing sectarian, in the classic sense, about the pro-life movement" (Ponnuru 81). "In the U.S., the law currently allows abortion on demand. We live under that unjust law, but we sin only if we give up the struggle to change it" (Chaput 153).
Anderson, Carl. A Civilization of Love. New York, Harper Collins. 2008. Pages 131, 136, and 139.
Beckwith, Francis J. Defending Life. New York, Cambridge University Press. 2007. Page 228.
Chaput, Charles J. Render Unto Caesar. London, Doubleday. 2008. Pages 10, 35, 36, 37, 43, 57, 58, 153, 187, 196. and 222.
Greeley, Andrew M. and Mary G. Durkin. The Book of Love. New York, A Tom Doherty Associates Book. 2002. Page 20.
Ponnuru, Ramesh. The Party of Death. Washington, D.C., Regnery Publishing, Inc. 2006. Pages 78 and 81.
Preciosa S. Soliven recently wrote a series of articles called "Angels Are Real" in the Philippine Star (philstar.com). She notes that interest in these supernatural beings continues as does the confusion about them. She counts about 21 books about angels at the bookstore. TIME magazine reported that 69 percent of Americans believe in angels while 32 percent have felt an angelic presence. Ten percent of all popular songs are estimated to reference angels.
Malcolm Godwin in Angels, An Endangered Species, comes at the subject from several directions. "On one level angels still manage to retain their magical popularity and power, while on the other no one quite believes in them any more." His book includes the history of angels in many cultures and modern theories that try to explain them away as a delusions or extraterrestrials.
Soliven quotes Mortimer J. Adler in The Angels and Us, "Angels and angels alone are minds without bodies, when they assume bodies, they do so only for the sake of engaging in their earthly ministry." She notes "rules" from G. Don Gilmore's Angels, Angels Everywhere, "unless people revive their childhood wonder and imagination, they may never experience such things." And from Joan Wester Anderson's Where Angels Walk, "unless we deliberately invoke their aid, angels can help only in a limited way."
Eileen Elias Freeman, author of Touched by Angels: True Cases of Close Encounters of the Celestial Kind, adds that discernment of spirits is very important. We should ask ourselves "does the suspected angelic messenger confuse or clarify, order, or invite? Does its message bear good fruit in your life and others?" She warns, "any being you can summon at will ... is probably not an angel," that is, an unfallen one.
Those who are open to and pray for angelic help from their guardian angel or the archangels Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel have some wonderful and surprising experiences. Rev. Fr. Antonio M. Rosales, OFM, wrote her, "I also have a special devotion to my guardian Angel that has inspired me to write a book Jesus — The Story of Jesus of Nazareth as Told by His Guardian Angel.
"I was recovering from the life-threatening experiences of an irregular heartbeat, remedied with a pacemaker implant," he says. "After my stroke in 2007, my seizures became more regular and even violent. I prayed hard to my guardian angel. I asked myself what the guardian angel of the God-made man, Jesus of Nazareth, would have done while Jesus was going through His passion, and how would he have told the story of the Lord.
"In this context I took my mind away from my fears about my health. I thought that this telling of the life of Jesus Christ from the point of view of His guardian angel will be a humble contribution to this Year of Faith, and could be part of the long-term preparation for the 500th anniversary of Christ in the Philippines."
Laura Leigh tells of watching her son Danny hurtle head-first toward the sharp corner of the table and stop in midair. Later he told her, "Mommy? I saw a beautiful lady with wings. She caught me yesterday so I didn't hit my head against the table."
Jean Biltz had a similar experience when expecting her fifth child in a few months. She slipped on her icy porch and two strong arms caught Jean and stood her up straight against the door. It wasn't her husband, however. There was no one there at all.
Elaine Elias Freeman's guardian angel spoke to her one night when she was young to ease her fears about her deceased grandmother. The angel spoke tin a voice that Elaine describes as "like pure crystal." The experience prompted her to become Catholic and found the Angel Watch Network.
She retells the James DiBello's story, "The Angel Who Saved My Marriage." He got angry at God when his brother died when he was eight and stopped praying. He got so angry when his wife left him that he wanted to begin breaking his mother's old dishes. But he couldn't pick up the last dish and remembered the words "make room for your guardian angel at the table." As soon as he prayed to his guardian angel again, he heard the sound of his wife Marie returning.
Margaret Ann Guiterrez was just starting school and frightened by a thunderstorm when her guardian angel appeared to her. "She was the most exquisite, holy, beautiful being I have ever seen," she says, over thirty years later. "She was surrounded with a blue-white light, brighter than the lightning. Her face was so peaceful, so quiet and confident, and I felt some of that peacefulness come into me."
Andy Lakey was twenty-seven when he had a near-death experience. "I felt my angel reach out to me and wrap his (or maybe hers or its) arms around me in a gesture that was so protective and loving and crying and understanding," he says. "I have no words to describe it."
He remembered other times when his angel intervened in his life. When he was young he and his father had moved out of the path of an out-of-control car. Another time a mysterious stranger returned him hime when he'd gotten separated from his parents in Japan. He began a new career painting angels.
Freeman asks some questions to increase your awareness of angels. "How many Michaels do you know? How many pizza parlors named Angelo's?" Be more aware of being protected, inspired, and encouraged. Most importantly she writes, "We must also commit to seeking God and to becoming the most loving person we can be toward ourselves and others. And as we grow in this commitment, our own wavelength will more closely match that of our angels, who live for love and for love and we will be able to understand their guidance and follow it, and we will know when they intervene in our lives for good."
(Editor's note: This report was provided by Vatican Information Service.)
Vatican City (VIS) - On May 9, Pope Francis received in audience the secretary general of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon, and the leading executive officers of the agencies, funds and programs of the United Nations and specialized organizations, gathered in Rome for the biannual meeting for strategic coordination of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board.
In his address, the Pontiff thanked those who are primarily responsible for the international system, "for the great efforts being made to ensure world peace, respect for human dignity, the protection of persons, especially the poorest and most vulnerable, and harmonious economic and social development." He also congratulated them on the results of the Millennium Development Goals, especially in terms of education and the decrease in extreme poverty, adding however, that "it must be kept in mind that the world's peoples deserve and expect even greater results" since "an important part of humanity does not share in the benefits of progress and is in fact relegated to the status of second-class citizens."
Therefore, future sustainable development goals must be "formulated and carried out with generosity and courage, so that they can have a real impact on the structural causes of poverty and hunger, attain more substantial results in protecting the environment, ensure dignified, and productive labor for all, and provide appropriate protection for the family, which is an essential element in sustainable human and social development. Specifically, this involves challenging all forms of injustice and resisting the 'economy of exclusion', the 'throwaway culture' and the 'culture of death' which nowadays sadly risk becoming passively accepted."
The Holy Father explained that the spirit that should be "at the beginning and end of all political and economic activity" may be found in "the encounter between Jesus Christ and the rich tax collector Zacchaeus, as a result of which Zacchaeus made a radical decision of sharing and justice, because his conscience had been awakened by the gaze of Jesus. The gaze, often silent, of that part of the human family which is cast off, left behind, ought to awaken the conscience of political and economic agents and lead them to generous and courageous decisions with immediate results, like the decision of Zacchaeus. … Today, in concrete terms, an awareness of the dignity of each of our brothers and sisters whose life is sacred and inviolable from conception to natural death must lead us to share with complete freedom the goods which God's providence has placed in our hands, material goods but also intellectual and spiritual ones, and to give back generously and lavishly whatever we may have earlier unjustly refused to others."
"The account of Jesus and Zacchaeus teaches us that above and beyond economic and social systems and theories, there will always be a need to promote generous, effective, and practical openness to the needs of others," he continued. "Jesus does not ask Zacchaeus to change jobs nor does he condemn his financial activity; he simply inspires him to put everything, freely yet immediately and indisputably, at the service of others. Consequently, I do not hesitate to state, as did my predecessors, that equitable economic and social progress can only be attained by joining scientific and technical abilities with an unfailing commitment to solidarity accompanied by a generous and disinterested spirit of gratuitousness at every level. A contribution to this equitable development will also be made both by international activity aimed at the integral human development of all the world's peoples and by the legitimate redistribution of economic benefits by the State, as well as indispensable cooperation between the private sector and civil society."
"Consequently," the Holy Father concluded, "while encouraging you in your continuing efforts to coordinate the activity of the international agencies, which represents a service to all humanity, I urge you to work together in promoting a true, worldwide ethical mobilization which, beyond all differences of religious or political convictions, will spread and put into practice a shared ideal of fraternity and solidarity, especially with regard to the poorest and those most excluded."
(A Christian Perspective on World News)
WASHINGTON—The United States should assist the Nigerian government to promote national security and social development and should partner with civil society, especially faith-based institutions, to build social cohesion and stop violence, said the chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on International Justice and Peace in a letter to National Security Advisor Susan Rice. The May 9 letter from Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, came in response to the kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls in Nigeria by Boko Haram.
"The Church in Nigeria has called for continuous dialogue among political, military, and religious leaders to end the violence, complemented by effective police and military action that brings perpetrators of violence to justice while respecting human and civil rights," wrote Bishop Pates. Referring to both Christian and Muslim faith-based institutions, he said, "Their efforts will be crucial in counteracting the extremist religious views espoused by Boko Haram."
Bishop Pates said that he has also written to Cardinal John Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria, to express the U.S. bishops' solidarity. He added that he was encouraged by the efforts of the U.S. government to help Nigeria bring the perpetrators to justice.
(Source: USCCB press release)
WASHINGTON—Catholic dioceses and parishes across the United States are once again encouraged to raise awareness for domestic and international religious freedom concerns during the third annual Fortnight for Freedom, June 21-July 4. The two-week celebration will focus on the theme, "Freedom to Serve," emphasizing the link between religious liberty and service to the poor and vulnerable.
"During the Fortnight, our liturgical calendar celebrates great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, John the Baptist, Peter and Paul, and the first martyrs of the Church of Rome," said Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). "This is a time when Catholics can unite themselves in prayer to the men and women throughout history who spread the Gospel and lived out Jesus' call to serve the 'least of these' in even the direst of circumstances."
Two nationally televised Masses will bookend the Fortnight. Archbishop Lori will celebrate Mass at the Baltimore Basilica on June 21, at 5:30 p.m. EDT. Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington will celebrate Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington on July 4, at noon EDT. USCCB President Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, will be the homilist at the July 4 Mass.
(Source: USCCB press release)
Because we are sons and daughters of God, saved by Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we do not merely read the news but make the news. We direct the course of world events by faith expressed in action and intercession. Please pray for the stories covered in this paper. Clip out this intercessory list and make it part of your daily prayer.
Our Father, we intercede for the Bible Institute to be
Under the Lordship of Jesus, to
Raise up lay leaders through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Renew our Church by
Equipping Your people to
Evangelize the world through Your Word.
Mother Mary, intercede for the Bible Institute, and for protection from the
Evil one. We ask this is the Name of Your Son, Jesus, our
Redeemer and Lord. Amen
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