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My People

Vol. 30, Issue 12, December 2017

"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


Mary and the baby Jesus

O Come Let Us Adore Him!

"When the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us; not because of any righteous deeds we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the baptism of new birth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. This Spirit He lavished on us through Jesus Christ our Savior, that we might be justified by His grace and become heirs, in hope, of eternal life. You can depend on this to be true." (Titus 3:4-8)

Crisis In Puerto Rico

Hunger Still Challenges

Explore Treasures From Bishop Sheen

Serve The Poor With Love

Light to the Nations

Edge To Edge

Pray The News

Crisis In Puerto Rico

(Editor's note: The following is a press release from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.)

WASHINGTON - In a November 2 statement, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chair of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Archbishop Paul D. Etienne of Anchorage, Alaska, Chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions, called on Catholics and people of good will across the United States to remember those who continue to suffer in Puerto Rico and surrounding islands in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

The full statement follows:

"Since the immediate statements of His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, USCCB President, in response to the initial impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, it has become clear that the people of Puerto Rico face an unprecedented level of need as a result of those devastating storms. Meaningful action must address both the immediate and long-term needs of the Puerto Rican population. The Island is in the midst of a public health crisis, and food security, health care access, and sustainable alleviation of the island's debt are challenges that must be resolved in a comprehensive way. These will require great effort and significant contributions of financial resources and material assistance.

In addition, the people of other islands in this region, including the United States Virgin Islands, also face dramatic consequences to their economies, which are predicated on an active tourist industry. The enormous and adverse impact of the storms for the livelihood of the Virgin Islands is evident.

In addition to these human costs, the Church in Puerto Rico's physical plant, including parish buildings and schools, has been grievously damaged by the hurricanes. As the Archbishop of San Juan noted, virtually every church structure on the island has been affected by these storms. This need is particularly compelling considering the central role that parishes perform as natural centers in providing pastoral outreach to impacted individuals and families in times of crisis. Aid and financial resources are necessary to restore the physical settings where the Church heals through its ministries those most desperately in need.

The people of Puerto Rico have been facing serious problems for many years: economic upheaval and scarcity, persistent joblessness, and other social problems resulting from the financial crisis gripping the Commonwealth's economy. They bear little responsibility for the island's financial situation yet have suffered most of the consequences. Now, the recent devastation has made the circumstances, especially for those in need, unbearable.

As pastors, we share in the suffering borne by our brother bishops and the people they shepherd in Puerto Rico. We stand ready, through legislative advocacy as well as by means of the emergency funds set up in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, to support with compassion our brothers and sisters in such dire need. We urgently beseech all Catholics in the United States to join with all people of good will in supporting these crucial initiatives at this critical point in time for the people of Puerto Rico."

Hunger Still Challenges

Pope Francis addressed the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) at its meeting in Rome on World Food Day, October 16. His message follows:

"... 1. The celebration of this World Food Day brings us together here to commemorate that October 16 in 1945, when Governments instituted the FAO with the intention of eliminating world hunger through the development of the agricultural sector. It was a period of grave food insecurity and major population displacements, with millions of people seeking a place to survive the extreme poverty and adversity caused by the war.

"Therefore, reflecting on the effects of food security on human mobility means returning to the commitment that gave rise to the fao, in order to renew it. The current situation demands greater responsibility on all levels, not only in order to guarantee the necessary production or equitable distribution of the fruits of the earth - this duty should be taken as a given - but above all to guarantee to all human beings the right to be nourished according to their own needs, and also participate in decisions that affect them and in the achievement of their own aspirations, without having to part from their loved ones.

"Faced with such a significant objective, the credibility of the entire international system is at stake. We know that cooperation is increasingly conditioned by partial commitments, which now actually limit even emergency aid. Yet death by starvation or the abandonment of one's own land is everyday news, which risks being met with indifference. It is therefore urgent to find new avenues, to transform the possibilities available to us into a guarantee that allows each person to look to the future with well-founded trust and not just with some wish.

"The landscape of international relations shows a growing capacity for responding to the expectations of the human family, also with the contribution of science and technology which, by studying the problems, propose appropriate solutions. Yet even these new developments do not succeed in eliminating the exclusion of much of the world's population: how many victims of malnutrition, wars, climate change are there? How many people lack work and essential items, and are forced to leave their land, exposing themselves to many and terrible forms of exploitation? Enhancing technology at the service of development is certainly one path to take, provided it leads to concrete actions to reduce the number of those going hungry or to govern the phenomenon of forced migration.

"2. The relationship between hunger and migration can only be tackled if we go to the root of the problem. In this regard, studies conducted by the United Nations, as well as by many other civil society organizations, agree that there are two main obstacles to be overcome: conflicts and climate change.

"How can conflicts be overcome? International law gives us the means to prevent them or to resolve them quickly, keeping them from dragging on, creating famine and destroying the social fabric. Let us consider the people afflicted by wars that have lasted for decades, which could have been prevented or at least stopped, and which instead propagate their disastrous effects, including food insecurity and the forced displacement of people. Good will and dialogue are needed to curb conflicts, and it is necessary to make a firm commitment to gradual and systematic disarmament, as provided for by the Charter of the United Nations, and to remedy the scourge of arms trafficking. What good is it to denounce the fact that millions of people are victims of hunger and malnutrition as a result of conflicts, if we do not work effectively for peace and disarmament?

"As for climate change, we see the consequences every day. Thanks to scientific knowledge, we know how the problems are to be faced; and the international community has drawn up the necessary legal instruments, such as the Paris Agreement, from which, however, some are withdrawing. There is a re-emergence of nonchalance towards the delicate balances of ecosystems, the presumption of being able to manipulate and control the planet's limited resources, the greed for profit. It is therefore necessary to make an effort for a concrete and active consensus if we wish to avoid more tragic effects, which will continue to impact upon the poorest and the most helpless. We are called to propose a change in lifestyles, in the use of resources, in production criteria, including consumption which, with regard to food, sees increasing losses and waste. We cannot resign ourselves to saying: 'someone else will take care of it.'

"I think that these are the preconditions for any serious discussion of food security linked to the phenomenon of migration. It is clear that war and climate change are causes of hunger, so let us refrain from presenting it as an incurable disease. Recent estimates provided by your experts foresee an increase in global grain production to levels that allow for greater consistency to be given to global reserves. This gives hope, and it demonstrates that if we work by being attentive to needs and opposing speculation, there will be results. Indeed, food resources are not infrequently left to the mercy of speculation, which measures them solely with regard to the economic prosperity of big producers or in relation to the potential for consumption, and not the real needs of the people. This favors conflicts and waste, and increases the numbers of the poorest on earth who seek a future outside their countries of origin.

"3. In view of all this, we can and must change direction (cf. Encyclical Laudato Si', 53; 61; 163; 202). Faced with the increased demand for food, it is indispensable that the fruits of the land be available to all. For some it would be enough to reduce the number of mouths to feed and in this way solve the problem; but it is a false solution if we consider the levels of food waste and models of consumption that squander many resources. Reducing is easy; sharing instead demands conversion, and this is demanding.

"Therefore I ask myself - and I ask you - this question: is it too much to consider introducing into the language of international cooperation the category of love, understood as gratuitousness, equal treatment, solidarity, the culture of giving, fraternity, mercy? Indeed these words express the practical content of the term 'humanitarian,' widely used in international activities. To love one's brothers and sisters, and to do so first, without waiting for it to be reciprocated: this is a Gospel principle that is found in many cultures and religions, and it becomes the principle of humanity in the language of international relations. It is to be hoped that diplomacy and multilateral Institutions nurture and organize this capacity to love, because it is the royal road that guarantees not only food security, but human security in a global sense. We cannot work only if others do so, nor can we limit ourselves to taking pity, because pity stops at emergency aid, whereas love inspires justice and is essential to achieving a just social order among diverse realities that decide to run the risk of mutual encounter. To love means to contribute so that every country increases its production and reaches food self-sufficiency. To love translates into thinking of new development and consumption models, and adopting policies that do not aggravate the situation of less advanced populations, or their external dependency. To love means not continuing to divide the human family into those who have more than they need, and those who lack the essentials.

"Diplomatic efforts have shown us, also in recent events, that it is possible to stop the recourse to the use of weapons of mass destruction. We are all aware of these instruments' capacity for destruction. But are we equally aware of the effects of poverty and exclusion? How can we stop people willing to risk everything, entire generations that may disappear because they lack their daily bread, or are victims of violence or climate change? They head toward where they see a light or perceive the hope of life. They cannot be stopped by physical, economic, legislative, or ideological barriers: only a consistent application of the principle of humanity can do so. On the other hand, public development assistance is reduced and the activity of multilateral Institutions is limited, while bilateral agreements are sought which subordinate cooperation to the fulfillment of particular agendas and alliances or, simply, to temporary tranquillity. On the contrary, the management of human mobility requires a coordinated, systematic intergovernmental action in accordance with existing international norms, and full of love and intelligence. Its objective is a meeting of peoples that enriches all and generates union and dialogue, not exclusion or vulnerability.

"Here, allow me to join the debate on vulnerability, which causes division at the international level when it comes to migrants. A vulnerable person is one who is in an inferior situation and cannot defend himself, who has no means, and thus experiences exclusion. This is because he is compelled by violence, by natural situations or, even worse, by indifference, intolerance, and even hatred. In this condition, it is right to identify the causes so as to act with the necessary competence. But it is not acceptable that, in order to avoid commitment, one entrenches oneself behind linguistic sophisms that do not honor diplomacy but, rather, reduce it from the 'art of the possible' to a sterile exercise to justify selfishness and inactivity.

"It is hoped that all this will be taken into account in the development of the Global Compact on Safe, Regular and Orderly Migration, currently underway in the United Nations.

"4. Let us listen to the cry of so many of our marginalized and excluded brothers and sisters: 'I am hungry, I am a stranger, I am naked, sick, locked up in a refugee camp.' It is a call for justice, not a plea or an emergency appeal. There is a need for broad and sincere dialogue at all levels, so that the best solutions can emerge and a new relationship among the various actors on the international scene can mature, characterized by mutual responsibility, solidarity, and communion.

"The yoke of extreme poverty generated by the often tragic displacement of migrants can be eliminated through prevention in the form of development projects that create work and the capacity to respond to environmental crises. Prevention costs far less than the effects of land degradation or water pollution, scourges that plague the nerve centers of the planet, where poverty is the only law, diseases are on the rise and life expectancy is decreasing.

"The initiatives being implemented are many and praiseworthy. However, they are not enough: it is urgent to continue to initiate efforts and to finance programs to confront hunger and structural poverty in a more effective and promising way. But if the aim is to promote agriculture that produces according to a country's actual needs, then it is not legitimate to take arable land away from the population, enabling land grabbing (acaparamiento de tierras) to continue to be profitable, sometimes with the complicity of those who are called to act in the interests of the people. It is important to remove the temptation to work to the advantage of small groups of the population, as well as to use external aid inappropriately, fostering corruption, or in a manner outside the law.

"The Catholic Church, with her Institutions, and having direct and concrete knowledge of the situations to be faced and of the needs to be met, wishes to participate directly in this effort by virtue of her mission, which leads her to love everyone and also compels her to remind those who bear national or international responsibility of the overriding duty to share the needs of the many.

"It is hoped that each person may discover, in the silence of his or her own faith or convictions, the motivations, principles, and contributions to give to the fao and to other intergovernmental Institutions the courage to improve and persevere for the good of the human family..."

Explore Treasures From Bishop Sheen

by Michael Halm

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen would make a good gift for those who herd him live or those who have never heard of him. Amazon has twenty pages of books by or about him. they also have several DVDs. The most valuable treasure, however, may be the Complete Fulton Sheen Audio Library.

He starts the lesson on "Persevering Prayer" in the section "A Retreat for Everyone" with two Christmas stories. One tells of a young boy from New York and an atheist friend of his theatrical parents. The boy said that he wanted snow for Christmas and the atheist asked, "Who's going to give you snow?" "I'm going to ask Jesus." When snow did come on Christmas the boy saw it and said, "Attaboy Jesus!"

In the other a girl asked for a thousand dolls for Christmas. When she didn't get them, her unbelieving father taunted, "Well, God didn't answer your prayers, did He?" To which she responded, "Oh, yes He did. He said 'No.' "

The whole disc contains a wealth of Catholic teachings, more than thirteen dozen, about fifty hours worth. They do overlap in content, but since he did not read from a prepared text each of them is unique. Sheen talks about topics still very relevant today, busyness, Communism, abortion, justice, sprinkled with anecdotes from his pastoral experiences and quotes from poetry. Throughout he promotes a daily Holy Hour, listening for God's word for the day from God's Word.

"Life Is Worth Living" includes 56 lessons with such intriguing titles as "Cure for Selfishness," "How to Improve Your Mind," "Meet a Perfect Stranger - Yourself," "the Infinity of Littleness," and "The Value of Incompatibility."

"The Radio Addresses of Archbishop Sheen" are Sheen's words read by another from the transcript. In "Charity" from 1945, for example, he said, "America's greatest enemy is not from without but from within and that enemy is hate." And "If America ever dies it will not be through conquest but through suicide." He points out that there will be neither faith or hope in either heaven or hell, but true love will only be in heaven and advises, "Where you do not find love, put it there."

"What a Priest Should Be" applies not only to ordained Catholic priests, but also to the lay priesthood, all the Baptized. In the lesson "Reflecting Christ in Society," he notes, "there is less respect for the official Church," and "Manifest evangelism has less appeal then it once had." But he adds, "What does affect the world is the surprise, those characters that come along, that seem to be out of the ordinary, shock us into goodness, John XXIII, Malcolm Muggeridge, Solstinchen, and Mother Teresa. There's absolutely no reason for despair," concluding "the world will look to us, come to us only as we reflect Christ."

In "First the Spiritual, and then Take Action," he draws lessons from the Incarnation, Mary, Martha, and Peter at the Transfiguration to correct the supposed division between the faith and social action.

In "Getting to the People" Sheen says, "God is always recycling human garbage," and "the Resurrection continues." He advises reading the life stories of the fallible, but imitateable, saints of the Scriptures, Jacob the deceiver, Moses the Murdered, Paul the persecutor. He advises, "Do not say 'I gotta to be me;' say 'I've got to be His.' "

Patrick Moore wrote, "Great teachings! I love Bishop Sheen. He is a modern day saint and I think his wisdom is one of the greatest in Church history. I could listen to him for hours.

Martin J. Cote said, "I love this guy!" Pax "Love it!" and Joaquin J.A. Olendzki just "Excellent!" R. V. wrote, "The collection is thorough and terrific," but added, "the sound quality of the recordings is seriously lacking but that is because the recordings themselves are very old and digital restoration can only do so much. This is nearly a lifetime of Fulton Sheen's work and his words are almost poetic. The talks themselves carry a lifetime of spiritual lessons and I find myself listening to them every day."

Even a non-Catholic such as B. Everett gave it five stars, writing, "I was very impressed by the depth and knowledge of the collection. I am not Catholic but I am Christian. I quite enjoyed every homily given by the bishop."

Serve The Poor With Love

Religious communities linked to St. Vincent de Paul, known for service to the poor, celebrate their 400th anniversary this year. Pope Francis sent a message, dated September 27, 2017, the memorial of their saint, to mark the occasion. His message follows:

"... I would like ... to reaffirm the importance of Saint Vincent de Paul for our own time.

"Vincent was always on the move, ever open to the discovery of God and himself. Grace entered into this constant quest: in his priestly ministry, he encountered Jesus the Good Shepherd in a striking way in the poor. On one occasion in particular, he was deeply touched by meeting the gaze of a man pleading for mercy and by the faces of a destitute family. There he saw Jesus Himself looking at him, unsettling his heart and asking him no longer to live for himself, but to serve Him unreservedly in the poor. Vincent would later call the poor 'our lords and masters' (Correspondence, entretiens, documents XI, 349). His life then became one of unflagging service, even to his dying breath. A verse from Scripture showed him the meaning of his mission: 'The Lord has sent me to bring the Good News to the poor' (cf. Lk 4:18).

"Burning with the desire to make Jesus known to the poor, Vincent devoted himself passionately to preaching, especially through popular missions and by careful attention to the training of priests. He quite naturally employed a 'little method,' speaking first by his life and with great simplicity, in a familiar and straightforward way. The Spirit used him as the means for a great outpouring of generosity in the Church. Inspired by the early Christians who were 'of one heart and soul' (Acts 4:32), Saint Vincent founded the Confraternities of Charity, who cared for those in greatest need by living in communion and joyfully sharing their possessions, in the conviction that Jesus and the poor are the treasure of great price. As he loved to repeat, 'When you visit the poor, you encounter Jesus.'

"The 'mustard seed' sown in 1617 grew into the Congregation of the Mission and the Company of the Daughters of Charity, then branched out into other institutes and associations and became a great tree (cf. Mk 4:31-32) which is the Vincentian Family. Everything, however, began with that mustard seed. Saint Vincent never wanted to be in the forefront, but only a 'seedling.' He was convinced that humility, gentleness, and simplicity are essential for embodying the law of the seed that by dying gives life (cf. Jn 12:20-26). This law alone makes the Christian life bear fruit, for it teaches us that in giving we receive, by losing our lives we gain them, and in hiddenness our light is best seen. Vincent was also convinced that this can only come about in union with others, as a Church and as the People of God. Here I cannot fail to mention his prophetic insight in recognizing and appreciating the remarkable abilities of women, which flowered in Saint Louise de Marillac's spiritual sensitivity and human understanding.

"Jesus says, 'Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of Mine, you did for Me' (Mt 25:40). At the heart of the Vincentian Family is the effort to seek out 'those who are poorest and most abandoned,' together with a profound awareness of being 'unworthy of rendering them our little services' (Correspondence, entretiens, documents XI, 392). I pray that this year of thanksgiving to the Lord and of growth in the experience of your charism will prove an opportunity to drink from the source and to find refreshment in the spirit of your origins. Never forget that those wellsprings of grace streamed from faithful hearts, rock solid in love, 'lasting models of charity' (Deus caritas est, 40). You will be filled with that same primordial freshness only if you look to the rock from which it all flowed forth. That rock is Jesus in His poverty, who asks to be recognized in those who are poor and have no voice. That is where He is to be found. When you encounter human weakness and broken lives, you too must be rocks – not hard and brittle, impervious to suffering, but rather a sure support, steadfast amid the tempest and unshaken by adversity, because you 'look to the rock from which you were hewn, to the quarry from which you were taken' (Is 51:1). You are called to go forth to the peripheries of human existence to bring not your own gifts, but the Spirit of the Lord, the 'Father of the Poor.' He has sown you throughout the world like seeds that spring up in dry land, like a balm of consolation for the wounded, a fire of charity to warm hearts grown cold by indifference and hardened by rejection.

"All of us are called to drink from the rock that is Christ and to satisfy the thirst of the world with the charity that flows from Him. Charity is at the core of the Church; it is the reason for her activity and the soul of her mission. 'Charity is at the heart of the Church's social doctrine. Every responsibility and every commitment spelled out by that doctrine is derived from charity which, according to the teaching of Jesus, is the synthesis of the entire Law' (Caritas in veritate, 2). By pursuing this path, the Church will become ever more fully a mother and teacher of charity, with a love that increases and abounds for each and for all (cf. 1 Thess 3:12). With serene fellowship within, and openness and acceptance towards those without, the Church must have the courage to renounce her own advantage in order to imitate her Lord in all things; in this way, she becomes fully herself, making the apparent weakness of charity her only cause for boasting (cf. 2 Cor 12:9). The words of the Council are eloquent in this regard: 'Christ Jesus… "being rich, became poor" for our sakes. Thus, the Church, although she needs human resources to carry out her mission, is not set up to seek earthly glory, but to proclaim, even by her own example, humility and self-sacrifice. Christ was sent by the Father "to bring good news to the poor"… Similarly, the Church encompasses with love all who are afflicted with human suffering, and in the poor and afflicted sees the image of her poor and suffering Founder. She does all she can to relieve their need and in them she strives to serve Christ' (Lumen gentium, 8).

"Saint Vincent embodied this in his own life, and even now he continues to speak to each of us and to all of us as Church. His witness invites us to keep moving, ever ready to let ourselves be surprised by the Lord's gaze and His word. He asks of us lowliness of heart, complete availability and humble docility. He prompts us to live in fraternal communion among ourselves and to go forth courageously in mission to the world. He calls us to free ourselves from complicated language, self-absorbed rhetoric and attachment to material forms of security. These may seem satisfactory in the short term but they do not grant God's peace; indeed, they are frequently obstacles to mission. Vincent encourages us to invest in the creativity of love with the authenticity of a 'heart which sees' (cf. Deus caritas est, 31). Charity, in fact, is not content with the good practices of the past, but aims to transform the present. This is all the more necessary today, given the complexity and rapid evolution of our globalized society, where some forms of charity or assistance, albeit motivated by generous intentions, risk abetting forms of exploitation and delinquency, without producing tangible and lasting benefits. For this reason, Saint Vincent continues to teach us the importance of reflecting on our practice of charity, developing new ways of drawing near to those in need, and investing our efforts in formation. His example also encourages us to make time and space for the poor, for the new poor of our time, of which there are so many, and to make their worries and troubles our own. A Christianity without contact with those who suffer becomes disembodied, incapable of touching the flesh of Christ. We need instead to encounter the poor, to show preferential love for them, to let their voices be heard, lest their presence be ignored by a frivolous throw-away culture. I am confident that the World Day of the Poor, to be celebrated this year on November 19, will help us in our 'call to follow Jesus in his own poverty.' In this way we will become 'an ever greater sign of Christ's charity for the least and those most in need,' in reaction to 'a culture of discard and waste' (Message for the First World Day of the Poor, 'Let us love, not with words but with deeds,' June 13, 2017).

"I pray that the Church, and each of you, may be granted the grace to discover the Lord Jesus in our brothers or sisters who are hungry, thirsty, strangers, lacking clothing and dignity, sick and imprisoned, as well as in those who are uncertain, ignorant, persisting in sin, sorrowing, offensive, irascible, and annoying. May you find in the glorious wounds of Jesus the vigor of charity, the blessedness of the seed that dies to give life, and the fruitfulness of the rock flowing with water. May you also find the joy of leaving yourselves behind, in order to go forth into the world, free of nostalgia for the past, fully trusting in God, and creative in the face of every present and future challenge. For love, in the words of Saint Vincent, 'is infinitely creative.' "

Light to the Nations

(A Christian Perspective on World News)

no more war!

Nettuno, italy - Pope Francis marked All Souls Day on November 2 by celebrating Mass at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery and by prayer at a memorial to victims of a WWII Nazi massacre in the Ardeatine Caves. Pope Francis is the first Pope to visit an American military cemetery. Pope Francis spent some time in prayer and in laying flowers at some of the 7,860 graves at the cemetery.

The Pope prayed: "Please God, no more war." He said he came to plead, "Please God: stop them. No more war. No more useless carnage." The Pope emphasized that "everything is lost with war." He reminded that it is a day of hope but also of tears and that we need to ask God for the gift of tears. Many seem not to want to learn from the past and that the tears wept by those who have lost husbands, fathers, sons, friends must not be forgotten. The Pope pointed out those hurt in current conflicts, including innocent children.

Beginning with Pope Paul VI, popes have come each year on the anniversary of the killings (March 24) of 335 Italian men of all ages and backgrounds by the Nazis. The Pope prayed and gave a short reflection at the memorial. Vatican Radio gave the following unofficial translation:

"God of Abraham, of Isaac, God of Jacob: with this name, You presented Yourself to Moses when You revealed to him Your desire to free Your people from the slavery of Egypt. God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, God who binds Himself in a pact with humanity, God who binds Himself with a covenant of faithful love forever, merciful and compassionate to every man and every people suffering oppression. 'I have observed the misery of my people, I have heard their cry, I know their sufferings.' God of the faces and names, God of each of the 335 men murdered here, on March 24, 1944, whose remains lie in these tombs. You, Lord, know their faces and their names: all, even those of the 12, who remain unknown to us. To You, no one is unknown. God of Jesus, our Father in Heaven: thanks to Him, the Risen Christ, we know that Your name – God of Abraham, God of Isaac and God of Jacob – means You are not the God of the dead but of the living, that Your faithful covenant of love is stronger than death and is a guarantee of resurrection. O Lord, that in this place devoted to the memory of the fallen for freedom and justice we might put off the shackles of selfishness and indifference, and through the burning bush of this mausoleum, listen silently to Your name: God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, God of Jesus, God of the living. Amen.

(Source: Variety of sources, including Vatican Radio.)

true debate on gun violence needed

WASHINGTON - In the aftermath of the recent and horrific attacks in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the USCCB's Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, urged national leaders to engage in a true debate about solutions to gun violence.

The full statement follows:

"For many years, the Catholic bishops of the United States have been urging our leaders to explore and adopt reasonable policies to help curb gun violence. The recent and shocking events in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs remind us of how much damage can be caused when weapons-particularly weapons designed to inflict extreme levels of bloodshed-too easily find their way into the hands of those who would wish to use them to harm others.

Violence in our society will not be solved by a single piece of legislation, and many factors contribute to what we see going on all around us. Even so, our leaders must engage in a real debate about needed measures to save lives and make our communities safer. The USCCB continues to urge a total ban on assault weapons, which we supported when the ban passed in 1994 and when Congress failed to renew it in 2004.

In addition, the bishops have supported:

  • Measures that control the sale and use of firearms, such as universal background checks for all gun purchases;
  • Limitations on civilian access to high-capacity weapons and ammunition magazines;
  • A federal law to criminalize gun trafficking;
  • Improved access to mental health care for those who may be prone to violence;
  • Regulations and limitations on the purchasing of handguns; and
  • Measures that make guns safer, such as locks that prevent children and anyone other than the owner from using the gun without permission and supervision.

While acknowledging the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and related jurisprudence, we live in a fallen world with daily advances in modern technology. Some weapons are increasingly capable of easily causing mass murder when used with an evil purpose. Society must recognize that the common good requires reasonable steps to limit access to such firearms by those who would intend to use them in that way."

(Source: USCCB press release)

prudence, thoughtful deliberation needed

WASHINGTON - Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chair of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, urged the U.S. House of Representatives toward prudence, ensuring that they and the nation understand fully the impacts of tax reform proposals before voting on them.

The full statement follows:

"The USCCB is currently studying the U.S. House of Representatives' 'Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,' which was released yesterday, and will be releasing a more detailed statement soon. The changes proposed in this bill are significant and complex, affecting the entire nation. Current information indicates that the House is planning to move this bill quickly through the legislative process. However, prudence requires that members of Congress and the people of the country have adequate time to fully understand and debate the consequences of any tax bill so that decisions serve the dignity of the human person and the common good. This is not a moment for hurried action, but thoughtful deliberation.

It is imperative, too, that lawmakers consider the tax bill through the lens of the moral principles outlined in our letter of one week ago:

  • Caring for the poor;
  • Strengthening families;
  • Maintaining progressivity of the tax code;
  • Raising adequate revenue for the common good;
  • Avoiding cuts to poverty programs to finance tax reform;
  • Incentivizing charitable giving and development.

A clear understanding and careful consideration of the impacts of these tax proposals is essential for the sake of all people, but particularly the poor."

Bishop Dewane's October 25 letter can be found at:

(Source: USCCB press release)

Edge To Edge

Edge to Edge

Pray The News

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.

  • We pray that we will follow Jesus, the Prince of Peace, and be peacemakers.
  • We pray for an end to all wars and violence and for all victims of war.
  • We pray for an end to hunger and that we will share with others.
  • We pray for all victims of natural disasters.
  • We pray that we will have a great love for the poor.
  • We pray for families to be joyous witnesses for Jesus.
  • We pray that we will grow ever closer to Jesus this Christmas season.
  • We pray that Christians will be messengers of hope.
  • We pray for those in economic need.
  • We pray for an end to abortion, euthanasia, and all attacks against life and for the victory of the civilization of love and life over the culture of death.
  • We pray for prisoners to use their time of imprisonment to grow in relationship to Jesus.
  • We pray for the poor, the marginalized, the homeless, the hungry, and the sick to have comfort and peace and the assistance they need.
  • We pray that each person will be valued, appreciated, and loved.

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Copyright © 2019 Presentation Ministries
3230 McHenry Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45211
Phone: (513) 662-5378

Published by: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211, (513) 662-5378,



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