Posted on 03/19/2023 16:00 PM (CNA Daily News)
ACI Prensa Staff, Mar 19, 2023 / 08:00 am (CNA).
In 2023 the Legionaries of Christ religious order will provide 32 new priests for service to the Church. Twenty-nine of them will be ordained in Rome in the papal basilica of St. Mary Major on April 29 by Cardinal Fernando Vérguez, president of the Governorate of the State of Vatican City.
The other three will receive priestly ordination at different times of the year.
The soon-to-be new priests of the Legionaries of Christ come from Germany, Colombia, Chile, South Korea, Canada, Brazil, El Salvador, Spain, the United States, Italy, Mexico, and Venezuela.
The April 29 ordination in Rome can be viewed live on the congregation's website at 10 a.m. Rome time.
Speaking with ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner, Miguel Esponda Sada, a seminarian of the Legionaries of Christ who will be ordained a priest this year, said that “to be a priest is to be a sign and living presence of Jesus Christ among men; it makes the world see the incarnate love of God.”
A priest, he continued, is “taken from among men, is chosen and consecrated to be mediator and bridge between God the Father and men.”
“He knows well and makes people’s sufferings and hopes his own; he knows well the heart of God and makes it his own,” Esponda said.
In a testimony posted on the Legionaries of Christ website, Pablo Lorenzo-Penalva, another of the seminarians who will receive priestly ordination this year, asked Catholics to say a Hail Mary “for all priests, especially for those of us who are going to be ordained, so that we never forget that the most effective way to come to Jesus is through his mother, Mary.”
Seminarian Carlos Javier Ruiz commented: “My life was planned since I was little. But how great is God who saves us even from our plans. When he calls, if we respond to him, nothing is ever the same.”
This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.
Posted on 03/19/2023 15:51 PM (CNA Daily News)
Vatican City, Mar 19, 2023 / 07:51 am (CNA).
We should treat the physical and social differences of others as a chance to love, not as an inconvenience, Pope Francis said in his Angelus address on Sunday.
The pope’s weekly message focused on the day’s Gospel reading, which recounts Jesus’ miraculous healing of the blind man.
Francis pointed out the reactions of the different characters in the story and invited people to reflect on how they might respond in a similar situation.
“How do we welcome the difficulties and differences of others? How do we welcome the people who have many limitations in life, either physical like this blind man or social like the beggars we find on the street?” he asked. “And do we welcome these people as inconveniences or as occasions to draw near to them with love?”
Pope Francis addressed approximately 25,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s Square on March 19. He also led everyone in praying the Angelus, a traditional Marian prayer, in Latin.
He encouraged everyone to read chapter 9 of the Gospel of John.
“Read about this miracle” of the healing of the blind man, he said. “It’s beautiful the way John recounts it.”
“You can read it in two minutes. But it shows how Jesus proceeds and how the human heart proceeds. The good human heart, the lukewarm human heart, the fearful human heart, the courageous human heart,” he continued.
The pope said the Gospel passage shows how each of the different characters react to Jesus’ healing of the man born blind.
Some are skeptics and some find it unacceptable, he said.
“In all these reactions, for various reasons, there emerge hearts closed in front of the sign of Jesus,” he said, “because they seek a culprit, because they do not know how to be surprised, because they do not want to change, because they are blocked by fear.”
This is similar to many situations today, he added. “When faced with something that is really a message of a person’s testimony, a message from Jesus, we fall into this: we look for another explanation, we don’t want to change, we look for a more elegant way out than accepting the truth.”
The blind man, instead, is the only person who accepts Jesus’ gift well, the pope explained. “Happy to see, [he] testifies what happened to him in the simplest way: ‘I was blind, now I see.’”
Pope Francis said the Gospel is asking us to imagine ourselves in the same scene, so that we might ask what our own reaction would be.
“What would we have said then? And above all, what would we do today? Like the blind man, do we know how to see the good and to be grateful for the gifts we receive?” he said.
He added: “Do we bear witness to Jesus, or do we spread criticism and suspicion instead? Are we free when faced with prejudices or do we associate ourselves with those who spread negativity and gossip? Are we happy to say that Jesus loves us and saves us, or, like the parents of the man born blind, do we allow ourselves to be caged in by the fear of what others will think?”
Or are we, he continued, “the lukewarm of heart who do not accept reality, and do not have the courage to say: ‘No, this is how it is.’”
After praying the Angelus, Pope Francis expressed his closeness to the people of Ecuador, who were hit by a 6.4-magnitude earthquake on Saturday.
Hundreds of people were hurt and at least 15 people killed in the quake, which mainly affected southern Ecuador and northern Peru, BBC News reported.
“I am close to the Ecuadorian people and I assure of my prayers for the deceased and all those who are suffering,” the pope said.
He also wished a happy Father’s Day to all the fathers.
In countries such as Italy, Portugal, Spain, Bolivia, Honduras, and several others, Father’s Day is celebrated on March 19, the Catholic feast of St. Joseph.
“Today we wish all fathers well. May they find in St. Joseph the model, the support, the comfort to live their fatherhood well,” Pope Francis said, inviting everyone to pray the Our Father for fathers.
In 2023, due to March 19 falling on the Fourth Sunday of Lent, the liturgical feast of St. Joseph is moved to Monday, March 20.
Posted on 03/19/2023 12:00 PM (CNA Daily News)
CNA Staff, Mar 19, 2023 / 04:00 am (CNA).
St. Joseph does not have any words recorded in sacred Scripture, but the published meditations of an 18th-century Italian nun offer the chance to imagine the details of the Holy Family’s daily life as it might have been from the perspective of the foster father of Jesus.
Servant of God Mother Maria Cecilia Baij’s personal revelation, described in the book “The Life of Saint Joseph,” provides an intimate portrait of the life of prayer, suffering, and joy within the Holy Family.
As an artist might fill in the details in a painting depicting a scene in the life of Christ from the Bible, Baij’s account allows the reader to dwell on the scenes that could have made up Joseph’s life with Jesus and Mary, with a particular focus on his interior life.
It begins with the birth of Joseph and provides a 75-page account of his life before meeting Mary, with a focus on how God prepared him with graces for the privilege of meeting the future Mother of God.
From there, the reader accompanies Joseph as he exults in the Incarnation within Mary’s womb, endures trials on the way to Bethlehem, weeps for joy as he holds the Savior of the world in his arms, sings hymns of praise to God with Mary, works with the child Jesus in his workshop, and continually abandons himself to the will of God in the face of uncertainties.
While the Church does not consider it obligatory to believe private revelations as a matter of faith, the book has received an imprimatur and nihil obstat from the Vatican, officially declaring it free from doctrinal and moral error.
Pascal Parente, a professor at the Catholic University of America, translated the 18th-century manuscript into English.
“The account of St. Joseph’s life … was not intended essentially to provide exegetical or historical instruction but rather to serve as a means of edification,” Parente, who died in 1971, wrote in his introduction to the text.
“It reveals the most loving and lovable head of the Holy Family in a new light which cannot fail to impress both the mind and the heart of the reader, thereby making him a partaker of the heavenly peace and harmony that reigned in the Holy Family of Nazareth.”
The manuscript was completed before Baij’s death in 1766 but remained unknown until a Benedictine monk, Dom Willibrord van Heteren, found Baij’s writings in 1900 in St. Peter’s convent in Montefiascone, Italy, and published some excerpts.
Twenty years later, a local priest, Msgr. Peter Bergamschi, took an interest in Baij’s writings in the convent archive and presented them to Pope Benedict XV in a private audience on March 17, 1920, during the month of St. Joseph. The pope encouraged Bergamaschi to publish them.
Maria Cecilia Baij was born in 1694 in Montefiascone, a hill town about 60 miles north of Rome located on the shores of Lake Bolsena. At the age of 20, she took her religious vows with the Benedictine community of Montefiascone. She was named abbess in 1743 and remained in the post until her death at the age of 72.
In her prayers at the convent, Baij received both attacks from the devil and mystical revelations about the life of Christ, St. Joseph, the Holy Family, and St. John the Baptist, which she wrote down in lengthy manuscripts in obedience to her confessor.
Her Benedictine convent, St. Peter’s, remains active today more than 250 years after her death. The sisters welcome pilgrims who walk the Via Francigena, a medieval pilgrimage route that passes through their town. The sisters also still possess all of Baij’s original manuscripts.
Baij is believed to have completed her account of St. Joseph’s life in December 1736. Throughout the text, Joseph is often depicted in prayer, speaking praises to God on his own and together with the Virgin Mary and Jesus.
Baij wrote: “Sometimes, when Joseph worked very strenuously, he would approach his spouse and ask her to condescend to sing for him a hymn in praise of God, and thereby relieve his weariness. The holy virgin would readily comply with his requests. Her singing of the hymns of divine exaltation was so delightful that Joseph often was carried into ecstasy.”
“He once remarked to Mary: ‘My spouse, your singing alone is enough to bring comfort to every afflicted heart! What consolation you gave me through it! What relief for my weariness! What a great joy it is for me to hear you speak or sing!’”
“For the most holy Virgin, these words were the occasion for giving additional praise to God, the source of all that is good. … ‘God has poured these graces into my heart,’ she told him, ‘in order that you might be comforted and obtain relief in your tribulations and affiliations.’ The saint’s love and gratitude to God expanded steadily and he continued to wonder at the virtue of his most holy spouse.”
This story was originally published on CNA on March 16, 2021.
Posted on 03/19/2023 07:00 AM (The Daily Register)
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Posted on 03/18/2023 19:36 PM (National Catholic Reporter)
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ACI Prensa Staff, Mar 18, 2023 / 08:00 am (CNA).
The walls of Sacred Heart Church, located in downtown Bordeaux, France, were vandalized with satanic graffiti and communist and anarchist symbols the night of March 12-13.
In addition, the vandals burned trash on the church’s esplanade.
The news was confirmed on March 13 by Constance Pluviaud, head of communications for the Archdiocese of Bordeaux.
“On the night of March 12-13, the door and some of the walls of the façade of the Church of the Sacred Heart were defaced with graffiti. A trash fire in front of the church was extinguished by firefighters called to the scene. This fire did not damage the church,” the archdiocese reported in a statement.
Pictures on social media show messages such as “Lucifer is right,” “Devil, take me with you,” “Thank you, Satan,” and “The neighbors hate the Church.”
According to Pluviaud, the parish has filed a complaint with the authorities for property damage.
Étienne Guyot, prefect of New Aquitaine and Gironde Department, lamented on Twitter that Sacred Heart Church was targeted with “hateful epithets and acts of vandalism.”
Guyot also denounced “these intolerable acts. An investigation has been opened so that the perpetrators can be identified and brought to justice.”
The Archdiocese of Bordeaux said it “shares the strong emotions of the Catholic faithful and residents shocked by this act.”
The church, located in Gironde Department (the administrative district), was designed by architect Jean-Jules Mondet in the 19th century. It was built at the behest of Cardinal Ferdinand-François-Auguste Donnet, the archbishop of Bordeaux from 1837 to 1882.
Since September 2014, the parish has been administered by priests of the Regnum Christi movement. The Blessed Sacrament is exposed 24 hours a day in the church’s adoration chapel.
This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.