Everyone's Call to be an Apostle

AMERICA/UNITED STATES - Pontifical Mission Societies National Director hopes Mission Congress will “call all baptized Catholics to be missionaries”

Albuquerque (Agenzia Fides) – Tomorrow, October 28, 2010, marks the opening day for the Mission Congress 2010 entitled “God’s Mission, Many Faces: A Portrait of U.S. Catholics in Mission,” which will meet October 28-31, in Albuquerque, New Mexico (see Fides 14/10/2010). The congress will include panel discussions, group dialogue and workshops on topics ranging from mission work in the U.S. to global trends, mission in other traditions, ecumenical perspectives on mission, international missionaries serving in the United States and other issues.

The congress is sponsored by the Catholic Mission Forum, an umbrella organization of leading US Catholic mission organizations, including the Pontifical Mission Societies.

Monsignor John E. Kozar, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States has sent the following personal statement on the relevance of this Congress for the PMS and the entire Church: “We look forward to attending the Mission Congress in New Mexico, offering our gratitude to the United States Catholic Mission Association for bringing together those committed to the Church’s missionary work. We are particularly glad to participate in this meeting along with our valued collaborator, the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. In our own efforts for mission animation, we continue to see many opportunities to highlight the Church’s mission ad gentes with Catholics in our country, especially in the area of social / new media and on our website. May our time together be fruitful in energizing us as we call all baptized Catholics to be missionaries, to share their faith, to be active participants in bringing Jesus’ ‘Good News’ to a waiting world!” (AR) (Agenzia Fides 27/10/2010)

We Can Make a Difference

 “We are all missionaries and together we can make a difference.”

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - As Catholics, we have a wonderful responsibility, by reason of our baptism, to bring about change for the good in our world. But in order to do that, we need to become aware of the necessity to bring about change, first of all in ourselves, and then in our local parish communities. This is what we are asked to do this by the Holy Father, because people today, either consciously or unconsciously wish for change and they also want “to see Jesus”.

This is part of the central theme of the message: “Building Ecclesial Communion is the key to Mission” for the celebration of World Mission Sunday on the 24th of October. It encourages all of us at diocesan and parish level as well as the Institutes of Consecrated Life, Ecclesial Movements, and the entire People of God, to renew our commitment to proclaim the Gospel and give pastoral activity a greater missionary character.

The Holy Father says that each one of us should enrich our lives by an ever-greater awareness of God’s unconditional love for us and its experience, which transforms our lives. Then through us, our ever more divided societies can be changed into an ecclesial communion. We do this by our own active and creative support within the community and by inviting others, so that together we may promote “a new humanism, founded on Jesus’ Gospel”. “He Himself tells us: “He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him” (Jn 14:21). “It is only from this encounter with the Love of God that transforms our existence, that we can live in communion with Him and among ourselves and offer our brethren a credible testimony, giving reason for our hope (cf. 1 Pet 3:15)”.

Today people are searching for something different in the everyday confusion of our world and many of them want to “see Jesus”. As a Christian community we can, and should, give them witness of our hope, “but that cannot be fulfilled in a credible manner without a profound personal, communal, and pastoral conversion”. The messages goes on to thank missionaries for their witness and asks all of us to help to bring about an “integral renewal and to an ever greater openness to missionary cooperation among the Churches, to promote the proclamation of the Gospel in the heart of every person, every people, culture, race, nationality, in every place.”

As Secretary General of the Propagation of the Faith, I am privileged to promote this Mission Sunday of the Holy Father and I would like to thank everybody who is cooperating, with our National and Diocesan Directors, in the successful realization of our special Mission Solidarity Collection to be taken up on that day. As I travel through Zambia on this missionary month of October, I can see at first hand how our missionaries, who do great work, are grateful, and I can see how poorer local churches need our help. Together we are Church and we are missionary by reason of our baptism; we are all missionaries and together we can make a difference.

Know that your kindness, generosity and prayers truly make a difference and it is greatly appreciate as I can see here in Zambia how the money you gave last year has been put to good use. Our Local Churches throughout the world could not survive without your support. So let us, “in spite of our economic difficulties” give generously on this Mission Sunday and may we continue, as one family in mission, to achieve by “prayer, meditation on the Word of God, and study of the truths of the faith” an ever-greater awareness of God’s unconditional love for all of us as brothers and sisters. Fr. Timothy Lehane Barrett, SVD, Secretary General of the Propagation of the Faith (Agenzia Fides 20/10/2010)

U.S. Catholics in Mission

Mission Congress 2010: “God’s Mission, Many Faces: A Portrait of U.S. Catholics in Mission”

Washington, DC (Agenzia Fides) – “God’s Mission, Many Faces: A Portrait of U.S. Catholics in Mission” is the theme of Mission Congress 2010, which will meet this October 28-31, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The congress will include panel discussions, group dialogue and workshops on topics ranging from mission work in the U.S. to global trends, mission in other traditions, ecumenical perspectives on mission, international missionaries serving in the United States and other issues.

This year’s congress will feature keynote addresses by Father Gary Riebe-Estrella, SVD, associated professor of practical theology and Hispanic ministry at the Catholic Theological Union and president of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians (ACHTUS); Sister Janice McLaughlin, MM, president of the Maryknoll Sisters; and Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, president of Caritas International and past president of CELAM (Council of Latin American Bishops’ Conferences). At least 16 U.S. bishops are scheduled to attend the meeting and Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, USCCB vice-president, will open the 2010 Congress with a liturgy.

The Mission Congress meets every five years and this is its third edition. It is sponsored by the Catholic Mission Forum, an umbrella organization of leading US Catholic mission organizations, including the Pontifical Mission Societies. (AR) (Agenzia Fides 14/10/2010)

For more information

Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization instituted

VATICAN - Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization instituted: “The whole Church presents herself to the contemporary world with a missionary thrust capable of promoting a new evangelization.”

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - “The Church has the duty to proclaim always and everywhere the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” These are the opening lines of the Apostolic Letter written in “motu proprio” entitled “Ubicumque et semper” of the Holy Father Benedict XVI with which he instituted the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization. Although it was made public today, the Letter is dated September 21, 2010, Feast of Saint Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist.

Faithful to the mandate entrusted to her by the Lord prior to His Ascension to the Father, the Church since Pentecost “has never tired of making known to the whole world the beauty of the Gospel, proclaiming Jesus Christ, true God and true man...Hence, the evangelizing mission, continuation of the work desired by the Lord Jesus, is for the Church necessary and irreplaceable, expression of her very nature.”

“This mission has taken on in history ever new forms and modalities according to the times, the situations and the historical moments,” the Pope continues. “In our time, one of its singular features has been to be confronted with the phenomenon of estrangement from the faith, which has manifested itself progressively in societies and cultures that for centuries seemed permeated by the Gospel.” The Pope then cited the social transformations that in recent decades “have modified profoundly the perception of our world”: progress of science and technology, of the expansion of the possibilities of life and the areas of individual liberty, the profound changes in the economic field, the process of ethnic and cultural mixes caused by massive migratory phenomena, the growing interdependence among peoples. “All this has not happened without consequences also for the religious dimension of man's life,” highlights Benedict XVI. Along with the the undeniable benefits of these transformations there is also “a worrying loss of the sense of the sacred, even calling into question those foundations that seem indisputable.”

The II Vatican Council, and later Paul VI and John Paul II, reflected further “on the need to find adequate ways to enable our contemporaries to continue to hear the living and eternal Word of the Lord.” Thus, Benedict XVI proceeds: “Assuming, therefore, the concern of my venerable Predecessors, I consider it opportune to offer adequate answers so that the whole Church, allowing herself to be regenerated by the power of the Holy Spirit, present herself to the contemporary world with a missionary thrust capable of promoting a new evangelization. The latter makes reference above all to the Churches of ancient foundation, which however, live very different realities, to which different needs correspond, which await different impulses of evangelization.”

It is precisely the diversity of the situations that call for an intent discernment, the Letter says. To speak of "new evangelization" does not mean, in fact, to have to elaborate a single equal formula for all the circumstances. “And yet, it is not difficult to realize what all the Churches need that live in traditionally Christian territories, which is a renewed missionary drive, expression of a new generous openness to the gift of grace.”

The Pontifical Council has several specific tasks: to reflect on the theological and pastoral meaning of the new evangelization; to promote and foster the study, diffusion and realization of the papal Magisterium related to topics connected with the new evangelization; to make known initiatives linked to the new evangelization already under way in the various particular Churches and to promote their new realization, involving actively also the resources present in the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, as well as the aggregations of faithful and in the new communities; to study and foster the use of modern forms of communication, as instruments for the new evangelization; to promote the use of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 12/10/2010)

Image and Reality

To Participants of a Congress on Catholic Press, sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, in an audience with Benedict XVI on October 7.

"Help your contempoaries to be oriented to Christ, only Savior, to keep burning the flame of hope in the world. Renew your personal choice for Christ, drinking from those spiritual resources that the worldly mentality underestimates, despite the fact they are valuable, more than that, indispensable.”

In his address, the Holy Father has revealed the profound transformations taking place in the world of mass media, especially with the development of new technologies and multimedia products, which “seems to call into question the role of the more traditional and consolidated media.” Today, in communications there is a growing emphasis on the world of images, and the Pope mentioned the risk that this implies: “image can also become independent of reality; it can give life to a virtual world, with several consequences, the first of which is the risk of indifference to truth...the recording of an event, joyful or sad, can be consumed as a spectacle and not as an occasion for reflection. The search for the paths of an authentic promotion of man then takes second place, because the event is presented primarily to arouse emotions. These aspects sound like an alarm bell: They invite consideration of the danger that the virtual draws away from reality and does not stimulate the search for the true, for the truth. In this context, the Catholic press is called, in a new way, to express to the heights its potential and to give a reason day in and day out for its mission that can never be given up.”

"The Christian faith has in common with communication a fundamental structure: the fact that the means and the message coincide; indeed, the Son of God, the Incarnate Word, is at the same time message of salvation and means through which salvation is realized...Moreover the Church, Mystical Body of Christ, present at the same time everywhere, nourishes the capacity of more fraternal and more human relations, being a place of communion among believers and, at the same time, a sign and instrument of everyone's vocation to communion. 

After recalling that the press evokes “the value of the written word,” and that “the Word of God has come to ua and has been given to us through a book, the Bible. The word continues to be the fundamental instrument and, in a certain sense, the constitutive instrument of communication.”

“The communicative challenge is, for the Church and for all those who share her mission, very involved. Christians cannot ignore the crisis of faith that has come to society, or simply trust that the patrimony of the values transmitted in the course of past centuries can continue inspiring and shaping the future of the human family.”

He then concluded, saying: “whoever works in the media, if he does not wish to be 'a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal' (1 Corinthians 13:1) -- as Saint Paul would say -- must have well-rooted in himself the underlying option that enables him to deal with the things of the world placing God always at the top of the scale of values.” (SL) (Agenzia Fides 8/10/2010)

Mission must start from the Eucharist and lead to the Eucharist

VATICAN - “The call to mission...is addressed to all the baptized, an essential element of their vocation,” Benedict XVI tells Brazilian Bishops

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - “The call to mission is not directed exclusively to a restricted group of members of the Church; rather, it is an imperative addressed to all the baptized, an essential element of their vocation.”

In his address, the Pope praised the efforts made by the Bishops in these regions “to bring the Good News of Jesus to all corners of the Amazon jungle” and addressing certain critique regarding “violation of religious freedom” with claims of “imposing” the truth of the Gospel, he mentioned what Paul VI affirmed in Evangelii Nuntiandi (no. 80): “It would, of course, be a mistake to impose anything on the conscience of our brothers and sisters, but propounding knowledge of the truth of the Gospel and the salvation of Jesus Christ, with absolute clarity and full respect for the free choice of conscience (hence without coercion or dishonest persuasion), ... far from being an attack on religious freedom, is a homage to that freedom, which can choose a route that even non-believers consider noble and edifying. ... To present Christ and His kingdom in a respectful way, more than a right, is a duty of evangelization. It is likewise the right of his fellow men to receive from him the proclamation of the Good News of salvation.”

“The will to preach the Gospel is born from a heart that has fallen in love with Jesus, that ardently desires that more people can receive the invitation to attend the wedding feast of the Son of God." One of the central commitments of the Fifth Conference of Latin America and the Caribbean, held in Aparecida in 2007, was precisely to "raise awareness among Christians of the need to become disciples and missionaries," and that has enhanced the missionary dimension of Church, called to the Continental Mission.

The Holy Father mentioned Blessed José de Anchieta, "who made sure that the Word of God was spread among Indians and Portuguese alike," as an example to help local churches to find the most appropriate means for the training of missionary disciples in the spirit of the Conference of Aparecida. In his speech to the Brazilian Bishops, Benedict XVI continued to focus on the mission: "The mission cannot be limited to a mere search for new ways to make the Church more attractive and capable of overcoming the competition of other religious groups or relativist ideologies. The Church does not work for herself. She is at the service of Jesus Christ and exists to ensure the Good News is accessible to everyone. The Church is catholic precisely because she invites all human beings to experience new life in Christ. Mission, then, is neither more nor less than the natural consequence of the very essence of the Church, a service of the ministry of unity which Christ wished to achieve in His crucified body.”

The Pope warned of the possible weakening of the missionary spirit, which "may not be due, so much, to the limitations and weaknesses of the external forms of traditional missionary activity, as to having forgotten that the mission must be nourished by a deeper core. This core is the Eucharist. As the presence of the human and divine love of Jesus Christ, the Eucharist always implies a continual shift from Jesus to the people who are his members, who will themselves become Eucharist. In summary, to be truly effective, the Continental Mission must start from the Eucharist and lead to the Eucharist." (SL) (Agenzia Fides 10/5/2010)

Full text of the speech of the Holy Father, in Portuguese

Scripture and the Mission

The National Office of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States (New York) recently launched two new websites: http://www.missioninscripture.org/ offers reflection on Sunday readings in light of our vocation to evangelize; http://www.preachingmission.org/ with homily suggestions for the same Sunday readings with an evangelization theme.  Commentary for the coming Sunday is posted on both websites the preceding Monday. There are also mission-based insights on both websites for non-Sunday Liturgical celebrations, such as, for the feast days of St. Thérèse of Lisieux (October 1) and St. Francis Xavier (December 3), and Christmas. The websites have a direct link to related Scripture passages from the “readings” page of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ website http://www.usccb.org/.

Authenticity & Truth in a Digital Age


VATICAN CITY, 29 SEP 2010 (VIS) - Made public today was the theme chosen by the Pope for the forty-fifth World Day of Social Communications: "Truth, proclamation and authenticity of life in the digital age". His Message for the Day will be published on 24 January 2011, feast of St. Francis of Sales, patron of journalism.
An English-language note released by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications explains that the theme is "to be understood as focusing on the human person who is at the heart of all communicative processes. Even in an age that is largely dominated, and at times conditioned, by new technologies, the value of personal witness remains essential.

"To approach the truth and to take on the task of sharing it", the note adds, "requires the 'guarantee' of an authenticity of life from those who work in the media, and especially from Catholic journalists; an authenticity of life that is no less required in a digital age.
"Technology, on its own, cannot establish or enhance a communicator's credibility, nor can it serve as a source of the values which guide communication. The truth must remain the firm and unchanging point of reference of new media and the digital world, opening up new horizons of information and knowledge. Ideally, it is the pursuit of truth which constitutes the fundamental objective of all those who work in the media".

Using Talents Online

If we want more people to use the Internet for mission, we need to get more of our best teachers and preachers online. Look around, speak with your colleagues. Is there someone whom you can you invite to this important ministry? Go to them and make your case.

Baptism Starts Mission


VATICAN CITY, JAN 9, 2005 “The mission of every Christian also begins with Baptism," said the Holy Father. The rediscovery of Baptism, through appropriate itineraries of adult catechesis, is thus an important aspect of the new evangelization. Renewing in a more mature fashion one's own adherence to the faith is the condition for a true and full participation in the Eucharistic celebration that is the summit of ecclesial life." ANG/BAPTISM/... VIS 050110 (210)

10 Suggestions for Using Social Media

10 Suggestions for Using Social Media at Catholic Organizations
by Craig Berry

This is not an attempt to convince you that ‘Social Media’ is a worthwhile endeavor. I’m assuming you’ve already passed from denial into acceptance that this new form of communication is here to stay. Still, if you need convincing, try this and this.

Link here:
10 Suggestions for Using Social Media at Catholic Organizations – Social Media Management, Internet Marketing and Web-Based Strategies

Seek New Methods of Evangelization

 Seek New Methods of Evangelization

VATICAN CITY, 11 SEP 2010 (VIS) - At midday today Benedict XVI received participants in a congress for recently-consecrated bishops, regularly organised by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
The acceptance and the fruit of the proclamation of the Good News are closely linked to the quality of faith and prayer. Those called to the ministry of preaching must believe in the power of God which is released in the Sacraments and which accompanies them in their duty to sanctify, govern and announce. They must believe and live what they proclaim and celebrate.

You must not give in to pessimism and discouragement, because it is the Holy Spirit that guides the Church and gives her ... the courage to persevere and seek new methods of evangelization, so as to reach areas as yet unexplored.

The Christian truth, is attractive and persuasive because it responds to the profound need of human existence, convincingly announcing that Christ is the one Savior of all of man and of all humankind. This announcement remains valid today, just as it was at the beginning of Christianity when the first great missionary expansion of the Gospel took place.

Globalization and Christian Hope

VATICAN - Benedict XVI tells the youth: “In our age of globalization, be witnesses of Christian hope all over the world.”
Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - “Christ is not a treasure meant for us alone; he is the most precious treasure we have, one that is meant to be shared with others. In our age of globalization, be witnesses of Christian hope all over the world. How many people long to receive this hope!” These are the words addressed by Benedict XVI to the youth of the entire world in his Message for the XXVI World Youth Day.

The Pope mentions that the upcoming World Youth Day will take place in Madrid, Spain, in August 2011, on the theme “Planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith" (cf. Col 2:7) and that it will be celebrated “at a time when Europe greatly needs to rediscover its Christian roots.” Part of being young is “desiring something beyond everyday life and a secure job, a yearning for something really truly greater...Because human beings are made in the image of God, we do this in a unique and special way. We reach out for love, joy and peace...In some parts of the world, particularly in the West, today’s culture tends to exclude God, and to consider faith a purely private issue with no relevance for the life of society.” The Pope warns of the “a growing mentality of relativism, which holds that everything is equally valid, that truth and absolute points of reference do not exist. But this way of thinking does not lead to true freedom, but rather to instability, confusion and blind conformity to the fads of the moment.”

Commenting on the text from St. Paul chosen as the theme of the World Youth Day: “Planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith" (cf. Col 2:7), the Pope notes that “grammatically all three terms in the original text are in the passive voice. This means that it is Christ himself who takes the initiative to plant, build up and confirm the faithful.” Benedict XVI then exhorts the youth to build their house on the rock, to try to follow Christ's word every day. “Listen to him as a true friend with whom you can share your path in life. With him at your side, you will find courage and hope to face difficulties and problems, and even to overcome disappointments and set-backs.”

In the cultural context in which we live today, “Indeed, there is a strong current of secularist thought that aims to make God marginal in the lives of people and society by proposing and attempting to create a 'paradise' without him. Yet experience tells us that a world without God becomes a 'hell': filled with selfishness, broken families, hatred between individuals and nations, and a great deficit of love, joy and hope. On the other hand, wherever individuals and nations accept God’s presence, worship him in truth and listen to his voice, then the civilization of love is being built, a civilization in which the dignity of all is respected, and communion increases, with all its benefits.”

Benedict XVI exhorts the youth to learn to “see,” to “meet” Jesus in the Eucharist, in the Sacrament of Penance, in the poor, the sick, in those in difficulty, in a personal dialogue with Him in faith, through reading the Gospels and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in prayer. “Our personal faith in Christ, which comes into being through dialogue with him, is bound to the faith of the Church. We do not believe as isolated individuals, but rather, through Baptism, we are members of this great family; it is the faith professed by the Church which reinforces our personal faith,” the Pope says. “There have been, and still are, many Christians who are living witnesses of the power of faith that is expressed in charity. They have been peacemakers, promoters of justice and workers for a more humane world, a world in accordance with God’s plan. With competence and professionalism, they have been committed in different sectors of the life of society, contributing effectively to the welfare of all... In the same way, if you believe, and if you are able to live out your faith and bear witness to it every day, you will become a means of helping other young people like yourselves to find the meaning and joy of life, which is born of an encounter with Christ!” (SL) (Agenzia Fides 4/09/2010)

Complete text of the Holy Father's Message, in English


Complete text of the Holy Father's Message, in Spanish


Jesus the Christ e-Conference

Meeting Jesus on the internet, E-Conference: “Jesus the Christ: Fully Human, Truly Divine”

Sydney (Agenzia Fides) – Fr. Gerald O'Collins SJ will be the headline speaker at the Broken Bay Institute's next National E-Conference, 'Jesus the Christ: Fully human, Truly divine', on Thursday 16 September 2010. The e-conferences began in 2009, and have proved an innovative new way to bring Catholic communities across Australia together for groundbreaking talks from renowned international and local speakers. Communities across the country have hosted the talks via internet feed. These gatherings can follow the talks online, and then participate in sharing and discussion among themselves, and send email questions direct to the speakers. Previous e-conferences have explored the Year of St Paul, St Luke, and Mary - First Disciple. The latest focuses on the central figure of our faith, Jesus Christ. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 1/9/2010 )

Real Faith. Real Radio.

Catholic Radio Network
GRN Alive, part of the Guadalupe Radio Network, is a live Catholic radio show broadcasting every Monday night from 8-9pm Central Standard Time. Our studios are located in San Antonio, Texas. Listen to us old school (KJMA 89.7 FM in South Texas) or new school (via the 'Listen Live' link above).
You are a vital part of GRN Alive, because our cast and crew created this show for you. We want to know what drives you crazy, what makes you laugh so hard that your drink shoots out your nose, where you love to hang out, your big 'what if' questions, and the YouTube video you can't get enough of. Call us live, send an email, leave a voicemail, write on our wall, text us (210.646.4GRN), tweet us, or leave a comment on the front page blog. Let's make radio fun again.

GRNAliveRadio.com | Real Faith. Real Radio.

New Media and Evangelization

Blessed James Alberione is known as "the first apostle of the new evangelization" John Paul II. Following are his original writings on what was new media in his time, the press, and then an update of his reflections showing how Pauline Spirituality (Paul alive today) is perennial in addressing the needs of today and the means that brings gospel healing and hope to each person:

The Press - Program from Donec Formatur, 1932 (James Alberione)To write: it is to preach, to comment on, to popularize, and to apply to life the Holy Gospel. Just as God spoke and wrote, just as Jesus Christ spoke and made others write, just as the Apostles spoke and wrote. The printed preaching is in a better position, in its principal part, to reach all.
To print: Herein technology is embraced in order to make things faster, better, independently. It is the preparation of the elements, scientific organization, typesetting, printing, and binding. In this, it is not an art, not an industry, but utilizes industry; and raises art and industry to the height of apostolate.
Diffusion: let it reach everywhere, to all, according to needs. a) The nature of the needs determines the nature of the initiative. b) The aim is to reach all, including those who have access to the Church.
New Media - Program (Charismatic Language Update 2010)
To write: it is to preach, to review, to write scripts, radio programs, articles, to write blogs to use social media and marketing, to apply to life the Holy Gospel. Just as God spoke and wrote, just as Jesus Christ spoke and made others write, just as the Apostles spoke and wrote. Media preaching is in a better position, in its principal part, to reach all.
To create: Herein technology is embraced in order to make things faster, better, independently. It is the preparation of the elements, scientific organization, e-books, apps, printing, and books on demand, html, websites, and videos. In this, it is not an art, not an industry, but utilizes industry; and raises art and industry to the height of apostolate.
Diffusion: let the Word of God reach everywhere, to all, according to needs and in the language of the medium employed a) the nature of the needs determines the nature of the initiative. b) The aim is to reach all in whatever way and in whatever place people are in today’s global society.

Jesus' New Lifestyle

As the Apostle Paul demonstrated the authenticity of his apostolate with the persecutions, the wounds and the torments suffered (cf. 2 Corinthians 6-7), so persecution is also proof of the authenticity of our apostolic mission. But it is important to recall that the Gospel "takes shape in human consciences and hearts and expands in history only in the power of the Holy Spirit" (John Paul II, encyclical "Dominum et Vivificantem," 64) and the Church and missionaries have been made ideal by him to fulfill the mission entrusted to them (cf. Ibid., 25). It is the Holy Spirit (cf. 1 Corinthians 14) who unites and preserves the Church, giving her the strength to expand, filling Christ's disciples with an overflowing wealth of charisms. It is from the Holy Spirit that the Church receives the authority for the proclamation and the apostolic ministry.

Because of this, I wish to strongly reaffirm what I already said in regard to development (cf. "Caritas in Veritate," 79), that is, that evangelization needs Christians with arms raised to God in a gesture of prayer, Christians moved by the awareness that the conversion of the world to Christ is not done by us, but is given. The missionary endeavor requires an ever more profound union with him who is the One Sent by God the Father for the salvation of all; it requires sharing that "new lifestyle" that was inaugurated by the Lord Jesus and that the Apostles made their own (cf. Address to the Participants in the Plenary Assembly of the Congregation for the Clergy, March 16, 2009).

The Real Facebook

How is it possible to return to people's faces today?" asked Benedict XVI. Quoting from his own Encyclical "Caritas in veritate", he explains how the media can have a civilising effect "not only when, thanks to technological development, they increase the possibilities of communicating information, but above all when they are geared towards a vision of the person and the common good that reflects truly universal values.

To achieve goals of this kind, they need to focus on promoting the dignity of persons and peoples, they need to be clearly inspired by charity and placed at the service of truth, of the good, and of natural and supernatural fraternity.

Only in these conditions can the epoch-making change we are experiencing be rich and fruitful in new opportunities. ... More than by our technical resources, necessary though they are, we wish to identify ourselves by inhabiting the [digital] universe with a believing heart which helps to give a soul to the endless flow of communications on the Internet.

This is our mission, the indispensable mission of the Church. The task of all believers who work in the media is that of 'opening the door to new forms of encounter, maintaining the quality of human interaction, and showing concern for individuals and their genuine spiritual needs. They can thus help the men and women of our digital age to sense the Lord's presence'".

What Works: Gossip - Busted Halo

follow link for full article:
What Works: Gossip - Busted Halo 
This is nothing new. In the Middle Ages, instead of Perez Hilton, its purveyors were roving minstrels (the French medieval term jongleur actually means “gossip”), but people have always been attracted to lurid news. I think it’s worse now because of the information age — the obsessive focus on information to create an illusion of control.

Need Faith? There's an App for That

Need Faith? There's an App For That

The Daughters of St. Paul, who run the Pauline Books and Media Center in Manhattan, are among the many Catholic groups using social media like Facebook and ...


Faith by Phone
Below is a list of some Catholic apps available for download, along with the Web site addresses for more information.
The Vatican: Vatican Observatory Foundation iPhone app, "Daily Sermonettes with Father Mike Manning," features Father Manning, author and television personality from "The Word in the World," which runs on Trinity Broadcasting Network, and his daily reflections inspired by Scripture. http://www.dailysermonettes.com/
Daughters of St. Paul: "Saint a Day" app, which features short meditations each day and a listing of saint's biographies, and "Rosary" app, featuring an audio rosary, slideshows for inspiration and music selections for praying the Rosary. www.pauline.org

Magnificat: "Daily Prayer" app, featuring morning, evening and night prayers inspired by the Liturgy of the Hours, and readings and prayers for each daily Mass. www.magnificat.com

Ave Maria Press: "Stations of the Cross" app, features a prayer companion based on Pope John Paul II's Bible-based interpretation of the stations. Available in iPhone and iTunes App Store.

Touched by the Gospel

In the years since entering the Daughters of St. Paul, I’ve served in our communications apostolate in Boston, New York City, and Toronto, both in our publishing house and in our Pauline Books & Media Centers. I studied theology and philosophy and graduated with a B.A. in English Communications from Emmanuel College in 2008. I’ve spent time with our sisters in Venezuela, Brazil, and Italy, and had the opportunity to meet other Daughters of St. Paul from all around the world, all engaged in the same mission — to bring the good news of the Gospel to everyone through the media. Today, I serve in our publishing house in Boston, Pauline Books & Media, as a children’s book editor. It is a service filled with endless creative possibilities, as I work and pray that young people will be touched by the Gospel and find in Jesus their true friend.
Click here for the whole article:
Youngstown native to make final vows

Prayer in a Digital Age

Prayer of an Evangelizer in the Digital Age
Oh, Lord my God and my Creator, source of all things, I adore you and offer you each breath, each heart beat, each drop of blood that flows in my body, each moment as an act of love and surrender, in abandonment to you for your glory and the salvation of all people.

You are my Father and Savior. You are all good, merciful, compassionate, tender, passionate Lover of all humankind. You can do all things and you care for all your creatures. You have led people to discover the secrets of creation, especially in the media of social communication with their wondrous capacity of reaching out to the whole world in split seconds. And you have called me, [ as a Daughter of St. Paul,] to be an apostle in this digital age. Through the electronic signals I can send a message of love: I can send the message of Jesus who is Truth, Way, Life. You have called me to be a beam, a little signal shooting out to the universe, carrying Jesus and the message of his Father’s love for us all. This beam, this signal, runs through the atmosphere and consecrates the air and the electronic waves as it circles the earth in a never ending way that enables the Holy Gospel to reach millions upon millions of your sons and daughters in all the nations of the earth. We fulfill, in ways unknown to other generations, your command to “go out to the whole world and tell the Good News!”

I offer you, in union with Jesus through whom you created the universe, each fiber of paper, each pixel of the computer, each and every transmission generated by mankind’s ingenuity through these devices; each sound, each image. I offer every atom of all that exists back to you as acts of love and gratitude for the praise of your glory and the good of the vast human family.

Bless me and receive my love and gratitude, my promise to respect and use the communications media only for your glory and the salvation of everyone. Amen.
Written by Sr. Sharon Anne Legere, fsp, August 1, 2010

Anne Rice & the Church Home for all Peoples

Benedict XVI Prayer Intentions for August and Anne Rice's Statement of Leaving Christianity

"That those who are without work or homes or who are otherwise in serious need may find understanding and welcome, as well as concrete help in overcoming their difficulties. That the Church may be a 'home' for all people, ready to open her doors to any who are suffering from racial or religious discrimination, hunger or wars forcing them to emigrate to other countries".

While this intention has been send out across the social media sphere Anne Rice, the author of vampire stories, a two volume Life of Jesus and a new metaphysical series, has sent out her own statement of disbelief. I attended a Christmas party hosted by Anne about three years ago. She was a gracious host and she was living this prayer intention for a "home for all people..." This was a faithfilled reponse to the One who opened his heart and gave his life for all of us irregardless of our failures, sins, pride, wealth, poverty.

Anne could be considered a sincere seeker. The important thing for all of us seekers to remember is that we are not the one's who are seeking. God is coming toward us. Many mystics and saints experienced this reality of God's approach through darkness, suffering, misunderstanding, and confusion. How do we allow God to come close? Can we even "allow" God to come close? We have the gift of a free will to respond to God and God's love is not conditioned by our response. So we can "allow" God to come close. Jesus showed us what that looks like. In the Beatitudes Jesus calls blessed all those who respond, and tells us what following him in this response will look like (Matthew, Chapter 5). The Beatitudes encourage us, as Christians, to open our home and hearts to all people. Embracing these beatitudes, as signs of what a "new heart" looks like, we embrace Christ.

The world may not be ready to receive the gospel because it doesn't look like good news. To be honest each of us are a tagline and the slogan for the gospel - and that is humbling since we are going to remain imperfect bearers of the image of Christ. Followers of Christ won't "fit in" not because they are exclusive or prone to judgement, not because they follow certain rules that don't make sense - Christians are called to live the life of Christ: poor materially and/or spiritualy, groaning and mourning, as does all of creation, waiting for fulfillment, powerless, hungering and thirsting for being in right relation with God and others, merciful, living from a pure heart, bringing about reconcilation, persuing commuion and persecuted.

Our spiritual life as  Christians is not "how did I do" or "what degree of prayer am I in now." It is not focused on us. It is about Christ. We are in Christ, we are a new creation, so we can "rejoice and be glad" even as we enter into the stuggle of kenosis - until it is Christ who lives, not I (Gal. 2:20). Anne is called, as are each us, to love as God loves. Jesus shows us what God's love looks like and what leads to the promise of blessedness. God has a passion to connect, a desire for relationship with us. The church as the body of Christ seeks together to deepen this relationship: "Amen," (meaning "I put my trust in you God. I take my stand here") "Teach me how to respond to your love."

You Are Never Alone

One Who Prays is Never Alone

The disciples asked Christ to teach them how to pray. Jesus raised no objections, He used no strange or esoteric formulae but with great simplicity said: 'When you pray, say: Father ... And he taught them the Our Father.

This prayer also comprehends and expresses the material and spiritual requirements of human beings. ... And precisely because of our everyday needs and difficulties, Jesus exhorts us: ... 'Ask and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you'.

This is not a request for our own desires to be satisfied, but for our friendship with God to be kept alive. This was the experience of the ancient Desert Fathers, and of contemplative people in all times who, through prayer, became friends of God. In this context he quoted words of St. Teresa of Avila who encouraged her nuns to "beseech God to deliver us from these perils for ever and to keep us from all evil! And although our desire for this may not be perfect, let us strive to make the petition. What does it cost us to ask it, since we ask it of One Who is so powerful?"

Each time we pray the Our Father, our voice mingles with the voice of the Church, because one who prays is never alone. ... May the Virgin Mary help us rediscover the beauty and profundity of Christian prayer.
Benedict XVI

Listening to the Word: Lectio Divina

Without love, even the most important activities lose value and fail to bring joy. Without profound meaning, whatever we do is simply activism, fruitless and haphazard. And who gives Love and Truth if not Jesus Christ?

Reflecting on Luke 10: 38-42,  we read that Martha and Mary welcome Jesus into their home giving first place to what is effectively most important in life, listening to the Word of God,  There is no scorn for active life, and certainly no scorn for generous hospitality; instead this gospel reminds us that the only thing, really necessary, is other: listening to the Word of the Lord; and the Lord, at that moment was there, present in the Person of Jesus! Everything else will pass away, it will be taken from us, but the Word of God is eternal and gives meaning to our daily activity. (Cf. Bendedict XVI)
Have you prayed the Word through Lectio Divina? Follow this link to divine reading of God's Word. Daily read God's word, said a Rabbi, when your heart breaks the Word falls in.

http://gospellives.blogspot.com/ (Gospel Lives in Me).

Life in Christ Jesus

Fr. James from the Apostleship of Prayer talks about what it means to have a personal relationship with Jesus.

Worlds Oldest Illustrated Bible Found

The world's earliest illustrated Christian book has been saved by a British charity which located it at a remote Ethiopian monastery.
The incredible Garima Gospels are named after a monk who arrived in the African country in the fifth century and is said to have copied them out in just one day.
Beautifully illustrated, the colours are still vivid and thanks to the Ethiopian Heritage Fund have been conserved.
Abba Garima arrived from Constantinople in 494 AD and legend has it that he was able to copy the gospels in a day because God delayed the sun from setting.

Gospel in Everyone's Hearts

There is a new "movement" in the 21st century that is just developing. Pope Benedict speaks about it as well. It is the understanding that not only are we able to grow but that our growth as humans calls us to greater solidarity (from I to we or I-Thou), self-giving (emptying of self ), recognition that the indwelling Spirit- love has been poured into our hearts (Romans). The broader message of this movement has Christian overtones and sounds new since it is bringing the language of deeper spiritual life and practice, ie. dying to self, and loving others as yourself, into the common arena.

This message is something we already have as a gift. Maybe when it becomes a movement in the Western world more people will remember that it has been there all along. We will be called upon to speak of what we already know and take the basket off of the burning light of the gospel so that all can see and rejoice.

"From its origins, Christian people have clearly recognized the importance of communicating the Good News of Jesus to those who do not yet know Him. In recent years the anthropological, cultural, social and religious framework of humanity has changed; today the Church is called to face new challenges and is ready to dialogue with different cultures and religions, seeking ways to build peaceful coexistence, along with all people of good will. The field of the 'ad gentes' mission appears much broader today, and can no longer to be defined on the basis of geographic considerations alone. Indeed, it is not only non-Christian peoples and distant lands that await us, but also social and cultural milieux and, above all, human hearts which are the real goal of the missionary activity of the People of God." Benedict XVI

Preparation for the new evangelization is prayer, silent contemplation, going out toward others. Prayer is of the heart, in the Liturgy, in the home, with words, with praise, with petition. Silent contemplation is centering prayer, can begin with the rosary, may be sitting and waiting on the hands of our Master, Jesus. Going out towards others is being there with others without judgement, treating others as we treat ourselves, visiting the sick, the imprisoned. Living the gospels through the gift of grace through Jesus in the Spirit is evangelization. In the gospels we will find all of the instructions for facing the new challenges and entering into dialogue with others in the various ways we encounter each other today.

Real Issue of Evangelization

"How many times do you ask yourself the great question: where is humanity heading, how is it moving, toward what goal is it aiming as it continually renews itself on the face of the earth? Humanity is like a great river flowing into eternity. Will it be saved? Will it be lost forever?" (Blessed James Alberione, Founder of the Pauline Family)

The real issue of evangelization in our time ruled by the technological mindset, especially in the communication field, is to proclaim Christ as challenging the presumption of human pride and self-sufficiency by the fact that he, as the incarnate Word and Son of God, is the only Master, the Way, the Truth and the Life for all humanity. (Sr Veritas Grau, fsp)

Challege of Evangelization & St Paul

Blessed Alberione took up the Challenge of the New Evangelization
Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - “There are regions in the world that still wait for a first evangelization; others that received it but need more profound work; others still in which the Gospel put down roots a long time ago, giving place to a true Christian tradition, but where in the last centuries -- with complex dynamics -- the process of secularization has produced a grave crisis of the sense of the Christian faith and of belonging to the Church.” These were the words of the Holy Father Benedict XVI during the Celebration of First Vespers for the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, which he presided in the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls on the afternoon of June 28.

Near the sepulcher of St. Paul I repeat: The Church is an immense force of renewal in the world, not because of her strength, but because of the force of the Gospel, in which the Holy Spirit of God breathes, the God Creator and Redeemer of the world. The challenges of the present age are certainly beyond human capacities; they are the historical and social challenges, and with greater reason, the spiritual challenges...Man of the third millennium also desires an authentic and full life, he has need of truth, of profound liberty, of gratuitous love.

Also in the deserts of the secularized world, man's soul thirsts for God, for the living God. Because of this John Paul II wrote: 'The mission of Christ the Redeemer, entrusted to the Church, is still very far from its fulfillment,' and he added: 'a look on the whole of humanity demonstrates that such a mission is still at the beginning and that we must commit ourselves with all our strength to its service' (Redemptoris Missio,1).”



VATICAN CITY, 28 JUN 2010 (VIS) - This evening in the Roman basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls, the Holy Father presided at first Vespers for the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul Apostles.

The ceremony was attended by a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, sent by His Holiness Bartholomew I and composed of His Eminence Gennadios (Limouris), metropolitan of Sassima; His Eminence Bartholomaios (Ioannis Kessidis), bishop of Arianzos and assistant to the metropolitan of Germany, and Deacon Theodoros Meimaris of the patriarchal see of Fanar.

In his homily the Pope reflected on the Church's missionary vocation. He began by recalling how Servant of God Giovanni Battista Montini, when elected as Peter's Successor, "chose the name of the Apostle of the Gentiles". In the year 1974 "he called an assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the theme of evangelisation in the modern world, and about a year later published the Apostolic Exhortation 'Evangelii nuntiandi'".

Turning then to consider the figure of the Venerable John Paul II, Benedict XVI highlighted how, "with his apostolic trips and the insistence of his Magisterium on the urgent need for a 'new evangelisation', he was the living embodiment of the missionary nature of the Church. ... It is obvious to everyone that my predecessor gave extraordinary impulse to the mission of the Church, not only because of the distances he covered, but above all because of the genuine missionary spirit that moved him and that he left us as inheritance at the dawn of the third millennium.

"Taking up this inheritance", the Pope added, "at the beginning of my Petrine ministry I affirmed that the Church is young, she is open to the future. And I repeat as much today at the tomb of St. Paul: the Church is an immense force for renewal in the world, not by her own power but by the power of the Gospel".

"The challenges of the present are certainly beyond human capacities", said the Holy Father. "Not only is there physical hunger, there is also a more profound hunger which only God can satisfy. Man in the third millennium also seeks an authentic and full life; he needs truth, profound freedom and gratuitous love. Even in the deserts of the secularised world man's soul thirsts for God, for the living God".

Benedict XVI pointed out that "there are regions of the world that still await their first evangelization while others have already received it but need more profound attention. In others again, the Gospel has long standing roots and has given rise to an authentic Christian tradition but - over recent centuries and following complex dynamics - the process of secularisation has led to a serious crisis of meaning in Christian faith and in membership of the Church".

And he went on: "It is in this perspective that I have decided to create a new organisation, in the form of a Pontifical Council, with the fundamental task of promoting renewed evangelization in countries where the first announcement of the faith has already been heard and where there are Churches of ancient foundation, but where a progressive secularisation of society is being experienced, a kind of 'eclipse of the meaning of God'". These countries, he said, "are a challenge to us to find the adequate means to re-present the perennial truth of the Gospel of Christ".

The Holy Father concluded by affirming that "the challenge of the new evangelization calls to the universal Church, it asks us to remain committed to the search for full unity among Christians. In this context, one eloquent sign of hope are the reciprocal visits between the Churches of Rome and of Constantinople on the feasts of their respective patrons. For this reason we today welcome, with renewed joy and recognition, the delegation sent by Patriarch Bartholomew I".

Freedom and Love


VATICAN CITY, 27 JUN 2010 (VIS) - The Pope focused his remarks prior to praying the Angelus on this last Sunday of June to the theme of the call of Christ and the requirements it brings.

Addressing thousands of faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, the Pope said that "a young man or young woman who leave their family, their studies or their work to consecrate themselves to God" represent "a living example of the radical response to the divine vocation".

"One of the most beautiful experiences a person can have in the Church is that of being able to see and touch the work of the Lord in people's lives, of experiencing the fact that God is not some abstract entity, but a reality so great and strong as to fill man's heart to overflowing; a living Person Who is close to us, Who loves us and asks to be loved".
Benedict XVI highlighted how the requirements for following Christ "may seem very harsh, but in reality they express the novelty and absolute priority of the Kingdom of God which is present in the Person of Jesus Christ. They are, in the final analysis, the radical commitment that is due to the Love of God, which Jesus Himself was the first to obey".

"A person who renounces everything in order to follow Christ enters a new dimension of freedom", he continued. "Freedom and love are the same thing, while obeying one's own egoism leads to rivality and conflict".

The Holy Father concluded by inviting everyone "to contemplate the mystery of the divine-human Heart of the Lord Jesus. ... People who fix their gaze on that Heart, pierced and ever open with Love for us, feel the truth of the following invocation: 'Be you, my Lord, my only good', and are ready to abandon everything in order to follow the Lord".

After praying the Angelus, the Pope recalled how in Lebanon this morning a beatification ceremony was held for Etienne (ne Joseph) Nehme, religious of the Lebanese Maronite Order who lived in Lebanon between the end of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century. "My heartfelt congratulations go to our Lebanese brothers and sisters", he said, "and with great affection I commend them to the protection of the new blessed".

"On this Sunday which precedes the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul Apostles", the Holy Father concluded, "Italy and other countries are celebrating the Day of the Pope's Charity. I express my gratitude to people who, with prayer and offerings, support the apostolic and charitable activity of Peter's Successor, in favour of the universal Church and of so many of our brothers and sisters, both near and far".

Scripture and Eucharist

Sacred Scripture and the Eucharist: -life-blood of Christian life
The initiative of encouraging “Regular reading of Holy Scripture and devout Eucharistic Adoration” was launched at the beginning of this year 2010 in the parish of Xiao Dian, diocese of Tai Yuan, Shan Xi province. According to a report sent to Fides Agency, on Sundays before Mass priests help the faithful to read the Scripture readings of the day, share impressions, while the priests explain the meaning and answer questions. On every important Liturgical feast day the parish community participates in Eucharistic Adoration for an hour before a solemn Mass. The parish priest said this “is a way of living the life of faith, fostering deeper devotion and respect for the Holy Eucharist and learning to put total trust in the Lord Jesus”. In fact “Sacred Scripture and the Eucharist are the life-blood of our Christian life ”. Every liturgical solemnity is an opportunity for the parish to organise community adoration and a procession with the Blessed Sacrament. Our faithful have adopted the good habit of reading the Bible together also before week day Mass. In this way, the parish priest concluded, “we help those who have little time for reading the Bible alone, to become more familiar with Holy Scripture, to reflect more deeply and grow ever closer to the Lord”. (NZ) (Agenzia Fides)

Personal Gospel: Jesus

VATICAN - The true meaning and purpose of any genuine missionary journey: to give people the living and personal Gospel, the Lord Jesus Himself

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) – "In the Virgin Mary who goes to visit her relative Elizabeth, we recognize the clearest example and the truest meaning of our way as believers and the way of the Church herself. The Church is missionary by nature, called to proclaim the Gospel everywhere and always, to transmit the faith to every man and woman, and in every culture." These were the words spoken by the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI on the evening of May 31, before the Lourdes Grotto in the Vatican Gardens, at the end of the celebration held for the closing of the Month of May. Referring to the liturgy of the day, the feast of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary, the Pope said that "Mary's is a true missionary journey. It is a journey that leads her far from home, leading her into the world, in places foreign to her daily activities; it makes her reach, in a sense, to the very ends of where she can reach. It is precisely here, for ourselves as well, wherein lies the secret of our lives as mankind and as Christians. Our existence, as individuals and as a Church, is a life that is projected outside of us. As was the case with Abraham, we are asked to come out of ourselves, emerge from the places wherein lies our security, to go towards others, into diverse places and environments. It is the Lord who asks us... It is always the Lord who, on this path, places Mary beside us as a traveling companion and caring mother."

According to St. Luke the Evangelist, Mary stayed with Elizabeth, now elderly, for nearly three months, "in order to offer her an affectionate assistance, a concrete help and all those daily services she needed. Elizabeth became the symbol of so many elderly and sick, indeed, of all people in need of help and love," said the Holy Father. However, Mary's love "reaches its highest point in giving Jesus Himself, as Luke points out: "When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb" (Lk 1:41). The Pope then continued: "We thus arrive at the heart and summit of the mission of evangelization. We have reached the truest meaning and the most genuine purpose of any missionary journey: to give people the living and personal Gospel, the Lord Jesus Himself. This is implies a communication and a donation which, as evidenced by Elizabeth, fills the heart with joy ... Jesus is the true and only treasure that we must give humanity. It is for Him that the men and women of our time have a deep longing, even when they seem to ignore or reject Him. He is the one that the society in which we live, Europe, and the entire world have such a great need of.”

Benedict XVI concluded his speech by stressing that "we are entrusted with this extraordinary responsibility" and urging all to live it “with joy and commitment, so that our civilization is really a civilization in which truth, justice, freedom, and love reign as the fundamental and indispensable pillars of a truly orderly and peaceful coexistence." (SL) (Agenzia Fides 01/06/2010)

Painting by (c) Sr Julia Mary, fsp

Conference on Migration

Migrants, refugees, and victims of human trafficking: people like ourselves, human beings with a name, hopes and dreams, fears and disappointments

Washington (Agenzia Fides) - “The starting point for ministering to migrants, refugees, trafficked persons is to understand their situation and all its components, personal, social, economic, political in the light of God’s Word and to recognize its commitment to get involved. Naturally it also has to address those factors that cause their uprootedness. In this commitment the Church is guided by the 'permanent principles' of its 'social doctrine [that] constitute the very heart of Catholic social teaching.'” This was affirmed today by the President of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, Archbishop Antonio Maria Veglio, in his opening speech at the Regional Consultation of the American Bishops' Conferences on Migration being held in Washington, DC, June 2-4, on the theme: “Renewing Hope, Seeking Justice.” The Consultation is focusing on responding better to the needs of migrants and refugees in the Americas, confronting the deeper causes of migration through a more efficient coordination of services, pastoral care, and advocacy policies.

Archbishop Veglio pointed out that the United States is home to 38 million immigrants and “the USA has been shaped by the efforts of migrants, in former days but also nowadays. Many immigrants arrive to the U.S. with economic goals, expectations and their contribution. Migrants have become essential for the US economy. They make up a large part of the national workforce.” However the changes seen in society – the rapid growth in the Spanish language spoken in the churches, pastoral work that largely depends on foreign priests, the concentration of ethnic restaurants in a given area - “do not reflect an increased acceptance of “otherness” and a willingness to a mutual - reciprocal change. A change in the person arriving, but also a modification in the receiving society.”

Referring to the issue of “undocumented immigrants,” the Archbishop explained that many of them “have been living in the country for years, working and contributing to the economy and the social security system.” The number of deportations in 2008 surpassed 350,000 people, and “one of the not foreseen results in Central America has been the increase of gang-based violence by youngsters.” The children of immigrants, who have been raised in the USA, the only country they really know, see their future threatened by not being able to continue their studies. The Church supports them through the DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors), working for the regularization of the approximately 12 million undocumented migrants. However, Archbishop Veglio said, this should be united to immigration reform and “in order to achieve this, the necessary political will is required to address humanely undocumented migration.” Over the last thirty years more than 2 million refugees were allowed to settle, spontaneously or in a resettlement process, in the USA. “The Reception and Placement Programs of the Department of State supports them for a relatively short time, with a one-time grant,” the Archbishop said. After this period they are considered to have become sufficiently integrated to take care of themselves and be self-sufficient. It is more than evident that this does not work. They lack sufficient support. Many end up with hardly any money left after paying their rent and will join the American poor and end up in the same situation. “One has to note that the process of resettlement cannot be the same for each individual or for each community. In order to be realistic, one has to take into account the unique needs and experiences of the individual, which will result in different programmes, also with a request for a different and, most probably, a longer period of support. This should lead to self-sufficiency, employment and in the end integration in the country to become participants in society.”

The drama of human trafficking is present in almost every country, “whether it is sexual exploitation, forced labour or bonded labour, child soldiers, or abusive ways of adoption.” The Archbishop continued: “The root causes of trafficking are not just poverty and unemployment in developing countries. The demand for cheap labour, low priced products or 'exotic or unusual sex' is also a root cause of trafficking than must be addressed. The different forms of trafficking constitute human rights violations, which demand distinct approaches and measures in order to restore the dignity of the victims.”

A new form of displacement is now on its way, the President of the Pontifical Council for Migrants said: “People are moving away, since they can no longer make a living as a results of desertification and growing water scarcity, increasing sea-levels and 'salinisation' of agricultural land. Climate change is also increasingly causing natural disasters, like flooding and storms. As a result conflicts about resources increase. This new form of displacement will have enormous consequences for decades to come. The frequently cited and accepted estimates of 200 million24 climate induced displaced persons by 2050 indicate the gigantic dimension of the problem. Human migration will undoubtedly be one of the most significant consequences of the change in climate.”

In concluding his address, Archbishop Veglio recalled how the Church and dioceses have been active in this area, promoting a series of projects, activities, etc. This is why “the risk exists that we are so much taken up by our involvement that we just perceive those in migration as work, cases or a job.

Hospitality can protect us from such behavior. Hospitality is not so much a task as a way of living our lives and of sharing...Welcome, compassion and equal treatment are all part of an appropriate Christian response, which will break down social barriers. It is a response to the needs of persons, but also a recognition of their worth and common humanity.” (SL) (Agenzia Fides 2/06/2010)


Complete text of the address, in English


Complete text of the address, in Spanish


Extra-Ordinary Ordinary Time

Trinity Sunday in a certain sense recapitulates the revelation of God in the Paschal mysteries, the liturgy returns to ordinary time. However, this does not mean that the commitment of Christians must diminish; quite the contrary, having entered divine life through the Sacraments, we are now called to remain open to the action of Grace in order to grow in love towards God and neighbor."

"The human mind and human language are inadequate to explain the relation that exists between Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Nonetheless the Fathers of the Church sought to explain the mystery of the One and Triune God by putting it into practice with profound faith in their own lives. The Blessed Trinity comes to dwell in us on the day of Baptism", and each time we make the sign of the cross we remember the name of God in which we were baptised. ... The sign of the cross and the name of the living God contain, then, the announcement that generates faith and inspires prayer. And what Jesus promises the Apostles in the Gospel ('when the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth'), comes about in the Sunday liturgy when, week after week, priests dispense the bread of the Word and the Eucharist."  Benedict XVI

Prayer of St. Hilary of Poitiers:

"Keep, I pray, this my pious faith undefiled, and even till my spirit departs, grant that this may be the utterance of my convictions: so that I may ever hold fast that which I professed in the creed of my regeneration, when I was baptised in the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit".

New Pentecost

"The Church experiences countless 'Pentecosts' which enliven local communities: the liturgies, especially those experienced at special moments in community life, in which the power of God is perceived particularly clearly, infusing souls with joy and enthusiasm.

There is no Church without Pentecost. And, I would like to add, there is no Pentecost without the Virgin Mary. So it was at the beginning, in the Cenacle. ... So it is always, in all places and times. I myself witnessed as much a few days ago in Fatima, Portugal. What did that immense multitude experience on the esplanade of the shrine, if not a renewed Pentecost?".  Pope Benedict XVI

Mary, Queen of the Apostles of All Times

Mary, the valiant woman was in the very heart of the Pentecostal community and assumed the responsibility of the children of God as their “Mother, Teacher and Queen.”  The biblical inspiration was drawn by preference from Luke, the more “Pauline” and “Marian” of the Gospels and from two specific episodes in the New Testament: Mary’s investiture at the foot of the cross, as mother of the world in (Jn 19:25-27) and her prayerful presence in the Cenacle, in the midst of the Apostles in expectation of the Holy Spirit (Act 1:13-14).

“The first devotion that we find in the Church,” Blessed James Alberione loved to say, “is the devotion is the devotion to the Queen of the Apostles, as portrayed in the Cenacle.” Noting that this devotion had “diminished and been neglected in the past” his exhortation was: “Yours is the sweet task of rallying the faithful around Mary Queen of the Apostles; yours, to re-awaken this devotion; yours, to carry out this most pleasant office in the Church.” This means “to reawaken apostolates, stir up vocations.” And he concluded forcefully: “Let us return to the source. At the source we shall find Mary, Queen of the Apostles.”
http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=ddg9bd5k_5fx3r94hca reflection on New Apostles, New Pentecost, New Evangelization

Faith Formation Online Courses

Sr. Rose Pacatte: If you have ever wondered how to navigate media culture, here are two online courses that will renew your faith in our media world and give you skills to educate, form, and minister to others: Deadline to register 5/26 Intro to Media Literacy (I will facilitate) and Church and Communication:
The Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation (VLCFF) is a growing initiative to offer adult religious education and faith formation anytime and anywhere via the internet. The goal is to support the church's professional ministry of religious education and faith formation in cyberspace.
The VLCFF is coordinated and sponsored by the Institute for Pastoral Initiatives (IPI) at the University of Dayton - a Catholic Marianist Institution.
Our mission is to mobilize the resources of the University of Dayton for partnerships with the Church that create and implement innovative pastoral initiatives designed to meet the needs of the Church and to articulate faith within the context of contemporary culture.