Monday, October 6, 2014

Upcoming Optional Memorials

Pope Francis has decided that the feast days of Pope St. John XXIII (October 11) and Pope St. John Paul II (October 22) will be observed as optional memorials on the liturgical calendar, according to a decree of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.( The decree, dated May 29, was published in the September 12 edition of L’Osservatore Romano.) Mass prayers may be taken from the Common of Pastors: I. For a Pope or for a Bishop, and the readings may be those assigned for the day or texts taken from the Common of Pastors (Lectionary for Mass, 719–724). On whether or not to celebrate an optional memorial, consult the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 355.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Pope Francis' prayer intentions for October

Vatican City, 2014 (VIS) – Pope Francis' universal prayer intention for October is: “That Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence”.

His intention for evangelisation is: “That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world”.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Prayer of Pope Francis for the Synod on the Family

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On October 8, 2013, Pope Francis announced that in October 2014 there would be an Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on topics related to the family and evangelization. Pope Francis provided this prayer for the Synod of Bishops on the Family.

A worldwide Day of Prayer for the Synod of Bishops is planned for Sunday, September 28, 2014.
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Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
in you we contemplate
the splendor of true love,
to you we turn with trust.

Holy Family of Nazareth,
grant that our families too
may be places of communion and prayer,
authentic schools of the Gospel
and small domestic Churches.

Holy Family of Nazareth,
may families never again
experience violence, rejection and division:
may all who have been hurt or scandalized
find ready comfort and healing.

Holy Family of Nazareth,
may the approaching Synod of Bishops
make us once more mindful
of the sacredness and inviolability of the family,
and its beauty in God's plan.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
graciously hear our prayer.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions for September 2014

Vatican City, 1 September 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father's universal prayer intention for September is: “That the mentally disabled may receive the love and help they need for a dignified life”.

His intention for evangelisation is: “That Christians, inspired by the Word of God, may serve the poor and suffering”.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Easter Vigil 2015 :: Not Before 8:00 PM

Image courtesy: Tom Linn/
Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist
The earliest that parishes can begin the Easter Vigil Mass on Saturday, April 4, 2015, is 8:00 p.m. Please note this start time in your 2015 liturgical and parish calendars. (It is also suggested that those responsible for preparation and implementing parish liturgies be informed, i.e. liturgists, musicians, liturgy committees, etc.) The Vigil, by its very nature, must take place at night. The Easter Vigil begins and ends in darkness. It is not begun before nightfall and should end before daybreak on Easter Sunday. It is a nocturnal vigil, retaining its ancient character of vigilance and expectation, as the Christian people await the Resurrection of the Lord during the night. Fire is blessed and the paschal candle is lighted to illumine the night so that all may hear the Easter proclamation and listen to the word of God proclaimed in the Scriptures.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Committee on International Justice and Peace

3211 FOURTH STREET NE • WASHINGTON DC 20017-1194 • 202-541-3160

TO: All Bishops
FROM: Most Rev. Richard E. Pates, Bishop of Des Moines
Chairman, Committee on International Justice and Peace
RE: Prayer for Peace in Iraq

Many of you have heard the repeated calls of our Holy Father to pray for peace in Iraq. Violence there has escalated as the Islamic State (ISIS) has taken control of large sections of Iraq, destroying, burning and looting churches, homes and businesses.

Thousands of Christians and others who choose not to convert to ISIS’ extremist brand of Islam have fled for their lives.

I have written to the National Security Advisor Susan Rice asking that the U.S. do all it can to provide humanitarian assistance, through trusted NGOs like Catholic Relief Services, to help these beleaguered people who are desperate for water, food, shelter.

His Beatitude Louis Rafael Sako, Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Iraq, had joined with the international pontifical foundation, Aid to the Church in Need, to call for a Global Day of Prayer for Peace to be held on August 6, 2014, the Feast of the Transfiguration.

The Patriarch noted that the feast of Transfiguration marks the moment when Jesus, on Mount Tabor, appears to three disciples in a state of glory, shortly before His crucifixion. To Patriarch Sako, whom I had the honor to meet at his installation in March 2013, this feast signifies hope for humanity: a source of courage when obstacles appear impossible to surmount; a sign that light is stronger than darkness; and testimony that death can turn into life.

In the midst of so much suffering in Iraq, especially for the ancient Christian community of Mosul, the Patriarch said that participation in this Global Day of Prayer would be a witness that Christians have not forgotten or abandoned their suffering brothers and sisters in Iraq.

Since there was almost no advance notice to disseminate this prayer to parishes within your dioceses by August 6, I ask you to invite the people of your diocese to pray this special prayer written by Patriarch Sako at Masses on Sunday, August 17 and to keep the intentions for peace in the Middle East, but especially Iraq, in the Prayers of the Faithful. Please encourage your people to let their elected representatives know of their concern for Christians and other religious minorities who are in dire straits in Iraq, Syria, Egypt and other countries.

The plight of our country
is deep and the suffering of Christians
is severe and frightening.
Therefore, we ask you Lord
to spare our lives, and to grant us patience,
and courage to continue our witness of Christian values
with trust and hope.

Lord, peace is the foundation of life;
Grant us the peace and stability that will enable us
to live with each other without fear and anxiety,
and with dignity and joy.

Glory be to you forever.

† Louis Raphael I Sako

La situación de nuestro país es grave 
y el sufrimiento de los cristianos es intenso y nos aterra.
Por ello, te pedimos Señor 
que nos concedas paciencia y valor en nuestras vidas
para continuar siendo testigos de nuestros valores cristianos con fe y esperanza.

Señor, la paz es la base de la vida, 
danos paz y estabilidad,
para vivir con los demás sin miedo, ni ansiedad,
con dignidad y alegria.

Gloria a tí por siempre.
† Louis Raphael I Sako
Translated by:
Fr. J. Enrique Hernandez
Shared Associate Pastor  
Saint Frances Cabrini Parish and School
West Bend, WI

Patriarch Sako went on to pray: “Let us unite our voices and hearts before the Lord of peace. May the light of Tabor fill the hearts of all suffering people with consolation and hope. May the message of Tabor, through our prayers, inspire the leaders of Iraq to sacrifice personal interests for the common good and welfare.”

The Holy Father has said “violence generates more violence; dialogue is the only path to peace.” Let us continue to pray in communion with the Holy Father and with Patriarch Sako for a cessation of the violence and for a peace that will allow people to live in harmony without fear.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions for August 2014

Vatican City, 31 July 2014 (VIS) – Pope Francis' universal prayer intention for August is: “That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights”.

His intention for evangelisation is: “That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region”.