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”.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Synod Results

Synod Results

Hundreds of Catholics representing more than 200 parishes, schools and Catholic organizations throughout the Archdiocese of Milwaukee gathered the weekend of June 6-8 for “Synod 2014” to deliberate on and determine the priorities of the Catholic Church in southeastern Wisconsin for the next decade and beyond. Below are graphs of the voting results. For a full description of the Key Initiatives and voting percentages, click here.


Vatican City, 30 June 2014 (VIS) – The Pope's universal prayer intention 
for July is “that sports may always be occasions of human 
fraternity and growth”.

His prayer intention for evangelisation is “that the Holy Spirit may support 
the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries”.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Synod: Catholics Gather to Re-energize for the Future of The Church

MILWAUKEE – Hundreds of Catholics representing more than 200 parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Milwaukee will gather the weekend of June 6-8 for “Synod 2014” to deliberate on and determine the priorities of the Catholic Church in southeastern Wisconsin for the next decade and beyond.

“We are approaching a great moment in history,” said Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki. “Despite some of the challenges we’ve faced in recent years, I truly believe that for us, this will be a new Pentecost; a time of spiritual renewal to create a more inviting Church that reaches out to all people with our Lord’s message of hope, love and forgiveness.”   
Randy Nohl, chairman, Synod Preparatory Commission, explained how the Catholic Church, like many denominations, faces great challenges from preserving the dignity of marriage and family to fostering a culture of life, to renewing a climate that nurtures the call to vocations and bringing fallen away Catholics back to active participation in their faith community.  All of these topics will be discussed during the weekend-long Synod.
The entire Synod process began over 18 months ago. More than 15,000 parishioners from across the archdiocese have been integrally involved, praying, discerning and discussing what the Church can do better to bring people closer to Christ, as well as what the Church needs to consider to renew herself. 
“I’m grateful for the thousands of people who put their heart and soul into these efforts.  The faithful in Milwaukee have told me that our Church is alive and well! This provides great hope and promise for the future of our Church,” said Archbishop Listecki.
“What can Catholics expect from this Synod?  Renewal, revitalization and refreshed ways of doing things is my greatest hope,” said Margie Mandli, Synod Preparatory Commission member. The Synod preparatory efforts have allowed the Church to listen to the people in the pews. We’ve heard the needs and cries of our Church; and now the prayers and discussions will culminate at this Synod, resulting in a Spirit-filled plan for our Church to grow, thrive and serve.”
Nohl outlined the three pastoral focus areas for the Synod:
  • Catholic Identity:  Fostering a greater understanding of what it means to be Catholic, and how to create a love for the mystery, sacramentality and communion of our Church.  It is in greater understanding of our identity that we can transmit the true beauty of the Church.
  • Evangelization:  Creating a missionary spirit whereby all Catholics understand the “discipleship call” to bring the Gospel message to people in their workplaces, communities and parishes. 
  • Stewardship:  Creating an inspiration and a call for all Catholics to share their gifts and talents in a more intentional way to build the Kingdom of God here on earth.
Within these three categories, eight missionary areas will be discussed in depth including: the liturgy, cultural diversity, evangelization, formation, Catholic social teaching, marriage and family, leadership and stewardship. The delegates will ultimately present priorities of focus from each of these areas to the archbishop, who plans to issue a Synodal Declaration, outlining the vision for the archdiocese, sometime this September.
The opening Mass for the Synod will take place at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, 812 N. Jackson, Milwaukee, June 6 at 7 p.m.  The Mass is open to the public.  Synod meetings will be held Saturday, June 7 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Cousins Center, 3501 S. Lake Drive, Milwaukee.  The Sunday session will run from 1 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. culminating with a closing Mass for delegates in Mater Christi Chapel.
The Archdiocese of Milwaukee was established in 1843, and became an archbishopric in 1875. It covers 4,758 square miles in southeast Wisconsin and includes the following counties: Dodge, Fond du Lac, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Sheboygan, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha. Almost 600,000 Catholics are registered as members at 204 parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.
The last Archdiocesan Synod took place in 1987.