"The Christianity of history is not Protestantism. If ever there were a safe truth it is this, and Protestantism has ever felt it so; to be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant." (-John Henry Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine).

"Where the bishop is, there let the people gather; just as where ever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church". -St. Ignatius of Antioch (ca 110 AD)a martyr later thrown to the lions, wrote to a church in Asia Minor. Antioch was also where the term "Christian" was first used.

“But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

"This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic." -CCC 811

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Let's Pray for this!

Photo Source: Syrian Christian Watch

Yes! It's True! We have a 'secret" Church in Saudi Arabia!

Pope calls Pakistan attack ‘hideous,’ demands protection for Christians

Pakistani women weeping and comforting each other after Muslim Terrorists suicide bomber killed at least 70 Christians in Lahore, Pakistan while celebrating Easter. (Photo Source: Associated Press (AP))

We remember all those persecuted Christians in our prayers and sacrifices. We also pray for Muslims' conversion of hearts! LORD HAVE MERCY! -CD2000

Published March 28, 2016
Source: GMANews

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis on Monday condemned the Easter suicide bomb by Islamist militants that killed at least 70 people in Pakistan, many of them Christians, as "hideous" and demanded that the country's authorities protect religious minorities.

Addressing thousands of people in St. Peter's Square on Easter Monday, a religious holiday, the Pope said Pakistan had been "bloodied by a hideous attack that massacred so many innocent people, mostly families of the Christian minority."

The Pope, speaking from the window of the Vatican's Apostolic Palace to crowds in the square below, called the Sunday evening attack in a busy park in the Pakistani city of Lahore, "a vile and senseless crime."

"I appeal to civil authorities and all sectors of that nation to make every effort to restore security and serenity to the population, and in particular to the most vulnerable religious minorities," he said.

Pope Francis, leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, said he also prayed that God would "stop the hands of the violent ones who sow terror and death."

A breakaway Taliban militant group that once declared loyalty to Islamic State claimed responsibility for the blast.

Pakistan is a majority-Muslim state though it has a Christian population of more than 2 million. — Reuters


Muslim around the world again are SILENT against the perpetuated CRIME done by Muslim TERRORISTS to Christians (Mostly Catholics and Orthodox) within their communities. I am wondering how many Evangelical Christians, Born-Again Christians, Iglesia Ni Cristo members and Ang Dating Daan members are rejoicing with this news? -CD2000

"Whoever is not against us is with us..." -Mark 9:40

In Pakistan, Taliban's Easter bombing targets, kills scores of Christians

By Sophia Saifi, CNN
Posted March 28, 2016

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) On Easter Sunday, a crisp spring day, some of the city's Christian population mingled with their Muslim neighbors, celebrating in a neighborhood park -- taking their kids on rides or pushing them on swings. Then, the sound of tragedy.
Without warning, a blast tore through the park, killing indiscriminately.
Because of the innocent setting, an unusually high number of those injured were women and children. But the attack, claimed by a splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban, intentionally targeted Christians, the perpetrators say.
The suicide blast, in the eastern Pakistan city of Lahore, killed at least 69 people, a local government spokesman told CNN.
More than 341 others were injured, according to Punjab government spokesperson Jehangir Awan.

It comes at a difficult time for Pakistan's Christians, some of whom were in the city's Gulshan Iqbal Park to celebrate the holiday Sunday evening, only to see their Easter Sunday fragment into terror and chaos.
The religious group makes up only 2% of the population, and tensions are high between them and a hardline Muslim core which wants to see a strict interpretation of Islamic law take precedence in Pakistan's legal system.
'Bodies everywhere'
One witness, Danish, was at the amusement park with his two sisters. He recalled the moment that the explosion ripped apart the park, killing one of his sisters and seriously injuring the other.
"It was so crowded that there was even no way of entering it. We went to a canteen to have something to eat, when there was suddenly a big blast. Everyone panicked, running to all directions. Many of them were blocked at the gate of the park. Dead bodies can be found everywhere," he told reporters.

Monday, March 28, 2016

BREAKING: Fr. Thomas Uzhunnalil was crucified by ISIS on Good Friday ~ Cardinal Schönborn confirmed the priest's martyrdom during the Easter Vigil

All forces of Darkness are now merging together against the Catholic Church-- Muslims and even fellow Christians (various Protestant churches), Masons, Agnostics, Atheists, Leftists, Pro-Choice,LGBT, Iglesia Ni Cristo, Ang Dating Daan, Mormons, secular governments etc. are persecuting the Church and Catholics. MAY FR. THOMAS REST IN PEACE! -CD2000

Source: Toronto Catholic Witness Blog

Austrian media is reporting that Cardinal Schönborn of Vienna confirmed last night, during the Easter Vigil at Stephansdom that the Salesian priest, Fr. Thomas Uzhunnalil was crucified by ISIS on Good Friday. Polonia Christiana is also carrying the news, based on the Austrian reports.

Fr. Tom is now in Paradise with Our Blessed Lord and His Mother. May his murderers repent and come to believe in the Gospel.

"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke, 23:34)

Prayer of St. Francis Xavier for the Conversion of the Infidels

Eternal God, Creator of all things, remember that Thou alone didst create the souls of infidels, framing them to Thine own image and likeness; behold, O Lord, how, to Thy dishonor, hell is daily replenished with them. Remember, O Lord, Thine only Son, Jesus Christ, Who suffered for them, most bountifully shedding His precious blood. Suffer not, O Lord, Thy Son and our Lord to be any longer despised by infidels. But, rather, being appeased by the entreaties and prayers of the elect, the saints, and of the Church, the most blessed spouse of Thy Son; be mindful of Thy mercy, yet forgetful of their idolatry and infidelity. Cause all to know Him Whom Thou didst send, Jesus Christ Thy Son, our Lord, Who is our health, life, and resurrection, through Whom we are freed and saved, to Whom be all glory forever. Amen.

Mother Angelica, foundress of EWTN, dies on Easter

Thank you Mother Angelica for your legacy! Thank you for your dedication to promote the Catholic Faith around the world. May you finally find REST IN GOD'S PEACE. -CD2000

Irondale, Ala., Mar 27, 2016 / 06:00 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Catholic Church in the United States has lost the Poor Clare nun who changed the face of Catholicism in the United States and around the world. Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation, foundress of the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), passed away on March 27 after a lengthy struggle with the aftereffects of a stroke. She was 92 years old.

“Mother has always and will always personify EWTN, the network that God asked her to found,” said EWTN Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael Warsaw. “Her accomplishments and legacies in evangelization throughout the world are nothing short of miraculous and can only be attributed to divine Providence and her unwavering faithfulness to Our Lord.”

In 1981, Mother Angelica launched Eternal Word Television Network, which today transmits 24-hour-a-day programming to more than 264 million homes in 144 countries. What began with approximately 20 employees has now grown to nearly 400. The religious network broadcasts terrestrial and shortwave radio around the world, operates a religious goods catalog and publishes the National Catholic Register and Catholic News Agency, among other publishing ventures.

“Mother Angelica succeeded at a task the nation’s bishops themselves couldn’t achieve,” said Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, who has served on EWTN’s board of governors since 1995. “She founded and grew a network that appealed to everyday Catholics, understood their needs and fed their spirits. She had a lot of help, obviously, but that was part of her genius.”


Source: Raheem Kassam

Conversion Story: Why I’m Becoming a Catholic At Easter

No HONEST and SERIOUS truth-seeker could deny the FACT that the Catholic Church "PUT THE BIBLE TOGETHER". -CD2000

"I began to read about Catholicism from authors who were actual Catholics, instead of reading about what Protestant authors thought, or thought they knew, about Catholicism. I found out in a hurry that much of what I knew about Catholicism (from the Protestant sources I’ve read, and from the few Catholics I’d met) was inaccurate, to say the least."

Photo Credit: Richard

March 23, 2016 by K. Albert Little
Source: Patheos

After a radical conversion to Christ at the age of fifteen I lived as a genuinely devout Protestant, earnestly seeking after Christ in my life as best I could.

Sometimes, of course, doing a miserable job.

This Easter, after a long journey, I’ll become a Catholic.

My journey began when a Protestant pastor—himself on a journey towards a more ancient faith—asked me the question, “What’s more important the Bible or tradition?”

My answer was typically Protestant, “The Bible, of course.”

“But who put the Bible together?”

That was the tradition of the Church, of course—the thought came as a bit of a revelation.

I was subsequently set on a journey that lasted nearly a decade. A journey which introduced me to a podcasting priest, some Catholic friends, and even saw me attending Mass a couple of times. But Catholicism held no great appeal to me, at least not until I began to read.

I began to read about Catholicism from authors who were actual Catholics, instead of reading about what Protestant authors thought, or thought they knew, about Catholicism. I found out in a hurry that much of what I knew about Catholicism (from the Protestant sources I’ve read, and from the few Catholics I’d met) was inaccurate, to say the least.

If I’d known what Catholics really believed, I would’ve become Catholic a lot sooner.

I first read my way into the Church through authors like Louis Bouyer, Pope Benedict XVI, Scott Hahn, Stephen Ray, and G.K. Chesterton.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Pope Francis celebrates the "In Coena Domini" Mass on Holy Thursday and Washing of Feet of Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Pope Francis washes refugees' feet for Easter Week
The traditional Easter Week foot-washing ceremony by the pontiff is meant as a Catholic gesture of service.

"The Vatican said on Thursday that four women and eight men had been selected. The women include an Italian who works at the centre and three Eritrean Coptic Christian migrants. The men include four Catholics from Nigeria, three Muslims from Mali, Syria and Pakistan, and a Hindu from India." -Al Jazeera



Infographic: What happened to the apostles and where are their remains today?

Immeasurably unfathomable is the LOVE of CHRIST to HIS Universal CHURCH by the SEED OF FAITH planted through His Apostles now ONLY FOUND n the CATHOLIC CHURCH! Splinters of protesting and stubborn churches who left the Catholic Church should start pondering how a LOVING GOD could betray HIS PEOPLE? The Catholic Church is HIS CHURCH—there is NO OTHER! There is BUT ONLY ONE CHURCH HE ESTABLISHED of which all Christians must adhere to it. For the CHURCH is the “pillar and bulwark” of ALL “truth” (1 Tim. 3:15).

Think about this. Although ISRAEL, the chosen people, were stubborn, God did not found another Israel. God kept his promise. In the same way, JESUS founded ONE CHURCH. Though may have been stubborn but Christ WILL NEVER FOUND another Church. JESUS KEEPS HIS PROMISE “I will stay with you until the end of the time” (Matthew 28:20). So do not be scandalized when you hear some priests or religious or members of the Church did EVIL. These things have to pass. This only proves that Satan is willing to DESTROY the CHURCH OF CHRIST. But no matter what, JESUS PROMISED “the gates (or power) of hell shall not prevail.” (Matthew 16:16-18).

Be thankful to the Father for you are a CATHOLIC! Be thankful to Jesus, HE FOUNDED HIS Universal CHURCH. Be thankful to the Holy Spirit for HE GUIDES HIS CHURCH for centuries until our LORD GOD JESUS CHRIST COMES!

Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus! -CD2000

Photo Source: CatholicLink Info from ChurchPOP

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

CRUX: Ordinary people are not powerless to resist anti-Christian genocide

Pilgrimages to Holy Land sites such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre have declined.
By John L. Allen Jr. for CRUX
Associate editor
March 21, 2016

ROME — Now that the United States officially has joined most of the rest of the world in declaring that the violence unleashed by ISIS on Christians and other minorities constitutes genocide, attention shifts to what to do about it.

Often, that conversation is pitched at a broad geopolitical level that ordinary people can’t really control: Should the United States put boots on the ground to fight ISIS? Should our policies on accepting refugees change? Should Western nations make a greater investment in reconstruction of areas wrested back from ISIS control?

Yet that’s not to say ordinary people are completely powerless to push back against the genocide, as an event in Rome Friday featuring Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Eastern Churches, illustrated.

The purpose of the event was to present a new book, “Ma Non Vincerà la Notte” (“But the Night Will Not Win”), featuring letters to persecuted Christians from several prominent Italians, including Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan and Maria Voce, head of the worldwide Focolare movement.

The book is published by Edizioni Terra Santa, the publishing arm of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, and was officially released at the Rome headquarters of the Custody. It was put together by author Cristina Uguccioni; the event was moderated by Italian Vatican writer Ignazio Ingrao.

Proceeds from the book will go to the annual Good Friday collection on behalf of the Holy Land, which right away is a reminder of one thing ordinary people certainly can do: Give generously on Good Friday, because God knows the Christian communities of the Middle East need the help.


Source: ChinaAid by Persecution.org
Posted Tuesday, March 15, 2016

China Authorities removing Crosses (Photo Source: Facebook International Christian Concern)
“Three Rectifications and One Demolition” Claims Four more Crosses In Wenzhou

China Aid
Reported and written in Chinese by Qiao Nong. Translated by Carolyn Song. Written and edited in English by Ava Collins.

(Wenzhou, Zhejiang—March 15, 2016) As a result of an ongoing “beautification” campaign across China’s coastal Zhejiang province, four more church crosses were demolished by authorities on Thursday and Friday of last week.

Dajing Christian Church and Bailuyu Christian Church both lost their crosses on Thursday evening, and two other crosses, those of Dongyu Church and Baiqiangdi Church, were demolished the next day. Church members of a fifth church, Nange Church, reported receiving a demolition notice for their cross as well.

According to the members of these churches, the many of the demolitions occurred very late at night or early in the morning, when it was least likely that the churches would have people present to resist. One anonymous member said that their church fended off a demolition attempt earlier in the evening at 9 p.m., only to have authorities return at midnight and complete the job.

Since the beginning of March, approximately 10 crosses have been torn down across Wenzhou. Other churches which have managed to protect their crosses from demolition teams have had water and electricity turned off by the city. It is estimated that around 2,000 church crosses have been demolished in Zhejiang as a result of the campaign, titled “Three Rectifications and One Demolition,” which began in April 2014.


Pope condemns 'blind violence,' offers prayers after Brussels attacks

Source: Catholic News Service
By Cindy Wooden
July 22, 2016

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis, condemning the "blind violence" of the terrorist attacks in Brussels, offered his prayers to the victims, the injured, their families and all those offering assistance in the aftermath of the bombings.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, sent the pope's condolences March 22 to Archbishop Jozef De Kesel of Mechelen-Brussels.

"The Holy Father again condemns the blind violence which causes so much suffering, and he implores from God the gift of peace," the message said.

The pope "entrusts to God's mercy those who died and, in prayer, he shares the pain of their loved ones," the message said. "He expresses his deepest sympathy to the injured and their families, as well as for all those providing assistance, "asking the Lord to give them comfort and consolation amid this ordeal."

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, told reporters the attacks in Brussels would not lead to any changes in Pope Francis' Holy Week and Easter schedule. Already for the Year of Mercy, especially after the November terrorist attacks in Paris, the Italian police presence at the Vatican has been increased.

Three nearly simultaneous attacks -- two at the Brussels airport and one on the Brussels area of Maalbeek, near where much of the European Union is based -- left at least 31 dead and dozens more injured. At least one of the airport attacks was attributed to a suicide bomber.

The Associated Press reported that a spokesman for the Brussels Metro said 20 people were killed and more than 100 injured in an explosion on a train, and Belgian media reported at least 11 dead in two explosions at the airport, with many others injured. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attacks.

After the attacks, Belgium raised its terror alert to the highest level.

Belgium's Catholic bishops said they shared "the anguish of thousands of passengers and their families, aviation professionals and aid teams called to the breach once more."

The bishops said airport chaplains were "at the daily service of all," and would "offer the necessary spiritual service," adding that it counted on the whole country to "live through these days with great civic responsibility."

Brussels Auxiliary Bishop Jean Kockerols told the church's Cathobel news agency he was shocked by the savagery of the "completely absurd attacks."

"We must support the efforts of the public authorities we've elected and mandated to serve the common good and maintain law and order -- it's not for us to start polemicizing and making accusations today as to whether they fulfilled their duties and did all they could," Bishop Kockerols said.

"It's a great mystery that this has all happened on the threshold of Holy Week, the most sacred time for Christians, when we are about to mark Good Friday and Easter. In the face of such madness, we should adopt the courageous attitude of Mary, who remained at the foot of the cross in silence."

Cathobel issued an emergency number for those seeking information about missing family members and said it had been in contact with Father Michel Gaillard, the Brussels airport chief chaplain.

Meanwhile, German Cardinal Reinhard Marx, who heads the Brussels-based Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community, or COMECE, said Catholics would be "praying especially in Holy Week" for victims of the violence.

In a statement, he said he had been concerned about COMECE staffers, who later issued a message confirming that all personnel were safe.

A bishops' conference staffer, Father Geert Lesage, told Catholic News Service he expected Catholic clergy to visit sites of the attacks to offer pastoral care, as well as to organize special Masses as soon as security conditions permitted.

However, he added that all mobile phone connections were now down in Brussels, making it impossible to obtain news of Catholic victims or damage to church property.

Father Charles De Clercq, a Brussels priest, told Cathobel he had been in the first car of the bombed Metro train, which had been "plunged into darkness and filled with smoke" after the explosion.

"Smashed windows fell on my knees -- there was light, smoke and shouts. The driver arrived after two minutes with a lamp and made the passengers leave via an emergency window," the priest said.

"On the floor, passengers were curled up, obviously in pain, who could have been crushed by those in flight. I knew there'd been two explosions in the morning at Zaventem (airport), so I knew there was a real possibility this was also an attack."

A day earlier, gunmen in Bamako, Mali, targeted a hotel that was serving as the headquarters of an EU troops who were there to train the country's military. Mali and other West African countries have been under attack by Islamic extremists.

Catholic Relief Services, which has programs in Mali, announced March 22 that its staffers were safe after the attack. 

Photo Source: Vatican Radio


Source: Facebook Account

"For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." -ROMANS 8:38-39

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


Source: Facebook Page of Franciscan Sisters of Siessen


Was informed that the Salesian priest, Fr.Tom who was kidnapped by ISIS from the Missionaries of Charity Home in Yemen is being tortured and is going to be crucified on Good Friday. This calls for serious concerted prayers from all of us.

Can we all pray 3 I Believe for the conversion of people who are persecuting Christians & 3 Hail Marys for Fr. Tom

Monday, March 21, 2016


"This is My Body which will be given up for you..." (Lk. 22:19; 1 Cor. 11:24) -Photo Source:1Peter5

On the QUESTION of Kneeling or Standing
After the Consecration Until After the GREAT AMEN
During the Eucharistic Celebration

Source: CBCP News

March 19, 2016

Your Eminences and Excellencies,

During the January 2016 112th CBCP Plenary Assembly in Cebu, there was a discussion on the issue of standing or kneeling after the consecration until after the Amen. The discussion included a question on why we do not continue kneeling after the consecration until after the Amen. After a short discussion, the Permanent Council of the CBCP was tasked to look into this issue.

So, at the March 15, 2016 meeting of the CBCP Permanent Council one of the issues discussed was this issue on the posture of standing after the consecration and to keep standing or of kneeling after the Sanctus until after the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer. This is the reason for this letter.

Before the 1990s, we can still recall that we had the established practice of kneeling after the Sanctus until after the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer.

In the 1990s the practice of standing after the consecration was begun. This change in the established practice was based on the 1990 Guidelines for the Eucharist which were approved by the CBCP in January 1990. Number 3 of the 1990 Guidelines states: “The people should kneel from the Sanctus until the end of the Eucharistic Prayer…. If the acclamation after the consecration is sung, the people may stand for it and keep standing.” However, in reality the practice became always standing after the consecration until the Amen.

In January 2003 at the 86th CBCP Plenary Assembly, one of the proposals that the CBCP approved to include among the Philippine Adaptations to the General Instructions of the Roman Missal 2002 was:“Proposed Philippine Adaptation: ‘In the Philippines, the people kneel after the Sanctus, rise for the memorial acclamation, and kneel after the Lamb of God.’”

In both instances, the 1990 Guidelines for the Eucharist and the proposed Philippine Adaptations to the General Instructions of the Roman Missal 2002, no recognitio was ever received from Rome.

Specifically for the Philippine Adaptations to the General Instructions of the Roman Missal 2002 that were submitted to Rome, no answer was ever received. Archbishop Romulo Valles, during an ad limina visit in September 2003, made a follow up at the office of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on the status the Philippine proposed adaptations. After that, until up to now we have not received a formal written reply.

In February 2016, Bishop Julius Tonel, Chairman of the Episcopal Commission on Liturgy, made a query with the Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments about this specific proposed adaptation. In reply to his query, it was confirmed that a formal reply or recognitio had never been given.

With the above information, we sought the advice of some of our bishops knowledgeable in the Code of Canon Law. They have responded that no answer or silence from Rome means that the recognitio has not been given. Without the recognitio the CBCP does not have the authority to make or implement any such adaptation. This being the case, we have to revert to the established practice before the request.

Based on the above documented information, the Permanent Council came to the decision that we must ABANDON the practice of standing after the consecration until the Amen as we do not have the authority to make such an adaptation nor do we have the authority to implement it. We must go back to the previously established practice of kneeling after the Sanctus until after the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer.

To go back to our established practice is very much in keeping with our current General Instructions of the Roman Missal, approved by the CBCP and given the needed recognition from Rome, published in the Philippine Edition of the Roman Missal of 2011. Number 43 states: “Where it is the practice for the people to remain kneeling after the Sanctus until the end of the Eucharistic Prayer …, it is laudable for this practice to be retained.”

Another way of saying this is that we go back our established practice where the people kneel beginning after the Sanctus and remain kneeling until after the Amen of the Eucharistic Prayer knowing that this is in harmony with the present GIRM.

You are kindly requested to inform our clergy and Catholic faithful about this re statement of position and lead them, through liturgical catechesis, to deepen our reverence for the Most Blessed Sacrament. The spirit of the law is to observe greater reverence for the Real Presence.

We remind you of some lines contained in our Pastoral Exhortation to Open the 2016 Year of the Eucharist and the Family:

Kneeling is part of our Christian culture. We cannot abandon or set aside the culture of kneeling in favor of the culture that says as freemen we must face God on our feet. Bending the knee before the tabernacle in genuflection, kneeling down at the celebration of the Eucharist, kneeling down to adore the exposed Blessed Sacrament—these are little but sublime acts of adoration that we must preserve and protect.

Sincerely yours,


Sunday, March 20, 2016

PALM SUNDAY (A Day of Obligation for Catholics)

Palm Sunday is the final Sunday of Lent, the beginning of Holy Week, and commemorates the triumphant arrival of Christ in Jerusalem, days before he was crucified.

Palm Sunday is known as such because the faithful will often receive palm fronds which they use to participate in the reenactment of Christ's arrival in Jerusalem. In the Gospels, Jesus entered Jerusalem riding a young donkey, and to the lavish praise of the townspeople who threw clothes, or possibly palms or small branches, in front of him as a sign of homage. This was a customary practice for people of great respect.

Palm branches are widely recognized symbol of peace and victory, hence their preferred use on Palm Sunday.

The use of a donkey instead of a horse is highly symbolic, it represents the humble arrival of someone in peace, as opposed to arriving on a steed in war.

A week later, Christ would rise from the dead on the first Easter.

During Palm Sunday Mass, palms are distributed to parishioners who carry them in a ritual procession into church. The palms are blessed and many people will fashion them into small crosses or other items of personal devotion. These may be returned to the church, or kept for the year.

Because the palms are blessed, they may not be discarded as trash. Instead, they are appropriately gathered at the church and incinerated to create the ashes that will be used in the follow year's Ash Wednesday observance.

The colors of the Mass on Palm Sunday are red and white, symbolizing the redemption in blood that Christ paid for the world.




Palm Sunday Around the World! The Catholicity of the Church is Evident!


Saturday, March 19, 2016

Former Lutheran Pastor: “Why I Am Becoming Catholic …” -Aleteia

Source: Aleteia
Russell E. Saltzman
March 18, 2016

Just in time for Holy Week, embracing the Church for its density: "There is a 'there' there."

For thirty years I labored away in parish ministry as a Lutheran pastor. Then for another four years, I was a district dean for the North American Lutheran Church (a supervisory work I enjoyed about as much as tooth decay).

Now, as I write this in the run-up to Holy Week, I am about to become a Roman Catholic, along with my wife; me for the first time and her for the second.

You may blame her for my conversion (though I think of it as a natural transition, as you’ll see). She was raised Roman Catholic and became Lutheran. Her father was raised Lutheran and became Catholic. Life is a darn strange thing at times. Her father died two years ago, and in the throes of watching that good man give up his life to ALS, she felt a tug back to her childhood faith.

To my surprise — hers too, I think — I said I’d tag along. Actually, it wasn’t much of a surprise to me. From seminary on as I became enmeshed in the Lutheran confessional documents from the sixteenth century, I progressively became more catholic in my thinking. What I sought for my faith was an ecclesial density; the feeling that there is a “there” there. The state of Lutheran church bodies in America simply does not approach it.

But it isn’t only out of disappointment as a Lutheran that I am becoming Roman Catholic. There is conviction behind this move. That rises along several avenues.

1) Some of my seminary class work, back in the late 1970s, was done at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Ohio. I had classes in Sacramentology and Marian studies, taught by two old school Jesuits. I found myself in a classroom, the lone Lutheran surrounded by a horde of Salesian seminarians. It was exciting.

GMANews: ‘Misteryo ng Monasteryo,’ dokumentaryo ni Sandra Aguinaldo ngayong Sabado sa ‘I-Witness’

Source: GMAOnline

Dokumentaryo ni Sandra Aguinaldo
March 19, 2016

Noong 1948, isang dalaga ang tumakas para pumasok sa Carmelite Monastery. Siya ang bunso at paboritong anak ng gobernador ng Batangas. Maganda at may talento sa pagtugtog ng piano, tila wala na siyang hahanapin pa. Pero tinalikuran ni Teresing ang komportableng buhay na ito para sa isang payak na pamumuhay sa umiikot lang sa loob ng mga pader ng monasteryo.

Makalipas ang isang buwan, yayanigin niya ang mga na pader ito nang isiwalat niya na nagpapakita sa kanya ang Mahal na Birhen. Sumunod dito ang iba’t ibang misteryosong kaganapan--- ang pag-ulan ng mga talulot ng rosas at kalaunan, ang pagsayaw ng araw na masasaksihan ng maraming tao. Kikilalanin ito sa buong mundo bilang Aparisyon ng Mary Mediatrix of All Grace.

Pero noong 1951, idineklara ng mga opisyal ng simbahan na hindi totoo ang mga naganap sa Lipa at ipinagbawal ang debosyon sa Our Lady of Mediatrix. Pinaalis si Sister Teresing sa monasteryo. Lahat ng dokumento, mga talulap ng rosas at pati ang imahe ng Mediatrix ay iniutos na sunugin. Isinara ang pintuan ng monasteryo at nagkaroon ng “ban of silence” na tatagal ng apatnapung taon.

Noong 1990, binuksan muli ni Arsobispo Gaviola ang imbestigasyon patungkol dito. Sa pakiusap ng isang madreng nakaratay na, inilabas muli ang imahe ng Our Lady of Mediatrix na naitago nila at pinayagan itong makita muli ng publiko. Bumuo siya ng isang grupo para imbesitgahang muli ang kaso.

Taong 2015, ang kasalukuyang Arsobispo ng Lipa na si Ramon Arguelles, ay nagdeklara na ang mga naganap sa Lipa noong 1948 ay “worthy of belief”. Makalipas ang halos pitong dekada, ang kuwento ni Sister Teresing, tanggap na nga ba ng simbahan? Ano nga ba ang mga tunay na naganap sa loob ng Monasteryo ng mga Carmelite sa Lipa? Bakit nagkaroon ng “ban of silence” ? Babalikan ni Sandra Aguinaldo ang mga kaganapan ng 1948 at matutuklasan na ito ay balot pa rin ng misteryo. Abangan ang “Himala ng Lipa” ngayong Sabado, sa I-Witness, pagkatapos ng Magpakailanman.

English version:

In 1948, a young woman who was the youngest and who was the favorite daughter of the Batangas governor ran away to enter the Carmelite Monastery. Beautiful, talented, and privileged, Teresing turned her back on her comfortable life in exchange for the austere life confined within monastery walls.
A month later, these same walls shook with the revelation that the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to her in a series of apparitions. Other mysterious events soon followed — showers of rose petals and later on, a dancing sun witnessed by many. This phenomenon would be known around the world as the Apparition in Lipa by Mary Mediatrix of all Grace.

In 1951 however, local church officials declared these phenomena a hoax and banned all devotion to Mary Mediatrix. Sister Teresing was asked to leave the monastery. All documents including the nuns’ diaries, rose petals and the statue of the Mediatrix were ordered destroyed and the monastery doors closed. The “ban of silence” was imposed and lasted for forty years.
In 1990, Archbishop Gaviola re-investigated the case and at the request of a dying nun, allowed the statue of the Mediatrix, which was spared from destruction and hidden by the nuns, to be venerated in public again. He then created a new panel to re-investigate the case.

In 2015, current Archbishop of Lipa Ramon Arguelles, declared these mysterious events as “worthy of belief”. What really happened inside the Carmelite monastery in 1948? Why was the “ban of silence” imposed? Sandra Aguinaldo revisits the events of 1948 and discovers they continue to be as mysterious as they were 67 years ago. I-Witness presents “Himala ng Lipa”, this Saturday on GMA, after Magpakailanman.

NCR: Eyewitness Account of ISIS [Muslim Terrorists] Attack on Mother Teresa's Sisters in Yemen

'I’m amazed by the faith reflected in those words,' said Auxiliary Bishop Edward Rice of St. Louis on March 14. 'Because of their faithfulness, they were in the right place at the right time and were ready when the Bridegroom came.'

Posted 03/17/2016 National Catholic Register

Clockwise from upper right: Sister Anselm, Sister Reginette, Sister Judith and Sister Marguerite, the Missionaries of Charity sisters who were killed in Aden, Yemen, by two gunmen who attacked their convent on March 4.

– Courtesy of the Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia
On March 4, following the ISIS attack on a Missionaries of Charity home for the elderly and disabled in Aden, Yemen, the sole survivor member of the order, Sister Sally, conveyed her testimony of the massacre to Sister Rio. Sister Rio’s account was recorded by another Missionary of Charity, Sister Adriana.

This testimony was circulated to religious communities in the United States as Secretary of State John Kerry was considering whether to declare that the Islamic State’s actions in the Middle East constituted genocide against Christians and other religious minorities. On March 17, Secretary Kerry designated the terrorist organization's actions as genocide

During a March 14 Mass that honored the four Missionaries of Charity who died in Aden, Bishop Edward Rice, an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, quoted Sister Rio’s powerful statement regarding the death of her fellow sisters: “Because of their faithfulness they were in the right place at the right time and were ready when the Bridegroom came.”

“I’m amazed by the faith reflected in those words,” said Bishop Rice. “The Holy Father speculates that, at the moment of their death, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta was waiting for her sisters, to bring them to the Lord,” Bishop Rice said. “But not to disagree with Pope Francis, I think even more so, at the moment of their death, Christ himself was there to greet them and proclaimed, ‘Well done, good and faithful servants. Come, receive your Master’s joy.’”

Images of the three pages of photocopied handwritten testimony are available here: Page 1, Page 2 and Page 3. A PDF containing all three pages can be downloaded here. Following is the text of the testimony, with emphases added in bold:

* * * * * * * * * *

SISTER RIO’S WORDS TO SISTER ADRIANA, MC: Friday, midday, March 4, 2016

Sisters had Mass, breakfast as usual. As usual, Father stays back in chapel to say prayers, then to fix things around the compound.

8:00am: Said apostolate prayer and all 5 went to home.

8:30am: ISIS dressed in blue came in, killed guard and driver.

5 young Ethiopian men (Christian) began running to tell the sisters ISIS was here to kill them. They were killed one by one. They tied them to trees, shot them in the head and smashed their heads.

The sisters ran 2 by 2 in different directions, as they have mens and ladies home. 4 working women were screaming, “Don’t kill the sisters! Don’t kill the sisters!” One was the cook for 15 years. They killed them as well.

They caught Sr. Judith and Sr. Reginette first, tied them up, shot them in the head and smashed their heads. When the sisters ran in different directions, the Superior ran to the convent to try to warn Father Tom.

They caught Sr. Anselm and Sr. Marguerite, tied them, shot them in the head and smashed their heads in the sand.

Meanwhile, the Superior could not get to the convent. It is not clear how many ISIS men were there.

She saw all the sisters and helpers killed. The ISIS men were already getting to the convent so she went into the refridgerator room, since the door was open. These ISIS men were everywhere, searching for her, as they knew there were 5. At least three times they came into the fridgerator room. She did not hide, but remained standing behind the door – they never saw her. This is miraculous.

Meanwhile, at the convent, Father had heard the screaming and consumed all the Hosts. He had no time to consume the large Host, so he threw the oil out of the sanctuary lamp and dissolved it in the water.

A neighbor saw them put Father Tom in their car. They did not find any trace of Father anywhere. All the religious articles were smashed and destroyed – Our Lady, crucifix, altar, tabernacle, lectionary stand – even their prayer books and Bibles.

10:00 or 10:15am: The ISIS men finished and left.

Sr. Sally came to get the bodies of the sisters. She got them all. She went to the patients to each one individually to see if they were OK. All were OK. Not one was hurt.

The son of the woman who was the cook (who was killed) was calling her on her cellphone. Since she was not answering, he called the police, and he went with the police there and found this great massacre. The police and the son arrived at about 10:30am.

The police tried to take Sr. Sally out of there — she refused to leave the people who were crying, “Don’t leave us; stay with us.” But the police forced her to go with them because the ISIS knew there were 5 sisters, and they were convinced they will not stop until they kill her too. So finally she had to leave. She took one set of clothes and the sisters’ bodies, and the police brought them to an international hospital called “Doctors Without Borders” for protection. As there was not enough room in the mortuary of that hospital for the sisters’ bodies, the police brought their bodies to a bigger hospital mortuary.

Sr. Sally told Sr. Rio she is so sad because she is alone and did not die with her sisters. Sr. Rio told her God wanted a witness and told her, “Who would have found the sisters’ bodies and who would ever tell us what happened? God wants us to know.”

Pope Francis had his secretary contact the Yemen Secretary of State very often – about once a week to check up on the sisters and reassure them of his closeness. Today, the Pope’s secretary sent the message: “I thank them — Little M.C. martyrs.He said he is offering the 40-hour First Friday devotion for them.

Sr. Sally told Sr. Rio that Fr. Tom tells them every day, “Let us be ready for martyrdom.”

Sr. Judith — they were trying so hard to take her for senior course, but they were not able to get her out.

Sr. Reginette — they were trying to send her for junior course but could not get her out.

God wanted them there.

Aden is rich city – a port city. Aden wanted to be its own state, so they got ISIS in to help them fight against Yemen. So ISIS won for Aden. That was the war last year, with all the bombing. They won, so that is over, but ISIS won’t leave. They want to take over and exterminate any Christian presence. They did not kill the sisters in the war because they had no political reason to waste time on them. But now, they are the only Christian presence, and ISIS wants to get rid of all Christianity. So they are real martyrs — died because they are Christians. They could have died so many times in the war, but God wanted it to be clear they are martyrs for the faith.

Sr. Rio said Sr. Sally is fully surrendered. The police are trying to get her out because they will just keep after her until they kill her. She is fully surrendered and told Sr. Rio – whatever God wants. She said the other Muslims are so respectful of them. She said to pray that their blood will be the seeds for peace in the Middle East and to stop the ISIS.

She said that if they kidnapped Father Tom most probably they will wait 2 days, then ask in exchange for Father Tom either money or the release of their members held in prison.

Sr. Rio said they were so faithful – ISIS knew exactly when they leave and when to break in. And because of their faithfulness, they were in the right place at the right time and were ready when the Bridegroom came.

Sr. Adriana said she thinks the crushing of the heads has some evil connection with “She will crush head of the serpent,” some kind of mockery or evil meaning.

Sister M. Sally, MC (Superior)
Sister M. Anselm, MC (Bihar)
Sister M. Marguerite, MC (Rwanda)
Sister M. Judith, MC (Kenya)
Sister M. Reginette, MC (Rwanda)

Friday, March 18, 2016

CNS: Pope Francis to make debut on Instagram, Vatican official says

“Today I had the honor of meeting Pope Francis. We spoke about the power of images to unite people across different cultures and languages. It was by far one of the most memorable experiences of my life!” -Kevin Systrom, CEO and co-founder of Instagram

By Junno Arocho Esteves
Catholic News Service
Posted on March 16, 2016

Pope Francis meets Kevin Systrom, co-founder and CEO of Instagram, during a private audience at the Vatican Feb. 26. (CNS/L’Osservatore Romano)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Firming up his presence on social media, Pope Francis will make his debut on the photo-sharing app Instagram, a Vatican official announced.

Msgr. Dario Vigano, prefect of the Secretariat for Communications, said the pope’s new account “Franciscus,” will go online March 19 and offer another side of his pontificate through photos.

During a news conference presenting a new book on the pope, Msgr. Vigano dubbed him “the Apple pope” because “there is very complex system behind a simple interface.”

That simplicity translated well for the pope’s Twitter account, which has well over 25 million followers in nine languages.

Whether at general audiences or during foreign trips, thousands of people try to take a coveted “papal selfie” with the pope. While it is unlikely the pope will pose for his own selfies, the account will offer viewers a glimpse into the pope’s life and messages.

The announcement came just over two weeks after Pope Francis met with Kevin Systrom, CEO and co-founder of Instagram.

“Today I had the honor of meeting Pope Francis,” Systrom wrote to his followers on the photo-sharing app. “We spoke about the power of images to unite people across different cultures and languages. It was by far one of the most memorable experiences of my life!”


Source: NCRegister
Posted on Tuesday Mar 15th, 2016

From Left: Bl. Mother Teresa; Bl. Jose Sanchez del Rosario; Bl. Jose Gabriel del Rosario Brochelo; Bl. Ma. Elisabetta Hesselblad; Bl. Stanislaus of Jesus Mary
VATICAN CITY — After months of anticipation, the date of Mother Teresa’s canonization has finally been announced. It falls on Sept. 4, which this year will also mark a special jubilee for workers and volunteers of mercy.

Though it’s been rumored for months that Mother Teresa’s canonization will take place Sept. 4, the Vatican made the date official during a March 15 consistory of cardinals.

Mother Teresa was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu on Aug. 26, 1910, in Skopje, Macedonia. After joining the Sisters of Loretto at age 17, she was sent to Calcutta, where she later contracted tuberculosis and was sent to rest in Darjeeling.

On the way, she felt what she called “an order” from God to leave the convent and live among the poor.

After she left her convent, Mother Teresa began working in the slums, teaching poor children and treating the sick in their homes. A year later, some of her former students joined her, and, together, they took in men, women and children who were dying in the gutters along the streets.

In 1950, the Missionaries of Charity were born as a congregation of the Diocese of Calcutta. In 1952, the government granted them a house from which to continue their mission of serving Calcutta's poor and forgotten.

She died Sept. 5, 1997, and was beatified just six years later by St. John Paul II on Oct. 19, 2003.

In addition to Mother Teresa, the consistory also decided on the canonization dates of four other blesseds: Maria Elisabetta Hesselblad, Jose Sanchez del Rio, Stanislaus of Jesus Mary and Jose Gabriel del Rosario Brochero.

The canonization of Jose Sanchez del Rio is also noteworthy. He will be made a saint on Oct. 16, alongside Jose Gabriel del Rosario Brochero.

José Luis Sánchez del Río was brutally tortured and killed when he was 14 years old during the 1924-1928 religious persecution by Mexican President Plutarco Elías Calles. José Luis had enlisted in the ranks of the Cristeros, under the command of Gen. Prudencio Mendoza.

He was martyred by the Federal Army on Feb. 10, 1928. According to the story, the soldiers cut off the soles of his feet and forced him to walk barefoot to his grave. Moments before he was killed, the boy shouted, “Viva Cristo Rey!” or “Long live Christ the King!”

His character was one of the main protagonists in the film For Greater Glory.

Jose Gabriel del Rosario Brochero, frequently referred to as the “gaucho priest,” will be Argentina’s first saint.

Born on March 16, 1840, the priest suffered from leprosy throughout his life and is known for his service to the sick and the dying. He died in 1914 and was beatified by Pope Francis on Sept. 14, 2013.

Sweden will also receive a new saint in Blessed Maria Elizabeth Hesselblad, who will be canonized June 5, alongside Polish Blessed Stanislaus of Jesus and Mary Papczynski.

Born in the small village of Faglavik, in Sweden’s western coast province of Alvsborg, on June 4, 1870, Maria Elisabeth was a nurse and a convert to Catholicism. After her conversion, she went on to found a new order of Bridgettines, called the Most Holy Savior of St. Bridget.

She died in Rome on April 24, 1957, and was beatified April 9, 2000, by St. John Paul II.

Blessed Stanislaus of Jesus and Mary Papczynski is a Polish priest born in 1631 and beatified by Benedict XVI in 2007.

Often referred to as the “Father Founder,” Stanislaus is known for his writings and constant encouragement to contemplate God’s mercy and to turn to Mary Immaculate for guidance and protection.

In addition to founding the Congregation of Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, the priest also experienced visions of Holy Souls in Purgatory and urged penance and prayers on their behalf.

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