|A Message from Becket’s Executive Director|
|May 23, 2018|
California Catholic Daily
Our lineup for today includes:
|Rome (Agenzia Fides) – The Feast of the Virgin Mary “Help of Christians”, particularly venerated in the Marian shrine of Sheshan, near Shanghai, “invites us to be spiritually united to all the Catholic faithful who live in China”. The Pope’s prayer came at the end of today’s general audience and on the eve of the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary Help of Christians, “so that they may live their faith with generosity and serenity, and so that they may carry out concrete gestures of fraternity, concord and reconciliation, in full communion with the Successor of Peter”. Since 2008, the Day of Prayer for the Church in China, established by Pope Benedict XVI, is celebrated on May 24th, all over the world. Referring to this anniversary, Pope Francis also addressed the “dearest disciples of the Lord in China”, reminding them that “the universal Church prays with you and for you, so that even amid difficulties you may continue to entrust yourselves to the will of God. Our Lady will never fail to help you and will safeguard you with her maternal love”.
In the Letter to Chinese Catholics, signed on May 27, 2007, on the solemnity of Pentecost, Benedict XVI had suggested that May 24, dedicated to the liturgical memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Help of Christians – venerated “with such devotion in the Marian shrine of Sheshan in Shanghai” – could in the future become an occasion for the Catholics of the whole world to be united in prayer with the Church which is in China”. To this end, the then reigning Pontiff had established on that date the “Day of Prayer for the Church in China”, to be celebrated in all the Catholic communities of the world. “I encourage you to celebrate it” wrote Benedict XVI “by renewing your communion of faith in Jesus our Lord and of faithfulness to the Pope, and by praying that the unity among you may become ever deeper and more visible. I remind you, moreover, of the commandment that Jesus gave us, to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us, as well as the invitation of the Apostle Saint Paul: «First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way. This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth» (1 Tim 2:1-4)”.
The number of permanent deacons in the United States is on the rise
[Excerpts] A new study from the Center for Applied Research in the Apostlate at Georgetown University to be released at the end of May has put the deacon population in the United States at 18,045, with the highest numbers in the archdioceses of Chicago, Galveston-Houston, Los Angeles and New York.
Perhaps your parish is one of those that is blessed with a permanent deacon. If so, be sure to thank him for his ministry, which often is done in addition to a “day job” and his everyday family life.
And consider thanking him with a gift subscription to Deacon Digest. It’s the gift that we know will keep on giving — something that will help him stay energized in his vocation and feeling like a part of a bigger community.
For more information, go to deacondigest.com.
Pope Francis has told the Italian bishops that it is “not a sin to criticize the Pope here” as he opened their General Assembly.
The Pope revealed three “worries” during his speech: the decline in vocations, financial scandals, and the reduction and merging of dioceses.
He encouraged the bishops to “speak openly”, urging them to tell him “all the words, your concerns, criticisms – it is not a sin to criticise the Pope here, yes, not a sin – and inspirations that you carry in your hearts.”
Pope Francis said he was especially concerned at the “hemorrhaging” of vocations to the priesthood and religious life in Italy, adding that “God only knows” how many seminaries and monasteries will have to close.
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[Chilean Bishop Alejandro Goic] the prelate was forced to make a drastic decision, suspending from the ministry as many as 15 of his 68 priests (22 percent of the diocesan clergy), because suspected of being involved in a network of child abuse and exchange of pornographic material.
A few days ago, in the city of Rancagua the public learned about a parish priest forced to confess that he had sent pictures of himself naked to some young boys. Chilean TV, Canal 13, during a documented investigation, has suggested the existence of an organized group of diocesan priests, a network that calls itself “la famiglia“ (the family) with the “nonno” (grandfather)” at its top, followed by the “zie” (aunts) and “nipotiˮ (nephews), whose members would allegedly be involved in sexual trafficking through the web that also involves underage children.