Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Tridiuum- Saturday


"Today is not a day... it is  a day when there is nothing....The Son of God is dead..."  

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Tridiuum-Friday

Good Friday

The Son of Man, the Son of God dies for our sins. Behold the day of salvation, the day of vindication, the day of death, of suffering. The day of death, yet the day of life to those who will believe. It appears that Satan and his darkness has prevailed...

Seven Last Words of Christ: 

"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

Christ has a heart of endless mercy... He forgives up to the very moment of his death. Every once of His Precious Blood, poured out for you, and for me. Let us resolve never to sin again-for sin hurts the Heart of Christ so intensely. Each sin is like and thorn in Christ's head. 

"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

Have we ever felt downcast, or despaired? Christ is there to console our hearts. 

"Woman, behold your son!" Then he said to the disciple, "Behold your mother!"

John the Apostle represents us, at the foot of the Cross, Christ commands us to behold the tender face of OUR Mother. Some people think this verse is simply Christ carrying for his Mother. It is that, but it is so much more. Christ gives Mary to US!!!! What a powerful, friend and intercessor! AD CHRISTO PER MARIAM! TO CHRIST THOUGH MARY! 

"I thirst!" 

Jesus thirsts -------- For SOULS!!!!! What is the things Christ died for? What does he care about most? OUR SOULS AND THE SOULS OF OTHERS!!! If we truly are the friends of Christ let us gain souls for him though HIS CHURCH! 

"Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."

Jesus forgives the good thief at his moment of death! That is hope for our fallen away friends and family members who have left Christ's Church!

"It is finished!"

The life of Christ-The reason He came- is about to end. 

"Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit." 

All Creation was at a stand still- when Christ died on the Cross- for our sins.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Tridiuum-Thursday

Holy Thursday 

Institution of the Holy Eucharist and Priesthood. Christ remains with us through his priests in the sacraments and gives to us His very own Body and Blood; food for our souls. 

"He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day." 

"Do this in remembrance of me."



-The miraculous words of Consecration at the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Pope of Charity

Pope Francis: Whirlwind of Goodness

John Paul II Was the Pope of Hope, Benedict XVI the Pope of Faith and Francis the Pope of Charity

By Antonio Gaspari

ROME, March 20, 2013 ( - We do not know if the same happened when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires. Perhaps his election to the papacy has spread further and made the world know the human and spiritual qualities of Father Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

It is a fact that every time he appears, whether to speak or to meet people, Pope Francis sparks infectious enthusiasm.

With his joyful and kind-hearted spirit, the Pontiff arouses joy and emotion among people. He is not only the Father everyone awaited but also a sensitive Pope close to each one.

Impressive is the tranquility and confidence with which Pope Francis moves among the people. He is joyful, happy, serene; he communicates confidence and often gives a "thumbs-up" as if to say all is well.

Tuesday while he moved among the people standing in the jeep, there was a disabled man who was shouting. He had the jeep stop, kissed the disabled man and patted him, who then began laughing. The people around him laughed and wept.

Also the little girl who was brought to him crying, was kissed and patted by him and she calmed down.

There is no need to exaggerate, but Pope Francis carries out gestures and actions that are very similar to those described in the Gospel, when Jesus moved among the people.

Archbishop Filippo Santoro of Taranto, Italy, said that when he got to know Cardinal Bergoglio at a meeting in Brazil in 2007, he was very impressed by his “hospitableness and transparency united to a very profound intelligence.”

And Argentine missionary Father Pedro Pablo Opeka, recounted to the Italian magazine Famiglia Cristiana all that his sisters, who live in Buenos Aires, told him.

When he was still in the Argentine capital, Cardinal Bergoglio was engaged in evangelization and social work in poor neighborhoods, in areas of ill-repute, among those who were most marginalized and on many occasions he washed the feet of inmates in prison on Maundy Thursday.

Looking at the reactions on the most frequented social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook, one finds oneself before a true and proper “whirlwind” of goodness, which finds confirmation in people’s reaction.

A Sicilian woman said: “he is a wonderful Pope!”, and a young student added ”one sees immediately that he is good and gentle.”

A follower at the twitter@pontifex address wrote: “Welcome Pope Francis. I weep with emotion while I hear you speak. You will be our guide!” And another said: “they have chosen a man of immense spirituality and of very great care for the poor.”

A follower noted that Pope Francis “was not in the Cathedral on Maundy Thursday, but in the hospital of AIDS sufferers.”

Among the messages that arrived on ZENIT’s Facebook page, is one that says: “He is a spectacular Pope” and recalls that “the Lord is merciful with all his creatures.”

“He has sanctity, humility, spontaneity, honesty and reflects the love of God,” “one cannot judge in such a short time, but one can see that he is good,” “he awakens hope and charity,” “it is a return to the origins of the Church, compassion, humility and love.” “He is a Father, very close and attentive to his neighbor. A prophet of our time sent by the Holy Spirit.”

“John Paul II was the Pope of hope, Benedict XVI the Pope of faith and Francis is the Pope of charity,” "He is a Christian saint for humanity,” “Hope, gentleness and sincerity. We have yet to understand how good he is,” “his life as man, priest, bishop and cardinal shows him to be a coherent pastor in defense of the poor.” He is a “Pope able to generate beneficial changes inside and outside the Church,” and, finally, “He is the Pope we all hoped for.”

English-speaking readers of ZENIT wrote similarly: “A humble and simple Pope,” “Perfect for our times."

Read it online | Forward to a Friend | Comment online

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pope Francis: Mass of Installation

POPE FRANCIS' HOMILY --Feast of St. Joseph

Homily of the Holy Father at the Inauguration of his Papal Ministry 19 March 2013:

Dear Brothers and Sisters, I thank the Lord that I can celebrate this Holy Mass for the inauguration of my Petrine ministry on the solemnity of Saint Joseph, the spouse of the Virgin Mary and the patron of the universal Church. It is a significant coincidence, and it is also the name-day of my venerable predecessor: we are close to him with our prayers, full of affection and gratitude.

I offer a warm greeting to my brother cardinals and bishops, the priests, deacons, men and women religious, and all the lay faithful. I thank the representatives of the other Churches and ecclesial Communities, as well as the representatives of the Jewish community and the other religious communities, for their presence. My cordial greetings go to the Heads of State and Government, the members of the official Delegations from many countries throughout the world, and the Diplomatic Corps.

In the Gospel we heard that “Joseph did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took Mary as his wife” (Mt 1:24). These words already point to the mission which God entrusts to Joseph: he is to be thecustos, the protector. The protector of whom? Of Mary and Jesus; but this protection is then extended to the Church, as Blessed John Paul II pointed out: “Just as Saint Joseph took loving care of Mary and gladly dedicated himself to Jesus Christ’s upbringing, he likewise watches over and protects Christ’s Mystical Body, the Church, of which the Virgin Mary is the exemplar and model” (Redemptoris Custos, 1).

How does Joseph exercise his role as protector? Discreetly, humbly and silently, but with an unfailing presence and utter fidelity, even when he finds it hard to understand. From the time of his betrothal to Mary until the finding of the twelve-year-old Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem, he is there at every moment with loving care. As the spouse of Mary, he is at her side in good times and bad, on the journey to Bethlehem for the census and in the anxious and joyful hours when she gave birth; amid the drama of the flight into Egypt and during the frantic search for their child in the Temple; and later in the day-to-day life of the home of Nazareth, in the workshop where he taught his trade to Jesus.

How does Joseph respond to his calling to be the protector of Mary, Jesus and the Church? By being constantly attentive to God, open to the signs of God’s presence and receptive to God’s plans, and not simply to his own. This is what God asked of David, as we heard in the first reading. God does not want a house built by men, but faithfulness to his word, to his plan. It is God himself who builds the house, but from living stones sealed by his Spirit.

Joseph is a “protector” because he is able to hear God’s voice and be guided by his will; and for this reason he is all the more sensitive to the persons entrusted to his safekeeping. He can look at things realistically, he is in touch
 with his surroundings, he can make truly wise decisions. In him, dear friends, we learn how to respond to God’s call, readily and willingly, but we also see the core of the Christian vocation, which is Christ! Let us protect Christ in our lives, so that we can protect others, so that we can protect creation!

The vocation of being a “protector”, however, is not just something involving us Christians alone; it also has a prior dimension which is simply human, involving everyone. It means protecting all creation, the beauty of the created world, as the Book of Genesis tells us and as Saint Francis of Assisi showed us. It means respecting each of God’s creatures and respecting the environment in which we live. It means protecting people, showing loving concern for each and every person, especially children, the elderly, those in need, who are often the last we think about. It means caring for one another in our families: husbands and wives first protect one another, and then, as parents, they care for their children, and children themselves, in time, protect their parents. It means building sincere friendships in which we protect one another in trust, respect, and goodness. In the end, everything has been entrusted to our protection, and all of us are responsible for it. Be protectors of God’s gifts!

Whenever human beings fail to live up to this responsibility, whenever we fail to care for creation and for our brothers and sisters, the way is opened to destruction and hearts are hardened. Tragically, in every period of history there are “Herods” who plot death, wreak havoc, and mar the countenance of men and women.

Please, I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill: let us be “protectors” of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment. Let us not allow omens of destruction and death to accompany the advance of this world! But to be “protectors”, we also have to keep watch over ourselves! Let us not forget that hatred, envy and pride defile our lives! Being protectors, then, also means keeping watch over our emotions, over our hearts, because they are the seat of good and evil intentions: intentions that build up and tear down! We must not be afraid of goodness or even tenderness!

Here I would add one more thing: caring, protecting, demands goodness, it calls for a certain tenderness. In the Gospels, Saint Joseph appears as a strong and courageous man, a working man, yet in his heart we see great tenderness, which is not the virtue of the weak but rather a sign of strength of spirit and a capacity for concern, for compassion, for genuine openness to others, for love. We must not be afraid of goodness, of tenderness!

Today, together with the feast of Saint Joseph, we are celebrating the beginning of the ministry of the new Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Peter, which also involves a certain power. Certainly, Jesus Christ conferred power upon Peter, but what sort of power was it? Jesus’ three questions to Peter about love are followed by three commands: feed my lambs, feed my sheep.

Let us never forget that authentic power is service, and that the Pope too, when exercising power, must enter ever more fully into that service which has its radiant culmination on the Cross. He must be inspired by the lowly, concrete and faithful service which marked Saint Joseph and, like him, he must open his arms to protect all of God’s people and embrace with tender affection the whole of humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important, those whom Matthew lists in the final judgment on love: the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and those in prison (cf. Mt 25:31-46). Only those who serve with love are able to protect!

In the second reading, Saint Paul speaks of Abraham, who, “hoping against hope, believed” (Rom 4:18). Hoping against hope! Today too, amid so much darkness, we need to see the light of hope and to be men and women who bring hope to others. To protect creation, to protect every man and every woman, to look upon them with tenderness and love, is to open up a horizon of hope; it is to let a shaft of light break through the heavy clouds; it is to bring the warmth of hope! For believers, for us Christians, like Abraham, like Saint Joseph, the hope that we bring is set against the horizon of God, which has opened up before us in Christ. It is a hope built on the rock which is God.

To protect Jesus with Mary, to protect the whole of creation, to protect each person, especially the poorest, to protect ourselves: this is a service that the Bishop of Rome is called to carry out, yet one to which all of us are called, so that the star of hope will shine brightly. Let us protect with love all that God has given us!

I implore the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, Saints Peter and Paul, and Saint Francis, that the Holy Spirit may accompany my ministry, and I ask all of you to pray for me! Amen.

Solemnity of St. Joseph

Feast of Saint Joseph

March 19th, 2013

by Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York

Did I call it or what? While I obviously could not make any predictions about who would be chosen the Successor of St. Peter — – except to observe multiple times that those kind-but-misguided people betting on me were obviously sipping too much grappa — – I did remark that I thought the new Holy Father would choose the beautiful Feast of St. Joseph, March 19, for his first public Mass.

And that’s where I’ll be this morning at 9:30 AM Rome time: with 100,000 other people in St. Peter’s Square for the Mass of Inauguration of Pope Francis!

St. Joseph: the foster father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the patron saint of dads … and Pope Francis becomes the Holy Father of our earthly, spiritual family, the Church, on this holiday also observed as “Father’s Day” in Italy;

St. Joseph: the chaste spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Pope Frances loves her so much, traveling to the Shrine of Salus Populi Romani, “the Help of the People of Rome,” in the most venerable church dedicated to Our Lady, Saint Mary Major, the first morning after his election;

St. Joseph: Patron of the Church Universal; and now Pope Francis becomes the Pastor of the flock, the catholic, “universal” Church;

St. Joseph: the patron of workers, himself a carpenter; and our new pontiff, renowned for his closeness to the working men and women of his former Archdiocese of Buenos Aires;

St. Joseph: with a special care for the poor, always approached in prayer by those in want and need; and the new Bishop of Rome with such a reputation of solicitude for those in poverty;

St. Joseph: a man of complete trust in God’s will, as shown in the Gospel; and Pope Francis accepting his towering new task out of humble obedience to God’s plan;

St. Joseph: the protector of the Holy Family, his foster Son and virgin wife, leading them to safety in Egypt when the oppressive tyrant, King Herod, sought to kill the newborn Savior; and now our new Holy Father will become an ardent advocate of those persecuted, those forced from their homes, those oppressed for their faith;

St. Joseph: the man closest to Jesus, the man who knew Him first, loved Him most, and held Him closest; and now our Holy Father calling us to know, love, and serve Jesus … to friendship with Jesus;

St. Joseph: the patron saint of a happy death — – surrounded on his deathbed by Jesus and Mary; and now our new Pope speaking to us of eternal life;

In the Divine Office that we bishops, priests, deacons, religious sisters and brothers promise to pray daily, we reflect today upon the words of St. Bernard, who applied them to St. Joseph: God never calls us to something without giving us the grace to do it!

That’s our prayer for Pope Francis: the Holy Spirit has called him to be our Holy Father; through the intercession of Saint Joseph, may our new Successor of St. Peter trust that God will indeed lavishly supply the Grace he needs!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Pope Francis' Coat of Arms

(Vatican Radio ) Pope Francis has chosen the motto "Miserando atque eligendo", meaning lowly but chosen; literally in Latin 'by having mercy, by choosing him'.
The motto is one the Pope had already chosen as Bishop. It is taken from the homilies of the Venerable Bede on Saint Matthew's Gospel relating to his vocation:"Jesus saw the tax collector and by having mercy chose him as an Apostle saying to him : Follow me."
This homily, which focuses on divine mercy and is reproduced in the Liturgy of the Hours on the Feast of Saint Matthew, has taken on special significance in the Pope's life and spiritual journey.
In fact it was on the Feast of Saint Matthew in 1953 that a young seventeen year-old Jorge Bergoglio was touched by the mercy of God and felt the call to religious life in the footsteps of Saint Ignatius of Loyola.
Beyond the motto, the coat of arms has a blue field and is surmounted by the mitre and the papal keys. On the crest itself at the centre is the symbol of the Jesuits, a flaming sun with the three letters recalling the name and the salvific mission of Jesus. Underneath we have two more symbols: to the right the star representing Mary and to the left the nard flower representing Joseph.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Pope Francis: Biography by Fr. Ed Broom, OMV

First Angelus

Here is the translation of Pope Francis' Angelus given today at St. Peter's Square. 

 Brothers and sisters, hello! After the first meeting last Wednesday, today I can again offer my greeting to everyone! And I am glad to do it on Sunday, the Lords day! This is beautiful and important for us Christians: coming together on Sunday, greeting each other, talking with each other like we are doing now here in the piazza; a piazza that, thanks to the media, has the dimensions of the world. On this fifth Sunday of Lent, the Gospel presents us with the episode of the adulterous woman (cf. John 8:1-11), who Jesus saves from the death sentence. Jesus attitude is striking: we do not hear words of scorn, we do not hear words of condemnation, but only words of love, of mercy, that invite us to conversion. Neither do I condemn you: go and sin no more! (8:11). Well, brothers and sisters, the face of God is that of a merciful father, who always has patience. Have you thought about Gods patience, the patience that he has for each of us? That is his mercy. He always has patience, patience with us, he understands us, he waits for us, he does not weary of forgiving us if we know how to return to him with a contrite heart. Great is the mercy of the Lord, the Psalm says. These last several days I have been able to read a book by a cardinal Cardinal Kasper, a smart theologian, a good theologian on mercy. And it did me much good that book, but dont think that I am advertising the books of my cardinals! It is not that way! But it did me much good, much good... Cardinal Kasper said that hearing the word mercy, this word changes everything. It is the best word we can hear: it changes the world. A little mercy makes the world less cold and more just. We need to rightly understand this mercy of God, this merciful Father, who has a lot of patience ... Let us remember the prophet Isaiah, who says that even if our sins are bright red, Gods mercy can make them white as snow. Mercy is beautiful! I remember, when I had just become a bishop, in the year 1992, Our Lady of Fatima had just arrived in Buenos Aires and there was a big Mass for the sick. I went to hear confessions at that Mass. And near the end of the Mass I got up, because I had to administer holy oil. An old lady came to me, a humble lady, very humble, over 80 years old/ I looked at her and I said to her: Grandma, because in our country this is what we call old people: Grandma do you want to go to confession? Yes, she said to me. But if you havent sinned..., [I said]. And she said to me: We have all sinned... . But maybe the Lord does not forgive them... [I replied]. The Lord forgives everything, she told me, certain of what she was saying. But how do you know that, madam? If the Lord did not forgive everything, [she said], the world wouldnt exist. I felt like asking her, Tell me, madam, did you study at the Gregorian? because thats the wisdom that the Holy Spirit gives: interior wisdom about the mercy of God. Let us not forget this: God never wearies of forgiving us, never! So, father, whats the problem? Well, the problem is that we grow weary, we do not want to, we tire of asking for forgiveness. He never tires of forgiving, but we, at times, we tire of aski ng forgiveness. Let us never tire, let us never tire! He is the loving Father, who always forgives, who has that heart of mercy for all of us. And we too learn to be merciful with everyone. We invoke the intercession of Our Lady who held in her arms the Mercy of God made man. Now let us all together pray the Angelus. [Following the recitation of the Angelus, the Holy Father greeted those present in Italian.] I offer a cordial greeting to all the pilgrims. Thanks for your welcome and for your prayers. I ask you to pray for me. I renew my embrace of the faithful of Rome and I extend it to all of you, who come from various parts of Italy and of the world, and to those who are joining through different media. I chose the name of the Patron of Italy, St. Francis of Assisi, and that reinforces my spiritual bond with this land, where as you know my family has its origins. But Jesus has called us to be part of a new family: his Church, this family of God, walking together along the way of the Gospel. May the Lord bless you, may Our Lady protect you. Do not forget this: the Lord never wearies of forgiving! We are the ones who weary of asking for forgiveness. Have a good Sunday and a good lunch! [Translation by Joseph Trabbic]

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Faith, Hope and Charity

Hope: Blessed Pope John Paul II
Faith: Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI  
Charity: His Holiness, Pope Francis 

First Picture From:  




Friday, March 15, 2013

First Papal Mass

  It was delivered in the Sistine Chapel on Thursday afternoon, March 14, as he celebrated Holy Mass for the first time as Pope and with the Cardinals who had elected Pope last evening. He did not use a prepared text for this simple and inspiring homily.

[The three readings of the Mass “pro Ecclesia," on which Pope Francis commented, were taken from the book of Isaiah (2:2-5), from the first letter of Peter (2:4-9), and from the Gospel according to Matthew (16:13-19)]

In these three readings I see that there is something in common: it is movement. In the first reading, movement in walking; in the second reading, movement in the building up of the Church; in the third, in the Gospel, movement in confession.

To walk, to build up, to confess.

To walk. “House of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.” This is the first thing that God said to Abraham: Walk in my presence and be without reproach. To walk: our life is a journey and when we stop it is no good. To walk always, in the presence of the Lord, in the light of the Lord, seeking to live with that irreproachability which God asked of Abraham, in his promise.

To build up. To build up the Church. Stones are spoken of: the stones have substance; but living stones, stones anointed by the Holy Spirit. To build up the Church, the bride of Christ, on that cornerstone which is the Lord himself. This is another movement of our lives: to build up.

Third, to confess. We can walk as much as we wish, we can build many things, but if we do not confess Jesus Christ, it is no good. We will become a humanitarian NGO, but not the Church, bride of the Lord.

When one does not walk, one halts. When one does not build on stone what happens? That happens which happens to children on the beach when they make sand castles, it all comes down, it is without substance. When one does not confess Jesus Christ, I am reminded of the expression of Léon Bloy: "He who does not pray to the Lord prays to the devil.” When one does not confess Jesus Christ, one confesses the worldliness of the devil, the worldliness of the demon.

To walk, to build/construct, to confess. But the matter is not so easy, because in walking, in building, in confessing, at times there are shocks, there are movements that are not properly movements of the journey: they are movements that set us back.

This Gospel continues with a special situation. The same Peter who has confessed Jesus Christ says to him: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. I will follow you, but let us not speak of the cross. This has nothing to do with it. I will follow you with other possibilities, without the cross.

When we walk without the cross, when we build without the cross and when we confess Christ without the cross, we are not disciples of the Lord: we are worldly, we are bishops, priests, cardinals, popes, but not disciples of the Lord.

I would like that everyone, after these days of grace, should have the courage, truly the courage, to walk in the presence of the Lord, with the cross of the Lord; to build up the Church upon the blood of the Lord that was shed upon the cross; and to confess the only glory: Christ crucified. And in this way the Church will move forward.

I hope for all of us that the Holy Spirit, through the prayer of the Virgin Mary, our Mother, may grant us this grace: to walk, to build up, to confess Jesus Christ crucified. So may it be.

The New Pope and Us:   
By Archbishop Jose H. Gomez

We are praying for the new Pope! 
As I write, the historic conclave of cardinals has just begun.

We are living in a moment like we read about in the Acts of the Apostles. I’ve been thinking a lot about the first Church Council, the Council of Jerusalem in Acts 15. At the end of the Council, the apostles announced, “It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us.” 
This is the beautiful mystery of what is going on right now in Rome.

Jesus promised his Spirit of truth to guide his Church. In this sacred conclave, the successors of the apostles will decide, with the Holy Spirit, to elect the man the Lord has chosen to be his Pope.

I am thinking also these days of Jesus’ words: “You are Peter! And on this rock I will build my Church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.” 

In the surprise of Pope Benedict XVI resigning, and with the excitement of the conclave, we can forget that we are in the middle of the Year of Faith. 

But in God’s loving plan, this year has become a great chance for us to grow in our faith in the Pope as the Vicar of Christ on earth.

We need this faith! It’s essential to our Catholic identity. Every Catholic should have great love for the Pope, no matter who the Pope is. 

St. Catherine of Siena used to call the Pope the “sweet Christ on earth.” We should have this same faith and warm affection.

The Pope is the “rock” that the Church stands on. Christ has given him responsibility for leading and feeding the flock of God. I think of those final words that Jesus spoke to Peter, on the seashore after the Resurrection: “Feed my sheep! … Follow me!” 

The Pope we are all looking for — the Pope that we know the Lord will provide us — will be a servant of salvation and a servant of God’s joy.

From Rome, the message of Jesus Christ goes out to all the ends of the earth. The Pope’s ministry is the source of divine blessing and healing in our world. 

Under the Pope’s authority, the Church has power — through her Sacraments — to sanctify and set free. To forgive our sins and to make us holy. Again I hear Jesus’ words to Peter: “Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” 

Every Pope bears heavy burdens that we cannot know. St. Paul used to talk about “the daily pressure upon me of my anxiety for all the churches.” This is the weight that every pastor and every bishop carries — a deep concern for the souls entrusted to his care. This burden weighs heaviest on the Pope, as head of the universal Church. 

So we should pray for the Pope’s intentions every day, and we should join our prayers to acts of atonement and self-sacrifice for him. 

Faith in the Pope also means growing every day in loyalty and obedience to his teaching authority. His words are wisdom for living. His words make the Gospel a message for today and a help for the challenges of living. 

In the run-up to the conclave, there has been a lot of talk about what the Church “needs” and what the Cardinals are “looking for” in a new Pope. This analysis has focused on important issues that remind us that the Church always needs purification and renewal. 

But in every time and in every age, what the Church needs most is holiness. What the Church needs most — and what God desires — is that you and I become saints. 

The Church will be renewed when you and I, and all our brothers and sisters are truly living our faith. Every day. With our whole hearts and minds and with all our strength. 

The Pope we are all looking for — the Pope that we know the Lord will provide us — will be a servant of salvation and a servant of God’s joy. 

This is also a task for each of us, as fellow followers of Christ. Not to do our will, not to pursue our own agendas. But to seek God’s will. 

With our new Pope, whoever he is, we are called to believe in Jesus and to let our ourselves be led by him. We are called to follow Jesus in the company of others, in the family of his Church. To be nourished by his Word and by his Body and Blood, and to every day try to be more like him. 

With our new Pope, we are called to share our faith and to build the Kingdom of God, with the patience and love of Christ — every day in every area of life. 

So let us pray for one another and for our Church. 

And let us ask the intercession of Mary our Mother and the Mother of the Church. May we all go to Jesus, closely united to the Pope, through Mary. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Habemus Papam!

Hi Holiness, Pope Francis, Bishop of Rome 


1st South American, 1st Jesuit, and 1st to Take Name Francis

VATICAN CITY, March 13, 2013 ( - The bells of St. Peter's started ringing and the crowds began cheering just moments after 7 p.m. local time, as white smoke from the Sistine Chapel indicated "Habemus Papam." We have a Pope!

Just over an hour later, the 267th Successor of St. Peter has been announced by the senior cardinal deacon: It is Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, who had been serving as the archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

He takes the name Francis.

The crowds in St. Peter's Square near immediately began chanting "Francesco" as they await his arrival on the central balcony for his first "urbi et orbi" blessing.

Pope Francis' 1st Words

VATICAN CITY, March 13, 2013 ( - Here is a translation of the brief greeting Pope Francis gave from the central balcony of St. Peter's Square following his election as the Successor of St. Peter.

Brothers and sisters, good evening!

You know that the duty of the Conclave was to give a bishop to Rome. It seems as though my brother cardinals went almost to the end of the world to get him. But here we are. I thank you for your welcome. The diocesan community of Rome has a bishop. Thank you!

Before all else, I would like to say a prayer for our Bishop Emeritus Benedict XVI. Let us all pray together for him, that the Lord may bless him and that Our Lady may watch over him …

[Our Father … Hail Mary … Glory be]

And now let us begin this journey, [together] as bishop and people. This journey of the Church of Rome, which is to preside over all the Churches in charity. It is a journey of fraternity, of love, of trust between us. Let us always pray for one another. Let us pray for the world, so that a great brotherhood may be created. I hope that this journey of the Church, which we begin today and in which my Cardinal Vicar who is present here will assist me, will be fruitful for the Evangelization of this beautiful city.

And now I would like to give you my blessing. But before I do, I would like to ask you a favor: before the bishop blesses the people, I ask you to pray to the Lord that He bless me…. the prayer of the people for a blessing upon their bishop. Let us take a moment of silence for you to offer your prayer for me.”

[Silence … the Holy Father bows]

[Cardinal N. says … “The Holy Father, Francesco …”]

“Now I will give you my blessing and to the whole world, to all men and women of good will.”

[Pope’s blessing]

Brothers and Sisters,

I leave you now. Thank you for your welcome. Pray for me. And we’ll see one another again soon. Tomorrow I want to go and pray to Our Lady, asking her to watch over Rome. Good night and have a good rest.

"I am very happy with the election of Pope Francis.
For us as Catholics, this is a beautiful spiritual moment, a time of joy and thanksgiving.
A time for prayer for the whole Church.
This is a great day, not only for Catholics, but for the whole world. Because the Pope is
the living sign of the universality of God’s Church. And the Pope is a sign of Jesus
Christ’s love for the world and for every person in every nation.
I have had the privilege of knowing our new Holy Father through our work together on
the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. I look forward to seeing him and getting
to know him better while I am in Rome next month.
It is a beautiful sign to have a new Pope who is the first Pope from the Americas, from
the New World. The election of Pope Francis is a call for all of us to strive for holiness
and to work to make our countries and our continents a “new world of faith.”
So today we thank God that he has given us a Pope who is a humble man who lives
with simplicity and a desire for holiness. Our new Pope is a defender of the poor, a
strong teacher, and a leader committed to renewal in the Church and the new
evangelization of our world.
I join my brothers and sisters in the Church in Los Angeles and throughout the
Americas and the whole world in offering my prayers for Pope Francis and pledging my
loyalty and love for him and my obedience to him.
I ask the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe for our new Pope. And I pray that we
all go to Jesus, closely united to the Pope, through Mary."

-Archbishop Jose Gomez 

"Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Part of the first reading of Isaiah the Prophet for today’s Mass states “Sing out, O heavens, and rejoice O earth, break forth into song, you mountains.” The reading goes on to say that “”God will never forget us.”

I believe that these words from the Liturgy for today can truly be our words. We rejoice today and sing to the Lord with the election of Pope Francis, knowing that his election is a sign of the Lord’s faithfulness to us in every time and place. The faithfulness of Christ to His Church when long ago he said to Simon son of John “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church.” As we rejoice today those words echo as well.

We are thankful as well for all of the attention to the life of the Body of Christ in these past weeks from so many all over the world. This genuine outpouring of attention affirms indeed the relevancy of our Faith, and the call of our Faith to every Catholic to hear the words of the Lord and to live His life fully in His Body, the Church here on earth. To take that Faith and proclaim it once again to our contemporary culture with so many challenges, that God indeed is faithful to us, and has not forgotten us.

This day here in Orange, I have been in a day of reflection and prayer with all involved in the ministry of the future Christ Cathedral. As we reflected and prayed together in this new chapter in our lives, we were joined by video stream with the Church universal at St. Peter’s Basilica to welcome Pope Francis. It was almost an extension of being there! This is a historic time for all of us. The future Christ Cathedral campus will serve as a place to reflect the light of Christ to all here and far beyond, and to welcome all who come our way.

I send the greetings, prayers, best wishes to our new Holy Father on behalf of our local Church joyfully in union with the See of Peter, and Pope Francis as the successor of Peter. I encourage Catholics in Orange to join with me and to walk confidently in the light of this providential moment and to express through your daily life and example what living a Catholic life truly means. The Family of Faith of the Diocese of Orange embraces over 1.2 million Catholics of so many wonderful ethnic groups, reflecting the Universal Church.

Let us give thanks to God and celebrate the news of Pope Francis’ election. I will be celebrating a Mass of Thanksgiving this coming Saturday morning at 8:15 AM at Holy Family Cathedral. This historic time will soon lead us into Holy Week and Easter with joy, confidence and concern for the Church and all she serves. We are the living Body of Christ, a vibrant, relevant and loving people of Faith!

I, along with Bishop Brown and Bishop Dominic, send prayers and best wishes,"

-Bishop Kevin Vann 

The election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who has taken the name Francis, marks a great milestone in our church. As successor to Peter, our first pope, Pope Francis I stands as the figure of unity for all Catholics wherever they reside.

The bishops of the United States and the people of our 195 dioceses offer prayers for our new leader and promise allegiance to him.Intense prayer from all around the world surrounded the election of Pope Francis.

The bishops of the United States thank God for the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the inspired choice of the College of Cardinals.With joy in our hearts, we declare “Ad Multos Annos!” (For many years!)

-Cardinal Timothy Dolan 


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

First Ballots Burned

There was no doubt about it: it was shortly after 7:40 pm Tuesday evening in Rome that the charcoal black smoke came billowing out of the smokestack above the Sistine Chapel, signalling that Cardinals meeting in day one of their conclave were unsuccessful in electing a new pope. 

Out in St. Peter’s square under dark and heavy clouds, hundreds had gathered with umbrellas aloft to gaze upwards at the chimney in the hopes of being among the first to catch a glimpse of the smoke: white indicating the Cardinals had chosen a Pontiff; black, confirming that they had not found sufficient consensus for any one candidate.
Bright spotlights were trained on the smokestack to illuminate the smoke against the thick backdrop of darkness and inclement weather.

The 115 Cardinal electors had entered the Sistine Chapel at about 4:30 local time and opened the conclave by taking a solemn oath of fidelity and secrecy. After prayer and meditation and after the last of the non-electors had left the chapel, the senior Cardinal responsible for the proceedings, Giovanni Battista Re, asked his fellow Cardinals to proceed with the voting for the 265th Successor of Peter.

Beginning Wednesday morning and for each subsequent day of the conclave, the Cardinal electors will be expected to vote in two morning and two afternoon ballots each day. The two morning or the two afternoon ballots are burned together so there will only be two smoke signals per day: one sometime around noon, the other at about 7 p.m. local time.
Of course, if a pope is elected in the morning’s first ballot, people can expect to see white smoke billow forth between 10:30 and 11:00 a.m. The same holds true for the first afternoon ballot: should a pontiff be elected then, white smoke should be visible between 5:30 and 6:00 p.m.

Then, the real suspense begins: who has been elected Pope? Typically, it takes about forty minutes between the time the new Pope must accept the office, change into white vestments and hear the Cardinals pledge their obedience to him before we finally hear the words, “Habemus Papam” from the central loggia of St. Peter’s basilica.

Eight of the eleven Cardinal-electors from the United States.  L-R are
Cardinal Justin Rigali, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Cardinal Francis George, Cardinal Sean O'Malley, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Cardinal Roger Mahony, Cardinal O'Brien.  Not pictured American Cardinals voting are: Cardinal Raymond Burke, Cardinal James Harvey,  and Cardinal William Levada.    

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Forgiveness: an article by Archbishop Gomez

The Force of Forgiveness

"...All of us stand in need of God’s mercy. This is the beauty of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It is God’s school of love, where we experience his mercy.
In the new evangelization of this culture, we are called to make mercy and forgiveness our message and our witness to the world...."

Written by Archbishop José H. Gomez Friday,  March 8th 2013 

We need to become better at forgiveness. 
That is one of the messages we hear in our Gospel readings as we approach the half-way point of this holy season of Lent.

In one of the Gospels this week, St. Peter asks Jesus how many times he has to forgive someone. And Jesus tells him, “Seventy times seven times.” In other words, every time. And the Gospel for this coming Sunday is the parable of the Prodigal Son, which is a beautiful lesson in God’s mercy and forgiveness.

This is a lesson that we all need to learn more and more.

We ask God for this grace every day in the prayer that Jesus taught us — Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

But how hard it is for us to live these words! How easy it becomes for us to fall into critical judgments of others.

It is true we can find a lot that deserves criticism. There are many sinners and many scandals and injustices in our world.

This was true also in Jesus’ time. But he came to show us a different way. And it is urgent these days that we try harder to live this different way of Jesus Christ.

Our culture has become a culture of complaint and righteous anger — where people are quick to condemn and quick to judge. Our culture has become a culture of no forgiveness.

We have to watch out that we don’t get caught up in this. Our Christian faith should always make us different. We have to try to be people of pardon and peace. People of mercy and forgiveness.

God’s mercy and forgiveness are the essential message of the Gospel. Jesus came “to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins,” the Gospel tells us.

Jesus was very clear — the mercy we seek from God must be the mercy that we show to others.

The world is looking for Jesus Christ. And when people go looking for him, they are going to turn naturally to those of us who say we know him. To those of us who say we believe in Jesus and live according to his Word and his example.

What do they find when they look at us? Do they see Jesus? Do they find a reflection of God’s own mercy and forgiveness?

Lent is a time for us to be honest with ourselves. It’s easy to see the faults of others. But it’s also easy to forget how often we disappoint God by our own lack of love, by our own failures to be faithful.

In our Christian lives we are always stretching towards Jesus and the holiness he calls us to. And we know that we fall down all the time.

But every time we fail, we have forgiveness. God’s mercy is always there for us. His judgments are kind. They are the judgments of a Father who loves us.

Can we say the same thing about our own judgments? About our thoughts and words about those who are in our lives or in the news?

We will bring more people to Jesus through our mercy and forgiveness than through our critical judgments — no matter how right we might be and no matter how wrong the other person might be.

To forgive is to make an act of faith. When we forgive, we aren’t forgetting or excusing the sins of the past. By our forgiveness, we are saying that we believe God is the only judge.

Our task as Christians is not to judge. Jesus said, Judge not and you will not be judged (Luke 6: 37). He calls us to forgive the sinner and to repair the damage done by his sin. We are called to bring sinners to God, to right the wrongs they have committed, and to heal the wounds and divisions they have caused.

So this week, as we continue to pray for our Church and our new Pope, let us pray for the grace to be people of true mercy and forgiveness.

We need to remember that we are all sinners, some of us worse than others. But all of us stand in need of God’s mercy. This is the beauty of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It is God’s school of love, where we experience his mercy, which is the mercy he wants us to extend to others.

So let’s ask our Blessed Mother Mary, the Mother of Mercy and the Refuge of Sinners, to help us be people of forgiveness who are building a society of merciful love and justice.

Laetare Sunday, “Rejoice Sunday!”

Homily, 4th Sunday of Lent

Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Rome

March 10, 2013

His Eminence Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan

Today is Laetare Sunday, “Rejoice Sunday!”

This is appropriate because I rejoice to be with all of you here at my titular parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Don Mammoli, brother priests, dear sisters, beloved parishioners, guests: thank you for your warm welcome. I always feel very much at home here.

After St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, this is my favorite church! Please do not tell my people in New York I said that!

Here I am not the Archbishop of New York; here I am not a cardinal; here I am a parish priest, like I wanted to be since my first Holy Communion.

And, of course, it is as a pastor of a parish in Rome, even if only honorary, that I am here to elect a new Bishop of Rome, a new Pope.

We Cardinals feel the support of the prayers of God’s People all over the world. This also makes us rejoice.

We Catholics are really all Romans;

We are God’s children;

We are like the man in today’s Gospel who is always welcome in our father’s house;

We are all redeemed by God’s Son, Jesus, who wants us to live forever in our heavenly Father’s home;

We all look to Mary, the mother of Jesus, as our own spiritual mother, and she assured St. Juan Diego at Guadalupe.

We all look to the Church as our mother, too.

No wonder we rejoice.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Cardinals: Novena to St. Joseph

A number of cardinals requested we join them in a Novena to St. Joseph, the patron of the Universal (Catholic) Church.  Since his Feast day is on March 19th, we will start this Novena (nine days of praying this prayer) on March 11th.  

O glorious St. Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, to you do we come to ask your powerful intercession in obtaining from the merciful Heart of Jesus all the helps and graces that we need for our spiritual and temporal welfare, and in particular the grace of a happy death, and the special favor we now implore (silently recall the grace you are requesting). O guardian of the Word incarnate, we know with confidence that your prayers on our behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God, and that God will grant us whatever is for His greater glory and for our greatest good.

V. O glorious St. Joseph, through your love of Jesus Christ and for the glory of his name,

R. Hear our prayers and ask God to grant our petitions.

Let us Pray:

O glorious St. Joseph, spouse of the Immaculate Virgin, obtain fur us pure, humble, and charitable hearts, and perfect conformity to the will of God. Be our guide, our father and model during life so that we may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary. Dear St. Joseph, foster father of our Lord Jesus Christ, true spouse of the Virgin Mother of God, pray for us!!!

Remember to keep praying for our cardinals!