Thursday, December 12, 2013
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Saint of the Day
Puerto Rico layman could become second black saint from Americas
12/12/2013 1:24:00 PM
San Juan, Puerto Rico, Dec 12, 2013 / 12:24 pm (
).- Pope Francis has approved the heroic virtues of Servant of God Rafael Cordero Molina, a layman from Puerto Rico who dedicated his life to fighting racism and educating black children.
If canonized, Molina would be the second black layman from the American continent to be made a saint, following St. Martin de Porres.
Molina, whose beatification cause is now moving forward, devoted more than 58 years of his life to teaching. He founded a school to educate children in the principles of the Christian faith and morality.
Born on Oct. 24, 1790, Molina was educated by his parents, as black individuals at the time did not have the right to education and his family could not afford to send him to a school.
In 1810 as an adult, he opened his own school and gave free classes to black children who were unable to pay for a teacher. Eventually, even white families began sending their children to study under him. Some of his students would become leaders of the abolition of slavery in Puerto Rico.
Molina died on July 5, 1868. A few months before his death, he called on the state to complete the education of his last students.
Abbot Oscar Rivera, who is the postulator of Molina's cause for canonization, told CNA that the cause was opened in Puerto Rico in March of 2002.
He said there were some difficulties at first, “because it was believed that Molina was not known for his holiness, but he was.”
In addition, some claimed that “he was more a national hero than a religious person, as the liberal movement portrayed him as a bulwark of the liberal movement and had hidden his religious dimension as a practicing Catholic and catechist,” the abbot explained.
However, in 2009, a Vatican commission confirmed Molina's reputation of holiness and in 2012, it recognized his heroic virtues. Pope Francis approved the heroic virtues on Dec. 9.
Abbot Rivera said the announcement of the Pope’s approval is “very significant as our country is immersed in a crisis, and it is encouraging to know that a man discriminated against because of his race and his poverty, stood out because of his unmeasured commitment to others and his service of love through education.”
In a very racist society, the children educated by Molina “began to dream of a different society,” he explained. “They would later become the national heroes who would teach the people that discrimination against blacks was unjust.”
Moline was also “renowned as a good teacher and father,” Abbot Rivera said, adding that “he was a very good with kids.”
“He was a humble man who had the chance to have wealth and honors, and yet devoted himself in body and soul to the children, his treasure and his love.”
Pope names two new bishops for Mississippi and Texas
12/12/2013 12:37:00 PM
Vatican City, Dec 12, 2013 / 11:37 am (
).- Pope Francis has named two U.S. priests as the next bishops of the Dioceses of Jackson, Miss. and San Angelo, Texas.
Father Joseph R. Kopacz, a priest of the Diocese of Scranton, Pa., will head the Jackson diocese, while Monsignor Michael J. Sis of the Diocese of Austin will lead the west central Texas diocese.
Bishop Joseph Bambera of Scranton said the announcement brought “great joy” to Fr. Kopacz’s home diocese.
“In appointing him as bishop, the Holy Father has not only recognized Father Kopacz's many gifts and deep faith, but has also honored all of the faithful of the Diocese of Scranton by calling forth one of our own to the office of episcopal leadership and service in the Church,” he said Dec. 12.
He was born in Dunmore, Pa. and graduated from Dunmore Central Catholic High School, the Diocese of Scranton said. He attended St. Pius X Seminary in Dalton and received a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Scranton and a master’s degree in theology from Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora, N.Y.
Bishop J. Carroll McCormick ordained Bishop-designate Kopacz to the priesthood in May 1977. He served at several pastoral assignments throughout the Diocese of Scranton before becoming vicar for priests and formation director at St. Pius X Seminary. He was named vicar general for the diocese in February 2005, a position he held until 2009.
In August 2009 he became pastor of St. Ann Church in Tobyhanna and oversaw its consolidation with two other churches to become Most Holy Trinity Parish.
Bishop Bambera said the parish will “undoubtedly feel a certain sadness” in losing their pastor and friend, but he voiced gratitude that the priest will “serve the broader Church,” particularly Catholics in the Diocese of Jackson.
Bishop-designate Kopacz has served as president of the Catholic Schools’ Board of Education, as an advocate in the diocese’s tribunal, as a member of the diocese’s finance council, and as a faculty member and formation director at St. Pius X Seminary. He was chaplain at a Catholic elementary school and coordinator of Hispanic ministry for Monroe County.
The bishop-to-be also holds a master’s degree in Latin from Fordham University and a master’s degree in counseling and psychology and a doctorate in human development from Marywood University.
He is the second of three children born to the late Stanley and Carmella Calormino Kopacz.
The Diocese of Jackson, based in the state capital, covers the central and northern area of Mississippi, about 37,600 sq mi. It has 52,500 Catholics in a population of over 2.2 million. The diocese has eighty priests, 31 of whom are priests of the diocese. The diocese has four permanent deacons and 197 vowed religious.
Bishop-designate Kopacz will succeed Bishop Joseph N. Latino, who resigned upon reaching the age limit for bishops of 75 years old.
The Diocese of Austin said Dec. 11 that the bishop-designate “considers his most precious treasure to be his personal relationship with Jesus Christ.”
Msgr. Sis served for more than 13 years as parochial vicar and then pastor of St. Mary Catholic Center at Texas A&M University, where he helped the Catholic campus ministry grow and flourish.
The future bishop, born on Jan. 9, 1960, is the fourth of the five children of Raymond and Jancie Sis. He grew up in Bryan, Texas where he attended St. Joseph Catholic School and public schools, graduating from Bryan High School in 1978. He received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 1982 from the University of Notre Dame, where he attended Moreau Seminary.
Bishop John E. McCarthy of Austin ordained him to the priesthood in 1986. He studied theology at the Gregorian Pontifical University and at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. He also has a licentiate in moral theology from the Alphonsan Academy of the Pontifical Lateran University.
Bishop-designate Sis has served in Hispanic ministry and as an administrator at Austin’s St. Mary Cathedral. In 2006 he left campus ministry at Texas A&M University to become a full-time vocations director fort he Diocese of Austin. Pope Benedict XVI named the priest a monsignor in 2009. The next year, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez named him vicar general and moderator of the curia.
Bishop-designate Sis has been a volunteer with Big Brothers / Big Sisters of America and spent a summer of volunteer missionary service in Tanzania. In Rome, he worked with Ethiopian Refugees.
In the west central Texas Diocese of San Angelo, he will serve more than 85,000 Catholics in a total population of 619,000 in a territory of over 37,400 sq mi. His new diocese has 57 priests, 81 permanent deacons and 39 vowed religious.
Bishop-designate Sis succeeds Bishop Michael D. Pfeiffer, O.M.I., who resigned upon reaching 75.
Bishop-designate Kopacz is scheduled to be ordained a bishop Feb. 6 in Jackson’s Cathedral Church of St. Peter the Apostle. Bishop-designate Sis will be ordained as a bishop on Jan. 27 at San Angelo’s McNease Convention Center.
Pope Francis also named a new bishop of Tulle, France, Msgr. Francis Bestion. He will succeed Bishop Bernard Charrier, who has resigned upon reaching 75.
Our Lady of Guadalupe
12/11/2013 11:00:00 PM
In 1531 a "Lady from Heaven" appeared to Saint Juan Diego, a poor Indian from Tepeyac, a hill northwest of Mexico City. She identified herself as the Mother of the True God and instructed him to have the bishop build a church on the site and left an image of herself imprinted miraculously on his tilma, a poor quality cactus-cloth. The tilma should have deteriorated within 20 years but shows no sign of decay after over 470 years. To this day it defies all scientific explanations of its origin.Apparently the tilma, in the eyes of Our Lady of Guadalupe, reflects what was in front of her in 1531! Her message of love and compassion, and her universal promise of help and protection to all mankind, as well as the story of the apparitions, are described in the "Nican Mopohua," a 16th century document written in the native Nahuatl language.There is reason to believe that at Tepeyac Mary came in her glorified body, and her actual physical hands rearranged the roses in Juan Diegoâ€™s tilma, which makes this apparition very special.An incredible list of miracles, cures, and interventions are attributed to Our Lady of Guadalupe. Each year an estimated 10 million people visit her Basilica, making her Mexico City home the most popular Marian shrine in the world, and the most visited Catholic church in the world after Saint Peterâ€™s Basilica in the Vatican. Altogether 24 popes have officially honored Our Lady of Guadalupe. His Holiness Blessed John Paul II visited her Sanctuary four times: on his first apostolic trip outside Rome as Pope in 1979, and again in 1990, 1999 and 2002.The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is celebrated on December 12th. In 1999, Blessed John Paul II, in his homily given during the Solemn Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, his third visit to the sanctuary, declared the date of December the 12th as a Liturgical Holy Day for the whole continent. During the same visit Pope John Paul II entrusted the cause of life to her loving protection, and placed under her motherly care the innocent lives of children, especially those who are in danger of not being born. Patronage: Americas, Central America, diocese of Colorado Springs Colorado, diocese of Corpus Christi Texas, diocese of Dodge City, Kansas, Estremadura Spain, diocese of Gallup New Mexico, Mexico, diocese of Nashville Tennessee, New Mexico, New World, diocese of Orange California, diocese of Phoenix Arizona, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, diocese of Sacramento, California, diocese of Sioux City Iowa, Spain. Source: Sancta.org
First Reading - Zech 2:10-13
12/11/2013 11:00:00 PM
10 Sing praise, and rejoice, O daughter of Sion: for behold I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee: saith the Lord.11 And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and they shall be my people, and I will dwell in the midst of thee: and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me to thee. 12 And the Lord shall possess Juda his portion in the sanctified land: and he shall yet choose Jerusalem. 13 Let all flesh be silent at the presence of the Lord: for he is risen up out of his. holy habitation.
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