My dear Fathers,
It is with great joy that I wish to thank you all for your attendance at our Two-day study session of
AMORIS LAETITIA, the Post Synodal Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis on Love in the Family. Your
enthusiastic and active participation augurs well for our Family Apostolate in the Diocese. We are all
grateful to the Organizers of the Study programme for arranging the same with meticulous care. Our
resource persons drawn from our own Presbyterium did very well in giving us a very instructive overview of
the text and they have given us a “taste” to go through the text carefully in view of making the “Gospel of
The Family” come alive in our midst with the collaboration and participation of all stakeholders, namely
Clergy, Lay leaders and the Religious engaged in the Pastoral ministry in different Parishes and Institutions
of our diocese. As was proposed and accepted, in the coming months, we shall do our best to form Parish
Cells for the Family Apostolate, with those who are already engaged in various aspects of preparation for
marriage, Parish Councillors, members of various Associations such as SVP, Legion of Mary, Small Christian
Communities, Ecclesial movements, Catechists. Government teachers and other professionals in our
parishes. For this purpose we shall have to share with our chosen parishioners the beautiful and thoughtprovoking
document,” Amoris Laetitia”, specially Chapters Four ,Five and Six.
At our forthcoming Pastoral meetings during our Monthly recollection days, we shall engage in further
discussions so as to formulate an effective and practical Pastoral plan for the care of Families. Above all it is
important for us to constantly focus on the “Family Perspective” as the top priority of our Pastoral
activities and Apostolates. Catechizing and Evangelizing of the Family, on the Gospel of Marriage has to be
constantly kept in mind in our preaching, specially in our homilies at the Sunday Eucharist.
As was pointed out during our study days we shall continue with our programmes for the Year of Mercy. As
the Holy Father himself states in N0.5,of the Apostolic Exhortation, ”This Exhortation is timely, in this
Jubilee Year of Mercy. First, because, it represents an invitation to Christian Families to value the gifts of
marriage and the Family, and to persevere in a love, strengthened by the virtues of generosity,
commitment, fidelity and patience. Second, because it seeks to encourage everyone to be a sign of mercy
and closeness, wherever family life remains imperfect or lacks peace or joy.”
For us there is so much to learn from the Holy Father in this Year of Mercy. In an interview given by Pope
Francis to a reputed Journalist, Andrea Tornielli, the Pope was asked, ”Holy Father, when you think of
merciful priests whom you have met or who inspired you, who comes to your mind? ”The Pope answered”.
There are many…”.Among those who were mentioned by the Pope, I was deeply touched by two
Confessors. The Pope said. “I recall a great Confessor, a Capuchin who was younger than I. He came to me
,when I was Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires. The young Capuchin, said, “I need your help. I always have so
many people of all walks of life coming to me for confession, some humble, and some less humble, and
priests too, .I forgive a lot and sometimes I have doubts. I wonder if I have forgiven too much…The Pope
says “we talked about mercy and I asked him what he did when he had those doubts. The Capuchin
replied,” I go to our chapel, and stand in front of the tabernacle and say to Jesus: Lord, forgive me if I have
forgiven too much. But you’re the one who gave me the bad example…” (Pope Francis, The Name of God is
Mercy, A conversation with Andrea Tornielli).We have so much to learn from our universal Shepherd, as
regards mercy and forgiveness. Let us learn from the Lord Jesus to be generous in forgiving and become
Please do not forget to thank St.Anthony, the Patron of our Diocese, whose powerful intercession has
obtained for us numerous blessings over the years.
Wishing all of you and our dear Faithful and the Religious, God’s abundant blessings,
Yours devotedly in the Lord,
+Bishop Vianney Fernando
Bishop of Kandy
Bishop’s Monthly Letter
Bishop’s Engagements in June – 2016
01st -At 6.30 p.m – Blessed Sacrament Feast at their Scholasticate- Ampitiya
02nd -At 3.00 p.m -Formation Committee meeting at Gatembe
04th -At 10.00 a.m -Confirmation Service at Ragala
05th -At 9.30 a.m -Golden Jubilee of Religious profession of Sr. Elma AC at Pussellawa
08th – At 10.30 p.m -Silver Jubilee Thanksgiving Mass of an Enclosed Carmelite Sister at Katugastota
09th -At 10.00 a.m -Presbyteral Meeting at Gatembe
3.30 p.m -Episcopal Meeting at Gatembe
11th – At 10.00 a.m -Awards Ceremony of Youth Talent Programme
At 4.30 p.m – Cultural Programme at Gampola Crèche
12th -At 9.00 a.m -Confirmation Service at St. Anthony’s College, Kandy
13th –At 5.00 p.m -Solemnity of St. Anthony of Padua, the Patron of our Diocese
at St. Anthony’s Cathedral, Kandy
16th–from 9.00 a.m to 12.30 p.m – Programme for Bishops and Tribunal Personals at SEDEC- Colombo
17th -At 6.30 p.m -Farewell Ceremony to Fr. George Sigamoney at SEDEC- Colombo
18th -At 7.30 p.m -Vespers at St. Anthony’s National shrine, Wahakotte
19th -At 8.30 a.m -Festive Holy Mass at Wahakotte
23rd – In Colombo
25th -At 5.00 p.m -Solemn Novena of Our Lady of Perpetual Help at Halloluwa, Santa Maria
27th & 28th -Clergy Monthly Recollection
Results of the youth talent show final
Dance- Tamil Dance-Sinhala
1st – Bogawantalawa 1st – Ampitiya
2nd – Kandy 2nd -Matale/ Rottewewa
3rd – Ampitiya
Singing-Tamil Singing- Sinhala
1st – Gampola 1st – Kandy
2nd–Talawakele 2nd- Ampitiya
3rd – Kawlehena 3rd –Hatton
Drama- Tamil Drama- Sinhala
1st – Matale 1st- Rotewewa
Best sola singer & Year of Mercy song (Tamil )- Gampola
Best Year of Mercy song (Sinhala) – Ampitiya
Best Solo Singer (Sinhala)- Hewaheta
Monthly programme- june
Denary Level Bible Quiz Competition
Date & Time ; 4th of June 2016
Place ; Kandy Denary, Nuwara Eliya Denary & Matale Denary
Diocesan Level Bible Quiz Competition
Date & Time ; 25th of June 2016
Place ; Good Shepherd Convent, Kandy
1st year Seminar
Date & Time ; 30th June 2016 at 8.00 am to 2nd of July 2016 at 2.00 p.m
Place ; Seminar Centre at Kadugannawa
Among Ourselves, June 2016 page 04
YOUTH PROGRAMME – JUNE
Awards Ceremony –Talent Show
Place: Good Shepherd Convent – Kandy
Date: 11th June 2016
Chief Guest: Bishop Vianney Fernando
Top Ten Takeaways from “Amoris Laetitia”
Pope Francis greets newly married couples during his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican in this Sept. 30, 2015, file photo.
Pope Francis‘s groundbreaking new document ―Amoris Laetitia‖ (―The Joy of Love‖) asks the church to meet people where they are, to consider the complexities of people‘s lives and to respect people‘s consciences when it comes to moral decisions. The apostolic exhortation is mainly a document that reflects on family life and encourages families. But it is also the pope‘s reminder that the church should avoid simply judging people and imposing rules on them without considering their struggles.
Using insights from the Synod of Bishops on the Family and from bishops‘ conferences from around the world, Pope Francis affirms church teaching on family life and marriage, but strongly emphasizes the role of personal conscience and pastoral discernment. He urges the church to appreciate the context of people‘s lives when helping them make good decisions. The goal is to help families—in fact, everyone—experience God‘s love and know that they are welcome members of the church. All this may require what the pope calls ―new pastoral methods‖ (199).
Here are ten things to know about the pope‘s groundbreaking new document.
1. The church needs to understand families and individuals in all their complexity.
The church needs to meet people where they are. So pastors are to ―avoid judgements which do not take into account the complexity of various situations‖ (296). People should not be ―pigeonholed or fit into overly rigid classifications leaving no room for personal and pastoral discernment‖ (298). In other words, one size does not fit all. People are encouraged to live by the Gospel, but should also be welcomed into a church that appreciates their particular struggles and treats them with mercy. ―Thinking that everything is black and white‖ is to be avoided (305). And the church cannot apply moral laws as if they were ―stones to throw at people‘s lives‖ (305). Overall, he calls for an approach of understanding, compassion and accompaniment.
2. The role of conscience is paramount in moral decision making.
―Individual conscience needs to be better incorporated into the church‘s practice in certain situations which do not objectively embody our understanding of marriage‖ (303). That is, the traditional belief that individual conscience is the final arbiter of the moral life has been forgotten here. The church has been ―called to form consciences, not to replace them‖ (37). Yes, it is true, the Pope says, that a conscience needs to be formed by church teaching. But conscience does more than to judge what does or does not agree with church teaching. Conscience can also recognize with ―a certain moral security‖ what God is asking (303). Pastors, therefore, need to help people not simply follow rules, but to practice ―discernment,‖ a word that implies prayerful decision making (304).
3. Divorced and remarried Catholics need to be more fully integrated into the church.
How? By looking at the specifics of their situation, by remembering ―mitigating factors,‖ by counseling them in the ―internal forum,‖ (that is, in private conversations between the priest and person or couple), and by respecting that the final decision about the degree of participation in the church is left to a person‘s conscience (305, 300). (The reception of Communion is not spelled out here, but that is a traditional aspect of ―participation‖ in church life.) Divorced and remarried couples should be made to feel part of the church. ―They are not excommunicated and should not be treated as such, since they remain part‖ of the church (243).
4. All members of the family need to be encouraged to live good Christian lives.
Much of ―Amoris Laetitia‖ consists of reflections on the Gospels and church teaching on love, the family and children. But it also includes a great deal of practical advice from the pope, sometimes gleaned from exhortations and homilies regarding the family. Pope Francis reminds married couples that a good marriage is a ―dynamic process‖ and that each side has to put up with imperfections. ―Love does not have to be perfect for us to value it‖ (122, 113). The pope, speaking as a pastor, encourages not only married couples, but also engaged couples, expectant mothers, adoptive parents, widows, as well as aunts, uncles and grandparents. He is especially attentive that no one feels unimportant or excluded from God‘s love.
5. We should no longer talk about people “living in sin.”
In a sentence that reflects a new approach, the pope says clearly, ―It can no longer simply be said that all those living in any ‗irregular situation‘ are living in a state of mortal sin‖ (301). Other people in ―irregular situations,‖ or non-traditional families, like single mothers, need to be offered ―understanding, comfort and acceptance‖ (49). When it comes to these people, indeed everyone, the church need to stop applying moral laws, as if they were, in the pope‘s vivid phrase, ―stones to throw at a person‘s life‖ (305).
6 What might work in one place may not work in another.
The pope is not only speaking in terms of individuals, but geographically as well. ―Each country
or region…can seek solutions better suited to its culture and sensitive to its traditions and local
needs‖(3). What makes sense pastorally in one country may even seem out of place in another.
For this reason and others, as the pope says at the beginning of the document that for this reason, not every question can be settled by the magisterium, that is, the church‘s teaching office (3).
7 Traditional teachings on marriage are affirmed, but the church should not burden people with unrealistic expectations.
Marriage is between one man and one woman and is indissoluble; and same-sex marriage is not considered marriage. The church continues to hold out an invitation to healthy marriages. At the same time, the church has often foisted upon people an ―artificial theological ideal of
marriage‖ removed from people‘s everyday lives (36). At times these ideals have been a ―tremendous burden‖ (122). To that end, seminarians and priests need to be better trained to understand the complexities of people‘s married lives. ―Ordained ministers often lack the training needed to deal with the complex problems currently facing families‖ (202).
8 Children must be educated in sex and sexuality.
In a culture that often commodifies and cheapens sexual expression, children need to understand sex within the ―broader framework of an education for love and mutual self-giving‖ (280). Sadly, the body is often seen as simply ―an object to be used‖ (153). Sex always has to be understood as being open to the gift of new life.
9 Gay men and women should be respected.
While same-sex marriage is not permitted, the pope says that he wants to reaffirm ―before all else‖ that the homosexual person needs to be ―respected in his or her dignity and treated with consideration, and ‗every sign of unjust discrimination‘ is to be carefully avoided, particularly any form of aggression or violence.‖ Families with LGBT members need ―respectful pastoral guidance‖ from the church and its pastors so that gays and lesbians can fully carry out God‘s will in their lives (250).
10 All are welcome.
The church must help families of every sort, and people in every state of life, know that, even in their imperfections, they are loved by God and can help others experience that love. Likewise, pastors must work to make people feel welcome in the church. ―Amoris Laetitia‖ offers the vision of a pastoral and merciful church that encourages people to experience the ―joy of love.‖ The family is an absolutely essential part of the church, because after all, the church is a ―family of families‖ (80). From: Zenith.org
Two-day seminar on “Amoris Laetitia”
Our Bishop and the Director of Family Apostolate Fr. Roy along with some Fathers organized two-day seminar on “Amoris Laetitia” (Joy of Love) which was held on 23rd & 24th May 2016 at St. Sebastian’s Home of Chilaw Diocese in Nuwara Eliya. All the priests of our Diocese actively participated in the seminar. The nine chapters were taken up by nine Priests including the Bishop. First of all Fr. Roy Addressed the gathering and then His Lordship welcomed all his brother priests for this special event. Thereafter Fr. Alvin gave a brief introduction to all the chapters.
The first chapter was dealt by Fr. Edward Christy regarding the biblical perspective of marriage. Then Very Rev. Fr. Milroy Fonseka taking into consideration the second chapter, spoke about the experiences and challenges faced by the families. Then Fr. Soosainathan OSB dealt with the third chapter on “Looking to Jesus: the Vocation of the Family” . Fr.Alvin Fernando presented the Pope’s entire thoughts in chapter four on “Love in Marriage” basing on 1 Cor 13. Then Fr. Abraham dealt with the 5th chapter on “Love Made Fruitful”.
The following day morning our Bishop presented the importance of sixth chapter on “some pastoral perspectives” taking into consideration the Diocesan pastoral implications and the pastoral needs of the Diocese. Fr. Shiwantha, the Rector of Our Lady’s Upper School dealt with what the Pope tells about the theme “Towards a Better Education of Children” in the seventh chapter. Then Fr. Nandana presented the eight chapter giving some examples with the views of Holy Father on “Accompanying, Discerning and Integrating Weakness”. The final chapter was dealt by Fr. Roy on “The Spirituality of Marriage and the Family”
At the end of the sessions we had the panel discussions chaired by our Bishop along with Three Vicars Forane and all those who presented the chapters. Many fathers were giving positive comments regarding this seminar and our bishop made a request to all the priests to contextualize the document according to our own situations in our parish ministry. I thank on behalf of my brother priests of our Diocese, our Lordship and the organizing committee for arranging such a wonderful and fruitful seminar on this importance document.
Fr. Surendra Pragash
Pope Francis: Love thy Neighbour like the Good Samaritan
Pope Francis arrives for his weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square 27 April 2016
The story of the Good Samaritan and its lesson of ―love thy neighbour‖ were at the heart of Pope Francis‘ catechesis during the General Audience on Wednesday 27 April.
Let us never forget: we cannot stand by as onlookers when we see so many people worn out by hunger, violence and injustice: that‘s Pope Francis‘s call to Christians to become Good Samaritans in their everyday lives. ―To ignore man‘s suffering means to ignore God,‖ says the Pope who recalls how, in the parable, the Levite and the priest walk by the man who had been attacked by thieves and lay moribund on the side of the road. Both men of the temple cult, their inaction was contrary to the Law of the Lord, Pope Francis says. The Law obliges us to stop and help anyone in distress. And here, the parable offers us a lesson: that it‘s not a given ―that those who frequent the house of God and are aware of His mercy know how to love the other.‖
The Samaritan, a schismatic Jew, was despised in Jesus‘ day as ―an outsider, a pagan and impure,‖ notes the Pope. And he too had things to do – but when he saw the wounded man, he did not pass by as the other two men did. He stopped and ―had compassion for him.‖
―Compassion is an essential characteristic of God‘s mercy‖ and ―in the gestures and actions of the Good Samaritan, we recognize the action of God‘s mercy throughout salvation history.‖
―It is the same compassion with which God encounters each of us: He does not ignore us. He recognizes our pain, He knows when we need help and consolation. He comes close and never abandons us.‖The Samaritan, the Pope stresses, acts with true mercy: he binds the man‘s wounds, takes him to a hostel, and ―personally takes care of him.‖
All of this, the Pope says, teaches us that compassion and love are not ―vague‖ sentiments; but mean ―caring for the other to the point of personal sacrifice.‖ If we have compassionate hearts, he adds, like Jesus, we can be close to anyone who is in need of help…
The Holy Father‟s message to the English speaking pilgrims present in Saint Peter‟s Square:
Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our catechesis for this Holy Year of Mercy, we now turn to the parable of the Good Samaritan. Jesus had taught the great commandment of love for God and neighbour. In reply to the question: ―Who is my neighbour?‖, he recounts the story of the priest and the Levite who pass by a man in need at the side of the road. Their religiosity is ultimately inauthentic, for it does not find expression in service to others. Love, the Lord tells us, is never abstract or distant; it ―sees‖ and it responds. The compassion shown by the Samaritan is an image of the infinite mercy of God, who always sees our needs and draws near to us in love. The command to love God and neighbour, then, is supremely practical; it entails caring for others even to the point of personal sacrifice. By the end of the parable, we see that the ―neighbour‖ is not so much the man in need, but rather the one who responded to that need with compassion. Jesus tells all of us to be neighbours in this sense: ―Go and do likewise‖. He himself is the model of the Good Samaritan; by imitating his love and compassion, we show ourselves truly to be his followers.
I greet the English-speaking visitors taking part in today‘s Audience, particularly the pilgrims from England, Sweden, Slovakia, China, Indonesia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, the Philippines, Canada and the United States of America. In the joy of the Risen Lord, I invoke upon you and your families the loving mercy of God our Father. May the Lord bless you all!
Pope Francis: Many „mummified‟ or „vagabond‟ Christians.
Pope Francis delivering his homily at Mass in the Santa Marta residence.
Pope Francis lamented on Tuesday that there are many following Christianity in a confused way, forgetting that Jesus is the only true path. He said these include the motionless or ‘mummified’ Christians, the vagabond and stubborn Christians and the Christians who stop half way along their journey. The Pope was speaking during his homily at morning Mass celebrated in the Santa Marta residence.
Taking his inspiration from the gospel reading where Jesus tells the Apostles that ―I am the way,‖ Pope Francis reflected on the need for Christians to consistently follow Jesus and not get waylaid or blocked on their journey of faith. He said there are many different types of Christians who are following Jesus in a confused manner like the mummified Christian, the vagabond Christian, the stubborn Christian and the half way Christian.
Turning to an examination of these different types of Christians, the Pope pointed first to the Christian who doesn‘t move or journey forward and who gives the idea, he said, of being like an (embalmed) mummy.
―Christians who stay still, who don’t go forward, are non-Christian Christians. We don‘t know exactly what they are. They are slightly ‗paganized‘ Christians: who are there, who stay still and don‘t go forward in their Christian lives, who don‘t make the Beatitudes bloom in their lives, who don‘t do Works of mercy… they are motionless. Excuse me for saying it, but they are like an (embalmed) mummy, a spiritual mummy there. There are Christians who are ‗spiritual mummies,‘ motionless, there. They don‘t do evil but they don‘t do good deeds.‖
Moving on to a description of the stubborn Christian, the Pope said these types of Christians realize that they are taking the wrong direction but worst still they insist it‘s the right path and don‘t heed the voice of our Lord, telling them to turn back and take the correct path. The next category, he explained, are the vagabond Christians who travel here and there but doesn‘t know where they are going.
―They are wanderers in the Christian life, vagabonds. During their life they turn here and there and thus lose the beauty of drawing close to Jesus in the Jesus‘ life. They lose their way because they are constantly turning and often this turning is wrong and takes them to a dead end. Turning so many times, (the road) becomes a labyrinth and then they don‘t know how to get out. They have lost that call from Jesus. They don’t have a compass to get out and they keep on turning and searching. There are other Christians who whilst journeying are seduced by the beauty of an object and they stop half way, fascinated by what they see, by some idea, a proposal or a landscape. And they stop! Christian life is not a fascination: it‘s the truth! It‘s Jesus Christ!‖
After looking at these different types of Christians, Pope Francis said we‘d do well to examine our own lives and question whether we too have stopped or lost our way. Are we standing in front of the things that we like such as worldliness and vanity or are we journeying forward and ―putting into practice the beatitudes and Works of mercy‖ in our daily life? He concluded by saying that Jesus‘ way ―is full of consolations, glory and also the Cross. But always with peace in our souls.‖
―Today let us ponder this question just for five minutes… How am I doing on this Christian journey? Am I standing still, making mistakes, turning here and there, stopping in front of the things that I like, or (am I following) Jesus who said ―I who am the Way.‘? And let us implore the Holy Spirit to teach us to journey along the right road, forever! And when we get tired, a little refreshment and then we carry on our journey. Let us ask for this grace.‖
Special Liturgical Ceremonies in the Month of June
Memorial of St. Justin (1st June)
Justin never ended his quest for religious truth even when he converted to Christianity after years of studying various pagan philosophies. As a young man, he was principally attracted to the school of Plato. However, he found that the Christian religion answered the great questions about life and existence better than the philosophers. Upon his conversion he continued to wear the philosopher’s mantle, and became the first Christian philosopher. He combined the Christian religion with the best elements in Greek philosophy. In his view, philosophy was a pedagogue of Christ, an educator that was to lead one to Christ. Justin is known as an apologist, one who defends in writing the Christian religion against the attacks and misunderstandings of the pagans. Two of his so-called apologies have come down to us; they are addressed to the Roman emperor and to the Senate. For his staunch adherence to the Christian religion, Justin was beheaded in Rome in 165 As patron of philosophers, Justin may inspire us to use our natural powers (especially our power to know and understand) in the service of Christ and to build up the Christian life within us. Since we are prone to error, especially in reference to the deep questions concerning life and existence, we should also be willing to correct and check our natural thinking in light of religious truth. Thus we will be able to say with the learned saints of the Church: I believe in order to understand, and I understand in order to believe.
Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (3 June)
Feast of the Sacred Heart is observed on June 03, 2016. The Feast of the Sacred Heart (properly the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus) is a solemnity in the liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church. It falls 19 days after Pentecost, on a Friday. The Feast of the Sacred Heart has been in the Roman Catholic liturgical calendar since 1856Devotion to the Sacred Heart is one of the most widely practiced and well-known devotions, taking Jesus’ physical heart as the representation of his divine love for humanity. This devotion is predominantly used in the Catholic Church and among some High-Church Anglicans and Lutherans. The devotion especially emphasizes the unmitigated love, compassion, and long-suffering of the heart of Christ towards humanity. The Sacred Heart is often depicted in Christian art as a flaming heart shining with divine light, pierced by the lance-wound, encircled by the crown of thorns, surmounted by a cross and bleeding. Sometimes the image is shown shining within the bosom of Christ with his wounded hands pointing at the heart.
Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (7th June)
Jesus nursed at his mother’s breast. His first comfort was from her body. His first shelter was in her arms.In the liturgy we proclaim that it is “right and just” to praise God. We might also say it is “right and just” that the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary falls on the first Saturday after the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The first heartbeat the unborn child Jesus heard and felt was Mary’s own. That rhythm was his first lullaby. Jesus’ heart beat within Mary’s body. His great heart was carried alongside her own generous one. Jesus and Mary’s hearts were as close as two hearts can ever be. Like all mothers, Mary must have kissed the pulsing soft spot in Jesus’ tiny head. She must have rested her hand on his sleeping back, feeling his steady breath and the rhythm of his heart. So we give thanks that, in the Church’s own rhythm of days and seasons, their hearts are kept close. The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus always falls on the first Friday after the Feast of Corpus Christi. These are enfleshed days, days to remind us that we are not dis-embodied spirits, but, as C. S. Lewis put it, we are amphibians, half spirit and half flesh. God creates both our flesh and our spirit. Both are holy and both are redeemed. There is no stronger argument for this than Mary and Jesus. Jesus was conceived in a woman’s womb. He grew there and he was born out of a woman’s body, coming in a rush of fluids, all of it forever made holy by his sharing in womb and blood. Jesus nursed at his mother’s breast. His first comfort was from her body. His first shelter was in her arms. His first joy came from her smile.
Memorial of St. Barnabas, Apostle (11 June)
Barnabas, a Jew of Cyprus, comes as close as anyone outside the Twelve to being full-fledged apostle. He was closely associated with St. Paul (he introduced Paul to Peter and the other apostles) and served as a kind of mediator between the former persecutor and the still suspicious Jewish Christians. When a Christian community developed at Antioch, Barnabas was sent as the official representative of the Church of Jerusalem to incorporate them into the fold. He and Paul instructed in Antioch for a year, after which they took relief contributions to Jerusalem.
Paul and Barnabas were expelled from one town, they had to go to Jerusalem to clear up the ever-recurring controversy about circumcision and even the best of friends can have differences. When Paul wanted to revisit the places they had evangelized, Barnabas wanted to take along John Mark, his cousin, author of the Gospel (April 25), but Paul insisted that, since Mark had deserted them once, he was not fit to take along now. The disagreement that followed was so sharp that Barnabas and Paul separated, Barnabas taking Mark to Cyprus, Paul taking Silas to Syria. Later, they were reconciled—Paul, Barnabas and Mark.
Memorial of St. Anthony of Padua (13th June)
The gospel call to leave everything and follow Christ was the rule of Anthony’s life. Over and over again God called him to something new in his plan. Every time Anthony responded with renewed zeal and self-sacrificing to serve his Lord Jesus more completely. His journey as the servant of God began as a very young man when he decided to join the Augustinians in Lisbon, giving up a future of wealth and power to be a servant of God. Later, when the bodies of the first Franciscan martyrs went through the Portuguese city where he was stationed, he was again filled with an intense longing to be one of those closest to Jesus himself: those who die for the Good News. So Anthony entered the Franciscan Order and set out to preach to the Moors. But an illness prevented him from achieving that goal. He went to Italy and was stationed in a small hermitage where he spent most of his time praying, reading the Scriptures and doing menial tasks. The call of God came again at an ordination where no one was prepared to speak. The humble and obedient Anthony hesitantly accepted the task. The years of searching for Jesus in prayer, of reading sacred Scripture and of serving him in poverty, chastity and obedience had prepared Anthony to allow the Spirit to use his talents. Anthony’s sermon was astounding to those who expected an unprepared speech and knew not the Spirit’s power to give people words.
Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist (24th June) Jesus called John the greatest of all those who had preceded him: “I tell you, among those born of women, no one is greater than John….” But John would have agreed completely with what Jesus added: “et the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he” (Luke 7:28).John spent his time in the desert, an ascetic. He began to announce the coming of the Kingdom, and to call everyone to a fundamental reformation of life. His purpose was to prepare the way for Jesus. His Baptism, he said, was for repentance. But One would come who would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. John is not worthy even to carry his sandals. His attitude toward Jesus was: “He must increase; I must decrease” (John 3:30).
John was humbled to find among the crowd of sinners who came to be baptized the one whom he already knew to be the Messiah. “I need to be baptized by you” (Matthew 3:14b). But Jesus insisted, “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15b). Jesus, true and humble human as well as eternal God, was eager to do what was required of any good Jew. John thus publicly entered the community of those awaiting the Messiah. But making himself part of that community, he made it truly messianic.
Solemnity of Ss. Peter and Paul (29th June) (64 & 67)
The New Testament clearly shows Peter as the leader of the apostles, chosen by Jesus to have a special relationship with him. With James and John he was privileged to witness the Transfiguration, the raising of a dead child to life and the agony in Gethsemane. His mother-in-law was cured by Jesus. He was sent with John to prepare for the last Passover before Jesus’ death. His name is first on every list of apostles.
And to Peter only did Jesus say, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:17b-19).
If the most well-known preacher today suddenly began preaching that the United States should adopt Marxism and not rely on the Constitution, the angry reaction would help us understand Paul’s life when he started preaching that Christ alone can save us. He had been the most Pharisaic of Pharisees, the most legalistic of Mosaic lawyers. Now he suddenly appears to other Jews as a heretical welcomer of Gentiles, a traitor and apostate.
Paul’s central conviction was simple and absolute: Only God can save humanity. No human effort—even the most scrupulous observance of law—can create a human good which we can bring to God as reparation for sin and payment for grace. To be saved from itself, from sin, from the devil and from death, humanity must open itself completely to the saving power of Jesus.
Paul never lost his love for his Jewish family, though he carried on a lifelong debate with them about the uselessness of the Law without Christ. He reminded the Gentiles that they were grafted on the parent stock of the Jews, who were still God’s chosen people, the children of the promise.
In light of his preaching and teaching skills, Paul’s name has surfaced (among others) as a possible patron of the Internet
From: Saint of the day
Go to the confessional: Pope goes and wants you to do as well
By Cindy Wooden
Go to confession soon.
For Pope Francis, the Year of Mercy is all about sharing the experience of God’s mercy with others. But first, he wants people to experience it themselves, in the confessional.
Lent is the perfect time for that kind of spring cleaning and at the Vatican, in Rome and in many dioceses around the world, Catholic churches were to have extended hours for confessions March 4-5 in a project called “24 Hours for the Lord.” Afterward, for those who did not make it to a local church, there were still three weeks left before Easter.
The pope has said he goes to confession every two weeks, and he has done so very publicly, most noticeably in 2014 during a Lenten penance service in St. Peter’s Basilica. He also went Feb. 11, on the eve of his trip to Cuba and Mexico, when he stopped by the Basilica of St. John Lateran where the priests of the Diocese of Rome were holding their Lenten meeting. Pope Francis heard the confessions of several priests, then went to confession.
At St. John Lateran, as in almost every speech he has given to priests in the three years since his election March 13, 2013, Pope Francis gave the priests advice, exhortations and pleas that they dedicate time to hearing confessions and that they do so with warmth, care and a father’s love. He wants them to acknowledge the reality of the penitent’s sin, but pay even more attention to the penitent’s desire for forgiveness and a fresh start.
He spends less time telling Catholics to get to a confessional than he does telling priests they have a serious obligation to ensure the experience is not so horrible that the faithful never come back. A lot of that probably has to do with the fact that a turning point in his own life — and the beginning of his discernment about becoming a priest — began with an unplanned confession on the way to a school picnic when he was 17. He said he felt that the priest, whom he’d never seen before, was waiting there to show him God’s mercy.
Rather than trying to convince people that they are sinners who need to go to confession, Pope Francis tries to take seriously the reasons people say they do not go and gives them another point of view.
“Some say, ‘I confess only to God.’ Yes, you can say, ‘God forgive me,’ but our sins are also against our brothers and sisters, against the church,” he said at a general audience in February 2014. “This is why it is necessary to ask forgiveness from our brothers and sisters and from the church in the person of the priest.”
Embarrassment or shame is another reason people stay away from the confessional, which the pope sees as a normal feeling, but one that should be overcome. “Sometimes when you’re in line for confession, you feel all sorts of things, especially shame, but when your confession is over, you’ll leave free, great, beautiful, forgiven, clean, happy — this is what’s beautiful about confession,” he said.
In the recent book-length interview, “The Name of God Is Mercy,” Pope Francis also spoke about confession as an important means of helping people be truly honest before God. “It’s a way to be real and authentic,” he said. “We face the facts by looking at another person and not in the mirror.”
The pope repeatedly has told priests that in the confessional they should ask only questions that help penitents recognize their sins rather than conducting “a heavy, finicky and invasive interrogation.”
But that does not mean penitents should approach the sacrament without doing their own examination of conscience and even a detailed one.
In “The Name of God Is Mercy,” the pope was asked how one should prepare for confession. His answer: “He ought to reflect on the truth of his life, of what he feels and what he thinks before God. He ought to be able to look earnestly at himself and his sin. He ought to feel like a sinner, so that he can be amazed by God.” “Go to confession to clean up a bit. This is good for you.”
From: Catholic News Service
Pope Francis and True Mercy
By Bishop Robert Barron
Having just returned from a week covering Pope Francis’s triumphant journey to the
United States, I can confidently tell you that the news media are in love with the Vicar of Christ. Time and again, commentators, pundits, anchorpersons, and editorialists opined that Pope Francis is the bomb. They approved, of course, of his gentle way with those suffering from disabilities and his proclivity to kiss babies, but their approbation was most often awakened by this Pope’s “merciful” and “inclusive” approach, his willingness to reach out to those on the margins. More often than not, they characterized this tenderness as a welcome contrast to the more rigid and dogmatic style of Benedict XVI. Often, I heard words such as “revolutionary” and “game-changing” in regard to Pope Francis, and one commentator sighed that she couldn’t imagine going back to the Church as it was before the current pontiff.
Well, I love Pope Francis too, and I certainly appreciate the novelty of his approach and his deft manner of breathing life into the Church. In fact, a number of times on the air I commented that the Pope’s arrival to our shores represented a new springtime after the long winter of the sex abuse scandals. But I balk at the suggestion that the new Pope represents a revolution or that he is dramatically turning away from the example of his immediate predecessors. And I strenuously deny that he is nothing but a soft-hearted powder-puff, indifferent to sin.
A good deal of the confusion stems from a misinterpretation of Francis’s stress on mercy. In order to clear things up, a little theologizing is in order. It is not correct to say that God’s essential attribute is mercy. Rather, God’s essential attribute is love, since love is what obtains among the three divine persons from all eternity. Mercy is what love looks like when it turns toward the sinner. To say that mercy belongs to the very nature of God, therefore, would be to imply that sin exists within God himself, which is absurd.
Now this is important, for many receive the message of divine mercy as tantamount to a denial of the reality of sin, as though sin no longer matters. But just the contrary is the case. To speak of mercy is to be intensely aware of sin and its peculiar form of destructiveness. Or to shift to one of the Pope’s favorite metaphors, it is to be acutely conscious that one is wounded so severely that one requires, not minor treatment, but the emergency and radical attention provided in a hospital on the edge of a battlefield. Recall that when Francis was asked, in a famous interview two years ago, to describe himself, he responded, “a sinner.” Then he added, “who has been looked upon by the face of mercy.” That’s getting the relationship right. Remember as well that the teenaged Jorge Mario Bergoglio came to a deep and life-changing relationship to Christ precisely through a particularly intense experience in the confessional. As many have indicated, Papa Francesco speaks of the devil more frequently than any of his predecessors of recent memory, and he doesn’t reduce the dark power to a vague abstraction or a harmless symbol. He understands Satan to be a real and very dangerous person.
When Pope Francis speaks of those on the margins, he does indeed mean people who are economically and politically disadvantaged, but he also means people who are cut off from the divine life, spiritually poor. And just as he reaches out to the materially marginalized in order to bring them to the center, so he reaches out to those on the existential periphery in order to bring them to a better place. In speaking of mercy and inclusivity, he is decidedly not declaring that “I’m okay and you’re okay.” He is calling people to conversion. As my mentor, Cardinal Francis George, said, “All are welcome in the Church, but on Christ’s terms and not their own.”
Nowhere has the confusion on this score been greater than in relation to the Pope’s famous remark regarding a priest with a homosexual orientation, “Who am I to judge?” I would wager that 95% of those who took in those words understood them to mean that, as far as Pope Francis is concerned, homosexual activity is not really sinful. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Pope was responding to a hypothetical involving a priest with same sex attraction, who had fallen in the past and who is now endeavoring to live in accord with the moral law, a sinner, in a word, who has been looked upon by the face of mercy.
So as we quite legitimately exult in the beauty of Pope Francis’s unique style and theological emphasis, let us not turn him into an advocate of an “anything goes” liberalism. As St. Augustine long ago reminded us, misericordia (mercy) and miseria (misery) are two sides of the same coin.
Francis, Pope. More Infallible Than He There Is None
by Sandro Magister
He displays a willingness to reconsider the dogma of infallibility. But in reality he is vesting full power in himself much more than his immediate predecessors did. And he is acting as an absolute monarch ROME, May 9, 2016 – There was an uproar in recent days over the announcement by the theologian Hans Küng that Pope Francis has given an effective green light to ―an unrestricted discussion of the dogma of infallibility‖: Fr. Hans Küng says Francis responded to request for free discussion on infallibility dogma But curiously, to the contrary of what one might have expected, Küng did not make public the letter that the pope wrote to him in response to one of his previous appeals. He only described it. Perhaps because the letter was not as affirmative as he would like to have believed. Francis, in fact, turns out to be anything but a pushover when he asserts his papal authority as ―supreme, full, immediate, and universal,‖ both in governing and in teaching.
On the contrary, he is certainly the pontiff who over the past half century has exalted more than any other this supreme authority, not only over the Catholic Church but over all of Christendom, citing in support of this none other than the 1870 dogmatic constitution ―Pastor Aeternus‖ of Vatican Council I, which proclaimed the pope‘s infallibility ―ex cathedra.‖
But first things first.
Küng‘s appeal to Pope Francis came out simultaneously in multiple languages last March 9 in various newspapers around the world, for example in Italy in ―la Repubblica,‖ the country‘s most important secular and progressive newspaper, ultra-Bergoglian: Aboliamo l’infallibilità del papa No surprise there. Küng has spent a lifetime trying to demolish the dogma of papal infallibility. The process that concluded in 1979 with the revocation of his license to teach Catholic theology was prompted by two of his books from about ten years before, entitled: ―The Church‖ and ―Infallible? A Question.‖ And it was the whole body of essays that he has written on the topic, collected in the fifth volume of his complete works being published this year in Germany, which provided the cue for him to ask Pope Francis publicly for the opening of ―a free, unprejudiced and open-ended discussion in our church of the all the unresolved and suppressed questions connected with the infallibility dogma.‖
Küng sent the appeal personally to the pope by letter, in Spanish. And shortly after Easter he received at his home in Tübingen, through the nunciature in Berlin, the letter in reply, dated March 20. The pope‘s letter began with a friendly ―Lieber Mitbruder,‖ dear brother, and was written by hand. But these remain the only words cited by Küng in quotation marks in reporting the content of the missive. It is unclear to what extent the rest of it might correspond to the narrative presented by the theologian. Because it is true that Pope Francis can be relied on to issue exhortations to discuss everything, even the most delicate topics. But it is also his established habit to alternate these ―openings‖ of his with reaffirmations of traditional doctrine, with that continual and never definitive ―stop and go‖ which characterizes his magisterium.
On the dogma of infallibility, however, there is no comparison between his feeble and hesitant support for the reconsideration of the dogma on the one hand and on the other the powerful, thundering proclamation of his own supreme authority that he has made more than once, and always on occasions of great significance.
Among Ourselves, June 2016 page 12
The key occasions have been two in particular. The first was the closing speech for the turbulent first session of the synod on the family, October 14, 2014: “With a heart…”
Visibly irritated over the development of the synod, far below his reformist expectations, Pope Francis made it clear to the bishops and cardinals that in any case the last word would rest with him, as ―supreme pastor and teacher of the faithful,‖ endowed with ―supreme, full, immediate, and universal authority.‖ Both of these formulations are taken from the code of canon law, precisely that juridical structure of the Church which he doesn‘t like but which this time he found it convenient to lean on.
To avoid any misunderstanding, Francis also reiterated to the synod fathers that ―the synod takes place ‗cum Petro et sub Petro‘,‖ not only ―with‖ but also ―under‖ the successor of Peter. The second key occasion was one year later, halfway through the second session of the synod on the family, this too a disappointment for him:
“As the Ordinary General Assembly…”
It was October 17, 2015, the fiftieth anniversary of the institution of the synod of bishops, and the commemoration gave the pope his cue to describe the dynamics of a synod this way: ―The Synod process begins by listening to the people of God. [. . .] It then continues by listening to the pastors. [. . .] The Synod process culminates in listening to the Bishop of Rome, who is called to speak as ‗pastor and teacher of all Christians‘.‖
Attention. Here Francis did not cite again, as he did a year before, canon 749 of the code of canon law, which proclaims the authority of the pope over the ―christifideles,‖ meaning the ―faithful‖ belonging to the Catholic Church. This time he took the citation from the dogmatic constitution ―Pastor Aeternus‖ of Vatican Council I, in which the authority of the pope is extended to ―all Christians,‖ meaning in theory also to Protestants, Orthodox, Evangelicals, to the whole sphere of the baptized called to make their way back to the one Church.
And that of the pope is an authority as ―pastor‖ and also as ―teacher‖ which, in the same paragraph of ―Pastor Aeternus,‖ is proclaimed as ―infallible,‖ specifying in what sense and within what limits. Immediately followed by the ―anathema sit‖ typical of every dogmatic definition: ―If anyone therefore may have the presumption to oppose, God forbid, this definition of ours: let him be anathema.‖
It must be noted that Vatican Council II as well, in the dogmatic constitution ―Lumen Gentium,‖ at no. 25, in reaffirming the pope‘s ―supreme and full power over the universal Church‖ and his ―infallibility . . . as the supreme shepherd and teacher of all the faithful,‖ also cites ―Pastor Aeternus‖ of Vatican Council I, the bane of Küng and his ilk:
Lumen gentium But it stops one step short of what Francis has instead done, extending the pope‘s infallible magisterium not only to the Catholic faithful but to ―all Christians.‖
In his speech of October 17, 2015 Francis then continued by insisting on the ―sub Petro‖ with even more vigor than he did the year before: ―The fact that the Synod always acts cum Petro et sub Petro — indeed, not only cum Petro, but also sub Petro — is not a limitation of freedom, but a guarantee of unity.‖
And it can be presumed that he already had in mind what he would write in the post-synodal exhortation ―Amoris Lætitia,‖ availing himself of his own supreme authority in order to proceed well beyond where the synod was prepared to go.
In the Latin text of ―Pastor Aeternus‖ as presented in ―Denzinger,‖ the citation made by Pope Francis in the speech of October 17, 2015 is taken from paragraph 3074, the one in which the pope‘s infallibility ―ex cathedra‖ is defined: Constitutio dogmatica “Pastor aeternus” de Ecclesia Christi The February 15, 1975 declaration of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith concerning the books by Hans Küng ―The Church‖ and ―Infallible? A Question‖:
01st- Fri -Rev. Fr. Edward Christy Fernando
02nd- Sat -Rev. Fr. Alvin Peter Fernando
12th- Tue -Rev. Fr. Starrett Melder
18th- Mon -Rev. Fr. M. Charles
21st- Sat -Rev. Fr. Sanshana Wasara Samarasinghe, OSB
29th- Sun Rev. Fr. Roshan Dilrukshan
26th- Tue -Rev. Fr. Ignatius Samarakoon
30th- Sat -Rev. Fr. Lalith Thushara Amerasinghe
03rd- Sun -Very Rev. Fr. Theodore A Peiris
05th- Tue -Rev. Bro. Robert Lyson, OSB
FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI HOSPITAL ……VERY SERIOUS WARNING…
A lot of people do this all the time! I guess we won’t be doing it ANYMORE! A few days ago, a person was recharging his mobile phone at home. Just at that time a call came in and he answered it with the charging Instrument still connected to the outlet.
After a few seconds electricity flowed into the cell phone unrestrained and the young man was thrown to the floor with a heavy thud. As you can see, the phone actually exploded. His parents rushed to the room only to find him unconscious, with a weak heartbeat and burnt fingers.
He was rushed to the nearby hospital, but was pronounced dead on arrival. Cell phones are a very useful modern invention.
However, we must be aware that it can also be an instrument of death. Never use the cell phone while it is hooked to the electrical outlet! If you are charging the cell phone and a call comes in, unplug it from the charger and outlet. please tell THE PEOPLE THAT MATTER IN YOUR LIFE!!!!
Whether or not they have a cell phone. They can also inform others ……..