Monday, January 14, 2019

9 Days for Life


Dan Lynch
January 14, 2019

The US Bishops 9 Days for Life Novena begins today and continues through Tuesday, January 22, 2019. It is a multi-faceted novena for the respect and protection of every human life.

Please join us and thousands of Catholics nationwide in this novena for a Culture of Life through the Intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Unborn.

Here is the link to the novena with the daily intercessions, reflections and suggested acts of reparation.

For more information visit

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Pope Francis to U.S. bishops on retreat: Abuse crisis requires conversion and humility

Pope Francis walks in front of a candle in memory of victims of sexual abuse as he visits St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral in Dublin Aug. 25. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The clerical abuse crisis and the "crisis of credibility" it created for the U.S. bishops have led to serious divisions within the U.S. church and to a temptation to look for administrative solutions to problems that go much deeper, Pope Francis told the U.S. bishops.

Without a clear and decisive focus on spiritual conversion and Gospel-inspired ways of responding to victims and exercising ministry, "everything we do risks being tainted by self-referentiality, self-preservation and defensiveness, and thus doomed from the start," the pope wrote.

In a letter distributed to the bishops at the beginning of their Jan. 2-8 retreat, Pope Francis said he was convinced their response to the "sins and crimes" of abuse and "the efforts made to deny or conceal them" must be found through "heartfelt, prayerful and collective listening to the word of God and to the pain of our people."

"As we know," he said, "the mentality that would cover things up, far from helping to resolve conflicts, enabled them to fester and cause even greater harm to the network of relationships that today we are called to heal and restore."

The "abuses of power and conscience and sexual abuse, and the poor way that they were handled" continue to harm the church and its mission, he said, but so does "the pain of seeing an episcopate lacking in unity and concentrated more on pointing fingers than on seeking paths of reconciliation."

Such a division, which goes well beyond a "healthy" diversity of opinions, is what caused him to recommend a retreat because, the pope said, "this situation forces us to look to what is essential and to rid ourselves of all that stands in the way of a clear witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

The pope said he had hoped "to be physically present" with the bishops for the retreat, but since that was not possible, he was pleased they accepted his suggestion to have the gathering be led by Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the papal household.

Pope Francis originally had suggested the bishops make a retreat in November instead of holding their annual general meeting. But the scope of the abuse crisis and the intense pressure the bishops' felt to act led them to keep the November meeting and plan the retreat for January.

The pope said he had hoped "to be physically present" with the bishops for the retreat, but since that was not possible, he was pleased they accepted his suggestion to have the gathering be led by Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the papal household.

Plans for the November meeting and for the retreat came after a summer of shocking news: revelations of credible abuse accusations against Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington; the release of a Pennsylvania grand jury report accusing more than 300 priests in six dioceses of abusing more than 1,000 children in a period spanning 70 years; and accusations published by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, former apostolic nuncio to the United States, that Pope Francis had known about and ignored allegations that Archbishop McCarrick had sexually harassed seminarians.

In his letter to the bishops, Pope Francis said he suggested the retreat "as a necessary step toward responding in the spirit of the Gospel to the crisis of credibility that you are experiencing as a church."

"We know that, given the seriousness of the situation, no response or approach seems adequate," the pope wrote. Still, pastors must have the wisdom to offer a response based on listening to God in prayer and to the suffering of the victims.

Pope Francis said church leaders must "abandon a modus operandi of disparaging, discrediting, playing the victim or the scold in our relationships," and instead listen to the "gentle breeze" of the Gospel message.

Encouraging the bishops to continue taking steps "to combat the 'culture of abuse' and to deal with the crisis of credibility," he warned that credibility "cannot be regained by issuing stern decrees or by simply creating new committees or improving flow charts, as if we were in charge of a department of human resources. That kind of vision ends up reducing the mission of the bishop and that of the church to a mere administrative or organizational function in the 'evangelization business.'"

A restored credibility, he said, can only be "the fruit of a united body that, while acknowledging its sinfulness and limitations, is at the same time capable of preaching the need for conversion. For we do not want to preach ourselves but rather Christ who died for us."

"We want to testify that at the darkest moments of our history the Lord makes himself present, opens new paths and anoints our faltering faith, our wavering hope and our tepid charity," the pope said.

The bishops as a group, he said, must have a "collegial awareness of our being sinners in need of constant conversion, albeit deeply distressed and pained by all that that has happened.

Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God

Tomorrow, the Bishops of the United States will assemble at Mundelein Seminary for a seven-day retreat of prayer and reflection.

In dealing with the sexual abuse crisis in our Church, the bishops were expecting to implement reforms at their annual meeting this past November. At the last minute, Pope Francis forbade any official act of the U.S. Bishops to deal with the sexual abuse scandal (Rocked to the Core – Again!). Instead, Pope Francis called the Bishops to a spiritual retreat.

Was the Pope correct in insisting that communal prayer and reflection should come before action at this grave moment in salvation history? Only time will tell, but a good outcome of this retreat is far from certain.

Since the Church was established by Jesus Christ, there has been a constant and ferocious battle for its soul. Each generation has had to rise to the challenge of protecting and supporting her. Some generations have failed, others have triumphed.

Those generations who have failed did not recognize or call upon the great gifts of aid offered by Heaven: the Sacraments, and the intercession of Our Lady and all the Angels & Saints. The generations that accept these gifts invoked their grace and through perseverance triumph.

What will history say about our response at this moment? Will we fail or be among the triumphant?

So many times, throughout history, calling upon the intercession of Our Lady has been the difference: Lepanto, Fatima, Guadalupe. Now, in our time Our Lady has already shown us the way through this challenge to the Church. Our Lady of America, the Immaculate Virgin calls us all (especially Bishops and priests) to seek purity in all things, imitate the Holy Family and frequently receive the Sacraments. Not only does she give us the methods, but she promises the graces to succeed as well. All we must do is earnestly seek her intercession.

As our Bishops’ meet, pray and reflect we must cover them in prayer and invoke the intercession of Our Lady of America, the Immaculate Virgin on their behalf.

Our Lady of America, please open their eyes, hearts and intellect to the graces you promise and the plan you have put forth. Through our prayer we beg your intercession.

Let us not be among the generations who have failed, but rather among those that turn to Our Mother and triumph!

Please do everything you can to pray and to spread this devotion so more will join the chorus.

By thy Holy and Immaculate Conception O Mary, deliver us from evil!

Spread the devotion through our free prayer card program. Order your free prayers cards today. If we do our part, I am confident the bishops will do theirs!

January 2, 2019 Message to Mirjana

“Dear children! Sadly, among you, my children, there is so much battle, hatred, personal interests and selfishness. My children, so easily you forget my Son, His words, His love. Faith is being extinguished in many souls, and hearts are being grasped by material things of the world. But my motherly heart knows that there are still those who believe and love, who are seeking how to draw all the closer to my Son, who are tirelessly seeking my Son – then, in this way, they are also seeking me. These are the humble and the meek with their pain and suffering which they carry in silence with their hopes and, above all, with their faith. These are the apostles of my love. My children, apostles of my love, I am teaching you that my Son is not only asking for continuous prayers, but also for works and feelings – that you believe, that you pray, that with your personal prayers you grow in faith, that you grow in love. To love each other is what He asks for – that is the way to eternal life. My children, do not forget that my Son brought the light to this world, and He brought it to those who wanted to see it and receive it. You be those, because this is the light of truth, peace and love. I am leading you in a motherly way to adore my Son; that you love my Son with me; that your thoughts, words and actions may be directed to My Son – that they may be in His name. Then my heart will be fulfilled. Thank you.”