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Thursday, April 30, 2020

May 1st Joseph The Worker

Joseph,   Just  and  Tireless

       St. Joseph was a just man
a tireless worker and
upright protector of those
entrusted to his care.

May St. Joseph guard, protect and
protect and guide all Essential
Workers and their families,
during these days of the

Covid-19 Global Pandemic.

May 1st  is the feast of St. Joseph the Worker.
The feast was originated by Pope Pius XII in 1955 to counter the “May Day” celebrations sponsored by the Communists.  But the relationship between St. Joseph and the cause of workers goes further back, all the way to the early Church, which emphasized that Jesus was himself a worker – a humble carpenter – trained by his carpenter father, Joseph.

In the Gospel Reading for today’s feast (See Matthew 13:55), Joseph is seen as a lowly carpenter and Jesus referred to as, ‘the carpenter’s son’?  Their work had no respect and the Joseph and Jesus doing the work, had no dignity in the eyes of those challenging Jesus. What good could Jesus do as the son of a carpenter, they questioned?

United States Conference of Bishop Statement on the Economy states:

The economy must serve people, not the other way around. Work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continuing participation in God’s creation. If the dignity of work is to be protected, then the basic rights of workers must be respected--the right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, to the organization and joining of unions, to private property, and to economic initiative.
We believe in the dignity of work and the right to meaningful work for all. We call for National legislation during this time of the Covid-19 Pandemic to provide all that is needed for our nation’s Essential Workers… those on the Frontline who are at risk.

Prayer and Action

Celebrating St Joseph the Worker today, we recall all Essential Workers who are today experiencing injustice in the workplace and seek protection and better working conditions for themselves and those around them. Their contribution to the common good at this time cannot be understated. All workers deserve dignity, fair compensation, and safe work environments that allow them to shape our shared future and contribute to the common good. They are needed if we are going to begin opening our Economy -  Protecting Lives and Livelihoods.

A Prayer for Workers

O glorious Joseph! Who concealed your incomparable and regal dignity of protector of Jesus and of the Virgin Mary under the humble appearance of a craftsman and provided for them with your work, protect with loving power all workers during this Global Pandemic.

You know their anxieties and sufferings, because you yourself experienced them at the side of Jesus and of His Mother. Do not allow them, oppressed by so many worries, to forget the purpose for which they were created by God. Remind all the workers that in the fields, in factories, in mines, and in scientific laboratories, they are not working, rejoicing, or suffering alone, but at their side is Jesus, with Mary, His Mother and ours, to sustain them, to dry the sweat of their brow, giving value to their toil. Teach them to unite their work with the Mission of Jesus and for building up the Body of Christ and the good of all societies and nations.  AMEN.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Earth Day 2020

Climate  Action  Theme
Earth Day 2020
On this 50th Anniversary of Earth Day
we pray for our planet and a return to a web of life
that is in harmony, active for the good of all life.


Most High, all-powerful, all-good Lord! All praise is Yours, all glory, all honor and all blessing.
To You alone, Most High, do they belong. No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your name.
All praise be Yours, my Lord, through all that You have made,
and first, my Lord, Brother Sun, who brings the day; and light You give us through him.
How beautiful is he, how radiant in all his splendor! Of You, Most High, he bears the likeness.
All praise be Yours, my Lord,
through Sister Moon and Stars;
in the heavens You made them bright and precious and fair.
All praise be Yours, my Lord, through Sister Water,
so useful, lowly, precious and pure.
All praise be Yours, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom You brighten up the night.
How beautiful is he, how playful! Full of power and strength.
All praise be Yours, my Lord,
through Sister Earth, our Mother,
who feeds us in her sovereignty and produces
various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.
All praise be Yours, my Lord,
through those who grant pardon for love of You;
through those who endure sickness and trial.
Happy those who endure in peace,
by You Most High, they will be crowned.
All praise be Yours, my Lord, through Sister Death,
from whose embrace no mortal can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin,
happy those she finds doing your will!
The second death can do no harm to them.
Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks,
and serve Him with great humility.
-Saint Francis of Assisi

Sing The Canticle here:

Watch Earth Day
Live here

On Earth Day 2020, we say enough is enough.

We say we believe in science.

We say that everyone can make a difference.

We say that the protection of our planet and the wellbeing of the people who live upon it are the top priorities.

On Earth Day 2020, we say that we’re committing to vote, we’re registering to vote and we’re showing up to vote.

And if we can’t vote, we’re exercising our power to demand more action from our leaders.

As we acknowledge the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, we also celebrate the Fifth Anniversary of Pope Francis’ Encyclical, Laudato Si.  Here is a summary of Pope Francis remarks for this year’s celebrations.

Pope on Earth Day:
 common action needed to protect
“our garden-home”

Celebrating the 50th Earth Day on Tuesday, Pope Francis pointed out that the tragic coronavirus pandemic has taught us that we can overcome global challenges only by showing solidarity with one another and embracing the most vulnerable in our midst.

Biblical origins
The Pope, who dedicated his 2015 encyclical, “Laudato Si”, to the care of the created world, noted that we are fashioned from the earth and that the fruit of the earth sustains our life.  As the book of Genesis reminds us, we are not simply “earthly”; we also bear within us the ‘breath of life’ that comes from God.  Thus, he said, we live in this common home as one human family in biodiversity with God’s other creatures.  
As the ‘image of God’, the Pope said, we are called to care for and respect all creatures, and to offer love and compassion to our brothers and sisters, especially the most vulnerable among us, in imitation of God’s love for us, manifested in his Son Jesus.

However, because of our selfishness, we have failed in our responsibility to be guardians and stewards of the earth. We have polluted and despoiled it, endangering our very lives.  In this regard, the Pope expressed appreciation for the various international and local movements who are appealing to our consciences.  Our children, he said, have taken to the streets to teach us that “we have no future if we destroy the very environment that sustains us”.

“Gospel of Creation”, “our garden-home”
By failing to care for “our garden-home”, the earth,  and our brothers and sisters, the Pope said, we have sinned against the earth, against our neighbors, and ultimately against the Creator.  Hence, we need to look at our common home, the earth, in a new way, in order to restore a harmonious relationship with the earth and with the rest of humanity. 
We should not regard the earth as a “storehouse of resources for us to exploit”.  For believers, the Pope said, the natural world is the “Gospel of Creation” as it expresses God’s creative power in fashioning human life and bringing the world and all it contains into existence, in order to sustain humanity. 
The Pope called on all to renew their sense of sacred respect for the earth, saying “is not just our home but also God’s home”, and that ‘we stand on holy ground’.
In this regard, he held up the indigenous people as a model saying, “they teach us that we cannot heal the earth unless we love and respect it”.

Ecological conversion and common action
The Holy Father said that an ecological conversion with concrete actions is needed in order to avert the threats to our common home.   In this regard, he asked leaders to guide the preparations for two important international conferences: COP15 on Biodiversity in Kunming, China [October 2020], and COP26 on Climate Change in Glasgow, UK [November 2020].
At the local and national levels, the Pope encouraged the creation of a popular movement “from below”, noting that the Earth Day was born this way.  “We can each contribute in our own small way,”  he urged.

Today, let us reflect together a little on that responsibility which characterizes “our earthly sojourn” (Laudato Si’, 160). We must grow in our awareness of care for our common home.

Read Laudato Si here:

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Divine Mercy Sunday

‘Contemplate boundless love’

Gospel of John 20:19-31 Jesus among His Disciples

So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.”
But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”
After eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”  Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”

Pope Francis’ Reflection

“Seeing” for ourselves

Thomas wanted to “see inside,” He wanted to touch “with his hand the Lord’s wounds, the signs of his love.” This is how Thomas is our twin, because so often we need to know for ourselves that God exists rather than taking others’ word for it. “No, we too need to ‘see God,’ to touch him with our hands and to know that he is risen for us,” the Pope said.

A Love Story

Pope Francis tells us that it is by seeing Jesus’ wounds that the disciples of all time know that we have been forgiven because we “contemplate the boundless love flowing from his heart”, a heart that beats for each person. When Thomas touched the Lord’s wounds, Jesus became “My Lord and my God.” Pope Francis describes the appropriation of God as mine as a “love story.” The uncertain, wavering disciple then falls in love with the Lord telling him: “You became man for me, you died and rose for me and thus you are not only God; you are my God, you are my life. In you I have found the love that I was looking for, and much more than I could ever have imagined,”


A History of Mercy

Pope John Paul II In his 1980 encyclical, Dives in Misericordia (“Rich in Mercy”), writes, “Believing in God’s love means believing in mercy. For mercy is an indispensable dimension of love; it is as it were love’s second name and, at the same time, the specific manner in which love is revealed”.

Jesus, I Trust in You
Simply speaking, then, the “Divine Mercy” is another name for the revelation of this magnificent love of God, which culminates in the life, death and resurrection of Christ. Christians have long known and praised this abundant mercy. In this sense, devotion to the Divine Mercy is not new.
Less than a century ago, however, Christians were challenged by God himself to a renewed awareness and trust in His mercy, which has begun to fan the old flame of devotion into a more ardent veneration. Our Lord spoke to a young Polish nun, giving her a timeless reminder for all of humanity:
“Mankind will not have peace,” He said, “until it turns with trust to My mercy. … Proclaim that mercy is the greatest attribute of God.”
Sister Mary Faustina Kowalska, born in 1905, was a cloistered nun of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Poland. On Feb. 22, 1931, Jesus first appeared to Sister Faustina.

The Feast of Mercy

Sister Faustina’s encounters with Jesus are considered private revelation — that is, a revelation outside of the deposit of faith, and one which the faithful are not obligated to believe. However, these messages have been officially approved by the Church as containing nothing contrary to faith or morals.

In addition, Pope John Paul II recognized in Sister Faustina’s writings a message that was truly from Christ, and relevant to all mankind in every day and age. On April 30, 2000, the first Sunday following Easter, Pope John Paul both canonized Sister Faustina Kowalska and declared in his homily of that day his own desire that the “Second Sunday of Easter … from now on throughout the world will be called ‘Divine Mercy Sunday.’”

Prayer For Mercy
God is the Father of all mercies. In him we place our faith as we pray the following petitions:


For our Holy Father, Pope Francis, bishops, priests, and all the faithful:
that in this Year of Faith, each will bear witness to the love and mercy of God;
We pray to the Lord:
All:  Lord, hear our prayer.

For all who have committed grave sin and who are afraid to go to confession:
that their fears will dissolve in the face of Jesus’ longing to forgive and be reconciled to them;
We pray to the Lord:
All: Lord, hear our prayer.

For those who serve in public office:
that they govern with true compassion for the lives of the most vulnerable among us—
especially unborn children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities;
We pray to the Lord:
All:   Lord, hear our prayer.

For parents:
that, by their guidance and the witness of their own lives,
they will teach their children how to love and forgive when they have been wronged;
We pray to the Lord:
All:   Lord, hear our prayer.

For the protection of conscience rights and religious liberty,
and that all people of good will may work together
against the increasing threats to these fundamental rights;
We pray to the Lord:
All:   Lord, hear our prayer.

For peace throughout the world, and especially in areas of open conflict:
that ancient prejudices and hatreds will be replaced by a spirit of mercy and brotherhood;
We pray to the Lord:
All:  Lord, hear our prayer.

Almighty and merciful Father, we give you thanks for all of your many blessings, and we ask you to hear these petitions in the name of your Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
All: Amen.

Vatican Grants Plenary Indulgence

for Divine Mercy Chaplet

New Plenary Indulgence
Because of the pandemic, anyone who, with “the will to fulfil the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer according to the Holy Father's intentions), as soon as possible,” recites the Divine Mercy Chaplet with the intention “to implore from Almighty God the end of the epidemic, relief for those who are afflicted and eternal salvation for those whom the Lord has called to Himself,” can receive a plenary indulgence each day.
This great news was announced in an official decree from the Apostolic Penitentiary on March 20, 2020.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Easter Sunday

Alleluia!  Christ Is Risen!  Alleluia!
The Empty Tomb
Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” So Peter and the other disciple went forth, and they were going to the tomb. The two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter and came to the tomb first; and stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings lying there; but he did not go in. And so Simon Peter also *came, following him, and entered the tomb; and he saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. So the other disciple who had first come to the tomb then also entered, and he saw and believed. For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.

Rejoice, O Earth, In Shining Splendor!
Easter Proclamation of Creation’s Joy

Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing, choirs of angels!
Jesus Christ, our light, risen! Sound the trumpet of salvation!

Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor,
Radiant in the brightness of your Sovereign!
Christ has conquered! Glory fills you! Night vanishes forever!

Rejoice, O servant church! Exult in glory!
The risen Savior shines upon you! Let this place resound with joy,
Echoing the mighty song of all God’s people!

This is the night when Jesus Christ broke the chains of death
and rose triumphant from the grave.

Therefore, gracious Creator, In the joy of this night,
Receive our evening sacrifice of praise, Your church’s solemn  offering.

Accept this Easter candle,
A flame divided but undimmed,
A pillar of fire that glows to your honor, O God.

For it is fed by the melting wax, which  he mother bee brought  forth
to make this precious candle.

Let it mingle with the lights of heaven and continue bravely burning
To dispel the shadows of this night!

May the Morning Star which never sets find this flame still burning:
Christ, that Morning Star, who came back from the dead
And shed your peaceful light on all creation,
Your only begotten one who lives and reigns forever.
Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny
Wish You

A Blessed and Joyous Easter

Sacred Triduum Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday      A Silent Waiting

In this in-between-time of waiting spend the day in quiet reflection and pray with us the intercessions and closing prayer taken from our evening Liturgy of the Hours for Holy Saturday. (from People's Companion to the Breviary, Vol. 1, Carmelites of Indianapolis)

Let us pray:

Jesus, son of God, come to set us free, lies bound in the earth. All who hoped in him await a new day, and so we pray:
     O Christ, deliver us.

Jesus, you died to set us free;
     - give true freedom to those bound because of race, sex,
       creed, or way of life.

You died that we might have life to the full;
     - inspire and encourage women in their quest for equality.

You died revealing God's love for us;
     - enlighten those who have no love for themselves; befriend
       and heal them.

You died leaving your mother in the care of another;
     - bless those who leave all to serve you in their respective
       ways of life; encourage and comfort their families.

Death released you from the agony of the cross;
     - be present to all who are ill; have pity on the elderly and the

Celebrate  With These Resources
Holy Week with Pope Francis
Tridium With Dan Schutte

Covid-19:  A  Prayer  of  Solidarity
For all who have contracted coronavirus,
     We pray for care and healing.
For those who are particularly vulnerable,
     We pray for safety and protection.
For all who experience fear or anxiety,
     We pray for peace of mind and spirit.
For affected families who are facing difficult decisions between food on the table or public safety,
     We pray for policies that recognize their plight.
For those who do not have adequate health insurance,
     We pray that no family will face financial burdens alone.
For those who are afraid to access care due to immigration status,
     We pray for recognition of the God-given dignity of all.
For our brothers and sisters around the world,
     We pray for shared solidarity.
For public officials and decisionmakers,
     We pray for wisdom and guidance.
Father, during this time may your Church be a sign of hope, comfort and love to all.
     Grant peace.
          Grant comfort.
                   Grant healing.
                            Be with us, Lord.         Amen.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Sacred Triduum Good Friday

Good Friday
The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ
“Into your hands I commend your spirit”

Reading of the Passion

Judas Betrays Jesus

When Jesus had spoken these words, He went forth with His disciples over the ravine of the Kidron, where there was a garden, in which He entered with His disciples. Now Judas also, who was betraying Him, knew the place, for Jesus had often met there with His disciples. Judas then, having received the Roman cohort and officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. 

Jesus before the Priests

So the Roman cohort and the commander and the officers of the Jews, arrested Jesus and bound Him, and led Him to Annas first; for he was father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. Now Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was expedient for one man to die on behalf of the people.

Peter’s Denial of Jesus

Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You are not also one of His disciples, are you?” He denied it, and said, “I am not.” One of the slaves of the high priest, being a relative of the one whose ear Peter cut off, *said, “Did I not see you in the garden with Him?” Peter then denied it again, and immediately a rooster crowed.

Jesus before Pilate

Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas into the Praetorium, and it was early; and they themselves did not enter into the Praetorium so that they would not be defiled, but might eat the Passover. Therefore Pilate went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this Man?” They answered and said to him, “If this Man were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him to you.” So Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourselves, and judge Him according to your law.” The Jews said to him, “We are not permitted to put anyone to death,” to fulfill the word of Jesus which He spoke, signifying by what kind of death He was about to die.

The Crown of Thorns

Pilate then took Jesus and scourged Him. And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and put a purple robe on Him; and they began to come up to Him and say, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and to give Him slaps in the face. Pilate came out again and  said to them, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you so that you may know that I find no guilt in Him.” Jesus then came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold, the Man!”

The Crucifixion

So he then handed Him over to them to be crucified.
They took Jesus, therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. There they crucified Him, and with Him two other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between. Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It was written, “JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” 

Care of the Body of Jesus

After these things Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but a secret one for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate granted permission. So he came and took away His body. Nicodemus, who had first come to Him by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds weight. So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen wrappings with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. Therefore because of the Jewish day of preparation, since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

Celebrate  With These Resources
Holy Week with Pope Francis
Tridium With Dan Schutte

Covid-19:  A  Prayer  of  Solidarity
For all who have contracted coronavirus,
     We pray for care and healing.
For those who are particularly vulnerable,
     We pray for safety and protection.
For all who experience fear or anxiety,
     We pray for peace of mind and spirit.
For affected families who are facing difficult decisions between food on the table or public safety,
     We pray for policies that recognize their plight.
For those who do not have adequate health insurance,
     We pray that no family will face financial burdens alone.
For those who are afraid to access care due to immigration status,
     We pray for recognition of the God-given dignity of all.
For our brothers and sisters around the world,
     We pray for shared solidarity.
For public officials and decisionmakers,
     We pray for wisdom and guidance.
Father, during this time may your Church be a sign of hope, comfort and love to all.
     Grant peace.
          Grant comfort.
                   Grant healing.
                            Be with us, Lord.         Amen.