Friday, April 17, 2015

Meatless Recipe - Pasta with Asparagus, Baby Portobello Mushrooms and Eggplant



Ingredients:

1- 8 oz container of baby portobello mushrooms or white mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch of fresh asparagus, approximately 1 pound, snap off hard part of stem, slice the rest diagonally
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, sliced
1 small eggplant, diced
2 large fresh ripe tomatoes, diced
1 tsp lemon zest
1 pinch red pepper flakes
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

In a medium skillet, heat two tablespoons olive oil and add the garlic and onions.  Fry for a few minutes and add the diced tomatoes.  Simmer until the tomato sauce is cooked, approximately 15 to 20 minutes.  Season with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

In another skillet, heat one tablespoon olive oil and fry the mushroom and eggplant.  You may need to add an additional tablespoon of olive oil.  Fry on medium high until starting to caramelize.  Add to the tomato sauce.  Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet that just cooked the mushrooms and eggplant, and fry the asparagus for a few minutes on medium high, being careful not to overcook. Season with lemon zest and pinch of salt.  Add this to the tomato sauce as well.

Serve over pasta (l pound).  Serves 4.

ACN News - Easter weekend attack targets Christian quarter in Aleppo, Syria



By Oliver Maksan


“I am asking my priests to stay. That is our duty. We count on God’s grace. We must not be afraid. Providence won’t let us fall.”

Though still shaken up by a brutal Easter weekend bombardment of his city’s Christian quarter, Melkite Archbishop Jean-ClĂ©ment Jeanbart of Aleppo—Syria's second largest city, which has been the scene of conflict between the government and predominantly jihadist rebels for the last two years—sounds defiant.

“I am trying to give hope to the faithful,” he told international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). “Have courage; hope will keep us going.”

“Peace will come. And when that day comes, Syria will be a beautiful country.”

Sister Annie [last name withheld] has been holding out in the city for several years. She gave an account of the recent attacks attributed to rebel forces, possibly even jihadists associated with ISIS, which has been making moves recently in the direction of Aleppo.

"Rocket attacks killed 14 Christians on Holy Saturday alone. Many were injured. Every day buses are taking Christian families away from the city, but there is not enough transport for all those who wish to leave.”

“The people feel abandoned. Eight religious congregations are still persevering in Aleppo to help the people here. Before the fighting started, 70,000 Christians lived in the city—but 10,000 have left in a single week.”

Jesuit Father Ziad Hilal, based in Homs, is helping accommodate refugees from Aleppo. "Hundreds of families, in particular Christian families, have fled to the coastal regions and the Valley of the Christians, including Homs,” he said.

“They have lost all of their possessions and are in need of everything: shelter, blankets, mattresses, and clothing. Some of the sick among the refugees depend on medicines."

Appealing to Christians in the West, Sister Annie said, "The days ahead are expected to be tough for our people. I hope that thanks to your prayers and support it will not be like this. I am deeply moved by your help. May God bless you. We are united in the Heart of Jesus and the Heart of Mary."

“It’s crucial that the West takes action,” said Archbishop Jeanbart. “It can no longer be that people perish in such pitiable circumstances.”

“We are marking the centenary of the Armenian and Assyrian-Chaldean genocide. History is repeating itself.”


With picture of Damage to Christian quarter (Photo courtesy of Melkite Archdiocese of Aleppo)


Editor’s Notes:



Directly under the Holy Father, Aid to the Church in Need supports the faithful wherever they are persecuted, oppressed or in pastoral need.  ACN is a Catholic charity - helping to bring Christ to the world through prayer, information and action.

Founded in 1947 by Father Werenfried van Straaten, whom Pope John Paul II named “An Outstanding Apostle of Charity,” the organization is now at work in over 145 countries throughout the world.

The charity undertakes thousands of projects every year including providing transport for clergy and lay Church workers, construction of church buildings, funding for priests and nuns and help to train seminarians. Since the initiative’s launch in 1979, 43 million Aid to the Church in Need Child’s Bibles have been distributed worldwide.

For more information contact Michael Varenne at michael@churchinneed.org or call 718-609-0939 or fax718-609-0938. Aid to the Church in Need, 725 Leonard Street, PO Box 220384, Brooklyn, NY 11222-0384.  www.churchinneed.org

EWTN and Religious Freedom



ETWN Fortnight of Prayer for Religious Freedom

Prayers

Thursday, April 16, 2015

ACN News - Iraq – ‘We priests and nuns will be the last to leave’



“At night we often hear gunfire. But luckily we are quite a bit away from the fighting,” Father Steven says. In fact, the town of Alqosh is only 10 miles away from the front line, where the heavily-armed Kurdish Peshmerga forces and ISIS fighters are facing off.

When the weather is good, you can see the Christian towns on the Nineveh Plane that are now under ISIS control.

“Back there is my village Batnaya,” the Chaldean priest says, pointing in the direction of the once Christian community. “I was the last to leave Batnaya. The jihadists arrived shortly thereafter.”

Dozens of priests and religious have been made homeless in the past year. They not only lost their convents, churches and monasteries, but also schools and children’s homes—the entire infrastructure of an apostolate built up over many years.

“We lost 23 of our monasteries and houses,” Sister Suhama tells international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). The Dominican nun now lives in a development of terraced houses near Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan.

“We were 26 nuns in Qaraqosh alone. We led a flourishing community life there.”

“Some of our Sisters are having trouble getting over the loss. At night they dream of soon being able to return.”

A fellow nun of Sister Suhama cries quietly as she listens. Fourteen older Sisters have died of sheer sorrow since they fled.

The people need to feel that the Church remains close to them, the nun emphasizes.
“It is our job to be with our people.”

“I don’t believe it will happen, but should the day come on which the last Christian leaves Iraq: we priests and nuns will be the last to leave.”

Seminarians Martin and Randi have also lost their homes. The young men are now studying at the seminary in Erbil.

“ISIS has strengthened our vocation,” Randi says with deep conviction. “It is fortunate that the people have survived.”

“That shows me that God is a God of life and not of property and objects. God is taking care of us,” he says.

Martin agrees. The Chaldean from Karamlish, a town near Qaraqosh, is already a deacon. “I only want to be consecrated as a priest when I can celebrate the first Mass in my village. I realize that this may take months or longer.”

Deacon Martin has consciously made the decision to remain in Iraq, even though his parents are in the US and could easily bring him over.

“My place is here. This is where I want to serve the people.”

Randi also feels bound to stay put and serve the faithful: “Our flock may be even smaller in the future, but we Christians still have an important job to do here.”

“We have to rebuild our country. Despite everything, we have to learn how to live with the Muslims again. We have to teach our children to respect and esteem the other.”

Aid to the Church in Need supports religious, priests and seminarians who have been forced to flee from ISIS. This is achieved by Mass stipends for priests as well as direct emergency aid for housing and other essential provisions.


With picture of Randi (left) and Martin (© ACN)


Editor’s Notes:



Directly under the Holy Father, Aid to the Church in Need supports the faithful wherever they are persecuted, oppressed or in pastoral need.  ACN is a Catholic charity - helping to bring Christ to the world through prayer, information and action.

Founded in 1947 by Father Werenfried van Straaten, whom Pope John Paul II named “An Outstanding Apostle of Charity,” the organization is now at work in over 145 countries throughout the world.

The charity undertakes thousands of projects every year including providing transport for clergy and lay Church workers, construction of church buildings, funding for priests and nuns and help to train seminarians. Since the initiative’s launch in 1979, 43 million Aid to the Church in Need Child’s Bibles have been distributed worldwide.


For more information contact Michael Varenne at michael@churchinneed.org or call 718-609-0939 or fax718-609-0938. Aid to the Church in Need, 725 Leonard Street, PO Box 220384, Brooklyn, NY 11222-0384.  www.churchinneed.org

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Partial Indulgence for Praying for Vocations



A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful, who recite a prayer, approved by ecclesiastical Authority, for the intentions of praying for sacerdotal or religious vocations.  For those of you living in the Diocese of Honolulu, there is a prayer for vocations on the sidebar.

Source:  New Saint Joseph People's Prayer Book

Monday, April 13, 2015

Misericordiae Vultus - BULL OF INDICTION OF THE EXTRAORDINARY JUBILEE OF MERCY



Our Holy Father is giving the world an incredible gift!  As you may have already read, he has proclaimed December 8th, 2015 as the start of the Jubilee Year of Mercy.  I hope that we all take the time to read this most recent Papal Bull in its entirety.  Many graces will be available to us during that jubilee year and we should do everything in our power to ensure we don't waste or squander any of them.  Let us become apostles of mercy by spreading the word, by putting into practice the corporal and spiritual acts of mercy, by evangelizing not by our words, but by our actions.

Misericordiae Vultus

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Divine Mercy Sunday




I just wanted to wish you all a very happy and blessed Divine Mercy Feast Day.  I thank God for our dear Saint Pope John Paul II for this day!  It is now part of the official liturgical calendar and every single Mass, in any part of the world will celebrate it!  Imagine how many souls will be saved!


DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Message to Priests Regarding Divine Mercy



The following is from St. Faustina's diary, page 543 #1521.  This is a powerful message from Jesus Himself.  Please share with all the priests you know.

"...tell My priests that hardened sinners will repent on hearing their words when they speak about My unfathomable mercy, about the compassion I have for them in My Heart.  To priests who proclaim and extol my Mercy, I will give wondrous power; I will anoint their words and touch the hearts of those to whom they will speak. "

Monday, April 06, 2015

Happy Easter!



Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

He is Risen!


Friday, April 03, 2015

Our Suffering Lord

Our Lord was brutally tortured beyond human comprehension.  He was was mocked, spit upon, struck repeatedly and He even had to endure the humiliation of having every piece of clothing stripped from His sacred body.  How anyone could have endured what He did is hard to fathom.



Picture source

My wounded Jesus, 
I contemplate the pain inflicted on Your innocent body
and I am filled with shame for ever having complained
over my little crosses.
How can You continue to love us so much?
I don't deserve Your love.
I don't deserve Your mercy.
 Instead, I deserve the pain and isolation You experienced in the agony in the garden for
the many times I betrayed You by choosing the
world's enticement over Your pure love.
I deserve the scourging You endured for the many
times the pleasures of the flesh, lured me away from You.
I deserve the crowning of the thorns for the many times I
dwelt on past hurts, judged others, thought of no one but myself.
My crosses that I bear are nothing compared to the cross you had
to carry to Calvary.  Each step for You was brutal and agonizing.
My crosses are light because You carry the brunt of the weight,
yet, I continue to complain.
Not even knowing what You went through to save my soul makes me stop my 
complaining.
I deserve the pain and humiliations those barbarians
inflicted on You.  
You did nothing wrong.  It is I who chose to do wrong.
Yet, You continue to love me.
You did for me as You died for each one of us.
May we never take Your love or sacrifice for granted.
Jesus, I trust in You.
Jesus, I love You.




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