Thursday, February 20, 2020

WorldRosary2020.org & This Thurs. 2/20 is 100th Anniv. St. Jacinta of Fatima entrance into Heaven

For More Information:
Connie Schneider, 701-471-9633

connieschneider@earthlink.net
MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL, Feb. 18, 2020 – The International World Apostolate of Fatima (WAF), its Children of the Eucharist program and other Catholic organizations are gathering prayers — rosaries, Divine Mercy Chaplets, morning offerings, etc. — from Catholics worldwide, including Catholic schoolchildren and the youth, for a Global Spiritual Bouquet, with the goal of protecting families, upholding the sanctity and dignity of all human lives and securing the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
 
Fr. Carlos Cabecinhas, rector of the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary, will present the bouquet in a solemn and beautiful ceremony on May 13 and October 13, 2020, in the Chapel of Apparitions in Fatima, Portugal.
 

A counter has been created for Catholics who want to contribute to the spiritual bouquet: https://worldrosary2020.org/spiritual-bouquet-offering/. It’s a simple process. Just enter your prayer commitments, click “submit” and the balance grows.
 
Father Chris Alar, MIC, director of the Association of Marian Helpers, sent a clarion call for the spiritual bouquet, urging Catholics to commit to praying five million rosaries: https://youtu.be/owBIQMTtRAU.
 
“We are living in times of great suffering where many have lost hope,” said Fr. Alar. “Evil abounds and families are struggling. But this is not the time to give up!”
 
“In HOPE, let us follow the request of Our Lady to ‘continue to pray the Rosary every day because only she can help us,’” said Connie Schneider, president of Children of the Eucharist.
 
 The International WAF is releasing information about the Global Spiritual Bouquet via the websites 
www.worldfatima.com and www.WorldRosary2020.org in seven languages to more than 130 member nations.
Prof. Américo López, international president of the WAF, encourages all Spanish-speaking Fatima devotees “to pray for mercy and in reparation for the offenses committed against the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary”: https://youtu.be/btL2eNu3ksk and https://youtu.be/2bSo7pX7Sc8.
Log into www.worldrosary2020.org to add your rosaries and sacrifices to the current count. Meanwhile, you can learn about the remarkable true story of the Marian apparitions that occurred in Fatima, Portugal, in Fatima, a movie that will be released in theaters throughout North America on Friday, April 24. The International World Apostolate of Fatima (WAF) is one of the partners of Fatima, which has been endorsed by Fr. Carlos Cabecinhas and the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fátima in Portugal.
“I encourage all Catholics to contribute their prayers to the Global Spiritual Bouquet and see the movie Fatima,” said Natasha Howes, producer of Fatima. “It’s an incredibly edifying movie that portrays the truth, beauty and goodness of the Catholic faith on the big screen, and will encourage Catholics to turn to our Blessed Mother to intercede for us in these difficult times.”

For more information, or to schedule an interview with Fr. Chris Alar, please contact Connie Schneider: 701-471-9633 or 
connieschneider@earthlink.net 

Thursday, February 13, 2020

ACN-USA News - Martyrs’ shrine honors 21 victims of ISIS on fifth anniversary of their death



THE SHRINE to the 21 Christian men beheaded by ISIS on a Libyan beach in February 2015, will hold an exhibition on Feb. 15, honoring the men and marking the fifth anniversary of their death.

Twenty of the men were Coptic Orthodox Christians from Egypt. The 21st victim was a Christian from Ghana. They have been declared martyrs by the Coptic Orthodox Church.

The exhibition documents the men’s story, from the time of their abduction to the return of their bodies to the village of Al Our, in Egypt’s Minya province, where the shrine is located.

Visitors will be shown the orange jump suits the men wore when they were beheaded, tools with which they were caught, some sand on which their blood was spilled, and the specially made coffins that hold their remains.

In an interview with Aid to the Church in Need, the mother of two brothers, Samuel and Beshoy, 22 and 24-years-old, who were among the 21 martyrs, said: “I’m the mother of martyrs, I’m proud of them. They intercede for me and their father in heaven.”

She said she is praying for ISIS followers, calling on “God to give them the light and open their eyes to the truth and the good.”

Before the release of the ISIS video “that showed the killing of my brothers and their colleagues, our family and the church in our village of Al Our had spent 45 days praying for them, as we knew of their kidnapping,” said Basheer, the brother of Samuel and Beshoy.

He added that “God talked through their cries of ‘oh Jesus,’” as recorded in the video.

“Our martyrs were praying before they died; it was obvious that they were calling on Jesus. That gave us comfort and made us proud.”

“Those 21 were fortunate to be martyrs for Christ and our community is honored” to have custody of their bodies, Basheer said.

He continued: “My father and mother felt relief when they became sure that their sons had kept their faith in Jesus Christ, who gave us much relief and comfort. My brothers have given us courage in the face of persecution; we are never afraid and never worry anymore.”

“The Coptic Church has a long history of martyrdom and has gone through many ages of persecution throughout its history.” Said Father Abu Fanus Unan, who serves at the shrine, which is housed in the newly built Church of Faith and the Homeland.

He told ACN: “We are proud of the blood of these martyrs who refused to recant their Christian faith.”

The Coptic Church honors many martyrs who died in centuries past, but the priest testified to the powerful impact of the witness of “contemporary martyrs who refused to recant the name of Jesus Christ. Their example strengthens our faith.”

The shrine is preparing to publish a book documenting miracles that are attributed to the martyrs’ intercession.

“There are many miracles in the village attributed to them. A woman with cancer was cured after her prayer at their shrine,” reported Father Abu Fanus, who added that many people were baptized and became Christians because of the example of the 21 martyrs.

“The Coptic Church survives thanks to the blood of her children,” the priest said.

The remains of Matthew Ayariga from Ghana are still in Libya. The Libyan ambassador to Egypt has promised the body will be transferred to Egypt once the political situation in Libya stabilizes.

—Engy Magdy


With picture of icon of the 21 martyrs (© ACN)


Editor’s Notes:

kin-logo red 10mm rgb

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 fax 718-609-0938. Aid to the Church in Need, 725 Leonard Street, PO Box 220384, Brooklyn, NY 11222-0384.  www.churchinneed.org

Monday, February 10, 2020

Book Review - A Lenten Journey with Mother Mary by Fr. Edward Looney

by Rosa Sautner, Catholic homeschooling mother of twin girls.



Book Review -  A Lenten Journey with Mother Mary by Fr. Edward Looney

A Lenten Journey with Mother Mary is a beautifully written book to guide you through each day of Lent.  Fr. Looney has written the book based on the many Marian apparitions of our Lady.  Noting that our Blessed Mother brings to each apparition important motherly requests, Father focuses on a different aspect of her messages for each week of Lent as well as Holy Week.

While the book can be used any time of the year, it is particularly geared toward the season of Lent.  There is a meditation, prayer and action for each day.  Following the daily readings will offer practical advice to help one grow spiritually during Lent.

The book explains the message of many of Mary's apparitions, some well known, like Lourdes and Fatima, and some not as well known, such as La Salette and Beauraing.  Tying the apparitions with each day and week of Lent, this book offers a unique way to walk the Journey of Lent with our Mother Mary.  It will help the reader grow closer to our Suffering Lord as he draws closer to His Mother.

Saturday, February 08, 2020

ACN-USA News - In Nigeria, a kidnapped seminarian is found murdered



In Nigeria, a kidnapped seminarian is found murdered



MICHAEL NNADI, an 18-year-old Nigerian seminarian was found murdered Feb. 1. On Jan. 8, he had been abducted by unidentified assailants, along with three other seminarians, from the Good Shepherd Seminary in Kaduna in northern Nigeria. Michael’s three fellow students were all eventually able to regain their freedom.

“With a very heavy heart, I wish to inform you that our dear son, Michael was murdered by the bandits on a date we cannot confirm. He and the wife of a doctor were arbitrarily separated from the group and killed. The Rector identified the corpse this afternoon,” Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah of Sokoto, Nigeria, said in a statement released Feb. 1.

According to local media, another murder victim found was the wife of a doctor living in Kaduna. She had apparently also been abducted by armed men, on Jan. 24, along with her two children.

“I am appalled at the unleashing of such terrible evil,” said Thomas Heine-Geldern, the executive president of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). “The news of the brutal murder of this innocent young man saddens me deeply.”

According to Heine-Geldern, local Catholic communities are demonstrating an admirable degree of faith and trust in God, as evidenced by the final words of Bishop Kukah‘s message: “The Lord knows best. Let us remain strong and pray for the repose of his soul.” Heine-Geldern said the task of ACN must be to support and sustain the Nigerian Church on its Way of the Cross, by means of prayer and practical help.

“At the same time, the world needs to wake up. The Nigerian government is facing an enormous challenge. The insecurity is as bad as in times of civil war. Nigeria is a multi-faith and multi-ethnic nation, and security must be provided for all,” Heine-Geldern insisted.

One of the teaching staff at the seminary in Kaduna, who asked not to be named, told ACN:  “Michael was a young and gifted seminarian. He was an orphan who had been brought up by his grandmother. Just a few weeks ago, after a year of spiritual preparation, he had been clothed in the soutane. It seems that his only crime was his desire to serve God. The security forces and the government have failed him.”

Two of the three seminarians abducted along with Michael were released Jan. 31. Two weeks ago, another of the seminarians was found badly wounded, lying by the side of a highway.

Kidnappings of this kind are a regular occurrence in Kaduna State. According to the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), an independent US organization, 114 people were abducted in Kaduna State in January 2020 alone—the highest figure among Nigerian states. The motive for the kidnapping of the four seminarians remains to be revealed.

Archbishop Augustine Akubeze of Benin City, president of the Nigerian bishops' conference, told ACN that attacks against Christians are "due to lack of security in the entire country." The Church, he added, lacks resources, such as video cameras in churches and seminaries, which "would be useful at least to capture some terrorists."

—Maria Lozano


With picture of Michael Nnadi (© ACN)


Editor’s Notes:

kin-logo red 10mm rgb

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 fax 718-609-0938. Aid to the Church in Need, 725 Leonard Street, PO Box 220384, Brooklyn, NY 11222-0384.  www.churchinneed.org

ACN News -URGENT: Priest pleads for prayers as bombs explode around him

As rockets rain down, a priest asks us for prayers.
Dear Esther,

The voicemail recently left for us is chilling and heartbreaking.  The sounds of rockets and explosions are heard in the background as a devoted priest we support (name withheld for safety reasons) pleads for our prayers.

"We need prayers asking for peace and asking for the people who are dying at this moment.  It is very hard.  Especially, in the last week. Pray for us.  Pray for peace."

The faithful and the religious who care for them have been put through so much, and their torment just continues.  This priest, like so many other priests and sisters, will put his life on the line to help those who have come to rely on him; who have come to the Church seeking help and solace.

This brave priest is coming to us at a most desperate time, with war raging around him, asking us to pray for his faithful. And we will. But, can you help us do more?  He needs support in aiding Christians who have been shattered by the devastation that war brings with it.

Before ending his message, our priest said, "So sorry for this message, but we believe in the prayers.  Asking to God that something can change. Please, it’s terrible, really.  God bless."

Please, please upon finishing this email, say a prayer for these people who are in such terrible need.  And if you can find it within your means, please make a donation that will be used to meet the humanitarian needs of our brothers and sisters in Syria, a donation that will allow our religious to tend to and comfort their flock.

May God bless you and your loved ones always.

Prayerfully yours,

Sarkis Boghjalian
Executive Director
Support Syrian Christians Today
ShareShare
TweetTweet
ForwardForward
Aid to the Church in Need
Meeting the pastoral needs of the persecuted and suffering Church around the world since 1947.

725 Leonard Street Brooklyn, NY 11222
info@churchinneed.org ● 800.628.6333 ● www.churchinneed.org 

Tuesday, February 04, 2020

ACN News -Syria, a country in agony, is ‘living an anticipated Lenten fast’


According to Maronite Archbishop Samir Nassar of Damascus, the continuity of the humanitarian aid projects within the country is in danger, even as the economic situation in Syria is growing worse.

“The present crisis, which is different to what we experienced during the days of the war, has compelled the people to live a sort of anticipated Lenten fast. Simply managing to put food on the table has become a daily nightmare.”

So says Archbishop Samir Nassar in a message to the headquarters of the international Catholic pastoral charity and pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).

Owing to the economic crisis, which is a consequence not only of the war but also of the economic embargo imposed on the country by the Western powers, the ordinary people are facing rationing of various basic essentials.

“The shortage of fuel, domestic gas supplies and electricity, has plunged the most vulnerable – the fragile, the sick, children and the elderly – into obscurity coupled with deadly freezing temperatures,” Archbishop Nassar lamented.

For her part Sister Maria Lúcia Ferreira, of the congregation of the Sisters of Unity in Antioch, also confirmed to the Portuguese office of ACN that “things are getting much worse.”

“For example, gas can only be exchanged in return for vouchers, and each family is allowed just one gas bottle per month”, she explains, adding that the situation is so serious for some families that they can “scarcely afford to buy food,” while “those who arrive late come away empty-handed…”.

In the same way, she explains, “there is a shortage of fuel for heating the houses; the electricity supply cuts out almost every day and people’s money is worth less and less each month.”

According to Sister Maria, one of the reasons for the current situation is the crisis in neighboring Lebanon, since much of the funding that used to come via Lebanon is now impossible to get.

It is an assessment with which Archbishop Nassar concurs. He insists that the banking crisis in the neighboring country is imposing grave obstacles on the humanitarian aid supplied for Syria by other countries in the world.

What the Archbishop describes as the “road of Simon of Cyrene” – in other words of solidarity with those who are carrying the cross – has been “blocked without compassion,” resulting in an overall worsening of conditions everywhere.

Among other things, the crisis in Lebanon has resulted in the freezing of the accounts of the Syrian people, including both the company accounts and private accounts, from which formerly what Archbishop Nassar describes as the “movements of charity” originated.

According to the Archbishop, the present situation has also made things harder for the Church, which is now nothing more than “a Wall of Lamentation where one comes to weep, to cry for help, and look without ostentation and silently, for some consolation, to live out the passion of Christ before Holy Week.”

—Maria Lozano


With picture of Syrian Christian children (© ACN)


Editor’s Notes:

kin-logo red 10mm rgb

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 fax 718-609-0938. Aid to the Church in Need, 725 Leonard Street, PO Box 220384, Brooklyn, NY 11222-0384.  www.churchinneed.org

Thursday, January 23, 2020

ACN-USA News - Bishop Venezuelans are being denied ‘the basics of life’

IT WAS THE DAY of the pilgrimage in honor of the Virgin Mary as the ‘Divina Pastora’ (Divine Shepherdess), which takes place annually in the Venezuelan city of Barquisimeto. Bishop Victor Hugo Basabe of San Felipe, apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Barquisimeto, used the Jan. 14 occasion to reflect on the ongoing plight of the Venezuelan people.

Touching on despair and disappointment as well as on hope and faith, the bishop’s homily that day held a message of encouragement addressed to the Venezuelan people. Bishop Basabe compared the country’s current situation to the persecution of the inhabitants of the biblical city of Bethulia, as recorded in the Book of Judith, which was featured in the reading of the day. Venezuelans, too, he said, are “a besieged people, a people that someone wants to debase, and deny the basics of life.”

The bishop condemned the “institutional violence that persecutes and banishes those who disagree with the status quo and want [the ousting] of the country’s leaders, as the latter force many of our loved ones to find new ways and search for new horizons to ensure their survival.” He praised health-care professionals who work "acts of magic" in a country which does not allow them “to exercise their profession, even with the necessary bare minimum.”

The prelate referred to the “international and geopolitical situation” currently affecting Venezuela. He spoke of “shadowy interests, hypocritically uninterested in the lives of millions of human beings, who are pushed into the most abject poverty.” The country is the victim of a system led by people who care only about “what they can get out of Venezuela and not what they can do for it.”

Bishop Basabe stressed how important it is for the people to be governed by politicians who truly love the country, who hold “sufficient ethical principles of reference,” in contrast with “self-centered and partisan interests.” The Venezuelan people, “eager for change,” has been betrayed, he said, by “those merchants of politics in whom it placed its trust [in the Dec. 6, 2015 parliamentary elections], because they aspired to change.” In the end, the people “sold themselves for a pittance.”

This people “are thus the victim of the new Holofernes—[the Assyrian general who besieged] Bethulia. They took control of the country, which they can hold only through force. And despite the oath they took to defend the country and its citizens, today they are politically biased and cowardly turned against the same people when it demands its rights and cries out for justice.”

Mindful of the reason for the pilgrimage and rooted in the love for Mary ‘Divina Pastora,’ the Bishop compared the Virgin’s suffering over the death of Jesus to the suffering of millions of Venezuelan mothers faced with “the death of their children from hunger and malnutrition and from [their children’s] physical absence due to their forced migration.” Bishop Basabe asked Mary for her intercession to see that “Venezuela moves along the paths of true peace, democracy and freedom.”

The expansive and dynamic homily met with loud applause from the congregation after the bishop concluded with a message of hope, faith and unity for the Venezuelan people. “It is time for trust and unity so that we, as a people, can set ourselves up as a wall of peaceful resistance against those who want to besiege us and make us lose trust in God and in a better destiny, through the intimidating use of power and might.” He urged all Venezuelans to reject and combat “improper behavior” that allows “evil” to choke off “goodness.”

— Mónica Zorita


With picture of the Virgin Mary as Divina Pastora (© ACN)


Editor’s Notes:

kin-logo red 10mm rgb

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 fax 718-609-0938. Aid to the Church in Need, 725 Leonard Street, PO Box 220384, Brooklyn, NY 11222-0384.  www.churchinneed.org