Friday, December 11, 2015

ACN News - God’s grace shines a light in Syria’s darkness

By Eliane També

War rages on in Syria. Aleppo, the country’s major business center—what’s left of it—is a city at war, subject to regular bombardments by various factions fighting for dominance.

Last year, a mother of two sons, 48-year-old Joumana Jarjour, a Melkite Catholic, was gravely wounded by shrapnel from a rocket that landed and exploded right in front of the family home.

She and her husband Alexan Saba, an out-of-work auto mechanic, were standing on their balcony, waiting for their boys—teenagers 14 and 15-years-old—to get home from school. Joumana almost did not make it.

She was given a couple of days to live, after doctors discovered a large piece of shrapnel inside her body, close to her heart and neck, areas of the body to delicate to perform surgery on.

Then it happened. Joumana remembers “fervently praying.” “I loved life and wanted to have a chance to go back to work to help my husband who lost his job,” she said recently, “and I was not ready to let go of my two sons.”

She saw “Jesus Christ smile” in a picture hanging before her on the wall, and right then she knew that “He responded to my request and that I would live.” Many surgeries later, Joumana is back on her feet.

What’s more, this brave mother just enrolled in training program sponsored by the Melkite Archdiocese of Aleppo; she has enrolled in a course for beauticians offered by the Church’s “Build to Stay Program.”

The brainchild of Archbishop Jean-Clement Jeanbart, the initiative offers local Christians who’ve lost their jobs during the civil war a chance to pick up the pieces—to up-date their skills, learn a new trade, or get a modest subsidy to relaunch their small business.

“Build to Stay,” which the archbishop describes as part of social movement rallying local Christians to a fresh commitment to stay put and rebuild their city and country—is designed to lay the concrete foundation for a future for the local Christians. Its programs are harbingers of a future of self-sufficiency and promise for a better life once, God-willing, the fighting will have come to an end—something some Church leaders believe is more likely now that Russia has joined the fight against Islamic extremists in Syria.

For Joumana, the prospect of a professional career is “part of the promise of the Lord,” made that one dark night, when she saw that “beautiful and charming smile.”

With pictures of Joumana Jarjour; Archbishop Jeanbart welcomes trainees (© 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 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.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Aid to the Church in Need - Bring Hope to Christian Refugees Today

Small children and innocent women and men are refugees in their own land.

As we prepare for the birth of the Christ Child, we pray that you and your loved ones can once more open your hearts to the urgent needs of these Christian refugees and offer them much needed hope.  BasketofFaith-ACNwebsite-button3Our overwhelmed brothers and sisters in faith are bracing for a harsh winter and all the dire consequences that come with it.  The situation is a desperate one.

With your help, we can do something that would bring immediate assistance.  Aid to the Church in Need is providing Baskets of Hope to Christian Refugees in this troubled region. 

These baskets contain non-perishable food items, medicine and blankets – just in time for the winter months.  Let us supply these items so that no mother or father has to worry about their child going hungry or becoming sick.

donation of $80 will fill one basket and help a family in need for one month. Please give what you can and ask your family and friends if they can give as well.

May God bless you, and may His light shine on the persecuted Church always

Father Hugh and EFC signatures2

Jubilee Year of Mercy

Picture source

Pope Francis opened wide the doors to usher in the Year of Mercy.

Jesus told Saint Faustina:

 "My heart is a sea of Mercy.  All who glorify and spread my Mercy will not have terror at the hour of death.  I will defend them as My own glory.  Every soul that says this Chaplet or when others say it for a dying person, the pardon is the same. My Mercy will shield them from My Just Hands.  If sinners run away from my Merciful Heart, they will fall into My Just Hands..."
Pope Francis is calling us to do  these corporal and spiritual acts or mercy regularly during this great Jubilee Year. Our holy father is giving Catholics, and non-Catholics too, an opportunity to become more compassionate towards one another but especially towards those in need.



To feed the hungry;
To give drink to the thirsty;
To clothe the naked;
To give shelter to the homeless;
To visit the sick;
To ransom the captive;
To bury the dead.

To instruct the ignorant;
To counsel the doubtful;
To admonish sinners;
To bear wrongs patiently;
To forgive offenses willingly;
To comfort the afflicted;
To pray for the living and the dead

Remember that charity begins at home.  If we don't have love and compassion or show mercy to those in our own family, how can we be expected to show compassion and mercy to strangers?

One Million Rosaries to Defeat ISIS

Pledge here

The following is from the website:

How do you defeat a global terrorist organization like ISIS, whose members are largely hidden throughout the world, and are willing to die in suicide bombings for their diabolical goals of worldwide mass murder and destruction?
The ultimate answer is through prayer. The battle against ISIS is, at its roots, a spiritual battle against the Devil and the forces of darkness.
We believe Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Spiritual Mother of all peoples, has been given the power by God to crush the head of Satan (cf. Gen 3:15) and to successfully lead the spiritual battle against the great Dragon (cf. Rev. 12). Historically, Our Lady has repeatedly interceded for victories against foreign invasion seeking to destroy Christianity and Judeo-Christian civilization (e.g., Lepanto, 1571; Vienna, 1683).
Join the spiritual battle to stop ISIS. Please pray the Rosary every day, and include in your Rosary the intention “for the defeat of ISIS and for the conversion of its members.”
Recently, Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme of  Nigeria was praying before the Blessed Sacrament and asking Our Lord how to combat the horrific terrorist attacks of ISIS affiliate, Boko Haram upon the people of his diocese.   Suddenly, Jesus appeared to the bishop with a sword in his hand.  When Jesus handed to sword to the bishop, it turned into a Rosary. Jesus repeated three times: “Boko Haram gone.” This confirms that it is heaven’s directive that we battle and defeat ISIS through the power of the Rosary.
In this worldwide expression of prayer and unity, please add your name as a sign of your commitment to pray the Rosary daily to defeat ISIS. Let us entrust the spiritual defeat of ISIS to the most powerful intercession of Mary, the Spiritual Mother of all peoples and the Mediatrix of all graces.
Telesphore Cardinal Toppo, Cardinal Archbishop of Ranchi, India
Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, Archbishop Emeritus of Cebu, Philippines
Bishop Josef Maria Punt, Bishop of Haarlem-Amsterdam, Netherlands
Bishop John Njenga, Bishop Emeritus of Nairobi, Kenya
Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme, Bishop of Maidugura, Nigeria
Dr. Mark Miravalle, Professor of Theology and Mariology, Franciscan Univeristy of Steubenville
Immaculée Ilibagiza, Worldwide Missionary for the Rosary and Forgiveness

Militia Immaculata's Daily Renewal of Total Consecration

Picture source:  Pinterest

Queen and Mother of the Church,
I renew my consecration to you this day
and for always,
so that you may use me for the 
coming of the Kingdom of Jesus
in the whole world.
To this end I offer you all my prayers,
actions, and sacrifices of this day.


O Mary, conceived without sin,
pray for us who
have recourse to you,
and for all those who do not have recourse to you,
especially the enemies of Holy Church
and all those recommended to you.


As the Son of God entrusted Himself to the womb of the Virgin Mary to come into the world,
so we imitate Jesus and entrust ourselves to the Immaculate Virgin Mary on our journey to heave, for personal sanctification and the conversion of the world to Christ.


The Militia of the Immaculate (MI) is a world-wide ecclesial movement founded by St. Maximilian Kolbe in 1917.  The MI has the full approval of the Vatican and canonical statues, and is dedicated to bringing the world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through consecration to the Immaculate Virgin Mary. Marytown

Solemnity - The Immaculate Conception


O, Mary Star of the Sea,
Mother of God,
accept my entire consecration to you.
Standing before you, 
I offer your Immaculate Heart my feelings,
my thoughts, my actions, my sufferings, 
my death, 
all I can do,
all that I have,
all that I am.
I wish to love you,
to honor you,'
to defend your titles, 
especially that of your Immaculate Conception,
and to strive to imitate your virtues.
Grant that I may act in everything only through love
for the Heart of Jesus and for you,
Our Lady Star of the Sea.

The Confraternity of Our Lady Star of the Sea
Central Headquarters
PO Box 609
100-265 Morgan City, LA 70381