POPE FRANCIS: THE CROSS IS THE GATE OF SALVATION
Vatican Radio: Pope Francis prayed the Angelus with pilgrims and tourists gathered in St. Peter’s Square on the Second Sunday of Lent.
In remarks ahead of the traditional prayer of Marian devotion, the Holy Father reflected on the Gospel reading of the day, which was taken from the 17th chapter of the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew, and recounted the Transfiguration of Our Lord.
“Transfigured on Mt. Tabor,” said Pope Francis, “Jesus desired to show His glory to His disciples not to keep them from going through the Cross, but to show them to where He was carrying the Cross.”
Whoever dies with Christ, with Christ shall rise again,” said Pope Francis, “those who struggle with Him, with Him shall triumph.”
“The Cross is the gate of the Resurrection,” he said.
POPE FRANCIS CELEBRATES ASH WEDNESDAY MASS
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis celebrated Holy Mass for Ash Wednesday at the Basilica of Santa Sabina on the Aventine hill in Rome.In his homily, the Holy Father said Lent is a path that "leads to the triumph of mercy over all that would crush us or reduce us to something unworthy of our dignity as God's children."
Please find below the official English translation of the Pope's homily:
“Return to me with all your heart… return to the Lord” (Jl 2:12, 13). The prophet Joel makes this plea to the people in the Lord’s name. No one should feel excluded: “Assemble the aged, gather the children, even infants at the breast, the bridegroom… and the bride” (v. 16). All the faithful people are summoned to come and worship their God, “for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love” (v. 13).
RADIO MARIA AFRICAN MARIATHON CONGRESS
Took place from 22nd to 23rd February 2017 at Pope Paul Memorial Hotel in Kampala Uganda.
POPE HOMILY FOR FEAST OF THE PRESENTATION OF THE LORD
On Thursday, Pope Francis celebrated a solemn Mass for the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, and also commemorated the 21st annual World Day for Consecrated Life.
In his homily for the Mass, the Holy Father called on consecrated women and men to “accompany Jesus as He goes forth to meet His people, to be in the midst of His people.”
When the parents of Jesus brought the Child in fulfilment of the prescriptions of the law, Simeon, “guided by the Spirit” (Lk 2:27), took the Child in his arms and broke out in a hymn of blessing and praise. “My eyes”, he said, “have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel” (Lk 2:30-32). Simeon not only saw, but was privileged to hold in his arms the long-awaited hope, which filled him with exultation. His heart rejoiced because God had come to dwell among his people; he felt his presence in the flesh.
For the full text of Pope Francis’ homily for the feast of the Presentation of the Lord:
FEAST OF THE CONVERSION OF SAINT PAUL
Paul’s entire life can be explained in terms of one experience—his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus. In an instant, he saw that all the zeal of his dynamic personality was being wasted, like the strength of a boxer swinging wildly.
Perhaps he had never seen Jesus, who was only a few years older. But he had acquired a zealot’s hatred of all Jesus stood for, as he began to harass the Church: “…entering house after house and dragging out men and women, he handed them over for imprisonment” (Acts 8:3b).
Now he himself was “entered,” possessed, all his energy harnessed to one goal—being a slave of Christ in the ministry of reconciliation, an instrument to help others experience the one Savior.
One sentence determined his theology: “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting” (Acts 9:5b). Jesus was mysteriously identified with people—the loving group of people Saul had been running down like criminals. Jesus, he saw, was the mysterious fulfillment of all he had been blindly pursuing.
From then on, his only work was to “present everyone perfect in Christ. For this I labor and struggle, in accord with the exercise of his power working within me” (Colossians 1:28b-29).
SOLEMNITY OF THE EPIPHANY: AS THE MAGI SEEK, SO SHOULD WE
There is something special about the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord. We are reminded on this day as we celebrate this solemnity within the context of the divine liturgy that the Son of God came for all people, Jew and Gentile alike. His saving love is available to everyone, everywhere, in whatever state of life they may find themselves. There is no one outside of God's thirst for love.
The first sentence of this Sunday's gospel (Mt 2:1-12) presents us with a contrast between three figures: Jesus, Herod the Great, and the magi who search the night for the focal point of a star's light, the newborn king of the Jews. Herod stands in between, not as a bridge but as an obstruction whose evil intent is to destroy the Child the magi seek. Herod represents the opposite of the divine mission of Jesus as well as the goal the magi have in mind in seeking out the Son of God made man.
In comparing and contrasting these three figures, we can learn an important lesson about how to live our life.
POPE’S HOMILY VESPERS FOR SOLEMNITY OF MARY THE MOTHER OF GOD
On the final day of the civil year, Pope Francis celebrated First Vespers for the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God in St Peter’s Basilica. The ceremony also included the chanting of the hymn Te Deum in thanksgiving for the blessings of the past year.
“When the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Gal 4:4-5).
Read more: http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2016/12/31/homily,_1st_vespers_for_solemnity_of_mary_the_mother_of_god/1282881
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017 TO YOU ALL
May the Joy and Love of the New Born Child Jesus bring in more joy, peace and love in our lives as we celebrate His Birth.
Pope Francis: Christmas Message "Urbi et Orbi"
(Vatican Radio) Here is the full text of Pope Francis’ Christmas Message Urbi et Orbi, to the City of Rome, and to the whole World:
CHRISTMAS 2016 URBI ET ORBI
Dear Brothers and Sisters, Happy Christmas!
Today the Church once again experiences the wonder of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and the shepherds of Bethlehem, as they contemplate the newborn Child laid in a manger: Jesus, the Saviour.
On this day full of light, the prophetic proclamation resounds:
“For to us a child is born,
To us a son is given.
And the government will be upon his shoulder;
and his name will be called
“Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Is 9:6)
Pope Francis: "Jesus’ Coming Brings Consolation to Thirsting World"
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the theme of 'Christian hope' at his Wednesday General Audience, saying the Kingdom brought by Jesus at his birth calls us to be joyful heralds in a world that “yearns for justice, truth, and peace”.
Pope Francis focused his reflection on the words of the prophet Isaiah: "How beautiful upon the mountains, are the feet of the one bringing good news" (Is 52:7,9-10).
He said these words help us prepare for the coming feast of Christmas by opening ourselves to the hope of salvation.The prophet calls God’s people to rejoice, for the Lord is near, bringing freedom from exile and the promise of renewal and redemption for the faithful “remnant” who continued to hope in his word.
Pope Francis noted how the prophet speaks “not of the messenger but of the messenger’s feet”.
Feast of Immaculate Conception
Thursday 8th December marked the Feast of Immaculate Conception. Just 17 days before Christmas we celebrate the conception of Christ in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In relation to the Immaculate Conception Day there is also the Annunciation of the Lord—on March 25, exactly nine months before Christmas. The two feasts ought not to be confused . It was at the Annunciation when the Blessed Virgin Mary humbly accepted the honor bestowed on her by God and announced by the angel Gabriel, that the conception of Christ took place.
What does it celebrate?
According to the Catholic Church the Immaculate Conception refers to the Jesus’ entrance into the world. In fact, it concerns the Virgin Mary who conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Catholic Church teaches that God kept the Virgin Mary free from “original sin” in the womb as it had been foreshadowed that she would bear Jesus Christ. In this way, she is said to be “full of grace.” It was formally defined by Pope Pius IX in 1854.
KNOW YOUR PARISH
NSAMBYA PARISH PROFILE
Situated on a splendid hill that commands spectacular views of Kampala city and the other neighboring Seven Hills on which Kampala city was built, the history and evolution of Nsambya parish in relation to the evolution and development of the church is as broad and impressive as its physical scenery and views.
Established by the Mill Hill Missionaries in 1885, the centrality of Nsambya parish and its socio-economic and administrative significance is reflected in the numerous church establishments like medical and education institutions. Until 1966 when it was merged with Lubaga diocese to create Kampala Archdiocese, Nsambya was a diocese and the last Bishop was Vincent Billington.
Schools including St. Peter’s, St. Joseph’s girls, St. Paul and others testify to the educational significance of Nsambya parish while St. Francis hospital Nsambya is among the oldest health facilities in the country.
As a key administrative centre, Nsambya is the location of Uganda Episcopal Conference (Uganda Catholic Secretariat), the Association of Religious in Uganda (ARU) secretariat, Uganda Joint Christian Council (UJCC), Cardinal Nsubuga Leadership Training Centre (CANLET) and the Joint Medical Store (J.M.S)
Youth facilities include Sharing Youth Centre and Youth Encounter the Savior (YES) library.
A number of religious congregations minister in the parish including the Little Sisters of St. Francis (LSOSF), Good Samaritan Sisters, Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Reparatrix-Gogonya, Franciscan sisters, Eucharistic Handmaid Sisters, Mill Hill Missionaries (the founding congregation), Missionaries of Africa, Holy Cross Congregation, Banakaroli and Brothers of St. Amans.
Priests who hail from the parish are Boniface Lugolobi who is at St. Mbaaga seminary Ggaba, Archleo Kiwanuka of Bbina parish, Emma Kasajja the Chaplain at Gogonya, Frederick Kazibwe and Kizito Kalemera, Andrew Kato the Judicial Vicar.
Sisters Mary Nunciata Namuli, Regina Lutaaya, Joseph Mary Nakibuuka, Maria Nabacwa and Mary Fortunate call Nsambya their home parish.The current parish priest is John Baptist Ssemanda while the patron saints day (St. Peter) is celebrated on 3rd October
ARCHBISHOP JOSEPH KIWANUKA MEMORIAL LECTURE
The 24th Archbishop Joseph Kiwanuka Memorial Lecture was held on 1st December at Pope Paul VI Memorial Community Centre in Kampala under the theme;
University Education Essential for effective African Leadership: Archbishop Kiwanuka’s Contribution to Catholic Higher Education in Uganda and Beyond.
The presenter, Prof. Fr. John Chrysostom Maviiri, the Vice Chancellor of Uganda Martyrs University paid tribute to Archbishop Kiwanuka’s immense contribution to the advancement of higher education in the entire region.
‘Kiwanuka spearheaded the church’s holistic approach to the needs and challenges of society. He strongly upheld and promoted the value of quality education as a key tool for improving the quality of lives of society by ushering in effective leadership’ remarked Prof. Maviri.
Kiwanuka, the first native Bishop south of the Sahara was ordained to the priesthood in 1929. He was passionately committed to promoting quality education and mooted the idea of a Catholic university way back in the 1950s.
It was not until 1993 when Uganda Martyrs University was opened that Kiwanuka’s dream was finally realized.
The event was well-attended by members of the executive, legislature, laity and clergy, including the Archbishop of Kampala Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, Archbishop Emeritus Emmanuel Cardinal Wamala, the Vicar General of Kampala Archdiocese Msgr Charles Kasibante, Msgr. Charles Kimbowa, Fr. Lawrence Semusu the Chaplain of MUBS.
The Guest of Honor, Hon. Justine Kasule Lumumba, the NRM Secretary General, reiterated the need for all people right from the family level to build a lasting legacy in emulation of Archbishop Kiwanuka.
World Aids Day: Pope Calls for Solidarity and Treatment for All
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has appealed to all persons to act in a responsible manner to prevent the spread of HIV-Aids.
Speaking during the weekly general audience in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope recalled that on Thursday, 1st December, we mark World Aids Day which is promoted by the United Nations.
“Millions of people live with this illness and only half of them have access to life-saving therapies” he said.
The Pope invited all to pray for them and for their families and promote solidarity so that “also the poor can benefit from adequate diagnosis and treatment.
“I appeal to all to act in a responsible way in order to prevent the further spread of this disease” he said.
HAPPY ADVENT SEASON 2016
As we prepare for the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, let us try also to renew our lives so that we will be in a better position to welcome Him into our hearts when He will be born.
Just as the Uganda Episcopal Conference emphasied for the advent season, that there must be peace in our homes first by being a peaceful parent or guadian to the children so as to create peaceful families and ofcourse a peaceful society.
Highlights and legacy of the Year of Mercy
The Holy Door in St Peter’s Basilica was closed on 20th November 2016 marking the end of the Jubilee of Mercy.
Over the past year dioceses around the world have organised initiatives and here in Rome there have been various Jubilee events including, the Jubilee for Prisoners, the disabled and the homeless.
The Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization was charged with organizing the Holy Year of Mercy and its English language official Fr Eugene Silva spoke to Lydia O’Kane about some of the highlights and its legacy.
Kampala Archdiocese Golden Jubilee Celebrations at Rubaga Cathedral
Pope on Christian Love: No to Ideologies & Intellectualism
Pope Francis stressed that Christian love is a concrete reality and warned believers against ideologies and intellectual theories on this love, saying these strip away the Flesh of the Church and ruin it. He was speaking during his Mass celebrated on Friday morning at the Santa Marta residence.
Taking his cue from the day’s gospel reading coming from the second Letter of St. John, the Pope’s homily was a reflection on the nature of Christian love and how the word ‘love’ is used nowadays to describe many different things. He stressed that the true criterion of Christian love is the Incarnation of the Word, saying whoever denies or does not recognize this is “the antichrist.”
Further Reading: http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2016/11/11/pope_on_christian_love__no_to_ideologies__intellectualism/1271525
Cardinal Parolin Urges Donald Trump to Promote World Peace
‘I think that today there is a need for everyone to work to change the world’s situation, that is one of severe laceration, and of serious conflict.’
Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, has offered prayers to the newly elected president of the United States of America.
The Italian prelate commented on the US elections which took place yesterday, in which Republican candidate Donald Trump was elected president, saying, “We give our best wishes to the new president, so that his government can be really fruitful.”
“We assure him of our prayers, so that the Lord may enlighten him and support him in the service of his country, and of course, also in serving the well-being and peace of the world.”
“I think that today,” Cardinal Parolin also underscored, “there is a need for everyone to work to change the world’s situation, that is one of severe laceration, and of serious conflict.”
More Reading: en.radiovaticana.va/news/2016/11/09/cardinal_parolin_urges_donald_trump_to_promote_world_peace/1271043: https://zenit.org/articles/cardinal-parolins-comments-on-us-elections/
Pope at General Audience: ‘Mercy of God Works Wonders’
Reflecting on Visiting Sick and Imprisoned, Reminds Faithful to Never Point Fingers
The mercy of God works wonders….
Pope Francis expressed this during the morning’s General Audience in a sunny, chilly St. Peter’s Square, as he reminded faithful that we are to live out His mercy and not be indifferent. Continuing his catechesis for the Jubilee Year of Mercy, the Pope reflected on the corporal works of mercy of visiting the sick and imprisoned, noting that Jesus himself is our model in both.
Recalling the sentiments of loneliness which the sick often feel, Francis stressed that even a brief visit can make a sick person feel less alone.
“A little company is an optimum medicine! … A smile, a caress, a handshake are simple gestures, but so important for one who feels abandoned to himself,” Francis said, praising those who dedicate their time and lives to visiting the sick in hospitals and in their homes.
“It is a priceless work of volunteers. When it is done in the Lord’s name, then it also becomes an eloquent and effective expression of mercy,” the Pope said.
“Let us not leave the sick alone! Let us not impede them from finding relief, and us from being enriched by our closeness to those who suffer. Hospitals are real ‘cathedrals of pain,’ where, however, the strength of charity, which sustains and feels compassion, is rendered evident.”
Full Text: https://zenit.org/articles/general-audience-on-visiting-the-sick-imprisoned/
MBARARA ARCHDIOCESE MASS AT UGANDA MARTYRS SHRINE NAMUGONGO
Christians from western Uganda under their umbrella body; Mbarara Ecclesiastical Province Kampala Residents Association (MEPA) celebrated the 22 Uganda Catholic Martyrs who were killed on the orders of Kabaka Mwanga 11 in January 1885.
ALL SOULS' DAY 2016
All Souls Day is a holy day celebrated on 2nd November to honor the dead. The day is primarily celebrated in the Catholic Church, but it is also celebrated in the Eastern Orthodox Church and a few other denominations of Christianity. The Anglican church is the largest protestant church to celebrate the holy day.
According to Catholic belief, the soul of a person who dies can go to one of three places. The first is heaven, where a person who dies in a state of perfect grace and communion with God goes. The second is hell, where those who die in a state of mortal sin are naturally condemned by their choice. The intermediate option is purgatory, which is thought to be where most people, free of mortal sin, but still in a state of lesser (venial) sin, must go.
Purgatory is necessary so that souls can be cleansed and perfected before they enter into heaven. There is scriptural basis for this belief. The primary reference is in 2 Maccabees, 12:26 and 12:32. "Turning to supplication, they prayed that the sinful deed might be fully blotted out... Thus made atonement for the dead that they might be free from sin."
Additional references are found in Zechariah, Sirach, and the Gospel of Matthew. Jewish tradition also reinforces this belief as well as the tradition and teaching of the Church, which has been affirmed throughout history.
Consistent with these teachings and traditions, Catholics believe that through the prayers of the faithful on Earth, the dead are cleansed of their sins so they may enter into heaven.
All Souls Day is celebrated in much of the western world on November 2. Other rites have their own celebrations. The Eastern Orthodox Church has several such days throughout the year, mostly on Saturdays. All Souls Day is not a holy day of obligation. It should not be confused with All Saints' Day, which is a holy day of obligation.
Many cultures also mark the day differently. In North America, Americans may say extra prayers or light candles for the departed. In parts of Latin America, families visit the graves of their ancestors and sometimes leave food offerings for the departed.
ALL SAINTS' DAY
All Saints' Day is a solemn holy day of the Catholic Church celebrated annually on November 1.
The day is dedicated to the saints of the Church, that is, all those who have attained heaven. It is different from All Souls' Day, which is observed on November 2 and is dedicated to those who have died and not yet reached heaven.
Although millions, or even billions of people may already be saints, All Saints' Day observances tend to focus on known saints --that is those recognized in the canon of the saints by the Catholic Church.
Generally, All Saints' Day is a Catholic Holy Day of Obligation, meaning all Catholics are required to attend Mass on that day, unless they have an excellent excuse, such as serious illness.Countries have different rules according to their national bishop's conferences. The bishops of each conference have the authority to amend the rules surrounding the obligation of the day.
All Saints' Day was formally started by Pope Boniface IV, who consecrated the Pantheon at Rome to the Virgin Mary and all the Martyrs on May 13 in 609 AD. Boniface IV also established All Souls' Day, which follows All Saints. The holy day was eventually established on November 1 by Pope Gregory III in the mid-eighth century as a day dedicated to the saints and their relics. The May 13 celebration was subsequently abandoned.
The Catholic practice however, celebrates all those who have entered heaven, including saints who are recognized by the Church and those who are not.There are certain practices that blur the distinction between All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day.
Precisely, All Saints' Day is dedicated to those who are in heaven while on All Souls' prayers are offered for all those who have died but have not yet reached heaven.
ABOUT ST.BALIKUDDEMBE MENGO-KISENYI PARISH
St.Joseph Balikuddembe, the patron saint of Mengo-Kisenyi parish, is better known for St. Balikuddembe market, the biggest and most diverse market in Uganda, for whom it was named. Indeed the very spot of his martyrdom is located right within the market.
Established in 1969 having been part of Rubaga Parish, Mengo-Kisenyi is located in Christ the King Deanery, Kampala Archdiocese and politically it is in Kampala central division.
The current parish priest is Rev. Fr. Expedito Walakira and is deputized by Fr. Godfrey Kato Semmogerere.
The parish has a vibrant education ministry that includes St. Athanasius primary school and St. Jean Marie Vocational Institute.
In terms of health care services there is the Good Shepherd health centre run by the Missionaries of the Poor.
According to Fr. Godfrey Kato, who is also the Youth Chaplain, youths are involved in a range of income-generating activities including Vaseline production, functional and events management entailing outside catering services and decorations.
Other lay movements include the men’s guild, women’s guild, charismatic renewal and various choirs.
Religious congregations in the parish are Missionaries of the Poor (Brothers) and Consecrated and Lay Missionaries in Union of the Holy Spirit.
Fr. Colonnelius Ssekitto, of the Apostles of Jesus, currently serving in Boston, Massachusetts, USA and sister Sylvia Nassozi, a Carmelite sister, who has been transferred to Congo from Rwanda, hail from Mengo-Kisenyi parish.
On 15th November the Patron Saints’ and Parish Day are celebrated.
World Family, Board, Staff and Volunteers of Radio Maria Uganda with Deep Sorrows Announce the Death of Rev. Fr. John Scalabrini who was the Pioneer-founder Director of Radio Maria Uganda whom the lord called in the morning of Tuesday 4th October, 2016.
Fr John, as he is popularly known Passed on Tuesday morning of 4th October, 2016 at St Francis Hospital, Nsambya in Kampala, where he was admitted on Thursday 29th Sept, 2016. He had been battling cancer of the bone for the last three years.
Fr.John will be fondly remembered for founding kindergartens, schools and colleges, including Bishop Cipriano Kihangire Primary School and Bishop Cipriano S.S.S in Kampala. He was also a benefactor to thousands of needy children, especially orphans.
Fr. John Scalabrini, also worked very hard with the Association of Radio Maria Uganda, which saw the inception of the Head quarters of Radio Maria Uganda in 1998 after which live broadcast started on 01st May 2002 in Biina Mutungo Luzira.
Fr John, born in 1934, was an Italian Missionary from Limido Comasco, Italy.
He had lived in Uganda since 1964, as a Combon Missionary Priest spending nearly 30 of those years among the Acholi in Northern Uganda where he built schools, and installed flour mills.
In 1969 Fr John became a Priest. Upon the urgings of Bishop Ciprian Kihangire of Gulu, he built Bishop Cipriano Kihangire Primary School in Kitintale and Bishop Cipriano S.S.S. in Luzira, a Kampala city suburb in whose Memory.
He also founded the non-profit Emmaus foundation Uganda to cater for the needs in education and Heath, among other needs.
The body stayed at his home in Biina till thursday afternoon, then taken to Bishop Kihangire school and lastly to St. James Parish Catholic Church-Biina for a virgil and he was laid to rest on friday 07th October 2016 at 4pm.
Many will surely miss the love and support from Fr.John Scalabrini.
MAY HIS SOUL REST IN ETERNAL PEACE. AMEN
It’s Official: ‘Saint’ Mother Teresa
During Canonization Mass, Pope Francis Suggests to Some 120,000 Faithful to Carry Her Smile in Their Hearts.
“I think, perhaps, we may have some difficulty in calling her “Saint Teresa”: her holiness is so near to us, so tender and so fruitful that we continual to spontaneously call her ‘Mother Teresa.'”
Pope Francis deviated from his prepared text to say this during his homily at the canonization of Blessed Mother Teresa, held in St. Peter’s Square this morning.
In his homily, Francis prayed, “May this tireless worker of mercy help us increasingly to understand that our only criterion for action is gratuitous love, free from every ideology and all obligations, offered freely to everyone without distinction of language, culture, race or religion.”
Mother Teresa loved to say, he recalled: ‘Perhaps I don’t speak their language, but I can smile.’
“Let us carry her smile in our hearts and give it to those whom we meet along our journey, especially those who suffer. In this way, we will open up opportunities of joy and hope for our many brothers and sisters who are discouraged and who stand in need of understanding and tenderness.”
God’s Will in Our Lives
The Holy Father also had the some 120,000 gathered for the canonization think about their own lives: “Our task is to perceive the call of God and then to do his will. But in order to do his will, we must ask ourselves, “What is God’s will in my life?”
He reminded them that, in order to ascertain the call of God, we must ask ourselves and understand what pleases God.
“God is pleased by every act of mercy,” he said, “because in the brother or sister that we assist, we recognize the face of God which no one can see (cf. Jn 1:18). Each time we bend down to the needs of our brothers and sisters, we give Jesus something to eat and drink; we clothe, we help, and we visit the Son of God (cf. Mt 25:40).”
Given this, the Jesuit Pontiff urged all faithful to translate that which they invoke in prayer and profess in faith into concrete acts.
No Alternative to Charity
“There is no alternative to charity: those who put themselves at the service of others, even when they don’t know it, are those who love God (cf. 1 Jn 3:16-18;Jas 2:14-18).”
However, he warned, the Christian life “is not merely extending a hand in times of need.” If it is just this, Francis warned, it can certainly still be “a lovely expression of human solidarity which offers immediate benefits, but it is sterile because it lacks roots.”
On the contrary, the Pope underscored, the task which the Lord gives us is the ‘vocation to charity.’
“Following Jesus is a serious task, and, at the same time, one is filled with joy; it takes a certain daring and courage to recognize the divine Master in the poorest of the poor and to give oneself in their service,” he said, adding: “In order to do so, volunteers, who out of love of Jesus serve the poor and the needy, do not expect any thanks or recompense; rather they renounce all this because they have discovered true love.”
Dispenser of Divine Mercy
“Mother Teresa, in all aspects of her life,” the Holy Father reflected, “was a generous dispenser of divine mercy, making herself available for everyone through her welcome and defense of human life, those unborn and those abandoned and discarded.”
“She was committed to defending life, ceaselessly proclaiming that “the unborn are the weakest, the smallest, the most vulnerable.”
Continuing to applaud the little sister, Francis noted, “She bowed down before those who were spent, left to die on the side of the road, seeing in them their God-given dignity; she made her voice heard before the powers of this world, so that they might recognize their guilt for the crime of poverty they created.”
Mercy Was Her ‘Salt’ and ‘Light’
For Mother Teresa, Francis explained, mercy was the “salt” which gave flavor to her work, it was the “light” which shone in the darkness of the many who no longer had tears to shed for their poverty and suffering.
“Her mission to the urban and existential peripheries remains for us today an eloquent witness to God’s closeness to the poorest of the poor,” he said.
Today, the Pontiff prayed, “I pass on this emblematic figure of womanhood and of consecrated life to the whole world of volunteers: may she be your model of holiness!”
Teresa’s Journey to Sainthood
In a private meeting with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, in the Vatican months ago, Pope Francis authorized the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate a decree regarding a miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Teresa, known as Mother Teresa around the world.
Born Aug. 26, 1910, Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu would go on to found the Congregation of the Missionaries of Charity and the Missionaries of Charity. The order, which started in Calcutta and spread to more than 130 countries, ran hospices for those suffering from HIV/AIDS, leprosy, and tuberculosis. Known for her charitable works with the poor and sick, the soon to be canonized saint, died on Sept. 5, 1997.
Immediately following her death in 1997, the Catholic Church began her process of beatification. She was beatified by St. John Paul II in 2002, following the recognition of the miraculous healing of an Indian woman suffering from a tumor in her abdomen. Yesterday, Pope Francis signed off on the second miracle needed, which, according to the newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference, L’Avvenire, regarded a man in Brazil in 2008 who had multiple brain abscesses, and who, within a day of being in a coma, was cured.
THE NEW BOARD, THE OLD BOARD, STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS OF RADIO MARIA UGANDA.
INTERNATIONAL WORLD YOUTH DAY CELEBRATIONS TOOK PLACE IN KRAKOW POLAND FROM 25TH - 31ST JULY 2016.
RADIO MARIA UGANDA MARIATHON
FUNDRAISING DINNER 14TH JULY 2016
Above top are the New Board of Directors and the old Board of Directors with the guest of Honour His Eminence Cardinal Emmanuel Wamala and below that, the staff and volunteers during the Mariathon fundraising dinner 14th July 2016 at International Resource Centre National Water and Sewerage Corporations in Wankoko.