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UrbScotty

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Kentwood, MI
Home country: USA
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 23,415

Journal Archives

Bishops back Obama on Iran, warn Congress against meddling

The U.S. Catholic bishops have welcomed the Obama administration’s tentative agreement aimed at limiting Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and their top spokesman on international affairs bluntly warned Congress against doing anything to undermine it.

The bishops “oppose efforts that seek to undermine the negotiation process or make a responsible multi-party agreement more difficult to achieve and implement,” Bishop Oscar Cantu, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace Committee, wrote to House and Senate lawmakers on Monday (April 13).

“The alternative to an agreement leads toward armed conflict, an outcome of profound concern to the Church,” said Cantu, who heads the Diocese of Las Cruces, N.M.

The warning — and accompanying support in a letter of commendation that Cantu sent last week to Secretary of State John Kerry — follow a thumbs-up from Pope Francis to the proposed accord, and coincides with an endorsement on Monday by a group of largely liberal mainline Protestant leaders.


http://www.religionnews.com/2015/04/13/u-s-catholic-bishops-back-obama-iran-warn-congress-meddling/

Proclaiming jubilee, Francis envisions non-judging, non-condemning church

Officially proclaiming the upcoming jubilee year of mercy, Pope Francis has powerfully called on the entire Catholic church to refashion itself as a place not of judgment or condemnation but of pardon and merciful love.

Writing in an extensive document convoking the year, which will begin Dec. 8, the pontiff states that the church’s "very credibility is seen in how she shows merciful and compassionate love."

...

"The time has come for the Church to take up the joyful call to mercy once more," he states.

"It is time to return to the basics and to bear the weaknesses and struggles of our brothers and sisters," writes the pontiff. "Mercy is the force that reawakens us to new life and instills in us the courage to look to the future with hope."


http://ncronline.org/news/vatican/proclaiming-jubilee-francis-envisions-non-judging-non-condemning-church

Former student sends teacher $10,000 check just because she's awesome

Decades after graduating high school, a man gave back to a teacher who left a big impression on him.

Almost forty years after she began teaching, Marilyn Mecham received a surprise from one of her first students, Kevin Perz. The former Missouri teacher, who is now 62, recently told the Lincoln Journal Star that Perz called her in January to simply say thanks -- and then sent her a note and a $10,000 check.

"I enjoyed your class so much. You gave your students latitude and respect. In turn, you were showered with respect and appreciation." Perz wrote in the note. "You were the B-E-S-T teacher EVER!!"

The moving gesture left the 62-year-old overcome with emotion.


Identical triplets get married in triple ceremony

Guests at the Bini sisters' wedding in Brazil witnessed a rare sight: a triple wedding with a set of identical triplets.

Triplets Rafaela, Rocheli, and Tagiane Bini married Rafa Rafael, Gabriel, and Eduardo Thome, respectively, in a joint wedding ceremony on March 21. The ceremony took place in the Cathedral Nossa Senhora Aparecida in Passo Fundo, Brazil.

The 29-year-old trio wore identical wedding dresses and similar hairstyles and makeup. The only difference was the colors of their bouquets: yellow for Rafaela, blue for Rocheli, and red for Tagiane.


http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2015/04/03/identical-triplets-joint-wedding-bini-brazil/70840506/

Video: President Obama offers Passover and Easter wishes

Today (Good Friday) begins the Divine Mercy Novena.

A novena is a form of prayer that takes place over nine days.

The Divine Mercy Novena is one of the most popular novenas. It begins on Good Friday and lasts through the Saturday after Easter Sunday - the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday.

Each of the nine days has prayers associated with it; these prayers can be found here.

Another popular devotion associated with Divine Mercy is the Divine Mercy Chaplet:

Good Friday.



Hebrews 4:14-16

Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens,
Jesus, the Son of God,
let us hold fast to our confession.
For we do not have a high priest
who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses,
but one who has similarly been tested in every way,
yet without sin.
So let us confidently approach the throne of grace
to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.




Holy (or Maundy) Thursday commemorates the Last Supper. Let us pray that we may live serving others.

Today marks the beginning of the Triduum - the three-day season on that commemorates the last Supper, passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

For Catholics, the Holy Thursday Mass celebrates the institution of the Eucharist by Christ. The importance of that event is evidenced by the fact that the liturgical vestments are white. It is also the only time between Ash Wednesday and Easter Vigil (this Saturday) when the Gloria is sung during the Mass:





The Gospel (John 13:1-15) tells us of Jesus's last lesson: A lesson of humility and service.

Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come
to pass from this world to the Father.
He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.
The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over.
So, during supper,
fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power
and that he had come from God and was returning to God,
he rose from supper and took off his outer garments.
He took a towel and tied it around his waist.
Then he poured water into a basin
and began to wash the disciples’ feet
and dry them with the towel around his waist.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him,
“Master, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“What I am doing, you do not understand now,
but you will understand later.”
Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered him,
“Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.”
Simon Peter said to him,
“Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.”
Jesus said to him,
“Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed,
for he is clean all over;
so you are clean, but not all.”
For he knew who would betray him;
for this reason, he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

So when he had washed their feet
and put his garments back on and reclined at table again,
he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you?
You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am.
If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet,
you ought to wash one another’s feet.
I have given you a model to follow,
so that as I have done for you, you should also do.”


We always strive to answer that call to service - including at the Holy Thursday Mass itself.In many parishes, parishioners have their feet washed.



After communion, the Mass concludes not in the usual way, but with a procession of the Eucharist. It is a very solemn, poignant time, during which the people contemplate Christ entering into his passion. The Pange Lingua is traditionally chanted:



(Note the picture of St. John Paul II, who died 10 years ago today.)



1. Sing, my tongue, the Savior’s glory,
Of His flesh the mystery sing,
Of the blood, all price exceeding,
Shed by our immortal king,
Destined, for the world’s redemption,
From a noble womb to spring.

2. Of a pure and spotless virgin,
Born for us, His love to show,
He, as man, with man conversing,
Stayed, the seeds of truth to sow;
Then He closed in wondrous fashion,
This His life on earth below.

3. On the night of that last supper,
Seated with His chosen band,
He, the paschal victim eating,
First fulfills the law’s command;
Then as food to all His brethren
Gives Himself with His own hand.


Let us pray that we may emulate Jesus's example of selfless and humble service.

Climate denial is immoral, says head of US Episcopal church

Climate change is a moral challenge threatening the rights of the world’s poorest people and those who deny it are not using God’s gift of knowledge, says presiding bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori

The highest ranking woman in the Anglican communion has said climate denial is a “blind” and immoral position which rejects God’s gift of knowledge.

Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal church and one of the most powerful women in Christianity, said that climate change was a moral imperative akin to that of the civil rights movement. She said it was already a threat to the livelihoods and survival of people in the developing world.

“It is in that sense much like the civil rights movement in this country where we are attending to the rights of all people and the rights of the earth to continue to be a flourishing place,” Bishop Jefferts Schori said in an interview with the Guardian. “It is certainly a moral issue in terms of the impacts on the poorest and most vulnerable around the world already.”


http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/mar/24/climate-change-denial-immoral-says-head-episcopal-church

Even the Pope needs to diet sometimes!

Pope Francis has been told by Vatican doctors to lay off the pasta, after gaining weight since being elected as head of the Roman Catholic Church two years ago.

The 78-year-old Argentinian pontiff has appeared noticeably more upholstered during public appearances over the last few months, with doctors ascribing the weight gain to too much spaghetti and ravioli and not enough exercise.

Vatican doctors told Ansa, Italy's national news agency, that the Pope needs to adopt a more "disciplined" regimen in order to try to combat the stress and strain that he is under as the leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.

They have advised him to eat pasta no more than two times a week.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/the-pope/11509483/Pope-Francis-told-to-lay-off-pasta-after-apparent-weight-gain.html

Hey, you can't blame him for eating so much pasta!
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