Pope Francis Releases 2nd Papal Encyclical “Lauto Sii’ on the Care of our Common Home. View a Summary here.

Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment, “Laudato Sii” (Praised Be), a line from St. Francis of Assisi’s “Canticle of Creatures,” was released June 18, the Vatican press office announced. “Laudato sii” is the introductory phrase to eight verses of St. Francis of Assisi’s famous prayer thanking God for the gifts of creation.
“Praised be you, my Lord, with all your creatures, especially Sir Brother Sun, who is the day, and through whom you give us light,” one of the first lines says.
The prayer also praises God for the gifts of “Sister Moon,” “Brother Wind,” “Sister Water,” “Brother Fire” and “Sister Mother Earth.”


We have a need for a DIRECTOR OF PARISH MUSIC MINISTRY

musicnotesSt. Stanislaus Parish in Lansdale, PA seeks Director of Parish Music Ministry to plan and execute excellent worship experiences through varied expressions of liturgical music.

Must be well-versed in all aspects of Catholic Liturgy. Responsible for identifying and communicating musical needs and building repertoire, with emphasis on evangelization. Will support, train, recruit and enable all forms of the Parish Music Ministry.

Qualifications: Prayerful and Pastoral; ability to play piano and conduct; strong versatility in liturgical music genres; dynamic people person a must; strong computer competency required; music degree or minimum of 3 years prior experience

Send resume and cover letter to:   StStanislausLansdale@yahoo.com.


Arise, Live and Love Again! 

Jesus&JairusRaisingDaughter.jat Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B – June 28, 2015

Last week we witnessed Jesus’ divine power at work on the forces of nature (Mark 4:37-41). Today’s Gospel stories reveal his power over disease and death.

In these powerful accounts, Jesus reminds us of the importance of faith. Nothing is possible without faith. On the way to Jairus’ house (Mark 5), Jesus encounters interruptions, delays, and even obstacles along the road. The people in the passage transfer their uncleanness to Jesus, and to each Jesus bestows the cleansing wholeness of God. Let us consider for a moment each situation.

The hemorrhaging woman

Jesus’ miraculous healing of this woman who had been hemorrhaging for 12 years is narrated in three of the four Gospels (Matthew 9:20-22; Mark 5:25-34; Luke 8:43-48). The law regarded three forms of uncleanness as serious enough to exclude the infected person from society: leprosy, uncleanness caused by bodily discharges, and impurity resulting from contact with the dead (Numbers 5:2-4). The woman in Mark 5 had a disease that made her ritually unclean (Leviticus 15:25-27). It would have excluded her from most social contact and worship at the temple. She desperately wanted Jesus to heal her, but she knew that her bleeding would cause Jesus to become ritually unclean under Jewish law.

Anyone who had one of the diseases was made unclean. Anything or anyone that one touched became unclean. Those who were unclean also suffered from estranged relationships with others and with God. Anything unclean was unfit or unworthy to be in the presence of a God who was holy. Those deemed unclean had to go through a rite of purification or cleansing in order to be welcomed back into society and into the presence of God.

The woman’s bold invasion of Jesus’ space, and her touching of Jesus’ garment, thus making Jesus unclean, could have put him off. On the contrary, Jesus not only heals the woman, but also restores her relationships with others. When Jesus calls the woman “daughter,” he established a relationship with one with whom he should not have a relationship.

Jairus’ daughter

The very touching story of Jairus’ daughter is “sandwiched” in the story about the hemorrhaging woman. Jairus was an elected leader of the local synagogue, responsible for supervising the weekly worship, operating the school, and caring for the building. Some synagogue leaders had been pressured not to support Jesus, but Jairus had not caved into that pressure. Jairus bowed before Jesus and uttered his anguished request for help: “My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live.” Jairus’ gesture was a significant and daring act of respect and worship.

The story continues: “Jesus took the child by the hand, and said to her, ‘Talitha koum,’ which means, ‘Little girl, I say to you, arise!’ The girl arose immediately and walked around” (5:41-42). By calling her “little girl,” he established the same kind of relationship with her as Jairus has with his daughter.

In each situation, Jesus’ holiness transforms the person’s uncleanness. The flow of blood is stopped. The woman is healed. The corpse comes back to life. The young girl gets out of bed. Jesus raises each person up to his level, making that individual worthy to be in the presence of God.

Jesus, the healer

In so many of the healing stories, Jesus manifests the power to give people health, healing and even to bring the dead back to life. Remember the young man of Nain in Luke 7 who had died. Jesus said, “Young man, I tell you, arise!” Luke reports that the “dead man sat up and began to speak.”

Jesus responded to the cries of the leper who begged him, “If you will, you can cure me!” Moved with compassion, Jesus gave a word of command which was proper to God and not to a mere human being: “I do will it. Be made clean!” Mark wrote: “The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean” (Mark 1:42). How can we forget the case of the paralytic who was let down through an opening made in the roof of the house, Jesus said, “I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home” (cf. Mk 2:1-12).

Jesus’ story continues in the Acts of the Apostles when we hear about people who “carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and mats so that when Peter came by, at least his shadow might fall on one or another of them” (Acts 5:15). These “wonders and signs” were performed by the apostles not in their own name, but in the name of Jesus Christ, and were therefore a further proof of his divine power.

“Talitha koum”

Jesu&JairusDaughter.jatThe story of Jairus’ daughter not only speaks about the death of a child and the raising of that young girl back to life, but it also speaks about death of the heart and spirit, a disease that affects so many young people today.

Those powerful words — “Talitha koum” (Little girl, arise) — are not only addressed to this little girl in Mark’s story, but also to many young people, perhaps to each one of us. How many young children live with fear and sadness because of divided family situations, tragedy and loss! How many young people are caught up in vicious cycles of death: drugs, abortion, pornography, violence, gangs and suicide.

Today our young people are afflicted with anxiety, discouragement and other serious psychological and even physical illnesses in alarming ways. Many don’t know what joy, love hope and truth really mean any more.

Sadness, pessimism, cynicism, meaninglessness, the desire not to live, are always bad things, but when we see or hear young people express them, our hearts are even more heavy and sad. Living in a big city such as Toronto, I have the opportunity of meeting many young people, and when I hear some of their stories of brokenness, sadness and despair, I realize how much work the churches must do to bring young people back to life.

Jesus continues today to resurrect those dead young people to life. He does so with his word, and also by sending them his disciples who, in his name, and with his very love, repeat to today’s young people his cry: “Talitha koum,” “young man, young woman, arise! Live again! Love again! You are loved!”

“Alive” in Darlinghurst

As I reflect on today’s Gospel and Jesus’ powerful words: “Talitha koum,” I recall vividly one of Benedict XVI’s special moments during World Youth Day 2008 in Australia.

The Holy Father went to the University of Notre Dame’s Sacred Heart chapel in Darlinghurst (Sydney) where he met young people with histories of drug addiction and other problems, who are following the “Alive” rehabilitation program. The Pope Emeritus recalled Moses’ words in the Old Testament:

“‘I set before you life or death, blessing or curse. Choose life, then, so that you and your descendants may live in the love of the Lord your God, […] for in this your life consists.”

“It was clear what they had to do,” the Pope explained, “they had to turn away from other gods and worship the true God Who had revealed himself to Moses — and they had to obey His commandments. You might think that in today’s world, people are unlikely to start worshipping other gods. But sometimes people worship ‘other gods’ without realizing it. False ‘gods’ […] are nearly always associated with the worship of three things: material possessions, possessive love, or power.”

“Authentic love is obviously something good,” the Pope continued. “When we love, we become most fully ourselves, most fully human. But […] people often think they are being loving when actually they are being possessive or manipulative. People sometimes treat others as objects to satisfy their own needs. […] How easy it is to be deceived by the many voices in our society that advocate a permissive approach to sexuality, without regard for modesty, self-respect or the moral values that bring quality to human relationships!”

“Dear friends, I see you as ambassadors of hope to others in similar situations. You can convince them of the need to choose the path of life and shun the path of death, because you speak from experience. All through the Gospels, it was those who had taken wrong turnings who were particularly loved by Jesus, because once they recognized their mistake, they were all the more open to his healing message.

“Indeed, Jesus was often criticized by self-righteous members of society for spending so much time with such people. ‘Why does your master eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ they asked. He responded: ‘It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick … I did not come to call the virtuous but sinners’ (cf. Mt 9:11-13).

“It was those who were willing to rebuild their lives who were most ready to listen to Jesus and become his disciples. You can follow in their footsteps, you too can grow particularly close to Jesus because you have chosen to turn back towards him. You can be sure that, just like the Father in the story of the prodigal son, Jesus welcomes you with open arms. He offers you unconditional love — and it is in loving friendship with him that the fullness of life is to be found.”

I am sure that Jesus was smiling upon Benedict XVI and that wonderful gathering in Sydney. Jesus’ words — “Talitha koum” — be heard every anew, Down Under and throughout our world, to invite the young and all people to rise up, to live and to love again.

[The readings for the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time are: Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24; 2 Corinthians 8:7, 9, 13-15; and Mark 5:21-43 or 5:21-24, 35b-43]


HISTORIC EXHIBITION: VATICAN SPLENDORS

MAKES EXCLUSIVE EAST COAST STOP IN PHILADELPHIA AT

THE FRANKLIN INSTITUTE THIS SEPTEMBER

vaticansplendors

EXHIBIT COINCIDES WITH THE MOMENTOUS PAPAL VISIT AND

THE WORLD MEETING OF FAMILIES – PHILADELPHIA 2015 CONGRESS

VATICAN SPLENDORS: SEPTEMBER 19, 2015 – FEBRUARY 15, 2016

PHILADELPHIA (June 5, 2015) The Franklin Institute, the most-visited museum in Pennsylvania, has announced plans to host the exclusive East Coast destination of Vatican Splendors, beginning September 19. The exhibition, timed to take place during the historic Papal Visit (September 26-27) and the 2015 World Meeting of Families Congress in Philadelphia (September 22-25), explores the historical and cultural impact of the Vatican over the span of 2,000 years through significantly relevant objects straight from the Vatican in Rome, Italy. Every object in the exhibition tells its own story, together forming a great historical mosaic of the Vatican—and many of the artifacts have never before been on public view at the Vatican in Rome.

Highlights of the nearly 10,000 square-foot exhibition include artwork by Michelangelo, including signed documents and a rarely seen bas relief sculpture, and tools used in work on the Sistine Chapel and Basilica of Saint Peter’s; works by masters including Bernini and Guercino, artwork dating back to the first century, venerated remains (bone fragments) of Saints Peter and Paul, relics discovered at the tombs of Saints Peter and Paul, and historical objects from the modern and ancient basilicas of Saint Peter’s in Rome.

The exhibition is organized into 11 galleries that illustrate the evolution of the Church, with thematic areas highlighting important developments, people and events tied to the history of the Vatican, reflected in both important historical objects and artistic expression from different eras. The objects are presented in galleries and recreated environments designed to enhance the understanding of their historical and artistic significance. Visitors will feel transported to the Vatican, from the underground catacombs where the remains of Saint Peter were discovered to the magnificent papal chambers found above ground. From the sights and sounds of the grand Basilica to a touchable cast of Saint John Paul II’s hand, the exhibition is a multi-sensory experience.

“There could not be a more fitting exhibition to bring to Philadelphia this fall than Vatican Splendors,” explains Larry Dubinski, President and CEO of The Franklin Institute. “Hosting an exhibit of this caliber during such a momentous time for Philadelphia and the world is truly remarkable and for anyone participating in the World Meeting of Families or the Papal Visit and mass, Vatican Splendors will unquestionably add an unforgettable layer to that once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

The Franklin Institute is the only East Coast stop for the exhibition, the first of a two-city North American tour, after which the items will return to the Vatican, from which they cannot be absent for more than a year. The collection of priceless artifacts will be housed in the climate-controlled exhibit gallery in the Nicholas and Athena Karabots Pavilion at The Franklin Institute.

“What an extraordinary opportunity for all those who will be in Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families and Pope Francis’ visit to experience Vatican Splendors at The Franklin Institute,” said Donna Crilley Farrell, Executive Director of the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015. “The exquisite art work, relics and artifacts that will travel here from Rome are a perfect complement to the events of the week, especially in providing families from across the region and around the world with a wonderful way to create memories during this special time in the City.”

Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter said, “Philadelphia is the big city for big events—and bigexhibitions, and there are few greater or more meaningful in content than Vatican Splendors. Having had the opportunity to personally experience the Vatican Museum in March 2014, I am thrilled to welcome to Philadelphia this exhibit, which features many of the same precious objects I saw in Vatican City. Making this exhibit open and available to the public immediately before we host the World Meeting of Families and Pope Francis is a wonderful way to prepare for that event and make it even more accessible to everyone.”

Vatican Splendors is organized and circulated in conjunction with the Congregazione per l’Evangelizzazione dei Popoli of the Vatican City State. Items in the collection—which include mosaics, frescoes, paintings by Renaissance masters, works by well-known sculptors, intricately embroidered silk vestments, precious objects from the Papal Mass, uniforms of the Papal Swiss Guard, historical maps and documents and relics are on loan from The Reverenda Fabbrica of Saint Peter, the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside-the-Walls, the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, the Vatican Library, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, the Apostolic Floreria, the Papal Swiss Guard, the Vatican Museums, and private collections. The exhibition is produced by Evergreen Exhibitions

Vatican Splendors will be open Thursday through Saturday from 9:30am- 9pm, with last exhibit entry at 7:30pm; Sunday through Wednesday from 9:30am-5pm, with last exhibit entry at 3:30pm. Tickets are now on sale.

TICKET INFORMATION

Vatican Splendors

September 19, 2015-February 15, 2016

Daytime Tickets (Includes General Admission to The Franklin Institute)

Adults $34.95; Children (ages 3-11) $28.95

Evening Tickets (5pm-close)

Adults: $22.95; Children (ages 3-11) $14.95

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WMOF-Philadelphia Congress Sessions, Speakers, and Speakers’ Biographies Announced

May 7, 2015

Dear Friends,

I am pleased to announce that the World Meeting of Families—Philadelphia 2015 Youth Congress content, along with registration information, is now available on the World Meeting of Families website! WMOF Congress attendees ages 6 through 17 can participate in a variety of different interactive programs. Young people who are over the age of 17 but still in high school may also be able to participate in the Youth Congress.

Different activities are offered for different age groups. These activities include “Praying with Paint,” “Sacramental Scavenger Hunt,” “Bowling with the Bishops,” “Trivia: Catechism Quest,” “St. Francis of Assisi,” and so much more.  There will also be a main stage with scheduled performances throughout the day. The Youth Congress will provide lessons on the Church’s teachings on the family in an interactive environment and all activities have a “catechesis connection,” drawing on the themes of the official Catechesis of the World Meeting of Families.

All of the activities included in the Youth Congress, as well as the required forms and information needed to participate, are available on our website at http://bit.ly/YouthCongress.

Keynote and breakout sessions for the Adult Congress, with descriptions and speaker biographies for each, are also now available on our website.

Learn about the dynamic, internationally known speakers who will present at the World Meeting of Families by visiting our Congress page, at http://bit.ly/WMOFCongress. Attached is a flyer highlighting the Congress and some of our celebrated speakers.

For more information about the World Meeting of Families—Philadelphia 2015, visit our website, worldmeeting2015.org or call 855-963-2015.

We hope to see you at the Pennsylvania Convention Center for this joyous event in September!

Sincerely,

Dr. Mary Beth Yount

Director of Content & Programming

World Meeting of Families—Philadelphia 2015

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About World Meetings of Families

Beginning with 1994, The Year of the Family, the Pontifical Council for the Family has been responsible for organizing the World Meetings of Families in Rome (1994); Rio de Janeiro (1997); Rome (2000); Manila (2003); Valencia (2006); Mexico City (2009); Milan (2012); and now, Philadelphia (2015).  Since its inception by Saint John Paul II, the World Meeting of Families has sought to strengthen the sacred bonds of family across the globe.

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Register To Hear These DYNAMIC SPEAKERS

Join our Adult Congress Speakers at the Pennsylvania Convention Center for practical tips on how to improve your family and strengthen your relationship with God. Our internationally-known and engaging speakers will deliver dynamic presentations unique to this event. Our speakers include: Father Robert Barron, Dr. Scott Hahn, Professor Helen Alvaré, and Dr. Greg and Mrs. Lisa Popcak. Interact with others about the joys and challenges in your life, while learning new strategies for a richer life!

Click here to view the World Meeting of Families – Philadelphia 2015

” Congress Flyer”