Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Celebration of the Vespers and the Te Deum

The Pope's last liturgical celebration of 2014 is the traditional Te Deum prayer. Celebrated in St. Peter's Basilica, it's a way for the Church to give thanks to God for the entire year. Afterwards the Pope will visit the Nativity Scene that stands in St. Peter's Square. 



© Copyright 2014 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

From Pope Francis - December 24, 2014


GENERAL AUDIENCE

Saint Peter's Square
- Wednesday, 24 December 2014 -

Pope Francis' short guide to Christmas

It is easy to forget the true meaning of Christmas these days. That's why Pope Francis has offered pilgrims and Christians his "short guide to Christmas.” For the Pope, the most important rule is to make room for Baby Jesus.

POPE FRANCIS

"Every Christian family, can welcome Jesus  just like Mary and Joseph did. They can listen to Him, talk to Him, protect Him, grow with Him. And in doing so, they can change the world. Let's make room in our hearts and in our day, to welcome Jesus.”

Pope Francis stresses that during Christmas, Christian should rejoice and share their joy with others. But not only with parties.

POPE FRANCIS
December 14, 2014
"Some will say, 'Father we organized a party and everyone is happy.' This is fine. Parties are good, but they are not the core of the Christian joy we're talking about.” 

Traditionally, Christmas is the moment for giving and receiving gifts...Pope Francis warns against the dangers of giving in to consumerism.

POPE FRANCIS
December 22, 2014

"Don't let Christmas become a celebration of consumerism, appearances and pointless gifts, or superfluous waste. Rather, let it be the feast when one joyfully welcomes the Lord in the manger of the heart.”

But what is Christmas all about? Pope Francis has repeatedly called it the "feast of poverty,” and has asked Christians to celebrate it accordingly.

POPE FRANCIS
December 22, 2014

"This is the true Nativity: the feast of poverty, of God who annihilated Himself, assuming the nature of a slave; of God who served at the table; of God who hid Himself from the intelligent and the wise and instead revealed Himself to the smallest, the simple and the poor.”


With these advice, Pope Francis calls on everyone to re-discover the real meaning of Christmas.



© Copyright 2014 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana



Sunday, December 21, 2014

Bus trip to Sands Casino, Bethlehem, PA
January 15, 2015

The next trip is Thursday, January 15th. The bus will leave at 9:30 am sharp and will return after six hours at the casino. Please make check payable to St. Columba in the amount of $35. If you decide to go on that day, the cost is $40. Please bring check to the rectory during office hours or drop in the convent mail slot. Please spread the word to all you think may be interested. See you on the bus! 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

From Pope Francis - December 17, 2014

GENERAL AUDIENCE

Saint Peter's Square
- Wednesday, 17 December 2014 -

Pope's General Audience: The family is a gift, that should be cherished

n his weekly general audience, Pope Francis talked about the importance of the family. He explained that Jesus chose to be part of a family. Just like Mary and St. Joseph welcomed Jesus, he called on all Christian families to truly embrace Jesus and His message. 

SUMMARY OF POPE'S CATECHESIS: 

Dear Brothers and Sisters, 

In preparation for next October’s meeting of the Synod of Bishops on the vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in the world, our weekly catecheses will be devoted to the theme of the family.  This Advent season of prayerful expectation for the Lord’s coming invites us to consider how God’s original gift of the family was taken up and confirmed in the mystery of the Incarnation. 

The Son of God chose to be born into a human family, in an obscure town on the periphery of the Roman Empire.  Although the Gospels tell us little about the first thirty years of his life, we can imagine that Jesus led a very "normal” family life.  

He was raised in an atmosphere of religious devotion, he learned from the words and example of Mary and Joseph, and he grew in wisdom, age and grace (cf. Lk 2:52).  In imitation of the Holy Family, every Christian family must make a place for Jesus in its home.  For it is through the love of such "normal” families that God’s Son quietly comes to dwell among us, bringing salvation to our world. 


© Copyright 2014 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Sunday, December 14, 2014

December 17th - “Our Tainted Nature’s Solitary Boast: Mary, the Mother of God”

The film “Our Tainted Nature’s Solitary Boast: Mary, the Mother of God” will be shown on Wednesday,
December 17th at 7:00 PM. Enter through the rectory. Collation and discussion follow.

A following is a short clip from "Our Tainted Nature's Solitary Boast - Mary, the Mother of God".

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Christmas Mass Schedule



Christmas Eve - Wednesday, Dec. 24th
  5:00 PM
12:00 AM – Midnight – Bilingual

Christmas Day - Thursday, Dec. 25th
  9:00 AM
10:30 AM – Spanish
12:00 PM – Noon

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

From Pope Francis - December 10, 2014

GENERAL AUDIENCE

Saint Peter's Square
- Wednesday, 10 December 2014 -

Pope Francis explains what happened during the Synod of the Family

During his weekly general audience, Pope Francis shed light on the recent Synod of the Family, which took place back in October. 

The Pope said Bishops were free to discuss all topics since there was no censorship to limit them. He went even further adding that no one in the Synod, questioned the 'fundamental truths about marriage.'

SUMMARY OF THE POPE'S CATECHESIS

Dear Brothers and Sisters, 

This morning we begin a new series of catecheses devoted to the family.  As you know, the pastoral challenges involving the family were discussed in a recent meeting of the Synod of Bishops in preparation for the next Ordinary Assembly of the Synod in October, 2015. 

 The meeting began with a very frank discussion of those serious challenges, in the light of the fundamental truths about the sacrament of Matrimony – its indissolubility, unity, fidelity and openness to life.  

The fruits of this period of discussion and discernment were collected in a preliminary report, which was then discussed in smaller groups.  

The observations and suggestions which emerged were incorporated in a Final Report, which served as the basis for the Final Message of the Synod Fathers.  The Final Report is being sent to the Bishops throughout the world, and the results of this consultation will be brought to the Synod meeting next October.  

I ask all of you to pray, through the intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church, that the Synod process will result in pastoral decisions truly beneficial to the family, the Church and society.

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, including the groups from Denmark, Nigeria, Australia and the United States of America.  Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke joy and peace in the Lord Jesus.  God bless you all!



© Copyright 2014 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Christmas Caroling



St. Columba Church and the Church of the Guardian Angel 
are going caroling. Bringing Christmas to our Chelsea 
neighbors with song!

All are welcome!  Come and sing your favorite carols!

CHRISTMAS CAROLING
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2014
3-4:30 PM

We Will Meet at 2:45 pm at
St. Columba Church 
343 West 25 Street NYC

Refreshments will be served at the 
Church of the Guardian  Angel 
193 Tenth Avenue, NYC

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

From Pope Francis - December 3, 2014

GENERAL AUDIENCE

Saint Peter's Square
- Wednesday, 3 December 2014 -

Pope reflects on his recent trip to Turkey

During his weekly general audience, Pope Francis reflected on his recent three day trip to Turkey. He said, he hopes the apostolic visit will trigger a deeper relationship among Catholics, Orthodox Christians and Muslims. 

He also highlighted the declaration he signed with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, adding that hopefully it will strengthen their ecumenical path towards complete unity. 


SUMMARY OF POPE'S CATECHESIS 

Dear Brothers and Sisters, 

I thank God for the blessing of my recent pilgrimage to Turkey, and I pray that it will contribute to an ever more fruitful dialogue and relationship with our Orthodox and Muslim brothers and sisters.  Turkey is a land dear to us for its rich Christian history. 

Religious belief has an important place in the life of this predominantly Muslim nation.  In my visit to Ankara, I wished to stress the importance of ensuring its free exercise by all, and the need for Christians and Muslims to work together in promoting solidarity, peace and justice.  

In Istanbul, at Mass with the Catholic faithful and the leaders of Turkey’s various Christian communities, we implored the Holy Spirit’s continued guidance and help for our efforts to grow in unity and fidelity.


On Sunday, at the solemn liturgy for the feast of Saint Andrew, I joined Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomaios in signing a Joint Declaration reaffirming our commitment to the restoration of full communion. 

 I ask you to join me in praying for these intentions and for the Church’s zeal in proclaiming, in respectful and fraternal dialogue, Christ’s message of truth, peace and love.


© Copyright 2014 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

From Pope Francis - November 27, 2014

GENERAL AUDIENCE

Saint Peter's Square
- Wednesday, 27 November 2014

Pope's General Audience: What's Eternal Life all about?

In his weekly general audience, Pope Francis talked about Eternal Life. He explained that the distinction will not be based on the living or the dead, bur rather on who is in Christ and who is not. He then added that the Church is constantly growing and journeying towards the Kingdom of Heaven. 


SUMMARY OF THE POPE'S CATECHESIS

Dear Brothers and Sisters: 

The Second Vatican Council reminded us that the Church is not an end in herself, but that she is continually journeying through history to the kingdom of heaven, of which the Church on earth is the seed and beginning.  

This journey will reach its fulfillment in the end times, when the universe will be transformed and we will be fully enveloped by joy, peace and the love of God in the new heavenly Jerusalem. 

Even now we experience a communion between the Church on earth and the Church in heaven through our union with those who have died.  The souls in heaven assist us with their prayers, while we assist the souls in purgatory through our good works, prayer and participation in the Eucharist.  

As members of the Church then, the distinction is not between who has died and who is living, but rather who is in Christ and who is not.  Saint Paul tells us further that it is not only humanity which will be liberated from corruption, but the whole of creation.  All things will be brought into the fullness of being, truth and beauty.  

This is God’s design for us and the Church’s vocation.  Let us ask Mary, Mother of the Church, to watch over us on our way and to help us be a joyful sign of faith and hope among our brothers and sisters. 

I offer an affectionate greeting to all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today’s Audience, including those from England, Kenya, Nigeria, Canada and the United States.  May your stay in the Eternal City confirm you in love for our Lord and his Church.  May God bless you all!


© Copyright 2014 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

From Pope Francis - November 19, 2014

GENERAL AUDIENCE

Saint Peter's Square
- Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Pope Francis calls for peace in Jerusalem 
after attack against synagogue

The Pope is concerned about the tensions in Jerusalem. His appeal comes after two young Palestinians attacked a synagogue, killing 5 people. During his General Audience, the Pope called for peace. 

POPE FRANCIS

"I am following with concern the alarming increase in tension in Jerusalem and other parts of the Holy Land, with unacceptable episodes of violence that do not spare even the places of worship.”

The Pope said he would pray for all the victims affected by the tragic attack and asked for courageous decisions to be made towards a peaceful coexistence.  

POPE FRANCIS

"From the bottom of my heart, I make an appeal to the parties involved to put an end to the spiral of hatred and violence and to make courageous decisions for reconciliation and peace. Building peace is difficult, but living without peace is a torment!”

It is not the first time that the Pope has called for peace in Jerusalem in these weeks. During his Angelus address on November 1st, he called for an end to tensions between Jews and Palestinians so that the "Holy City can be a sign and foretaste of the peace that God desires for the human family”


© Copyright 2014 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

From Pope Francis - November 12, 2014

GENERAL AUDIENCE

Saint Peter's Square
- Wednesday, 12 November 2014 -

Pope speaks out on 43 Mexican students who were assassinated

In light of the mass killing of 43 Mexican students in the state of Guerrero, Pope Francis expressed his closeness to the country and to the victims' families. 

The students went missing on September 26th as they were getting ready to hold a protest against the local government. They were never heard from since. According to official reports, they were kidnapped, burned and their remains thrown into a river. 

PAPA FRANCISCO

"I want to somehow express to Mexicans present here, and also to those in Mexico, my closeness  during this painful time, in light of the legal disappearance of students, who were assassinated. It's here that the dramatic reality of criminality becomes visible. It lies behind the sale and business of drug trafficking. I'm with you and your families.”

© Copyright 2014 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana



Friday, November 7, 2014

Alba Pernas - RIP

As you may have heard, our parish suffered a devastating loss upon the death of Alba Pernas. She served as housekeeper and many years of service to our parish and school. Her job title didn't begin to describe her role in our church. She was warm and holy person welcoming to all and truly reflected the best of our parish.

Our sincere condolences go to her sons, John and Richard, and their family. We know that Alba will continue to intercede for us with her prayers as our parish enters a new phase in its history.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

From Pope Francis - November 5, 2014

GENERAL AUDIENCE

Saint Peter's Square
- Wednesday, 5 November 2014 -

Pope Francis explains why the Church is both 
hierarchical and maternal

During his weekly general audience, Pope Francis explained that bishops, priests and deacons are called to guide and protect the Church, especially through the celebration of the Sacraments.


SUMMARY OF POPE'S CATECHESIS: 

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

In our catechesis on the Church, we have seen that the Holy Spirit constantly bestows his gifts for the upbuilding of the Body of Christ. Among these gifts are the ordained ministries. Through the sacrament of Holy Orders, bishops, priests and deacons are called to guide and protect Christ’s flock, above all though the celebration of the sacraments which give us new life in Christ. 

The Church is thus both hierarchical and maternal: her ordained ministries are at the service of her spiritual motherhood. This is especially clear in the case of bishops, who are called to lead the Christian community as living signs of the Lord’s presence in our midst. Like the Apostles whose successors they are, the Bishops form one college in communion with the Pope. 

This collegiality is seen not only in special assemblies like the recent Synod but also in the daily communion of Bishops throughout the world. Let us ask the Lord to draw us nearer to himself and to one another through the ministry of our bishops, priests and deacons, in the unity of "our Holy Mother the Hierarchical Church”.

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, including the various groups from England, Malta, Denmark, Japan and the United States of America. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke joy and peace in the Lord Jesus. God bless you all! 


© Copyright 2014 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Monday, November 3, 2014

Bus trip to Sands Casino, Bethlehem, PA
November 20, 2014

The next trip is Thursday, November 20th. The bus will leave at 9:30 am sharp and will return after six hours at the casino. Please make check payable to St. Columba in the amount of $35. If you decide to go on that day, the cost is $40. Please bring check to the rectory during office hours or drop in the convent mail slot. Please spread the word to all you think may be interested. See you on the bus! 

NEED SOME CHRISTMAS IDEAS? 

"The Outlets” are located on the Sands Casino. Stores such as DressBarns, Corningware Corelle, Lenox are a few of the stores located here. Please spread the word to all you think may be interested. See you on the bus! 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

October 19, 2014 - Raffle winners

Father Tomas Del Valle-Reyes, thanks you all for your participation in our raffle that helped us raise funds to bring bibles & books to our friends in jails and to continue with our weekly radio program.

October 19, 2014 - Raffle winners:
1st Prize 300.00 - Elena Martinez Number 2977
2nd Prize 150.00 - Salvadora Benavides Number 1394
3er Prize 50.00 - Matthew Colon Number 1891
4th prize a Bible - Rina Yolanda Perez Number 464

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

From Pope Francis - October 29, 2014

GENERAL AUDIENCE

Saint Peter's Square
- Wednesday, 29 October 2014 -

Pope Francis: We can be a cause of scandal but also give witness


Pope Francis posed a question to thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square: How is it possible that God acts in the world through the Church and Christians if all are sinners?

POPE FRANCIS

"Many times, as a Church, we experience our frailty and our limitations. We all have them. We are all sinners. All of us. None of us can say: 'I am not a sinner.' If one of us feels that they are not a sinner, raise your hand. Let's see how many...you can't. We all are.” 

Pope Francis said that although the way God acts in the world can't always be understood, Christians can see how Jesus acted.

POPE FRANCIS

"As Jesus used his humanity – because he was also a man - to accomplish his mission, so should the Church. Through its visible reality, of all that can be seen: the Sacraments, the witness of all Christians, the Church is called everyday to be close to every person.”

He went on to say that the Church is made up not only of bishops and priests, but of all baptized people. In that way, God can use the witness of each Christian to bring others closer to the faith. 

POPE FRANCIS

"Let us ask [the Lord] to not be a cause of scandal. Let us ask for the gift of faith so that we can understand that, despite our limitations and our poverty, the Lord makes of us an instrument of grace and a visible sign of His love for all humanity. We may become a cause of scandal. Yes. But we can also become a witness.” 

Before concluding his addess, Pope Francis prayed for 43 students who were kidnapped in Mexico. He also repeated his call to the international community to overcome the Ebola epidemic that continues to spread globally. 


© Copyright 2014 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

From Pope Francis - October 22, 2014

GENERAL AUDIENCE

Saint Peter's Square
- Wednesday, 22 October 2014 -

Pope: When you start feeling superior to others, remember your sins

After greeting pilgrims in St. Peter's Square, the Pope talked about division among Christians. It's something St. Paul experienced centuries ago, and the Pope said, it's still a reality, even today. 

POPE FRANCIS

"Jealousy...Some will say, 'but he bought a car and I'm jealous. This person won the lottery and I'm jealous. Everything goes right for this person and I'm jealous. FLASH. What does this do? It separates us. It starts wars. Wars don't start in the battlefield. Wars start in people's hearts with  misunderstandings and envy. The Corinthian community was like that.” 

To help bridge these problems, Pope Francis gave a few tips. Among them is learning to recognize the gifts of others. 

POPE FRANCIS

"How many people feel superior to others? Sometimes we too act like the pharisees in the parable. 'Thank God, I'm not like that person...' Acting like that is ugly. Don't do it! When you start feeling that way, remember your sins, those sins no one knows about. Humble yourself before God and tell Him, 'Lord, only you know who is superior.' Then shut your mouth. This is good for us.” 

Wednesday marks the first time the Catholic Church celebrates the feast day of St. John Paul II. The Pope talked about his spiritual legacy. 

POPE FRANCIS
ORIG ITALIAN 

"Today we celebrate the liturgical legacy of St. John Paul II. He invited everyone to open their doors to Christ. He reminded everyone about Divine Mercy. Let's not forget his spiritual legacy. May it push us to reflect and work towards the good of the Church and of society.” 

The Pope also said a few words of support for workers of an airline company who are under the risk of being under laid off. 


© Copyright 2014 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

From Pope Francis - October 22, 2014

GENERAL AUDIENCE

Saint Peter's Square
- Wednesday, 22 October 2014 -

Pope Francis remembers Pope John Paul II 
during his General Audience

In his greeting to the Polish pilgrims at the General Audience, Pope Francis remembered that today, for the first time, the Church celebrates the feast of St. John Paul II, who was canonized this year on April 27th.

Pope Francis asked that "his spiritual heritage not be forgotten”. The Pope said that he invited all "to open the doors to Christ” and reminded the world of "the mystery of the Divine Mercy”. 

POPE FRANCIS


"Today we celebrate the liturgical legacy of St. John Paul II. He invited everyone to open their doors to Christ. He reminded everyone about Divine Mercy. Let's not forget his spiritual legacy. May it push us to reflect and work towards the good of the Church and of society.”



© Copyright 2014 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

From Pope Francis - October 15, 2014

GENERAL AUDIENCE

Saint Peter's Square
- Wednesday, 15 October 2014 -

Pope Francis at General Audience: What is our hope as Christians?

A medieval army with flags, drums and trumpets welcomed Pope Francis as he began the General Audience. 

"Thank you!"

During his catechesis, the Pope explained what Christian hope is. He said that the Church waits for Christ's return as a wife waits for her husband, from whom she will never seperate. 

POPE FRANCIS

"Do you believe this? I don't think so...do you believe? Shall we repeat it together three times. And we shall be always with the Lord. And we shall be always with the Lord. And we shall be always with the Lord.”

The Pope added that Christ united his future to that of humanity. For this reason, he said, when Christ returns, the Church will be transformed into a "new Jerusalem” where peace will reign.

POPE FRANCIS

"It will be the tent of God! And in this glorious framework there will be no more isolations, abuses and distinctions of any kind, neither social, ethnic or religious. Instead we will all be one thing in Christ. 

Lastly, the Pope asked Christians to be "credible and joy-filled witnesses” of this hope so that the Church continues to illuminate the world. 


© Copyright 2014 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana



Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Do you want to go for a ride?

Saint Peter's Square
- Wednesday, 8 October 2014 - 

Pope invites two kids to join him in the popemobile.

These two children will go back home with an unforgettable story. Pope Francis invited them to board the Popemobile at the start of the General Audience this week. The two accompanied the Pope around the square. 

© Copyright 2014 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

From Pope Francis - October 8, 2014

GENERAL AUDIENCE

Saint Peter's Square
- Wednesday, 8 October 2014 -

Pope Francis at General Audience: We must heal divisions among Christians.



Pope Francis called upon Christians to promote unity with those who follow other religious traditions at today's General Audience. 

He assured that, although throughout history the Church has rejected those with different beliefs and has caused many divisions, we can heal those wounds through dialogue and prayer. 

POPE FRANCIS

"Dear Brothers and Sisters:  

In our catechesis on the Church, we now consider our fellow Christians who belong to other confessions or traditions.  

Divisions between Christ’s followers are clearly contrary to his will, as expressed in his prayer to the Father that all might be one, so that the world might believe (cf. Jn 17:21). Christ desires us to be united in his love and in communion with one another; yet throughout history the Church has experienced temptations against this unity, leading to tragic divisions.  

We must not be resigned to these divisions, but must join our prayer to that of Jesus in imploring among all his followers constant openness to dialogue and appreciation of the gifts of others.  In loving the Lord and sharing the riches of his love, we will better see what unites us rather than what separates us.  

By dwelling in the truth, and practicing forgiveness and charity, we will be ever more conformed to Christ’s will, reconciled with one another, and led closer to the goal of full unity which he wills for all his disciples.

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, including the various groups from England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, Slovenia, Norway, Finland, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia and the United States of America.  In a particular way, my greeting goes to the ecumenical and interreligious delegation from Taiwan and the group from the Institutum Romanum Finlandiae.  Upon you and your families, I invoke joy and peace in the Lord Jesus.  God bless you all!”


© Copyright 2014 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

From Pope Francis - October 1, 2014

GENERAL AUDIENCE

Saint Peter's Square
- Wednesday, 1 October 2014 -

 
Pope Francis speaks on the gifts of the Spirit at general audience.



Pope Francis explained what charisms are at today's general audience. He said they are graces that God grants to Christians so they can pass along to others. The Pope added that the diversity of charisms within the Church shouldn't "become a source of division."


SUMMARY OF THE POPE'S CATECHESIS

Dear Brothers and Sisters:  


In our catechesis on the Church, we now turn to the manifold gifts of the Holy Spirit which enliven and enrich the Body of Christ.  Among these gifts are charisms, the graces which the Spirit freely bestows upon the faithful for the benefit of the whole community.  These gifts, while granted to individuals, are discovered and acknowledged within the wider ecclesial community.  

As a sign of God’s superabundant love for his children, they are rich and varied, yet each is meant to serve the building up of the Church as a communion of faith and love.  The very diversity of the Spirit’s gifts invites us to share them generously for the good of all, and "never to let them become a source of division”.  Today let us ask the Lord to help us recognize with gratitude this great outpouring of spiritual gifts which enables the Church to persevere in faith, to grow in grace and to be an ever more credible sign and witness of God’s infinite love.  

In a particular way, may each of us consider the special gifts he or she has received, and how we choose to use those gifts to advance the Church’s unity, life and mission in the world.

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, including the various groups from Australia, South Africa, Namibia, Japan, Taiwan, India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Ireland, England, Scotland and the United States.  In a particular way I greet the deacon ordinands of the Pontifical North American College, together with their families and friends.  

Upon all of you I invoke joy and peace in the Lord Jesus. God bless you!


© Copyright 2014 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana



Bus trip to Sands Casino, Bethlehem, PA
October 16, 2014

The next trip is Thursday, October 16th. The bus will leave at 9:30 am sharp and will return after six hours at the casino. Please make check payable to St. Columba in the amount of $35. If you decide to go on that day, the cost is $40. Please bring check to the rectory during office hours or drop in the convent mail slot. Please spread the word to all you think may be interested. See you on the bus! 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

From Pope Francis - September 24, 2014

GENERAL AUDIENCE

Saint Peter's Square
- Wednesday, 24 September 2014 -

Pope Francis reflects on his recent trip to Albania during General Audience

Pope Francis reflected on his visit to Albania during his General Audience. The Pope said that the "peaceful coexistence and dialogue” between the different religious communities in the country is exemplary, after suffering "for years under a godless and inhuman regime”.

SUMMARY OF THE POPE'S CATECHESIS

Dear Brothers and Sisters:  

My apostolic journey to Albania this past Sunday was meant to be a sign of my closeness, and that of the universal Church, to the Albanian people, who suffered for years under a godless and inhuman regime, but are now working to build a peaceful society marked by mutual respect and cooperation in the service of the common good.  

Particularly significant in this regard is the spirit of coexistence and dialogue between Albania’s different religious communities, all of whom endured bitter persecution for their belief in God.  
In my meeting with the followers of the various religions, I encouraged this important witness, which respects and builds upon the identity of each.  With our Catholic brothers and sisters I honoured the heroic testimony of the many martyrs whose sufferings have brought forth fruits of spiritual rebirth and I invited Christians to be a leaven of goodness, charity and reconciliation in Albanian society.  

Through the prayers of Our Lady of Good Counsel, may God continue to inspire the Albanian people to build a society of justice, peace and solidarity.

I greet the new students of the Venerable English College in Rome and I assure them of my closeness in prayer as they begin their studies for the priesthood.  Upon all the English-speaking pilgrims taking part in today’s Audience, including those from England, Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, India, China, Japan, Kenya, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States, I invoke the joy and peace of the Lord Jesus.  God bless you! 



© Copyright 2014 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Caring for God's Creations - a panel discussion on Monday, September 22nd


FAN (Franciscan Action Network) is organizing an interfaith panel discussion on Monday, September 22nd from 7:00-8:30 pm at San Damiano Hall, located at Church of  St. Francis of Assisi, 135 West 31st Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues. RSVP to: events@franciscanaction.org.

Click here for more information. 

Jewish Holy Days


Beginning September 25th until October 17th, The Jewish Community will be celebrating the following holy days: Rosh Hashana, (New Year) and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) is the holiest day of the Jewish year, and provides prophetic insight regarding the Second Coming of Mashiach, the restoration of national Israel, and the final judgment of the world.

Let us all pray for peace in Jerusalem.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

From Pope Francis - September 17, 2014

GENERAL AUDIENCE

Saint Peter's Square
- Wednesday, 17 September 2014 -

Pope Francis: If someone feels the call to be a missionary, then do it!

A christian must go out and make the message of the Gospel known. The Pope thanked missionaries for the work they carry out, just like the apostles did, during his General Audience. 

POPE FRANCIS

"They left everything to announce Jesus Christ. We thank the Lord because our Church has so many missionaries, and has had many missionaries. And we need more still!”

The Pope had a message for the youth who are discerning to follow their example of announcing the Gospel.

POPE FRANCIS

"Maybe among so many young men and women there is someone who has the desire to become a missionary. "Go forward, this is beautiful! To bring the Gospel of Jesus. Be courageous.”

During the General Audience, Pope Francis explained why the Creed says that the Church is "Catholic and Apostolic”. He said that it is Catholic because it has a universal message that is destined for all people, races and cultures. He added that it is apostolic  because it is missionary, like Jesus' first disciples. 

POPE FRANCIS

"If the apostles remained there, in the Cenacle, instead of going out to the preach the Gospel, the Church would only be the Church of that people, of that city. But they all went around the world, from the moment the Church was born, from the moment the Holy Spirit came. This is why we go out.”

Pope Francis sent a message of encouragement to Middle Eastern Christians as well, saying that "despite the difficulties, to be courageous and joyful bearers of the message of salvation.”

Before concluding his audience, he reminded those present of his trip to Albania on Sunday and asked them to accompany him with their prayers. 


© Copyright 2014 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Friday, September 12, 2014

"Living with the Word: A Conversation about Jesus" - September 18th, 2014


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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

From Pope Francis - September 11, 2014

GENERAL AUDIENCE

Saint Peter's Square
- Wednesday, 11 September 2014 -

Pope: Church teaches mercy by example, not by philosophies


With over 30,000 pilgrims attending today's General Audience, Pope Francis continued his catechetical series on the Church as a mother, highlighting its works of mercy. 

The Pope said that the Church, like Jesus, teaches us by example and not by mere words or philosophies.

POPE FRANCIS

"The Mother Church teaches us to give food and drink to those who are hungry and thirsty, to clothe those who are naked. And how does it do it? By the example of so many saints who have done this in an exemplary way. But also, by the example of so many fathers and mothers, who teach their children that what is leftover to us if for those who are needy.”

He also said that the Church teaches us not only to be close to those who are imprisoned, but to not judge them as well. 

POPE FRANCIS

"The Mother Church teaches us to be close to those who are imprisoned. 'But Father, no, this is dangerous. They are bad people!' But each one of us is capable of the same. Listen well: Each one of us is capable of doing the same thing that man or that woman  in prison has done! We all have the ability to sin and to do the same! To make mistakes in life. They are not worse than you or me.”

Citing the example of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the Pope said the Church also teaches us to care for the sick and dying. 

POPE FRANCIS

"Even here, mercy gives peace to those departed and those who stay, making them feel that God is greater than death, and that remaining in Him, even the final moment is a 'see you later'. Blessed Teresa understood this very well.” 

Pope Francis concluded that the Church has learned the path of mercy through Jesus and that to change the world, we must be good to others as Christ was to us.


© Copyright 2014 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana