Posted on 05/31/2023 22:25 PM (CNA Daily News)
ACI Prensa Staff, May 31, 2023 / 14:25 pm (CNA).
Father Alberto Reyes of the Archdiocese of Camagüey in Cuba said the 64 years that have elapsed since Fidel Castro seized power in 1959 “is more than enough time to realize that the project called the ‘Cuban Revolution’ didn’t work, because it didn’t bring progress, nor did it achieve its ideal of the ‘new man.’”
In a May 26 post on Facebook, Reyes pointed out that during these decades what has happened in Cuba is a precariousness of life and an increase in “the desire to escape.”
In addition, he pointed out, the six decades that have elapsed are “more than enough time to prove that, in reality, power over this people has been maintained through fear, mistrust ... repression that knows no limits and that is capable of going beyond what’s human.”
The priest asked those who run the country and “all those who, in one way or another, are involved in the mechanisms that maintain the power structures” if they don’t see what’s happening in Cuba.
“Is it that you’re not suffering? Is it that you don’t have family, friends, neighbors, acquaintances ... who tell you over and over again ‘I can’t take it anymore’ or ‘How long is this going to be?’” he asked.
Reyes, who reflects on the reality in Cuba on social media, also noted that in the Caribbean country, “any area of citizens’ lives falls into the category of being ‘a problem,’” whether it’s getting food or medicine, transportation, an education, or care for the elderly.
“Is it that you don’t see how the precarious situation has been breaking up that ‘basic cell of society’ called the family, continually split up by emigration, by ‘international (medical) missions,’ by the wars we have waged and which it seems we will continue to wage in geographic locations totally unrelated?” he challenged.
Cuba intervened militarily in Algeria (1963), Syria (1973), Angola (1975), and Ethiopia (1977), and other countries.
“If you don’t see it,” Reyes asked, “it’s time for you to wake up and look at the reality in front of you. And if you see it, but you think that we are like this through no fault of our own, it’s time for you to decide to face the truth.”
“And if you see it and don’t question yourself, and don’t do anything, or don’t even begin to ask yourself what you could do to bring about real change, then you’ve not just chosen the condition of being a slave, but you’ve decided to build your life on the painful suffering of your own people,” the Cuban priest concluded.
The situation in Cuba is far from improving. One example is the constant power outages throughout the island, such as the one on May 28, despite the promises of the minister of energy and mines, Vicente de la O Levy, to have “better conditions.”
According to the report published in April by DatoWorld, Cuba leads the “Poverty Index in Latin America,” with approximately 72% of its population below the extreme poverty line, established by the World Bank at a daily income of less than $1.90.
Because the communist regime does not publish figures on the level of poverty, DatoWorld took the October 2022 report of the Cuban Observatory for Human Rights as a reference.
This means that thousands of Cubans continue to see emigration as a way out of poverty. According to the United States Customs and Border Protection Office, in the month of April, 9,008 people from the island tried to enter the country, totaling 143,926 Cubans since October 2022.
This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.
Posted on 05/31/2023 19:45 PM (CNA Daily News)
Denver, Colo., May 31, 2023 / 11:45 am (CNA).
Pope Francis’ prayer intention for the month of June is for the abolition of torture.
“Torture is not past history. Unfortunately, it’s part of our history today,” Pope Francis said in a video released May 30.
“How is it possible that the human capacity for cruelty is so huge?” he questioned.
“There are extremely violent forms of torture. Others are more sophisticated, such as degrading someone, dulling the senses, or mass detentions in conditions so inhumane that they take away the dignity of the person.”
The pope reminded the faithful that this is not something new. He urged everyone to “think of how Jesus himself was tortured and crucified.”
He added: “Let us put a stop to this horror of torture. It is essential to put the dignity of the person above all else. Otherwise, the victims are not persons, they are ‘things’ and can be mistreated mercilessly, causing death or permanent psychological and physical harm lasting a lifetime.”
Pope Francis concluded his message with a prayer: “Let us pray that the international community commit itself concretely to abolish torture, guaranteeing support to victims and their families.”
Pope Francis’ prayer video is promoted by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, which raises awareness of monthly papal prayer intentions.
Posted on 05/31/2023 19:28 PM (Detroit Catholic)
Posted on 05/31/2023 19:25 PM (Detroit Catholic)
Posted on 05/31/2023 19:12 PM (Detroit Catholic)
Posted on 05/31/2023 19:08 PM (Detroit Catholic)
Posted on 05/31/2023 18:46 PM (Detroit Catholic)
‘Live the Fourth:’ Kairos retreats offer high schoolers chance to disconnect from world, reconnect with God before graduation
Posted on 05/31/2023 18:45 PM (CNA Daily News)
Rome Newsroom, May 31, 2023 / 10:45 am (CNA).
Pope Francis has backed a project aimed at enhancing interdisciplinary research at Catholic universities in the sphere of family, marriage, and childbearing.
“We cannot be indifferent to the future of the family as a community of life and love, a unique and indissoluble covenant between a man and a woman, a place where generations meet, a source of hope for society,” the pope said in a message of support released Tuesday.
The project, called the Family Global Compact, was presented May 30 by members of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (PASS) and the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life.
In a written message read at the presentation, Cardinal Kevin Farrell, prefect of the family dicastery, said: “The Family Global Compact entrusts Catholic universities with the task of developing more in-depth theological, philosophical, legal, sociological, and economic analyses of marriage and the family to sustain it and place it at the heart of systems of thought and contemporary action.”
The compact includes a 50-page document outlining specific challenges faced by families today, followed by suggested solutions and actions to take. Each challenge also includes guidelines for university research on that topic.
The document notes the challenges caused by low birth rates in many areas of the world and how the widespread practice and legalization of contraception, abortion, and sterilization “have transformed the meaning of procreation: from a natural inclination and gift of God to a project and result of a procreative will that tends to dominate life.”
The Vatican document encourages working to create “favorable conditions for getting married and having children at a young age” and to improve access to Church-approved forms of medical care, such as Naprotechnology, for those struggling with infertility.
The document also discusses the promotion of marriage among young adults, childbearing and adoption, intergenerational dependence, domestic violence, education to faith and the common good, employment, and poverty, among other subjects.
“This project,” the document says, “also challenges all the social actors to whom the Family Global Compact will be able to offer arguments and reflections based on rigorous empirical evidence, investigated and interpreted within an explicit anthropological perspective, relational and personalistic in nature, firmly inscribed in the social doctrine of the Church.”
The Vatican representatives emphasized May 30 that the project is based on the concrete realities of families today.
The president of PASS, Sister Helen Alford, OP, said: “We see that, despite the sense of a crisis in the family, or even of the ‘death’ of the family, it remains a central goal and value in people’s lives.”
“We cannot resign ourselves,” Pope Francis said in his message, “to the decline of the family in the name of uncertainty, individualism, and consumerism, which envision a future of individuals who think only of themselves.”
“The family, it should be recalled, has a positive effect on everyone, since it is a generator of common good,” he continued. “Healthy family relationships represent a unique source of enrichment, not only for spouses and children but for the entire ecclesial and civil community.”
Gabriella Gambino, an undersecretary of the family and life dicastery, pointed to four steps, or goals, of the Family Global Compact, as explained by Pope Francis.
The first is to initiate “a process of dialogue and greater collaboration among university study and research centers dealing with family issues, in order to make their activities more productive, particularly by creating or reviving networks of university institutes inspired by the social doctrine of the Church,” the pope said.
The second and third goals, he added, are to create “greater synergy of content and goals between Christian communities and Catholic universities” and to promote “the culture of family and life in society, so that helpful public policy resolutions and objectives can emerge.”
And finally, Francis said, the compact hopes to harmonize and advance proposals resulting from the research “so that service to the family can be enhanced and sustained in spiritual, pastoral, cultural, legal, political, economic, and social terms.”
Pierpaolo Donati, a sociologist and member of PASS, said in the past “once upon a time if you will,” young people were educated in a healthy family life by the family, but now, this has largely been lost.
“The core of the problem is a relationship culture that is lacking,” he said.
“Studies have revealed a crisis in family relationships,” Pope Francis said, “fueled by both contingent and structural problems, which, in the absence of adequate means of support from society, make it more difficult to create a serene family life.”
“This is one reason why many young people are choosing unstable and informal types of emotional relationships over marriage,” he explained. “At the same time, surveys make it clear that the family continues to be the primary source of social life and point to the existence of good practices that deserve to be shared and promoted globally.”
“Families themselves can and should be witnesses and leaders in this process.”
Posted on 05/31/2023 17:05 PM (CNA Daily News)
New York City, N.Y., May 31, 2023 / 09:05 am (CNA).
In what many are calling the largest eucharistic procession ever held in New York City, thousands of people took to the streets reciting prayers and singing songs of praise on the vigil of Pentecost, May 27.
The NYPD estimated more than 4,000 people took to the streets and processed through Times Square. Led by Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Espaillat of the Archdiocese of New York, the procession brought together priests, nuns, and laity to pray for the forgiveness of sins in the iconic city and the world.
The theme of the procession was “¡Esta ciudad pertenece a Jesucristo!” — “This city belongs to Jesus Christ!”
The procession was organized by the Hispanic Catholic Charismatic Center located in the Bronx, which is part of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church. Participants started at Father Duffy Square in Times Square and after two hours, the procession ended at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where Mass was celebrated.
With a bullhorn in hand, Espaillat shared intense words to the faithful, saying: “In the middle of New York is the cross of Jesus Christ!”
“And this is why we rejoice today. We rejoice because this is Pentecost weekend. And we know what happened on Pentecost, right? There was an outpouring of the Holy Spirit,” he said.
“And we would not be standing here if it were not for the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen?”
“So my sisters and my brothers in Christ, we rejoice today for the blessings that God has in store for this great city. I love this city! I love New York! And that’s why I’m here, because I want to pray for our city. Amen?”
He exclaimed in Spanish: “¡Esta es mi ciudad! ¡Esta es nuestra ciudad! ¡Esta ciudad es de Jesucristo!” which translates to “This is my city! This is our city! This city is Jesus Christ’s’!”
Photojournalist Jeffrey Bruno, who happened to be in the city for another assignment and stumbled upon the procession thanks to an Instagram post, said: “I have never seen anything like that before, especially in New York.”
One particularly moving moment Bruno captured was the crowded street, lined by the skyscrapers of Times Square, filled with the faithful kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament as it was being lifted high into the air.
Father Shane Johnson, administrator of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church and director of the Hispanic Catholic Charismatic Center, told CNA: “To me, the number of people was secondary to the amount of real authentic faith that was so evident in those who were present. It was astonishing.”
“These moments of kneeling on the asphalt in the middle of a city street with our arms raised to God remind us of who we are as his children and how this city really does belong entirely to him,” he added.
Johnson explained that while many view New York City as hostile toward Catholic events, such as protests held during pro-life walks in the city, the vast majority of people are respectful.
“There is far more faith than might appear at first glance,” he shared. “When the majority is silent and a tiny minority is very loud, we get the impression that faith is moribund, but I’m convinced that our Lord’s victory in the hearts of his children is, almost all of the time, far greater than we realize.”
“Most people like to see expressions of faith, even when they don’t understand them fully, and even in a city that’s often considered more famous for its sinners than for its many saints.”
The eucharistic procession was organized as part of the Church’s National Eucharistic Revival. The next procession will take place on the feast of Corpus Christi, Sunday, June 11.
Posted on 05/31/2023 16:00 PM (CNA - Saint of the Day)
Feast date: May 31
Assuming that the Annunciation and the Incarnation took place around the time of the vernal equinox, Mary left Nazareth at the end of March and went over the mountains to Hebron, south of Jerusalem, to wait upon her cousin Elizabeth. Because Mary's presence, and even more the presence of the Divine Child in her womb, according to the will of God, was to be the source of very great graces to the Blessed John, Christ's Forerunner. (Lk1:39-57).
Feeling the presence of his Divine Saviour, John, upon the arrival of Mary, leaped for joy in the womb of his mother; at that moment he was cleansed from original sin and filled with the grace of God. Our Lady now, for the first time, exercised the office which belonged to the Mother of God made man: that He might, by her mediation, sanctify and glorify us. St. Joseph probably accompanied Mary, returned to Nazareth, and when, after three months, he came again to Hebron to take his wife home, the apparition of the angel, mentioned in Mt 1:19-25, may have taken place to end the tormenting doubts of Joseph regarding Mary's maternity.
The earliest evidence of the existence of the feast is its adoption by the Franciscan Chapter in 1263, upon the advice of St. Bonaventure. The list of feasts in the "Statuta Synodalia eccl. Cenomanensis", according to which this feast was kept July 2 at Le Mans in 1247, may not be genuine. With the Franciscan Breviary this feast spread to many churches, but was celebrated at various dates-at Prague and Ratisbon, April 28, in Paris June 27, and at Reims and Geneva, on July 8. It was extended to the entire Church by Urban VI on April 6, 1389 (Decree published by Boniface IX, 9 Nov., 1389), with the hope that Christ and His Mother would visit the Church and put an end to the Great Schism which rent the seamless garment of Christ.
The feast, with a vigil and an octave, was assigned to July 2, the day after the octave of St. John, about the time when Mary returned to Nazareth. The Office was drawn up by an Englishman, Adam Cardinal Easton, Benedictine monk and Bishop of Lincoln. Dreves has published this rhythmical office with nine other offices for the same feast, found in the Breviaries of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.
Since, during the Schism, many bishops of the opposing obedience would not adopt the new feast, it was confirmed by the Council of Basle, in 1441. Pius V abolished the rhythmical office, the vigil, and the octave. The present office was compiled by order of Clement VIII by the Minorite Ruiz. Pius IX, on May 13, 1850, raised the feast to the rank of a double of the second class.
Many religious orders -- the Carmelites, Dominicans, Cistercians, Mercedarians, Servites, and others -- as well as Siena, Pisa, Loreto, Vercelli, Cologne, and other dioceses have retained the octave. In Bohemia the feast is kept on the first Sunday of July as a double of the first class with an octave.