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Pope’s Monthly Intention May 2019 “The Church in Africa, a seed of unity”
16th May, 2019

Africa is full of contrasts that are an essential part of its identity.

On the rich African continent, the Church strives to work for unity in diversity, respecting ethnic and linguistic divisions. “The ethnic, linguistic, and tribal divisions in Africa can be overcome promoting unity in diversity. I want to thank the religious sisters, priests, laity, and missionaries for their work to create dialogue and reconciliation among the various sectors of African society. Let us pray this month that the Church in Africa, through the commitment of its members, may be the seed of unity among her peoples and a sign of hope for this continent.”

Each month, The Pope Video disseminates the Holy Father’s prayer intentions regarding the challenges of humanity and the mission of the Church.

The Church in Africa, a seed of unity

That the Church in Africa, through the commitment of its members, may be the seed of unity among her peoples and a sign of hope for the continent.


God of kindness,
you created your children to live united to you,
in communion with one another.
During this month, we pray you for Christians in Africa,
that they may open themselves to your presence and to your reconciling action
in the midst of the divisions of this world.
May your grace move hearts to forgiveness and mercy,
with a sincere desire to build peace
and nurture hope in the future,
especially among the poorest and the young.
Our Father…

Proposals for the month

  • Look for good examples of reconciliation between people and groups separated by war or religion and spread them in your own social networks.
  • Seek, in your family, school and work, to be an agent of peace and reconciliation, taking on this task as a way of evangelisation.
  • Promote, in your community, a moment of prayer, praying that the Lord will heal the wounds of war and the division of the African peoples and open paths of reconciliation.
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Celebrate Passover
4th April, 2019

In 2019, the first seder falls on Friday, April 19

Passover 2019 begins at sundown on Friday, April 19, and ends Saturday evening, April 27. The first Passover seder is on the evening of April 19, and the second Passover seder takes place on the evening of April 20.

What is Passover?

Passover is a festival of freedom.

It commemorates the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt, and their transition from slavery to freedom. The main ritual of Passover is the seder, which occurs on the first two night (in Israel just the first night) of the holiday — a festive meal that involves the re-telling of the Exodus through stories and song and the consumption of ritual foods, including matzah and maror (bitter herbs). The seder’s rituals and other readings are outlined in the Haggadah , which means “telling” in Hebrew, it is a written guide to

A detail from the Sarajevo Haggadah, in which maror, the bitter herb, is illustrated with an artichoke. (Wikimedia Commons)the Passover seder, which commemorates the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt. The Haggadah includes various prayers, blessings, rituals, fables, songs and information for how the  should be performed.

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Think fast ! It’s Lent
4th April, 2019

The Mass Explained website has added some fun facts about Lent that I would love to share:

1. Who or what is a Lent?

Derived from the word lencten, which is Anglo-Saxon for springtime, Lent is the 40-day season of preparation prior to Easter which begins on Ash Wednesday.

2. Why is it 40 days?

Next to the number seven, the number forty occurs most frequently in the Bible. It represents a period of testing or judgment. Lent’s duration of 40 days reflects other times of trial, testing and hardship found in the Scriptures:

  • The story of Noah tells of rain falling on the earth for 40 days and 40 nights.
  • Both Moses and Elijah fasted for 40 days before beginning their missions.
  • The Hebrews wandered for 40 years in the desert after leaving Egypt.
  • It took the spies 40 days to search out the promised land and bring back fruit.
  • Goliath taunted the Israelite army in the morning and evening for 40 days.
  • Jonah warned the Ninevites they had 40 days until God would overthrow the city.
  • Jesus fasted and prayed in the desert for 40 days before beginning his ministry.

3. Fasting vs Abstinence

Also of biblical origins are the Lenten customs of fasting and abstinence. Although often used interchangeably, fasting refers to the amount of food consumed, while abstinence describes the type of food denied such as meat on Fridays.

4. My parish prays the Stations of the Cross during Lent. How did this custom originate?

The Stations of the Cross originated during the crusades when it was popular to visit Jerusalem to follow the steps to Calvary. After the Holy Land was captured, pilgrimages became a very dangerous affair. A desire arose to reproduce these holy places in other lands as a

substitute pilgrimage. The Stations help the participant make a spiritual pilgrimage to the major scenes of Christ’s sufferings and death. Prayers are said until the entire route is complete, enabling the faithful to more literally take up their cross and follow Jesus.

5. Why is there no Gloria or Alleluia sung at Mass?

The Church teaches by absence as well as by presence, and Lent is a time of great loss. Eating is diminished and some foods forbidden—a fast of the body. Music is scaled back, bells are silenced and the Gloria and Alleluia are dropped from the liturgy—a fast of hearing.


Photo by phil thep on Unsplash

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In the Service of Peace
27th November, 2018


These are five letters that some people use as if it were the most normal thing in the world, while others haven’t experienced peace in years. There are many places in the world where peace doesn’t exist: for thousands of people who suffer its absence, it’s only a dream. Rather than think about those five letters, let’s think about what they mean. Let us pray and work to obtain true peace.

“We all want peace. It is desired above all by those who suffer its absence.

Let us remember that Jesus also lived in times of violence. He taught us that true peace is in the human heart.

We can speak with splendid words, but if there is no peace in our heart, there will be no peace in the world.

Let us practice this peace in small things, letting dialogue guide our personal and social relationships.

With zero violence and 100 percent tenderness, let us build the evangelical peace that excludes no one, but rather includes everyone, especially young people and children.

Let us pray together that the language of love and dialogue may always prevail over the language of conflict.”

Each month, The Pope Video disseminates the Holy Father’s prayer intentions for the challenges of humanity and the mission of the Church.


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That the language of love and dialogue may always prevail over the language of conflict.

Offering prayer

Father, here I am.
I know you are always with me.
I place my heart in the Heart of your Son Jesus,
who gives himself to us in the Eucharist each day.
May your Holy Spirit strengthen me to live the Gospel in everything I do and say.
For my part I give you this day – all my prayers,
works, joys, and sufferings – all I am and possess.
With Mary, mother of the Church, I pray for the
mission of the Church, for all Apostles of Prayer,
and for the intentions of the Pope this month. Amen.

accessed from:   Daily Prayer 2017 Jesuit Communications Vic: Australia

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Advent Series 2018
12th September, 2018

This Advent get a daily 2-3 minute video featuring amazing religious sisters (Sisters of Life, CFR Sisters, SOLT Sisters, and more.) Videos are short, engaging, and created to be shared with your friends!

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18th May, 2018

In the novel Gilead by Marilynne Robinson, the elderly pastor, John Ames, in musing over his life, notices how the word ‘just’ can mean something depreciative or something affirmative – depending on how one views the situation. ‘There I was, with just you!’ Here ‘just you’ can mean ‘only you and what good was that to me?’ Not nice. Or ‘just you’ can mean ‘what more could I have wanted, you and you alone fill me with joy!’ In the first stance, the speaker betrays begrudging acceptance, the second, openness to mystery, joy, abundance.

In this Sunday’s Gospel Jesus states that the Spirit will teach us ‘everything’. This is an extraordinary statement. I am very conscious of what I don’t know, about the world, about people…and especially about God. And I’m sure you feel the same way too. Does this mean that the Spirit isn’t teaching me or you? This is how I get my mind around this conundrum: sometimes I wonder about how the ants in our garden view us. If one of us tried to teach an ant and the ant was just interested in its own anty world, it isn’t going to learn anything. But if the ant is interested in more, then it will find what little it learns ¬would be just marvellous. The Spirit is trying to teach us. But if we try to conform the Spirit to just what we want, we will be disappointed – the Spirit will not be tamed. But if we are open to what the Spirit wants, we will be just surprised by joy, time and time again.

This Reflection was taken from the Pray as you can website  

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Praying with the Pope in May
4th May, 2018

The Mission of the Laity


The mission of the laity: That the lay faithful may fulfill their specific mission, by responding with creativity to the challenges that face the world today.


Lord Jesus
You entrusted to your disciples the mission to bring the Gospel to the whole world.
The Church, your Body, accomplishes this mission in many ways, through priests, religious, and laity.
This month, I pray to you for all the laity, so that they can take with enthusiasm and creativity the presence of the Church to their families and places of work. I ask you in particular for the laity who have positions of responsibility, so that they may direct the future of their institutions according to your will.
Our Father.

Challenges for the month

  • Discuss whether the mission of the laity in the Christian community is meant to be more of an internal service, or if it is through their presence in the world, as baptized members, that their mission is fulfilled.
  • How are community schedules, meetings and initiatives planned? Is it necessary for lay people to use too much of their personal and family time to engage in pastoral activities? What kind of balance can be made?
  • Promote a meeting of reflection and sharing with the more committed laity in your community about their experience of taking the Gospel into their daily contexts.


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Two Cathedrals
21st March, 2018

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels (Los Angeles)

The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, informally known as COLA or the Los Angeles Cathedral, is a cathedral of the Roman Catholic Church in Los Angeles, California, United States of America. Opened in 2002, it serves as the mother church for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, as well as the seat of Archbishop José Horacio Gómez. The Cathedral is named in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary under the patronal title of Our Lady of the Angels, echoing the full name of the original settlement of Los Angeles (Spanish: El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles, or “The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels”). The Cathedral is widely known for enshrining the relics of Saint Vibiana and tilma piece of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It is the mother church to approximately five million professed Catholics in the archdiocese.

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Two Cathedrals
21st March, 2018


Until 2013, the building had been the principal place of worship for Crystal Cathedral Ministries (now Shepherd’s Grove), a congregation of the Reformed Church in America, founded in 1955 by Robert H. Schuller. Crystal Cathedral Ministries filed for bankruptcy in October 2010 and in February 2012 sold the building and its adjacent campus to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange for use as the diocese’s new cathedral. The building, especially the interior, is currently being renovated to accommodate the Roman Catholic liturgy and is due to re-open in early 2019, at which time it is expected to be consecrated and formally renamed Christ Cathedral and become the seat of the Diocese of Orange.

The statues that adorn this property are amazing!

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