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Vatican City, Jul 23, 2014 / 08:22 am (CNA/EWTN News).- During his upcoming apostolic voyage to South Korea Pope Francis is slated to meet with 20 Asian youth during the 2014 Asia Youth Day, including Korean pop-star BoA.

According to the Korean Times, representatives from 17 Asian countries will attend a luncheon with the Roman Pontiff Aug. 15, following his visit to Daejeon’s World Cup Stadium, where he will celebrate Mass for the Solemnity of the Assumption, after which he will have an official lunch with the diocese’s seminarians.

Among the 17 different countries the youth will come from are India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Taiwan, Nepal, China, Japan and Mongolia.

K-pop sensation BoA will also join the banquet as an honorary ambassador for the sixth Asian Youth Day, being held in Daejeon. Taking place Aug. 13 – 17, the event is expected to draw some 2,000 youngsters from 22 Asian countries.

The Roman Pontiff will travel to the Somoe Shrine after the luncheon, and will meet with all participants of the AYD later that evening.

Announced by the Vatican in March, the Pope’s Aug. 13 – 18 trip follows an invitation from both the president of the Korean Republic, Park Geun-hye, and the bishops of Korea.

Following the motto “Rise Korea, clothe yourself in light, the Lord’s glory shines upon you,” the Pope’s visit officially begins with his departure from Rome the evening of Wednesday, Aug. 13. He will travel to Daejeon Friday.

Nazarius Yoo Heung-sik, the diocese’s bishop, told reporters at a July 14 press conference that “The Daejeon diocesan territory is home to many Korean martyrs and the AYD will inspire young devout Catholics in Asia to look up to the sacrifices of the martyrs,” the Korean Times reports.

“The pope's visit at the event will be a huge encouragement for them.”

Pope Francis will close the AYD event by celebrating Mass for the participants Aug. 17, and will conclude his trip the next day with a Mass in Seoul's Myeongdong Cathedral, where he is expected to give a message for peace to the Korean peninsula.

The Times also reports that the committee organizing the Pope's visit have invited former wartime “comfort women,” prostitutes, during the Japanese occupation of 1910-1945 to participate in the Mass, and have also sent invitations to Catholic organizations in North Korea and are waiting for their reply.

Pope Francis’ trip will mark the first time in 25 years that a pope has visited the Korean peninsula, the last occurring when St. John Paul II came in October 1989, following a 1984 trip where he canonized 103 Korean martyrs.

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Denver, Colo., Jul 23, 2014 / 04:57 am (CNA).- The co-founder and executive director of an organization that fights pornography addiction among youth says he sees a need to continue raising awareness about the harmful effects of porn.

“We want to change the attitude and perception of young people on this topic so that we can help preserve relationships, love, intimacy, spirituality and inspire a new generation to pursue real love and avoid its counterfeit,” Clay Olsen told CNA.

Olsen helped found Fight the New Drug with the intention of helping to make a change in the culture after seeing the harmful effects of pornography on some of his loved ones.

“When it comes to drugs and other types of addictions, we have curriculum, billboards, and campaigns to raise awareness, but when it comes pornography, our culture acts as if it doesn’t exist,” he said.

The name for the organization was chosen specifically to portray the addictive nature of pornography.

One recent survey found that nearly one in five regular pornography watchers felt controlled by their own sexual desires. And a study out of Cambridge University last year found that individuals who are addicted to pornography demonstrate similar brain activity to alcoholics or drug addicts.

“The more research that comes out has shown us that pornography works like a drug when it comes to the brain,” Olson explained. Learning more about the addictive nature of pornography has led to the discovery that “the brain is capable of healing and rewiring back to a healthy state.”

“We aim to help youth understand that not only does porn cause serious damage in their own lives, but also understand it as a social injustice that we need to collectively stand against.”

Fight the New Drug has created a free online program called Fortify to help youth fight pornography addiction.

The video-based program includes a personalized “battle strategy” and progress tracker, journal responses and encouragement emails. Utilizing the science of addiction, it offers tools, education, and resources to help young people succeed in their battle against pornography.

“We have worked for over three years with a team of therapists and psychologists and currently have over 5,000 users already who are getting the help they need to recover,” said Olsen, who added that the program is unique in what it does.

Fight The New Drug has given presentations at more than 300 school assemblies in both public and private schools across the U.S. as well as in parts of Canada.

The educational presentations involve offering information on pornography’s three main areas of impact: individuals, relationships and society, which Olsen described as “the brain, the heart, and the world.”

He emphasized the impact on relationships, noting that studies have found “that regular viewers of pornography often times prefer the fantasy to reality and prefer the computer screen to a human person.”

The correlation between sex trafficking and the porn industry is growing more than ever in recent studies, Olsen said. “Though it is not the case in every situation, more and more individuals are being forced, drugged, beaten and manipulated into participating in activities active in trafficking.”

Despite the grim reality of pornography in the modern world, Olsen offered a positive message to those who struggle with it.

“The number one thing I would say to youth is that there is hope to overcome this addiction; a life without porn is far more joyful and meaningful and we are here to help our youth get to that point.”

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Seeing the Face of Christ in the Poor

Each Sunday, we hear St. Vincent’s name mentioned along with St. Louis and St. Rose Philippine Duchesne during the Eucharistic prayers. St. Louis we know was the King of France. We know St. Rose was a teacher and brought education to all children, especially the Native American Indians. We have heard of St. Vincent and we know he is associated with the poor and that the St. Vincent de Paul Society provides resources to those in need. St. Vincent was involved in the formation of priests and set up missionaries to go out among ordinary people and tell them about Jesus. About 150 years after his death, his missionaries came to the St. Louis area. They asked his intercession on their great mission of reaching out to the people in the wilderness of St. Louis, asking him to be our patron. 

In 1581, St. Vincent de Paul was born to poor farmers. He was the third son and learned how to tend the animals. His father thought this would be good for him, but Vincent was smart and everyone noticed. The neighbors convinced his father to send him to school and let one of his other brothers tend the animals. Therefore, Vincent went away to school. He got along very well and taught others. His teaching ability would become an asset to him and allow him many opportunities to bring others to Christ. Although, he lived almost 500 years ago, St. Vincent had a very interesting life. While making a journey by boat to a new city where he was assigned, St. Vincent was captured by pirates and sold into slavery. After years as a slave, his master decided to help him escape and chose to go with him. St. Vincent’s Christian example would lead his master to repent and return to the Catholic Church. 

The St. Vincent de Paul Chapel at the Cardinal Rigali Center

Everywhere St. Vincent lived and worked the example of his life would bring others to Christ. He was a tutor in a very rich household. He affected the parents of the children he tutored. In the 1500’s, dueling was the answer to any offense. Honor was everything. One day, the father of his students was in church praying before going off to duel. St. Vincent convinced the father that taking another’s life in a duel was cruel and God did not approve. The father amended his ways and followed the example of St. Vincent. The father and mother became St. Vincent’s greatest supporters and after the mother’s death, the father would go on to become a priest. 

This was the effect St. Vincent had on people. People would change their behaviors and amend their ways to live according to the church doctrines and follow the ways of Christ. St. Vincent had no desire to be rich or famous. Although he had influential friends, he was happy to stay working with the poor in every community. In a time when people lived extravagant lives with no regard to how the poor people lived, he would remind them of the vast differences in lifestyles. He found priests to be missionaries and formed Lady’s Charities. While volunteering for these charities, wealthier women would work alongside not so wealthy women to feed and shelter the poor. They founded hospitals and orphanages. Where there was a need, St. Vincent found ways to go to these people and meet them where they were. One day he decided to visit the prisoners who served their sentence rowing the large ships. The inhumane way in which these prisoners were treated saddened and shocked him. He appealed to the ship owners and gained permission to take care of these men. It was difficult work, but St. Vincent managed again to con-vert souls and bring more people to the Church. He said to his followers, “Love makes us see God and nothing else but God in each of those whom we love.” St. Vincent gave his life for others and taught everyone by his exam-ple. 

Each month our Pope has special intentions. He has general and missionary intentions. In September 2012, he asked God to send: “Help for the poorest Churches that Christian communities may have a growing willingness to send missionaries, priests, and lay people along with concrete resources to the poorest Churches.” On September 27, we celebrate St. Vincent de Paul’s feast day. This is an appropriate time to ask God to help the poorest. St. Vincent would approve, he once said, “By mutual support the strong will sustain the weak, and God’s work will be accomplished.” St. Vincent wants everyone to be an example of Christ in the world. To love all people as God loved us. --- Alethea Paradis, M.T.S.

 

St. Vincent de Paul's Legacy

Jesus said, “this is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (Jn 15:12) As Christians we are called by these words of Christ to love and care for one another. The greatest way to outwardly express our love for one another is through charity- by donating our time, talent, and treasures to those in need.

There are many ways to get involved in the Catholic ministries in the Archdiocese of St. Louis that help the poor,
abused, neglected, elderly, disabled and lonely in our community, and one way is through the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. 

“Serving Christ’s needy is the first purpose of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.”

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul provides services in crisis intervention, housing, criminal justice ministry, transportation, and health.

Photo courtesy of svdpstlouis.org

Most parishes have a Society of St. Vincent de Paul conference, which are “chapters” of the Society. To find volunteer opportunities with your parish SVDP conference, you can call your parish office or look at the list of SVDP conferences.

To volunteer or donate to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul call 314.881.6000 or donate online.

 

Read more about the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.


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St. Bridget of Sweden
7/23/2014 12:00:00 AM
Today, July 23, the Church celebrates the feast day of St. Bridget of Sweden.  Bridget received visions of Christ’s suffering many times throughout her life, and went on to found the order of the Most Holy Savior.Daughter of Birger Persson, the governor and provincial judge of Uppland, and of Ingeborg Bengtsdotter, Bridget was born in Sweden in 1303. From the time she was a child, she was greatly devoted to the passion of Jesus. When she was only ten, it is recorded that she had a vision of Jesus on the cross and heard him say, “Look at me, my daughter." "Who has treated you like this?" cried little Bridget. Jesus answered, "Those who despise me and refuse my love for them.â€�  From that moment on, Bridget tried to stop people from offending Jesus.When she was 14, Bridget married an 18-year old man named Ulf. Like Bridget, Ulf had set his heart on serving God. They had eight children, of whom one was St. Catherine of Sweden. Bridget and Ulf also served the Swedish court, Bridget as the queen's personal maid. Bridget tried to help King Magnus and Queen Blanche lead better lives, however for the most part, they did not listen to her.All her life, Bridget had marvelous visions and received special messages from God. In obedience to them, she visited many rulers and important people in the Church. She explained humbly what God expected of them. After her husband died, Bridget put away her rich clothes and lived as a poor nun. Later, in 1346, she began the order of the Most Holy Savior, also known as Bridgettines. She still kept up her own busy life, traveling about doing good everywhere she went. And through all this activity, Jesus continued to reveal many secrets to her, which she received without the least bit of pride.Shortly before she died, the saint went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. At the shrines there, she had visions of what Jesus had said and done in each place. All St. Bridget's revelations on the sufferings of Jesus were published after her death. St. Bridget died in Rome on July 23, 1373. She was proclaimed a saint by Pope Boniface IX in 1391."True wisdom, then, consists in works, not in great talents, which the world admires; for the wise in the world's estimation . . . are the foolish who set at naught the will of God, and know not how to control their passions." --Saint Bridget of Sweden.
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First Reading - Jer 1:1, 4-10
7/23/2014 12:00:00 AM
1 The words of Jeremias the son of Helcias, of the priests that were in Anathoth, in the land of Benjamin.4 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying:5 Before I formed thee in the bowels of thy mother, I knew thee: and before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee, and made thee a prophet unto the nations.6 And I said: Ah, ah, ah, Lord God: behold, I cannot speak, for I am a child. 7 And the Lord said to me: Say not: I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee: and whatsoever I shall command thee, thou shalt speak. 8 Be not afraid at their presence: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord. 9 And the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth: and the Lord said to me: Behold I have given my words in thy mouth: 10 Lo, I have set thee this day over the nations, and over the kingdoms, to root up, and pull down, and to waste, and to destroy, and to build, and to plant. 
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