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Vatican City, Aug 1, 2014 / 08:35 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In honor of the feast commemorating the founder of their order, Pope Francis made a last minute phone call to the head of the Jesuit General Curia expressing his desire to eat dinner with them.

According to an Aug. 1 statement issued by the Jesuits, “It was only at the last moment that he told Father General that this was his wish.”

The Roman Pontiff arrived to the community in his small Ford Focus, and made a point to greet several bystanders outside the front door of the offices of the Jesuit Curia before going inside.

Describing the visit as “wholly private and quite simple,” the Jesuits explained that after dining with the community in the refractory, Pope Francis joined them in the recreation room for coffee and “friendly conversation,” where he greeted each one personally.

Among those present were the seven siblings of Fr. Paolo Dall'Oglio, who disappeared in Syria last year, and whom the pontiff consoled with “words of comfort.”

Fr. Dall’Oglio had served for 30 years at the Deir Mar Musa monetary in Damascus before his 2012 exile by the Syrian government of Bashar Al-Assad for meeting with members of the opposition.

He is credited for having been an avid peace activist, and has drawn praise for his reconstruction of the Mar Musa complex, which became a point of interfaith dialogue. He was abducted by rebels July 29 of last year.

Also present at dinner with the Bishop of Rome was a group of EJIF, Jesuits in Formation, scholastics, who are currently holding their annual gathering at the General Curia.

Pope Francis entered his novitiate with the Society of Jesus in 1958. He received a philosophy degree in 1963 and spent the next three years teaching literature and psychology.

The now-Roman Pontiff then studied theology from 1967 to 1970, during which time he was ordained a priest. His priestly ordination was Dec. 13, 1969.

He did the final state of Jesuit formation from 1970 to 1971, and was novice master at the Jesuit seminary in San Miguel, a Buenos Aires suburb, from 1972 to 1973, where he taught theology.

In 1973, he made his perpetual vows in the Society, and that year was elected provincial for Argentina. After his time as provincial, from 1980 to 1986, he served as rector of the seminary at San Miguel, where he had studied, and was pastor of a parish in the city. He was elected to the papacy March 13, 2013.

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Sioux Falls, S.D., Aug 1, 2014 / 04:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- If you have seen an artistic Facebook cover photo with a saint and a powerful quote, there's a good chance it came from Cassie Pease.

The 22-year-old South Dakota native's designs have been floating around social media and phone backgrounds for over a year now.

While Pease has always been interested in design, she did not realize her saint art would be so popular. The first composition she made was of Saint John Paul II, and she shared it on Facebook for her friends to enjoy.

“I started putting these designs on Facebook just to kind of share with my friends so they could know what I was up to,” Pease said. “About a week later I checked it and it had over 300 shares…and I was just astonished.”

Growing up, Pease said she enjoyed creating designs with characters from movies and T.V. shows. While attending college for graphic design in Sioux Falls, her art began reflecting her growing faith.

“I started falling more in love with Jesus and the Catholic Church, so for different projects I would do things for the Newman Center or youth ministry office in our diocese, and I really loved that. I wanted to use my talents in design for the Church in some way,” she said.

After college, Pease tried to get a job working for the Church in design, but it didn't work out. A job at a winery paid the bills, but when she got home in the evening she continued creating designs on her computer with her favorite saints. When they started taking off on Facebook, Pease looked into creating her own design business.

“People started asking, 'Do you do print?' or 'Do you have your designs as posters that I can hang up?' So it was through those questions that I started looking into…could I actually do this as a job?” she said.

Pease started the printing side of her business after finding a good sale on posters, which she then sold online. She now has her own design business, Cassie Pease designs, which includes free Saint designs for Facebook and computer backgrounds as well as print designs such as posters, postcards and wallets for sale among other things.

Saint John Paul II is Pease's favorite saint, so there are several designs with different quotes from the late pontiff.

“He’s also pretty easy to find pictures of,” Pease said. It's true – the saint was arguably one of the most photographed men in the history of the world.

Other favorites of Pease include St. Jose Maria Escriva and Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassatti. “He’s such a vibrant young guy, he’s really inspiring for young people,” Pease said of Frassatti.

Pease said she likes to take requests from people who enjoy her designs about which saints they’d like to see. Her inspiration also comes from powerful quotes from the saints.

“Every once in a while you just get those quotes that really hit home and you want to remember them and keep going back to them,” she said.

Tied for the oldest of nine children (she has a twin sister), Pease said she thinks her home-schooled background has a lot to do with how artistic she and her siblings are.

“(My parents) were great teachers and great examples in the faith growing up, (though) neither one of my parents are very artistic,” Pease said.

“But I think being homeschooled really played a part in all my siblings’ lives,” she said. “Everyone’s kind of got their own little (creative) niche.”

Pease’s twin sister, who is now a sister with The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, loves to draw with pencils. The next sister down was really into music and taught herself piano, and is now a religious sister with the Capuchin Sisters of Nazareth.

“It’s really cool because she can sing all the time with the sisters, their voices are all so beautiful,” Pease said. “I’d go visit her and it’s like, ‘Yeah, you fit in here.’”

Another Pease sister creates her own designs and sells clothes and owl purses on Etsy.  “All the rest of my siblings are pretty artsy,” Pease said.

She noted that said her designs create opportunities to share her faith with others. “A mom e-mailed me through the website and she said her daughter didn’t really seem like she’s that interested in her faith, but she found my designs and she showed them to her mom and she was just really excited about them,” Pease said.

“And that was a gift, because it provided them an opportunity to talk about the saints and the Catholic Church.”

Pease said her design business will likely continue to grow organically as she learns more about design and receives more requests from people who love her art. She’s thinking about adding journals or diaries to her store soon, but the Facebook and computer background images will remain free for people to download and use.

“Because at the end of day I really just want to share that message of the saints and let Jesus Christ work through them to touch people’s lives.”

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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. Alphonsus Liguori
8/1/2014 12:00:00 AM
St. Alphonsus Liguori is a doctor of the Church who is widely known for his contribution to moral theology and his great kindness. He was born in 1696 in Naples to a well-respected family. He was very intelligent , even as a young boy, and he became a doctor of civil law at age 17. He resigned from a brilliant career as a lawyer in 1723 when he lost a case because he overlooked a small, but important, piece of evidence.  His resignation, however, proved profitable for the Church. He entered the seminary and was ordained three years later in 1726. He soon became a sought-after preacher and confessor in Naples. His so sermons were simple and well organized that they appealed to all people, both learned and unlearned. However, his time as a diocesan priest was short-lived: in 1732, he went to Scala and founded the Redemptorists, a preaching order.  He was a great moral theologian and his famous book, “Moral Theologyâ€�, was published in 1748. Thirty years later, he was appointed bishop, and he retired in 1775. He died just over 10 years later in 1787, and was canonized in 1839.
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First Reading - Jer 26: 1-9
8/1/2014 12:00:00 AM
1 In the beginning of the reign of Joakim the son of Josias king of Juda, came this word from the Lord, saying: 2 Thus saith the Lord: Stand in the court of the house of the Lord, and speak to all the cities of Juda, out of which they come, to adore in the house of the Lord, all the words which I have commanded thee to to speak unto them: leave not out one word. 3 If so be they will hearken and be converted every one from his evil way; that I may repent me of the evil that I think to do unto them for the wickedness of their doings. 4 And thou shalt say to them: Thus saith the Lord: If you will not hearken to me to walk in my law, which I have given to you: 5 To give ear to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I sent to you rising up early: and sending, and you have not hearkened:6 I will make this house like Silo: and I will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth. 
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