It is the Twenty Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time.
In the first reading. Amos was a shepherd in the kingdom of Judah who was called by God to go to Israel, the northern kingdom. There he was to speak in God’s name to the people. At that time, the country enjoyed material prosperity but idolatry and injustice were rife among the upper classes. Against these vices the prophet spoke fearlessly, until he was driven from the kingdom.
The second reading from St. Paul writes to Timothy, the bishop of Ephesus, to teach his congregation, the necessity and the obligation of prayer.
In the Gospel from St. Luke, Christ warns those who would follow him on the road to heaven not to become the slaves of earthly things.
Monday, September 23 is the feast of St. Pio of Pietrelcina
While celebrating a thanksgiving Mass, Padre Pio, a Capuchin Franciscan, had a vision of Jesus that ended with a stigmata in his hands, feet and side. This has made his life complicated that drew attention from medical doctors, church authorities and curiosity seekers. Every morning he said Mass to a full crowd capacity and heard confessions until noon. He also took time to bless the sick and those who come to see him. He saw Jesus in the sick and those who suffer. A number of people believed to have been cured through the prayers and intercession of this holy priest. He was canonized in 2002.
Tuesday, September 24 is the feast of Blessed John Henry Newman
John Henry spent the first half of his life as Anglican and the rest as a Roman Catholic. He was a priest, popular preacher, writer, and eminent theologian in both Churches. He was ordained a Catholic priest in Rome and joined the Congregation of the Oratory and for seven years served as rector of the Catholic University of Ireland. Newman eventually wrote 40 books and 21,000 letters. Pope Benedict XVI beatified Newman in 2010 and noted Newman’s emphasis on the vital place of revealed religion in civilized society,as well as his pastoral zeal for the sick, the poor, the bereaved and those in prison.
Wednesday, September 25 is the feast of Saints Louis Martin and Zelie Guerin
Louis was a watchmaker and Zelie was a lace maker. They were blessed with nine children. Together they nurtured the sanctity of all their children, but especially their youngest, who is known to us as Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus. Louis and Zélie were beatified in 2008, and canonized by Pope Francis on October 18, 2015.
Thursday, September 26 is the feast of St. Paul VI
Giovanni Battista Cardinal Montini helped in preparing Vatican II and participated in its first sessions. When he was elected Pope in 1963, he decided to continue the Council sessions until concluded on December 8, 1965. He worked very hard to ensure that bishops would approve the Council’s 16 documents by overwhelming majorities. He visited the Holy Land in 1964, and met Athenagoras, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. The pope made eight more international trips, including New York City where he spoke on behalf of peace before the United Nations General Assembly. He also visited India, Columbia, Uganda, and seven Asian countries. Pope Paul VI established diplomatic relations between the Holy See and 40 countries and instituted a permanent observer mission at the United Nations. He wrote seven encyclicals; his last one in 1968 on human life—Humanae Vitae— which prohibited artificial birth control.
Saturday, September 28 is the feast of St. Lorenzo Ruiz
A member of the Dominican Confraternity of the Holy Rosary, Lorenzo joined a group of missionaries to Japan. They landed in Okinawa, arrested and taken to Nagasaki. They were subjected to an unspeakable kind of torture with huge quantities of water forced down their throats. Long boards were placed on their stomachs and guards then stepped on the ends of the boards, forcing the water to spurt violently from mouth, nose and ears. Despite of all the sufferings, Lorenzo and his companions would not renounce their Catholic faith. They were hanged upside down to death. St. Lorenzo Ruiz is the first canonized Filipino martyr.
St. Casimir Church Pilgrimage of Mercy
(Meetings with Cardinal elect Tamkevicius and six Lithuanian prelates)
Parishioners of St. Casimir Church in Los Angeles led by pastor Tomas Karanauskas journeyed to Lithuania for a Pilgrimage of Mercy from September 2-12, 2019. They visited different holy shrines and churches including the Shrine of Divine Mercy, House of St. Faustina, Cathedral catacombs and Catholic Heritage Museum.
On the morning of their arrival, Archbishop Gintaras Grusas presided Mass at St. Casimir Chapel of the Basilica of Sts. Stanislaus and Ladislaus. The group also made a courtesy call to his Excellency who was celebrating the 9th anniversary of his Episcopal installation on the same day. The archbishop was a former altar boy of St. Casimir Parish Los Angeles.
A tour of the old town included the Presidential Palace and Vilnius University, the oldest and most prestigious educational institution in Eastern and Central Europe. On campus is the marvelous St. John’s Chapel built in four architectural ensembles – Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Classicism. Later in the afternoon, Archbishop Emeritus Lionginas Virbalas, SJ welcomed the group in the crowned church dedicated to Lithuania’s patron saint Casimir.
To celebrate the feast of the nativity of Mary, the group prayed to three miraculous images of the Blessed Mother. They brought with them handwritten petitions (maldos prašymas) to Our Lady Gate of Dawn, Mother of God in Trakai and Our Lady of Siluva. Bishop Algirdas Jurevicius, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Kaunas hosted a reception after Mass at the Siluva Pilgrims Center. The newly appointed cardinal emeritus elect Sigitas Tamkevicius, S.J. was also introduced and joined for picture taking.
On the way to Kaunas, the pilgrims were greeted with lush forests, rivers, lakes and fields. A side trip to the crypt of Blessed Teofilius Matuilionis at the Kaisiadorys Cathedral was made. Blessed Teofilius said “when you think about how good and merciful is the Lord: in the forests and tundras, in the middle of the night, He finds his people.“ Kaisiadorys Bishop Jonas Ivanauskas presented the group, a canvas of another Augustinian Blessed Mykolas Giedraitis. Blessed Mykolas beatification began during the 16th century and to be reopened only last November 8, 2018.
The group also had an opportunity to drop by Kaunas Theological Seminary where pastor Tomas Karanauskas attended. Mass was celebrated at the Bishop Vincentas Borisevičius Priest Seminary chapel where they were greeted by the current bishop of Telsiai-Klaipeda, Kestutis Kevalas, a classmate of Karanauskas.
Finally, a cross representing the petitions and prayers of parishioners was planted at the Hill of Crosses. Siauliai Bishop Eugenijus Bartulis gave everyone a copy of his book which included pictures of this holy and sacred place visited by Pope John Paul II.
The pilgrims who were mostly Filipinos were awed with beauty of the countryside, inspired by the faith of martyrs and enriched with the history and culture of the Lithuanian people. This spiritual journey of friendship and goodwill, brings St. Casimir Los Angeles in profound solidarity with the origins of their church in joyful service “to make known to all that Jesus Christ is our one hope.“
Pray for our parish and spiritual community
Let us continue offering special prayers for unity, understanding and cooperation in our parish community. God brought us all together here at St. Casimir’s in His great love and mercy to be one universal Church. Let us pray for our pastor that he may always have the graces and wisdom to lead us to Christ.
Pope Francis Message on His Apostolic Journey to the Baltic Seas
During his apostolic visit last September, Pope Francis acknowledged the experiences of Lithuanians that still bear the scars of the occupation period, anguish of those who were deported, uncertainty about those who never returned, and shame for those who were informers and traitors. He called for healing the memories of the past and take active part in the tasks of the present. He reminded everyone what it means to be a Church on the move, unafraid to go out and get involved, to go forth to the weak, neglected, those dwelling at the margins of life. To go forth also means to halt at times, to set aside worries and cares, to notice, to listen and to accompany those left on the roadside.
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