POPE FRANCIS’ PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR AUGUST – ST. PADRE PIO’S REMAINS IN ST. PETER’S FOR ASH WEDNESDAY 2016 – FROM NOTRE DAME TO PHILADELPHIA – KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS EXPAND AID TO MIDDLE EAST CHRISTIANS

POPE FRANCIS’ PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR AUGUST

The Holy Father’s universal prayer intention for August: “That volunteers may give themselves generously to the service of the needy.”

His intention for evangelization: “That setting aside our very selves we may learn to be neighbors to those who find themselves on the margins of human life and society.”

PADRE PIO’S REMAINS IN ST. PETER’S FOR ASH WEDNESDAY 2016

(Vatican Radio)  The Vatican announced on Monday that the remains of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, better known as Padre Pio, will be exposed for veneration in St. Peter’s Basilica during the Jubilee of Mercy from 8-14 February 2016.  (photo news.va)

ST PADRE PIO

Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, wrote in a letter to the Archdiocese of Manfredonia-Vieste-San Giovanni Rotondo that it was Pope Francis who desired that Padre Pio’s reliquary be present in the Vatican for Ash Wednesday of the Jubilee of Mercy.

“The Holy Father has expressed his strong desire that the remains of St. Pio of Pietrelcina be exposed in St. Peter’s Basilica for Ash Wednesday of the upcoming Extraordinary Holy Year, the day in which he will send ‘Missionaries of Mercy’ throughout the world, giving them a special mandate to preach and confess so that they may be a living sign of how the Father welcomes all who seek his pardon,” Archbishop Fisichella wrote. The presence of St. Pio’s remains will be a precious sign for all missionaries and priests, who will find strength and support for their own mission in his admirable example of a untiring confessor, welcoming and patient, an authentic witness of the Mercy of the Father.”

FROM NOTRE DAME TO PHILADELPHIA

Here’s a great story from Notre Dame’s architecure school about a graduate who has built a sanctuary for Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia. You will have to click on the link to read it because each of the three times I have clicked on the link and then attempted to cut-and-paste the story to this column, Microsoft Windows closed all my Word documents. Not the first time my life that has happened: the annoying part is that it closes all open Word docs. http://news.nd.edu/news/59604-notre-dame-architecture-graduate-designs-a-sanctuary-for-pope-francis/

KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS EXPAND AID TO MIDDLE EAST CHRISTIANS

Following is a press release from the Knights of Columbus that illustrates their plans for an expanded campaign of humanitarian aid to Christians in the Middle East:

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Having already donated more than $3 million in humanitarian aid to persecuted Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East, the Knights of Columbus will expand its efforts even further with a national campaign to raise funds and foster awareness of the terrible suffering of Christians and others in the Middle East.

As part of the K of C effort, a new commercial on the issue will be airing nationally beginning this weekend. It can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mq–mXUhNfk

The Knights will also announce additional details of its program to aid Christian refugees at its international convention being held August 4-6 in Philadelphia. In attendance will be archbishops from Iraq and Syria, where the violence against Christians has been particularly severe.

An exposé on the deafening silence of the international community on this issue was published in the July 26 edition of The New York Times Magazine: “Is This the End of Christianity in the Middle East?” It reported that extremist groups “are enslaving, killing and uprooting Christians, with no aid in sight.”   In the article, which was featured on the magazine’s cover, author Eliza Griswold reported that, “according to a Pew study, more Christians are now faced with religious persecution than at any time since their early history.”

The Knights began its Christian Refugee Relief Fund in August 2014 with $1 million in matching funds that was quickly met and exceeded by its members and the public. The humanitarian assistance provided has included new housing for those who have had to flee their homes, as well as support for medical facilities in areas flooded with Christian and other refugees.

“Christians in the Middle East are facing a dire situation – and even extinction – while the response from the international community has woefully inadequate,” said Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson. “Pope Francis has urged the international community to take action to help Christians in the Middle East, and, as an organization that has long supported victims of religious persecution, the Knights of Columbus is responding by asking our own members, and the public at large, to help us save the lives of people who are being persecuted simply because of their Christian faith.”

Those wishing to assist with the relief efforts can donate by visiting http://www.christiansatrisk.org or by sending checks or money orders payable to Knights of Columbus Charities at P.O. Box 1966, New Haven, CT 06509-1966. The memo portion should indicate that the check is for Christian Refugee Relief.

One hundred percent of all donations directly supports humanitarian assistance and raising awareness for persecuted Christians and other religious minorities, especially in the Middle East. Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Knights of Columbus Charities, Inc., is recognized by the IRS as a charitable organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

The K of C has a long history of providing humanitarian relief and has done so following the 9/11 terrorist attacks; the 2013 typhoons in the Philippines; hurricanes Katrina and Sandy; nationwide tornadoes; flooding in Mexico; and tsunamis in Indonesia and Japan.

In the area of support for victims of religious persecution, the Knights provided humanitarian assistance and created international awareness of the persecution of the Catholic Church in Mexico throughout the 1920s.

The Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest Catholic fraternal organization with nearly 1.9 million members worldwide. One of the most active charitable organizations in the United States, the Knights of Columbus donated more than $173.5 million and 71.5 million hours of service in 2014.

For more information visit http://www.kofc.org/en/christianRelief/index.html

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