Posted in Catholic NEWS, Papa FRANCIS

Today, 13 December 2019, May we all wish Pope Francis Congratulations on the 50th Anniversary of his Ordination

Today, 13 December 2019, may we all wish Pope Francis
Congratulations on the 50th Anniversary of his Ordination
on 13 December 1969The-Priest-Jorge-Mario-Bergoglio-©-Vatican-Media.jpeg

On 13 December 1969, four days before his 33rd birthday, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was ordained a priest.

The now Pope Francis, received this Sacrament with the imposition of hands of the Archbishop of Cordoba, Monsignor Ramon Jose Castellano.

Young Jorge discovered his vocation on 21 September 1953, the Memorial of Saint Matthew, the tax collector who converted when Jesus invited him to follow Him.   During a Confession, he had a profound experience of God’s mercy, a joy that led him to decide to be a priest, reported “Vatican News.”

Our Congratulations,
Best wishes and Prayers are yours,
dear Holy Father Francis
on the wonderful occasion
of the 50th Anniversary
of your Ordination50th anniversary - pope francis 13 dec 2019.jpg

Posted in Catholic NEWS

Venerable Fulton Sheen (1895-1979) to Be Beatified on 21 December in Peoria, United States of America.

Venerable Fulton Sheen (1895-1979) to Be Beatified on 21 December in Peoria, United States of America.

The Diocese of Peoria said, ‘It seems entirely fitting that the Beatification will take place at the end of this 100-year anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.’

The Diocese of Peoria announced on Monday that Venerable Fulton Sheen will be Beatified on 21 December at the city’s Cathedral of St Mary of the Immaculate Conception.

Archbishop Sheen had been Ordained a Priest of the Diocese in that Cathedral on 20 September 1919.

“It seems entirely fitting that the Beatification will take place at the end of this 100-year anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood,” a statement from the Peoria Diocese announced yesterday, 18 November.

Fulton Sheen was born in Illinois in 1895 and was 24 when he was Ordained a Priest.ven fulton sheen to be beatified 21 dec in peopria - 19 nov 2019.jpg

He was appointed auxiliary Bishop of New York in 1951 and he remained there until his appointment as the Bishop of Rochester in 1966.   He retired in 1969 and moved back to New York City until his death in 1979.

Venerable Sheen was a beloved television catechist during the 1950s and ’60s in the United States.   His television show Life Is Worth Living reached an audience of millions.

The Congregation for the Causes of Saints promulgated a decree July 6 recognising a miracle attributed to Sheen’s intercession, which allowed for his Beatification.

The miracle involves the unexplained recovery of James Fulton Engstrom, a boy born apparently stillborn in September 2010 to Bonnie and Travis Engstrom of the Peoria-area town of Goodfield.   He showed no signs of life as medical professionals tried to revive him.   The child’s mother and father prayed to Archbishop Sheen to heal their son.

The Peoria Diocese opened the cause for Sheen’s Canonisation in 2002, after Archdiocese of New York said it would not explore the case.   In 2012, Benedict XVI recognised the heroic virtues of the archbishop.

The Beatification follows legal battles in civil courts over the location of Sheen’s body.   His body was transferred to the Peoria cathedral June 27 after a protracted series of suits.

Sheen’s will had declared his wish to be buried in the Archdiocese of New York Calvary Cemetery.   Soon after Sheen died, Cardinal Terence Cooke of New York asked Joan Sheen Cunningham, Sheen’s niece and closest living relative, if his remains could be placed in the crypt of St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City and she consented.

In September 2014, Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria suspended Sheen’s cause on the grounds that the Holy See expected Sheen’s remains to be in the Peoria diocese.

Cunningham has since said that Sheen would have wanted to have been interred in Peoria if he knew that he would be considered for sainthood.   In 2016, she filed a legal complaint seeking to have her uncle’s remains moved to the Peoria cathedral.

Venerable Fulton Sheen,

Pray for your people, Pray for us all!

Posted in Catholic NEWS

Catholicism by the Numbers – Statistics for the Catholic Church – 2019

Catholicism by the Numbers

Statistics for the Catholic Church – 2019

On the occasion of World Mission Day, which this year celebrates its 93rd anniversary on Sunday 20 October within the context of the Extraordinary Missionary Month of October 2019, announced by Pope Francis to mark the 100th anniversary of Pope Benedict XV’s Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud, Fides News Service offers some statistics chosen to give a panorama of the missionary Church all over the world.  They are taken from the latest edition of the “Church’s Book of Statistics” published (updated to 31 December 2017) regarding members of the Church, church structures, healthcare, welfare and education. Please note that variations, increase or decrease, emerging from our own comparison with last year’s figures, are marked with “+” or “–” in brackets.

World population

On 31 December 2017, the world population was 7,408,374,000 with an increase of 56,085,000 compared to the previous year.   Population growth, almost half compared to the previous year, was recorded on every continent, including Europe, in its third year of growth after the decrease in previous years – increases were recorded above all in Africa (+ 33.572.000) and in Asia (+ 11.975.000), followed by America (+ 8.738.000), Europe (+ 1.059.000) and Oceania (+ 741.000).


On the same date, 31 December 2017, Catholics in the world numbered 1,313,278,000 with an overall increase of 14,219,000, almost the same as the previous year.   The increase affects all continents, including Europe (+ 259.000), after a decrease for three consecutive years.   Increases were recorded above all in Africa (+ 5,605,000) and in America (+ 6,083,000) followed by Asia (+ 2,080,000) and Oceania (+ 191,000).

The world percentage of Catholics increased by 0.06 %, settling at 17.73%.   By continent: increases were recorded in America (+ 0.05) and Asia (+ 0,03), decrease in Africa (- 0,07), Europe (- 0,02) and Oceania (- 0,01).


The total number of priests in the world decreased this year, to 414,582 (- 387).   The continents which recorded a decrease were again Europe (- 2.946) and Oceania (- 97). Increases were recorded in Africa (+ 1.192), America (+ 40) and Asia (+ 1.424) unvaried.

Diocesan priests decreased by 21, reaching a total of 281,810 with decreases again in Europe (- 2.048) and Oceania (- 36).   Increases were recorded in Africa (+ 959), America (+ 404) and Asia (+ 700).

The number of religious priests decreased by 366 to a total of 132,772.   Increases were recorded, as in recent years, in Africa (+ 233) and in Asia (+ 724), whereas numbers dropped in America (- 364), Europe (- 898) and Oceania (- 61).

Catholic schools and Education

In the field of education, the Catholic Church runs 71.305 kindergartens with 7,303,839 pupils.

101,527 primary schools with 34,558,527 pupils and 48,560 secondary schools with 20,320,592 pupils.   The Church also cares for 2,345,799 high school pupils and 2,945,295 university students.

Catholic charity and healthcare centres

Charity and healthcare centres managed by the Church worldwide include: 5,269 hospitals, most of them in America (1,399) and Africa (1,367), 16,068 dispensaries, mainly in Africa (5,907), America (4.330) and Asia (2.919), 646 care homes for people with leprosy, mainly in Asia

(362) and Africa (229); 15,735 homes for the elderly, the chronically ill or the disabled, mainly in Europe (8,475) and America (3,596), 9,813 orphanages, mainly in Asia (3,473), 10,492 creches, mainly in America (3,153) and in Asia (2,900), 13,065 marriage counselling centres, mainly in Europe (5,676) and America (4,798), 3,169 social rehabilitation centres and 31,182 institutions of other types.

Read the rest of the Statistics here:

Catholicism by the Numbers



Thanksgiving Novena and Preparation for the Canonisation of Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

Thanksgiving Novena
and Preparation for the
Canonisation of Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890)

The Journey to Sainthoodannouncing the novena with newman in prep and thanksgiving begins 4 oct 2019.jpg

“I have a part in this great work, I am a link in a chain.”

I know there are some of you, “Newmanites”  here with me.   So let us join our prayerful hands,  with those faithful, all over the world, who are preparing to celebrate the Canonisation of Blessed John Henry Newman on Sunday 13 October. This is a time of special grace for us to form links in a great chain of prayer, where we call upon the soon-to-be-Saint to crown our prayers with his intercession in heaven.

I encourage you to become part of this chain by joining in the Novena with Newman – nine days of prayerful preparation for the Canonisation, starting on tomorrow, Friday 4 October and finishing on Saturday 12 October on the eve of the Canonisation.

The novena highlights each day an aspect of Newman’s character – an example of humility, child of Mary, priest of God’s altar, man of prayer, guardian of conscience, counsellor of converts, educator of the laity, servant of the Church, and model of friendship.   These meditations by the new saint will lead us to a more personal loving conversation with God.   They can be a very good preparation for his Canonisation and ultimately for heaven, calling to mind that we are on a journey to God.   We can also simply say – Saint Newman, help me from heaven to better follow and love our Lord Jesus Christ.

Each day of the Novena includes an intention, an extract from his writings, a decade of the rosary and the Novena prayer.

Let us Pray:
Saint John Henry Newman, Pray for Us!

Posted in Catholic NEWS, Papa FRANCIS, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, YouTube VIDEOS

20 July 2019 – The 50th anniversary of Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect, Congregation of Divine Worship

20 July 2019 – The 50th anniversary of Cardinal Robert Sarah,

Prefect, Congregation of Divine Worship

Today we wish Cardinal Sarah
as he celebrates the 50th Anniversary of his Priestly Ordination.
We offer our Prayers for your continued immense help to the Church of Christ.
May God shine His Face upon you!congratulations card sarah 20 july 2019.jpg

Prefect, Congregation for Divine Worship
“When I was a little boy, I asked myself, ‘What are these men doing in silence, in the dark?’ T  his is because there was no electricity in my village. I thought ‘surely they’re talking to someone they see and know.’”  “And when one of them asked me, ‘Do you want to go to the seminary?’   I didn’t know what it was.   I asked, ‘What do you do there?’  He said ‘There you go to become like us.’   I said yes.   I wanted to meet that Person they saw in the silence and darkness of the chapel.”

The years have passed and he still remembers the generosity of these missionaries who came to his land to help the Africans.

Prefect, Congregation for Divine Worship
“They came not to gain anything but to serve us, to save us, just as Christ did.   He did not come to gain but to give His life.   They gave their life and some died very young.” “Therefore, for me, to be a priest is to imitate these missionaries who communicated their faith to me. I want to be like them.”

The cardinal has worked in the Vatican since 2001.   He has collaborated with St John Paul II, Benedict XVI and now Pope Francis.   For this reason, he is saddened he is presented as an opponent of the pope.

Prefect, Congregation for Divine Worship
“I’m calm because I’m loyal to the pope.”   “They cannot quote a word, a phrase, a gesture with which I oppose the pope.   It is ridiculous, it is ridiculous.   I am at the service of the Church, the Holy Father and God.   This is enough.”   “There people write this kind of stuff to create opposition, against the Holy Father, between bishops or cardinals.   It is ridiculous.  We must not fall into this trap.   We must continue to teach.   I don’t care what they say.”

The cardinal has just published his third book.   In it he deals with the consequences of the crisis of faith in the contemporary world.   It is entitled “The Day Is Now Far Spent” and is dedicated to all the priests of the world, to Benedict XVI and to Pope Francis.  The book, the last volume of three that he has written with the French author Nicolas Diat, will be “the most important” due to what he says is the “decadence of our time” that has “all the faces of mortal peril.”

The book’s French title is Le soir approche et déjà le jour baisse (Evening approaches and the day is now almost over) and is taken from the New Testament account of the disciples’ encounter with Jesus on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:28-30):

“As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther.   But they urged him, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.”   So, he went in to stay with them.   And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them.”



Quote/s of the Day – 20 July – Cardinal Robert Sarah

Quote/s of the Day – 20 July – The 50th anniversary of Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect, Congregation of Divine Worship

“The most important moments in life
are the hours of prayer and adoration.
They give birth to a human being,
fashion our true identity;
they root our existence in mystery.”the most important moments in life - robert sarah 20 july 2019.jpg

“True charity is neither almsgiving
nor humanistic solidarity
nor a form of philanthropy –
charity is the expression of God
and an extension of Christ’s
presence in our world.”true charity is - robert sarah 20 july 2019.jpg

“The foundation of the liturgy
must remain the search for God.
We can only be dismayed by the fact
that this intention of Saints Popes John XXIII
and Paul VI, and of the Council Fathers as well,
is often obscured and, worse yet, betrayed. . . .”

God or Nothingthe foundation of the liteurgy - robert sarah 20 july 2019.jpg

“The Father waits
for His children
in their own hearts.”

The Power of Silence

Robert Sarahthe father waits for his children - robert sarah 20 july 2019.jpg