Daily Archives:April 10th, 2018

Pope Francis offers practical steps to holiness in new exhortation

VATICAN CITY – On 9 April 2018, which this year marked the transferred Solemnity of the Annunciation, the Vatican released the latest Apostolic Exhortation from Pope Francis: Gaudete et exsultate: On the call to holiness in today’s world.

“The Lord asks everything of us, and in return offers us true life, the happiness for which we were created.”

In his third Apostolic Exhortation (following Evangelii gaudium and Amoris laetitia) Pope Francis reflects on the call to holiness, and how we can respond to that call in the modern world. “My modest goal” in the Exhortation, Pope Francis says, “is to repropose the call to holiness in a practical way for our own time.”

The five chapters of Gaudete et exsultate follow a logical progression, beginning with a consideration of the call to holiness as it is in itself. The Holy Father than examines two “subtle enemies of holiness,” namely, contemporary gnosticism and contemporary pelagianism.

Holiness in living the Beatitudes
The heart of Gaudete et exsultate is dedicated to the idea that holiness means following Jesus. In this third chapter, Pope Francis considers each of the Beatitudes as embodying what it means to be holy. But if the Beatitudes show us what holiness means, the Gospel also shows us the criterion by which we will be judged: “I was hungry and you gave me food… thirsty and you gave me drink… a stranger and you welcomed me… naked and you clothed me… sick and you took care of me… in prison and you visited me.”

Pope Francis devotes the fourth chapter of Gaudete et exsultate to “certain aspects of the call to holiness” that he feels “will prove especially meaningful” in today’s world: perseverance, patience and meekness; joy and a sense of humour; boldness and passion; the communal dimension of holiness; constant prayer.

Spiritual combat and discernment
Finally, the Exhortation makes practical suggestions for living out the call to holiness. “The Christian life is a constant battle,” the Pope says. “We need strength and courage to withstand the temptations of the devil and to proclaim the Gospel.” In the fifth chapter, he speaks about the need for “combat” and vigilance, and calls us to exercise the gift of discernment, “which is all the more necessary today,” in a world with so many distractions that keep us from hearing the Lord’s voice.

“It is my hope,” Pope Francis concludes, “that these pages will prove helpful by enabling the whole Church to devote herself anew to promoting the desire for holiness.” – Christopher Wells, Vatican News

Papar welcomes 77 new members into parish family

Fr Rayner Bisius baptises one of the 77 Elect, Easter Vigil, 31 Mar 2018, St Joseph Papar.

PAPAR – St Joseph Parish here welcomed 77 new members into its parish family at Easter Vigil 31 Mar 2018.

The neophytes – 38 women and 39 men – received the Sacraments of Initiation administered by Father Rayner Bisius.

Earlier in the morning, the elect attended a brief recollection and rehearsal wherein Fr Rayner explained the four parts of the Easter Vigil: Liturgy of the Light, Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of Baptism, and the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

He also touched on the significance of the Paschal Candle, the Easter Proclamation, the nine readings, the Litany of the Saints, and the blessing of the baptism water.

In his homily, Fr Rayner likened the stone blocking the entrance of the tomb of Jesus to the loss of hope expressed by the three suffering women he had visited during Holy Week.  He urged the parishioners to allow Jesus to remove the stone which block one’s passage towards Christ through faith. – William Charles Mindus (SOCCOM Papar)

Papar altar servers camp draws 68 participants

The participants pose at the end of the Way of the Cross on Pohumpung Hill Limbahau, 30 Mar 2018.

PAPAR – Papar organised its first altar servers camp for 68 boys and girls during the Easter Triduum 29 Mar – 1 Apr 2018 at the Mother of Mercy open hall here.

The camp, initiated by Father Rayner Bisius and supported by the liturgical committee, drew participants from St Joseph Church and its outstation chapels.

The four-day programme featured adoration, catechesis, sharing and group role-play, basic knowledge of altar server ministry, Way of the Cross, movie nights, and BBQ fellowship.

In his inputs, Fr Rayner explained the role and functions of the altar server ministry, terms and conditions, attitude towards service, basic understanding of the Mass, and the need for genuflection.

On Good Friday Mar 30, the participants joined the Way of the Cross up Pohumpung Hill Limbahau with the parishioners.

The following day Mar 31, the participants had a practicum related to altar server’s attire, sacred vessels, priestly vestments, and liturgical colours.

The camp concluded on Easter Sunday Apr 1 with sharing and evaluation supervised by Pesi Selingan, coordinator of the Papar liturgical committee.

A follow-up camp will be organised in June at Holy Rosary Church Limbahau. – William Charles Mindus (SOCCOM Papar Limbahau)

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