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Friday of the Sixth Week of Easter

Reading I Acts 18:9-18

One night while Paul was in Corinth, the Lord said to him in a vision,
“Do not be afraid.
Go on speaking, and do not be silent, for I am with you.
No one will attack and harm you,
for I have many people in this city.”
He settled there for a year and a half
and taught the word of God among them.

But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia,
the Jews rose up together against Paul
and brought him to the tribunal, saying,
“This man is inducing people to worship God contrary to the law.”
When Paul was about to reply, Gallio spoke to the Jews,
“If it were a matter of some crime or malicious fraud,
I should with reason hear the complaint of you Jews;
but since it is a question of arguments over doctrine and titles
and your own law, see to it yourselves.
I do not wish to be a judge of such matters.”
And he drove them away from the tribunal.
They all seized Sosthenes, the synagogue official,
and beat him in full view of the tribunal.
But none of this was of concern to Gallio.

Paul remained for quite some time,
and after saying farewell to the brothers he sailed for Syria,
together with Priscilla and Aquila.
At Cenchreae he had shaved his head because he had taken a vow.

Responsorial Psalm 47:2-3, 4-5, 6-7

R.        (8a)  God is king of all the earth.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
All you peoples, clap your hands,
            shout to God with cries of gladness,
For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome,
            is the great king over all the earth.
R.        God is king of all the earth.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
He brings people under us;
            nations under our feet.
He chooses for us our inheritance,
            the glory of Jacob, whom he loves.
R.        God is king of all the earth.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy;
            the LORD, amid trumpet blasts.
Sing praise to God, sing praise;
            sing praise to our king, sing praise.
R.        God is king of all the earth.
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia See Lk 24:46, 26

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Christ had to suffer and to rise from the dead,
and so enter into his glory.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 16:20-23

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn,
while the world rejoices;
you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.
When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived;
but when she has given birth to a child,
she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy
that a child has been born into the world.
So you also are now in anguish.
But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice,
and no one will take your joy away from you.
On that day you will not question me about anything.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.”

- - -

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Texas shooting victim's husband dies of heart attack; archbishop prays for Catholic family

People arrive to drop off flowers at a makeshift memorial outside the Robb Elementary School on May 26, 2022 in Uvalde, Texas. - Grief at the massacre of 19 children at the elementary school in Texas spilled into confrontation on May 25, as angry questions mounted over gun control -- and whether this latest tragedy could have been prevented. The tight-knit Latino community of Uvalde on May 24 became the site of the worst school shooting in a decade, committed by a disturbed 18-year-old armed with a legally bought assault rifle. / Allison Dinner/AFP via Getty Images.

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, May 26, 2022 / 15:23 pm (CNA).

The husband of one of the nearly two dozen victims of a mass shooter in Texas died Thursday, reportedly of a heart attack as he was preparing for his wife’s funeral. 

50-year-old Joe Garcia dropped off flowers at his wife’s memorial on Thursday morning, the New York Times reported. His nephew said that when he returned home, he collapsed.

Joe’s wife, 46-year-old Irma Garcia, was a 4th-grade teacher and one of the two adults killed at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, by an 18-year-old shooter May 24. The shooter also killed 19 children. 

Garcia reportedly died while trying to protect her students. 

Irma and Joe Garcia.
Irma and Joe Garcia.

Joe and Irma — reportedly high school sweethearts married for 24 years — leave behind four children: 23-year-old Cristian and three teenagers, Jose, Lyliana, and Alysandra.

Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller of San Antonio, who told CNA he met with Joe the day of the shooting, offered his condolences and prayers. He said a memorial Mass is set to take place at 6 p.m. CT at Sacred Heart Church in Uvalde, a four-minute drive from the elementary school. 

“We hold in prayer the three children of Irma Garcia, teacher killed in Uvalde,” García-Siller wrote

“Her husband Jose died today of a massive heart attack. Today, Mass at 6pm Sacred Heart Church, Uvalde. We pray for his soul and for their beautiful children. Pain increases so [does] love. Jose, Rest In Peace.”

John Martinez, the 21-year-old nephew of Joe and Irma Garcia, tweeted, “EXTREMELY heartbreaking and come with deep sorrow to say that my Tia Irma’s husband Joe Garcia has passed away due to grief, i truly am at a loss for words for how we are all feeling, PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR FAMILY, God have mercy on us, this isn’t easy.”

García-Siller told CNA on Wednesday that he met with the husband and the couple’s three teenaged children the day of the shooting. The family belonged to the community of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, he said.

“I was able to meet the husband of one of the teachers who was killed, and the two daughters and son,” García-Siller said of Irma Garcia’s family.  

He met with them at the SSGT Willie de Leon Civic Center, as they waited to hear what had happened to the wife and mother. 

“The husband showed a lot of strength,” he told CNA. The three teenage children, he said at the time, were devastated. 

The Uvalde shooting comes fewer than two weeks after a gunman killed 10 people and injured three others on May 14 at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, and another shooter killed one person and wounded five others on May 15 at a church in Laguna Woods, California.

Bishops across the country have responded with prayer and heartbrokenness as did Pope Francis. The U.S. bishops conference released a statement the day of the Uvalde shooting calling for prayer for the victims and wounded, as well as for the Uvalde community.

The incident is believed to be the worst school shooting since the 2012 attack at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, in which in the attacker killed 26.

Oklahoma City archbishop encourages 'culture of life' after governor signs abortion ban

Governor Kevin Stitt (R-OK) attends a roundtable at the White House in Washington, DC June 18, 2020. / Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead (public domain)

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, May 26, 2022 / 14:14 pm (CNA).

Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City thanked state leaders Wednesday “for supporting pro-life measures” after the governor signed into law the strictest abortion ban in the country.

The Oklahoma law, prohibiting abortion from the moment of conception with few exceptions, comes ahead of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that could leave abortion legislation solely up to the states. 

“Building a culture of life in Oklahoma that recognizes the inherent dignity of every person requires the protections afforded by pro-life legislation and a profound change of heart,” Coakley said May 25.

“I encourage Oklahomans to pray for women in crisis pregnancy situations, for their families and loved ones, for families waiting to adopt, for fathers, and for the many pregnancy resource centers serving these brave parents. Thank you to Oklahoma’s legislative leaders and to Gov. Stitt for supporting pro-life measures,” he added.

Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, said after signing H.B. 4327: “From the moment life begins at conception is when we have a responsibility as human beings to do everything we can to protect that baby’s life and the life of the mother. If other states want to pass different laws, that is their right, but in Oklahoma we will always stand up for life.”

The law makes exceptions for abortion to save the life of a pregnant woman as well as for cases of rape or incest reported to law enforcement. 

The legislation also specifies that an act is not defined as an abortion if it is performed with the purpose of saving the life or preserve the health of an unborn child; removing the body of a dead unborn child after miscarriage; or removing an ectopic pregnancy.

Lila Rose, the head of pro-life group Live Action, applauded Stitt for signing “one of the strongest pro-life bills in the country.”

“As of tomorrow,” she tweeted Wednesday night, “every abortion facility in the great state of Oklahoma will be shut down. Thousands of children’s lives will be saved.”

The Oklahoma legislature sent the bill to the governor’s desk following a vote that fell generally along party lines on May 19.

Like the Texas abortion law, this legislation relies on enforcement by private citizens through civil lawsuits that can be brought against anyone who provides abortion or who helps a woman obtain one. 

The law forbids civil action against a pregnant woman seeking an abortion and by anyone who impregnated a woman seeking an abortion through rape, sexual assault, incest, or any other act prohibited by state law.

It does not apply to morning-after pills or emergency contraception.

The law comes as a leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft in the abortion case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization suggests that justices are preparing to overturn Roe v. Wade, the case that legalized abortion nationwide in 1973. If that happens, abortion legislation could be left up to each individual state.

In Roe v. Wade, the court ruled that states could not ban abortion before viability — the point at which a baby can survive outside the womb — which the court determined to be 24 to 28 weeks into pregnancy. Nearly 20 years later, the court upheld Roe in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The 1992 ruling said that while states could regulate pre-viability abortions, they could not enforce an “undue burden,” defined by the court as “a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus.”

Mississippi’s Gestational Age Act, the subject of the Dobbs case, bans abortion weeks before the point of viability and directly challenges both Roe and Casey.

San Antonio Catholic Charities accepting donations to aid those affected by Texas shooting

Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. / Archdiocese of San Antonio.

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, May 26, 2022 / 13:00 pm (CNA).

Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of San Antonio is offering financial, legal, and counseling services to people affected by the May 24 school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

The services, which became available May 25, are all being offered for free, according to the Archdiocese of San Antonio. Anyone who is in need of these services should go to or contact Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Uvalde.

The Catholic Charities donation page says that “emergency financial assistance” will be provided for “family members who need to travel to Uvalde.” The page says that “all donations will go toward supporting these services.”

Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of San Antonio told CNA Wednesday that Catholic Charities is also planning to use any fundraising to “provide funds for all the funerals.” 

Catholic Charities is accepting donations for its Uvalde Relief fund “to support the many families and individuals affected by this tragedy.” They are also accepting prayer intentions.

In addition, the archdiocese says that a team of priests is available to serve those in need of assistance. 

A gunman killed at least 19 children and two adults at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, located about 90 miles west of San Antonio, on Tuesday.

In his message announcing the Catholic Charities initiative, Garcia-Siller said that “There are no words to adequately convey the deep sadness, sorrow, and overwhelming shock of the incomprehensible loss of life of 19 children and two adults.” 

“We pray that God comfort and offer compassion to the families of these little ones whose pain is unbearable. They must know that we are with them and for them,” Garcia-Siller said. “May the Lord have mercy on us all.”

Garcia-Siller told CNA that multiple victims were parishioners at Sacred Heart. He also said that many that responded to the shooting are Mass-goers.

The shooting has shaken the country and the world and many have responded with grief and sorrow, including Pope Francis, who said that his heart is “broken for the massacre at the elementary school in Texas.” He added that “I am praying for the children and the adults killed and their families.”

The tragedy comes fewer than two weeks after a gunman killed 10 people and injured three others on May 14 at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, and another shooter killed one person and wounded five others on May 15 at a church in Laguna Woods, California.

The recent shootings have also reignited debates about gun control in the United States, with some U.S. bishops chiming in

Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville tweeted May 25, "Don’t tell me that guns aren’t the problem, people are. I’m sick of hearing it. The darkness first takes our children who then kill our children, using the guns that are easier to obtain than aspirin. We sacralize death’s instruments and then are surprised that death uses them."

The spokesperson for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Chieko Noguchi, said in a statement the day of the shooting that “There have been too many school shootings, too much killing of the innocent. Our Catholic faith calls us to pray for those who have died and to bind the wounds of others, and we join our prayers along with the community in Uvalde and Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller.”

"As we do so, each of us also needs to search our souls for ways that we can do more to understand this epidemic of evil and violence," she said, "and implore our elected officials to help us take action."

Father Josh Johnson to lead discernment retreat: 'Representation matters'

Vatican Media

Denver Newsroom, May 26, 2022 / 12:12 pm (CNA).

When Father Josh Johnson first felt called to the priesthood, there was an obstacle he had to overcome first — Johnson is Black, and he had never met a Black Catholic priest before. He says he didn't see the priesthood as realistic, because he had never seen a priest who looked like him. 

Racially diverse Catholics feel called to the priesthood or religious life, but may have rarely seen a priest or religious who is the same race as them, Johnson noted. 

"Representation really is important when it comes to promoting the consecrated life, religious life, and diocesan priesthood. Representation of charism, but also of ethnicity,” Johnson told CNA. 

Together with Sister Josephine Garret, a Sister of the Holy Family of Nazareth, and Archbishop Shelton Fabre of Louisville, Johnson will soon be putting on a retreat for young Catholics featuring speakers of various races and ethnicities.  

Johnson, the vocations director for the Diocese of Baton Rouge, told CNA that he wants to expose young people to many kinds of religious life, and also to include a racially diverse set of speakers who can serve as inspiration for young Catholics of color.

"Representation of charism is important for this retreat, and representation of ethnicity is also important,” Johnson told CNA. 

“Because we want people to see the different charisms that are out there whether it's Benedictine, Franciscan, Dominican, Jesuit, Josephite, Carmelite, diocesan, but we also want people to see black, and white, and Vietnamese, and Hispanic, so that when people come they can identify and say, ‘I can be that too.’"

The “Chosen Retreat” will take place at St. Joseph Abbey in Covington, Louisiana, June 3-5. The weekend retreat is open to all 18-40-year-old men and women. Johnson said if this year’s retreat proves successful, he hopes to make it an annual event. 

Johnson said it was important to him in organizing the retreat that he make it a time conducive for prayer, fellowship, and study. Sister Garrett and Archbishop Fabre — who for the past several years has served a member of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ conference committee on cultural diversity in the Church— will be giving talks, and Johnson said the talk he will give will be very practical, discussing what the men and women interested in vocational discernment can do next. 

Johnson has been praying, fasting, and publicly advocating for an end to racism, and for racial reconciliation, for years. In ministering to the Black community, Johnson said a “ministry of presence” is key; the Church should be present in predominantly Black areas, inviting young people to consider the priesthood and teaching young people how to pray, because “a lot of people aren't rooted in the interior life,” Johnson noted. 

Johnson said he began to desire the priesthood after becoming friends with priests and seeing their ministry. He fell in love with the priests’ role of bringing Christ's Eucharistic presence into the world, and the opportunity that the priesthood brings to "accompany people on their walk to eternity."

"There's nothing better than knowing we can be used by our Lord to be a bridge for people to be with the Trinity for all eternity. Nothing compares," he commented.

Proposed Michigan abortion amendment has major problems, pro-life coalition says

Gretchen Whitmer, Governor of Michigan. (Official portrait) / null

Denver Newsroom, May 26, 2022 / 11:00 am (CNA).

Advocates of legal abortion in Michigan have proposed a constitutional amendment that pro-life critics say is so poorly written it would do more than just remove legal protections for unborn children. 

It would affect almost everything related to pregnancy, threatening parental consent requirements for minors, bans on taxpayer funded abortions, and the state ban on human cloning.

“This is an historic occasion for the pro-life community and indeed all people in Michigan to oppose such an extreme amendment to the state constitution,” Paul A. Long, president and CEO of the Michigan Catholic Conference, said May 24. “We are eager to engage with all people of goodwill to clarify how dangerous this proposal is for unborn children, vulnerable women and families.”

The Catholic conference announced May 24 it has joined the pro-life coalition Citizens to Support MI Women and Children to oppose a far-reaching pro-abortion rights addition to the Michigan constitution known as the Reproductive Freedom for All amendment.

“Our unified and committed campaign is eager to promote the value of life and well-being of pregnant women as the abortion industry has set its sights on Michigan,” Long said. “The organizations pushing this constitutional amendment are actively seeking to overturn every common-sense statutory safeguard that regulates abortion.”

Backers of the Reproductive Freedom for All amendment must collect 425,059 valid signatures of Michigan registered voters by July 1. Their coalition is backed by the Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, the ACLU of Michigan and Michigan Voices. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel are among the elected officials backing the proposal.

“The Reproductive Freedom for All constitutional amendment is not about protecting existing rights, but smuggling a radical proposal into the constitution that would repeal or drastically alter dozens of state laws,” Citizens to Support MI Women and Children said on its website. “The amendment would fundamentally change the relationships between parents and children, as well as women and their doctors.”

“This poorly-worded amendment would repeal dozens of state laws, including our state’s ban on tax-funded abortions, the partial-birth abortion ban, and fundamentally alter the parent-child relationship by preventing parents from having input on their children’s health,” the group continued.

The proposed amendment’s 92-word summary says it would “establish new individual right to reproductive freedom, including right to make and carry out all decisions about pregnancy, such as prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion, miscarriage management, and infertility.”

It would allow a ban on abortion after “fetal viability” except “to protect a patient’s life or physical or mental health.” It would “forbid state discrimination in enforcement of this right.” It would bar prosecution of individuals who seek to exercise a reproductive freedom right or who help a pregnant individual to do so. It would “invalidate all state laws that conflict with this amendment.”

Citizens to Support MI Women and Children said the details of the amendment deserve scrutiny.

“To quickly summarize, this proposed amendment is written so broadly and so poorly worded that it would harm every state law on abortion and everything else related to pregnancy,” the coalition said in its Feb. 3 analysis. “The only limit is consent, which is not limited to adults by the amendment.”

If the proposal becomes law, it would affect parental consent for children’s medical consent involving sex or pregnancy, including sterilizations. It could disallow any parental consent for children seeking abortions, and bar investigations of anyone who assists with an abortion, even if, for example, the accused person is a school counselor who takes a 13-year-old to get an abortion without parental knowledge.

The fact that the amendment does not define the age of an individual means its provisions “could apply to children as well as adults,” Citizens to Support MI Women and Children said. “If someone convinces a child to be sterilized, the parents have no say,” said the group.

The amendment could affect informed consent for women seeking abortion, and screening for cases where women are being coerced into abortion, as currently required by state law. It could affect requirements that only doctors perform abortions, and it could mean health insurance coverage must automatically cover elective abortions.

According to the group’s analysis, the “mental health” exception for late-term abortion bans would allow late-term abortion for any reason. As written, the amendment would allow any attending health care professional, not only medical doctors, to decide whether an abortion is medically indicated to protect a pregnant mother’s life or physical or mental health.

The amendment’s language protecting autonomy could strike down bans on human cloning, the pro-life coalition said, “since cloning oneself is an autonomous pregnancy decision.” Similarly, the buying and selling of babies through commercial surrogacy could be legalized, and the proposed amendment could make it impossible to impose health or safety regulations on the fertility industry.

As of May 4, state records indicate the Reproductive Freedom for All committee has raised over $1.4 million in cash and $500,000 in in-kind contributions. As of April, the pro-life committee had received only $103,000 in contributions.

The effort to gather signatures for the pro-abortion rights amendment has run into obstacles: Michigan’s Board of State Canvassers in early February rejected the coalition’s petition form for failing to meet state requirements, and again rejected the petition form in March, delaying the ability to collect valid signatures from supporters.

Michigan’s existing abortion law, dating to 1931, criminalizes abortion as a felony, except to save the life of the mother. In a 1972 ballot measure, 60% of Michigan voters rejected a proposal to allow abortion up to 20 weeks into pregnancy. In 1997, the Michigan Court of Appeals found that there is no right to abortion in the state constitution.

The state law has not been enforced since the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade mandated that all states legalize abortion. However, abortion advocates have filed legal challenges to the law in the event that Supreme Court precedents are overturned in a decision expected in the next two months.

On May 17, Court of Claims Judge Elizabeth L. Gleichner issued a temporary injunction against enforcement of the long-standing law, contending that the right to abortion is almost certainly protected under the state’s due process provisions protecting bodily integrity.

On May 20, the Michigan Catholic Conference and Michigan Right to Life, represented by Bursch, filed a complaint asking the Michigan Court of Appeals to intervene. They asked the court to issue an order of superintending control over Gleichner and either take over the case or require the judge, who previously represented Planned Parenthood in a failed challenge to precedent upholding the state abortion law, to recuse herself.

Whitmer has filed her own lawsuit, which asks the Michigan Supreme Court “to recognize a constitutional right to an abortion under the Due Process Clause of the Michigan Constitution.”

Long, the president of the Michigan Catholic Conference, reiterated the need to defend Michigan’s laws against abortion.

“In the courtroom and at the ballot box, human life in Michigan is being threatened by the most extremist abortion advocates this state has witnessed,” he said. “Together with our coalition partners, we vow to work with diligence – guided by prayer – to uphold the sanctity of life in Michigan and to ensure every vulnerable mother has access to the support and compassion she needs to care for herself and her child.”

Memorial of Saint Philip Neri, Priest

Reading I Acts 18:1-8

Paul left Athens and went to Corinth.
There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus,
who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla
because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome.
He went to visit them and, because he practiced the same trade,
stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade.
Every sabbath, he entered into discussions in the synagogue,
attempting to convince both Jews and Greeks.

When Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia,
Paul began to occupy himself totally with preaching the word,
testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus.
When they opposed him and reviled him,
he shook out his garments and said to them,
“Your blood be on your heads!
I am clear of responsibility.
From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”
So he left there and went to a house
belonging to a man named Titus Justus, a worshiper of God;
his house was next to a synagogue.
Crispus, the synagogue official, came to believe in the Lord
along with his entire household, and many of the Corinthians
who heard believed and were baptized.

Responsorial Psalm 98:1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4

R.        (see 2b)  The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
or:       
R.        Alleluia.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
            for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
            his holy arm.
R.        The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
            in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
            toward the house of Israel.
R.        The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
All the ends of the earth have seen
            the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
            break into song; sing praise.
R.        The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia See Jn 14:18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I will not leave you orphans, says the Lord;
I will come back to you, and your hearts will rejoice.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 16:16-20

Jesus said to his disciples:
“A little while and you will no longer see me,
and again a little while later and you will see me.”
So some of his disciples said to one another,
“What does this mean that he is saying to us,
‘A little while and you will not see me,
and again a little while and you will see me,’
and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?”
So they said, “What is this ‘little while’ of which he speaks?
We do not know what he means.”
Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them,
“Are you discussing with one another what I said,
‘A little while and you will not see me,
and again a little while and you will see me’?
Amen, amen, I say to you,
you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices;
you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.”

- - -

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

The Ascension of the Lord

Reading I Acts 1:1-11

In the first book, Theophilus,
I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught
until the day he was taken up,
after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit
to the apostles whom he had chosen.
He presented himself alive to them
by many proofs after he had suffered,
appearing to them during forty days
and speaking about the kingdom of God.
While meeting with them,
he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem,
but to wait for “the promise of the Father
about which you have heard me speak;
for John baptized with water,
but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

When they had gathered together they asked him,
“Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
He answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons
that the Father has established by his own authority.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,
and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem,
throughout Judea and Samaria,
and to the ends of the earth.”
When he had said this, as they were looking on,
he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.
While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going,
suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them.
They said, “Men of Galilee,
why are you standing there looking at the sky?
This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven
will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.”

Responsorial Psalm Ps 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9

R (6) God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
or:
R Alleluia.
All you peoples, clap your hands,
            shout to God with cries of gladness,
For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome,
            is the great king over all the earth.
R God mounts his throne to shouts of joy:  a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
or:
R Alleluia.
God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy;
            the LORD, amid trumpet blasts.
Sing praise to God, sing praise;
            sing praise to our king, sing praise.
R God mounts his throne to shouts of joy:  a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
or:
R Alleluia.
For king of all the earth is God;
            sing hymns of praise.
God reigns over the nations,
            God sits upon his holy throne.
R God mounts his throne to shouts of joy:  a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
or:
R Alleluia.

Reading II Eph 1:17-23

Brothers and sisters:
May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,
give you a Spirit of wisdom and revelation
resulting in knowledge of him.
May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened,
that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call,
what are the riches of glory
in his inheritance among the holy ones,
and what is the surpassing greatness of his power
for us who believe,
in accord with the exercise of his great might:
which he worked in Christ,
raising him from the dead
and seating him at his right hand in the heavens,
far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion,
and every name that is named
not only in this age but also in the one to come.
And he put all things beneath his feet
and gave him as head over all things to the church,
which is his body,
the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.

OR:

Heb 9:24-28; 10:19-23

Christ did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands,
a copy of the true one, but heaven itself,
that he might now appear before God on our behalf.
Not that he might offer himself repeatedly,
as the high priest enters each year into the sanctuary
with blood that is not his own;
if that were so, he would have had to suffer repeatedly
from the foundation of the world.
But now once for all he has appeared at the end of the ages
to take away sin by his sacrifice.
Just as it is appointed that men and women die once,
and after this the judgment, so also Christ,
offered once to take away the sins of many,
will appear a second time, not to take away sin
but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await him.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, since through the blood of Jesus
we have confidence of entrance into the sanctuary
by the new and living way he opened for us through the veil,
that is, his flesh,
and since we have
"a great priest over the house of God,"
let us approach with a sincere heart and in absolute trust,
with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience
and our bodies washed in pure water.
Let us hold unwaveringly to our confession that gives us hope,
for he who made the promise is trustworthy.

Alleluia Mt 28:19a, 20b

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Go and teach all nations, says the Lord;
I am with you always, until the end of the world.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 24:46-53

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer
and rise from the dead on the third day
and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,
would be preached in his name
to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things.
And behold I am sending the promise of my Father upon you;
but stay in the city
until you are clothed with power from on high.”

Then he led them out as far as Bethany,
raised his hands, and blessed them.
As he blessed them he parted from them
and was taken up to heaven.
They did him homage
and then returned to Jerusalem with great joy,
and they were continually in the temple praising God.

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Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter

Ascension

Weekday (Saint Philip Neri)

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Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Nancy Pelosi's Communion ban will apply in Diocese of Arlington, bishop says

Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington. / CNA

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, May 25, 2022 / 21:21 pm (CNA).

The Communion ban in place within House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's home diocese in California now extends to the Diocese of Arlington, located just outside Washington, D.C.

Bishop Michael F. Burbidge said Wednesday that he would respect the ban imposed by San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone last week because of Pelosi's staunch advocacy for legalized abortion.

“He is her bishop and as that bishop the direction and guidance he provides is not limited to just a geographical area,” Burbidge said on his diocese's "The Walk Humbly Podcast." His comments were first reported Wednesday by the Arlington Catholic Herald, the diocese's newspaper.

Burbidge is the second U.S. bishop to announce that he will apply San Francisco Archdiocese ban in his own diocese. Bishop Robert Vasa said on May 20 that he would do so in the Diocese of Santa Rosa, where Pelosi reportedly attends Mass occasionally. At least a dozen U.S. bishops have publicly come out in support of Cordileone's action.

Bishop Joseph Strickland said on May 25 that Pelosi would be barred from receiving Communion in the Diocese of Tyler in eastern Texas.

He wrote on Twitter: "The concern for Mrs Pelosi’s eternal salvation extends to the Diocese of Tyler. She is barred from Communion here until she repents & stops advocating the murder of children. Pray for her heart to be turned to God & away from the power of this world."

Cordileone has stressed that his decision was "pastoral, not political." Burbidge said on the podcast that he views the issue the same way.

“I can’t say it enough, (these) decisions are made for the good of individuals to guard the faithful from scandal," which is caused when Catholics in public office take positions at odds with Church teaching," the bishop said, according to the newspaper's report. "That confuses people and a bishop has to guard against that."

Burbidge revealed that while he has not publicly announced that someone should not receive Communion in his diocese, "I have privately shared that directive with individuals who have continuously scandalized the Church by holding a personal Catholic identity while also publicly advocating for abortion or other inherent moral evils," the newspaper reported.

“All people, including those who are not public individuals, have to approach the sacraments truly in communion with the Church and Our Lord,” Burbidge said.

This report was updated at 05:32 MDT on May 26 with Bishop Strickland's comments