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Blessed Antonia Mesina

Blessed Antonia Mesina

Feast date: May 17

Antonia Mesina was born into a poor family in a small town in Sardinia, Italy, in 1919. She was the second of 10 children and she had to leave school after only four years to help her bed-ridden mother who suffered from a heart condition tend to the house and the other children.

Despite her heavy responsibilities at home, Antonia became a very active member of Catholic Action, an Italian Catholic organization for the laity, at the age of 10. When she was 16, she was attacked while out gathering wood after mass. He friend ran away, trying to find help. Antonia was beaten and murdered by a would-be rapist, fighting him off to her last breath. She suffered 74 strikes with a stone before she died. On 5 October 1935 the Catholic Action member Venerable Armida Barelli - who had met Antonia once - met with Pope Pius XI and informed him of Antonia's activism and her murder. Antonia was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1987 as a martyr of purity. She is a patron of rape victims.

St. Pascal Baylon

St. Pascal Baylon

Feast date: May 17

Pascal was born at Torre-Hermosa, in the Kingdom of Aragon, on May 24, 1540. He was born on the Feast of Pentecost, which in Spain is called "the Pasch of the Holy Ghost", which is why he received the name Pascal. He died at Villa Reale, May 15, 1592, on Whitsunday.

His parents, Martin Baylon and Elizabeth Jubera, were virtuous peasants. The child began very early to display signs of that surpassing devotion towards the Holy Eucharist, which forms the salient feature of his character.

From his seventh to his twenty-fourth year, he led the life of a shepherd, and during the whole of that period exercised a salutary influence upon his companions. He was then received as a lay brother amongst the Franciscan friars of the Alcantarine Reform. In the cloister, Paschal's life of contemplation and self-sacrifice fulfilled the promise of his early years.

His charity to the poor and afflicted, and his unfailing courtesy were remarkable. On one occasion, in the course of a journey through France, he triumphantly defended the dogma of the Real Presence against the blasphemies of a Calvinist preacher, and in consequence, narrowly escaped death at the hands of a Huguenot mob. Although poorly educated, his counsel was sought for by people of every station in life, and he was on terms of closest friendship with personages of eminent sanctity. Pascal was beatified in 1618, and canonized in 1690.

His cultus has flourished particularly in his native land and in Southern Italy, and it was widely diffused in Southern and Central America, through the Spanish Conquests.

In his Apostolic letter, Providentissimus Deus, Leo XIII declared St. Pascal the especial heavenly protector of all Eucharistic Congresses and Associations. His feast is kept on 17 May. The saint is usually depicted in adoration before a vision of the Host.

Pope: Tackle poverty to protect children from child labour

Pope Francis addresses the 5th Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour taking place in South Africa and underlines that ensuring the present and future of children is ensuring the present and future of the entire human family.

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Churches in Holy Land condemn violence at funeral of slain journalist

Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilus III, the bishops and the faithful of the Christian communities underscore in a common statement their condemnation of a violent intrusion carried out last Friday by the Israeli police in the funeral procession carrying the body of reporter, Shireen Abu Aqleh.

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Music and talent join forces to repair a damaged Creation

From Saint Francis’ Canticle of the Creatures to the modern tunes of singers and musicians, encouraging all to safeguard our Common Home, a response to the urgent cries of the poor, and an embrace of ecological conversion to which the Pope calls us in his Encyclical. The testimony of a member of the Laudato si’ Movement: music can awaken consciences from the slumber of indifference.

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US Bishops pray for victims of Buffalo, Laguna Woods shootings

Bishops in the United States express sorrow over two deadly shootings in New York and California in the past days, and call for an honest dialogue in addressing the “persistent evil of racism” within the country.

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Pakistan: 'I spent 8 years on death row falsely accused of blasphemy'

The story of a Catholic couple in Pakistan falsely accused of blasphemy, jailed, and finally released in 2021 by the Lahore High Court. Shagufta Emmanuel shares her experience with the Pontifical Foundation "Aid to the Church in Need" expressing gratitude for the support she and her family have received and for their faith in God whom, she says, has always sustained them.

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Turn self-interests into mutual gain to overcome climate change

As the Israeli Embassy to the Holy See holds a conference on women and the climate crisis, Dalit Wolf Golan explores ways residents of the Holy Land can overcome their differences by working together on a common project like water accessibility.

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Annual Collection Supports Catholic Communications Efforts Locally and Globally

WASHINGTON - Catholics in many dioceses throughout the United States will have the opportunity to give to support the Catholic Church’s communications efforts on May 28-29. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC) works to spread the Gospel through the media in all its forms. Its work is funded by an annual collection through which the faithful can support their local diocesan communications efforts, while also supporting national and international initiatives. #iGiveCatholicTogether also accepts funds for the collection, which gives an option to those who wish to contribute to this work but are unable to give at Mass.

“Communicating the Gospel message is at the heart of evangelization. Through your gift, the Church is able to spread the faith, hope, and love of Jesus Christ, and of his Church, both here at home and abroad to people and places where the word of God is needed most,” said Archbishop Gregory Hartmayer, OFM Conv., of Atlanta, chairman of the USCCB Communication Committee’s Subcommittee on the Catholic Communication Campaign.

When you give at your parish, half of the gift one makes to the Catholic Communication Campaign collection remains in the donor’s diocese to support local communications projects. Such local projects often include support for diocesan newspapers or magazines, website updates and outreach campaigns, or Mass and television programs to reach the faithful and share the Good News. The other half goes to the USCCB to be awarded in the form of national and international grants. In 2021, the Catholic Communication Campaign awarded more than $3 million.

The CCC also awarded a grant to support the communications efforts related to a gathering in Chicago in June 2022 for “Journeying Together: A National Intercultural Encounter for Ministries with Youth and Young Adults.” This event supporting the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church combines synodal listening and discernment to hear the voices and perspectives of Catholics from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Other initiatives supported include evangelization, creating digital resources that help the faithful better understand the richness of Catholic teaching, producing documentaries and videos on the lives of exemplary modern-day Catholics on the path to beatification, and preserving Church history.

“The Catholic Communication Campaign not only shares the Good News in mainstream America, but it also reaches people on the furthest peripheries,” Archbishop Hartmayer said. Some examples of what the Catholic Communication Campaign has assisted with internationally include initiatives to keep mariners and seafarers connected to the faith, radio communications, and television ministry.

For instance, mariners may spend months far from home and family. An app that the Apostleship of the Sea of the United States of America developed years ago to help seafarers maintain a spiritual life and find pastoral care in port is now technologically obsolete. Gifts to the campaign will allow the app to be redesigned and add a new feature to help cruise ship passengers locate a Catholic chaplain.

In Bolivia, the CCC supports Radio Pio XII, which since 1959 has championed the rights of indigenous people when they have been under violent attack. Gifts from this collection will replace its failing 20-year-old transmitter with a far more powerful one.

With help from this collection, Ukrainian war refugees are receiving messages of hope and pastoral support through LOGOS TV, a Catholic media ministry in Eastern Europe. Typical recent segments offered spiritual encouragement and showed a Slovak archbishop greeting refugees in a Catholic youth center.

Resources for dioceses and parishes to use in promoting the collection on social media in weekly bulletins can be found here: https://www.usccb.org/committees/catholic-communication-campaign/catholic-communication-campaign-resources. For more information about the Catholic Communication Campaign and those who benefit from it, visit www.usccb.org/ccc.


Media Contact:
Chieko Noguchi

Pope to Mission Societies: ‘Be faithful, bold and creative’

In a message to members of the Pontifical Mission Societies gathered in the French city of Lyon to celebrate the 200th anniversary of their foundation, Pope Francis points to the path traced by Pauline Jaricot for the continuation and fulfillment of their mission.

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