After the stoning of Stephen, a severe persecution began against the community in Jerusalem, led by Saul, who entered houses and dragged off men and women to prison. Unfortunately, persecution of Christians is still taking place today, even in some countries where Columbans are
Overseas missionary work brings many surprises, but a 12-day obligatory quarantine period in a secure facility near London Airport was a “first” for me.
In the early part of 2019 I was living in Mokpo, South Korea, and investigating opportunities in university chaplaincy at Mokpo Catholic University. One day in April, I received a phone call from an unknown number. Thinking it was spam, I ignored the call. However, the caller was persistent, and I eventually answered on the third call.
How shining and splendid are your gifts, O Lord
which You give us for our eternal well-being
Your glory shines radiantly in Your saints, O God
In the honor and noble victory of the martyrs.
The white-robed company follow You,
bright with their abundant faith;
They scorned the wicked words of those with this world's power.
For You they sustained fierce beatings, chains, and torments,
they were drained by cruel punishments.
They bore their holy witness to You
who were grounded deep within their hearts;
Almighty God, in whom is no darkness at all:
Grant me Your light perpetually,
and when I cannot see the way before me,
may I continue to put my trust in You;
that so, being guided and guarded by Your love,
I may be kept from falling,
this day and all my days,
through Jesus Christ my Lord.
My Jesus, I believe that You are present
in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment
receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there
and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.
Glorious Queen of peace,
grant us peace in our hearts,
harmony in our families
and goodwill throughout the world.
as patroness of our beloved country,
watch over us and protect us
with your motherly love.
When the pandemic started to escalate, and the U.S./ Mexico border needed to impose restrictions, the ministries where I was involved in Juarez, Mexico, were in lockdown, including the church where I was helping as a catechist. There were restrictions on crossing back and forth over the border.
O God, Who, through Your blessed Apostles Simon and Jude,
have brought us to the knowledge of Your name,
grant that we may celebrate their everlasting glory
by advancing in good works we may celebrate their glory.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Who lives and reigns with You,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God,
world without end.
Blessed Bartholomew, despite many oppositions
and obstacles in your life, you remained faithful
to God and your ministry to His people.
Like you, today we face a multitude
of daily challenges to our faith and our lives.
Help us to remain steadfast in our love of God
and serve as an inspiration,
even in the darker moments.