CWN - Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), said that Americans must stem the tide of Catholic emigration from Iraq.

Accompanied by Syrian Catholic Bishop Yousif Habash, Bishop Pates represented the USCCB at the recent enthronement of Louis Raphaël I Sako as the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Babylon.

“With the Chaldean Church struggling to retain members in Iraq, Patriarch Sako's leadership is providential,” said Bishop Pates. “He is a man of dialogue and friendship and will work diligently to establish beneficial relationships with those of the Muslim tradition and other religions, as well as governmental and civic communities in Iraq.”

“It is estimated that nearly one-half or 350,000 individuals from the Chaldean Church have emigrated from Iraq since the invasion and occupation of the country by American military forces beginning in 2003,” Bishop Pates continued. “It is surely incumbent upon us as Americans to assist the Chaldean Church in reversing this trend. Especially is this so because this is a land that was the beneficiary of apostolic evangelization attributed to St. Thomas the Apostle.”

“The Iraqi government provided tight security for me and Bishop Habash, and demonstrated commitment to protect minority religions and their practice of worship as evident by the presence of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the Speaker of the Council of Representatives, Osama al-Nujaifi, at the installation ceremony of the new Patriarch,” Bishop Pates added.


Teachings of Christ

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43-44 ESV)

Entrance of the Mother of God into the Temple

Today is the prelude of the goodwill of God * and the heralding of the salvation of mankind; * the Virgin appears clearly in the temple of God * and foretells Christ to all. * Let us also with a mighty voice cry out to her: * “Rejoice, O Fulfillment of the Creator’s divine plan.” (Troparion - Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

The most pure Temple of the Savior, * the most precious Bridal-Chamber and Virgin, the sacred Treasury of the glory of God, * is brought today into the house of the Lord, * bringing with her the grace that is in the Divine Spirit. * The angels of God praise her in song: * “She is the heavenly tabernacle.” (Kontakion - Tone 4)

(November 21st)

Random Proverb

"The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing." (Proverbs 9:13 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Adam, God's first-formed man, transgressed: could He [God] not at once have brought death upon him? But see what the Lord does, in His great love towards man. He casts him out from Paradise, for because of sin he was unworthy to live there; but He puts him to dwell over against Paradise: that seeing whence he had fallen, and from what and into what a state he was brought down, he might afterwards be saved by repentance.

St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Catechetical Lectures: Lecture 2 no. 7)