Newsletter | May 20, 2020 | Issue 186
Sent as Apostles of Christ
Director's Desk

“Always ask the Spirit what Jesus expects from you at every moment of your life and in every decision you must make, so as to discern its place in the mission you have received.” - Pope Francis,  Gaudete et Exsultate , 23

Have you ever prayed a novena? Some people might find such a thing out of fashion, but it is making a return among a number of Catholics. For some, the practice never left.

For nine years, as pastoral director of St. Jude Shrine in Baltimore, Maryland, I led novena prayers week after week on Wednesdays and Sundays during the perpetual novena in honor of  St. Jude , patron of hopeless cases. The custom of praying a novena, usually nine days of prayer, arose from the liturgical period of nine days between the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord and Pentecost Sunday. (In recent years, many dioceses have moved the Solemnity of the Ascension from Thursday to the Sunday before Pentecost.) This liturgical time marks for us the period between when Christ ascended to the Father and the sending of the Holy Spirit on the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Apostles, and the disciples.

The Risen Christ gave his followers a mission. He told them to “Go”. But go and do what? “Make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). They did not go immediately, but instead were looking at the sky. They were confused. Then they went into the Cenacle or the Upper Room prayed and discerned together. They were not ready to go forth on mission for Christ. When the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, they received the boldness to preach and to heal in the name of Jesus Christ. Only then did they accept their being sent by Christ.

As Christ sent them, so he sends us.  St. Vincent Pallotti  taught, as did the Second Vatican Council, that the baptized are sent into the world as apostles of Christ. In word and deed, our world needs to hear proclaimed that God is love, Christ saves, and Christ is alive ( Christus Vivit , chapter 4). This is the initial proclamation of the Good News or the  kerygma . When people encounter us, do they encounter Christ? Do we accompany them into greater faith in him? Are they welcomed into the community of faith, the Church? Do they realize that they, too, are sent? (cf.  Living as Missionary Disciples Part I).

We do none of these works alone. We are dependent on the Holy Spirit. As Pope Francis teaches us, “When you receive the Spirit, he draws you ever more deeply into the heart of Christ, so that you can grow in his love, his life and his power" ( Christus Vivit 130). The Holy Spirit will guide us in our discernment and in the mission that we have been given by Christ.

May the Charity of Christ urge us on!

In God, the infinite Love,
Webinar: Living as Missionary Disciples
Join some of the presenters from the current Living as Missionary Disciples: A Resource for Evangelization video series , which is a resource for the book Living as Missionary Disciples: A Resource for Evangelization . Participate in their discussion on key topics from both the video series and book on June 2 at 2pm EDT. They will also discuss how missionary discipleship can help in the current climate.
Webinar: Spiritual Growth in Times of Crisis
Join the Catholic Apostolate Center and SLI Connect on May 26 at 1pm EDT for a webinar on Spiritual Growth in Times of Crisis with Rev. David Songy, O.F.M.Cap., S.T.D., Psy.D. This webinar will discuss practical ways to approach the spiritual life in times of crisis, leading to deeper relationships with God and others, especially relevant in this time of COVID-19. Click the button below to register for the webinar.
Communication Strategies During Times of Crisis
On May 12, the  Catholic Apostolate Center  hosted a webinar entitled  Communication Strategies During Times of Crisis  presented by  John Grosso Director  of Digital Media from the  Diocese of Bridgeport . The webinar discussed strategies for communication during a crisis such as this one. The webinar also discussed ideas for handling communications to Catholics in a parish or diocese as well as live-streaming tips.
Light the World
Light the World !  Summer Institute is a program from The Catholic University of America for rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors who seek to explore how faith and culture interact with everyday activities through investigation, research, and faith sharing. Students witness faithful excellence in action in business, science, politics, sports, and the arts through meeting professionals who live out their faith in everyday life, including  Catholic University faculty and other leaders in those fields.

Light the World!, a program in the   School of Theology and Religious Studies  at The Catholic University of America, is facilitated by student counselors of various areas of study who themselves are faith-filled witnesses of Christ. Light the World! Summer Institute has moved online for 2020 with national and international presenters joining participants to explore the interaction between faith and culture. 

Light the World! Summer Institute runs from July 6-9. The deadline for application is
June 3. 

For more information, click the button below.
COVID-19 Resources
As we continue through this time of uncertainty and wade through unfamiliar waters during the COVID-19 pandemic, please know that all of us at the  Catholic Apostolate Center   are here to offer support.

We have compiled numerous spiritual resources on our   COVID-19 Resource Page   to assist you during this transition time as we adapt to our "new normal.” We update this resource page daily with new content to ensure access to the most up-to-date information. This   resource   page includes information on viewing live-streamed or recorded Masses, prayer and catechetical resources, stories and articles from affected populations, along with podcasts and webinars on how we can get through this together.
Celebrating the Fifth Anniversary of Pope Francis' Encyclical Laudato Si
In celebration of the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis' encyclical  Laudato Si' : On Care for Our Common Home on May 24, the Catholic Apostolate Center invites you to visit our
Laudato Si'   resource pages in  English  and in   Spanish . Pope Francis shares with us about the importance of our relationship with all Creation and how we are called to care for it on many levels. Our resource pages highlight articles, a webinar, blog entries, and other resources to learn about Laudato Si'   and about Pope Francis' invitation to us to care for our common home.

Additionally, Center Director  Fr. Frank Donio, S.A.C.  reflected   on   Laudato Si'   for the   Union of Catholic Apostolate's  Apostles for Today  newsletter about how the Pope's encyclical inspires the UAC today in living out the vision of St. Vincent Pallotti to be co-responsible, collaborative, and in communion with one another.
Project Coordinator  Brian Rhude  reflects on the Solemnity of Pentecost which is celebrated this year on May 31. He reviews this feast's biblical precursor from the book of Genesis. He also speaks on how Pentecost informs us about our call to evangelize as missionary disciples.
Mary, Queen of Apostles
On May 30, we will celebrate the feast of the  Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of ApostlesSt. Vincent Pallotti  had a strong devotion to Our Lady, speaking of her as, "Mother of Divine Love" and "Queen of Apostles." Under this invocation, the Blessed Virgin Mary is the patroness of the Catholic Apostolate Center. We invite you to pray the  Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Apostles which can be found below.
Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Apostles

Immaculate Mother of God, Queen of the Apostles, we know that God's commandment of love and our vocation to follow Jesus Christ impels us to cooperate in the mission of the Church. Realizing our own weakness, we entrust the renewal of our personal lives and our apostolate to your intercession. We are confident that through God's mercy and the infinite merits of Jesus Christ, you, who are our Mother, will obtain the strength of the Holy Spirit as you obtained it for the community of the apostles gathered in the upper room. Therefore, relying on your maternal intercession, we resolve from this moment to devote our talents, learning, material resources, our health, sickness and trials, and every gift of nature and grace, for the greater glory of God and the salvation of all. We wish to carry on those activities which especially promote the Catholic Apostolate for the revival of faith and love of the people of God and so bring all men and women into the faith of Jesus Christ. And if a time should come when we have nothing more to offer serviceable to this end, we will never cease to pray that there will be one fold and one shepherd Jesus Christ. In this way, we hope to enjoy the results of the apostolate of Jesus Christ for all eternity.
- St. Vincent Pallotti

Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Apostles, pray for us!
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