Sunday, March 27, 2016

Pope Francis' Easter message

"O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
 for his mercy endures for ever” (Ps 135:1)

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Happy Easter!

Jesus Christ, the incarnation of God’s mercy, out of love for us, died on the cross, and out of love he rose again from the dead. That is why we proclaim today: Jesus is Lord!

His resurrection fulfils the prophecy of the Psalm: God’s mercy endures for ever; it never dies. We can trust him completely, and we thank him because for our sake he descended into the depths of the abyss.

Before the spiritual and moral abysses of mankind, before the chasms that open up in hearts and provoke hatred and death, only an infinite mercy can bring us salvation. Only God can fill those chasms with his love, prevent us from falling into them and help us to continue our journey together towards the land of freedom and life.

The glorious Easter message, that Jesus, who was crucified is not here but risen (cf. Mt 28:5-6), offers us the comforting assurance that the abyss of death has been bridged and, with it, all mourning, lamentation and pain (cf. Rev 21:4). The Lord, who suffered abandonment by his disciples, the burden of an unjust condemnation and shame of an ignominious death, now makes us sharers of his immortal life and enables us to see with his eyes of love and compassion those who hunger and thirst, strangers and prisoners, the marginalized and the outcast, the victims of oppression and violence. Our world is full of persons suffering in body and spirit, even as the daily news is full of stories of brutal crimes which often take place within homes, and large-scale armed conflicts which cause indescribable suffering to entire peoples.

The risen Christ points out paths of hope to beloved Syria, a country torn by a lengthy conflict, with its sad wake of destruction, death, contempt for humanitarian law and the breakdown of civil concord. To the power of the risen Lord we entrust the talks now in course, that good will and the cooperation of all will bear fruit in peace and initiate the building of a fraternal society respectful of the dignity and rights of each citizen. May the message of life, proclaimed by the Angel beside the overturned stone of the tomb, overcome hardened hearts and promote a fruitful encounter of peoples and cultures in other areas of the Mediterranean and the Middle East, particularly in Iraq, Yemen and Libya. May the image of the new man, shining on the face of Christ, favour concord between Israelis and Palestinians in the Holy Land, as well as patience, openness and daily commitment to laying the foundations of a just and lasting peace through direct and sincere negotiations. May the Lord of life also accompany efforts to attain a definitive solution to the war in Ukraine, inspiring and sustaining initiatives of humanitarian aid, including the liberation of those who are detained.

The Lord Jesus, our peace (Eph 2:14), by his resurrection triumphed over evil and sin. May he draw us closer on this Easter feast to the victims of terrorism, that blind and brutal form of violence which continues to shed blood in different parts of the world, as in the recent attacks in Belgium, Turkey, Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, and Côte d’Ivoire. May he water the seeds of hope and prospects for peace in Africa; I think in particular of Burundi, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan, marked by political and social tensions.

With the weapons of love, God has defeated selfishness and death. His son Jesus is the door of mercy wide open to all. May his Easter message be felt ever more powerfully by the beloved people of Venezuela in the difficult conditions which they are experiencing, and by those responsible for the country’s future, that everyone may work for the common good, seeking spaces of dialogue and cooperation with all. May efforts be made everywhere to promote the culture of counter, justice and reciprocal respect, which alone can guarantee the spiritual and material welfare of all people.

The Easter message of the risen Christ, a message of life for all humanity, echoes down the ages and invites us not to forget those men and women seeking a better future, an ever more numerous throng of migrants and refugees – including many children – fleeing from war, hunger, poverty and social injustice. All too often, these brothers and sisters of ours meet along the way with death or, in any event, rejection by those who could offer them welcome and assistance. May the forthcoming World Humanitarian Summit not fail to be centred on the human person and his or her dignity, and to come up with policies capable of assisting and protecting the victims of conflicts and other emergencies, especially those who are most vulnerable and all those persecuted for ethnic and religious reasons.

On this glorious day, "let the earth rejoice, in shining splendour” (cf. Easter Proclamation), even though it is so often mistreated and greedily exploited, resulting in an alteration of natural equilibria. I think especially of those areas affected by climate change, which not infrequently causes drought or violent flooding, which then lead to food crises in different parts of the world.

Along with our brothers and sisters persecuted for their faith and their fidelity to the name of Christ, and before the evil that seems to have the upper hand in the life of so many people, let us hear once again the comforting words of the Lord: "Take courage; I have conquered the world! (Jn 16:33). Today is the radiant day of this victory, for Christ has trampled death and destruction underfoot. By his resurrection he has brought life and immortality to light (cf. 2 Tim 1:10). "He has made us pass from enslavement to freedom, from sadness to joy, from mourning to jubilation, from darkness to light, from slavery to redemption. Therefore let us acclaim in his presence: Alleluia!” (Melito of Sardis, Easter Homily).

To those in our society who have lost all hope and joy in life, to the elderly who struggle alone and feel their strength waning, to young people who seem to have no future, to all I once more address the words of the Risen One: "See, I am making all things new… To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life” (Rev 21:5-6). May this comforting message of Jesus help each of us to set out anew with greater courage to blaze trails of reconciliation with God and with all our brothers and sisters.

© Copyright 2016 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Mass Schedule changes at Guardian Angel
as of April 2, 2016

As of April 2, 2016, the following Mass Schedule changes will be in effect at Guardian Angel:

  • Saturday Mass at 5:00 pm will now be in Spanish
  • Sunday Mass at 10:30 am in Vietnamese, an addition to the schedule.
  • Sunday Mass at 7:00 pm in English, an addition to the schedule.

All other Mass times will remain the same. 

Saturday, March 19, 2016


The people of Guardian Angel/St. Columba’s Church, an inclusive and welcoming Catholic Community, wish their Chelsea friends and
neighbors a JOYOUS PASSOVER AND EASTER season. 

We invite all to join us:


PALM SUNDAY - Saturday, March 19, 2016 
Guardian Angel 5:00 pm – St. Columba 4:00 pm 
Sunday, March 20, 2016 
Guardian Angel 9:00 am & 12:00 noon
St. Columba 9:00 am, 10:30 am (Spanish) & 12 noon

CONFESSIONS - Monday, March 21 2016 
Guardian Angel - 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm 
St. Columba 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm – Spanish

HOLY THURSDAY, March 24, 2016 – 
St. Columba - Tenebrae (Morning Prayer) – 9:00 am 
Guardian Angel - Mass of the Lord’s Supper - 7:00 pm (Bilingual)

GOOD FRIDAY – March 25, 2016 – 
St. Columba -  Tenebrae (Morning Prayer) – 9:00 am 
Celebration of the Lord’s Passion – 3:00 pm (English) & 7:00 pm (Spanish)

HOLY SATURDAY March 26, 2016 – 
St. Columba - Tenebrae (Morning Prayer) – 9:00 am
Guardian Angel Easter Vigil Mass – 8:00 pm (Bilingual)

EASTER SUNDAY – March 27, 2016 – 
Guardian Angel Masses: 9:00 am & 12:00 noon
St. Columba  Masses: 9:00 am, 10:30 am (Spanish) & 12:00 noon

           St. Columba Church           Guardian Angel Church
           343 West 25th Street           193 Tenth Avenue – 21st Street
           Between 8th & 9th Avenues                     New York,  NY  10011 
           New York,  New York  10001


Thursday, March 3, 2016

From Pope Francis - March 2, 2016


Saint Peter's Square
- Wednesday, 2 March 2016 -

Pope Francis explains the meaning of the word
“freedom” during the general audience.

Pope Francis explained at the general audience that freedom cannot be identified with autonomy or self-sufficiency.

The self-sufficient person does not believe that he needs the love of others or God. Therefore, this person does not feel in need of mercy or forgiveness, and is unable to experience the love of God. God feels rejected because of this, but He will never disown His children. 


"Dear Brothers and Sisters, 

In these weekly catechesis inspired by the present Holy Year of Divine Mercy, we have often reflected on God’s fatherly love and forgiveness.  The Prophets present this love also as involving correction, a summons to conversion and the renewal of the Covenant.  Every parent knows the challenge of helping children to grow in freedom and responsibility.  

In the Scriptures, God expresses his dismay at the rejection of his love, as seen in the disobedience and sin of his children.  

If he chastizes his people, it is to move them to repentance and conversion.  In his mercy, he asks them to turn back to him with all their hearts and to receive a righteousness that is itself his gift.  God is pleased, Isaiah tells us, not by ritual sacrifice but by rejecting evil and practicing justice.  

Though our sins be like scarlet, he will make them white as snow.  May all of us be open, during this year of grace, to our heavenly Father’s merciful invitation to come back to him and to experience this miracle of his love and forgiveness".

© Copyright 2016 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana