Monsignor Gentili frequently suggests interesting articles from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Archbishop Chaput, Pope Frances and more. To be an informed Catholic it’s important to be aware of the key Catholic issues that are happening in our community and world.
Monsignor has also written articles on various issues that affect our parish community.
The 7 Communist & 36 Islamic Regimes
That Most Persecute Christians in 2023
Communist totalitarianism and Islamic fundamentalism are the main causes of another year of persecution of Christians in the world.
It’s a persecution that “has grown exponentially” over the last 30 years. It’s the moment of the Christian NGO Puertas Abiertas [Open Doors], which reports annually on the persecution of Christians in the world. This year’s Report was published on January 18 and offers very alarming data:
5,621 Christians were killed worldwide because of their faith in 2022.
4,542 Christians were arrested because of their faith over the last 12 months
2,110 Christian churches were attacked during the past year.
Pope Emeritus Benedict’s life ‘was a gift to the world,’
Along with the people of the Church of Philadelphia and the entire Universal Church, I was deeply saddened to learn of the death Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI this morning.
In the midst of great sorrow, we also reflect on the life and ministry of the Pope Emeritus with infinite gratitude. He tirelessly served the Church for over 70 years as a parish priest, professor of Theology, Archbishop of Munich and Friesing, Dean of the College of Cardinals, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Supreme Pontiff.
Biden ‘gravely wrong’ to push abortion, Catholic bishops say
The U.S. bishops said President Biden must abandon his “single-minded extremism” on abortion. “The president is gravely wrong to continue to seek every possible avenue to facilitate abortion, instead of using his power to increase support and care to mothers in challenging situations,” said Archbishop William Lori, chair of the bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities.
I came across three resources that may be of interest to you as we approach the midterm election regarding the recent Supreme Court decision and restoration of a culture of life in the United States. I encourage you to be an informed voter and be aware of your moral obligation to participate in the election process.
In the peace of Christ,
Rev. Monsignor Joseph P. Gentili
Below here is the Response by the American Association of Prolife Obstetricians and Gynecologists regarding medical misinformation about the Supreme Court Decision.
Learn more about the Permanent Diaconate
We are thankful to have Deacon Brady as part of the Our Lady of Guadalupe family! If you are interested in learning more about the permanent diaconate watch the video, check out the website or reach out to Deacon Brady or Monsignor Gentili.
Making A Good Confession
- Monsignor William J. King
The sacrament of reconciliation is depicted in a stained-glass window at St. Aloysius Church in Great Neck, N.Y. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)
A father watched his young son at work in the garden.
Instructed to remove the weeds, the son eagerly took up the challenge, taking garden clippers and lopping off the stems as close to ground level as he could maneuver. He assured his father that the weeds were gone, never to return, but the father knew better: without removing their roots the weeds would grow back.
Making a good confession of our sins is like weeding the garden of the soul. Most of us have the experience of assuring our heavenly Father that we have removed all the weeds, but unless we attack them at their roots, we’ll confess the same sins again and again.
It takes work to make a good confession. Focusing on behaviors and actions alone is like taking garden clippers to weeds: we may for a time cut off the parts we can see, but hidden within the soil of our behaviors the roots of sin are still growing. The real power of the Sacrament of Penance is unleashed when we expose the roots to God’s grace.
Greetings from Deacon Kenneth Omeke
I was born in a nuclear family of seven siblings, (all males). I had a zeal of becoming a Catholic priest when I was growing up in Nigeria, but I never accepted this grace to priesthood from God. Finishing my college in Nigeria, I decided to become a full businessman. Though I did become a successful businessman, yet the professional life I was pursuing never seemed totally right for me. I was troubled on whether to become a priest or to remain in the business. After fervent prayers and consulting my pastor on what to do, fortunately, God did show me signs as l requested. In three of my dreams, I saw three priests telling me that I had to leave my business and enter seminary, otherwise they would deal with me. I never took these dreams and the warnings seriously until those priests revisited me again with the same warning, but this time not in my dream but in a trance as I was praying. At the disappearance of these three priests, I was unable to hear again. I became deaf. This time I decided to ask God for mercy and promise God that if I could hear again, I would serve him. God did restore my ears after seven days, and not hesitating, I flew to the seminary as I promised. Due to my age at the time, I was unable to join a diocesan seminary in Nigeria, but a Religious Order (Luminaries of the World Missionary). After completing my Philosophical studies with the religious Order in 2016, unfortunately for me, the Order was closed due to the death of its founder. Because of this, all the seminarians in the congregation had to leave. I didn’t know what to do this time, whether to go back to my business or to start again to look for another seminary. At this point, the only hope was in God alone.
God’s willing, I was invited by my cousin to the United States in the same year. While in the United States, I was able to contact the vocation director, Fr. Steve DeLacy of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to continue my discernment to the priesthood. After a rigorous application processes, I was accepted as a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop Emeritus of Philadelphia. God’s willing, next year I will be ordained a priest for the archdiocese of Philadelphia. My home parish is St. Margaret of Antioch in Narberth.
Monsignor Gentili Message
Please listen to Monsignor Gentili's message to our parish family about the return to Church, plus a coronavirus update.
Unanimous Supreme Court Flies Flag for Free Speech in Case Against City of Boston
The Supreme Court’s decision on Monday, May 2 was unanimous. A victory for religious freedom!
I personally find it interesting the decision did not get much media attention for how historic it is with regard to not only freedom of speech and religious liberty, but also an unanimous decision by all the members of the Supreme Court.
In November, the Catholic Vote Education Fund filed an amicus brief in the case of Harold Shurtleff v. City of Boston. Shurtleff is the director of Camp Constitution, a group that found itself in conflict with officials in the City of Boston.
Camp Constitution had applied to fly a Christian flag outside Boston City Hall in honor of Constitution Day. They wanted to recognize our nation’s Judeo-Christian heritage. Officials with the City denied the request.
In the 12 years since the city opened the flag pole to public use, the City of Boston never denied another flag — and had even allowed the Chinese Communist flag and LGBT Pride flag on the pole! But not a “Christian” flag?
The brief argued that the City of Boston discriminated against the one Christian applicant, while “permitting a wide range of secular expression with which the government agrees.”
The City chose to attack Camp Constitution and singled them out because of their religious beliefs. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the City of Boston violated Shurtliff’s First Amendment rights.
It should be noted that not all of the Justices agreed on how far the decision might extend and what criteria should be used to determine what the First Amendment allows – or must be prohibited? But all of them agreed the City of Boston went too far.
It may seem like a small victory. But we have to remain vigilant and fight everywhere to protect our freedoms – especially our
fundamental religious freedom.
As Catholics, it is your moral obligation to participate in the election process. Whether it is a primary election or a mid-term election, all opportunities to participate in the electoral process are important for all of us as active citizens and Catholics.
In Christ Our Lord,
For Further reflection:
Covid-19 Virus and Vaccine Update
In my effort to keep parishioners informed on all important issues, I offer this article to assist you in making decisions concerning the Covid-19 Virus and the vaccines available at the present time. I did publish a Flocknote on Friday, March 5, 2021 regarding the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) statement on the virus. In the interim another statement has been published by the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference of Bishops. I have been able to do some research and receive guidance which helps to clarify and add to past information published on the website and bulletin. I realize that, at times, it may be difficult to plow through and research all the information that is out there for us to consume in order to be informed Catholics. I am attempting to synthesize some of the salient points regarding the vaccines associated with the Covid-19 Virus. I highly recommend that you read the resources I have made available to you in the past as well as those referenced in this article.
The Bishops of the state of Pennsylvania encourage all people to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Getting the vaccination, whichever one you may choose, or is made available to you, is considered an act of charity and even part of a moral responsibility for the common good. It is a way of protecting not only you, but also those around you. The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference of Bishops reminds us of the consistency of their message throughout the pandemic in reference to the virus and vaccines:
“While we should continue to insist that pharmaceutical companies stop using abortion-derived cell lines, given the world-wide suffering that this pandemic is causing, we affirm again that being vaccinated can be an act of charity that serves the common good…In essence, we recognize that at this time individuals are not given a choice of which vaccine to receive and that this should not prevent Catholics from getting vaccinated as soon as possible. Catholics may in good conscience receive any vaccine in order to protect themselves.”
Click to view entire statements at:
The Ethics & Public Policy Center recently offered a pastoral approach to the issues at hand when reflecting on the virus and the vaccines associated with it. The article is entitled, “Statement for Pro-Life Catholic Scholars on the Moral Acceptability of Receiving COVID-19 Vaccines.” You may be aware that there are four major vaccines available at the present time: Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca. (The AstraZeneca vaccine is not yet approved in the United States.) The authors of the article present to us a cogent, appropriately Catholic rationale, in communion with the Vatican’s Statements on Covid-19, the USCCB as well as the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference of Bishops. They make the case that in accepting any of the vaccines offered at the present time, one would not show disrespect for the remains of an unborn human being. Furthermore, one could say that you would not be violating the most important value of defending the intrinsic equal dignity all human beings from conception to natural death. “Accordingly, Catholics, and indeed, all persons of good will who embrace a culture of life for the whole human family, born and unborn, can use these vaccines without fear of moral culpability.”
Additionally, I refer you to the Vatican documents, “Vatican Covid -19 Commission in collaboration with the Pontifical Academy for Life and Sciences” (December 29, 2019) and “Note on the morality of using some anti-Covid-19 Vaccines.” These documents are well worth your read as they set into context the Church's constant and consistent moral teachings, observations and concerns regarding the virus and vaccines in the areas of: research and production, avoidance of commercial exploitation, fair and equitable distribution, forming a proper conscience, along with the overriding concern for the public health and well-being of humanity during the present crisis of this world pandemic.
I hope you find this information helpful. Let us continue to pray for one another and for all those people working so diligently to serve all of us who have been affected by this horrific pandemic.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!
Rev. Monsignor Joseph P. Gentili
Pastor, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church
Monsignor's recent COVId -19 UPDATE
Nothing Compares to Being There
Lenten Video homilies
Here you will find recordings of Lenten Homilies beginning in 2018.