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As we celebrate the 175th Anniversary of the Archdiocese, we look back… on July 23, 1976 when Archbishop Henry J. O'Brien passed away.
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20180508T0909 0294 CNS POPE MASS DEVIL 800 Pope Francis gives the homily as he celebrates morning Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae at the Vatican May 8. The pope cautioned people to stay away from the devil, likening him to an angry, rabid dog that is chained up. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The devil is "a loser," but he still tricks people into giving him power, Pope Francis said.

The devil "seduces us; he knows how to appeal to our vanity and curiosity and we buy it all," the pope said May 8 during his homily at Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae where he lives.

The day's Gospel passage from St. John ends with Jesus telling his disciples "the ruler of this world has been condemned."

The phrase refers to the devil, Pope Francis said. With the resurrection of Jesus, the devil has been defeated, but he still pretends to have power and still tries to influence people.

"He has this ability to seduce," the pope said. "That makes it hard to understand that he is a loser because he presents himself with great power, promises you many things, brings you gifts -- beautiful, all wrapped up," he said. "He knows how to seduce us with the package without letting us see what's inside. He knows how to present his proposals to appeal to our vanity, our curiosity."

Unfortunately, he said, too often "we like being seduced."

The devil is "the great liar, the father of lies," the pope said, "and we fools believe him."

"We must be aware of the devil," he said, and Jesus taught his disciples that the only way to do that was to watch, pray and fast.

And, Pope Francis said, it's especially important that Christians don't think they can approach the devil, see what he's like and then just walk away unscathed.

As one of the fathers of the church wrote, the devil is like an angry, rabid dog that is chained up, he said.

People know when they are playing with fire, the pope said. They know when they are approaching that angry dog. "Please, don't," he said, before imagining a dialogue in which someone cries about having been bitten, but it turns out the dog was chained up and he had approached it, basically provoking the injury.

One who is afraid of the devil's influence can always turn to Mary, he said. "When children are afraid they go to their mother. 'Mom, mom, I'm afraid.' When they have bad dreams, they go to mom. Go to the Blessed Mother; she protects us."

alertAt the Spring Assembly of the U.S. bishops, Cardinal Joseph Tobin suggested that a delegation ofbishops go to the border to see for themselves what was happening to newly arrived immigrants, families and children. On July 1 and 2, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. bishops conference, and five other bishops conducted a pastoral visit to the diocese of Brownsville, Texas. Stops included Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle with the community, a visit to anHHS/OBR Shelter and Mass for the families there, a visit to the Customs and Border Patrol processing center in McAllen, TX, and a press conference at the end of their visit. Catholic News Service accompanied the bishops on their border trip. 

  1. Backgrounder and analysis of the bishops’ trip to the border: Cardinal DiNardo told CNS, “You cannot look at immigration as an abstraction when you meet” the people behind the issue.
  2. At final press conference, Cardinal Daniel Dinardo said the church was willing to be part of any conversation to find humane solutions because even a policy of detaining families together in facilities caused “concern.”
  3. Bishops serve soup to immigrant families at a center run by Catholic Charities and listen to their stories. Scranton Bishop Joseph Bambera said he found hope in hearing the people in the room talk about what’s ahead. They didn’t speak of making money but of finding safety for their children, he said, driven by “the most basic instinct to protect your family.”
  4. At an opening Mass he Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle-National Shrine near McAllen, Texas, Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville told Massgoers, “The bishops are visiting here so they can stop and look and talk to people and understand, especially the suffering of many who are amongst us,”

A delegation of U.S. bishops goes on a fact-finding mission at the U.S.-Mexican border to learn more about Central American immigration detention.

Following their visit to an immigrant detention center, U.S. bishops said they are even more determined to call on Congress for comprehensive immigration reform.