Friday, August 28, 2009


Catholic world news: Fri. Aug. 28, 2009: headlines:


The Apostolic Penitentiary is granting a special plenary indulgence to those who pray before the remains of Pope St. Celestine V during the year dedicated to him, which opens this evening in the earthquake-stricken central Italian town of L’Aquila, with a ceremony presided over by the Cardinal Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone.

Pope who lived as hermit, resigned the papacy after only 5 months in office.

He founded the Celestine order in the Abruzzi region. He was born in 1215 and died in 1296.



The Catholic Herald reports that a 40-year-old parish priest was fatally injured in a car accident in north Yorkshire last week. Fr Edward Houghton, assistant priest at the Church of Our Lady of Grace and St Edward in Chiswick, had recently celebrated the first anniversary of his ordination.He was reportedly driving to a family funeral when a collision took place. A spokesman for north Yorkshire Police said the incident involved a car, a van and a heavy goods vehicle, and occurred shortly after 10am. Fr Houghton was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.Mgr Seamus O'Boyle, vicar general for the Diocese of Westminster, spoke of "a profound sense of shock and sadness" at his death. He said: "Our thoughts and prayers are with Fr Edward's immediate family, his sisters and brother, at this time. We remember also the parish communities at Chiswick where he was assistant priest, and at the Cathedral where he served his year as a deacon." Fr Anthony Dwyer, parish priest at Our Lady of Grace and St Edward, Chiswick, said: "Fr Edward's untimely and tragic death has come as a huge shock to the parish, and has caused immense sadness. "Fr Edward was a gifted young priest, and although he had only been here since last September he had made a significant contribution to the life of the parish; he had an ability to relate to people of all ages, from the elderly to the very young - as was obvious from his popularity with the pupils of St Mary's Primary school. "Many people have commented on his gentle presence, his warm smile, his spirituality and his thought-provoking preaching. His death leaves a huge gap. May he rest in peace."Fr Edward Houghton, known to parishioners as Fr Ed, was born in Preston and prior to studying for the priesthood worked as an English and religious education teacher at St Charles Sixth Form College in Ladbroke Grove, west London. He had been a resident at Newman House, central London, as a student.



CNA reports that Most Rev. Joseph F. Martino, Bishop of Scranton, will resign as head of the Diocese of Scranton next week, sources within the diocese confirmed to the local press today.
The sources did not explain the reason for the 62-year-old bishop’s decision. The sources also did not specify if the Bishop’s resignation was going to be presented or if it had been already submitted and accepted by the Vatican.
When asked by CNA to confirm Bishop Martino's resignation, diocesan spokesman William Genello said that the diocese will hold a press conference next Monday for media members only.
According to Canon law, a Bishop can present his resignation to the Holy Father for reasons other than the age limit (75), but he remains the head of the diocese until his resignation is accepted.
Speculation about the bishop's future began earlier this week when the local press in Scranton reported that his belongings were being moved from the rectory of St. Peter's Cathedral, to a retreat house in Dalton, Pa.
Joseph Martino was installed as the ninth bishop of the Diocese of Scranton in October, 2003, and rapidly became one of the stronger pro-life voices in the U.S. episcopate.
In a pastoral letter issued last year before the presidential election, Bishop Martino wrote, “To begin, laws that protect abortion constitute injustice of the worst kind. They rest on several false claims including that there is no certainty regarding when life begins, that there is no certainty about when a fetus becomes a person, and that some human beings may be killed to advance the interests or convenience of others.”
On February this year, he wrote to Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Bob Casey concerning his vote against the Mexico City Policy, expressing his “deep concern” that the senator’s staff was misrepresenting the vote as "pro-life."(SOURCE:



CISA reports that the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) has announced the postponement of its 15th plenary assembly which was scheduled to take place at Frascati, near Rome, Italy, from September 27 to October 3.The postponement is due to circumstances beyond the control of the Standing Committee and the Secretariat of SECAM, the body’s president, Cardinal Polycarp Pengo of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, said in a statement on Monday.The Plenary Assembly may be held from July 25 to August 2, 2010, to coincide with the celebration of the foundation day of SECAM. The proposed venue is Ghana, the host country of SECAM Secretariat. All other issues relating to the 15th Plenary Assembly shall remain the same, Cardinal Pengo said.A meeting shall be held by representatives of member-episcopal conferences of SECAM during the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops in October 2009 in Rome to decide on issues pertaining to the 15th plenary assembly and the 40th anniversary of the Symposium.



CathNews reports that Queensland Premier Anna Bligh pledged $100,000 for restoration work on Rockhampton's St Joseph's Cathedral, in response to requests of support from Rockhampton Bishop Brian Heenan and Member for Rockhampton Robert Schwarten.
Ms Bligh said the government recognised the 110 year old cathedral as a vital community asset, the Rockhampton Morning Bulletin reported.
"I trust that this contribution, together with funds raised from the local community will realise your vision for the restoration of St Joseph's," she said in a letter to the Bishop.
The $100,000 will be sourced from the Department of Premier and Cabinet and follows a $100,000 grant to St Joseph's to conduct a structural assessment of the Cathedral in 2005. The restoration will cost and estimated $5 million, the newspaper has previously reported. (SOURCE:


UCAN reports that missionary work started 100 years ago in the northern Philippines by foreign priests from the Society of the Divine Word (SVD) is now largely continued by Filipinos.
A Divine Word priest conducting a program for Philippine teachers
Much of the society’s work now involves local laypeople, Divine Word Father Antonio Pernia told about 5,000 people gathered at a thanksgiving Mass at Our Lady of the Pillar Church in San Isidro, Abra province, on Aug. 23.
The Filipino priest is the first Asian to serve as superior general of the society, founded in the Netherlands. The Mass he led capped a three-year celebration of SVD missioners' arrival in the country.
Fathers Ludwig Beckert and John Sheiermann arrived on horseback in San Isidro, then called Cagutongan, on Aug. 22, 1909, exactly one week after they arrived in Manila.
Bangued diocese, which was established as a prelature in 1955 and became a diocese in 1982, now serves the area. Only eight of the 21 Bangued parishes listed in the Catholic Directory of the Philippines still are administered by Divine Word priests, who serve mostly in the mountains far from towns.
However, more than 300 Divine Word and diocesan priests in the northern Philippines concelebrated the Mass at the site of the first SVD mission station in the country.
Father Pernia, in his homily, called on SVD priests serving in the region today, as heirs to the Church their pioneering predecessors established, to live a life of missionary service in honor of those early missioners.
Be disciples who are “chaste, poor, obedient,” he urged them, noting that it was these virtues that helped Fathers Beckert and Sheiermann persevere in the “rough and difficult beginning” of the Philippine mission.
Today the Filipino SVD contingent of about 530, including seminarians, makes up the fourth-largest national grouping of Divine Word members. About 160 work in foreign missions.
The Divine Word priests and brothers in the Philippines engage in ministries such as running parishes, missions, schools, universities, formation houses and retreat centers, as well as biblical and communication apostolates. They minister to indigenous peoples, street children, the poor and marginalized, and the Filipino-Chinese community.
Father Pernia, who is based in Rome, also led centennial celebrations in the Manila area and in the central provinces of Bohol and Cebu.
Father Bernard Teneza, formation director of the SVD Philippine Northern Province, noted the “good number” of Divine Word aspirants to the priesthood in the Philippines, where about eight men are ordained SVD priests annually. (SOURCE:


St. Augustine
Feast Day:
August 28
November 13, 354, Tagaste, Numidia (now Souk Ahras, Algeria)
August 28, 430, Hippo Regius, Numidia (now modern-day Annaba, Algeria)
Major Shrine:
San Pietro in Ciel d'Oro, Pavia, Italy
Patron of:
brewers; printers; theologians

Augustine was born at Tagaste on 13 November, 354. Tagaste, now Souk-Ahras, about 60 miles from Bona (ancient Hippo-Regius), was at that time a small free city of proconsular Numidia which had recently been converted from Donatism. His father, Patricius, one of the curiales of the city, was still a pagan. However, the admirable virtues that made Monica the ideal of Christian mothers at length brought her husband the grace of baptism and of a holy death, about the year 371. Augustine received a Christian education. His mother had him signed with the cross and enrolled among the catechumens. Once, when very ill, he asked for baptism, but, all danger being soon passed, he deferred receiving the sacrament, thus yielding to a deplorable custom of the times. "From my tenderest infancy, I had in a manner sucked with my mother's milk that name of my Saviour, Thy Son; I kept it in the recesses of my heart; and all that presented itself to me without that Divine Name, though it might be elegant, well written, and even replete with truth, did not altogether carry me away" (Confessions, I, iv).
Before long he was obliged to confess to Monica that he had formed a sinful liaison with the person who bore him a son (372), "the son of his sin" -- an entanglement from which he only delivered himself at Milan after fifteen years.In 373, Augustine and his friend Honoratus fell into the sect of the Manich├Žans.
But the religious crisis of this great soul was only to be resolved in Italy, under the influence of Ambrose. In 383 Augustine, at the age of twenty-nine, yielded to the irresistible attraction which Italy had for him At first he turned towards the philosophy of the Academics, with its pessimistic scepticism; then neo-Platonic philosophy inspired him with genuine enthusiasm. At Milan he had scarcely read certain works of Plato and, more especially, of Plotinus, before the hope of finding the truth dawned upon him. Monica, who had joined her son at Milan, prevailed upon him to become betrothed, but his affianced bride was too young, and although Augustine dismissed the mother of Adeodatus, her place was soon filled by another. Thus did he pass through one last period of struggle and anguish. Finally, through the reading of the Holy Scriptures light penetrated his mind. Soon he possessed the certainty that Jesus Christ is the only way to truth and salvation. After that resistance came only from the heart. An interview with Simplicianus, the future successor of St. Ambrose, who told Augustine the story of the conversion of the celebrated neo-Platonic rhetorician, Victorinus (Confessions, VIII, i, ii), prepared the way for the grand stroke of grace which, at the age of thirty-three, smote him to the ground in the garden at Milan (September, 386). A few days later Augustine, being ill, took advantage of the autumn holidays and, resigning his professorship, went with Monica, Adeodatus, and his friends to Cassisiacum, the country estate of Verecundus, there to devote himself to the pursuit of true philosophy which, for him, was now inseparable from Christianity.
It was this Divine grace that Augustine sought in Christian baptism. Towards the beginning of Lent, 387, he went to Milan and, with Adeodatus and Alypius, took his place among the competentes, being baptized by Ambrose on Easter Day, or at least during Eastertide. The Augustine remained several months in Rome, chiefly engaged in refuting Manich├Žism. He sailed for Africa after the death of the tyrant Maximus (August 388) and after a short sojourn in Carthage, returned to his native Tagaste. Immediately upon arriving there, he wished to carry out his idea of a perfect life, and began by selling all his goods and giving the proceeds to the poor. Then he and his friends withdrew to his estate, which had already been alienated, there to lead a common life in poverty, prayer, and the study of sacred letters.
One day, having been summoned to Hippo by a friend whose soul's salvation was at stake, he was praying in a church when the people suddenly gathered about him, cheered him, and begged Valerius, the bishop, to raise him to the priesthood. In spite of his tears Augustine was obliged to yield to their entreaties, and was ordained in 391. The new priest looked upon his ordination as an additional reason for resuming religious life at Tagaste, and so fully did Valerius approve that he put some church property at Augustine's disposal, thus enabling him to establish a monastery the second that he had founded. Enfeebled by old age, Valerius, Bishop of Hippo, obtained the authorization of Aurelius, Primate of Africa, to associate Augustine with himself as coadjutor. Augustine had to resign himself to consecration at the hands of Megalius, Primate of Numidia. He was then forty two, and was to occupy the See of Hippo for thirty-four years.
of evil have a more zealous defender than this bishop." Nothing is more opposed to the facts. Augustine acknowledges that he had not yet understood how the first good inclination of the will is a gift of God (Retractions, I, xxiii, n, 3); but it should be remembered that he never retracted his leading theories on liberty, never modified his opinion upon what constitutes its essential condition, that is to say, the full power of choosing or of deciding. He was stricken with what he realized to be a fatal illness, and, after three months of admirable patience and fervent prayer, departed from this land of exile on 28 August, 430, in the seventy-sixth year of his age.
(Edited from:
St. Moses the Black
Feast: August 28
Feast Day:
August 28
330; Ethiopian ancestry
405, Scetes, Egypt
Major Shrine:
Paromeos Monastery, Scetes, Egypt
Patron of:

Moses the Black, sometimes called the Ethiopian, was a slave of a government official in Egypt who dismissed him for theft and suspected murder. He became the leader of a gang of bandits who roamed the Nile Valley spreading terror and violence. He was a large, imposing figure. On one occasion, a barking dog prevented Moses from carrying out a robbery, so he swore vengeance on the owner. Weapons in his mouth, Moses swam the river toward the owner's hut. The owner, again alerted, hid, and the frustrated Moses took some of his sheep to slaughter. Attempting to hide from local authorities, he took shelter with some monks in a colony in the desert of Scete, near Alexandria. The dedication of their lives, as well as their peace and contentment, influenced Moses deeply. He soon gave up his old way of life and joined the monastic community at Scete.
Attacked by a group of robbers in his desert cell, Moses fought back, overpowered the intruders, and dragged them to the chapel where the other monks were at prayer. He told the brothers that he didn't think it Christian to hurt the robbers and asked what he should do with them. The overwhelmed robbers repented, were converted, and themselves joined the community.
Moses was zealous in all he did, but became discouraged when he concluded he was not perfect enough. Early one morning, St. Isidore, abbot of the community, took Brother Moses to the roof and together they watched the first rays of dawn come over the horizon. Isidore told Moses, "Only slowly do the rays of the sun drive away the night and usher in a new day, and thus, only slowly does one become a perfect contemplative."
Moses proved to be effective as a prophetic spiritual leader. The abbot ordered the brothers to fast during a particular week. Some brothers came to Moses, and he prepared a meal for them. Neighboring monks reported to the abbot that Moses was breaking the fast. When they came to confront Moses, they changed their minds, saying "You did not keep a human commandment, but it was so that you might keep the divine commandment of hospitality." Some see in this account one of the earliest allusions to the Paschal fast, which developed at this time.
When a brother committed a fault and Moses was invited to a meeting to discuss an appropriate penance, Moses refused to attend. When he was again called to the meeting, Moses took a leaking jug filled with water and carried it on his shoulder. Another version of the story has him carrying a basket filled with sand. When he arrived at the meeting place, the others asked why he was carrying the jug. He replied, "My sins run out behind me and I do not see them, but today I am coming to judge the errors of another." On hearing this, the assembled brothers forgave the erring monk.
Moses became the spiritual leader of a colony of hermits in the desert. At some time, he had been ordained priest. At about age 75, about the year 407, word came that a group of renegades planned to attack the colony. The brothers wanted to defend themselves, but Moses forbade it. He told them to retreat, rather than take up weapons. He and seven others remained behind and greeted the invaders with open arms, but all eight were martyred by the bandits. A modern interpretation honors St. Moses the Black as an apostle of non-violence.
The lives of St. Moses the Black and St. Norbert, contain some interesting parallels. Both lived rather dissolute lives in their younger years. Both had conversion experiences in which they heard and heeded the call of God. Both were leaders in their respective religious communities. Both are known as men of peace, having spent much of their ministry calling people to reconciliation and forgiveness by word and example.

It often happens that we pray God to deliver us from some dangerous temptation, and yet God does not hear us but permits the temptation to continue troubling us. In such a case, let us understand that God permits even this for our greater good. When a soul in temptation recommends itself to God, and by His aid resists, O how it then advances in perfection.
-- St. Alphonsus Liguori

Matthew 25: 1 - 13
"Then the kingdom of heaven shall be compared to ten maidens who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom.
Five of them were foolish, and five were wise.
For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them;
but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps.
As the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
But at midnight there was a cry, `Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.'
Then all those maidens rose and trimmed their lamps.
And the foolish said to the wise, `Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.'
But the wise replied, `Perhaps there will not be enough for us and for you; go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.'
And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast; and the door was shut.
Afterward the other maidens came also, saying, `Lord, lord, open to us.'
But he replied, `Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.'
Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.

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