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Saturday, August 1, 2009

CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: SAT. AUG 1, 2009

CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: AUG 1, 2009: HEADLINES
*POPE WELCOMES ATHLETES FOR CHAMPIONSHIPS IN ROME*
*DEATH OF PRIEST WHO PROMOTED SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE *
*GIRL'S BATTLE WITH CANCER CONVERTS MANY*
*ANTI-POVERTY PROTESTS TURN VIOLENT IN S. AFRICA*
*6th CONGRESS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAMILY MOVEMENT*
*MOURNING DEATHS OF 2 KILLED IN JAKARTA BOMBINGS*



POPE WELCOMES ATHLETES FOR CHAMPIONSHIPS IN ROME
Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday received the participants in the World Swimming Championships, in Rome.The two week championships bring together competitors in five different areas of athletic endeavour including synchronized swimming, water polo and diving, as well as the traditional and open water swimming disciplines.The President of the International Swimming Federation, FINA, Julio Maglione spoke words said the Sport is a wonderful tool to promote the values of Peace and Friendship. He said is also a superb vehicle for the improvement of Health and of Citizenship, thus contributing to a better worldwide lifestyle in which the respect for the other and fair play are essential principles for enhanced cutural exchange. The Pope spoke of the importance sport in the integral moral education of the human person. He said that we should have gratitude for God given gifts and the desire to help others to use their own gifts in building a better an more united world.
(Edited from http://www.radiovaticana.org/en1/index.asp









LATEST PICTURES FROM POPE'S RECEPTION OF ATHLETES







ASIA
DEATH OF PRIEST WHO PROMOTED SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE
UCAN reports that in Pakistan people are mourning the death of a Sri Lankan missioner who was considered an expert on matrimonial issues.
Father Clement Sethupathy, 72, died July 22 as a result of multiple health problems including diabetes, kidney failure and heart trouble. About 400 people including two Catholic bishops, 50 priests and several nuns attended his funeral on July 24 at the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul in Faisalabad.
Father Bashir Francis, former vicar general of Faisalabad, paid tribute to the late priest at the funeral, saying, "Hundreds of Catholic couples sought his help in conjugal matters."
"He always used to consult the parents of the married couples" and the doctor's reports in some cases "before offering his own judgment," said Father Francis. "He had a deep understanding and respect for the importance of family in Pakistani culture. He was a great defender of the sanctity of marriage even when couples wanted a divorce."
Father Sethupathy, who had a doctorate in Canon Law, spent 45 years in Pakistan. He served as the deputy secretary general of the Pakistan Catholic Bishop's Conference from 2002-2006 and was in charge of the diocesan marriage tribunal for more than 10 years.
Bishop Joseph Coutts of Faisalabad said: "The death of the beloved priest has left a big gap in the diocese."
Father Sethupathy, the son of a lawyer, was the youngest of three in a Catholic-educated family. The priest, who was from Wellawatte, studied at St. Sebastian College in Moratuwa, in Colombo archdiocese. He joined the priesthood and later went to Pakistan.
There are currently over 20 priests, six brothers and 30 nuns from Sri Lanka serving in Pakistan.(Edited from: http://www.ucanews.com/2009/07/30/church-mourns-death-of-marriage-counselor-priest/

AMERICA
GIRL'S BATTLE WITH CANCER CONVERTS MANY

CNA reports that a devout, Catholic, young girl from Seattle has brought many Catholics across the United States back to the Church. Her holy and loving example, as well as her battle with cancer, has drawn others to convert to Catholicism and has inspired the creation of an organization to reach out to families with a loved one facing a chronic illness.
Gloria was born in 1996 to Doug and Kristen Strauss and was like any other seven-year old. The young girl also had a special place in her heart for the Rosary and for making people feel good about themselves. Doug, explained that one day in 2003 when Gloria was seven years-old, she was hit in the face with a ball resulting in a black eye. When the color returned to normal after the seemingly minor injury, a suspicious bump remained. After two trips to the doctor, she was referred to a specialist who instantly had a hunch it was cancer.
Gloria was diagnosed with a cancer known as neuroblastoma and only given a window of three months to three years to survive. Following the diagnosis, Gloria immediately went into surgery and began chemotherapy treatments. Doug explained that though it was difficult, the family resolved to remain “open to God’s plan in hopes that the family would be strengthened.”
A friend wrote of their story in the paper. The first column attracted so many readers that the idea expanded into a five-month series of interviews with the Strauss family sharing Gloria’s faith and trust in God with those in Seattle and around the United States.
When Gloria’s condition took a turn for the worse in 2007, the family opened their home for community members to come and pray over her. Doug explained that for three weeks, 50 – 60 people showed up Monday – Friday to pray the Rosary and sing praise and worship songs.
After Gloria endured seven rounds of chemotherapy, the doctors decided to try a stem-cell transplant using her own stem-cells.
Doug explained “She taught us all how to carry a cross. Her gift to us was her living example of her commitment to a relationship with God through constant prayer. She always said, “yes.”
People from all religions were attracted to Gloria and her family through the front-page column in the Seattle Times. “Mormons, Buddhists, Hindus, they all wrote in to the paper talking about how they’ve been impacted by her life,” Doug said. Though prayers for Gloria kept coming, her cancer continued to spread and she died on September 21, 2007.
Gloria’s impact
Immediately following Gloria’s death, the family realized the large impact that Gloria had on the community.
Then at the funeral, over 3,200 showed up and the family began to hear stories of how’ Gloria’s life and struggle had transformed lives.
One man from Virginia had read about Gloria and explained that he felt like he was “hit over the head by a 2 x 4.” The man had been on a four-day drinking binge and he completely gave up alcohol after reading the story on her illness and strength of faith.
They are aware of at least ten people who have become Catholic directly due to Gloria’s story – and more are continuing to convert. Not only did the girl’s life, touch individuals, but she also inspired the organization, “Gloria’s Angels.” At a point when Gloria’s health continued to fade, the family’s spiritual advisor spoke to Bob Turner, a Seattle business man, about assisting the family in the days following Gloria’s cancer. “Either she was going to experience a miraculous healing or she was going to pass away,” Turner explained. “In either case, [the spiritual advisor] recognized that the Strauss family would have some mission to serve.”
Turner explained that he decided “to bring his business skills into a partnership with the Strauss family to help them honor her and carry on her mission.” After weeks of discernment, Turner and the Strauss family decided that Gloria’s mission could best be carried out by serving families facing life-threatening illnesses. The organization works to smooth out the “roller coaster ride” that families with a sick member experience. While many agencies exist to assist families in need, oftentimes loved ones are unaware of the services offered or need help with the coordination. Gloria’s Angel’s steps in for guidance to piece everything together.(Edited from: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=16715

AFRICA
ANTI-POVERTY PROTESTS TURN VIOLENT IN S. AFRICA
CNS reports that violent anti-poverty protests in South Africa highlight the urgent need to improve public services, a Catholic official said.The protests, which began in mid-July in townships around Johannesburg, "are manifestations of frustration" over a lack of basic services such as water and electricity, as well as poor housing conditions, said Dominican Father Mike Deeb, director of the justice and peace department of the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference. Up to 200 people have been arrested for setting fire to buildings, stoning vehicles and looting shops in protests in South Africa's Gauteng, Mapumalanga, North-West and Western Cape provinces."It is frightening to see the depth of people's anger," Father Deeb said. More than 1 million families still live in shacks without power and many households share a single water tap. At a July 23 memorial service for anti-apartheid activists in a Cape Town Catholic church, retired Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu lamented the lack of basic services and said greed and corruption were plaguing the government."There are levels of poverty in this country that are completely unacceptable," the Nobel laureate said."This is a challenge to us as a church to do more community building, promoting an awareness that we are all brothers and sisters, and we are all migrants or children of migrants," Father Deeb said.Official figures put unemployment in South Africa at 23.5 percent but it is believed to be much higher. South Africa is facing its first recession since 1994 and the government is reporting more than 200,000 jobs lost this year. Father Deeb said the department's goal is for every parish in the region to have a justice and peace group."We want to get these groups working effectively so that they are able to respond to the needs in their communities," he said. (Edited from: http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0903471.htm



EUROPE
6th CONGRESS OF THE CHRISTIAN FAMILY MOVEMENT


The Sixth European Congress of the Christian Family Movement took place last week at the Archabbey of Pannonhalma in Hungary. The keynote speaker, Bishop László Bíró, explained to participants that families must rediscover their values in order to pass the faith onto others.
The conference, which had the theme, “The renewal of Europe through the spiritual renewal of families,” was attended by 560 people ranging from children to the elderly.
The conference takes place every three years. Bishop László Bíró explained that spiritual renewal is necessary in order to evangelize society: “Spiritual renewal means starting again from Jesus Christ. It means rediscovering our values: the institution and the sacrament of marriage, the biblical image of man and the domestic church. It is the authentic realization of these values in our lives and the overflow of this life and faith that make it possible for us to pass on faith to others.”
He continued, “This is our mission, a responsibility for each one of us, within the family and, through the family, in society."
A highlight for many attendees was daily Mass in the 1,000 year-old Basilica of Pannonhalma celebrated by Bishop Bíró along with priests from all over the world. One organizer noted that the families left the conference with a deeper understanding of faith, hope and joy.
The next European Congress will be held in Slovakia in 2012.(Edited from: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=16718


AUSTRALIA
MOURNING DEATHS OF 2 KILLED IN JAKARTA BOMBINGS

Friends and family have farewelled Perth businessman Nathan Verity and Austrade official Craig Senger, who were killed in the recent Jakarta bombing, in services on opposite sides of the country.
Mr Verity's funeral was held at the St Patrick's Basilica in Fremantle, while Mr Senger's was held in Canberra's St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, The Age and Perth Now reported.
Mrs Verity said her husband had battled prostate cancer in 2006 and "he willed himself to a speedy recovery".
The couple first moved to Jakarta in 2003 and returned to Australia in 2004.
Mr Verity had then divided his time between the two countries. He was one of three Australians killed on July 17 in the suicide bombing at the Jakarta's Marriott Hotel.
Mr Verity and Mr Senger, along with fellow Australian mining executive Garth McEvoy, were among the nine killed in the attacks on the JW Marriott and the Ritz-Carlton hotels.
Tim Harcourt said Mr Senger believed in Austrade's mission of helping Australian companies in order to better the lives of ordinary people.Mr Senger was a proud Austrader and trade unionist, Mr Harcourt said. (Edited from: http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=15488


TODAY'S SAINT

St. Alphonsus Liguori
BISHOP, FOUNDER, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH
Feast Day:
August 1
Born:
September 27, 1696, Marianella, Campania, Kingdom of Naples (now modern-day Italy)
Died:
August 1, 1787, Pagani, Italy
Canonized:
May 26, 1839, Rome, Italy by Pope Gregory XVI
Patron of:
arthritis, confessors, moralists, theologians, vocations; Naples (co-patron)

Born at Marianella, near Naples, 27 September, 1696; died at Nocera de' Pagani, 1 August, 1787. Alphonsus's father, Don Joseph de Liguori was a naval officer and Captain of the Royal Galleys. The Saint's mother was of Spanish descent. He was the eldest of seven children. At the age of sixteen, on 21 January, 1713, he took his degree as Doctor of Laws.he left free for his real work, the founding of a new religious congregation. At the age of thirty, he was ordained priest. (With files & picture from: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/A/stalphonsusliguori.asp

SAINTLY QUOTE


It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching. St. Francis of Assisi

TODAY'S GOSPEL

Matthew 14: 1 - 12
At that time Herod the tetrarch heard about the fame of Jesus;
and he said to his servants, "This is John the Baptist, he has been raised from the dead; that is why these powers are at work in him."
For Herod had seized John and bound him and put him in prison, for the sake of Hero'di-as, his brother Philip's wife;
because John said to him, "It is not lawful for you to have her."
And though he wanted to put him to death, he feared the people, because they held him to be a prophet.
But when Herod's birthday came, the daughter of Hero'di-as danced before the company, and pleased Herod,
so that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask.
Prompted by her mother, she said, "Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter."
And the king was sorry; but because of his oaths and his guests he commanded it to be given;
he sent and had John beheaded in the prison,
and his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother.
And his disciples came and took the body and buried it; and they went and told Jesus.
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