Saturday, August 29, 2009


Catholic world news: Sat. Aug. 29, 2009: headlines:





CNA reports that yesterday Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone revealed the origin of the Pope's idea for a Year for Priests in an interview with L'Osservatore Romano. According to the cardinal, the idea was sparked by a proposal to mark the 150th anniversary of St. Jean Vianney's death with a year of prayer for priests and the problems they face. Cardinal Bertone explained that the proposal, made at the end of the 2008 Synod of Bishops on the Word, quickly found its way to the Pope’s desk and called for a year of prayer reflecting on the Word of God. In addition, he added, “the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Cure of Ars and the emergence of the problems involving many priests led Benedict XVI to promulgate the Year for Priests, thus demonstrating special attention for priests, priestly vocations and promoting in all the people of God a movement of growing affection and closeness to ordained ministers.” Cardinal Bertone also underscored that the Holy Father has always shown great affection for priests, especially in his meetings with priests where he addresses the concrete aspects of their lives, giving pointed responses to their questions. He went on to note that the Church hopes to re-establish contact and reach out to priests who have abandoned their ministry for different reasons. Many initiatives “are directed at strengthening the awareness of the identity and mission of the priest,” who is called to teach by example in the Church and in society. “The holy priests who have been present throughout the history of the Church will not cease to protect and sustain the path of renewal proposed by Benedict XVI,” the cardinal explained.



Bishop Bernard Longley, Auxiliary in Westminster, celebrated a Mass for the Travelling community at the shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham last week. The popular Manchester-born bishop enjoyed strolling around and meeting all-comers in the balmy sunshine of the August Norfolk afternoon. Each year Walsingham welcomes the Traveller community to its shrine. The pastoral team performs outreach work and traveller children enjoyed craft and faith sharing activities.The Catholic Association for Racial Justice takes a particular interest in the support of Travellers through the provision of suitable sites for their encampments. Last November the CARJ said it was a moral and legal imperative of local authorities to meet the need for sites for travellers without trampling on the rights of local people. Last year Travellers flocked to the shrine to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption. Prayer meetings were held each evening in the fields and on the feast-day there was a procession with Travellers leading the rosary and carrying the statue of Our Lady.Walsingham, in north Norfolk, has been a place of pilgrimage since medieval times. The original Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, founded in 1061, was destroyed at the Reformation.Many years passed until the Slipper Chapel, a 14th-century wayside chapel, was restored and pilgrimage to Walsingham began once more. In 1934 the English bishops named the Slipper Chapel the Roman Catholic National Shrine of Our Lady.



UCAN reports that a parish near a popular beach helped Catholic vacationers this summer fulfill their Sunday obligations, while giving parishioners a chance to evangelize at the same time.
People attending the Aug. 22 beach Mass
Every Saturday evening from July 18 to Aug. 22, Father Jeong Seong-yong, parish priest in Seocheon, on South Korea's southwest coast, celebrated Mass on Chunjangdae beach for about 150 people, on average.
Father Jeong said Catholic residents in the area do not receive adequate pastoral care, so his idea was to serve them too, not only vacationers.
"This beach area is 25 kilometers away from our church. We celebrated Mass here even as we dream of building a church in this area," he said.
According to the priest, the open-air Masses attracted more people than he expected, so he plans to hold them next year as well.
The last Mass, just like its predecessors, took place amid the sounds of music, singing and laughter from nearby beachgoers.
In his homily, Father Jeong urged: "We have had our spiritual yearning for God met during the Masses here. Let's go forward to bring forth ‘good fruit’ in this area."
Joseph Roh Hee-surb, a vacationer from Seoul, said he, his wife and two daughters were happy to be able to fulfill their Sunday obligation, thanks to the special Mass.
Wearing shorts and sandals, he said that his family did not dress in their usual Mass attire but “felt comfortable and happy."
Much work went into organizing the Masses. Before each one started, Father Jeong would send "mission teams" of 15-20 people each to the beach area to publicize the event.
Members of these teams said the effort was difficult at times but valuable.
Selina Hong Bok-sun, in her 60s, was one of 14 Legion of Mary members sent to a village near the beach two hours before Mass started.
Holiday makers at Chunjangdae beach
Her task was to inform villagers and vacationers, both Catholics and non-Catholics, about the Mass and share about Catholicism with non-Catholics.
Team members also distributed a pamphlet on the Catholic Church, a copy of the local Catholic weekly and an invitation to join the Seocheon parish.
"Since it was my first experience talking to people about the Catholic faith, I felt shy,” Hong admitted. “But the topic of the beach Mass was a good conversation starter, and then it became easier to talk about Catholicism."
She recalled that even though some people ignored her, while others rejected and even taunted her, she did not allow this to dishearten her.
Michaela Chae-seon, 60, shared: "The beach Mass has given us an opportunity to spread the Catholic faith with all our heart and knowledge. We need this kind of practical activity."
Seocheon parish, part of Daejeon diocese, has nine mission stations and more than 1,600 Catholics.



CISA reports that a communiqué issued at the end of the Annual General Meeting of the Southern African Council of Priests: The representatives of the Priests of the territory of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference held their Annual General Meeting at the Mariannhill Monastery, Kwa Zulu Natal from 17 to 21 August 2009.During the meeting, the priests expressed gratitude to Pope Benedict XVI for his ‘Year for the Priest’ initiative. Many dioceses reported on the enthusiasm with which this concept has been taken up by both clergy and laity alike. The Priests also thanked the Bishops of the Conference territory for their prayers for priests during the recent plenary meeting of the Conference.Priests lamented the violence experienced by many confreres. In the last year, three priests have been murdered. Many others have been attacked and hijacked. This is a cause of grave concern as it is symptomatic of the levels of violence that pervade our society.We remain concerned for the welfare and safety of Fr Onias Maropola, priest of the diocese of Pietersburg, who has been missing since 2007.Cardinal Wilfrid Napier OFM, spoke at the opening mass of how a priest is not a priest for himself, but a priest for the Church and for the ‘heart’ of God.Bishop Stephen Brislin, SACBC Liaison Bishop to SACOP, reflected on the need for priests to be focussed on the good that they could do and the good they were already doing. All too often, the priesthood is weakened by a loss of a fundamental Catholic Identity. As priesthood is not a job, but a vocation and a state of being, the priest should take responsibility for his own priesthood. This is achieved by human development, sound relationships, living celibacy that does not cause counter witness, developing the spiritual life and a deep personal commitment to ‘doing what the church intends’.Bishop Brislin pointed out that obedience is not mere compliance, but the ‘abandonment of Christ and the ‘Yes’ of Mary.’The Attitudinal Survey of Priests, inspired by a SACOP resolution, driven by the Ongoing Formation Committee of the SACBC and approved by the august 2009 plenary session of the SACBC, was extensively discussed. Priests were asked to participate as fully as possible to ensure the accuracy of the survey. The confidentiality and non-judgemental nature of the survey was stressed.Many speakers asked that priests also take responsibility for their ongoing intellectual development, be it by ongoing formation programmes, reading, self-appraisal, peer support and challenge or further studies.Priesthood is celebrated in a particular context.Fr Peter-John Pearson of the Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office of the SACBC provided a clear and extensive overview of the socio-political situation on the Sub-Continent. He spoke of the fact that South Africa was in a space for more open dialogue and that dialogue meant ‘holding the tension’. He pointed out four challenges facing Southern Africa – lack of capacity in the public service, the business culture of ‘profit at all costs’, the bargaining power of big business and how Southern Africa’s rapid transition and integration into the global financial order had been both positive and harmful.On a global scale, South Africa was preparing to host the FIFA 2010 World Cup. This presented the church with the opportunity to showcase the dynamism of african catholicism. Priests were encouraged to volunteer during the tournament. The SACBC initiative was presented as the central contact point for information, ideas and celebration both for the local church and for international visitors.In the light of the World Cup, Sr Melanie O’Connor HF of the SACBC/ LCCL SA counter trafficking in persons desk highlighted the challenge of human trafficking and how the catholic community and the priests could play a vital role in exposing trafficking rings and providing assistance to victims. Horror stories of sold children, drugging and sexual and physical abuse pointed to the important place the church has in countering trafficking in persons, the modern day slavery.The Council of Priests remains interested in and concerned about the formation and training of future priests. The Presidents of St John Vianney Seminary and St. Joseph’s Theological Institute, the Rector of St. Kizito’s Orientation Seminary and the Vice Rector of the Cape Town Diocesan Seminary all reported on the progress of students. The Priests expressed their appreciation and solidarity with those who were involved in formation work. All reports noted the difficulties involved in formation in the Southern African context.The Priests expressed concern at the decline in interest in vocations and welcomed the appointment of Fr Mosebetsi Mokoena as Vocations Director for the Conference area.Archbishop Buti Tlhagale OMI, President of the SACBC, challenged the delegates with his honest and straightforward presentation on finding new ways of relationship between Priests and their Bishops. He pointed out that often a Bishop was caught between the legitimate demands of both clergy and laity. He discussed various causes of tension between Bishops and Priests and offered a number of suggestions, including that bishops and priests embrace self-assessment and critique as a central pillar of improved relationships. He pointed out that he found it easier to be a brother than a friend. Friendship could be uncritical and blind to correction.Bishop Edward Risi gave a candid address on the challenges faced by the Bishops and the Catholic Community over liturgy. The Liturgy was a common work, but one that needed clear directions. He said that the Southern African Church had ‘jumped the gun’ by implementing the new translation in english of the people’s parts of the Roman Missal, but nonetheless these parts have received recognitio from Rome. The process of implementation was a valuable lesson on the need for proper preparation.Reports from the dioceses highlighted:* An ongoing concern about the provision for the medical care and retirement needs of priests.* Economic disparity among priests* Priests from other countries need proper orientation into the Southern African Church.Formal resolutions:1. SACOP encourages all delegates and all dioceses to initiate programmes to promote the celebration of the ‘Year for the Priest’.2. SACOP resolves to encourage all priests to actively promote prayer for and reflection on the ministerial Priesthood in the communities they serve. Prayer should be ‘for ALL priests, for YOUR priests and for MORE Priests.’3. Delegates are asked to go back to their dioceses to discuss mechanisms for effective representation and communication of the concerns of the priests to SACOP and among priests.4. SACOP resolves the Convention of Priests go ahead in August/ September 2011. Fr Rohan Smuts is appointed to co-ordinate the team preparing for the Convention.5. SACOP expresses thanks to those Bishops who, mindful of the future of the church, have sent priests for further studies. SACOP requests that priests are not only sent for theological and philosophical disciplines but also studies in formation.6. SACOP expresses gratitude to the Knights of Da Gama and all other benefactors who have assisted with the Annual General Meeting.Visit the Southern African Council of Priests website: s



The USCCB reports that the Vatican has given its “recognitio” to a change in the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, which is set to go into a second printing.The change clarifies Catholic teaching on God’s covenant with the Jews. The first version, in explaining relations with the Jews, stated, “Thus the covenant that God made with the Jewish people through Moses remains eternally valid for them.” The revised text states, “To the Jewish people, whom God first chose to hear his Word, ‘belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ.’ (Romans 9: 4-5; cf. CCC, no 839)The change was approved by the U.S. bishops following the bishops’ 2008 June meeting in Orlando, Florida.The clarification is not a change in the Church’s teaching.The clarification reflects the teaching of the Church that all previous covenants that God made with the Jewish people are fulfilled in Jesus Christ through the new covenant established through his sacrificial death on the cross. Catholics believe that the Jewish people continue to live within the truth of the covenant God made with Abraham, and that God continues to be faithful to them. As the Second Vatican Council taught and the Adult Catechism affirms, the Jewish people “remain most dear to God, for God does not repent of the gifts he makes nor of the calls he issues.” (Lumen Gentium, no.16).The United States Catholic Catechism for Adults was approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in November 2004 as a basic and concise introduction to the Catholic faith. It is a catechetical text rather than a theological textbook. A “recognitio” is a statement from the Vatican that a document is in keeping with Catholic teaching.




Long term development in East Timor will be "seriously hindered" if justice for past crimes remains undelivered, international development agency Progressio has warned, Ekklesia reported.
Despite the upcoming 10th year anniversary of its vote for independence on August 30, East Timor is still the poorest country in the region and one of the least developed nations in the world, the report said. An estimated 40 percent of the East Timorese people live on less than a dollar a day.
"Ten years ago this Sunday, the East Timorese people bravely voted for independence and a new beginning following a quarter century of Indonesian occupation. Yet justice for the crimes committed during that dark period of the country's history, when an estimated 100,000 people lost their lives, has still not been delivered," said Progressio's Advocacy Coordinator for Asia, Dr Steve Kibble.
"Without justice, instability and impunity will continue to seriously hinder East Timor's development."
No one has yet been prosecuted for the human rights violations identified in the final report of an independent Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR).
Rameiro Ximenes dos Santos, survivor of a brutal massacre in Liquica in April 1999, said: "Justice for the past needs to take place. If not, everything gets stuck. If we don't sort it out, then we will have more problems."
"I hope that the violence that happened here during the Indonesian occupation will not be repeated and that the next generation, our children, will be aware of these violations and justice will be done," said Julinho Ximenhes, who survived the 1999 massacre in Santa Cruz and now works for a human rights organisation in Dili.
"Those who are responsible for the crimes in East Timor should be held accountable."


The Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist
Feast: August 29
Feast Day:
August 29

ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST was called by God to be the forerunner of His divine Son. In order to preserve his innocence spotless, and to improve the extraordinary graces which he had received, he was directed by the Holy Ghost to lead an austere and contemplative life in the wilderness, in the continual exercises of devout prayer and penance, from his infancy till he was thirty years of age. At this age the faithful minister began to discharge his mission. Clothed with the weeds of penance, be announced to all men the obligation they lay under of washing away their iniquities with the tears of sincere compunction; and proclaimed the Messias, Who was then coming to make His appearance among them. He was received by the people as the true herald of the Most High God, and his voice was, as it were, a trumpet sounding from heaven to summon all men to avert the divine judgments, and to prepare themselves to reap the benefit of Vie mercy that was offered them. The tetrarch Herod Antipas having, in defiance of all laws divine and human, married Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, who was yet living, St. John the Baptist boldly reprehended the tetrarch and his accomplice for so scandalous an incest and adultery, and Herod, urged on by lust and anger, cast the Saint into prison. About a year after St. John had been made a prisoner, Herod gave a splendid entertainment to the nobility of Galilee. Salome, a daughter of Herodias by her lawful husband, pleased Herod by her dancing, insomuch that he promised her to grant whatever she asked. On this, Salome consulted with her mother what to ask. Herodias instructed her daughter to demand the death of John the Baptist, and persuaded the young damsel to make it part of her petition that the head of the prisoner should be forthwith brought to her in a dish. This strange request startled the tyrant himself; he assented, however, and sent a soldier of his guard to behead the Saint in prison, with an order to bring his head in a charger and present it to Salome, who delivered it to her mother. St. Jerome relates that the furious Herodias made it her inhuman pastime to prick the sacred tongue with a bodkin. Thus died the great forerunner of our blessed Saviour, about two years and three months after his entrance upon his public ministry, about a year before the death of our blessed Redeemer.(SOURCE:


Grant that we may be one flock and one shepherd. Do not allow your net to be torn, help us to be servants of unity. Pope Benedict XVI


Mark 6: 17 - 29
For Herod had sent and seized John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Hero'di-as, his brother Philip's wife; because he had married her.
For John said to Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife."
And Hero'di-as had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not,
for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and kept him safe. When he heard him, he was much perplexed; and yet he heard him gladly.
But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and the leading men of Galilee.
For when Hero'di-as' daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, "Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will grant it."
And he vowed to her, "Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom."
And she went out, and said to her mother, "What shall I ask?" And she said, "The head of John the baptizer."
And she came in immediately with haste to the king, and asked, saying, "I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter."
And the king was exceedingly sorry; but because of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her.
And immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard and gave orders to bring his head. He went and beheaded him in the prison,
and brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother.
When his disciples heard of it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.

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