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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: TUES. AUG. 11, 2009











Catholic World News: Aug. 11, 2009:
Vatican City: TELEGRAM TO ECUADOR ON 200th ANNIVERSARY OF INDEPENDANCE:
Europe: ROSARY RECITED ON 5 CONTINENTS SIMULTANEOUSLY:
America: US BISHOP'S CONFERENCE RELEASES PRO-LIFE PROGRAM:
Australia: DEACON'S CONFERENCE IN AUSTRALIA :
Asia: CHINA BISHOPS PROMOTE VOCATIONS TO PRIESTHOOD:
Africa: MOZAMBIQUE: NEW CHURCH ON PAST WAR GROUNDS:



VATICAN CITY
TELEGRAM TO ECUADOR ON 200th ANNIVERSARY OF INDEPENDANCE


Vatican Radio reports that Pope Benedict has sent a message to Equador to mark the bi-centenery of its independence.
Equador celebrated the 200th year of independance with a Mass in the Cathedral. Cardinal Bertone sent the Pope's message:

Pope Benedict's expressed "His spiritual closeness to people of Ecuador on the 200th anniversary of their independance. He assured them of his prayers and asks the Lord to pour forth His abundant grace on the children of that noble land so they may be faithful to their Christian an human values. He reminded the people that they should confront the problems facing them as a nation with their faith in divine assistance.


EUROPE
ROSARY RECITED ON 5 CONTINENTS SIMULTANEOUSLY

Kath.net reports that in Paray le Monial the International Marian Festival, from 14. until 19. August takes place, a new action plans this year: on Sunday, 16. August to five pm (after Central European local time) the glorious mysteries of the Rosary will simultaneously be prayed five continents. The purpose of the global Rosary is the prayer "" for peace, for the Church, France, for the world and for the show of each of us", the organizers parts with." Applications for participation can be registered on the French page:http://www.festivalmarial.com/




AMERICA

BISHOP'S CONFERENCE RELEASES PRO-LIFE PROGRAM



The USCCB reports that the 2009-10 Respect Life Program is now available in preparation for Respect Life Sunday, October 4. This year’s theme—“Every Child Brings Us God’s Smile”—comes from a homily of Pope Benedict XVI (January 7, 2007, Feast of the Baptism of the Lord). The Respect Life flyer explores this theme and provides a fascinating timeline of fetal development along with photos showing the humanity of unborn children. Topics addressed in this year’s Respect Life Program reflect the diversity of pro-life concerns:
the way ahead in building a culture of life (by Cardinal Justin Rigali)
the essence of human dignity
assisted suicide
facts about contraception
infertility
same-sex marriage
Articles are available as printed pamphlets, on the Website of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities (www.usccb.org/prolife) and on the CD included in each packet. In addition to the articles, poster, and flyer, the CD contains a liturgy guide, program models, memorable pro-life quotations and more, in both English and Spanish.This year’s liturgy guide offers Intercessions for Life, suggested preaching reflections for Respect Life Sunday and January 22, a “Litany to Mary, Mother of Life,” a Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe, and a Holy Hour for Life.Begun in 1972, the Respect Life Program brings Church teaching on the value and dignity of human life to the Catholic community and the wider public. The program combines education, prayer, service and advocacy. Respect Life Sunday is observed in virtually all of the 195 Catholic dioceses in the United States.- - -Keywords: Respect Life Sunday, abortion, contraception, infertility, same-sex marriage, culture of life, Respect Life Program, fetal development, pro-life, Cardinal Justin Rigali# # # # #NOTE: The Respect Life packets may be ordered from the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities by calling toll-free (866) 582-0943, or by faxing orders to (301) 779-8596. Downloadable copies of Respect Life materials from 1996 onward are posted in English and Spanish on the Secretariat’s Website at www.usccb.org/prolife/programs/rlp.


AUSTRALIA

DEACON'S CONFERENCE IN AUSTRALIA


CathNews Australia reports of the conference: To promote the faith in society, Catholics must be "very good" at presenting Church teachings without alienating others, MP Tony Abbott said at the National Deacons' Conference. Bishop Michael Malone meanwhile, hailed the diaconate as a good response to ministry challenges the Church faces.
"We've just got to be very good at our job," Mr Abbott said, according to a statement by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.
"We have to be very good at expounding the Church's teachings but not in ways that make them alienating. If we do all that, we will be a force for the progress of the Church rather than a force for regress."
"Living your principles without alienating those who don't share them is the challenge we all face."
More than 50 Permanent Deacons and their wives gathered in the Diocese of Broken Bay for the conference that ended on Sunday.
The Chairman of the Bishops Commission for Church Life, Bishop Michael Malone, said there was diversity and a variety of models of the Permanent Diaconate in Australia and paid tribute to the role of the wives of permanent deacons.
"For 40 years now deacons across Australia have been 'working out' what the ministry of the deacon really is. In the light of the lived experience there seems to be a greater appreciation of the richness of the ministry. While I have the highest regard for the ministry of the deacon, I venture to say that the wives of our married deacons have had a large part to play in the appreciation of the lived experience."
He blamed ignorance for the pockets of resistance to the resurgence of the Permanent Diaconate.
In a climate of "loss of credibility, an exodus of people from the pews, rapidly ageing congregations, lack of vocations ...and so on," the Permanent Diaconate was well placed to play a crucial role in building on the signs of new life being sent by the Holy Spirit.
"The relative youthfulness of the Permanent Diaconate places this ministry firmly in the forefront of that rebuilding process," he said. "Because of the challenging richness of the lived experience and of future possibility, the Permanent Diaconate is limited only by our inability to dust off the past and reveal its full potential."
(SOURCE http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=15683


ASIA

CHINA BISHOPS PROMOTE VOCATIONS TO PRIESTHOOD






UCAN reports that two prominent, elderly bishops have, in separate pastoral letters, called on priests and seminarians to strengthen their vocations through prayer during this special Year for Priests.
Jesuit Bishop Aloysius Jin Luxian of Shanghai, 93, called for greater efforts to promote priestly vocations while Bishop Luke Li Jingfeng of Fengxiang, 87, urged his priests to enhance their spiritual life.
In his letter dated Aug. 4, feast day of Saint John Mary Vianney, patron of parish priests, Bishop Jin urged his 78 priests and 150,000 lay Catholics to strengthen their prayer lives and pray for more priestly vocations.
Bishop Jin pointed out that the greatest difficulty Sheshan Regional Seminary in Shanghai faces is the decreasing number of seminarians. The seminary, which opened in 1982, now has 60 seminarians who come from the municipality and six dioceses in eastern China. Enrolment is merely one-third of its peak in the early 1990s and "the downward trend seems irreversible," the prelate wrote.
He said parish priests should try their best to nurture vocations, as parents today only care about their children's grades, rather than educating them to be good citizens and good Catholics.
Bishop Jin admitted that persevering in the priestly vocation is difficult in today's society and so "we must rely on our spiritual life and strong will." Living a consecrated life "is like rowing upstream, not to advance is to fall back," he said.
Eleven priests in Shanghai diocese were laicized in the past two decades, Bishop Jin noted.
He noted that these priests performed well during their seminary days, but after being exposed to society and its values, they succumbed to power, money and got involved in inappropriate relationships with women. They also compared their living conditions with others and regretted their decision to become priests, eventually giving up their vocations, he said.
"I haven't forgotten to pray for them," Bishop Jin said, noting that priestly vocations should be treasured and more importance attached to ongoing formation for priests.

He also reminded laypeople that their love for priests should be manifested in helping them to become more Christ-like. "God will repay you if you ask about their health or give them some food and clothes. But if you buy them expensive gifts such as a car, it would be better if you give the money to the poor in your neighborhood," he said.
Meanwhile, Bishop Li in Shaanxi province, in his June pastoral letter, encouraged his 36 priests to enhance their spiritual life through daily reflection, Mass and praying the breviary and rosary. He suggested they use the Psalms for private prayers and also pray for the Pope's monthly intentions.
The prelate also urged his priests to spend half an hour reading the Bible, other spiritual books, and studying Church documents, theology and Latin. Bishop Li will test them on these topics at the end of the Year for Priests.
Concluding his letter, the prelate asked his priests to remember that "the Church is not a secular organization and clerics are not officials from secular society."
Both Bishop Jin and Bishop Li are approved by the Vatican and recognized by the Chinese government. They were invited by the Vatican to attend the world synod on the Eucharist in 2005 in Rome but Chinese authorities did not allow them to attend.
(SOURCE: http://www.ucanews.com/2009/08/11/prominent-bishops-urge-strengthening-of-priestly-vocations/



AFRICA

MOZAMBIQUE: NEW CHURCH ON PAST WAR GROUNDS


CNA reports a new chapel has opened at the site of a 1992 massacre of catechists and their families during the Mozambique civil war. The church of St. Mary Magdalen was recently consecrated in a ceremony accompanied by dancing, singing and drums.
Many children were there as women in colorful costumes sang and danced, many with a baby strapped to their front or back with a long cloth.
Bishop of Inhambane Adriano Langa was the chief celebrant at the Mass, where he formally blessed the chapel of the village of Nyapapa in Guiua parish.
The chapel was built with the help of international Catholic pastoral charity Aid to the Church in Need.
“During Holy Mass the whole congregation remembered our benefactors, prayed for them and gave thanks for them. It was a beautiful moment, and we felt that we are not alone," Fr. Diamantino Antunes wrote to ACN.
Some 23 people were murdered at the parish pastoral center on March 22, 1992. The local priest had invited a group of catechists to an ongoing one year training session there. The catechists had brought their families, coming from as far as 250 miles away at a time of 16 years of civil war and immeasurable suffering.
The first evening after their arrival they celebrated a feast, joyous for reaching their destination. That same night, they were ambushed by a horde of rebels which included child soldiers doped with alcohol and drugs and turned into killers.
Two catechists were shot dead immediately.
Sr. Therese Balela of the Franciscan Sisters of Mary had shortly before gone into the house after plaiting the little girls’ hair. She tried to keep her fellow sisters safe by barricading them into a room. According to ACN, she then ran into the chapel to rescue the Blessed Sacrament. One attacker saw her and shot through the window, but the bullet missed.
The rebels separated the children from the adults. Some were tortured.
The adults, realizing they were going to die, asked the soldiers to allow them to pray.
“At this they were murdered with knives and axes. Even little children were butchered bestially," ACN says.
Some survived despite their terrible injuries, but 10 children and 13 adults were murdered.
Many more would have died had the priest not successfully informed his bishop, who called the army for help.
The rebels were surprised by the government troops and fled, leaving the surviving victims.
Today behind the pastoral center is a memorial next to the graves of these martyrs.
A cross in front of their graves bears all their names. The simple graves each have a green wooden cross, along with the name of the victim. A small thatched chapel has been built behind the graves.
On the 22nd of each month Catholics from the entire region gather there and commemorate the dead with a Holy Mass. The catechists who have completed their training each year in the pastoral center make their solemn promise in the presence of the bishop to serve the Church, with the martyred catechists as their example.
The Diocese of Inhambe has almost 300,000 Catholics in an area of almost 30,000 square miles but only eight diocesan and 38 religious priests. The diocese’s 22 parishes are widely scattered among villages, making chapels and support from catechists essential.
Father Antunes has expressed hopes that ACN will help the faithful of the village of Maunzo to build a chapel of their own. These villagers now face a five mile walk if they want to attend Mass in the parish church. (Edited from: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=16809

TODAY'S SAINT

St. Clare of Assisi
FOUNDRESS, MYSTIC, FRIEND OF ST. FRANCIS
Born:
July 16, 1194, Assisi, Italy
Died:
August 11, 1253, Assisi, Italy
Canonized:
September 26, 1255, Rome by Pope Alexander IV
Major Shrine:
Basilica of Saint Clare, Assisi
Patron of:
clairvoyance, eye disease, goldsmiths, laundry, embrodiers, gilders, good weather, needleworkers, telephones, telegraphs, television

Her mother was to become Blessed Ortolana di Fiumi. Her father is said to have been Favorino Scifi, Count of Sasso-Rosso. She founded the "Poor Clares" who went barefoot, slept on the ground, observed a perpetual abstinence from meat, and spoke only when obliged to do so by necessity or charity. In 1244, Emperor Frederick II, then at war with the Pope, was ravaging the valley of Spoleto. He employed many Saracens in his army to plunder Assisi. While the marauders were scaling the convent walls, Clare, ill as she was, had herself carried out to the gate and there the Sacrament was set up in sight of the enemy. Prostrating herself before it, she prayed aloud: "Does it please Thee, O God, to deliver into the hands of these beasts the defenseless children whom I have nourished with Thy love? I beseech Thee, good Lord, protect these whom now I am not able to protect." Whereupon she heard a voice like the voice of a little child saying, "I will have them always in My care." She prayed again, for the city, and again the voice came, reassuring her. She then turned to the trembling nuns and said, "Have no fear, little daughters; trust in Jesus." At this, a sudden terror seized their assailants and they fled in haste. Shortly afterward one of Frederick's generals laid siege to Assisi itself for many days. Clare told her nuns that they, who had received their bodily necessities from the city, now owed it all the assistance in their power. She bade them cover their heads with ashes and beseech Christ as suppliants for its deliverance. For a whole day and night they prayed with all their might- and with many tears, and then "God in his mercy so made issue with temptation that the besiegers melted away and their proud leader with them, for all he had sworn an oath to take the city."(Edited from: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/C/stclareofassisi.asp



St. Philomena
VIRGIN MARTYR
Feast: August 11
Information:
Major Shrine:
Church of Our Lady of Grace in Mugnano del Cardinale
Patron of:
Children, youth, babies, infants, lost causes, sterility, virgins, Children of Mary, The Universal Living Rosary Association

(Edited from: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/P/stphilomena.asp





SAINTLY QUOTE


Love tends to union with the object loved. Now Jesus Christ loves a soul that is in a state of grace with an immense love; He ardently desires to unite Himself with it. This is what Holy Communion does. St. Alphonsus Liguori


TODAY'S GOSPEL




John 15: 4 - 10

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned.
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.
By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love.
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