Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Catholic world news: Tues. Aug. 25, 2009

Catholic world news: Tues. Aug. 25, 2009: headlines:


Vatican Radio reports that Pope Benedict XVI ‘s general prayer intention this
September is: “That the word of God may be better known, welcomed and lived as the source of freedom and joy”.“The Church does not live on herself but on the Gospel, and in the Gospel always and ever anew finds the directions for her journey. This is a point that every Christian must understand and apply to himself or herself: only those who first listen to the Word can become preachers of it”.
Benedict XVI
To the participants in the International Congressorganized to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of thedogmatic constitution on divine revelation "Dei Verbum"“My dear young friends, I urge you to become familiar with the Bible, and to have it at hand so that it can be your compass pointing out the road to follow. By reading it, you will learn to know Christ. Note what Saint Jerome said in this regard: "Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ" (PL 24,17; cf. Dei Verbum, 25).”Benedict XVITo the Youth of the World on the occasion of the 21st World Youth DayPope Benedict XVI’s Mission intention for the month of September is: “That Christians in Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar, who often meet with great difficulties, may not be discouraged from announcing the Gospel to their brothers, trusting in the strength of the Holy Spirit”.“Dear Brothers, you are exercising your ministry at the service of the Church in conditions that are often difficult and in extremely varied situations. In your service to the People of God, you may rest assured of my brotherly support and that of the universal Church!Indeed, "if we must say that a Bishop is never alone, inasmuch as he is always united to the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit, we must also add that he is also never alonebecause he is always and continuously united with his brothers in the episcopate and with the one whom the Lord has chosen as the Successor of Peter" (Pastores Gregis, n. 8).The deep communion with one another that you demonstrate and your collaboration, when possible, expressed in various ways, are a precious help in your pastoral task for the good of the people entrusted to your care”.Benedict XVIAddress to the Bishops of the Episcopal Conference ofLaos and Cambodia on their "Ad limina visit"6 September 2007


UN News reports the United Nations food agency today issued a warning that Kenya faces a dire hunger crisis due to failed rains, appealing today for $230 million to feed nearly 4 million Kenyans – nearly one-tenth of the African nation’s population – over the next six months.
“Red lights are flashing around the country,” said Burkard Oberle, Kenya director of the World Food Programme.
“People are already going hungry, malnutrition is preying on more and more young children, cattle are dying – we face a huge challenge and are urging the international community to provide us with the resources we need to get the job done,” he added.
WFP is currently distributing 2.6 million drought-affected Kenyans with food aid and hopes to increase that number by 1.2 million.
Many parts of Kenya have experienced three or even four consecutive seasons of failed rains, and conditions are expected to deteriorate, with the Government projecting the main maize harvest to fall nearly one-third below the five-year average. In addition, pasture and water for livestock is quickly dwindling.
The hardest-hit Kenyans have taken drastic measures, such as reducing the number of meals each day, eating cheaper and less nutritious food, migrating to urban centres and taking on massive debt.
Acute malnutrition rates among children under the age of five are over 20 per cent in some areas, well above the 15 per cent emergency threshold.
“Life has never been easy for the poor in Kenya, but right now conditions are more desperate than they have been for a decade,” Mr. Oberle said. “WFP is aiming to help almost 1 in every 10 Kenyans to cope wit this serious crisis but we can’t do it without money.”
The agency also hopes the influx of funds will allow it to expand its school feeding programme by 100,000 to reach almost 1.2 million children. The Kenyan Government provides schools meals to some 500,000 more young people through its own scheme.
Across the Horn of Africa, WFP is facing funding shortfalls, including over $160 million for Somalia and nearly $100 million for Ethiopia.
Last month, the agency’s Executive Director, Josette Sheeran, warned that millions of hungry people around the world will not receive food aid from due to a “dangerous and unprecedented” $3 billion budget shortfall this year.
WFP is hoping to reach 108 million people in 74 countries this year with food aid, but it expects to receive only $3.7 billion of the $6.7 billion needed for 2009


CNA reports Fr. Michael Jude Fay, a Connecticut priest who was found guilty of embezzling $1 million from his parish, died of prostate cancer on Saturday at the age of 58.
His death was reported in a statement sent to CNA by the Diocese of Bridgeport.
The diocese also encouraged the faithful to “pray for the repose of Father Fay's soul” and offered its “prayers and condolences to his mother and family.”
Fr. Fay had been senior pastor at St. John’s Catholic Church in Stamford, Connecticut from 1991 to 2006. After a 2007 trial, he pleaded guilty to interstate transportation of money obtained by fraud.
According to the Stamford Advocate, he used the money to buy expensive designer clothing, Cartier jewelry, limousine rides and Ethan Allen furniture.
The priest died after having served almost one year of his three-year sentence.
His crimes gained additional attention when it was revealed that his assistant pastor, then-Fr. Michael Madden, had joined with parish bookkeeper Bethany D’Erario to hire a private investigator to look into the pastor. Madden, who has since left the priesthood, has claimed that Bishop of Bridgeport William Lori retaliated against him for his actions.
D’Erario has also filed a lawsuit charging that the diocese forced her to resign and cut her benefits. The diocese denies the charges.
Reacting to the death of Fr. Fay, current senior pastor of St. John’s Church Msgr. Frank McGrath said that most people are looking forward to “moving on.”
“It was a great shock spiritually and people were inundated with so much media information," he told the Stamford Advocate.
Other parishioners are grieving for Fr. Fay despite his actions.
In the aftermath of the scandal, Msgr. McGrath said, the parish has strengthened.
“They pulled together and thought about what's fundamental and basic," he explained.
Ken Byrne, a member of the parish council, said the investigation prompted a “reawakening” and turned complacency into activity.


From December 3 to 9 this year Melbourne will play host to the world's largest interfaith gathering when it hosts the Parliament of the World's Religions event. The 2009 Parliament will bring together more than 8,000 people from across the world, including renowned spiritual, religious and political leaders.
Standard registration for the event closes on Monday August 31.


UCAN retired Bishop Frank Marcus Fernando of Chilaw, a strong advocate for the people in public affairs, died on Aug. 24, aged 77, after an illness.

Bishop Frank Marcus Fernando
"He took the side of the people on every issue with the government," said Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith during the requiem Mass held on Aug. 25 at the archbishop's house in Colombo.
Hundreds of bishops, priests, Religious and laypeople attended the noon service.
Bishop Fernando was recognized as a rights activist and a writer. He campaigned against what he saw as deteriorating standards of justice and environmental degradation in the country, and is remembered for the many rallies, signature campaigns and prayer services he organized on various issues.
He devoted particular attention to campaigns against a bill to regulate religious conversions, and against a coal-fired power plant that people fear will threaten the environment and a popular Catholic shrine in his diocese.
"His priesthood was a gift from God. We will carry forward his ideas," Archbishop Ranjith said.

The requiem Mass for the late bishop
He highlighted Bishop Fernando's long service as president of the Catholic Bishop's Conference in Sri Lanka and as head of several Church institutions.
The late prelate always made clear that the Church has an important task of fostering ethical values that are fundamental to the development of a just and peaceful society, Archbishop Ranjith said. He also recalled that Bishop Fernando joined with other religious leaders to raise a united voice for justice and peace.
The funeral Mass is scheduled for Aug. 27 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cathedral in Chilaw, a coastal area in the north of Colombo.
Bishop Fernando was born in 1931 and ordained a priest in 1956 in Rome, where he did his priestly studies. He was ordained a bishop on Aug. 19, 1965, appointed coadjutor bishop of Chilaw in 1968 and succeeded as bishop of the diocese in December 1972. He retired in October 2006.


CNA reports a woman who suffered from a severe nerve disease now no longer uses her wheelchair and has even gone for a run, after she visited to Lourdes earlier in August. The woman credits the baths at Lourdes for the ‘gift’ of her improved health.
Antonia Raco, 50, had been in a wheelchair for four years because of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. She made a trip to the shrine at Lourdes on August 5.
''Ever since I came back I have been walking, doing everything normally, and I've even run,'' Raco told ANSA.Raco, who is from a village near the southern Italian city of Potenza, said she would rather talk about the change as “a gift, an act of mercy, rather than a miracle.”
She reported to ANSA that when she was in the healing bath at Lourdes, “I felt a voice encouraging me and a strong pain in my legs.”
On Tuesday, Raco will be examined by a specialist at the prestigious Molinette Hospital in Turin. The hospital’s specialist, Adriano Chiro, has been treating her since 2006, according to Italian news reports.
Lourdes, France has been the site of pilgrimage and devotion since the 1858 Marian visions of peasant girl St. Bernadette Soubirous at a grotto.
Following the guidance of the Virgin Mary, Bernadette scraped away soil besides the grotto until a spring of water began trickling out.
The spring produces 27,000 gallons of water every day. Many miracles have been attributed to the shrine’s waters and Our Lady of Lourdes.


St. Louis IX of France
Feast Day:
August 25
25 April 1214 at Poissy, France
25 August 1270 at Tunis, Algeria
1297 by Pope Boniface VIII
Patron of:
Secular Franciscan Order, France, French monarchy; hairdressers; passementiers (lacemakers)

King of France, son of Louis VIII and Blanche of Castile, born at Poissy, 25 April, 1215; died near Tunis, 25 August, 1270.
He was eleven years of age when the death of Louis VIII made him king, and nineteen when he married Marguerite of Provence by whom he had eleven children. She died in 1253.
It was one of St. Louis's chief characteristics to carry on abreast his administration as national sovereign and the performance of his duties towards Christendom; and taking advantage of the respite which the Peace of Bordeaux afforded, he turned his thoughts towards a crusade. Stricken down with a fierce malady in 1244, he resolved to take the cross when news came that Turcomans had defeated the Christians and the Moslems and invaded Jerusalem.
St. Louis led an exemplary life, bearing constantly in mind his mother's words: "I would rather see you dead at my feet than guilty of a mortal sin." His biographers have told us of the long hours he spent in prayer, fasting, and penance, without the knowlege of his subjects. The French king was a great lover of justice. The Sainte Chappelle, an architectural gem, was constructed in his reign, and it was under his patronage that Robert of Sorbonne founded the "Coll├Ęge de la Sorbonne," which became the seat of the theological faculty of Paris. He was renowned for his charity. The peace and blessings of the realm come to us through the poor he would say. Beggars were fed from his table, he ate their leavings, washed their feet, ministered to the wants of the lepers, and daily fed over one hundred poor. He founded many hospitals and houses: the House of the Felles-Dieu for reformed prostitutes; the Quinze-Vingt for 300 blind men (1254), hospitals at Pontoise, Vernon, Compihgne.


You must ask God to give you power to fight against the sin of pride which is your greatest enemy - the root of all that is evil, and the failure of all that is good. For God resists the proud. St.Vincent de Paul


Luke 19: 12 - 19
He said therefore, "A nobleman went into a far country to receive a kingdom and then return.
Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten pounds, and said to them, `Trade with these till I come.'
But his citizens hated him and sent an embassy after him, saying, `We do not want this man to reign over us.'
When he returned, having received the kingdom, he commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by trading.
The first came before him, saying, `Lord, your pound has made ten pounds more.'
And he said to him, `Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.'
And the second came, saying, `Lord, your pound has made five pounds.'
And he said to him, `And you are to be over five cities.'

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