Saturday, September 12, 2009





"Do not you work for yourself, but lead people to God with faith, wisdom and goodness". Those were Pope Benedict XVI words as he presided over a mass in St Peter’s Basilica today on the occasion of the ordination of 5 new Bishops. In an impassioned homily on such an auspicious day for these 5 new bishops Pope Benedict said in order to serve God one must be faithful , wise and good.Gabriele Giordano Caccia, Apostolic Nuncio to Lebanon, Franco Coppola, Apostolic Nuncio to Burundi, Pietro Parolin, the apostolic nuncio to Venezuela, Msgr. Raffaello Martinelli, bishop elect of Frascati, and Giorgio Corbellini, President of the Labour Office of the Apostolic See listened intently as the Holy Father expressed the hope that the bishops would not seek power and prestige but strive to lead men and women to God.In reflecting on the identity of the bishop, the Pope turned to early history explaining that there are 3 key features in order to be a good servant of God.The first he said is loyalty recognizing that "the Church is not our church, but his Church, the Church of God": Then he turned to faith and fidelity saying that Fidelity, "is not being afraid, it is being inspired by love and by its dynamism." Faith "demands to be given: Fidelity, the pope continued coincides with faith: The second characteristic that Jesus requires from the servant is caution, the Pope said; "Prudence or wisdom indicates the primacy of truth, which becomes the decisive factor of our actions". The first cardinal virtue of the priest as minister of Jesus Christ, the pope added, was therefore "in being moulded by the truth that Christ shows us": Finally, the Holy Father turned to the characteristic of goodness. Good in the full sense, the Pope noted, " is God. He is good, good par excellence, goodness in person." Insert: The Pope then recalled that the Church celebrates on September 12th the feast of the most holy "Name of Mary," which in Western tradition has been translated as "Star of the Sea". When night seems to be "impenetrable," said the Pope, we see the light that beamed, when Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord. " In her goodness, he continued, "we recognize the very human goodness of God himself." Pope Benedict concluding his homily with an affectionate greeting for the new bishops: He said, "We pray that you may become faithful servants, wise servants and good servants in the service of God". (SOURCE:



USCCB reports that calling it an important contribution to a crucial national debate, officials speaking on behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops welcomed President Obama's September 9 address on health care reform, particularly his statements regarding abortion and the uninsured. "We agree that 'no one should go broke because they get sick,'" said Kathy Saile, Director of Domestic Social Development at the USCCB. "That's why the U.S. Bishops have worked for decades for decent health care for all. The Catholic Church provides health care for millions, purchases health care, picks up the pieces of a failing health system, and has a long tradition of teaching on ethics in health care. Health care reform that respects the life and dignity of all is a moral imperative and urgent national priority. We welcome the President's speech as an important contribution to this essential national debate and task." "We especially welcome the President's commitment to exclude federal funding of abortion, and to maintain existing federal laws protecting conscience rights in health care," said Richard Doerflinger, Associate Director of Pro-Life Activities at the USCCB. "We believe that incorporating essential and longstanding federal laws on these issues into any new proposal will strengthen support for health care reform. We will work with Congress and the Administration to ensure that these protections are clearly reflected in new legislation, so no one is required to pay for or take part in abortion as a result of health care reform." "We agree with the President that there are details that need to be ironed out," said Saile. "And with his address last night, we see the opportunity to work towards a truly universal health policy with respect for human life and dignity, access for all with a special concern for the poor, and inclusion of legal immigrants. We also see the possibility of meeting the bishops' goal to pursue the common good and preserve pluralism, including freedom of conscience and a variety of options, and restraining costs and applying them equitably across the spectrum of payers."---(SOURCE:



AllAfrica reports that a number of mortar shells hit parts of central Mogadishu on Friday evening leaving at least ten dead.
One of the mortars landed in a residential area while another crashed onto the city's main jail.
The worst incident, however, occurred at De Martino Hospital, a former medical facility that had been converted into a lodge for the Somali war veterans of the 1977/78 conflict between Ethiopia and Somalia.
Most of the residents are the Ogaden war veterans and the blast killed six on the spot and left twenty five severely injured.
It was just before Iftar (Futuru) as the residents were waiting to break the fast.
By early Saturday morning, four more wounded veterans lost their lives at Medina Hospital.
"It is one of the most shocking events we witnessed," said Hassan Sheikh Qalli, a resident in Hamarweyne district where De Martino Hospital is located.
The injured persons included the spokesman of the disabled war veterans, Abdi Ali Mahad.
The Transitional Federal Government was quick to blame the Islamist group, Al-Shabaab, for the attack.
Sheikh Abdirizak Mohamed Qaylow, the spokesman of the pro-government paramilitary unit known as Drawiish condemned what he called the anti-peace (opposition) groups.
"The anti-peace (Al-Shabaab) group engage in this kind of merciless act in the course of their drive to defeat the government in Somalia," said Sheikh Qaylow. "They do not even care who suffers in civilian populated areas," he added.
"We are all shocked," said a legislator who lost a relative, but declined to be named.
Mogadishu residents have been experiencing intense battles between the TFG and the opposition Islamist groups since early May.
Al-Shabaab and Hizbu Islam have declined repeated calls from the government to settle differences through negotiations. (SOURCE:


UCAN reports that Hundreds of Muslims set ablaze a Protestant church Sept. 11 in this town of Punjab province after a Christian youth was accused of tearing the Qur’an.
Devastation in Gojra, Pakistan, in August, after Muslim extremists attacked Christian homes and churches
The attack took place after torn pages of the Muslim holy book were found in front of a Christian house. Mobs have blocked access to the town and raised slogans calling for the severe punishment of the “blasphemer.”
Tension built in the area and police have been trying to control the situation. Security forces have asked Christians to remain in their homes. Jaytike town has about 60 Christian homes.
Father Shehzada Khurram of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church is heading a team to the town.
According to initial information from Church sources, a love affair between a Christian youth and a local Muslim girl led to the assault. “The concerned Muslim family discovered the secret affair today and accused the Christian of tearing the Qur’an. We fear attacks on local Christians,” Francis Azad, a catechist in Jaytike told UCA News.
The latest anti Christian violence is the seventh such incident this year.
Just over a month ago, 10 Catholics were killed in rioting in the Punjab city of Gojra and in the nearby village of Korian. A Muslim mob vandalized and looted 113 Christian houses and damaged four Protestant churches in these areas on July 30 and Aug. 1.
Tensions arose after pages containing Islamic inscriptions were found in front of a Christian home in Korian. Muslims accused the family of blasphemy against Islam.
In another incident, suspected Muslim militants shot six Christians and injured seven more in Quetta city, Baluchistan on Aug. 28 after threats of “Convert to Islam or Die,” media reported.



A Catholic soldier killed in Afghanistan while trying to rescue his injured commander has been buried with full military honours.The funeral of Fusilier Louis Carter, Second Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (2RRF), took place at the Church of Our Lady of the Angels, Nuneaton, Warwickshire, last week.Fusilier Carter was killed while carrying his wounded section commander, Lance Corporal James Fullarton, on a stretcher following an explosion while on patrol near Sangin in Helmand Province last month.Fusilier Carter, 18, died alongside the section commander he was trying to save and Fusilier Simon Annis. Fusilier Carter was born in Nuneaton in 1990 and joined the British Army in January 2007. After training he was posted to the Second Battalion in April 2009 and sent out to join them in Helmand.Despite the daunting task of deploying straight to a war zone, Fusilier Carter adapted himself well to life on operations and very quickly became a respected and popular member of 2 Section, 3 Platoon.The funeral Mass was celebrated by Fr Philip Harrop, parish priest of Our Lady of the Angels, assisted by his two permanent deacons, Rev Michael Skidmore and Rev Trevor Smith. The church was packed to capacity and hundreds of friends, comrades and local people lined the pavements outside to listen to the service on loudspeakers.During his homily Fr Philip Harrop said: "On Sunday August 16 the Louis family were plunged into their own Calvary experience with the devastating news of his death - a deep sadness shared by his fellow fusiliers, and, as the news spread, by so many friends and by this community. One of the things that you have been doing is to talk about Louis. Lots of times, I'm sure, you will have said: 'Do you remember that time when Louis said this or did that?' And for Louis's parents these will be special memories over the whole span of his life."Then there was his other family, his adopted family if you like, the Royal Fusiliers - that at last he became what he had long dreamed of becoming. He loved doing it and died doing what he loved."Fr Harrop stressed: "In some ways like the barren, dusty and seemingly hopeless scene that the Gospel described (of the death of Jesus on the Cross at Calvary), Louis's death far away in Afghanistan seems an unlikely setting for hope, of something beautiful."Yet in how he died and in the way he died - trying to save a comrade, a brother-in-arms - there is a great deal that is awesome. That in Louis we now see incredibly clearly a maturity, a bravery, a generosity that is truly remarkable."Jesus once said: 'Greater love has no man than this, than to lay down his life for his friends.' Although Louis was so very young, he showed a stature, a strength of character, a commitment to his superior officer, his comrades and friends that is truly inspiring."Speaking on behalf of the family before the Prayers of Commendation, Fusilier Carter's uncle, Ray Carter, said the soldier was a "true role model". He added: "Louis, we will remember you and your qualities when we are facing our trials. You are our Louis, our soldier, our hero."It was drizzling as the bearer party of six Royal Fusiliers carried Louis' coffin, draped in the regimental flag, out of the church where he was baptised, made his First Holy Communion, was confirmed and attended Mass.A three-volley salute was fired before the Bearer Party gently placed the coffin in the hearse for the journey to Nuneaton crematorium.In a tribute at the time his death was announced Fusilier Carter's Commanding Officer, Lt Col Charlie Calder, said: "Fusilier Louis Carter gave his young life just as he was embarking on his career with the Fusiliers. "Thrown into the thick of it right from the start Fusilier Carter quickly became a key member of his battle-hardened platoon."



Wagga Wagga Bishop Gerard Hanna said different challenges faced by rural dioceses often meant parish priests would work beyond the age of 75 without compulsion to retire, unlike Fr Bob Maguire's case in Melbourne.
Bishop Hanna, 67, said his own policy was to "have a conversation" with a priest approaching his mid-seventies, The Border Mail reported.
"It's a question of health but I give them the option of retiring and I try to respect their wishes," he was quoted saying.
He said a priest might want to retire because of sickness but that could apply whatever his age.
Wagga diocese has 45 to 48 full time parish priests and assistant priests, but Bishop Hanna said they could also call on the services of some 14 others who had retired but were nevertheless available to step in when needed.
Among older parish priests still active is Father Kevin Flanagan, of Sacred Heart parish, North Albury, who turned 81 last month, and Monsignor William Fulton, of St Patrick's, who is in his seventies.
Wagga diocese continues to recruit new priests through its seminary, Vianney College at Wagga, which has about 20 priests at present, including some from the Philippines and Nigeria.

Holy Name of Mary

The feast was only a local one at its inception in 1513, when it was instituted in Cuenca, Spain. It was initially celebrated on September 15. In 1666 the Discalced Carmelites received the faculty to recite the Office of the Name of Mary four times a year (duplex). In 1671 the feast was extended to the whole Kingdom of Spain. After the victory of John III Sobieski over the Turks in the Battle of Vienna in 1683, the feast was extended to the whole Church by Pope Innocent XI, and assigned to the Sunday after the Nativity of Mary. Prior to the battle King John had placed his troops under the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary. After the battle Pope Innocent XI, wishing to honor Mary, extended the feast to the entire Church.


St. Ailbe
Feast: September 12
Feast Day:
September 12

Bishop of Emly in Munster (Ireland); d. about 527, or 541. It is very difficult to sift out the germs of truth from among the mass of legends which have gathered round the life of this Irish saint. Beyond the fact, which is itself disputed, that he was a disciple of St. Patrick and was probably ordained priest by him, we know really nothing of the history of St. Ailbe. Legend says that in his infancy he was left in the forest to be devoured by the wolves, but that a she-wolf took compassion upon him and suckled him. Long afterwards, when Ailbe was bishop, an old she-wolf, pursued by a hunting party, fled to the Bishop and laid her head upon his breast. Ailbe protected his old foster-mother, and every day thereafter she and her little ones came to take their food in his hall. TheActs of St. Ailbe are quite untrustworthy; they represent Ailbe as preaching in Ireland before St. Patrick, but this is directly contradicted by St. Patrick's biographer, Tirechan. Probably the most authentic information we possess about Ailbe is that contained in Cuimmon's eulogium: Ailbe loved hospitality. The devotion was not untruthful. Never entered a body of clay one that was better as to food and raiment. His feast, which is 12 September, is kept throughout Ireland as a greater double.(SOURCE:


I do not know your gods. Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, is my God. If you take my answer as an offense, cut off my tongue. Every part of my body is ready to suffer when God calls for this sacrifice.
St. Theodore Tiro


Luke 1: 26 - 38
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
And he came to her and said, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!"
But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be.
And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,
and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end."
And Mary said to the angel, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?"
And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.
For with God nothing will be impossible."
And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.

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