CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: SAT. SEPT. 5, 2009: HEADLINES
VATICAN: POPE'S MESSAGE FOR WORLD MISSION SUNDAY
AMERICA: PROJECT ULTRASOUND TO EQUIP PREGNANCY CARE CENTERS
EUROPE: GERMAN & POLISH BISHOPS MARK ANNIVERSARY OF WWII
ASIA & S. PAC. :WEST JAVA: PARISH HELPS VICTIMS OF 7.3 MAG. EARTHQUAKE
AFRICA: GAMBIA: 6 JOURNALISTS RELEASED FROM JAIL
AUSTRALIA: APPEAL TO POPE TO SAVE CHURCH FROM BEING DEMOLISHED
VATICAN: POPE'S MESSAGE FOR WORLD MISSION SUNDAY
Pope Benedict XVI has issued his message for the upcoming World Mission Sunday, which churches are preparing to celebrate this coming October 18th. The theme is taken from the book of Revelation and looks toward the triumph of the Gospel: "the nations will walk in its light".
In truth, writes Pope Benedict, the whole of humanity has the radical vocation to return to its source,to return to God since in him alone can it find fulfillment through the restoration of all things in Christ. Dispersion, multiplicity, conflict and enimity will be healed and reconciled through the blood of the cross and led back to unity. It is the duty of the Church called to be the seed of hope to continue Christ's service in the world. He prayerful recalled all those who have consecrated their lives exclusively to the work of evangelisation making a special mention of the local Churches and the men and women missionaries who bear witness to and spread the kingdom of God in situations of persecution subjected as they are to forms of oppression ranging from social discrimation, to prison, tortue and death. The Church walks the same path and suffers the same destiny of Christ, she follows the way of the Cross becoming in filial obedience to the Father a witness and a travelling companion for all humanity. He also requests spiritual and material assistance, he asks all Catholics to pray to the Holy Spirit for an increase in the Church's passion in her mission to spread the kingdom of God. He asks everyone as a credible sign of the communion among the Churches to offer financial assisstance especially in these times of crisis affecting all humanity to enable the young local Churches to illuminate the nations with the Gospel of Charity.
PROJECT ULTRASOUND TO EQUIP PREGNANCY CARE CENTERS
Catholic Onlin reports that .ife is affirmed and mothers can escape the horrors of abortion through ultrasound.
According to an article in the Washington Examiner, between seventy and ninety-percent of 'abortion minded' mothers who see an ultrasound choose life, making this pre-natal portrait one of the most important allies of the unborn.
Project Ultrasound is a non-profit organization committed to raising awareness about the effectiveness of ultrasound machines in preventing abortion. More importantly, it raises funds for the purpose of assisting crisis pregnancy centers in purchasing ultrasound machines and ultrasound training. According to an article in the Washington Examiner, between seventy and ninety-percent of "abortion minded" mothers who see an ultrasound choose life, making this pre-natal portrait one of the most important allies of the unborn. While these machines can make a significant impact, only 40% of crisis pregnancy centers nationwide are equipped with ultrasound machines due their extremely high cost. Syndicated Columnist and Pro-life supporter Michelle Malkin wrote about her experience as a new mother when seeing her ultrasound. “Perhaps the most priceless pictures we will ever have of our firstborn child are the ones that were taken before she was born: black-and-white sonograms with close-ups of tiny knees and elbows, two curled feet, a waving hand, and a beating heart.” “Ultrasound is an innovation that not only affirms life, but also saves lives,” Makin writes. “Those who believe in protecting the unborn can do more good, more immediately by helping to spread this technology across the country than by counting on fair-weather politicians in Washington.” Project Ultrasound declares, “We believe that life begins at the moment of conception, and that all life is a precious gift from God. “It is with this understanding that we have made it our mission to help provide the instrument through which this truth about the unborn can be seen by mothers contemplating abortion. “Such a crucial decision should not be based merely upon what a mother hears, but all mothers should be given the right to see the truth about their unborn child with their own eyes on an ultrasound.” A small used ultrasound unit can cost around $15,000 and a refurbished machine can run as much as $80,000, so the organization has taken on a major challenge to help pregnancy centers obtain the important piece of equipment. While state congresses and the courts continue to battle regulations that would require an ultrasound before abortions, Project Ultrasound continues to work toward the availability of these life-saving machines. With somewhere around 3,300 women obtaining abortions every day, pro-life supporters see the importance of giving each one the opportunity to view their baby in the womb. (SOURCE:
GERMAN & POLISH BISHOPS MARK ANNIVERSARY OF WWII
The Catholic Herald reports that Catholic bishops from Germany and Poland have marked the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War by appealing for greater understanding between their two countries.In a joint declaration issued last week the bishops' conferences of both countries said : "Reconciliation between our nations is a gift we can contribute to the annals of a united Europe. "Even if these reconciliation processes have yielded good fruit in recent decades, the experiences of war and later trials in our relations are still alive," the bishops said. "Certain social and political tendencies have shown a temptation to make propagandist use of historic injuries and stir up resentments through one-sided historical interpretations. The Church will unceasingly and decisively stand against this."The bishops said wounds from the wartime Holocaust remained unhealed. They said efforts also should be made to remember the enforced division of Europe which followed, and the many Poles and Germans who lost their homes because of deportations."In this spirit, faced with the fact of the criminal military attack by Nazi Germans and the huge damage done to Poles by Germans as a result, and the damage done to Germans by expulsion and the loss of homeland, we repeat together: 'We forgive and ask forgiveness," the statement said."The German and Polish bishops jointly condemn these war crimes. We are also agreed in condemning the expulsions, without forgetting the internal subjection and order of events," it said.German armies invaded western and northern Poland on September 1 1939, prompting declarations of war by Britain and France. That aggressive action was followed on September 17 by a Soviet invasion in the east. Catholic bishops from Poland were widely praised for a 1965 pledge of forgiveness for actions during the Second World War at the Second Vatican Council.However, ties between Poland and Germany, now members of Nato and the European Union, at times have been tense over compensation demands for the postwar deportation of up to 12 million German civilians from western Poland and the former Czechoslovakia.In the joint declaration, the bishops said a peace "based on justice and reconciliation" could not be taken for granted, but had to be "built day by day", and could only blossom when both sides "recognised their responsibility".Meanwhile David Miliband, the British Foreign Secretary, writing in a Polish newspaper at the weekend, praised Pope John Paul II and the Polish and German bishops for their role in post-war reconciliation.He was in Poland for the anniversary along with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Tensions rose after Mr Putin suggested that the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, signed 70 years ago last week, was not the main reason for the start of the Second World War. (SOURCE: http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/articles/a0000630.shtml
WEST JAVA: PARISH HELPS VICTIMS OF 7.3 MAG. EARTHQUAKE
UCAN reports that a parish in the predominantly Muslim province of West Java is working to provide emergency aid to victims of the 7.3 magnitude earthquake that struck Java on Sept. 2 afternoon.
People inspect the devastation causedby the quake (Photo courtesy of Karina)
The Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish of Tasikmalaya made the decision during a Sept. 3 meeting of parish leaders and representatives of Caritas Indonesia or Karina -- the Indonesian bishops' humanitarian services office -- and a chairman of the Muslim Students Movement (PMII) in West Java.
Humanitarian aid is not being well distributed to victims "so we must help the people who are yet to be reached," said assistant priest Father Albertus Herry Nugroho.
Meeting participants agreed first to provide emergency aid to be followed by rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts.
The parish agreed to work together with West Java's PMII as well as an Islamic boarding school, or pesantren, in Tasikmalaya. Catholic high school students will help distribute humanitarian aid from stores in church halls.
Meeting participants identified four hamlets which need particular help, namely Cigalontang, Lembur Situ, Setia Mulya, and Cikalong. They distributed 300 kilograms of rice and five boxes of instant noodles to 400 people in Setia Mulya hamlet that very night.
Parish priest Father Yohanes a Cruce Kristiono Hartanto and Father Nugrohohave been informed that the American Catholic relief agency, Catholic Relief Services, will send humanitarian aid to their parish. Other parishes in the diocese of Bandung, the province's capital, will send aid as well.
Father Hartanto said he has contacted a pesantren whose doctor agreed to work together with his parish in giving survivors medical treatment.
Frederikus Sundoko of Karina encouraged the parish to work with local Muslims. He said the quake survivors need rice, cooking oil, drinking water, instant noodles, blankets, tents and clothes.
(From left): Father Albertus Herry Nugroho, FrederikusSundoko of Karina and two parish socialactivists discuss how to distribute relief aid
The most important need, he said, was food for sahur (pre-dawn meal) as well as for breaking fast during the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan.
Father Hartanto told UCA News he none of the 2,500 Catholics in his parish died or were injured in the quake, nor were any of their houses badly damaged.
Irvan Nurdiansyah, vice president for economic affairs of West Java's PMII, told UCA News that he was happy to see Catholics' concern for Muslim quake victims.
"That is why we, as an Islamic student institution, responded with readiness to help them distribute the humanitarian aid they collected," he said. He also asked Catholics to think about other forms of aid victims would need, such as the rebuilding of houses.
On Sept. 4, Bishop Johannes Maria Trilaksyanta Pujasumarta of Bandung visited quake victims in Tasikmalaya.
According to the National Disaster Management Agency's website (www.bnpb.go.id), the quake that struck Java at 2.55 pm killed at least 59 people and damaged more than 10,000 houses. A total of 25,242 have fled from their homes.
GAMBIA: 6 JOURNALISTS RELEASED FROM JAIL
CISA reports that apparently bowing to international pressure, Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh has released six journalists who were jailed last month for criticizing him.Media reports quoting a government statement said Jammeh pardoned the journalists but gave no reason for his decision.The journalists, five men and one woman, were convicted on six counts of sedition and defamation. The journalists, including three executive members of the Gambian Press Union, got a mandatory sentence of two years’ imprisonment and were fined US$10,000 on two of the six counts.They had questioned Jammeh's declaration that the government was not responsible for the 2004 death of prominent journalist Deyda Hydara.Following the imprisonment, the European Union expressed anxiety over press freedom in the tiny Western African nation.Amnesty International described the journalists as “prisoners of conscience, who are being punished for peacefully expressing their views.”The French news agency AFP reported that the journalists left prison on Thursday evening chanting "the truth will always prevail".
APPEAL TO POPE TO SAVE CHURCH FROM BEING DEMOLISHED
CathNews reports that Parishioners of St Joseph's in Melbourne's Collingwood have written to Pope Benedict, appealing him to intervene and save their gutted church building from being demolished because they say local church leaders aren't helping.
"Your Holiness, we turn to you in our hour of need as our church leaders offer us nothing," the letter reportedly says, according to The Age.
The group claims that Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart has reneged on an agreement with parishioners and is "destroying a wonderful Catholic asset" by not rebuilding the historic structure that was burnt down in a 2007 fire.
The archdiocese plans to rebuild a much smaller chapel next door, using the church site for a library and playground for the adjoining Catholic school.
Asked whether she thought the Pope would read the letter, spokeswoman Mary Fenelon was quoted saying: "We don't know, but what else can we do? We are desperate. We registered the letter and sent it express mail, which cost $40."
She said members of the congregation planned to set up a tent and occupy the site, because it could be demolished at any time.
Archbishop Hart had refused all requests to meet parishioners, she said.
Melbourne Vicar-general Les Tomlinson was quoted by The Age saying it was the congregation's prerogative to write to the Pope, but the archdiocese was using its resources as best as it could to serve the Church's needs.
Feast: September 5
Abbot of St. Omer, b. near Constance about 615; d. about 709. At an early age he entered the monastery of Luxeuil in France where, under the austere Rule of St. Columban, he prepared himself for his future missionary career. About the year 638 he set out, in company with two confrères, Mummolin and Ebertram, for the extreme northern part of France in order to assist his friend and kinsman, Bishop St. Omer, in the evangelization of the Morini. This country, now in the Department Pas-de-Calais, was then one vast marsh, studded here and there with hillocks and overgrown with seaweed and bulrushes. On one of these hillocks,Bertin and his companions built a small house whence they went out daily to preach the word of God among the natives, most of whom were still heathens. Gradually some converted heathens joined the little band of missionaries and a larger monastery had to be built. A tract of land called Sithiu had been donated to Omer by a converted nobleman named Adrowald. Omer now turned this whole tract over to the missionaries, who selected a suitable place on it for their new monastery. But the community grew so rapidly that in a short time this monastery also became too small and another was built where the city of St. Omer now stands. Shortly after Bertin's death it received the name of St. Bertin. Mummolin, perhaps because he was the oldest of the missionaries, was abbot of the two monasteries until he succeeded the deceased St. Eligius as Bishop of Noyon, about the year 659. Bertin then became abbot. The fame of Bertin's learning and sanctity was so great that in a short time more than 150 monks lived under his rule, among them St. Winnoc and his three companions who had come from Brittany to join Bertin's community and assist in the conversion of the heathen. When nearly the whole neighbourhood was Christianized, and the marshy land transformed into a fertile plain, Bertin, knowing that his death was not far off, appointed Rigobert, a pious monk, as his successor, while he himself spent the remainder of his life preparing for a happy death. Bertin began to be venerated as a saint soon after his death. His feast is celebrated on 5 September. In medieval times the Abbey of St. Bertin was famous as a centre of sanctity and learning. The "Annales Bertiniani" (830-882; Mon. Germ. Hist.: Script., I, 419-515) are important for the contemporary history of the West Frankish Kingdom. The abbey church, now in ruins, was one of the finest fourteenth-century Gothic edifices. In later times its library, archives, and art-treasures were renowned both in and out of France. The monks were expelled in 1791 and in 1799 the abbey and its church were sold at auction. The valuable charters of the abbey are published in Guérard, "Cartulaire de l'abbaye de St. Bertin" (Paris, 1841; appendix by Morand, ibid., 1861). The list of abbots is given in "Gallia Christiana nova", III, 485 sqq. See Laplane, "Abbés de St. Bertin" (St. Omer, 1854-55). (SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/B/stbertin.asp
Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Luke 6: 1 - 5
On a sabbath, while he was going through the grainfields, his disciples plucked and ate some heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands.
But some of the Pharisees said, "Why are you doing what is not lawful to do on the sabbath?"
And Jesus answered, "Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him:
how he entered the house of God, and took and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those with him?"
And he said to them, "The Son of man is lord of the sabbath."