Sunday, October 11, 2009





Radio Vaticana reports that the Church has five new Saints. A French woman who dedicated her life to care of the elderly and abandoned, a tireless Dominican preacher, a Trappist Cistercian Oblate monk and mystic, a Polish bishop and defender of the faith and a Belgian missionary who gave himself to the lepers on the margins of 19th century society. Sunday was a day of celebration here at the Vatican, for these five people, who in Pope Benedict XVI’s own words show us that in gifting ourselves totally to Christ, in going against the trend we can reach perfection.Thousands converged on St Peters basilica for the ceremony, from Spain, Poland, Belgium and Hawaii, the overspill filling St Peter’s Square waving their flags, holding aloft their banners. They watched closely as, Archbishop Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Angelo Amato read the names of those to be inscribed on the role of saints. They listened intently as Pope Benedict in his homily delivered in various languages;telling us all that although their examples are from a distant past their witness is still relevant today.He spoke of Oblate monk Rafael Arnaiz Baron, who died aged 27 after leaving a comfortable life to follow Christ, and the French religious Mary of the Cross, engaged in assisting the elderly who today, Benedict XVI recalled, "suffer multiple poverty and loneliness, being sometimes even abandoned by their families".But the greatest part of his homily was given to the humble figure of a Belgian missionary priest who left his home at 23, bound for the island of Molokai off the west coast of the great continent of America. An island that during the 18th was a colony of lepers. He was Damiaan Jozef de Veuster. Today he is Hawaii’s first saint.“Not without fear and loathing – said the Pope - he made the choice to go to the island of Molokai in the service of lepers who were there, abandoned by all, so he exposed himself to the disease from which they suffered. With them he felt at home. The servant of the Word became a suffering servant, leper with the lepers, during the last four years of his life”Pope Benedict concluded “Their perfection, in the logic of a faith sometimes humanly incomprehensible, subsides in their no longer focusing on themselves, but in choosing to go against the trends of the time living according to the Gospel”Following mass the Pope made his way to the raised dias before St Peter’s square for the midday angelus prayer. In comments in French and English he asked for prayers to help guide the success of the ongoing Synod of Bishops for Africa and then he a very special greeting for a particular group of pilgrims all the way from the Land of the rising Sun: “I also greet the group of survivors of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and I pray that the world may never again witness such mass destruction of innocent human life”. Then as the tapestries bearing the images of the newly proclaimed saints were unfurled in the autumn breeze to adorn the fa├žade of the basilica, Pope Benedict took his leave:“May these new saints accompany you with their prayers and inspire you by the example of their holy lives” (SOURCE:



Archbishop Chaput traveled to Belmont Abbey College to receive an award for his service to the Church and the world. He was named the “Envoy of the Year.” The award was presented by “The Envoy Institute”, located at Belmont Abbey College. ( “The Envoy Institute” is a wonderful apostolate which assists in the training of the future leaders for the New Evangelization of Culture. It is led by Patrick Madrid, a best-selling Catholic author and publisher of Envoy Magazine. It assists young men and women in their search for how to live the good life and their “search for Truth” in response to the promise of the Lord Jesus: "You will know the truth and the truth will set you free." In this age which has suffered so greatly from what Pope Benedict XVI rightly labeled as a “dictatorship of relativism” the Envoy Institute at Belmont Abbey College is engaged in a vital mission.


The Catholic Herald reports that the Catholic Church has accused doctors of acting illegally in refusing to save the life of a mentally ill woman who swallowed a lethal dose of anti-freeze.When Kerrie Wooltorton, who suffered from an incurable personality disorder which made her emotionally unstable, was admitted to hospital she presented doctors with a "living will" saying she wanted to refuse treatment.An inquest into her death last week revealed that the doctors, acting on legal advice, decided not to help her fearing they might be prosecuted for assault under the 2005 Mental Capacity Act, which gave legal force to advance directives.The Church has denounced their decision as illegal and has called on the Government to clarify the law."During the passage of the Mental Capacity Bill there were a number of serious concerns we and others had which the government addressed by making a number of important amendments to the Bill," said a spokesman for the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales. "In particular, section 62 of the Act makes clear that nothing in the Act changes the law on assisted suicide or euthanasia. We also urged the Government to make clear on the face of the Bill that advance refusals of medical treatment that were manifestly suicidal should have no legal force. "The Government's response was that whilst it was not the intention of the law to give legal force to such suicidal advance decisions, it was difficult to frame a specific amendment to this effect."Instead we were given an undertaking that the Code of Practice would make this clear, and this issue is indeed covered in Section 9.9 of the Code of Practice."The spokesman said that Miss Wooltorton's death showed that the code is not "clear or strong enough" and was not properly understood by all medical professionals. "This section of the Code of Practice must be strengthened to make abundantly clear that where an advance decision was clearly manifestly suicidal - as in the tragic case of Kerrie Wooltorton - that it cannot be valid and applicable and that if such an advance decision is invoked, medical treatment should always be given where it is in the best interests of the patient," he said.After her admission to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in September 2007, doctors decided that Miss Wooltorton was sufficiently mentally competent to refuse treatment even though she had attempted suicide nine times in just one year. She died from poisoning, aged 26, four days later. Coroner William Armstrong has condoned the actions of the doctors, saying at the inquest that "any treatment to have saved Kerrie's life in the absence of her consent would have been unlawful".During the passage of the Bill, Archbishop Peter Smith of Cardiff repeatedly warned the Government that its proposals law would not only allow people to commit suicide but would force medical professionals to collaborate in the act.Some Catholic and Muslim doctors later stated publicly that they were prepared to go to jail rather than effectively assisting in suicides.The Woolerton case has prompted Andy Burnham, the Health Secretary, to suggest that the law may need to be changed because living wills were not intended for suicides.Dr Luk Ho, a consultant psychiatrist at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn, wrote in response to a British Medical Journal blog that his biggest concern with the case was that it could lead to assisted suicide by the backdoor. "Could professionals be legally permitted in the future to allow patients to commit suicide 'in their best interests'?" he wrote, adding: "Is is ever possible for a person wishing to commit suicide to have full capacity?"However Dr Vivienne Nathanson, head of ethics at the British Medical Association, said doctors must obey competent patients' wishes."If a patient attempts suicide there can be questions around capacity and if there is time doctors can organise a mental capacity assessment," she said. "It is important to remember that attempting suicide or being depressed in themselves do not mean a person lacks capacity. It is always very tragic if an individual, like Kerrie Wooltorton, decides they do not want to live any longer. However, patients who are mentally competent must retain the legal right to refuse medical intervention."Colin Wooltorton, Kerrie's father, said the law must be changed to prevent a repeat of the case. "I am ashamed to be English with the way the law stands," he said. (SOURCE:


CISA reports that the Bishops of Nigeria are making efforts to ensure that the study of communications forms an integral part of the formation of future priests and religious in the country.Thus, the Catholic Secretariat of Social Communications in Nigeria has organized formation workshops for mass media instructors.According to a statement from Fr. Ralph Madu, Director of Social Communications for the Nigerian Bishops' Conference, Bishop Emmanuel Badejo Auxiliary of Oyo and President of the Social Communications Office of the bishops' conference, met with a group of instructors in Lagos on September 28.Bishop Badejo affirmed: �I would be glad to see this kind of encounter as part of a study plan in our course, with a special attention to the new media technology, such as Social Networking, which continue to form new areas for relating among people.�The bishop added that he hoped that the participants in the seminar would be ready to discern among the various aspects of modern relevance, in responding to the identity crisis that often torments those dedicated to the new forms of media, in regards to determining the complex nature of the modern use of this �language.�Bishop Badejo highlighted the importance of acquiring a minimum level of familiarity with information technology, to respond to the modern forms of technological illiteracy, but also recalled the need to be aware of the pervasive culture of the internet, in which information is consumed and produced at the same time.It is a situation, he said, that calls for a critical thinking process in order to examine the new ethics of media and communications technology.The bishop concluded that �for the moment, these seminars are taking place in 9 provinces, but in the future they could be organized in houses of formation in need of support and formation in the area of the mass media.�The workshop, which is set to begin on November 14, 2009, in the Province of Owerri, at Seat of Wisdom Seminary, is focused on how infrastructures for telecommunications can help in formation in seminaries, the importance of the new forms of audio-visual communication in the processes of learning and teaching, on human and specifically African principles of communication, and on communications ethics.(SOURCE:

UCAN reports that they have had feces thrown at them, food spat in their faces, and endured verbal abuse. But all these problems have not deterred Missionaries of Charity of Christ nuns from continuing to serve elderly residents in their care.
“It is not simple to look after elderly people. We have to be patient and bear with them because they are like children,” said Sister Mary Martin Nguyen Thi Kim Hoa from the Missionaries of Charity of Christ congregation, a local Religious community.
Sister Hoa, who heads the Center for Elderly People, a home for women in Ho Chi Minh City, said half the residents there suffer paralysis and stay in bed most of the time. Only four are strong enough to help prepare meals and wash clothes.
Sister Hoa, 50, and another 11 nuns work from 4:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. ever day to serve the center’s 60 women who are aged 60-102. The nuns clean the rooms, bathe the women, wash their clothes, provide health care, feed them and bring the wheelchair bound to the chapel for prayers.
Sister Hoa recalled that once a resident threw feces at her as she was trying to bathe the woman. Some residents have hit and shouted at nuns, while others have spat food at them.
Sister Hoa, who started working at the center 10 years ago, said many residents who have such negative attitudes had been “neglected or abused by their relatives or others.”
Father Paul Nguyen Van Khi, who founded the center near Tan Thong church in the city’s Cu Chi district, said many residents have no children, homes or money and feel lonely. “They really need love and care from others.”
The center opened in 1988 and provides accommodation and food for elderly women who had been abandoned by their families. The women come from the city and the neighboring provinces of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Dong Nai, Long An and Tien Giang.
Residents UCA News spoke to said they are grateful for the nuns’ care, although they did not fully appreciate it at first.
One 74-year-old woman recalled how she used to vent her anger at the nuns when she first arrived. At the time she thought no one loved her.
“My only son forced me to leave home,” she said. However, “after living here for one year, I have found true love from others and have changed my attitude.”
Agnes Nguyen Thi Kim Chi, who used to sleep on sidewalks seven years ago, said, “I am very happy to live here. I am given accommodation, food and health care.” She added, “I might have died without this center.”
Rita Lam Tieu Nhi, another resident, said she has made many friends since coming here in 2004. “I am loved and much respected here,” she shared. The 63-year-old said she helps the nuns to clean the center and wash clothes of the other residents.
Father Khi said he spends one hour a day visiting and talking with those women. “I bring them joy just by shaking their hands, smiling at them or talking about their health.”
The priest said the center’s monthly operating costs are 32 million dong (US$1,800) which comes from donations by benefactors and local Catholics. About 300 local families donate at least 5,000 dong each a month, he said.
According to the Ministry of Health, Vietnam has around 8 million elderly people, nearly 10 percent of the population. Many of them have to work for a living.


CathNews reports that Bishop of Sale Christopher Prowse urges the repealing of the year old Victorian Abortion Law Reform Bill, which ignores the "fundamental human right to life of the unborn."
"These tiniest Victorians seemed to have a minority of parliamentarians who spoke up on their behalf. Their silent scream continues," Bishop Prowse said, in criticism of the debate in the lead up to the Bill's passing.
"The discussion was confused and largely superficial," he said in a statement released to coincide with the first anniversary of the law passed by the State Parliament.
"Abortion promoters and pro-choice parliamentary groups trumpeted their secularist arguments in apparent collusion. Huge representations from religious groups and others voicing grave concerns at the legislation seemed to be dismissed to the periphery."
"The immoral laws resulting from such a facile public debate have now left so many of us in the fine State of Victoria deeply disturbed. This first anniversary of the passing of the Abortion Law Reform Bill 2008 will only increase in many the depth of our troubled communal conscience.
"However difficult it may be, such new laws must be repealed." (SOURCE:


St. Tarachus
Feast: October 11
Feast Day:
October 11

IN the year 304, Tarachus, Probus, and Andronicus, differing in age and nationality, but united in the bonds of faith, being denounced as Christians to Numerian, Governor of Cilicia, were arrested at Pompeiopolis, and conducted to Tharsis. They underwent a first examination in that town, after which their limbs were torn with iron hooks, and they were taken back to prison covered with wounds. Being afterwards led to Mopsuestia, they were submitted to a second examination, ending in a manner equally cruel as the first. They underwent a third examination at Anazarbis, followed by greater torments still. The governor, unable to shake their constancy, had them kept imprisoned that he might torture them further at the approaching games. They were borne to the amphitheatre, but the most ferocious animals, on being let loose on them, came crouching to their feet and licked their wounds. The judge, reproaching the jailers with connivance, ordered the martyrs to be despatched by the gladiators.


Wisdom 7: 7 - 11
Therefore I prayed, and understanding was given me; I called upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.
I preferred her to scepters and thrones, and I accounted wealth as nothing in comparison with her.
Neither did I liken to her any priceless gem, because all gold is but a little sand in her sight, and silver will be accounted as clay before her.
I loved her more than health and beauty, and I chose to have her rather than light, because her radiance never ceases.
All good things came to me along with her, and in her hands uncounted wealth.

Psalms 90: 12 - 17
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Return, O LORD! How long? Have pity on thy servants!
Satisfy us in the morning with thy steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Make us glad as many days as thou hast afflicted us, and as many years as we have seen evil.
Let thy work be manifest to thy servants, and thy glorious power to their children.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish thou the work of our hands upon us, yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.

Hebrews 4: 12 - 13
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
And before him no creature is hidden, but all are open and laid bare to the eyes of him with whom we have to do.


Mark 10: 17 - 30
And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.
You know the commandments: `Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.'"
And he said to him, "Teacher, all these I have observed from my youth."
And Jesus looking upon him loved him, and said to him, "You lack one thing; go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me."
At that saying his countenance fell, and he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions.
And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it will be for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!"
And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, "Then who can be saved?"
Jesus looked at them and said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God."
Peter began to say to him, "Lo, we have left everything and followed you."
Jesus said, "Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel,
who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.

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