Thursday, October 29, 2009





(VIS) - The Pontifical Council for Social Communications "has, for some time now, been following the surprising and rapid evolution of the means of communication growing in the involvement of the magisterium of the Church". With these words, Benedict XVI received participants in the plenary assembly of that dicastery, presided over by Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, which is examining the role of new technologies in the media during these days. The Holy Father cited Paul VI's pastoral instruction "Communio et Progressio" and John Paul II's "Aetatis Nova", "two important documents that have favoured and promoted greater awareness on the themes tied to communication in the Church". He also recalled John Paul II's encyclical "Redemptoris Missio" that affirms: "Involvement in the mass media, however, is not meant merely to strengthen the preaching of the Gospel. There is a deeper reality involved here: since the very evangelization of modern culture depends to a great extent on the influence of the media, it is not enough to use the media simply to spread the Christian message and the Church's authentic teaching. It is also necessary to integrate that message into the 'new culture' created by modern communications". "Effectively," Benedict XVI said, "modern culture is established, even before its content, in the very fact of the existence of new forms of communication that use new languages; they use new technologies and create new psychological attitudes. All of which supposes a challenge for the Church, which is called to announce the Gospel to persons in the third millennium, maintaining its content unaltered but making it understandable, thanks also to the instruments and methods in tune with today's mentality and culture". At the same time, the Pope referred to his last message for the World Communications Day in which he encouraged "those responsible for communication in all areas, to promote a culture of respect for the dignity and worth of the human being, a dialogue rooted in the sincere search for truth and friendship (...) capable of developing the gifts and talents of each and of putting them at the service of the human community". "In this way the Church exercises that which can be defined as a "deaconate of culture" in today's "digital continent", using its means to announce the Gospel, the only Word that can save the human being. The task of enriching the elements of the new culture of the media, beginning with their ethical aspects, falls to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications as well as serving as orientation and guide in helping the particular churches understand the importance of communication, which represents a key point that cannot be overlooked in any pastoral plan". Concluding, the pontiff recalled the 50th anniversary of the Vatican Film Archive founded by Blessed John XXIII, which possesses a "rich cultural patrimony pertaining to all humanity" and he encouraged to continuing collection and cataloguing of images "that document the path of Christianity through the suggestive witness of the image".AC/ASSEMBLY/SOCIAL COMMUNICATIONS VIS 091029 (490)

IRAN: SERVE THE CAUSE OF PEACE, DEFEND UNIVERSAL RIGHTS VATICAN CITY, 29 OCT 2009 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father received the credential letters of the new ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ali Akbar Naseri. Speaking of Iran, the Pope affirmed that "it is a great nation that possesses eminent spiritual traditions and its people have a profound religious sensibility. This can be reason to hope for a greater openness and confident collaboration with the international community. For its part, the Holy See is always willing to work in harmony with those who serve the cause of peace and promote the dignity that the Creator endowed to all human beings". "Today," he continued, "we must hope for and sustain a new phase of international cooperation, more concretely rooted in humanitarian principles and in the effective assistance of those who suffer, one less dependent on the cold calculation of exchange and technological or economic benefits". Benedict XVI emphasized that "faith in the one God should draw all believers closer and urge them to work together to defend and promote the fundamental human values". In this context he recalled that "among universal rights, religious freedom and the freedom of conscience occupy a fundamental place because they are the origin of all other freedoms. The defence of other rights that arise from the dignity of persons and peoples, particularly the protection of life, justice, and solidarity, should also be the object of true collaboration". "As I have already had repeated occasion to emphasize, the establishment of cordial relations between believers of different religions is an urgent need in our day, in order to build a world that is more human and that conforms more to God's plan of creation". The Pope stressed that "Catholics have been present in Iran from the first centuries of Christianity and have always been an integral part of the nation's life and culture". "The Holy See", he added, "trusts the Iranian authorities to strengthen and guarantee Christians the freedom of professing their faith and of assuring the Catholic community conditions essential to its existence, especially the possibility of counting on sufficient religious personnel and their ability to move within the country to ensure religious service to the faithful". The Holy Father emphasized that "the Holy See, by its nature and its mission, is directly interested in the life of the local churches and wishes to make all the necessary efforts to help the Catholic community in Iran keep alive the signs of Christian presence in a spirit of benevolent understanding with all". Finally, addressing the Catholics who live in Iran, the Pope assured them that he is "near to them and prays that they persevere in maintaining their own identity and remaining rooted to their land, generously working with all their compatriots in the development of the nation".CD/CREDENTIALS/IRAN:NASERI VIS 091029 (450)

PAPAL CELEBRATIONS (NOVEMBER 2009-JANUARY 2010) VATICAN CITY, 29 OCT 2009 (VIS) - This is the calendar of celebrations that the Holy Father will preside over from the end of November 2009 until January 2010. NOVEMBER - Saturday 28. At 17 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, celebration of first Vespers for the First Sunday of Advent. DECEMBER - Tuesday 8. Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. At. 4 p.m. in Piazza di Spagna, veneration of the Virgin. - Thursday 24. Solemnity of the Lord's Nativity. At 10 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica the Pope will celebrate Midnight Mass. - Friday 25. Solemnity of the Lord's Nativity. At 12 p.m. the Pope will impart the Urbi et Orbi blessing from the central balcony of the Vatican Basilica. - Thursday 31. At 18 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica the Holy Father will preside over first Vespers in thanksgiving for the closing year. JANUARY - Friday 1. Solemnity of Holy Mary, Mother of God, and the 43rd World Day of Peace. At 10 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, celebration of Holy Mass. -Wednesday 6. Solemnity of the Lord's Epiphany. At 10 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, celebration of Holy Mass. - Sunday 10. Feast of the Lord's Baptism. At 10 p.m. in the Sistine Chapel, celebration of Holy Mass and baptism of children. - Monday 25. Feast of the conversion of St. Paul the Apostle. At 5:30 p.m. in the Basilica of St. Paul without the Walls, celebration of Vespers.OCL/CALENDAR NOVEMBER 2009-JANUARY 2010/... VIS 091029 (220)

AUDIENCES VATICAN CITY, 29 OCT 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father received today in audience Cardinal Ivan Dias, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.AP/.../... VIS 091029 (20)

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS VATICAN CITY, 29 OCT 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed as members of the Directive Council of the Holy See's Agency for the Evaluation and Promotion of the Quality in Universities and Ecclesiastical Faculties (AVEPRO) Msgr. Piero Coda, President of the Italian Theological Association; Fr. Philippe Curbelié, Dean of the Theology Faculty of the Institut Catholique of Toulouse (France); Fr. Friedrich Bechina, F.S.O., Official of the Congregation for Catholic Education; Sjur Bergan, Director of the Department of Higher Education and Research on the Council of Europe; Paolo Blasi, former Rector of the University of Studies in Florence (Italy); Jan Sadlak, Director of the European Centre for Higher Education (UNESCO-CEPES) in Bucharest (Romania); and Annick Johnson, Director of the same organization.NA/.../... VIS 091029 (110)



CISA reports that Catholic agency Caritas Internationalis has launched an appeal for USD 3.4 million to feed 35,000 people affected by conflict and drought in South Sudan.The appeal will supply food aid in Western and Eastern Equatoria states in the south of the country who, for the last two years have experienced drought that left hundreds of thousands of people in need, according to the aid agency.Caritas will provide 10,000 people with food aid and planting materials, and train farmers on improved farming techniques, in order to support people’ livelihoods until harvest in 2010.Caritas Internationalis Humanitarian Director Alistair Dutton said, “people caught in drought or conflict in South Sudan need urgent food aid. Caritas is able to reach isolated villages and communities caught in conflict to provide support.The Catholic agency aims to reach 25,000 people in urgent need of immediate care in Western Equatoria. (SOURCE:



UCAN reports that when Thandar decided to cut her long hair in order to sell it a year ago, she was really down on her luck. But living hand-to-mouth with two young kids, she felt she had no choice.

Thandar and her family in front of theirhouse that was rebuilt by the Church
Thandar (not her real name), also has something she prefers to keep secret. She is HIV positive, infected by her first husband.
HIV and AIDS still carry a stigma in Myanmar, but luckily for Thandar, the Church-run Karuna Pyay Social Service came to her aid recently.
The bamboo house where Thandar's family were living in on the outskirts of Pyay, western Myanmar, was in a bad state and looked as if it would collapse anytime. The family had little money to build a new one.
Karuna then built a bamboo house with a thatched roof for her family early this year.
Thandar, 29, told UCA News recently, "We'd really like to thank the Church for helping us with a house. We can now live safely with our children."
She said her second husband is a daily wage earner, so they do not have a regular income. "I couldn't imagine building a house especially since we are struggling for our daily food," she said.
Karuna has supported about 200 HIV patients since 2005 with rice, cooking oil, salt, medications, counseling and health education. However, last year, the organization also started a housing program for HIV patients, irrespective of religion. It has so far built 15 new houses and repaired five others.
Father David Ba Thein, director of Karuna Pyay told UCA News, "We not only support the basic needs of patients but also try to raise their living standards."
Another beneficiary of the new Church project is Thin Thin who contracted HIV from her second husband, who died three years ago.

Edward Nyein distributes kitchenware to HIV/AIDS patients
Thin Thin, 38, a mother of two, told UCA News "As I'm a widow, it's very hard to build a house and feed two children. The Church not only built us a house but also gave scholarships to my children."
San Oo, 29, who also has HIV, told UCA News "I really must thank the Church for my new home, otherwise my mother and I would be sleeping in the streets."
The Church is not only helping people with HIV get a home, it is also trying to prolong their lives by encouraging people to be more open about the illness so they can receive medical treatment.
Some HIV patients are afraid of discrimination once others find out about their condition, said Edward Nyein, who is in charge of the Karuna Pyay HIV/AIDS program. "It was the main cause of the high death rate among sufferers," he said.
Karuna has appointed four HIV-positive women, including Thin Thin, as "peer educators" to teach sufferers how to cope with HIV/AIDS and non-sufferers how to avoid infection.
According to UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, 240,000 people in Myanmar are presently living with HIV.



The CCCB reports that during their annual Plenary Assembly, 19 to 23 October, held at the Nav Canada Centre, Cornwall, the members of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) elected those Bishops who will sit on the Permanent Council for the next two years.
The office of CCCB President will be held by Most Reverend Pierre Morissette, Bishop of Saint-Jérôme, and that of Vice President by Most Reverend Richard Smith, Archbishop of Edmonton.
The two Co-Treasurers will be Most Reverend Paul-André Durocher, Bishop of Alexandria-Cornwall, from the French Sector, who is serving his second term, and Most Reverend Douglas Crosby, O.M.I., Bishop of Corner Brook and Labrador, who is from the English Sector.
The four regional episcopal assemblies in Canada will be represented by Most Reverend Claude Champagne, O.M.I., Bishop of Edmundston, New Brunswick; Most Reverend Eugène Tremblay, Bishop of Amos, Quebec; Most Reverend Ronald P. Fabbro, C.S.B., Bishop of London, Ontario; and Most Reverend Luc Bouchard, Bishop of Saint-Paul, Alberta.
To ensure a balanced sectoral representation on the Permanent Council, two additional members of the English Sector were also elected: Most Reverend J. Michael Miller, C.S.B., Archbishop of Vancouver, and Most Reverend Terrence Prendergast, S.J., Archbishop of Ottawa.
Four ex officio members are automatically members of the Permanent Council: His Eminence Marc Cardinal Ouellet, Archbishop of Quebec City; His Eminence Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte, Archbishop of Montreal; Most Reverend Thomas Collins, Archbishop of Toronto; and Most Reverend Lawrence Huculak, O.S.B.M., Archeparch of Winnipeg and Metropolitan of Ukrainian Catholics in Canada.
The 14 Bishops noted above make up the CCCB Permanent Council until the 2011 Plenary Assembly. (SOURCE:,eng/


CNA reports that Bishop Jose Gea Escolano, who retired from the Spanish Diocese of Mondonedo-Ferrol and is currently a missionary in Peru explained this week that one of his most frequent tasks is hearing confessions each Sunday for “five to six hours...although on some days it has been 10.”
Bishop Gea, 80, recently marked his fourth year as a missionary in the Peruvian Diocese of Carabayllo, where he was sent after retiring from his diocese in Spain, which he served as bishop for 18 years.
He said he hopes to remain working “until the Lord wishes” as a missionary in Peru, “where there is a great shortage of priests” and thus an “urgent need for a greater presence of priests and missionaries.”
Bishop Gea also expressed his concern that families in Peru are suffering, “with marriages that are constantly breaking apart, and thus, with children who grow up without the stable and continual presence of their parents.”
In the Diocese of Carabayllo, Bishop Gea collaborates at the parish of Santa Maria de la Providencia, which has been under the care of Spanish missionaries for the last 16 years. (SOURCE:


CATH NEWS reports that Brisbane's City Council has given the green light for one of the city's largest Churches, a 600 seater to be constructed in suburban Jindalee next year.
Parish finance committee chairman Pat O'Dwyer said the church would call for building tenders next month. Construction is expected to finish by the end of 2010, according to the Courier-Mail.
Mr O'Dwyer was quoted by the Springfield News as saying that Brisbane's St Stephen's Cathedral held 800 seats, but the new infrastructure was needed to accommodate the western corridor's population growth.
"It's quite a large church driven by population, he said. And it draws a lot (of people) from the Springfield direction. The Jindalee church will be a large church but not the largest in southern Queensland."


St. Narcissus
Feast: October 29
Feast Day:
October 29

St Narcissus was born towards the close of the first century, and was almost fourscore years old when he was placed at the head of the church of Jerusalem, being the thirtieth bishop of that see. Eusebius assures us that the Christians of Jerusalem preserved in his time the remembrance of several miracles which God had wrought by this holy bishop, one of which he relates as follows. One year, on Easter-eve, the deacons were unprovided with oil for the lamps in the church, necessary at the solemn divine office that day. Narcissus ordered those who had care of the lamps to bring him some water from the neighbouring wells. This being done, he pronounced a devout prayer over the water; then bade them pour it into the lamps, which they did, and it was immediately converted into oil, to the great surprise of the faithful. Some of this miraculous oil was kept there as a memorial at the time when Eusebius wrote his history. The veneration of all good men for this holy bishop could not shelter him from the malice of the wicked. Three incorrigible sinners, fearing his inflexible severity in the observance of ecclesiastical discipline, laid to his charge a detestable crime, which Eusebius does not specify. They confirmed their atrocious calumny by dreadful oaths and imprecations; one wishing he might perish by fire, another that he might be struck with a leprosy, and the third that he might lose his sight, if what they alleged was not the truth. Notwithstanding these protestations, their accusation did not find credit; and some time after the divine vengeance pursued the calumniators. The first was burnt in his house, with his whole family, by an accidental fire in the night; the second was struck with a universal leprosy; and the third, terrified by these examples, confessed the conspiracy and slander, and by the abundance of tears which he continually shed for his sins, lost his sight before his death.
Narcissus, notwithstanding the slander had made no impression on the people to his disadvantage, could not stand the shock of the bold calumny, or rather made it an excuse for leaving Jerusalem and spending some time in solitude, which had long been his wish. He spent several years undiscovered in his retreat, where he enjoyed all the happiness and advantage which a close conversation with God can bestow. That his church might not remain destitute of a pastor, the neighbouring bishops of the province after some time placed in it Pius, and after him Germanion, who dying in a short time was succeeded by Gordius. Whilst this last held the see, Narcissus appeared again, like one from the dead. The whole body of the faithful, transported at the recovery of their holy pastor, whose innocence had been most authentically vindicated, conjured him to reassume the administration of the diocese. He acquiesced; but afterwards, bending under the weight of extreme old age, made St. Alexander his coadjutor. St. Narcissus continued to serve his flock, and even other churches, by his assiduous prayers and his earnest exhortations to unity and concord, as St. Alexander testifies in his letter to the Arsinoites in Egypt, where he says that Narcissus was at that time, about one hundred and sixteen years old. The Roman Martyrology honours his memory on the 29th of October.
If we truly respect the church as the immaculate spouse of our Lord, we will incessantly pray for its exaltation and increase, and beseech the Almighty to give it pastors according to his own heart, like those who appeared in the infancy of Christianity. And, that no obstacle on our part may prevent the happy effects of their zeal, we should study to regulate our conduct by the holy maxims which they inculcate; we should regard them as the ministers of Christ; we should listen to them with docility and attention; we should make their faith the rule of ours, and shut our ears against the language of profane novelty. (SOURCE:


Luke 13: 31 - 35
At that very hour some Pharisees came, and said to him, "Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you."
And he said to them, "Go and tell that fox, `Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish my course.
Nevertheless I must go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following; for it cannot be that a prophet should perish away from Jerusalem.'
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!
Behold, your house is forsaken. And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, `Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!'"

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