Tuesday, December 22, 2009





- The Holy Father appointed: - As members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Archbishop Edmond Farhat, apostolic nuncio, and Bishop Raffaello Martinelli of Frascati, Italy.

- Msgr. Emmanuel Kerketta, diocesan administrator of Jashpur, India, as bishop of the same diocese (area 6,457, population 743,160, Catholics 188,820, priests 170, religious 343). The bishop-elect was born in Gotmahua, India in 1952 and ordained a priest in 1984.

- Msgr. Mark Davies of the clergy of the diocese of Salford, England, vicar general, as coadjutor of Shrewsbury (area 6,136, population 1,862,000, Catholics 222,000, priests 152, permanent deacons 45, religious 189), England. The bishop-elect was born in Manchester, England in 1959 and ordained a priest in 1984. - As consultors of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops: Msgr. Ermenegildo Manicardi, rector of Rome's Alma Collegio Capranica; Fr. Markus Graulich S.D.B., substitute promoter of justice at the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura; Fr. Godfrey Igwebuike Onah, vice rector of Rome's Pontifical Urban University; Fr. Paul Bere S.J., professor of Old Testament studies and biblical languages at the "Institut de Theologie de la Compagnie de Jesus" and the "Universite Catholique de l'Afrique de l'Ouest" in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, and at the "Hekima College Jesuit School of Theology" in Nairobi, Kenya; Fr. Juan Javier Flores Arcas O.S.B., rector of Rome's St. Anselm Pontifical Athenaeum; Fr. Paolo Martinelli O.F.M. Cap., president of the Franciscan Institute of Spirituality at the Antonianum Pontifical Athenaeum in Rome and professor of dogmatic and spiritual theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, and Fr. Samir Khalil Samir S.J., professor of the history of Arab culture and of Islamic studies at St. Joseph University in Beirut, Lebanon.NA:NER:NEC/.../... VIS 091222 (290)
CNA reports that following the declaration by Pope Benedict XVI that his predecessor John Paul II lived a life of “heroic virtue,” CNA spoke with Carl Anderson, the head of the Knights of Columbus, who is very familiar with the late Pope. According to Anderson, John Paul II's life speaks directly to the problems society confronts today.
Reflecting on the timing of the declaration that the late Pontiff is Venerable, Anderson told CNA, “I think the timing of this declaration should remind us all that suffering is a necessary component of life - something with value that cannot be avoided and shouldn't be feared - especially not to the point of destroying life to eliminate suffering.”
If John Paul II was still alive, he would tell the faithful “to continue the new evangelization of our culture here, by working to create a just society in which the dignity of every human was respected,” the Supreme Knight said.
Asked how he thought Catholics today could work to build the civilization of love called for by John Paul II, Anderson said that they should imitate the late Pope's example of bringing the view point of faith to every issue.
The full interview with Carl Anderson can be read below.
CNA: Could you please explain what this declaration means for those unfamiliar with the process? How long do you think it will be before he is declared a saint?
Anderson: The declaration of venerable means that the Church has found that John Paul lived a life of "heroic virtue." It is an important step forward in his cause for sainthood. The next step would be - after further investigation by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints - would be for him to be declared blessed, which would require among many other things certification of a miracle, then after additional investigation and another certified miracle, he could be declared a saint. I don't think anyone can really predict how quickly this will happen. It's a process, a careful process, that takes time, but certainly things have been moving forward as quickly as is prudent.
CNA: Given the cultural and moral climate of the world, what do you think this says about God's timing for the declaration?
Anderson: I think it's really interesting timing because as the world continues to struggle with issues of suffering, and the dignity of life, John Paul is a reminder to us of a man who championed the dignity of the human person - from conception to natural death and at every moment in between. And in both his life and death he was an unmistakable witness to the Gospel. For one thing, he showed that suffering had meaning by living with it with such joy for decades. He lived a life in the most difficult political and family circumstances imaginable. He saw suffering in World War II, in the death of his mother, father and brother, and in his work -even from a young age - with the sick. I think the timing of this declaration should remind us all that suffering is a necessary component of life - something with value that cannot be avoided and shouldn't be feared - especially not to the point of destroying life to eliminate suffering.
CNA: How did John Paul II's papacy impact the United States and the Church here? What message do you think John Paul II would give to the Church in the U.S. if he were alive today?
Anderson: Even before he was Pope, John Paul II had visited the United States in the 1970s, and had a great understanding of this country. He saw this country before it saw him, and I think that was a very providential thing. In addition, John Paul's several visits to the United States and his call for a new evangelization were important to the United States and more broadly to the "American hemisphere." He considered America a great hope for the Church precisely because it is in this hemisphere that we have "a continent of baptized Christians." It is here - in this hemisphere - that the majority of people in most countries are Catholic, and even in those countries where Catholics are not the majority, like in the United States, they make up a significant minority. But even more important, the Church has remained vibrant here in this hemisphere, while the same cannot be said of Europe. I think John Paul would want us to continue the new evangelization of our culture here, by working to create a just society in which the dignity of every human was respected.
CNA: What was it like to be in John Paul's presence? Was he as jubilant and joyful as he appeared in front of crowds? How did you feel in his presence?
Anderson: When you were with John Paul, you definitely had the sense that you were in the presence of Christ's vicar on earth. For me, and for many others, his holiness was unmistakable, but so was his humanity, his sense of humor, his keen intellect. He was an incredible figure, intellectually, religiously, and personally, and it didn't take much time with him to see that.
CNA: Where do you think John Paul II drew his great hope for society from, despite the history of his own life and the past century?
Anderson: The Catholic Church - as Pope Benedict has pointed out - is based on the hope of constant and continual improvement because our ultimate hope is in God and our union with him in heaven. So we are, and John Paul was par excellence, people of hope. But his hope was also practical. He didn't just hope, he preached that hope and gave humanity a road map to a brighter future through a more just society in which every human person would be respected as a subject not an object based on their inherent human dignity as children of God.
In the end, John Paul had seen the worst of society, Naziism, Communism, etc., but he also understood that there was one thing that survived even in the midst of that oppression: love. Love, in John Paul's mind, was the force that could reshape the world.
CNA: How important is John Paul II's theology of the body for the Church and society?
Anderson: John Paul's theology of the body is very important because it shows the inherent value of marriage and the family as the fundamental building blocks of society. It also gives lay people a theology that is readily adapted and crafted for their own lives. Part of John Paul's brilliant legacy was his involvement of the laity, his empowerment of the laity, his encouragement of the laity to take action in, and evangelize in, the public square - in the sphere that was naturally theirs.
So in an era when marriage and family are under attack from a variety of forces, John Paul's explanation of the importance of both, through his theology of the body, is a great service to those trying to understand what the Church teaches and why. Our bodies, our marriages and our families are not merely for this sphere. They have an eschatological significance that John Paul helps us to properly understand.
With the theology of the body, married couples are empowered to take up their marriages theologically, to see God in the equation and to see the importance of giving to each a very great gift: the total gift of themselves.
CNA: How do you think John Paul II advises building a civilization of love? What should the average Catholic be doing to pursue this?
Anderson: I think many people - especially non-Catholics - tend to see John Paul's legacy as his role in the reshaping of Europe and the fall of Communism. But there is an important lesson there. John Paul was able to help facilitate such an important event precisely because he came to every political problem from the point of view of his faith. His faith was not something he thought should just be lived at home. No, his faith was what informed his every statement, his beliefs in what constituted a just society, his articulation of that belief. He took seriously the precepts of the faith including: "preach to all nations." And then, he led by the example of his own life.
We are called to do the same. To lead by example and bring our Catholic beliefs to bear on the problems we face in public or in private. Like John Paul we must be Catholics in all seasons.

The Catholic Herald reports that the end of the memorable and prayerful Mass for the installation of Archbishop Bernard Longley as Archbishop of Birmingham was the moment when Archbishop Vincent Nichols presented his successor Archbishop Bernard Longley with the crozier of Bishop William Bernard Ullathorne, OSB, first Bishop of Birmingham, 1850-1888, writes Peter Jennings.The Holy See announced on Thursday, October 1, the Feast of St Thérèse of Lisieux, that Pope Benedict XVI had appointed Bishop Bernard Longley, Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster, as the new Archbishop of Birmingham. As he handed him the crozier, Archbishop Vincent Nichols said: "Archbishop Bernard, at the wish of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, you have assumed the pastoral charge of the Church of Birmingham. I hand on to you this crozier, the sign of the shepherd's office and ministry. May the Lord sustain you in your care for the people of the archdiocese." Everyone in the packed St Chad's Cathedral of more than 600 people stood and applauded the newly enthroned Archbishop. The 54-year-old looked resplendent in the vestments of his predecessor, Archbishop Edward IIsley, the second Bishop and the first Archbishop of Birmingham (1888-1921). More than 325 priests from the archdioceses of Birmingham, Westminster, Southwark, and the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton, concelebrated the Mass, together with most of the hierarchy of England and Wales. The Abbot of Pluscarden and St Augustine's Abbey, Ramsgate, were also present. Archbishop Mario Conti of Glasgow represented Cardinal Keith O'Brien, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh. The hierarchy in Ireland were represented by Bishop Noel Treanor of Down and Connor, together with his auxiliary, Bishop Anthony Farquhar. Also present was Bishop Charles Caruana, Bishop of Gibraltar. Among Archbishop Bernard Longley's personal guests were his father, Fred Longley, aged 81, and his sister, Kathleen Lloyd. The civic leaders and ecumenical guests present included the Anglican Bishop of Birmingham, Bishop David Urquhart, and the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Michael Wilkes and the Lady Mayoress.Lord Camoys, Lord in Waiting to the Queen from 1992 to 97 and a Permanent Lord in Waiting since 2000, represented Catholic members of the House of Lords. Archbishop Bernard's hobbies include singing, especially English songs and German lieder. (SOURCE:


CISA reports that Kenyans have been urged to work harder for peace, justice and reconciliation.They were also urged not to take the existing peace in the country for granted.The sentiments were sounded by the Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya, Archbishop Alain Paul Lebeaupin on Sunday, December 20, when he officially closed the week-long family celebrations by Nairobi’s Holy Family Minor Basilica Parish.Under the theme: We are the family of God, hundreds of parishioners thronged the Parish’s large Hall to listen to lectures based on the family, religious life and the church as an institution. Each day had a particular them including; Bible, careers and vocations, Health and Rosary, family values and family fan.Cardinal John Njue said Mass for the congregation on Wednesday, December 15In his homily, the Apostolic Nuncio stressed the need for the Church to continue to centralize the family in its pastoral commitment.“The family is the first Church; hence we should make every effort to have it strengthened in all aspects”, he further stressed that the family remained an effective base for strong Christianity, society as well as the nation.He also recalled that unlike in recent past, Kenya is now witnessing peace.“The challenge for us is to ensure that “our negative past” is not repeated here again”, he further told the congregation.The Apostolic Nuncio was making reference to the post elections violence that had rocked the country after the controversial 2007 general elections.The violence caused a loss of more than 1,000 lives and over 300,000 people internally displaced and property worth millings of shillings, destroyed.(SOURCE:



Cath News reports that parents of Mike Tannous, a 17 year old who died in a car accident, claim that their son is helping heal people through the use of a "mysterious oil" that weeps from his bedroom walls, The Daily Telegraph reports.
"Mike is a messenger between us and God. He has healed so many people," Mrs Lina Tannous said about Mike, who died in September 2006.
The news report said that scientific testing of the oil has failed to identify exactly what it is but that has not stopped hundreds praying at the home.
The Tannous' said their son could be Australia's first male saint. The family was documenting healing that was occuring, the report adds.
"Our boy is a saint. This is him talking to us, talking to other people," he said.
Last year a woman who lived near the Tannous' house was told by doctors she could not have the third child she desperately wanted.
"She came here and prayed... one month later she came with a box of chocolates and said 'Guess what, I am pregnant'," Mike's aunt Susan Sawan said.
Since Pope Benedict XVI confirmed Mother MacKillop's second miracle, scores of people have flocked to the Tannous' house.
And the oil has continued to weep, now appearing on almost every wall of the three-bedroom house, as well as on framed photos

UCAN reports that Catholics have vowed to complete the construction of their chapel following an arson attack by an angry mob that caused thousands of dollars of damage.

St. Albert chapel
The mob attacked workers, destroyed building materials and set equipment and facilities ablaze in the Dec. 17 midnight attack on the unfinished St. Albert chapel building in Bekasi, West Java.
"I heard them shouting: 'Destroy it! Destroy it! Replace the church with mosque!'" a witness, construction worker Slamet, told UCA News.
Christina Maria Rantetana, chairperson of the construction committee, said a crowd of 2,000 men, women and children, some on foot, others on motorbikes and in pick-up trucks, had marched on the church.
"At first I was not suspicious as we had never received any threat before but when (about 200 of them) entered the compound, I immediately called the police," she said.
Police were initially outnumbered, she noted.
The crowd dispersed an hour later after tear gas was used. Twenty-seven people were held for questioning.
By then the mob had stoned construction workers, smashed 2,000 boxes of ceramics and burnt the security gate, a warehouse, the project consultant's office, the committee's office, and a motorbike, Rantetana said.
They also damaged bricks, broke lights and uprooted newly planted trees. No one was injured but damage amounted to around 60 million rupees (US$6,200).

The chapel construction committee’soffice reduced to rubble by arsonists
"When they ransacked the church, I was one of about 100 other workers inside," Slamet recalled. "They stoned us and forced us to leave. We panicked and escaped by scrambling over the seven-meter fence. Some of us suffered minor scratches on legs and arms."
The attacks came out of the blue, said Geovani Baptista Rosi Iwan Setiadi, chairperson of the chapel council. There had been no previous threats to Catholics here nor disruption to the three Masses they hold at various locations every Sunday.
He believed what has happened "will further unite us."
Rantetana said the attackers were not from the neighborhood. Witnesses identified some as members of the Islamic Defenders Front, a radical organization responsible for attacks on Christian facilities elsewhere in Indonesia.
"Even though our chapel was attacked we are not afraid. We will continue the construction of this chapel until its completion," Rantetana said.
St. Albert chapel, part of a mission station under St Michael Parish, is being built at a cost of 15 billion rupees to accommodate a growing number of Catholics in the area.
The building covers 7,000 square meters and is designed to accommodate 2,000 people at any one time. There are at present more than 5,500 Catholics who attend services at the mission station.



St. Chaeremon
Feast: December 22
Feast Day:
December 22

Bishop of Nilopolis, in Egypt. When the sever anti-Christian persecution was instituted by Emperor Trajanus Decius (r. 249-251), Chaeromon was quite elderly. he and several companions fled into the Arabian Desert and were never seen again. The bishop and his companions are listed as martyrs.


Luke 1: 46 - 56
And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
And his mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm, he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts,
he has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree;
he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away.
He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity for ever."
And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home.

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