Monday, August 31, 2009


Catholic world news: Tues. Sept. 1, 2009: headlines-

BENEDICT XVI'S PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR SEPTEMBER VATICAN CITY, 1 SEP 2009 (VIS) - Pope Benedict XVI's general prayer intention for September is: "That the word of God may be better known, welcomed and lived as the source of freedom and joy". His mission intention is: "That Christians in Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar, who often meet with great difficulties, may not be discouraged from announcing the Gospel to their brothers, trusting in the strength of the Holy Spirit".

BXVI-PRAYER INTENTIONS/SEPTEMBER/... VIS 090901 (80) OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS VATICAN CITY, 1 SEP 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed: - Fr. Adel Zaky O.F.M., pastor at Boulacco in Cairo, Egypt and secretary of the Assembly of Catholic Hierarchs in Egypt, as apostolic vicar of Alexandria of the Latins (Catholics 14,298, priests 103, permanent deacons 5, religious 922), Egypt. The bishop-elect was born in Luxor, Egypt in 1947 and ordained a priest in 1972. - Msgr. Jean-Marie Musivi Mpendawatu, official of the Pontifical Council for Healthcare Ministry, as under secretary of the same dicastery.NER/.../ZAKY.MUSIVI VIS 090901 (90)


Director of the Australian Catholic Office for Film and Broadcasting and regular celebrant on Mass For You At Home, Fr Richard Leonard often speaks in a tongue and cheek manner about his frustration that this television program is not recognised by the industry for its long running and durable nature.
Mass For You At Home has been broadcast by the 10 Network since August 1971. The show's basic premise is to allow viewers to participate in a Sunday Mass from their homes. It is viewed by thousands of people across Australia every Sunday and this Mass is repeated on the Aurora Channel on Foxtel twice a day throughout the week.
Mass For You At Home, Channel 10, Sundays at 6pm or check local guides.



CNA reports Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who converted to the Catholic faith a few years ago, addressed participants at the Rimini Meeting in Italy, saying, “The voice of the Church should be heard” and “it should speak confidently, clearly and openly.”
During his speech the former Prime Minister underscored, “Faith and reason are in alliance, not opposition,” and that therefore “the Church can be the insistent spiritual voice that makes globalization our servant not our master.”
After praising the Church’s untiring social work, Blair went on to say, “There is not just room, but a growing space today for organizations of civic society to step forward and do things that neither market nor state can do.”
Blair said his conversion to the Catholic faith was due in part to his wife Cherie. “I began to go to Mass and we went together. We could have gone to the Anglican or Catholic church – guess who won?” he joked.
“As time went on, I had been going to Mass for a long time ... it's difficult to find the right words. I felt this was right for me. There was something, not just about the doctrine of the Church, but of the universal nature of the Catholic Church,” Tony Blair said.
Despite these words, Blair and his wife maintain positions on contraception and gay unions that are contrary to the Church’s teachings.(SOURCE:
CNA reports that the Archdiocese of Havana announced this week that it will open a new seminary in 2010, the first such building project the Church has undertaken in Cuba in the last 50 years.
John Paul II blessed the cornerstone of the seminary during his visit to Cuba in 1998. The construction has been financed by numerous international institutions, including the Knights of Columbus.
The seminary will be able to house 100 candidates for the priesthood and will be inaugurated in 2010 as part of the closing of the Year for Priests.
The new formation center will be named after St. Charles Borromeo and St. Ambrose and will be located in historic downtown Havana. The former seminary will be converted into a cultural center named after Fr. Felix Varela. (SOURCE:


CISA reports that the Archbishop for Bulawayo Diocese, Father Alex Thomas Kaliyanil, is to be ordained on 12 September, at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair show grounds, the Zimbabwe Telegraph has reported.A spokesman for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bulawayo, Father Nigel Johnson, said the event would be attended by eight archbishops from all over the country. The Apostolic Nuncio George Kocherry from Harare will represent Pope Benedict.Fr Thomas was appointed Archbishop for Bulawayo Diocese in June.The Diocese has been led by Fr Martin Schupp who was appointed apostolic administrator after the resignation of Archbishop Ncube in 2007.Archbishop Kaliyanil was born in Chananacherry, in India in 1960. After his ordination to the priesthood in 1988 he served as a Divine Word missionary priest in Zimbabwe.Archbishop Kaliyanil also holds a degree in Economics. Since 2001, he has been the Caritas ex-officio advisor to the Catholic Development Commission and has also served as a diocesan economist.In 2008 Kaliyanil was appointed the regional superior for the Divine Word Missionaries in Zimbabwe.The Catholic Church in Zimbabwe is divided into two metropolitan provinces, Harare and Bulawayo, each with three suffragan in Chinhoyi, Gokwe and Mutare, Gweru, Hwange and Masvingo. The archdiocese of Bulawayo was established on 1 January 1995 and comprises 14 civil districts and is home to 116 000 Catholics, 40 parishes, 87 priests and 11 religious orders.



UCAN reports that the government of Jharkhand has sought the Catholic Church's help to distribute food relief to people reeling from drought in the eastern Indian state. T.P. Sinha (left) seen with Cardinal Telesphore Toppo T.P. Sinha, advisor to Jharkhand Governor K. Sankarnarayanan, met Cardinal Telesphore Placidus Toppo of Ranchi on Aug. 30 to make a formal request for assistance. The government on Aug. 2 declared the entire state drought-affected. Farmers in the state could sow only 20 percent of rice paddy this year because of lack of water, local media reported. People in a drought-hit area are eligible for government aid, free grain, interest-free loans and other assistance. The government has decided to distribute grain to families living below the poverty line and set up grain storage centers. It has also decided to allow women living below the poverty line and self-help groups to run 12,500 new shops to distribute the grain and earn an income. The government said the administration had approved 111.9 million rupees (US$2.38 million) for the project. Sinha, who met the cardinal at the prelate's residence, declined to talk to the media but Cardinal Toppo later told UCA News the government wants to use the Church's vast infrastructure and network in the state. "We are fully devoted in serving the poor. We are only too willing to extend our fullest cooperation to the state," Cardinal Toppo said. The drought has resulted in famine in many areas and has affected even those living above the poverty line. As drought relief is meant only for the very poor, there have been reports of attacks on grain depots and looting in some areas. "The entire state is reeling under drought conditions and we would collaborate with the government to ensure proper distribution of food grains," Cardinal Toppo said. The prelate says the Church would first chalk out "an effective and transparent system" and implement it in collaboration with the government. The state has eight Catholic dioceses and allied organizations engaged in serving the poor. "All our dioceses can be harnessed for this noble job," the cardinal said. He added that he would send out an urgent message and organize a meeting of directors of diocesan social development societies. The Church would then finalize the plan after discussing it with the governor adviser. Father Jaiman Xalxo, director of Ranchi archdiocese's Catholic Charities, says the government move has excited Church workers. "We are very excited to take up this most challenging work," he said. He said the Church people plan to work with Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the social action wing of the American bishops' conference, which is present in the state. "We have been working together with CRS for a long time. It has much experience in the field of relief work," he said. The priest also said the Church would take up the job as soon as the government hands it over officially. (SOURCE:


St. Giles
Feast Day:
September 1
Athens, Greece
Major Shrine:
St. Giles' Cathedral (Edinburgh, Scotland)
Patron of:
beggars; blacksmiths; breast cancer; breast feeding; cancer patients; disabled people; epilepsy; fear of night; forests; hermits; horses; lepers; mental illness; noctiphobics; outcasts; poor peoples; rams; spur makers; sterility;

An Abbot, said to have been born of illustrious Athenian parentage about the middle of the seventh century. Early in life he devoted himself exclusively to spiritual things, but, finding his noble birth and high repute for sanctity in his native land an obstacle to his perfection, he passed over to Gaul, where he established himself first in a wilderness near the mouth of the Rhone and later by the River Gard. But here again the fame of his sanctity drew multitudes to him, so he withdrew to a dense forest near Nîmes, where in the greatest solitude he spent many years, his sole companion being a hind. This last retreat was finally discovered by the king's hunters, who had pursued the hind to its place of refuge. The king [who according to the legend was Wamba (or Flavius?), King of the Visigoths, but who must have been a Frank, since the Franks had expelled the Visigoths from the neighbourhood of Nîmes almost a century and a half earlier] conceived a high esteem for solitary, and would have heaped every honour upon him; but the humility of the saint was proof against all temptations. He consented, however, to receive thenceforth some disciples, and built a monastery in his valley, which he placed under the rule of St. Benedict. Here he died in the early part of the eighth century, with the highest repute for sanctity and miracles.
His cult spread rapidly far and wide throughout Europe in the Middle Ages, as is witnessed by the numberless churches and monasteries dedicated to him in France, Germany, Poland, Hungary, and the British Isles; by the numerous manuscripts in prose and verse commemorating his virtues and miracles; and especially by the vast concourse of pilgrims who from all Europe flocked to his shrine. In 1562 the relics of the saint were secretly transferred to Toulouse to save them from the hideous excesses of the Huguenots who were then ravaging France, and the pilgrimage in consequence declined. With the restoration of a great part of the relics to the church of St. Giles in 1862, and the discovery of his former tomb there in 1865, the pilgrimages have recommenced. Besides the city of St-Gilles, which sprang up around the abbey, nineteen other cities bear his name, St-Gilles, Toulouse, and a multitude of French cities, Antwerp, Bridges, and Tournai in Belgium, Cologne and Bamberg, in Germany, Prague and Gran in Austria-Hungary, Rome and Bologna in Italy, possess celebrated relics of St. Giles. In medieval art he is a frequent subject, being always depicted with his symbol, the hind. His feast is kept on 1 September. On this day there are also commemorated another St. Giles, an Italian hermit of the tenth century (Acta SS., XLI, 305), and a Blessed Giles, d. about 1203, a Cistercian abbot of Castaneda in the Diocese of Astorga, Spain (op. cit. XLI, 308).


Luke 4: 31 - 37
And he went down to Caper'na-um, a city of Galilee. And he was teaching them on the sabbath;
and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word was with authority.
And in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon; and he cried out with a loud voice,
"Ah! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God."
But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be silent, and come out of him!" And when the demon had thrown him down in the midst, he came out of him, having done him no harm.
And they were all amazed and said to one another, "What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out."
And reports of him went out into every place in the surrounding region.


Catholic world news: Mon. Aug. 31, 2009: headlines:



For a second time in just one week Pope Benedict has called for more to be done for the protection of Creation. In his Angelus address yesterday, he particularly encouraged industrialised countries to work together so that the poorest populations are not the ones to bear the heaviest burden for climate change. Pope Benedict was looking towards a conference that opened today at the United Nations in Geneva. René Gommes is a Senior Officer at the UN’s Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization. He said that getting long term forecasts right is key to helping prevent ruined crops and stave of starvation for many poor nations:



The Catholic Herald reports that Archbishop Mario Conti of Glasgow has backed the release on compassionate grounds of the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing.Scottish Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill released Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi from prison last Thursday after doctors said he had prostate cancer and has only months to live. Faced with mounting domestic and international pressure, the Scottish Parliament was recalled on Monday to discuss the matter. Opposition politicians strongly criticised Mr MacAskill's decision, and President Barack Obama also called it a "mistake".Archbishop Conti, however, said that he, and many other Scottish Catholics, "admired the decision to release Abdelbaset al-Megrahi on grounds of compassion", as this was "one of the principles inscribed on the mace of the Scottish Parliament by which Scotland's government should operate".The archbishop said: "The showing of mercy is not a sign of weakness."Indeed, in this situation, with the pressures and circumstances of the case, it seemed to me a sign of manifest strength."Despite the barrage of criticism justice minister Kenny MacAskill has received, the archbishop said he believed the decision ultimately to release Mr Megrahi would "be respected in the international community"."I have been impressed by the expressions of understanding and insight from Dr Jim Swire and other relatives who lost loved ones on the Pan Am flight who have acknowledged both the rightness of the gesture of compassion and their doubts as to the safety of the original conviction," the archbishop said. Like them, the archbishop said, he did not believe the full truth of the Lockerbie bombing had emerged."I would welcome any move which would try to find clearer answers as to what happened and why," he added.The Justice Minister said this week the decision to release the 57-year-old on compassionate grounds was his alone.Prime Minister Gordon Brown denied he had any role in the decision, adding that he was "angry and repulsed" at Libya's welcome home for Mr Megrahi.Mr MacAskill added that Megrahi's release had not been contingent on the Libyan dropping his appeal."In Scotland, we are a people who pride ourselves on our humanity," he said."The perpetration of an atrocity and outrage cannot and should not be a basis for losing sight of who we are, the values we seek to uphold, and the faith and beliefs by which we seek to live."However, Mr MacAskill faced harsh criticism when the Scottish Parliament reconvened to discuss the affair. Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray said the Scottish Executive made the "wrong decision, in the wrong way, with the wrong consequences". Scottish Tory leader Annabel Goldie said Mr MacAskill's decision was not made in the name of Scotland.As we went to press the opposition parties were preparing a motion of censure for Mr MacAskill.Archbishop Conti's comments echoed the words of Canon Patrick Keegans, the Galloway priest who served at Lockerbie when Pan Am flight 103 was blown out of the sky, killing 270 people.Mgr Keegans said: "I am very pleased that the Scottish government has agreed to release Mr Megrahi on compassionate grounds. He is a dying man and the best way to deal with him is in a true and proper fashion as a human being and let him die at home with his family and friends."Mgr Keegans, a parish priest in Lockerbie at the time of the disaster and now the administrator of St Margaret's Cathedral in Ayr, Scotland, said he had befriended many families of the American victims and had presided over the marriage of Kara Weipz of Mount Laurel, New Jersey, whose 20-year-old brother, Richard Monetti, was a Syracuse University student on board the flight."I have been in contact with American families ever since the disaster happened and I admire them very much," Fr Keegans said. "The American families have always known that I believe Megrahi is innocent. They find it hard that I have spoken out for Megrahi and argued that he should be released on compassionate grounds. I have said that irrespective of the guilt he should be released home on compassionate grounds," he added.Fr Keegans, 63, visited Megrahi in prison days after returning from a Lockerbie memorial event in the US in December 2008. "After speaking with him I was more convinced than ever of his innocence," he said. "He spoke about his trial, how the trial had gone and how a UN official observer had said to him three days before the verdict that he was going home. Imagine how he felt when he was convicted."He spoke of his respect for Christianity and how he read the Bible every day and the Koran every day. He spoke of his desire to clear his name. He said: 'I want the tag of the Lockerbie bomber to be removed; I want to clear my name.' "Megrahi, 57, lost his first appeal against conviction and launched a second appeal after a 2007 review of his case by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission found that there might have been a miscarriage of justice.In a statement issued last week, Megrahi maintained his innocence but said he dropped his appeal after he was "faced with an appalling choice: to risk dying in prison in the hope that my name is cleared posthumously or to return home still carrying the weight of the guilty verdict, which will never now be lifted."Canon Keegans said he also believed that Megrahi's decision to drop his appeal to secure a compassionate release meant that the truth about Lockerbie might never be established.Peter Kearney, spokesman for Cardinal Keith O'Brien of St Andrews and Edinburgh, said that "the [Scottish] bishops' conference has not taken a position" on the release of Megrahi. (SOURCE:



CathNews Australia reports that Sacred Heart School Cabramatta, in the Archdiocese of Sydney, is one school benefiting from the Federal Government's investment in schools under its economic stimulus package.
Today The Australian featured an article about a former Sacred Heart primary school Cabramatta student, Jim Zuma (pictured right), who is now working on the school's refurbishment as a result of the funding. He has employed three others and will be hiring two more in coming months.
The report used the men's activities, purchases and routine as an observation on how the local economy is being stimulated.
Sacred Heart Cabramatta received $3 million under the government's primary schools building program, comprising $1.8 million to build a state-of-the-art multi-purpose school hall and $1.2 million to refurbish Mr Zuma's old kindergarten classrooms.

The Catholic Education Office, Sydney, is overseeing almost $300 million worth of building projects in its 147 schools, which project manager Bovis Lend Lease estimates is supporting about 2300 jobs, either by creating new jobs or preventing companies from shedding staff.


CathNews Australia reports that Vietnam will free more than 5000 prisoners as part of an annual prison amnesty program to mark the country's National Day this week, but the government isn't budging on the detention of a dissident priest.
Father Nguyen Van Ly (photo), who was sentenced to eight years in 2007 for anti-government activities after he helped organise a pro-democracy party, would not be released this time for lack of "sincere repentance," Vice Minister of Public Security Le The Tiem was quoted as saying in an Associated Press report published by the Sydney Morning Herald.
Activists and politicians around the globe, including US Senators, have called for Fr Nguyen's release since his incarceration and trial. He was not represented by a lawyer and he was repeatedly silenced during his trial in July, the report said.
An Australian is among 5459 prisoners who will be released by President Nguyen Minh Triet to mark the National Day, which falls on Wednesday.
Others include four from China, one from the United States and two from Canada. The government did not release their names or disclose their crimes.
Also among the number are 794 women and 13 reported "national security offenders", the Vietnam News Agency is qouted reporting by Thanh Nien News.



CISA reports that a Catholic and an Islamic radio stations have signed an accord to air each others programs in order to promote interfaith dialogue, a local missionary has reported.“A priest will speak of the Gospel in an Islamic radio and a Muslim shall speak Islam at a catholic radio,” Fr Davide Sciocco told MISNA.The accord will be a “unique and important aspect for interfaith dialogue” in a country where Muslims represent some 40 percent of the population and Christians 12 to 13 percent,” said the missionary from the Pontifical Institute of Foreign Missions (PIME).According to Fr Sciocco, the two radios, Radio Sol Mansi ‘the risen sun’ and the Quranic school radio in Mansoa, Recom have actually maintained ties for some time; the signed accord gives it a more symbolic and official value.“I’m not sure if this is the first experience of this type but it is surely one of the first. I will refer to the Gospel every time in telling a story. I shall speak addressing a non-Christian audience. Our radio will reciprocate hosting various Recom programs, confirming the space that already gives an imam the chance to discuss Islam to an audience of non-Muslims,” Fr Sciocco said.The goal is to “promote and strengthen interfaith dialogue, already strong in Guinea Bissau as it is; opening to various forms of collaboration, technical and journalistic,” said Fr Sciocco.The PIME missionary said, “If we wish to live together we must learn each other’s faiths very well.”Abubacar Djaló, the director of Recom has confirmed that cooperation, established by a written accord, is in fact the conclusion of a path started a long time ago as he notes some of the basic steps such as the participation of Muslim representatives to a seminar of catechists from the Mansoa catholic mission.However, Fr Sciocco says the experiment also represents a message that appears to be challenging the recently adopted security laws also featured in most European Union (EU) countries in Italy, which do not reconcile dialogue and mutual respect.He concluded, “What we propose is peaceful cohabitation of people of different faiths who want to get to know one another.”



CNA reports that the father of the late Terri Schindler Schiavo, Robert S. Schindler, Sr., died of heart failure on Saturday at the age of 71. He had struggled to save the life of his brain-damaged daughter in 2005, when Terri’s husband successfully sought to remove her feeding tube, causing her death.
In the wake of Terri's death, Robert, with his wife Mary, daughter Suzanne Vitadamo, and son Bobby Schindler, founded the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation in St. Petersburg, Florida. The foundation is dedicated to support other families who must fight for the rights of their disabled or otherwise vulnerable loved ones.
His son issued a statement at his father’s death saying his was “heartbroken” over the loss of his father, but added “I know at this moment he is rejoicing with my sister, Terri.”
“My dad was a man of integrity, character and compassion who was blessed with a close and loving family. He taught all three of his children to respect and value life and to love our fellow man.
“Even at the height of the battle to save my sister Terri’s life, when his patience and temperance was near exhaustion, he managed to display a gentleness of spirit. Yet it was his unfathomable strength that allowed him to shoulder up his own heartache and lead us through our darkest hour.”
“What greater legacy could a man leave behind?” the younger Schindler added.
Fr. Frank Pavone, president of Priests for Life, said Schindler remains “an inspiration.”
“In spite of enduring the heartbreaking, court ordered killing of his daughter, Terry Schiavo, Bob never stopped fighting for the rights of others who were disabled or medically vulnerable. His quiet strength in the face of persecution and his compassion for those who were too weak to defend themselves will forever serve as examples of how we should show Christ's love.”
Wanda Franz, president o f National Right to Life, said his death was a “profound loss” for the pro-life movement.“Today, our thoughts and prayers are with his loving wife, Mary and their children, Bobby and Suzanne.”
A public visitation for Schindler will be held at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church in Southampton, Pennsylvania on September 4 at 10 a.m. A funeral Mass will be held at noon, followed by a private burial service at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Philadelphia.(SOURCE:


St. Raymond Nonnatus
August 31
1204, La Portella, Comarca of Segrià, Catalonia, Kingdom of Aragon
August 31, 1240, Cardona, Province of Barcelona, Catalonia, Kingdom of Aragon
1657, Rome by Pope Alexander VII
Patron of:
Childbirth; children; expectant mothers; falsely accused people; fever; infants; midwives; newborn babies; obstetricians; pregnant women

Born 1200 or 1204 at Portello in the Diocese of Urgel in Catalonia; died at Cardona, 31 August, 1240. His feast is celebrated on 31 August. He is pictured in the habit of his order surrounded by ransomed slaves, with a padlock on his lips. He was taken from the womb of his mother after her death, hence his name. Of noble but poor family, he showed early traits of piety and great talent. His father ordered him to tend a farm, but later gave him permission to take the habit with the Mercedarians at Barcelona, at the hands of the founder, St. Peter Nolasco. Raymond made such progress in the religious life that he was soon considered worthy to succeed his master in the office of ransomer. He was sent to Algiers and liberated many captives. When money failed he gave himself as a hostage. He was zealous in teaching the Christian religion and made many converts, which embittered the Mohammedan authorities. Raymond was subjected to all kinds of indignities and cruelty, was made to run the gauntlet, and was at last sentenced to impalement. The hope of a greater sum of money as ransom caused the governor to commute the sentence into imprisonment. To prevent him from preaching for Christ, his lips were pierced with a red-hot iron and closed with a padlock. After his arrival in Spain, in 1239, he was made a cardinal by Gregory IX. In the next year he was called to Rome by the pope, but came only as far as Cardona, about six miles from Barcelona, where he died. His body was brought to the chapel of St. Nicholas near his old farm. In 1657 his name was placed in the Roman martyrology by Alexander VII. He is invoked by women in labour and by persons falsely accused. The appendix to the Roman ritual gives a formula for the blessing of water, in his honour, to be used by the sick, and another of candles.((SOURCE:


The sickness of a family member, friend or neighbor is a call to Christians to demonstrate true compassion, that gentle and persevering sharing in another’s pain. Pope John Paul II


Matthew 25: 1 - 13
"Then the kingdom of heaven shall be compared to ten maidens who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom.
Five of them were foolish, and five were wise.
For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them;
but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps.
As the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
But at midnight there was a cry, `Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.'
Then all those maidens rose and trimmed their lamps.
And the foolish said to the wise, `Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.'
But the wise replied, `Perhaps there will not be enough for us and for you; go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.'
And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast; and the door was shut.
Afterward the other maidens came also, saying, `Lord, lord, open to us.'
But he replied, `Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.'
Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.