Sunday, October 4, 2009
POPE ON THE CHURCH IN AFRICA
ENGLAND: SOLEMN PROFESSION OF BROTHER LAWRENCE
Brother Lawrence's family and friends had come from as far as the United States, Malaysia, and Singapore to witness him make profession and promise obedience usque ad mortem - until death - as a Dominican friar.
In his homily the Prior Provincial, Fr John Farrell OP, reminded all that Brother Lawrence was entering into the obedience of Christ who was "obedient unto death, even death on a cross". The faith which we had all received in baptism has to be borne out in action and good works, and religious profession was one such way of living out our faith in following Christ.
Hence, the rite of profession began with a prostration in the form of the cross, as Brother Lawrence asked for God's mercy and the mercy of his brothers.
The Schola Gregoriana of Cambridge sang the Propers of the Mass from the Dominican chant books, and a chamber choir, comprised of friends with whom Brother Lawrence had previously sung in various choirs, sang the Ordinary from Haydn's Little Organ Mass and Stanford's Beati quorum via.
The Mass was followed by a reception in the Classics centre of the University of Oxford.
Together with eight of his fellow student-brothers Brother Lawrence will continue with his training for the priesthood in Blackfriars, which is the house of studies of the English Dominican province in Oxford.
CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF AMERICA PRESIDENT WILL STEP DOWN IN 2010
The Vincentian priest was elected as the 14th president of CUA in March 1998, becoming the second youngest president in the school’s history. He is now the school’s second longest serving president.
In April 2008 Fr. O’Connell hosted Pope Benedict XVI at CUA during his pastoral visit to the United States. The event was “the highlight of my academic career,” he said.
He has lived on campus throughout nearly all of his tenure and has been highly visible. He has made a point of interacting with undergraduates through listening to their concerns, accompanying them to events, and visiting them when they are sick, a CUA press release says.
CUA reports that under Fr. O’Connell the school has witnessed “record growth” in enrollments, funding and endowment. He has also overseen construction projects, renovations and the introduction of new technologies in classrooms on campus.
Under his presidency CUA purchased 49 acres of new property on the west side of campus, increasing its size by more than a third.
“That I have had the privilege of serving as the 14th President of The Catholic University of America is an experience that I shall treasure as long as I live,” Fr. O’Connell remarked in his monthly newsletter to the university community.
“As I reflect upon my tenure and service at the helm of the national university of the Catholic Church in our country, I feel a profound sense of gratitude for what we are and have become and what we do — thanks to the dedication, commitment and hard work of so many people here — and for the many lives we have touched in so many ways over the years.”
In his inaugural address, CUA says, Fr. O’Connell committed himself to reinvigorating the school’s Catholic identity, strengthening campus ministry and student life, and pursuing the recruitment of leading faculty who are committed to the university’s mission.
The priest has also made media appearances, giving more than 60 interviews to TV and radio outlets.
Archbishop of Washington Donald W. Wuerl commented that Fr. O’Connell has served “exceptionally well” and remarked that he has renewed Catholic identity on campus while bringing a “high level of academic achievement.”
“I rejoice that he also focused on the quality of student life, promoting the appreciation of students for their faith,” the archbishop said.
Communications strategist and CUA alumnus Edward Gillespie, founder of Ed Gillespie Strategies, called Fr. O’Connell the “most consequential president” in 30 years.
Archbishop of Detroit Allen H. Vigneron, chairman of CUA’s Board of Trustees, said the trustees are “highly indebted” to the outgoing president for his “devoted service.”
“He has achieved notable success in advancing the university's mission of truth as it is known by faith and disclosed to natural reason. He will leave CUA a stronger and more vibrant institution, poised for a great new chapter in its history.”
The Board of Trustees met in Denver earlier this week to discuss strategies to search for a successor. Archbishop Vigneron will chair the search process and will be assisted by fellow trustee Paul Chiapparone of Palm Beach, Florida. The board hopes to have a new president by September 2010.
Fr. O’Connell reported that he is considering several opportunities for the future but has no specific commitments at present.
KENYA: 1 MILLION RAISED @ CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF E. AFRICA
CISA reports that Sh. 1 million was raised to help needy students at this year's Cardinal Otunga's Memorial dinner held at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) on Friday.
The guest speaker at the was Bishop Martin Kivuva of Machakos Diocese who gave a contribution of Ksh 100,000.
In lecturer on ‘Cardinal Otunga, the Communicator,’ Bishop Kivuva said the late cardinal was a strong supporter of education and empowered both women and men. Bishop Kivuva called on people of good will to emulate Otunga and continue supporting the scholarship programme.
Maurice Cardinal Otunga, who passed on in 2003, helped found many educational institutions, including CUEA. The Archdiocese of Nairobi will soon formally launch the cause of his beatification.
INDIA: PRIEST DONATES KIDNEY TO A POOR HINDU
UCAN reports that a Catholic priest has set a rare example by donating his kidney to a Hindu man and at the same time helping to launch a new organization that aims to help kidney patients.
Father Davis Chiramel who
"I could not find a better way to celebrate the Year for Priests than this," the 49-year-old priest told UCA News two days before the operation.
He said his gesture was also aimed at promoting kidney donation among people, besides helping just one poor family.
The priest's organ donation helped launch the Kidney Federation of India that day. The organization aims to promote kidney donation and raise funds to help patients who cannot afford dialysis or transplants.
Chakkamadathil, an electrician, said the Catholic priest came to his rescue at a time when he was "unwillingly" awaiting death.
"I am a poor man and it was impossible for me to afford a kidney transplant," he told UCA News before the surgery.
The father of two sons, aged five and 11, said he was leading a "quite contented life" with his meager income when he contracted a fever in 2007. He received "a rude shock" when doctors at a Catholic hospital told him that both his kidneys had failed.
Since then, Catholics of the Vadanappilly parish have supported his three-times-a-week dialysis treatment.
Father Chiramel said he heard about Chakkamadathil's illness from his parishioners who were trying to raise funds for a kidney transplant. He recalled feeling dejected upon hearing the news and had prayed for many days. He finally decided to help the poor family by donating his kidney.
The priest said he did not want to leave the Hindu man to the mercy of racketeers who charged exorbitant prices for organs.
"But it was a painful decision and many people discouraged me," said the priest, who is also the general secretary of the Accident Care and Transport Services that helps road accident victims.
Nevertheless, he went ahead with his decision and "by the grace of God, all tests showed my kidney was suitable."
Father Chiramel says the kidney donation was a God-given chance to preach through deeds rather than words.
His decision worried parishioners, however, who organized special prayers for his well-being and Chakkamadathil's speedy recovery.
Father Chiramel "is a model for all of us," Lewis Francis Mangan, a parish trustee told UCA News. "The whole parish is behind him because he is doing a great thing."
CARDINAL PELL TALKS ON THE UNIVERSE
Cath News reports that Sydney Archbishop Cardinal George Pell quoted Aristotle, Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein and the astronomer Fred Hoyle, who famously said he believed "the universe is a put-up job", in a speech titled "Without God We Are Nothing".
He said hints of God's presence could be found where physics blurred into philosophy, and that the exact calibration of physical forces that made the universe stable and functional strongly implied a creator.
"All this is too much for blind chance."
Cardinal Pell said evolution was "the best scientific explanation we have at the moment" for the development of life but did not tell the whole story, according to the news report.
For one pain endured with joy, we shall love the good God more forever. St. Terese of Lisieux
St. Francis of Assisi
FOUNDER OF THE FRANCISCAN ORDER
Information: Feast Day: October 4
Born: 1181 or 1182 at Assisi, Umbria, Italy
Died: 3 October 1226 at Assisi, Italy
Canonized: 16 July 1228 by Pope Gregory IX
Major Shrine: Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi, Assisi, Italy
Patron of: against dying alone, against fire, animal welfare societies, animals, Assisi, Italy, birds, Catholic Action, ecologists, ecology, environment, families, Franciscan Order, lacemakers, merchants, needle workers, peace, tapestry workers, zoos
Founder of the Franciscan Order, born at Assisi in Umbria, in 1181 or 1182—the exact year is uncertain; died there, 3 October, 1226. His father, Pietro Bernardone, was a wealthy Assisian cloth merchant. Of his mother, Pica, little is known, but she is said to have belonged to a noble family of Provence. Francis was one of several children. (SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/F/stfrancisofassisi.asp
TODAY'S MASS READINGS
27TH SUN. IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR B
Sirach 50: 1, 3 - 4, 6 - 7
1 The leader of his brethren and the pride of his people was Simon the high priest, son of Onias, who in his life repaired the house, and in his time fortified the temple.
3 In his days a cistern for water was quarried out, a reservoir like the sea in circumference.
4 He considered how to save his people from ruin, and fortified the city to withstand a seige.
Psalms 16: 1 - 2, 5, 7 - 8, 11
1 Preserve me, O God, for in thee I take refuge.
2 I say to the LORD, "Thou art my Lord; I have no good apart from thee."
5 The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; thou holdest my lot.
7 I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.
8 I keep the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
11 Thou dost show me the path of life; in thy presence there is fulness of joy, in thy right hand are pleasures for evermore
6 Like the morning star among the clouds, like the moon when it is full;
7 like the sun shining upon the temple of the Most High, and like the rainbow gleaming in glorious clouds;
Galatians 6: 14 - 18
14 But far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
15 For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.
16 Peace and mercy be upon all who walk by this rule, upon the Israel of God.
17 Henceforth let no man trouble me; for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.
18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen
Matthew 11: 25 - 30
25 At that time Jesus declared, "I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes;
26 yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will.
27 All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."