Tuesday, October 20, 2009





(VIS) - This morning, at the beginning of the Seventeenth General Congregation, a letter from the presidents delegate and the secretary general of the Synod was read out to the assembly. The president delegate on duty was Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and the session was attended by the Pope and 217 Synod Fathers. The text of the Letter is given below: "To the Presidents of the Episcopal Conferences of Sudan, Uganda, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic. "As Synod Fathers, gathered at the Second Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops, we have learned with deep sorrow of the persistent war in the dioceses of the Great Lakes Region, with its consequent destruction, violence and death of innocent people. To avoid being killed, hundreds of thousands of persons have been forced to abandon their homes and seek refuge in adjoining countries in extremely perilous conditions. This war gives rise to the worrisome situation of child-soldiers, orphans, those who are maimed and persons with grave physical and psychological problems. "As Synod Fathers, in solidarity with the president of the Synod, Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI, we wish to express our deepest sentiments of fraternal communion with the bishops of the dioceses involved in this inhuman suffering of innocent peoples. At the same time, we turn to the parties concerned, imploring them to replace at once the language of arms with that of dialogue and negotiation. In dialogue, undertaken in mutual respect and peace, all problems can be solved. War, on the other hand, makes everything more difficult, transforming brothers into enemies. "Strengthened by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Risen Lord Jesus, we, as Synod Fathers, declare the sacred value of every human life. The commandment 'not to kill' is not only apart of the Decalogue, revealed by God and recorded in the Bible, but a law written in the heart of every person who comes into this world. It is not lawful to kill innocent people for whatever reason, whether it be social, political, ethnic, racial or religious. The blood of the innocent cries to heaven for vengeance, to a God Who sooner or later will judge those who have stained their hands with the blood of the poor, who are His chosen ones. "While we are reflecting on reconciliation, justice and peace, we implore, through the intercession of the saints born in Africa, the gift of peace so that justice may come about in those areas where it has been gravely missing, and that hearts may open to the grace of reconciliation with God and neighbour, not only in the Great Lakes Region but in all of Africa. "We entrust our distressed, urgent appeal to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Africa and Comforter of the Afflicted". Following the reading of the Letter, the unified list of fifty-four propositions was presented. The propositions will be consigned to the Holy Father to consider as he writes the post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation. The Synod Fathers also participated in the second vote to elect the members of the ordinary council of the General Secretariat of the Synod. At the end of each ordinary general synodal assembly, the Ordinary Council of the General Secretariat is formed. The Council is comprised of fifteen members; twelve of whom are elected from the Synod, and three designated by the Roman Pontiff. This afternoon the Synod Fathers will meet in language groups to prepare the collective amendments to the propositions.SE/SEVENTEENTH CONGREGATION/... VIS 091020 (610)

NOTE ON ANGLICANS WISHING TO ENTER THE CATHOLIC CHURCH VATICAN CITY, 20 OCT 2009 (VIS) - In a meeting with journalists held this morning in the Holy See Press Office Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia O.P., secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, presented a note on a new measure concerning "Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans entering the Catholic Church". Commenting on the English-language note, which has been published by his dicastery, Cardinal Levada explained how, "with the preparation of an Apostolic Constitution, the Catholic Church is responding to the many requests that have been submitted to the Holy See from groups of Anglican clergy and faithful in different parts of the world who wish to enter into full visible communion. "In this Apostolic Constitution the Holy Father has introduced a canonical structure that provides for such corporate reunion by establishing Personal Ordinariates, which will allow former Anglicans to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of the distinctive Anglican spiritual and liturgical patrimony. Under the terms of the Apostolic Constitution, pastoral oversight and guidance will be provided for groups of former Anglicans through a Personal Ordinariate, whose Ordinary will usually be appointed from among former Anglican clergy. "The forthcoming Apostolic Constitution provides a reasonable and even necessary response to a worldwide phenomenon, by offering a single canonical model for the universal Church which is adaptable to various local situations and equitable to former Anglicans in its universal application. It provides for the ordination as Catholic priests of married former Anglican clergy. Historical and ecumenical reasons preclude the ordination of married men as bishops in both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. The Constitution therefore stipulates that the Ordinary can be either a priest or an unmarried bishop. The seminarians in the Ordinariate are to be prepared alongside other Catholic seminarians, though the Ordinariate may establish a house of formation to address the particular needs of formation in the Anglican patrimony". "The provision of this new structure is consistent with the commitment to ecumenical dialogue, which continues to be a priority for the Catholic Church, particularly through the efforts of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. The initiative has come from a number of different groups of Anglicans" who, said Cardinal Levada, "have declared that they share the common Catholic faith as it is expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and accept the Petrine ministry as something Christ willed for the Church. For them, the time has come to express this implicit unity in the visible form of full communion". The cardinal further indicated that "it is the hope of the Holy Father Benedict XVI that the Anglican clergy and faithful who desire union with the Catholic Church will find in this canonical structure the opportunity to preserve those Anglican traditions precious to them and consistent with the Catholic faith. Insofar as these traditions express in a distinctive way the faith that is held in common, they are a gift to be shared in the wider Church. The unity of the Church does not require a uniformity that ignores cultural diversity, as the history of Christianity shows. Moreover, the many diverse traditions present in the Catholic Church today are all rooted in the principle articulated by St. Paul in his letter to the Ephesians: 'There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism'. "Our communion", the cardinal added in conclusion, "is therefore strengthened by such legitimate diversity, and so we are happy that these men and women bring with them their particular contributions to our common life of faith". In a joint declaration on the same subject, Catholic Archbishop Vincent Gerard Nichols of Westminster and Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury affirm that the announcement of the Apostolic Constitution "brings to an end a period of uncertainty for such groups who have nurtured hopes of new ways of embracing unity with the Catholic Church. It will now be up to those who have made requests to the Holy See to respond to the Apostolic Constitution", which is a "consequence of ecumenical dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. "The on-going official dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion provides the basis for our continuing co-operation", the declaration adds. "The Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) and International Anglican Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM) agreements make clear the path we will follow together. "With God's grace and prayer we are determined that our on-going mutual commitment and consultation on these and other matters should continue to be strengthened. Locally, in the spirit of IARCCUM, we look forward to building on the pattern of shared meetings between the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales and the Church of England's House of Bishops with a focus on our common mission".CDF/ANGLICANS CATHOLICS/LEVADA VIS 091020 (820)

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS VATICAN CITY, 20 OCT 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father: - Accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Boston, U.S.A., presented by Bishop Francis X. Irwin, in accordance with canons 411 and 401 para. 1 of the Code of Canon Law. - Accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the diocese of Tarnow, Poland, presented by Bishop Wladyslaw Bobowski, in accordance with canons 411 and 401 para. 1 of the Code of Canon Law. - Appointed Msgr. Andrzej Jez of the clergy of the diocese of Tarnow, Poland, pastor of the parish of St. Margaret at Nowy Sacz, as auxiliary of Tarnow (area 7,566, population 1,125,753, Catholics 1,118,847, priests 1,395, religious 1,248). The bishop-elect was born in Limanowa, Poland in 1963 and ordained a priest in 1988.RE:NEA/.../IRWIN:BOBOWSKI:JEZ VIS 091020 (140)



CNA reports that the Office of Human Rights of the Archdiocese of Guatemala denounced the murders of over 400 children between January and September of this year, and called for an end to the “culture of violence and intolerance for personal integrity” that is affecting the country.
According to a report published by the Efe news agency, “of the 400 children killed between January and September, 52 percent died from gunshot wounds.” The figure represents an increase from 2008 when “493 children were killed.”
During the first nine months of 2009, “an average of 1.46 deaths of children occurred each day, very similar to the 1.5 that occurred during the same period in 2008,” the newspaper reported.
A spokesman from the archdiocesan human rights office, Carlos Chacon, said these numbers “represent a ‘discouraging’ outlook because children ought to be in schools and not on the streets.”
According to officials, there is an average of 17 murders each day, most attributed to youth gangs and organized crime related to the drug trade. (SOURCE:



CNA reports that Bishop Jesus Sanz Montes of Huesca in Spain has called the new law on abortion being promoted by the Zapatero administration “chauvinist and unjust.” He added that calling abortion a “right” is “a venomous source of immorality and injustice that mars the entire law.”
In a pastoral letter, Bishop Sanz criticized the government for its demagoguery and half-truths, which are so laughable as to not merit a response “were it not for the fact that the human life of an innocent human being is in question.”
He also warned against the “economic agenda of abortion clinics and laboratories that are ‘marketing’ abortion pills” and against politicians who wink and nod at so-called progress in order to obtain political benefits and social status, while turning a blind eye to issues such as the economic crisis, corruption and loss of prestige at the international level.
“Abortion has a profound effect upon women, who would otherwise not be given the time of day by pro-abortion lawmakers who vote to provide funding for the nonsense that takes place in laboratories and clinics,” the bishop said.
“It is a suicidal killing in which the unborn baby dies and the mother begins her long and terrible agony,” he added. (SOURCE:



UCAN reports that Cardinal Oswald Gracias has reassured Indians that the Catholic Church is not like a political party that seeks to increase its numbers to wield greater power. Rather, its task is to serve society.

Cardinal Oswald Gracias (center), Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana (left) and Cardinal Telesphore Toppo of Ranchi (extreme right) lead the concluding Mass
The Church "does not seek power and prestige," the cardinal-archbishop of Bombay said on Oct. 18 in his homily during the concluding Mass of the first Indian Mission Congress. "She does not seek an increase in numbers just for greater influence," he stressed.
Some 1,500 delegates from the country's 160 dioceses attended the five-day congress titled Prabhu Yesu Mahotsav (Lord Jesus grand festival) in Mumbai, formerly called Bombay.
Apart from Catholics, hundreds of people from various Christian denominations and some Hindus were among those present at the Mass, a public affair open to media. The Church leader's remarks were reported on the Internet, and several videos of the proceedings can be seen on YouTube.
Cardinal Gracias, president of the congress's organizing committee and First Vice President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India, acknowledged that some Indians fear the Church aims to convert people to Christianity.
Some states in India want laws to stop "forced" conversions, he pointed out. "Our answer to them is that there is no need for your anti-conversion laws. The Catholic Church does not believe in forced conversions."
The prelate added that any "forced" conversion would be "meaningless, because conversion is a transformation of heart -- a turning to God, for us Christians a turning to Jesus Christ."

About 1,500 delegates from across India attended the congress
The Church official urged Hindus not to feel threatened by the Church or its activities. The Catholic Church, he explained, wants to make the world a better place as directed by Christ. "We tell you that we serve because we were told to do so by Jesus, who was sent by God to bring love, peace and harmony into the world."
Describing the anti-Christian violence in 2008 in the eastern Indian state of Orissa as "a bad dream," the cardinal commended the victims for forgiving their offenders, as Christ taught.
The entire Church supports the Christians in Orissa and feels edified by stories of their heroic martyrdom, he continued. "The Church of India is with you," he told the delegates from Orissa.
Cardinal Gracias urged the Orissa government and other states where Christians have faced violence not to forget their constitutional duty to protect all minorities.
Father Joaquim Fernandes, media convener for the congress, said the delegates joined Hindus to celebrate Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, on Oct. 17.
That evening, the delegates "lit their candles from one big lamp, and the entire venue was filled beautifully with little lights," he shared.


CISA reports that the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) has called for enactment of minimum constitutional reforms for fear that the country would not have a new constitution by 2012 and to avoid a slide into anarchy.Religious leaders from the protestant organization NCCK issued a statement on October 14, calling for minimum reforms that they believe would act as a buffer to ensure stability, free and fair elections.“Today the enactment of a new constitution remains an essential peace factor that is critical in the lives of Kenyans,” the religious said in the statement signed by General Secretary Peter Karanja and Chairman Charles Kibicho.The leaders expressed their distrust over the ability by the Committee of Experts (CoE) to enact a new constitution by 2012 and warned of a resounding rejection of the draft constitution.They said the prospects of a new constitution were slowly diminishing and the country risks sliding back towards a repeat of the violence that took place in 2007 in which over 1000 were people killed and 360, 000 displaced.Concerning impunity the leaders made a petition to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate and prosecute the masterminds of the post election violence and called upon the Kenyan government to pass the bill seeking to establish a local tribunal.“These two prongs will enable Kenyans deal with impunity decisively. On our part, NCCK will support the ICC and local tribunal in their investigations whenever called upon,” they reiterated.They urged Kenyans to push for stabilization amendments to the current constitution to ensure that key governance institutions are functional and effective and the exposure of the nation is minimized.The NCCK calls comes barely two days after the Kenya Christian Constitutional Forum (KCCF) called for the resignation of the CoE chairman Nzamba Kitonga and the entire team for blocking the birth of a new constitution.Kenyans have been pushing or a new constitution for more than twenty years.


Cath News reports that John Borserio, the director of Catholic Education in Toowoomba says he sees no reason why teachers need to strike next week, while Brisbane Catholic Education said none of its 133 schools would be hit by a strike.
The head of Catholic Education in the far north, Dr Bill Sultmann, says he expects only a small number of teachers in his area to go on strike, ABC reports.
"I am really disappointed with the Independent Education Union in going this way," Mr Borserio was quoted as saying by the ABC.
"The benchmark for salary levels in Catholic schools has always been that of our colleagues in Education Queensland - we have a strong relationship with EQ and the Minister in providing quality education outcomes right across the state."
Mr Borserio said the action "has the potential to disrupt teaching and learning in 32 of our schools in one day," and is asking the teaching staff to reconsider.
"I'm hopeful that schools will not close. The worst case scenario will that there would be supervised study," Dr Bill Sultmann said about the schools in the far north.
"There will be no strike action in Brisbane Catholic Education schools," said Executive Director of Brisbane Catholic Education, David Hutton.
Mr Hutton said only 37 percent of teachers in Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) schools voted in favour of strike action in support of a union claim for a pay rise greater than the 4.5 percent already awarded to teachers in BCE schools.
"We have shown respect for the right of employees to vote, and only 37 percent of the teachers and 29 percent of the support staff who were eligible to vote ended up supporting the union's plan to strike," Mr Hutton said.
"I thank our staff for not sacrificing the education of our students for the sake of an unnecessary and pointless strike in these difficult financial times."
The proposed strike is scheduled for October 28.


St. Irene
Feast: October 20
Feast Day:
October 20

A nun of Portugal who is especially revered in Santarem. She is considered by scholars to be identical to Irene (f.d. April 5), despite the considerable differences in years between the accounts of their lives.


Luke 12: 35 - 38
"Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning,
and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the marriage feast, so that they may open to him at once when he comes and knocks.
Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes; truly, I say to you, he will gird himself and have them sit at table, and he will come and serve them.
If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those servants!




VATICAN CITY, 17 OCT 2009 (VIS) - The Sixteenth General Congregation of the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops was held this morning in the presence of the Holy Father. During the session, the draft of the final message was presented and discussed, and a first round of voting for members of the post-synodal council took place. The session was attended by 212 Synod Fathers, and the president delegate on duty was Cardinal Theodore-Adrien Sarr, archbishop of Dakar, Senegal. No General Congregation will be held this afternoon, or on Sunday and Monday. The relator general, the special secretaries and the realtors of the working groups (or language groups) will meet to unify the proposals presented by the Synod Fathers.SE/SIXTEENTH CONGREGATION/... VIS 091019 (130)

MUSIC CAN BECOME PRAYER VATICAN CITY, 17 OCT 2009 (VIS) - This evening in the Paul VI Hall, the Holy Father attended a concert by the International Piano Academy of Imola, Italy, marking twenty years since its foundation. The Chinese pianist Jin Ju, using seven pianofortes from different historical periods, played pieces by Bach, Scarlatti, Mozart, Czerny, Beethoven, Chopin, Tchaikovsky and Liszt. At the end of the concert the Pope expressed his thanks to the academy and to the pianist, who "enabled us to savour ... the emotional impact of the music she played". "This concert has, once again, given us the chance to appreciate the beauty of music, a spiritual and therefore universal language, and hence the appropriate vehicle for understanding and union between individuals and peoples. Music forms part of all cultures and, we could say, accompanies all human experiences, from suffering to pleasure, from hatred to love, from sadness to joy, from death to life". Benedict XVI then highlighted how "over the centuries and the millennia music has always been used to give form to what cannot be expressed with words, because it arouses emotions otherwise difficult to communicate. It is, then, no coincidence that all civilisations have given importance and value to music in its various forms and expressions. "Music, great music", he added in conclusion, "distends the spirit, arouses profound emotions and almost naturally invites us to raise our minds and hearts to God in all situations of human existence, the joyful and the sad. Music can become prayer".BXVI-CONCERT/MUSIC/IMOLA ACADEMY VIS 091019 (260)

WORLD MISSION DAY: SOLIDARITY WITH YOUNG CHURCHES VATICAN CITY, 18 OCT 2009 (VIS) - World Mission Day, which falls on the third Sunday of October, provided the theme for the Pope's remarks before praying the Angelus today. The Holy Father told the thousands of faithful gathered at noon in St. Peter's Square that today represents, "for all ecclesial communities and for each Christian, a powerful call to commit themselves to announcing and bearing witness to the Gospel to everyone, especially to people who do not yet know it". "It is the light of the Gospel that guides peoples on their journey and leads them towards the realisation of the one great family, in justice and peace, under the paternity of the one good and merciful God", he said. "The Church exists to announce this message of hope to all humankind which in our time 'has experienced marvellous achievements but which seems to have lost its sense of ultimate realities and of existence itself'". On this Sunday "the Universal Church places the spotlight on her own missionary vocation. Guided by the Holy Spirit she knows she is called to continue the work of Jesus Himself, announcing the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, which is 'righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit'. This Kingdom is already present in the world as a force for love, freedom, solidarity, and respect for the dignity of all mankind; and the ecclesial community feels in its heart the urgent need to work so the sovereignty of Christ may be fully achieved". Benedict XVI then went on to mention "the missionaries - priests, religious and lay volunteers - who consecrate their lives to taking the Gospel into the world, facing discomforts and difficulties, sometimes even full-on persecutions. My thoughts go out to, among others, Fr. Ruggero Ruvoletto, a 'fidei donum' priest killed recently in Brazil, and to Fr. Michael Sinnot, a religious kidnapped a few days ago in the Philippines. And how can we not think of what is emerging from the Synod of Bishops for Africa in terms of extreme sacrifice and love for Christ and for His Church?" The Pope then thanked the Pontifical Missionary Works for their service "in encouraging and educating missionaries". And he concluded: "I invite all Christians to make a gesture of material and spiritual support to help the young Churches in the poorest countries".ANG/WORLD MISSION DAY/... VIS 091019 (400)

CHRISTIAN VALUES CONTINUE TO MOULD EUROPEAN CIVILISATION VATICAN CITY, 19 OCT 2009 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father received the Letters of Credence of Yves Gazzo, head of the delegation to the Holy See of the Commission of the European Communities. In his address, the Pope referred to the values of the European Union which, he said, "are the fruit of a long and complex history in which, it cannot be denied, Christianity has played a primordial role. The equal dignity of all human beings, the freedom of expression of faith as the basis of all other civil liberties, peace as a decisive element of the common good, human development (intellectual, social and economic) as a divine vocation and the sense of history deriving therefrom, are all central elements of the Christian revelation that continues to mould European civilisation". "When the Church mentions the Christian roots of Europe", the Holy Father went on, "she does not seek a privileged status for herself. She wishes to enact historical memory, first and foremost by recalling a truth which is suffering ever greater neglect: the decisively Christian inspiration of the founding fathers of the European Union". Furthermore, "she wishes to make it clear that the legacy of values comes chiefly from Christian heritage, which continues to nourish Europe today". "These values are not some anarchic or random assembly, rather they form a coherent whole which is historically ordered and regimented on the basis of a precise view of mankind". The Holy Father then went on to highlight the risk of such values being "manipulated by individuals and pressure groups who seek to make their particular interests prevail to the detriment of an ambitious collective project, which is what Europeans hope to see and which aims at the common good of all inhabitants of the continent, and of the whole world". "It is important", he went on, "that Europe does not allow her model of civilisation to fray, thread by thread. Her generosity must not be stifled by individualism or utilitarianism. The immense intellectual, cultural, economic riches of the continent will continue to bear fruit so long as they are nourished by a transcendental view of human beings, which is the greatest treasure of European heritage". "This mainly involves the search for a just and delicate balance between economic efficiency and social needs, the protection of the environment and, above all, the indispensable and necessary support for human life from conception to natural death, and for the family founded on marriage between a man and a woman". Europe will not truly be itself, said the Holy Father, "if she does not conserve the originality which constitutes her greatness and which tomorrow may make her one of the main players in promoting the integral development of peoples, something the Catholic Church considers as being the only possible way to remedy the imbalances of our world". Benedict XVI assured the new head of delegation that the Holy See "follows the activities of European institutions with great respect and attention, and hopes that, with their work and creativity, they may honour Europe which, more than a continent, is a 'spiritual home'". "The Church", he concluded, "wishes to 'accompany' the construction of European unity. For this reason she takes the liberty of recalling the fundamental and constituent values of European society, that they may be promoted for the good of everyone".CD/LETTERS CREDENCE/UE:GAZZO VIS 091019 (570)

AUDIENCES VATICAN CITY, 19 OCT 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences: - Archbishop Renzo Fratini, apostolic nuncio to Spain and to the Principality of Andorra, and permanent observer to the World Tourism Organisation. - Muammer Dogan Akdur, ambassador of Turkey, on his farewell visit. - Fausto Cordovez Chiriboga, ambassador of Ecuador, on his farewell visit.AP/.../... VIS 091019 (60)

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS VATICAN CITY, 19 OCT 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Paul D. Etienne of the clergy of the archdiocese of Indianapolis, U.S.A., vice rector of the Bishop Brute Seminary and pastor of the parish of St. Paul in Tell City, as bishop of Cheyenne (area 252,552 population 515,000, Catholics 52,203, priests 61, permanent deacons 20, religious 35), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Tell City, U.S.A. in 1959 and ordained a priest in 1992. On Saturday 17 October it was made public that the Holy Father appointed as members of the Congregation for Bishops Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.NER:NA/.../ETIENNE:CANIZARES:BURKE VIS 091019 (130)


ASIA NEWS reports that the figure emerged during the celebration of World Mission Day. In Vietnam, this year, the celebration is intertwined with preparations for the Jubilee of 350 years of the Church in the country and 60th anniversary of the institution of the Episcopal Conference. And the Redemptorists mark 40 years of their mission in the highlands. Ho Chi Minh City (AsiaNews) – Last year 30 thousand Vietnamese from the Central Highlands (Montagnards) were baptized and 20 thousand others are preparing to become Catholics. The data was emphasized by the Bishop of Kontum, Michael Hoang Duc Oanh, at the World Mission Day. “It is the work of the Holy Spirit – he tells AsiaNews - with the sincere participation and contribution of so many people". Since 1926, Pope Pius XI urged all churches to encourage missionary activity. Benedict XVI, in his message for the Day, reiterated that mission is the fundamental task of the Church. "I remind all Churches, old and young, that God called them to be the 'salt of the earth' and 'light of the world'. I urge them to proclaim the Good News of Jesus to everyone everywhere in the world. You must consider the mission to non-Catholics as the primary pastoral commitment". This has a particular value now in Vietnam, where the Church is preparing to celebrate its Jubilee for over 350 years of mission (1659-2009) and the 50th anniversary (1960-2010) of the creation of the Conference of Bishops. Recently, at the second annual meeting of bishops in the diocese of Xuan Loc, in a pastoral letter the bishops wrote that "the Jubilee of 2010 is an opportunity to render all Vietnamese participants in the joy of faith. To achieve this, we need the faith and cooperation of all members of the Church". In this period the Redemptorists are also celebrating 40 years of their mission in the highlands. They have been present there since 1969. A celebration was held last Sunday at the missionary Centre of the Diocese of Kontum Pleikly. 5 thousand of faithful were present drawn from five missionaries centres, mostly ethnic J'rai and Banari (see photo). The mass was celebrated by Bishop Michael Hoang Duc Oanh, partly in Vietnamese and partly in the J'rai language. (SOURCE:


CISA reports that the Church has been called to introduce reconciliation, justice and peace training in formation and pay serious attention in the design of formation in order to produce religious who can be true witnesses to reconciliation, justice and peace.Speaking at the Africa Synod, Bishop Tesfaselassie Medhin of Adigrat, Ethiopia said, “The formation programmes of the major seminaries and houses of religious formation should introduce training of resource personnel in service to reconciliation, justice and peace, who could render their services at the national, regional and continental levels as need be.”“Use our higher learning institutes by establishing a faculty which develops and integrates into its modules the best practices and most effective African cultural ways of reconciliation mechanisms,” Bishop Medhin reiterated.He said, “I have not noticed enough attention accorded to formation which is a fundamental subject to the Church in Africa as she renders her service to Reconciliation, Justice and Peace, as "... the salt of the earth ...and the light of the world.”“The Church carries out her mission through her structures and institutions, and most basically through bishops, priests, religious men and women, catechists and the lay faithful who, at their respective levels, have to play the role of guides and models in Christian communities as "reconcilers", "just persons," "peace makers," the bishop said.The bishop said that priestly formation work is crucial for this objective to be realized.“We must therefore ensure that the formation we give to our future priests and agents of evangelization helps them be cognizant of the challenges, self-confident, balanced and mature ministers who could stand against and through the serious turbulences of the time,” He added. (SOURCE:



CNA reports that in a statement released last Friday, as Peru's Congress debated a new law that would legalize abortion in some cases, the Peruvian Bishops’ Conference called on lawmakers to always defend life. The prelates also reminded them that the defense of the unborn “should not allow for any exceptions or doubts of any kind.”
In their statement, the bishops underscored that “the Universal Declaration of Human Rights decidedly opts for the defense of life. Our current constitution also recognizes and protects human life from its beginning: conception.”
They went on to note that there should not be any room for exceptions or doubts when protecting the unborn. “From conception, life begins to develop and should not be interrupted for any reason. The value of life and its defense from the moment of conception cannot be altered without causing very serious harm to the most genuine commitment to the human being and his rights.”
“Thus we affirm that there is no situation or human difficulty that authorizes the killing of an innocent child. If the unborn are denied their right to life,” the bishops continued, “we fall into the very serious risk of losing the coherence that our legal order must have.”
The bishops called on all Peruvians to unite in defense of human life without political or religious calculations. We must demand that no cruel and evil laws be passed that authorize the elimination of the most defenseless of beings.”
They also warned against manipulating the feelings of people, especially women, by exaggerating difficult cases in order to justify the crime of abortion, “which is the killing of a defenseless, innocent person.”
The bishops then called on doctors to be faithful to the Hippocratic oath to defend life. The lives of pregnant women and their unborn children deserve protection and care because all human beings, born or unborn, possess the same dignity and the same value.”
“We call on those who have the grave political duty to legislate on these matters and ask that out of respect for scientific truth” and in protection of a value upon which the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is based, “ they might have the courage to always defend life in all circumstances, as it is a gift God has given to humanity.”(SOURCE:



CNA reports that organizers estimate that two million Spaniards took part in the March for Life on October 17 in the Spanish capital of Madrid to express opposition to a new abortion law proposed by the government of President Jose Luis Rodriquez Zapatero.
Former Spanish President Jose Maria Aznar, as well as a number of officials from his administration, were present at the event as were representatives from various religious organizations.
No Catholic bishops were in attendance.
The march began at 5 p.m. under a sunny Madrid sky, as the large crowd walked from the Puerta del Sol to the famous Puerta de Alcala carrying signs, banners, balloons and flags.
Organizers called on participants to donate one euro each to help cover the more than 130,000 euros needed to organize the march.
The massive crowd gathered at the Puerta de Alcala to listen to music and speakers, including reporter Javi Nieves, who called the march “the largest protest in the history of Spain.” Mexican actor Eduardo Verastegui addressed the crowd as well, and a period of silence was observed in memory of the victims of abortion.
The manifesto of the march, read by three pro-life leaders, urged the government to withdraw its plans to reform the country’s abortion laws, which would leave “the two victims of abortion completely unprotected: the unborn child, who would lack all legal protection, and the woman, doomed to abortion without any possible alternatives.”
Organizers said the new law “would deprive women of their right to maternity,” “would do nothing to avoid abortions and would quantitatively expand the immense failure that abortion always represents.” (SOURCE:



Students from Melbourne's St Bernard's College and Xavier College have each landed in trouble over alleged stealing, unruly behaviour and pranks at the end of the school year.

Some 60 students from St Bernard's College on a night out to mark finishing school were being unruly at a number of local hotels, Moone Valley police were quoted saying by The Age.
A group of them were allegedly caught on CCTV footage stealing food and drinks from a service station.
St Bernard's College principal Tony Paatsch said the school had been able to identify some of the boys involved and passed their names on to police.
"Possible sanctions include counselling, exclusion from official end of year functions and refusing students permission to sit their exams at the College," Mr Paatsch said.
Separately, Xavier College principal Chris Hayes told reporters nine students had been suspended for throwing water bombs and eggs, as part of an end of year prank, from cars at Scotch College and a Loreto Mandeville Hall Toorak student in Malvern, in Melbourne's east, The Age said.
"The class of 2009 has been an excellent one and we are bitterly disappointed that this has happened," he said.
Last year, the entire year 12 group was suspended over muck up day pranks.
Emerging Sydney Swans talent Dan Hannebery was confirmed as one of this year's suspended Xavier year 12 students.
The Sydney Swans said in a statement the club had discussed the incident with Hannebery and would not be taking any further action, and that it "supports the stance taken by Xavier College."



St. Paul of the Cross
Feast: October 19
Feast Day:
October 19
January 3, 1694, Ovada, Piedmont, Duchy of Savoy (now modern-day Italy)
October 18, 1775, Church of SS. Giovanni e Paolo, Rome
29 June 1867, Rome by Pope Pius IX
Major Shrine:
Church of SS. Giovanni e Paolo, Rome

Paul Francis Daneii, born at Ovada, Genoa, Italy, 3 January, 1694; died in Rome, 18 October, 1775.
His parents, Luke Danei and Anna Maria Massari, were exemplary Catholics. From his earliest years the crucifix was his book, and the Crucified his model. Paul received his early education from a priest who kept a school for boys, in Cremolino, Lombardy. He made great progress in study and virtue; spent much time m prayer, heard daily Mass, frequently received the Sacraments, faithfully attended to his school duties, and gave his spare time to reading good books and visiting the churches, where he s p e n t much time before the Blessed Sacrament, to which he had an ardent devotion. At the age of fifteen he left school and re turned to his home at Castellazzo, and from this time his life was full of trials. In early manhood he renounced the offer of an honorable marriage; also a good inheritance left him by an uncle who was a priest. He kept for himself only the priest's Breviary.
Inflamed with a desire for God's glory he formed the idea of instituting a religious order in of the Passion. Vested in a black tunic by the Bishop of Alessandria, his director, bearing the emblem of our Lord's Passion, barefooted, and bareheaded, he retired to a narrow cell where he drew up the Rules of the new congregation according to the plan made known to him in a vision, which he relates in the introduction to the original copy of the Rules. For the account of his ordination to the priesthood, of the foundation of the Congregation of the Passion, and the approbation of the Rules, see PASSIONISTS. After the approbation of the Rules and the institute the first general chapter was held at the Retreat of the Presentation on Mount Argentaro on 10 April, 1747. At this chapter, St. Paul, against his wishes, was unanimously elected first superior general, which office he held until the day of his death. In all virtues and in the observance of regular discipline, he became a model to his companions. "Although continually occupied with the cares of governing his religious society, and of founding everywhere new houses for it, yet he never left off preaching the word of God, burning as he did with a wondrous desire for the salvation of souls" (Brief of Pius IX for St. Paul's Beatification, 1 Oct., 1852). Sacred missions were instituted and numerous conversions were made. He was untiring in his Apostolic labours and never, even to his last hour, remitted anything of his austere manner of life, finally succumbing to a severe illness, worn out as much by his austerities as by old age.
Among the distinguished associates of St. Paul in the formation and extension of the congregation were: John Baptist, his younger brother and constant companion from childhood, who shared all his labours and sufferings and equaled him in the practice of virtue; Father Mark Aurelius (Pastorelli), Father Thomas Struzzieri (subsequently Bishop of Amelia and afterwards of Todi), and Father Fulgentius of Jesus, all remarkable for learning, piety, and missionary zeal; Venerable Strambi, Bishop of Macerata and Tolentino, his biographer. Constant personal union with the Cross and Passion of our Lord was the prominent feature of St. Paul's sanctity. But devotion to the Passion did not stand alone, for he carried to a heroic degree all the other virtues of a Christian life. Numerous miracles, besides those special ones brought forward at his beatification and canonization, attested the favour he enjoyed with God. Miracles of grace abounded, as witnessed in the conversion of sinners seemingly hardened and hopeless. For fifty years he prayed for the conversion of England, and left the devotion as a legacy to his sons. The body of St. Paul lies in the Basilica of SS. John and Paul, Rome. He was beatified on 1 October, 1852, and canonized on 29 June, 1867. His feast occurs on 28 April. The fame of his sanctity, which had spread far and wide in Italy during his life, increased after his death and spread into all countries. Great devotion to him is practiced by the faithful wherever Passionists are established.

St. Isaac Jogues
Feast: October 19
Feast Day:
October 19
January 10, 1607, Orléans, France
October 18, 1646, Auriesville, New York
29 June 1930, Rome, Italy by Pope Pius XI
Major Shrine:
National Shrine of the North American Martyrs, Auriesville, New York, USA

The labors of the Jesuit and Franciscan missionaries in the New World form an important chapter in the history of the Church and of the Western Hemisphere. These missionaries were for the most part men of culture and learning, carefully chosen and rigorously trained. Many of them gave up important careers in the Church to endure the dangers and privations of the wilderness. In New France, as Canada was then called, where Isaac Jogues spent his missionary years, their lot was hardship, disease, solitude, and, not infrequently, torture or violent death. The perils of forest and trail, the intense cold, the wretched food and verminous huts of the Indians, changed them, after a few years, into haggard old men; yet their spirits remained undaunted, strengthened as they were by an indomitable faith. What the American historian, Francis Parkman, in , wrote of Father Brebeuf, Jesuit leader in Canada, applies almost equally to the other members of this noble band: "His was the ancient faith uncurtailed, redeemed from the decay of centuries, kindled with new life, and stimulated to a preternatural growth and fruitfulness."
The pioneer French explorers, Cartier and Champlain, were men of piety, eager to have the aid of the religious orders in opening up the new continent, and both Jesuits and Franciscans were encouraged to establish Catholicism in Canada. Jesuits led the way here, while Franciscans and Dominicans became active in the southwest of the United States and in South America. Early in the seventeenth century the Jesuits began to arrive in Quebec; they would quickly push on into the interior, to be engulfed by the forest or to be taken prisoner by the Indians and treated as slaves or objects of barter; yet at times they met with a heartening response. Among the more notable of these men were Brebeuf, Daniel, Masse, Lalemant, Chabanel, Ragueneau, Garnier, Jogues, and Le Jeune. It was Le Jeune, a Huguenot in early life, who conceived the plan for keeping his superiors of the Society of Jesus, as well as the European laity, informed of the great undertaking, by the careful compilation of missionaries' letters, which described in detail their experiences and impressions. Every summer, for a period of forty years, these reports were despatched back to Paris, where they were published serially under the title of . They form an historical chronicle of the highest value, and it is to them that we are mainly indebted for our knowledge of Father Jogues.(SOURCE:


Luke 12: 13 - 21

13 One of the multitude said to him, "Teacher, bid my brother divide the inheritance with me."
14 But he said to him, "Man, who made me a judge or divider over you?"
15 And he said to them, "Take heed, and beware of all covetousness; for a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."
16 And he told them a parable, saying, "The land of a rich man brought forth plentifully;
17 and he thought to himself, `What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?'
18 And he said, `I will do this: I will pull down my barns, and build larger ones; and there I will store all my grain and my goods.
19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, be merry.'
20 But God said to him, `Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?'
21 So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God."