CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: SAT. NOV. 7, 2009: HEADLINES-
EUROPE: ENGLAND: 5TH ANNUAL PILGRIMAGE TO OXFORD-
AFRICA: GENERAL SECRETARY OF YMCA SUGGEST YOUTH NEED MODELS -
ASIA: SRI LANKA: THOUSANDS IN REFUGEE CAMPS -
AUSTRALIA: AC UNIVERSITY TO HOST CONFERENCE ON CARITAS IN VERITATE -
Vatican Radio reports that Pope Benedict XVI’s 17th pastoral journey in Italy takes him Sunday November 8th to the Northern Italian city of Brescia.Everything is ready in Brescia, Concesio and Botticino Serafor the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI Sunday in his first pastoral visit to the land of Paul VI, thirty years after his death.Situated at the foot of the Alps, in the province of Lombardy, Brescia is home to one an a half million people and steep in the Christian tradition counting among its most famous citizens, Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini who became Pope Paul VI.The city’s central square is named after the Pope who guided the work of the second Vatican Council after the death of John 23rd. Here on Sunday Pope Benedict will celebrate mass. Organisers estimate a crowd of thousands and have mounted four giant screens to allow those who are unable to find space in the small cathedral to follow the Eucharistic celebration and Angelus prayer.Sunday afternoon Pope Benedict travels the short distance from Brescia to the village of Concesio in Valtrompia, the birthplace of his predecessor.There he will inaugurate the Paul VI Institute, a centre for religious studies, in the home where the Montini Pope was born, awarding its first prize to "Sources Chrétiennes", a French organisation specialised in the study of Patristics, for its contribution to the promotion of faith and culture. The last stop on Pope Benedict’s journey is the small village church of Saint Anthony, where surrounded by the parishioners, descendents of the land of Paul VI, he will deliver an address. (SOURCE: http://www.radiovaticana.org/en1/Articolo.asp?c=332753
The USCCB reports that today the U.S. bishops sent a letter, signed by Cardinal Justin Rigali, to the House of Representatives urging members to vote for the Stupak-Ellsworth Amendment to the health care reform.
The letter, made available by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) asked congress members to vote for the Stupak-Ellsworth Amendment to "keep in place current federal law on abortion funding and conscience protections in the Affordable Health Care for America Act (H.R. 3962)."
"Despite some claims to the contrary," they wrote, "H.R. 3962 does not reflect the status quo on abortion. It fails to explicitly and clearly include the longstanding policy prohibiting federal funding of elective abortion and plans which include elective abortion (Hyde Amendment)."
The bishops acknowledged that H.R. 3962 "has some helpful provisions on conscience protection and non- preemption of state laws," however it "fails to maintain current prohibitions on abortion mandates and abortion funding. Instead it creates elaborate measures requiring people to pay for other people’s abortions with their taxes, private premiums or federal subsidies."
They continued, "Additionally, H.R. 3962 allows the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to mandate that the ‘public option’ will include unlimited abortions. Millions of purchasers will be forced to pay an ‘abortion surcharge,’ which requires purchasers of many plans to pay directly and explicitly for abortion coverage. This is unprecedented in federal law."
"The Stupak-Ellsworth-Pitts-Kaptur-Dahlkemper-Lipinski-Smith Amendment will not affect coverage of abortion in non-subsidized health plans, and will not bar anyone from purchasing a supplemental abortion policy with their own funds," explain the bishops nothing that currently, the bill doesn’t meet Obama’s "commitment of barring use of federal dollars for abortion and maintaining current conscience laws."
The bishops concluded stating that they have been working "for many years" in order to "support health care reform legislation that truly protects the life, dignity, health and consciences of all."
"Adopting this amendment will help move us move toward this essential national priority and moral imperative."(SOURCE: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=17629
UCAN reports that thousands of displaced Sri Lankan Catholics attended specially organized All Souls' Day Masses in refugee camps and prayed for those who died in the decades-long civil war.
Inside a refugee camp in Vavuniya, northern Sri Lanka (File photo)
Refugees want to tend their loved ones' graves on the special day dedicated to the dead, said Catholic priests visiting the camps.
However, these graves are far from the camps which are surrounded by barbed wire, and refugees are not allowed to leave until the search for Tamil Tiger rebels is over and land mines cleared from around villages.
Instead, on the morning of Nov. 2, prayer leaders in Arunachalam camp in northern Sri Lanka cleared an open area for the celebration of Mass. An altar -- a table covered with a cloth -- was prepared, as well as a book in which people wrote down the names of about 1,500 people killed in the civil war between government troops and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
The war, which started in 1983, ended in May.
Father Ruban Fernando of Mannar diocese celebrated the Mass at the camp. He read the names of the dead and prayed for them, some of whom were not Catholics.
He told UCA News that some of the refugees "are not sure whether their loved ones are alive or dead," adding that many shed tears throughout the Mass. "I consoled them," he added.
On All Souls' Day, Catholics in the country usually visit cemeteries from early morning to evening. There they clean the graves, lay flowers, light candles, pray and give alms.
Now, "a Catholic tradition has been broken," said Oblate Father Celestine Mascringe, one of several priests allowed to celebrate Sunday Masses in refugee camps.
Speaking at the entrance to Arunachalam camp, he said camp residents feel "fear and sadness, but they have hope for the future." Arunachalam camp, located in a recently cleared jungle area, houses about 20,000 Tamil civilians of whom about 2,000 are Catholics.
The priest also celebrated Mass at Kadirgamar camp, opposite the Arunachalam camp, for some 800 Catholics gathered in a metal-roofed makeshift church.
A Catholic refugee from Arunachalam camp, speaking to UCA News through the barbed-wire fencing, said: "God will not give up on us. He will ease our pain and give us hope and courage."
Another refugee, a Hindu mother of two, said that the Catholics prayed also for Hindu Tamils who have died in the civil war.
Father Anthony Victor Sosai, vicar general of Mannar diocese said the military has permitted eight priests to hold All Souls' Day Masses in some 20 camps.
Under increasing pressure from the international community regarding the continued detention of the displaced, President Mahinda Rajapaksa recently said he expected everyone in the camps to be resettled by the end of January.
So far only 50,000 out of a total of 280,000 civilians have been allowed to leave the camps.
Cath News reports that Australian Catholic University (ACU National) is hosting a conference to celebrate and explore the 3rd Encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI entitled Caritas in Veritate starting on Friday November 27 at its North Sydney campus. Caritas in Veritate, or Charity in Truth, discusses the application of the Church's social teaching on globalisation and international development.
The conference will enable Australian scholars from the academic fields of economics, politics, theology and philosophy to engage with those working in the area of social justice. The first public session will be a panel discussion highlighting the significance of the papal document. The second will be a lecture by Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, President of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum. Event: Cardinal Cordes lecture and panel session When: From 4pm on Friday November 27 2009Where: ACU National North Sydney Campus, Ryan Auditorium 40 Edward Street North Sydney NSW.The two day closed conference will involve representatives from Caritas Australia, John Paul II Institute, Yarra Theological Union and Catholic Theological College, Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture and ACU National.
CONFESSOR, FIRST BISHOP OF UTRECHT
Feast: November 7
November 7, 739
convulsions; epilepsy; epileptics; Luxembourg; Netherlands
St Willibrord was born in the kingdom of Northumberland towards the year 658, and placed by his virtuous parents, before he was seven years old, in the monastery of Ripon, which was at that time governed by St. Wilfrid, its founder. Wilgris, our saint's father, retired also into a monastery, afterwards became a hermit, and in his old age founded and governed a small monastery between the ocean and the Humber. He is honoured among the saints in the monastery of Epternac and in the English calendars. Alcuin has left us an account of his life. Willibrord, by carrying the yoke of our Lord with fervour from his infancy, found it always easy and sweet, and the better to preserve the first fruits which he had gathered, made his monastic profession when he was very young. He had made great progress in virtue and sacred learning when, out of a desire for further improvement, in the twentieth year of his age he went over into Ireland, with the consent of his abbot and brethren, where he joined St. Egbert or Ecgbright, and the blessed Wigbert, who were gone thither before upon the same errand. In their company our saint spent twelve years in the study of the sacred sciences and in the most fervent exercise of all virtues. Though his constitution was weak, in fervour and exactness he outdid the most advanced: he was humble, modest, and of an easy obliging temper; and his whole conduct was regular and uniform. St. Egbert had long entertained an ardent desire of going to preach the gospel to the inhabitants of those unhappy countries in which barbarism and idolatry still reigned without control, and he had chiefly Friesland or Lower Germany in his eye. But he was diverted from that apostolical design by persons of piety and authority, who engaged him to employ his zealous labours in the islands between Ireland and Scotland, in all which he settled the true manner of celebrating Easter, especially at Hij, where he died a little before Bede wrote his history. St. Egbert is honoured in the English Calendar on the 24th of April. Bede gives a most edifying account of his austere penance, devotion, zeal, and charity. His companion, the holy priest Wigbert, went in the meantime to Friesland; but after staying there two years came back without having met with any prospect of success. This disappointment did not discourage Egbert and other zealous promoters of this mission, but excited them the more earnestly to solicit the divine mercy with prayers and tears in favour of so many souls who were perishing eternally. Willibrord, who was then about thirty-one years of age and had been ordained priest a year before, expressed a great desire to be allowed by his superiors to undertake this laborious and dangerous charge. St. Egbert, by the known zeal and great talents of our saint and by his cheerfulness, doubted not but God had reserved to him the conversion of that nation, and encouraged him in this zealous design. St. Willibrord was joined by St. Swidbert and ten other English monks in this mission.
The authors of Batavia Sacra doubt not but our twelve missionaries landed at Catwic upon the sea, which was at the mouth of the Rhine before it was blocked up with sands, and thither the English were accustomed to export corn, even from the north, coasting part of their island. The British tower, as it was called, was built by the Romans at Catwic to defend this harbour. Pepin of Herstal, or the Big, who was at that time Duke of the French, received courteously St. Willibrord and his companions. But Willibrord set out for Rome and cast himself at the feet of Pope Sergius, begging his apostolic blessing and authority to preach the gospel to idolatrous nations. The pope, charmed with his zeal and sanctity, granted him the most ample licences for that purpose, and gave him a great quantity of relics for the consecration of churches. With this treasure the saint returned with all possible expedition to his province, considering the pressing necessities and dangers of so many souls which called for his compassion and relief. St. Swidbert was taken from him and ordained Bishop of the Borroctuarians, who seem to have inhabited the territory of Berg and the neighbouring country towards Cologne.
St. Willibrord, with his ten other companions, under the protection of Pepin, preached the gospel with wonderful success in that part of Friesland that had been conquered by the French; so that after six years Pepin, by the advice of his bishops, sent the saint to Rome with strong letters of recommendation that he might be ordained bishop. His humility made him endeavour that some other should be pitched upon for that dignity, but he was not heard. Pope Sergius, who still sat in St. Peter's chair, received him with great marks of honour, changed his name into that of Clement, with great solemnity ordained him Archbishop of the Frisons in St. Peter's church and gave him the pallium, with authority to fix his see in what part of the country he should think most convenient. The holy man stayed only fourteen days in Rome, being impatient to return to his flock, and regretting an hour's absence from them more than was necessary to procure them greater advantages. He came back to Utrecht the same year, 696, and chose that city for his residence, Pepin having bestowed on him the royal castle of Viltaburg which, as Bede assures us, was at Utrecht. St. Willibrord built at Utrecht the Church of our Saviour, in which he fixed his metropolitical see, says St. Boniface, and that of St. Martin, though this latter he only restored, for it had been a church, but destroyed by the pagans. The archbishop's indefatigable application to the conversion of souls seemed to prove that, with the new obligation he had received at his consecration of labouring to enlarge the kingdom of his Divine Master, he had acquired fresh strength and a considerable augmentation of his zeal. In the second year after his episcopal consecration, assisted by the liberality of Pepin and the abbess Irmina, who is said to have been daughter of Dagobert II, he founded, in 698, the abbey of Epternac in the diocese of Triers, and now in the duchy of Luxemburg, which he governed to his death. Alcuin relates that the nunnery of Horrea, of which Irmina was abbess, had been delivered from a pestilence by water blessed by St. Willibrord, and by his saying mass in the church. Pepin of Herstal before his death put away his concubine Alpais, by whom he had Charles Martel, and was reconciled to his wife Plectrudis, and in his last will, which is signed by Plectrudis, he recommended to St. Willibrord his nephews (without any mention of his natural son Charles), and bestowed on our saint the village of Swestram, now Susteren, in the duchy of Juliers, near the Meuse, with which the holy man endowed a nunnery which he built there. (SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/W/stwillibrord.asp
Luke 16: 9 - 15
And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous mammon, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal habitations.
"He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and he who is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much.
If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will entrust to you the true riches?
And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own?
No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."
The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all this, and they scoffed at him.
But he said to them, "You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts; for what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.