AMERICAS: MEXICO: LEGIONARIES OF CHRIST ASK FORGIVENESS-
AFRICA: SOUTH AFRICA: UNPFA REVEALS POOR WOMEN HIT BY CLIMATE CHANGE-
AUSTRALIA: CATHOLIC MISSION OFFERS ONLINE DONATIONS AS PRESENTS-
Many believers gathered in the Basilica of St. Peter, Saturday, November 28th, for the celebration of First Vespers of the First Sunday of Advent, presided over by Benedict XVI and inspired by the Sistine Chapel choir and the Mater Ecclesiae choir. In his homily, referring to the passage of the First Epistle to the Thessalonians read during the recitation of Vespers, the Holy Father reflected on the meaning of Advent, the "arrival", the "coming", the "visitation" of God who enters our life and desires to speak directly to us. In this light, said Pope Benedict, all the events of the day are signs that God sends us, signs of the attention that has for each of us. For more of the homily see link: (SOURCE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zllZyznS4Xw
Pope Benedict XVI prayed the Angelus with the faithful gathered this Sunday morning in St Peters Square. In remarks before the prayer, Pope Benedict said Jesus Christ is not only for Christians, not just for believers: He is for all men, because it is He who is the center of faith, and the foundation of hope. Every human being, said Pope Benedict, is in constant need of Hope. On this first Sunday of Advent, the Holy Father spoke of the significance of the liturgical year, saying "Above all else, the world today needs hope, people in developing countries need it, just as do people in economically advanced societies. (SOURCE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-A-zLwSR_M
The documentaries provided by CRTN include the Metanoia Media production “The Change is On” about the response to HIV/AIDS in South Africa. The Spanish-language series from Goya Producciones, “The Culture of Life,” reflects “the Church’s love and experience as the world’s primary HIV/AIDS care giver,” CRTN says.
While condom use is often offered as the primary method to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS, the Catholic Church, which considers condom use to be a corruption of the marital act, has questioned this approach. Pope Benedict XVI triggered international controversy with a March 2009 comment saying that condoms will not stop the spread of AIDS.
Some researchers also doubt the practicality of condom use in many HIV prevention programs. Dr. Edward Green, a Senior Research Scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health, has said no association between condom use and lower HIV rates in Africa has been discovered.
According to a CRTN press release, AIDS has killed more than 27 million people since it was first identified in 1981. More than 35 million worldwide are infected with HIV. In Africa, more than 11 million children are AIDS orphans.
More information about the documentaries is available at http://www.crtn.org/
MEXICO: LEGIONARIES OF CHRIST ASK FORGIVENESS
CNA reports that Fr. Álvaro Corcuera, the Director General of the Legion of Christ, has sent a letter to members of Regnum Christi about the nature of Christ’s Kingdom and the need to show “limitless confidence in Christ.” He also asked forgiveness from those who have suffered on account of the “sorrowful circumstances” of the order. His letter, which is customary for the Feast of Christ the King, began by noting the words of the Our Father “Thy Kingdom come!”
“We pray these words because we know that the Kingdom is a gift from God rather than a goal we can reach through our own efforts,” Fr. Corcuera began.
He said that members of Regnum Christi, the Legion of Christ’s lay branch, find “the meaning of our existence and our mission” in God’s will that mankind cooperate in the coming of the Kingdom.
“Christ’s Kingdom is not an abstract or ill-defined reality,” Fr. Corcuera continued. “If Christ is calling us to establish his Kingdom on this earth, we can ask ourselves where and how we are to do so.”
Christians are to begin the Kingdom in their own hearts, he said.
“But Christ’s sovereignty must not be limited to our own heart,” he added. Christians are to be “real torches of Christ’s love” by helping others open themselves to Christ, by imitating Him and by letting Him “take ownership of our thoughts, words and deeds.”
“We desire to live this day with a spirit of reparation and humility, united to Christ the King, who is rich in mercy. I want to take advantage of this letter to again sincerely ask forgiveness from all those who have suffered or are suffering on account of the sorrowful circumstances we have lived. God is inviting us to live this time by intensifying our prayer life, our acts of charity and penitential spirit, so we can unite ourselves more deeply to Christ and to our fellow brothers and sisters.”
The Director General’s words are apparently an allusion to the revelations earlier this year that Legion of Christ founder Fr. Marcial Maciel led a “double life” and fathered a child.
Fr. Corcuera continued, saying that Regnum Christi’s only justification for its existence is its service to the Church, the bishops, and laity.
“All our apostolates, all our activities, our whole life is to be focused on this service,” he added, thanking God that the Legion of Christ and Regnum Christi are able to offer many activities and apostolates.
He invited Regnum Christi members to serve the “local ecclesial community” under the directions of the bishops and pastors. He said a “limitless confidence in Christ” is fundamental to the mission, noting Old Testament examples of this confidence.
“They were all men, aware of their own limitations and human condition. However, they knew how to open their heart to God’s action.”
“We are not alone because Christ never leaves us. We are not alone because Regnum Christi is not an isolated reality. We are part of the great family of God in which the variety and beauty of paths enriches and encourages us all,” he added. “Our movement is only one of so many realities that God has raised up in the Church as a way to help us live out our baptismal commitment.”
“On this day of Christ the King, let us also entrust ourselves in a special way to Mary, the mirror of the Church, so that by contemplating her we will come to understand the greatness of our vocation,” Fr. Corcuera concluded, citing Mary’s words in the Gospel of John to “do whatever He tells you.”(SOURCE: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=17853
BANGLADESH: SINKING FERRY CLAIMS 20 LIVES
Dhaka (AsiaNews) - 20 dead, including seven children, and over 100 missing. This is the toll so far from a capsized ferry on the river Tetulia in Bangladesh. The accident occurred last night at 11.45 local time. The vessel capsized under the weight of its excessive load, one of the largest for river navigation, it was carrying between 1000 and 1500 people.
The ferry MV Coco-4 (pictured) overturned near the port of Lalmohan, a town in the district of Bhola, about 300 km south of capital Dhaka. During the disembarkation of passengers the vehicle capsized because of excessive weight and sank. A team of divers intervened to retrieve those trapped.
Nazrul Islam, police chief Lalmohan, explains that a group of police officers intervened to try to break down one of the doors. "Voices were heard from inside - he says - of desperate people seeking help”. Meanwhile, the tug "Hamazi" is on its way from Baribal, to raise the ferry and prevent its sinking.
Rescue teams have so far rescued 50 people, and brought them to hospital in the city. Seven are in a "critical" condition, says the chief of police, and "dozens are still trapped under the water." The majority of passengers on board the MV Coco-4 were returning home after having participated in Dhaka, in a ceremony celebrating the Eid al-Adha, the Muslim festival which commemorates the sacrifice of Abraham.
Ferry disasters are frequent in Bangladesh, most often caused by overcrowding or lack of safety controls. Over the last 37 years more than 4,200 people have died in shipping accidents. Over 19 thousand vessels between ferries and cargo ships sail on the rivers of the country, most of which do not meet the minimum safety standards set by the government.
"It is often a challenge to think of things to buy for people at Christmas. Catholic Mission's online Gift Registry is the perfect place to shop for Christmas and help people in the developing world at the same time," National Director of Catholic Mission Martin Teulan said in a statement.
"The Gift Registry has been especially designed for those people who are difficult to buy for, who may have everything they need, but would appreciate a donation on their behalf. You choose the gift and the recipient of the gift will receive a certificate explaining which area of work your donation will go to."
Donations from just $20 provide safe transport to a food relief centre for five children in war torn Baghdad, Iraq; provide medicine for 53 infants in Kholajhiri, Bangladesh or assist a child with a disability in The Congo, the organisation said.
"We traditionally give gifts to children at Christmas and Catholic Mission gifts give the gift of life to children all over the world."
Further details and information are available on the organisation's website that is linked below.
MISSIONARY AND MARTYR
Feast: November 29
third century, Patras, Greece
257, Toulouse, France
Basilique St-Sernin, Toulouse
St. Saturninus was, says Tillemont, one of the most illustrious martyrs France has given to the Church. We possess only his Acts, which are very old, since they were utilized by St. Gregory of Tours. He was the first bishop of Toulouse, whither he went during the consulate of Decius and Gratus (250). Whether there were already Christians in the town or his preaching made numerous conversions, he soon had a little church. To reach it he had to pass before the capitol where there was a a temple, and according to the Acts, the pagan priests ascribed to his frequent passings the silence of their oracles. One day they seized him and on his unshakeable refusal to sacrifice to the idols they condemned him be tied by the feet to a bull which dragged him about the town until the rope broke. Two Christian women piously gathered up the remains and buried them in a deep ditch, that they might not be profaned by the pagans. His successors, Sts. Hilary and Exuperius, gave him more honourable burial. A church was erected where the bull stopped. It still exists, and is called the church of the Taur (the bull). The body of the saint was transferred at an early date and is still preserved in the Church of St. Sernin (or Saturninus), one of the most ancient and beautiful of Southern France. His feast was entered on the Hieronymian Martyrology for 29 November; his cult spread abroad. The account of his Acts was embellished with several details, and legends linked his name with the beginning of the churches of Eauze, Auch, Pamplona, and Amiens, but these are without historic foundations.(SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/S/stsaturninus.asp
TODAY'S MASS READINGS
Jeremiah 33: 14 - 16
"Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfil the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah.
In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring forth for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.
In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: `The LORD is our righteousness.'
Make me to know thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.
Lead me in thy truth, and teach me, for thou art the God of my salvation; for thee I wait all the day long.
Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.
All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.
The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.
and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all men, as we do to you,
so that he may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.
1 Thessalonians 4: 1 - 2
Finally, brethren, we beseech and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you learned from us how you ought to live and to please God, just as you are doing, you do so more and more.
For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.
Luke 21: 25 - 28, 34 - 36
"And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves,
men fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
Now when these things begin to take place, look up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."
"But take heed to yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a snare;
for it will come upon all who dwell upon the face of the whole earth.
But watch at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of man."