Thursday, January 28, 2010





Vatican channel:
All those who work in the field of law must be guided by justice, Benedict XVI observed this in his address to the Roman Tribunal. The Pope noted further that the activities of those who administer justice must not exclude charity; the love towards God and neighbor must inform every action, including the seemingly most technical and bureaucratic. In the field of law, charity helps to remember that it is always before persons who are marked with their own problems and suffering. Speaking specifically of marriage, Benedict XVI urged those who work in law to labor in favor of maintaining the marriage bond, so as not to reduce every difficulty into a symptom of lack of validity. The marital union is in fact an indissoluble sacramental tie and this essential fact must not be over looked. (source:


USCCB release:
Bishops Call for a Longterm Strategy in Haiti That Focuses on Poverty Reduction
WASHINGTON—The U.S. needs “a long-term coherent strategy for recovery, development and poverty reduction in Haiti,” helping Haiti rebuild and get back to the path of long-term sustainable development, said the chair of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace in a January 26 letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Ron Kirk.Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany, New York, said such a strategy for rebuilding Haiti in the wake of this month’s devastating earthquake needs to coordinate “different U.S. government agencies in a comprehensive approach, engaging other groups with expertise and experience with Haiti.” Bishop Hubbard recommended that the strategy include: debt relief, trade preferences, extension of Temporary Protected Status for Haitians living in the United States as needed, and sustained reconstruction and development assistance to Haiti.Bishop Hubbard expressed gratitude for President Obama’s response to the earthquake in Haiti and added, “When the international community and Haitians move beyond the most urgent aspects of the emergency, we urge a substantial and sustained commitment by the U.S. Government to provide long-term funding for reconstruction and poverty reduction.” Highlighting the importance of working with Haitians, Bishop Hubbard wrote, “At the same time, our nation should work to support and strengthen the role of the Haitian Government and institutions in the reconstruction and long-term development of their nation.” The letter from Bishop Hubbard can be found online at:


UCAN report: A Catholic priest in Goa was arrested after leading a protest of some 300 people against accidents and environmental pollution caused by mining trucks.
Father Felix Lobo was detained after blocking the road in Usgao village Jan. 28 but was later granted bail.
The priest of Saint Joseph Church led the protest to highlight a head-on collision between two trucks that injured a seven-year-old girl in the parish-run St. Xavier’s school.
Trucks loaded with iron and manganese ore have become a safety hazard as they pass daily through the village’s narrow street, speeding from mines to the sea port.
Villagers have been demanding route changes and restrictions.
They say on top of the danger, the ore dust causes pollution and respiratory diseases.
The little girl’s injuries were the final straw, villagers say.
The protesters set up an impromptu road blockade which caused chaos for nearly two hours.
Another group, reportedly supported by the trucking companies, confronted the priest and others, leading to heated arguments. Some said the priest was also roughed up.
Police said Father Lobo and five others, including a woman, were arrested for blocking a public road and holding an unlawful assembly.
The crowd moved to the police station demanding the release of the priest. The police tried to disperse the crowd using canes.
Father Lobo and the others were eventually granted bail. At first the priest refused to accept it.
“If we come to the streets, authorities say it is against the law. But what about the overloaded trucks that travel at high speed? Is there no law for them?” said Father Lobo.
Senior police official Bosco George told UCA News they “managed to persuade” Father Lobo to take the bail offer. “We will look out for an amicable solution to the issue,” George said.
The government later ordered a halt on trucks one hour each in the morning and afternoon, when children come to and leave school.
The government also agreed to limit tonnage carried by truckers and marking a “No Parking” zone for truckers, as demanded by the priest.



Catholic Herald report: The Sacred Made Real exhibition at the National Gallery has "exceeded all expectations" with almost 100,000 visitors - triple the number of visitors expected by the gallery. The exhibition of Counter-Reformation Spanish painting and sculpture, from 1600 to 1700, opened on October 21 and closed on January 24. On Monday the National Gallery announced that it attracted 99,136 people.The exhibition included polychrome wooden sculptures that had never been seen outside Spain, where they are used in devotional ceremonies. They included the simple but realistic Mary Magdalen Meditating on the Crucifixion (1664) by Pedro de Mena.The paintings and sculptures were a product of the Spanish Counter-Reformation, when religious patrons, including the Dominican, Franciscan and Carthusian orders, challenged artists to bring the sacred to life. When the National Gallery launched the exhibition it said it was "created to shock the senses and stir the soul". Many of the works displayed the brutal treatment of Christ: the sculptures Christ as the Man of Sorrows (1673) by Pedro de Mena and Dead Christ (1625-30) by Gregorio Fernández, which used the bark of a cork tree to simulate the effect of coagulated blood, and bull's horn for Christ's fingernails. The artist's intention was that believers should feel truly in the presence of the dead Christ. Both sculptors used glass eyes and tears and ivory teeth in their sculptures for greater realism. The sculptures were displayed alongside more familiar paintings, which included Diego Velázquez's Immaculate Conception (1618-1619).As well as the themes of the Immaculate Conception and the Passion of Christ, the 16 paintings and 16 sculptures portrayed a number of saints.It took the curator Xavier Bray three years to put the exhibition on, including persuading Spanish churches and monasteries to part with their devotional works. Pedro de Mena's St Francis Standing in Meditation (1663) had never before left the sacristy of Toledo Cathedral.The National Gallery had expected around 30,000 people to view the exhibition; the fact that three times that number came astonished them. Dr Bray told The Catholic Herald that it was "the immediacy of the images" that drew such a large number of people. He said: "The images of Christ were very truthful, profound depictions; you were meeting the Virgin, Christ and the saints in a very direct way."He said the visitors were of all ages, art students, Catholics, Anglicans and members of other religions. In a crowded gallery, he said, "there was a wonderful sense of silence - awe-inspired people. I met a Sufi woman in tears."When the exhibition was over and the last member of the public had left, Dr Bray spent about three hours in the gallery on his own. "I said goodbye to every single piece," he said.The impact of the exhibition was so strong that he hoped it would be remembered for the next 10 years. He alleged that his "dream exhibition" would be on Goya as a religious painter.Days before the exhibition began in October Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster took the press on a tour of three of the sculptures: The Dead Christ by Gregorio Fernandez, St Francis Standing in_Meditation and Mary Magdalene Meditating on the Crucifixion, both by Pedro de Mena. He said the sculpture of St Francis "takes us to the very heart of who St Francis is". "His face is raised to God, his eyes open, his mouth slightly open, and a posture that's both of utter surprise and also of recognition. Astonished delight to be approaching the presence of God as he was. But there's also recognition: this is fulfilment," he said. (SOURCE:


CNS report: A Nigerian archbishop said the cause of recent violence between Muslims and Christians in the African country was more ethnic and political than religious. More than 200 people were believed dead after clashes in mid-January in the central Nigerian city of Jos, where similar riots in 2008 killed about 300. Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos said the origin of the current conflicts, like those of 2008, was a struggle for political control of the city between the Hausa people, who are predominantly Muslim, and the indigenous residents, who are mostly Christians. Media reports describing the violence as a religious clash between Muslims and Christians were inaccurate, Archbishop Kaigama told the Vatican missionary news agency Fides.While speaking with journalists Jan. 24, Kaigama reiterated his remarks and denied a report that a Muslim attack on a parish spawned the recent violence there."In particular, it is not true that a church was attacked and burned," he said. "The origin of the conflicts of today, like those of November 2008, are the contrasts between the Hausa ... and the indigenous peoples."The archbishop told Fides Jan. 20 he met with several Christian and Muslim leaders to clarify the situation, assess the damage and ascertain the exact number of victims. He said it was still unclear how many people had died and how many houses, churches, or mosques have been burned. "I fear that both Christians and Muslims will inflate figures regarding their victims," the archbishop said. "The spread of false information incites the people and increases the violence," he said, adding that authorities need to be impartial and honest in presenting data on casualties and damage to structures. Archbishop Kaigama told Fides the situation in Jos had calmed. He said police and army troops were patrolling the streets of the city and enforcing a curfew imposed soon after the violence broke out Jan. 17. The archbishop said most of the Christian churches that were set on fire were not Catholic. Archbishop Kaigama said the Islamic-Christian joint committee was scheduled to meet Jan. 25 to "assess the situation and take measures to avoid similar incidents from happening again." The bishops of the ecclesiastical province of Ibadan in southwestern Nigeria denounced the violence in Jos, saying that "some extremists claiming to be Muslims suddenly set upon Christians in their churches and homes, killing and burning." "It is sad that such occurrences in the recent past have not been convincingly investigated and addressed and are not found preventable," the bishops said after meeting Jan. 18 and 19. They also said the government's continued insistence that all is well despite a lack of presidential leadership had "dangerous consequences for the nation." Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua left for Saudi Arabia in mid-November for treatment for a serious heart condition but did not cede power to the vice president. "Nigerians deserve better than a presidency by remote control," the bishops said. "Any society living with such self-deceit is surely courting disintegration." Jos has been the scene of serious intra-community clashes in the past decade.In addition to the 2008 clashes, in 2001 a conflict resulted in more than 900 deaths, as well as the burning of churches and mosques.(source:


Cath News report:
The drift from public to private schools has slowed, according to new figures from the the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The ABS preliminary schools data show that independent school enrolments grew by almost 10,000 between 2008 and 2009, but this represented a substantial drop.
While independent and Catholic schools continue to show steady growth, the data showed that the numbers amounted to a 37 percent share of the extra enrolments across all of the nation's schools, a dramatic reduction on the 90 percent share of enrolment growth independent schools took between 2007 and 2008, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
In that period enrolments in government schools actually declined by 3823. Between 2008 and 2009, they grew by 9360 - a 35 percent share of the extra enrolments.

Bill Daniels, executive director of the Independent Schools Council of Australia, said the extremely high rates of enrolment growth in independent schools, which peaked in 2002 with a 4.4 percent year-on-year increase, were unsustainable.
"Enrolment growth is continuing, albeit at a slightly lower rate," he said. "We would expect growth to tail off."
Meanwhile, the My School website is expected to publicly show the financial resources of every school in Australia in its next version, due later this year, the newspaper also said.
Peter Hill, the chief executive of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, which is responsible for My School, said data about each school's financial resources would be published in a second version of the site, along with results from this year's national literacy and numeracy tests.
"A lot of people will be very interested in finances of schools, because, of course, some schools have much more in terms of financial resources than others and this may go a long way to explaining some of the differences we're observing," Dr Hill said.
Criticism from education experts continued over the website, The Australian reports, saying it was "poorly planned" and would not give teachers and principles time to fully digest the data.
The president of the Australian Primary Principals Association, Leonie Trimper, said schools should have been given full access to the site during the holiday period to avoid being swamped in the back-to-school rush.
"It would have been good if principals had it at least a week before so they could have had a serious look at the figures before the term began," she said. "The first week of school is one of the most hectic times of the year. There is no way any teacher or principal could have had a good look at the data in today's rush."
Primary school principal and president of the Australian Catholic Primary Principals Association Bruno Benci said he was fearful the site would simply be turned into a "ranking exercise".
"Our major concern is that the information provided would be taken out of context and put into league tables," Mr Benci said.
"We have to stress that the information provided is just a snapshot performance . . . there is more to schooling than just marks." (SOURCE:


St. Gildas the Wise
Feast: January 29
Feast Day:
January 24
516, traditionally Strathclyde in modern Scotland
570, Street, Somerset or Rhuys
Major Shrine:
Glastonbury Abbey, now destroyed, or Rhuys Church, extant.
Patron of:
Welsh historians; bell founders

He was son to a British lord, who to procure him a virtuous education, placed him in his infancy in the monastery of St. Iltutus in Glamorganshire. The surname of Badonicus was given him, because, as we learn from his writings, he was born in the year in which the Britons under Aurelius Ambrosius, or, according to others, under king Arthur, gained the famous victory over the Saxons at Mount Badon, now Bannesdown, near Bath, in Somersetshire. This Bede places in the forty-fourth year after the first coming of the Saxons into Britain, which was in 451. Our saint, therefore, seems to have been born in 494; he was consequently younger than St. Paul, St. Samson, and his other illustrious school-fellows in Wales: but by his prudence and seriousness in his youth he seemed to have attained to the maturity of judgment and gravity of an advanced age. The author of the life of St. Paul of Leon, calls him the brightest genius of the school of St. Iltut. His application to sacred studies was uninterrupted, and if he arrived not at greater perfection in polite literature, this was owing to the want of masters of that branch in the confusion of those times. As to improve himself in the knowledge of God and himself was the end of all his studies, and all his reading was reduced to the study of the science of the saints, the greater progress he made in learning, the more perfect he became in all virtues. Studies which are to many a source of dissipation, made him more and more recollected, because in all books he found and relished only God, whom alone he sought. Hence sprang that love for holy solitude, which, to his death, was the constant ruling inclination of his heart. Some time after his monastic profession, with the consent, and perhaps by the order of his abbot, St. Iltut, he passed over into Ireland, there to receive the lessons of the admirable masters of a religious life, who had been instructed in the most sublime maxims of an interior life, and formed to the practice of perfect virtue, by the great St. Patrick. The author of his Acts compares this excursion, which he made in the spring of his life, to that of the bees in the season of flowers, to gather the juices which they convert into honey. In like manner St. Gildas learned, from the instructions and examples of the most eminent servants of God, to copy in his own life whatever seemed most perfect. So severe were his continual fasts, that the motto of St. John Baptist might in some degree be applied to him, that he scarce seemed to eat or drink at all. A rough hair-cloth, concealed under a coarse cloak, was his garment, and the bare floor his bed, with a stone for his bolster. By the constant mortification of his natural appetites, and crucifixion of his flesh, his life was a prolongation of his martyrdom, or a perpetual sacrifice which he made of himself to God in union with that which he daily offered to him on his altars. If it be true that he preached in Ireland in the reign of king Ammeric, he must have made a visit to that island from Armorica, that prince only beginning to reign in 560: this cannot be ascribed to St. Gildas the Albanian, who died before that time. It was about the year 527, in the thirty-fourth of his age, that St. Gildas sailed to Armorica, or Brittany, in France: for he wrote his invective ten years after his arrival there, and in the forty-fourth year of his age, as is gathered from his life and writings. Here he chose for the place of his retirement the little isle of Houac, or Houat, between the coast of Rhuis and the island of Bellisle, four leagues from the latter. Houat exceeds not a league in length; the isle of Hoedre is still smaller, not far distant: both are so barren as to yield nothing but a small quantity of corn. Such a solitude, which appeared hideous to others, offered the greatest charms to the saint, who desired to fly, as much as this mortal state would permit, whatever could interrupt his commerce with God. Here he often wanted the common necessaries and conveniences of life; but the greater the privation of earthly comforts was in which he lived, the more abundant were those of the Holy Ghost which he enjoyed, in proportion as the purity of his affections and his love of heavenly things were more perfect. The saint promised himself that he should live here always unknown to men: but it was in vain for him to endeavor to hide the light of divine grace under a bushel, which shone forth to the world, notwithstanding all the precautions which his humility took to conceal it. Certain fishermen who discovered him were harmed with his heavenly deportment and conversation, and made known on the continent the treasure they had found. The inhabitants flocked from the coast to hear the lessons of divine wisdom which the holy anchoret gave with a heavenly unction which penetrated their hearts. To satisfy their importunities, St. Gildas at length consented to live among them on the continent, and built a monastery at Rhuis, in a peninsula of that name, which Guerech, the first lord of the Britons about Vannes, is said to have bestowed upon him. This monastery was soon filled with excellent disciples and holy monks. St. Gildas settled them in good order; then, sighing after closer solitude, he withdrew, and passing beyond the gulf of Vannes, and the promontory of Quiberon, chose for his habitation a grot in a rock, upon the bank of the river Blavet, where he found a cavern formed by nature extended from the east to the west, which on that account he converted into a chapel. However, he often visited this abbey of Rhuis, and by his counsels directed many in the paths of true virtue. Among these was St. Trifina, daughter of Guerech, first British count of Vannes. She was married to count Conomor, lieutenant of king Childebert, a brutish and impious man, who afterwards murdered her, and the young son which he had by her, who at his baptism received the name of Gildas, and was godson to our saint: but he is usually known by the surname of Treuchmour, or Tremeur, in Latin 'Trichmorus. SS. Trifina and Treuchmeur are invoked in the English Litany of the seventh century, in Mabillon. The great collegiate church of Carhaix bears the name of St. Treuchmour: the church of Quim per keeps his feast on the 8th of November, on which day he is commemorated in several churches in Brittany, and at St. Magloire's at Paris. A church situated between Corlai and the abbey of Coetmaloon in Brittany, is dedicated to God under the invocation of St. Trifina.
St. Gildas wrote eight canons of discipline, and a severe invective against the crimes of the Britons, called De Excidio Britanniae, that he might confound those whom he was not able to convert, and whom God in punishment delivered first to the plunders of the Picts and Scots, and afterwards to the perfidious Saxons, the fiercest of all nations. He reproaches their kings, Constantine, (king of the Danmonians, in Devonshire and Cornwall,) Vortipor, (of the Dimetians, in South Wales,) Conon, Cuneglas, and Maglocune, princes in other parts of Britain, with horrible crimes: but Constantine was soon after sincerely converted, as Gale informs us from an ancient Welsh chronicle. According to John Fordun he resigned his crown, became a monk, preached the faith to the Scots and Picts, and died a martyr in Kintyre: but the apostle of the Scots seems to have been a little more ancient than the former. Our saint also wrote an invective against the British clergy, whom he accuses of sloth of seldom sacrificing at the altar &c. In his retirement he ceased not with tears to recommend to God his own cause, or that of his honor and glory, and the souls of blind sinners, and died in his beloved solitude in the island of Horac, (in Latin Horata,) according to Usher, in 570, but according to Ralph of Disse, in 581.[6] St. Gildas is patron of the city of Vannes. The abbey which bears his name in the peninsula of Rhuis, between three and four leagues from Vannes, is of the reformed congregation of St. Maur since the year 1649. The relics of St. Gildas were carried thence for fear of the Normans into Berry, about the year 919, and an abbey was erected there on the banks of the river Indre, which was secularized and united to the collegiate church of Chateauroux in 1623. St. Gildas is commemorated in the Roman Martyrology on the 29th of January. A second commemoration of him is made in some places on the 11th of May, on account of the translation of his relics. His life, compiled from the ancient archives of Rhuis by a monk of that house, in the eleventh century, is the best account we have of him, though the author confounds him sometimes with St. Gildas the Albanian. It is published in the library of Fleury, in Bollandus, p. 954, and most correctly in Mabillon, Act. SS. Ord. Saint Bened. t. 1, p. 138. See also Dom Lobineau, Vies des Saints de Bretagne, (for. an. 1725,) p. 72, and Hist. de la Bretagne, (2 vol. fol. an. 1707) and the most accurate Dom Morice, Memoires sur l'Histoire de Bretagne, 3 vol. fol. in 1745, and Hist. de la Bretagne, 2 vol. fol. an. 1750.


Mark 4: 21 - 25
And he said to them, "Is a lamp brought in to be put under a bushel, or under a bed, and not on a stand?
For there is nothing hid, except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret, except to come to light.
If any man has ears to hear, let him hear."
And he said to them, "Take heed what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you.
For to him who has will more be given; and from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away."

No comments: