Thursday, January 14, 2010




(VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, the Pope received Gianni Alemanno, mayor of the City of Rome; Esterino Montino, vice president of the Region of Lazio, Italy, and Nicola Zingaretti, president of the Province of Rome, each accompanied by an entourage, for the traditional exchange of New Year greetings. Opening his remarks to them, the Pope pointed out that heads of public institutions must "constantly pursue the common good", favouring "healthy debate, because the more decisions and measures are shared, the more they will bring real development to the inhabitants of the territory". Going on to refer to urban development plans, the Holy Father highlighted how these "must favour the process of socialisation, avoiding the emergence and growth of individualism and of exclusive concern for personal interest, which are harmful to human coexistence". Benedict XVI expressed the hope that "in outlying areas as in the rest of the city", structures may be built "to help young parents in their educational duties. I likewise hope that further provisions may be made in support of families, especially large families, so that the entire city may benefit from the irreplaceable role of this institution, which is the first and indispensable cell of society. "As part of the promotion of the common good, the education of the new generations ... is a predominant concern", the Pope added. In this context he indicated that "it is vital to help young people base their lives on authentic values, values that refer to an 'exalted' view of man which finds one of its most sublime expressions in Christian religious and cultural heritage". "When educating on the great questions of affectivity and sexuality, which are so important for life, we must avoid showing adolescents and young people ways that tend to devalue these fundamental dimensions of human existence. To this end the Church calls for everyone to collaborate, especially those who work in schools, to educate the young to a lofty vision of human love and sexuality. Thus I invite everyone to understand that, in pronouncing her 'noes', the Church is really saying 'yes' to life, to love lived in the truth of the giving of self to the other, to the love that opens up to life and does not close itself in a narcissistic view of the couple". Before concluding his address the Pope encouraged the competent authorities "to pay constant and coherent attention to the world of sickness and suffering. May the healthcare structures, which are so numerous in Rome and Lazio and which provide an important service to the community, administer the public weal with ever greater care, showing professional competency and generous dedication to the sick, the welcome and care of whom must be the supreme criterion for those who work in this field". "I trust, then", he concluded, "that despite the persisting economic difficulties, these structures may receive adequate support for the valuable service they provide".AC/.../REGION:PROVINCE:ROME VIS 100114 (500)


(VIS) - The ninth meeting of the Commission for Dialogue between Jews and Catholics is due to be held in Rome from 17 to 20 January. The event will be attended by a delegation from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and one from the Holy See Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, according to a communique made public today. The theme of the meeting will be "Catholic and Jewish teaching on creation and the environment. The challenges of human intervention in natural order". On Sunday 17 January, both delegations will be present for Benedict XVI's visit to the synagogue of Rome. On Monday 18 January, Fr. Patrick Desbois, president of the Yahad-in Unum organisation, will deliver a lecture on the Holocaust at Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University. The delegation of the Chief Rabbinate will be headed by Shear Yashuv Cohen, chief rabbi of Haifa, while the Holy See delegation is to be led by Cardinal Jorge Mejia, archivist and librarian emeritus of Holy Roman Church..../JEWISH CATHOLIC DIALOGUE/COHEN:MEJIA VIS 100114 (180)


USCCB report:
The Church mourns the terrible suffering of the people of Haiti, and parishes across the country are urged to take up a special collection the weekend of January 16-17 for the humanitarian efforts of the U.S. bishops and Catholic Relief Service (CRS) in Haiti, according to a January 13 letter to Catholic bishops of the United States from Cardinal Francis George of Chicago and Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York.
Cardinal George, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and Archbishop Dolan, chair of CRS board, said the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that ravaged Haiti “destroyed countless homes, churches, seminaries, schools, and other buildings and has left millions without the most basic necessities of life. Our faith compels us to pray for and reach out to our brothers and sisters in their time of suffering.”The full letter follows:
Your Eminence/Excellency:
Our Church mourns the terrible suffering of our brothers and sisters in Haiti. The 7.0 magnitude earthquake that ravaged Haiti on January 12, 2010 has already claimed thousands of lives including the Archbishop of Port-au-Prince. It has destroyed countless homes, churches, seminaries, schools, and other buildings and has left millions without the most basic necessities of life. Our faith compels us to pray for and reach out to our brothers and sisters in their time of suffering.
We invite you to encourage your pastors to take up a second collection for the people and Church of Haiti this weekend, January 16 and 17, 2010. These funds will be used to support the efforts of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services, the official international humanitarian agency of the U.S. Catholic Church, as they respond to immediate emergency needs for such necessities as water, food, shelter and medical care, as well as to the long term need to rebuild after widespread destruction, and to the pastoral and reconstruction needs of the Church in Haiti.
Catholic Relief Services is already mounting a major emergency response to this severe disaster and has committed an initial $5 million to fund relief efforts which are likely to go on for some time. Your help and the help of the Catholic people of the United States are urgently needed.
Next weekend January 23-24, many dioceses are scheduled to take up the Collection for the Church in Latin America. This Collection is vitally important for our ability to respond to the pastoral needs of the Church in Haiti and other parts of Latin America in the weeks and months ahead. We urge that you use both of these opportunities to express our solidarity and our loving support for our brothers and sisters in Haiti and ask you not to substitute one collection for the other.
Additional information on the U.S. Catholic community’s response to this emergency and how U.S. Catholics can help can be found at and
Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I.Archbishop of ChicagoPresident
Most Reverend Timothy M. DolanChairman Catholic Relief Services


Cath News report:
Mehmet Ali Agca, who shot Pope John Paul II in 1981, has said he will answer questions about the attack after he is released from prison next week.
Rumors have swirled about the attack, on whether foreign powers had conspired to have the Polish-born pontiff killed, said an Associated Press report in the Boston Herald.
"I will answer to all of these questions in the next weeks," Agca said in a letter written in English and released by his lawyers.
In his rambling statement, Agca, 52, also calls for a "new American Empire" championing peace and democracy, condemned terrorism and "the Evil of the Devil", Reuters reports.
There has been talk of possible book and film deals on Agca's experience, the report adds.
In the past he has also claimed to be the Messiah and according to recent media reports has said he would proclaim the end of the world, raising questions about his mental health, Reuters said.


CNA report:

When the Holy Shroud is put on display this Spring visitors are expected to pour into the city of Turin, Italy to catch a glimpse. This exposition, which comes ten years after it was last shown publicly, has already led hundreds of thousands of people to reserve tickets.
The much venerated relic of Christ, the Holy Shroud, will be on exposition at the Cathedral of Turin from April 10 to May 23, 2010. This marks the first time it will be seen by the public since it was restored in 2002, and the first time that it will be exhibited at all since the Church Jubilee Year in 2000.
The restoration efforts were carried out to remove pieces of cloth that were burned in the 1532 Chambéry fire, remove "patches" and a lining placed on the Shroud in 1534, and install new means of support for the Shroud.
According to official numbers released by the Diocese of Turin, the Jubilee year exposition a decade ago saw more than a million visitors to the relic during the 72 days it was on display. This year, there will only be 44 days to see it, and Italy's Libero newspaper reported this week that 600,000 people have already made reservations.
Pope Benedict XVI plans to visit the site on May 2, 2010.
Cardinal Severino Poletto, the Papal Guardian of the Shroud, invited the visits, saying that the Shroud offers a "strong call to contemplate, in the image, the pain of every man, the suffering to which we often don't even know how to give a name."
He also added in an official message for the exhibition that "the Shroud can be, for whomever wishes to see it, a great opportunity to get to know and love oneself, one's brothers and the Lord Jesus Christ."
The exposition of the Shroud will be celebrated with daily Mass at 7:00 a.m. for the duration of its display at the cathedral, the Holy Sacrament will also be exposed in a nearby chapel and priests will be available for Confession.
The cathedral will be open to visitors with reservations until 8:00 p.m.(source:



UCAN report:
An increase in the Catholic population in Karachi archdiocese is outpacing the number of priests available to serve them, Church leaders say.
“Each of our priests has at least three or four additional responsibilities in the diocese besides tending to their own parishes. Please forgive us if we miss an event or occasion in your community,” Vicar General Father Arthur Charles told over 800 people attending the diocesan Priesthood Day celebration.
“We need your respect, love and support,” he told the crowd gathered at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Jan. 11.
Archbishop Evarist Pinto of Karachi led the program which included concelebrating a Mass with 17 priests.
According to Father Benjamin Shehzad, rector of St. Pius X Minor Seminary, the number of bastis (slums) housing poor Christian communities has been increasing. “There are also some giant parishes that can easily be divided into at least four,” he told UCA News.
There are presently only 37 priests in the archdiocese’s 18 parishes serving about 145,000 Catholics, or one priest to 4,000 Catholics.
Seminarians in a drama to highlight the difficult life of a priest during the Priesthood Day celebration
Such a situation “decreases the personal contact of priests with people, thus affecting their pastoral role,” said Father Shehzad. The priest, besides running the seminary, also celebrates Masses in a parish and is overseeing the construction of a new minor seminary.
Archbishop Pinto, in his homily, urged priests to give priority to preaching the Good News. “We have to stay focused on our main work of administering the sacraments to people,” he said. He added that the number of seminarians has increased, “giving us hope for the future.”
There are now 35 major seminarians and 25 minor seminarians in the archdiocese.(SOURCE:


CISA report:
The Bishops of Chad have called on all religious leaders to engage in the search for peace and national reconciliation."Through the Synod of Bishops for Africa, we became aware that reconciliation is a common task to be performed with others for the good of the country. Consequently, we, as Bishops of Chad, call on all religious leaders to engage in an honest search for ways and means to promote reconciliation and to ensure that areas of civil debate are not confused with areas of religious debate," the Bishops of Chad said in their Christmas Message, reports Fides. The bishops called for urgent national reconciliation saying that the country has not known peace since its independence in 1960."The country rapidly entered into a cycle of violence that culminated in the civil war in February 1979. Since then, several regional or ethnic groups have had violent and consistent confrontations for several reasons,” they said.They also said that over the years, "successive changes of regime have not reduced the inter-community clashes or armed rebellions, and fratricidal death. They have also established practices and unacceptable behavior for a constitutional state: permanent insecurity, uncontrolled circulation of weapons, and violation of human rights." The bishops noted that there has been a growing mistrust among Chadians and divisions have widened on the basis of ethnicity or region of origin and that the various attempts at reconciliation have failed, as "the activity of political elites and military leaders who often act as individuals, for their personal interest, or for that of their ethnicity. Some actors, manipulated by outside powers, come to the negotiating table only for power, without any social project to propose or to defend." The Bishops' Conference of Chad also says that the "flow of money generated from the exploitation of oil, instead of solving our problems of development has caused corruption, favoritism, and the transfer of public funds with total impunity." According to them, despite the bleak picture, there are conditions that can lead Chad towards peace and national reconciliation and action is needed in the political, social, and religious spheres.“Politicians must be the initiators of the process of peace in society and it should be everybody's effort to exit the trap of regionalism and ethnicity. On the religious level it should be noted that each religion has its origin, and its aim is man's encounter with God, they said. (SOURCE:


Cath News report:
Archbishop Philip Wilson, President of the Australian Catholic Archbishops Conference, has urged Australians to pray and donate to an appeal for Haitian quake victims by Caritas.
"Our heart goes out to the people of Haiti at this terrible time," Archbishop Wilson said in a statement.
"We will keep them in our prayers and do all we can to support them through emergency support and assisting the massive recovery effort that will be required."
Caritas runs more than 200 hospitals and medical centres in the country, ABC reports.
"There are agreements between the aid agencies about what they'll focus upon, for emergency housing - some people take responsibility for providing fresh water and food and things like that," he says.
"So Caritas Australia will take its place in the middle of all those arrangements."
Archbishop Wilson has urged Australians to be generous, as thousands of people need help immediately.
"Already a substantial amount of money has been provided in Haiti," he said.
"We're asking people now to contribute to the appeal for the relief effort that will have to go on for a long period of time to try to overcome the problems that the earthquake has created."
The Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, also called for support and prayer for the victims.
"It is at times like this we need to be very thankful for what we have and recognise that we can help those in desperate need," Cardinal Pell said in a statement.
Caritas Australia said badly affected communications meant contact has not yet been made with Caritas Haiti. However, the organisation said Catholic Relief Services (a Caritas member in the USA) has been in communication with staff in Haiti.
"Their office is still standing and staff present at the time of the quake are safe. CRS staff described the quake as "a major hit...a direct hit", Caritas Australia said in a statement.
"Communications with our staff of the ground is difficult, but we are piecing together a picture of desperate need. Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere. Conflict, recent natural disasters, and poverty have left Haitians with a weak infrastructure. Working in that environment will be difficult", concluded said Jamie Davies, Director of Caritas Australia's Programs team.
Catholic Mission is urging for prayers, said Martin Teulan, Catholic Mission National Director in Australia.
"Catholic Mission internationally is preparing now to provide for hospitals, schools and churches, and will continue rebuilding for years to come. Right now the key is to get people out - those who are trapped in rubble and crying out. Pray that their cries will be heard quickly." (SOURCE:


St. Sava
Feast: January 14
Feast Day:
January 14
January 14, 1235, Tarnovgrad, Bulgariaa
Major Shrine:
Temple of Saint Sava (Belgrade)
Patron of:

Born, Rastko, he was the third son of Stephen I Nemanja (r. 1167-1196), ruler of Serbia. In 1191, he went to Mount Athos, where he took the name Sava and became a monk. He was joined there five years later by his father, who had abdicated in favor of his eldest son, Stephen. With his father, Sava established on Mount Athos the monastery of Khilander (Hilandar), which emerged as one of the leading monastic centers for the Serbians. Sava returned to Serbia in 1208 and became archimandrite of Studenica, using the post to wield considerable political and religious influence throughout the kingdom. He opposed his brother's religious policy of treating with the Holy See and in 1219 was consecrated the metropolitan of an independent Serbian Church by the patriarch of Nicaea with the approval of the Byzantine emperor, who was much in favor of keeping Serbia within the sphere of Greek Orthodox influence. Sava worked to establish dioceses throughout Serbia, promoted native clergy, built churches, and translated numerous religious texts into Serbian. In 1229, he made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, returning there in 1233 to win recognition of the Bulgarian patriarch from the patriarchs of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch. he died while on his way home, at Tirnovo, Bulgaria.(SOURCE:


Mark 1: 40 - 45
And a leper came to him beseeching him, and kneeling said to him, "If you will, you can make me clean."
Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, "I will; be clean."
And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.
And he sternly charged him, and sent him away at once,
and said to him, "See that you say nothing to any one; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to the people."
But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter.

No comments: