Thursday, February 11, 2010




“The measure of humanity is essentially determined in its relationship to suffering and the sufferer”, this was Pope Benedict XVI’s message today, the World Day for the Sick and the feast of St Bernadette of Lourdes.The Holy Father celebrated mass this morning here in St Peter’s Basilica together with hundreds of sick pilgrims and their carers.Thousands more followed the event via live satellite links from the sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes in France.St. Peter’s basilica was filled with the sick and suffering, as well as their loved-ones and caregivers on Thursday morning, for a Mass to mark the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and the 18th World Day for the sick.Relics of the Lourdes visionary St. Bernadette Soubirous were carried in Procession to a specially prepared place in front of the Confession of St Peter that juts out from the High Altar in the Basilica, where Pope Benedict paused in prayerful recollection before the Mass.In his homily, the Holy Father said the Church, like Mary, carries within herself the dramas of the human condition, and God’s own consolation. He said preaching the Word of God and comforting the afflicted in body and spirit are essential elements in the life and mission of the Church.The relics of St Bernadette arrived in Rome earlier this week, on the 9th of this month, and were present in the Basilica of St Mary Major for veneration in the days leading to the Thursday feast.(source:


UCAN report:
A fire in a private hostel has killed at least 13 students of a Salesian-run school in the hilly state of Arunachal Pradesh.
“It is a great tragedy,” said Salesian Father A.D. Jose based in the state capital Itanagar. He said the accident happened Feb. 10 but added they “do not have details.”
The priest said the fire-hit Holy Angels hostel in Palin village does not belong to the Church. “It is managed privately, but houses some students” of Salesian’s Don Bosco school in the village.
For the past several days the area was without electrical power and students must have used candles or kerosene lamps in the hostel built with bamboo and hay. “It must have been a major fire,” the priest told UCA News today.
He said the Church people in Itanagar are trying to get details from the village, which is a six-hour drive from the capital. The village comes under Kurung Kummpy district.
Media quoted district magistrate Remu Kemkei as saying the administration was in the process of evacuating the injured by choppers to hospitals in Itanagar.
The hostel had 62 students. “We are investigating the cause of the fire but preliminary reports indicate that it was accidental fire,” Kemkei said.(SOURCE:

CNA report:
As the Church of England’s General Synod begins, some Anglo-Catholic leaders have said if their concerns about the introduction of women bishops are not addressed they will withdraw their resources from the Anglican Church and focus them on ministries outside the formal church structure.
The Church of England introduced women to its priesthood in 1994. It is committed to the consecration of female bishops as well, The Telegraph reports, but controversy continues about the implementation.
Many of those who favor female bishops argue they should be introduced on the same basis and with the same powers as men. They fear the development of a two-tier system.
Those who oppose female bishops argue they had been assured that provisions would be made for them. They point to the current “flying bishops” arrangement for parishes that cannot accept the oversight of female vicars and so have bishops from other regions as their overseers.
The traditionalists, led by a group called Reform, seek either an entirely new province that could cover all of England or extra junior bishops in dioceses that had not ordained women bishops and would be answerable only to an archbishop.
The debate has been postponed until July. However, according to the Telegraph, Anglican Bishop of Manchester Nigel McCulloch’s comments to Synod members on Monday suggested that the proposals desired by traditionalists are no longer being considered.
He said that parishes with “conscientious difficulties” about women’s ordination would be addressed by means of a bishop chosen by delegation from diocesan bishops. According to the Anglican website Virtue Online, this would still be unacceptable to some Anglicans because the diocesan bishops would include women.
The Synod’s Anglo-Catholic group said it was “deeply disappointed and dismayed” by Bishop McCulloch’s statement. The group said it believed the vast majority of Church of England members would not want to see the episcopal consecration of women as the “trigger for the exclusion from the church of a large number of faithful Anglicans.”
“We have to say that if the legislation were to be passed in its present form, that is precisely what would happen.”
Rev. Rod Thomas, chairman of the Reform group, said traditionalists’ understanding was that proper provision would be made for those who did not believe in the consecration of women bishops.
"It seems to us a matter of simple integrity that Synod should now keep its word to us in this and not force us down a road none of us wish to tread.”
His group’s clergy claim to have contributed more than $34 million to the Anglican Church over the past decade and to have helped more than 180 men into ordained ministry, with 50 percent of those men being under the age of 30.
They warned that the introduction of women bishops without safeguards for objectors would render them unable to contribute to dioceses. Rather, they would spend resources on ministries “outside the formal structures of the Church of England,” a statement from Reform says.
The Catholic Church does not recognize the Anglican priesthood and episcopacy as validly ordained. The Church also teaches that the ordination of women is a sacramental impossibility.
Last year Pope Benedict XVI announced a special ordinariate for Anglicans seeking to enter full communion with the Catholic Church.(SOURCE:

CNA report:
Management of a large South Africa AIDS consortium led by Catholic Relief Services will be shifted into the control of the Southern Africa Catholic Bishops Conference (SACBC) and two other local organizations. A recent gathering marked the longtime partnership between the two organizations.
The AIDSRelief consortium supports HIV care and treatment for more than 60,000 people with the assistance of a very large U.S. grant. Part of the support has come through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). St. Mary’s Hospital and the Institute for Youth Development-South Africa will manage the program with the SACBC.
At a Feb. 3 celebration of the partnership between the SACBC and Catholic Relief Services (CRS), CRS South Africa Country Representative Ruth Stark said the event honors the “commitment and success of the Catholic Church in caring for the world’s largest population of people with HIV.”
Speaking to the SACBC, Stark reported that about 150 people attended, including officials from the Catholic Church, the South African government and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
“The program ended with most of us in tears when a 12-year-old orphan told the audience about his life and how the services he had received had supported him, emotionally as well as materially. He concluded by saying how happy he was to have had the opportunity to share his story, adding ‘I want to look you in the eye and thank you.’”
Sr. Alison Munro of the SACBC AIDS Office noted that her office was observing the tenth anniversary of its January 2000 reorganization. From meager beginnings, the office now runs PEPFAR-funded anti-retroviral (ARV) projects and projects for orphaned and vulnerable children.
Describing treatment programs, she said the work day at many sites begins with prayers for God’s blessings.
“Priests and others conduct prayer services and run support groups with patients and others affected by AIDS. Caregivers come together for retreats and times of debriefing from the stresses of work. Bishops support the AIDS committees and personnel who are directly involved in the response to AIDS.”
Sr. Munro reported that most patients are serious in their commitment to their treatment and in finding employment.
“Fewer people are dying. Patients like receiving ARV drugs from the ‘Romans’ because they pray over them. Some children assist their parents with adherence to drug regimens,” she added.
She said the total number of people the programs have benefited will not be known by man.
“The ripple effect is impossible to measure. Our efforts may sometimes seem like a drop in the ocean. God who sees all things knows!” Sr. Munro said.
Bishop Frank Nubuasah of the apostolic vicariate of Francistown, Botswana, also addressed the Feb. 3 assembly. Using the metaphor of the Church as a body, he said if a very small part of the Church is sick the whole Church is.
“…and so the Church needs to find ways and means to alleviate the suffering of her members. We go beyond that,” the bishop commented. “We do not discriminate against anyone on grounds of religion or ethnicity. All are sisters and brothers. Jesus is the reason for doing what the Church does. He encourages us to see others as children of God our Father. He inspires us to extend his compassion to all.”
“Even where there are government offices, these close at five o’clock in the evening but the churches doors are open throughout. People in need do not go to the social workers, but to the churches and convents,” he added.
“As a church we are grateful to God for the gift of hope and empowerment that the American people through President Bush’s PEPFAR program gave to some selected countries in the world to be able to respond to the challenge of the AIDS pandemic. We have benefited from this generosity and have made good use of the resources we have received.”
Bishop Nubuasah also praised CRS’ cooperation before singling out for thanks the managers of AIDS relief efforts.
“You have made it happen. You will continue to make it happen and we are proud of you. You are the visible doctrine of the church and the living Bible for others to see the compassionate face of Jesus. God bless you.”

Press release St. Thomas Aquinas College:
Dr. Michael F. McLean will be inaugurated as the fourth president of Thomas Aquinas College on Saturday, February 13, 2010. The day will begin with a Mass of the Holy Spirit at 10:00 a.m. in Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity Chapel. The ordinary of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Cardinal Roger Mahony, will be the principal celebrant; Bishop Thomas Curry of the Santa Barbara region will concelebrate the Mass along with a number of priests from Ventura, Los Angeles, and Orange Counties as well as some of the college's graduates who have entered the priesthood.
The installation ceremony, at which Cardinal Mahony will preside, is scheduled for 12:00 noon, also in the school's new chapel. Extending greetings to Dr. McLean and the college will be President Christopher B. Nelson of St. John's College, Annapolis; Dr. John P. O'Callaghan, president of the Jacques Maritain Center at the University of Notre Dame; Brother Mel Anderson, F.S.C., president emeritus of St. Mary's College of California; and Rev. David M. O'Connell, C.M, president of The Catholic University of America.
Following these speakers, Chairman of the Board of Governors, Mr. R. James Wensley, will charge Dr. McLean with the duties of his new office and then invest him as president, bestowing on him the president's silver chain of office. Dr. McLean will then make a profession of faith and take the Oath of Fidelity, making public his intention that both he and the college he now leads will remain loyal to the Holy Father and faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church. Cardinal Mahony will follow with an Episcopal Greeting, after which Dr. McLean will give the inaugural response.
As a sign of the way in which a president is selected at Thomas Aquinas, Dr. McLean will process and be seated with the faculty at the inauguration ceremony until the past presidents of the college, Dr. Ronald P. McArthur and Mr. Peter L. DeLuca, call him forward to be installed as president.
Explains Mr. Wensley, "The Board of Governors of Thomas Aquinas College is, perhaps, unique in being directed by our polity and by-laws to appoint a president from among the teaching faculty of the college. This method was established in the late 1960s by our founders in an effort to ensure that, down through the generations, Thomas Aquinas College would maintain the unique character of its academic program, its discipleship to the Church's Universal Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas, and its authentically Catholic character. The founders were convinced that no one could better achieve these goals than a tutor who had devoted his life to implementing the mission of the college on a daily basis in our classrooms." Mr. Wensley adds, "In fact, the polity also requires the president to continue teaching at least one class, even as the leads the college."
Unable to attend the inauguration ceremonies, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States and a long-time friend of Thomas Aquinas College, has sent his good wishes, saying, "Please be assured of my continual remembrance of the college in prayer. I will be in spiritual union with Thomas Aquinas College, especially for Dr. McLean's inauguration this coming February 13th, asking the Lord to bless him with all the graces needed for his leadership in a renewed spirit of wisdom and strength through the intercession of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity."
Commenting on the weekend ahead, Mrs. Anne Forsyth, Director of College Relations said, "We have planned a series of events to mark this historic moment for Thomas Aquinas College. There will be a private reception and dinner with the faculty on Thursday evening; an all-college dinner with students, staff, faculty, and members of the board on Friday evening; and a black-tie dinner on Saturday evening at the Ojai Valley Inn for benefactors, friends, and representatives of colleges and universities from around the region and the country. In addition, the college's alumni association is sponsoring a champagne brunch on Sunday in honor of Dr. McLean." Mrs. Forsyth noted, too, that "at the inauguration ceremonies, faculty and officials of the college as well as visiting college and university presidents will be dressed in colorful academic regalia, and the Presidio Brass Quintet will be on hand to provide festive music in keeping with nature of the day."
Reflecting on the past year at the college, Assistant Dean for Religious Affairs, Rev. Cornelius Buckley, S.J., said, "There has been great sorrow since the loss of our wonderful president of 18 years, Dr. Tom Dillon, last spring. We have also had a long period of transition, ably led by our interim president, Peter DeLuca. Now, the inaugural weekend is upon us. It will be a wonderful opportunity for the whole college community to renew its commitment to genuine Catholic liberal education, to rejoice in the great good that this college provides for the Church and our country, and to look forward with hope and confidence to the future under the leadership of President Michael McLean."
Michael F. McLean was born on January 31, 1947. He holds a BA in philosophy from Saint Mary's College of California and a PhD in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame. Dr. McLean was appointed to the faculty of Thomas Aquinas College in 1978 and has served as a tutor since that time. In addition, he has served as Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, Vice President for Development, and from 2003 until his appointment as president in October, 2009, as Dean of the College and as a member of its board of governors.
After graduating from St. Mary's College, Dr. McLean served one year as a Peace Corps Volunteer in St. Vincent, British West Indies. He then served another three years as an officer in the United States Coast Guard, with responsibilities for shipboard operations and rescue coordination.
A long-time resident of Santa Paula, California, Dr. McLean has been active in the local community and at his parish church, St. Sebastian. He is a co-founder of the Great Books Seminars in nearby Ojai, California, and has been a member and president of the board of directors of St. Augustine Academy in Ventura, California.Dr. McLean enjoys hiking, backpacking, classical music, opera, and gardening. He and his wife of 42 years, Lynda, are the parents of three children, and grandparents of four.
ABOUT THOMAS AQUINAS COLLEGENamed a 2010 "Best Value" college by The Princeton Review and Kiplinger's, Thomas Aquinas College is a four-year, Catholic liberal arts college with a fully-integrated curriculum composed exclusively of the Great Books, the seminal works in the major disciplines by the great thinkers who have helped shape Western civilization. There are no textbooks, no lectures and no electives. Instead, under the guidance of faculty members and using only the Socratic method of dialogue in classes of no more than 20, students read and discuss the original works of authors such as Euclid, Dante, Galileo, Descartes, the American Founding Fathers, Shakespeare, Copernicus, Kepler, Newton, Einstein, Aristotle, Plato, St. Augustine, and of course, St. Thomas Aquinas. Alumni consistently excel in the many world-class institutions at which they pursue graduate degrees in fields such as law, medicine, business, theology and education. They have distinguished themselves serving as lawyers, doctors, business owners, priests, military service men and women, educators, journalists and college presidents. (SOURCE:


Cath News report:
The St Vincent de Paul Society has welcomed the Federal Government's move to allow disadvantaged people to access Centrelink payments weekly rather than fortnightly, but reiterated its opposition to compulsory income management.
"This is the kind of policy that is both respectful and responsive," said National Council Chief Executive, Dr John Falzon."This puts some of the flesh on the bones of the Government's Homelessness Strategy."
"We also, however, reiterate our firm opposition to the Government's plans to roll out compulsory income management," he added in a statement, calling it a "cynical manouevre" to get around the Racial Discrimination Act.
"Compulsory welfare quarantining, be it on the basis of race or class, is neither respectful nor responsive. We are deeply worried about its negative impacts on the lives of vulnerable people and its failure to actually address the causes of poverty and inequality."(SOURCE:


Our Lady of Lourdes
Feast: February 11
Feast Day:
February 11

The pilgrimage of Lourdes is founded on the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin to a poor, fourteen-year-old girl, Bernadette Soubiroux. The first apparition occurred 11 February, 1858. There were eighteen in all; the last took place 16 July, of the same year. Bernadette often fell into an ecstasy. The mysterious vision she saw in the hollow of the rock Massabielle was that of a young and beautiful lady. "Lovelier than I have ever seen" said the child. But the girl was the only one who saw the vision, although sometimes many stood there with her. Now and then the apparition spoke to the seer who also was the only one who heard the voice. Thus, she one day told her to drink of a mysterious fountain, in the grotto itself, the existence of which was unknown, and of which there was no sign, but which immediately gushed forth. On another occasion the apparition bade Bernadette go and tell the priests she wished a chapel to be built on the spot and processions to be made to the grotto. At first the clergy were incredulous. It was only four years later, in 1862, that the bishop of the diocese declared the faithful "justified in believing the reality of the apparition". A basilica was built upon the rock of Massabielle by M. Peyramale, the parish priest. In 1873 the great "national" French pilgrimages were inaugurated. Three years later the basilica was consecrated and the statue solemnly crowned. In 1883 the foundation stone of another church was laid, as the first was no longer large enough. It was built at the foot of the basilica and was consecrated in 1901 and called the Church of the Rosary. Pope Leo XIII authorized a special office and a Mass, in commemoration of the apparition, and in 1907 Pius X extended the observance of this feast to the entire Church; it is now observed on 11 February.
Never has a sanctuary attracted such throngs. At the end of the year 1908, when the fiftieth anniversary of the apparition was celebrated, although the record really only began from 1867, 5297 pilgrimages had been registered and these had brought 4,919,000 pilgrims. Individual pilgrims are more numerous by far than those who come in groups. To their number must be added the visitors who do not come as pilgrims, but who are attracted by a religious feeling or sometimes merely by the desire to see this far-famed spot. The Company of the Chemins de Fer du Midi estimates that the Lourdes station receives over one million travellers per annum. Every nation in the world furnishes its contingent. Out of the total of pilgrimages given above, four hundred and sixty-four came from countries other than France. They are sent by the United States, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Hungary, Spain, Portugal, Italy, England, Ireland, Canada, Brazil, Bolivia, etc. The bishops lead the way. At the end of the year of the fiftieth anniversary, 2013 prelates, including 546 archbishops, 10 primates, 19 patriarchs, 69 cardinals, had made the pilgrimage to Lourdes. But more remarkable still than the crowd of pilgrims is the series of wonderful occurrences which take place under the protection of the celebrated sanctuary. Passing over spiritual cures, which more often than not escape human observance, we shall confine ourselves to bodily diseases. The writer of this article has recorded every recovery, whether partial or complete, and in the first half-century of the shrine's existence he has counted 3962. Notwithstanding very careful statistics which give the names and surnames of the patients who have recovered, the date of the cure, the name of the disease, and generally that of the physician who had charge of the case, there are inevitably doubtful or mistaken cases, attributable, as a rule, to the excited fancy of the afflicted one and which time soon dispels. But it is only right to note: first, that these unavoidable errors regard only secondary cases which have not like the others been the object of special study; it must also be noted that the number of cases is equalled and exceeded by actual cures which are not put on record. The afflicted who have recovered are not obliged to present themselves and half of them do not present themselves, at the Bureau des Constatations M├ędicales at Lourdes, and it is from this bureau's official reports that the list of cures is drawn up.
The estimate that about 4000 cures have been obtained at Lourdes within the first fifty years of the pilgrimage is undoubtedly considerably less than the actual number. The Bureau des Constatations stands near the shrine, and there are recorded and checked the certificates of maladies and also the certificates of cure; it is free to all physicians, whatever their nationality or religious belief. Consequently, on an average, from two to three hundred physicians annual visit this marvellous clinic. As to the nature of the diseases which are cured, nervous disorders so frequently mentioned, do not furnish even the fourteenth part of the whole; 278 have been counted, out of a total of 3962. The present writer has published the number of cases of each disease or infirmity, among them tuberculosis, tumours, sores, cancers, deafness, blindness, etc. The "Annales des Sciences Physiques", a sceptical review whose chief editor is Doctor Ch. Richet, Professor at the Medical Faculty of Paris, said in the course of a long article, apropos of this faithful study: "On reading it, unprejudiced minds cannot but be convinced that the facts stated are authentic."


Mark 7: 24 - 30
And from there he arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And he entered a house, and would not have any one know it; yet he could not be hid.
But immediately a woman, whose little daughter was possessed by an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell down at his feet.
Now the woman was a Greek, a Syrophoeni'cian by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter.
And he said to her, "Let the children first be fed, for it is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs."
But she answered him, "Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs."
And he said to her, "For this saying you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter."
And she went home, and found the child lying in bed, and the demon gone.

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