Wednesday, February 3, 2010




(VIS) - "The Church at the loving service of those who suffer" will be the theme of the celebrations organised to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Pontifical Council for Healthcare Workers, and the eighteenth World Day of the Sick. The events will take place from 9 to 11 February. An international symposium, due to be held on 9 and 10 February in the Vatican's New Synod Hall, will examine two documents by John Paul II: the Apostolic Letter "Salvifici Doloris" on the Christian meaning of human suffering (11 February1984), and the Motu Proprio "Dolentium Hominum" with which that Pontiff established the Pontifical Council for Healthcare Workers (11 February 1985). According to a communique, the symposium will also study the question of suffering from the point of view of Judaism, Hinduism, Islam and Buddhism, and consider how it is seen and experienced in African and Asian cultures. At 10.30 a.m. on 11 February, Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, Benedict XVI will preside at the celebration of the Eucharist in the Vatican Basilica. The programme of events for that day, prepared by the pontifical council, also includes the arrival of the reliquary of St. Bernadette Soubirous, prayer before the statue of the Virgin of Lourdes and a visit to the tomb of John Paul II. The events organised for that period also include a concert at the Rome's Santa Cecilia Academy, and an exhibition of paintings dedicated to John Paul II and to suffering..../ANNIVERSARY/HEALTHCARE WORKERS VIS 100202 (260)

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS VATICAN CITY, 2 FEB 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father: - Appointed Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, archbishop of Paris, France, as a member of the Congregation for the Clergy. - Appointed Archbishop Augustine Kasujja, apostolic nuncio to Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles, and apostolic delegate to Comoros with functions as apostolic delegate to Reunion, as apostolic nuncio to Nigeria. - Appointed Bishop Guillermo Orozco Montoya of San Jose del Guaviare, Colombia, as bishop of Girardota (area 2,445, population 212,000, Catholics 191,000, priests 57, permanent deacons 1, religious 75), Colombia. - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Mahajanga, Madagascar presented by Bishop Joseph Ignace Randrianasolo, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law. He is succeeded by Coadjutor Bishop Roger Victor Rakotondrajao. - Appointed Fr. Justin Kientega of the clergy of Koudougou, Burkina Faso, diocesan bursar, as bishop of Ouahigouya (area 19,126, population 1,200,000, Catholics 100,000, priests 62, religious 112), Burkina Faso. The bishop-elect was born in Temnaore, Burkina Faso in 1959 and ordained a priest in 1987. - Appointed Bishop Carlos German Mesa Ruiz of Arauca, Colombia, as bishop of Socorro y San Gil (area 6,734, population 268,000, Catholics 258,233, priests 102, religious 147), Colombia. - Appointed Bishop Oscar Armando Campos Contreras, auxiliary of Antequera, Oaxaca,, as bishop of Tehuantepec (area 25,000, population 1,660,000, Catholics 1,340,000, priests 76, religious 125), Mexico.NA:NN:NER:RE/.../... VIS 100202 (240)


Cath News report: Geelong racing legend George Hanlon, who trained three Melbourne Cup winners, was farewelled at the Lumen Christi Catholic Church in Leopold yesterday.
Hanlon died at a Leopold nursing home last Thursday, aged 92.
Racing media personality Brian Meldrum said in a eulogy that the remarkable stories that abound about George Maxwell Hanlon were the stuff of legend.
"They paint a picture of a man who, perhaps more than any other in the modern era, best characterised horse racing in the truest sense," Meldrum said.
Meldrum referred to noted author Les Carlyon, who once wrote: "There might be a more engaging character than George Hanlon on the Australian turf; if so, most of us haven't met him."
Hanlon won Melbourne Cups with Piping Lane in 1972, Arwon in 1978 and Black Knight in 1984.
The member of racing's Hall of Fame moved to Leopold in 1985 and helped guide many of Geelong's racing identities in their early careers.
Among mourners were former high-ranking racing officials such as chief steward Pat Lalor, Racing Victoria racing manager Les Benton, trainers Tom Hughes senior, Rick Hore-Lacy, Alan Williams, many Geelong district trainers and trackwork riders, jockeys Darren Gauci, Craig Williams and Peter Hutchinson, former jockeys Gary Willetts and Gavin Eades and long-time friends, former international jockey Ron Hutchinson and Pat Payne, father of the famous Payne racing family.
Senior officials of Geelong Racing Club also attended the Requiem Mass, said by Leopold parish priest Father Des Panton.
During the homily, Fr Panton pretended to take a phone call from top trainer Colin Hayes in heaven where Hayes said he had been replaced by Hanlon as God's horse trainer. (SOURCE:


Cardinal Newman Society report:
Attending a Catholic college has minimal impact on a Catholic student’s practice and embrace of the Catholic faith, according to a new study released Sunday at a gathering of Catholic college presidents in Washington, D.C.The study was presented to the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU) by researchers at Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA).“Catholics should be alarmed by the significant declines in Catholic practice and fidelity at many of America’s Catholic institutions,” said Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society. “Everyone expects a Catholic college to be markedly different from a secular one. Students should be inspired to embrace and deepen their Catholic faith, not negotiate around Catholic moral teaching.”The CARA study largely confirms a 2003 study released by The Cardinal Newman Society (CNS), which found significant declines in students’ support for Catholic moral teaching on abortion, marriage and sexuality after four years at a Catholic college or university. The declines were generally greater at non-Catholic private and public institutions.According to the CARA report, 16 percent of students at Catholic colleges and universities become more pro-life and more convinced of traditional marriage, whereas 31 percent become more supportive of legal abortion and 39 percent embrace same-sex “marriage.” Only seven percent increase attendance at religious services, while 32 percent reduce attendance. Eight percent of Catholic students leave the Catholic faith while attending a Catholic institution.But CARA researchers went a step further, considering the potential impact of a variety of demographic factors on students’ support for Catholic teaching. They found that attendance at a Catholic college has no statistically significant effect on a variety of measures, including students’ support for abortion, the death penalty and same-sex marriage. Students report some improvement in attending religious services (not necessarily Catholic), reading about religion and spirituality (not necessarily Catholic) and deeming it “important to improve the human condition”—a concern that is presumably shared outside the Catholic faith.Commenting on the study to, ACCU president Richard Yanikoski argued that the loss of faith at Catholic colleges and elsewhere reflects societal trends. Despite CARA’s analysis showing that the choice of a Catholic college has little significant impact on a student’s faith practice and beliefs, Yanikoski pointed to the raw data indicating that “a typical Catholic undergraduate student attending a Catholic college or university emerges more spiritually intact than if she or he had attended a public or secular private institution, but not nearly as spiritually active as would have been the case a few decades ago.”“That’s hardly something to celebrate,” Reilly said. “If the ACCU thinks it a happy fact that Catholics lose their faith somewhat slower at Catholic colleges than elsewhere, then they fail to appreciate the concerns of faithful Catholic families.”In the CARA report (found at, authors Mark Gray and Melissa Cidade state their agreement with The Cardinal Newman Society’s assertion in its 2003 report: “Regardless of where students begin their college journey, Catholic colleges should be helping students move closer to Christ, and certainly doing a better job of moving students toward the Catholic faith than secular colleges do.”In October 2008, The Cardinal Newman Society published a comprehensive study of practices and beliefs of current and recent students at Catholic colleges and universities. The study, conducted by the reputable Washington, D.C., polling firm QEV Analytics, found that:
Nearly 1 in 5 respondents knew another student who had or paid for an abortion.
46% of current and recent students—and 50% of females—said they engaged in sex outside of marriage.
84% said they had friends who engaged in premarital sex.
60% agreed strongly or somewhat that abortion should be legal.
60% agreed strongly or somewhat that premarital sex is not a sin.
78% disagreed strongly or somewhat that using a condom to prevent pregnancy was a serious sin.
57% agreed strongly or somewhat that same-sex “marriage” should be legal.
57% said the experience of attending a Catholic college or university had no effect on their participation in Mass and the sacrament of reconciliation.
54% of respondents said that their experience of attending a Catholic college or university had no effect on their support for the teachings of the Catholic Church.
56% said their experience had no effect on their respect for the Pope and bishops.
Both the 2008 and the 2003 CNS reports can be found at


Asia News report:
Bicycle tour took participants to locations that are significant in the history of the diocese in order to promote priestly vocations among the young. For the diocese’s 12,000 Catholics, there are 31 diocesan priests, 18 religious and 1 deacon. Last year, 400 people were baptised.Chiayi (AsiaNews) – At least 120 priests and nuns, plus more than 200 lay people, joined Bishop Thomas Chung An-zu of Chiayi diocese, southwestern Taiwan, on a cycling tour to celebrate the Year for the Priests by visiting the “roots” of the Catholic faith in the diocese.
Bishop Chung told AsiaNews that it was the first time the diocese held such activity, whose aim was to evangelise among local residents and promote “much-needed” vocations. Jokingly, the former rector of Taiwan Catholic Regional Seminary said, “Certainly cycling helped our priests and nuns relax and stay in good health”.
Mgr Chung has been the bishop of Chiayi since 2004. His diocese comprises the city of Chiayi, Chiayi County, and Yunlin County. It has about 12,000 Catholics, 31 diocesan priests and 18 religious. Its only deacon will be ordained a priest in April. “The diocese needs many priests,” the bishop said.
The cycling tour took place on 30 January and lasted four hours, covering 15 kilometres. The group of cyclists stopped and prayed at Siluo Church, one of the oldest Christian buildings, then travelled to Shuiwei village in Lunbei, Bishop Chung’s birthplace. Shuiwei has been a Catholic village for more than 100 years. “My family and villagers were very happy to receive the group,” the bishop said.
The group paid tribute to Taiwan’s second priest Fr Li Tian-yi in his hometown. Through photos, they learnt about the “hardships and perseverance of the early days in Taiwan” as well as “ the history of Catholic evangelisation in the villages,” he said. “We hope more young people will discover and choose the religious life,” he added.
Liao Wen-tung, the bishop’s special assistant, told AsiaNews, that about 20 young people joined the group. Almost all the diocesan priests, a number of members from the Society of Divine Word (Verbites) as well as the Congregation of Priests of the Mission, the Sisters of Our Lady of China and Dominican nuns from Chiayi diocese took part in the tour. “It was a special event that laypeople organised for the priests and others to celebrate the Year of the Priests,” he said.
Protestant clergymen and community leaders from Yunlin County were also invited, as a gesture of friendship and exchange with communities outside the Catholic Church, Liao said.
Each bicycle carried a sign in the front saying: “Catholic Chiayi Diocese: Priests’ ‘Iron-horse Ride’, Vocations and Faith-seeking Trip”, drawing attention of passers-by. Several local media reported the unusual event.
Organised by the Chaiyi’s Council for the Apostolate of the Laity, the event also featured the gift of a clerical shirt to each priest to show laypeople’s gratitude and support, council chairwoman Lin Miao-e told AsiaNews.
Bishop Chung said the cycling tour spread the message throughout the diocese that vocations are needed, encouraging each Catholic family to evangelise and foster vocations.
In preparing the 150th anniversary celebration of the evangelisation in Taiwan (1859-2009), which ended last November, the bishop noted that the parishes and Church institutions in Chiayi diocese organised a total of 55 catechism classes for catechumens, and that some 400 people were baptised last year.
The Chiayi diocese was first set up as a prefecture in 1952 and became a diocese in 1962.
The Church is primarily involved in education, medical and social services in Chiayi and Yunlin counties.(SOURCE:,-priests-and-nuns-on-bicycle-tour-to-promote-faith-and-vocations-17523.html


CISA report: For years now, many Kenyans have had to travel abroad to seek treatment for eye problems, but a recent study has shown that the country has a leading centre for prevalent vision problems.The latest innovation for treatment of eye disorders is available locally and Kenyans do not need to go abroad for treatment anymore.Dr Mukesh Joshi, the Medical Director of Laser Eye Centre in Nairobi, has discovered new ways of eye treatment and Cross Linking is one of them.In Cross Linking, Dr Joshi explains, the middle part of the cornea which is known as the stroma is strengthened by putting Riboflavin eye drops followed by “exposure to ultra violet light in such a way that it does not damage the rest of the eye and is concentrated on the cornea.”In his presentation at the 5th International Congress of Corneal Cross linking in Germany last month, Dr Joshi said that about three hundred Kenyan eyes have so far undergone the procedure successfully.Dr Joshi has practiced as a Consultant ophthalmologist for nearly twenty five years in Kenya. He has been in charge of eye services of the largest province in Kenya (Rift Valley).He is also a pioneer in Keratoplasty, especially for Keratoconus patients. Dr Joshi and his team have carried out over 5000 Cataract operations at various eye camps with various Lions clubs in Kenya. Currently, he is an Honorary Project Ophthalmologist for the Kenya Rural Blindness Eradication Project, for the Rotary Club of Nairobi. Since 1985, his team has performed over 8000 free Cataract operations as a joint activity with Rotary Club Marburg – Schloss (Germany).He has also performed more than 500 free diabetic lasers and is currently performing regular corneal grafting operations. He intends to establish a Rotary Eye Bank in the near future. (SOURCE:


CNA report:
Last weekend Bishop Jesus Sanz Montes became the youngest archbishop in Spain after being installed as the new ordinary of the historic Archdiocese of Oviedo.
Previously, the new archbishop was head of the Diocese of Huesca-Jaca, located in northeast Spain.
During his installation ceremony, Archbishop Sanz Montes, 54, thanked the 39 prelates in attendance and expressed his commitment to defending life from conception to natural death.
In his homily at the Cathedral of Oviedo, Archbishop Sanz Montes said he was not seeking “praise nor applause” and that he was not afraid “of unpopularity.”
The archbishop has spoken out against the Spanish government's acceptance of abortion in recent years. In a pastoral letter last October, the then-Bishop of Huesca-Jaca criticized leaders for calling abortion a “right,” which, he explained, is “a venomous source of immorality and injustice that mars the entire law.”(SOURCE:


Presentation of Child Jesus in the Temple
Feast: February 2
Feast Day:
February 2

The law of God, given by Moses to the Jews, to insinuate both to us and to them, that by the sin of Adam man is conceived and born in sin, and obnoxious to his wrath, ordained that a woman, after childbirth, should continue for a certain time in a state which that law calls unclean; during which she was not to appear in public, nor presume to touch any thing consecrated to God. This term was of forty days upon the birth of a son, and the time was double for a daughter: on the expiration of which, the mother was to bring to the door of the tabernacle, or temple, a lamb of a year old. and a young pigeon or turtle-dove. The lamb was for a holocaust, or burnt-offering, in acknowledgment of the sovereignty of God, and in thanksgiving for her own happy delivery; the pigeon or turtle-dove was for a sin-offering. These being sacrificed to Almighty God by the priest, the woman was cleansed of the legal impurity, and reinstated in her former privileges. A young pigeon, or turtle-dove, by way of a sin-offering, was required of all, whether rich or poor: but whereas the charge of a lamb might be too burdensome on persons of narrow circumstances, in that case, nothing more was required, then two pigeons, or two turtle-doves, one for a burnt, the other for a sin-offering.
Our Saviour having been conceived by the Holy Ghost, and his blessed Mother remaining always a spotless virgin, it is most evident from the terms of the law, that she was, in reality, under no obligation to it, nor within the intent of it. She was, however, within the letter of the law, in the eye of the world, who were as yet strangers to her miraculous conception. And her humility making her perfectly resigned, and even desirous to conceal her privilege and dignity, she submitted with great punctuality and exactness to every humbling circumstance which the law required. Pride indeed proclaims its own advantages, and seeks honors not its due; but the humble find their delight in obscurity and abasement, they shun all distinction and esteem which they clearly see their own nothingness and baseness to be most unworthy of: they give all glory to God alone, to whom it is due. Devotion also and zeal to honor God by every observance prescribed by his law, prompted Mary to perform this act of religion, though evidently exempt from the precept. Being poor herself; she made the offering appointed for the poor: accordingly is this part of the law mentioned by St. Luke, as best agreeing with the meanness of her worldly condition. But her offering, however mean in itself, was made with a perfect heart, which is what God chiefly regards in all that is offered to him. The King of Glory would appear everywhere in the robes of poverty, to point out to us the advantages of a suffering and lowly state, and to repress our pride, by which, though really poor and mean in the eyes of God, we covet to appear rich, and, though sinners, would be deemed innocents and saints.
A second great mystery is honored this day, regarding more immediately the person of our Redeemer, viz. his presentation in the temple. Besides the law which obliged the mother to purify herself, there was another which ordered that the first-born son should be offered to God: and in these two laws were included several others, as, that the child, after its presentation, should be ransomed with a certain sum of money, and peculiar sacrifices offered on the occasion.
Mary complies exactly with all these ordinances. She obeys not only in the essential points of the law, as in presenting herself to be purified, and in her offering her first-born, but has strict regard to all the circumstances. She remains forty days at home, she denies herself all this time the liberty of. entering the temple, she partakes not of things sacred, though the living temple of the God of Israel; and on the day of her purification, she walks several miles to Jerusalem, with the world's Redeemer in her arms. She waits for the priest at the gate of the temple, makes her offerings of thanksgiving and expiation, presents her divine Son by the hands of the priest to his eternal Father, with the most profound humility, adoration, and thanksgiving. She then redeems him with five shekels, as the law appoints, and receives him back again as a depositum in her special care, till the Father shall again demand him for the full accomplishment of man's redemption. It is clear that Christ was not comprehended in the law; "The king's son, to whom the inheritance of the crown belongs, is exempt from servitude:- much more Christ, who was the Redeemer both of our souls and bodies, was not subject to any law by which he was to be himself redeemed," as St. Hilary observes. But he would set an example of humility, obedience, and devotion: and would renew, in a solemn and public manner, and in the temple, the oblation of himself to his Father for the accomplishment of his will, and the redemption of man, which he had made privately in the first moment of his Incarnation. With what sentiments did the divine Infant offer himself to his Father at the same time! the greatest homage of his honour and glory the Father could receive, and a sacrifice of satisfaction adequate to the injuries done to the Godhead by our sins, and sufficient to ransom our souls from everlasting death! With what cheerfulness and charity did he offer himself to all his torments! to be whipped, crowned with thorns, and ignominiously put to death for us!
Let every Christian learn hence to offer himself to God with this divine victim, through which he may be accepted by the Father; let him devote himself with all his senses and faculties to his service. If sloth, or any other vice, has made us neglectful of this essential duty, we must bewail past omissions, and make a solemn and serious consecration of ourselves this day to the divine majesty with the greater fervor, crying out with St. Austin, in compunction of heart: "Too late have I known thee, too late have I begun to love thee, O beauty more ancient than the world!" But our sacrifice, if we desire it may be accepted, must not be lame and imperfect. It would be an insult to offer to God, in union with his Christ, a divided heart, or a heart infected with wilful sin. It must therefore first be cleansed by tears of sincere compunction: its affections must be crucified to the world by perfect mortification. Our offering must be sincere and fervent, without reserve, allowing no quarter to any of our vicious passions and inclinations, and no division in any of our affections. It must also be universal; to suffer and to do all for the divine honor. If we give our hearts to Christ in this manner, we shall receive him with his graces and benedictions. He would be presented in the temple by the hands of his mother: let us accordingly make the offering of our souls through Mary and beg his graces through the same channel.
The ceremony of this day was closed by a third mystery, the. meeting in the temple of the holy persons, Simeon and Anne, with Jesus and his parents, from which this festival was anciently called by the Greeks Hypante, the meeting. Holy Simeon, on that occasion, received into his arms the object of all his desires and sighs, and praised God in raptures of devotion for being blessed with the happiness of beholding the so much longed-for Messias. He foretold to Mary her martyrdom of sorrow; and that Jesus brought redemption to those who would accept of it on the terms it was offered them; but a heavy judgment on all infidels who should obstinately reject it, and on Christians also whose lives were a contradiction to his holy maxims and example. Mary, hearing this terrible prediction, did not answer one word, felt no agitation of mind from the present, no dread for the future; but courageously and sweetly committed all to God's holy will. Anne also, the prophetess, who, in her widowhood, served God with great fervor, had the happiness to acknowledge and adore in this great mystery the world's Redeemer. Amidst the crowd of priests and people, the Saviour of the world is known only by Simeon and Anne. Even when he disputed with the doctors, and when he wrought the most stupendous miracles, the learned, the wise, and the princes did not know him. Yet here, while a weak, speechless child, carried in the arms of his poor mother, he is acknowledged and adored by Simeon and Anne. He could not hide himself from those who sought him with fervor, humility, and ardent love. Unless we seek him in these dispositions, he will not manifest himself, nor communicate his graces to us. Simeon, having beheld his Saviour in the flesh, desired no longer to see the light of this world, nor any creatures on earth If we truly love God, our distance from him must be a continual pain: and we must sigh after that desired moment which will free us from the danger of ever losing him by sin, and will put us in possession of Him who is the joy of the blessed, and the infinite treasure of heaven. Let us never cease to pray that he purify our hearts from all earthly dross, and draw them to himself: that he heal, satiate, and inflame our souls, as he only came upon earth to kindle in all hearts the fire of his love.(SOURCE:


Blessing of Candles & Procession /The Presentation of the Lord (Feast)

Luke 2: 22 - 40
And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord
(as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord")
and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, "a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons."
Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law,
he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,
"Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word;
for mine eyes have seen thy salvation
which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to thy people Israel."
And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him;
and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against
(and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed."
And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phan'u-el, of the tribe of Asher; she was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity,
and as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.
And coming up at that very hour she gave thanks to God, and spoke of him to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth.
And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

No comments: