Wednesday, February 10, 2010
CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: WED. FEB. 10, 2010
CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: WED. FEB. 10, 2010: HEADLINES-
VATICAN: ST. ANTHONY OF PADUA, AN EXAMPLE TO PREACHERS-
AMERICA: BOLIVIA: AUXILIARY BISHOP ENCOURAGES NEW CATECHISTS-
AFRICA: DEM. REP. OF CONGO PROCESSION & MASS FOR VICTIMS-
AUSTRALIA: BISHOPS OFFER ONLINE LENT EXPERIENCE-
EUROPE: MALTA: ANNOUNCES SCHEDULE OF POPE'S VISIT- ASIA: KOREA: BUS COMPANIES BAN ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN-
ST. ANTHONY OF PADUA, AN EXAMPLE TO PREACHERS VATICAN CITY, 10 FEB 2010 (VIS) - Benedict XVI dedicated his catechesis during this morning's general audience to St. Anthony of Padua, "one of the most popular saints of the Catholic Church". St. Anthony was born to a noble family in Lisbon around the year 1195. Following a period spent with the Augustinian Canons, he entered the Friars Minor in the hope of travelling to Morocco to work as a missionary. However he fell sick and returned to Italy where he dedicated himself to intense and effective apostolic labours. He died in Padua in 1231 and was canonised by Pope Gregory IX in 1232. "Anthony", the Pope explained, "made a significant contribution to the development of Franciscan spirituality with his outstanding gifts of intelligence, balance, apostolic zeal and, especially, mystic fervour. ... He was also one of the first, if not the first, master of theology among the Friars Minor". The saint wrote two cycles of sermons, one entitled "Sunday Sermons" the other "Sermons on the Saints", in which he presented "a true itinerary of Christian life. Such is the wealth of spiritual teachings contained in the 'Sermons' that in 1946 Venerable Pope Pius XII proclaimed Anthony a Doctor of the Church, giving him the title of 'Doctor Evangelicus' because all the freshness and beauty of the Gospel emerges in his writings", said the Holy Father. Anthony of Padua, or of Lisbon as he is also known, defined prayer "as a relationship of love, which leads man to a dialogue with the Lord", and he described four "attitudes" which must characterise it: "trustingly opening our hearts to God, affectionately conversing with Him, presenting Him our needs, and giving Him praise and thanks. In this teaching of St. Anthony", the Pope explained, "we see one of the specific traits of Franciscan theology; ... that is, the central role of divine love which enters the sphere of the affections, of the will, of the heart, and which is the source of a spiritual knowledge that surpasses all other knowledge". But the "Doctor Evangelicus" also knew the defects of human nature, such as "the tendency to fall into sin, and so he continually exhorted people to combat the inclination to avarice, pride and impurity. ... At the beginning of the thirteenth century, in a context of expanding cities and flourishing trade, a growing number of people were insensitive to the needs of the poor. For this reason, Anthony frequently invited the faithful to turn their thoughts to true wealth, that of the heart" and to seek the friendship of those most in need. "Is this not", the Pope asked, "also an important lesson for us today, as the financial crisis and serious economic imbalances impoverish many people, and create situations of distresss?" He then went on to comment on one another aspect of Franciscan theology, Christocentrism, which "invites us to contemplate the mysteries of the Lord's humanity", especially His Nativity and Crucifixion. "The vision of the crucified Lord", said the Holy Father, inspired in Anthony "feelings of recognition towards God and of respect for the dignity of the human person". In that vision "everyone, believers and non-believers, may find a meaning that enriches life". This, he explained, "is the importance of the crucifixion in our culture and our humanity, which are born of the Christian faith, ... because God considers us so important as to be worthy of His suffering". The Pope concluded his catechesis by calling on St. Anthony to intercede for the whole Church, and in particular for "those who dedicate their lives to preaching. Drawing inspiration from his example, may they unite sound and healthy doctrine, sincere and fervent piety, and incisive communication. In this Year for Priests, let us pray that priests and deacons eagerly carry out their ministry of announcing and contextualising the Word of God for the faithful, especially in liturgical homilies".AG/ANTHONY OF PADUA/... VIS 100210 (660)
HARVESTING THE RESULTS OF LUTHERAN-CATHOLIC DIALOGUE VATICAN CITY, 10 FEB 2010 (VIS) - Following today's general audience, the Pope met with a delegation from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, led by Bishop Mark Hanson. Addressing the group in English, the Holy Father expressed the hope that "the continuing Lutheran-Catholic dialogue both in the United States of America and at the international level will help to build upon the agreements reached so far. "An important remaining task", he added, "will be to harvest the results of the Lutheran-Catholic dialogue that so promisingly started after the Vatican Council II. To build on what has been achieved together since that time, a spiritual ecumenism should be grounded in ardent prayer and in conversion to Christ, the source of grace and truth. May the Lord help us to treasure what has been accomplished so far, to guard it with care, and to foster its development". Benedict XVI concluded by renewing the wish expressed by his predecessor John Paul II addressing a similar Lutheran delegation in 1985: "Let us rejoice that an encounter such as this can take place. Let us resolve to be open to the Lord so that He can use this meeting for His purposes, to bring about the unity that He desires. Thank you for the efforts you are making for full unity in faith and charity".AG/UNITY/AMERICAN LUTHERANS VIS 100210 (230)
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS VATICAN CITY, 10 FEB 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father: - Appointed Fr. Marcelo Alejandro Cuenca of the clergy of the diocese of Cordoba in Argentina, pastor of Villa del Dique in Cordoba, as bishop of Alto Valle del Rio Negro (area 37,130, population 294,978, Catholics 253,982, priests 30, permanent deacons 1, religious 42), Argentina. The bishop-elect was born in Cordoba in 1956 and ordained a priest in 1983. He succeeds Bishop Nestor Navarro, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit. - Appointed Bishop Virginio Domingo Bressanelli S.C.I. of Comodoro-Rivadavia, Argentina, as coadjutor of Neuquen (area 94,078, population 538,852, Catholics 458,024, priests 56, permanent deacons 12, religious 130), Argentina. - Appointed Fr. Rafael Biernaski of the clergy of the archdiocese of Curitiba, Brazil, bureau chief at the Congregation for Bishops, as auxiliary of the same archdiocese (area 5,751, population 2,326,000, Catholics 1,522,000, priests 421, permanent deacons 62, religious 1,699). The bishop-elect was born in Curitiba in 1955 and ordained a priest in 1981.NER:RE:NEC:NEA/.../... VIS 100210 (180)
NOTICE VATICAN CITY, 10 FEB 2010 (VIS) - As previously advised, there will be no edition of VIS tomorrow, 11 February, eighty-first anniversary of the institution of Vatican City State with the signing of the Lateran Pacts. Service will resume on Friday 12 February..../.../... VIS 100210 (50)
BOLIVIA: AUXILIARY BISHOP ENCOURAGES NEW CATECHISTS
Auxiliary Bishop Sergio Gualberti of Santa Cruz encouraged new catechists in the Bolivian capital of La Paz to find inspiration for their work though a personal encounter with Christ and to proclaim God's presence to a world that rejects him.
The bishop urged the catechists to “find inspiration for your mission in the personal encounter with Christ,” adding that his advice “is valid not only for catechists, but for all of us, who are called to be disciples and missionaries of Jesus.”
Bishop Gualberti called on catechists to have the courage of Simon Peter to make a radical change in their lives and to remain in communion with the Lord. He told them this change can be “sustained each day” by prayer, the Eucharist, and an encounter with Christ. These things, he continued, “should bring forth in us a new dynamism that must be the inspiring force in our journey.”
Bishop Gualberti also recalled that the commandments of Christ “fill us with joy on our journey, because we want to be faithful disciples of the Word, concretely here in our Church in Latin America, in Bolivia and in Santa Cruz.”
The bishop warned catechists that the world's desire to “banish God” has made these times “difficult in every sense: in the cultural, social, political, and religious areas. “We are called to continue proclaiming the Lord, confident in his Word” and trusting that evangelization efforts will bear fruit.(source: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/bolivian_bishop_urges_catechists_to_proclaim_christ_to_a_world_that_rejects_him/
DEM. REP. OF CONGO PROCESSION & MASS FOR VICTIMS
The Catholic community in Isiro, in north-eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), held a procession and a Mass to remember and pray for the victims of Ugandan rebels of the LRA (Lord's Resistance Army). The day was also an expression of solidarity with those who have been wounded, tortured, or kidnapped by rebels, according to ICN.For months, the Ugandan rebels have plagued the region by attacking defenceless villages. In the absence Bishop Julian Andavo Mbia of Isiro, the Mass on Sunday was presided over by Msgr Dieudonné Abakuba, Episcopal Vicar, and concelebrated by a dozen priests, in the presence of 800 faithful. "We are gathered here to celebrate the Eucharist and to commemorate our fellow victims of the LRA, and to express our solidarity with all who suffer," said Msgr Abakuba in his homily. "We do not understand why this is happening today, but we can see these events with the light of faith. May the Lord open the hearts of the country's authorities to seek solutions,” he said. The cleric added that, “We must help our brothers who bear the brunt of this suffering. We are gathered here to share with our brothers, the pain and assets we have. What we have received from the Lord is not only for us, but is for the good of all. May we open our hearts and hands to relieve the suffering of others. We are called to communion and understanding." Fr Tatsima Baldwin, head of the diocesan Caritas, said, "Internally Displaced People (IDP) are people like us, who because of the LRA rebels have lost their children, spouses, parents, property, and home. We do not even know the fate of some who fled into the forest." On Tuesday, February 2, an interfaith conference on the crisis caused by the LRA was convened by Archbishop Marcel Utembi Tapa of Kisangani.Many people have left their villages for fear of further attacks and the dead have been left without burial, according to Msgr Abakuba.
BISHOPS OFFER ONLINE LENT EXPERIENCE
Cath News report:
The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference is offering "an innovative online experience" called "The Reflection" as a Lenten resource that presents reflections on the Gospel and the Creed.
"This year we are asking that you consider spending time with friends and family reflecting on the Scriptures that lead us to this joyous celebration of the Church," Archbishop John Bathersby said in a statement.
"Instead of just giving up something for Lent, why not take up something as well?" he said about the series that is set to begin on Monday (February 15). The program will be using a lectio divina model of prayer, he added in the statement.
The Internet-based formation program follows on the successful e-conferences organised by the bishops last year.
Archbishop Bathersby is cited saying that that some 20,000 participants from across the globe joined in these two online conferences, demonstrating "a hunger in people to deepen their faith."
The Lenten series will include the contribution of 12 prelates, and will feature the Sunday Gospel readings with extra resources for deeper reflection.
MALTA: ANNOUNCES SCHEDULE OF POPE'S VISIT
The Archdiocese of Malta has announced the schedule of Pope Benedict XVI’s April visit to the island country for the 1,950th anniversary of the shipwreck of St. Paul. The country’s bishops have prayed that the pontiff will be welcomed to the island as warmly as St. Paul was. Archbishop of Malta Paul Cremona and Bishop of Gozo Mario Grech announced the details of the visit in a letter to the Catholics of Malta.
Like St. Paul, the bishops said of Pope Benedict, “he shall come and abide among us for a brief period of time, in order to fulfill and fortify us in the faith which the Apostle Paul instilled within us. For this also, we wish to give thanks to our Lord.”
The Pope will arrive on April 17. He will be greeted by civil authorities at the Presidential Palace and by children gathered in St. George’s Square. He will then visit the place where tradition holds St. Paul preached the Word of God to the islanders.
Pope Benedict will proceed to St. Paul’s Grotto in Rabat and thank God for His providence. He will greet the general public along his route to Rabat and at the Grotto.
On Sunday, April 18 the Pope will celebrate Mass at the Granaries in Floriana. He will then travel to the Valletta Waterfront and preside over a gathering of youths.
According to the bishops of Malta, the Pope will encourage them to “strengthen their faith, fortify their hope and enkindle their hearts in love.”
The Pontiff will leave Malta on Sunday evening.
The bishops of Malta remembered St. Paul’s preaching in their letter:
“Imbued with the power of the Spirit and encouraged by the hope which God Himself instilled in Paul’s heart through His Angel, and as ordained by His Divine Plan, Paul brought to our ancestors, and to us, their descendants, the Good News of the Kingdom of God – a Kingdom as envisaged by Jesus Christ, Son of God made man, who through his birth, life, death and resurrection brought man to eternal life.”
“Today it is our turn, as heirs of the faith of our forefathers, to give witness to this faith and pass it onto our children. For this, we give thanks to our Lord.
“By the grace of God, may we as a nation, greet His Holiness warmly and welcome him as our Father, much in the same way that our ancestors paid homage to Paul and his friends,” Archbishop Cremona and Bishop Grech wrote.http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/malta_bishops_announce_schedule_for_pope_benedicts_april_visit/licnewsagency.com/news/malta_bishops_announce_schedule_for_pope_benedicts_april_visit/
KOREA: BUS COMPANIES BAN ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN
UCAN) — Protestants have forced bus companies to ban an advertising campaign against their missionary work by a group calling itself Anti-Christ.
Lee Chan-gyeong, president of Anti-Christ, says the ad was to warn against local Protestant Churches’ “offensive missionary work” and its exclusivism that “creates anxiety for Korean people.”
He told UCA News today [Feb. 10] that the ban on the ads was an “infringement of the freedom of expression and an unfair pressure on our activities.”
The ads on eight buses quoted Albert Einstein: “I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures.”
But the bus companies this week [Feb. 8] dropped the ads after Protestants protested.
“We placed the advertisement to inform people that even without Christianity they can live their lives well,” Lee told UCA News today.
Many people are uneasy about Protestant Churches’ missionary works he said.
“They do not consider the religious diversity in Korean society either.”
Anti-Christ, which has some 15,000 members, spent 2.5 million won (US$2,150) on the advertisement.
“We planned to run the advertisement at least for a month but the Protestant Churches pressed the bus companies to remove it,” Lee said.
Kim Bong-soo, an officer of Seoul’s Metropolitan Bus Transportation Union, told UCA News, he had received many complaints about the ad.
“Protestant Churches made lots of protest calls,” he said.
However, Reverend Park Seung-chul, public relations manager of the Christian Council of Korea (CCK), denied there had been “any official action” on the advertisement.
“The advertisement is the expression of blind hatred for Christianity and is different from the atheistic advertisement in Western countries which have a rational tradition.”
He said Anti-Christ’s advertisement “is just the extension of its slander and defamation of Protestantism, not based on rational criticism.”(source: http://www.ucanews.com/2010/02/10/%e2%80%98anti-christ%e2%80%99-ads-dropped-after-protests2010/02/10/%e2%80%98anti-christ%e2%80%99-ads-dropped-after-protests
BENEDICTINE ABBESS AND FOUNDER, VIRGIN
Feast: February 10
480, Nursia, Italy
convulsive children; nuns; invoked against storms and rain
This saint was sister to the great St. Benedict. She consecrated herself to God from her earliest youth, as St. Gregory testifies. Where her first monastery was situated is not mentioned; but after her brother removed to Mount Cassino she chose her retreat at Plombariola, in that neighbourhood, where she founded and governed a nunnery about five miles distant to the south from St. Benedict's monastery. St. Bertharius, who was Abbot of Cassino three hundred years after, says that she instructed in virtue several of her own sex. And whereas St. Gregory informs us that St. Benedict governed nuns as well as monks, his sister must have been their abbess under his rule and direction. She visited her holy brother once a year, and as she was not allowed to enter his monastery, he went out with some of his monks to meet her at a house at some small distance. They spent these visits in the praises of God, and in conferring together on spiritual matters. St. Gregory relates a remarkable circumstance of the I last of these visits. Scholastica having passed the day as usual in singing psalms and pious discourse, they sat down in the evening to take their refection. After it was over, Scholastica, perhaps foreknowing it would be their last interview in this world, or at least desirous of some further spiritual improvement, was very urgent with her brother to delay his return till the next day, that they might entertain themselves till morning upon the happiness of the other life. St. Benedict, unwilling to transgress his rule, told her he could not pass a night out of his monastery, so desired her not to insist upon such a breach of monastic discipline. Scholastica finding him resolved on going home, laying her hands joined upon the table, and her head upon them, with many tears, begged of Almighty God to interpose in her behalf. Her prayer was scarce ended when there happened such a storm of rain, thunder, and lightning, that neither St. Benedict nor any of his companions could set a foot out of doors. He complained to his sister, saying, "God forgive you, sister; what have you done?" She answered, "I asked you a favour, and you refused it me; I asked it of Almighty God, and he has granted it me." St. Benedict was therefore obliged to comply with her request, and they spent the night in conferences on pious subjects, chiefly on the felicity of the blessed, to which both most ardently aspired, and which she was shortly to enjoy. The next morning they parted, and three days after St. Scholastica died in her solitude. St. Benedict was then alone in contemplation on Mount Cassino, and lifting up his eyes to heaven, he saw the soul of his sister ascending thither in the shape of a dove. Filled with joy at her happy passage, he gave thanks for it to God, and declared her death to his brethren, some of whom he sent to bring her corpse to his monastery, where he caused it to be laid in the tomb which he had prepared for himself. She must have died about the year 543. Her relics are said to have been translated into France, together with those of St. Bennet, in the seventh century, according to the relation given by the monk Adrevald.1 They are said to have been deposited at Mans, and kept in the collegiate church of St. Peter in that city, in a rich silver shrine. In 1562 this shrine was preserved from being plundered by the Huguenots as is related by Chatelain. Her principal festival at Mans is kept a holyday on the 11th of July, the day of the translation of her relics. She was honored in some places with an office of three lessons, in the time of St. Louis, as appears from a calendar of Longchamp written in his reign.
Louis of Granada, treating on the perfection of the love of God, mentions the miraculous storm obtained by St. Scholastica to show with what excess of goodness God is always ready to hear the petitions and desires of his servants. This pious soul must have received strong pledges and most sensible tokens of his love, seeing she depended on receiving so readily what she asked of him. No child could address himself with so great confidence to his most tender parent. The love which God bears us, and his readiness to succour and comfort us, if we humbly confess and lay before him our wants, infinitely surpasses all that can be found in creatures. Nor can we be surprised that he so easily heard the prayer of this holy virgin, since at the command of Joshua he stopped the heavens, God obeying the voice of man! He hears the most secret desires of those that fear and love him, and does their will: if he sometimes seems deaf to their cries, it is to grant their main desire by doing what is most expedient for them, as St. Austin frequently observes. The short prayer by which St. Scholastica gained this remarkable victory over her brother, who was one of the greatest saints on earth, was doubtless no more than a single act of her pure desires, which she continually turned toward, and fixed on her beloved. It was enough for her to cast her eyes interiorly upon him with whom she was closely and inseparably united in mind and affections, to move him so suddenly to change the course of the elements in order to satisfy her pious desire. By placing herself, as a docile scholar, continually at the feet of the Divine Majesty, who filled all the powers of her soul with the sweetness of his heavenly communications, she learned that sublime science of perfection in which she became a mistress to so many other chaste souls by this divine exercise. Her life in her retirement, to that happy moment which closed her mortal pilgrimage, was a continued uniform contemplation, by which all her powers were united to and transformed into God.
Mark 7: 14 - 23
And he called the people to him again, and said to them, "Hear me, all of you, and understand:
there is nothing outside a man which by going into him can defile him; but the things which come out of a man are what defile him."
And when he had entered the house, and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable.
And he said to them, "Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a man from outside cannot defile him,
since it enters, not his heart but his stomach, and so passes on?" (Thus he declared all foods clean.)
And he said, "What comes out of a man is what defiles a man.
For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery,
coveting, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, foolishness.
All these evil things come from within, and they defile a man."