Sunday, March 21, 2010




(VIS) - At midday today the Holy Father received prelates from the Conference of Bishops of Burkina Faso and Niger, who have just completed their "ad limina" visit. Talking about the results of evangelisation in their countries, the Pope encouraged the prelates to "new missionary efforts that will stimulate your communities fully to accept the evangelical message and faithfully to put into effect. Faith needs to consolidate its roots to ensure there is no return to certain ancient practices that may be incompatible with following Christ, and to resist the lure of a world sometimes hostile to the evangelical ideal". In this context, he praised "the efforts that have been made over many years towards a healthy inculturation of the faith". Benedict XVI likewise expressed his satisfaction at the efforts being made by the Church in the dioceses of Burkina Faso and Niger "in their struggle against the evils that prevent people achieving authentic development". He also mentioned last September's floods in the region, noting how "they were an occasion to promote solidarity with everyone". And he went on: "This solidarity, rooted in the love of God, must be a permanent commitment of the ecclesial community. Your faithful have also demonstrated their generosity towards the victims of the recent earthquake in Haiti", he said. Referring then to the Year for Priests, the Pope noted how it is helping "to highlight the greatness of the priesthood and to promote interior renewal in the life of the clergy, that their ministry may become increasingly intense and fruitful". In this context he also identified the need "to ensure priests have a solid formation, not only as they prepare for ordination, but also throughout their ministry. It is vital that a priest should have time to intensify his own priestly life, so as to avoid the danger of sliding into activism. May the example of St. John Mary Vianney arouse in your priests' hearts ... a renewed awareness of their total gift of self to Christ and the Church", and lead to "numerous priestly vocations". Catechists, said the Holy Father, "are the indispensable collaborators of priests as they announce the Gospel", and he encouraged them in their work of evangelisation, at the same time highlighting the fact that the lay faithful have need of formation in order "to take responsibility in the Church and in society, and to become true witnesses of the Gospel". He also invited the prelates to pay particular attention to outstanding figures in the political and intellectual life of their two countries, "who often have to face ideologies opposed to Christian conception of human beings and society". "Enable young people", Pope Benedict told the bishops, "to have the joy of meeting with Christ. Strengthening school and university chaplaincies will help them to find in Him a light capable of guiding them throughout their lives, and of giving them a true sense of human love". The Holy Father concluded by referring to the "generally positive situation of inter-religious relations" and expressed the hope that "the ties that bind Christians and Muslims may continue to be consolidated, so as to favour the progress of peace, justice and the common good, rejecting any temptation to violence and intolerance".AL/.../BURKINA FASO:NIGER VIS 100322 (560)

MEETING OF COMMISSION FOR CATHOLIC CHURCH IN CHINA VATICAN CITY, 20 MAR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique at midday today: "The commission established by Benedict XVI in 2007 to study questions of importance concerning the life of the Catholic Church in China will meet in the Vatican from 22 to 24 March. Said commission includes superiors of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia with responsibility in this area, as well as certain representatives of the Chinese episcopate and of religious congregations. "The first plenary meeting, which took place from 10 to 12 March 2008, had as its theme the Letter the Holy Father Benedict XVI addressed to Chinese Catholics on 27 May 2007. The meeting considered how that pontifical document was received, both inside and outside China. Participants also reflected upon the theological principles that inspired the Letter in order to understand the prospects arising therefrom for the Catholic community in China. "The second plenary meeting, which took place from 30 March to 1 April 2009 examined the question of the human, spiritual and pastoral formation of seminarians and consecrated people, as well as the permanent formation of priests. "This plenary meeting will continue to study the abovementioned question of formation so that in China, as in the rest of the world, the work of priests and consecrated persons may help the Church to incarnate and bear witness to the Gospel, also in the face of the challenges arising from changes in social and cultural circumstances".OP/COMMISSION CHURCH CHINA/... VIS 100322 (260)

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS VATICAN CITY, 20 MAR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Dominic Kimengich, vicar of the diocesan tribunal of Nakuru, Kenya, as auxiliary of the diocese of Lodwar (area 77,000, population 540,000, Catholics 69,145, priests 49, religious 95), Kenya. The bishop-elect was born in Kituro, Kenya in 1961 and ordained a priest in 1986. On Friday 19 March it was made public that he: - Appointed Fr. Vilson Basso S.C.J., formator of the Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Caygayan de Oro City, Philippines, as bishop of Caxias do Maranhao (area 34,449, population 762,450, Catholics 735,220, priests 29, permanent deacons 2, religious 47), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Cinquentenario Tuparendi, Brazil in 1960 and ordained a priest in 1985. He succeeds Bishop Luis D'Andrea O.F.M. Cap., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit. - Conferred the title of archbishop "ad personam" on Bishop Joan Enric Vives Sicilia of Urgell, Spain, co-prince of Andorra.NER:RE:NA/.../BASSO:D'ANDREA:VIVES VIS 100322 (180)

ANGELUS: THE GREATEST JUSTICE IS THE JUSTICE OF LOVE VATICAN CITY, 21 MAR 2010 (VIS) - At midday today, the fifth Sunday of Lent, Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with faithful and pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square. The Pope commented on the Gospel reading from today's liturgy, St. John's narrative of how Jesus saved the adulteress from being stoned to death. "It is", he said, "a very dramatic scene. A person's life, and Jesus' own life too, depend on the words He uses. Indeed, the hypocritical accusers pretend to entrust judgement to Him when, in fact, it is precisely Him they want to accuse and to judge". Yet, "He knows what is in the heart of each man, He wants to condemn sin, but to save the sinner and unmask hypocrisy". The Evangelist, Benedict XVI went on, "highlights a particular detail: while the accusers insistently question Him, Jesus bends down and writes with His finger in the dust. St. Augustine noted how this gesture shows Christ as the divine lawmaker, for God wrote the Law with His finger on the tablets of stone. Thus Jesus is the Lawmaker, He is Justice personified. And what sentence does He give? 'Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her'. These words are full of the disarming power of truth, which breaks down the wall of hypocrisy and opens people's minds to a greater justice, that of love". "By absolving the woman of her sin, Jesus introduces her to a new life, one oriented towards goodness: 'Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again'. ... God only wants goodness and life for us. He provides for the health of our souls through His ministers, freeing us from evil with the Sacrament of Reconciliation, that no-one may be lost and everyone may find the way to conversion. "In this Year for Priests", the Pope added, "I wish to encourage pastors to imitate the saintly Cure of Ars in the ministry of sacramental Forgiveness, that the faithful may rediscover its meaning and beauty, and be healed by the love of the merciful God, Who 'even forces himself to forget sin, so that He can grant us His forgiveness'". After the Angelus prayer, the Pope recalled how next Sunday, Palm Sunday, will mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the first World Youth Day, an initiative of John Paul II. "For this reason", he said, "at 7 p.m. this Thursday in St. Peter's Square I hope to see many young people of Rome and Lazio for a special festive celebration".ANG/HYPOCRISY FORGIVENESS/... VIS 100322 (450)

HOLY WEEK CELEBRATIONS TO BE PRESIDED BY THE POPE VATICAN CITY, 22 MAR 2010 (VIS) - The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff today published the calendar of ceremonies to be presided by Benedict XVI during Holy Week. - Sunday 28 March: Palm Sunday and Our Lord's Passion; 25th World Youth Day on the theme: "Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?". At 9.30 a.m. in St. Peter's Square, blessing of palms, procession and Mass. - Thursday 1 April: Holy Thursday. At 9.30 a.m. in St. Peter's Basilica, Chrism Mass. At 5.30 p.m. in the Basilica of St. John Lateran, beginning of Easter Triduum of the Lord's Passion and Resurrection with the Mass of Our Lord's Last Supper. Collection to be donated for the reconstruction of the seminary in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. - Friday 2 April: Good Friday. At 5 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, celebration of the Passion of Our Lord. Way of the Cross at the Colosseum at 9.15 p.m. - Saturday 3 April: Easter Saturday. At 9 p.m. in St. Peter's Basilica, beginning of Easter Vigil. - Sunday 4 April: Easter Sunday. At 10.15 a.m., Mass in St. Peter's Square. At midday, "Urbi et Orbi" blessing from the central loggia of the Vatican Basilica.OCL/HOLY WEEK CELEBRATIONS/... VIS 100322 (220)

AUDIENCES VATICAN CITY, 22 MAR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences: - Two prelates of the Conference of Bishops of Burkina Faso and Niger, on their "ad limina" visit: - Bishop Thomas Kabore of Kaya. - Bishop Ambroise Ouedraogo of Maradi. - Three prelates of the Scandinavian Episcopal Conference, on their "ad limina" visit: - Bishop Czeslaw Kozon of Copenhagen. - Bishop Teemu Sippo S.C.I. of Helsinki. - Bishop Pierre Burcher of Reykjavik. On Saturday 20 March, he received in separate audiences: - Five prelates of the Conference of Bishops of Burkina Faso and Niger, on their "ad limina" visit: - Bishop Joseph Sama of Nouna. - Archbishop Seraphin Francois Roumba of Koupela. - Bishop Joachim Ouedraogo of Dori. - Bishop Paul Yembuado Ouedraogo of Fada N'Gourma. - Archbishop Michel Christian Cartateguy S.M.A. of Niamey. - Archbishop Piero Pioppo, apostolic nuncio to Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, accompanied by members of his family. - Archbishop Novatus Rugambwa, apostolic nuncio to Angola and to Sao Tome and Principe, accompanied by members of his family. - Archbishop Eugene Martin Nugent, apostolic nuncio to Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles, apostolic delegate to Comoros with functions as apostolic delegate to Reunion, accompanied by members of his family. - Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.AL:AP/.../... VIS 100322 (220)



Cath News report:
An English supermarket billionaire has put A$786 million - nearly all of his fortune - into a Catholic trust, to fulfill a promise to God.
Founder of the UK's Kwik Save supermarket chain, Albert Gubay, has put nearly all of his fortune into a trust from which half of all the funds will be spent on projects connected to the Catholic Church, Forbes online reported. The other half will be given away to whomever the trustees deem appropriate.
Gubay, 82, a lifelong Catholic, will keep 10 million pounds ($15 million) to tide him over during his old age. Gubay was born in North Wales to a Jewish Iraqi refugee father and an Irish Catholic mother. The young Mr Gubay cut his entrepreneurial teeth selling sweets, the Daily Mail reports.
He launched the first Kwik Save discount store in 1965, and later, while recovering from a back injury, set up what became the Total Fitness network of gyms.
In a 1997 television documentary, he said: "After the war I came out of the Royal Navy with a demob suit and £80.
"I borrowed £100 and made the pact with God: make me a millionaire - and you can have half of my money."
Mr Gubay, 82, has bettered his promise by giving most of his money away, leaving £10 million for himself. He plans to do more.
"I want to carry on supporting good causes, but my whole focus in the next few years is to work as hard as I can to meet my target of a £1 billion charity. Every penny wasted or lost reduces the pot available to the charity."


UCAN report:
Father Liu Maochun of Mindong diocese, 36, was placed in detention by security officers last Friday, a day after Father John Baptist Luo Wen was released.
They are among seven priests accused of unlawful assembly.
According to Father Luo’s detention statement, he was charged for organizing two faith camps for university students in the name of Mindong’s “underground” Church community, which was banned by the Fu’an city government as an illegal organization in 1992.
The camps, which took place at the Saiqi church from Jan. 28 to Feb. 6, attracted more than 300 Catholic university students. Despite warnings from security officers, the priests and most students proceeded with the activities until the end.
Father Luo was released on March 18 after a 15-day administrative detention in the Fu’an Detention Center.
He told UCA News that he was shut in a 40-square-meter cell that held as many as 21 men who were mostly drug addicts and gamblers.
They shared a long cement bed and some had to sleep on the floor.
While other offenders could receive visitors twice a week, Father Luo said he was deprived of his legal rights.
There was no bathroom and offenders could only wash themselves with cold water in a small courtyard. “Due to the cold and rainy weather, I did not wash during the detention,” said Father Luo.
Two other priests, Fathers Guo Xijin and Miu Yong, have received notices of detention and are expected to be detained for 15 days one after the other.
All seven priests were each fined 500 yuan (US$73).
Fu’an, the base of Mindong’s underground Church community, has been a center of Catholic activities since Spanish Dominican missioners arrived in Fujian province in the 17th century.


CNA report: The theme was “Be Reconciled with the Lord,” and the Men’s Spirituality Conference held March 13 drew more than 1,500 Catholic men of all ages, some even bringing young sons, to Archbishop Ryan High School in Philadelphia on a very stormy Saturday.
It was a full day of instruction, worship and sacramental healing, with 60 priests hearing confessions, culminating with the celebration of the Eucharist by Cardinal Justin Rigali.
This was the second of what is intended to be an annual event. “Last year we had 1,200; that was a strong response,” said Dominic Lombardi, director of the archdiocesan Family Life Office. “This year is even better.”
Cardinal Rigali complimented the throng at his liturgy, telling the men, “each one of you, despite the terrible weather, in your resolution you came here and opened your hearts.”
The Mass readings, those for the Fourth Sunday of Lent, could be summed up in two words, Cardinal Rigali said, they are “mercy and reconciliation.”
The readings culminating with the Gospel parable of the prodigal son were especially fitting for the conference theme of reconciliation. “It is such a magnificent presentation,” Cardinal Rigali said. “Beyond the prodigal son it is the presentation of the merciful Father.”
The day began with prayers offered by Auxiliary Bishop Robert P. Maginnis, who headed the planning committee. It continued with a keynote address by Norristown-born and Phoenixville-raised former Los Angeles Dodgers star Mike Piazza, who is now married with two daughters and living in Florida.
Piazza spoke of his own Catholic upbringing and of later temptations that come with fame and money. He experimented with the lifestyle that goes with stardom, dating the hottest models, living the good life and having fun, but very quickly found it wasn’t fulfilling his real needs.
“I started going to Mass regularly and reading the Bible,” he said. “True power is harnessing power not exploiting it. You have to have faith. Faith is the rudder that keeps us on the straight and narrow.”
Because he was not succumbing to the hedonism that so often goes with fame, he had to contend with printed rumors that he was homosexual, which he attributes to the devil’s response to his trying to live a Christian life.
In spite of his fame, Piazza does not consider himself a better man than anyone else. It doesn’t matter where one’s talents lie, “we are all equal in God’s eyes,” he said. “The real sin is not developing your talents to the fullest. I was an all-star, but that doesn’t me make a better man than you.”
While Piazza was speaking, California lay evangelist Jesse Romero was giving another keynote to Spanish-speaking men. His afternoon reprise in English proved dynamic preaching is dynamic preaching no matter the language.
“The power of confession keeps us humble, it keeps us dependent on the Lord,” he said. “The difference between the believing Christian and the secular humanist is, I worship the triune God — Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The secular humanist worships an unholy trinity — me, myself and I.”
Other speakers for the day included Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, Father Daniel Mackle, pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Philadelphia, Edward Lis, archdiocesan Catholic Social Services’ director of Catholic Mission Integration, Mark Houck, founder of the lay group “The King’s Men,” Augustinian Recollect Father Luis Calderon, businessman Eustace Mita and former Philadelphia Flyer Don Saleski.
Mita, who also served as MC through the day, commented on the success of the conference. “(It is) a great testament to the need and the thirst of men out there to be together in the Lord. People know they are going to get a quality day,” he said.
This is something those in the audience would second.
Joe Griffiths of St. Timothy Parish in Philadelphia observed, “It was excellent and very organized. The guest speakers were so honest and sincere. They really knew what they were talking about, and there were so many ordinary, good people there — it was special.”
Printed with permission from The Catholic Standard & Times, newspaper for the Archdiocese of Philadelpha, Pa.


All Africa report:
The Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA) will hold a career day on March 27, 2010 from 9am to 2pm.
The career day is open to all high school leavers, parents, guardians, and sponsors so as to offer them counsel and tips on how to choose the best career path.
The career day will be held simultaneously on March 27, 2010 in all the three CUEA campuses in Nairobi, Eldoret and Kisumu.
The University is holding the career day because after announcement of high school results, parents, guardians, sponsors and the school leavers need assistance for various reasons:
Some Form Four and Six leavers who have excelled in their examinations and obtained grades for university entry need counsel on how to proceed.
Thus the potential university students along with their parents, sponsors and guardians need to be guided on how they choose their programmes based on the youth's career's desire.
Young people often travel abroad for first or even second degrees only due to prestige, parental and even peer pressure. This is due to a lack of information and guidance on how to chart a career path based on the options they embrace after high school.
Some may go to local universities but end up taking courses that are inconsistent with their life's aspirations.
Secondly, young students need guidance on what to undertake in the academic programs at university.
And finally, to offer viable options to parents, guardians, sponsors and school leavers are faced with numerous private and public universities to choose from
It is against this background that CUEA is responding to this societal need to let the public, potential students and parents/sponsors/guardians know what she has to offer.
CUEA is a regional University established by the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA) that comprises of eight countries namely Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia.It admits students who meet the entry requirements without any discrimination. The University has introduced a Trimester System with a flexible registration and fees payment mode that works to the benefit of the student.
Admissions for both Undergraduate and Postgraduate shall take place during the first week of May 2010.
The Catholic University of Eastern Africa is an excellent choice for various reasons: Quality academic programmes, undergraduate and postgraduate. Flexible registration of units and credit transfers, flexible payment of fees, numerous co-curricular activities and diversity in culture and religion.
Admission is also open to anyone who qualifies irrespective of gender, race, colour, religion. Partial tuition grants are also offered to needy and bright students after their first year of study at CUEA.

Cath News report: The Archdiocese of Sydney's auxiliary Bishop Julian Porteous has warned that generation Y risks a dangerous fascination with the occult fuelled by the Twilight and Harry Potter series.
"Alternative" relaxation techniques as yoga, reiki massages and tai chi may encourage experimentation with "deep and dark spiritual ideas and traditions", Bishop Porteous was quoted in The Sun-Herald.
The Twilight and Harry Potter books and films "are attractive to adolescents and can be innocent enough.
"However, they can open up a fascination with this mysterious world and invite exploration of various phenomena through the use of occult practices like seances."
Exorcism is no fantasy according to the church, with the Sydney archdiocese last month appointing an as-yet unnamed priest, suitably "endowed with piety, knowledge, prudence and integrity of life" to conduct exorcisms, as required by Catholic canon law.
The report cites David Tacey, associate professor of English at La Trobe University, who said demonic possession was an archaism long discredited by science, psychology and modern theology. Any suggestion that reiki massage, yoga and tai chi could have evil influence were "expressions of Western ignorance about Eastern practices", he said.
"This is an example of how certain voices in the church have no idea about other cultures and religions," Professor Tacey said.
"To argue that only Christianity can rescue people from these supposed 'demonic' forces is a wonderful evangelical trick. The arrogance and ignorance ... is ... transparent, and anyone can see through it as an attempt to recruit people to the failing mainstream religion."

Blessed Clemens August von Galen
Feast: March 22
Feast Day:
March 22
16 March 1878 at Dinklage Castle, Lower Saxony, Germany
22 March 1946 at Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
9 October 2005, Saint Peter's Plaza, Vatican, by Pope Benedict XVI

Clemens August von Galen was born on 16 March 1878 in Dinklage Castle, Oldenburg, Germany, the 11th of 13 children born to Count Ferdinand Heribert and Elisabeth von Spee.
His father belonged to the noble family of Westphalia, who since 1660 governed the village of Dinklage. For over two centuries his ancestors carried out the inherited office of camerlengo of the Diocese of Münster.
Clemens August grew up in Dinklage Castle and in other family seats. Due to the struggle between Church and State, he and his brothers were sent to a school run by the Jesuits in Feldkirch, Austria.
He remained there until 1894, when he transferred to the Antonianum in Vechta. After graduation, he studied philosophy and theology in Frebur, Innsbruck and Münster, and was ordained a priest on 28 May 1904 for the Diocese of Munster by Bishop Hermann Dingelstadt.
John 8: 12 - 20
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
The Pharisees then said to him, "You are bearing witness to yourself; your testimony is not true."
Jesus answered, "Even if I do bear witness to myself, my testimony is true, for I know whence I have come and whither I am going, but you do not know whence I come or whither I am going.
You judge according to the flesh, I judge no one.
Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone that judge, but I and he who sent me.
In your law it is written that the testimony of two men is true;
I bear witness to myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness to me."
They said to him therefore, "Where is your Father?" Jesus answered, "You know neither me nor my Father; if you knew me, you would know my Father also."
These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.
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