Wednesday, March 3, 2010




(VIS) - In his catechesis during this morning's general audience, Benedict XVI turned his attention to St. Bonaventure who, he said, "makes me feel a certain nostalgia because, as a young scholar, my research focused on this author, who is particularly dear to me". Bonaventure, who was born around the year 1217 in the Italian town of Bagnoregio and died in 1274, was one of the great Christian figures who contributed to the "harmony between faith and culture" in thirteenth-century Europe. He was "a man of action and contemplation, of profound piety and prudent government". Baptised with the name of Giovanni da Fidanza, he suffered an illness during childhood from which he nearly died, but his mother entrusted him to the recently-canonised St. Francis of Assisi and the young Giovanni recovered. This event marked his whole life. During his education in Paris, where he studied theology, he decided to enter a Franciscan convent and took the name of Bonaventure. In the first years of his religious life he stood out for his knowledge of Sacred Scripture, the 'Sentences' of Peter Lombard, and other great theologians of his age. Bonaventure's book entitled "Evangelical Perfection" was his response to critics of the Minor Orders who questioned their right to teach in universities and even the authenticity of their consecrated life. In that work the saint showed "how the Minor Orders, and especially the Friars Minor, by practicing the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, were in fact following the counsels of the Gospel itself", the Pope explained. "Over and above these historical circumstances, Bonaventure's teachings in this book and in his own life still retain all their validity", he said. "The Church is enlightened and beautified by the faithfulness to their vocation of these sons and daughters of hers, who not only put the evangelical precepts into practice but, by God's grace, are called to observe the evangelical counsels and thus bear witness - with their poor, chaste and obedient lifestyle - to the fact that the Gospel is a source of joy and perfection". When in 1257 Bonaventure was elected minister general of his order, the Franciscans numbered more than 30,000; most of them were in Europe but they also had a presence in North Africa, the Middle East and China. "It was necessary", said the Holy Father, "to consolidate this growth and, especially, to give it a unity of action and spirit, in complete faithfulness to the charism of St. Francis. In fact, various ways of interpreting the saint of Assisi's message had arisen among his followers and there was a real risk of internal division". In order to preserve the saint's authentic charism, his life and teachings, Bonaventure "zealously gathered documents concerning Francis and carefully listened to the recollections of those who had known him personally". Thus the "Legenda Maior" came into being, which is considered the most complete biography of St. Francis. Bonaventure presents Francis as "a man who passionately sought Christ. With the love that leads to imitation, he entirely conformed himself to Him. Bonaventure indicated this as a living ideal for all the followers of St. Francis. "Such an ideal, which remains valid for all Christians, yesterday, today and always, was also suggested as a programme for the Church in the third millennium by my venerable predecessor John Paul II", Pope Benedict added. Almost at the end of his life, Bonaventure was consecrated a bishop and appointed a cardinal by Pope Gregory X, who entrusted him with the preparations for the Council of Lyons which sought to reunify the Latin and Greek Churches. However Bonaventure never saw the results of his labours because he died while the council was still underway. The Pope concluded his reflections with a call to take up the heritage of this saint and doctor of the Church, who "reminds us of the meaning of our lives with the following words: 'On earth we can contemplate the immensity of divine things by reason and admiration; in the heavenly homeland, on the other hand, we can view them, when we will have been made similar to God and by ecstasy will enter into the joy of God'".AG/BONAVENTURE/... VIS 100303 (710)


CNA report:
The Apostolic Nuncio in Chile, Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, remarked on Monday that the Church has already started reaching out to those most impacted by the country's 8.8 earthquake.
Speaking with Vatican Radio, the archbishop noted that while communication has been difficult due to damage in the hardest-hit areas of Concepcion, Temuco and Curico, aid is being sent to the over one million people who have been left homeless.
Acknowledging that the situation will become more difficult as winter approaches, the archbishop said that for now, the Church “is seeking to meet the immediate needs of the people.”
The nuncio then spoke about the quake-damage to the region's churches. He noted that “some churches and convent chapels that are 150 or 200 years old suffered significant damage. However,” he continued, “at the Basilica of Our Lady of Providence, which is located near the Nunciature, the bell tower was damaged but the rest of the structure was saved.”
The archbishop then referenced the work of the religious in supporting the victims of the tragedy, stressing, “I know of bishops who have already visited their parishes and churches.”
“As of now I have no word of any bishop or priest killed by this powerful earthquake,” he added.
He turned to Pope Benedict XVI’s call on Sunday for solidarity with Chile. “This intervention by the Holy Father should certainly encourage many in Chile because religious faith here is strong, especially among the families who live in rural areas.”
The Pope's words “certainly have encouraged many, beginning with bishops, priests and nuns who are in the region.”
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CISA report:
On Saturday 27, all roads led to Nakuru’s, ASK showground, where Fr Maurice Muhatia Makumba was consecrated bishop for the Catholic Diocese of Nakuru, by Cardinal John Njue of Nairobi.The cardinal was assisted by Bishop Philp Anyolo and Bishop Philip Sulumeti of Kakamega in the presence of all the other Catholic Bishops. The state was represented president Mwai Kibaki along with a host of other government functionaries. In attendance too, was the retired president Daniel Moi.In Catholic hierarchical order this is a prestigious position. Some of the qualifications required to be named bishop include: one must be morally upright, be loyal to the church authority and be a defender of the doctrines of the church.On Saturday February 27, 2010, after waiting eagerly for that day to come, Makumba was finally made the Bishop of Nakuru Diocese. He is the first to be consecrated bishop in Nakuru. A Christian in the congregation was overheard exclaiming, “at last this one is ours, consecrated for us on our own soil!” He succeeds Bishop Peter Kairo who was promoted to archbishop to head Nyeri Archdiocese. While Kairo was as a jovial, very spiritual man who loves reconciliation, Bishop Makumba is a philosopher cum academician. Born at Lirhanda village, Kakamega District, in 1968, Makumba went to Rome, Italy, where he obtained a bachelors degree at Urbaniana Pontifican University and a masters in philosophy at Pontifical Holy Cross University. He was ordained priest on October 15, 1994.Among the challenges facing the new bishop are the problems of continuous ethnic clashes which have torn apart Nakuru since 1992, the problem of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), many of whom have never been resettled since the first clashes.The killing of Fr. Michael Kamau, 41, of Nakuru during the post-election violence in Muserechi area, along Eldama-Ravine road still haunts Nakuru. At least 80 people were killed and 180 others were also injured in Nakuru town and surrounding areas such as Molo, Kuresoi and Njoro. Hundreds of houses and other property valued at millions of shillings were destroyed by arsonists while hundreds of families were displaced.Started in 1928, Nakuru was originally a mission catering primarily for European and Goan Catholics and their migrant African employees. Nakuru was first administered by Rev. Monsignor Denis Newman of the St. Patrick's Missionary Society (SPS) until 1971. Bishop Ndingi took over in 1971and Peter Kairo took over from Ndingi in 1997.Politically, it is worth mentioning that even though Archbishop Ndingi was a pain in the neck for the Kanu regime, constantly criticising it over its dictatorship tendencies, the Kalenjins in Nakuru did not receive such criticism positively given that Moi, one of them, was the president.It was during his time in Nakuru that ethnic clashes were first witnessed in the Rift Valley Province. The archbishop accused President Moi’s government of instigating the clashes, which devastated several parts of the province, especially Nakuru Diocese.It is worth noting that the new bishop is young,, having spent most of his life as a priest in the classroom, with a brief stint as administrator of the St Thomas Major Seminary.He takes over a diocese with 39 parishes and more than 450,000 Catholics spread all over the six constituencies within an area of an area of 7,242 km² and an estimated population of nearly 2 million as per the 1999 census. There are 130 priests, 88 of them diocesan while the rest are missionaries from different congregations.


CNA report:
After the Diocese of Ferns received negative feedback for remarks its bishop made earlier about asking parishioners to help with sex abuse settlements, the diocese released a statement today assuring churchgoers that “Nothing definite as to how to proceed on the issue of the source of funding for future claims has yet been decided.”
The March 3 clarification follows Bishop Denis Brennen's remarks on Tuesday, when he suggested that the faithful within his diocese should help cover some of the 10 million euro legal damages associated with sex abuse cases. Bishop Brennan previously stated at his diocese's annual Finance AGM meeting that “it will be necessary to invite the parishes to become a part of the process financially.”
The southeastern Irish diocese of Ferns was one of the first to be investigated for potential sexual and physical abuse. Bishop Brennan said the diocese has already paid 8 million euros to settle lawsuits from 48 abuse victims, but it still has 13 pending cases. The appeal for financial help has come amid an economic crisis Ireland that finds the unemployment rate at a 15 year high.
On Wednesday, the Diocese of Ferns stated that “Going to the parishes is but 'one' option the diocesan finance committee has put to parish finance committees in response to some requests from individuals within the diocese as to 'how we might help' to complete the work of justice and healing.”
“Nothing definite as to how to proceed on the issue of the source of funding for future claims has yet been decided in the Ferns diocese,” the diocese stressed.
The statement also mentioned that consultations between diocesan officials and the “diocesan family” about what will be done are still ongoing. “This process happens each year at the annual Finance AGM.”
“It may very well be that a decision will be taken to dispose of one of the diocesan assets,” the diocese noted, “but that will only occur after the conclusion of consultation over the coming months, and perhaps years – with churchgoers.”


Asia News report:
Nir Barkat, the mayor intends to demolish a group of houses in east Jerusalem to build a public park. The intervention of Prime Minister Netanyahu has frozen the project. For Palestinians, the expropriation is considered "a declaration of war." AsiaNews sources: political plan to achieve a "Jewish city”.
Jerusalem (AsiaNews) - The intervention of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has - for the moment - frozen Nir Barkat’s project. However, the intention of the Mayor of Jerusalem to demolish 89 Palestinian homes in the neighbourhood of Silwan - in the area east of the city - to build a public park is only postponed. The project is regarded as a "declaration of war" by the Palestinian side. The tension has reached alarming levels: Christian sources tell AsiaNews that "the seeds for a third intifada have been planted."
The Israeli authorities claim that the houses in the suburb renamed al-Bustan by the Palestinians - near Temple Mount - is illegal and the area has reached alarming levels of degradation. On the other hand, the Palestinians are claiming ownership of land, considered part of their capital. Nir Barkat, the mayor of Jerusalem, aims to achieve the "King’s Garden " in the land where King David is believed to have composed the psalms. The project involves the demolition of 22 houses and the tenants, explains the mayor, will be "moved to other areas." 66 other houses will obtain legal recognition and the "residents have the right to remain" in the land that is the object of discord.
The area of Al-Bustan is located in the heart of Silwan, a Palestinian agglomeration that borders on the Old City of Jerusalem. Tel Aviv occupied the area in 1967 and the intention was to turn it into a public park. The buildings, Nir Barkat adds, are "illegal" and the area is "in the throes of decay" because of the lack of infrastructure. Christian sources tell AsiaNews of a "political plan" to transform "Jerusalem into a Jewish city." The framework is "disastrous" and there is little room for hope for the future: "The plan is clear to everyone - he adds - and the seeds have been planted for a third intifada." The Muslim community is ready to respond to attacks and "Christians are caught in the middle, between two fires." He adds that "I have no hopes for a Palestinian state" nor is there room for hope for a political solution, but "we expect the worst." The issue was also addressed by the UN and the U.S. government. Richard Miron, spokesman for the UN, said that "the demolition of the houses in East Jerusalem at the same time demolish confidence [in Israel], not only that of the Palestinians but of the entire international community." Washington has expressed its "appreciation" for Netanyahu’s intervention and issued an invitation to "avoid unilateral actions" that "undermine the trust and the efforts for the resumption of negotiations."’s-Garden-17786.html


Cath News report:
Catholic Healthcare has confirmed that Bathurst's private St Vincent's hospital is to close on June 1. There are plans to eventually convert it into an aged care service.
The organisation's manager of healthcare, David Maher, says the hospital is too small to be financially viable, ABC reports.
"St Vincent's private has unfortunately incurred significant financial losses over many years and at the moment requires a significant capital investment to purchase essential hospital equipment just to provide the current services we provide," he said.
St Vincent's currently employs 100 permanent and casual employees.
The 90-year-old facility will be converted to an aged care centre within the next two years, but Catholic Healthcare cannot say at this stage how many beds or staff it will have, the report adds.
The Mayor of Bathurst, Paul Tole, is cited saying that the closure announcement is a huge shock.
"We really need to be throwing all our resources in to save this hospital and make sure it is kept here in the Bathurst region."


St. Katharine Drexel
Feast: March 3
Feast Day:
March 3
November 26, 1858, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
March 3, 1955, Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania
2000 by Pope John Paul II
Major Shrine:
Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania
Patron of:
philanthropists, racial justice

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. on 26 November 1858, Katharine was the second daughter of Francis Anthony Drexel, a wealthy banker, and his wife, Hannah Jane. The latter died a month after Katharine's birth, and two years later her father married Emma Bouvier, who was a devoted mother, not only to her own daughter Louisa (born 1862), but also to her two step-daughters. Both parents instilled into the children by word and example that their wealth was simply loaned to them and was to be shared with others.
Katharine was educated privately at home; she travelled widely in the United States and in Europe. Early in life she became aware of the plight of the Native Americans and the Blacks; when she inherited a vast fortune from her father and step-mother, she resolved to devote her wealth to helping these disadvantaged people. In 1885 she established a school for Native Americans at Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Later, during an audience with Pope Leo XIII, she asked him to recommend a religious congregation to staff the institutions which she was financing. The Pope suggested that she herself become a missionary, so in 1889 she began her training in religious life with the Sisters of Mercy at Pittsburgh.
In 1891, with a few companions, Mother Katharine founded the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament for Indians and Colored People. The title of the community summed up the two great driving forces in her life—devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and love for the most deprived people in her country.
Requests for help reached Mother Katharine from various parts of the United States. During her lifetime, approximately 60 schools were opened by her congregation. The most famous foundation was made in 1915; it was Xavier University, New Orleans, the first such institution for Black people in the United States.
In 1935 Mother Katharine suffered a heart attack, and in 1937 she relinquished the office of superior general. Though gradually becoming more infirm, she was able to devote her last years to Eucharistic adoration, and so fulfil her life’s desire. She died at the age of 96 at Cornwell Heights, Pennsylvania, on 3 March 1955. Her cause for beatification was introduced in 1966; she was declared Venerable by Pope John Paul II on 26 January 1987, by whom she was also beatified on 20 November 1988.SOURCE:


Matthew 20: 17 - 28
And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them,
"Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death,
and deliver him to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day."
Then the mother of the sons of Zeb'edee came up to him, with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something.
And he said to her, "What do you want?" She said to him, "Command that these two sons of mine may sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom."
But Jesus answered, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?" They said to him, "We are able."
He said to them, "You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father."
And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers.
But Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them.
It shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant,
and whoever would be first among you must be your slave;
even as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
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