Friday, June 25, 2010





VATICAN CITY, 25 JUN 2010 (VIS REPORT) - At midday today, the Holy Father received participants in the annual Meeting of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches (ROACO), whose work this year focused chiefly on preparations for the forthcoming Synod for the Middle East.
Beginning his remarks to them, the Pope noted that "all of us desire the gift of stable peace and secure coexistence in the Holy Land, in Iraq and in the Middle East. This will arise through respecting human rights, families, communities and peoples, and through overcoming religious, cultural and social discrimination".
He went on: "I encourage our brothers and sisters in the East ... who continue to keep the faith and, despite numerous sacrifices, stay in the land where they were born. At the same time I encourage emigrants from the East not to forget their origins, especially their religious origins. Their human and Christian faithfulness and coherence depend on this".
The Holy Father made special mention of "Christians who suffer violence because of the Gospel", entrusting them to the Lord. "I continue to hope that the leaders of nations will truly guarantee, without distinction and in all places, public and community profession of religious belief".
Benedict XVI expressed his appreciation for the enthusiasm with which the Eastern Catholic Churches participated in the recently-concluded Year for Priests, recalling how in antiquity the East was a cradle for great schools of priestly spirituality. In this context he particularly referred to the Church of Antioch, which produced extraordinary saints, and he called on the priests of the Eastern Churches to continue to reflect this spiritual heritage.
Referring then to the Special Assembly for the Middle East, due to be held from 10 to 24 October, the Pope said: " I am pleased at the broad co-operation provided thus far by the Eastern Churches and for the work which, from the beginning, ROACO has done, and continues to do for this historical event. This joint effort will have fruitful results because of the presence of some of your representatives at this episcopal gathering and your ongoing relationship with the Congregation for the Eastern Churches".
The Holy Father asked the participants in the annual meeting "to contribute with your activities to keeping the 'hope that does not disappoint' alive among the Christians of the East. ... We would like to be with them always! Trusting in the intercession of the Blessed Mother of God and of the Apostles Peter and Paul, I commend to the Lord the benefactors, friends and collaborators (living and dead) who in one way or another are linked to ROACO, with a special mention for the recently-deceased Bishop Luigi Padovese".
AC/ VIS 20100625 (460)


Radio Vaticana report: On Friday Pope Benedict XVI received the Grand Master of the Order of Malta, Fra Mathew Festing, in private audience.

The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta, better known as the Sovereign Order of Malta, is one of the most ancient Catholic Religious Orders, founded in Jerusalem in around 1048.
The Order's mission is summed up in its motto "Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum" - defence of the faith and assistance to the suffering.
We spoke to Fra Festing about living this charism in today’s world:
“Both in Jerusalem and in Rhodes and on Cyprus and on Malta itself, and indeed ever since, we have always cared for the sick. It’s partly an extension of what we did for pilgrims going to Jerusalem all those centuries ago, now we have branches of the order in over 46 countries. We have a huge amount going on in very nearly every country in the world. I would divide what we do into three parts; day-to-day in developed countries, we have a constant every day presence, it maybe looking after drug addicts, or elderly people, some of it is working in hospitals. Then in addition to that we have in a lot of developing countries, we have ongoing projects, which maybe looking after people with leprosy, people suffering from TB, which is of course is now on the increase again, an general medical and social care. Then the third aspect is disaster response, sometimes they are man-made, such as in war, sometimes they are natural such as the recent Haiti earthquake”.


Radio Vaticana report: The bishops of Belgium were gathered at the residence of the Archbishop of Malines-Brussels at about 10.30 this morning for the monthly meeting of the Episcopal Conference. At about 10:30, police and court officials entered and referred that there would be a search of the archdiocese, following complaints of sexual abuse within the territory of the archdiocese. No explanation was given, but all documents and mobile phones were confiscated and it was referred that nobody could leave the building. This situation lasted until approximately 19:30.

Everyone was interrogated, members of the Episcopal Conference and staff. It was not a pleasant experience, but everything was done correctly. The bishops have always affirmed their trust in justice and its work. This search was greeted with the same confidence and therefore, for the moment, the [bishops] shall refrain from making further comments.
Instead, they, along with Professor Peter Adriaensses, chairman of the committee for handling sexual abuse as part of a pastoral outreach, regret the fact that during another search, all files of this committee were seized. This goes against the privacy rights of which the victims who have chosen to turn to this committee should benefit. This action gravely affects the much needed and excellent work of this committee.
Eric de Beukelaer

Spokesman for the Episcopal Conference

 * *
In publishing this statement, the Secretary of State reiterates its firm condemnation of all sinful and criminal acts of abuse of minors by members of the Church, and the need to repair and face such acts in accordance with the requirements of justice and the teachings of the Gospel. It is in the light of these needs that the same Secretary of State also expresses great surprise at how some searches were conducted yesterday by the Belgian judicial authorities and its indignation at the fact that the tombs of Cardinals Jozef-Ernest Van Roey and Léon-Joseph Suenens, deceased archbishops of Malines-Brussels, were violated. Added to the dismay over those actions, is regret for some breaches of confidentiality, owed to those very victims for whom the searches were conducted.

These feelings were expressed personally by HE Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States, SE Mr. Charles Ghislain, Ambassador of Belgium to the Holy See.

VATICAN CITY, 25 JUN 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:
- Fra' Matthew Festing, prince and grand master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, accompanied by an entourage.
- Luis Paris Chaverri, ambassador of Costa Rica, on his farewell visit.
- Lorenzo Ornaghi, rector of the Sacred Heart Catholic University.
AP/ VIS 20100625 (60)

VATICAN CITY, 25 JUN 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:
- Msgr. Guglielmo Borghetti of the clergy of Massa Carrara - Pontremoli, Italy, pastor of Montignoso and director of the inter-diocesan theological centre of Camaiore, as bishop of Pitigliano - Sovana - Orbetello (area 2,177, population 73,500, Catholics 71,300, priests 66, permanent deacons 10, religious 57), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Avenza di Carrara, Italy in 1954 and ordained a priest in 1982.
- Bishop Ricardo Jorge Valenzuela Rios, military ordinary of Paraguay, as bishop of Villarrica del Espiritu Santo (area 13,347, population 315,000, Catholics 310,900, priests 44, permanent deacons 54, religious 58), Paraguay.
- Bishop Jozef De Kesel, auxiliary of Mechelen-Brussels, Belgium, as bishop of Bruges (area 3,145, population 1,149,394, Catholics 940,000, priests 875, permanent deacons 81, religious 2,675), Bel
Cath News report: Edmund Rice Centre director Phil Glendenning told ABC Radio's AM this morning that he has high hopes that new prime minister Julia Gillard will adopt a more humanitarian approach to the treatment of asylum seekers.

"When Ms Gillard was in the shadow immigration portfolio, she certainly approached [the asylum seeker issue] with compassion, and we would certainly like her to revisit it in her new role as leader of the nation," he told AM's reporter.
Meanwhile the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) congratulated Ms Gillard on becoming Australia's first female Prime Minister, reports News.
ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace thanked ousted PM Kevin Rudd for "the commitment and energy he brought to issues such as homelessness, poverty, reconciliation and the importance of marriage in particular".
The ACL said that it would be expecting to see Labor under Ms Gillard confirm its concern for the poor and the disadvantaged, and values that Christians uphold.
The ABC also cited Professor of Public Policy at the Australian Catholic University in Queensland, Scott Prasser on Ms Gillard's position in Queensland.
"Julia has less connection with Queensland politics than probably Kevin did and unless she makes some major changes in policy, like in relation to the mining tax, I don't think she's going to be able to make much headway in Queensland," he said.
"There's also going to be probably pluses and minuses about she being a woman and so on.
"Some parts of regional Australia might have some difficulties with that; I don't think it will be a big issue though it could be there in the background."

UCAN report: Thousands of people have attended a novena in Ho Chi Minh City to honor a picture of the Blessed Mother which is believed to have healing powers.

Around 20,000 devotees attended the novena from June 14 to 24. It was held to venerate the remarkable 60 year old story of the picture of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
The picture was originally owned by a family in La Ma parish, Ben Tre province. The family fled when fighting broke out between French troops and communists in February 1950.
They took the picture with them but lost it when it fell into a stream. It remained submerged there for months until a fisherman retrieved it. Although it was virtually ruined, he gave it to another Catholic family in La Ma.
This family too had to flee when fighting returned in June 1950. They sheltered in a church where they hid behind the altar with the picture. It is said that when they emerged from their hiding place, the picture had been restored to its original condition.
Believers in the picture’s extraordinary powers include Marie Tran Thi Nuong, 52, who says her husband was cured of chronic stomach ache after attending the novena. “We believe Mother Mary cured my husband, who had suffered for three years,” she said.
CNA report: A new grant from Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) will help publish its Child’s Bible in eight more languages for the children of Africa.

A grant of more than $27,000 from the U.K. office of ACN will print and ship Child’s Bibles to Africa as well as Child’s Bible posters for use worldwide. The Child’s Bible is now in its 31st year of publication.
In 2009 the charity received requests for more than 1.2 million copies from bishops around the globe, the charity reports in a Wednesday press release.
There are new versions of the Child’s Bible in eight languages: the Lunda and Luvale languages of Zambia, the Konkomba language of Ghana, the Chindau and Maconde languages of Mozambique, the Luo tongue for Kenya, the Boko language for Benin and the Bari language for Sudan.
Bishop Rudolf Deng Majak, President of the Bishops’ Conference of Sudan, has said that the Child’s Bible is “a great help in our pastoral work.” The bishop, from the Diocese of Wau in South Sudan, said that people and their children “have a veritable thirst for the saving word of God, above all in this time of oppression.”
Around 15 million copies of this Bible have been distributed in Africa. It is available in 67 different African languages, many of which have few or no other books published.
Teresia Rita Njore, a child from Kenya, said her friends have had their faith deepened by the Child’s Bible.
“Before I was not interested in reading the Bible – but now I know that God speaks to his children,” she said.
According to ACN, the book is used to teach the faith and to prepare readers for the sacraments, but it is also used to help children learn to read.
Bishop Marc Benjamin of Farnfangana, Madagascar is distributing the Child’s Bible to all the baptized, including adults.
“Through our Bible campaign, as we call it, we at the same time want to reduce the number of illiterates,” he continued. “In other words, we are teaching people to read and write and at the same time bringing them the Word of God – and those who have learned to read are given a copy of the little Bible.”
ACN says its recent poster series, based on the 55 illustrations of the Child’s Bible, can be used as a visual aid in catechesis.
ACN founder Fr. Werenfried van Straaten conceived the idea of the Child’s Bible, wanting to respond to Pope John Paul II’s stated wish to bring the Word of God to the children living in poverty in so many countries.
The original text was written in German by theologian Eleonore Beck. The illustrations are by Sr. Miren Sorne, a Spanish nun.
Since it was first published in 1979, about 48 million copies of the Child’s Bible have been printed in 162 different languages. Copies have been distributed in 140 countries around the world.


Ave Maria University report: The Commission on Colleges (COC) of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) announced today that Ave Maria University (AMU) has officially been awarded “accredited membership” status and is now an accredited member of the COC. The announcement was made as part of the actions taken by the COC at its summer meeting held in Birmingham, Ala.

This distinction signifies that AMU meets the requirements and standards for accreditation published in the Principles of Accreditation and has been judged by its peers as worthy of membership in the Commission and Association. Membership will provide opportunities for the university to continue to grow and be eligible to further enhance and expand its programs to better serve its current and future students. SACS membership covers both the campus in Ave Maria, Fla., and the branch Latin American Campus in San Marcos, Nicaragua.
A division of the “Southern Association”, the COC accredits higher education institutions through a standardized multi-year application and review process designed to ensure that all member colleges and universities meet the requirements of the COC. The COC has awarded AMU membership and authorized the institution to grant accredited bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees.
Membership status is achieved after an institution of higher education completes both the pre-accreditation or “Candidacy” and “initial Accreditation” processes, which include: submitting an application; undergoing an internal review by members of the SACS staff; undergoing an independent third-party review by peer evaluators from COC-member institutions; being evaluated as evidencing compliance with the Core Requirements, applicable Comprehensive Standards and the Federal Requirements section of the Principles of Accreditation; and being judged by the Commission’s Compliance and Review Committee as compliant with the Principles.
AMU Founder and Chancellor, Thomas S. Monaghan, AMU President, Nicholas J. Healy and AMU Vice President for Academic Affairs, John E. Sites, received the news with excitement and appreciation.
“We have been looking forward to this day for many years,” Monaghan said. “As an institution of higher education, we set out to receive regional accreditation for the good of everyone associated with the university, and it is very gratifying to receive this recognition. I am also grateful for the cooperation and professionalism of all those at SACS who we worked with through every stage of this process. We are excited about what this means for our alumni and the entire university community, especially our students.”
Monaghan continued, “On behalf of the Board of Trustees and everyone at AMU, I want to thank and congratulate all the university personnel who worked so diligently to attain this milestone; everyone from our vice president for academic affairs, who spearheaded this process, to our tremendous faculty, to each and every staff member who contributed in so many ways, it was truly a team effort and their hard work and dedication is appreciated.”
Healy noted AMU’s commitment to SACS and the process of maintaining membership throughout the coming years.
“Ave Maria pledges that it will continue to comply with all the requirements of membership and looks forward to satisfying the ongoing requirements of, and obligations to, the Southern Association,” Healy said. “We feel privileged to have earned membership in SACS, and we are anxious to launch the next steps of our development. Our future plans, like other institutions of higher learning, are to seek approval for new majors that are in demand from and important to our constituent student populations.
“This process will be governed by our desire and commitment to meet the ongoing obligations and responsibilities of membership in the Commission. We look forward to continuing to serve our current and future students with an excellent liberal arts Core Curriculum and appropriate majors, as well as taking our place in the academy as a member,” Healy concluded.
AMU currently offers 10 undergraduate majors: Biology; Classics; Economics; History; Literature; Mathematics; Music; Philosophy; Politics; and Theology. At its campus in Nicaragua, AMU also offers three degree programs in business administration, politics, and psychology. More than 90 percent of AMU full-time professors have terminal doctoral-level degrees in their specialized fields, usually the Ph.D. Additionally, AMU offers two masters degrees and a Ph.D. program in Theology.
Sites echoed the appreciation of Monaghan and Healy, saying, “I am personally grateful to the Commission on Colleges for its collegial and rigorous efforts in providing an excellent process by which AMU demonstrated the efficacy of its educational program and its commitment to the liberal arts education of our students. I want to thank every member of the two visiting committees and the COC liaison representative, as well as the entire AMU Board of Trustees, faculty and staff, for their time and expertise in making this a fruitful and constructive journey to membership.”
SACS membership will directly benefit AMU students, especially those planning on entering post-graduate programs. Though AMU has been accredited by the American Academy for Liberal Education (AALE) since 2008, some graduate programs accept only alumni of regionally accredited schools. SACS is one of six regional accrediting associations that accredit institutions of higher education in the United States. Membership also will impact university funding and makes AMU eligible to receive additional foundation grants and increased federal and state resources, which would allow the institution to improve and expand programs for students.
As a SACS university member, AMU will strive for continuous improvement in order to maintain accreditation. Members are reevaluated on a regular basis to ensure accreditation criteria continue to be met.

HOLLAND: SOCCER STAR WESLEY SNEIJDER CONVERTS TO CATHOLICISM report: Wesley Sneijder, one of the big stars team of the Dutch national soccer team in the WM tournament in South Africa, has become Catholic.

The Hague ( Wesley Sneijder, one of the big stars team of the Dutch national football team in the WM tournament in South Africa, has become Catholic. As Dutch media reported Tuesday that his girlfriend has brought him to baptized last season in a church when his club Internazionale. Since then he prays daily with Yolanthe Cabau van Adams on the phone. «God gives me strength», «De Telegraaf» cited the midfielder. He is regularly in contact with the priest who baptized him.

St. William of Vercelli

Feast: June 25
Information: Feast Day: June 25
Born: 1085 at Vercelli, Italy
Died: 25 June 1142 at Guglietto, Italy
ST. WILLIAM, having lost his father and mother in his infancy, was brought up by his friends in great sentiments of piety; and at fifteen years of age, out of an earnest desire to lead a penitential life, he left Piedmont, his native country, made an austere pilgrimage to St. James's in Galicia, and afterward retired into the kingdom of Naples, where he chose for his abode a desert mountain, and lived in perpetual contemplation and the exercises of most rigorous penitential austerities. Finding himself discovered and his contemplation interrupted, he changed his habitation and settled in a place called Monte-Vergine, situated between Nola and Benevento, in the same kingdom; but his reputation followed him, and he was obliged by two neighboring priests to permit certain fervent persons to live with him and to imitate his ascetic practices. Thus, in 1119, was laid the foundation of the religious congregation called de Monte-Vergine. The Saint died on the 25th of June, 1142.


Matthew 8: 1 - 4

1 When he came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him;

2 and behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, "Lord, if you will, you can make me clean."

3 And he stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, "I will; be clean." And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

4 And Jesus said to him, "See that you say nothing to any one; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a proof to the people."
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