Sunday, June 13, 2010




Vatican Channel report: Pope Benedict XVI renewed his thanks to faithful priests throughout the world today.
The Pope was speaking to the faithful gathered in St Peter's Square to pray the traditional Sunday Angelus with him.
He said he hopes that the figure of holy Curé of Ars, St John Marie Vianney, might continue to provide a nourishing example to priests in their personal conversation with God.
The Pope also recalled the Polish priest and martyr, Father Jerzy Popielusko, who was beatified on June 6 in Warsaw, noting how many works of integral human development arise from the free intitiatives and the witness of priests in every society and in every age.
The Holy Father recalled the beatification this week of 2 laymen.


Catholic Herald report: The murder of 12 people by a lone gunman in the Lake District was a “senseless act of evil,” a Catholic bishop has said.

Derrick Bird, (pic. left)  a taxi driver, used two rifles to murder his twin brother David (pic. right) and 11 others before he killed himself in remote woodland in a shooting spree in Cumbria.
At least two dozen others were injured in the rampage on Wednesday last week.
Bishop Michael Campbell of Lancaster said he shared “in the profound sense of shock and loss” that so many people felt because of the massacre.
“My prayers, and the prayers of the Catholic community of the Diocese of Lancaster, are with the families and friends of the victims,” he said in a statement hours after the killings. “I especially pray for the souls of the departed.
“You will all be in my prayers over the coming weeks and months as those communities most affected try to come to terms with this senseless act of evil,” he said.
Speaking on Premier Christian Radio the day after the massacre the Augustinian bishop said there were no easy answers to explain the actions of the killer.
“We’re standing here before what they call the mystery of evil,” Bishop Campbell said. “It is unfathomable that someone would perpetrate such horrors on innocent bystanders.”
He added: “In a curious way, such an appalling deed... brings out the goodness and what is the best in people. That will come to the fore as it has done and will in the days ahead. Evil will not have the last word.”
On Sunday the bishop issued a pastoral letter, read out at Masses across the West Cumbria deanery, in which he invited worshippers to pray for the victims. He also showed his sympathy for a community in shock.
He said he wanted to express his “very heartfelt sorrow and pain, and that of the whole Diocese of Lancaster, at the dreadful and tragic events which were inflicted upon you last Wednesday, and with which you are still trying to come to terms”.
He said: “You have my deepest sympathy at this, the worst and most recent tragedy to befall your community, the third in a matter of months.
“Your faith and your endurance are being sorely tried.
“The cruel nature of the deed, which destroyed so many innocent lives and brought injury and heartache to countless others, leaves us numb and confused.
“In the commendably close community that is West Cumbria few of you will have been left untouched or unmoved by the untold suffering and distress of your neighbours.
“Please reassure all who have been innocently and unjustly caught up in this evil spiral that they remain uppermost in the thoughts and prayers of the bishop and Catholics of Lancaster diocese.”
Bishop Campbell offered Mass on Monday in St Begh’s Church, Whitehaven, for the deceased victims, the injured and the bereaved.
Meanwhile, detectives investigating the killings still have not determined the motive.
Police have said some of the shootings appear to have been motivated by personal grudges, while other victims were shot at random. A friend of Bird told journalists that the killer was also worried about going to jail for tax fraud.
Bird was also dropped by his Thai girlfriend a few weeks before the massacre, according to friends.
Bird, 52, a divorced father of two, began his rampage by killing his brother in the hamlet of Lamplugh. He then drove to a Whitehaven taxi stand where he shot three colleagues, killing Darren Rewcastle, 43.
Police in Cumbria said at a news conference that Bird killed 10 of his 12 victims in just over an hour in a 45-mile rampage and that at no stage did officers have an opportunity to stop him.
His victims included the family lawyer Kevin Commons, 60; estate agent Jamie Clark, 23, who was shot in his car; rugby player and farmer Garry Purdham, 31, who was shot as he helped his uncle trim garden hedges; retired couple Jennifer and James Jackson; Susan Hughes, 57, a mother of two shot as she carried her groceries to her home and Michael Pike, 64, who was shot while riding his bicycle.
A number of prayer vigils and religious ceremonies were scheduled to take place on June 5 and 6 to pay tribute to the victims and to pray for them and their families.
Regional leaders from the Catholic, Anglican, Baptist, Methodist and United Reformed Church denominations said in a joint statement: “The community grieves deeply at the losses we have suffered; the confusion and pain will be long-lasting.
“All the churches from across a very wide area have been, and will continue to be, involved in supporting those affected by yesterday’s tragedy,” the statement said.
“The Church will continue to play a longer-term role in providing support and sanctuary to those who need it, and we strongly encourage all churches in the area to make their buildings and people available for people to come and pray, light candles and have someone to talk to,” it said. “Christians in Cumbria and further afield are praying for everyone who has been affected, and are doing everything they can to offer comfort and practical help at a local level.”
Thousands attended open-air prayer vigils throughout the county on Sunday.
The same day Bird’s sons, Graeme, 28, and Jamie, 26, said in a joint statement that their father was the “nicest man you could ever meet” and that they did not know why he had “committed these horrific crimes”.


CNN report:  -- In the latest sign of compromise between Cuba and church leaders, Cuba's Roman Catholic Church says the government has agreed to free one jailed dissident and relocate six others to prisons closer to their homes.

Ailing political prisoner Ariel Sigler, who has been in jail since a 2003 government crackdown, is set to be freed, the church said late Friday evening.
His release and the six other prisoner transfers follow a series of inmate transfers to prisons closer to their homes announced earlier this month.
The Cuban government could not immediately confirm the transfers.
Earlier in June, the church announced that longtime dissident Diosdado Gonzalez was being moved from a maximum-security prison in Cuba's western Pinar Del Rio province to a prison closer his home in Matanzas province.
He and others were set to be transferred earlier this month, according to a church statement made in early June.
In May, Cuba's Roman Catholic cardinal, Jaime Ortega, described a rare four-hour meeting with President Raul Castro as a "magnificent start" to talks centered on the potential release of some of the island's jailed dissidents.
Ortega also successfully negotiated an agreement with government authorities last month that allowed a group of women protesters to march.


Asia News report: The event was organised by the Children Association of the Holy Body and saw the boisterous and happy participations of thousands. Present in the country for centuries, the association has survived despite recent persecution.

Ho Chi Minh City (AsiaNews) – More than 3,000 children took part in the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ at the Pastoral Centre of the Archdiocese of Saigon, on the Feast Day of Corpus Domini.
The Children Association of the Holy Body has been present in Vietnam for centuries, until 1975 that is, when the Communist government banned it from the Archdiocese of Saigon.
In 2003, 20 pre-1975 association leaders came together. Beginning in 2005, they began training 22 new leaders. Now, thousands of leaders are involved in activities with children in hundreds of parishes throughout the archdiocese.
In a festive but attentive atmosphere, Auxiliary Bishop Mgr Peter Nguyen Van Kham told participants that “Children’s Day is a very special day, so is the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, which is closely linked to this group, the Children Association of the Holy Body.”
During the meeting, participants were reminded that the group is based on evangelical teachings and on Jesus’ warning to his disciplines, not to prevent children from coming to him.
Today, priests and catechists are the modern disciples, and they do not chase away children. Instead, they help them come to Jesus and follow him.,000-children-take-part-in-Corpus-Domini-celebrations-in-Ho-Chi-Minh-City-18663.html

Cath News report: Australian women religious are backing an international campaign to prevent human trafficking during the World Cup in South Africa, which starts today.

The 2010 Should Be About the Game campaign has been targeting fans, religious leaders, potential victims of trafficking and the general public with its message, said the Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (ACRATH) in a media statement.
Using the 2010 World Cup to exploit vulnerable women, children and men for slave labour, exploitation for sexual servitude or the drug trade is "an outright perversion of the spirit and ethical dimension of sport as well as of the idea and dignity of the human person," said Salesian Sister Bernadette Sangma, who was instrumental in establishing the anti-trafficking project of the International Union of Superiors General.
Brigidine Sister Louise Cleary, who is Chair of ACRATH, said: "During the last World Cup in Germany European anti trafficking groups joined together to raise awareness of the women trafficked for prostitution into Germany for World Cup patrons.
"The campaign had some success because intense media attention to the problem led German authorities to take proper precautions, including tightening border controls and increasing police presence and inspections on the local level.
"We recognise the extreme vulnerability for South African communities with many people living in poverty and with porous borders which will exacerbate the problem."
A spokesperson for the international campaign said there is no law in South Africa against human trafficking, which means not only are there no penalties against people committing it, there are also no special police units dedicated to investigating and cracking down on traffickers.
The women's religious orders' international network carrying out the awareness campaign is called "Talitha Kum," Aramaic for "Get Up". It is working in collaboration with the South African Bishops' Conference and the South African government.

Agenzia Fides report - “Education for peace should not be mere words or formula, but it should be introduced in our curricula. Our universities must promote peace and security in Africa through education, training and research on peace-related issues,” affirmed Fr. John Maviiri, Vice Chancellor of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa in Nairobi, Kenya, at the opening of a three-day symposium sponsored by the Association of Catholic Universities and Higher Institutes of Africa and Madagascar and held in Mwanza (Tanzania).

The Symposium discussed how to establish in Catholic students a sense of responsibility for the common good. This stems from the fact that some graduates of Catholic institutions holding high ranking positions in governments and businesses have done little to resolve the disastrous conditions in which millions of Africans live.

“Peace-building, conflict resolution and reconciliation must become integral to Catholic higher education across Africa. We want a curriculum that caters (to) the integral development of the student, one which encompasses the Social Doctrine of the Church,” said Fr. Maviiri.

In his presentation to delegates from Cameroon, Congo, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Kenya, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, Father Maviiri challenged the educators to develop innovative ways to involve both perpetrators and victims of conflict in reconciling their differences.

"Education has become divorced both from human and Gospel values," said Cardinal Polycarpo Pengo, President of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM).

The Cardinal urged the educators to focus on the holistic formation of students as human beings, saying that "universities that merely pass academic knowledge devoid of morals, ethics, etc., are a waste of time."

The Cardinal also said that for many years higher education in Africa had been elitist and that he found educated people in Africa were among the most corrupt, using their knowledge to simply enrich themselves at the expense of others.

Cardinal Pengo affirmed the challenge of Catholic superior education: “Do not produce misfits that harm society, but form responsible and ethical people who will take leadership as a service.”

St. Anthony of Padua
Feast: June 13
Information:Feast Day: June 13
Born: 1195, Lisbon, Portugal
Died: 13 June 1231, Padua
30 May 1232, Spoleto, Italy by Pope Gregory IX
Major Shrine: Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua in Padua, Italy
Patron of: animals; barrenness; Brazil; elderly people; faith in the Blessed Sacrament; fishermen; Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land; harvests; horses; Lisbon; lost articles; lower animals; mail; mariners; American Indians; oppressed people; Padua, Italy; poor people; Portugal; pregnant women; sailors; seekers of lost articles; shipwrecks; starvation; sterility; swineherds; Tigua Indians; travel hostesses; travellers; watermen
St. Anthony of Padua is one of the most famous disciples of St. Francis of Assisi. He was a famous preacher and worker of miracles in his own day, and throughout the eight centuries since his death he has so generously come to the assistance of the faithful who invoke him, that he is known throughout the world.
St. Anthony's Youth & Conversion
St. Anthony was born in the year 1195 A. D. at Lisbon (Portugal) where his father was a captain in the royal army. Already at the age of fifteen years, he had entered the Congregation of Canons Regular of St. Augustine and devoted himself with great earnestness both to study and to the practice of piety in the Monastery at Coimbra (Portugal).
About that time some of the first members of the Order of Friars Minor, which St. Francis has founded in 1206 A. D. came to Coimbra. They begged from the Canons Regular a small and very poor place, from which by their evangelical poverty and simplicity they edified everyone in the region. Then in 1219 A. D. some of these friars, moved by divine inspiration, went as missionaries to preach the Gospel of Christ to the inhabitants of Morocco. There they were brutally martyred for the Faith. Some Christian merchants succeeded in recovering their remains; and so brought their relics in triumph back to Coimbra.
The relics of St. Bernard and companions, the first martyrs of the Franciscan Order, seized St. Anthony with an intense desire to suffer martyrdom in a like manner. So moved by their heroic example he repeatedly begged and petitioned his superiors to be given leave to join the Franciscan Order. In the quiet little Franciscan convent at Coimbra he received a friendly reception, and in the same year his earnest wish to be sent to the missions in Africa was fulfilled.
St. Anthony's Arrival in Italy
But God had decreed otherwise. And so, St. Anthony scarcely set foot on African soil when he was seized with a grievous illness. Even after recovering from it, he was so weak that, resigning himself to the will of God, he boarded a boat back to Portugal. Unexpectedly a storm came upon them and drove the ship to the east where it found refuge on coast of Sicily. St. Anthony was greeted and given shelter by the Franciscans of that island, and thus came to be sent to Assisi, where the general chapter of the Order was held in May, 1221 A. D..
Since he still looked weak and sickly, and gave no evidence of his scholarship, no one paid any attention to the stranger until Father Gratian, the Provincial of friars living in the region of Romagna (Italy), had compassion on him and sent him to the quiet little convent near Forli (also in Italy). There St. Anthony remained nine months as chaplain to the hermits, occupied in the lowliest duties of the kitchen and convent, and to his heart's content he practiced interior as well as exterior mortification.
St. Anthony, Preacher and Teacher
But the hidden jewel was soon to appear in all its brilliance. For the occasion of a ceremony of ordination some of the hermits along with St. Anthony were sent to the town of Forli. Before the ceremony was to begin, however, it was announced that the priest who was to give the sermon had fallen sick. The local superior, to avert the embarrassment of the moment, quickly asked the friars in attendance to volunteer. Each excused himself, saying that he was not prepared, until finally, St. Anthony was asked to give it. When he too, excused himself in a most humble manner, his superior ordered him by virtue of the vow of obedience to give the sermon. St. Anthony began to speak in a very reserved manner; but soon holy animation seized him, and he spoke with such eloquence, learning and unction that everybody was fairly amazed.
When St. Francis was informed of the event, he gave St. Anthony the mission to preach throughout Italy. At the request of the brethren, St. Anthony was later commissioned also to teach theology, "but in such a manner," St. Francis distinctly wrote, " that the spirit of prayer be not extinguished either in yourself or in the other brethren." St. Anthony himself placed greater value in the salvation of souls than on learning. For that reason he never ceased to exercise his office as preacher despite his work of teaching.
The number of those who came to hear him was sometimes so great that no church was large enough to accommodate and so he had to preach in the open air. Frequently St. Anthony wrought veritable miracles of conversion. Deadly enemies were reconciled. Thieves and usurers made restitution. Calumniators and detractors recanted and apologized. He was so energetic in defending the truths of the Catholic Faith that many heretics returned to the Church. This occasioned the epitaph given him by Pope Gregory IX "the ark of the covenant."
In all his labors he never forgot the admonition of his spiritual father, St. Francis, that the spirit of prayer must not be extinguished. If he spent the day in teaching and heard the confession of sinners till late in the evening, then many hours of the night were spent in intimate union with God.
Once a man, at whose home St. Anthony was spending the night, came upon the saint and found him holding in his arms the Child Jesus, unspeakably beautiful and surrounded with heavenly light. For this reason St. Anthony is often depicted holding the Child Jesus.
St. Anthony's Death
In 1227 A. D., St. Anthony was elected Minister Provincial of the friars living in northern Italy. Thus he resumed the work of preaching. Due to his taxing labors and his austere penance, he soon felt his strength so spent that he prepared himself for death. After receiving the last sacraments he kept looking upward with a smile on his countenance. When he was asked what he saw there, he answered: "I see my Lord." He breathed forth his soul on June 13, 1231 A. D., being only thirty six year old. Soon the children in the streets of the city of Padua were crying: "The saint is dead, Anthony is dead."
Pope Gregory IX enrolled him among the saints in the very next year. At Padua, a magnificent basilica was built in his honor, his holy relics were entombed there in 1263 A. D. From the time of his death up to the present day, countless miracles have occurred through St. Anthony's intercession, so that he is known as the Wonder-Worker. In 1946 A. D. St. Anthony was declared a Doctor of the Church.


2 Samuel 12: 7 - 10, 13

7 Nathan said to David, "You are the man. Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, `I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul;

8 and I gave you your master's house, and your master's wives into your bosom, and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah; and if this were too little, I would add to you as much more.

9 Why have you despised the word of the LORD, to do what is evil in his sight? You have smitten Uri'ah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife, and have slain him with the sword of the Ammonites.

10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me, and have taken the wife of Uri'ah the Hittite to be your wife.'

13 David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." And Nathan said to David, "The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die.

Psalms 32: 1 - 2, 5, 7, 11

1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

2 Blessed is the man to whom the LORD imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

5 I acknowledged my sin to thee, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD"; then thou didst forgive the guilt of my sin. [Selah]

7 Thou art a hiding place for me, thou preservest me from trouble; thou dost encompass me with deliverance. [Selah]

11 Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart! -

Galatians 2: 16, 19 - 21

16 yet who know that a man is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ, and not by works of the law, because by works of the law shall no one be justified.

19 For I through the law died to the law, that I might live to God.

20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

21 I do not nullify the grace of God; for if justification were through the law, then Christ died to no purpose

Luke 7: 36 - 50

36 One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's house, and took his place at table.

37 And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was at table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment,

38 and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.

39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw it, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner."

40 And Jesus answering said to him, "Simon, I have something to say to you." And he answered, "What is it, Teacher?"

41 "A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.

42 When they could not pay, he forgave them both. Now which of them will love him more?"

43 Simon answered, "The one, I suppose, to whom he forgave more." And he said to him, "You have judged rightly."

44 Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered your house, you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.

45 You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet.

46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment.

47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little."

48 And he said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."

49 Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, "Who is this, who even forgives sins?"

50 And he said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."
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