Thursday, June 24, 2010





VATICAN CITY, 24 JUN 2010 (VIS REPORT) - Benedict XVI today visited the Don Orione Centre located in Rome's Monte Mario district to bless a statue of the Virgin "Salus populi romani". The statue, which looks out over the city, has recently been restored and replaced on its tower.
The great statue of Our Lady, nine metres high and made of gilded copper, fell from its nineteen-metre-high pedestal in a storm on 12 October last year. The fall of the statue elicited a great swell of affection and devotion on the part of the authorities and people of the capital, who requested to see it back in place as soon as possible.
Benedict XVI himself, in a message sent to the superior general of the Orionine Fathers, expressed the hope "that the statue be replaced as soon as possible for the devotion of all Romans".
The Pope arrived at the Don Orione Centre at 10.30 a.m. where he was greeted by Cardinal Agostino Vallini, his vicar general for the diocese of Rome, by other bishops present and by Mayor Gianni Alemanno. He then pronounced a brief address.
"This statue", he said, "stands to remind us of dramatic and providential events written in the history and conscience of the city. It was, in fact, raised on Monte Mario in 1953 to fulfil a popular vow pronounced during World War II when hostility and arms made people fear for the fate of the city of Rome.
"The 'Work' of Don Orione in Rome", he added, "launched an initiative to collect signatures for a vow to the Blessed Virgin, and more than one million citizens participated. Venerable Pius XII then adopted the devout initiative of the people who wished to entrust themselves to Mary and the vow was pronounced on 4 June 1944 before the image of Our Lady of Divine Love. On that very day Rome was peacefully liberated".
"In their vow to the Virgin, apart from promising prayer and devotion, Romans also undertook to perform works of charity", said the Holy Father, going on to recall Don Orione's motto: "Only charity will save the world".
Don Orione, founder of the Little Work of Divine Providence, "coherently and passionately lived the Church's duty to put love into practice, to bring the light of God into the world. He left this mission to his disciples as a spiritual and apostolic path, in the conviction that 'charity opens people's eyes to faith and warms their hearts with love for God", the Holy Father said.
"Dear Sons of Divine Providence", he concluded, "continue along this charismatic journey which Don Orione began because, as he said, 'charity is the best apologist for the Catholic faith', and 'charity impels, charity moves, it brings people to faith and to hope'. Works of charity, both as individual acts and as services to the disadvantaged provided by large institutions, can never be reduced to a mere philanthropic gesture, but must remain a tangible expression of the providential love of God".
BXVI-VISIT/ VIS 20100624 (510)

VATICAN CITY, 24 JUN 2010 (VIS) - Following his visit to the Don Orione Centre in Rome's Monte Mario district, the Holy Father moved on to the nearby Dominican convent of Santa Maria del Rosario in Monte Mario where he presided at the celebration of the Middle Hour (hora media) with the cloistered nuns.
The convent houses the seventh-century icon of the Virgin "Hagiosoritissa", known as Our Lady of St. Luke, as well as precious relics of St. Dominic, St. Catherine of Siena and other Dominican saints.
"You, who are well aware of the effectiveness of prayer", he told the nuns in his address, "daily experience how many graces of sanctification it can obtain for the Church".
Benedict XVI encouraged the religious "to be grateful to Divine Providence for the sublime and gratuitous gift of the monastic vocation, to which the Lord called you without any merit on your part".
The contemplative life which, from the hands of St. Dominic, you received in the form of the cloister, makes you living and vital members in the heart of the Lord's mystical body which is the Church. And just as the heart causes the blood to circulate and keeps the entire body alive, so your hidden lives with Christ, imbued with work and prayer, contribute to maintaining the Church, the instrument of salvation for all mankind whom the Lord redeemed with His Blood".
Through prayer, the Pope went on, you present "the Almighty with the spiritual and material needs of so many of our brothers and sisters in difficulty, the lost lives of those who have abandoned the Lord. How can we not be moved by compassion for those who seem to drift without a goal? How can we not desire that their lives may encounter Jesus, Who alone gives meaning to existence?" "Ensure then", he continued his remarks to the nuns, "that in everything you do, beyond the time you dedicate to prayer, your hearts continue to be guided by the desire to love God. ... This is the horizon of the earthy pilgrimage. This is your goal. You have chosen to live in obscurity and to renounce earthly goods in order to desire above all other things the good that has no equal, the precious pearl for which it is worth abandoning all else".
The Holy Father concluded by inviting the religious "to pronounce your 'yes' to the designs of God every day, with the same humility as that with which the Blessed Virgin pronounced her 'yes'".
Following the visit, the Pope returned to the Vatican.

VATICAN CITY, 24 JUN 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father yesterday appointed Msgr. Antonio Braz Benevente, vicar general of the archdiocese of Uberaba, Brazil, as bishop of Jacarezinho (area 13,369, population 455,000, Catholics 395,200, priests 87, religious 66), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Itapolis, Brazil in 1961 and ordained a priest in 1985. He succeeds Bishop Fernando Jose Penteado, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.


UCAN report: The fourth bishop being ordained in China this year says he will build up solidarity among his priests and facilitate systematic Bible study at diocesan level.

Despite being an introvert, Bishop Joseph Han Yingjin of Sanyuan says he will make it his priority to visit his priests and listen to their problems.
“I will strive to work this out for the sake of Christ,” said the 52-year-old prelate who was episcopally ordained on June 24, feast of Saint John the Baptist.
He added that he would also boost evangelization efforts and set up a fund for priests’ retirement and medical needs.
Bishop Han was ordained with both papal and government approval.
About 3,000 people packed the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Sanyuan county to witness the ordination. Bishop Han’s predecessor, Bishop Joseph Zong Huaide, ordained the new prelate.
Other bishops present were Bishops Anthony Dang Mingyan of Xi’an, Louis Yu Runchen of Hanzhong, Joseph Tong Changping of Weinan, Nicholas Han Jide of Pingliang and Joseph Li Jing of Ningxia. They are all approved by the Vatican and the government.
Priests and laypeople have given the thumbs up to the new bishop, saying his faith, experience and academic qualifications stand him in good stead for his new role.
Bishop Han was born into a Catholic family in 1958 and entered the Sanyuan seminary in 1986. He was ordained a priest in 1992 after which he served in the Sanyuan seminary. He was made a parish priest in 1993.
He studied at two universities subsequently and was elected as a bishop candidate in 2007. Pope Benedict XVI gave his approval in 2008 for then Father Han to be made a bishop.
Sanyuan diocese has 40,000 Catholics in 52 parishes, served by 36 priests and some 80 nuns.
The 83-year-old retired Bishop Joseph Lan Shi of Sanyuan, who was secretly ordained in 2000 and is not recognized by the government, has given his support to Bishop Han although he did not attend the ordination, Church sources said.
2010 Knock Youth Festival opens tomorrow on the theme Walk by Faith

Archbishop Michael Neary, Archbishop of Tuam and Bishop Christy Jones, Bishop of Elphin will take part in the annual Knock Youth Festival from Friday 25 to Sunday 27 June 2010 at Knock Shrine, Co Mayo. The three day festival will be opened by Bishop Jones tomorrow [Friday] afternoon. Over the weekend there will be talks, workshops, prayer, reflection and music. The theme of this year's festival is Walk by Faith. The festival will run until Sunday 27 June when Archbishop Neary will preside at the closing Mass.
Commenting ahead of the festival Archbishop Neary said "The Knock Youth Faith Festival is a most welcome development of recent years. It is an ideal opportunity for so many young people to come together in a faith context, to meet, to have a positive experience of Church, to pray, to celebrate and to have fun. Young people are the future of the Church and they deserve the best in presenting to them the wonderful treasures of our faith. I look forward to the event every year and am delighted and privileged to have the opportunity to celebrate Mass for the close of the festival of faith."
One of the speakers at this year's festival is Sr Helen Prejean, the author of the book Dead Man Walking, who is travelling from the USA to address this year's festival. Sr Helen has campaigned tirelessly against the death penalty and she will speak at the festival about human rights and the human dignity of all life. Sr Helen will also speak on the issue of environmental ethics. Other speakers at the festival will include: Fr Conall O Cuinn SJ, Dr Andrew O'Connell, Br Shawn O'Connor and Mr Brian McKee.
Looking forward to opening the festival Bishop Jones said "The festival presents young people with the exciting opportunity of gathering with others to reflect on their Christian faith and the significance it has in our life journey. Special liturgies, speakers, music, song and dance will enhance the experience of those present at what promises to be a truly spirit-filled event. We pray that it will help many young people to discover in their lives a lively, loving relationship with Jesus Christ and His church."
A special web feature on the Knock Youth Festival, including a promotional video, is now available on
Notes to Editors
The theme of this year's festival is Walk by Faith. In addition, the daily themes of the festival are: Friday 25 June - Walk by Faith; Saturday 26 June - Trusting in God; Sunday 27 June - Hope for the Journey

The full agenda of the Knock Youth Festival is available at

Further information:
Martin Long, Director of Communications 086 172 7678
Brenda Drumm, Communications Officer 087 310 4444

CNA report: More than 15,000 people from the city of Mendoza, Argentina, marched together on June 19, encouraging the nation’s senators to vote, "in favor of matrimony between one man and one woman."

According to a press release, the 15,000-strong group of demonstrators who were organized though Facebook, marched on the city center shouting slogans such as "we want a father and a mother." The march was attended by the Archbishop of Mendoza José Maria Arancibi as well as a number of diocesan priests.
The crowd of thousands moved towards the Provincial Legislature, encouraging senators to acknowledge that "the family, based on the matrimony between a man and a woman is the natural form in which children come into the world" and it is the right place where they can be "received, raised and educated."
The protestors also demanded that "laws in relation to family issues need to meet the real needs of the weakest and those who are socially compromised; they should not solely represent the particular interests of a select few groups in Buenos Aires, as has been confirmed."
In debates held at the National University of Cuyo before the march, psychologist Andrew Gottfried said that "Children need the support and guidance of a male father and a female mother, as they are able to grant from their unique psychology, roles and natures, everything that is necessary for stimulating a child’s healthy growth."
Although local media reported that the march was attended by just over 6,000 people, the police of Mendoza, who were in charge of security for the event, estimated the amount to be approximately 15,000.


All Africa report: A total of Shs 160m was raised in cash and pledges for the construction of the new St. Charles Lwanga Church in Ntinda. This was during a fundraising drive on June 13, to complete construction which started a year ago. The day's theme was "Come Let's Complete the House of God." The church which has reached the roofing stage requires Shs 1.3b to be completed. According to Rev. Fr. Edward Muwanga, the parish priest, the construction started in April, 2009 and they hope to complete it by December 31, 2010.

Fundraising was conducted by the chief guest, prominent Kampala businessman Godfrey Kirumira after a mass led by Emmanuel Cardinal Wamala.
The Cardinal thanked the Christians for their piety, saying "the building of a bigger church is a symbol of spiritual growth and increment in the number of believers."
Kirumira kicked off the fundraising by raising Shs 5m. Clearly, the businessman was in good company as his friends, many of them not Catholic, pledged sums big enough to leave a smile on the Cardinal's face.
City tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia pledged Shs 3m, Deo Kiwewa gave Shs 3m, Sekango Kizito Shs 2m, while Jane Kaye gave Shs 5m. There were other pledges from Bank of Uganda which offered Shs 3m, Hajji Badru Muwanga, Shs 1.5m, James Bakaluba Shs 1.5 million, MP Margaret Kiboijana Shs 1m, Radio Buddu Shs 1 million, Inspector General of Police Maj. Gen. Kale Kaihura Shs 500,000 and Cardinal Wamala Shs 100,000.
A portrait of the serving Pope was the main auctioning item and was bought by Godfrey Kirumira at Shs 1.4m.
Some churches also contributed towards the cause and among them were St. Kizito Community Church with Shs 5 million and St. Andrea Kaggwa which contributed Shs 5m. Tangible items including bags of cement, soap, eggs and salt were also given during offertory.
In an interview with The Observer, Charles Owor, the church's chairman expressed happiness with the day's contributions. The new church is meant to accommodate 1,200 people compared to the old one which accommodates 400 people.
The old church celebrated 25 years of existence in 2008 and looks set for an upgrade. During the 2008 celebrations, a resolution was made to construct a bigger church.
The church has nurtured such luminaries as the IGG Raphael Bakku, Vice President Prof. Gilbert Bukenya and Justice Joseph Mulenga.


Cath News report: Archbishop Philip Wilson, President of the Australian Catholic BishopsConference, has said the inspiration of St Thomas More gives the Church strength to face challenges when things go wrong.

St Thomas More, the 16th century English martyr, teaches today's bishops balance between contemplation and action, loyalty to the Church and loyalty to others, Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson said recently at the St Thomas More Forum in Canberra.
Archbishop Wilson told the audience at the Southern Cross Club in Phillip that St Thomas More led a very busy public life but always found time for reflection, attending Mass everyday and getting up in the middle of the night to pray, reports Catholic Voice.
"Maintaining a balance between action and contemplation is a good pattern for bishops to follow, and all of us as servants of the Lord," he said.
St Thomas More's loyalty to the Church during difficult times and his ability to distinguish the goodness of the Church from the poor actions of many people within it was something Archbishop Wilson said he had learnt a lot from.
"I have always loved the Church, as a child, a teenager and into my seminary days. But that love has to mature," he said.
"You have to accept the limitations you find in the Church. Some people can do terrible things but we have to look beyond that, as More did."
He said that didn't mean turning a blind eye when something goes wrong but to work through those situations and recognise the reality of Christ within the Church despite the limitations of the people who represent it.


Birth of St. John the Baptist

Feast: June 24
Information:Feast Day: June 24
THE birth of St. John was foretold by an angel of the Lord to his father, Zachary, who was offering incense in the Temple. It was the office of St. John to prepare the way for Christ, and before he was born into the world he began to live for the Incarnate God. Even in the womb he knew the presence of Jesus and of Mary, and he leaped with joy at the glad coming of the son of man. In his youth he remained hidden, because He for Whom he waited was hidden also. But before Christ's public life began, a divine impulse led St. John into the desert; there, with locusts for his food and haircloth on his skin, in silence and in prayer, he chastened his own soul. Then, as crowds broke in upon his solitude, he warned them to flee from the wrath to come, and gave them the baptism of penance, while they confessed their sins. At last there stood in the crowd One Whom St. John did not know, till a voice within told him that it was his Lord. With the baptism of St. John, Christ began His penance for the sins of His people, and St. John saw the Holy Ghost descend in bodily form upon Him. Then the Saint's work was done. He had but to point his own disciples to the Lamb, he had but to decrease as Christ increased. He saw all men leave him and go after Christ. "I told you," he said, "that I am not the Christ. The friend of the Bridegroom rejoiceth because of the Bridegroom's voice. This my joy therefore is fulfilled." St. John had been cast into the fortress of Machærus by a worthless tyrant whose crimes be had rebuked, and he was to remain there till he was beheaded, at the will of a girl who danced before this wretched king. In this time of despair, if St. John could have known despair, some of his old disciples visited him. St. John did not speak to them of himself, but he sent them to Christ, that they might see the proofs of His mission. Then the Eternal Truth pronounced the panegyric of the Saint who had lived and breathed for Him alone: "Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist"

Luke 1: 57 - 66, 80

57 Now the time came for Elizabeth to be delivered, and she gave birth to a son.

58 And her neighbors and kinsfolk heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.

59 And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they would have named him Zechari'ah after his father,

60 but his mother said, "Not so; he shall be called John."

61 And they said to her, "None of your kindred is called by this name."

62 And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he would have him called.

63 And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, "His name is John." And they all marveled.

64 And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God.

65 And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea;

66 and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, "What then will this child be?" For the hand of the Lord was with him.

80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness till the day of his manifestation to Israel.
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