Wednesday, June 2, 2010




VATICAN CITY, 2 JUN 2010 (VIS REPORT) - In today's general audience held in St. Peter's Square, Benedict XVI continued with his catechesis dedicated to the great saints of the Middle Ages, speaking on St. Thomas Aquinas, called the "Angelic Doctor" for the elevated nature of his thought and the purity of his life".
The Pope explained that Thomas was born around 1225 to a noble family in Roccasecca, Italy near the Abbey of Montecasino. He was sent to the University of Naples at a young age where he first became interested in Aristotelian thought and felt a call to the religious life.
In 1245 he went to Paris to study theology under the guidance of St. Albert the Great who held this student in such esteem that he was asked to accompany him to Cologne, Germany to open a centre for theological studies.
"Thomas Aquinas, at St. Albert the Great's school, carried out a task of fundamental importance in the history of philosophy and theology as well as for history and culture", the Pope said. "He studied Aristotle and his interpreters in depth" and "commented on a great part of Aristotle's works, discerning what was valid in it from what was doubtful or refutable, demonstrating its consonance with the facts of Christian revelation, using Aristotelian thought with great breadth and intelligence in presenting the theological writings he composed. In short, Thomas Aquinas demonstrated that a natural harmony exists between reason and the Christian faith".
"His great intellectual endowment brought him again to Paris to teach theology. That is where he began his monumental literary output: commentaries on the Sacred Scriptures and the works of Aristotle along with his masterpiece, the Summa Theologiae".
"There were a few secretaries who assisted in drafting his works, among whom was Reginald of Piperno [...] who was bound to him by a fraternal and sincere friendship characterized by great trust and reliance. This is a characteristic of the saints", the pontiff observed. "They cultivate friendship because it is one of the most noble manifestations of the human heart and holds something of the divine within it".
In 1259 Thomas Aquinas participated in the General Chapter of the Dominicans in Valenciennes, France to establish the order's constitutions. On his return to Italy, Pope Urban IV charged him with composing the liturgical texts for the feast of Corpus Christi.
"St. Thomas has a profoundly Eucharistic soul", the Pope affirmed. "The beautiful hymns that the liturgy of the Church sings to celebrate the mystery of the real presence of the Body and Blood of the Lord in the Eucharist are due to his faith and theological wisdom".
In Paris, where he returned in 1269, a great number of students followed his courses, but the "Angelic Doctor" also dedicated himself to preaching to the people, who listened with attention. "It is a great gift that theologians know how to speak with simplicity and fervour to the faithful. The ministry of preaching, on the other hand, also helps those who are experts in theology to develop a healthy pastoral realism and enriches their research with stimulation", the pontiff remarked.
In the final months of his life, St. Thomas -- who died in 1274 at the Abbey of Fossanove, Italy when he was heading to Leon to participate in an ecumenical council -- confessed to his friend Reginald of Piperno that, after a divine revelation, he considered his work as "so much straw", writing nothing further afterwards.
"It is a mysterious episode that helps us understand not only Thomas' personal humility but also the fact that all that we are able to think and say about the faith, as elevated and pure as it may be, is infinitely surpassed by the greatness and beauty of God who will reveal himself to us in the fullness of paradise," Benedict XVI concluded.
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VATICAN CITY, 2 JUN 2010 (VIS) - At the end of today's general audience, the Pope noted that he has been following "with great trepidation, the tragic events that have taken place near the Gaza Strip. I feel the need to express my deepest condolences to the victims of these sorrowful events that are troubling all those who are concerned with peace in the area. I again repeat, with heavy heart, that violence does not resolve conflict but only increases its tragic consequences and generates more violence. I appeal to all political leaders at the local and international levels to constantly seek just solutions through dialogue in a way that guarantees the best condition of life, harmony, and serenity to the peoples of the area. I invite you all to join in prayer for the victims, their families, and for all those who are suffering. The Lord sustains the efforts of those who never tire of working for reconciliation and peace".

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VATICAN CITY, 2 JUN 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father has sent a telegram, through Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, to Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Apostolic Nuncio to Guatemala, on the catastrophe caused by Tropical Storm Agatha that has devastated the country, leaving 150 dead and many wounded. The text follows:
"His Holiness Benedict XVI, deeply saddened to learn of the natural disasters that are affecting this beloved nation, causing deaths, injuries, much material damage, and leaving many families homeless, offers his fervent prayers for the eternal rest of those who have died. At the same time, he asks the Lord to grant his consolation to those suffering the severe tragedies and to increase the feelings of ardent charity in the Christian community to collaborate with the reconstruction in the devastated areas. Likewise, he exhorts the international community, national institutions, and all those of good will that, moved by fraternal solidarity, they might lend effective assistance to this country so that it may overcome this difficult period".
"The Supreme Pontiff also wishes to send his deepest condolences to the families of the deceased as well as his paternal concern and spiritual nearness to those injured and the victims, offering the heartfelt comfort of his apostolic blessing as a sign of affection for the beloved Guatemalan people who are so near to the heart of the shepherd of the universal Church".
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VATICAN CITY, 2 JUN 2010 (VIS) - Tomorrow, Thursday 3 June, the exhibit "Compostela and Europe: The History of Diego Gelmirez" will be opened in the Charlemagne Wing of the colonnade in St. Peter's Square. Diego Gelmirez, the first archbishop of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain, was fundamental in having the city's cathedral built and in promoting the Way of St. James pilgrimage.
As presented in a communique, the exhibit "is an opportunity for the very first time to learn in depth the history of the Galician city, the Way of St. James, and Archbishop Gelmirez's decisive contribution to European Romanesque art". The exhibit, under the direction of its curator, Manuel Castineiras, a specialist in Medieval art, has been organized by the Xunta de Galicia (Galician Regional Government) within the framework of the activities planned to celebrate the 2010 "Jacobeo" Holy Year.
The time that Gelmirez was archbishop of the Galician city was "without a doubt the golden age of Compostelan art and culture, as witnessed by the construction of the cathedral and its great facades as well as the two episcopal palaces, urban infrastructures, promotion of a school of grammar, and the publication of historical, religious, and literary texts such as the Compostelan History, or Codex Calixtinus".
Among the works from Santiago's cathedral and two other important monuments that will be displayed are the bas-relief "Woman with Bunch of Grapes" as well as works of art from sites along the path of the pilgrimage such as Sainte-Foy, Conques, St. Sernin, Toulouse, and St. James of Altopascio, Tuscany.
The exhibit, which will remain open until 1 August, has free entry and "constitutes the first exhibition undertaken by Santiago de Compostela on Gelmirez, with the objective of illustrating his importance in Galician history as well as in the construction of European Romanesque art".
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Agenzia Fides REPORT – Father Richard Baawobr, born in Nandom-Lawra, Ghana, was elected Superior General of the Society of Missionaries of Africa at the institute's 27th General Chapter in Rome (see Fides 4/5/2010). According to a statement sent to Fides from the General Curia, Fr. Richard Baawobr, who served as First Assistant General in the previous governing council, was elected on May 31. The Society of the Missionaries of Africa, known as the White Fathers, as of January 1, 2010, numbered 1,541 members from 37 countries on five continents. Currently, the White Fathers are working in 21 African countries, which remain their priority. They are at the service of African migrants in Europe and America.

The new Superior General, Fr. Richard Baawobr, was born on the June 21, 1959. He joined the Society of Missionaries of Africa, making his noviciate at Fribourg in 1981-1982. He was then sent to Totteridge, London, for theology. He took his Missionary Oath on the 5th December 1986 and was ordained to the priesthood at Ko, Ghana, on the 18th July 1987. His first appointment in Africa was to Livulu, Kinshasa diocese, Congo. He stayed there for four years. He then went to Rome for Scripture studies (4 years), then to Ch√Ętelard, Lyons, France, for training in Ignatian spirituality. He was appointed as a member of the team of the Kahangala Spiritual Year, Tanzania (1996-1999).In 1998, Father Baawobr participated in the General Chapter as delegate for Tanzania. In October 1999, he was in charge of M.Afr. students doing theology in Toulouse. He took a Sabbatical in 2002-2003 to continue work on his doctorate in Holy Scripture (which he successfully obtained in November 2004). He came to the 2004 Chapter as delegate of the French Province and he was elected 1st Assistant General (2004-2010) he has been elected Superior General on the 31st May 2010 (2010-2016).
NEW STUDY SHOWS 94.7% OF PRIESTS USE INTERNET DAILY report: The average age of the respondents was 48 years old, and the average number of years ordained was 20.The study showed that 94.7% of priests worldwide access the Internet on a daily basis for a variety of activities. Of the respondents, 82.8% have access to a laptop and 81.2% to a desktop computer.

Almost all of the clergy surveyed agreed to some extent that new technologies allow for the enculturation of the faith in today's world.
VATICAN CITY ( - A new study about the use of digital technology by priests worldwide shows that the Internet has become a frequently utilized tool in homily preparation, evangelization and pastoral support.
The PICTURE (Priests' Information and Communication Technologies Use in Their Religious Experience) study was presented Monday in a press conference at Vatican Radio.
Cardinal Claudio Hummes, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy underlined the "new cultural world" of digital technologies.
This study, he explained, aimed to take a snapshot of the actual use that priests make of technology, in order to be more effective in reaching the heart of the greatest changes in the cultural world.
The study was carried out by the NewMinE (New Media in Education Lab) of the Universita della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano, Switzerland, in collaboration with the School of Institutional Social Communications of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, and with the support of the Congregation for Clergy.
The study referred to Benedict XVI's message for the 2010 World Communications Day, which focused on the theme, "The Priest and Pastoral Ministry in a Digital World: New Media at the Service of the Word."
Some 4,990 priests from 117 countries responded to the survey that began on November 15 and ended February 28. It was distributed through bishops' conferences, religious congregations and Catholic news agencies in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish and German.
The average age of the respondents was 48 years old, and the average number of years ordained was 20.
The study showed that 94.7% of priests worldwide access the Internet on a daily basis for a variety of activities.
Of the respondents, 82.8% have access to a laptop and 81.2% to a desktop computer.
Other forms of access to technology include 90.6% of priests who have a cell phone, 73.1% who utilize digital cameras, 44.0% who possess an MP3 player and 25.7% who have other handheld devices.
Some 42% of priests expressed the belief that the use of digital technology has improved their performance in their mission.
Although 17.5% of those surveyed stated that the dangers of technology are greater than the opportunities it offers, 38.2% disagreed with this statement.
Some 47% of clergy search online for homily materials once a week, with 15% doing this on a daily basis.
Of those surveyed, 36% use Internet resources on at least a weekly basis for enhancing their prayer.
Online study programs were popular with the majority of respondents, with 26% reporting a daily usage and another 34% noting a weekly usage.
Some 53% of priests affirmed that the Internet is useful in presenting and spreading the Christian message.
Almost all of the clergy surveyed agreed to some extent that new technologies allow for the enculturation of the faith in today's world.

Cath News report: A baby found dead and abandoned in a shopping bag at Shepparton in Victoria two years ago will finally be buried tomorrow.

A coronial inquest last Friday could not determine how the baby died and requested he be given a proper burial, reports ABC Central Victoria. Monsignor Peter Jeffery says it will take place tomorrow morning at Shepparton's St Brendan's Catholic Church.
"People have been very generous. Soon after it happened there was a fund set up and as police chaplain, I was asked to be involved in that and very happily did so," he said.
"That will help to cover any funeral expenses. If there are funds that are left over they will go to some cause of caring for young children."
UCAN report: Interreligious leaders in Indonesia have condemned Israel’s storming of a convoy carrying humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, which killed at least nine pro-Palestinian activists and injured many others, including an Indonesian.

Israeli Commandoes attacked the six-ship convoy in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea on May 31, sparking world outrage.
“We condemn the Israeli attack on the humanitarian mission in the strongest terms since it was against human values as well as against international norms and ethics,” Father Antonius Benny Susetyo, executive secretary of the Indonesian bishops’ Commission for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, said at a joint June 1 press conference in Jakarta.
“The International Court of Justice must investigate and isolate Israel from the international community,” he said.
The United Nations Security Council, he continued, “must protect people from Israeli attacks and immediately assemble a peacekeeping force.”
Din Syamsuddin from Muhammadiyah, the second largest Islamic organization in the country, agreed. “The Israeli attack was inhumane,” he said.
“The Gaza naval blockade must be broken,” he demanded, urging the UN to take firm action against Israel.
Hindu leader, Nyoman Udayana Sanggih, said he and all Hindus in Indonesia condemned the Israeli assault. “Religious differences do not prevent us from supporting a humanitarian mission,” he asserted.
Reverend Andreas A. Yewangoe from the Communion of Protestant Churches was also scathing over Israel’s attack on the convoy, which included the Turkish flagged Mavi Marmara.
“The incident obviously shows Israel’s arrogance and cruelty, which cannot be justified. Whatever the reason is, it has damaged efforts taken by the international community to create peace in Israel and Palestine,” he said.
He also asked all Protestants in the country to pray for peace in the Middle East.
Fariz Nafi Al Mehdawai, the Palestinian representative in Indonesia, thanked the religious leaders for their support and solidarity.


We must look ahead and, like Peter, trusting in Christ's words, 'put out into the deep'

'To a world tempted to live as if God doesn't matter and therefore a world that teeters on the brink on despair, we need to witness to hope by showing- by what we say and do (and by what we won't do) - how beautiful, how joyful life is when one lives convinced that God does indeed matter. And, because God matters, we are also called to model a life in which man matters as well.' (Archbishop Thomas Wenski, 4th Archbishop of Miami)
Thomas Wenski installed as fourth Archbishop of Miami
'As I begin my service to this local Church as its fourth Archbishop, I ask for your support, your cooperation - and, most of all, I ask for your prayers.' (Archbishop Thomas Wenski)
MIAMI, FL. (Catholic Online) - An Archdiocese which is home to 1.3 million Catholics and one of the most beautiful Cities in the Nation, Miami, Florida, welcomed home a native born son to serve as its Fourth Archbishop. Archbishop Thomas Wenski was installed on June 1, 2010, the Feast of Justin Martyr. For many observers, this editor among them, this growing Archdiocese, so significantly placed Nationally and Internationally, has been shown the favor the Lord.
The response among the faithful of Miami to their new Archbishop has been nothing less than an exuberant joy. Archbishop Thomas Wenski was born to a Polish immigrant father and a Polish-American mother. He was raised in Lake Worth and attended his parish school, Sacred Heart. He did not wander far from the nest even to respond to his vocation to the priesthood. He studied at St. John Vianney Minor Seminary in Miami-Dade and went on to St. Vincent de Paul Major Seminary in Boynton Beach.
He was ordained as priest for the Archdiocese of Miami in 1976. At the age of 46, Fr. Thomas Wenski was then ordained a Bishop. The wonderful event took place in the old Miami Arena to a packed assembly. Now he is the first native Floridian to assume the leadership of this burgeoning and challenging Archdiocese.
Recently interviewed by Orlando's Channel 13, Bishop Wenski was asked about the challenge of assuming this post. He responded with the kind of grit which has made him both fruitful in his service and beloved by God's faithful "I have been told that Miami has its challenges. What else is new? But the Lord tells us, do not be afraid." Amen to that!
This American of Polish stock looks like he could have come from the same home town as the Venerable John Paul II. Yet he is clearly at home in his beloved South Florida. He was installed today and began the next chapter in a life of service to the Lord and His Church:
Let us begin. Let us start afresh from Christ


Sts. Marcellinus & Peter

Feast: June 2
Information: Feast Day: June 2
Died: 304 AD, Rome
Major Shrine: Santi Marcellino e Pietro
Marcellinus was a priest, and Peter an exorcist, both of the clergy of Rome, and eminent for their zeal and piety. In the persecution of Dioclesian, about the year 304, they were condemned to die for their faith: and by a secret order of the judge, the executioner led them into a forest, that the holy men being executed privately, no Christians might be acquainted with the place of their sepulchre. When he had brought them into a thicket overgrown with thorns and briers, three; miles from Rome, he declared to them his sanguinary commission. The saints cheerfully fell to work themselves, grubbed up the brambles, and cleared a spot fit for their sepulchre. After they were beheaded, their bodies were buried in the same place. Some time after, Lucilla, a pious lady, being informed by revelation, and assisted by another devout lady named Firmina, took up their bodies and honorably interred them near that of St. Tiburtius on the Lavican road in the Catacombs. Pope Damasus assures us, that, when a child, he learned all these particulars from the mouth of the executioner himself, and he has inserted them in a Latin epitaph with which he adorned their tomb. Anastasius the librarian testifies from ancient registers, that Constantine the Great built here a church in honor of these martyrs, in which he caused his mother St. Helena to be buried under a porphyry tomb, on the Lavican road, three miles from Rome, and that he gave to this church a paten, weighing thirty-five pounds, of pure gold, with many other rich presents; which is also mentioned by Bede, Ado, and Sigebert. The porphyry mausoleum of St. Helena is still shown among other antiquities near the Lateran basilica. Honorius I. and Adrian I. repaired this church and cemetery of St. Tiburtius, and SS. Marcellinus and Peter, as Anastasius mentions. Not long after, the bodies of SS. Marcellinus and Peter were translated into Germany on the following occasion. Eginhard, a German, the favorite secretary of Charlemagne, and his wife Emma, by mutual consent, made a vow of perpetual continency; and becoming a monk, was chosen abbot of Fontenelle, and, in 819, abbot of Ghent. Emma died in 836, to his great affliction, as appears from the letters of Lupus, abbot of Ferrieres, to him. This great man, in 827, sent his secretary to Rome, to procure from pope Gregory IV. some relies of martyrs to enrich the monasteries which he had founded or repaired. The pope sent him the bodies of SS. Marcellinus and Peter, which Eginhard translated to Strasburg. But soon after he deposited them first at Michlenstad; and afterwards at Malinheim, since called Selgenstad, three leagues from Frankfort, and two from Achaffenburg; where, in 829, he built to their honor a church and monastery, of which he died the first abbot. Besides the life of Charlemagne, and the annals of France, during the reigns of Pepin, Charlemagne, and Louis Debonnaire, he wrote four books in prose, and one in verse, on the translation of SS. Marcellinus and Peter. This translation is also mentioned by Sigebert, Aymoinus, Rabanus Maurus, &c. Pope Gregory the Great preached his twenty homilies on the gospels in the church of SS. Marcellinus and Peter at Rome; as appears from some of them, and from the testimony of John the Deacon.4 See their acts and the history of their translation in Papebroke, t. 1, Junij, p. 170, and Laderchius, Diss. de Basilicis, SS. Marcellini and Petri; Romae, 1705


MARK 12. 18-27
Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection,

came to Jesus and put this question to him, saying,
“Teacher, Moses wrote for us,
If someone’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no child,
his brother must take the wife
and raise up descendants for his brother.
Now there were seven brothers.
The first married a woman and died, leaving no descendants.
So the second brother married her and died, leaving no descendants,
and the third likewise.
And the seven left no descendants.
Last of all the woman also died.
At the resurrection when they arise whose wife will she be?
For all seven had been married to her.”
Jesus said to them, “Are you not misled
because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?
When they rise from the dead,
they neither marry nor are given in marriage,
but they are like the angels in heaven.
As for the dead being raised,
have you not read in the Book of Moses,
in the passage about the bush, how God told him,
I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac,
and the God of Jacob?
He is not God of the dead but of the living.
You are greatly misled.”
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