Sunday, July 4, 2010


Asia News report: Benedict XVI visits Sulmona and the places where Pietro da Morrone lived 800 years ago as a hermit. He later became pope under the name of Celestine V. We need a sober life to be free in mind and spirit and share what we have with our fellow men. The life of prayer is tied to the passion of the announcement.

Sulmona (AsiaNews) – Benedict XVI has called on today’s Church to “bear good witness to the Gospel” through “a simple and humble life” and the “sombre lifestyle” of Our Lady and Saint Pietro da Morrone, a hermit who later became Pope Celestine V. The Holy Father visited some of the locations where Saint Peter Celestine lived, 800 years after his birth.

The Pontiff, who spoke at the end of the Mass celebrated in Piazza Garibaldi in the town of Sulmona before the Angelus, pointed out that “in Mary, the Virgin of silence and listening, Saint Pietro da Morrone found the perfect model of obedience to divine will, a simple and humble life, intent on finding what is truly essential, always capable of thanking the Lord, recognising in everything a gift of his goodness.”
We too, who live in an age of greater comfort and means, are called to appreciate a sober lifestyle, keeping mind and heart free, and share what we have with our fellow men. Most Holy Mary, who with her maternal presence gave heart to the first community of Jesus’ disciples, help today’s Church as well to bear good witness to the Gospel!”
Earlier during the homily, the Pope noted that Pietro da Morrone’s holiness “did not disappear from the public eye, and has never gone out of fashion”. In particular, he said, “Saint Peter Celestine, even though he led a hermit’s life, did not ‘turn inward’ but was moved by a passion to bring the good news of the Gospel to his fellow men”.
Afterwards, Benedict XVI listed a “disciple’s essential tasks”. They include announcing the Evangelical message in a quiet but clear and courageous way, even in moments of persecution, without succumbing to the allure of fashion, violence or imposition; a detachment from things such as money or clothes through reliance on the Father’s providence; and concern and care for those who are sick in body and spirit (cf L, 10:5-9). Such were the features that characterised the brief and difficult pontificate of Celestine V and such are the features that define the Church’s missionary activity of every era.


Independent Catholic News report: For the first time, the Order of Malta’s International Holiday Camp - the 27th - is set to take place in Britain.
Later this month, more than 150 disabled guests and 300 helpers will come together at the Bluestone holiday village in Pembrokeshire, on the South Wales coast. The annual Order of Malta camp, caters for people aged 18 to 35 with a range of backgrounds and disabilities. It offers them the chance to take part in activities that would not normally be accessible to them – including, this year, scuba diving and flying lessons with the British Disabled Flying Association.
The camp’s hosts, the British Association of the Order of Malta, look forward to offering guests, who will come from all over the world, the chance to share a holiday and to experience Catholic spirituality and British hospitality. The theme for the 2010 camp is taken from a Beatles song: “All you need is love”. The Association’s President, Charles Weld, noted: “The Order’s international summer camp for young people with disabilities gives us the opportunity to welcome both newcomers and old friends to a very special gathering. The theme for this year – 'All you need is love' – inspires every one of us.” The Order of Malta is the oldest Catholic religious charitable order in the world. From its foundation almost ten centuries ago, the Order’s mission has been to live according to Christian principles and to help the poor and the sick with total impartiality. Historically, this included pilgrims to the Holy Land.
Today the Order of Malta has 13,000 members worldwide and works in the field of medical and social care in more than 120 countries, including running hospitals and providing emergency relief.
General Lord Guthrie, Vice-President of the British Association of the Order said: "The camp will greatly benefit all those who are attending from 20 countries. Quite apart from giving great pleasure, it may well also alter lives for the better."
The International Holiday Camp take place from July 10-17th.
For more details see:  and

contact Gilly Orr on e-mail



CBC.CA report: The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh attended a church service in Toronto on Sunday morning as royal watchers gathered outside in the sweltering heat and humidity.

The couple was greeted by a large crowd at St. James Cathedral as they entered the church on their second-last full day of a nine-day visit to Canada.
The Queen wore a blue patterned outfit with a matching turquoise hat. Those invited inside donned their Sunday best and fancy hats, and several men were decked out in military regalia.
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, his wife and Lt.-Gov. David Onley sat across the aisle from the Queen.
The royal tour is continuing amid a heat alert in Toronto. Temperatures in the low 30s are expected, but forecasters say it will feel more like the high 30s — maybe even 40 C — when the humidity is factored in.
Queen mingles with the crowd under sunny skies
The crowd applauded as the Queen did a short walkabout after the service and was presented with bouquets of flowers.
First in line for the Queen's greetings was eight-year-old Dharby Harrison.
"It was awesome," Dharby told CBC News. "She said, 'Thank you' and I said, 'No, thank you, Your Majesty."

Agenzia Fides report- It's an apocalyptic scene; burned bodies are strewn about the main street of Sange. The dead are definitely more than 200 and dozens of houses have been destroyed," Fides has been told by Fr. Paul, the parish priest of Luvungi, not far from the village of Sange where today, July 3, a tanker truck exploded.

"The incident occurred on the main street, which is narrow. Two trucks probably crashed in the intersection. The tire of the tank exploded and it rolled over. People gathered to collect fuel. Then came the explosion, whose cause is unknown but which may have been caused by a cigarette butt thrown by someone or a spark from the burning truck motor," said Fr. Paul.

"Among the dead were five soldiers of the United Nations Mission in Congo (MONUC), who had come to try to extinguish the fire but were overcome by the flames."

"The local authorities, including the Deputy Governor, the UN military, and the Red Cross, arrived on the scene. However, more time is still needed to thoroughly analyze the dimension of the tragedy," the priest concluded.


UCAN report: The Archbishop of Colombo has told Sri Lanka’s Education Minister that several current history and geography textbooks contain defamatory remarks against the Pope, Catholics and the Church.

“This is an attempt to create disharmony among the religious communities,” Archbishop Ranjith told Education Minister Bandula Gunawardana when the latter paid him a courtesy visit on June 24.
“It is an attempt to instill very insulting and defamatory concepts in the minds of the students and also to discredit the government,” the archbishop continued.
He urged the Minister to initiate a review of the texts by an interfaith committee.
“Many complaints from principals and teachers in history and geography prompted the archbishop to raise the matter with the Minister of Education,” Father Ivan Perera, national director of Catholic education, told BBC Sandeshaya on July 1.
“The Minister has promised the archbishop to investigate and take corrective measures,” Father Perera said.


Cath News report: Catholic Health Australia CEO Martin Laverty has said the Federal Government should establish a health reform implementation commission to pin down the detail of reform and enable health and aged care providers to plan for the future.

The newly released Framework for development of Primary Healthcare Organisations leaves health and aged care organisations in the dark as to how Primary Health Care Organisations will improve integration with general practice, he said in a statement.
"We remain supportive of the health reform proposals, but we're yet to see detail as to how the new system will actually work towards improvement in patient care. The uncertainty is now causing planning confusion within health and aged care services.
`The Framework for Medicare Locals, by its own admission, was drafted without consultation with health care providers. If hospital providers and aged care services are not consulted, you have to wonder just how integration between primary, acute, and aged care will be achieved. The CHA Survey of Access to General Practice Services in Residential Aged Care released last month found 57 percent of aged care home respondents had on occasion transferred residents to hospital emergency departments because of a doctor shortage. Eighteen per cent reported having to do so 'fairly frequently' or 'regularly'.
There are parts of Australia where residents of aged care homes are unable to see a doctor when needed. They are left with no choice but to be taken to hospital. This is just one problem Medicare Locals will need to address," Mr Laverty said.


Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati

Information: Feast Day: July 4
Born: April 6, 1901, Turin, Italy
Died: July 4, 1925, Turin, Italy
Canonized: May 20, 1990 by Pope John Paul II
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati is a saint for the modern world, and especially for the young people of our time. Born in 1901 in Turin, Italy, his time on earth was short-only 24 years-but he filled it passionately with holy living. Pier Giorgio was a model of virtue, a "man of the beatitudes," as Pope John Paul II called him at the saint's beatification ceremony in Rome on May 20, 1990. He was described by friends as "an explosion of joy." As Pier Giorgio's sister, Luciana, says of her brother in her biography of him, "He represented the finest in Christian youth: pure, happy, enthusiastic about everything that is good and beautiful."

To our modern world which is often burdened by cynicism and angst, Pier Giorgio's life offers a brilliant contrast, a life rich in meaning, purpose, and peace derived from faith in God. From the earliest age, and despite two unreligious parents who misunderstood and disapproved of his piety and intense interest in Catholicism, Pier Giorgio placed Christ first in all that he did. These parental misunderstandings, which were very painful to him, persisted until the day of his sudden death of polio. However, he bore this treatment patiently, silently, and with great love.
Pier Giorgio prayed daily, offering, among other prayers, a daily rosary on his knees by his bedside. Often his agnostic father would find him asleep in this position. "He gave his whole self, both in prayer and in action, in service to Christ," Luciana Frassati writes. After Pier Giorgio began to attend Jesuit school as a boy, he received a rare permission in those days to take communion daily. "Sometimes he passed whole nights in Eucharistic adoration." For Pier Giorgio, Christ was the answer. Therefore, all of his action was oriented toward Christ and began first in contemplation of Him. With this interest in the balance of contemplation and action, it is no wonder why Pier Giorgio was drawn in 1922 at the age of 21 to the Fraternities of St. Dominic. In becoming a tertiary, Pier Giorgio chose the name "Girolamo" (Jerome) after his personal hero, Girolamo Savonarola, the fiery Dominican preacher and reformer during the Renaissance in Florence. Pier Giorgio once wrote to a friend, "I am a fervent admirer of this friar (Savonarola), who died as a saint at the stake."
Pier Giorgio was handsome, vibrant, and natural. These attractive characteristics drew people to him. He had many good friends and he shared his faith with them with ease and openness. He engaged himself in many different apostolates. Pier Giorgio also loved sports. He was an avid outdoorsman and loved hiking, riding horses, skiing, and mountain climbing. He was never one to pass on playing a practical joke, either. He relished laughter and good humor.
As Luciana points out, "Catholic social teaching could never remain simply a theory with [Pier Giorgio]." He set his faith concretely into action through spirited political activism during the Fascist period in World War I Italy. He lived his faith, too, through discipline with his school work, which was a tremendous cross for him as he was a poor student. Most notably, however, Pier Giorgio (like the Dominican St. Martin de Porres) lived his faith through his constant, humble, mostly hidden service to the poorest of Turin. Although Pier Giorgio grew up in a privileged environment, he never lorded over anyone the wealth and prestige of his family. Instead, he lived simply and gave away food, money, or anything that anyone asked of him. It is suspected that he contracted from the very people to whom he was ministering in the slums the polio that would kill him.
Even as Pier Giorgio lay dying, his final week of rapid physical deterioration was an exercise in heroic virtue. His attention was turned outward toward the needs of others and he never drew attention to his anguish, especially since his own grandmother was dying at the same time he was. Pier Giorgio's heart was surrendered completely to God's will for him. His last concern was for the poor. On the eve of his death, with a paralyzed hand, he scribbled a message to a friend, reminding the friend not to forget the injections for Converso, a poor man Pier Giorgio had been assisting.
When news of Pier Giorgio's death on July 4, 1925 reached the neighborhood and city, the Frassati parents, who had no idea about the generous self-donation of their young son, were astonished by the sight of thousands of people crowded outside their mansion on the day of their son's funeral Mass and burial. The poor, the lonely, and those who had been touched by Pier Giorgio's love and faithful example had come to pay homage to this luminous model of Christian living.
Pier Giorgio's mortal remains were found incorrupt in 1981 and were transferred from the family tomb in the cemetery of Pollone to the Cathedral of Turin.

St. Elizabeth of Portugal

Feast: July 4
Born: 1271, AljaferĂ­a Palace, Zaragoza, Kingdom of Aragon
Died: 4 July 1336, Estremoz Castle in Estremoz, Alentejo, Kingdom of Portugal
Canonized: 24 June 1625 by Pope Urban VIII
Major Shrine: Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Nova, Coimbra, Portugal[
Patron of: Third Order of St Francis
Queen (sometimes known as the PEACEMAKER); born in 1271; died in 1336. She was named after her great-aunt, the great Elizabeth of Hungary, but is known in Portuguese history by the Spanish form of that name, Isabel. The daughter of Pedro III, King of Aragon, and Constantia, grandchild of Emperor Frederick II, she was educated very piously, and led a life of strict regularity and self-denial from her childhood: she said the full Divine Office daily, fasted and did other penances, and gave up amusement. Elizabeth was married very early to Diniz (Denis), King of Portugal, a poet, and known as Re Lavrador, or the working king , from his hard work in is country s service. His morals, however, were extremely bad, and the court to which his young wife was brought consequently most corrupt. Nevertheless, Elizabeth quietly pursued the regular religious practices of her maidenhood, whilst doing her best to win her husband s affections by gentleness and extraordinary forbearance. She was devoted to the poor and sick, and gave every moment she could spare to helping them, even pressing her court ladies into their service. Naturally, such a life was a reproach to many around her, and caused ill will in some quarters. A popular story is told of how her husband s jealousy was roused by an evil-speaking page; of how he condemned the queen s supposed guilty accomplice to a cruel death; and was finally convinced of her innocence by the strange accidental substitution of her accuser for the intended victim.
Diniz does not appear to have reformed in morals till late in life, when we are told that the saint won him to repentance by her prayers and unfailing sweetness. They had two children, a daughter Constantia and a son Affonso. The latter so greatly resented the favours shown to the king s illegitimate sons that he rebelled, and in 1323 war was declared between him and his father. St. Elizabeth, however, rode in person between the opposing armies, and so reconciled her husband and son. Diniz died in 1325, his son succeeding him as Affonso IV. St. Elizabeth then retired to a convent of Poor Clares which she had founded at Coimbra, where she took the Franciscan Tertiary habit, wishing to devote the rest of her life to the poor and sick in obscurity. But she was called forth to act once more as peacemaker. In 1336 Affonso IV marched his troops against the King of Castile, to whom he had married his daughter Maria, and who had neglected and ill-treated her. In spite of age and weakness, the holy queen dowager insisted on hurrying to Estremoz, where the two kings’ armies were drawn up. She again stopped the fighting and caused terms of peace to be arranged. But the exertion brought on her final illness; and as soon as her mission was fulfilled she died of a fever, full of heavenly joy, and exhorting her son to the love of holiness and peace. St. Elizabeth was buried at Coimbra, and miracles followed her death. She was canonized by Urban VIII in 1625


Isaiah 66: 10 - 14

10 "Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice with her in joy, all you who mourn over her;

11 that you may suck and be satisfied with her consoling breasts; that you may drink deeply with delight from the abundance of her glory."

12 For thus says the LORD: "Behold, I will extend prosperity to her like a river, and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing stream; and you shall suck, you shall be carried upon her hip, and dandled upon her knees.

13 As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.

14 You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice; your bones shall flourish like the grass; and it shall be known that the hand of the LORD is with his servants, and his indignation is against his enemies.

Psalms 66: 1 - 7, 16, 20

1 Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth;

2 sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise!

3 Say to God, "How terrible are thy deeds! So great is thy power that thy enemies cringe before thee.

4 All the earth worships thee; they sing praises to thee, sing praises to thy name." [Selah]

5 Come and see what God has done: he is terrible in his deeds among men.

6 He turned the sea into dry land; men passed through the river on foot. There did we rejoice in him,

7 who rules by his might for ever, whose eyes keep watch on the nations -- let not the rebellious exalt themselves. [Selah]

16 Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for me.

20 Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me! --

Galatians 6: 14 - 18

14 But far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

15 For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.

16 Peace and mercy be upon all who walk by this rule, upon the Israel of God.

17 Henceforth let no man trouble me; for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.

18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.

Luke 10: 1 - 12, 17 - 20

1 After this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to come.

2 And he said to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.

3 Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.

4 Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and salute no one on the road.

5 Whatever house you enter, first say, `Peace be to this house!'

6 And if a son of peace is there, your peace shall rest upon him; but if not, it shall return to you.

7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages; do not go from house to house.

8 Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you;

9 heal the sick in it and say to them, `The kingdom of God has come near to you.'

10 But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say,

11 `Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off against you; nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.'

12 I tell you, it shall be more tolerable on that day for Sodom than for that town.

17 The seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!"

18 And he said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.

19 Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall hurt you.

20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you; but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."
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