Wednesday, July 21, 2010



VATICAN CITY, 21 JUL 2010 (VIS REPORT) - The Holy Father erected the new diocese of Karonga (area 14,000, population 400,000, Catholics 61,000, priests 15, religious 45) Malawi, with territory taken from the diocese of Mzuzu, making it a suffragan of the metropolitan church of Blantyre. He appointed Fr. Martin Anwel Mtumbuka of the clergy of Mzuzu, vice chancellor of the Catholic University of Malawi, as first bishop of the new diocese. The bishop-elect was born in Majimbula Village, Malawi in 1957 and ordained a priest in 1988.

VATICAN CITY, 21 JUL 2010 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:
- Bishop Francisco F. Claver S.J., emeritus of Malaybaly, Philippines, on 1 July at the age of 81.
- Bishop Clement Guillon C.I.M., emeritus of Quimper, France, on 9 July at the age of 78.
- Bishop Stanisalus Tobias Magombo, auxiliary of Lilongwe, Malawi, on 6 July at the age of 42.
- Bishop Bernardino Rivera Alvarez, former auxiliary of Potosi, Bolivia, on 11 July at the age of 85.


Asia News report. Led by bishops and religious leaders the Dalit Christians and Muslims are asking the government to cancel the law that since 1950 recognizes and guarantees rights only to Dalit Hindus and Buddhists. Bishop Neethinathan, of Chingleput (Tamil Nadu): "It 's very painful to see our Dalit people suffer double discrimination in terms of society and religion."

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - More than 5 thousand Dalit Christians and Muslims from all over India, used the lush backdrop of the Jantar Mantar gardens in New Delhi to launch their protest demanding equal rights with Dalit Hindus and Buddhists.
The sit-in was sponsored by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI), the National Council of the Dalit Christians (NCDC) and National Council of Churches in India (NCCI). The purpose is to ask for the deletion of paragraph 3 of the Constitution Scheduled Castes Order, which since 1950 gives status and rights exclusively to Dalit Hindus and Buddhists. According to the law Dalits who convert to Christianity or Islam lose all previously enjoyed rights, including political representation. On 18 December 2009 the National Commission on Religious and Linguistic Minorities (Ncrlm) presented the Lok Sabha (parliament) with a proposal to amend the law. To date the authorities have not yet responded.
Fr. Cosmon Arokiaraj, secretary of the Indian bishops' Commission for Dalit Christians, accused the main governing party, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) of blocking the revision of the law. "We condemn the obstructions of the ruling party - he says - The National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) has cleared the ways for the implementation of equal rights for our two communities." The priest said the UPA pursues religious discrimination against Christians and Muslims, against the values of secularism and democracy bandied about during the election campaign last year.
Bishop A. Neethinathan, of Chingleput (Tamil Nadu) and member of the Episcopal Commission for the program on castes and tribals, says: "As a pastor of the Catholic Church in India, it is very painful to see our Dalit people suffer double discrimination, on social and religious grounds". "This is why – he continues - I'm here in New Delhi to participate in the struggle for Dalit Christians and make an appeal to the government to implement the changes recommended by the Ncrlm and give a democratic and secular image of India, where even the weakest to enjoy the privileges and rights".


Independent Catholic news report: Sister Nancy Pereira, a member of the Daughters of Maria Auxiliatrix (FMA), died on 14 July at her FMA community Home in Bangalore, India.

She was born at Pudukkuruchy, in the Indian state of Kerala, 14 August 1923, and made her first Profession on 6 January 1945. Her name is famous because in the early 1990s in Bangalore (some 1000 km south of Bombay), she started a Fund for the Poor,

re-elaborating the example of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. The clients of her Bank had to be poor, people from slums, from villages, people who owned nothing and had no opportunity to build a better life. To obtain credit the person had to prove that he or she had saved a small sum for a year and taken part in meetings of the small credit management group. The annual interest rate was so small it barely covered management expenses. The project of the Bank for the Poor involved the whole family and recognised the needs of each member and therefore, inserted in a Family Integral Development and Education Scheme, it helped improve living conditions for many families and even whole villages.
A brief biography written by the FMA Sisters, says about Sister Nancy “she was convinced her vocation was to be with the poor and to devote herself to serving them. She loved all of them and tried to make them aware of their rights as well as their duties and to live their dignity as children of God. She did this with joy, involving many people in her projects for doing good. Forgetful of self, she lived a life of poverty to enrich the poor. With her creative solidarity she founded numerous groups for the promotion of women (Self Help Group) and development programmes such as IGP (Income Generating Programme) to help the poor live in
worthy conditions and with financial autonomy.”
During her life Sister Nancy received many international awards and a film was made about her life.


Catholic Review report: Father Patrick Peyton, a Holy Cross priest whose popular radio and television programs promoted family prayer, is a step closer to sainthood.

The Archdiocese of Baltimore recently completed an exhaustive investigation into Father Peyton’s life and ministry, and was to send copies of its 16,000-page report to Rome’s Congregation for Causes of Saints this week.
As The Catholic Review went to press, Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien was to celebrate the closing of the archdiocesan inquiry with a July 20 Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore.
Citing the Baltimore archdiocese’s experience with other sainthood causes, the Vatican asked Baltimore to take over the investigation of Father Peyton’s cause from the Diocese of Fall River, Mass., in 2006.
Father Gilbert Seitz, Archbishop O’Brien’s delegate for the inquiry, said the Vatican will use the Baltimore report to determine if Father Peyton lived in a heroic manner. The pope will then determine whether Father Peyton can be called “venerable,” and officials will investigate possible healings attributed to Father Peyton’s intercession. If a healing is determined to be miraculous, Father Peyton – now known as a “servant of God” – will be declared “blessed.” Another miracle would be needed for him to be canonized.
“It was fascinating coming to know Father Peyton,” said Father Seitz, noting that approximately 80 witnesses who knew or worked with Father Peyton were interviewed for the report. They included 50 witnesses throughout the United States and 30 in 13 other countries.
“He was fierce in his loyalty to the church and he was very proud to be Catholic and to share his faith,” Father Seitz said. “He probably was the first to see the role that electronic media could play in evangelizing.”
Dolores Hope, widow of Bob Hope, was among the American witnesses interviewed. Joseph Campanella, a Hollywood actor, also gave testimony. Father Peyton came to know them and many movie stars and celebrities after founding Family Theater Productions in Hollywood in 1947. The ministry produced more than 600 radio and television programs and 10,000 broadcasts. He also conducted rosary crusades for millions of people in dozens of countries.
“He was extremely dedicated to promoting devotion to the Blessed Mother through the rosary,” said Father Seitz.
The Baltimore team asked the bishops of 19 dioceses in the United States and 13 dioceses in 13 countries to appoint boards to take testimony and forward it to Baltimore. Father Seitz said the inquiry reached out to people “from Sydney to San Diego and from Rome to Rio de Janeiro.”
“Our task was to coordinate the gathering of all that information,” he said. “We also gathered archival material. A historical commission was appointed and they visited seven different archival depositories to gather historical documents.”
Father Peyton, the “Rosary Priest,” is well known for coining the phrases, “The family that prays together, stays together,” and “A country without prayer is a country without peace.”
Eileen Gerwin, a parishioner of Our Lady of the Angels in Catonsville, served as Father Peyton’s first secretary from 1945-48 in Albany, New York. She met the priest when she was a sophomore at Vincentian Institute, a high school Father Peyton often visited to speak about the rosary.
“He used to dictate letters to me after school and I would type them up,” remembered Gerwin, who was one of the witnesses in the inquiry. “They went out to priests and bishops and others to promote the rosary.”
Gerwin remembered Father Peyton as being a “gentle” and “brilliant” man who was wholly devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
“He loved her and didn’t mind telling people all she did for him and his family,” Gerwin said. “He dedicated every minute of his life to her. I never remember him going to a play or a sports event or movie. He almost seemed to have no other passion than our Blessed Mother.”
Gerwin said she felt like she was in the presence of a holy person whenever she was near Father Peyton. “There’s no doubt in my mind he’s a saint,” she said.
Father Peyton, who emigrated to the United States from Ireland at age 19, was the founder of Holy Cross Family Ministries, which includes Family Rosary, Family Theater Productions, Father Peyton Family Institute and Family Rosary International. He died in 1992 and is buried in Easton, Mass.
Dr. Andrea Ambrosi serves as postulator of Father Peyton’s sainthood cause in Rome. Father David Marcham is the vice postulator. Locally, Teresa Ewen was notary for the archdiocesan inquiry and Capuchin Franciscan Father William Graham was the promoter of justice.


Cath News report: A documentary on the life of the late priest and mountaineer Father Pablo Dominguez is spurring conversions, according to its Spanish film director Juan Manuel Cotelo.

Cotelo said the effect of The Last Summit documentary "owes itself to the magnetism God has on any person", reports the Catholic News Agency.
"If Fr. Pablo's story is attractive," the filmmaker said, "it's because the love of his life also is. The protagonist in Fr. Pablo's story, and of the movie, is God. Among all the famous actors and actresses in the world, there isn't a protagonist more attractive and attracting than God."
Cotelo said he had heard about the priest's death just two weeks after getting to know the man, whom he describes as "a joker, but also a profound, kind and caring man who immediately put himself in my service".
"I think we were also united in the desire to present the love of God to ever kind of person or group in a friendly, attractive, simple, kind and optimistic manner. Because there is no other way of presenting the Gospel. And, bit by bit, as I found out more about him, I realised that the story of his life should be shared because it would be stimulating to anyone."
Fr Dominguez, a diocesan priest, was a skilled mountaineer who was used to climbing the highest peaks in Spain and celebrate Mass there, reports EWTN News. He died in February of 2009 while descending from Mount Moncayo.
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Agenzia Fides report – “ While not overlooking the role of governments and various institutions active in the social field, with freedom and courage the Church must assume her prophetic role to proclaim the Gospel and denounce injustice. The Church must never be afraid to evangelise, a mission which entails: proclamation, witness of life and communion, dialogue, collaboration with others and selfless service to all people, while giving priority to the most needy”. This is written in the closing statement at the end 9th Meeting of Portuguese speaking Bishops' Conferences held in São Tomé from 2 to 9 July (see Fides 3/7/2010).

“We participants all agreed that the week had been most enriching, and expressed the hope that other similar gatherings in the future may offer the same opportunity to build relationships and share life and faith”: Bishop Manuel António Santos, CMF, Bishop of São Tomé e Príncipe, told Fides, while sharing his impression of the meeting hosted in Sao Tome. “ São Tomé and Príncipe, a small island situated in the Gulf of Guinea, hosted the 9th Meeting of Portuguese speaking Bishops– Bishop Santos recalled-. meetings which are held every two years in a different member country of the Community of Portuguese speaking countries - CPLP. This meeting brought together the Bishops of Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, São Tomé and Principe”.

The theme of the meeting was "The Church and the fight against poverty and social exclusion". “A most appropriate theme for the situation in São Tomé and Príncipe – the Bishop said -. For a whole week the participants experienced the social reality on the island: visiting significant places, meeting people of different ethnic origin, sharing ideas with the local Catholic community, taking part in special liturgical celebrations planned for the occasion”.

Referring to the closing statement, a copy of which was sent to Fides, Bishop Manuel António Santos mentioned one paragraph which might summarise the weeks' activity and offer indications for work in the future: "In order to have less poverty and more development, among other things, it is indispensable to adopt measures regarding the distribution of land and resources, not to mention the fight against corruption and the need to promote dignified working conditions. Priority tasks include guaranteeing school education, investments to promote justice and professional training and for better healthcare services. In her educative and social activity the Church has the right to the same resources as civil institutions engaged in the same fields ".

The closing statement underlines the warm welcome offered by religious communities and parishes in São Tomé and Príncipe, especially during the joyful and participated eucharistic celebrations. During a meeting with the President and the Prime Minister the civil authorities expressed appreciation for the work of the Catholic Church on the island, in the religious field and also in the area of social assistance and as a peace promoting element.

The theme of the meeting, in keeping with the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion, was extensively debated taking into account the different situations in Portuguese speaking countries. The final statement observed that the Millennium Goals are far from achieved, while the gap between rich and poor people is ever wider. The Bishops call on European Union member countries to honour their commitment to assign 0.7% of national income in aid of development.

On the occasion of celebrations for 35th anniversaries of Independence in some Portuguese countries, the statement urges Catholics in the respective countries to play a more active and responsible part “in the building of a society of more justice and brotherhood”. The Church possesses in fact the rich heritage of Catholic Social Teaching which should be studied and proposed at home and abroad.


Cath News report: The National Catholic Education Commission has welcomed the Coalition's announcement about expanding a tax rebate for parents with school children, saying it would benefit families on low to average income.

"Catholic schools work hard at keeping fees to a reasonable level," said Dr Bill Griffiths, CEO of the National Catholic Education Commission, in a media statement.
"We acknowledge the significant bipartisan financial support Catholic schools receive from Governments. It is encouraging that a prospective government is prepared to support parents in this practical way."
"No child is denied a place in a Catholic school because of the parents' inability to pay school fees," Dr Griffith said. "But the expanded benefit will help needy families everywhere meet the significant costs that all parents incur."

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's (PICTURED)plan to allow parents to claim the rebate on school fees has drawn fire from public education advocates, said the Sydney Morning Herald.
The Australian Education Union, which represents government school teachers, said the Coalition plan was a "regressive" move which would take money from public education and return some of it to parents who could afford to pay private school fees.
"Instead of ensuring that we have a public school system that meets the needs of all children, and benefits the nation as a whole, Mr Abbott is determined to take us on a path towards the privatisation of education," the union's president, Angelo Gavrielatos, said.
Peter Garrigan, the president of the Australian Council of State School Organisations, which represents public school parents, said the Coalition was taking the wrong approach, and that assistance instead should be given to needy schools. He said the rebate would do little for the poorest families.
Labor claimed the plan could cost twice the amount estimated by the Coalition.
Under Mr Abbott's scheme, parents would be able to claim a tax refund of up to $1000 for school expenses, including private and Catholic school fees. He said would cost about $760 million over four years.
Senior government ministers soon jumped on the costing, claiming that Mr Abbott had underestimated the figure by hundreds of millions of dollars.
On the government's numbers, if an extra 10 per cent of families claimed the rebate, and received an extra $125 for a primary school child and $375 for a high school child, Mr Abbott's policy would cost about $1.4 billion over four years.
"Tony Abbott has today blown his own budget," Treasurer Wayne Swan is cited as saying.

St. Lawrence of Brindisi

Information: Feast Day: July 21

Born: 22 July 1559 at Brindisi, Italy

Died: 22 July 1619 at Lisbon, Portugal
Canonized: 1881 by Leo XIII
Major Shrine: Villafranca del Bierzo
Patron of: Brindisi
Born at Brindisi in 1559; died at Lisbon on 22 July, 1619. In baptism he received the names of Julius Caesar. Guglielmo de Rossi -- or Guglielmo Russi, according to a contemporary writer -- was his father's name; his mother was Elisabetta Masella. Both were excellent Christians. Of a precocious piety, Lorenzo gave early evidence of a religious vocation. The Conventuals of Brindisi were entrusted with his education. His progress in his studies was very rapid, and, when barely six, he had already given indication of his future success in oratory. Consequently, he was always the one chosen to address, in accordance with the Italian custom, a short sermon to his compatriots on the Infant Jesus during the Christmas festivities. When he was twelve years of age his father died. He then pursued his studies at Venice with the clerics of St. Mark's and under the supervision of one of his uncles. In 1575 he was received into the Order of Capuchins under the name of Brother Lorenzo, and, after his preofession, made his philosophical and theological studies at the University of Padua. Owing to his wonderful memory he mastered not only the principal European languages, but also most of the Semitic tongues. It was said he knew the entire original text of the Bible. Such a knowledge, in the eyes of many, could be accounted for only by supernatural assistance, and, during the process of beatification, the examiners of the saint's writings rendered the following judgment: "Vere inter sanctos Ecclesiae doctores adnumerari potest."
Such unusual talents, added to a rare virtue, fitted Brother Lorenzo for the most diverse missions. When still a deacon he preached the Lenten sermons in Venice, and his success was so great that he was called successively to all the principal cities of the peninsula. Subsequently, thanks to his numerous journeys, he was enabled to evangelize at different periods most of the countries of Europe. The sermons he left fill no less than eight folio volumes. He adopted the method of preaching in favour with the great Franciscan missionaries, or rather with apostolic workers of all times, who, aiming primarily to reach men's hearts and convert them, always adapt their style of discourse to the spiritual needs of their hearers. Brother Lorenzo held successively all the offices of his order. From 1596 to 1602 he had, as general definitor, to fix his residence in Rome. Clement VIII assigned him the task of instructing the Jews; thanks to his knowledge of Hebrew and his powerful reasoning, he brought a great number of them to recognize the truth of the Christian religion. His saintliness, combined with his great kindliness, completed the preparing of the way for the grace of conversion. His success in Rome caused him to be called to several other cities, where he also baptized numerous Jews. At the same time he was commissioned to establish houses of his order in Germany and Austria. Amid the great difficulties created by the heretics he founded the convents of Vienna, Prague, and Graz, the nuclei of three provinces. At the chapter of 1602 he was elected vicar-general. (At that time the Order of Capuchins, which had broken away from the Observants in 1528 and had an independent constitution, gave its first superior the title of vicar-general only. It was not until 1618 that Pope Paul V changed it to that of minister general). The very year of his election the new superior began the visitation of the provinces. Milan, Paris, Marseilles, Spain, received him in turn. As his coming was preceded by a great reputation for holiness, the people flocked to hear him preach and to receive his blessing. His administration characterized by wise firmness and fatherly tenderness, was of great benefit to the order. At the Chapter of 1605 he refused to undertake for a second term the government of his brethren, but until his death he was the best adviser of his successors.
It was on the occasion of the foundation of the convent of Prague (1601) that St. Lorenzo was named chaplain of the Imperial army, then about to march against the Turks. The victory of Lepanto (1571) had only temporarily checked the Moslem invasion, and several battles were still necessary to secure the final triumph of the Christian armies. Mohammed III had, since his accession (1595), conquered a large part of Hungary. The emperor, determined to prevent a further advance, sent Lorenzo of Brindisi as deputy to the German princes to obtain their cooperation. They responded to his appeal, and moreover the Duke of Mercœur, Governor of Brittany, joined the imperial army, of which he received the effective command. The attack on Albe-Royal (now Stulweissenburg) was then contemplated. To pit 18,000 men against 80,000 Turks was a daring undertaking and the generals, hesitating to attempt it, appealed to Lorenzo for advice. Holding himself responsible for victory, he communicated to the entire army in a glowing speech the ardour and confidence with which he was himself animated. As his feebleness prevented him from marching, he mounted on horseback and, crucifix in hand, took the lead of the army, which he drew irresistibly after him. Three other Capuchins were also in the ranks of the army. Although the most exposed to danger, Lorenzo was not wounded, which was universally regarded as due to a miraculous protection. The city was finally taken, and the Turks lost 30,000 men. As however they still exceeded in numbers the Christian army, they formed their lines anew, and a few days later another battle was fought. It always the chaplain who was at the head of the army. "Forward!" he cried, showing them the crucifix, "Victory is ours." The Turks were again defeated, and the honour of this double victory was attributed by the general and the entire army to Lorenzo.
Having resigned his office of vicar-general in 1605, he was sent by the pope to evangelize Germany. He here confirmed the faith of the Catholics, brought back a great number to the practice of virtue, and converted many heretics. In controversies his vast learning always gave him the advantage, and, once he had won the minds of his hearers, his saintliness and numerous miracles completed their conversion. To protect the Faith more efficaciously in their states, the Catholic princes of Germany formed the alliance called the "Catholic League". Emperor Rudolph sent Lorenzo to Philip III of Spain to persuade him to join the League. Having discharged this mission successfully, the saintly ambassador received a double mandate by virtue of which he was to represent the interests of the pope and of Madrid at the court of Maximilian of Bavaria, head of the League. He was thus, much against his wishes, compelled to settle in Munich near Maximilian. Besides being nuncio and ambassador, Lorenzo was also commissary general of his order for the provinces of Tyrol and Bavaria, and spiritual director of the Bavarian army. He was also chosen as arbitrator in the dispute which arose between the princes, and it was in fulfillment of this rtle that, at the request of the emperor, he restored harmony between the Duke of Mantua and a German nobleman. In addition to all these occupations he undertook, with the assistance of several Capuchins, a missionary campaign throughout Germany, and for eight months travelled in Bavaria, Saxony, and the Palatinate.
Amid so many various undertakings Lorenzo found time for the practices of personal sanctification. And it is perhaps the greatest marvel of his life to have combined with duties so manifold anunusually intense inner life. In the practice of the religious virtues St. Lorenzo equals the greatest saints. He had to a high degree the gift of contemplation, and very rarely celebrated Holy Mass without falling into ecstasies. After the Holy Sacrifice, his great devotion was the Rosary and the Office of the Blessed Virgin. As in the case of St. Francis of Assisi, there was something poetical about his piety, which often burst forth into canticles to the Blessed Virgin. It was in Mary's name that he worked his miracles, and his favourite blessing was: "Nos cum prole pia benedicat Virgo Maria." Having withdrawn to the monastery of Caserta in 1618, Lorenzo was hoping to enjoy a few days of seclusion, when he was requested by the leading men of Naples to go to Spain and apprise Philip III of the conduct of Viceroy Ossuna. In spite of many obstacles raised by the latter, the saint sailed from Genoa and carried out his mission successfully. But the fatigues of the journey exhausted his feeble strength. He was unable to travel homeward, and after a few days of great suffering died at Lisbon in the native land of St. Anthony (22 July, 1619), as he had predicted when he set out on his journey. He was buried in the cemetery of the Poor Clares of Villafranca.
The process of beatification, several times interrupted by various circumstances, was concluded in 1783. The canonization took place on 8 December, 1881. With St. Anthony, St. Bonaventure, and Blessed John Duns Scotus, he is a Doctor of the Franciscan Order.
The known writings of St. Lorenzo of Brindisi comprise eight volumes of sermons, two didactic treatises on oratory, a commentary on Genesis, another on Ezechiel, and three volumes of religious polemics. Most of his sermons are written in Italian, the other works being in Latin. The three volumes of controversies have notes in Greek and Hebrew. [Note: In 1959 Pope John XXIII proclaimed St. Lorenzo da Brindisi a Doctor of the Universal Church.]
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Luke 9: 1 - 6

1 And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases,

2 and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal.

3 And he said to them, "Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics.

4 And whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart.

5 And wherever they do not receive you, when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them."

6 And they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.
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