Sunday, August 29, 2010







Vatican Channel- Pope: There Can Be No Peace Without Respect for Environment
During his Sunday Angelus Address, Pope Benedict said he was thinking with particular affection of the trapped miners in San Jose, Chile. He assured them and their families of his constant prayer in the hope of a happy conclusion to the work that's being done to rescue them. The 33 Chilean miners have been trapped for more than 20 days 700 meters below ground. The Holy Father also recalled that on September 1st in Italy, the Church marks the Day for the Integrity of Creation. He made note that is now a regular event, which is also important at an ecumenical level. He said this year reminds us that there can be no peace without respect for the environment. The Pope said we have a duty to pass the earth on to the next generation in such a state that they can live in it with dignity and further preserve it. Before the Marian prayer Pope Benedict spoke of the importance of humility drawing from today's Gospel. He said we look to Christ as a model of humility and generosity. And he said we learn from him how to be patient against temptations, lenient towards insults and obedient towards God when in pain.


Asia News report: The family are delivered a corpse after paying 15,000 dollars ransom. For Islamic extremists to kill a Christian during the holy month of Ramadan is a meritorious action. Concerns about widespread insecurity, after the withdrawal of Americans and the lack of a government more than five months after the elections.
Mosul (AsiaNews) - A Syrian Catholic Christian, who was abducted a week ago, was killed despite the fact that the family had paid a ransom of 15 thousand US dollars. Local sources have informed AsiaNews that yesterday the corpse was delivered to Karakosh, where the family had emigrated in order to escape violence. The same source commented: "For the Muslim extremists, killing a Christian in the period of Ramadan is a worthy action before God".
LouyaƩ Behnam, 35, was a native of Mosul, where until a few years ago he ran a glazier shop. For security reasons, he moved along with his family to Karakosh - Baghdeeda 30 km from Mosul. The predominantly Christian city is located in the district of Karakosh (Nineveh Plain), and home to many Christian refugees from Mosul and Baghdad.
Behnam was kidnapped last August 25 in Karakosh - Baghdeeda by a group of armed men, who immediately after the abduction demanded a ransom of 15 thousand dollars. The family had paid the sum and had waited all these days for his release.
Northern Iraq has long been the site of targeted attacks against the Christian community by extremists and criminals, gangs.
The withdrawal of the last contingent of U.S. troops at the end of “Operation Iraqi Freedom "- which officially ends on August 31 – has increased the climate of general insecurity, which is worsened by the fact that Iraq has been waiting for over 6 months for the formation of a government after the March elections. "These acts - sources tell AsiaNews - are abominable because they are an affront to all humanity and all religions. To Islamic extremists, killing a Christian in the period of Ramadan is an action worthy before God. It is a jihad [holy war] against those who do not believe in the perfect and absolute religion, which for them is Islam".


Asia News report: The 68-year-old prelate was the first Dalit archbishop of India and had been ill for some time. Converted by PIME missionaries, he was one of the greatest figures of the Catholic Church of India of the last 30 years for his work on behalf of Dalit. His funeral is scheduled for tomorrow.
Mumbai (AsiaNews) – Mgr Joji Marampudi, archbishop of Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh), died yesterday at the age of 68. He was the first untouchable to become archbishop and had been ill for quite some time. He is considered one of the greatest figures in India’s Catholic Church for his work on behalf of Dalits. Hundreds of people paid tribute to him, filing past his body, including Konijeti Rosaiah, chief minister of Andhra Pradesh. Mgr Marampudi’s funeral is expected to take place tomorrow in the cathedral of Vijayawada. Born on 7 October 1942 in Bhimavaran (Andhra Pradesh) in an ethnic Telugu Dalit family, Mgr Marampudi came to Christianity through the Pontifical Institute of Foreign Missions (PIME), the first group to bring the Christian mission to the Dalits of the diocese of Hyderabad.
Baptised by PIME Fathers, the prelate became a priest on 14 December 1971 and in 2000, he was appointed archbishop of Hyderabad, the first Dalit to lead an archdiocese. Before that, he had been bishop of Vijayawada. For more than 30 years, he has fought for the emancipation of the untouchables, speaking with the highest religious and political leaders.
“Mgr Marampudi was raised by PIME Fathers, and he always stressed that as a point of honour,” said Fr Giovanni Battista Zanchi, PIME Superior General. “He was very active in his pastoral work and went through difficult times, especially on the issue of caste. However, thanks to his skills as a diplomat he was able to deal with everyone.”
Fr Aloisius Selvakumar (PIME) was Mgr Marampudi’s secretary for three years. He remembers him as an active person. “He knew how to speak to people from every walk of life,” he said. “He always told us to welcome everyone who turned to the Church.”
In praising Mgr Marampudi, Fr Selvakumar also explained that in his ten years of apostolate he was able to renew the spiritual life of the parishes, building new high schools and restoring a number of churches.
In accordance with his wishes, Mgr Marampudi will be buried in Vijayawada.,-archbishop-of-Hyderabad,-dies-19307.html


Catholic Online REPORT- The crowd easily exceeded 500,000 people On Saturday, August 28, 2010, a massive crowd of people gathered in Washington, D.C. for a "Restoring Honor" Rally. The Rally was called by Glenn Beck, who has captured the heart of many Americans and raised the ire of some in the main stream media. The sheer numbers demonstrated that the rally had support well beyond the persistent efforts by some in the media to marginalize it. The pundits who condescendingly sought to marginalize the event for weeks before it happened - going so far as to attempt to paint it with allegations of racism - should have been ashamed. The stage was filled with men and women of color, who, with the raucous support of the hundreds of thousands gathered, affirmed our solidarity as Americans. Dr. Alveda King reminded the crowd that we are 'united by blood as one race, the human race.'
On Saturday, August 28, 2010, a crystal clear, sunny day in Washington D.C. a massive crowd of people gathered for a "Restoring Honor" Rally. The Rally was called by Glenn Beck, the popular radio and television personality who has captured the heart of many Americans and raised the ire of some in the main stream media.
The sheer numbers demonstrated that the rally had support well beyond the persistent efforts by some in the media to marginalize it as a "tea party" event. Of course, in their condescension these same people used that term in a disparaging manner. The crowd easily exceeded 500,000 people. The event stage was set up at the base of the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. However, the massive crowd stretched along the Lincoln Memorial, on both sides of the reflective pond stretching all the way to the Washington Monument. An opening song, reflecting on the aftermath of the tragedy of 9/11, was written for the event and beautifully performed by a woman named Angelica Tucker. It set the theme: "We must rebuild our lives, our strength, and our hearts. not just the buildings we lost." It was followed by an eloquent prayer by Evangelical Bishop Harry Jackson of Washington's Hope Christian Church who is emerging as one of many men of courage, honor and character unafraid to speak and live the truth in our day.
The address given by Dr. Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, secured this heroic and inspiring woman's place in American history. This is the 47th anniversary of her uncle, the late, great Christian minister and human rights hero, Dr Martin Luther Kings' famous "I Have a Dream" Speech. He would have been proud of his niece. She is an heir of his legacy and certainly has his extraordinary gift for prophetic rhetoric which can rouse the heart of a Nation. This was a masterful and inspired speech, given on the day when the Nation honors one of our greatest Americans. Dr Alveda King candidly and honestly declared that "our material gains seem to be going the way of our moral losses" but then insisted "We are Not without Hope!". She referenced the iconic words of her uncle, adding "I Still Have a Dream". She roused the crowd and called the Nation to unity through the restoration of the guiding principles which inspired her uncle's heroic life and death and informed the American experiment.
The pundits who condescendingly sought to marginalize the event for weeks before it happened - going so far as to attempt to paint it with allegations of racism - should have been ashamed. The stage was filled with men and women of color, who, with the raucous support of the hundreds of thousands gathered, affirmed our solidarity as Americans. Dr. Alveda King reminded the crowd that we are " united by blood as one race, the human race."
The address given by Glenn Beck followed, calling the Nation to 'Wake Up'. He told the hundreds of thousands gathered in the Nation's Capitol that it was time to "Start the Heart of America again." Framing his address with copious references to the founders and founding documents he used the backdrop of the Lincoln memorial and the Washington Memorial to accentuate his message. He honored the heroism of the founders and the genius of the American experiment. However, he also acknowledged the limitations and the scars of those who helped found the American experiment. This was the most significant part of Beck's address. He repeatedly explained to the crowd that scars and mistakes are invitations to learn, change, grow and improve - insisting that this is true for people and for Nations. He is correct.
He invited the crowd to continue the "unfinished work" which Abraham Lincoln referred to in his Gettysburg Address, telling those gathered to make a choice for the future. He proclaimed it is "...what we do from here that matters. this is the point of choice!" His final historical reference was to John Newton; the Captain of a Slave ship in the 1700's who in the midst of a threatening storm at sea turned to God and was dramatically converted. He reformed his life and wrote the Hymn Amazing Grace, which Beck called the best song ever written for bagpipes. At that moment, bagpipers emerged and the melody of that song began.
As the platform filled with 240 religious leaders from every religious tradition, the crowd began to sing the hymn, led by an unidentified but gifted man whose beautiful voice enhanced the emotion laden moment. With a prayer led by a heroic man who overcame great obstacles in his own life, the whole point of the day was again underscored and the official part of the Rally to Restore Honor came to a conclusion.
Clearly, Glenn Beck's dreams for a Rally which could "restart the heart of America" exceeded all expectations. Even the Press, which for days leading up to the event had minimized, mocked and trivialized the event, immediately began to acknowledge its massive size and possible significance. Then, they quickly regrouped and the punditry began all over again. I imagine the implications of the event will be fodder for much pontificating for weeks. However, any honest reporter must admit that this was clearly an historic event.
The people who gathered in the Capitol on August 28, 2010, from all over the Nation and representing a wide cross section of the people of the United States of America, left filled with hope, encouraged and challenged to serve and participate.That can only be good for what ails this Nation.


CNA REPORT- In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly known as Zaire, Bishop Nicolas Djomo is a bridge builder. Whenever the funds are available, he calls for the construction of a new bridge in the Diocese of Tshumbe, which he has shepherded since late 1997.
In a country in which infrastructure has been given short shrift amid internal and regional conflict, these efforts address a need that governmental leaders have proven unable to satisfy. But more significantly, Bishop Djomo is also a bridge builder in a figurative sense.
As a diocesan bishop as well as president of the national bishops’ conference, he has actively promoted peace in a country still reeling from the Second Congo War.
The war, which began early in Djomo’s second year as bishop of Tshumbe, raged on from 1998-2003 with the Congo being one of eight African nations embroiled in the conflict.
“The first five years [as bishop], it was very, very tough because the diocese is isolated; it’s remote,” Bishop Djomo said.
Early in the war, he said, the Tshumbe region was cut off from the capital city of Kinshasa, requiring the Church to serve as the primary provider of education, health care and other essential services, as well as a safe haven for women.
During the war, while hostilities between Congo, Rwanda and Burundi were still ongoing, the bishops conferences of those three countries met with one another and delivered messages of peace to each country’s president.
According to the best estimates, Bishop Djomo said, at least five million people died during the war, which also produced two million refugees and resulted in one million internally displaced.
The after-effects of the conflict are still being felt today.
“Because of the war, the poverty is huge,” Bishop Djomo said, “so most of the population [is] living with less than one dollar a day.”
He said there is also a large number of orphans and street children, for whom the Local Church is working to provide shelter and schooling.
And even today, seven years after the Second Congo War officially ended, violence and atrocities continue in the eastern part of the country, where armed groups profit from the sale of gold, coltan, wolframite and cassiterite mined by locals under inhumane conditions. Such “conflict minerals” are often used in the manufacturing of cell phones, computers and other products.
Bishop Djomo, while visiting the Diocese of San Diego and other California dioceses in May, urged support for U.S. legislation requiring companies to disclose the source of their minerals. The goal is to discourage the purchase of minerals from mines that are tied to human rights abuses and armed conflict.
Closer to home, Bishop Djomo has launched several peace building initiatives within the Congo.
He was among the participants in the Synod of Bishops for Africa, which met in October 2009 at the Vatican. The synod’s theme was “The Church in Africa at the Service of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace.” Its purpose, he said, was to discuss how the Church could further the cause of peace in Africa.

Bishop Djomo said the synod concluded with a call for all African Catholics to sow the seeds of peace in their daily interactions with others, for Catholic schools to educate toward “a culture of peace,” for each diocesan bishop to make peace building a pastoral priority and for Catholic political leaders to govern according to the dictates of their faith.

Current peace building efforts in the Congo include plans for a peace studies institute at the Catholic university in Kinshasa, as well as cultural exchanges between Catholic youth from the Congo, Rwanda and Burundi.

This October, Bishop Djomo said, a major regional meeting of Church leaders will take place in Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi, to further discuss “the contribution of the Church for a lasting peace in central Africa.”

Reflecting on the recommendations of last year’s synod, Bishop Djomo said, “That every Catholic be a peace instrument, everywhere in Africa, that is our goal.”


Cath News report: Five men were ordained to the Diaconate at Mary MacKillop Parish, in Ballajura, Western Australia, last week, by Perth Archbishop Barry Hickey, who called on them to take "the Word out into the world beyond the doors of the Church".
Image from The showing Deacons Frank Birrell (Broome Diocese), Emmanuel Valentine Dimobi, Daniel Boyd, Cyprian Shikokoti and Anibal Leite da Cunha (Perth Archdiocese) prostrating themselves during the ordination to the Diaconate, at Mary MacKillop Parish in Ballajura. Photo: Bridget Spinks, The Record.
Deacons Frank Birrell, from Broome Diocese, and the other four from the Perth Archdiocese, Emmanuel Valentine Dimobi, Daniel Boyd, Cyprian Shikokoti and Anibal Leite da Cunha will carry out Diaconate duties for about a year until they are ordained to the priesthood, reports The Record.

Bishop Christopher Saunders of Broome Diocese, Perth Vicar General Mgr Brian O'Loughlin, St Charles Seminary Rector Mgr Kevin Long and up to 40 Perth clergy concelebrated the Mass.

Students from both St Charles and Redemptoris Mater seminaries were present in the congregation of up to 800 people.

In his homily, Archbishop Hickey said that the vocation for the new Deacons, who are "in transit" to the Priesthood, was to follow Jesus who came to serve, not to be served; who in the Gospel of John called his followers "no longer servants but friends".

He emphasised the deacon's vocation to serve the world.

"I say that specifically tonight because if there was ever a time in the world's history when the Word of God is needed out there, beyond our borders, it is now," Archbishop Hickey said in the celebration, which was held on the eve of the Federal Election.

He said that the Word of God has been needed "in every time" but was especially needed now, in Australia, as "we can see strong currents all around us: in politics, in social policy, in the way people live their lives as if God didn't exist".


Catholic Herald report: As the movement marks its 20th birthday Damian Arnold talks to young people whose lives have been transformed by the initiative. By Damian Arnold on Friday, 27 August 2010

Young people are pictured outside the National Shrine of Our Lady, Walsingham, where Youth 2000 holds its life-changing annual prayer festival

A group of young people, many of whom would not be out of place in a trendy nightclub, are becalmed in front of the Blessed Sacrament exposed on the altar, deep in contemplative prayer, magnetised towards Jesus. The holy rosary is recited and there are priests hearing Confessions all around.

This is not a typical model of Catholic youth ministry in Britain and yet Youth 2000 marks its 20th birthday this year with an abundance of fruits to celebrate since its founder, Ernest Williams, had a vision of young people around the world adoring the Eucharist and founded the lay evangelisation initiative in 1990.

The party will start rocking later this month at Youth 2000’s annual prayer festival at Walsingham, the biggest residential Catholic retreat for young people in Britain. The “rapping friar” Fr Stan Fortuna will be purveying his brand of divinely inspired hip-hop and freestyling lyrical. In between, the friar from the Bronx will be talking about how to be counter-cultural in world where to be Catholic and young is tough. He is the ideal man for the job, having even gained respect and recognition for his from a hip-hop community in the US that is more noted for its materialistic “bling” and lyrics steeped in gun violence and misogyny.

This is one example of the daring of an organisation with a very simple message that has transformed the lives of thousands of young people: the power and healing of Jesus exposed in the Blessed Sacrament.

The devotion that was popularised by St Francis of Assisi in the 13th century has caused a ripple that has spread outwards to young people in Britain who have been brought back to friendship with Jesus, active involvement in the Church and to evangelisation of their non-Christian and non-practising friends.

“We encourage people to pray silently and deeply before the Blessed Sacrament,” says the Youth 2000 website. “In our day-to-day lives we are surrounded by the TV, music and mobile phones beeping. The silence allows people to focus on deepening their relationship with God – for us to speak to Him, and for Him to speak to us.”

Youth 2000’s mission statement is to give young people aged between 16 and 25 a gateway back to God. The website is written to appeal to a young audience. Praying to Our Lady is a way of being “whisked to God” while praise and worship is a “hymn gym”. The weekly prayer groups convened around the country are places to “chill out not freak out”.

Young people are given the space to let God reveal himself to them. “[The prayer groups] are very hands-off,” says the website. “There’s no pressure for anyone to noticeably participate. You can just sneak in at the back and scope things out for the first week if you like. There is complete freedom to dip in and out.”

Since the first retreat in 1990, Youth 2000 has inspired more than 70 vocations to the priesthood and the religious life; many of these priests celebrate Mass at the retreats. Many others have found their vocation to the married life and now bring their children to the retreats.

Youth 2000 has also spread to other countries. In May it marked its anniversary with a gathering in Rome with representatives from the US, France, Germany and Ireland. Each country brings its own charism. France is the latest country to be involved and the fastest-growing. In Germany it has become deeply embedded into diocesan life, and in the US it has been promoted vigorously by the big-bearded Franciscan Friars of Renewal. In Ireland some of the country’s Gypsy community has been evangelised.

In Britain, Youth 2000 organises five retreats a year around the country. These donation-only retreats are noticeable for how many people are going to Confession. One Y2K leader says: “In my parish Confessions were only available for one hour on a Saturday, but on these retreats they were 24/7. I hadn’t been to Confession for about 10 years but it was inspiring to see so many other young people who weren’t scared of going. It’s easier when there are 200 other young people around you going to the sacrament.”

Another says: “I did not realise the importance of Confession until I came to a Youth 2000 retreat. Then I realised that I needed to seek forgiveness and that I was in a place of sanctuary where I could find healing.”

Mothers are amazed when their teenage children return home with tales of voluntarily rising in the middle of the night, after sleeping on a hard floor, to be with Jesus, kept exposed in the Eucharist through the night.

For many the experience of praying the rosary for the first time is visceral. “I had never prayed a rosary before Youth 2000,” says one. “But I soon realised it was Our Lady leading me back to Christ.”

But some are confused and have questions. What is Eucharistic Adoration? What is the rosary and why do we pray it? It is the start of a journey of formation.

And having experienced the euphoria of “plugging back into God” the young people walk away with powerful tools to enable them to put Christ at the centre of their everyday lives: prayer and Adoration, the rosary and a network of supportive friends.

At the 1989 World Youth Day, Pope John Paul II said: “You young people have in a special way the task of witnessing today to the faith; the commitment to bring the Gospel of Christ – the Way, the Truth and the Life – into the third Christian Millennium, to build a new civilisation, a civilisation of love, of justice and of peace.”

Fourteen years later and two years before his death, the Pope wrote to Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, saying: “The growth of groups such as Youth 2000… are evidence of the desire of many young people to share in the Church’s life… You will find their enthusiasm and generosity exactly what is needed to promote a spirit of renewal not just among themselves but in the entire Christian community.”

The Youth 2000 Prayer Festival – Sanctuary Walsingham is from August 26-30. Visit


The Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist

Feast: August 29
ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST was called by God to be the forerunner of His divine Son. In order to preserve his innocence spotless, and to improve the extraordinary graces which he had received, he was directed by the Holy Ghost to lead an austere and contemplative life in the wilderness, in the continual exercises of devout prayer and penance, from his infancy till he was thirty years of age. At this age the faithful minister began to discharge his mission. Clothed with the weeds of penance, be announced to all men the obligation they lay under of washing away their iniquities with the tears of sincere compunction; and proclaimed the Messias, Who was then coming to make His appearance among them. He was received by the people as the true herald of the Most High God, and his voice was, as it were, a trumpet sounding from heaven to summon all men to avert the divine judgments, and to prepare themselves to reap the benefit of Vie mercy that was offered them. The tetrarch Herod Antipas having, in defiance of all laws divine and human, married Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, who was yet living, St. John the Baptist boldly reprehended the tetrarch and his accomplice for so scandalous an incest and adultery, and Herod, urged on by lust and anger, cast the Saint into prison. About a year after St. John had been made a prisoner, Herod gave a splendid entertainment to the nobility of Galilee. Salome, a daughter of Herodias by her lawful husband, pleased Herod by her dancing, insomuch that he promised her to grant whatever she asked. On this, Salome consulted with her mother what to ask. Herodias instructed her daughter to demand the death of John the Baptist, and persuaded the young damsel to make it part of her petition that the head of the prisoner should be forthwith brought to her in a dish. This strange request startled the tyrant himself; he assented, however, and sent a soldier of his guard to behead the Saint in prison, with an order to bring his head in a charger and present it to Salome, who delivered it to her mother. St. Jerome relates that the furious Herodias made it her inhuman pastime to prick the sacred tongue with a bodkin. Thus died the great forerunner of our blessed Saviour, about two years and three months after his entrance upon his public ministry, about a year before the death of our blessed Redeemer.

Sirach 3: 17 - 18, 20, 28 - 29
17 My son, perform your tasks in meekness; then you will be loved by those whom God accepts.
18 The greater you are, the more you must humble yourself; so you will find favor in the sight of the Lord.
20 For great is the might of the Lord; he is glorified by the humble.
28 The affliction of the proud has no healing, for a plant of wickedness has taken root in him.
29 The mind of the intelligent man will ponder a parable, and an attentive ear is the wise man's desire.

Psalms 68: 4 - 7, 10 - 11
4 Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides upon the clouds; his name is the LORD, exult before him!
5 Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.
6 God gives the desolate a home to dwell in; he leads out the prisoners to prosperity; but the rebellious dwell in a parched land.
7 O God, when thou didst go forth before thy people, when thou didst march through the wilderness, [Selah]
10 thy flock found a dwelling in it; in thy goodness, O God, thou didst provide for the needy.
11 The Lord gives the command; great is the host of those who bore the tidings:

Hebrews 12: 18 - 19, 22 - 24
18 For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire, and darkness, and gloom, and a tempest,
19 and the sound of a trumpet, and a voice whose words made the hearers entreat that no further messages be spoken to them.
22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering,
23 and to the assembly of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to a judge who is God of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks more graciously than the blood of Abel.

Luke 14: 1, 7 - 14
1 One sabbath when he went to dine at the house of a ruler who belonged to the Pharisees, they were watching him.
7 Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he marked how they chose the places of honor, saying to them,
8 "When you are invited by any one to a marriage feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest a more eminent man than you be invited by him;
9 and he who invited you both will come and say to you, `Give place to this man,' and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place.
10 But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, `Friend, go up higher'; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you.
11 For every one who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
12 He said also to the man who had invited him, "When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your kinsmen or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return, and you be repaid.
13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind,
14 and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just."
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