Tuesday, August 31, 2010









RADIO VATICANA REPORT: On Monday Pope Benedict received in audience Archbishop Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, who participated the traditional summer meeting of the Pope’s former students, the so-called Ratzinger Schülerkreis. The meeting ended Sunday with a Mass presided by the Pope at Castel Gandolfo Mariapolis Center: the theme of the seminar, which began last Friday, was that of the interpretation of Vatican II. The homily was delivered by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, archbishop of Vienna, also a former student of Professor. Ratzinger.
At the end of the Mass, the Pope greeted the participants at the seminar, referring to the Sunday Gospel, with Jesus' exhortation to humility and love:
"Liebe Freunde, am Ende des heutigen Evangeliums ...
Dear friends, in today's Gospel, the Lord points out that in fact we continue to live like pagans inviting only those who can reciprocate the invitation, we give only to those who can return the favour in kind. But God’s style is different: we experience this in the Holy Eucharist. He invites us to his table, we who before him are lame, blind and deaf, he invites us, we have nothing to give Him”.

Especially during the Mass - continued the Pope - we are called to allow ourselves to be touched with gratitude for the fact that although we have nothing to give to God and, indeed, we are full of sins, He invites us to his table and wants to be at the table with us:

"Aber wir wollen doch auch uns davon lassen berühren ...
But we also want to learn to feel guilty because we emerge so little from the pagan style, because we live so little the novelty, the style of God. And this is why we begin the Holy Mass asking for forgiveness, a forgiveness that changes us, that makes us more like God, in His image and likeness".
In his homily, Cardinal Schönborn returned to the theme of humility, remembering that Jesus entrusted the Kingdom of the Father to the Apostles, but so that this great vocation does not make them arrogant he has placed them, especially the first of the Apostles, in the last place. He then went on to explain what is the attitude of Christians before humiliation and insults: though despised, they give blessings...
Die Demut wendet diese Beschimpfungen in Segen. ... Humility transforms insults into grace! Thank you, Holy Father, because you embody for us the attitude of Christ who is meek and humble of heart. Is this not a wonderful thing in the Christian faith and Christian experience? Joy over the fact that the parameters of Heaven are so different from ours”.
Forty priests, professors, religious and laity, all former students of Pope Benedict, participated in the summer school which was first held for former students when Joseph Ratzinger became Archbishop of Munich and Freising in 1977. This year's meeting, ran from Aug. 27-30.
Pope Benedict chose the theme of the four-day seminar as well as the main speaker, Archbishop Kurt Koch, who was recently appointed to replace Cardinal Walter Kasper as president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
Archbishop Koch's intervention examined "The Second Vatican Council between tradition and innovation" and "Sacrosanctum concilium and the post-Conciliar reform of the liturgy."


RADIO VATICANA REPORT: A Vatican sponsored Congress for Laity in Asia opens Wednesday in Seoul Korea.
According to the Pontifical Council for the Laity, organiser of the 5 day event along with the Bishops of Korea, “the decision to focus on Asia expresses a missionary concern for a continent that, while rich in ancient traditions, culture and religions, is now emerging as a key player in an age of immense transformation”.

Above all, this choice manifests the Church’s pastoral attention for Asian lay Catholics who are called to witness to Jesus Christ in communion with their pastors, and to proclaim the Gospel of Christ as a universal gift of salvation.

This Congress is being organized in collaboration with the Lay Commission of the Korean Catholic Bishops Conference and national councils for the laity. Participants at this event will consist of the official delegations Salmost all headed by a bishopS from twenty of the Asian countries that form part of the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences (FABC) together with representatives from the FABC. There will also be thirty-five delegations representing lay associations, ecclesial movements and new communities that are recognized by the Holy See and have a significant presence in Asia. All together, congress participants will total some four hundred people.

The two opening conferences, “Two thousand years of the Church’s mission in Asia: waves of evangelization, holiness and martyrdom” and “Jesus Christ, a gift for Asia: prerequisites, tasks and challenges of evangelizing today”, will serve to set the general framework of the Congress. The entire afternoon session of the first day will offer the national delegates the opportunity to share the pastoral concerns of their respective countries and the different initiatives that they are undertaking. The second day will open with a conference on “The vocation and mission of the lay faithful in the light of the post-synodal apostolic exhortation, Christifideles laici” and, after some remarks from the floor, will be followed by a talk on “Christian formation and lay missionary efforts in Asia”. A subsequent panel discussion will touch on various themes pertinent to Asia: Christian initiation and the ongoing formation of the laity; the Christian witness of the laity in different sectors of society; testimonies of Christian charity at the service of the poor; the work of ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue; lay efforts in favor of the inculturation of the Gospel. The following day’s conferences and discussion will revolve around the theme of religious freedom which is of crucial importance in Asia. There will also be ample time for deepening reflection on some specific areas and priorities within the work of evangelization: the renewal of the parish; the pastoral care of the family; the identity and mission of Catholic schools; the role of women in the Church and in society; the participation of Catholic laity in politics and in the workplace.
Lastly, after a conference on “The new season for associations of lay faithful”, ecclesial movements and new communities will share experiences regarding their evangelization efforts in Asia. The work of the Congress will draw to a close the following day with a conference on the active role that the laity are called to exercise within the mission of the Church as “witnesses of hope for the good of the people of Asia” and this will be followed by some final concluding remarks. The program will be further enriched by an exhibition on the Jesuit missionary to Asia, Matteo Ricci, including the viewing of a documentary film about his life.


Agenzia Fides REPORT – Fr. Bruno Favero, OMI, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Senegal and Mauritania sent Fides his testimony on Bishop Maixent Coly, Bishop of Ziguinchor (capital of Casamance, Senegal), who died August 24 at the age of 61, after a long illness. The funeral of Bishop Coly will be held on September 1 in the Cathedral of St. Anthony of Padua in Ziguinchor.
Casamance has been troubled since 1982 by a civil war led by the “Mouvement des forces democratiques de Casamance” (MFDC), a guerrilla group founded by a Catholic priest, Father Augustin Diamacoune Senghor, who died in 2007 (see Fides 15/1/2007).
Fr. Favero writes: "The last time I saw Bishop Coly was July 3 in Ziguinchor, after the priestly ordination of six new priests, both religious and diocesan, from the Diocese. He was tired, of course, but happy. On that occasion, he invited me to join him in the bishops' residence to continue the celebration along with other priests, but I apologized saying that I couldn't go but that I would visit him the following week, the next day he had another vascular failure. This time it was fatal.
Our friendship began ten years ago, in 1999, when after many negotiations he welcomed two of us Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate into his diocese, to take care of the Temento Mission on the border with Guinea Bissau and the Diocesan Shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Peace. Ironically, a few months later, with the creation of the Diocese of Kolda, the new foundation was part of the new ecclesiastical district. This did not change our relationship at all. On the contrary, with the creation of the interdiocesan pilgrimage, the Shrine became a place for the annual meeting of the two dioceses and their bishops. Unfortunately, in the summer of 2000 a first heart attack seriously affected the health of the Bishop, although it did not diminish his pastoral and missionary zeal.
What was striking about Bishop Coly was undoubtedly the simplicity and immediacy in the relationship. He was open, friendly, accommodating to everyone at the same time - prominent figures and ordinary faithful - paying equal attention to each person. Even during the period of the disease that made it hard for him to travel, he continued to visit the parishes, to personally deal with many situations where there was need of his intervention, writing and speaking on the particular situation that the region of Casamance was living, and playing a unique role in the area of peace and reconciliation.
Bishop Coly's commitment to peace in Casamance can be divided into two phases. The first lasted until the death of the founder of the MFDC, who was a Catholic priest. Bishop Coly made a special effort with this brother to try to get him back on the "right path" and convince him to take the road of peace. The second phase was initiated after the death of Fr. Diamacoune, when the movement he founded was divided into different factions. Dialogue with all these groups became more difficult, but Bishop Coly always tried to open a path for dialogue and negotiation with all of them.
His bluntness and at times vehemence, were always tempered by a great capacity to review his position and to ask for pardon when necessary. The years of illness coincided with a very favorable missionary expansion, with the creation of new parishes and foundations, the opening of the Catholic University (ICAO), the launch of the pastoral plan, and many other diocesan initiatives aimed at reviving pastoral ministry.
Many had proposed that he abandon the leadership of the diocese, but certainly his desire was to serve until the end, until the last moment, because this was his idea of a bishop who must give his life for his people.
Certainly, a void remains in all our hearts with the passing of a pastor who knew how to live suffering with strength and serenity, along with the sense of giving one's life until the end."


Cath News report: American nuns are to host a Nun's Beach Surf Invitational in New Jersey, to raise funds for the maintenance of their mother house.
Sister James Dolores, 73, from the Sister Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, says: "I'm really getting the hang of this. No one ever thought they'd see me on a board."
Pictured in the New York Post posing on a surfboard on the beach, the nun has a special relationship with local surfers, said the report. It was forged more than 60 years ago when local surfers approached the nuns' beach-front retreat asking if they could ride its waves.

The nuns warmly greeted the beach bums, and the swath of surf was soon dubbed "Nun's Beach." The sisters often sit on the beach and even draw spiritual inspiration watching the wave-riders.

"It's very peaceful," said Sister James, the retreat's property manager. "You see how the water holds them up, balances them and if you ride with the water, it will get you where you want to go. That's how it is with the grace of God."
Bill Deger, now 64, and his surfing buddies once coaxed an 83-year-old nun onto a surfboard.
"One of her life's dreams was to be able to surf," Deger, 64, said of the late Sister Loyola. "So we got her out in knee-deep water and held her on. She loved it. It was an incredible experience."
But in 1996, a small group of surfers led by Larry Gehrke and Deger decided it was time to give back to the nuns - by running a contest to help fund the retreat's upkeep.

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Asia News report: The attack took place yesterday morning during Sunday Mass. The identity of the attackers is still unknown. Police believe the incident is linked to the death of a young Muslim male, who was recently hit in Lanao del Norte by a bus driven by a Christian. The bishop of Malaybalay urges Catholics to pray and not give in to isolated provocations.

Manila (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Three people were wounded yesterday morning in an attack against the San Vicente Ferrer Catholic Church in Kalilangan in the diocese of Malaybalay (Bukidnon District, Mindanao). At present, it is not known who carried out the attack and why.

Two young people on a motorcycle threw two grenades into the church parvis during the Sunday service; only one exploded, wounding three worshippers, and causing panic inside the building.

Despite the attack, Fr Art Pariso, San Vicente’s parish priest, concluded the Mass in the parvis.

Police believe the attack to be connected with the death of a young Muslim male, who was hit by a bus owned by the Rural Transit of Mindanao (RTMI) company. A Christian was driving the vehicle at the time of the incident. Police do not exclude an indirect vendetta. The parents of the victim were involved in attacks against two RTMI buses last Thursday that left four people dead.

To avoid tensions between the Christian and Muslim communities, Mgr Jose Araneta Cabantan, bishop of Malaybalay, called on Catholics to remain calm.

“I call on all the faithful in Bukidnon, especially those in the parish of Kalilangan to pray and stay calm,” the bishop said in a press release.

Mgr Cabantan also urged the faithful not to give in to these isolated incidents that can only create tensions between Christians and Muslims in the region of Mindanao, where a 40-year war has been raging between the Filipino army and Muslim rebels.,-three-people-wounded-19316.html


Cath News report: Emeritus Bishop of Bathurst Patrick Dougherty, who led the diocese from 1983 to 2008, died last night from lung cancer. He was 78.
Bishop Michael McKenna of Bathurst said in a media release that his predecessor had "died peacefully, surrounded with love and prayer. In his illness, he has shown the faith, acceptance and respect for others that you would expect from the true Christian and devoted priest and bishop that he was."

Patrick Dougherty was born in Kensington, NSW on November 21, 1931, the second of four sons born to Madge and William Dougherty. He was ordained priest in Rome in 1954 and completed his doctoral studies there in 1957. He was Assistant Priest at St Mel's, Campsie for one year and returned to Rome to research the life of Mary Potter, founder of the Little Company of Mary.

He spent the next decade working in the formation of priests, first at St Columba's College, Springwood, then at Propaganda Fide College, Rome.

In 1963 Patrick Dougherty's book, Mother Mary Potter, Foundress of the Little Company of Mary, was published.

In 1970 he again returned to Australia, having been appointed to the newly established Secretariat of the Australian Episcopal Conference in Canberra. He was ordained a Bishop in 1976 and from then until 1983 served as Auxiliary Bishop in the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn and the Secretary of the Australian Episcopal Conference.
He was appointed Bishop of Bathurst in 1983.


Independent Catholic News REPORT: Cardinal Keith Patrick O'Brien today launched the St Ninian's Day Parade - a 'grand Scottish spectacle' to welcome Pope Benedict XVI to this country next month while also raising money for good causes at home and abroad. At the launch, the Cardinal was joined by the Minister for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop MSP.

The Holy Father arrives in Edinburgh on the morning of 16 September - St Ninian's Day - where he will meet Her Majesty The Queen at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. As many as a billion people worldwide are expected to watch the event on television. To mark the occasion, Cardinal O'Brien has invited over a thousand pipers, hundreds of school children, dozens of historical characters plus two nominated charities to greet the Pope and entertain the crowds who'll gather in the capital that morning.

• The pipers will be drawn from bands from Scotland and further afield with particular emphasis on school and youth pipe bands. They'll lead the parade from Regent Road to Princes Street where they will play 'Highland Cathedral' as the Pope himself travels past in the Popemobile.

• The school children are the parade VIPs - they're invited form all 14 schools across the country named after St Ninian. That includes Catholic, Episcopalian and non-denominational schools.

• The historical characters will chart the history of Christianity in Scotland since the days of St Ninian himself 1600 years ago. Characters will include St Columba, St Margaret, Mary Queen of Scots, John Knox and, from more recent times, Eric Liddell, George Mackay Brown and Muriel Spark.

• The nominated charities that will benefit from fundraising at the parade are Marie Curie Cancer Care and Mary's Meals. Marie Curie has two hospices in Scotland – Glasgow and Edinburgh. It also has a network of nurses working in communities across Scotland. Mary's Meals sets up and runs school feeding projects in communities where poverty and hunger prevent children from gaining an education. It currently provides daily meals for 400,000 children in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The St Ninian's Day Parade will begin at 11am from Regent Road and will march along Princes Street concluding at 12.30pm with the arrival of the Holy Father himself in the Popemobile. The event is free and spectators are advised to arrive in plenty of time.

Cardinal O’Brien said: “In centuries gone by St Ninian’s Day was always a great occasion for national celebration and charitable giving. We’ve now got a fabulous chance to resurrect that noble Scottish tradition by raising money for two wonderful charities.”

Fiona Hyslop MSP, Minister for Culture and External Affairs, added: "The St Ninian's Day parade will be a wonderful occasion as crowds gather in the streets of Edinburgh to extend the world-renowned warm Scottish welcome to the Holy Father. This is a great opportunity for all of Scotland to celebrate the positive contribution all our faith communities make to the life of our nation." Head teacher of St Ninian’s Primary School in Stirling, Elaine Wyllie, said: "The Pope's visit is of international importance. Our school is honoured to be taking part in the St Ninians Day parade and being amongst the first people to welcome him to Scotland. As a result of being invited to take part in the parade, we are currently working on a joint project with our local Catholic school, St. Mary's Bannockburn, to find out more about the life and times of St Ninian."
The founder and Chief Executive of Mary’s Meals, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, said: “The St Ninian's Day Parade promises to be a wonderful event, bringing together people from across Scotland to welcome the Pope. Mary's Meals is thrilled to have been chosen as one of the charities to benefit from the celebration and our staff and volunteers are looking forward to being involved on the day. Any monies raised by Mary's Meals will help provide school meals for hungry children in some of the world's poorest countries, enabling them to access education that will help them to escape poverty in the long term.”
For more information see:


St. Raymond Nonnatus
Feast: August 31
Information: Feast Day: August 31
Born: 1204, La Portella, Comarca of Segrià, Catalonia, Kingdom of Aragon

Died: August 31, 1240, Cardona, Province of Barcelona, Catalonia, Kingdom of Aragon

Canonized: 1657, Rome by Pope Alexander VII

Patron of: Childbirth; children; expectant mothers; falsely accused people; fever; infants; midwives; newborn babies; obstetricians; pregnant women

Born 1200 or 1204 at Portello in the Diocese of Urgel in Catalonia; died at Cardona, 31 August, 1240. His feast is celebrated on 31 August. He is pictured in the habit of his order surrounded by ransomed slaves, with a padlock on his lips. He was taken from the womb of his mother after her death, hence his name. Of noble but poor family, he showed early traits of piety and great talent. His father ordered him to tend a farm, but later gave him permission to take the habit with the Mercedarians at Barcelona, at the hands of the founder, St. Peter Nolasco. Raymond made such progress in the religious life that he was soon considered worthy to succeed his master in the office of ransomer. He was sent to Algiers and liberated many captives. When money failed he gave himself as a hostage. He was zealous in teaching the Christian religion and made many converts, which embittered the Mohammedan authorities. Raymond was subjected to all kinds of indignities and cruelty, was made to run the gauntlet, and was at last sentenced to impalement. The hope of a greater sum of money as ransom caused the governor to commute the sentence into imprisonment. To prevent him from preaching for Christ, his lips were pierced with a red-hot iron and closed with a padlock. After his arrival in Spain, in 1239, he was made a cardinal by Gregory IX. In the next year he was called to Rome by the pope, but came only as far as Cardona, about six miles from Barcelona, where he died. His body was brought to the chapel of St. Nicholas near his old farm. In 1657 his name was placed in the Roman martyrology by Alexander VII. He is invoked by women in labour and by persons falsely accused. The appendix to the Roman ritual gives a formula for the blessing of water, in his honour, to be used by the sick, and another of candles.

TODAY'S GOSPEL: AUG. 31: Luke 4: 31 - 37

Luke 4: 31 - 37
31 And he went down to Caper'na-um, a city of Galilee. And he was teaching them on the sabbath;
32 and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word was with authority.
33 And in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon; and he cried out with a loud voice,
34 "Ah! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God."
35 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be silent, and come out of him!" And when the demon had thrown him down in the midst, he came out of him, having done him no harm.
36 And they were all amazed and said to one another, "What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out."
37 And reports of him went out into every place in the surrounding region.
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