Thursday, September 9, 2010






VATICAN CITY, 9 SEP 2010 (VIS REPORT) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique yesterday afternoon:
"This morning, at the end of his general audience, the Holy Father Benedict XVI greeted Jose Maria Pereira Neves, prime minister of Cape Verde, who had previously been received by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. in the company of Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.
"During the cordial discussions pleasure was expressed at the good state of bilateral relations, as well as at the contribution the Church makes to the entire archipelago nation. Likewise, the hope was expressed that there would be increasingly close collaboration in the fields of healthcare and education.
"It was furthermore decided to establish a bilateral working commission to begin work on a framework agreement between the Holy See and Cape Verde".

VATICAN CITY, 9 SEP 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences five prelates from the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, on their "ad limina" visit:
- Bishop Francisco Caninde Palhano of Bonfim.
- Bishop Tommaso Cascianelli C.P. of Irece.
- Bishop Jose Geralso da Cruz A.A. of Juazeiro.
- Bishop Guido Zendron of Paulo Afonso.
- Bishop Andre de Witte of Ruy Barbosa.
Independent Catholic news report: A million copies of ‘Magnificat – Liturgies and Events of the Papal Visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the United Kingdom’ have been distributed to parishes across England, Scotland and Wales.
By clicking here you can view and download a special pdf version.
This edition contains all the texts for the Pope's Mass at Bellahouston Park, together with all musical settings and a selection of prayers and brief articles about the visit. It's a key companion for the Papal liturgies.
The publication has been produced by the Bishops’ Conferences of England and Wales and Scotland in co-operation with Gabriel Communications, the Catholic Truth Society and Magnificat. It also includes texts for the Liturgy of the Church (Morning and Evening Prayer, and the Mass) for some days before and after the Papal Visit.


UCAN report Church workers have condemned an armed attack on a lay Catholic in Karachi, saying that militants have now broadened their targets to include ordinary citizens.Asghar Bhatti, 61, was shot on Sept. 6 evening in front of St. Paul’s Church where he serves as president of the church committee. “We were waiting in the car for our daughter-in-law who was practicing for a performance for the feast of the Blessed Mother’s birth when a taxi stopped behind our car and three bearded men emerged,” Surraiya Asghar, Bhatti’s wife, told
“They knocked at our window and failing to open the door, they shot him. We are still confused as to whether they wanted to take the vehicle or kill him.”
Bhatti underwent a two-hour operation on his left shoulder and is presently in hospital.
A dead body was found that same night in a street a few kilometers from the church building, opposite the excise and taxation office. Father Saleh Diego, pastor of St. Paul’s Church, has condemned the violence.
“Militants want to spread fear and disrupt law and order in a city where targeted killings have become an almost daily routine,” said the priest, who is director of the Catholic bishops’ National Commission for Justice and Peace.
“Until recently, victims were political party workers but now ordinary citizens are no longer safe.”
The violence shows the corruption within the political system, says Riaz Nawab, a Caritas worker.
“Opposing political parties have become blind in their pursuit of power and control,” he said. “All of them have their own strongholds in the metropolitan area and are engaged in settling scores. The Church urges peace but is helpless amid the failed security situation.”


Catholic Online report:
The Lord is hearing the prayers of His Church
We are living in a Church which is over 2000 years old. It is the Church which Jesus Christ himself founded. It is His Plan for the salvation of the whole world and He has not changed His mind. Church history follows a predictable pattern. Just when the naysayers are ready to count Christ's Church out, the Holy Spirit, the soul of the Church, is poured out in a profound way to kindle a spark which ignites a fire of renewal and restoration. So it is in this hour.
Don Bosco saw the Church as a great Ship of Peter surrounded by a flotilla of other vessels. They were engaged in intense warfare. At the helm of the Church was the Pope.
 In the last few months we have reported on the good news of the growth in vocations to the priesthood, the Diaconate in Christ, the consecrated and religious life and the lay ecclesial movements. For example, we reported on the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, before they appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show as well as after . Recently we told the inspiring story of Mount Carmel for America, calling the monks "Messengers of New Springtime."

The last two Popes have been explicit in their praise of what are referred to as "ecclesial movements" in the Church. These movements share common identifying marks such as their lay status and their missionary impulse. Though their charisms, missions and emphases differ, they are seen corporately as a resource for the Church in this age which needs a New Evangelization. They are also becoming an increasingly vital resource for the missionary work of the Church.
We have filed a series of reports on their growth and their wonderful influence in the lives of many, as well as their continuing contribution to the work of a new missionary age. Sonja Corbitt provided a review of the movements and we followed with specific reports on several of them. We have more planned for the months ahead.
We are launching a "Vocations Channel" on Catholic Online where we will report on new and renewed religious orders, the growth in vocations to the consecrated life, the monastic life and the ecclesial movements. All of this is part of our ongoing commitment to report on the "Good News" in a time which is filled with bad news. The Lord is hearing the prayers of His Church as follow the admonition of Jesus to "pray to the Master of the harvest to send forth laborers into the harvest." (Matt. 9:38, Luke 10:2)
We are happy to report that there are signs of a reversal of the decline in seminary enrollment. A recent report on the Sacred Heart School of Theology by Annysa Johnson in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is an example. Sacred Heart is one of several seminaries focused on serving the growing number of "older" men who are responding to the call to the holy priesthood in this hour. The trend was addressed by Tim Drake in an article he recently wrote for the National Catholic Register entitled "The Coming Vocation Explosion".
None of this should surprise us; it should inspire, encourage and motivate us. We are living in a Church which is over 2000 years old. It is the Church which Jesus Christ himself founded. It is His Plan for the salvation of the whole world and He has not changed His mind. Church history follows a predictable pattern. Just when the naysayers are ready to count Christ's Church out, the Holy Spirit, the soul of the Church, is poured out in a profound way to kindle a spark which ignites a fire of renewal and restoration.
Ours is not the first time the Church has faced a hostile culture. The parallels between the declining West and the world of the first few centuries of the Church are increasing. Remember, it was the Church which triumphed. So it will be once again. In addition, this is not the first time in 2,000 years that evil and sin found its way into the Church. It is always revealed by the light of the Holy Spirit and, because the Church is God's plan, she is purified and strengthened in order to continue her mission.
In its treatment of the Church, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "845 To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son's Church. The Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. The Church is "the world reconciled." She is that bark which "in the full sail of the Lord's cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world." According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah's ark, which alone saves from the flood. [St. Augustine, Serm. 96, 7, 9: PL 38, 588; St. Ambrose, De virg. 18, 118: PL 16, 297B; cf. already 1 Pet 3:20-21] [30, 953, 1219]"

Zenit news reported on Tuesday, September 8, 2010 that the " relics of St. John Bosco will arrive Saturday in San Francisco to begin the U.S. and Canadian segments of a worldwide tour. The relics have been traveling worldwide in preparation for Don Bosco's 200th birthday celebration, which will take place in 2015." Don Bosco was the founder of the Salesian Society and walked in a wonderful communion with the Lord. He also lived during another difficult time in the world and in the Church.
He had a vision concerning the threats facing the Church which has been the source of much speculation and reflection. Images of the vision have been painted by many. The saint saw the Church as a great Ship of Peter surrounded by a flotilla of other vessels. They were engaged in intense warfare. At the helm of the Church was the Pope who at one point in a fierce battle fell mortally wounded. The enemies of the Church closed in sensing this was their moment.

In the vision two columns then emerged from the great ocean. On one was a golden Monstrance with the Holy Eucharist exposed within it. The column was inscribed with the words "Salvation of Believers". The other column held an Image of Mary, the Mother of God, inscribed with the words "The Help of Christians". Here are words which purportedly reflect those spoken by the Saint:
"The entire enemy fleet closes in to intercept and sink the flagship at all costs. They bombard it with everything they have: books and pamphlets, incendiary bombs, firearms, cannons. The battle rages ever more furious. Beaked prows ram the flagship again and again, but to no avail, as, unscathed and undaunted, it keeps on its course. At times a formidable ram splinters a gaping hole into its hull, but, immediately, a breeze from the two columns instantly seals the gash.
"Meanwhile, enemy cannons blow up, firearms and beaks fall to pieces, ships crack up and sink to the bottom. In blind fury the enemy takes to hand-to-hand combat, cursing and blaspheming. Suddenly the Pope falls, seriously wounded. He is instantly helped up but, struck down a second time, dies. A shout of victory rises from the enemy and wild rejoicing sweeps their ships. But no sooner is the Pope dead than another takes his place. The captains of the auxiliary ships elected him so quickly that the news of the Pope's death coincides with that of his successor's election. The enemy's self-assurance wanes."Breaking through all resistance, the new Pope steers his ship safely between the two columns and moors it to the two columns; first to the one surmounted by the Host, and then to the other, topped by the statue of the Virgin. At this point something unexpected happens. The enemy ships panic and disperse, colliding with and scuttling each other. Some auxiliary ships which had gallantly fought alongside their flagship are the first to tie up at the two columns."
This is a vision which could describe some of what is occurring in our own day. We have been blessed with very holy successors of Peter who are steering Christ's Church through those two columns. One was even shot but saved through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin on a Marian Feast day. Both have been engaged in doing battle with those forces which oppose the Church while steering her safely through the twin poles which certainly stand for orthodoxy and orthopraxy.
Now, seminaries are beginning to fill, vocations are increasing and the Fields are ripe for harvest. Pray for Workers for the Harvest and then go into the vineyard. We we all have a role to play in this new missionary age.

CNS REPORT -- A U.S. bishop on his first visit to the continent of his ancestors said he found Africa to be full of life and great potential.

"There is youthfulness, energy and a zest for life here," said Washington Auxiliary Bishop Martin D. Holley, during a recent visit to Ghana and Nigeria. "No one seems to sit still."
Bishop Holley traveled with a U.S. Catholic delegation led by Bishop John H. Ricard of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Fla. Both serve on the U.S. bishops' Subcommittee on the Church in Africa; Bishop Ricard is chairman.
The delegation met with church leaders in Ghana and Nigeria, discussing ways in which the U.S. and African churches can be better partners and share resources.
Bishop Holley celebrated a three-hour Mass Aug. 29 at St. Kizito Church in Nima, a suburb of Accra.
It was a typical Ghanaian service rich in traditional hymns, ethnic music, dancing and drumming. Every pew, chair and bench on the church floor and in its balcony was full. People stood outside, listening. Many women, men and children were dressed in fabrics imprinted with religious images and the name of the parish patron, St. Kizito.
Bishop Holley said he was awe-struck by the community, its joy and its sense of unity"We received welcoming, lively and bright smiles," he said. The faith of the Catholic parishioners is "strong and full of joy."
"I felt our voices being lifted up to heaven," he added.
St. Kizito has more than 9,000 parishioners, and its pastor, Father Raymond Osei-Tutu, said, "We are praying for more." About 1,000 children -- a mix of Christian and Muslim students -- attend the church-run school.
The parish has its challenges, said Father Osei-Tutu.
"Nima is a very poor area. It's not a place anyone would want to follow you to," he told Catholic News Service. "But when you're inside (the church), it's a very different feeling."
People are happy and parishioners respond to church activities, he said.
The parish runs a public washroom, because many homes in the community do not have proper facilities. Later this year, it will begin an adult reading program to help alleviate the high rate of illiteracy among adults there.
St. Kizito's role in Nima is similar to churches in communities all over the continent.
Many Catholic communities have benefitted from the nearly $5 million U.S. Catholics have given to the U.S. bishops' Pastoral Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa. Since its establishment in 2006, the fund has supported seminarian and clergy formation, training for catechists, evangelization and communications efforts, leadership training and other pastoral programs on the world's poorest and most underdeveloped continent.
U.S. Catholics also help with contributions to Catholic Relief Services, which operates in 35 African nations, including Ghana. The U.S. bishops' international relief and development agency focuses on education, health, treatment to patients with HIV, peace initiatives, clean water and sanitation, food programs and emergency response for all people.
Even with its struggles, the greatest hope for the church in Ghana is its youth, said Accra Archbishop Charles G. Palmer-Buckle.
He said 60 percent of Catholics in the country are age 30 or younger.

"It is a massive force," he said.

"If we do invest well in them, build their capacity in social, political, economic and financial (ways) as well as in the church's social teachings and the Catholic faith, then there's no reason not to have greater hope," he said.
The growing church in Africa seeks more than financial assistance from its First World partners. The archbishop told the visiting delegation that he hopes for more exchanges between the U.S. and African churches.
He said he would welcome exchanges between youths, laypeople, clergy and others, especially in the areas of academics, business and government.


Cath News report: Thousands of faithful in Brisbane gathered last week to be blessed with the relics of beloved Italian mystic, St Pio of Pietrelcina. Our Lady of Graces' Church, Carina, was packed on September 3 as was St Brigid's Church, Red Hill, the following day, as people gathered to listen to Italian Capuchin Father Ermelindo Di Capua speak about the life, sanctity and humility of "Padre Pio", reports The Catholic Leader. Fr Ermelindo, one of the people to be close on a daily basis to then Padre Pio at the end of his life, was a confidant and English translator to the Italian mystic and saint.

Organiser Capuchin Father John Spiteri was overjoyed with the first Australian visit St Pio of Pietrelcina's relics.

"It was a great success," Fr Spiteri said.

"He spoke simply and very clearly about the spirituality and the holiness of Padre Pio," Fr Spiteri said.

"One of his outstanding quotes was 'Padre Pio was a simple, humble Capuchin'."

Padre Pio was ordained a priest a century ago, on August 10. He first reported stigmata wounds - which remained permanent - to a spiritual advisor in 1910.

Pope John Paul II declared Padre Pio a saint in 2002.

"Fr Ermelindo was able to testify to the eminent holiness and the simplicity and the suffering Padre Pio endured," Fr Spiteri said.

"It was wonderful to hear Fr Ermelindo speak so strongly about the holiness of Padre Pio without exaggeration.

"There was no sentimentality, no exaggeration, he spoke about the man as he was."


St. Peter Claver
Feast: September 9
Information: Feast Day: September 7
Born: June 26, 1580, Verdu, Catalonia, Kingdom of Spain
Died: September 8, 1654, Cartagena, Colombia
Canonized: January 15, 1888, Rome by Pope Leo XIII
Major Shrine: Church of Saint Peter Claver

Patron of: Slaves, Colombia, Race relations, and African Americans

The Blessed Peter Claver was born at Verdu in Catalonia in the year 1581, of parents eminent for piety and virtue, who instilled like qualities into his infant heart from the very cradle. In youth his piety and love of study won general admiration, and every preferment was open to him, but zeal for his neighbor's salvation led him to enter the Society of Jesus. His reputation was such that he was instantly admitted on his application in August, 1602. After a fervent noviceship, he was sent to the college of Majorca and there had the inexpressible happiness of enjoying the direction of the Blessed Alphonsus Rodriguez, then porter of the college, an eminent contemplative, from whom Claver derived much spiritual profit, and even a knowledge of his future career. Before completing his studies, he solicited the American mission, and was sent out in 1610. From that time he never asked about Spain, and seemed to have forgotten everything but the land of his labors. Completing his studies at Santa Fe de Bogota, he was ordained at Carthagena in 1615, and from that moment devoted himself to the care of the Negro slaves. No sooner did a slaver reach the port than he hastened on board with his interpreters, a basket of delicacies for the sick, and other necessaries. The sick were the first objects of his zeal. Gaining their good will by his kind and gentle manner, he instructed them in the doctrines of Christianity; and if there was danger, baptized them. He then began his regular instructions for those in health, which he continued from day to day, till they were prepared for baptism. Then, on an appointed day, he administered the sacrament to all, after a touching exhortation to persevere in virtue, The amount of his toil may be conceived, when we learn that at that time ten or twelve thousand slaves were annually landed at Carthagena. Nor did this include all, as many slavers, to avoid the custom-house duties, landed their cargo on the coast and pretended that they belonged to former licensed importations, and were already baptized. The zeal of the servant of God was more active than the interest of the government officers; he discovered most of these Negroes, instructed and baptized them. Not wearied with these labors, he visited the hospitals, and especially that of the Incurables and Lepers, whom he nursed with the greatest charity. The poor forsaken Negroes, too, in their hovels, were never too forlorn or too distant to escape him. So long did he breathe the pestiferous atmosphere of these abodes of misery, that his taste and smell were entirely lost. Besides all this, his austerities were frightful: his life was a miracle, as nothing but a miracle could have sustained it in such a climate, where a scratch is often fatal. Over the Negroes, he maintained a general direction; he had regular masses, instructions and devotions for them; he was their pastor, their father, their protector. In their behalf he frequently exercised the miraculous powers with which God, in a most eminent degree, invested him. Among the Spaniards he labored reluctantly, as they had clergy in abundance; but the poor could always have recourse to him, and for them, as for Moors, and heretics or unbelievers, he spared no toil.

During the season when slavers were not accustomed to arrive, he traversed the country, visiting plantation after plantation, to give spiritual consolation to the slaves. For a time, also, he was sent to labor among the Indians near the Isthmus, the field of the labors of St. Louis Bertrand, but, being seized with a fatal fever, he was carried back to Carthagena; there, partly recovering, he renewed his labors, but was again prostrated, and for the last four years of his life was scarcely able to move. Such was the poverty and wretchedness of the Jesuits, that he had no attendant but a Negro boy, and men were actually tearing down the house when he died, on the 8th of September, 1654, at the age of 72, a faithful imitator of the great Xavier. His canonization was immediately undertaken and almost brought to a close in 1747; but the suppression of his order and the troubles in Europe deferred the publication of the brief till the 29th of August, 1848, when he was solemnly beatified by Pope Pius IX.

TODAY'S GOSPEL: SEPT. 9: Luke 6: 27 - 38

Luke 6: 27 - 38
27 "But I say to you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.
29 To him who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from him who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt.
30 Give to every one who begs from you; and of him who takes away your goods do not ask them again.
31 And as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.
32 "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.
33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.
34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the selfish.
36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
37 "Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;
38 give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, rurunning over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back."
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