Sunday, October 31, 2010



RADIO VATICANA REPORT: Commenting on this Sunday’s Gospel story of the call of the sinner, Zacchaeus, with the faithful gathered beneath his window in St Peter’s Square to pray the Angelus, Pope Benedict XVI said God excludes no one, neither rich nor poor, Zacchaeus.God does not let himself be conditioned by our human prejudices, but sees in each one of us a soul to save – and he is especially attracted by those, who are considered to be lost and who so consider themselves to be.Jesus Christ, the incarnation of God, has shown this immense mercy, which does not diminish the gravity of sin, but always aims to save the sinner, to offer him the chance for redemption, for conversion. Also at the Angelus, the Pope recalled the beatification in Romania on Saturday, of Bishop Bogdanffy Szilard, who was imprisoned, tortured and eventually martyred by Communists.“His testimony” - said Pope Benedict - now comforts those who in the present day are persecuted for the sake of the Gospel.After the Angelus, Pope Benedict greeted pilgrims in many languages, including English.I would now like to offer a word of greeting to all the English-speaking visitors presents at today’s Angelus prayer! In the liturgy of the word this morning, Our Lord tells us that he “has come to seek out and save those who were lost”. May we always know our need for God and embrace his will for us, in love and humility. May God abundantly bless you and your loved ones!
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IND. CATH. NEWS REPORT: Christians in the UK have been invited to place lights in their windows tonight as a sign that they are followers of Christ. The initiative is called Night of Light and is the inspiration of Damian Stayne, the founder of the Catholic community, Cor et Lumen Christi. He explained: "The Night of Light is an international initiative to reclaim Halloween as a joyful Christian celebration. In many countries around the world children’s celebrations are being organised, as are prayer gatherings, with people putting a light in their window to visibly witness to neighbours and friends."He added: "The evening of 31st October is called Halloween ('All Hallows Eve') and is the vigil (beginning) of the Feast of All Saints - the feast in which Catholics celebrate the glory of God in His saints, the victory of light over darkness in the lives of God's holy ones in heaven. Jesus is the “Light of the World”. The saints lived by that light, and became a beacon in their own generation. Everyone is called by Jesus to live out this vocation - to be the “Light of the world” for others today."Making faith visibleArchbishop Vincent Nichols recently wrote in his Pastoral Letter to the diocese: "Making faith visible is so much a part of the invitation the Holy Father has extended to us all.’ Participating in the Night of Light is offered as one way of responding to that invitation.As participants are able, suggested key elements of the Night of Light include: Attending a vigil Mass for the Feast of All SaintsTaking part in a night of Adoration of the Blessed SacramentProviding treats and fun for children in celebration of All Saints and the Light of Christ; Placing a light in your window (safely) as a sign to passers-by that yours is a Christian household and Christ is your light.Wearing something white, such as a scarf. A sign of hopeAlthough the Night of Light has run previously, this year in partnership with the Home Mission Desk of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales it is being offered as a way of following up the Visit of the Holy Father to the UK.Bishop Kieran Conry (Arundel and Brighton), Chair of the Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis, said: "Halloween is now the biggest commercial festival after Christmas and Easter, and it is time we reminded Christians of what it really is. The celebration of feast days is an important part of our Catholic culture. On the evening of 31 October why not do something to make your faith respectfully seen and heard? Light a candle or display publicly another kind of light, for example, perhaps alongside animage of Christ. This could be a powerful way in which we can show people that we have hope in someone other than ourselves. The light will provoke questions and is a way that people can be signposted to goodness. I encourage everyone to participate."Additional ideas and resources to celebrate the night can be found on: follows news that copies of the Pre-Raphaelite painter William Holman Hunt’s, ‘Light of the World’ have been given to every parish in England and Wales as part of the legacy of Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the UK; a reflection sheet to be used with the image can be found at:
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UCAN REPORT:Sri Lankan Church workers, along with human rights activists and the state president, appeal to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia to commute the death sentence imposed upon housemaid Rizana Nafeek.“Only His Royal Highness the King has the power to pardon her,” said Father George Sigamoney, Caritas Sri Lanka national director, who has campaigned justice for Nafeek’s case since 2007.The appeals come after the Saudi Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by Nafeek’s parents against the death sentence imposed by a high court.Rizana Nafeek was sentenced to death last week after being declared guilty of killing a four-month-old baby of her Saudi employer in 2005.According to reports, 17-year–old Nafeek went to Saudi Arabia with a fake ID that put her age at 23 and was employed as a housemaid in 2005.Nafeek claimed the baby left under her care choked to death after she fed him, but her employers accused her of strangling the child.In his letter thanking Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa for appealing to the King of Saudi regarding Nafeek’s case, Father Sigamoney also addressed the plight of Sri Lankan housemaids and urged to review labor rules to avoid tragedies such as Nafeek’s.“There should have some restrictions on foreign employment agencies who handle inexperienced housemaids who are not aware of the Middle East countries’ language, culture and laws,” the priest added.Sri Lanka receives over three billion US dollars every year from nearly 1.5 million Sri Lankan expatriate workers in the Middle East, a vast majority working as housemaids.
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SPECIAL TO JCE NEWS: Masses for Life ProjectDear Friends of Life,I invite you to join the Masses for Life Project which I, as a lay person have started this year.I hope to involve many people in this prayer movement for the protection of human life—especially that of unborn children. Every day they are being killed by abortion, and they have noright to life under Canadian Law.I will be accepting donations towardsstipends for Masses (the stipend for one announced Mass is twenty dollars.) The suggesteddonation is five dollars, although any amount is appreciated. The requested Masses for Pro-Lifeintentions will be celebrated mostly at St. Margaret’s.Each Mass will be announced in the bulletin when possible and all who have made donationswill be encouraged to participate in the Mass, our most powerful prayer.You may mail or deliver your May donation to me at any time throughout this month. Anyremaining money will be used towards the pamphlets distributed by Pro-Life counselors oppositethe 960 Lawrence Ave. W. abortuary in their outreach to the women who come there.Please pray that this initiative for Life will bear great fruit. Thank you for your assistance withthe Masses for Life Project.Sincerely,Clare KavanaghMasses for Life Project Director8 Quilter Rd. North York, ON M2N 6H1416 225 2091 /
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Cath News report: Police in Queensland are investigating the case of 15 students who were suspended from Noosaville's St Teresa Catholic College over alleged marijuana use.A police spokeswoman said a drug-related incident at the college was reported to police on Tuesday afternoon but she was unable to confirm the number of students involved due to the complexity of the incident, reports The Courier-Mail."The CPIU will be investigating because there are children involved," she said.The school called in police and sent a letter home to parents after a number of students were allegedly found using marijuana.The Catholic Education Archdiocese of Brisbane confirmed in a statement that a number of students had been disciplined for drug use allegations."The police investigation is ongoing and no further comment will be made until its completion.''
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Agenzia Fides REPORT –Presidential elections: “no to violence, not to systematic lying,” says Archibishop of AbidjanIvory Coast is preparing to vote, after several postponements, for the new head of state. The presidential elections, which were supposed to have taken place in 2005, will be held Sunday, October 31. The main candidates are the incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo, Henri Konan Bédié, and Alassane Ouattara.On October 18, Archbishop Jean Pierre Kutwa, Archbishop of Abidjan, issued a message calling on Ivorians to "reject violence as a form of expression. If the electoral contest is legitimate, this can in no way lead to acts of vandalism."In the message sent to Fides, Archbishop Kutwa says he is concerned about the climate of tension fueled by some media campaigns, “every day we see an increased aggressiveness in the press.”The Archbishop of Abidjan then reminds journalists of their obligation to inform the public properly and not become tools of political struggle.The message also claims that "a certain political opinion and the media have often presented an erroneous profile of the politician and a superficial and dangerous image of his career. In effect, politics is often represented as a struggle undertaken to obtain, at any price, an honorable place, a source of considerable advantages. In this perspective, of course, all means are justified for reaching one's own goals."Faced with this situation, Archbishop Kutwa warns the faithful not to fall victim to provocations and speculation "when information is given, regardless of where it comes from, it is rarely neutral. The election periods are filled with rumors, tendentious interpretations of words and gestures. It is difficult to bring out the truth from these attempts of intoxication. However, only the truth frees man and makes him grow. Systematic lying in order to gain power makes man vulnerable."After acknowledging the efforts made by the Forces de Défense et de Sécurité (FDS, the National Armed Forces) and the Forces Armées des Forces Nouvelles (FAFN, who since 2002 control the north-west of the country) to create a joint command center to ensure the security of the elections, Archbishop Kutwa concludes by making an appeal to politicians to lead a political struggle through peaceful means thinking about the greater good of the nation and future generations.
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St. WolfgangBISHOPFeast: October 31Information:Feast Day:October 31Born:924 in SwabiaDied:31 October 994 at Pupping, Linz (modern Austria)Canonized:1052 by Pope Leo IXPatron of:apoplexy; carpenters and wood carvers; paralysis; stomach diseases; strokesBishop of Ratisbon (972-994), born about 934; died at the village of Pupping in upper Austria, 31 October, 994. The name Wolfgang is of early German origin. St. Wolfgang was one of the three brilliant stars of the tenth century, St. Ulrich, St. Conrad, and St. Wolfgang, which illuminated the early medieval period of Germany with the undying splendour of their acts and services. St. Wolfgang sprang from a family of Swabian counts of Pfullingen (Mon. Germ. His.: Script., X, 53). When seven years old he had an ecclesiastic as tutor at home; later he attended the celebrated monastic school on the Reichenau. Here he formed a strong friendship with Henry, brother of Bishop Poppo of Würzburg, whom he followed to Würzburg in order to attend at the cathedral school there the lectures of the noted Italian grammarian, Stephen of Novara. After Henry was made Archbishop of Trier in 956, he called his friend to Trier, where Wolfgang became a teacher in the cathedral school, and also laboured for the reform of the archdiocese, notwithstanding the enmity with which his efforts were met. Wolfgang's residence at Trier greatly influenced his monastic and ascetic tendencies, as here he came into connection with the great reformatory monastery of the tenth century, St. Maximin of Trier, where he made the acquaintance of Ramwold, the teacher of St. Adalbert of Prague. After the death (964) of Archbishop Henry of Trier, Wolfgang entered the Order of St. Benedict in the Abbey of Maria Einsiedeln, Switzerland, and was ordained priest by St. Ulrich in 968.After their defeat in the battle of the Lechfeld (955), a victory gained with the aid of St. Ulrich, the heathen Magyars settled in ancient Pannonia. As long as they were not converted to Christianity they remained a constant menace to the empire. At the request of St. Ulrich, who clearly saw the danger, and at the desire of the Emperor Otto the Great, St. Wolfgang, according to the abbey annals, was "sent to Magyars" as the most suitable man to evangelize them. He was followed by other missionaries sent by Bishop Piligrim of Nassau, under whose jurisdiction the new missionary region came. After the death of Bishop Michael of Ratisbon (23 September, 972) Bishop Piligrim obtained from the emperor the appointment of Wolfgang as Bishop of Ratisbon (Christmas, 972). Wolfgang's services in this new position were of the highest importance, not only for the diocese, but also for the cause of civilization. As Bishop of Ratisbon, Wolfgang became the tutor of Emperor St. Henry II, who learned from him the principles which governed his saintly and energetic life. Poppe, son of Margrave Luitpold, Archbishop of Trier (1016), and Tagino, Archbishop of Magdeburg (1004-1012), also had him as their teacher.St. Wolfgang deserves credit for his disciplinary labours in his diocese. His main work in this respect was connected with the ancient and celebrated Abbey of St. Emmeram which he reformed by granting it once more abbots of its own, thus withdrawing it from the control of the bishops of Ratisbon, who for many years had been abbots in commendam, a condition of affairs that had been far from beneficial to the abbey and monastic life. In the Benedictine monk Ramwold, whom St. Wolfgang called from St. Maximin at Trier, St. Emmeram received a capable abbot (975). The saint also reformed the convents of Obermunster and Niedermunster at Ratisbon, chiefly by giving them as an example the convent of St. Paul, Mittelmunster, at Ratisbon, which he had founded in 983. He also co-operated in the reform of the ancient and celebrated Benedictine Abbey of Altach (Nieder-altach), which had been founded by the Agilolf dynasty, and which from that time took on new life. He showed genuine episcopal generosity in the liberal manner with which he met the views of the Emperor Otto II regarding the intended reduction in size of his diocese for the benefit of the new Diocese of Prague (975), to which St. Adalbert was appointed first bishop. As prince of the empire he performed his duties towards the emperor and the empire with the utmost scrupulousness and, like St. Ulrich, was one of the mainstays of the Ottonian policies. He took part in the various imperial Diets, and, in the autumn of 978, accompanied the Emperor Otto II on his campaign to Paris, and took part in the great Diet of Verona in June, 983.St. Wolfgang withdrew as a hermit to a solitary spot, now the Lake of St. Wolfgang, apparently on account of a political dispute, but probably in the course of a journey of inspection to the monastery of Mendsee which was under the direction of the bishops of Ratisbon. He was discovered by a hunter and brought back to Ratisbon. While travelling on the Danube to Pöchlarn in Lower Austria, he fell ill at the village of Pupping, which is between Efferding and the market town of Aschach near Linz, and at his request was carried into the chapel of St. Othmar at Pupping, where he died. His body was taken up the Danube by his friends Count Aribo of Andechs and Archbishop Hartwich of Salzburg to Ratisbon, and was solemnly buried in the crypt of St. Emmeram. Many miracles were performed at his grave; in 1052 he was canonized. Soon after his death many churches chose him as their patron saint, and various towns were named after him. In Christian art he has been especially honoured by the great medieval Tyrolese painter, Michael Pacher (1430-1498), who created an imperishable memorial of him, the high altar of St. Wolfgang. In the panel pictures which are now exhibited in the Old Pinakothek at Munich are depicted in an artistic manner the chief events in the saint's life. The oldest portrait of St. Wolfgang is a miniature, painted about the year 1100 in the celebrated Evangeliary of St. Emmeram, now in the library of the castle cathedral at Cracow. A fine modern picture by Schwind is in the Schak Gallery at Munich. This painting represents the legend of Wolfgang forcing the devil to help him to build a church. In other paintings he is generally depicted in episcopal dress, an axe in the right hand and the crozier in the left, or as a hermit in the wilderness being discovered by a hunter. The axe refers to an event in the life of the saint. After having selected a solitary spot in the wilderness, he prayed and then threw his axe into the thicket; the spot on which the axe fell he regarded as the place where God intended he should build his cell. This axe is still shown in the little market town of St. Wolfgang which sprang up on the spot of the old cell. At the request of the Abbey of St. Emmeram, the life of St. Wolfgang was written by Othlo, a Benedictine monk of St. Emmeram about 1050. This life is especially important for the early medieval history both of the Church and of civilization in Bavaria and Austria, and it forms the basis of all later accounts of the saint. The oldest and best manuscript of this "Life" is in the library of the Abbey of Maria Einsiedeln in Switzerland (manuscript No. 322), and has been printed with critical notes in "Mon. Germ. His.: Script.", IV, 524-542. It has also been printed in, "Acta SS.", II November, (Brussels, 1894), 529-537; "Acta SS. O. S. Ben.", V, 812-833; and in P.L., CXLVI, 395-422.ued to feed and defend his flock until it pleased the Supreme Pastor to recompense his fidelity and labors.
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Wisdom 11: 22 - 2622Because the whole world before thee is like a speck that tips the scales, and like a drop of morning dew that falls upon the ground.23But thou art merciful to all, for thou canst do all things, and thou dost overlook men's sins, that they may repent.24For thou lovest all things that exist, and hast loathing for none of the things which thou hast made, for thou wouldst not have made anything if thou hadst hated it.25How would anything have endured if thou hadst not willed it? Or how would anything not called forth by thee have been preserved?26Thou sparest all things, for they are thine, O Lord who lovest the living.Wisdom 12: 1 - 21For thy immortal spirit is in all things.2Therefore thou dost correct little by little those who trespass, and dost remind and warn them of the things wherein they sin, that they may be freed from wickedness and put their trust in thee, O Lord.

Psalms 145: 1 - 2, 8 - 11, 13 - 141I will extol thee, my God and King, and bless thy name for ever and ever.2Every day I will bless thee, and praise thy name for ever and ever.8The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.9The LORD is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made.10All thy works shall give thanks to thee, O LORD, and all thy saints shall bless thee!11They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and tell of thy power,13Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endures throughout all generations. The LORD is faithful in all his words, and gracious in all his deeds.14The LORD upholds all who are falling, and raises up all who are bowed down.

2 Thessalonian 1: 11 - 1211To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his call, and may fulfil every good resolve and work of faith by his power,12so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.1Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our assembling to meet him, we beg you, brethren,2not to be quickly shaken in mind or excited, either by spirit or by word, or by letter purporting to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.

GOSPELLuke 19: 1 - 101He entered Jericho and was passing through.2And there was a man named Zacchae'us; he was a chief tax collector, and rich.3And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not, on account of the crowd, because he was small of stature.4So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was to pass that way.5And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchae'us, make haste and come down; for I must stay at your house today."6So he made haste and came down, and received him joyfully.7And when they saw it they all murmured, "He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner."8And Zacchae'us stood and said to the Lord, "Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have defrauded any one of anything, I restore it fourfold."9And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham.10For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost."
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Saturday, October 30, 2010



As many as 100 thousand young people gathered in St. Peter’s Square Saturday for a morning of prayer and fellowship that culminated in an encounter with Pope Benedict XVI, who answered questions from a few of their representatives. The gathering was organized by the Catholic Action youth wing, and brought together children and teenagers from every part of Italy, who began to descend upon the square well before dawn, many of them carrying signs and banners on which were written variations on the theme of the encounter: “Growing up together!”After an enthusiastic morning of song and cheer in the Square beneath his window in the Apostolic Palace, the Pope came to greet his young guests and the adults who had accompanied them, and to answer questions from three of their number: a boy, a girl and one of their grown-up leaders, a teacher, Milena Marrocco from the diocese of Gaeta, who asked the Holy Father what it means to be an educator.The Holy Father answered that true educators are not those who lord it over their charges, but those who recognize that they are, in Jesus’ name, servants of their joy, whose task it is to lead the little ones in their care to Christ.The boy, Francesco Poddo of the diocese of Nuoro, asked the Holy Father what it means to grow up, and how to grow as a follower of Jesus. He also asked, “Who can help?” in the great task of coming into adulthood – to which the Holy Father responded that growing up means growing in real friendship with Jesus, through prayer and constant participation in the sacraments. “You also want to say, loud and clear, to everyone you meet, how beautiful it is to have a friend in Jesus – and how beautiful it is to be together in friendship with him, helped by your parents, your priests and your pastoral leaders!”The girl, Anna Bulgarelli of the diocese of Carpi, spoke of the heartache and suffering that often accompany adolescents in their relationships, and asked the Holy Father to help her and her companions better to understand what it means to love well and truly:The Pope responded saying that pop culture often conveys a distorted picture of love that is really selfishness and closure. “It gives you the thrill of a moment,” said Pope Benedict, “but it doesn’t make you happy – it doesn’t make you great.”“Rather,” continued Pope Benedict, “it costs something to live love truly. It requires sacrifice. But I am sure you are not afraid of the hard work that authentic, committed love requires.”
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SMH.COM.AU REPORT: SWIEBODZIN, Poland: At 36 metres tall, it will tower imperiously over this town in western Poland. But the giant statue of Jesus under construction has divided Polish Catholics and led to charges of megalomania against the Catholic Church.The structure is being built on a 16-metre-high hill in Swiebodzin. Locals claim it will be taller - just - than the 80-year-old Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, now the world's tallest statue of Jesus.The main body of the Polish Jesus is 33 metres high - a metre for each year he lived - and is topped with a three-metre metal crown of thorns.The project has split Polish society: some are expressing pride, others derision, while many practising Catholics are calling for it to be abandoned. The chief building inspector has received threats, including a brick through his car window.Supporters of the project, which is being led by local priest Sylwester Zawadzki, hope the statue will attract pilgrims from across the country, turning the economically downtrodden town into a ''second Czestochowa'', a reference to Poland's most popular pilgrimage site, home of the Black Madonna shrine.The 400-tonne statue has been five years in the making. Originally, Father Zawadzki wanted a ''small garden sculpture'', but over time his ambitions have grown.The latest worries are about safety after a crane collapsed when builders tried to position the head, crushing a builder's foot. Sceptics said it was a sign of God's disapproval. When the priest suffered a heart attack, the same claim was made.Building experts have voiced concerns the foundations are not deep enough. ''We'll give it 20 years, maximum, then it'll fall apart,'' one building expert told Polish media.
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Asia News report: To Serve and not to be served" the motto of the cardinal, who concentrated his efforts in the religious education of children and missionary formation of young seminarians. He also founded the National Basilica of Our Lady of Lanka in Tewatta.Tewatta (AsiaNews) - Archbishop Malcolm Ranjith has officially opened the cause for the beatification and canonization of Cardinal Thomas Coorey, during a Eucharistic celebration hosted yesterday in the National Basilica of Our Lady of Lanka in Tewatta (Archdiocese of Colombo).Cardinal-designate Ranjith celebrated the function with the Papal Nuncio Joseph Spiteri, Archbishops Emeritus Nicholas Marcus and Oswald Gomis, Fr. Clement Waidayasekara and Fr. Nicholas Senanayake. Nearly 200 nuns and priests of the archdiocese attended the mass. All the relatives of Mgr. Cooray were present, along with large crowds of faithful - some two thousand people - from the Archdiocese of Colombo. Mass was celebrated in three languages: Sinhala, Tamil and English. During the homily Archbishop Owald Gomis, who worked closely with Cardinal Cooray in the past, said that "today is a day to be written in gold in the history of Sri Lanka." He recalled the simple and exceptional holiness, the deep faith and courage of Card. Cooray.Card. Coorey, who was born in 1901 in Periyamulla (Negombo), was ordained priest in Rome in 1929 in the Congregation of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. In 1947 he was appointed archbishop of the Archdiocese of Colombo. "To serve, not to be served" was his motto: In 1950 he founded the minor seminary, focusing his commitment on the missionary formation of young seminarians. In addition, under his leadership the Church in Sri Lanka found ways and means to bring religious education to schools.In 1940, the beginning of World War II, Archbishop Jean Marie Masson made a vow to build a shrine in Tewatta in honor of Our Lady, if the country was spared the ravages of war. Card. Coorey kept this vow and began to build the National Basilica of Our Lady of Lanka.At the end of his homily, Mgr. Gomis said: "Today we gathered to thank the Lord for the life and commitment committed of Cardinal Thomas Cooray. And we pray God to bestow the necessary blessings for his beatification and canonization”.Thomas Cooray was appointed cardinal by Pope Paul VI in 1965. President of the Bishops Conference in Sri Lanka for 30 years, he retired from office in 1976. The Cardinal passed away in 1988, and his remains are buried in the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, in the basilica built by him. Card. Cooray’s is the first Sinhalese for whom a cause for beatification and canonization has been opened.
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CNA REPORT - Oscar-nominated film director Roland Joffe describes himself as a “wobbly agnostic.” “There’s easy atheism, there’s easy agnosticism, and there’s easy faith,” he explained during a Sept. 9 phone interview with The Southern Cross. “Because I have a curious mind, I’ve never been able to take … a totally easy path.”Still, Joffe admits that he finds “immense beauty” and “immense truths” in religion. He also sees no conflict between his agnosticism and his latest film project, “There Be Dragons.”The film is based on the life of St. Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, a Spanish priest who founded the lay Catholic movement known as Opus Dei. The film will be released in theaters in Spring 2011.“Just because I’m agnostic, I would be a fool if I dismissed somebody because he was a saint,” Joffe said. He added that he actually finds himself steered in the opposite direction, convinced that “things of great interest to every human being” are bound to be discovered in the life of “a hero of the Church.”Written and directed by Joffe, “There Be Dragons” is not the first time the British filmmaker has explored religious territory. His 1986 directorial effort, “The Mission,” starred Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons as Jesuits in 18th-century Latin America.Nine years after its release, “The Mission” was included in a Vatican-compiled list of 45 “great films.” The film also won the Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival and earned Joffe his second Academy Award nomination for best director. He had previously been nominated two years earlier for 1984’s “The Killing Fields.”Joffe’s latest film, “There Be Dragons,” is set during the Spanish Civil War of the mid- to late 1930s, a period the director describes as “the seminal moment in Josemaria’s life.” Joffe said the film expresses the Spanish saint’s deeply held belief that God can be found in everyday life – even during a civil war – and that everyone can be a saint.“There Be Dragons” is not intended to be the cinematic equivalent of a “poster” or “user’s manual” for Opus Dei, Joffe said. But viewers also should not expect a retread of the lurid conspiracy theories propagated by “The Da Vinci Code” and its film adaptation.“I think Dan Brown (the author of “The Da Vinci Code”) misused Opus Dei … in a rather unpardonable way,” Joffe said. “I hope, in some ways, this movie will set the balance straight, but that’s not the objective of the movie. I just think it’s maybe a byproduct.”While “There Be Dragons” would seem to have built-in appeal for Catholic viewers, Joffe believes that it will speak to a much larger audience, including those who do not believe in God or subscribe to any particular faith. He revealed that an atheist character, who figures prominently in the film, is shown to experience “a profoundly religious moment.”“I think there’s going to be much to find, because there’s all of life expressed in this movie,” Joffe said. “I think Catholics and other religious people, and agnostics and atheists alike will find the human experience there, very clearly and rather beautifully expressed by the actors.”
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Cath News report: A survey has found that half of the respondents want the government to fund the provision of aged care, while only a small number thinks profit-driven aged care services should provide care for the elderly.Most respondents preferred Church or not-for-profit aged care, according to a study that was part of the Australian Survey of Social Attitudes, reports The Catholic Weekly.The study, based on interviews with 1400 people, found only 16 per cent of people think families and relatives are best suited to deliver care to the elderly. The government should provide for it, 53 percent said.Catholic Health Australia (CHA) chief executive officer Martin Laverty said the report's findings that families prefer Church and charitable aged care services come as no surprise."It's well known that many Church and charitable aged care providers deliver top quality care, in a manner that best meets the needs of older Australians," he said."Catholic aged care services who focus on pastoral and spiritual care provide support to older Australians that commercial operations cannot."Yet he warned there are alarming consequences arising from the study's finding that few people believe families and relatives are best suited to caring for the aged."Only five per cent of older Australians live in a residential aged care home," Mr Laverty said. Similar numbers live in retirement homes. The remaining older population, or 90 percent, have no need to enter formal aged care. They live in their own homes, or live with their families."In order to remain living in their own homes, older Australians very often need support of family members or relatives. Family or friend support is key to independent living. But if only 16 percent think this support is the role of family, we face a growing community challenge."
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Agenzia Fides report - Catholic radio managers from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania have decried increasing government harassment and interference despite constitutional guarantees on their freedom.This is what emerged from the conclusion of the workshop on the role of the Catholic radio station in building peace in eastern Africa, held in Arusha, Tanzania. The event was organized by the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa with the support of the US Catholic foundation, Raskob Foundation for Catholic Activities (see Fides 20/10/2010). “We endeavour to train our journalists on new technologies, peace journalism, and to improve professionalism in our radio stations,” they resolved in a communiqué at the end of the workshop.They highlighted the lack of professionalism and poor remuneration of journalists in many media houses, which has sometimes fuelled conflict and made some of them easy prey to manipulation by political forces.“We appeal to both our church and civil societies to support and inspire the spirit of dialogue, unity and love among our people and help safeguard the right of the public to free speech and expression which includes the freedom of the media,” the journalists said.At the end of the workshop, they also resolved to hold more workshops and meetings to build solidarity and networking among Catholic Radio stations within the member countries and in the region.
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CONFESSOR AND LAY BROTHERFeast: October 30Information:Feast Day:October 30Born:July 25, 1532, SegoviaDied:October 31, 1617Canonized:6 September, 1887Major Shrine:MajorcaBorn at Segovia in Spain, 25 July, 1532; died at Majorca, 31 October, 1617. On account of the similarity of names he is often confounded with Father Rodriguez the author of "Christian Perfection", who though eminent in his holiness was never canonized. The Saint was a Jesuit lay-brother who entered the Society at the age of forty. He was the son of a wool merchant who had been reduced to poverty when Alfonso was still young. At the age of twenty-six he married Mary Francisco Suárez, a woman of his own station, and at thirty-one found himself a widower with one surviving child, the other two having died previously. From thattime he began a life of prayer and mortification, although separated from the world around him. On the death of his third child his thoughts turned to a life in some religious order. Previous associations had brought him into contact with the first Jesuits who had come to Spain, Bl. Peter Faber among others, but it was apparently impossible to carry out his purpose of entering the Society, as he was without education, having only had an incomplete year at a new college begun at Alcalá by Francis Villanueva. At the age of thirty-nine he attempted to make up this deficiency by following the course at the College of Barcelona, but without success. His austerities had also undermined his health. After considerable delay he was finally admitted into the Society of Jesus as a lay-brother, 31 January, 1571. Distinct novitiates had not as yet been established in Spain, and Alfonso began his term of probation at Valencia or Gandia -- this point is a subject of dispute -- and after six months was sent to the recently-founded college at Majorca, where he remained in the humble position of porter for forty-six years, exercising a marvelous influence on the sanctification not only of the members of the household, but upon a great number of people who came to theporter's lodge for advice and direction. Among the distinguished Jesuits who came under his influence was St. Peter Clavier, who lived with him for some time at Majorca, and who followed his advice in asking for the missions of South America. The bodily mortifications which he imposed on himself were extreme, the scruples and mental agitation to which he was subject were of frequent occurrence, his obedience absolute, and his absorption in spiritual things even when engaged on most distracting employments, continual. It has often been said that he was the author of the well known "Little Office of the Immaculate Conception", and the claim is made by Alegambe, Southwell, and even by the Fathers de Backer in their Bibliothèque de la Compagnie de Jésus. Apart from the fact that the brother did not have the requisite education for such a task, Father Costurer says positively that the office he used was taken from an old copy printed out of Spain, and Father Colin asserts that it existed before the Saint's time. It may be admitted, however, that through him it was popularized. He left a considerable number of manuscripts after him, some of which have been published as "Obras Espirituales del B. Alonso Rodriguez" (Barcelona, 1885, 3 vols., octavo, complete edition, 8 vols. in quarto). They have no pretense to style; they are sometimes only reminiscences of domestic exhortations; the texts are often repeated; the illustrations are from every-daylife; the treatment of one virtue occasionally trenches on another; but they are remarkable for the correctness and soundness of their doctrine and the profound spiritual knowledge which they reveal. They were not written with a view to publication, but put down by the Saint himself, or dictated to others, in obedience to a positive command of his superiors. He was declared Venerable in 1626. In 1633 he was chosen by the Council General of Majorca as one of the special patrons of the city and island. In 1760 Clement XIII decreed that "the virtues of the Venerable Alonso were proved to be of a heroic degree"; but the expulsion of the Society from Spain in 1773, and its suppression, delayed his beatification until 1825. His canonization took place 6 September, 1887. His remains are enshrined at Majorca.
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TODAY'S GOSPEL: OCT. 30: Luke 14: 1, 7 - 11
Luke 14: 1, 7 - 111One sabbath when he went to dine at the house of a ruler who belonged to the Pharisees, they were watching him.7Now 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;9and 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.10But 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.11For every one who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
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Friday, October 29, 2010










TODAY'S GOSPEL: OCT. 29: Luke 14: 1 - 6 -


STATISTICS FOR THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN SPAIN VATICAN CITY, 29 OCT 2010 (VIS report) - For the occasion of Benedict XVI's apostolic trip to the Spanish cities of Santiago de Compostela and Barcelona, due to take place on 6 and 7 November, statistics have been published concerning the Catholic Church in that country. The information, updated to 31 December 2009, comes from the Central Statistical Office of the Church. Spain has a surface area of 505,992 square kilometres and a population of 45,929,000 of whom 42,470,000 (92.5 percent) are Catholic. There are 70 ecclesiastical circumscriptions and 22,674 parishes. Currently there are 124 bishops, 24,849 priests, 54,599 religious, 2,786 lay members of secular institutes and 101,261 catechists. Minor seminarians number 1,943 and major seminarians 1,963. A total of 1,596,429 students attend 5,585 centres of Catholic education, from kindergartens to universities. Other institutions belonging to the Church or run by priests or religious in Spain include 93 hospitals, 72 clinics, 788 homes for the elderly or disabled, 435 orphanages and nurseries, 301 family counselling centres and other pro-life centres, 3,036 centres for education and social rehabilitation, and 400 institutions of other kinds.OP/ VIS 20101029 (190)

BENEDICT XVI'S PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR NOVEMBER VATICAN CITY, 29 OCT 2010 (VIS) - Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for November is: "That victims of drugs or of other dependence may, thanks to the support of the Christian community, find in the power of our saving God strength for a radical life-change". His mission intention is: "That the Churches of Latin America may move ahead with the continent-wide mission proposed by their bishops, making it part of the universal missionary task of the People of God".BXVI-PRAYER INTENTIONS/ VIS 20101029 (90)

AUDIENCES VATICAN CITY, 29 OCT 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences: - Archbishop Giovanni d'Aniello, apostolic nuncio to Thailand and Cambodia, and apostolic delegate to Myanmar and Laos. - Eight prelates from the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, on their "ad limina" visit: - Archbishop Jose Belisario da Silva O.F.M. of Sao Luis de Maranhao. - Bishop Armando Martin Gutierrez of Bacabal F.A.M., accompanied by Bishop emeritus Henrique Johanpotter O.F.M. - Bishop Enemesio Angelo Lazzaris F.D.P. of Balsas. - Bishop Jose Valdeci Santos Mendes of Brejo. - Bishop Jose Soares Filho O.F.M. Cap. of Carolina. - Bishop Vilson Basso S.C.J. of Caxias do Maranhao, accompanied by Bishop emeritus Luis D'Andrea O.F.M. Conv. - Participants in a congress promoted by the "Romano Guardini" Foundation of Berlin, Germany. This evening he is scheduled to receive in separate audiences seven prelates from the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, on their "ad limina" visit: - Bishop Sebastiao Bandeira Coelho, coadjutor of Coroata. - Bishop Franco Cuter O.F.M. Cap. of Grajau, accompanied by Bishop emeritus Serafino Faustino Spreafico O.F.M. Cap. - Bishop Gilberto Pastana de Oliveira of Imperatriz. - Bishop Ricardo Pedro Paglia M.S.C. of Pinheiro. - Bishop Xavier Gilles de Maupeou d'Ableiges, emeritus of Viana. - Bishop Carlos Ellena of Ze Doca.
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AsiaNews REPORT - On holiday in Lubango, the priest drowned after being swept away by a strong current. Originally from the United States, 53, in the Philippines since 1998. A life to devoted to others and serving the people of GodManila Father Steven Baumbusch, 53, rector of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) seminary in Tagaytay, died yesterday, in the Philippines.He had left for a short holiday with the seminarians and had gone to visit Fr. Bossi and Fr. Carrara the island of Lubang. Yesterday afternoon he went for a swim: beautiful weather and a calm sea. An expert swimmer, along with a couple of seminarians they swam away from the shore where they encountered a strong current. The seminarians were able to return with some difficulty to calmer waters. But then they realized that Fr. Steven was not with them. This morning a fisherman found his lifeless body.Father Steven was born December 23, 1956 in Columbus, Ohio (USA). In 1970 he entered the PIME seminary in Newark. He later said the years were essential for him and that he was deeply inspired by the example of Father Cesare Colombo and his work among the lepers in Burma (now Myanmar).On 25 June 1983 he was ordained a priest in his hometown. For six years he taught at the seminary in Newark. He was then appointed superior of the Region of the United States, also dealing with the formation of seminarians.He co-founded the mission of PIME in Cuanacaxtitlan, Mexico, where the Mixtec people live.In 1998 he was assigned to the region of the Philippines, initially Columbio mission on the island of Mindanao, then Paranaque (Manila metropolitan area) in the parish of Mary Queen of the Apostles.In May 2009 he was appointed rector in Tagaytay, south of Manila.He loved to say that "your life will have more meaning and fulfillment the more you give yourself to others. You can change the world and the lives of the people of God. ",-rector-of-Tagaytay,-dies-in-a-tragic-accident-19862.html
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IND. CATH. NEWS REPORT: Another priest has been murdered in Brazil: Father Josenir Morais, age 48, pastor of the parish of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Fortaleza, State of Ceara (CE). The crime occurred on the morning of October 25, near the city of São Luís do Curu (77 km from Fortaleza), where he had attended a celebration. According to the police, the priest was killed by a single shot to the heart while he was at the wheel of his car. He lost control of the vehicle, veered off the road.and crashed into a traffic sign.According to the director of Social Communications of the Archdiocese of Fortaleza, Fr Gilson Soares, as there were no signs of a bullet on the outside of the car, it is suspected that the priest was shot while the vehicle was stopped on the road, perhaps by someone whom he had given a ride. Fr Josenir's body, after examination by the coroner, was brought to his parish of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, where the funeral was presided by Archbishop Antonio José Aparecido Tosi Marques of Fortaleza.Father Josenir Morais Santana was ordained a priest on July 1, 1995 and, according to the Archdiocese of Fortaleza, "was known for his simplicity, his joy that won everyone over, even those who were far away from the community. He was also known for his priestly commitment, his dynamism and creativity. He was very expressive and always encouraged the community to live the teachings of Jesus and His love for the poor."
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CNA REPORT - The Association for the Beatification of Antoni Gaudi stated this week that the architect could possibly be beatified in 2016. The date would coincide with the 90th anniversary of his death.The association said Gaudi, the architect who designed Barcelona's Church of the Holy Family, could be beatified on June 10, 2016, after the association presents a 1,200 page biography on the architect in Rome next spring. The author of the biography, Josep Maria Tarragona, noted during a press conference that the document will be used by the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints to determine if Gaudi’s devotion and the miracles that have taken place through his intercession are sufficient for his beatification.Two miracles cited in the biography have yet to be examined by the Vatican congregation. The first surrounds the cure of Spanish man from Canet de Mar who suffered from stomach ulcers. The second is related to the case of a woman from the town of Reus, Spain who lost her sight but later regained it after praying for Gaudi's intercession. The association noted that the Pope's Nov. 7 visit to Barcelona to dedicate Gaudi's Church of the Holy Family will not accelerate the architect's cause for beatification.
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Cath News report: The community needs to show "compassion and understanding" over government plans to move asylum-seekers into new detention centres near Perth and Adelaide, says the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference delegate for refugee and migrant issues."You can understand any change in people's lives is going to cause an uncomfortableness and anxiety," Bishop Joseph Grech told The Catholic Weekly. "On a human level, any change will do that.""I would hope though people can have some compassion and understanding for the challenges that confront asylum-seekers."He said the government is obliged to provide the necessary assistance so that the local community "will not experience hardship and strain on local services".The report said immigration officials were jeered as they tried to reassure residents at a recent public meeting in the Adelaide Hills that having the asylum-seekers in their communities would be a positive and rewarding experience.Residents fear schools could be overwhelmed and crime could rise.
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Agenzia Fides REPORT– First National Missionary Congress: “God's mission is our mission.”Lusaka The local Church, in cooperation with the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) in Zambia and the religious institutes in the country, has organized the First Missionary Congress in Zambia, held October 13 to 16. According to reports sent to Fides by Fr. Bernard Makadani, National Director of the PMS in Zambia, the purpose of Congress was to "reflect on the Church's missionary experience over the course of these 119 years since the first missionaries arrived in Zambia, as well as on our reality and the challenges of today's mission.”“Around 80 priests, religious and lay faithful, met at the Christian Brothers’ Centre in Lusaka from the 13th to 16th October 2010 to reflect, celebrate and plan for the future of Mission in Zambia,” says Fr. Makadani.At the end of the encounter, a declaration was published reaffirming the missionary commitment of the local Church. “The Mission is first of all God’s Mission,” the document says. Then “God’s Mission becomes our Mission,” and thus, “the missionary torch has been handed over to us,” write the Congress participants.“We are challenged to be more rooted in our Catholic identity, through ongoing faith formation at all levels and an adequate catechesis leading to a personal encounter with Christ,” the document affirms. Catholics should become “authentic witnesses” of Christ, living their faith in communion, “like a family,” learning to “read the signs of the times.”The Congress participants have determined various challenges to the mission: the change of religious context, which becomes more pluralistic; the social-economic context changes, “with its positive and negative developments,” that require greater teaching of the Church's Social Doctine; and social changes, whose “rapid changes and outside influences bring about a confusion of values.”
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St. NarcissusBISHOPFeast: October 29Information:Feast Day:October 29Born:99Died:215St Narcissus was born towards the close of the first century, and was almost fourscore years old when he was placed at the head of the church of Jerusalem, being the thirtieth bishop of that see. Eusebius assures us that the Christians of Jerusalem preserved in his time the remembrance of several miracles which God had wrought by this holy bishop, one of which he relates as follows. One year, on Easter-eve, the deacons were unprovided with oil for the lamps in the church, necessary at the solemn divine office that day. Narcissus ordered those who had care of the lamps to bring him some water from the neighbouring wells. This being done, he pronounced a devout prayer over the water; then bade them pour it into the lamps, which they did, and it was immediately converted into oil, to the great surprise of the faithful. Some of this miraculous oil was kept there as a memorial at the time when Eusebius wrote his history. The veneration of all good men for this holy bishop could not shelter him from the malice of the wicked. Three incorrigible sinners, fearing his inflexible severity in the observance of ecclesiastical discipline, laid to his charge a detestable crime, which Eusebius does not specify. They confirmed their atrocious calumny by dreadful oaths and imprecations; one wishing he might perish by fire, another that he might be struck with a leprosy, and the third that he might lose his sight, if what they alleged was not the truth. Notwithstanding these protestations, their accusation did not find credit; and some time after the divine vengeance pursued the calumniators. The first was burnt in his house, with his whole family, by an accidental fire in the night; the second was struck with a universal leprosy; and the third, terrified by these examples, confessed the conspiracy and slander, and by the abundance of tears which he continually shed for his sins, lost his sight before his death.Narcissus, notwithstanding the slander had made no impression on the people to his disadvantage, could not stand the shock of the bold calumny, or rather made it an excuse for leaving Jerusalem and spending some time in solitude, which had long been his wish. He spent several years undiscovered in his retreat, where he enjoyed all the happiness and advantage which a close conversation with God can bestow. That his church might not remain destitute of a pastor, the neighbouring bishops of the province after some time placed in it Pius, and after him Germanion, who dying in a short time was succeeded by Gordius. Whilst this last held the see, Narcissus appeared again, like one from the dead. The whole body of the faithful, transported at the recovery of their holy pastor, whose innocence had been most authentically vindicated, conjured him to reassume the administration of the diocese. He acquiesced; but afterwards, bending under the weight of extreme old age, made St. Alexander his coadjutor. St. Narcissus continued to serve his flock, and even other churches, by his assiduous prayers and his earnest exhortations to unity and concord, as St. Alexander testifies in his letter to the Arsinoites in Egypt, where he says that Narcissus was at that time, about one hundred and sixteen years old. The Roman Martyrology honours his memory on the 29th of October.If we truly respect the church as the immaculate spouse of our Lord, we will incessantly pray for its exaltation and increase, and beseech the Almighty to give it pastors according to his own heart, like those who appeared in the infancy of Christianity. And, that no obstacle on our part may prevent the happy effects of their zeal, we should study to regulate our conduct by the holy maxims which they inculcate; we should regard them as the ministers of Christ; we should listen to them with docility and attention; we should make their faith the rule of ours, and shut our ears against the language of profane novelty. SOURCE:
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TODAY'S GOSPEL: OCT. 29: Luke 14: 1 - 6
Luke 14: 1 - 61One sabbath when he went to dine at the house of a ruler who belonged to the Pharisees, they were watching him.2And behold, there was a man before him who had dropsy.3And Jesus spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, "Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath, or not?"4But they were silent. Then he took him and healed him, and let him go.5And he said to them, "Which of you, having a son or an ox that has fallen into a well, will not immediately pull him out on a sabbath day?"6And they could not reply to this.
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