Wednesday, October 13, 2010



SECOND GENERAL CONGREGATION VATICAN CITY, (IMAGE: RADIO VATICANA) 11 OCT 2010 (VIS REPORT) - The Second General Congregation of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops began at 4.30 p.m. today in the Synod Hall. During this session reports were presented from each of the five continents. The president delegate on duty was Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, and there were 163 Synod Fathers present. Extracts from the reports are given below:
AFRICA. CARDINAL POLYCARP PENGO, ARCHBISHOP OF DAR-ES-SALAAM, TANZANIA AND PRESIDENT OF THE SYMPOSIUM OF EPISCOPAL CONFERENCES OF AFRICA AND MADAGASCAR (SECAM). "The Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar has an intrinsic link with the Church in the Middle East, specifically through the Church in Egypt which is part of both Africa and the Middle East. ... Christians are migrating from the Middle East due to what may be considered oppressive conditions against the Christian faith in some of the Middle East countries. ... Today, no Christian on the coasts of Eastern Africa feels obliged to hide his Christian identity despite the fact that Islam continues to be the religion of the majority. Separate Christian settlements are no longer needed.... Closer co‑operation between the sub‑Saharan Church and the Church in North Africa and the Middle East remains and will always remain of paramount importance for the survival of Christianity on both sides. SECAM is an excellent tool for such co‑operation". NORTH AMERICA. CARDINAL ROGER MICHAEL MAHONY, ARCHBISHOP OF LOS ANGELES, U.S.A. "While acknowledging their union with Rome, inter-ecclesial relations should be encouraged, not only among the 'sui iuris' Churches in the Middle East but especially in the diaspora. Recognising the haemorrhaging of Christians from the Middle East to Europe, Australia, and the Americas, we have sought various ways to transform emigration into a new opportunity for support for these Christians as they become established throughout the diaspora. ... The biggest challenge we face with our immigrant peoples ‑ whether they be Middle Eastern Catholics or Vietnamese Catholics who have fled their country for Southern California, or Cubans who have fled Cuba for the Miami shores ‑ is not one of assisting them in living the mystery of 'communio' between and among various Christians and Christian Churches. The biggest challenge is to help them respond to the grace of giving witness to the Gospel by forgiving those enemies who quite often are the principal reason for their leaving their homeland to find peace and justice on our shores". ASIA. ARCHBISHOP ORLANDO B. QUEVEDO O.M.I. OF COTABATO, PHILIPPINES AND SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION OF ASIAN BISHOPS' CONFERENCES (FABC). "We are a 'little flock' in Asia, less than three percent of the more than three billion Asians. In the light of rising religious suspicions and extremism, sometimes erupting in violence and death, we can surely be afraid or timid. But we are fortified and encouraged by the words of the Lord, 'Fear not, little flock'. ... We will seriously address the great pastoral challenges before us in Asia, such as the phenomenon of migration which is sometimes called the new slavery, the negative impact of economic and cultural globalisation, the issue of climate change, religious extremism, injustice and violence; religious freedom, and biogenetic issues that threaten human life in the womb and from conception to natural death". EUROPE. CARDINAL PETER ERDO, ARCHBISHOP OF ESZTERGOM-BUDAPEST, HUNGARY AND PRESIDENT OF THE "CONSILIUM CONFERENTIARUM EPISCOPORUM EUROPAE" (CCEE). "Europe is in debt to the Middle East. Not only do a multitude of the fundamental elements of our culture come from that region, but the first missionaries to our continent came from there too. ... When we consider the Middle East, we Europeans have to examine our consciences. Is the Gospel message still alive among us; that good news that we received from the Apostles? Or is that light and enthusiasm that stems from faith in Christ absent now from our lives? In our times, when Christian refugees and emigrants arrive in Europe from various Middle Eastern countries, what is our reaction? Do we pay enough attention to the reasons that force thousands if not millions of Christians to leave the land where their ancestors lived for almost two thousand years? Is it also true that our behaviour is responsible for what is happening? We are truly facing a great challenge. ... Do we know how to effectively express our support to the Christians of the Middle East? ... The Christians who come from the Middle East knock on the doors of our hearts and reawaken our Christian conscience". OCEANIA. JOHN ATCHERLEY DEW, ARCHBISHOP OF WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND AND PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERATION OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS' CONFERENCES OF OCEANIA (FCBCO). "The two largest Eastern Catholic Churches in Australia are the Maronite and Melkite. ... As well as these Eastern Catholic Churches, there are also Chaldean, Syrian, Syro-Malabar and Coptic Catholic Churches. The Maronite, Melkite and Chaldean Eparchies extend into New Zealand, offering pastoral and liturgical services to their communities there too. The wider Middle East is present in Oceania through migrants and refugees who have made their home in the region: European Jews from the earliest days of Australia and New Zealand settlement, as well as refugees from Germany in the 1930s, and survivors of the Shoah; Lebanese, Palestinians, Egyptians; Iraqi, both Christian and Muslim; and in more recent years, Kurdish refugees from Iraq, Iran and Turkey. Our historical links are strongly marked by war and peace. ... These links are cemented today through the presence of many pilgrims from Oceania who visit the Holy Land; through refugee resettlement; aid development programmes of Caritas International; the presence of international religious orders who are dedicated to educational work, or the support of the Holy Places". LATIN AMERICA. RAYMUNDO DAMASCENO ASSIS, ARCHBISHOP OF APARECIDA, BRAZIL AND PRESIDENT OF LATIN AMERICAN EPISCOPAL COUNCIL (CELAM). "In our Latin American and Caribbean countries, we have many Eastern immigrants - first and second generation - the majority being Christians. Many have become part of the Latin Church and there are small groups with their own eparchies. We would like them to grow more in the conscience of our common Catholic faith and come closer in a shared missionary action. At this time, we are developing in all our Churches what is called the 'Continental Mission', the fruit of the General Conference of Aparecido. It would be a splendid witness to be able to join this evangelising effort. ... We would like to share with you the concerns about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In this too we are in communion with the Holy Father in his effort to find a solution to the conflict". Following the reports from the continents, and before a period of free discussion at which the Pope was also present, a number of Synod Fathers spoke. Extracts from two of their speeches are given below. ARCHBISHOP ELIAS CHACOUR OF AKKA OF THE GREEK-MELKITES, ISRAEL. " During the past twenty centuries our Christians from the Holy Land were alike condemned and privileged to share oppression, persecution and suffering with Christ. ... Being the archbishop of the largest Catholic Church in the Holy Land, the Melkite Catholic Church, I insistently invite you and plead with the Holy Father to give even more attention to the living stones of the Holy Land. ... We are in Galilee since immemorial times. Now we are in Israel. We want to stay where we are, we need your friendship more than your money". ARCHBISHOP BOUTROS MARAYATI OF ALEPPO OF THE ARMENIANS, SYRIA. "If we want this Special Assembly to be fruitful, we should consider a special conference for each country, with an ecumenical aspect, where we can discuss the issues according to the local situations. Without any doubt, the challenges are the same, but every country has its own situation. For the past hundred years, emigration or violent deportation have continued to occur from the East. ... Are we waiting for the day where the world as a spectator amidst the indifference of the Western Churches will sit back and watch the 'Death of the Christians of the East?' Despite the crises and difficulties that face our Christian life and our ecumenical relations, we still 'believe, hoping against every hope'".SE/ VIS 20101012 (1380)
THIRD GENERAL CONGREGATION VATICAN CITY, 12 OCT 2010 (VIS) - The Third General Congregation of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops began at 9 a.m. today in the Synod Hall in the presence of the Pope and 165 Synod Fathers. The president delegate on duty was His Beatitude Ignace Youssif III Younan, Patriarch of Antioch of the Syrians, Lebanon. FR. DAVID NEUHAUS, S.J., HEAD OF PASTORAL CARE FOR HEBREW-SPEAKING CATHOLICS IN THE PATRIARCHATE OF JERUSALEM OF THE LATINS. Hebrew is also a language of the Catholic Church in the Middle East. Hundreds of Israeli Catholics conduct all aspects of their life in Hebrew, inculturating their faith within a society that is defined by the Jewish tradition. ... [This is] a great challenge for the Hebrew-speaking vicariate today ... [which also] seeks ways to serve as a bridge between the Church, predominantly Arabic-speaking, and Jewish-Israeli society to promote both a teaching of respect for the people of the first covenant and a sensibility to the cry for justice and peace for Israelis and Palestinians. Together, Arabic-speaking and Hebrew-speaking Catholics must give witness, and work in communion for the Church in the land of her birth". ARCHBISHOP LOUIS SAKO OF KERKUK OF THE CHALDEANS, IRAQ. " The fatal exodus afflicting our Churches cannot be avoided, emigration is the biggest challenge which threatens our presence. The data is worrying. The Eastern Churches, and even the universal Church, must take on their responsibilities and, with the international community and local authorities, find common choices which respect the dignity of the human person. Choices which are based on equality and full citizenship, with efforts towards partnership and protection. The strength of a State must be based upon its credibility in the application of its laws at the service of its citizens, without discrimination between the majority and the minority. We want to live in peace and freedom rather than merely surviving". ARCHBISHOP JOSEPH MOHSEN BECHARA OF ANTELIAS OF THE MARONITES, LEBANON. "Given that the overwhelming majority of Middle Eastern countries are Muslim and therefore refuse secularism, it would be preferable, for our Synod, to use instead the term of citizenship or civic State. This is a term that is more acceptable and includes the same realities. ... But for the reality of citizenship to be admitted, generalised and integrated at the level of constitutions and above all mentalities, a dual task is required: At the societal level, the means of social communication can be of great assistance in anchoring the notions of what citizenship entails, above all the equality of all and the acceptance of religious and cultural diversity. At the educational level, ... citizenship can be nourished throughout the years in school. A work of purification is indispensable at the level of programmes to eliminate discrimination. This dual task is indispensable if we want to go beyond the level of the elites for whom citizenship, dialogue and even freedom are allowed, in order to be able to reach the masses who can be manipulated and turned towards any sort of extremism". BISHOP SALIM SAYEGH, AUXILIARY OF JERUSALEM OF THE LATINS, PATRIARCHAL VICAR FOR JORDAN. "Among the problems facing the Church in the Middle East, we have to mention that of the sects, which causes great doctrinal confusion. ... What can be done to safeguard the treasury of the faith and to limit their growing influence? ... Priests and pastors of souls are pleaded with, insistently, to visit families and to assume their responsibility in explaining, defending, disseminating, living and helping to live the Catholic faith. Demonstrate serious concern for the Christian formation of adults. ... Sensitise Catholic schools to their Catholic mission. ... Have the courage to revise catechism texts so that they might clearly express the faith and doctrine of the Catholic Church". ARCHBISHOP VINCENT LANDEL S.C.I. OF BETH, OF RABAT, MOROCCO AND PRESIDENT OF REGIONAL EPISCOPAL CONFERENCE OF NORTH AFRICA (CERNA). "Our responsibility as a Church is to help Christians to accept the differences that separate them from their Muslim friends, ... to help them cultivate an attitude of humble trust towards people different from ourselves. ... Our responsibility as a Church is to help Christians who live temporarily in our lands to understand that they can live their Christian faith with joy and passion in a totally Muslim society. This will help them to return to their own countries with different ideas about Muslims, and so eliminate the prejudices that run the risk of ruining the world". ARCHBISHOP PAUL YOUSSEF MATAR OF BEIRUT OF THE MARONITES, LEBANON. "The responsibility of the Western powers: They have committed injustices and historical errors in their encounter with the Middle East. They too should make amends by removing injustices, which whole peoples suffer especially the Palestinian people. The Christians of this region, who were unjustly identified with those powers, would benefit from these reparations thanks to their cohesion with their brothers. ... The responsibility of Christians in the West and in the rest of the world: They should show solidarity with their brothers and sisters of the Middle East, Christians in the West and in the rest of the world should know their Middle Eastern brothers and sisters better, show more solidarity to their causes. They should also exercise pressure on public opinion at home as well as on their governments to re-establish justice in their relationships with the Middle East and Islam, and help liberate the world from fundamentalism".SE/ VIS 20101012 (920)
PRESENTATION OF COUNCIL FOR NEW EVANGELISATION VATICAN CITY, 12 OCT 2010 (VIS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the newly-founded Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation, explained the contents of "Ubicumque et semper", the Apostolic Letter "Motu Proprio data" by which Benedict XVI establishes the new dicastery. "The theme of new evangelisation has been the subject of deep reflection by Church Magisterium over recent decades", said Archbishop Fisichella. "It is immediately clear that this goal represents a challenge to the entire Church, which must ... find adequate ways to renew her announcement to many baptised people who no longer understand what it means to belong to the Christian community, and are victims of the subjectivism of our times with its closure in an individualism that often lacks public and social responsibility. The 'Motu Proprio' directly identifies those Churches of ancient tradition which ... require a renewed missionary spirit, one capable of helping them make a forward leap to meet the new requirements which the current historical situation imposes". "As 'Ubicumque et semper' makes clear, new evangelisation is not a mere formula, identical in all circumstances", the archbishop explained. "Rather, it obliges us to develop well-founded ideas capable of acting as support to a corresponding pastoral activity. Moreover it must be capable of carefully verifying the various traditions and goals that the Churches possess by virtue of the treasure of their centuries-long history: a plurality of forms that does not undermine unity". Nor must new evangelisation sound like "an abstract formula", the president of the new dicastery continued his remarks. "We must", he said, "fill it with theological and pastoral content, and we will do so with the strong support of the Magisterium of recent decades", also bearing in mind "the many initiatives which, over the course of recent years, have been enacted by individual bishops in their particular Churches, epsicopal conferences and groups of believers". Among the tasks entrusted to the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation is that of promoting the use of the Catechism of the Universal Church. "The Catechism is indeed", the prelate noted, "one of the most mature fruits to emerge from the directives of Vatican Council II. It is an organic compilation of the entire heritage of the development of dogma and is the most complete instrument to transmit the unchanging faith in the face of the constant changes and questions the world poses to believers". Thus the new dicastery will use "all the inventions that progress in communications technology has created, making them positive instruments at the service of new evangelisation", Archbishop Fisichella concluded.OP/ VIS 20101012 (440)
HOLY FATHER'S MOTU PROPRIO "UBICUMQUE ET SEMPER" VATICAN CITY, 12 OCT 2010 (VIS) - Given below are extracts of "Ubicumque et semper", the Apostolic Letter "Motu Proprio data" by which Benedict XVI establishes the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation. "The Church has the duty to announce the Gospel of Jesus Christ always and everywhere. ... Over history this mission has assumed new forms and methods, depending on place, situation and historical moment. In our own time, one of its most singular characteristics has been that of having to measure itself against the phenomenon of abandonment of the faith, which has become progressively more evident in societies and cultures that were, for centuries, impregnated with the Gospel. "The social transformations we have seen over recent decades have complex causes, the roots of which are distant in time and have profoundly modified our perception of the world. ... If, on the one hand, humanity has seen undeniable benefits from these transformations and the Church received further stimuli to give reasons for the hope she carries, on the other, we have seen a worrying loss of the sense of the sacred, even going so far as to call into discussion apparently unquestionable foundations, such as faith in the God of creation and providence; the revelation of Jesus Christ our only Saviour, the shared understating of man's fundamental experiences like birth, death and family life, and the reference to natural moral law". "Among the central themes examined by Vatican Council II was the question of relations between the Church and the modern world. In the wake of this conciliar teaching, my predecessors dedicated further reflection to the need to find adequate forms to allow our contemporaries to still hear the Lord's living and eternal Word". "Venerable Servant of God John Paul II made this demanding undertaking one of the pivotal points of his vast Magisterium, summarising the task awaiting the Church today in the concept of 'new evangelisation' (which he systematically developed in numerous occasions), especially in regions of age-old Christianity". "Thus, in my turn, sharing the concern of my venerated predecessors, I feel it appropriate to offer an adequate response so that the entire Church, allowing herself to be regenerated by the Holy Spirit, may present herself to the modern world with a missionary vigour capable of promoting a new evangelisation". "In Churches of ancient foundation, ... although the phenomenon of secularisation continues its course, Christian practice still shows signs of possessing vitality and profound roots among entire peoples. ... We also know, unfortunately, of areas which appear almost completely de-Christianised, areas in which the light of faith is entrusted to the witness of small communities. These lands, which need a renewed first announcement of the Gospel, seem particularly unreceptive to many aspects of the Christian message". "At the root of all evangelisation there is no human project of expansion, but the desire to share the priceless gift that God wished to give us, sharing His life with us".
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CNN REPORT -- A hero's welcome awaits them when they get to the top, not because they did anything markedly noble -- besides defy odds -- but because they showed us there is hope even when the worst seems certain.By this time Wednesday, the historic moment should be long under way. After 69 days beneath the earth, the last of the 33 miners trapped in the San Jose gold and copper mine in Chile should be preparing for their ascent to freedom.Their survival, many will say, was born of the strength, patience and resilience God instilled in them.Already, there have been myriad times a higher power was more than a mere specter or matter of faith to the men. Crammed like the canned fish that first sustained them into a space the size of a Manhattan studio apartment, they have expressed a oneness with the Holy Spirit that resonates with Chileans, 87 percent of whom are Christian."We 33 miners are walking hand in hand with God," miner Mario Sepulveda reported on August 31, about 26 days after the mine collapsed and nine days after the world first learned they were alive.Another 42 days have passed since that profession of faith. Each day has doubtless required similar, sustaining thoughts.It's easy now to imagine what their joyful homecomings might bring. Fielding (or fending off) media requests, book publishers and movie and television producers might take up a lot of their time.They may also have to speak to lawyers about a lawsuit filed against their employer.They will be inundated with the warm wishes of spectators who monitored their ordeal from across the world. The Chilean Mining Ministry has set up a website to collect greetings, and already there are many from Italy, China, the United States and a dozen other nations."Estamos con ustedes" -- We are with you -- is a common sentiment.Nina T. Villacorta in nearby Copiapó announced, "Miracles exist. There are 33."A class in Sweden wrote with "kind regards" in elementary English, "We think a lot about you and wish you all the best and a quick resque. What is the firts thing you want to do?"From Antwerp, Belgium, a woman identified as Jacqueline wrote, "I can't wait for the day in which you, the 33, can see the light of the sun. Do not give up and God will protect you."Read more salutations from around the worldSimple joys await the miners, such as selecting what to eat after almost two months of health officials keeping tabs on their meals (and, before that, 17 days sharing cans of fish and a jar of peaches).They will no doubt want Chile's specialties, maybe completo (hot dogs with avocado, tomatoes and mayonnaise) and sopa marinera (seafood soup). Or perhaps pastel de choclo (beef-and-vegetable pie) with alfajores (confections with milk caramel) will satisfy a craving.Jose Sanchez said he wants simply to spend afternoons listening to his son-in-law, miner Victor Segovia, play ranchera music on the guitar.Carlos Mamani, the only Bolivian in the group, has been invited to accompany Chilean President Sebastian Pinera on a trip next month to see Bolivian President Evo Morales.Ariel Ticona will enjoy the company of his family's newest member, Esperanza (Hope in English), whose birth he watched on an MP4 on September 14.Read how the miners celebrated Esperanza's birthVictor Zamora's wife, Jessica, announced the same day that she was three months pregnant. Zamora will surely cherish all the pre-paternal rituals of the next six months as he and Jessica await the arrival of Paz Victoria, or Peace Victory in English.Perhaps she will one day frolic in a backyard with Esperanza. How fitting would it be for Peace to play with Hope on the anniversaries of their fathers' rescues?For the next few weeks at least, it's unlikely the miners will take anything for granted.var In an odd way, you might say they have been wildly fortunate. That is, things could have been much worse as far as being trapped almost a half-mile underground goes.They've received plenty of water, corresponded regularly with loved ones, eaten pasta primavera and wine cookies, watched the Chilean national soccer team on a projector and divvied up beds, medicine, toiletries and athletic clothing that wicks away sweat.None of these touches of life above, of course, will compare to donning the embroidered green coveralls and stepping into the 924-pound Phoenix capsule that will take them to the surface -- to their loved ones and the lives they once led.Watch how the rescue will workAll that has happened inside the mine will serve only to strengthen them, if not their bonds with each other. Much of the news that made headlines while they were trapped -- the merger of United and Continental airlines, Oktoberfest's 200th anniversary, Lindsay Lohan's failed drug test -- will seem trivial at best.They will step into a whirlwind, with military choppers flying them to Copiapó, motorcycles escorting their ambulances to the hospital and physicians rushing them to electric beds with clean, white sheets.But soon, if everything goes well -- and rescuers are going to great lengths to ensure it does -- the men will get to rest and enjoy life, especially the things they may have forgotten were important before their confinement: family, friends, nature, love.They'll be able to do so knowing they taught the world a lesson. Be it by circumstance or divine intervention, the men were never goners.After all, for the first 17 days of their imprisonment -- when others believed them dead -- the men survived more off hope than they did off the meager supplies they found in their shelter.Their story demands we re-evaluate foregone conclusions, that we find a purpose for hope no matter our despair
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AsiaNews REPORT - Approximately 350 children participated in a gathering to pray together and learn the importance of the rosary, remembering the mystery of Fatima.At least 350 children of the parish of Muudukatuwa of the diocese of Chilaw, gathered to pray the rosary in the church of Our Lady of Fatima, Marawila, on 9 October. The priests of the diocese - Fr. Jude Dias, Fr. Felix Colombage, Fr. Ivan Peter, Fr. Millan Susantha and Fr. Priyanto Angodage – led the prayer meeting, teaching children the glorious mystery and the history of the Holy Rosary in the month that the Church traditionally dedicates to this prayer.Fr. Dias, the parish priest of Our Lady of Fatima, began the day with a common reflection on capital sins. After confession, all the children's rosary were blessed by the priest before starting the pray.Tony Nishantha is the brains behind this initiative which started as a gesture of gratitude and a symbol of his devotion to Our Lady. Last year, the meeting was held in the parish of Thoduwawa, where the benefactor had received more than 1,000 rosaries which he distributed among children who did not own one.,-involving-children-in-praying-the-Rosary-19695.html
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Agenzia Fides – - Possibility of national unity government after presidential ballot is good news"This is good news, because Guinea needs to continue on the road of national unity, which has until now been well managed by the National Transitional Council (CNT),” Fides learned from a local Church source in the Republic of Guinea, where yesterday, the two candidates seemed willing to accept the proposal of the President ad interim, Sekouba Konaté. Whoever wins the presidential elections on October 24 will form a government of national unity, which also includes the party of the defeated candidate. The news was announced by the two candidates themselves, Alpha Condé and Cellou Dalein Diallo, October 11, during a televised debate.The interim Head of State also urged the two contenders to make sure the vote is conducted in a peaceful environment. The vote was scheduled to take place on September 19, but was postponed due to organizational problems (see Fides 16/9/2010). The first round was held June 27 and has seen the emergence of Diallo with 43.69% of the votes, while Conde was second with 18.25% of the vote. Between September 11 and 12, there were violent clashes in the capital Conakry between supporters of Condé and Diallo. "The mere fact that there are dates is good news, because the country already talked about 'the Ivory Coast syndrome' (in Ivory Coast, the presidential elections have been postponed for 5 years, the vote is scheduled for October 31)," said the source of Fides. "The President's proposal to form an interim government of national unity is a continuation of the good work carried out by the National Transition Council, which created the institutions that are important for the country. Guinea still requires a period of national unity in order to consolidate social peace, awaiting the ripening of conditions for a peaceful political dialogue between majority and opposition," concludes our source.
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Independant Cath News report:Christians across the UK are being invited to place a light in their window on 31 October as a sign to passers-by that they are followers of Jesus 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 31 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."Damian suggests key elements of the Night of Light could include: a vigil Mass for the Feast of All Saints; all-night Adoration; parties and treats for children dressing up as saints; placing a light in your window (safely) as a sign to passers-by that yours is a Christian household and Christ is your light. Some may like to wear a white item of clothing as a symbol of their allegiance to Christ, Our Light.Although 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 an image 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."Archbishop Vincent Nichols recently wrote in his Pastoral Letter to his 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.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 befound at:
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Cath News report: The national president of United Retail Federation (URF) has written to Pope Benedict, appealing him to petition the Australian government against restricting the corporate use of the name Mary MacKillop.Scott Driscoll, whose industry body represents idependent small business operators, says the government's decision announced on Monday was a "knife in the heart" of business operators, said an AAP report in the Sydney Morning Herald."I implore you to make representation to the Australian government so that they are encouraged to reverse this concerning decision and thus allow the demand for merchandise recognising Mary MacKillop to be created and distributed more freely," Mr Driscoll asked the Pope in the letter, seen by AAP.Prime Minister Julia Gillard has said the amendment will provide the highest level of protection for the name of any individual Australian.Mr Driscoll said the move was "extreme" and that Mother Mary's name should be owned by the people and not be restricted in its use by a government."Using a similar example, are we going to have to get the government's permission to reference God, Jesus or any religious icon?"It's not illicit drugs we're dealing with, it's an Australian saint."
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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

St. WilfridBISHOPFeast: October 12Information:Feast Day:October 12Born:634 in Northumbria, EnglandDied:709 at Oundle, Northhamptonshire, EnglandPatron of:Middlesbrough, EnglandBishop of York, son of a Northumbrian thegn, born in 634; died at Oundle in Northamptonshire, 709. He was unhappy at home, through the unkindness of a stepmother, and in his fourteenth year he was sent away to the Court of King Oswy, King of Northumbria. Here he attracted the attention of Queen Eanfleda and by her, at his own request, he was sent to the Monastery of Lindisfarne. After three years spent here he was sent for, again through the kindness of the queen, to Rome, in the company of St. Benedict Biscop. At Rome he was the pupil of Boniface, the pope's archdeacon. On his way home he stayed for three years at Lyons, where he received the tonsure from Annemundas, the bishop of that place. Annemundas wanted him to remain at Lyons altogether, and marry his niece and become his heir, but Wilfrid was determined that he would be a priest. Soon after persecution arose at Lyons, and Annemundas perished in it. The same fate nearly came to Wilfrid, but when it was shown that he was a Saxon he was allowed to depart, and came back to England. In England he received the newly founded monastery at Ripon as the gift of Alchfrid, Oswy's son and heir, and here he established the full Benedictine Rule. The Columbite monks, who had been settled previously at Ripon, withdrew to the North. It was not until he had been for five years Abbot of Ripon, that Wilfrid became a priest. His main work at Ripon was the introduction of Roman rules and the putting forward of a Roman practice with regard to the point at issue between the Holy See and the Scottish monks in Northumbria; to settle these questions the synod of Whitby was held in 664. Chiefly owing to Wilfrid's advocacy of the claims of the Holy See the votes of the majority were given to that side, and Colman and his monks, bitterly disappointed, withdrew from Northumbria. Wilfrid, in consequence of the favours he had then obtained, was elected bishop in Colman's place, and, refusing to receive consecration from the northern bishops, whom he regarded as schismatics, went over to France to be consecrated at Compiègne.He delayed some time in France, whether by his own fault or not is not quite clear, and on his return in 666 was driven from his course by a storm and shipwrecked on the coast of Sussex, where the heathen inhabitants repelled him and almost killed him. He succeeded in landing, however, in Kent not far from Sandwich. Thence he made his way to Northumbria, only to find that, owing to his long absence, his see had been filled up, and that a St. Chad was bishop in his place. He retired to his old monastery at Ripon, and from thence went southwards and worked in Mercia, especially at Lichfield, and also in Kent.In 669 Archbishop Theodore of Canterbury visited Northumbria, where he found Chad working as bishop. He pointed out to him the defects of his position and, at his instigation, St. Chad withdrew and Wilfrid once more became Bishop of York. During his tenure of the see, he acted with great vigour and energy, completing the work of enforcing the Roman obedience against the Scottish monks. He founded a great many monasteries of the Benedictine Order, especially at Henlam and at Ripon, and completely rebuilt the minster at York. In all that he did he acted with great magnificence, although his own life was always simple and restrained.So long as Oswy lived all went well, but with Ecgfrid, Oswy's son and successor, Wilfrid was very unpopular, because of his action in connection with Ecgfrid's bride Etheldrida, who by Wilfrid's advice would not live with her husband but retired into a monastery. It was just at this juncture that Theodore, possibly exceeding his powers as Archbishop of Canterbury, proceeded to subdivide the great diocese over which Wilfrid ruled, and to make suffragan bishops of Lindisfarne, Hexham, and Witherne. Wilfrid, whether or not he approved of the principle of subdivision, refused to allow Theodore's right to make it, and appealed to the central authority at Rome, whither he at once went. Theodore replied by consecrating three bishops in Wilfrid's own church at York and dividing his whole bishopric between them.An attempt was made by his enemies to prevent Wilfrid from reaching Rome, but by a singular coincidence Winfrid, Bishop of Lichfield, happened to be going to Rome at the same time, and the singularity of the name led to his being stopped while Wilfrid got through safely. At Rome a council was called by Pope Agatho to decide the case, and Wilfrid appeared before it in person, while Theodore was represented. The case was decided in Wilfrid's favour, and the intruding bishops were removed. Wilfrid was to return to York, and since subdivision of his diocese was needed, he was to appoint others as his coadjutors. He came back to Northumbria with this decision, but the king, though not disputing theright of Rome to settle the question, said that Wilfrid had brought the decision and put him in prison at Bambrough. After a time this imprisonment was converted to exile, and he was driven from the kingdom of Northumbria. He went south to Sussex where the heathen inhabitants had so inhospitably received him fifteen years before, and preached as a missionary at Selsey.In 686 a reconciliation took place between Theodore and Wilfrid, who had then been working in Sussex for five years. Through Theodore's good offices Wilfrid was received back in Northumbria, where Aldfrid was now king. He became Bishop of Hexham at once, and before long, when York again fell vacant, he took possession there once more. For some years all went well, but at the end of that time great difficulties arose with the king because Wilfrid utterly refused to recognize what had been done by Theodore but annulled by Rome in the matter of the subdivision of his diocese, and he once more left York and appealed to Rome. He reached Rome for the third and last time in 704.The proceedings at Rome were very lengthy, but after some months Wilfrid was again victorious. Archbishop Brihtwald was to hold a synod and see justice done. Wilfrid started again for England but on his way was taken ill at Meaux and nearly died. He recovered, however, and came back to England, where he was reconciled to Brihtwald. A synod was held, and it was decided to give back to Wilfrid, Hexham and Ripon, but not York, a settlement which, though unsatisfactory, he decided to accept, as the principle of Roman authority had been vindicated.Beyond all others of his time, St. Wilfrid stands out as the great defender of the rights of the Holy See. For that principle he fought all through his life, first against Colman and the Scottish monks from Iona, and then against Theodore and his successor in the See of Canterbury; and much of his life was spent in exile for this reason. But to him above all others is due the establishment of the authority of the Roman See in England, and for that reason he will always have a very high place among English saints.Eddius, the biographer of St. Wilfrid, was brought by that saint from Canterbury when he returned to York in 669. His special work was to be in connection with the music of the church of York, and he was to teach the Roman method of chant. He was an inmate of the monastery of Ripon in 709, when St. Wilfrid spent his last days there, and he undertook the work of writing the life of the saint at the request of Acca, St. Wilfrid's successor in the See of Hexham. The best edition of the work is in Raines, "Historians of the Church of York" (Rolls Series).SOURCE
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TODAY'S GOSPEL: OCT. 12: Luke 11: 37 - 41
Luke 11: 37 - 4137While he was speaking, a Pharisee asked him to dine with him; so he went in and sat at table.38The Pharisee was astonished to see that he did not first wash before dinner.39And the Lord said to him, "Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of extortion and wickedness.40You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also?41But give for alms those things which are within; and behold, everything is clean for you.
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