Wednesday, October 27, 2010









TODAY'S GOSPEL: OCT. 27: Luke 21: 34 - 36 -


BRIDGET OF SWEDEN, CO-PATRONESS OF EUROPE VATICAN CITY, 27 OCT 2010 (VIS REPORT) - St. Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373), whom John Paul II proclaimed as co-patroness of Europe, was the subject of Benedict XVI's catechesis during his general audience held this morning in St. Peter's Square. The life of the saint, born in at Finister in Sweden, may be divided into two periods. During the first period she lived as a happily married woman and mother of eight children. She also began to study Sacred Scripture and, together with her husband, adopted the lifestyle of the Third Order of St. Francis. She also gave generously to the poor and founded a hospital. This first period of Bridget's life, said the Pope, "helps us to appreciate what we could define today as authentic 'conjugal spirituality'. Christian couples can follow the path of sanctity together, upheld by the grace of the Sacrament of Marriage. ... May the Holy Spirit arouse the sanctity of Christian couples, so as to show the world the beauty of marriage lived according to the Gospel values of love, tenderness, mutual support, fruitfulness in the generation and education of children, openness and solidarity towards the world, and participation in the life of the Church". With Bridget's widowhood began the second period of her life. She rejected a second marriage in order to concentrate on "union with the Lord through prayer, penitence and works of charity. ... Having distributed all her goods to the poor, and although she never underwent religious consecration, she moved to the Cistercian convent of Alvastra". There she began to receive the divine revelations which, differing greatly in content and style, would accompany her for the rest of her life. "The value of St. Bridget's 'Revelations', which have been the subject of some doubt, was defined by the Venerable John Paul II in his Letter 'Spes aedificandi' where he wrote that the Church 'recognised Bridget's holiness without ever pronouncing on her individual revelations, [and] has accepted the overall authenticity of her interior experience'". Pope Benedict went on: "Reading these Revelations we are challenged by many important questions. For example, she frequently describes ... the Passion of Christ, ... seeing therein the infinite love of God for mankind. ... Mary's painful maternity, which made her Mediator and Mother of Mercy, is another oft recurring theme of the Revelations". St. Bridget was firmly convinced that "all charisms are destined to build the Church. It was for this reason that many of her revelations were addressed, in the form of sometimes severe admonitions, to the believers of her time including the political and religious authorities, to live their Christian lives coherently. But she always did this with an attitude of respect and complete faithfulness towards Church Magisterium, and especially towards the Successor of the Apostle Peter". In 1349 Bridget left Sweden never to return, travelling to Rome to participate in the Jubilee Year 1350 and to ask the Pope to approve the rule of her religious order, which she intended should be made up of monks and nuns under the authority of an abbess, and dedicated to the Blessed Saviour. "This must not surprise us", said the Holy Father. "During the Middle Ages there were religious orders in which a female branch and a male branch practiced the same monastic rule under the direction of an abbess. In the great Christian tradition the woman is recognised as having her own dignity and - following the example of Mary, Queen of the Apostles - her own place in the Church which, though not coinciding with the ordained priesthood, is equally important for the spiritual growth of the community". Bridget also made pilgrimages to Assisi and the Holy Land. She died in 1373 and was canonised by Boniface IX in 1391. Her sanctity, characterised by the multiplicity of her gifts and experiences, "makes her an outstanding figure in the history of Europe", because she "bore witness to how deeply Christianity has permeated the life of all the peoples of this continent. "By proclaiming her as co-patroness of Europe", Pope Benedict added in conclusion, "Pope John Paul II expressed the hope that St. Bridget - who lived in the fourteenth century when Western Christianity had still not been wounded by division - may intercede effectively with God to obtain the longed-for grace of full unity among all Christians, ... and to ensure that Europe may always nourish itself from its Christian roots". At the end of today's audience the Holy Father received a delegation from the European Court of Auditors.AG/ VIS 20101027 (760) IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA

APPEAL TO INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY FOR INDONESIA, BENIN VATICAN CITY, 27 OCT 2010 (VIS) - Following his catechesis at today's general audience, held in St. Peter's Square, the Pope launched the following appeal: "In the last few hours another terrible tsunami has struck the coasts of Indonesia, which has also suffered a volcanic eruption, leaving many dead and missing. I express my deepest sympathy to the families of the victims for the loss of their loved ones, and give assurances of my closeness in prayer to all the Indonesian people. "I also remain close to the dear people of Benin, who have suffered continuous floods which have left many people homeless and living in unhygienic and unsanitary conditions. Upon the entire nation I invoke the blessing and comfort of the Lord. "I call upon the international community to strive to supply the aid necessary to alleviate the distress of the people who have suffered these disasters".OP/ VIS 20101027 (160)

HOLY SEE CONDEMNS DEATH PENALTY AGAINST TARIQ AZIZ VATICAN CITY, 27 OCT 2010 (VIS) - Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. released the following declaration yesterday afternoon: "The Catholic Church's position on the death penalty is well known. It is hoped, therefore, that the sentence against Tariq Aziz will not be implemented, precisely in order to favour reconciliation and the reconstruction of peace and justice in Iraq after the great sufferings the country has experienced. As concerns the possibility of a humanitarian intervention, the Holy See is not accustomed to operate publicly but through the diplomatic channels at its disposal".
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Asia News report: George Rhee, a South Korean with British passport, has opened three small bakeries, one near the coastal city of Sonbong, in North Korea. Thanks to his efforts, 2,500 children are fed free each day, keeping the pangs of hunger away. Meanwhile, North Korea’s regime asks South Korea for food aid as its situation becomes desperate.Seoul (AsiaNews) – As the food crisis in North Korea goes from bad to worse, a small Christian NGO has opened three bakeries that are feeding the children of some 20 schools, one in the North Korean city of Sonbong, near the Chinese border.“If we did not provide these buns the children would go hungry," said the charity's founder, South Korean-born George Rhee, who is quick to point out, “All of our food gets to the children. None goes to the North Korean army or government”.The food crisis in North Korea is desperate. North Korean authorities have asked the South for 500,000 tonnes of rice and 300,000 tonnes of wheat in exchange for concessions on family reunifications.After the election of Conservative President Lee Myung-bak, the North’s Stalinist regime refrained from asking for more aid. The recent request is a sign of how desperate the situation is in a country caught between a failing economic policy and the world’s embargo over its nuclear weapons programme.Rhee, 52, is a minister in the Assemblies of God Church. He is also the founder of ‘Love North Korean Children’, an institution that grew out of his own childhood experiences.As one of eight children, six brothers and a sister, he experienced the effects of his father's land reclamation business going bust. Penniless, his parents were forced to put him and his twin brother in a children's home, a cruel place where the children often went hungry. It was this that made Rhee decide that he wanted to help the children of North Korea.At first, he wanted to open an orphanage, but the government would not let him. “They say North Korean leader Kim Jong-il is our father, so there is no need for orphanages. So then I decided to open a bakery," Rhee said.Rhee first visited North Korea in 2002, and opened the charity's first bakery the following year, in Rajin, close to Sonbong. Now he also runs a bakery in Pyongyang, and this year opened a new bakery in Hyangsan. He also hopes to open more bakeries in North Korea.His Christian faith has inspired his action. "There is a lot of interest in what we are doing. I am hopeful that we will be able to raise more money to open more bakeries," he said. "The North Korean government says we can. The only question is money," he added.Given his firsthand experience, he is also in a position to confirm the stories coming out of the North. "I have even seen dead children in the streets. The situation for children in North Korea is terrible," he stressed.Rhee also strongly backs South Korea’s tough line, as he believes most of the South Korean charities were naive, unable or unwilling, to prevent the North Korean government from diverting much of the food they provided to its million-strong army."I support President Lee Myung-bak in this," Rhee said. "These South Korean organisations were foolish" in not monitoring where food and other supplies were going.“baker”-feeds-hungry-North-Korean-children-19838.html
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Rome Reports: Music is timeless indeed. Amid the fabled lyrics and sacred song, the International Foundation of Sacred Music and Art honored distinguished artists, enthusiasts, supporters and benefactors. This year, the Pope's brother Georg Ratzinger was honored for his achievements in the field of sacred music.The foundation also honored the Director Emeritus of the Papal Choir of the Sistine Chapel future cardinal Domenico Bartolucci, as well as the President of the Vienna Philharmonic Dr. Clemens Hellsberg and German patron of the arts Dr. Hans Urrigshardt.The prize winners each received a diploma and artistic candle made in Germany, a symbol of praise of God through the joy of human beings.Hellsberg said that this year's event spoke directly to the Pope to whom this year's event was dedicated.Clemens HellsbergPresident of the Wiener Philharmoniker“I know him personally and I know how dedicated he is to music. So what he says about music is absolutely genuine and it is always on these two different levels. On this musical level of which he understands a lot and he has a great feeling of music, great experience, great feeling and this spiritualo dimension.”The Vienna Philharmonic filled the Baroque auditorium of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music with evergreen pieces such as Giovanni Gabrieli's “Jubilate Deo,” as well as Anton Bruckner's “Ave Maria.”The foundation's General President says that due to the organization's generous patrons many exciting projects are in store for the upcoming year, including restoration projects in St. Peter's Basilica itself.Hans Albert CourtialGeneral President of Fondazione Pro Musica e Arte Sacra“We are talking about not just the cleaning of the facade, but also of the foundation in which we are doing a lot of work. This is one project. We are doing one in the necropolis of the Vatican and we are working on a mausoleum that is also to be completely restructured,”The award ceremony is part of an international music festival that took place in four basilica's of the Eternal City.
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USCCB REPORT: Review Offers Road Map for Renewal of Catholic Campaign for Human DevelopmentReview emphasizes Gospel missionMakes clear Catholic principles behind CCHDMakes 10 commitments for the futureWASHINGTON (October 26, 2010) — “The Review and Renewal of CCHD reaffirms CCHD’s Catholic foundations and priority for the poor,” according to Bishop Roger Morin of Biloxi, Mississippi, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). “It also responds to concerns about CCHD funding policies and makes 10 commitments to strengthen CCHD as a faithful and effective expression of Catholic teaching and the Gospel mandate to defend the lives and dignity of those who are poor in our nation.” It builds on the teaching of Pope Benedict XVI in his encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, which urges Catholics to pursue “the institutional path … of charity.”The Review and Renewal of CCHD was accepted and affirmed by the Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in September. The report will also be discussed at the bishops’ Fall General Assembly in Baltimore in November. According to Bishop Morin, the report provides a detailed plan of action, making clear that it neither repackages “business as usual” nor abandons CCHD’s unique mission to the poor. The “Ten Commitments for CCHD’s Future” are a road map with specific steps to assure bishops, pastors, and the Catholic faithful that CCHD is faithful to the Gospel, its Catholic identity and its mission and is accountable and responsible in the ways it uses Catholic contributions to help break the cycle of poverty. These Ten Commitments will:Better ensure that CCHD funds will not be used to support any activity which conflicts with fundamental Catholic moral and social teaching, particularly the protection and promotion of the life and dignity of every person, the sanctity of marriage and family, and caring for and standing with “the least of these” (Matt. 25). Encourage and give priority to the participation of Catholic parishes and parishioners, pastors, religious and diocesan leaders in the ongoing work of CCHD, especially the engagement of Catholic people, parishes and institutions in activities and groups that carry out the mission and foundations of CCHD.Help CCHD be more focused and strategic in carrying out its mission by setting aside a portion of the CCHD collection for Strategic National Grants that reflect CCHD’s mission and foundations, address emerging issues, and advance the priorities of the Bishops’ Conference, especially as they impact poor communitiesDevelop more specific ethical guidance to help the Bishops carry out the CCHD policy that prohibits funding to groups, which are part of coalitions, which act in conflict with fundamental Catholic moral and social teaching.Establish new structures, including ongoing consultation with moral theologians and a CCHD Review Board, to help the Bishops address moral issues involving organizational relationships and coalitions.Initiate broader discussion of the moral and human costs of pervasive poverty in our nation, which apply Catholic teaching, especially Deus Caritas Est and Caritas in Veritate.Renew and reaffirms shared commitment disciples of Jesus and as a Catholic community of faith to support CCHD’s biblical mission, Catholic principles, and essential work to help break the cycle of poverty.Established in 1969, CCHD provides self-help grants to groups of low-income people who are working to overcome poverty by addressing its root causes in their own lives and communities. The executive summary and full report, along with additional material, are now available online at: “At this time of great economic suffering, it is more important than ever for the Church in the United States through the Catholic Campaign for Human Development to carry out the mission of Jesus Christ “to bring good news to the poor, liberty to captives, new sight to the blind and to set the downtrodden free” (Luke 4:18),” Bishop Morin said.
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Agenzia Fides REPORT – Initiate growth and social and economic autonomy of the province around Kaya, situated between desert and savannah: this is the goal of a large project of human, cultural, health, socio-economic, and even athletic development, entitled “A Challenge to the Desert,” launched by Magis, (Movement and Action of Italian Jesuits for Development).The project marks a turning point, on October 30th, with the inauguration of the lessons at the new Agricultural Institute in Kaya. Within the school, there is also a computer room open to the public with 20 workstations equipped with computers. The school management for the next three years will be entrusted to the office for Catholic schools of the Diocese of Kaya.In addition to education, the Jesuits, with a team consisting of religious and lay volunteers, are working on developing initiatives for water supply, a cooperative work, and other health-related activities.Father Umberto Libralato, vice-president of the Foundation Magis, explained that several months ago the project of a large man-made lake in Lebda was completed. It was filled thanks to the rains, which can contain up to 4 million cubic meters of water. The lake will favor irrigation, which will create agriculture work with growing vegetables, corn, etc. for thousands of people, who are already organized into many small cooperatives. "We are helping to create a historical generational impact," says Father Umberto. The works were designed and produced in collaboration with local authorities.In addition, they are also thinking of building a recreation and sports center for the benefit of young people. Magis is a project of the Italian Jesuits who work for missions throughout the world.
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Cath News report: New media is a means to get the Church's message across to a younger generation of Catholics, said the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communication Monsignor Paul Tighe."The Pope said that young people are using new media to find relationships," he told NT "They just want connectiveness," he - the site created by Monsignor Tighe - has YouTube clips, a Facebook app and an iPhone app. "It got five million hits in four days," he said.Msgr Tighe spoke at a public relations national conference at Darwin Convention Centre on Tuesday. "At the heart of the importance of love and relationships."We need to let people teach us how to communicate," he said.
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St. FrumentiusBISHOPFeast: October 27Information:Feast Day:October 27Born:Tyre (modern Sur, Lebanon)Died:380 in EthiopiaPatron of:Abyssinia, EthiopiaST. FRUMENTIUS was yet a child when his uncle, Meropins of Tyre, took him and his brother Edesius on a voyage to Ethiopia. In the course of their voyage the vessel touched at a certain port, and the barbarians of that country put the crew and all the passengers to the sword, except the two children. They were carried to the king, at Axuma, who, charmed with the wit and sprightliness of the two boys, took special care of their education; and, not long after made Edesius his cup-bearer, and Frumentius, who was the elder, his treasurer and secretary of state; on his death-bed he thanked them for their services, and in recompense gave them their liberty. After his death the queen begged them to remain a court, and assist her in the government of the state until the young king carne of age. Edesius went back to Tyre, but St. Athanasius ordained Frumentius Bishop of the Ethiopians, and vested with this sacred character he gained great numbers to the Faith, and continued to feed and defend his flock until it pleased the Supreme Pastor to recompense his fidelity and labors.SOURCE
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TODAY'S GOSPEL: OCT. 27: Luke 21: 34 - 36
Luke 21: 34 - 3634"But take heed to yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a snare;35for it will come upon all who dwell upon the face of the whole earth.36But watch at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of man."
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