Thursday, November 25, 2010



VATICAN CITY, 25 NOV 2010 (VIS report) - The Holy Father: - Accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Medellin, Colombia, presented by Bishop Jorge Ivan Castano Rubio C.M.F., upon having reached the age limit. - Appointed Msgr. Luigi Marrucci of the clergy of the diocese of Volterra, Italy, vice national ecclesiastical assistant of UNITALSI, as bishop of Civitavecchia-Tarquinia (area 876, population 89,295, Catholics 87,295, priests 78, permanent deacons 14, religious 177), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Montescudaio, Italy in 1945 and ordained a priest in 1970. - Appointed Bishop Patrick D'Rozario C.S.C. of Chittagong, Bangladesh, as coadjutor archbishop of Dhaka (area 26,788, population 31,289,807, Catholics 79,816, priests 120, religious 709), Bangladesh. The archbishop-elect was born in Chittagong in 1943, he was ordained a priest in 1972 and consecrated a bishop in 1990.
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An artillery attack by North Korea on South Korea's Yeonpyeong-do Island has damaged the island's only Catholic Church, said Catholics, including Father Joseph Kim Tae-heon, the parish priest, are safe as they evacuated to a bomb shelter as soon as the island came under North Korean shelling on Monday.While 80 percent of the residents have since left, the parish priest has opted to stay on the island with those remaining.Two shells fell on the church premises. Windows of the main church building were damaged. The old rectory was partly demolished and a van was destroyed, said Father Johannes Kim Yong-hwan, chancellor of Incheon diocese.There are about 450 Catholics among the 1,700 local residents on the tiny island near the maritime border with North Korea on the Yellow Sea.According to South Korea military, the November 23 surprise attack killed two marines and two civilians, and injured 13 marines and three civilians.
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CNA REPORT- Given the civic holiday's roots in religious gratitude, it's not surprising that Catholics throughout the U.S. have made Thanksgiving their own. Many of them find that the deepest appreciation of blessings is found in passing them on to others.“Everything is gift”Dr. Johnathan Reyes, President and CEO of Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of Denver, told CNA that the holiday offered an important message about appreciating God's gifts, and using them to care for those in need.“Our lives are not out own,” Dr. Reyes reflected. “They've been given to us, for the sake of giving them away to others.” He noted that this aspect of the human condition becomes particularly clear “in a setting where people have great need.” Under those circumstances, he said, God's own graciousness becomes clear – and prompts many people to respond with generosity.He offered Americans the challenge of taking “more from Thanksgiving than simply feeling good about life.”“There's a principle here, that I want to carry with me throughout my life … 'To lose your life is to gain it'.” Authentic gratitude, he said, finds its fulfillment in a response of “self-donation.” This sacrificial generosity extends beyond one's circle of family and friends, to radiate a life-changing impact throughout society.Dr. Reyes said his own life has been profoundly shaped by Catholic Charities' annual Thanksgiving meal at Denver's Samaritan House. Every year, Colorado's governor and members of the business community gather to serve the holiday meal to hundreds of homeless men, women, and children. The head of Catholic Charities brings his family, to share the Thanksgiving feast they've helped to provide.More than a fleeting gesture of concern, it's an opportunity for leaders in business and government to view their vocations in light of Jesus' teaching: that “whoever wants to be first must be last of all, and servant of all.”Dr. Reyes described the event as a “constant reminder” of the “joy of giving,” for his own family and the community members who participate.From the perspective of faith, it makes them mindful that “everything is gift,” a sign of God's generosity. This memorable phrase, drawn from Pope Benedict's encyclical on charity, encapsulates the Christian significance of the Thanksgiving holiday, Dr. Reyes said.A “Matthew 25” mealIt's not difficult to imagine Jesus himself sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner at Casa Juan Diego in Houston, Texas. The founders of the house, Mark and Louise Zwick, have served thousands of immigrants, refugees, the disabled and wounded, and those otherwise in need of help, in accordance with the principles of Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin's Catholic Worker movement.“We will have a dinner for 500 people, who live in our neighborhood or benefit from our help,” Mark Zwick told CNA. Prince of Peace, a local Catholic parish, will continue its 20-year tradition of providing “a major kind of Thanksgiving meal.”Guests will include illegal immigrants, local day-laborers, a group of spinal-injury patients, and many who simply “have nothing to eat.” They also distribute 1,100 turkeys every year, provided by a donor “so that the feast can be continued.”The couple established the house of hospitality in 1980, the same year that Dorothy Day died, to provide food and shelter for refugees fleeing from the wars that were ravaging Central America. They still hold a Spanish-language Mass every Wednesday, to give thanks for the safety of those who have crossed the border to escape violence and desperate poverty.Louise Zwick said she sees a clear continuity between these weekly Masses of thanksgiving –where unauthorized immigrants express their gratitude upon finding safety and shelter– and the American civic celebration of gratitude.Like the efforts of Ms. Day herself –who is now being considered for canonization– the Zwicks' work courts controversy. But Louise Zwick maintained that she and her husband are only engaged in politics “in the Aristotelian sense,” alluding to the ancient Greek philosopher's insights about justice and the common good.For Mark and Louise, Thanksgiving is an especially important opportunity for recalling and acting on Jesus' admonition, that “whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”With this teaching in mind, they've opened Casa Juan Diego's Thanksgiving to many who have never celebrated the American holiday before. Whether or not those immigrants and refugees will ever celebrate it again, they're grateful for the clothing, medical care and shelter they receive, at the house named for the Mexican saint and Marian visionary.Mark Zwick also encouraged Americans to keep others' needs in mind on the day after Thanksgiving. That day, nicknamed “Black Friday,” has become a holiday-shopping bonanza for consumers, retailers, and manufacturers.Others have retaliated by designating the same date as a worldwide “Buy Nothing Day.” While that sentiment has some resonance with Catholic Worker principles, Mark Zwick offered a better idea: to give away clothing that day, and even consider making “Black Friday” the beginning of a yearlong campaign to buy clothes only for the poor, rather than for oneself.Increasing needsFather Woody's Haven of Hope in Denver, Colorado has enough space to provide meals to 250 homeless and hungry people. That's why the staff and volunteers have taken to serving each meal in several shifts to accommodate around 800 daily guests who depend on them for food as well as showers, laundry, and often clothing.When the Franciscan-inspired shelter (named for a late, beloved local priest) opened its new building in 2007, the 250-capacity space seemed large. It doesn't anymore: “We're seeing probably seven to nine new faces a day,” Executive Director Melinda Paterson told CNA. “You think, every month: 'Please, let there be enough food. Please, let there be enough to provide and feed them.'”She wants the shelter to be, as much as possible, a loving home for the homeless. Many of them have lost touch with their family and friends, for a variety of reasons. Although Father Woody's is closed on Thanksgiving Day, to allow their staff to rest and celebrate with their families, the kitchen workers showed their love by serving three days' worth of Thanksgiving dinners –an estimated 2,400 of them– from Nov. 22-24.While the staff members respect guests' privacy, Paterson said they regularly receive messages from parents, siblings, and children. They're thankful for the shelter that may have saved the life of their loved one, spending Thanksgiving far from home. Staff members pass the messages along when possible. Some linger on a bulletin board, in case someone ever shows up again.Once Thanksgiving has given way to “Black Friday,” the long line outside Father Woody's will attest to both halves of the statement Jesus made in Mark's gospel. “The poor you will always have with you” – and yet, as he also said: “whenever you wish, you can do good for them.”“We just are clothing too many people,” Melinda Paterson said, estimating the shelter's capacities. “We're 100-percent donations, in our clothing. We just don't have what we need to clothe them.”“We didn't have any socks today, any underwear, any– you know, essentials.” Thanksgiving-weekend holiday shoppers might want to keep this “Christmas list” in mind.
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IND. CATH. NEWS REPORT: The link between Friday and penance is extremely ancient and is even reflected in the Irish word for Friday - An Aoine (the fast) In his Pastoral Letter to the Catholics of Ireland Pope Benedict XVI suggested a number of initiatives to support renewal in the Church in Ireland. Pope Benedict asked Catholics to offer Friday Penances "for an outpouring of God's mercy and the Holy Spirit's gifts of holiness and strength."The Bishops say: "He asked us to offer our fasting, prayer, reading of Scripture and works of mercy in order to obtain the grace of healing and renewal for the Church in Ireland. In addition Pope Benedict encouraged us, "to discover anew the sacrament of Reconciliation and to avail yourselves more frequently of the transforming power of its grace. "The Bishops' Conference has published a new resource leaflet called Friday Penance to assist of all of us in responding to the invitation of the Holy Father. "Penance arises from the Lord's call to conversion and repentance and this new leaflet describes why penance is an essential part of all genuine Christian living:* in memory of the passion and death of the Lord* as a sharing in Christ's suffering* as an expression of inner conversion* as a form of reparation for sin Friday Penance goes on to explain the reason why penance on Fridays is important: "Declaring some days throughout the year as days of fast and abstinence (Ash Wednesday and Good Friday) is meant to intensify penances of the Christian. Lent is the traditional season for renewal and penance but Catholics also observe each Friday of the year as days of penance. The link between Friday and penance is extremely ancient and is even reflected in the Irish word for Friday - An Aoine (the fast)." The leaflet suggests ways of fulfilling Friday penance such as abstaining from meat or alcohol, visiting the Blessed Sacrament or helping the poor, sick and lonely as well as other suggestions. It also suggests a series of messages to send out on Friday via Twitter.To download the leaflet Friday Penance see:
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ALL AFRICA REPORT: Promoters of Small Christian Communities (SCCs) within the wider Catholic teaching efforts plan to use the new online resources in promoting evangelization."This is one of our new insights and we intend to make use of it fully in accordance with Pope Benedict XVI's advice that that Church should make use of the New Media for evangelization," says Fr. Joseph Healey, one of the promoters of online opportunities in promoting SCCs globally."The New Media enhance the pastoral work of the Church," adds Healey, a Maryknoll Missionary priest who has served the Catholic Church in Africa, mainly Kenya, Uganda and Tanzanian in the last 42 years.The SCCs team behind the new plan hopes to establish online or Virtual SCCs globally, points out the American Catholic priest."First a person goes to the Online Small Christian Communities Facebook Page is a Central Page from where one can decide to join an Online Small Christian Community. Just click on the 'Join New Group' Tab to join the newest online SCC." This is also called the Landing Page or Portal, he explains."After the Administrator approves your request, you will join an Online SCC of 15 members only to allow for maximum small group participation and interaction.These are Closed Facebook Groups, that is, only the approved 15 members have online access to the specific website address," adds Rev. Healey.This "virtual" system will contribute to sharing ideas and experiences in the furthering of SCCs within the faith life of the people through the use of these new media resources online, he explained.Already three SCCs have already been established worldwide namely: St Martin de Porres Online SCC, St Augustine Online SCC and St Monica Online SCC.So far, there are members from Brazil, England, Germany, Kenya, USA and Zambia. He added that this new "catch" is part of the wider programme of the SCCs under the banner: Small Christian Communities Global Collaborative Website
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St Vincent de Paul Society volunteer, David Bresnik, has been named the 2011 ACT Young Australian of the Year, said a report on the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn News website.Bresnik, 27, first got involved with Vinnies in 2003, while he was completing his university studies, and continued after he graduated.He began helping out with programs such as sporting activities to provide recreational respite to children experiencing hardship and disadvantage.In 2006 he was elected president of the ACT Vinnies Youth Conference, and in 2008, he was appointed as youth representative for St Vincent de Paul Canberra, and the following year as national youth representative.
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St. Catherine of AlexandriaVIRGIN, MARTYRFeast: November 25Information:Feast Day:November 25Born:287, Alexandria, EgyptDied:305, Alexandria, EgyptMajor Shrine:Saint Catherine's Monastery, Mount SinaiPatron of:Aalsum, apologists, craftsmen who work with a wheel (potters, spinners, etc.), archivists, dying people, educators, girls, jurists, knife sharpeners, lawyers, librarians, libraries, maidens, mechanics, millers, nurses, philosophers, preachers, scholars, schoolchildren, scribes, secretaries, spinsters, stenographers, students, tanners, teachers, theologians, University of Paris, unmarried girls, haberdashers, wheelwrightsFrom the tenth century onwards veneration for St. Catherine of Alexandria has been widespread in the Church of the East, and from the time of the Crusades this saint has been popular in the West, where many churches have been dedicated to her and her feast day kept with great solemnity, sometimes as a holy-day of obligation. She is listed as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers of mankind among the saints in Heaven; she is the patroness of young women, philosophers, preachers, theologians, wheelwrights, millers, and other workingmen. She was said to have appeared with Our Lady to St. Dominic and to Blessed Reginald of Orleans; the Dominicans adopted her as their special protectress. Hers was one of the heavenly voices heard by St. Joan of Arc.Artists have painted her with her chief emblem, the wheel, on which by tradition she was tortured; other emblems are a lamb and a sword. Her name continues to be cherished today by the young unmarried women of Paris.Yet in spite of this veneration, we have few facts that can be relied on concerning Catherine's life. Eusebius, "father of Church history," writing around the year 320, had heard of a noble young Christian woman of Alexandria whom the Emperor ordered to come to his palace, presumably to become his mistress, and who, on refusing, was punished by banishment and the confiscation of her estates. The story of St. Catherine may have sprung from some brief record such as this, which Christians writing at a later date expanded. The last persecutions of Christians, though short, were severe, and those living in the peace which followed seem to have had a tendency to embellish the traditions of their martyrs that they might not be forgotten.According to the popular tradition, Catherine was born of a patrician family of Alexandria and from childhood had devoted herself to study. Through her reading she had learned much of Christianity and had been converted by a vision of Our Lady and the Holy Child. When Maxentius began his persecution, Catherine, then a beautiful young girl, went to him and rebuked him boldly for his cruelty. He could not answer her arguments against his pagan gods, and summoned fifty philosophers to confute her. They all confessed themselves won over by her reasoning, and were thereupon burned to death by the enraged Emperor. He then tried to seduce Catherine with an offer of a consort's crown, and when she indignantly refused him, he had her beaten and imprisoned. The Emperor went off to inspect his military forces, and when he got back he discovered that his wife Faustina and a high official, one Porphyrius, had been visiting Catherine and had been converted, along with the soldiers of the guard. They too were put to death, and Catherine was sentenced to be killed on a spiked wheel.When she was fastened to the wheel, her bonds were miraculously loosed and the wheel itself broke, its spikes flying off and killing some of the onlookers. She was then beheaded. The modern Catherine-wheel, from which sparks fly off in all directions, took its name from the saint's wheel of martyrdom. The text of the of this illustrious saint states that her body was carried by angels to Mount Sinai, where a church and monastery were afterwards built in her honor. This legend was, however, unknown to the earliest pilgrims to the mountain. In 527 the Emperor Justinian built a fortified monastery for hermits in that region, and two or three centuries later the story of St. Catherine and the angels began to be circulated.1 Alexandria, the great Egyptian city at the mouth of the Nile, was at this time a center of both pagan and Christian learning. Its Christian activities centered around the great church founded, according to tradition, by the Apostle Mark, with its catechetical school, the first of its kind in Christendom.2 Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea, who lived through all the vicissitudes of the years before and succeeding the Edict of Toleration and died about 340, wrote the first history of the Church.3 Maxentius was one of several rival emperors who struggled for mastery during the first dozen years of the fourth century. Like the others, he tried to crush what he considered the dangerous institution of the Catholic Church. Some historians are of the opinion that Catherine suffered under his father, Maximian.
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TODAY'S GOSPEL: NOV. 25: Luke 17: 11 - 19
Luke 17: 11 - 1911On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Sama'ria and Galilee.12And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance13and lifted up their voices and said, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us."14When he saw them he said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And as they went they were cleansed.15Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice;16and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan.17Then said Jesus, "Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine?18Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?"19And he said to him, "Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well."
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