Wednesday, December 15, 2010













VATICAN CITY, 15 DEC 2010 (VIS REPORT) - In today's general audience, celebrated in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall, the Pope spoke about St. Veronica Giuliani, a Capuchin Poor Clare the three hundred and fiftieth anniversary of whose birth falls on 27 December.

Born in the Italian town of Mercatello in 1660, "she was the last of seven sisters of whom three others also embraced the monastic life", the Pope explained. She was christened with the name of Ursula and at the age of seventeen entered the convent of Capuchin Poor Clares in Citta Castello where she spent the rest of her life. There she was given the name of Veronica, "and a year later pronounced her solemn religious profession. Thus began her configuration to Christ through a journey of great penance and suffering, and a number of mystical experiences associated with Jesus' Passion. ... In 1716, at the age of fifty-six, she became abbess of her convent, remaining in that position until 1727 when she died following a painful agony of thirty-three days". She was proclaimed a saint by Pope Gregory XVI on 26 May 1839.

The main source for St. Veronica's life is her diary of some 22,000 handwritten pages, the Pope said. "Hers was a markedly Christological-spousal spirituality. This is the experience of being loved by Christ, the faithful and sincere Bridegroom, and of wishing to respond with an increasingly committed and impassioned love".

Veronica "offered her prayers and sacrifices for the Pope, bishops, priests and all people in need including souls in Purgatory". She also "participated profoundly in the tormented love of Jesus, ... even asking to be crucified with Him", said Benedict XVI.

He then highlighted how the saint "was convinced that she was already participating in the Kingdom of God, but at the same time she invoked all the saints of heaven to help her on the earthly journey of her oblation, as she awaited eternal beatitude. This was the constant aspiration of her life", the Pope remarked.

"The high points of Veronica's mystical experience were never removed from the events of salvation as celebrated in the liturgy, where pride of place is given to proclaiming and listening to the Word of God. Sacred Scripture, then, illuminated, purified and confirmed Veronica's experience, making it ecclesial. ... Indeed, she not only expressed herself with the words of Sacred Scripture, but also lived by them".

"Veronica", the Holy Father went on, "was in particular a courageous witness of the beauty and power of divine Love. ... She also experienced a profoundly intimate relationship with the Virgin Mary".

"St. Veronica Giuliani invites us, in our lives as Christians, to fortify our union with the Lord, abandoning ourselves to His will with complete and total trust, and our union with the Church, the Bride of Christ. She invites us to participate in the tormented love of the crucified Jesus, for the salvation of all sinners. She invites us to fix our gaze on heaven, the goal of our earthly journey where we will live ... the joy of full communion with God. She invites us to draw daily nourishment from the Word of God so as to warm our hearts and guide our lives. The last words of the saint", Benedict XVI concluded, "may be considered as the summary of her impassioned mystical experience: 'I have found Love! Love has let itself be seen'".

AG/ VIS 20101215 (580)


VATICAN CITY, 15 DEC 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati Andrello S.D.B. of Concepcion, Chile, as metropolitan archbishop of Santiago de Chile (area 9,132, population 5,791,000, Catholics 4,019,000, priests 854, permanent deacons 295, religious 3,100), Chile. He succeeds Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Bishop Josafa Menezes da Silva, auxiliary of Sao Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, as bishop of Barreiras (area 72,675, population 345,000, Catholics 292,000, priests 15, permanent deacons 10, religious 33), Brazil.

- Erected the new diocese of Camacari (area 2,382, population 708,122, Catholics 481,523, priests 20, religious 55) Brazil, with territory taken from the archdiocese of Sao Salvador da Bahia, making it a suffragan of the same metropolitan church. He appointed Bishop Joao Carlos Petrini, auxiliary of Sao Salvador da Bahia as first bishop of the new diocese.

- Appointed Fr. John B. Brungardt of the clergy of the diocese of Wichita, U.S.A., chancellor and pastor of St. Mark parish, as bishop of Dodge City (area 59,547, population 229,000, Catholics 62,300, priests 44, permanent deacons 9, religious 81), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Salina, U.S.A. in 1958 and ordained a priest in 1998. He succeeds Bishop Ronald M. Gilmore, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

- Appointed Msgr. Carlo Ciattini of the clergy of San Miniato, Italy, rector of the seminary and judicial vicar, as bishop of Massa Marittima - Piombino (area 1,200, population 126,931, Catholics 125,000, priests 60, permanent deacons 4, religious 82), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Cerreto Guidi, Italy in 1951 and ordained a priest in 1989.

- Appointed Fr. Juan Espinosa Jimenez of the clergy of the archdiocese of Morelia, Mexico, professor at the major seminary, as auxiliary of the same archdiocese (area 18,000, population 2,675,000, Catholics 2,542,000, priests 550, permanent deacons 1, religious 1,422). The bishop-elect was born in Piedad, Mexico in 1965 and ordained a priest in 1993.


IND CATH NEWS REPORT: Phyllis, a member for 57 years of one of the families of Blessed Charles de Foucauld and part of Justice and Peace networks, died on 29 November 2010 on the 30th anniversary of the death of one of her heroines, Dorothy Day of the Catholic Workers Movement. Born in Hackney in 1920, her father died when she was ten, she grew up during the Depression and was deeply marked by the importance of non-waste. She could have advised any council on the virtues of recycling! It has been remarkable that over the last two weeks during the many conversations with people who have know her well there have been a constant themes – her capacity for friendship, her loyalty, her straightforwardness, her developing openness to challenge, to change and grow; and her hidden generosity.

Phyllis became a Catholic in her late teens and a member of the Jesus Caritas Fraternity in 1953. Her first posting abroad when working for the Foreign Office was to Poland in 1947 and it was probably her most loved. Her time in France coincided with the struggle of the Worker Priest Movement and there too she became aware of the writings of Teilhard de Chardin- reading a manuscript of le Milieu Divin well before its publication. Positions in Sweden, Switzerland and Italy followed and where ever she went Phyllis made friends – helped of course, by her tremendous gift for languages, fluent in five and with a very good working knowledge of three others.

She rejoiced in the changes following Vatican II and found in Pope John XXIII’s Pacem in Terris “it is irrational to argue that war can any longer be a fit instrument of justice” the institutional backing to support her evolving pacifism. She was influenced by Thomas Merton and by now, back in England, began to become active in various organisations among them CIIR (Catholic Institute for International Relations) – now Progressio, which remained a favourite.

She moved with her mother from the south coast to Cockfosters and became an enthusiastic member of the parish for well more than 35 years, fulfilling roles as Reader, Eucharistic Minister, prison visitor (as part of the Justice and Peace group) choir member among others; locally she helped found a branch of Amnesty which greatly benefited from her language and letter writing skills. She supported the early efforts of Churches Together as she did the Council for Christians and Jews.

An effective campaigner for the causes she believed in she was also a fearless demonstrator. At the height of the anti-apartheid campaign there was nobody more deft than Phyllis politely holding things up at various supermarket checkouts when she “found” South African goods in her basket. She explained clearly to those in the queue why she had to exchange or remove the offending articles. She lobbied her local MP on issues of social justice continually; he took notice and I was visiting her one Christmas Eve when he personally delivered a response to some question or other. On social occasions she was quite capable of defying convention and talking frankly about the stupidity of current policies on war, arms, immigration, refugees, poverty or whatever the concern then uppermost on her mind. She had a way of getting herself heard and I’ve observed many a table conversation change tack after an intervention by Phyllis.

She had a healthy sense of self without being in any way arrogant. She knew she was worthwhile but not more so than anyone else. Her direct manner and her frugality sometimes led to her being seen as awkward; she occasionally gave advice unasked and, meaning only to help, was dismayed when it was not received gratefully! She enjoyed giving and receiving hospitality; she liked cooking and could make one chicken into more tasty and different meals than any celebrity chef. She was sad in this last year that her senses of taste and smell were dimming. She experimented with new tastes when she could - she loved caviar, preferably beluga. The guests which membership of Servas brought were often invited to share recipes so she had an extensive repertoire of homely international food at her fingertips.

She loved music and occasional concert going with friends was a special treat; she danced with verve – her foxtrot would astound Strictly fans- she swam whenever she could, often at the Hampstead Ponds, she cycled, she skied and was regular in her practice of yoga for almost 70 years.

Her holidays all over the world were always occasions for meeting old friends and making new ones where possible and for sending postcards. Phyllis with her tiny handwriting could fit a mine of information on even the smallest card. She cared for her friends, she remembered their birthdays and as she got older cherished them the more. It was a delight for her that her greatly loved god-daughter Anna was able to visit her from America this Autumn as had Anna Caterina (Anna’s daughter) from Brazil weeks earlier. The fraternity friends were with her also in the last weeks – Josianne from Avignon - as too were the members of the north London J&P network. She was delighted that her flat had been bought by friends, who were exceptionally supportive throughout the whole time she was in Nazareth House, and that the garden was being better cared for than ever she had been able to do.

Her fidelity for the vision of the fraternity was total; she made time for ‘adoration/meditation’ every day, she lived simply, the money she had she invested ethically and rejoiced that she was able to give to so many charities. Her enormous generosity to the needy was hidden. Her faith sustained her and it grew and developed in new ways particularly in the last few years. She challenged injustice where she saw it, rejected the use of exclusive language in the liturgy and was open to change . She became softer, more flexible, more eager to learn – how she loved the annual J&P conference, the Adrian Smith weekends and the new paradigm described by Diarmuid O Murchu. She was glad to be a companion of empowerment as she prepared for her death.

Those of us who visited Phyllis would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff of Nazareth House, East Finchley for their friendly, kindly and professional care and the staff of Barnet General Hospital CDU, as from our experience she received kind and compassionate there also.

Phyllis’ funeral Mass will be on Thursday, 16 December at the Church of Christ the King, Bramley Rd, Cockfosters N14 4HE - 10.45 for 11am followed by internment at Old Southgate Cemetery. Nearest tube for the Church: Oakwood, penultimate station on the Piccadilly line, then a short walk, or one stop on bus route 307 which stops outside the station entrance and the church.

Donations can be made in Phyllis’ memory in aid of one of her favourite charities: Medical Foundation For The Care of victims of Torture at Also at Phyllis’ funeral there will be a basket at the back of the church, proceeds will be divided between two of her other favourite causes Progressio and Pax Christi, with part of the proceeds being used to donate some trees in her memory through the Woodland Trust so that she “can live on through nature” as she suggested a few weeks before she died.



James Dibble presenting the first news bulletin on ABC TV in 1956, from Wikipedia

CATH NEWS REPORT- James Dibble, the ABC newsreader who lent his voice to everything from a series of sex-education programs for Catholic schools to a surrealist radio play to a Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Authority documentary, has died from cancer, reports theSydney Morning Herald.

Mr Dibble, who presented ABC TV's first news bulletin, was 87. After that bulletin on November 5, 1956 - and the first words, ''Stand by for the opening night of the national television service'' - Dibble went on to read the news for 27 years.

''For many generations of Australians, James Dibble was the face and voice of the ABC,'' the organisation's managing director, Mark Scott, said last night. ''He was the figure of trust that we all turned to at 7 o'clock, bringing in the great events of the world and the great events of Australia.''

Dibble was famous for his refusal to use an autocue, glancing instead at a sheaf of notes in front of him. He has been praised for his crisp diction and rounded vowels - sounding both distinctly Australian and unpretentious.

In 1969, he was awarded an MBE for his services to media. In 1989, he became a member of the Order of Australia for services to media and the community.

The son of bakers in Newtown, Sydney, he attended St Brigid's Primary School and De La Salle College, Marrickville.


USCCB REPORT: Migrant Families Focus of 2011 National Migration Week

Addressing root causes of migration key to resolving current migration patterns

WASHINGTON (December 16, 2010) — Renewing Hope, Seeking Justice is the primary theme for the 2011 National Migration Week, to be held January 2-8 in parishes and dioceses around the country.

Following the lead of Pope Benedict XVI, who has focused on migrant families in his 2011 World Day of Migrants and Refugees message, the U.S. Catholic bishops focus this year’s National Migration Week message also on the family by highlighting the stresses and strains that migration has on families and the effects that economic underdevelopment has in this process.

“Systemic poverty, economic instability and a lack of viable employment are fundamental, root causes of unregulated migration,” said Archbishop José Gomez, coadjutor archbishop of Los Angeles. “Given the economic inequalities that separate the devel­oped from the developing nations, and the important role that these differences play in migration patterns, the Catholic bish­ops have repeatedly stressed that an open-door immigration policy is not a solution to the problem of illegal immigration. International economic development is a crucial component in the management of migration patterns.”

Archbishop Gomez, who is chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Migration, stressed the need to work for economic and social development in sending countries so that people won’t be forced to migrate in order to sustain or find a better life for their families.

“The bishops of the United States, in their pastoral let­ter Strangers No Longer, called on the United States to work in solidarity with the international community to help raise the standard of living, uphold human rights and implement complementary political institutions in the underdeveloped world so that people can have the chance to prosper in their homelands,” Archbishop Gomez said.

Domestically, other steps can be taken to help regulate illegal immigration, such as Congress developing policies that provide legal avenues of entry for low-skilled workers that better match fluctuations in the marketplace.

The observance of National Migration Week began over a quarter century ago by the bishops to provide Catholics with an opportunity to take stock of the wide diversity in the Church and the ministries serving them. As the face of the local churches continues to change, the availability of materials explaining the plea and celebrating the contributions of immigrants and refugees is becoming increasingly important. They provide an important educational resource that can be used throughout the year by individuals, families, schools and parishes to learn about the complex issues surrounding migration.

In conjunction with The Catholic University of America, USCCB will develop a new educational website that will focus on the important role that the Catholic Church has played in the area of refugee resettlement for nearly seven decades. The site is expected to be operational in the spring and will be hosted at where other resources are already posted. These resources are directed to assist teachers, directors of religious education and others interested in migration and refugee issues.

National Migration Week resources can be downloaded directly from the website or can be ordered in bulk through the USCCB Communications office at 1-800-235-8722 or under Migration and Refugee Services).

NMW Poster


ASIA NEWS REPORT: After the escalation of anti-Christian violence, the government decides to erect concrete barriers three meters high around parishes. Bishop Warda: "Everyone is asking who will now be the next".

Baghdad (AsiaNews) - To defend Christians from potential new attacks during the Christmas season three meter high concrete walls will be erected around the churches in Baghdad and Mosul. The access points to the parishes will be controlled by police equipped with scanners and metal detectors, according to reports byCatholic News Service. The barriers are the Iraqi government's response to escalating threats and violence against minority religious communities, increasingly the target of crime and Islamic terrorism.

The Christmas celebrations will consist of masses and small parties within the boundaries of the parishes, but there is frustration among the faithful. "The sadness of the people is everywhere. Insecurity and uncertainty are everywhere. The question on everyone's lips is 'who is next?” Archbishop of Erbil, Bashar Warda toldAid to the Church in Need. "There's a certain desperation, but whatever happens, the faithful are determined to celebrate the Christmas liturgy at all costs”.

Bishop Warda said the barriers and security measures make the faithful feel as if "they were entering a military camp. " In any case, the bishop welcomes the Government's initiative to ensure security during the important religious holiday.

The massacre of 31 October at the Church of Our Lady of Salvation in Baghdad killed 57 people and wounded dozens. At least two thousand Christian families have left the capital and Mosul for fear of new waves of sectarian violence.


Agenzia Fides REPORT - “The Kenyan political class seems united in claiming national sovereignty and in making an appeal to the patriotic pride of Kenyans,” a source from the local Church in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, tells Fides. Here expectation and tension grows in anticipation today, 15 December, of the publication by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of the names of the six Kenyan politicians suspected of being primarily responsible for the post-electoral violence in 2008 that caused over 1,300 deaths. The crisis was resolved with the creation of a coalition composed of the two contenders in the presidential elections of December 2007: Mwai Kibaki, who became President and Raila Odinga, who under agreement was appointed Prime Minister.

“Because the people accused are from both the presidential camp and that of the Prime Minister, the fear is that we put at risk the stability of the coalition that put an end to the violence of 2008. The request for indictment of these Kenyans also falls at a delicate time because the electoral campaign for the 2012 President has commenced. Among the people that could be put in there may be charged, according to some thinking, even two presidential candidates,” says the Fides source.

The country is growing in concern that the publication of names of the persons indicted could provoke a new wave of violence similar to that of 2008. The violence feared by many people seems more a threat than a real possibility because at least, in the opinion of some observers, there does not seem to be the same organization on the ground that made the incidents of 2008 possible,” affirmed the Fides source.

“The call for indictment comes on the heels of an atmosphere of tension between Kenya and the United States following the publication on Wikileaks of some messages from the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, very critical of the level of corruption by Kenyan politicians. In part, the local political forces have seen this as an affront to national sovereignty. President Kibaki, in his speech on Sunday, 12 December, the anniversary of Kenya's independence, appealed to the people to defend the sovereignty of Kenya. The indictment of some local politicians by the ICC, risks creating new grounds for friction between Kenya and the West, to the benefit of other powers that are being inserted into African geopolitics,” concludes the Fides source.


St. Mary di Rosa


Feast: December 15


Feast Day:December 15
Born:November 6, 1813, Brescia, Italy
Died:1855, Brescia, Italy
Canonized:12 June 1954 by Pope Pius XII

Foundress of the Handmaids of Charity of Brescia, also called the Servants of Charity. Born into a wealthy family in Brescia, Italy, on November 6, 1813, by age seventeen she was running her father's household and caring for the girls in her father's mill and estate. In the cholera epidemic of 1836, she became well-known as she directed a home for girls and begame another residence for deaf and mute young ladies. In 1840, she became superior of a community that evolved into her congregation. The women of the Servants of Charity ministered to the wounded on the battlefields of northern Italy and in hospitals. Maria died at Brescia on December 15. She was canonized in 1954.


Luke 7: 18 - 23
18The disciples of John told him of all these things.
19And John, calling to him two of his disciples, sent them to the Lord, saying, "Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?"
20And when the men had come to him, they said, "John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, `Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?'"
21In that hour he cured many of diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and on many that were blind he bestowed sight.
22And he answered them, "Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them.
23And blessed is he who takes no offense at me.
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