CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: FRI. MARCH 19, 2010: HEADLINES-
VATICAN: POPE TO ATTEND CONCERT IN HIS HONOUR FOR HIS NAME DAY-
EUROPE: ROME: WORLD YOUTH DAY 2010 TO BE CELBRATED AT DIOCESE LEVEL-
AFRICA: KENYA: AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION-
AMERICA: CHILE: CARITAS ASKS FOR PRAYER AND SUPPORT-
ASIA: PHILIPPINES: FOREIGNERS BANNED FROM CRUCIFIXION RITUAL-
AUSTRALIA: ANGLICAN COMMUNION PETITION ROME-
POPE TO ATTEND CONCERT IN HIS HONOUR FOR HIS NAME DAY
Pope Benedict XVI is attending a concert in his honour this evening to mark the Feast of St Joseph - his name day. "The seven last words of Christ on the cross", new version of the passion of Joseph Haydn "in the manner of Haydn", the Spanish Royal Court composer José Lacasa Peris, is performed by the Quartet Henschel Quartett and mezzo-soprano Susanne.
ROME: WORLD YOUTH DAY 2010 TO BE CELBRATED AT DIOCESE LEVEL
The 25th annual World Youth Day is to be celebrated on a diocesan level this year, which also applies to the Diocese of Rome. The diocese's bishop, Pope Benedict XVI, will host young people in St. Peter’s Square in celebration.
According to diocesan organizers, the diocese has invited young people from 15 to 35 years old to St. Peter's Square on the afternoon of March 25 for “a special event of festivity and prayer.” The Italian Church’s SIR news agency announced on Friday that among those in attendance, 5,000 young military personnel will be there to see the Pope.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of World Youth Day (WYD) in Rome and the 10th of the celebration in nearby Tor Vergata.
The Holy Father released his official message for WYD 2010 last Monday, in which he revisits Pope John Paul II’s letter to inaugurate the first World Youth Day. The message features the rich young man who asks Jesus, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
KENYA: AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION
Amnesty International has called for the promised investigation into the alleged killing by Kenyan police of seven men to be impartial, independent and for the results to be made public.On Wednesday night eye witnesses reported that seven men were shot dead by a group of administration police, during a police operation in Kawangware, an informal settlement in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. Police officers claimed the men were part of a criminal gang, but witnesses say they were taxi drivers.In a press conference on Monday, police spokesman Eric Kiraithe promised investigations into the shootings adding that any police officer found to have breached the law would be punished.“The promise of a police investigation is a step in the right direction,” said Godfrey Odongo, Amnesty International’s East Africa researcher. “But unlike many previous investigations, this one must be impartial and independent and its findings must be made public and acted upon.”In March 2009, two human rights activists were shot dead in their car while stopped in traffic in central Nairobi. The two had been campaigning against illegal killings by the police. An investigation into the murders has failed to bring anyone to trial.Similarly, a taskforce set up to investigate alleged rapes by police during the post-election violence in late 2007 has failed to yield any results. Under international law, Kenya is obliged to respect and protect the right to life of all its citizens. This includes taking effective measures to protect people against acts of violence and to bring perpetrators to justice.“Police should be the enforcers of law and must not be allowed to rise above it,” said Godfrey Odongo. “Anyone identified by the inquiry as having been responsible for extra-judicial killings should be brought to justice in a trial and the families of those killed should be compensated.”http://www.cisanewsafrica.org/story.asp?ID=4476
CHILE: CARITAS ASKS FOR PRAYER AND SUPPORT
President of Caritas Chile, Bishop Manuel Camilo Vial Risopatron, recently noted that in addition to providing for the material needs of the Chilean earthquake victims, Caritas is also addressing the suffering each person is facing.Bishop Camilo stressed that "we are attempting to accompany our work with the most profound aspects of our faith in Christ. Our efforts do not simply include receiving, processing and distributing boxes of needed goods. We are also making an effort to listen to those who need to share the suffering they have experienced and that they continue to experience with the aftershocks.”The bishop noted that Caritas has been meeting with the victims and discussing what they love and value in their lives. “We also talk to them about God, to whom they owe much gratitude, but still have many profound questions about.” “Christian solidarity does not stop at providing food and shelter. It also provides time to listen, to embrace one another, and to pray together,” the bishop added.The bishop then thanked the thousands of volunteers from parishes, colleges, movements, universities and other institutes of the Church who have made their services available to Caritas. They have subsequently accompanied people who are suffering, collected goods and have distributed them into the hands of suffering families.”"The dignity of these people is the major concern of the Church ... We want to infuse the human spirit with respect, joy, and dignified assistance which will be truly helpful to the vulnerable situation these people are living in,” he added.
PHILIPPINES: FOREIGNERS BANNED FROM CRUCIFIXION RITUALUCAN report— San Pedro, scene of stage crucifixions each Good Friday, has this year banned foreigners from taking part in the ritual which is frowned on by the Church.
Councilor Jimmy Lazatin said the move was designed to keep the ritual’s “solemnity.” He said a tourist last year had made fun of the “rites.”
Despite its popularity, the archdiocese frowns on the tradition known as the Cutud.
“The Cutud is a tourist activity drawing thousands of people yearly but does nothing for the teachings of the Church,” said Auxiliary Bishop Pablo David of San Fernando, Pampanga province.
“The archdiocese tolerates the Cutud, but would rather it not take place.
“It is folk religiosity but not one we favor at all,” he said.
“Whether or not foreigners take part in the ceremony is no concern to us [diocesan Church officials],” Bishop David said. He added that crucifixion is “not good” for anyone.
Public crucifixions in San Pedro Cutud village, 70 kilometers from Manila, began in 1962 when aspiring faith healer Artemio Anoza, acting as Christ in a play had himself nailed to a cross.
Re-enacting Christ’s passion and death
On Good Friday, officials of San Pedro in San Fernando organize the Cutud festival attempting to reenact the passion and death of Christ.
Thousands watch and take part in various forms of Holy Week “penitentiary rite” including flagellation, carrying a cross up a hill and being nailed to it.
Father Arnulfo Serrano, parish priest of Santo Nino parish near San Pedro, told UCA News his parish has no interest in Cutud and focuses on liturgical celebrations of the Church.
“The Church does not sanction these private pious acts” and parishioners know it, the pastor said.
“When some of my parishioners join the scourging on Holy Thursday, most cover their faces so we would not recognize them,” he said.
He notes some flagellants believe they are doing “penance” and strengthening their faith.
Priests make themselves available for extra hours hearing confessions and inviting Catholics to fast and do charitable work, he said.
“Some of our practices for Lent and Holy week have a rich tradition here, such as Dakit Kordero,” Father Serrano pointed out.
“We use all the official rites of the Church as well and do not need the Cutud,” the parish priest said.
The Dakit is a reenactment of the Last Supper.http://www.ucanews.com/2010/03/19/foreigners-banned-from-crucifixion-ritual
ANGLICAN COMMUNION PETITION ROME
Cath News report: A total of four bishops, 40 priests and thousands of parishioners from the Australian Traditional Anglican Communion will petition the Vatican by Easter to be received into the Church.
Archbishop John Hepworth of Adelaide, primate of the TAC, said 26 parishes in Western Australia, Tasmania, NSW, Victoria, far north Queensland and South Australia hoped to be united with Rome by the end of the year, The Australian reports.
The news comes a few days after the leaders of the Traditional Anglican Communion in Canada sent a letter to Pope Benedict XVI formally requesting union. With approximately 60 bishops, the Traditional Anglican Communion has parishes in 13 ecclesial provinces across Canada, the Catholic News Agency has reported.
Australian Archbishop Hepworth, 65, who is married with three children, said the Pope had allowed for a continuation of Anglican practices, including a married clergy.
"In an age when the traditional family is under attack, the presence of a priestly family at the centre of parishes is a real gift," he said.
He said the motivation for the move to Rome was a desire for Christian unity and dissatisfaction with the secularisation of the Anglican church. This, he said, included the ordination of women and practising homosexuals.
"Under the process, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith accepts petitions, they are then referred to the local Catholic bishops' conference which gives advice, then an Ordinariate will be established," he said.
"I would like to think the process would be close to being finalised by the end of the year because the Pope wants results."
Once the Ordinariate is established, ordinary Catholics will be free to attend its Masses. Archbishop Hepworth acknowledged that some traditional Anglicans would opt not to join the Ordinariate "and they will need to be catered for", the report added.
SPOUSE OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY AND FOSTER FATHER OF JESUS
Feast: March 19
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The glorious St. Joseph was lineally descended from the greatest kings of the tribe of Judah, and from the most illustrious of the ancient patriarchs; but his true glory consisted in his humility and virtue. The history of his life hath not been written by men; but his principal actions are recorded by the Holy Ghost himself God entrusted him with the education of his divine Son, manifested in the flesh. In this view he was espoused to the Virgin Mary. It is an evident mistake of some writers, that by a former wife he was the father of St. James the Less, and of the rest who are styled in the gospels the brothers of our Lord; for these were only cousin-germans to Christ, the sons of Mary, sister to the Blessed Virgin, wife of Alphaeus, who was living at the time of our Redeemer's crucifixion. St. Jerome assures us1 that St. Joseph always preserved his virgin chastity; and it is of faith that nothing contrary thereto ever took place with regard to his chaste spouse, the Blessed Virgin Mary. He was given her by heaven to be the protector of her chastity, to secure her from calumnies in the birth of the Son of God, and to assist her in his education, and in her journeys, fatigues, and persecutions. How great was the purity and sanctity of him who was chosen the guardian of the most spotless Virgin! This holy man seems, for a considerable time, to have been unacquainted that the great mystery of the Incarnation had been wrought in her by the Holy Ghost. Conscious, therefore, of his own chaste behaviour towards her, it could, not but raise a great concern in his breast to find that, notwithstanding the sanctity of her deportment, yet he might be well assured that she was with child. But being , as the scripture calls him, and consequently possessed of all virtues, especially of charity and mildness towards his neighbour, he was determined to leave her privately, without either condemning or accusing her, committing the whole cause to God. These, his perfect dispositions, were so acceptable to God, the lover of justice, charity, and peace, that before he put his design into execution he sent an angel from heaven, not to reprehend anything in his holy conduct, but to dissipate all his doubts and fears, by revealing to him this adorable mystery. How happy should we be if we were as tender in all that regards the reputation of our neighbor; as free from entertaining any injurious thought or suspicion, whatever certainty our conjectures or our senses may seem to rely on; and as guarded in our tongue! We commit these faults only because in our hearts we are devoid of that true charity and simplicity, whereof St. Joseph sets us so eminent an example on this occasion.
In the next place we may admire in secret contemplation with what devotion, respect, and tenderness he beheld and adored the first of all men, the new-born Saviour of the world, and with what fidelity he acquitted himself of his double charge, the education of Jesus and the guardianship of his blessed mother. "He was truly the faithful and prudent servant," says St. Bernard,2 "whom our Lord appointed the master of his household, the comfort and support of his mother, his foster-father, and most faithful co-operator in the execution of his deepest counsels on earth." "What a happiness," says the same Father, "not only to see Jesus Christ, but also to hear him: to carry him in his arms, to lead him from place to place, to embrace and caress him, to feed him, and to be privy to all the great secrets which were concealed from the princes of this world!"
"O astonishing elevation! O unparalleled dignity!" cries out the pious Gerson,3 in a devout address to St. Joseph, "that the mother of God, queen of heaven, should call you her lord; that God himself, made man, should call you father, and obey your commands. O glorious Triad on earth, Jesus, Mary, Joseph, how dear a family to the glorious Trinity in heaven, Father, Son,, and Holy Ghost! Nothing is on earth so great, so good, so excellent." Amidst these extraordinary graces, what more wonderful than his humility! He conceals his privileges, lives as the most obscure of men, publishes nothing of God's great mysteries, makes no further inquiries into them, leaving it to God to manifest them at his own time, seeks to fulfil the order of providence in his regard without interfering with anything but what concerns himself. Though descended from the royal family which had long been in the possession of the throne of Judea, he is content with his condition, that of a mechanic or handicraftsman, and makes it his business, by labouring in it, to maintain himself, his spouse, and the divine Child.
We should be ungrateful to this great saint if we did not remember that it is to him, as the instrument under God, that we are indebted for the preservation of the infant Jesus from Herod's jealousy and malice, manifested in the slaughter of the Innocents. An angel appearing to him in his sleep bade him arise, take the child Jesus, and fly with him into Egypt, and remain there till he should again have notice from him to return. This sudden and unexpected flight must have exposed Joseph to many inconveniences and sufferings in so long a journey, with a little babe and a tender virgin, the greater part of the way being through deserts and among strangers; yet he alleges no excuses, nor inquires at what time they were to return. St. Chrysostom observes that God treats thus all his servants, sending them frequent trials to clear their hearts from the rust of self-love, but intermixing seasons of consolation.4 "Joseph," says he, "is anxious on seeing the Virgin with child; an angel removes that fear; he rejoices at the child's birth, but a great fear succeeds; the furious king seeks to destroy the child, and the whole city is in an uproar to take away his life. This is followed by another joy- the adoration of the Magi; a new sorrow then arises; he is ordered to fly into a foreign unknown country, without help or acquaintance." It is the opinion of the Fathers that upon their entering Egypt, at the presence of the child Jesus all the oracles of that superstitious country were struck dumb, and the statues of their gods trembled, and in many places fell to the ground, according to that of Isaiah xix.:
After the death of King Herod, which was notified to St. Joseph by a vision, God ordered him to return with the child and his mother into the land of Israel, which our saint readily obeyed. But when he arrived in Judea, hearing that Archelaus succeeded Herod in that part of the country, apprehensive he might be infected with his father's vices- cruelty and ambition-he feared on that account to settle there, as he would otherwise probably have done, for the more commodious education of the child. And therefore, being directed by God in another vision, he retired into the dominions of his brother Herod Antipas, in Galilee, to his former habitation in Nazareth, where the wonderful occurrences of our Lord's birth were less known. St. Joseph being a strict observer of the Mosaic law, in conformity to its direction annually repaired to Jerusalem to celebrate the passover. Archelaus being banished by Augustus and Judea made a Roman province, he had now nothing more to fear at Jerusalem. Our Saviour being advanced to the twelfth year of his age, accompanied his parents thither; who, having performed the usual ceremonies of the feast, were now returning with many of their neighbours and acquaintances towards Galilee, and, never doubting but that Jesus had joined himself with some of the company, they travelled on for a whole day's journey without further inquiry after him before they discovered that he was not with them. But when night came on, and they could hear no tidings of him among their kindred and acquaintance, they, in the deepest affliction, returned with the utmost speed to Jerusalem; where, after an anxious search of three days, they found him in the temple, sitting among the learned doctors of the law, hearing them discourse, and asking them such questions as raised the admiration of all that heard him, and made them astonished at the ripeness of his understanding: nor were his parents less surprised on this occasion. And when his mother told him with what grief and earnestness they had sought him, and to express her sorrow for that, though short, privation of his presence, said to him, "Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? Behold, thy father and I sought thee in great affliction of mind": she received for answer that, being the Messias and Son of God, sent by his Father into the world in order to redeem it, he must be about his Father's business, the same for which he had been sent into the world; and therefore that it was most likely for them to find him in his Father's house: intimating that his appearing in public on this occasion was to advance his Father's honour, and to prepare the princes of the Jews to receive him for the Messias; pointing out to them from the prophets the time of his coming. But though in thus staying in the temple, unknown to his parents, he did something without their leave, in obedience to his heavenly Father, yet in all other things he was obedient to them, returning with them to Nazareth, and there living in all dutiful subjection to them.
Aelred, our countryman, Abbot of Rieval, in his sermon on losing the child Jesus in the temple, observes that this his conduct to his parents is a true representation of that which he shows us, whilst he often withdraws himself for a short time from us to make us seek him the more earnestly. He thus describes the sentiments of his holy parents on this occasion."5 Let us consider what was the happiness of that blessed company, in the way to Jerusalem, to whom it was granted to behold his face, to hear his sweet words, to see in him the signs of divine lie wisdom and virtue; and in their mutual discourse to receive the influence of his saving truths and example. The old and young admire him. I believe boys of his age were struck with astonishment at the gravity of his manners and words. I believe such rays of grace darted from his blessed countenance as drew on him the eyes, ears, and hearts of every one. And what tears do they shed when he is not with them." He goes on considering what must be tie grief of his parents when they had lost him; what their sentiments, and how earnest their search: but what their joy when they found him again. "Discover to me," says he, "O my Lady, Mother of my God, what were your sentiments, what your astonishment and your joy when you saw him again, and sitting, not among boys, but amidst the doctors of the law: when you saw every one's eyes fixed on him, every one's ears listening to him, great and small, learned and unlearned, intent only on his words and motions. You now say: I have found him whom I love. I will hold him, and will no more let him part from me. Hold him, sweet Lady, hold him fast; rush on his neck dwell on his embraces, and compensate the three days' absence by multiplied delights in your present enjoyment of him. You tell him that you and his father sought him in grief. For what did you grieve? not for fear of hunger or want in him whom you knew to be God: but I believe you grieved to see yourself deprived of the delights of his presence even for a short time; for the Lord Jesus is so sweet to those who taste him, that his shortest absence is a subject of the greatest grief to them." This mystery is an emblem of the devout soul, and Jesus sometimes withdrawing himself, and leaving her in dryness, that she may be more earnest in seeking him. But, above all, how eagerly ought the soul which has lost God by sin to seek him again, and how bitterly ought she to deplore her extreme misfortune!
As no further mention is made of St. Joseph, he must have died before the marriage of Cana and the beginning of our divine Saviour's ministry. We cannot doubt but he had the happiness of Jesus and Mary attending at his death, praying by him, assisting and comforting him in his last moments: whence he is particularly invoked for the great grace of a happy death, and the spiritual presence of Jesus in that tremendous hour. The church reads the history of the Patriarch Joseph on his festival, who was styled the saviour of Egypt, which he delivered from perishing by famine; and was appointed the faithful master of the household of Potiphar, and of that of Pharaoh and his kingdom. But our great saint was chosen by God the saviour of the life of him who was the true Saviour of the souls of men, rescuing him from the tyranny of Herod. He is now glorified in heaven, as the guardian and keeper of his Lord on earth. As Pharaoh said to the Egyptians in their distress, "Go to Joseph"; so may we confidently address ourselves to the mediation of him, to whom God, made man, was subject and obedient on earth.
The devout Gerson expressed the warmest devotion to St. Joseph, which he endeavoured by letters and sermons to promote. He composed an office in his honour, and wrote his life in twelve poems, called Josephina. He enlarges on all the circumstances of his life by pious affections and meditations. St. Teresa chose him the chief patron of her order. In the sixth chapter of her life she writes thus: "I chose the glorious St. Joseph for my patron, and I commend myself in all things singularly to his intercession. I do not remember ever to have asked of God anything by him which I did not obtain. I never knew anyone who, by invoking him, did not advance exceedingly in virtue; for he assists in a wonderful manner all who address themselves to him." St. Francis of Sales, throughout his whole nineteenth entertainment, extremely recommends devotion to him, and extols his merits, principally his virginity, humility, constancy, and courage. The Syrians and other eastern churches celebrate his festival on the 20th of July; the western church on the 19th of March. Pope Gregory XV in 1621, and Urban VIII in 1642, commanded it to be kept a holiday of obligation.
The holy family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph presents to us the most perfect model of heavenly conversation on earth. How did those two seraphim, Mary and Joseph, live in their poor cottage! They always enjoyed the presence of Jesus, always burning with the most ardent love for him, inviolably attached to his sacred person, always employed and living only for him. What were their transports in beholding him, their devotion in listening to him, and their joy in possessing him! O heavenly life! O anticipation of the heavenly bliss! O divine conversation! We may imitate them, and share some degree of this advantage, by conversing often with Jesus, and by the contemplation of his most amiable goodness, kindling the fire of his holy love in our breasts. The effects of this love, if it be sincere, will necessarily appear in our putting on his spirit, and imitating his example and virtues; and in our studying to walk continually in the divine presence, finding God everywhere, and esteeming all the time lost which we do not spend with God, or for his honor.
Matthew 1: 16, 18 - 21, 24
and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child of the Holy Spirit;
and her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.
But as he considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit;
she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."
When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife,