Sunday, May 9, 2010



Vatican Channel-Youtube report: Pope Benedict said this morning during his Regina Coeli prayer in St. Peters Square that Mary is "the most beautiful flower bloom in creation," the "spiritual heart" of the Christian community, and the model of the Church, the first and most perfect disciple of Jesus.

The Pope recalled that it is Church tradition to devote the Month of May to the Virgin Mary.
The Holy Father said Mary in fact was the first to fully observe the word of her son, thus proving that she loves him not only as a mother, but first as a humble and obedient servant, which is why God the Father has loved her and why the Holy Trinity dwelt within her.
The Pope then spoke about his upcoming trip to Portugal'


UCAN report — A parish in Kerala, southern India, is tense after a Catholic layman beat a priest, putting him in hospital, in a row over maintenance of the church.

Parishioners blocked a national highway on May 6 demanding action against the priest’s attacker. Police have deployed armed guards in Ezhupunna, a village in Alleppey district.
Father Basil Punchaputhssery, parish priest of Ezhupunna’s St. Raphael Church, was admitted to hospital in Kochi, the state’s commercial capital.
The parish belongs to Ernakulam-Angamaly archdiocese .
A police official told UCA News on May 7 that they have registered a case against two parishioners for attacking the priest.
According to the police, Lalan Tharakan and his son Thomas wanted the priest to cut a tree growing atop the church building. The son beat the priest after a heated argument.
The church, built by the Tharakan family in 1859, was closed 20 months ago after it was found to be in a dilapidated condition. Now, Mass is conducted in a nearby makeshift tent.
The Tharakan family had earlier filed a petition in court against constructing a new church. The court is yet to decide on the matter.
Father Paul Thelakat, the archdiocesan spokesperson, described the incident as “unfortunate and of criminal nature.” He told UCA News May 7 that most parishioners want to rebuild the church.
The parish priest says the father-son duo attacked him unprovoked when he explained to them that the tree could not be cut since the Archeological Survey of India which is looking after the church had banned its renovation.
Thomas told UCA News he only intervened when the priest tried to push his father out of the room. “The parish priest abused my father and me,” he added.
He also pointed out the priest and his assistant are living in the “unsafe” building


All Africa report: MEMBERS of the Martyrs of Uganda Catholic Church in Mamprobi, Accra, Ghana received a rude shock on Sunday when they turned up for worship only to find the sanctity of their church desecrated with human excreta and offensive posters by unknown persons.

The act is said to have been carried out at 3:00am in protest against some policies of the Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra, Charles Palmer-Buckle, who was expected at the church for a confirmation service, according to Ghanaian media reports.
The first church service, which was to begin at 7:00am, was delayed as members waited for the mess to be cleaned up.
Archbishop Palmer-Buckle is facing accusations that he owns a $2m property at the plush Trassacco Valley in Accra. He denies the allegation, which was one of the grievances pinned on the church walls.
"We found human excreta spread across the main entrance of the church this morning," Stephen Avornyo, the general secretary of the Parish Pastoral Council, told Joy News' Yaa Asamoah, according to the online
Avornyo said the act came as a shock to them. He said Archbishop Palmer-Buckle and the entire church were dumbfounded.
The walls of the church also had offensive posters pasted demanding the resignation of the resident pastor and the Archbishop. Some of the inscriptions on the posters, Avornyo said, read: "Palmer-Buckle, if you want more money, sell your $2m Trasaaco mansion".
"We want the resident priest and the Archbishop removed".
It is unclear why the act was committed, but sources say it is linked to recent disagreements between the church leadership and some members in the congregation over a purported take-over of a three-storey facility by the archbishop.


Cath News report. Roseanne Catt, who served 10 years in jail before her conviction for soliciting murder was quashed, is suing the NSW Government for compensation for "loss of liberty under horrific circumstances".

Mrs Catt, a Catholic, is now known as Mrs Beckett, after reverting to her maiden name upon her release from jail. She said her faith in God had helped her survive in jail, said an AAP report in the Sydney Morning Herald.
"I had God on my side and truth so I knew one day I would be vindicated and these people will be brought to justice."
In 1991, a jury found the Wollongong woman guilty of soliciting the murder of her ex-husband Barry Catt by ordering a hit on him.
Ten years later a judicial inquiry was ordered into allegations she was framed. She was released from jail in 2001 after serving most of a 12-year sentence.
One of NSW's longest serving female prisoners, Ms Beckett said it was "absolutely criminal" that the individuals who framed her had not been held accountable for their actions.
"I sat in jail for 10 years because of these wicked people and they haven't been brought to justice."
During the proceedings on Thursday, counsel for the state of NSW Patrick Saidi sought to strike out much of Ms Beckett's statement of claim, including allegations of misconduct by police.
Malicious prosecution has been conceded.


CNA report: Almost two years after a four-alarm fire destroyed a historic, architectural feature of Our Lady of the Lake University’s Main Building, a rebuilt spire weighing 5,000 pounds was raised and set atop of the north tower on April 21. A celebration featuring food, drinks and music preceded the raising of the spire.

The original spire — part of the campus building that opened in 1896 — toppled in flames from Main on May 6, 2008. A local company, Progressive Solutions, reconstructed the spire using modern and traditional methods to ensure it matches the surviving south spire. On March 31, a flatbed trailer delivered the rebuilt spire from Progressive Solutions — located on Broadway — to the campus.
The oversized load required special permits, escorts and a route specified by the Texas Department of Transportation. A crane lifted the two-and-a-half ton structure and placed it in front of Main and cheers rose from assembled faculty and staff on 24th Street.Bartlett Cocke, the general contractor for Main Building, prepared the site for the spire. Bricks that were damaged or destroyed during the fire were replaced and the structure secured. In addition, installation of shingles on the surrounding rooftop was completed for the spire raising.
When the spire was raised, a crested railing was added to the roof on both sides of the statue of Mary. The crested railing is an original architectural feature that was removed at some point in the history of the building.
To recreate the railing, artisan Roman Peña studied old photos of Main building and created a drawing of the railing. He then carved a form out of wood. The form was used to make a mold and that was used to create a cast aluminum railing. He used a similar process to recreate two weather vanes that used to sit atop the two spires.
Recreating these architectural features will assist OLLU with seeking National Register historic designation for Main when it is complete.
Sister Jane Ann Slater, superior general of the Congregation of the Divine Providence, offered a prayer and a special blessing. Carlos Gonzalez, OLLU Student Government Association president, also spoke, and OLLU music major Mallorie Gonzales sang “On Eagles Wings” as the spire was raised.
OLLU President Dr. Tessa Martinez Pollack delivered remarks on the historical significance of the day.
“I have a little bit of déjà vu being here, but it has a different tenor today, as there is hope and optimism,” said Martinez Pollack. “This is another transformation an institution and family undergoes when it experiences an event not of its choosing. This represents our ascent.”
The OLLU president said the return of the spire was not just about replacing a piece of missing architecture, but a renewal of the spirit made possible by the tireless work of university faculty and staff, who have been working in cramped temporary quarters following the loss of the building.
Prior to the spire raising, OLLU announced InSpire, a new year-long program that will cover all tuition and fees for qualifying freshman students that will begin with the entering fall class of 2010.
In addition to covering tuition and fees, the program will offer enhanced mentoring and experiential learning opportunities focused on meeting their high aspirations for a college education.
Through InSpire, OLLU is going beyond its financial support for students in order to add value to their educations, to increase their persistence toward graduation and to ultimately receive their degrees. The initiative is one part of the university’s goal to provide 100 percent of students with an internship prior to graduation. At present, over 50 percent of OLLU students complete an internship as undergraduates.


Fides report: The town of Lourdes is hosting the 23rd World Congress and General Assembly of the International Federation of Associations of Catholic Doctors (FIAMC or Fédération Internationale des Associations Médicales Catholiques"), on the theme “Medicine and Faith”. Sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care, the Congress-pilgrimage is reflecting on the theme “Our Faith as Doctors”. For the first time this event has brought thousands of doctors from all over the world to Lourdes. In the opening address, Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, President Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care of Health Workers, recalled that the Charter of Health Workers, states “ pastoral care of the sick consists of spiritual and religious assistance and this is a fundamental right of every sick person and a duty of the Church”. Again quoting the Charter, issued in 1995 by the Pontifical Council, Archbishop Zimowski said because of the “ necessary interaction between physical, psychic and spiritual dimension of the person and because of the duty to bear witness to one's faith, the health-care worker is bound to create the conditions to ensure that religious assistance is given to anyone who explicitly or implicitly demands it ”. The President also mentioned the figure and thought of certain doctors who, worked to protect life and rejecting speculative and/or superficial behaviour, walked the path of holiness or in any case of witness to what it means to be 'authentic' Catholic doctors. These persons include Saint Giuseppe Moscati and Saint Riccardo Pampuri, O.H, Saint Gianna Beretta Molla and Prof. Jèrôme Lejeune. Because “Catholic doctors - the Archbishop concluded - are able to represent the authentic image of care and hope ”.

The “mission” of FIAMC is to safeguard, protect and promote human life in all the different cultures. In this context, individual action is not sufficient. The Federation comprises circa 60 national associations of Catholic doctors from all over the world, subdivided in 6 regions: Africa, Asia (AFCMA), Australia and New Zealand, Europe (FEAMC), North America, Latin America


St. Pachomius
Feast: May 9
Information: Feast Day: May 9
Born: 292, Thebes, Egypt
Died: 9 May 348, Egypt
Though St. Antony be justly esteemed the institutor of the cenobitic life, or that of religious persons living in community under a certain rule, St. Pachomius was the first who drew up a monastic rule in writing. He was born in Upper Thebais about the year 292, of idolatrous parents, and was educated in their blind superstition, and in the study of the Egyptian sciences. From his infancy, he was meek and modest, and had an aversion to the profane ceremonies used by the infidels in the worship of their idols. Being about twenty years of age, he was pressed into the emperor's troops, probably the tyrant Maximinus, who was master of Egypt from the year 310; and in 312 made great levies to carry on a war against Licinius and Constantine. He was, with several other recruits, put on board a vessel that was falling down the river. They arrived in the evening at Thebes, or Diospolis, the capital of Thebais, a city in which dwelt many Christians. Those true disciples of Christ sought every opportunity of relieving and comforting all that were in distress, and were moved with compassion towards the recruits, who were kept close confined, and very ill-treated. The Christians of this city showed them the same tenderness as if they had been their own children; took all possible care of them, and supplied them liberally with money and necessaries.
Such an uncommon example of disinterested virtue made a great impression on the mind of Pachomius. He inquired who their pious benefactors were, and when he heard that they believed in Jesus Christ the only Son of God, and that in the hope of a reward in the world to come, they labored continually to do good to all mankind, he found kindled in his heart a great love of so holy a law, and an ardent desire of serving the God whom these good men adored. The next day, when he was continuing his journey down the river, the remembrance of this purpose strengthened him to resist a carnal temptation. From his infancy he had been always a lover of chastity and temperance but the example of the Christians had made those virtues appear to him far more amiable, and in a new light.
After the overthrow of Maximinus, his forces were disbanded. Pachomius was no sooner returned home, but he repaired to a town in Thebais, in which there was a Christian church, and there he entered his name among the catechumens, or such as were preparing for baptism; and having gone through the usual course of preliminary instructions and practices with great attention and fervor, he received that sacrament at Chenoboscium, with great sentiments of piety and devotion. From his first acquaintance with our holy faith at Thebes, he had always made this his prayer: "O God, Creator of heaven and earth, cast on me an eye of pity: deliver me from my miseries: teach me the true way of pleasing you, and it shall be the whole employment, and most earnest study of my life to serve you, and to do your will." The perfect sacrifice of his heart to God, was the beginning of his eminent virtue. The grace by which God reigns in a soul, is a treasure infinitely above all price. We must give all to purchase it. To desire it faintly is to undervalue it. He is absolutely disqualified and unfit for so great a blessing, and unworthy ever to receive it, who seeks it by halves, or who does not esteem all other things as dung that he may gain Christ.
When Pachomius was baptized, he began seriously to consider with himself how he should most faithfully fulfil the obligations which he had contracted, and attain to the great end to which he aspired. There is danger even in fervor itself. It is often an artifice of the devil to make a novice undertake too much at first, and run indiscreetly beyond his strength. If the sails gather too much wind, the vessel is driven ahead, falls on some rock and splits. Eagerness is a symptom of secret passion, not of true virtue, where it is wilful and impatient at advice. Pachomius was far from so dangerous a disposition, because his desire was pure, therefore his first care was to find a skilful conductor.
Hearing that a venerable old man named Palemon, served God in the desert in great perfection, he sought him out, and with great earnestness begged to live under his direction. The hermit having set before him the difficulties and austerities of his way of life, which several had already attempted in vain to follow, advised him to make a trial of his strength and fervor in some monastery; and, to give him a sketch of the difficulties he had to encounter in the life he aspired to, he added: "Consider, my son, that my diet is only bread and salt: I drink no wine, use no oil, watch one half of the night, spending that time in singing psalms or in meditating on the holy scriptures, and sometimes pass the whole night without sleeping." Pachomius was amazed at this account, but not discouraged. He thought himself able to undertake every thing that might be a means to render his soul pleasing to God, and readily promised to observe whatever Palemon should think fit to enjoin him; who thereupon admitted him into his cell, and gave him the monastic habit. Pachomius was by his example enabled to bear solitude, and an acquaintance with himself. They sometimes repeated together the psalter, at other times they exercised themselves in manual labors (which they accompanied with interior prayer,) with a view to their own subsistence and the relief of the poor. Pachomius prayed above all things, for perfect purity of heart, that being disengaged from all secret attachment to creatures, he might love God with all his affections. And to destroy the very roots of all inordinate passions, it was his first study to obtain the most profound humility, and perfect patience and meekness. He prayed often with his arms stretched out in the form of a cross; which posture was then much used in the church. He was in the beginning often drowsy at the night office. Palemon used to rouse him, and say: "Labor and watch, my dear Pachomius, lest the enemy overthrow you and ruin all your endeavors." Against this weakness and temptation he enjoined him, on such occasions, to carry sand from one place to another, till his drowsiness was overcome. By this means the novice strengthened himself in the habit of watching. Whatever instructions he read or heard, he immediately endeavored fervently to reduce to practice.
One Easter-day Palemon bade the disciple prepare a dinner for that great festival. Pachomius took a little oil, and mixed it with the salt, which he pounded small, and added a few wild herbs, which they were to eat with their bread. The holy old man having made his prayer, came to table; but at the sight of the oil he struck himself on the forehead, and said, with tears: "My Saviour was crucified, and shall I indulge myself so far as to eat oil?" Nor could he be prevailed upon to taste it.
Pachomius used sometimes to go into a vast uninhabited desert, on the banks of the Nile, called Tabenna, in the diocese of Tentyra, a city between the Great and Little Diospolis. While he was there one day in prayer, he heard a voice which commanded him to build a monastery in that place, in which he should receive those who should be sent by God to serve him faithfully. He received, about the same time, from an angel who appeared to him, certain instructions relating to a monastic life.. Pachomius going back to Palemon, imparted to him this vision; and both of them coming to Tabenna, built there a little cell towards the year 325, about twenty years after St. Antony had founded his first monastery. After a short time, Palemon returned to his former dwelling, having promised his disciple a yearly visit, but he died soon after, and is honored in the Roman Martyrology on the 11th of January.
Pachomius received first his own eldest brother John, and after his death many others, so that he enlarged his house; and the number of his monks in a short time amounted to a hundred. Their clothing was of rough linen; that of St. Pachomius himself often haircloth. He passed fifteen years without ever lying down, taking his short rest sitting on a stone. He even grudged himself the least time which he allowed to necessary sleep, because he wished he could have been able to employ all his moments in the actual exercises of divine love. From the time of his conversion he never ate a full meal. By his rule, the fasts and tasks of work were proportioned to every one's strength; though all are together in one common refectory, in silence, with their cowl or hood drawn over their heads, that they might not see one another at their meals. Their habit was a tunic of white linen without sleeves, with a cowl of the same stuff; they wore on their shoulders a white goatskin, called a Melotes. They received the holy communion on the first and last days of every week. Novices were tried with great severity before they were admitted to the habit, the taking of which was then deemed the monastic profession, and attended with the vows. St. Pachomius preferred none of his monks to holy orders, and his monasteries were often served by priests from abroad, though he admitted priests, when any presented themselves, to the habit, and he employed them in the functions of their ministry. All his monks were occupied in various kinds of manual labor: no moment was allowed for idleness. The saint, with the greatest care, comforted and served the sick himself. Silence was so strictly observed at Tabenna, that a monk, who wanted any thing necessary, was only to ask for it by signs. In going from one place to another, the monks were ordered always to meditate on some passage of the holy scripture, and sing psalms at their work. The sacrifice of the mass was offered for every monk that died, as we read in the life of St. Pachomius. His rule was translated into Latin by St. Jerome, and is still extant. He received the sickly and weak, rejecting none for the want of corporal strength, being desirous to conduct to heaven all souls which had fervor to walk in the paths of perfection. He built six other monasteries in Thebias, not far asunder, and from the year 336, chose often to reside in that of Pabau, or Pau, near Thebes, in its territory, though not far from Tabenna, situated in the neighboring province of Diospolis, also in Thebais. Pabau became a more numerous and more famous monastery than Tabenna itself. By the advice of Serapion, bishop of Tentyra, he built a church in a village for the benefit of the poor shepherds, in which for some time he performed the office of Lector, reading to the people the word of God with admirable fervor; in which function he appeared rather like an angel than a man. He converted many infidels, and zealously opposed the Arians, but could never be induced by his bishop to receive the holy order of priesthood. In 333, he was favored with a visit of St. Athanasius at Tabenna. His sister, at a certain time, came to his monastery desiring to see him; but he sent her word at the gate, that no woman could be allowed to enter his enclosure, and that she ought to be satisfied with hearing that he was alive. However, it being her desire to embrace a religious state, he built her a nunnery on the other side of the Nile, which was soon filled with holy virgins. St. Pachomius going one day to Pane, one of his monasteries, met the funeral procession of a tepid monk deceased. Knowing the wretched state in which he died and to strike a terror into the slothful, he forbade his monks to proceed in singing psalms, and ordered the clothes which covered the corpse to be burnt, saying: "Honors could only increase his torments; but the ignominy with which his body was treated, might move God to show more mercy to his soul; for God forgives some sins not only in this world, but also in the next." When the procurator of the house had sold the mats at market at a higher price than the saint had bid him, he ordered him to carry back the money to the buyers, and chastised him for his avarice.
Among many miracles wrought by him, the author of his life assures us, that though he had never learned the Greek or Latin tongues, he sometimes miraculously spoke them; he cured the sick and persons possessed by devils with blessed oil. But he often told sick or distressed persons, that their sickness or affliction was an effect of the divine goodness in their behalf; and he only prayed for their temporal comfort, with this clause or condition, if it should not prove hurtful to their souls. His dearest disciple, St. Theodorus, who after his death succeeded him in the government of his monasteries, was afflicted with a perpetual headache. St. Pachomius, when desired by some of the brethren to pray for his health, answered: "Though abstinence and prayer be of great merit, yet sickness, suffered with patience, is of much greater." He chiefly begged of God the spiritual health of the souls of his disciples and others, and took every opportunity to curb and heal their passions, especially that of pride. One day a certain monk having doubled his diligence at work, and made two mats instead of one, set them where St. Pachomius might see them. The saint perceiving the snare, said, "This brother hath taken a great deal of pains from morning till night, to give his work to the devil." And, to cure his vanity by humiliations, he enjoined him, by way of penance, to keep his cell fire months, with no other allowance than a little bread, salt, and water. A young man named Sylvanus; who had been an actor on the stage, entered the monastery of St. Pachomius with the view of doing penance, but led for some time an undisciplined life, often transgressing the rules of the house, and still fond of entertaining himself and others with buffooneries. The man of God endeavored to make him sensible of his danger by charitable remonstrances, and also employed his more potent arms of prayer, sighs, and tears, for his poor soul. Though for some time he found his endeavors fruitless, he did not desist on that account; and having one day represented to this impenitent sinner, in a very pathetic manner, the dreadful judgments which threaten those that mock God, the divine grace touching the heart of Sylvanus, he from that moment began, to lead a life of great edification to the rest of the brethren; and being moved with the most feeling sentiments of compunction, he never failed, wheresoever he was, and howsoever employed, to bewail with bitterness his past misdemeanors. When others entreated him to moderate the floods of his tears, "Ah," said he, "how can I help weeping, when I consider the wretchedness of my past life, and that by my sloth I have profaned what was most sacred? I have reason to fear lest the earth should open under my feet, and swallow me up, as it did Dathan and Abiron. Oh! suffer me to labor with ever-flowing fountains of tears, to expiate my innumerable sins. I ought, if I could, even to pour forth this wretched soul of mine in mourning; it would be all too little for my offences." In these sentiments of contrition he made so "real progress in virtue, that the holy abbot proposed him as a model of humility to the rest; and when, after eight years spent in this penitential course, God had called him to himself by a holy death, St. Pachomius was assured by a revelation, that his soul was presented by angels a most agreeable sacrifice to Christ. The saint was favored with a spirit of prophecy, and with great grief foretold the decay of monastic fervor in his order in succeeding ages. In 348 he was cited before a council of bishops at Latopolis, to answer certain matters laid to his charge. He justified himself against the calumniators, but in such a manner that the whole council admired his extraordinary humility. The same year, God afflicted his monasteries with a pestilence, which swept off a hundred monks. The saint himself fell sick, and during forty days suffered a painful distemper with incredible patience and cheerfulness, discovering a great interior joy at the approach of the end of his earthly pilgrimage. In his last moments he exhorted his monks to fervor, and having armed himself with the sign of the cross, resigned his happy soul into the hands of his Creator in the fifty-seventh year of his age. He lived to see in his different monasteries seven thousand monks. His order subsisted in the cast till the eleventh century: for Anselm, bishop of Havelburgh, writes, that he saw five hundred monks of this institute in a monastery at Constantinople. St. Pachomius formed his disciples to so eminent a degree of perfection chiefly by his own fervent spirit and example; for he always appeared the first, the most exact, and the most fervent, in all the exercises of the community. To the fervor and watchfulness of the superior it was owing that in so numerous a community discipline was observed with astonishing regularity, as Palladius and Cassian observe. The former says that they ate with their cowl drawn so as to hide the greatest part of their faces, and with their eyes cast down, never looking at one another. Many contented themselves with taking a very few mouthfuls of bread and oil, or of such like dish; others of pottage only. So great was the silence that reigned among them while every one followed his employment, that in the midst of so great a multitude; a person seemed to be in a solitude. Cassian tells us, that the more numerous the monastery was, the more perfect and rigorous was regular observance of discipline, and all constantly obeyed their superior more readily than a single person is found to do in other places. Nothing so much weakens the fervor of inferiors as the example of a superior who easily allows himself exemptions or dispensations in the rule. The relaxation of monastic discipline is often owing to no other cause. How enormous is the crime of such a scandal!


Acts 15: 1 - 2, 22 - 29

1 But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brethren, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved."

2 And when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question.

22 Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called Barsab'bas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren,

23 with the following letter: "The brethren, both the apostles and the elders, to the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cili'cia, greeting.

24 Since we have heard that some persons from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your minds, although we gave them no instructions,

25 it has seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to choose men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,

26 men who have risked their lives for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ.

27 We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will tell you the same things by word of mouth.

28 For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things:

29 that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from unchastity. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell."

Psalms 67: 2 - 3, 5 - 6, 8

2 that thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving power among all nations.

3 Let the peoples praise thee, O God; let all the peoples praise thee!

5 Let the peoples praise thee, O God; let all the peoples praise thee!

6 The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, has blessed us.

Revelation 21: 10 - 14, 22 - 23

10 And in the Spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God,

11 having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.

12 It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed;

13 on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates.

14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

22 And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.

23 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb.

John 14: 23 - 29

23 Jesus answered him, "If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

24 He who does not love me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me.

25 "These things I have spoken to you, while I am still with you.

26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

28 You heard me say to you, `I go away, and I will come to you.' If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I.

29 And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place, you may believe.




YouTube Vatican channel report: The Bishops are here in Rome for their ad limina visits
The Pope told the bishops that a strong pastoral concern for vocations, solid religious formation, and a heightened commitment to the formation of the laity are the ways to respond to the decline in priests and the difficulties of the Church in secular society in Belgium.
The pope stressed that the personal testimony of priests and consecrated persons is the foundation of all true pastoral approach.
He told the bishops to appreciate the work being done and stressed the importance of the recent canonization of Father Damien De Veuster, a saint who has dedicated himself to the apostolate of lepers giving his life for the work that still speaks to the people of Belgium.

YouTube Vatican channel report: Pope Benedict spoke about the life of Cardinal Luigi Poggi after his funeral on Friday evening. The 92 year old cardinal died last Tuesday at the age of 92.
In his remarks, the Holy Father traced the long life of the prelate, whom he called a faithful servant of the Gospel and the Church. He also spoke of the hope of the resurrection. He said in the face of the mystery of death, which for those with no faith all seems hopelessly lost, for those who have faith, the pious death of a brother in Christ is always a cause of deep and grateful wonder, because it frees us from darkness as we are drawn to the Father by his beloved Son


All Africa report. The water seeped into Feliciana Teresa Matia's home from beneath its mud floor and when her 20-year-old son Francisco got up to go to work, grabbing a metal pole for guidance in the dark, he was electrocuted. Clutching her dead son's identity card, the 49-year-old widow wept quietly as she told of how she had returned home from visiting family to be told her son was in the morgue.
"It's very, very sad, I can't stop thinking about it," she said, adding: "I don't want to live here any more, I want to move away to another place but I have nowhere to go." Feliciana lives in a small concrete block house that she and her family built in the Boavista neighbourhood near Luanda's port.
Their home - three dark rooms around a small central yard - lies next to an open drain which is full of stagnant green water and rotting litter.
A few hundred metres away, smartly-dressed American and European oil executives climb out of oversized sports utility vehicles as they arrive at at SONILS, the main operations hub for Angola's billion-dollar oil industry.
Angola pumps close to two million of barrels of oil per day and the International Monetary Fund has forecast a growth of 7.1 percent for 2010.
Yet despite its booming economy, the majority of Angolans live like Feliciana in slum-like conditions, And every year when the rain comes, chaos ensues.
This season's rains have claimed 54 lives, left more than 65,000 people homeless and destroyed schools, bridges and businesses.
While the provinces in the south and the north of the country experienced the most rainfall, the overcrowded capital Luanda bore a large brunt of the damage.
Heavy downpours during February, March and April left large areas of the city under water, newly-laid roads collapsed, drains filled up and overflowed, homes were washed away and schools and health posts flooded.
"These are neighbourhoods which are densely populated with houses built in a disorderly way and where sanitation arrangements are precarious," explained Cupi Baptista, head of Water and Sanitation at the NGO Development Workshop (DW).
"There are many difficulties here," he added. "The construction is not good quality, many families do not have latrines and defecate in the open air, so when it rains you can imagine how the situation gets worse."
The rain-induced chaos in the capital triggered a "solidarity campaign" where rank and file members of the ruling MPLA (Movimento Popular para a Libertação de Angola - Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola) rolled up their sleeves and helped clear litter and stagnant water from the worst-hit parts of the city.
Various high level political visits have also been made to the affected neighbourhoods and there has been a wave of pledges from various sectors of government to take action to improve roads and drainage and avoid a repetition of the situation next year.
During a rare news conference held at the Presidential Palace, Minister of State and the President's Chief of Staff, Carlos Feijó, said a new plan was being drawn up to find "integrated solutions" for the parts of Luanda worst-hit by the flooding.
"Due to the consequences of the recent rains in Luanda, one of the concerns of the president and the executive in general, is how we deal with the problem of Luanda," he said.
Feijó explained a plan has already been made to redefine city boundaries and reorganise and improve administration.
He added that a new unit had been created to oversee basic sanitation in the capital, focussing on micro and macro-drainage programmes, and a new credit line from Brazil would finance completion of the rehabilitation of Luanda's trunk roads and secondary routes.
"So that the new drainage works and the other works in the city can be useful and done to time, we need to have a resettlement programme of relocation," he explained.
"We need an integrated programme for Luanda, and an integrated programme means a combination of various factors, sanitation, roads and population resettlement."
But Luisete Araújo, political secretary for the Partidos de Oposição Civil (Civil Opposition Parties), is sceptical about the media fanfare surrounding the Government's reaction to the flooding.
She said: "These speeches are just made for radio and television, to distract people from the real problems and the lack of action, nothing will change, we have been here before."
She added: "And work that has been done is of such poor quality it doesn't last, it just creates more problems, that is what happened with the rains this year.
"The war has been over here for eight years now, something needs to start happening, there have been too many broken promises."
Although there is new language from within government about proactively addressing the problems in peri-urban Luanda in a bid to improve conditions and reduce poverty levels, officials have also appealed families not to build in high risk areas or along water lines.
But Araújo said it was time the government stopped blaming Angolans for the problem"This happens every year when the rains come and it proves the government is not prepared," she said. "They should take preventative measures during the dry season, not wait for it to rain."It is not the fault of the people for building their homes in these places, they have nowhere else to go."
Minister of State Feijó said population relocation would be done in conjunction with a social housing plan, but gave little detail at the news conference.
Baptista, from DW, admitted there had been a number of plans over the year to improve drainage and water supplies in Luanda, but that they had not always been completed due to what he called "logistical constraints".
But he said: "The idea of a more integrated approach is welcome because we have seen things happen in piecemeal ways for too long.
"We hope that this idea is put into practice and we see more joined up solutions because this is what we need."


Princeton University report: Princeton legal philosopher and constitutional scholar Robert George has been awarded the Honorific Medal for the Defense of Human Rights of the Republic of Poland, which recognizes outstanding achievement in the field of human rights.

Marek Zubik, deputy ombudsman of the Office of the Commissioner for Civil Rights Protection and a law professor at the University of Warsaw, bestowed the medal in a ceremony May 4 at the University of Warsaw, after which George delivered the 2010 Petrazycki Lecture in legal philosophy on "Natural Law, God and Human Dignity."George was chosen for the honor by Poland's Commissioner for Civil Rights Protection Janusz Kochanowski, who died in the April 10 plane crash that also killed the country's president and dozens of political and military leaders.
(Left to right) Robert George with Polish Deputy Ombudsman of the Office of the Commissioner for Civil Rights Protection Marek Zubik and Marta Kochanowski, the daughter of the late Commissioner for Civil Rights Protection Janusz Kochanowski. (Photo: Courtesy of the Office of the Commissioner for Civil Rights Protection)

At Princeton, George is the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, a professor of politics and the director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. He is the author or co-author of several books, including "Body-Self Dualism in Contemporary Ethics and Politics," "Embryo: A Defense of Human Life," "The Clash of Orthodoxies: Law, Religion and Morality in Crisis," "In Defense of Natural Law" and "Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality."
He has served as a presidential appointee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and as a member of the President's Council on Bioethics. He was a judicial fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States, where he received the Justice Tom C. Clark Award. He currently serves on UNESCO's World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Among George's other honors are the Presidential Citizens Medal, the Bradley Prize for Intellectual and Civic Achievement, the Philip Merrill Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Liberal Arts, and honorary doctorates of law, ethics, letters, science, civil law, humane letters and juridical science.


CNA report: Catholic Charities is bringing youth and Catholic social teaching together in a radical new way this summer in the hopes of sparking a nationwide movement for the future of the Church. Christ in the City, as the program is called, seeks to form young people at all levels and send them out in the world to bring Christ into all sorts of ministries.

“The vision of Christ in the City is to have hundreds of young people from throughout the country serving in cities across the nation,” Dr. Jonathan Reyes, President of Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of Denver, told CNA. “It’s a vision of a program that includes an intellectual dimension, a spiritual formation dimension, and a service dimension.”
“We want to integrate the whole human person in the service of those most in need,” said Reyes, “and we believe we can do that through strong education in Catholic social teaching, through living situations that are centered around the spiritual life and that include professional spiritual formators, and we know we can do that by getting people out on the streets and into our homeless shelters, and our emergency assistance care centers, and into the places that most need help.”
“In all of these locations, you are going to see the elements of God, care, love, home,” said Patrick Tracy, a college student who has been helping Catholic Charities set up the Christ in the City program. “And I promise you, that if you come to this Christ in the City program, you will not only be spiritually nourished in the act of serving others, you’ll be physically nourished from the sites.”
“In Christ in the City, you are going to see people, you’re going to see humanity, in its place, as they are,” described Tracy. “You’re going to meet people at their level and step out of your world.”
This year, the program begins as a two week “adventure,” said Reyes. Participants will walk around the city and get a tour of Denver’s homeless population. They will visit homeless shelters, meet with professionals with years of experience working to serve those most in need, speak with lawmakers, local business owners, and even Denver’s bishops, about what can be done to help serve from different perspectives in the community.
The hope is that, after experiencing the intensity of the two-week program, participants will be key contributors in setting up a year-long program with the same focus.
One of the goals of Christ in the City is to help people, not just in their material needs, but spiritually as well.
“We believe that Christ in the City is a program oriented towards serving the poor in all of their needs: the Spiritual Works of Mercy, the Corporal Works of Mercy,” Reyes said, extending his invitation to college-aged youth nationwide. “To help them, to befriend them, to serve them, is a testimony that the Holy Father is calling for.”
“Recently, the Holy Fathers, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, have issued a summons to youth in particular to be involved in the formation and the transformation of our society,” recalled Reyes.
“We at Catholic Charities believe that a fundamental approach to this transformation is to have youth not only learn their faith and study their faith, but to literally take it to the streets.”


Asia News report: Thousands attended the mass, several hundred protested outside, fearing that Mgr. Kiet will be removed, in compliance with the harsh demands of the government. The vice-president of the Episcopal conference stresses unity and common love for the Church.

Hanoi (AsiaNews) - Thousands of Catholics took part yesterday morning at the installation ceremony of the new coadjutor bishop of Hanoi, Mgr. Peter Nguyen Van Nhon in the Cathedral of St. Joseph. Bishop Van Nhon, 72, is assistant to Mgr. Joseph Ngo Quang Kiet, 58, ill for many years. The ceremony took place in a calm atmosphere, despite fears of protests.
Many Catholics in Hanoi are concerned that the Vatican has gone along with government demands [to remove the archbishop] and hasten the arrival of assistant on the removal of Msgr. Kiet. Some think that the change of leadership in the diocese of Hanoi is a condition placed by the government after the resumption of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Vietnam, an aim that the Vatican has pursued for years through informal dialogues.
Yesterday morning, hundreds of people remained outside the cathedral with placards and banners to express their appreciation for Mgr. Ngo Quang Kiet, asking that he not be removed from the diocese (see photo). Inside the cathedral, in his speech, Archbishop Kiet acknowledged the fears of the faithful concerning the appointment of Mgr. Van Nhon. "In the past - he said - the Church of the North has suffered greatly. The Archdiocese of Hanoi has lived miserable time. From the psychological point of view, having suffered so much in our lives, it is natural and even necessary to be alert. "
But he also assured the faithful that Mgr. Peter Nguyen Van Nhon will love and take care of the diocese and of his flock: "your happiness - said Mgr. Kiet - will be his joy, your sadness will be his bitterness, and your aspirations will be his wishes. He will live and die with you".
Bishop Joseph Nguyen Chi Linh, vice President of the Vietnamese Episcopal conference, congratulated Mgr. Kiet for receiving Mgr. Van Nhon as coadjutor. He also admitted that the appointment has inflamed disputes between Vietnamese Catholics. "Some pessimists - he explained - have defined it a big mistake of the Vatican, a sign of division among the bishops and bishops' conference, a sign of manipulation and as a sad chapter in the history of the Church of Vietnam and Hanoi in particular" . The prelate stressed, however, some positive signs. First, that "the bishops of the nation had the opportunity to listen to the faithful from various situations of life" and second, "despite the various differences of opinion on the appointment, they show a common point, which is the love of all faithful of the Church”.
He also has invited Catholics to pray for the Church in Vietnam.


Cath News report: Word is spreading in in Hermannsburg, west of Alice Springs, that an Aboriginal woman said she was cured from an illness some momnths ago after drinking from a tap next to the site of the old Lutheran church.

Aborigines believe this is holy ground, because the missionaries built it on a spot God had personally chosen, reports the Daily Telegraph.
Elderly or ill Aborigines in Alice Springs are asking relatives to bring them the holy water, which they drink straight from the bottle.
This issue requires gentle management by the Lutheran Church or, to put it another, more accurate way, non-management. They quietly hope the tap will go away, the report adds.
There is history here, said the Telegraph. For years, Hermannsburg Aborigines eyed with fond envy the people of the Catholic community of Santa Teresa, about 200km east, who had their own place of miraculous healing. It was a spring in a hillside.
The Santa Teresa site generated strong believers. Aboriginal prisoners would ask family members to bring them the holy water to drink, said the report.
While the Church wished neither to ridicule the people's beliefs nor encourage them, the spring wasn't recognised as a place of miracles.
The newspaper cites an insider saying: "I knew a man in charge of power and water. The spring is very near a water tower. The man said to me, 'I think there's a leak in the water pipe and I'm not game to fix it.'
"But since then, they have fixed the leak and the water has dried up."


St. Peter of Tarantaise

Feast: May 8
Information: Feast Day: May 8

Born: 1102, Saint-Maurice-l'Exil near Vienne, a town ot the Rhône-Alpes

Died: 1174, Bellevaux Abbey

Major Shrine: 1191 by Pope Celestine III
He was a native of Dauphine. A strong inclination to learning, assisted by a good genius and a happy memory, carried him very successfully through his studies. At twenty years of age he took the Cistercian habit at Bonnevaux, a monastery that had been lately filled by a colony sent by St. Bernard from Clairvaux. They employed a great part of the day in hewing wood, and tilling the ground in the forest, in perpetual silence and interior prayer. They ate but once a day, and their fare was herbs or roots, mostly turnips of a coarse sort. Four hours in the twenty-four was the usual allowance for sleep; so that, rising at midnight, they continued in the church till it was morning, and returned no more to rest: which was the primitive custom of that order. Peter practiced the greatest austerities with fervor and alacrity: he was most exactly obedient, obliging to all, humble, and modest. His pious parents, after the birth of four children, lived in perpetual continency, and the practice of rigorous abstinence, prayed much, and gave large alms: their house they seemed to turn into a hospital, so great was the number of poor and strangers they constantly entertained, whom they furnished with good beds, while they themselves often lay on straw. The father and his two other sons at length followed Peter to Bonnevaux and the mother and daughter embraced the same order in a neighboring nunnery. The year after Peter had taken the monastic habit, his example was followed by Amedeus, nearly related to the emperor Conrad III., and sixteen other persons of worth and distinction. Amedeus, indeed, having there made his solemn profession with the rest, by the advice of persons of great virtue and discretion, spent some time at Cluni, the better to superintend his son's education, in the school established there for the education of youth: but he returned after some time to Bonnevaux; and made it his request, at his readmission, that he might be enjoined the lowest offices in the house. To this the abbot, for his greater advancement in humility and penance, consented. The earl of Albion, his uncle, coming one day to see him, found him in a sweat, cleaning the monks' dirty shoes, and, at the same time, so attentive to his prayers, as not to perceive him. The earl remembering in what state he had seen him in the world, was so struck and so much edified at this spectacle, that he ever after retained the deep impression which it made on his mind, and published it at court. Amedeus built four monasteries of his order: among which was that of Tamies, or Stomedium, in the desert mountains of the diocese of Tarentaise, of which he procured his intimate friend St. Peter, not then quite thirty years of age, to be appointed the first abbot, in 1128. Amedeus worked himself with his spade and mattock in building some of these monasteries, and died at Bonnevaux, in the odor of sanctity, in 1140. His son Amedeus, for whose education in piety he had always the greatest concern, after having spent part of his youth in the court of his kinsman the emperor, became a Cistercian monk under St. Bernard, at Clairvaux, and died bishop of Lausanne.
The monastery of Tamies seemed a house of terrestrial angels; so constantly were its inhabitants occupied in the employment of angels, paying to God an uninterrupted homage of praise, adoration, and love. St. Peter, by the help of Amedeus III., count of Savoy, founded in it a hospital to receive all the poor sick persons of the country, and all strangers; and would be himself its servant to attend them. In 1142, the count of Savoy procured his election to the archbishopric of Tarentaise, and he was compelled by St. Bernard and the general chapter of his order, though much against his own inclinations, to accept of that charge. Indeed, that diocese stood extremely in need of such an apostolic pastor, having been usurped by a powerful ambitious wolf, named Idrael, whose deposition left it in the most desolate condition. The parish-churches and tithes were sacrilegiously held by laymen; and the clergy, who ought to have stemmed the torrent of iniquity, contributed but too often to promote irregularity by their own wicked example. The sight of these evils drew tears from the eyes of the saint, with which he night and day implored the divine mercy upon the souls intrusted to his care. He directed all his fasts, his prayers, and labors, for the good of his flock: being persuaded that the sanctification of the people committed to his charge was an essential condition for securing his own salvation. He altered nothing in the simplicity of a monastic life, and looked on the episcopal character as a laborious employment rather than a dignity. His clothes were plain, and his food coarse; for he ate nothing but brown bread, herbs, and pulse, of which the poor had always their share. He made the constant visitation of his diocese his employ; he everywhere exhorted and instructed his whole charge with unwearied zeal and invincible patience, and besides, he provided the several parishes of his diocese with able and virtuous pastors. When he came to his bishopric, he found the chapter of his cathedral full of irregularities, and the service of God performed in a very careless manner; but he soon made that church a pattern of good order and devotion. He recovered the tithes and other revenues of the church that had been usurped by certain powerful laymen; made many excellent foundations for the education of youth, and the relief of the poor; repaired several churches, and restored everywhere devotion and the decent service of God. The author of his life, who was the constant companion of his labors, and the witness of the greatest part of his actions after he was made bishop, assures us he wrought many miracles in several places, chiefly in curing the sick, and multiplying provisions for the poor in times of great distress; so that he was regarded as a new Thaumaturgus. The confusion his humility suffered from the honors he received, joined to his love of solitude, made him resolve to retire from the world; and accordingly, in 1155, after he had borne the weight of the episcopal character thirteen years, having settled his diocese in good order, he disappeared on a sudden; and made his way to a retired monastery of Cistercians in Germany, where he was not known. In the mean time, his family and diocese mourned for the loss of their tender father. Strict inquiry was made in all the neighboring provinces, especially in the monasteries, but in vain; till, after some time, divine providence discovered him by the following accident. A young man, who had been brought up under his care, came to the monastery in which he lay concealed, and upon observing the monks as they were going out of the church to their work, he knew his bishop, and made him known to the whole community. The religious no sooner understood who he was, but they all fell at his feet, begged his blessing, and expressed much concern for not having known him before. The saint was inconsolable at being discovered, and was meditating a new escape, but he was so carefully watched, that it was not in his power; so that he was forced to go back to his diocese, where he was received with the greatest demonstrations of joy. He applied himself to his functions with greater vigor than ever. The poor were always the object of his peculiar care. He was twice discovered to have given away, with the hazard of his own life, in extreme cold weather in winter, the waistcoat which he had on his back. For three months before the harvest he distributed general alms among all the inhabitants of the mountains, provisions being always very scarce there at that season. He founded hospitals on the Alps, for the entertainment of poor travellers; because, before that time, many perished for the want of such a succor. To preserve in his heart the spirit of devotion and penance, he continued to practise, as much as possible, all the austerities and other rules of his order, only commuting manual labor for the spiritual functions of his charge. By his conversation with the God of peace, he imbibed an eminent spirit of that virtue, and learned, by humility and charity, to be truly the man of peace; having also a singular talent for extinguishing the most implacable and inveterate enemies. He often reconciled sovereign princes when they were at variance, and prevented several bloody wars. The emperor Frederic I. set up Octavian, a schismatical pope, under the name of Victor, against Alexander III. St. Peter was almost the only subject of the empire who had the courage openly to oppose his unjust attempt, and he boldly defended the cause of justice in presence of the tyrant, and in many councils. The emperor, who banished others that spoke in favor of that cause, stood in awe of his sanctity: and Peter, by his mild counsels, frequently softened his fierceness, and checked the boisterous sallies of his fury, while, like a roaring lion, he spread terror on every side. The saint preached in Alsace, Burgundy, Lorraine, and in many parts of Italy; and confounded the obstinate by numberless miraculous cures of the sick, performed by the imposition of his hands and prayer. He was ordered by the pope to go into France and Normandy, to endeavor a reconciliation between the kings of England and France, who had made peace in 1169, but quarrelled again the next year. Though then very old, he preached wherever he went. Louis VII. sent certain gentlemen of his court to meet him at a great distance, and received him with the greatest marks of honor and respect; but honors and crowds were of all things the most troublesome to the saint. The man of God restored the use of sight to one blind in the presence of the count of Flanders, and many other noblemen, who were at that time with the king of France: who, being also himself an eye-witness, examined carefully all the circumstances, and declared the miracle to be evident and incontestable. The saint went from Paris to Chaumont, on the confines of Normandy, where Henry II., king of England, met him: and when he arrived in sight of the holy man, alighted from his horse, and coming Up, fell at his feet. The people stole the cloak or hood of St. Peter, and were going to cut it in pieces to divide the scraps, being persuaded that they would perform miracles. But the king took the whole cloak for himself, saying: I have myself seen miraculous cures performed by his girdle, which I already possess." In his presence, the saint restored the use of speech to a girl that was dumb. On Ash-Wednesday, in 1171, St. Peter being at the Cistercian abbey of Mortemer, in the diocese of Rouen, the king of England came thither with his whole court, and received ashes from his hands. The archbishop prevailed on the two kings to put an end to their differences by a treaty of peace, and to procure councils to be assembled in their dominions, in which Alexander's title should be solemnly recognised. The holy man hereupon returned to his church, but was some time after sent again by the pope to the king of England, to endeavor to compose the difference between him and his son: but his journey had not the desired effect. He fell sick on his return, and died the death of the just, at Bellevaux, a monastery of his order, in the diocese of Besancon, in 1174, being seventy-three years old. He was canonized by pope Celestine III., in 1191. See his life written nine years after his death by Geoffrey, some time his companion, and afterwards abbot of Hautecombe, by the order of pope Lucius III. See also Le Nain, t. 2, p. 83.


John 15: 18 - 21

18 "If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.

19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

20 Remember the word that I said to you, `A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also.

21 But all this they will do to you on my account, because they do not know him who sent me.