Thursday, May 27, 2010




VATICAN CITY, 27 MAY 2010 (VIS REPORT) - Today in the Vatican's Synod Hall, the Holy Father met with participants in the general assembly of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), who are meeting from 24 to 28 May to consider their general pastoral guidelines for the period 2010 - 2020.
"The Holy Spirit guides the Church in the world and in history", said the Pope. "Thanks to this gift from the Risen One, the Lord remains present in midst of historical events. It is through the Spirit that we can recognise the meaning of human vicissitudes in Christ".
"Supported by the Spirit and continuing down the path shown us by Vatican Council II, in particular with the pastoral guidelines of the last decade, you have chosen to adopt education as the principal theme for the next ten years. This temporal horizon is proportioned to the importance and breadth of educational requirements, which call on us to take responsibility for the new generations with a united, integral and harmonious witness which helps us to think, propose and live the truth, beauty and goodness of the Christian experience".
Benedict XVI went on to speak of modern culture, where sometimes "the dignity of the person, the value of life, and the very meaning of truth and goodness" are placed in doubt, and where "nothing beyond the individual is recognised as definitive". In this situation "it becomes arduous and difficult to present new generations with the 'bread' of truth' for which it is worth spending one's life and accepting, when necessary, the rigour of discipline and the fatigue of commitment.
"Though aware of the weight of these difficulties", the Holy Father added, "we cannot resign ourselves to lack of confidence and despair. Education has never been easy, but we must not surrender for we would fail in the mandate the Lord Himself entrusted to us when He called us to feed His sheep with love. ... Education means forming new generations that they may know how to relate to the world, strengthened by a significant memory, by a shared inner patrimony of real knowledge which, while recognising the transcendent goal of life, guides thoughts, emotions and judgements".
Pope Benedict continued: "The inner thirst of the young is a call for meaning, for authentic human relationships which can help them not to feel alone in the face of life's challenges. ... Our response is to announce God, the friend of man Who in Jesus approached each one of us. The transmission of the faith is an indispensable part of the integral formation of the person. ... The personal meeting with Jesus is the key to understanding God's relevance in everyday life".
The Pope explained how "the quality of our witness remains a decisive factor" in the duty to educate in families, schools and parishes.
Going on them to mention "the weakness and sin" of some members of the Church, he highlighted how "this humble and painful admission must not, however, make us forget the gratuitous and zealous service of many believers, first among them, priests. The special year dedicated to the clergy has sought to be an opportunity to promote their interior renewal as a condition for more incisive evangelical and ministerial commitment".
"What gives rise to scandal must, for us, translate into a profound reminder of the need to re-learn penance and accept purification; to learn, on the one hand, forgiveness and, on the other, the need for justice".
Benedict XVI encouraged the bishops "never to lose faith in the young. ... Frequent all areas of life", he told them, "including those of the new communications technologies which now permeate culture in all its expressions. It is not a question of adapting the Gospel to the world, but of drawing from the Gospel that perennial novelty which, in all times, enables us to find the best way to announce the Word that does not fail, fecundating and serving human life. Let us, then, again present the young with the exalted and transcendent measure of life as vocation".
Referring then to the "current cultural, spiritual and economic crisis", the Pope concluded by renewing his call "to the leaders of public life and to business people to do everything they can to lessen the effects of the employment crisis. I exhort everyone to reflect on the premises of a good and meaningful life, which lie at the basis of that authoritativeness which alone educates".
AC/ VIS 20100527 (750)

VATICAN CITY, 27 MAY 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father yesterday received in audience Bishop Wilhelm Schraml of Passau, Germany.


Agenzia Fides REPORT – Bishop Jorge Vega Velasco, SVD, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) in Chile and a speaker at the General Assembly of the PMS which was held in Rome last week, in an interview with Fides told of the great event of his episcopal ordination and the work that the missionary groups are carrying out in Chile.

Indeed, only recently was Bishop Vega appointed Bishop of Illapel. The episcopal ordination took place in Santiago de Chile at the end of April and was attended by many bishops from across the country. Bishop Vega has been the National Director of the PMS for 7 years and was a missionary in Angola.

Asked about the activities of the PMS in Chile, Bishop Vega said that after Aparecida and the proposal for the Continental Mission, everything changed in Chile: "Every parish has a missionary spirit; each group of young people has a missionary spirit. The diocesan plans have the proposals of the Continental Mission as their guide,” he said. “Each of the four Pontifical Mission Societies have made the Continental Mission their guide for the various training activities...It's interesting to see how in Chile the proposed plan to implement the Continental Mission was so flexible, well-structured and so clear, that starting from the Diocese and coming to individual parishes, the Church is experiencing a particular enthusiasm in the commitment to Continental Mission," said Bishop Vega.

"There are activities that surely had influence beyond the borders of Chile: the Gospel written down by famous people in our society and the missionary image of Our Lady of Mount Caramel are only two of the events that involved the entire country as never before," says the Bishop.

"Even the tragic events we have lived, like the earthquake, especially among young people, has awakened a sense of solidarity and a strong missionary enthusiasm. I saw young people loading their family cars or their own cars with food and blankets to take to the earthquake areas, long before the government decided what to do," said Bishop Vega. “The Church has always played a leading role in immediate relief and assistance to people most in need.”

Bishop Jorge Vega Velasco, SVD worked for 13 years as a missionary in Angola. Upon his return to Chile, he became the head of the secretariat of the missions for the SVD order and later, the head of missionary animation in the SVD's Pan-American Zone. In 2003, he was appointed National Director of the PMS in Chile and later became editor of "Chile Misionero."

On February 19, 2010, he was appointed Bishop of Illapel and was ordained on April 17, 2010.

Bishop Vega expressed his joy to Fides for the fact that he can count on those working in the PMS in the exercise of his ministry. He expressed his gratitude for those who congratulated him on his 25th anniversary of priesthood and is committed to increasingly involving youth groups in his episcopal ministry with a missionary spirit.

All Africa report: The Lord Bishop of the Diocese of Ikeduru, Rt. Rev Emmanuel Chigozie Maduwike, has enjoined the family of Late Umaru Musa Yar'Adua to bear his death with fortitude while calling on President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to rise to the challenges of the time.

He said this at St. James Church Amaimo during his Epsicopal visit to the church and then extolled the sterling qualities in the Late President, pointing out that such men are needed in the country now.
Bishop Maduwike noted that the Late President left indelible landmarks and called on Nigerians to prayerfully support President Goodluck Jonathan to ensure his success.
The Anglican prelate was optimistic that God is able to restore the lost glory of the country, adding that God is a God of second chance and stressed that as many as put their trust in him are never disappointed.
He explained that God at times appear to be silent so as to test the faith of his people pointing out that as many as remain faithful to him are never disappointed.
In his address, the priest in-charge of St. James Church Amaimo, the Rev. Charles Mgbemena observed that a lot of transformation has taken place in the diocese since the Bishop came on board and opined that his visit to Amaimo has gone a long way to unite the area with the other parts of the Diocese.


CNA report: The official song for World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid was recently selected. The song, composed by Father Enrique Castro, with lyrics by Auxiliary Bishop Cesar Franco of Madrid, will debut on November 9 on the feast of Our Lady of Almudena at the Cathedral of Madrid.

It will then be released online.
The seven verses of the hymn refer to Christ’s closeness to young people through his humanity. It was composed based on the WYD 2011 theme, “Planted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith,” taken from St. Paul’s letter to the Colossians.
The song will be translated into the official languages of WYD and be recorded in three different versions: a liturgical one, an instrumental one for large choirs; and a contemporary version for guitar.


UCAN report: Some 1,500 people from various religions attended a May 26 prayer meeting in Mangalore diocese for the victims of a recent plane crash.

On May 22, an Air India Express flight from Dubai to Mangalore, southern India, crashed on landing, killing 158 of the 166 people on board. The victims included Christians, Hindus and Muslims.
The Church condolence program included a requiem Mass led by Bishop Aloysius Paul D’Souza of Mangalore and an interreligious prayer meet.
The tragedy should not make people depressed or question God’s goodness, said Bishop D’Souza in his homily. Instead, he urged the gathering to find hope in Christ who overcame death.
The tragedy motivated people to help, console and pray for the victims, forgetting their religious differences, Shanhram Shetty, a local Hindu leader, told the interreligious meeting.
“We have shown our unique human concerns after the event without being labeled or differentiated [according to] religion, caste or creed,” Shetty added.
Muslim leader Mohammed Kunhi said that only faith in God could comfort the victims’ families.
The “unforgettable tragedy,” he told participants, has shown that death has no religion or caste. It has “awakened the human consciousness in us” and “called us to improve our lives” by fostering better relations with one other.
Later, Bishop D’Souza and Shetty joined Modihim Bava, a Muslim religious leader, in placing a floral wreath on a symbolic grave erected on a dais for the victims.


Cath News report: The switches flicked on last night for the Vivid Sydney Festival, with colourful visuals lighting up the Opera House and seven prominent buildings along Macquarie Street - from St Mary's Cathedral to the Conservatorium of Music.

The New York performance artist Laurie Anderson watched as her morphing artworks were beamed onto the Opera House sails, said the Sydney Morning Herald. She is cited saying: "It's amazing - we have this moon that's just coming out of the clouds and then we have this kind of like disco moon on the sails.
"I hadn't imagined there'd be so much weather around it, which really looks beautiful."
As the Opera House lights went on, so did "immersive" projections onto the chosen buildings along the Macquarie Street area, relating to the life of Governor Lachlan Macquarie - sworn in 200 years ago - and colonial life.


St. Augustine of Canterbury

Feast: May 27
Information: Feast Day: May 27
Born: early 6th century, Rome, Italy
Died: 26 May 604, Canterbury, Kent, England
Patron of: England
When Pope Gregory began to plan for the evangelization of England, the land was still largely pagan, although in the southwest there were remnants of earlier missionary efforts. To lead this important mission, Gregory chose Augustine, prior of St. Andrew's monastery in Rome, of which Gregory had been the founder. Nothing is known of Augustine's life until the year 596, when, with a party of Benedictine monks, he set out northwards from Rome. He carried letters of commendation to various Gallic bishops. On reaching Provence, the monks accompanying Augustine grew fearful of the dangers that lay ahead. Alarming stories were told of the ferocity of the pagans and the hazards of the Channel crossing. They persuaded Augustine to return to Rome to ask the Pope's permission to abandon the whole enterprise. Meanwhile the Pope had received word that the common people of England and also some of their chieftains and kings were ready to welcome Christian missionaries. After Pope Gregory had told Augustine this news and had discussed the situation with him further, Augustine rejoined his companions and inspired them with his own courage. Taking with them several Franks to act as interpreters, the party crossed safely over to the Isle of Thanet, in the domain of Ethelbert, King of Kent, whom they formally notified of their arrival and of their purpose in coming.
Ethelbert was still a pagan, but his wife Bertha, daughter of King Charibert of the Franks, had been converted to Christianity. Sitting under a spreading oak, Ethelbert received the missionaries. After listening carefully to their words, he gave them permission to preach to his subjects. He also made over to them a house in Canterbury, with the use of the little stone church of St. Martin, which had stood there since the period of Roman occupation. This had formerly been the oratory of Queen Bertha and her confessor Liud hard. Ethelbert was converted and baptized at Pentecost, 597. After this promising start, Augustine went back to Provence to be consecrated bishop by Vergilius, metropolitan of Arles and papal legate for Gaul. On his return some ten thousand of Ethelbert's subjects were baptized in the Swale River.
Augustine, greatly heartened by the success of his mission, now sent two of his monks to Rome to report to the Pope, and to ask for more helpers. Also he wished to have the Pope's counsel on various problems. When the monks came back to England with a fresh band of missionaries, they brought the pallium for Augustine. Among the new group were Mellitus, Justus, and Paulinus, who was afterwards archbishop of York. With these "ministers of the Word," wrote the Venerable Bede, "the holy Pope sent all things needed in general for divine worship and the service of the Church, viz. sacred vessels, altar cloths, ornaments for churches, and vestments for priests and clerks, and also many books." The latter item was especially important, for the books helped to inspire the great love of learning which characterized the English Church.
Gregory sent to Augustine a plan for developing an ecclesiastical hierarchy and establishing a working organization for the whole country-a plan which was not fully carried out in Augustine's lifetime. There was to be a northern and a southern province, with twelve suffragan bishops in each. In a letter to Mellitus, which is presented earlier, following the life of , he gave instruction on other points, showing his administrative ability as well as considerable psychological insight. Pagan temples were, as far as possible, to be Christianized and retained. Consecration rites and feasts of martyrs were to replace the heathen festivals, for, Gregory wisely writes, "he who would climb to a lofty height must go by steps, not leaps."
In 603 Augustine rebuilt and reconsecrated the Canterbury church and the house given him by King Ethelbert. These structures formed the nucleus for his metropolitan cathedral. They were destroyed by fire in 1067, and the present cathedral, begun by the great Lanfranc in 1070, stands on their site. A converted temple outside the walls of Canterbury was made into another religious house, which Augustine dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul. After his death this abbey became known as St. Augustine's.
With the King's support, the Christianization of Kent proceeded rapidly, but Gregory's charge had stated, "All the bishops of Britain we commend to your Fraternity." The survivors of the ancient British or Celtic Church and their bishops had been driven westward and southward into Wales and Cornwall by the Saxon conquerors of the fifth century. Here they had persisted as Christian communities, cut off from the outside world. Although they were sound in fundamental doctrine, some of their usages were at variance with those of Rome. Now, in virtue of his archiepiscopal jurisdiction, Augustine invited the Celtic bishops to meet with him at a spot outside the confines of Wessex, which has since come to be known as Augustine's Oak. In long conferences with the representatives of the Celtic Church Augustine urged them to comply with the customs of the rest of Western Christendom, in particular in the method of determining the date of Easter, and to aid him in converting the pagans. Loyalty to their own local traditions, however, and bitterness against their Saxon conquerors, made them unwilling to agree, even though Augustine performed a miracle of healing in their presence to prove the supernatural source of his authority. They consented to attend a second conference, held in Flintshire, but it too proved a failure. Augustine did not rise to greet his Celtic brothers when they arrived and they felt that he lacked Christian humility. They refused either to listen to him or acknowledge him as their archbishop. It was not until 664, at the Synod of Whitby, that their differences were resolved and ecclesiastical uniformity was established.
Augustine's last years were spent in spreading and consolidating the faith in Ethelbert's realm, which comprised large sections of eastern England south of Northumbria. Sees were established in London and Rochester, with Mellitus appointed bishop over one and Justus over the other. Seven years after his arrival Augustine died, leaving the continuation of his work to others.


Mark 10: 46 - 52

46 And they came to Jericho; and as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great multitude, Bartimae'us, a blind beggar, the son of Timae'us, was sitting by the roadside.

47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"

48 And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent; but he cried out all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"

49 And Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." And they called the blind man, saying to him, "Take heart; rise, he is calling you."

50 And throwing off his mantle he sprang up and came to Jesus.

51 And Jesus said to him, "What do you want me to do for you?" And the blind man said to him, "Master, let me receive my sight."

52 And Jesus said to him, "Go your way; your faith has made you well." And immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.