Thursday, July 1, 2010






VATICAN CITY, 1 JUL 2010 (VIS) - Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for July is: "That in every nation of the world the election of officials may be carried out with justice, transparency and honesty, respecting the free decisions of citizens".
His mission intention is: "That Christians may strive to offer everywhere, but especially in great urban centres, an effective contribution to the promotion of education, justice, solidarity and peace".

VATICAN CITY, 1 JUL 2010 (VIS) - Today, during a private audience with Archbishop Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the Pope authorised the congregation to promulgate the following decrees:

- Blessed Luigi Guanella, Italian priest and founder of the Congregation of the Servants of Charity and of the Institute of the Daughters of Our Lady of Providence (1842-1915).
- Venerable Servant of God Giustino Maria Russolillo, Italian priest, pastor of Pianura and founder of the Society for Divine Vocations (1891-1955).
- Venerable Servant of God Maria Serafina of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (nee Clotilde Micheli), Italian foundress of the Institute of Sisters of the Angels (1849-1911).
- Venerable Servant of God Alfonsa Clerici, Italian religious of Congregation of the Sisters of the Most Precious Blood of Monza (1860-1930).
- Venerable Servant of God Cecilia Eusepi, Italian member of the Third Order of the Servants of Mary (1910-1928).

- Servant of God Janos Scheffler, bishop of Satu Mare, Romania (1887-1952).
- Servants of God Jose Maria Ruiz Cano, Jesus Anibal Gomez Gomez, Tomas Cordero Cordero and thirteen companions of the Congregation of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, killed in hatred of the faith during religious persecution in Spain in 1936.
- Servants of God Carmelo Maria Moyano Linares and nine companions of the Order of Carmelites, killed in hatred of the faith during religious persecution in Spain in 1936.
- Servants of God Johannes Prassek and two companions, diocesan priests killed in hatred of the faith at Hamburg, Germany on 10 November 1943.
- Servant of God Marguerite Rutan, professed sister of the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, born in 1736 and killed at Dax, France on 9 April 1794.

- Servant of God Basilio Martinelli, Italian professed priest of the Congregation of the Schools of Charity ("Istituto Cavanis") (1872-1962).
- Servant of God Maria Antonia of St. Joseph (nee Maria Antonia de Paz y Figueroa), Argentinean foundress of the "Beaterio" of Buenos Aires (1730-1799).
- Servant of God Maria (nee Casimira Kaupas), Lithuanian foundress of the Congregation of Sisters of St. Casimir (1880-1940).
- Servant of God Maria Luisa (nee Gertrude Prosperi), Italian abbess of the convent of the Order of St. Benedict of Trevi (1799-1847).
- Servant of God Maria Teresa (nee Maria Carmen Albarracin), Spanish professed religious of the Claretian Missionary Sisters of Mary Immaculate (1927-1946).
- Servant of God Maria Plautilla (nee Lucia Cavallo), Italian professed religious of the Little Missionary Sisters of Charity (1913-1947).

VATICAN CITY, 1 JUL 2010 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office published the following communique at midday today:
"On 1 July the Holy Father received in audience Bishop Walter Mixa, emeritus of Augsburg, Germany. On 4 May the Pope had accepted the bishop's request to be relieved of his duties as pastor of the diocese of Augsburg and as military ordinary, a decision definitively confirmed during today's audience. Bishop Mixa will retire for a time of silence, meditation and prayer and, following a period of cure and reconciliation will, like other bishops emeritus, be available for pastoral duties, with the agreement of his successor.
"Bishop Mixa highlighted how he had always sought to carry out his episcopal ministry willingly and conscientiously but, with all sincerity, he also recognised that he had made mistakes and committed errors which led to a loss of trust and made his resignation inevitable. He once again requested forgiveness for all his mistakes but also, and rightly, asks that despite those mistakes, all the good he has done not be forgotten.
"The Holy Father expressed the hope that this request for forgiveness will find open ears and open hearts. Following a period of often excessive polemics, the Pope hopes for reconciliation, for a new and reciprocal acceptance in the spirit of mercy of the Lord and in faithful abandonment to His guidance. Above all, the Supreme Pontiff asks his confreres in the episcopal ministry to offer Bishop Mixa, more than in the past, their friendship and closeness, their understanding, and their help to find the right path.
"The Pope asks all the dear faithful of the diocese of Augsburg again to favour mutual communion and to welcome with open hearts the prelate he will appoint as Bishop Mixa's successor. In a time of contrasts and insecurity, the world expects Christians to show harmonious witness on the basis of their encounter with the risen Lord, with which they help one another and the whole of society to find the right path to the future".

VATICAN CITY, 1 JUL 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:
- Bishop Walter Mixa, emeritus of Augsburg, Germany.
- Pablo Cabrera Gaete, ambassador of Chile, on his farewell visit.
- Cardinal Edmund Casimir Szoka, president emeritus of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and of the Governorate of Vatican City State.

VATICAN CITY, 1 JUL 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Kurt Koch of Basel, Switzerland, as president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, he succeeds Cardinal Walter Kasper whose resignation from the same office the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.


UCAN report: Retired Jesuit Bishop Francisco Claver, a vocal defender of civil rights in the Marcos martial law era, succumbed this morning to pulmonary embolism, a blood clot in the lung. He was 81.

Bishop Claver drafted the 1986 Philippine bishops’ statement that is believed to have triggered People Power that was to unseat Ferdinand Marcos and pave the way for Corazon Aquino’s installation as president.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) described Bishop Claver as “one of the strongest defenders of civil rights among the bishops at the height of strongman Ferdinand E. Marcos’ martial law.”
Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences secretary general Archbishop Orlando B. Quevedo of Cotabato, eulogized Bishop Claver in a text message.
“Filipino prophet without peer, truest priest, innovative humble shepherd, a very dear friend. He is with Jesus whom he proclaimed with eloquent words, spoken and written, in all arenas of human life.
“Who can take his place? My tears flow.”
The widely respected bishop held a doctorate in anthropology from the University of Colorado and was extremely active in the social affairs work of the Society of Jesus. He wrote extensively, including for
Bishop Claver was born in Bontoc on January 20, 1929.
At the age of 32 on June 18, 1961 he became the first priest ordained from the indigenous Bontoc tribe of northern Philippines.
At 40 he became the first bishop of Malaybalay, Bukidnon in Mindanao, southern Philippines.
Bishop Claver began a process of dialogue with the people that helped him understand their deep desire for peaceful change.
The bishop dedicated many years to developing a model of a local Church but efforts toward inculturation and co-responsibility caused discomfort among some bishops in Rome.
“There is no other way for us Asians to evangelize our continent and its people, to do pastoral work among them, than through our becoming truly and determinedly active local church,” Bishop Claver wrote in his last book, The Making of the Local Church.


Rome Reports: Benedict XVI has named Swiss Bishop Kurt Koch as the new president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

The bishop from Basel succeeds German Cardinal Walter Kasper who led the Council for 11 years.
Koch was already a member of this Council. He is an expert on relationships with reformed churches, and he will be in charge of dialogue with Orthodox Churches and Judaism.

Exerpt from Koch Letter upon leaving: Dear brothers in the Episcopal, priestly and deacons! Dear pastors and ministers! Dear believers!

Tomorrow, 30. June, the Vatican announced that the Holy Father Benedict XVI appointed me the President of the Pontifical Council for promoting Christian Unity. Already in February the Pope asked me about my willingness to assume this responsibility. He had stressed that it important, that this function will in turn performed by someone who knows the churches of the reformation and religious area not only from the literature, but from the direct experience. The Pope has shown once again that not only the ecumenical movement with the Orthodox but also one with the Protestants, and even the Ecumenical concern him are dear to my heart. Because the job towards ecumenism came by Jesus Christ himself and his at, however its difficulties are open days.

I am aware of high honor and great responsibility, that the Pope has passed me and I thank him for the confidence it gives me so. I am also grateful for the large and reliable work Walter Kardinal Kasper in the past years in whose footsteps I follow. A credible and honest ecumenism, theological and spiritual ecumenism of life has been me always a major concern. Already in 2002 took Pope John Paul II. as a member of the Pontifical Council for promoting Christian Unity appointed, and in this capacity I was also a member of the International Commission for theological dialogue between the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Church and a member of the international Lutheran and Roman Catholic Commission on unity. With tasks assigned to me now I am responsible for all ecumenical dialogs that guide our Church. At the same time I am responsible for religious relations with Judaism, to which our Church in particular is connected. I am looking forward to this task and hope to serve these concerns important that has become since the Second Vatican Council with all the forces available to me.
Excerpt of Koch Letter:


Independant Catholic News report: Christ the Redeemer overlooking Rio de Janeiro image
The iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado mountain overlooking Rio de Janeiro's white beaches, is back in full view after being covered in scaffolding for a four month renovation project. On Wednesday night it was bathed in green and yellow light to honour Brazil's national football team playing in the World Cup.
Completed and funded by public donations, in October 1931, the 125-foot (38-metre) statue is believed to be the largest art-deco statue in the world. Local engineer Heitor da Silva Costa designed the statue; it was sculpted by French sculptor Paul Landowski. A group of engineers and technicians studied Landowski's submissions and the decision was made to build the structure out of reinforced concrete instead of steel, more suitable for the cross-shaped statue. The outer layers are soapstone, chosen for its enduring qualities and ease of use. Construction took nine years.
In October 2006, on the statue's 75th anniversary, Archbishop of Rio Cardinal Eusebio Oscar Scheid consecrated a chapel, named after the patron saint of Brazil: Nossa Senhora Aparecida, 'Our Lady of the Apparition' , under the statue. This allows Catholics to hold baptisms and weddings there.
The statue was struck by lightning during a violent electrical storm on Sunday, February 10, 2008 and suffered some damage on the fingers, head and eyebrows. A restoration effort was put in place by the Rio de Janeiro state government and archdiocese, to replace some of the outer soapstone layers and repair the lightning rods installed on the statue.
On 7 July 2007, Christ the Redeemer was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in a list compiled by the Swiss-based The New Open World Corporation.
images source


All Africa report: The Pope's representative to Kenya, bishops and other dignitaries celebrated the feast of Sts Peter and Paul today and at the same time marking the anniversary of the election of Benedict XVI to the Papacy in 2005 June 29.

While addressing the guests at his residence who included Cardinal John Njue, bishops, priests, ambassadors, religious sisters and brothers, Archbishop Alain Leaubapin said, "I want to thank you very much for your presence and in particular the presence of many ambassadors representing countries that have good relations with the Holy See and already for a long time."
Archbishop Leaubapin continued, "I congratulate you, Your Excellencies, for all the work you are doing in Kenya and other countries where you are accredited, offering also a great collaboration and cooperation with many catholic institutions working for the development of many populations that are in poor conditions and sometimes are feeling abandoned."
He also thanked the bishops on behalf of the pope for the spirit of unity and communion with the Apostolic See.
He encouraged them to continue on the way of communion and to develop this spirit in our dear Kenya promoting everywhere the spirit of dialogue and interest for the common good.
The representative of the Holy See also thanked all priests and consecrated persons, women and men for the excellent work they do in helping our brothers and sisters to progress on the way of the civilization of love.


Cath News report: Mary MacKillop Place in North Sydney will put a $20,000 government grant towards developing a touch screen map that explores the story and educational initiatives of Mary MacKillop and the work of the Sisters of St Joseph between 1866 and 1886.

Director of Mary MacKillop Place, Sister Brigette Sipa, says the grant will be used to research the material to be included in an interactive, multi cell touch screen map, which will give the rising number of visitors to the museum new ways to engage with the Mary MacKillop's story.
A statement from Mary MacKillop Place says the funding was announced yesterday by The Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and The Arts, the Hon Peter Garrett AM MP, and is part of a 'Commemorating Eminent Australians Program'.
Meanwhile, Artes Christi Performing Arts will be producing a musical based on Mary's life, with auditions being held next week to find someone to play the saint-to-be, reports the Mosman Daily in Sydney. Some 50-70 people are needed, including an orchestra of at least 15 instruments, the group's national director Anthony McCarthy told the Daily. The musical will include colourful characters such as the prophet Rodriguez, the corrupt headmaster Cusack, the troublesome bishops, and the calming of the death-row murderer Fagan.
Mr McCarthy said the storyline had been reviewed by archivists, historians and experts from the Church, and was supported by the Sisters of St Joseph.


Bl. Junípero Serra

Feast: July 1
Born: 24 November 1713 at Petra, Spanish Majorca
Died: 28 August 1784
Beatified: 25 September 1988 by Pope John Paul II
Born at Petra, Island of Majorca, 24 November, 1713; died at Monterey, California, 28 August, 1784.
On 14 September, 1730, he entered the Franciscan Order. For his proficiency in studies he was appointed lector of philosophy before his ordination to the priesthood. Later he received the degree of Doctor of Theology from the Lullian University at Palma, where he also occupied the Duns Scotus chair of philosophy until he joined the missionary college of San Fernando, Mexico (1749). While traveling on foot from Vera Cruz to the capital, he injured his leg in such a way that he suffered from it throughout his life, though he continued to make his journeys on foot whenever possible. At his own request he was assigned to theSierra Gorda Indian Missions some thirty leagues north of Querétaro. He served there for nine years, part of the time as superior, learned the language of the Pame Indians, and translated the catechism into their language. Recalled to Mexico, he became famous as a most fervent and effective preacher of missions. His zeal frequently led him to employ extraordinary means in order to move the people to penance. He would pound his breast with a stone while in the pulpit, scourge himself, or apply a lighted torch to his bare chest. In 1767 he was appointed superior of a band of fifteen Franciscans for the Indian Missions of Lower California. Early in 1769 he accompanied Portolá's land expedition to Upper California. On the way (14 May) he established the Mission San Fernando de Velicatá, Lower California. He arrived at San Diego on 1 July, and on 16 July founded the first of the twenty-one California missions which accomplished the conversions of all the natives on the coast as far as Sonoma in the north. Those established by Father Serra or during his administration were San Carlos (3 June, 1770); San Antonio (14 July, 1771); San Gabriel (8 September, 1771); San Luis Obispo (1 September, 1772); San Francisco de Asis (8 October, 1776); San Juan Capistrano (1 Nov. 1776); Santa Clara (12 January, 1777); San Buenaventura (31 March, 1782). He was also present at the founding of the presidio of Santa Barbara (21 April, 1782), and was prevented from locating the mission there at the time only through the animosity of Governor Philipe de Neve. Difficulties with Pedro Fages, the military commander, compelled Father Serra in 1773 to lay the case before Viceroy Bucareli. At the capital of Mexico, by order of the viceroy, he drew up his "Representación" in thirty-two articles. Everything save two minor points was decided in his favour; he then returned to California, late in 1774. In 1778 he received the faculty to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation. After he had exercised his privilege for a year, Governor Neve directed him to suspend administering the sacrament until he could present the papal Brief. For nearly two years Father Serra refrained, and then Viceroy Majorga gave instructions to the effect that Father Serra was within his rights. During the remaining three years of his life he once more visited the missions from San Diego to San Francisco, six hundred miles, in order to confirm all who had been baptized. He suffered intensely from his crippled leg and from his chest, yet he would use no remedies. He confirmed 5309 persons, who, with but few exceptions, were Indians converted during the fourteen years from 1770. Besides extraordinary fortitude, his most conspicuous virtues were insatiable zeal, love of mortification, self-denial, and absolute confidence in God. His executive abilities has been especially noted by non-Catholic writers. The esteem in which his memory is held by all classes in California may be gathered from the fact that Mrs. Stanford, not a Catholic, had a granite monument erected to him at Monterey. A bronze statute of heroic size represents him as the apostolic preacher in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. In 1884 the Legislature of California passed a concurrent resolution making 29 August of that year, the centennial of Father Serra's burial, a legal holiday. Of his writings many letters and other documentation are extant. The principal ones are his "Diario" of the journey from Loreto to San Diego, which was published in "Out West" (March to June, 1902), and the "Representación" before mentioned.


Gospel Matt. 9: 18

After entering a boat, Jesus made the crossing, and came into his own town.

And there people brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher.

When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic,

“Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.”

At that, some of the scribes said to themselves,

“This man is blaspheming.”

Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said,

“Why do you harbor evil thoughts?

Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’

or to say, ‘Rise and walk’?

But that you may know that the Son of Man

has authority on earth to forgive sins”—

he then said to the paralytic,

“Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.”

He rose and went home.

When the crowds saw this they were struck with awe

and glorified God who had given such authority to men.