Monday, July 5, 2010
CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: MON. JULY 5, 2010: HEADLINES-
VATICAN: POPE: INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR SILENCE TO PERCEIVE THE VOICE OF GOD-
VATICAN: BENEDICT XVI TO VISIT UNITED KINGDOM FROM 16 TO 19 SEPTEMBER-
VATICAN: POPE INAUGURATES A FOUNTAIN DEDICATED TO HIS PATRON-
MIDDLE EAST: IRAQ: CAR BOMB EXPLODES NEAR ARCHDIOCESE DAMAGE CATHEDRAL-
ASIA: INDIA: PROFESSOR HAND CUT OFF BY MUSLIM EXTREMISTS FOR BLASPHEMY-
AFRICA: SUDAN: ARCHDIOCESE MOURNS LOSS OF SICK BROTHER-
EUROPE: SCOTLAND: BISHOPS RELEASE LOGO FOR OFFICIAL VISIT OF THE POPE-
AUSTRALIA: ARCHBISHOP HART ISSUES PASTORAL LETTER OF APOLOGY -
AMERICA: USA: CATHOLIC BISHOP BURNS OFFERS THOUGHTS ON 4TH OF JULY-
POPE INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR SILENCE TO PERCEIVE THE VOICE OF GOD
VATICAN CITY, 4 JUL 2010 (VIS report) - Benedict XVI today made a pastoral visit to the town of Sulmona, in the Italian region of Abruzzo, to mark the eighth centenary of the birth of St. Celestine V, the hermit Pope.
At 10 a.m. he presided at a Eucharistic concelebration in the town's Piazza Garibaldi, attended by some 25,000 faithful.
The Holy Father began his homily with a reference to the difficulties the local people have to face every day, giving them assurances of his "closeness and recollection in prayer", especially for "those who live their lives in precarious situations due to a lack of work, uncertainty over the future, and with physical and moral suffering and a sense of loss due to the earthquake of 6 April 2009".
"God anticipates us always. Each individual life contains good and beautiful things that we can easily recognise as His Grace. ... If we learn to recognise God in His infinite goodness then we will be able to see, with wonder, the signs of God in our lives, just as the saints did". The signs of a God "Who is always close, Who is always good to us, Who says: 'Have faith in me'".
"The cross", said Benedict XVI, "was the focal point of Pietro da Morrone's life, it gave him the strength to face harsh penance and the most difficult moments, from his youth until his final hour. ... When he was elected to the See of the Apostle Peter he chose to grant a special indulgence called 'La Perdonanza'". Pope Celestine, "though leading a hermit's life, was not 'closed in on himself', but was seized with the passion to carry the good news of the Gospel to his brothers and sisters", said the Holy Father.
The Church's mission, he explained, consists "in the calm, clear and courageous announcement of the evangelical message - even in moments of persecution - without surrendering to the lure of fashion, or of violence and imposition". It consists "in detachment from concern for things (money or clothes), trusting in the Providence of the Father; in particular attention and concern towards those sick in body or in spirit".
At the end of Mass and before praying the Angelus, the Holy Father entrusted the local Church to the Virgin Mary, venerated in Sulmona at the shrine of the "Madonna della Libera". He said: "May you walk united and joyful in the way of faith, hope and charity. Faithful to the heritage of St. Celestine V, always combine evangelical radicalism with mercy, so that all those who seek God may find Him.
"In Mary, Virgin of silence and of listening, St, Peter da Morrone found the perfect model of obedience to divine will, in his simple and humble life directed at the search for what is truly essential", the Pope added.
"We too, who live in an age of greater comfort and of more possibilities, are called to appreciate a sober lifestyle, to keep our minds and hearts free in order to share our goods with our brothers and sisters".
After praying the Angelus, the Pope went to the House for Clergy at the diocesan pastoral centre of Sulmona where he had lunch with bishops of the Abruzzo region. The House for Clergy, built to accommodate sick and elderly priests, was inaugurated today following restoration work and is dedicated to Benedict XVI.
IMAGE SOURCE http://carlosechevarria.blogspot.com/2009/08/bxvi-honors-pope-celestine-v.html
PRAYER IS NEVER DETACHED FROM REALITY
VATICAN CITY, 4 JUL 2010 (VIS REPORT) - Today at 4.30 p.m., before leaving the House for Clergy in Sulmona, the Holy Father greeted members of the committee that had organised his visit to that Italian town. He subsequently received a delegation from the nearby high-security prison made up of the director, chaplains, warders and a number of prisoners.
Benedict XVI then travelled to the cathedral for a meeting with local youth. On arrival he paused for a few moments of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament then, following some words of greeting from Bishop Angelo Spina of Sulmona-Valva, addressed the young people gathered in the building.
The Pope began by praising their "historical memory", evident in their belief that Celestine V is a figure who still retains all his relevance today. "Without memory", said the Holy Father, "there is no future. It used to be said that history is a teacher of life, but consumer culture tends to limit man to the present, to make him lose his sense of the past, of history. But by so doing, it also deprives him of the capacity to understand himself, to perceive problems and build the future. Therefore, dear young people, I wish to tell you that a Christian is someone who has a good memory, who loves history and seeks to understand it".
Reflecting then on how to evaluate Pietro da Morrone's life today in the twenty-first century, the Pope highlighted how certain things are perennial and enduring, "for example the capacity to listen to God in exterior silence, and above all in interior silence. ... It is important to learn how to experience moments of interior silence in our daily lives in order to be capable of hearing the voice of the Lord", he said.
"Be sure that if someone learns to listen to this voice and to follow it with generosity, he is afraid of nothing, he knows and feels that God is with him. ... The secret of vocation lies in the relationship with God, in prayer. ... And this remains true both before making the choice - in other words, at the moment of deciding to start on the journey - and afterwards, if we wish to be faithful and persevere. St. Celestine V was first and foremost... a man of prayer, a man of God".
But "authentic prayer is not detached from reality. If prayer alienates you, removes you from real life, be aware that it is not authentic prayer. ... It is not a question of simply multiplying the number of words", the Pope explained, "but of being in God's presence, making the expressions of the 'Our Father' present in our minds and our hearts, or adoring the Eucharist, ... or meditating on the Gospel, ... or participating in the liturgy. All this does not detach us from life; rather, it helps us truly to be ourselves in all environments, faithful to the voice of God which speaks to our conscience, free from the conditioning of the present moment".
"Faith and prayer do not resolve problems, but enable them to be faced with a new light and a new strength, in a manner worthy of man, more serenely and more effectively. If we look at the history of the Church we see that it is rich in saints and blesseds who, on the basis of an intense and constant dialogue with God, illuminated by faith, were able to find creative and novel solutions to respond to the concrete human needs of all times: health, education, work, etc. Their resourcefulness was animated by the Holy Spirit and by a strong and generous love for their brothers and sisters, especially the weakest and most disadvantaged.
"Dear young people", the Pope added, "allow yourselves to be conquered by Christ. Start decisively down the path of sanctity, the path (which is open to everyone) of contact with and conformity to God. Thus you too will become more creative in seeking solutions to the problems you encounter and in seeking them together; for this is another distinctive sign of Christians: they are never individualists".
In this context, Benedict XVI explained that by choosing the hermit life Pietro da Morrone's was not fleeing responsibility because, "in the experiences approved by the Church, the solitary life of prayer and penance is always at the service of the community, it is open to others, it never contrasts with the needs of the community. Hermitages and monasteries are oases and wellsprings of spiritual life from which everyone can draw. The monk lives not for himself, but for others. It is for the good of the Church and society that he cultivates the contemplative life, that the Church and society may be ever irrigated with new energies, with the action of the Lord".
The Pope concluded by telling the young people to "love the Church: she gave you the faith, she brought you to know Christ. ... Conserve your enthusiasm, your joy, the joy that comes from having met the Lord, and communicate this to your friends and peers. ... In you, I feel, the Church is young. ... Walk in the way of the Gospel; love the Church our mother: be simple and pure of heart; be mild and strong in the truth; be humble and generous".
At the end of the meeting the Pope descended to the crypt where he venerated the relics of St. Panfilo and St. Celestine V. He then travelled to the nearby Pallozzi Stadium where he bid farewell to the authorities and, at 5.45 p.m., departed by helicopter for the Vatican.
POPE INAUGURATES A FOUNTAIN DEDICATED TO HIS PATRON
VATICAN CITY, 5 JUL 2010 (VIS) - In the Vatican Gardens at 11.30 a.m. today Benedict XVI inaugurated a new fountain dedicated to St. Joseph. The fountain was commissioned by the Governorate of Vatican City State as a homage to the Pope's given name.
The fountain has two basins, one six metres wide and the other eight, with a palm between them. It is adorned with six bronze panels by the Italian artist Franco Murer depicting the marriage of St. Joseph and the Virgin, Joseph's dream, the birth of Jesus, the Flight into Egypt, finding Jesus in the Temple, and the work of the family in Nazareth.
"By trusting in God, Joseph agrees to and co-operates in the plan of salvation", said the Pope. "Of course, divine intervention in his life could not but trouble his heart. Entrusting oneself to God does not mean acting entirely clearly according to our criteria; entrusting oneself to God means emptying oneself, renouncing oneself, because only those who agree to lose themselves for God can be 'just' like St. Joseph; that is, they can conform their will to that of God and thus achieve fulfilment.
"The Gospel has not conserved any words of Joseph, who accomplishes his work in silence. This is the style that characterised his entire life, both before facing the mystery of God's action in his bride, and when, aware of the mystery, he was at Mary's side during the Nativity" "This beautiful fountain dedicated to St. Joseph represents a symbolic reminder of the values of simplicity and humility in accomplishing God's will every day, values which characterised the silent but invaluable life of the Custodian of the Redeemer. I entrust the Church and the world to his intercession. Together with the Virgin Marty, his bride, may he always guide my journey and yours, that we may become joyful instruments of peace and salvation".
BENEDICT XVI TO VISIT UNITED KINGDOM FROM 16 TO 19 SEPTEMBER
VATICAN CITY, 5 JUL 2010 (VIS) - Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. released the following declaration at midday today:
"Accepting the invitation of Her Majesty Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom, and of the Bishops' Conferences of England and Wales, and of Scotland, His Holiness Benedict XVI will make an apostolic trip to the United Kingdom from 16 to 19 September.
"In the course of his trip, the Holy Father will visit Her Majesty the Queen at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, and preside at the celebration of the Eucharist in Bellahouston Park in Glasgow. In London he will meet representatives from the worlds of politics, culture and business in Westminster Hall, participate at an ecumenical celebration in Westminster Abbey, and preside at a celebration of the Eucharist in Westminster Cathedral and at a prayer vigil in Hyde Park. Finally, he will preside at the celebration of the rite of beatification of Venerable Cardinal John Henry Newman at Cofton Park, Birmingham".
VATICAN CITY, 5 JUL 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:
- Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. accompanied by other priests celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of their ordination.
- Ivan Rebernik, ambassador of Slovenia, on his farewell visit.
On Saturday 3 July he received in separate audiences:
- Cardinal Ivan Dias, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.
- Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops.
- Archbishop Jozef Kowalczyk of Gniezno, Poland.
- Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
VATICAN CITY, 5 JUL 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:
- Dr. Patrizio Polisca, as director for healthcare and hygiene of the Governorate of Vatican City State.
- Giovanni Rocchi as a counsellor of Vatican City State.
IRAQ: CAR BOMB EXPLODES NEAR ARCHDIOCESE DAMAGES CATHEDRAL
Kirkuk (AsiaNews) - A car bomb exploded Saturday morning near the residence of the Chaldean archbishop of Kirkuk in northern Iraq, causing damage to the building and the cathedral. According to preliminary reports, the target of the attack was an imam of the Kurdish PUK, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, who was wounded in the attack. AsiaNews sources in Iraq speak of a "difficult July" for the country, gripped by a political stalemate which - after four months from the elections - has failed to lead to the formation of a new government.
An eyewitness said that yesterday, at about three o'clock in the afternoon, a car packed with explosives blew up just 50 meters away from the Chaldean archbishopric of Kirkuk. The target of the attack was the Head of the assets Office of the local Sunni community, who had recently left the office on his way home. He is a Kurdish religious leader linked to the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and was injured in the attack. His bodyguards were also wounded.
Christian sources for AsiaNews confirm damage to the Archbishop’s residence: The bomb destroyed doors and windows and also damaged the nearby cathedral. Despite the incident, the faithful packed the building for Mass on Sunday evening.
A "July difficult" is being forecast for Iraq because of widespread political instability, and the inability to form the new government. Parliamentary elections were held on 7 March that were won by secularist former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi. The outgoing Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki denounced fraud and launched a series of negotiations to gain a majority in Parliament, which provides the mandate for the formation of the new government.
INDIA: PROFESSOR HAND CUT OFF BY MUSLIM EXTREMISTS FOR BLASPHEMY
Asia News report: The victim is a college professor who "insulted Muhammad" in an exam questionnaire. Islamic extremism is growing in Kerala: many schools face pressures on the use of the veil. The condemnation of national Muslim organizations. Sajan K. George: Sharia is not law in India.
Ernakulam (AsiaNews) - A group of unknown assailants severed the hand and the right arm of a university professor accused of defaming Mohammed months ago. The execution took place yesterday morning in Muvattupuzha, Ernakulam district (Kerala). Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians condemns this "barbaric act" and recalls that "Sharia is not the law of India."
According to the police, Prof. TJ Joseph, was returning with his family from Sunday service when a group of people in a Maruti Omni van drew up beside him stopping him close to home. After forcing Joseph to get out of his car, they attacked him with knives and swords, then cut off his hand and right arm throwing them away after about 200 meters.
Joseph, Kerala, a professor at Newman's College, Thodupuzha, is free on bail. Last March he had prepared a questionnaire for examinations in the private college and according to the Muslims had included questions offensive to Muhammad.
Due to a series of protests by Islamic groups, he was suspended from school. Later, Joseph publicly apologized for his "unintentional error". Joseph's mother said that in recent months her son continued to receive threats.
Meanwhile, the police found the van of the attackers, empty, and "the vehicle registration number is false," said police inspector P.P. Shams. Some of the detained are activists of the Popular Front of India, a right wing Muslim group, formerly called the National Development Front, which is very strong in Kerala.
Joseph’s sister, Mary Stella, says that "the assailants destroyed the window of our car and pulled out my brother to execute him. My poor mother, who was in the car with us, witnessed the crime".
The Minister of Education, M.A. Baby has condemned the incident, expressing his displeasure because some have turned the issue of the exam questionnaire into a matter of religious conflict.
Sajan K. George, president of the Global Council of India (Gcoi), condemned the "barbaric act" and demands that "the attackers are brought to justice soon. I hope that - as usually happens - the complaint will not disappear in police records because of threats from Islamic militants in Kerala. "
Sajan K. George gives voice to the whole civil society which "expresses sorrow for these attacks by Muslims against Christians in Kerala. It should be noted that Islamic law is not the law of our country”.According to the Gcoi president Kerala is witnessing a growth of Islamic extremism: "Christian schools are often targeted on the headscarf issue or another issue and unfortunately many schools succumb under pressure. The design of these militants is to provoke peaceful Christian communities and provoke a civil war. The rapid growth of the Muslim population and their influence in elections is increasing safety concerns for Christians throughout the country".
The attack against Joseph has been condemned by several Muslim organizations, including the Indian Union Muslim League (Iuml) and the Jama'at-e-Islami, which calls for a significant response against the culprits. Panakad Hyderali Shiyab Thangal, supreme leader of Iuml, has asked that the perpetrators be prosecuted harshly. And referring to the questionnaire compiled by Joseph, said: “An error can not be corrected by another mistake". The indicted questionnaire however did not include anything that could be construed as against the Muslim religion. The authorities of Newman College, told AsiaNews that in the test, Prof. Joseph tells the story of a fishmonger who, despite hard work, becomes increasingly poor. The monger’s name is Mohammad In his desperation, he spoke to God and also asked his brother why his fortunes were dwindling. His brother told Mohammed:"Why are you calling God, God, God...." Students were asked to specify the punctuation of the narrative.
SUDAN: ARCHDIOCESE MOURNS LOSS OF SICK BROTHER
All Africa report: The Catholic Archdiocese of Juba is mourning a religious brother who passed away in the morning of June 29 after three intensive weeks of illness.
Bro Samuel Lokibe from the Congregation of Saint Martin De Porres died at the Juba Teaching Hospital.
Bro Bruno Dada, Superior General of the St. Martin Brothers gave a brief biography of Bro. Samuel at the beginning of the funeral mass, celebrated this afternoon at St. Theresa's Cathedral in Kator.
In his homily, Fr. Marting Ochaya Lino, Secretary General of the Archdiocese of Juba, said it is significant that Bro. Samuel died as the church celebrates two great apostles, St. Peter and Paul.
Fr. Martin said Bro Samuel was a man of action who served the Church for many years.
Brother Lokibe is one of the elderly Brothers of Saint Martin De Porres Congregation. Fr. Martin acknowledged the many years of service of Bro. Samuel, he said Bro Samuel knew Jesus and followed him all through his life.
The late Bro Samuel worked as a teacher in Gulu and then in Kit where he was in charge of the aspirants. In 1983, Bro Samuel was sent to Rome, and in 1987 he came back to the Sudan and started the reconstruction of Kit. This work was later suspended because of the war.
The late Bro served as Superior General to his congregation from 1991 until 2001.
He was later on buried at Rejaf. May he rest in peace.
SCOTLAND: BISHOPS RELEASE LOGO FOR OFFICIAL VISIT OF THE POPE
BISHOPS CONFERENCE OF SCOTLAND REPORT-
STATEMENT ON THE PAPAL VISIT FROM CARDINAL KEITH O’BRIEN, PRESIDENT OF THE BISHOPS CONFERENCE OF SCOTLAND
Thursday 1 July 2010
I am also very pleased to be able to launch the logo, which the Scottish Bishops will use for the Papal Visit, the design by Scottish designer Gregory Millar is both striking and symbolic, it is a fitting emblem for a historic visit.
The Pope will arrive in Scotland on Thursday 16 September, the Feast of St. Ninian. Ninian was the 4th century Scottish saint who was one of the first to bring the Gospel of Christ to our land. Following his arrival at Edinburgh airport, that morning, the Pope will be driven to Holyrood Palace where he will be welcomed by Her Majesty the Queen. On leaving the palace at 12.30pm he will be driven in the Popemobile through the centre of Edinburgh. Part of his route will include Princes Street, perhaps the most iconic cityscape in Scotland. Here in the hour preceding his motorcade a celebratory pageant will have taken place comprising: Pipe Bands, schools with special emphasis on children attending schools named after St. Ninian and a historic pageant comprising characters dressed as historic figures in our national life. More information on the St. Ninian’s Day Parade is available at: http://www.stniniansday.co.uk/ I hope as many people as possible will attend and line the Pope’s route.
Following lunch at my home, the Holy Father will travel to Bellahouston Park in Glasgow to celebrate a public Mass on the same site that his predecessor Pope John Paul II said Mass in 1982. I hope that over 100,000 places will be available through Catholic parishes, who will receive a pro-rata allocation based on their Mass attendance figures. I hope however that all those who wish to attend, whether or not they are practising Catholics will do so. Finally, we should remember that Apostolic visits provide a rare opportunity for us to strengthen our faith and to show it to others. A generation of Scots of all faiths fondly remember and benefited from the last such visit in 1982. As we commemorate the Feast of St. Ninian who sowed the seeds of faith in our country, it is my hope that a new generation will be revitalised and strengthened in bearing witness to the message of the Gospels.”
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ARCHBISHOP HART ISSUES PASTORAL LETTER OF APOLOGY
Cath News report: Melbourne's Archbishop Denis Hart issued a Pastoral Letter at the weekend in response to the recent international focus on the issue of sexual abuse.
The Archbishop has pledged to continue the Melbourne Archdiocese's strong response to allegations of sexual abuse.
"As Archbishop of Melbourne, I once again express my deep sorrow and offer a sincere and unreserved apology to all victims of sexual abuse, and to their families," he continued.
"Sexual abuse in any form, and any attempt to conceal it, is a grave evil and is totally unacceptable. As Christ's Church we must face up to the truth of these revelations and not attempt to disguise, diminish or avoid in any way the actions of priests and religious who have betrayed their sacred trust.
Archbishop Hart said that the Melbourne Response process, introduced in 1996 in consultation with Victoria Police, "goes a long way towards addressing compassionately the issue of sexual abuse in the Melbourne Archdiocese".
Meanwhile the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, issued a statement strongly supporting the apology to victims of sexual abuse made by Archbishop Denis Hart.
The statement said Cardinal Pell has made similar apologies in the past. It stressed that abuse by priests and religious fills him with "horror and disgust", and restated his commitment to uncovering sexual abuse and to caring for the victims.
"Archbishop Hart's letter addresses the local situation in Melbourne, and Melbourne's response to sexual abuse. But in his apology to the victims, in his concern that they be treated compassionately and justly, and in his sense of desolation and betrayal at the crimes priests have committed, he speaks for me too.
Cardinal Pell said he joined with Archbishop Hart in encouraging victims to come forward to the police.
"Sexual abuse of children is a horrifying crime. It causes immense, sometimes life-long harm to those who are attacked."
The Age reports today that no one at St Patrick's Cathedral in Melbourne yesterday seemed to doubt that Archbishop Denis Hart was sincere in his apology to victims of sexual abuse by clergy.
Many felt there had been enough publicity. 'I think this should be an end to it. We are making too much fuss,' said an Italian Catholic after the service.
"I think there's a worldwide vendetta against the Holy Father because he's German."
Double victim Catherine Arthur told The Age: "I feel a little cynical. If what he said was true and he followed up, it would be very good, but it's all been said and nothing happens,".
Geelong priest Kevin Dillon, a noted advocate for victims, said he thought the apology was a good start that might lead to an improved process for dealing with abuse complaints.
Archbishop Hart told The Age that he had spoken to several priests to gauge reaction around the archdiocese.
"The response has been overwhelmingly positive that we are facing it, and moving forward," he said. "People are grateful that the situation is being clarified."
USA: CATHOLIC BISHOP BURNS OFFERS THOUGHTS ON 4TH OF JULY
Through it all, their faith in God assisted them in their struggles and in their hopes. The men who signed the Declaration of Independence had much more to lose than to gain. Most of them were wealthy. Recently I read that of the fifty six signers, all but two were married. Most of them were under fifty years of age. The family men each had an average of six children. They were all well-educated and community leaders. As a group they were confident and prosperous. But what they wanted most was freedom.
The signers understood the price of freedom was high: if they failed they would be put to death for treason. Yet they signed the Declaration of Independence. The hand of Stephen Hopkins, an elderly signer, shook as he held the quill pen. He said as he put the pen to the paper, "Gentlemen, my hand trembles, but my heart does not!"
In the document, God is mentioned in the beginning and in the end. Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration's architect, used a phrase that I wish he would have elaborated upon a bit more - "We hold these truths to be self-evident." In these truths are the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, all of which are endowed by the Creator. The Declaration of Independence was the way in which our new country was going to "secure these rights." However, these rights are not always "self-evident" to everyone and it is vital that we understand these principles which make our country great.
The signers of the Declaration of Independence and our founding fathers depended on their faith in God to be successful. A great majority of the writings of the founding fathers contain quotations from the Bible. The familiar symbol of independence, the Liberty Bell, has part of Leviticus 25:10 described on it: "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.
When challenged about opening a Congressional session with a prayer, Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying, "I've lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth - that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, sir, in the sacred writings, that except the Lord build the house they labor in vain who build it."
President John Adams, wrote in 1798: "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." The entering president takes his oath of office with his right hand on the Holy Bible and concludes his file, "...so help me God." Our Supreme Court begins each of its sessions with the phrase, "God save the United States and this honorable Court." Each of the constitutions of all 50 states mention God. President Ronald Reagan once said, "If we ever forget that we are 'One nation, under God," then we will be one nation gone under."
Faith in the Lord is not only seen in documents of our country, but also in the architecture. A mural in the rotunda in the U.S. Capitol building has the baptism of Pocahontas as well as Franciscans in procession. In the chambers of the House of Representatives, directly above the speaker's chair is the inscription, "In God we Trust." The marble reliefs surrounding that room, are historical lawmakers, including Pope Innocent III, Pope Gregory IX, and in the center, Moses - the supreme law giver. Moses is depicted at the Supreme Court building holding the Ten Commandments. Within Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol building there are statues of one Catholic nun and four Catholic priests: Mother Joseph of the state of Washington kneeling in prayer; Father Junipero Serra of California holding a cross; Father Eusebio Kino, SJ (Arizona); Father Damien of Molokai (Hawaii) and Father Jacques Marquette, SJ (Wisconsin).
These sentiments of faith are written on paper and chiseled in stone, however, it bears fruit when this faith is imprinted on our hearts - In God we Trust.
Edward J. Burns is the Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Juneau and Southeast Alaska. He was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI and was installed on April 2, 2009. His next column will run July 18.
IMAGE SOURCE http://blackbiretta.blogspot.com/2009_03_01_archive.html
St. Antonio Maria Zaccaria
Born: 1503, Cremona, Duchy of Milan, (now Italy)
Died: July 5, 1539, Cremona, Duchy of Milan
Canonized: May 15, 1897, Rome by Pope Leo XIII
Major Shrine: San Paolo convent, Milan, Italy
Patron of: The Barnabite order
Founder of the Clerks Regular of St. Paul, commonly known as the Barnabites; b. in Cremona, Italy, 1502; d. 5 July, 1539. While he was still an infant his father died, leaving the care of the child's education to his mother, who taught him compassion for the poor and suffering by making him her almoner. After completing the studies given in the schools at Cremona he was sent to Padua for his philosophy, and in 1520, when he had finished this course, began the study of medicine in the university at that place. At the age of twenty-two he received his degree of Doctor of Medicine and returned to Cremona to practise his profession. Three years later he began to study theology and received holy orders in 1528. He now devoted himself with renewed energy to works of charity and mercy, visiting and consoling the sick in hospitals and poor-prisons. The ministry of preaching and the administration of the sacraments produced such great fruit that St. Antonio was encouraged to seek a larger field for his labours and to carry out a great project which he hard formed for the good of souls. He went to the populous city of Milan, of which he was a burgess, and entered the Confraternity of Eternal Wisdom. Among the members of this religious body he allied himself with two priests, Fathers Ferrari and Morigia, and told them of his idea of founding a congregation of secular clergy. Northern Italy at this period was in a deplorable condition. Frequent wars had devastated the country. The advent of the Lutheran soldiery and their contempt for everything Catholic had spread the contagion of bad example, while famine and plague followed in the track of the soldiers. These scourges combined to produce a state of misery that appealed most powerfully to Antonio and his associates. "The Congregation of the Regular Clerks of St. Paul", St. Antonio's work, which began with five members, was canonically sanctioned by Pope Clement VII in 1533. Their rule bound them to "regenerate and revive the love of the Divine worship, and a truly Christian way of life by frequent preaching and the faithful administration of the sacraments." The first superior of the new congregation was St. Antonio, who soon hecame known in Milan as an apostle. Besides giving conferences in churches to ecclesiastics and lay people, he went into the streets of the city with crucifix in hand, and produced great fruit in souls by preaching on the Passion and Death of Christ and the need of penance for sin. In 1536 he resigned the superiorship to Father Morigia and later went to Vicenza at the request of Cardinal Ridolfi. There he succeeded in reforming morals and in bringing two religious communities of women to a stricter observance of their rule. In the latter labour he was greatly aided by a congregation of nuns "The Angelicals of St. Paul", which he had founded in Milan. He introduced, also, the devotion of the "Forty Hours' Prayers", in Vicenza. The last two years of his life were spent in Milan. He sought there a more suitable church for his Congregation and accepted the offer of the church of S. Barnabas, but died before the affaire was arranged. From this church of St. Barnabas, the Congregation received the name by which its members are commonly known, i.e. Barnabites. Worn out by his voluntary penences, as well as by his untiring labours of charity, he was attacked by fever during one of his mission. Knowing that this illness was his last, he had himself brought to his native city, Cremona. There, in his mother's house, he received the last sacraments and peacefully expired at the early age of thirty-seven. His body was found incorrupt 27 years after his death. He was declared Blessed by Pope Pius IX in 1849. (See BARNABITES.) On 15 May, 1897, he was solemnly canonized in St. Peter's, Rome, by Pope Leo XIII. His writings are: "Detti notabili, raccolti da varii autori" (Venice, 1583); "Constitutiones ordinis clericorum regularium" (not published); "Sermones super praeceptis Decalogi" (not published).
Matthew 9: 18 - 26
18 While he was thus speaking to them, behold, a ruler came in and knelt before him, saying, "My daughter has just died; but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live."
19 And Jesus rose and followed him, with his disciples.
20 And behold, a woman who had suffered from a hemorrhage for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment;
21 for she said to herself, "If I only touch his garment, I shall be made well."
22 Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, "Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well." And instantly the woman was made well.
23 And when Jesus came to the ruler's house, and saw the flute players, and the crowd making a tumult,
24 he said, "Depart; for the girl is not dead but sleeping." And they laughed at him.
25 But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose.
26 And the report of this went through all that district.