Sunday, January 16, 2011







RADIO VATICANA REPORT: Pope Benedict XVI marks World Day for Migrants and Refugees

On the eve of the Week of Prayer for Christian unity and on the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Benedict spoke of the experience of the many men and women who are forced to leave their own country. He said migration, which is sometimes voluntary, is sometimes "forced by war or persecution." The Pope said the Church - remembering the Holy Family - has always lived within itself the experience of migration.
But if on the one hand the movement of Christians would be an impoverishment for the countries where their ancestors lived, the Holy Father said, on the other it is an opportunity to increase the missionary zeal of the Word of God.
The theme of the papal message for the Day "One human family," affirms that all people are one community, implying that it is imperative that Christians, although scattered throughout the world and, therefore, of different cultures and traditions, may be one, as the Lord wishes.
He said this is the purpose of the "Week of Prayer for Christian Unity", and this year it is inspired by a passage from the Acts of the Apostles: " One in the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer” The Pope also pointed out The Octave is preceded, tomorrow, by the day of Jewish-Christian dialogue: a very significant juncture, which recalls the importance of the common roots that unite Jews and Christians.

After reciting the Angelus, Pope Benedict expressed his joy at the upcoming beatification of Pope John Paul II, which is on May 1st. He said the date is significant: it will be the Second Sunday of Easter, which he dedicated to the Divine Mercy, on the eve of which his earthly life ended. Pope Benedict said those who knew him, those who have respected and loved him, can not but rejoice with the Church for this event.

And finally, the Holy Father said he was praying specially for the flood victims in Australia, Brazil, the Philippines and Sri Lanka.


CNA REPORT: Pope Benedict officially recognized the heroic virtues of 20th century American priest Fr. Nelson Baker, which moves the beloved champion for the poor further along in the process towards sainthood.

Fr. Nelson Baker
Fr. Baker – who was born in Buffalo, New York in 1842 – lived to be 95 years old and is heralded for building what's been called a “city of charity” in Lackawana, New York. By the time of his death in 1936, his initiatives for the poor included a minor basilica, an infant home, a home for unwed mothers, a boys' orphanage, a hospital, a nurses' home, and an elementary and high school.

On Jan. 14, Pope Benedict recognized the heroic virtues of Fr. Baker, which is the second step in the priest's cause for canonization. After a candidate is initially listed as a Servant of God, the promoter of the cause must prove that the candidate lived heroic virtues. When documents and testimonies are presented to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome, and the candidate is approved, he or she earns the title of "Venerable.” Two documented and medically authenticated miracles are then needed, one for beatification and one for canonization.

“Father Baker was known for his tremendous works of charity during his 60 years of priesthood,” Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York said on Jan. 14. Archbishop Dolan expressed delight in the Pope's action on his blog, “The Gospel in the Digital Age.”

The Diocese of Buffalo said on Friday that they “rejoice” at the news , adding that the latest move “is the next step in what we hope and pray will be the eventual beatification and canonization of Father Baker.”

After his upbringing in Buffalo in the late 19th century and a period of enlistment as a solider in the Civil War, Fr. Baker enjoyed economic success running a feed and grain business with his good friend Joe Meyer. He often spent much of his time and money, however, contributing to the local Catholic orphanage. Despite the apprehension of his father, brother and business partner – yet to the delight of his mother – he eventually discerned that he wanted to join the priesthood.

Though he was a good 10 years older than most of his fellow seminarians, Fr. Baker relished his experience in the seminary, earning top marks in his studies, organizing sports and drama events and being considered a leader by his peers, noted Sister Mary Monica of the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in her biography of the priest. During his time at the seminary, things took a brief turn for the worse when a bought with erysipelas – a disease that could be cured with antibiotics today, but in the nineteenth century was often fatal – hospitalized him for 11 weeks and threatened to take his life.

He slowly recovered, and eventually went on a pilgrimage to Rome with his fellow seminarians in 1874, stopping at the Shrine of Our Lady of Victories in Paris. It was there he began an intense Marian devotion that would influence the rest of his life's work.

Fr. Baker was ordained a priest in 1876 and was assigned to be the superintendent of a group of Catholic institutions at Limestone Hill – an area now known as Lackawana – which were wracked with insurmountable debts. Using his business savvy, Fr. Nelson gave every penny of his savings to the institutions and hand wrote thousands of letters imploring Catholics to become members of the "Association of Our Lady of Victory" for a fee of 25 cents a year. Over the years, his tireless work helped the facilities flourish.

After decades of unyielding service to the community, Fr. Baker died in 1936 at the age of 95. He was named a Servant of God in 1987 by the late Pope John Paul II, and his legacy lives on in the current work of Our Lady of Victories Institutions, which annually serves more than 3,500 children and families in need.


ASIA NEWS REPORT: Mgr. Feng Xinmao, bishop of Hengshui replaces the illegitimate bishop Ma Yinglin. The seminarians went on strike for weeks to change the seminary management, which included a local Communist politician.

Shijiazhuang (AsiaNews) - Hebei seminarians have welcomed the appointment of their new rector, a bishop, and the exclusion of politicians from the board of directors. In November-December last year, 100 seminarians went on strike and held demonstrations to demand the removal of Tang Zhaojun, a local politician, as vice-rector of the seminary (see: 02/12/2010 Hebei: seminarians against government official appointed as their seminary vice-rector).

The announcement of the launch of a new board of directors was made on January 13. The new rector is Msgr. Feng Xinmao, bishop of Hengshui. He is replacing the illegitimate bishop Ma Yinglin of Kunming, elected in early December at the head of the council of Chinese bishops, a body which the Holy See does not recognize because irreconcilable with the Catholic faith. Bishop Fang Jianping of Tangshan has been named as director and Father Sun Jigen of Handan as secretary general

The board of directors consists of bishops and delegates from every diocese in Hebei province. Bishop Fang Jianping replaces Mgr. Liu Jing Tangshan. Thanking him for his work in the past, Mgr. Fang said that the new leadership of the seminarywill carry on the mission of training Church successors.

A seminarian told AsiaNews that the board of directors said it wanted to know every class and listen to their opinions. "We hope - he added - that this will lead to a better development and better education."

According to the Catholic newspaper of Shijiazhuang, Faith Press, Mgr. Feng told the seminarians that he is eager to serve as a bridge between the seminary and the board of directors and will visit the institution on a regular basis to hear the voice of the students.

Founded in 1984, Hebei seminary has to date educated 472 seminarians of whom 427 went on to become priests. At present there are 116 students in six classes and over 30 teachers between residents and temporary.



Fr Keith Newton makes first public statement

Fr Keith Newton, left, is pictured during the ordination Mass at Westminster Cathedral today (Mazur/

I am humbled to have been appointed by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, as the first Ordinary for the Personal Ordinariate to be erected in Great Britain under the provisions set out in the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus. This is not an honour I have sought or expected but I pray that God will give me the wisdom and grace to live up to the trust the Holy Father has placed in me.

My wife and family have been a great support to me throughout my ministry and I know they will continue to do so. I am delighted that Gill was received with me into the full communion of the Catholic Church at Westminster Cathedral on 1 January 2011.

I can look back at over 35 years of ordained ministry with tremendous gratitude. The Church of England nourished me in the Christian Faith and it was within her that I discovered, as a teenager, my vocation to the ordained ministry which has involved service both in England and Africa. I do not see my reception into the Catholic Church as a radical break but part of the on‐going pilgrimage of faith which began at my baptism. Since my teenage years I have longed and prayed for corporate unity with the Catholic Church and the publication of the Apostolic Constitution has offered the possibility of realising that dream.

I am particularly grateful to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Rowan Williams, for his patience and graciousness with those of us who have been exploring our way forward over the last few months.

The Catholic Church, both here and in Rome, have given me warm encouragement in making this step and I am grateful for the countless words and signs of welcome I have received from many members of the Catholic Church over recent days. I hope the Ordinariate will be a gift to the Catholic Church and that I, together with those priests and people who join the Ordinariate, will be of service to the whole Church.


Agenzia Fides REPORT – The Republic of Congo is destined to become the first country in Africa to provide special legal protection to its indigenous peoples. In a declaration by Jean Ganga, president of the Association for the Protection and the Promotion of Indigenous Peoples, one reads that with the adoption of this new law it is hoped that many things will change, and especially the emancipation of the indigenous will receive favour, who constitute about 10% of the population of the Congo and live in almost every region throughout the Country. The new law aims to counter marginalization, which manifests in their exclusions from the education system, in the high levels of illiteracy and in the lack of access to state services such as health care structures.
With this Act, the indigenous, many of whom are known as Pygmies, will be protected and enjoy the same rights as the Bantu, and will no longer be treated as inferior. “In the past the Africans from South Africa lived in slavery, like the blacks in the United States. The same occurred in the Congo to the indigenous. The new law will change everything. It will be a revolution for the rights of these peoples,” according to the director for human rights for the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights. Sanctions have been provided for those who treat the indigenous people like slaves.


Perth Now report: VOLUNTEERS pitching in to help Queenslanders recover from the floods are being urged to remember their local small businesses.

Treasurer Andrew Fraser says Queensland's response to the flood crisis has been "inspirational", with thousands of people giving up their weekend to help clean up in the aftermath of Thursday's flooding in Brisbane and Ipswich.

But small businesses shouldn't be forgotten, because the sooner they are up and running again, the sooner the economy can recover.

"If you've already helped your neighbours and friends, please have a think about offering your support to small business operators," Mr Fraser said.

Brisbane Ciry Council and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) have joined forces with the treasurer to ask volunteers to turn their attention to businesses.

CCIQ president David Goodwin said a call centre and website had been set up for small business people seeking assistance and advice after the floods.

"Many small businesses in the industrial suburbs and in the regions will be crying out for help during the cleaning up process," he said.

Brisbane City Council was so overwhelmed by volunteers at its rallying points at the weekend that it was forced to turn many away.

Lord Mayor Campbell Newman said as backbones of the community, businesses should not be forgotten.

"One of the major keys to recovering from this disaster is to get business going again so everyone please get in and help protect each other's jobs," he said.

The CCIQ hotline is 1300 548 044 and its website is .


St. Berard of Carbio


Feast: January 16

Of the noble family of Leopardi, and a native of Carbio in Umbria, Berard was received into the Franciscan Order by the Seraphic Patriarch himself, in 1213. He was well versed in Arabic, an eloquent preacher, and was chosen by St. Francis, together with two other priests, Peter and Otho, and two lay-brothers, Accursius and Adjutus, to evangelize the infidels of the East. On the conclusion of the Second General Chapter in 1219, St. Francis believed that the time had then come for the religious of his order to extend their apostolic labours beyond the Italian peninsula and Northern Europe; and, choosing for himself and twelve other religious the greater part of Syria and Egypt, he allotted to Berard and his companions the missions of Morocco. The five missionaries set sail from Italy, and after sojourning some time in Spain and Portugal finally arrived in the Kingdom of Morocco. Their open preaching of the Gospel there and their bold denunciation of the religion of Mahomet soon caused them to be apprehended and cast into prison. Having vainly endeavoured to persuade them to abandon the true religion, the Moorish king in a fit of rage opened their heads with his scimitar, and thus were offered to God the first fruits of the blood of the Friars Minor. Berard and his companions were canonized by Sixtus V, in 1481. The feast of the martyrs of Morocco is kept in the order on the 16th of January.



Isaiah 49: 3, 5 - 6
3And he said to me, "You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified."
5And now the LORD says, who formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him, and that Israel might be gathered to him, for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD, and my God has become my strength --
6he says: "It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth."

Psalms 40: 2, 4, 7 - 10
2He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.
4Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after false gods!
7Then I said, "Lo, I come; in the roll of the book it is written of me;
8I delight to do thy will, O my God; thy law is within my heart."
9I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; lo, I have not restrained my lips, as thou knowest, O LORD.
10I have not hid thy saving help within my heart, I have spoken of thy faithfulness and thy salvation; I have not concealed thy steadfast love and thy faithfulness from the great congregation.
1 Corinthians 1: 1 - 3
1Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sos'thenes,2To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:3Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
John 1: 29 - 34
29The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!30This is he of whom I said, `After me comes a man who ranks before me, for he was before me.'31I myself did not know him; but for this I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel."32And John bore witness, "I saw the Spirit descend as a dove from heaven, and it remained on him.33I myself did not know him; but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, `He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.'34And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God."

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