Tuesday, January 25, 2011









TODAY'S GOSPEL: JAN. 25: MARK 16: 15- 18


VATICAN CITY, 25 JAN 2011 (VIS) - Made public today was the Pope's Message for the eighty-fifth World Mission Day, which falls this year on Sunday 23 October. The theme of the document is: "As the Father has sent me, so I send you".

The call to take the Gospel to everyone, "with the same enthusiasm as the early Christians", as the Venerable John Paul II wrote in the Jubilee Year 2000, "resounds every year in the celebration of World Mission Day", says Benedict XVI in his Message.

"The announcement of the Gospel is destined for everyone", the Pope writes. The Church "exists to evangelise", he says. "Her activity, in conformity with the word of Christ and under the influence of His grace and charity, becomes fully and truly present in all individuals and all peoples in order to lead them to faith in Christ.

"This task has lost none of its urgency", he adds. "We cannot rest easy at the thought that, after two thousand, there are people who still do not know Christ, who have not yet heard His message of salvation.

"What is more, there are growing numbers of people who, though having received the Gospel announcement, have forgotten or abandoned it and no longer identify themselves in the Church; and many environments, even in traditionally Christian societies, are reluctant to open themselves to the word of faith. A cultural shift is taking place, which also draws nourishment from globalisation, from new schools of thought and from the prevailing relativism; a shift which leads to mentalities and lifestyles that ignore the Evangelical message as if God did not exist, and which exalt the search for wellbeing, easy earnings, career and success as the goal of life, even at the expense of moral values".

The Holy Father recalls how "the universal mission always involves everyone and everything. The Gospel is not the exclusive prerogative of those who received it, but a gift to be shared, a piece of good news to be passed on. This gift-commitment is entrusted not just to the few, but to all baptised people".

"Evangelisation", he writes, "is a complex process and includes various elements. Among these, missionary activity has always given particular attention to solidarity, ... sustaining the institutions necessary to establish and consolidate the Church, ... and contributing to improving the living conditions of people in countries most affected by problems of poverty, malnutrition especially among children, disease, and lack of healthcare and education services. This too is part of the mission of the Church. In announcing the Gospel, she embraces human life in the fullest sense of the term".

The Pope continues his Message: "It is unacceptable, as Servant of God Paul VI said, for evangelisation to overlook questions associated with human development, justice, and liberation from all forms of oppression, though obviously while respecting the autonomy of the political sphere. Ignoring the temporal problems of humanity would mean 'forgetting the Gospel lesson of love for our suffering and needy neighbours'. It would not be in keeping with Jesus' own behaviour Who 'went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness'.

"Thus, by responsible participation in the mission of Christ, Christians become builders of the peace and solidarity that Christ gives us, and they collaborate in achieving God's plan of salvation for all humankind", Benedict XVI concluded. "May World Mission Day revive in everyone the desire to 'go out' to meet humankind, bringing Christ to everyone". IMAGE SOURCE: DAYLIFE.COM

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VATICAN CITY, 25 JAN 2011 (VIS) - The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff today published the calendar of celebrations due to be presided by the Holy Father between February and April.


Wednesday 2: Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and the World Day of Consecrated Life. At 5.30 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Vespers with members of institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life.

Saturday 5: At 10 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Mass and episcopal ordination.

Monday 21: At midday in the Concistory Hall, concistory for certain causes of canonisation.


Wednesday 9: Ash Wednesday. At 4.30 p.m. in the basilica of Sant'Anselmo, "statio" and penitential procession. At 5 p.m. in the basilica of Santa Sabina, blessing and imposition of the ashes.

Sunday 13: First Sunday of Lent. At 6 p.m. in the "Redemptoris Mater" Chapel of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, beginning of the spiritual exercises of the Roman Curia.

Saturday 19: At 9 a.m. in the "Redemptoris Mater" Chapel, conclusion of the spiritual exercises of the Roman Curia.

Sunday 20: Second Sunday of Lent. At 9 am, Mass and dedication of the new Roman parish of "San Corbiniano all'Infernetto - Casal Palocco".


Sunday 17. Palm Sunday and the Passion of the Lord. At 9.30 a.m. in St. Peter's Square, blessing of palms, procession and Mass.

Thursday 21. Holy Thursday. At 9.30 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Chrism Mass. At 5.30 p.m. in the Basilica of St. John Lateran, beginning of the Easter Triduum with the Mass of the Last Supper.

Friday 22. Good Friday. At 5 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, celebration of the Lord's Passion. At 9.15 p.m. at the Colosseum, Way of the Cross.

Saturday 23. Holy Saturday. At 9 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Easter vigil.

Sunday 24. Easter Sunday. Mass in St. Peter's Square at 10.15 a.m. At midday, from the central loggia of St. Peter's Basilica, "Urbi et Orbi" blessing.

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VATICAN CITY, 25 JAN 2011 (VIS) - Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. has sent a telegram of condolence, in the Holy Father's name, to Dimitry Anatolevich Medvedev, president of the Russian Federation, in the wake of yesterday's bomb attack at Domodedovo airport in Moscow, which left many people dead and injured.

Benedict XVI expresses "profound suffering and firm condemnation at this serious act of violence", and his desire "to transmit his sentiments of spiritual closeness and deep condolence to the relatives of the victims".

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VATICAN CITY, 25 JAN 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Ildo Augusto Dos Santos Lopes Fortes, "fidei donum" priest, chancellor of the diocese of Mindelo, Cape Verde, and pastor of the parish of "Sao Vincente", as bishop of Mindelo (area 2,230, population 166,000, Catholics 149,230, priests 19, religious 58). The bishop-elect was born in Sal, Cape Verde in 1964 and ordained a priest in 1992.


CCCB REPORT– Ottawa, January 25, 2011 The Commission for Doctrine of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) released today a pastoral letter to young people on chastity.

“Chastity is a very real challenge, particularly for young people in our country today. We want to encourage those young people who are struggling to live a life of chastity that their bishops stand prayerfully with them and are there to support and encourage them,” said Commission Chairman Archbishop J. Michael Miller, C.S.B., of Vancouver. “I am certain that young people striving to be faithful to the Gospel are not afraid of a challenging and authentic love. It is the only kind that ultimately gives true joy!” he added.

chastity_enIn its pastoral letter, the Commission recommended that young people surround themselves with friends who also want to live in a chaste manner. It is also pointed to the importance of prayer, the practice of confession, and receiving spiritual guidance.

According to the letter, chastity is an offering of oneself in response to God’s gift in Jesus Christ. This echoes the words of Pope Benedict XVI at his papal inauguration: “If we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful and great. . . . I say to you, dear young people: Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away, and he gives you everything. When we give ourselves to him, we receive a hundredfold in return.”

The launch of the pastoral letter is being assisted by Salt + Light Television with a video production. The letter can be downloaded freely Printed copies can be ordered from the CCCB Publications service at The video production can be viewed at

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) is the national assembly of the Bishops of Canada. It was founded in 1943 and officially recognized by the Holy See in 1948. After the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), the CCCB became part of a worldwide network of Episcopal Conferences, established in 1965 as an integral part of the life of the Universal Church.


ASIA NEWS REPORT: 'Ceremony for Pierre (Peter) Buntha Silaphet supposed to take place on December 12 but was postponed for nearly two months. The small Catholic community celebrates the Lao in his hometown, Van Phnom, ordination held in Takhek, 800 km further south. Fr. Pierre will help the vicar apostolic Fr. Tito Banchong left alone after the expulsion of foreign missionaries in 1975.

Vientiane (AsiaNews) - The first ordination in forty years in northern Laos will be celebrated on January 29, 2011. It was to have been held December 12, 2010 but was delayed by almost two months. The new priest, Pierre (Peter) Buntha Silaphet, is thirty years-old, was born in Phnom Van (Sayaboury - Northern Laos) and belongs to the K'Hmù ethnic group. A coincidence that the Catholic community in Laos judges providential, Pierre’s Lao name is "Buntha," as that of the last ethnic K'Hmù priest, ordained in Luang Prabang February 22, 1970: 41 years ago, by Msgr.AlessandroStaccioli, vicar apostolic from February 1968 to 1975. In that year the government decided to expel all foreign missionaries, who were refused the right of return. Since then Fr. Tito Banchong, after the expulsion of foreign priests, has remained alone in the Vicariate, and understandably was overjoyed to give the announcement of this new ordination.

The small Catholic community will celebrates with Pierre Buntha when he returns to his native village of Phnom Van (Sayabouri), after his ordination, which will take place in Takhek, 800 km further south The ordaining bishop is Mgr. Marie-Louis Ling, Apostolic Vicar of Pakse, an ethnic K'hmù like Buntha.

The new diocesan priest belongs to one of the families evangelized between 1960 and 1975 by Father Pierre Marie Bonometti, Omi, in Ban Houei Thong in the province of Luang Prabang.

The apostolic administrator, Mgr. Tito Banchong, received all the necessary permits from the authorities to celebrate this event. Unofficially, it has been made clear to those involved that the ordination ceremony must not attract too much attention, and instead take the form of a village holiday. Since 1975, the Vicariate of Luang Prabang has been without a cathedral, but only small chapels around the country. The government is closely monitoring the activity of church life and Christian minorities. The Catholic Church is present across the four apostolic vicariates: Luang Prabang, Pakse, Savannakhet and Vientiane. There are 39,725 Catholics, representing 0.65% of the Lao population.


ALL AFRICA REPORT: The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Rumbek (DOR), Lordship Caesar Mazzolari, is on his way to Italy to raise funds to support schools in the Catholic dioceses of Sudan, both in the north and south of the country.

Speaking to Catholic radio before leaving Rumbek for Italy, Bishop Mazzolari said that he has been delegated by the Sudan Catholic Bishops' Conference "to obtain funding from the Conference of the Italian bishops" to support schools in Sudan.

The Bishop said that the nine-day fundraising mission in Italy will aim at widening the range of donors by contacting different people who have expressed the wish to help the people of Sudan, among them, the lady ambassador to the Vatican from Canada. Bishop Mazzolari asked for prayers for the success of the mission entrusted to him by his brother bishops of Sudan.

He reaffirmed that "we have come to the conclusion of the referendum, I leave with joy in my heart to see that God has answer our prayers, the campaigning efforts of all our political leaders, and it had grained to us referendum that was meet with mix feeling both peace and joy, to see the turnout for our people to creating new nation".He explained how he would meet the Maltese people who "sponsored the Loreto school here in Rumbek," and hoped to "visit more donors to help the mission in Sudan."

The Catholic Church in Sudan has almost singlehandedly supported educational institutions throughout the many years of civil war. The mission of the Bishop in Italy will conclude on 28 January.


Latin Mass Society announces 2011 priests training conference | Latin Mass Society

Mass at Downside 2010 image: Joseph Shaw
IND. CATH. NEWS REPORT: The Latin Mass Society has announced its seventh residential conference for priests who wish to learn the Extraordinary Form of Mass. The conference will take place at Buckfast Abbey, Buckfastleigh, Devon from Tuesday 3rd - Friday 6th May.

Tuition will be given in small groups selected according to ability, and will cover Low Mass, Missa Cantata and Missa Solemnis. It is also hoped to provide tuition in the sacraments of baptism and marriage. Only rudimentary Latin is required.

There will also be a residential course for laymen wishing to learn to serve the Extraordinary Form.

The conference will begin late morning on the Tuesday, although there will be the opportunity for those travelling long distances to stay at Buckfast Abbey on the Monday night. The conference will end after lunch on the Friday.

There will be sung Mass in the Extraordinary Form each day; parts of the Office will also be sung.

The inclusive fee is £85 which covers all tuition, accommodation and board.

Application forms for both priests and servers training are available from the LMS office (020 7404 7284) or the LMS

LMS Chairman, Doctor Joseph Shaw said: “The LMS’s training conferences are now well-established in the Church’s calendar of activities. We have already trained over a hundred priests and many more Extraordinary Form Masses are being offered around the country due to our training activities”.


CATH NEWS REPORT: Two Sisters of St Joseph will undertake a "travelling roadshow" across Australia to raise funds for community project grants that will benefit those affected by the recent floods, according to a media release.

From March to October, the Travelling Sisters Roadshow - Australian Disaster Recovery will see the two religious visiting schools and town centres in capital citieis in a tour van. The Sisters will be raising funds to give grants of up to $10,000 to community projects that are helping those affected by the floods.

Every year the Mary MacKillop Foundation invites community-based self-help projects to apply for a 12-month grant of up to $10,000, with 40 successful applications chosen at the end of each year.

The Foundation will also provide up to 40 extra grants that will be reserved for projects that focus on disaster recovery across Australia, in addition to 40 grants for all other small life changing projects.

Sam Hardjono, CEO of the Mary MacKillop Foundation, said: "Our nation has seen what is probably its most devastating series of natural disasters, resulting in a loss of lives, homes, businesses, farms, schools and much more."The Roadshow will be raising money to help meet the extra grants. Applications open today, six months earlier than usual.

Sister Julianne, one of the Travelling Sisters, commented: "In the same way that Australia's first saint, St Mary MacKillop responded to the needs of her time, the Mary MacKillop Foundation responds to the needs of our time to relieve suffering and give hope. This is in keeping with Mary MacKillop's philosophy to "never see a need without trying to do something about it."

The total amount of donations will go directly to the community projects, none of it used for administrative purposes or for the roadshow, the organisation said. Donations can be made at webpage


Conversion of St. Paul

Feast: January 25


Feast Day:January 25

This great apostle was a Jew, of the tribe of Benjamin. At his circumcision, on the eighth day after his birth, he received the name of Saul. His father was by sect a Pharisee, and a denizen of Tarsus, the capital of Cilicia: which city had shown a particular regard for the cause of the Caesars; on which account Cassius deprived it of its privileges and lands; but Augustus when conqueror, made it ample amends by honoring it with many new privileges, and with the freedom of Rome, as we read in the two Dions and Appian. Hence St. Paul, being born at Tarsus, was by privilege a Roman citizen, to which quality a great distinction and several exemptions were granted by the laws of the empire. His parents sent him young to Jerusalem, where he was educated and instructed in the strictest observance of the law of Moses, by Gamaliel, a learned and noble Jew, and probably a member of the Sanhedrin; and was a most scrupulous observer of it in every point. He appeals even to his enemies to bear evidence how conformable to it his life had been in every respect. He embraced the sect of the Pharisees, which was of all others the most severe, though by its pride the most opposite to the humility of the gospel. It was a rule among the Jews that all their children were to learn some trade with their studies, were it but to avoid idleness, and to exercise the body, as well as the mind, in something serious. It is therefore probable that Saul learned in his youth the trade which he exercised even after his apostleship, of making tents.

Saul, surpassing all his equals in zeal for the Jewish law and their traditions, which he thought the cause of God, became thereby a blasphemer, a persecutor, and the most outrageous enemy of Christ. He was one of those who combined to murder St. Stephen, and by keeping the garments of all who stoned that holy martyr, he is said by St. Austin to have stoned him by the hands of all the rest6 to whose prayers for his enemies he ascribes the conversion of St. Paul: "If Stephen," said he, "had not prayed, the church would never have had St. Paul."

After the martyrdom of the holy deacon, the priests and magistrates of the Jews raised a violent persecution against the church at Jerusalem, in which Saul signalized himself above others. By virtue of the power he had received from the high priest, he dragged the Christians out of their houses, loaded them with chains, and thrust them into prison. He procured them to be scourged in the synagogues, and endeavored by torments to compel them to blaspheme the name of Christ. And as our Saviour had always been represented by the leading men of the Jews as a n enemy to their law, it was no wonder that this rigorous Pharisee fully persuaded himself that By the violences he committed, his name became everywhere a terror to the faithful. The persecutors not only raged against their persons, but also seized their estates and what they possessed in common, and left them in such extreme necessity, that the remotest churches afterwards thought it incumbent on them to join in charitable contributions to their relief. All this could not satisfy the fury of Saul; he breathed nothing but threats and the slaughter of the other disciples." Wherefore, in the fury of his zeal, he applied to the high priest and Sanhedrin for a commission to take up all Jews at Damascus who confessed Jesus Christ, and bring them bound to Jerusalem, that they might serve as public examples for the terror of others. But God was pleased to show forth in him his patience and mercy: and, moved by the prayers of St. Stephen and his other persecuted servants. for their enemies, changed him,, in the very heat of his fury, into a vessel of election, and made him a greater mall in his church by the grace of the apostleship, than St. Stephen had ever been, and a more illustrious instrument of his glory. He was almost at the end of his journey to Damascus, when, about noon, he and his company were ml a sudden surrounded by a great light from heaven, brighter than the sun. They all saw the light, and being struck with amazement, fell to the ground.. Then Saul heard a voice, which to him was articulate and distinct; but not understood, though heard by the rest : ? Christ said not: Why cost thou persecute my disciples? but me: for it is he, their head, who is chiefly persecuted in his servants. Saul answered: ? Christ said: :—" to contend with one so much mightier than thyself. By persecuting my church you make it flourish, and only prick and hurt yourself." This mild expostulation of our Redeemer, accompanied with a powerful interior grace, strongly affecting his soul, cured his pride, assuaged his rage, and wrought at once a total change in him. Wherefore, trembling and astonished, he cried out: ? What to repair the past? What to promote your glory? I make a joyful oblation of myself to execute your will in every thing, and to suffer for your sake afflictions, disgraces, persecutions, torments, and every sort of death. The true convert expressed this, not in a bare form of words, nor with faint languid desires, nor with any exception lurking in the secret recesses of his heart; but with an entire sacrifice of himself, and au heroic victory over the world with its frowns and charms, over the devils with their snares and threats, and over himself and all inclinations of self-love; devoting himself totally to God. A perfect model of a true conversion, the greatest work of almighty grace! Christ ordered him to arise and proceed on his journey to the city, where he should be informed of what he expected from him. Christ would not instruct him immediately by himself, but St. Austin observes, sent him to the ministry which he had established in the church, to be directed in the way of salvation by those whom he had appointed for that purpose. He would not finish the conversion and instruction of this great apostle, whom he was pleased to call in so wonderful a manner, but by remitting him to the guidance of his ministers; showing us thereby that his holy providence has so ordered it, that all who desire to serve him, should seek his will by listening to those whom he has commanded us to hear, and whom he has sent in his own name and appointed to be our guides. So perfectly would he abolish in his servants all self-confidence and presumption, the source of error and illusion. The convert, rising from the ground, found that, though his eyes were open, he saw nothing. Providence sent this corporal blindness to be an emblem of the spiritual blindness in which he had lived, and to signify to him that he was henceforward to die to the world, and learn to apply his mind totally to the contemplation of heavenly things.. He was led by the hand into Damascus, whither Christ seemed to conduct him in triumph. He was lodged in the house of a Jew named Judas, where he remained three days blind, and without eating or drinking. He doubtless spent his time in great bitterness of soul, not yet knowing what God required of him. With what anguish he bewailed his past blindness and false zeal against the church, we may conjecture both from his taking no nourishment during those three days, and from the manner in which he ever after remembered and spoke of his having been a blasphemer and a persecutor. Though the entire reformation of his heart was not gradual, as in ordinary conversions, but miraculous in the order of grace, and perfect in a moment; yet a time of probation and a severe interior trial (for such we cannot doubt but he went through on this occasion) was necessary to crucify the old man and all other earthly sentiments in his heart, and to prepare it to receive the extraordinary graces which God designed him. There was a Christian of distinction in Damascus, much respected by the Jews for his irreproachable life and great virtue; his name was Ananias. Christ appeared to this holy disciple, and commanded him to go to Saul, who was then in the house of Judas at prayer: Ananias trembled at the name of Saul, being no stranger to the mischief he had done in Jerusalem, or to the errand on which he was set out to Damascus. But our Redeemer overruled his fears, and charged him a second time to go to him, saying: For tribulation is the test and portion of all the true servants of Christ. Saul in the mean time saw in a vision a man entering, and laying his hands upon him, to restore his sight. Ananias, obeying the divine order, arose, went to Saul, and laying his hands upon him, said:Immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he recovered his eyesight. Ananias added: Saul then arose, was baptized, and took some refreshment. He stayed some few days with the disci. pies at Damascus, and began immediately to preach in the synagogues, that Jesus was the Son of God, to the great astonishment of all that heard him, who said: ? Thus a blasphemer and a persecutor was made an apostle, and chosen to be one of the principal instruments of God in the conversion of the world.

St. Paul never recalled to mind this his wonderful conversion, without raptures of gratitude and praise to the divine mercy. The church, in thanksgiving to God for such a miracle of his grace, from which it has de rived such great blessings, and to commemorate so miraculous an instance of his almighty power, and to propose to penitents a perfect model of a true conversion has instituted this festival, which we find mentioned in several calendars and missals of the eighth and ninth centuries, and which pope Innocent III. commanded to be observed with great solemnity. It was for some time kept a holy day of obligation in most churches in the West; and we read it mentioned as such in England in the council of Oxford in 1222 in the reign of king Henry III.


TODAY'S GOSPEL: JAN. 25: MARK 16: 15- 18

Mark 16: 15 - 18
15And he said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.16He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.17And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues;18they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover."

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