Thursday, January 6, 2011



VATICAN CITY, 5 JAN 2011 (VIS REPORTS) - In his first general audience of 2011, celebrated this morning in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope spoke on the subject of Christmas which, he said, "continues to fascinate today as in the past, ... because everyone in one way or another is intuitively aware that the birth of Jesus concerns man's most profound aspirations and hopes".

"In the liturgical celebrations of these holy days we have experienced, in a way that is mysterious yet real, the Son of God's entry into the world, and we have once again been illuminated by the light of His splendour. Each celebration is the real presence of the mystery of Christ and a prolongation of the history of salvation".

"Celebrating the events of the incarnation of the Son of God does not simply mean a recollection of past events", said the Holy Father, "it means causing the salvific mysteries to be present. In the liturgy, in the celebration of the Sacraments those mysteries become real, they become effective for us today".

"Christmas represents the first fruit of the 'sacramentum-mysterium paschale' - in other words, the beginning of the central mystery of salvation which culminates in the passion, death and resurrection - because Jesus began the giving of Himself for love from the very first instant of His human existence, in the womb of the Virgin Mary. ... The nativity scene, as an image of the incarnation of the Word, in the light of the Gospel account, already alludes to Easter".

"Incarnation and Easter are not adjacent to one another, yet they are the two key inseparable points of the one faith in Jesus Christ, Son of God Incarnate and Redeemer. The Cross and the Resurrection presuppose the Incarnation. ... In this unitary vision of the Mystery of Christ, visiting the nativity scene leads us to visiting the Eucharist where we encounter the real presence of the crucified and risen Christ, the living Christ.

"The liturgical celebration of Christmas, then, is not just a recollection, but above all a mystery", Pope Benedict added, "it is not just a memory but also a presence. To understand the meaning of these two inseparable aspects, it is important to live the Christmas period intensely, as the Church presents it".

"It is necessary to liberate this Christmas period from an overly moralistic and sentimental wrapping. The celebration of Christmas does not only present us with examples to imitate, such as the humility and poverty of the Lord, His benevolence and love for mankind; rather it is an invitation to let oneself be transformed totally by the One Who entered our flesh".

"The aim of God becoming manifest was that we might participate in divine life, and that the mystery of His incarnation might be realised in us. This mystery is the fulfilment of man's vocation", said the Holy Father.

He concluded his catechesis by inviting people to "live this Christmas period with intensity. After having adored the Son of God made man lying in the manger, we are called to move on to the altar of the sacrifice where Christ, the living Bread Who descended from heaven, offers Himself to us as true nourishment for eternal life. We have seen this with our own eyes, at the table of the Word and the Bread of Life, we have contemplated it and touched it with our hands: the Word made flesh. Let us announce it joyfully to the world and bear generous witness to it with all our lives".

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VATICAN CITY, 5 JAN 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the diocese of Warszawa-Praga, Poland, presented by Bishop Stanislaw Kedziora, upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Msgr. Andrew Jagaye Karnley of the clergy of the archdiocese of Monrovia, Liberia, former apostolic administrator "sede vacante", as bishop of Cape Palmas (area 31,760, population 432,000, Catholics 35,000, priests 13, religious 18), Liberia. The bishop-elect was born in Jawejeh, Liberia in 1967 and ordained a priest in 1995.

- Appointed Msgr. Geremias Steinmetz of the clergy of the diocese of Palmas - Francisco Beltrao, Brazil, vicar general, as bishop of Paranavai (area 8,699, population 252,000, Catholics 214,500, priests 43, religious 78), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Sulina, Brazil in 1965 and ordained a priest in 1991.

- Appointed Msgr. Laurent Dognin of the clergy of the diocese of Nanterre, France, vicar general, as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Bordeaux (area 10,000, population 1,376,000, Catholics 1,097,000, priests 237, permanent deacons 17, religious 456), France. The bishop-elect was born in Paris, France in 1953 and ordained a priest in 1980.

- Appointed Archbishop Luigi Travaglino, apostolic nuncio, as permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations Organisations for Food and Agriculture (FAO, IFAD and WFP).

- Appointed Msgr. Segundo Tejado Munoz, official of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum", as under secretary of the same dicastery.

- Appointed Miguel A. L. Nicolelis, professor of neurosciences at Duke University in Durham, U.S.A., as an ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

- Appointed as members of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care: Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney, Australia; Cardinal Jean‑Baptiste Pham Minh Man, archbishop of Than-Pho Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam; Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, archbishop of Krakow, Poland; Archbishop Bernard Blasius Moras of Bangalore, India; Bishop Patricio H. Alo of Mati, Philippines; Bishop Rafael Palmero Ramos of Orihuela‑Alicante, Spain; Stefan Regmunt, Bishop of Zielona Gora‑Gorzow, Poland; Bishop Luis Artemio Flores Calzada of Valle de Chalco, Mexico; Fr. Renato Salvatore M.I., superior general of the Clerks Regular Ministers to the Sick; Br. Donatus Forkan O.H., prior general of the Hospitaller Order of St. John of God; Br. Mario Bonora P.S.D.P., president of the hospital "Sacro Cuore Don Calabria" of Negrar, Verona, and national president of the Association of Social-Healthcare Institutes ‑ Aris, Italy; Sr. Maria Maurizia Giovanna Biancucci R.S.V., superior general of the Benedictine Congregation of the Reparatrix Sisters of the Holy Face of Our Lord Jesus Christ; Sr. Maria Luisa Colombo S.D.C., of the Sisters of Charity of St. Jeanne-Antide Thouret; Gian Carlo Cesana, member of the academic committee of the "Scuola di Direzione in Sanita" of the Italian region of Lombardy; Andrea Riccardi, founder of the Sant'Egidio Community; Jose Maria Simon Castellvi, president of the International Federation of the Association of Catholic Media ‑ F.I.A.M.C., Spain; Piero Uroda, president of the International Federation of Catholic Pharmacists ‑ F.I.P.C., Italy, and Marylee J. Meehan, president of the International Catholic Committee of Nurses and Medical-Social Assistants ‑ C.I.C.I.A.M.S., U.S.A.

- Appointed as consultors of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care: Archbishop‑Bishop Domenico Calcagno, secretary of APSA and president of FAS, Vatican City; Archbishop Piergiuseppe Vacchelli, adjunct secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples and president of the Pontifical Missionary Works; Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Archbishop‑Bishop Peter Liu Cheng-Chung of Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Bishop Jean Laffitte, secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family; Msgr. Livio Melina, president of the John Paul II Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family; Msgr. Andrea Pio Cristiani, founder of the "Shalom" Movement, Italy; Msgr. Krzysztof Jozef Nykiel, official of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Msgr. Jacques Suaudeau, official of the Pontifical Academy for Life; Fr. Pierre Jean Welsch, ecclesiastical assistant of the International Federation of Catholic Pharmacists ‑ F.I.P.C., Belgium; Fr. Maurizio Pietro Faggioni O.F.M., international ecclesiastical assistant of the International Federation of the Associations of Catholic Doctors ‑ F.I.A.M.C., Italy; Domenico Arduini, director of the obstetric and gynaecological clinic of Rome's University of Tor Vergata; Filippo Maria Boscia, president of the "Societa Italiana per la Bioetica e i Comitati Etici" ‑ S.I.B.C.E.; Vincenzo Buonomo, dean of the faculty of civil Law at Rome's Pontifical Lateran University; Christoph von Ritter, director of the "Romed Klinik Prien Am Chiemsee", Germany; John M. Haas, president of the National Catholic Bioethics Centre of Philadelphia, U.S.A.; Jean‑Marie Le Mene, president of the "Fondation Jerome Lejeune" of Paris, France; Massimo Petrini, ordinary professor and vice president of "Camillianum" International Institute of Healthcare Theology, Italy; Jacek Rysz, professor at the faculty of medicine at the University of Lodz, Poland; Roberto Sega, director of general medicine at the hospital of Vimercate, Italy; Antonio G. Spagnolo, director of the institute of bioethics at Rome's Sacred Heart Catholic University; Stanislaw Szczepan Gozdz, director of the oncological hospital of Kielce, Poland; Mario R. Angi, head of preventative ophthalmology at the University of Padua, Italy; Marco Bregni, director of the cancer treatment unit at the hospital of S. Giuseppe in Milan, Italy; Daniel A. Cabezas Gomez, psychiatrist at Rome's "Fatebenefratelli" hospital; Augusto Mosca, medical director at the urological department of Rome's CTO hospital; Fabio Rodia, under director of the second orthopaedic division of Rome's CTO hospital; Kuo‑Inn Tsou, president of the faculty of medicine at the Fu Jen Catholic University in Taipei, Taiwan, and Rosa Merola, psychologist at Rome's Rebibbia prison.

- Appointed as members of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation: Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, archbishop of Vienna, Austria; Cardinal Angelo Scola, patriarch of Venice, Italy; Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney, Australia; Cardinal Josip Bozanic, archbishop of Zagreb, Croatia; Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops; Cardinal Francisco Robles Ortega, archbishop of Monterrey, Mexico; Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer, archbishop of Sao Paulo, Brazil; Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity; Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications; Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops; Coadjutor Archbishop Pierre‑Marie Carre of Montpellier, France; Archbishop Timothy Michael Dolan of New York, U.S.A.; Archbishop Robert Zollitsch of Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany; Archbishop Bruno Forte of Chieti‑Vasto, Italy; Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham, England; Archbishop Andre‑Mutien Leonard of Mechelen-Brussels, Belgium; Bishop Adolfo Gonzalez Montes of Almeria, Spain, and Bishop Vincenzo Paglia of Terni‑Narni‑Amelia, Italy.

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VATICAN CITY, 5 JAN 2011 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:

- Archbishop John Bukovsky S.V.D., apostolic nuncio, on 18 December at the age of 86.

- Archbishop Giovanni Bulaitis, apostolic nuncio, on 25 December at the age of 77.

- Archbishop Giovanni Ferrofino, apostolic nuncio, on 20 December at the age of 98.

- Archbishop Francois Gayot S.M.M., emeritus of Cap-Haitien, Haiti, on 16 December at the age of 83.

- Bishop Joseph Angelo Grech of Sandhurst, Australia, on 28 December at the age of 62.

- Archbishop Jorge Mayer, emeritus of Bahia Blanca, Argentina, on 25 December at the age of 95.



Calling Catholics in their 20s and 30s | Project 2030

If you are in your 20s or 30s, it's not always easy to meet up with other Catholics in the same age group. Project 2030 groups enable young Catholics around the UK and Ireland to get together at a social and spiritual level. Events include pilgrimages, trips, holidays, outings to galleries and theatres, walks, parties and more.

The National Office is based at: St John's, 266 Wellington Road North, Stockport, SK4 2QR.

For details of the 30s groups contact: Rev Hugh Hanley (Director) at:

For details of the 20s groups contact: Jenny Whelan (Lay Chaplain) at:

See also:

20s website:
London 30s website:
Glasgow 30s website:



CNA REPORT: More than 2,000 young people from 55 universities in Chile are bringing Christ to Chileans in January.

The college students are participating in a national mission Jan. 3-13 with the theme, “United at your table, Lord, let us enliven the Church in Chile.”

The young Chileans attended a Jan. 3 Mass of commissioning celebrated by Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz, the outgoing Archbishop of Santiago, at the Marian Shrine of Maipu.

Each morning, the young people go door-to-door visiting families and sharing the Gospel, explain organizers of the mission. In the afternoon, the students participate in the “social mission” by visiting hospitals, prisons, orphanages and retirement homes.

The young people also participate in workshops for children, teens and adults in the “family mission.”

The national mission will also include processions, festivals and theatrical works, in which the entire community will participate.

The national mission first began in 2004 at the Pontifical Catholic University in Santiago. Each year it provides young people from across the country the opportunity to “spread the message of Christ” in the service of the Church.


AsiaNews REPORT - The Hindu extremists responsible for the attack have accused him of "Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion," and he has been arrested, although it still seriously injured. The Global Council of Indian Christians condemns the collusion between radicals and police at local level.
The Global Council of Indian Christians denounces the arrest of Pastor Isaac Samuel, the victim of an attack by Hindutva fundamentalists. The arrest was made by the police in Davanagere. The news was reported by Sajan K. George, chairman of the Council. The arrest follows a complaint lodged against Isaac Samuel by Basraj, an activist of the Bajrang Dal, a Hindu radical movement. Basraj lodged the complaint yesterday against the pastor Isaac Samuel under Article 153 of the Indian Penal Code, accusing him of "Promoting enmity between different groups on the basis of religion." (04/01/2011Hindu radicals fabricate charges against beaten preacher).

Samuel Isaac miraculously escaped an attack that could have cost him his life. On January 2, some extremists armed with knives attacked him in Davanagere in Karnataka, while he was leading a prayer service for the New Year. The pastor suffered serious head injuries. Brought to Chigateri General Hospital, he received twelve stitches. Police yesterday arrested two of his assistants, who were present at the attack, on charges of "promoting enmity between different groups on the basis of religion." Today at 2 pm (local time), police arrested Isaac Samuel

His opponents, members of the Bajrang Dal, circulated a fabricated version of the episode, claiming that Isaac Samuel was surprised while carrying out conversions, and he hurt himself fleeing his attackers.The Global Council of Indian Christianshas condemned in the most severe terms the obvious collusion between the police and local extremists in Karnataka, and asked the Prime Minister of Karnataka to meet his constitutional obligations and defend the human rights of victims of "terror".


Agenzia Fides REPORT - “I have expressed to Pope Shenouda III my condolences and sorrow for the victims of the 31 December attack,” said Archbishop Michael Louis Fitzgerald, Apostolic Nuncio in Egypt, to Fides. “I think this moment requires everyone to pray for peace, and not to put ourselves one against the other, but to work for national unity.”
At midnight on 31 December, during the New Year's Mass, a terrorist attack in the church of Saints of Alexandria in Egypt caused 22 deaths and 79 wounded, most of whom are Coptic Orthodox.
There had been tensions and incidents between police and Coptic protesters, who accuse the authorities of not adequately protecting the local Christian communities.
“Christians do not feel adequately protected, but they understand the difficulties in preventing acts of terrorism,” says Archbishop Fitzgerald. “In seven days the Coptic Orthodox will celebrate Christmas. I hope that this Christian community may celebrate the holiday in tranquillity, peace and joy,” concludes the Nuncio.


Diocese of Parramatta report:
St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland has opened its Vinnies Christmas Flood Appeal in response to the plight of people who have had their homes damaged and lost so many of their personal belongings in the recent flooding.

Catholic Diocese of Parramatta Social Justice Co-ordinator Evan Ellis said the floods in Queensland have taken lives, destroyed houses, ruined crops, damaged infrastructure and disrupted regional economies.

"Your donation to the Flood Appeal will enable Vinnies to provide emergency assistance and support to these communities as they rebuild their lives and livelihoods," Evan said.

To help Vinnies give a hand up to people affected by the floods, click here to make an online donation. For assistance with making an online donation to the Vinnies Christmas Flood Appeal, please call (02) 9560 8666.

Visit St Vincent de Paul Society


St. John N. Neumann


Feast: January 5


Feast Day:January 5

28 March 1811 at Prachititz, Bohemia

Died:5 January 1860


19 June 1977 by Pope Paul VI
Major Shrine:National Shrine of Saint John Neumann, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Neumann was born in Prachatice, Bohemia (modern-day Czech Republic), then within the Austrian Empire. He attended school in Budweis before entering seminary there in 1831. Two years later he transferred to the University of Prague, where he studied theology. He was interested in astronomy and botany. He intended to be ordained, but his bishop, in 1835, decided there would be no more ordinations, as Bohemia had a high number of priests already.

Neumann, who spoke eight languages then wrote to other bishops in Europe, but they all replied that they also had too many priests already. He was inspired by the missionary writings of Bishop Frederic Baraga in America, and because he had learned English by working in a factory with English-speaking workers, Neumann wrote to bishops in America, requesting to be ordained in the United States. In 1836, he arrived in the United States with very little money, and was ordained to the priesthood there. He was assigned by the Bishop of New York to work with recent German immigrants in mission churches in the Niagara Falls area, where he visited the sick, taught catechism, and trained teachers to take over when he left. After four years of service there, he realized his own need for support and came to realize the importance of communal activity in his work. He thus applied to the Redemptorists. He was accepted, and entered the novitiate of the order in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In January, 1842, he took the vows to enter the order in Baltimore, Maryland, and became the first Redemptorist in the New World. After six years of difficult but fruitful work with the order, he was appointed the order's provincial superior in the United States. Neumann was naturalized as a citizen of the United States in Baltimore on February 10, 1848.

In March 1852, Neumann was consecrated in Baltimore, as Bishop of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was the first to organize a Catholic diocesan school system and increased the number of Catholic schools in his diocese from one to two hundred. He also introduced the School Sisters of Notre Dame to the New World to assist in religious instruction and staffing the orphanage. In 1853, he established Saint Peter's Parish in Riverside, New Jersey.

Neumann was not a popular bishop and received criticism. He had to deal with the Know Nothings, a political group determined to deprive foreigners and Catholics of their civil rights; the group burnt down convents and schools. Discouraged, Neumann unsuccessfully wrote to Rome and asked for someone else to take his place.

Neumann wrote in many Catholic newspaper and magazine articles. He also published two catechisms and a Bible history in German. There were also many teaching orders brought in by him.

In 1860, Neumann died due to a stroke at the age of 48 while walking down a street in Philadelphia. After his death people began to talk of how great he had been.


TODAY'S GOSPEL: JAN. 5: MARK 6: 45- 52

Mark 6: 45 - 52
45Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Beth-sa'ida, while he dismissed the crowd.46And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray.47And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land.48And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them,49but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out;50for they all saw him, and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, "Take heart, it is I; have no fear."51And he got into the boat with them and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded,52for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.

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