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Saturday, February 19, 2011

CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD: FRI. FEB. 18, 2011











CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD: FRI. FEB. 18, 2011: HEADLINES-

EUROPE: SCOTLAND: PARLIAMENTARY OFFICE OFFERS RESOURCES FOR VOTING

ASIA: BANGLADESH: DEATH OF BISHOP GOMES AGE 80

AFRICA: SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE: WELCOME PILGRIM IMAGE OF OUR LADY

AMERICA: USA: PRO-LIFE OFFICE HAPPY WITH ACT

AUSTRALIA: ST. BRIGID'S STORY PART OF EXHIBITION

TODAY'S SAINT: FEB. 18: ST. SIMON OF JERUSALEM

TODAY'S GOSPEL: FEB. 18: MARK 8: 34- 38

2011

VATICAN: POPE: ACHIEVEMENTS OF CHURCH IN PHILIPPINES AND OTHER NEWS

CHALLENGES AND ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE CHURCH IN PHILIPPINES

VATICAN CITY, 18 FEB 2011 (VIS REPORT) - This morning in the Vatican Benedict XVI received prelates from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, who have just completed their "ad limina" visit. Addressing them in English, the Pope recalled "the deep links which Catholics enjoy with the Successor of Peter", noting that this has "always been a significant characteristic of faith in your country, I pray that this communion will continue to grow and flourish as you consider the present challenges of your apostolate", he said.

"While the Philippines continues to face many challenges in the area of economic development, we must recognise that these obstacles to a life of happiness and fulfilment are not the only stumbling blocks that must be addressed by the Church. Filipino culture is also confronted with the more subtle questions inherent to the secularism, materialism, and consumerism of our times. When self-sufficiency and freedom are severed from their dependence upon and completion in God, the human person creates for himself a false destiny and loses sight of the eternal joy for which he has been made. The path to rediscovering humanity's true destiny can only be found in the re-establishment of the priority of God in the heart and mind of every person.

"Above all", the Holy Father added, "to keep God at the centre of the life of the faithful, the preaching of you and your clergy must be personal in its focus so that each Catholic will grasp in his or her innermost depths the life-transforming fact that God exists, that He loves us, and that in Christ He answers the deepest questions of our lives. Your great task in evangelisation is therefore to propose a personal relationship with Christ as key to complete fulfilment. ... At the same time, it must be recognised that new initiatives in evangelisation will only be fruitful if ... those proposing them are people who truly believe and live the message of the Gospel themselves".

The Pope then went on to remark on the positive impact basic ecclesial communities have had throughout the country, highlighting how the "the Church in the Philippines is fortunate to have a number of lay organisations which continue to draw people to the Lord. In order to confront the questions of our times", he explained, "the laity need to hear the Gospel message in its fullness, to understand its implications for their personal lives and for society in general, and thus be constantly converted to the Lord. I therefore urge you to take special care in shepherding such groups, so that the primacy of God may remain in the forefront".

In the Philippines, the Pope continued, faith "plays a very important role in the lives of many young people, a fact that is due in large part to the patient work of the local Church to reach out to youth at all levels. ... Care must also be given to showing young people the importance of the Sacraments as instruments of God's grace and assistance. This is particularly true of the Sacrament of Matrimony, which sanctifies married life from its very beginning, so that God's presence may sustain young couples in their struggles".

Finally the Pope noted how "the pastoral care of young people which aims to establish the primacy of God in their hearts, tends inherently to result not only in vocations to Christian marriage but also in plentiful callings of all kinds". However, "it appears that in many dioceses the number of priests and the corresponding number of parishes is not yet sufficient to meet the spiritual needs of the large and growing Catholic population. With you, I therefore pray that young Filipinos who feel called to the priesthood and the religious life will respond generously to the promptings of the Spirit".

AL/ VIS 20110218 (650)

COMMUNIQUE CONCERNING BEATIFICATION OF JOHN PAUL II

VATICAN CITY, 18 FEB 2011 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique at midday today.

"The beatification of Servant of God Pope John Paul II will be a major ecclesial event divided into the following five stages:

"A preparatory vigil organised by the diocese of Rome will take place at the Circus Maximus on the evening of Saturday 30 April (preparation from 8.30 to 9 p.m., vigil from 9 to 10.30 p.m.), organised by the diocese of Rome which had the Venerable Servant of God as its bishop. The vigil will be led by Cardinal Agostino Vallini, His Holiness' vicar general for the diocese of Rome, while the Holy Father Benedict XVI will be spiritually present through video linkup.

"The beatification ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. on Sunday 1 May in St. Peter's Square, presided by the Holy Father. Participation in the event does not require a ticket, although access to the Square and surrounding areas will be regulated by the police.

"The veneration of the remains of the new blessed will be possible for all faithful, beginning immediately after the beatification ceremony on Sunday 1 May. The remains of the new blessed will remain exposed for veneration in front of the Altar of the Confession in the Vatican Basilica for as long as the faithful continue to arrive.

"A Mass of thanksgiving is scheduled to take place in St. Peter's Square at 10.30 a.m. on Monday 2 May, presided by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B.

"The interment of the remains of the new blessed in the Chapel of St. Sebastian in the Vatican Basilica will take place privately".

OP/ VIS 20110218 (290)

AUDIENCES

VATICAN CITY, 18 FEB 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences six prelates from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines on their "ad limina" visit:

- Bishop Patricio A. Buzon S.D.B. of Kabankalan.

- Bishop Jose F. Advincula of San Carlos.

- Bishop Jose Romeo O. Lazo of San Jose de Antique.

- Bishop Gilbert A. Garcera of Daet.

- Bishop Joel Z. Baylon of Legazpi.

- Bishop Jose R. Rojas of Libmanan.

This evening he is scheduled to receive in audience Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

AL:AP/ VIS 20110218 (110)

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY, 18 FEB 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

- Fr. Stephen Dami Mamza of the clergy of Maiduguri, Nigeria, currently in Ireland where he is studying for a master's degree in human development, as bishop of Yola (area 34,850, population 3,445,000, Catholics 180,652, priests 37, religious 26), Nigeria. The bishop-elect was born in Bazza, Nigeria in 1969 and ordained a priest in 1996.

- Fr. Pio Goncalo Alves de Sousa, dean of the cathedral chapter of Braga, Portugal, as auxiliary of the diocese of Porto (area 3,010, population 2,100,000, Catholics 1,900,000, priests 506, permanent deacons 16, religious 1,348), Portugal. The bishop-elect was born in Lanheses, Portugal in 1945 and ordained a priest in 1968.


ASIA: BANGLADESH: DEATH OF BISHOP GOMES AGE 80

UCAN REPORT:
Bishop Francis A. Gomes (File photo)

The Catholic Church in Bangladesh is mourning the death of retired Bishop Francis Anthony Gomes, former prelate of northeastern Mymensingh diocese who passed away at 9:30pm February 17.

Bishop Gomes was 80 and had been seriously ill since his retirement in 2006. He became paralyzed in 2008 after a massive stroke caused continuous brain hemorrhage.

“He was taken to Bangkok for treatment but doctors informed he wouldn’t improve any more,” said Salesian Sister Maria, one of the two nuns who constantly took care of the bishop.

He was born 30 April, 1931 at Rangamatia parish of Dhaka archdiocese.

He was ordained a diocesan priest in 20 December, 1959 by Pope John XXIII.

He pioneered evangelization among tribal people of the greater Mymensingh region and was the first local Bengali priest to work among tribals in the area.

He led Mymensingh to canonical erection as diocese in 1987 and he became the first bishop of the diocese. Earlier Mymensingh was a part of Dhaka archdiocese.

Father Simon Haccha, a tribal Garo priest and pastor of Ranikhong parish said: “Bishop Francis Gomes is the founder of Mymensingh diocese and he led tribal Catholics towards today’s better socio-economic, cultural and pastoral conditions from a challenging time.”

“He fostered spiritual, educational and infrastructural developments in the diocese with once most backward tribal people. He fought for their rights regarding land and political recognition,” added Father Haccha, secretary of diocesan dialogue commission.

He emphasized that tribal Catholics in Mymensingh will never forget his great contributions.

http://www.ucanews.com/2011/02/18/bangladesh-mourns-pioneer-bishop

EUROPE: SCOTLAND: PARLIAMENTARY OFFICE OFFERS RESOURCES FOR VOTING

IND. CATH. NEWS REPORT: With the Scottish elections on the horizon, the Scottish Catholic Parliamentary office has an updated website with a range of useful resources, videos, and briefing materials. The site includes information on recent positive campaigns, copies of the Church's submissions to the Scottish Parliament and material for discussions and study.

The Catholic Church’s Parliamentary Office was established by the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland to aid the Church in contributing to the work of the Parliament in accordance with the principles of the Church’s Social Teaching.

To visit the site click here: http://www.rcpolitics.org/

http://www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=17681

AFRICA: SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE: WELCOME PILGRIM IMAGE OF OUR LADY

Agenzia Fides REPORT – From 30 April to 4 June, the Diocese of São Tomé e Príncipe will welcome the visit of the pilgrim image of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima. “We intend to show our devotion to the Mother of God, in a land that has always had a special love for Our Lady,” Bishop Manuel Santos, CMF, of São Tomé and Príncipe told Fides.
The Virgin is invoked in this land under different titles, and thus “the devotion to Mary is part of the reality of this peoples' Christian faith,” emphasised the Bishop.
The Diocese of São Tomé e Príncipe celebrated 478 years of its existence on 31 January, making it one of the oldest ecclesiastical districts south of the Sahara. “In celebration of this date,” Bishop Santos told Fides, “we thought it would be of great significance to take the image of Our Lady to all the parishes within the diocese, making the most of this opportunity for a public celebration of our faith with Mary, to renew the vital importance of our being Christians, to reassert our identity as Catholics, to deepen our Christian faith through the Word of God and the Sacraments, and to create a greater sense of family around our Mother in Heaven.”
According to the program set out, the pilgrim image of Our Lady of Fatima will leave from Lisbon (Portugal) accompanied by the Bishop emeritus of São Tomé e Príncipe, Bishop Ribas, and arrive at the airport of São Tomé on the morning of 30 April. From there it will travel in procession to the church of “Nossa Senhora da Conceição”. On Sunday, 1 May, a Solemn Mass will be celebrated with the renewal of the act of consecration of the Diocese of the Sacred Heart of Mary. It will then commence visiting parishes across the diocese. On 27 May, the pilgrim Virgin will leave São Tomé by plane for the island of Principe, where it will be for two days. 4 June will close the pilgrimage, and the image will return to Fatima where, on 5 June, the Bishop of São Tomé e Príncipe will preside at a solemn Eucharistic celebration. “We hope that this visit will truly be a moment of grace and blessing, leading to a renewal of Christian life within our diocese,” concluded Bishop Santos. (

AMERICA: USA: PRO-LIFE OFFICE HAPPY WITH ACT

USCCB REPORT: Bishops' Pro-Life Office Hails House Committee Move to Protect Life

WASHINGTON ( February 17, 2011)—The Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) welcomed the approval in committee of the Protect Life Act (H.R. 358). Sponsored by Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-PA) and Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL) and 123 co-sponsors, the Protect Life Act would apply longstanding federal policies on abortion funding, and conscience rights on abortion, to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) passed last March. On February 15, the full House Energy and Commerce Committee approved H.R. 358 in a bi-partisan vote (33 to 19), and rejected three amendments that would have weakened the bill.

“The committee’s action is an important step toward authentic health care reform that respects the dignity of all, from conception onward,” Deirdre McQuade, USCCB pro-life spokeswoman, said.

As Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, said in his January 20 letter to Congress (www.usccb.org/healthcare/cardinal-dinardo-HR358-ltr.pdf), the Protect Life Act “will bring PPACA into line with policies on abortion and conscience rights that have long prevailed in other federal health programs.”

“I now urge all Representatives to support the Protect Life Act and oppose all weakening amendments when it comes before them,” McQuade said.

http://www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2011/11-035.shtml

AUSTRALIA: ST. BRIGID'S STORY PART OF EXHIBITION

CATH NEWS REPORT:

Friends of St Brigid's Teresa O'Brien

---

The story behind the successful campaign to save Crossley's historic St Brigid's Church will be a part of a major exhibition at the National Museum of Australia from next month, reports The Warrnambool Standard.


Friends of St Brigid's secretary Teresa O'Brien said several committee members would attend the launch on March 17, with the display covering the south-west's Irish heritage as well as the four-year push to save the church and adjoining hall for community use.The exhibition, called Not Just Ned, highlights the history of Irish settlement in Australia and will open in Canberra on St Patrick's Day.

Their campaign ended in December 2009 when the Koroit Catholic Parish agreed to sell them the property after an unsuccessful public tender process.

A feasibility study and business plan for the property, aimed to be opened as an an Australian-Irish cultural centre and a community centre funded through a $30,000 state government grant, is expected to be finalised by May.

Volunteers have already contributed hundreds of hours to raise funds for the church, organising concerts, catering at events and preparing funding submissions.

"You have to be creative with these things. We're done really well and it all helps to continue to pay off the mortgage," Ms O'Brien said.

"But we are more than aware our biggest issue is volunteer burn-out."

"It's been a year since we finalised the campaign and people are still as passionate and are still motivated and we're getting great support for our events."

http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=25111

TODAY'S SAINT: FEB. 18: ST. SIMON OF JERUSALEM

St. Simon of Jerusalem

BISHOP, MARTYR

Feast: February 18



Information:

Feast Day:February 18
Died:106 or 107 AD, Jerusalem

ST. SIMEON was the son of Cleophas, otherwise called Alpheus, brother to St. Joseph, and of Mary, sister to the Blessed Virgin. He was therefore nephew both to St. Joseph and to the Blessed Virgin, and cousin to Our Saviour. We cannot doubt but that he was ail early follower of Christ, and that he received the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost, with the Blessed Virgin and the apostles. When the Jews massacred St. James the Lesser,his brother Simeon reproached them for their atrocious cruelty. St. James, Bishop of Jerusalem, being put to death in the year 62, twenty-nine years after Our Saviour's Resurrection, the apostles and disciples met at Jerusalem to appoint him a successor. They unanimously chose St. Simeon, who had probably before assisted his brother in the government of that Church.

In the year 66, in which Sts. Peter and Paul suffered martyrdom at Rome, the civil war began in Judea, by the seditions of the Jews against the Romans. The Christians in Jerusalem were warned by God of the impending destruction of that city. They therefore departed out of it the same year,—before Vespasian, Nero's general, and afterwards emperor, entered Judea,—and retired beyond Jordan to a small city called Pella, having St. Simeon at their head. After the taking and burning of Jerusalem they returned thither again, and settled themselves amidst its ruins, till Adrian afterwards entirely razed it. The Church here flourished, and multitudes of Jews were converted by the great number of prodigies and miracles wrought in it.

Vespasian and Domitian had commanded all to be put to death who were of the race of David. St. Simeon had escaped their searches; but, Trajan having given the same order, certain heretics and Jews accused the Saint, as being both of the race of David and a Christian, to Atticus, the Roman governor in Palestine. The holy bishop was condemned to be crucified. After having undergone the usual tortures during several days, which, though one hundred and twenty years old, he suffered with so much patience that he drew on him a universal admiration, and that of Atticus in particular, he died in 107. He must have governed the Church of Jerusalem about forty-three years.

SOURCEhttp://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/S/stsimonofjerusalem.asp

TODAY'S GOSPEL: FEB. 18: MARK 8: 34- 38

Mark 8: 34 - 38
34And he called to him the multitude with his disciples, and said to them, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
35For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it.
36For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?
37For what can a man give in return for his life?
38For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."
1And he said to them, "Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power."

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