Tuesday, February 15, 2011









TODAY'S GOSPEL: FEB. 15: MARK 8: 14-21


VATICAN CITY, 15 FEB 2011 (VIS REPORTS) - The Holy See Press Office today published the programme of Benedict XVI's forthcoming apostolic visit to the Italian cities of Aquileia and Venice, due to take place on 7 and 8 May.

The Holy Father will depart from Rome by plane in the early afternoon of 7 May. On reaching Aquileia he will meet with local citizens in Piazza Capitolo then move on to the basilica where he will attend a preparatory assembly for the Congress of Aquileia, which is due to be held at Pentecost 2012. In the late afternoon the Pope will move on to Venice where he will venerate the relics of St. Mark in the homonymous basilica. (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)

On Sunday 8 May, Benedict XVI will preside at the celebration of the Eucharist in the park of San Giuliano at Mestre, followed by the praying of the Regina Coeli. During the afternoon, at St. Mark's Basilica in Venice, he will preside at an ecclesial assembly to mark the end of the pastoral diocesan visit. Subsequently, in the city's Basilica della Salute, he will meet with representatives from the worlds of culture and the economy. Finally, he will bless the basilica's recently-restored Chapel of the Blessed Trinity and inaugurate the "Studium Generale Marcianum" Library.

The Holy Father's return flight will leave from Venice's Marco Polo airport and is scheduled to arrive in Rome at 8.30 p.m.

PV-AQUILEIA:VENICE/ VIS 20110215 (250)


VATICAN CITY, 15 FEB 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Evans Chinyama Chinyemba O.M.I., superior of the delegation of Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Zambia, as bishop of Mongu (area 88,000, population 696,000, Catholics 70,400, priests 31, religious 90), Zambia. The bishop-elect was born in Lukulu, Zambia in 1967 and ordained a priest in 2000. He succeeds Bishop Paul Duffy O.M.I., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.


ASIA NEWS REPORT: After Egypt and Tunisia the wave of protest has enveloped the ayatollahs regime. Opposition takes to the streets, defying the government, which responds with a violent crackdown.

Tehran (AsiaNews / Agencies) – One dead and dozens injured, some of them with gun wounds. This is the toll from the harsh repression of yesterday’s demonstration organized by opposition to the regime in Tehran. The police attacked students demonstrating at Ferdowsi University in Mashad and Sharif University. It was the first demonstrations since the wave of popular unrest swept Iran in 2009. In that year, eight people were killed by security forces.

Some commentators point out that the Iranian protests of 2009 (called the "green wave") set off the sparks that triggered the first protests in Islamic countries. Now it seems that the demonstrations in favour of political reform and democracy in Egypt and Tunisia will give new force to similar demands in Iran.

In Tehran yesterday thousands of people gathered in Azadi Square (Liberation Square) to show their solidarity with the revolt of Egypt and Tunisia, chanting "Death to dictators." The demonstration was banned. Other clashes occurred in various parts of the capital which has about 12 million inhabitants. Protests have occurred to a lesser extent in Isfahan and Shiraz. Iranian opposition leaders were not allowed to leave their houses or participate in the protest.


CNA REPORT: Two individuals stole a monstrance containing the Blessed Sacrament from a parish located in Majadahonda, a suburb of Madrid, Spain.

Fr. Juan Francisco Perez, the parish pastor of St. Catherine's, said the incident occurred at 6 p.m. on Feb. 11. He told Europa Press that two individuals grabbed the monstrance and left.

Police confirmed that the monstrance was indeed stolen and that an investigation is under way.

Fr. Perez said police dusted for fingerprints at the parish and were given descriptions by witnesses who were present at the Church.

This was not the first time the parish has been the target of such incidents. “On Christmas Eve somebody set fire to the main door,” Fr. Perez added.

Mayor Narciso de Foxa of Majadahonda expressed solidarity with Fr. Perez and his parishioners, saying he is “profoundly indignant” over the “attack,” which demonstrates “the intolerance of these people.”

“We will continue to work until we discover who is behind such grave acts that are disrespectful to all Catholics,” he promised.


CATH NEWS REPORT: The Saint Mary MacKillop Memorial Wall was yesterday officially opened at Sydney's Gore Hill Cemetery in Sydney, where she was originally buried, said a media release.

The wall, which was erected as part of the ongoing commemoration of Mary MacKillop since her canonisation, will also serve as a resting place for cremated bodies and a significant site for Catholic and Christian pilgrims locally, nationally and internationally, it added.

The Northern District Times reported that attendees at the ceremony included Catholic Bishop of Broken Bay David Walker, assistant congregational leader of the Sisters of St Joseph Sister Eileen Lenihan and NSW Lands Minister Tony Kelly.

The Hunters Hill area was represented at St Mary's canonisation by Deputy Mayor Richard Quinn.

"Mary MacKillop was an exemplary and legendary Australian who saw a need, including a need in Hunters Hill, and actively did something about it," Cr Quinn said.Cr Quinn travelled to the Vatican, at his own expense, to attend the ceremony.

He said he had known about Mary MacKillop since primary school, where he was taught by the Sisters of St Joseph, the religious order founded by Mary MacKillop in 1867.

Cr Quinn said Sister Mary's association with Hunters Hill began in 1883 when the Marist Fathers asked her, as Superior General, to send Sisters of St Joseph to teach in new parish schools in Hunters Hill, Ryde and Woolwich.

The areas were all within the larger Parish of Hunters Hill.

According to the media release, Chairman of the Catholic Cemeteries Board, Peter Ward, emphasised in his address the importance of the restoration of Gore Hill Memorial Cemetery, marked by the launch of the Mary MacKillop wall.

Within the wall, 212 spots are available for the placement of cremated remains. Visually, the wall is adorned withsculpted bronze panels, depicting the life of Mary MacKillop and the circumstances that led to her sainthood.


Agenzia Fides REPORT – It is a phenomenon that has been around for a long time, before the recent events in Tunisia, that the youth of Maghreb (Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco) has always wanted to get to the north shore of the Mediterranean”, Fides is told by Bishop Maroun Elias Lahham of Tunis, capital of Tunisia, from where migrants flow continually to Italy and the European Union countries. “Tunisia is experiencing a time of social, economic and political uncertainty with upcoming elections. The young people who came to Italy took advantage of the situation of insecurity, when police relaxed controls, to consistently escape to other shores in the Mediterranean. It is a phenomenon that has existed for some time but now it is making a greater effect because of the Country's instability,” said Bishop Lahham.
Upon asking the Bishop of Tunis whether it is possible to predict a halt to the emigration flows, he responds: “It depends on whether the new Government will offer more job opportunities in a Country where the official unemployment rate is 14%, but the real one is at least 20%.” The Bishop continued, “Keep in mind that many of the unemployed youth have a degree or higher degree. There are about 80,000 university graduates every year. Tunisia could only give jobs to half of those.”
“Can the EU do something about it?”, we ask Bishop Lahham. “I heard yesterday that the EU should grant € 258 million for development projects in Tunisia. In this way, in addition to helping the Tunisians, Europe is protected from a migrant stream that would be difficult for Italy and the EU to support,” says the Bishop of Tunis. “I realise that Italy can not accommodate all those people who would come to Italy. So the way to control this phenomenon is through collaboration to develop our Countries, convincing young people to stay here to assist in their development,” concluded Bishop Lahham.


USCCB REPORT: Put the Poor First in Federal Budget Decisions Say Catholic Bishops, CRS President

More than three hundred Catholic leaders visit Capitol Hill February 15 with this message.

WASHINGTON (February 15, 2011)— Expressing concern over proposed federal budget cuts in the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Appropriations Resolution, the heads of two U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) committees and the president of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) sent letters to Congress on February 14, reminding elected officials that “decisions on how to allocate opportunities and burdens in setting budget priorities are more than economic policies — they are significant moral choices.”

On the international side, Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany, chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace, and Ken Hackett, president Catholic Relief Services, said in a joint letter that “[e]specially in a time of austerity and fiscal restraints, the poor have a special moral claim on limited financial resources.” According to an analysis by USCCB and CRS, the proposed Continuing Resolution makes over 26% in cuts for poverty-focused international assistance, but only 2.6% in cuts overall.

“Shared sacrifice is one thing; it is another to make disproportionate cuts in programs that serve the most vulnerable,” said Bishop Hubbard and Hackett in the letter. “It is morally unacceptable for our nation to balance its budget on the backs of the poor at home and abroad.”

The Church leaders said international assistance is an essential tool to promote human life and dignity, advance solidarity with poorer nations, and enhance security throughout the world. The letter warned that many of the proposed funding reductions will disrupt existing programs mid-stream, undermining their impact, the capacity of local partners, and ultimately the moral credibility of United States. The letter also welcomed the restoration of the Mexico City Policy that prohibits funding groups that perform or promote abortion and the denial of funding to the U.N. Population Fund which supports a program of coerced abortion and involuntary sterilization in China, but noted that the Continuing Resolution also makes dramatic cuts that are life-threatening.

In a separate letter, Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, called on Congress to place the needs of the poor, the unemployed, the hungry, and other vulnerable people first, in setting priorities in the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Appropriations Resolution, saying “[a] moral measure of the budget is how it treats “the least of these” at all stages of life from conception until natural death.”

Citing the call for major reductions in non-security related programs that serve the poor and vulnerable, Bishop Blaire said, “In a time of economic crisis, the poor and vulnerable are in greater need of assistance, not less. Preserving the national security of the country is without doubt imperative, but we cannot secure the nation while at the same time furthering the insecurity of the poor and vulnerable in our midst.”

Bishop Blaire called for “reasonable solutions and strategies to address the federal deficit that will ensure stability and security for future generations” while advocating for “a balanced approach that is just and works to preserve the well-being of poor and vulnerable people.” He also said, “decisions should be made that not only reflect a commitment to national and long term fiscal security but demonstrate justice, compassion and fairness. Our plea, then, is simple: Put the poor and vulnerable first as you consider how to spend limited federal resources.”

Among the main concerns highlighted by Bishop Blaire in his letter are the proposed cuts to funding forCommunity Health Centers, affordable housing programs, job training programs, and criticalrefugee funding. The letter also welcomed the bill’s retention of all appropriations riders against abortion funding, and its restoration of a consistent ban on such funding in the District of Columbia.

More than 300 Catholic leaders, in Washington for the 2011 Catholic Social Ministry Gathering (February 13-16), will take the bishops’ message to Capitol Hill on February 15 in a day of visits to their U.S. representatives and senators lifting up the needs of the poor and vulnerable.


St. Claude de la Colombiere


Feast: February 15


Feast Day:February 14

2 February 1641 at Saint-Symphorien d’Ozon, Rhône, France

Died:15 February 1682 at Paray-le-Monial, Saône-et-Loire, France


31 May 1992 by Pope John Paul II in Rome
Major Shrine:Monastery of the Visitation nuns at Paray-le-Monial
Patron of:toy makers, turners

Claude de la Colombiere is best known for his association with St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and the devotion of the Sacred Heart, but his life has its own drama. He was sent to England after his spiritual direction of St. Margaret Mary was over and became embroiled in the Titus Oates "Popish Plot," was imprisoned, then banished from England. His story is part of the history of the seventeenth century.

He was born near Lyons in 1641 and entered the Society of Jesus at Avignon. After his novitiate, he taught grammar and the humanities. Even before his ordination to the priesthood, he gained a reputation as a preacher. After completing his studies in Paris, he became tutor to the sons of Colbert, the financial minister of Louis XIV, but was dismissed from his post and returned to Avignon.

In 1675, after his solemn profession as a Jesuit, he was appointed superior at Paray-le-Monial, in which the convent of St. Margaret Mary was located. Here he became her spiritual director, encouraged her in the spread of the devotion to the Sacred Heart, and was described by our Lord as His "faithful and perfect friend."

Because of his remarkable gifts and judgment, he was sent to England, to be court preacher to the duchess of York, wife of the future James II, and took up residence in London. His radiant personality and splendid gifts were noted by everyone. When the alleged "Popish Plot" to assassinate King Charles II shook the country, Blessed Claude was accused of complicity in the plot and imprisoned. Through the intervention of Louis XIV of France, he was released, then banished from the country. He spent his last years at Paray-le-Monial, his health broken.

He died on February 15, 1682, an apostle of the devotion to the Sacred Heart, and was beatified in 1929.

Thought for the Day: Blessed Claude was an amazingly gifted man, and he recognized that his gifts should be put at the service of others. He spent himself in the service of Christ and was chosen to direct someone with an important mission to the Church. Let us emulate Claude and place our gifts at the service of others.

From 'The Catholic One Year Bible': . . . "Come, follow me! And I will make you fishermen for the souls of men!" At once they left their nets and went along with him.-Mark 1:17-18


TODAY'S GOSPEL: FEB. 15: MARK 8: 14-21

Mark 8: 14 - 21
14Now they had forgotten to bring bread; and they had only one loaf with them in the boat.
15And he cautioned them, saying, "Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod."
16And they discussed it with one another, saying, "We have no bread."
17And being aware of it, Jesus said to them, "Why do you discuss the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened?
18Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember?
19When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?" They said to him, "Twelve."
20"And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?" And they said to him, "Seven."
21And he said to them, "Do you not yet understand?"

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