CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD: WED. MAR. 23, 2011: HEADLINES-
ST. LAWRENCE OF BRINDISI, PREACHER AND ARCHITECT OF PEACE
The saint, who lost his father at the age of seven, was entrusted by his mother to the care of the Friars Minor Conventuals. He subsequently entered the Order of Capuchins and was ordained a priest in 1582. He acquired a profound knowledge of ancient and modern languages, thanks to which "he was able to undertake an intense apostolate among various categories of people", the Pope explained. He was also an effective preacher well versed not only in the Bible but also in rabbinic literature, which he knew so well "that rabbis themselves were amazed and showed him esteem and respect".
As a theologian and expert in Sacred Scripture and the Church Fathers, Lawrence of Brindisi was an exemplary teacher of Catholic doctrine among those Christians who, especially in Germany, had adhered to the Reformation. "With his clear and tranquil explanations he demonstrated the biblical and patristic foundation of all the articles of faith called into question by Martin Luther, among them the primacy of St. Peter and his Successors, the divine origin of the episcopate, justification as interior transformation of man, and the necessity of good works for salvation. The success enjoyed by St. Lawrence helps us to understand that even today, as the hope-filled journey of ecumenical dialogue continues, the reference to Sacred Scripture, read in the Tradition of the Church, is an indispensable element of fundamental importance".
"Even the lowliest members of the faithful who did not possess vast culture drew advantage from the convincing words of St. Lawrence, who addressed the humble in order to call everyone to live a life coherent with the faith they professed", said the Holy Father. "This was a great merit of the Capuchins and of the other religious orders which, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, contributed to the renewal of Christian life. ... Even today, the new evangelisation needs well-trained, zealous and courageous apostles, so that the light and beauty of the Gospel may prevail over the cultural trends of ethical relativism and religious indifference, transforming the various ways people think and act in an authentic Christian humanism".
Lawrence was a professor of theology, master of novices, minister provincial and minister general of the Capuchin Order, but amidst all these tasks "he also cultivated an exceptionally active spiritual life", the Pope said. In this context he noted how all priests "can avoid the danger of activism - that is, of acting while forgetting the profound motivations of their ministry - only if they pay heed to their own inner lives".
The Holy Father then turned his attention to another aspect of the saint's activities: his work in favour of peace. "Supreme Pontiffs and Catholic princes repeatedly entrusted him with important diplomatic missions to placate controversies and favour harmony between European States, which at the time were threatened by the Ottoman Empire. Today, as in St. Lawrence's time, the world has great need of peace, it needs peace-loving and peace-building men and women. Everyone who believes in God must always be a source of peace and work for peace", he said.
Lawrence of Brindisi was canonised in 1881 and declared a Doctor of the Church by Blessed John XXIII in 1959 in recognition of his many works of biblical exegesis and Mariology. In his writings, Lawrence "also highlighted the action of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers", the Pope said.
"St. Lawrence of Brindisi", he concluded, "teaches us to love Sacred Scripture, to become increasingly familiar with it, daily to cultivate our relationship with the Lord in prayer, so that our every action, our every activity, finds its beginning and its fulfilment in Him".
VATICAN CITY, 23 MAR 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:
- Fr. Benedito Araujo of the clergy of the archdiocese of Sao Luis do Maranhao, Brazil, as coadjutor bishop of Guajara-Mirim (area 89,700, population 233,000, Catholics 140,000, priests 21, permanent deacons 1, religious 63), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Paco do Lumiar, Brazil in 1963 and ordained a priest in 1991.
- Archbishop Antonio Guido Filipazzi as apostolic nuncio to Indonesia.
VATICAN CITY, 23 MAR 2011 (VIS) - Yesterday's English-language edition of VIS, reporting on the presentation of the newly-published Decree on the Reform of Ecclesiastical Studies of Philosophy, erroneously attributed the following words to Fr. Charles Morerod O.P., rector of Rome's Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum): "A non-Christian philosopher cannot be useful to theology whereas a Christian philosopher who wishes to prove the existence of God can have the opposite effect". Fr. Morerod's actual words were: "A non-Christian philosopher can be useful to theology whereas a Christian philosopher who wishes to prove the existence of God can have the opposite effect".
This Week REPORT:
The community of Round Lake Centre and St. Casimir's Church is reeling in shock and grief following the loss of their beloved parish priest following an overnight fire.
Rev. George A. Olsen died early Sunday morning after the rectory he lived in burned to the ground. A second man, a lifelong friend of Rev. Olsen who was visiting at the time, was taken to St. Francis Memorial Hospital in Barry's Bay. His condition remains unknown at this time.
According to a release issued by the Ontario Provincial Police, shortly after midnight March 20, a member of the Killaloe OPP was on patrol when he noticed smoke rising above the roof of the rectory at 2642 Round Lake Road. Once he learned a person remained inside the structure, he attempted to enter and rescue the individual, but was driven back by the heavy smoke.
The rectory, located beside the church on Round Lake Road, would be completely destroyed in the blaze. The historic church itself wasn't structurally damaged, thanks to the efforts of local fire crews.
Acting Fire Chief Gerry Dombroski of the Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards Township Fire Department said they received the call around midnight, and were on the scene within minutes. By then the entire building was in flames.
"We tried to enter, but the flames were too intense," he said, and it was quickly apparent there was nothing they could do but concentrate on saving the church.
Acting Chief Dombroski said the intensity of the flames prompted him to issue a call for mutual aid, which was responded to by members of the North Algona Wilberforce Fire Department. His biggest worry was the 200-pound propane tank located beside the church. The department paid extra attention to keeping that cool.
At the fire's peak, 23 firefighters were on the scene battling it, along with three trucks, one rescue van, two water tankers and a pumper.
Firefighters remained on scene throughout the night and into the afternoon.
While there hasn't been any official identification made by police of the remains found in the basement of the ruins - this will wait until a post mortem is done - word spread quickly of the loss of one of the Ottawa Valley's most beloved priests.
Along the sides of the road facing the church and the remnants of the rectory, people from all over the region gathered Sunday to watch as members of the fire department and the Ontario Fire Marshall's office carefully picked over the scene. A backhoe was hard at work shifting the larger pieces of debris out of the way to aid in the search for clues to the cause of the fire.
A number of priests from across the Pembroke Diocese were also on hand, chatting amongst themselves and any parishioners and passersby who needed to talk and be comforted.
Earlier in the day, Sunday Mass was held at 10:30 a.m. as scheduled, but it was conducted inside St. Casimir's School just down the road. Bishop Michael Mulhall conducted the service personally, as all who attended were asked to remember Rev. Olsen and his family in their prayers.
Killaloe, Hagerty and Richards Mayor Janice Visneskie attended the service and like her community was deeply shaken by this turn of events.
"He was loved in the community," she said. "This loss is just devastating."
Mayor Visneskie said just last week Rev. Olsen conducted his annual Blue Mass for local Emergency Service workers such as paramedics, police and fire fighters.
"He was his usual happy self," she said, milling around, joking with people, who in turn quickly warmed to him.
"He was a wonderful, wonderful man."
Father Mervin Coulas of St. Lawrence O'Toole Catholic Church in Barry's Bay, and zone chairman of the Diocese priests, said he'll always remember Rev. Olsen's laugh, which he described as booming and contagious.
"He was jovial, but a quiet type of person," he said. "One who wouldn't turn over many stones."
Fr. Coulas recalled helping to build the rectory back in 1979, until it was completed in 1981. Most of the materials were obtained locally or donated, as was the labour and design work, making it a real community project.
His first parish was Deep River's Our Lady of Good Counsel, then he travelled to serve at St. Columbkille's Cathedral in Pembroke, then St. Joseph and Sheenboro on Allumette Island before reaching Round Lake Centre and St. Casimir's Church in 1994.e of Rev. George Olsen. The fire had all but destroyed the structure within 10 minutes of being reported.
The Killaloe OPP, the Renfrew County Crime Unit and the Ontario Fire Marshall's office are investigating the fatal fire.
Bhubaneswar (AsiaNews) – In Orissa, Christians continue to suffer from persecution. On 10 March, Angad Digal, a Catholic man from Mondasoro (Kandhamal), went missing. Local sources say he was killed in Tilakapanga, where he travelled in the company of a couple of Hindu acquaintances. For days, family, volunteers, and human rights activists in Cuttack diocese have been searching for his body, without success.
One of the men suspected in Digal’s murder has been arrested, Fr Laxmikant Pradhan, a local priest, said. “The authorities’ inertia is making matters worse for the family and Christians in Kandhamal,” he added.
People are in shock and afraid. “We must find Digal’s body and stop this culture of impunity,” the priest noted.
Since the 2008 anti-Christian pogroms, Hindu extremists continue to threaten and kill Catholics and Tribals. The authorities have not intervened to stop the violence.
Among the population, fear is strong and few dare file complaints. Many murders go unsolved, ignored by law enforcement.
Br Markose, a Monfort missionary and lawyer for pogrom victim families, toldAsiaNews that police on Sunday announced the death of Mathew Sunamajhi and his son, both murdered on 25 August 2008.
The two were captured by Hindu radicals who tortured and then killed them. The incident was but one among many that took part during the wave of violence that swept across Kandhamal in 2008.
Fearing retaliations, no one reported the double murder until now.
According to Br Markose, it is impossible to count all the cases of murder, disappearance and violence that have taken place in the last few years.
“Many are coming to light just now and the Church will not tire from following such cases and demand justice for the victims.”
“We are really sleeping well with all the bombs, but we are surviving. What worries me is the situation of African refugees, who continue to knock on our doors, hoping that the Church can help them get to Europe. But this is not our task. We try instead to persuade them to go to Tunisia where they can be assisted by international organisations. Here now in Tripoli we can only offer assistance to the most difficult cases,” said Bishop Martinelli.
The Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli also reports that “there was an attempt, though not well organised, to for about 400 asylum seekers to leave on a ship bound for Italy. The ship turned back after travelling just a few dozen miles. They reported engine failure. It was a way to extort more money from these poor people, or perhaps something else.”
Not long ago, the international media had reported Gheddafi's threats to invade Europe with thousands of immigrants, as a reprisal for air raids made by the French, British and American-led coalition.
CNA REPORT - Nearly 1,000 people, including students, professors and their families, attended a March 18 Mass of Reparation at the chapel of the Complutense University in Madrid.
The massive attendance came in response to an anti-Catholic protest at the chapel. On March 10,nearly 70 students stormed the altar, shouting insults against the Catholic Church. Some were reported to be undressed from the waist up.
At the Mass of Reparation, Auxiliary Bishop Cesar Franco of Madrid defended the right to religious freedom in Spain and stressed that there is a time and a place for debate and dialogue, such as in college classrooms.
Universities are “an appropriate place” for reflection and dialogue on diverse issues, but the acts of “vandalism” which took place in the chapel were “incomprehensible” and “hurtful to religious sensibilities,” he said.
Bishop Franco noted that the small group of student activists that carried out the protest “does not represent the student body at large.” He called for prayer that such incidents would not take place again.
The Mass was “in reparation for the evil committed, through the redemptive action of Christ, who gives Himself for the forgiveness of sins,” he explained. “Our prayer, united to His, becomes an instrument of peace and unity for the world.”
Bishop Franco said he was “profoundly saddened” by the “blasphemies and attacks on the Church and her Magisterium, carried out with gestures and attitudes unworthy of the human person.” The university chapel, he noted, “is a place of worship and prayer that provides students the chance to encounter Christ in the Eucharist and Liturgy of the Church each day.”
Juan Gomez, a student from the Autonomous University of Madrid, attended the Mass to defend religious freedom. “Because of our faith we forgive them. We demand respect and freedom. We demand the power to exercise our rights in freedom.
“The most sacred thing we have is our faith and we will defend it,” he said.
St. Turibius de Mogrovejo
CONFESSOR, ARCHBISHOP OF LIMA
Feast: March 23
St Toribio, or Turibius Alphonsus Mogrobejo, was second son to the lord of Mogrobejo, and born in the kingdom of Leon, on the 16th of November, in 1538. From his infancy he discovered a strong inclination to piety; and in his childhood it was his delight, at times of recreation, to erect and adorn altars, and to serve the poor. He trembled at the very shadow of sin. One day, seeing a poor peddler woman angry because she had lost something out of her pack, he most movingly entreated and exhorted her that she would not offend God by passion; and, in order to appease her, gave her the value of her loss, which he had begged of his mother for that purpose. He was very devout to the Blessed Virgin, said every day her office and rosary, and fasted every Saturday in her honour. Whilst at school, he usually gave part of his slender dinner to the poor, and was so much addicted to fasting that his superiors were obliged, by strict commands, to compel him to moderate his austerities. He began his higher studies at Valladolid, but completed them at Salamanca. He was introduced early to the notice of King Philip II, honoured by him with several dignities, and made president or chief judge at Granada. This office he discharged during five years with so much integrity, prudence, and virtue that the eyes of the whole kingdom were fixed on him, and his life in the world was a holy noviceship to the pastoral charge. The pressing necessities of the infant church of Peru required a prelate who inherited, in a distinguished manner, the spirit of the apostles; and the archbishopric of Lima falling vacant, Turibius was unanimously judged the person of all others the best qualified to be an apostle of so large a country, and to remedy the scandals which obstructed the conversion of the infidels. The king readily nominated him to that dignity, and all parties concerned applauded the choice. Turibius was thunderstruck at this unexpected news, and had no sooner received the message but he cast himself on the ground at the foot of his crucifix, praying, with many tears, that God would deliver him from so heavy a burden, which he thought absolutely above his strength. He wrote the most urgent letters to the king's council, in which he pleaded his incapacity, and other impediments, and laid great stress on the canons, which forbid laymen to be promoted to such dignities in the church. This humility it was that obtained the succor of heaven by which he performed wonders in the service of souls. Being compelled by obedience to acquiesce, he at length testified his submission by falling on his knees and kissing the ground.
After a suitable preparation, he received the four minor orders on four successive Sundays, the better to dispose himself for the functions of each; and after passing through the other orders, he was consecrated bishop. Immediately after which he set out for Peru, and landed at Lima, in the year 1581, of his age the forty-third. That diocese is extended one hundred and thirty leagues along the coast, comprising three cities and many towns and villages, with innumerable cottages scattered over two ridges of the mountains of the Andes, esteemed the highest and the most rugged in the whole world. Some of the European generals, who first invaded that country were men who seemed to measure every thing by their insatiable avarice and ambition, and had so far lost all sentiments of humanity towards the poor savages, that they deserved the name rather of tyrants and plunderers than of conquerors. Civil wars and dissension completed the misfortune of that country; and covetousness, cruelty, treachery, fraud, and debauchery seemed triumphant. Nor were the repeated orders of the Spanish court able to redress these evils. The sight of these disorders moved the good pastor often to tears, but his prudence and zeal overcame all difficulties, extirpated public scandals, and made the kingdom a flourishing portion of the Christian church. Upon his arrival, he immediately began a visitation of his vast diocese- an undertaking of incredible fatigue, and attended with many dangers. He often crept over the steepest and most rugged mountains, covered with ice or snow, to visit some poor hut of Indians, and give them suitable comfort and instruction. He travelled often on foot, and sometimes barefoot, and by fasting and prayer never ceased to implore the divine mercy for the salvation of the souls committed to his charge. He placed everywhere able and zealous pastors, and took care that no one in the most remote corners of the rocks should be left destitute of the means of instruction and of the benefit of the sacraments. To settle and maintain discipline, he appointed diocesan synods to be held every two years, and provincial synods every seven; and was vigilant and severe in chastising the least scandal, especially of avarice, in the clergy. Without respect of persons, he reproved injustice and vice, and made use of all the means which his authority nut into his hands, to check the insolence of public sinners, and to protect the poor from oppression. Many of the first conquerors and governors of Peru, before the arrival of the most virtuous viceroy Francis of Toledo, were men who often sacrificed every thing to their passions, and for their private ends. From some of these the saint suffered many persecutions, and was often thwarted by them in the discharge of his duty. But by the arms of meekness and patience he overcame all affronts and injuries, and with an invincible constancy he maintained the rights of justice and truth. He showed that many sinners misconstrued the law of God to make it favour their passions; but that, as Tertullian observes, "Christ calls himself the truth, not custom," and will weigh our actions not in the false balance of the world, but in the true scales of the sanctuary. Thus he extirpated the most inveterate abuses, and established with so great fervour the pure maxims of the gospel, as to revive in many the primitive spirit of Christianity. To extend and perpetuate the advantages of religion, which by his zeal he had procured, he filled this country with seminaries, churches, and many hospitals; but would never suffer his own name to be recorded in any of his munificent charities or foundations. When he was at Lima, he every day visited several hospitals, comforted and exhorted the sick. and administered the sacraments. When a pestilence, though that calamity is seldom known in Peru, raged in some parts of his diocese, Turibius distributed his own necessaries in relieving the afflicted: he preached penance, because sins are the cause of chastisements, and infinitely the worst of evils. He walked in the processions, bathed in tears, with his eyes always fixed on a crucifix, and offering himself to God for his flock; fasted, watched, and prayed for them without intermission, till God was pleased to remove the scourge.
Nothing gave the saint so much pleasure as the greatest labours and dangers, to procure the least spiritual advantage to one soul. Burning with the most vehement desire of laying down his life for his flock, and of suffering all things for him who died for us, he feared no dangers. When he heard that poor Indians wandered in the mountains and deserts, he sought them out; and to comfort, instruct, or gain one of them he often suffered incredible fatigues and dangers in the wildernesses, and boldly travelled through the haunts of lions and tigers.1 He spent seven years in performing his first visitation; his second employed him four years, but the third was shorter. He converted innumerable infidels, and left everywhere monuments of his charity. In travelling, he either prayed or discoursed on heavenly things.. On his arrival at a place, it was his custom to repair first to the church to pray before the altar. To catechise the poor, he would sometimes stay two or three days in places where he had neither bed nor any kind of food. He visited every part of his vast diocese, and when others suggested to him the dangers that threatened him from rocks, precipices, marshes, rivers, robbers, and savages, his answer was that Christ came from heaven to save man, we ought not therefore to fear dangers for the sake of immortal glory. He preached and catechised without intermission, having for this purpose learned, in his old age, all the various languages of the barbarous nations of that country. Even on his journeys he said mass every day with wonderful fervour and devotion. He always made a long meditation before and after it, and usually went to confession every morning; though they who best knew his interior testified that they were persuaded he had never in his whole life forfeited his baptismal innocence by any mortal sin. He seemed to have God and the divine honor alone before his eyes in all his words and actions so as to give little or no attention to any thing else; by which means his prayer was perpetual. He retired in private to that exercise often in the day, and for a long time together. In it his countenance seemed often to shine with a divine light. The care with which he studied to disguise and conceal his great mortifications and works of piety, was the proof of his sincere humility. His munificence in relieving the poor of every class, especially those who were too bashful to make their necessities publicly known, always exhausted his revenues. The decrees of his provincial councils are monuments of his zeal, piety, learning, and discretion: they have been ever since esteemed, not only in the new world, but also in Europe, and at Rome itself, as oracles. The flourishing state of the church of Peru, the great numbers of saints and eminent pastors with which it abounded, and the establishment of innumerable seminaries of piety and learning, and hospitals for the poor, were the fruit of his zeal. If he did not originally plant the faith, he was at least the great propagator of it, and the chief instrument of God in removing scandals and advancing true piety in that vast country, which till then had been a land of abominations: whilst Francis of Toledo, the great viceroy, first settled the civil government in peace and tranquillity by salutary laws, which have procured him the title of the Legislator of Peru. St. Turibius, in the sixty-eighth year of his age, in 1606 during the visitation of his diocese, fell sick at Santa, a town one hundred and ten leagues distant from Lima. He foretold his death, and ordered him to be rewarded who should bring him the first account from his physician that his recovery was despaired of. The ardour of his faith, his hope, his love of his Creator and Redeemer, his resignation, and perfect sacrifice of himself, gathered strength in the fervent exercises and aspirations which he repeated almost without ceasing in his illness. By his last will he ordered what he had about him to be distributed among his servants, and whatever else he otherwise possessed to be given to the poor. He would be carried to the church, there to receive the holy Viaticum, but received extreme unction in his sick bed. He often repeated those words of St. Paul, ; and in his last moments he ordered to be sung by his bedside those of the Psalmist, He died on the 23rd of March, repeating those other words of the same prophet,
|Matthew 20: 17 - 28|
|17||And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them,|
|18||"Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death,|
|19||and deliver him to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day."|
|20||Then the mother of the sons of Zeb'edee came up to him, with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something.|
|21||And he said to her, "What do you want?" She said to him, "Command that these two sons of mine may sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom."|
|22||But Jesus answered, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?" They said to him, "We are able."|
|23||He said to them, "You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father."|
|24||And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers.|
|25||But Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them.|
|26||It shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant,|
|27||and whoever would be first among you must be your slave;|
|28||even as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."|