BENEDICT XVI TO GYPSY COMMUNITY: YOU ARE IN THE CHURCH!
VATICAN CITY, 11 JUN 2011 (VIS) - This afternoon the Holy Father received two thousand Gypsies from various European countries. They are participating in a pilgrimage to Rome, representing the 12 million Gypsies scattered across the continent.
At the beginning of his address the Pope recalled Servant of God Paul VI's words to Gypsies in 1965: "'You are in the heart of the Church!' I repeat that today with affection: You are in the Church!".
Noting that this year marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of the Gypsy Blessed Ceferino Gimenez Malla and the 75th anniversary of his martyrdom, Benedict XVI told the group that Blessed Malla "invites you to follow his example and he shows you the way: dedication to prayer, particularly the rosary - which he always carried in his pocket - love for the Eucharist and other Sacraments, keeping the Commandments, honesty, charity, and generosity towards others, especially the poor. This will make you strong to face the risks that sects and other groups place upon your communion with the Church".
"Your history", he continued, "is complex and, in some periods, sorrowful. ... You have been left without a home and have come to consider the entire continent as your home. ... Unfortunately, down the ages you have known the bitter taste of rejection and, at times, persecution as happened during World War II: thousands of men, women, and children were brutally murdered in the concentration camps. It was ... an episode still largely unrecognised".
The Pope stated that "the European conscience must not forget such pain. Your people must never again be the object of abuse, rejection, or disdain! For your part, always seek justice, legality, and reconciliation and try not to be the cause of others' suffering".
"I invite you", he exclaimed, "to write together a new page of history for your people and for Europe. The search for worthy living conditions, jobs, and also education for your children are the basis upon which to build that integration from which you and society as a whole will benefit. Offer your active and sincere cooperation so that your families may be worthily established in the social fabric of Europe".
Benedict XVI concluded by telling his audience that they are also "called to participate actively in the Church's mission of evangelisation, promoting pastoral outreach in communities". In this context he emphasised how "priests, deacons, and consecrated persons who pertain to your ethnic groups are a gift from God and a positive sign of the dialogue between the local Churches and your peoples, which must be supported and developed. Be confident and listen to these brothers and sisters. With them offer a coherent and joyful message of God's love for the Gypsy people and all peoples. The Church desires that all men and women recognise that they are children of the same Father and members of the same human family".
VATICAN CITY, 11 JUN 2011 (VIS) - Made public today was a letter, written in Latin and dated 8 May, in which the Holy Father names Cardinal Justin Francis Rigali, archbishop of Philadelphia, U.S.A., as his special envoy to the bicentennial celebrations of the birth of St. John Neumann, C.Ss.R., which will take place in Prachatitz, Czech Republic, on 18 June.
The names of the members of the delegation accompanying Cardinal Rigali were also made public: Fr. Zdenek Mares, dean of the Chapter of the Cathedral of St. Nicholas, and Fr. Vlastimil Krocil, member of the Chapter of the Cathedral of St. Nicholas and administrator in Veseli nad Luznici.
VATICAN CITY, 11 JUN 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:
- Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops,
- Archbishop Joseph Augustine Charanakunnel of Raipur, India, on his "ad limina" visit.
- Mario Juan Bosco Cayota Zappettini, ambassador of Uruguay, accompanied by his wife, on his farewell visit.
VATICAN CITY, 11 JUN 2011 (VIS) - His Beatitude Lucian Muresan, major archbishop of Fagaras and Alba Julia of the Romanians, Romania, with the consent of the Synod of the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church and after having informed the Apostolic See, has, in accordance with canon 85 para. 2 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, transferred Bishop Vasile Bizau of the Major Archbishopric Curia, to the eparchy of Maramures of the Romanians (Catholics 152,383, priests 143, religious 3), Romania
CNA REPORT: The Knights of Columbus has announced that charitable donations and volunteer service hours by its members set new all-time records in 2010, with over $154.6 million and 70 million volunteer hours dedicated to serving the Church and communities in need.
“The Knights of Columbus significantly expanded its outreach to those in need last year, and will continue to do because of the economic problems facing so many people in our communities,” Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said. “Despite the fact that the economy has also created hardship for many of our own members, Knights have stepped up as never before to meet the needs of their neighbors. We have taken very seriously the fact that we are our brother’s keeper.”
Anderson announced the results of the Knights’ Annual Survey of Fraternal Activity for 2010. The $154.6 million given exceeds the previous year’s total by more than $3 million. It includes over $29 million donated by the Supreme Council and $125.5 million in contributions from the organization’s state and local affiliates.
Sixty percent of the contributions went to community-level projects, including youth activities. Large donations included a $1 million distribution to Food for Families program and $1 million for a relief effort in cooperation with Project Medishare to give prosthetics to Haitian children who lost limbs in the devastating January 2010 earthquake.
Volunteer hours increased by almost 800,000 over the 2009 total. Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics, and the Global Wheelchair mission particularly benefited from Knights of Columbus volunteers.
Members of the fraternal order also made 428,000 blood donations during 2010.
Over the past decade, the Knights of Columbus has donated $1.406 billion to charity and has provided more than 653 million hours of volunteer service.
The organization was founded by Fr. Michael J. McGivney in New Haven, Conn. in 1882. It is now the world’s largest lay Catholic organization, with 1.8 million members throughout North and Central America, the Philippines, the Caribbean and Poland.
SUNDAY, JUNE 12, 2011
St Patrick’s Cathedral Hall, 1 Marist Place, Parramatta
DIOCESE OF PARRAMATTA REPORT;
|Cardinal George Pell and Bishop Anthony with Pope Benedict XVI at World Youth Day 2008 Sydney.|
Catholic Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell will join the Bishop of Parramatta Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP as the guest speaker at a special Youth Breakfast at St Patrick’s Cathedral Hall Parramatta on Saturday 18 June.
Cardinal George Pell will speak on the topic of ‘Culture of Life vs Culture of Death’.
Saturday 18 June
St Patrick’s Cathedral Hall
1 Marist Place
RVSP (for catering purposes)
By Monday 13 June to Catholic Youth Parramatta on 02 8838 3418 firstname.lastname@example.org
A Vietnamese priest working in Laos says curbs on religious activities around the northern city of Luang Prabang have intensified following a series of protests last month by ethnic Christians across the border in Vietnam.
“We are deeply concerned about the future of the Luang Prabang apostolic vicariate where religious activities are limited, local Catholics are closely watched and vocations are few,” said Father Raphael Tran Xuan Nhan yesterday.
The Luang Prabang apostolic vicariate has been prevented from development for dozens of years under communist rule, he said.
Father Nhan, from Vinh diocese in central Vietnam, has worked in Laos for many years and established many Legion of Mary groups in the neighboring communist country.
He said that since 1975, when communists took over the country, the vicariate has produced only one native priest and no nuns.
The 57-year-old priest said Luang Prabang provincial authorities try to limit local travel of Catholics, who are required to inform village authorities about their travel if they want to go somewhere.
Father Nhan said the situation worsenes after Hmong ethnic Christians demonstrated and demanded religious freedom in Vietnam’s Dien Bien province which borders Luang Prabang province in early May.
The local government prevents local Catholics from attending Mass at chapels on Sundays by forcing them to do community service or learn government policies.
Four militiamen with guns stand outside Buon Saya chapel watching local Catholics attending services, he said. Sometimes they also sit attending service in the chapel, he added.
Monsignor Tito Banchong Thopahong, apostolic administrator of the apostolic vicariate, and Father Pierre Buntha Silaphet, who was ordained a priest in January, celebrate weekly Mass attended by three nuns aged in their sixties and 20 Catholics at the chapel.
A Vietnamese Dominican priest who has worked in Luang Prabang for six years told ucanews.com on condition of anonymity that the local government plans to move the chapel since it is 30 meters from an army station.
The priest said he and two other Dominicans have had to move to Vientiane, the Lao capital, because government authorities do not want them to teach English free of charge to local people as they are suspected of being spies.
Luang Prabang apostolic vicariate has about 3,900 Catholics among a total population of 1.2 million living in the northern provinces of Bo Keo, Luang Namtha, Luang Prabang, Phong Xali, Udomxai and Xayaburi. The ancient city of Luang Prabang, a center for Buddhism and culture in Laos, is 220 kilometers north of Vientiane.
The document recalls recent incidents of violence recorded in the country. In particular, His Exc. Mgr. Eduard Mathos, Bishop of Bambari and President of the Central African Catholic Bishops' Conference, was kidnapped (later released) together with his driver who still has not been found(see Fides 4.6 / 06 / 2011), the murder of the doctor in charge of the Prefecture of Healthcare Haut Mbomou and his driver in the destruction of their vehicle full of medicines and vaccines against polio; another murder was carried out in the same area.
Faced with these facts, the Commission for Justice and Peace asks the "Central African government to take on its responsibility to ensure the free movement and protection of persons and property in accordance with the Constitution of 27 December 2004". He also calls upon "the international community to provide the necessary logistical and material support to the fight against the growing insecurity in the country.
Feast: June 11
arnabas (originally Joseph), styled an Apostle in Holy Scripture, and, like St. Paul, ranked by the Church with the Twelve, though not one of them; b. of Jewish parents in the Island of Cyprus about the beginning of the Christian Era. A Levite, he naturally spent much time in Jerusalem, probably even before the Crucifixion of Our Lord, and appears also to have settled there (where his relatives, the family of Mark the Evangelist, likewise had their homes — Acts 12:12) and to have owned land in its vicinity (4:36-37). A rather late tradition recorded by Clement of Alexandria (Strom., II, 20, P.G., VIII, col. 1060) and Eusebius (H. E., II, i, P. G., XX, col. 117) says that he was one of the seventy Disciples; but Acts (4:36-37) favours the opinion that he was converted to Christianity shortly after Pentecost (about A.D. 29 or 30) and immediately sold his property and devoted the proceeds to the Church. The Apostles, probably because of his success as a preacher, for he is later placed first among the prophets and doctors of Antioch (xiii, 1), surnamed him Barnabas, a name then interpreted as meaning "son of exhortation" or "consolation". (The real etymology, however, is disputed. See Encyl. Bibli., I, col. 484.) Though nothing is recorded of Barnabas for some years, he evidently acquired during this period a high position in the Church.
When Saul the persecutor, later Paul the Apostle, made his first visit (dated variously from A.D. 33 to 38) to Jerusalem after his conversion, the Church there, remembering his former fierce spirit, was slow to believe in the reality of his conversion. Barnabas stood sponsor for him and had him received by the Apostles, as the Acts relate (9:27), though he saw only Peter and James, the brother of the Lord, according to Paul himself (Galatians 1:18-19). Saul went to his house at Tarsus to live in obscurity for some years, while Barnabas appears to have remained at Jerusalem. The event that brought them together again and opened to both the door to their lifework was an indirect result of Saul's own persecution. In the dispersion that followed Stephen's death, some Disciples from Cyprus and Cyrene, obscure men, inaugurated the real mission of the Christian Church by preaching to the Gentiles. They met with great success among the Greeks at Antioch in Syria, reports of which coming o the ears of the Apostles, Barnabas was sent thither by them to investigate the work of his countrymen. He saw in the conversions effected the fruit of God's grace and, though a Jew, heartily welcomed these first Gentile converts. His mind was opened at once to the possibility of this immense field. It is a proof how deeply impressed Barnabas had been by Paul that he thought of him immediately for this work, set out without delay for distant Tarsus, and persuaded Paul to go to Antioch and begin the work of preaching. This incident, shedding light on the character of each, shows it was no mere accident that led them to the Gentile field. Together they laboured at Antioch for a whole year and "taught a great multitude". Then, on the coming of famine, by which Jerusalem was much afflicted, the offerings of the Disciples at Antioch were carried (about A.D. 45) to the mother-church by Barnabas and Saul (Acts 11). Their mission ended, they returned to Antioch, bringing with them the cousin, or nephew of Barnabas (Colossians 4:10), John Mark, the future Evangelist (Acts 12:25).
The time was now ripe, it was believed, for more systematic labours, and the Church of Antioch felt inspired by the Holy Ghost to send out missionaries to the Gentile world and to designate for the work Barnabas and Paul. They accordingly departed, after the imposition of hands, with John Mark as helper. Cyprus, the native land of Barnabas, was first evangelized, and then they crossed over to Asia Minor. Here, at Perge in Pamphylia, the first stopping place, John Mark left them, for what reason his friend St. Luke does not state, though Paul looked on the act as desertion. The two Apostles, however, pushing into the interior of a rather wild country, preached at Antioch of Pisidia, Iconium, Lystra, at Derbe, and other cities. At every step they met with opposition and even violent persecution from the Jews, who also incited the Gentiles against them. The most striking incident of the journey was at Lystra, where the superstitious populace took Paul, who had just cured a lame man, for Hermes (Mercury) "because he was the chief speaker", and Barnabas for Jupiter, and were about to sacrifice a bull to them when prevented by the Apostles. Mob-like, they were soon persuaded by the Jews to turn and attack the Apostles and wounded St. Paul almost fatally. Despite opposition and persecution, Paul and Barnabas made many converts on this journey and returned by the same route to Perge, organizing churches, ordaining presbyters and placing them over the faithful, so that they felt, on again reaching Antioch in Syria, that God had "opened a door of faith to the Gentiles" (Acts 13:13-14:27).
Barnabas and Paul had been "for no small time" at Antioch, when they were threatened with the undoing of their work and the stopping of its further progress. Preachers came from Jerusalem with the gospel that circumcision was necessary for salvation, even for the Gentiles. The Apostles of the Gentiles, perceiving at once that this doctrine would be fatal to their work, went up to Jerusalem to combat it; the older Apostles received them kindly and at what is called the Council of Jerusalem (dated variously from A.D. 47 to 51) granted a decision in their favour as well as a hearty commendation of their work (Acts 14:27-15:30). On their return to Antioch, they resumed their preaching for a short time. St. Peter came down and associated freely there with the Gentiles, eating with them. This displeased some disciples of James; in their opinion, Peter's act was unlawful, as against the Mosaic law. Upon their remonstrances, Peter yielded apparently through fear of displeasing them, and refused to eat any longer with the Gentiles. Barnabas followed his example. Paul considered that they "walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel" and upbraided them before the whole church (Galatians 2:11-15). Paul seems to have carried his point. Shortly afterwards, he and Barnabas decided to revisit their missions. Barnabas wished to take John Mark along once more, but on account of the previous defection Paul objected. A sharp contention ensuing, the Apostles agreed to separate. Paul was probably somewhat influenced by the attitude recently taken by Barnabas, which might prove a prejudice to their work. Barnabas sailed with John Mark to Cyprus, while Paul took Silas an revisited the churches of Asia Minor. It is believed by some that the church of Antioch, by its God-speed to Paul, showed its approval of his attitude; this inference, however, is not certain (Acts 15:35-41).
Little is known of the subsequent career of Barnabas. He was still living and labouring as an Apostle in 56 or 57, when Paul wrote I Cor. (ix, 5, 6). from which we learn that he, too, like Paul, earned his own living, though on an equality with other Apostles. The reference indicates also that the friendship between the two was unimpaired. When Paul was a prisoner in Rome (61-63), John Mark was attached to him as a disciple, which is regarded as an indication that Barnabas was no longer living (Colossians 4:10). This seems probable.
Various traditions represent him as the first Bishop of Milan, as preaching at Alexandria and at Rome, whose fourth (?) bishop, St. Clement, he is said to have converted, and as having suffered martyrdom in Cyprus. The traditions are all late and untrustworthy.
With the exception of St. Paul and certain of the Twelve, Barnabas appears to have been the most esteemed man of the first Christian generation. St. Luke, breaking his habit of reserve, speaks of him with affection, "for he was a good man, full of the Holy Ghost and of Faith". His title to glory comes not only from his kindliness of heart, his personal sanctity, and his missionary labours, but also from his readiness to lay aside his Jewish prejudices, in this anticipating certain of the Twelve; from his large-hearted welcome of the Gentiles, and from his early perception of Paul's worth, to which the Christian Church is indebted, in large part at least, for its great Apostle. His tenderness towards John Mark seems to have had its reward in the valuable services later rendered by him to the Church.
The feast of St. Barnabas is celebrated on 11 June. He is credited by Tertullian (probably falsely) with the authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews, and the so-called Epistle of Barnabas is ascribed to him by many Fathers.
|Matthew 10: 7 - 13|
|7||And preach as you go, saying, `The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'|
|8||Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying, give without pay.|
|9||Take no gold, nor silver, nor copper in your belts,|
|10||no bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor a staff; for the laborer deserves his food.|
|11||And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it, and stay with him until you depart.|
|12||As you enter the house, salute it.|
|13||And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you.|