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Sunday, June 5, 2011

CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD: SAT. JUNE 4, 2011











VATICAN: POPE IN CROATIA: HOMILIES FOR MASS FOR FAMILIES

AFRICA: CENTRAL AFRICA: BISHOP KIDNAPPED FOR SEVERAL HOURS THEN RELEASED

EUROPE: GREAT BRITAIN: PRAYER VIGIL FOR PEACE IN PALESTINE

AMERICA: USA: THE RITE- MOVIE REVIEW NOW ON DVD

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RADIO VATICANA REPORT: This is the full text of Pope Benedict XVI's homily at the Holy Mass on the occasion of the National Day of Croatian Catholic Families in the Zagreb Hippodrome


Dear Brothers and Sisters!
In this Mass at which it is my joy to preside, concelebrating with numerous brothers in the Episcopate and with a great number of priests, I give thanks to the Lord for all the beloved families gathered here, and for all the others who are linked with us through radio and television. I offer particular thanks to Cardinal Josip Bozanić, Archbishop of Zagreb, for his kind words at the beginning of this Mass. I address my greetings to all and express my great affection with an embrace of peace!
We have recently celebrated the Ascension of the Lord and we prepare ourselves to receive the great gift of the Holy Spirit. In the first reading, we saw how the apostolic community was united in prayer in the Upper Room with Mary, the mother of Jesus (cf. Acts 1:12-14). This is a picture of the Church with deep roots in the paschal event: indeed, the Upper Room is the place where Jesus instituted the Eucharist and the priesthood during the Last Supper, and where, having risen from the dead, he poured out the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles on the evening of Easter Sunday (cf. Jn 20:19-23). The Lord directed his disciples “not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father” (Acts 1:4); he asked that they might remain together to prepare themselves to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. And they gathered together in prayer with Mary in the Upper Room, waiting for the promised event (cf. Acts 1:14). Remaining together was the condition given by Jesus for them to experience the coming of the Paraclete, and prolonged prayer served to maintain them in harmony with one another. We find here a formidable lesson for every Christian community. Sometimes it is thought that missionary efficacy depends primarily upon careful planning and its intelligent implementation by means of specific action. Certainly, the Lord asks for our cooperation, but his initiative has to come first, before any response from us: his Spirit is the true protagonist of the Church, to be invoked and welcomed.
In the Gospel, we heard the first part of the so-called “high-priestly prayer” of Jesus (cf. Jn 17:1-11a) – at the conclusion of his farewell discourses – full of trust, sweetness and love. It is called “the high-priestly prayer” because in it Jesus is presented as a priest interceding for his people as he prepares to leave this world. The passage is dominated by the double theme of the hour and the glory. It deals with the hour of death (cf. Jn 2:4; 7:30; 8:20), the hour in which the Christ must pass from this world to the Father (13:1). But at the same time it is also the hour of his glorification which is accomplished by means of the Cross, called by John the Evangelist “exaltation”, namely the raising up, the elevation to glory: the hour of the death of Jesus, the hour of supreme love, is the hour of his highest glory. For the Church too, for every Christian, the highest glory is the Cross, which means living in charity, in total gift to God and to others.
Dear brothers and sisters! I very willingly accepted the invitation given to me by the Bishops of Croatia to visit this country on the occasion of the first National Gathering of Croatian Catholic Families. I express my sincere appreciation for this attention and commitment to the family, not only because today this basic human reality, in your nation as elsewhere, has to face difficulties and threats, and thus has special need of evangelization and support, but also because Christian families are a decisive resource for education in the faith, for the up-building of the Church as a communion and for her missionary presence in the most diverse situations in life. I know the generosity and the dedication with which you, dear Pastors, serve the Lord and the Church. Your daily labour for the faith formation of future generations, as well as for marriage preparation and for the accompaniment of families, is the fundamental path for regenerating the Church anew and for giving life to the social fabric of the nation. May you remain dedicated to this important pastoral commitment!
Everyone knows that the Christian family is a special sign of the presence and love of Christ and that it is called to give a specific and irreplaceable contribution to evangelization. Blessed John Paul II, who visited this noble country three times, said that “the Christian family is called upon to take part actively and responsibly in the mission of the Church in a way that is original and specific, by placing itself, in what it is and what it does as an ‘intimate community of life and love’, at the service of the Church and of society” (Familiaris consortio, 50). The Christian family has always been the first way of transmitting the faith and still today retains great possibilities for evangelization in many areas.
Dear parents, commit yourselves always to teach your children to pray, and pray with them; draw them close to the Sacraments, especially to the Eucharist, as we celebrate the 600th anniversary of the Eucharistic miracle of Ludbreg; and introduce them to the life of the Church; in the intimacy of the home do not be afraid to read the sacred Scriptures, illuminating family life with the light of faith and praising God as Father. Be like a little Upper Room, like that of Mary and the disciples, in which to live unity, communion and prayer!
By the grace of God, many Christian families today are acquiring an ever deeper awareness of their missionary vocation, and are devoting themselves seriously to bearing witness to Christ the Lord. Blessed John Paul II once said: “An authentic family, founded on marriage, is in itself ‘good news’ for the world.” And he added: “In our time the families that collaborate actively in evangelization are ever more numerous [...] the hour of the family has arrived in the Church, which is also the hour of the missionary family” (Angelus, 21 October 2001). In today’s society the presence of exemplary Christian families is more necessary and urgent than ever. Unfortunately, we are forced to acknowledge the spread of a secularization which leads to the exclusion of God from life and the increasing disintegration of the family, especially in Europe. Freedom without commitment to the truth is made into an absolute, and individual well-being through the consumption of material goods and transient experiences is cultivated as an ideal, obscuring the quality of interpersonal relations and deeper human values; love is reduced to sentimental emotion and to the gratification of instinctive impulses, without a commitment to build lasting bonds of reciprocal belonging and without openness to life. We are called to oppose such a mentality! Alongside what the Church says, the testimony and commitment of the Christian family – your concrete testimony – is very important, especially when you affirm the inviolability of human life from conception until natural death, the singular and irreplaceable value of the family founded upon matrimony and the need for legislation which supports families in the task of giving birth to children and educating them. Dear families, be courageous! Do not give in to that secularized mentality which proposes living together as a preparation, or even a substitute for marriage! Show by the witness of your lives that it is possible, like Christ, to love without reserve, and do not be afraid to make a commitment to another person! Dear families, rejoice in fatherhood and motherhood! Openness to life is a sign of openness to the future, confidence in the future, just as respect for the natural moral law frees people, rather than demeaning them! The good of the family is also the good of the Church. I would like to repeat something I have said in the past: “the edification of each individual Christian family fits into the context of the larger family of the Church which supports it and carries it with her ... And the Church is reciprocally built up by the family, a ‘small domestic church’” (Address of His Holiness Benedict XVI to the Participants in the Ecclesial Diocesan Convention of Rome, 6 June 2005). Let us pray to the Lord, that families may come more and more to be small churches and that ecclesial communities may take on more and more the quality of a family!
Dear Croatian families, living the communion of faith and charity, be ever more transparent witnesses to the promise that the Lord, ascending into heaven, makes to each one of us: “I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt 28:20). Dear Croatian Christians, hear yourselves called to evangelize with the whole of your life; hear the powerful word of the Lord: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19). May the Virgin Mary, Queen of Croatia, accompany you always on your way. Amen! Praised be Jesus and Mary!

Liturgy of Vespers with Bishops, Priests, Religious People, and Seminarians and prayer at the tomb of Blessed Alojzije Viktor Stepinac at the Cathedral dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and to St. Stephen

Full text of Pope Benedict XVI's homily:

Dear Brother Bishops and Priests,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I give thanks to God for this encounter, in prayer, which allows me to spend a special moment of communion with you, Bishops, priests, consecrated men and women, seminarians and novices. I greet all of you with affection and I thank you for the witness that you render to the Church, following the example of many Pastors and Martyrs down the centuries in this land, from Saint Domnius to Blessed Cardinal Stepinac, the beloved Cardinal Kuharić and many others. I thank Cardinal Josip Bozanić for the kind words which he has addressed to me. This evening we gather for a devoted and prayerful remembrance of Blessed Alojzije Stepinac, a fearless Pastor and an example of apostolic zeal and Christian fortitude, whose heroic life continues today to illuminate the faithful of the Dioceses of Croatia, sustaining the faith and life of the Church in this land. The merits of this unforgettable Bishop are derived essentially from his faith: in his life, he always had his gaze fixed on Jesus, to whom he was always conformed, to the point of becoming a living image of Christ, and of Christ suffering. Precisely because of his strong Christian conscience, he knew how to resist every form of totalitarianism, becoming, in a time of Nazi and Fascist dictatorship, a defender of the Jews, the Orthodox and of all the persecuted, and then, in the age of communism, an advocate for his own faithful, especially for the many persecuted and murdered priests. Yes, he became an advocate for God on this earth, since he tenaciously defended the truth and man’s right to live with God.
“For by a single offering [Christ] has perfected for all time those who are sanctified” (Heb 10:14). This phrase from the Letter to the Hebrews which we have just heard, invites us to consider the figure of Blessed Cardinal Stepinac according to the “form” of Christ and his sacrifice. Christian martyrdom is in fact the highest measure of holiness, but it is so always and only thanks to Christ, by his gift, as a response to his oblation which we receive in the Eucharist. Blessed Alojzije Stepinac responded with his priesthood, with the episcopate, with the sacrifice of his life: a unique “yes” united to that of Christ. His martyrdom signals the culmination of the violence perpetrated against the Church during the terrible period of communist persecution. Croatian Catholics, and in particular the clergy, were objects of oppression and systematic abuse, aimed at destroying the Catholic Church, beginning with its highest Authority in this place. That particularly difficult period was characterized by a generation of Bishops, priests and Religious who were ready to die rather than to betray Christ, the Church and the Pope. The people saw that the priests never lost faith, hope and charity, and thus they remained always united. This unity explains what is humanly inexplicable: that such a hardened regime could not make the Church bow down.
Today too, the Church in Croatia is called to be united, to meet the challenges of a changed social context, identifying with missionary fervour new ways of evangelization, especially in the service of younger generations. My dear Brother Bishops, I would like to encourage you above all in the fulfilment of your mission. The more you work in fruitful cooperation among yourselves and in communion with the Successor of Peter, the more you will be able to confront the difficulties of our age. It also important for Bishops above all and for priests to strive for reconciliation among separated Christians and between Christians and Muslims, following the footsteps of Christ who is our peace. Regarding your priests, do not neglect to offer them clear spiritual, doctrinal and pastoral directions. While the Christian community admits legitimate diversity within itself, it cannot render faithful witness to the Lord except in the communion of its members. This requires of you the service of vigilance, offered in dialogue and with great love, but also with clarity and firmness. Dear Brothers, adhering to Christ means “keeping his word” (cf. Jn 14:23).
To this end, Blessed Cardinal Stepinac expressed himself in this way: “One of the greatest evils of our time is mediocrity in the questions of faith. Let us not deceive ourselves… Either we are Catholic or we are not. If we are, this must be seen in every area of our life” (Homily on the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, 29 June 1943). The Church’s moral teaching, often misunderstood today, cannot be detached from the Gospel. It falls particularly to the Bishops to propose it authoritatively to the faithful, in order to assist them in evaluating their personal responsibilities and in harmonizing their moral choices with the demands of the faith. In this way, your society will make progress towards that “cultural shift” necessary for promoting a culture of life and a society worthy of man.
Dear priests – especially those of you in charge of parishes – I know the importance and the variety of your tasks in an age when the scarcity of priests is beginning to make itself felt strongly. I urge you not to lose heart, to remain vigilant in prayer and in your spiritual lives, in order to perform your ministry fruitfully: to teach, to sanctify and to guide all those who are entrusted to your care. Welcome with magnanimity those who knock at the door of your heart, offering to each one the gifts that divine goodness has entrusted to you. Persevere in communion with your Bishops and in mutual cooperation. Nourish your commitment at the life-giving waters of Scripture, the Sacraments, the constant praise of God, always open and docile to the actions of the Holy Spirit; you will thus be effective workers in the new evangelization, which you are called to realize together with the laity, in a coordinated way and without confusing what pertains to ordained ministry with what belongs to the universal priesthood of all the baptized. Keep close to your hearts the promotion of vocations to the priesthood; by your enthusiasm and your fidelity, strive to transmit a living desire to respond generously and without hesitation to Christ, who calls each one to be conformed more intimately to himself, Head and Shepherd.
Dear consecrated men and women, how much the Church expects of you, who have the mission of bearing witness in every age to “the way of life which Jesus, the supreme Consecrated One and missionary of the Father for the sake of his Kingdom, embraced and proposed to his disciples” (Vita Consecrata, 22). May God himself be your only treasure: let yourselves be formed by him, thus making visible to the men and women of today – athirst for true values – the holiness, truth, and love of our heavenly Father. Sustained by the grace of the Spirit, speak to the people with the eloquence of a life transfigured by the newness of Easter. Your whole existence will thus become a sign of, and a service to, the consecration received by each of the baptized when they were incorporated into Christ.
To the young people preparing themselves for the priesthood or the consecrated life, I wish to repeat that the divine Master is constantly at work in the world and he says to all those he calls, “Follow me” (Mt 9:9). It is a call which asks to be confirmed every day with a response of love. May your hearts always be ready! May the heroic testimony of Blessed Alojzije Stepinac inspire a renewal of vocations among the young people of Croatia. And you, dear Brothers in the Episcopate and the priesthood, do not neglect to offer to young seminarians and novices a balanced formation, to prepare them for a ministry that is well integrated into the society of our time, thanks to the depth of their spiritual lives and the seriousness of their studies.
Beloved Church in Croatia, with courage and humility take up the task of being the moral conscience of society, “salt of the earth” and “light of the world” (cf. Mt 5:13-14). Be always faithful to Christ and to the message of the Gospel, in a society which seeks to relativize and secularize every area of life. May the joy of faith and hope dwell within you. My dearest friends! May Blessed Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac and all the saints of your land intercede for your people and may the Mother of the Saviour protect you. With great affection, I impart to you and to the entire Church in Croatia my Apostolic Blessing. Amen.
Praised be Jesus and Mary!

AFRICA: CENTRAL AFRICA: BISHOP KIDNAPPED FOR SEVERAL HOURS THEN RELEASED

Agenzia Fides REPORT – His. Exc Mgr.Eduard Mathos, Bishop of Bambari, in Central African Republic, fell in an ambush by a group of rebels: he was kidnapped and then released after a short period. Local Church sources told Fides that for security reasons, they have requested anonymity. "Mgr. Mathos had gone to the village of Ngerengou, north of Bria, to administer the sacrament of Confirmation. Although he knew that several rebel groups operate in the area, the Bishop did not pull back, despite the risks, in order to continue his pastoral work, " Fides sources say.
"The rebel group, came to know that the Bishop was in the area, and moved to capture him. The attack took place on June 2. After a while, thankfully, they released him, but kept his driver and the car. Later, the rebels returned to get his mobile phone. The Bishop is still in Ngerengou because the area is still dangerous. Mgr.Mathos is safe and sound, and is protected by the local people"
"We do not know which group is responsible for this act, because in this area at least three or four rebel groups operate. Investigation and research by the Central African military and UN peacekeepers are being carried out " conclude the sources of Fides. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 06/04/201)

EUROPE: GREAT BRITAIN: PRAYER VIGIL FOR PEACE IN PALESTINE

IND. CATH. NEWS REPORT: As part of the World Council of Churches' Week of Peace for Palestine and Israel members of the 'Midlands Churches Network for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel' gathered for a prayer vigil yesterday outside the factory of UAV Engines Ltd, Shenstone, near Lichfield. This is an Israeli owned company that makes engines for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or drones. UAVs that were used by the Israeli defence Force in their war on Gaza in 2008/9 and the weapons they dropped killed and maimed hundreds of civilians, including women and children.

UAV engines is owned by Silver Arrow which are an Israeli Drone Specialist and subsidary of Israeli defence contractor Elbit Systems.

Coming from different churches in the West Midlands, the group joined in in prayers and silent reflection to remember all those who suffer as a result of the use the conflict in Palestine and Israel. During the vigil Warren Bardsley, from Lichfield and Ann Farr, from Coventry, attempted to meet with the managers of the factory and to present a letter to them but when they approached the door the metal shutters were closed and the staff member who opened the door in response the door bell, shut it hastily in their faces. A number of peace vigils have been held at the factory but on no occasion have the factory management been prepared to meet with the peace campaigners. This time the letter was posted under the closed door in the hope that it will be read and responded to.UK prayer vigil outside Israeli-owned weapons factory | World Council of Churches' Week of Peace for Palestine and Israel,Midlands Churches Network for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel, UAV Engines Ltd,   Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)

Group outside UAV Engines Ltd


Warren and Ann are former Ecumenical Accompaniers who have served for three months as Human Rights Observers in the West Bank on the World Council of Churches Programme in Palestine and Israel.

The vigil was dedicated to Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish whose three daughters and niece were killed in the Israeli bombing of Gaza when bombs landed on his home while he was working in a nearby Israeli hospital where he treated both Israeli and Palestinian patients. Dr Abuelaish has since devoted his life to working for peace and reconciliation and has toured the Midlands telling his story and talking of his refusal to hate those who killed his family. See http://www.daughtersforlife.com

Following the prayer vigil there was a short peace service in the nearby Shenstone Methodist Church during which those who have devoted their lives to peace were remembered.

For more details on the week, see: http://www.worldweekforpeace.org

AMERICA: USA: THE RITE- MOVIE REVIEW NOW ON DVD

For the many fans of the book by AP journalist Matt Baglio, on which the film is loosely based, screenwriter Michael Petroni has respected the basic story while raising the emotional stakes to great dramatic effect when combined with excellent cinematography and the masterful presence of Anthony Hopkins.


DALLAS, TX (Catholic Media Review) - Michael Kovak (Colin O'Donoghue) has always been "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief." (Isaiah 53:3) The only son of a Chicago funeral director, Itsvan Kovak (Rutger Haer) Michael lived literally down the hall from death his entire life. Unlike most young men who never experience death close hand, Michael is steeped in it, preparing bodies for burial with his father. As a young boy, Michael is coaxed by his father into helping prepare the corpse of his mother, by gently blowing on the red fingernail polish his father applies as he lovingly prepared her body, while whispering endearments into her ear. The image is forever seared into his memory, tainting his adulthood with a lack of faith and a sense of detachment.

When time came to make a decision about his profession in life, Michael knew well that his options were limited, as he told a friend, "in my family; you either become an undertaker or a priest". Michael chose the priesthood, not out of sense of mission, but as a way out of his bleak existence and a means to pay for college. After he is ordained as a deacon, Michael's guilt over deceiving his superior about his intentions impels him to write Fr Matthew (Toby Jones) about his decision to leave the seminary. He admits he has no faith and feels he has no vocation to the priesthood.

But fate intervenes before Fr Matthew can act. The two men are involved in a car accident where a young woman is fatally wounded and Fr Matthew looks on stunned silence as Michael blesses the victim reluctantly yet tenderly as she dies. He is impressed by this and convinces Michael to delay leaving the seminary until after he has taken a two month course in Rome. A course in exorcism; "you're an undertaker, so you're not squeamish" he adds with a gleam in his eye.

Not at all squeamish, Michael plays the role of devil's advocate in his exorcism class in Rome, challenging his instructor over whether the possessed are suffering from psychosis, and is nonplussed over a sudden power outage when the demon Baal is mentioned. In order to help Michael overcome his doubts about the existence of Satan, his professor, Fr Xavier (Ciaran Hinds) sends him to observe veteran exorcist Fr Lucas Trevant (Anthony Hopkins). Michael is joined in his doubts by Italian journalist Angeline (Alice Braga) who wants him to share his experiences at Fr Lucas side for the purposes of an article. These two young cynics are about to engage in a life and death struggle which will evoke deep-seated fears and upend their worldview

An eccentric Welshman, Fr Lucas lives a lonely existence in an obscure corner of Rome, occupying an ancient villa whose courtyard is overrun by cats. Fr Lucas takes Michael's cynicism in stride, and advises Michael not to engage in conversation with the demon who possesses the pregnant teen who has come with her sister for her regular exorcism session. Michael is so captivated by her predicament that he finds himself drawn into a life and death struggle with the devil whose very existence he denies.

Although the movie trailer plays like a high-tech adaptation of "The Exorcist", to which exorcism films will inevitably be compared, there is more spiritual and emotional depth to director Mikael Hafstrom's work than Blatty's. "The Rite" more closely resembles the cinematic subtlety and theological accuracy of "The Exorcism of Emily Rose", according to Fr. Gary Thomas, the priest from the book on which the film is based. Michael is a sympathetic character and the film's dramatic exposition of the tragic origins of his faith crisis help the audience sympathize with him as he confronts demons both within and without his tortured soul.

Even eccentric Father Lucas, played compellingly by Hopkins is more vivid than the ghostly older priest in "The Exorcist", yet the pairing of priests to defeat Satan is a familiar theme. Fr Lucas even makes a sarcastic reference to "The Exorcist" telling Michael, "You'll see no spinning heads and pea soup here!" What will enliven Catholic viewers is the authenticity of the phenomena of the exorcisms and the splendor of the priesthood when contrasted against the darkness of pure evil. Special effects enhance but do not overpower this compelling thriller and magnificent architecture of Rome augments the timelessness of the story.

For the many fans of the book by AP journalist Matt Baglio, on which the film is loosely based, screenwriter Michael Petroni has respected the basic story while raising the emotional stakes to great dramatic effect when combined with excellent cinematography and the masterful presence of Anthony Hopkins. Priests who watched the film in the theatre with me had a positive reaction but pointed the following theological errors; as a deacon, Michael could not give absolution as he appears to do in the case of the dying woman, and that an inexperienced priest with emotional wounds and of questionable faith would never be chosen to become an exorcist. Too many weaknesses for Satan to exploit, they explained.

The manifestations of possession (vomiting nails and frogs, unearthly voices, superhuman strength and knowledge of inner weaknesses) are absolutely accurate, according to Fr Gary Thomas, the real priest from Baglio's book, who had a less dramatic change of heart about the existence of Satan. When I asked him in an interview whether he believed that the devil was a being he responded, "I believed when I met him".

For older teens and up for frightening and macabre scenes, appropriate but vivid sexual innuendo (verbal references to incest and rape) and foul language. This film is best seen with parental supervision. Rated PG-13, 114 minutes
http://www.catholic.org/ae/movies/review.php?id=41653

AUSTRALIA: DEATH OF FATHER BASIL MEANEY- AGE 81

CATHOLIC LEADER REPORT: PRIESTS in Brisbane archdiocese have paid tribute to the vision, hospitality, pastoral excellence and capacity for friendship of Fr Basil Meaney whose funeral Mass was to be celebrated in St Stephen's Cathedral on Thursday.

Fr Meaney (pictured) died at St Vincent's Hospital, Kangaroo Point, last Sunday (May 29), a month short of the golden jubilee of his ordination to priesthood.
The 81-year-old priest was parish priest at Brighton from 1975 to 1983 and Tewantin (Noosa District) from 1983 to 2003 after which he retired to Bribie Island.

Fr Harry Bliss, whose friendship with the late Fr Meaney spanned 60 years, spoke fondly of long car trips together including one around Australia.

St Stephen's Cathedral dean Fr Ken Howell, who ministered in his internship year alongside Fr Meaney and next as his assistant priest at the then parish of Tewantin, said the popular priest was a "great man of prayer" as well as action.

Fr Howell said Fr Meaney's ordination in 1961 with his brother, Missionaries of the Sacred Heart Father Adrian Meaney, had drawn one of the biggest crowds ever to St Stephen's Cathedral.

Fr Clem Hodge recalled him as a "gentle giant" and a mentor figure when he attended Banyo Seminary in 1955.

"He'd been in the workforce as an electrician and had done his senior studies in the seminary the year before, so the rest of us who had come straight from school tended to look up to him," he said.

Fr Bliss said he had first met Fr Meaney at a YCW leaders' conference at Indooroopilly and the friendship had flourished through their seminary years together.

"We would eventually go on two long car trips together - in 1978 going through places like Quilpie and Longreach and to Alice Springs to Basil's brother's parish and then onto Darwin," he said.

"In 1985 we travelled around Australia together in five weeks and three days, covering some seventeen-and-a-half thousand kilometres."

Fr Bliss recalled Fr Meaney as "a great hospitality man".

"Cooking was one of Basil's favourite hobbies," he said.

"He loved putting on a dinner for three or more."

Fr Howell said soon after being ordained, he had gone to join Fr Meaney as assistant priest inVale: Fr Basil Meaney

Vale: Fr Basil Meaney Tewantin (now Noosa) parish.

"He was a very effective pastor and always had the interests of the people at heart," he said.

"His twenty years at Tewantin were extremely productive including the renovation of two churches, at Pomona and Cooroy, the building of a new church at Tewantin and a school at Sunshine Beach.

"However, it was not necessarily Fr Meaney's achievements in initiating building projects that people remembered him most for ... rather it was his generosity and pastoral care."

A Vigil Mass for Fr Meaney was to be celebrated at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Church, Tewantin, on Tuesday.

http://www.catholicleader.com.au/news.php/top-stories/fr-basil-meaney-dies-aged-81_73779

ASIA: SRI LANKA: PROTEST AGAINST POLICE FORCE

UCAN REPORT: Priests join nationwide demonstrations against police use of 'extreme force'
ucanews.com reporter, Katunayake
Sri Lanka
June 3, 2011

Priests and rights activists joined thousands of factory workers yesterday in nationwide demonstrations to protest the killing of a 21-year-old Catholic co-worker during violent clashes with police earlier this week.

Roshen Chanaka, a garment worker, was killed on Monday after police opened fire during a protest in the country’s biggest Free Trade Zone (FTZ) against a proposed pension scheme.

The government has since backtracked on the scheme which would have docked an extra two percent from private sector workers’ salaries.

On Wednesday, Mahinda Balasuriya became the first national police chief to resign as a result of the incident.

However, tempers are still running high.

Priests and rights activists at an FTZ protest yesterday carried white flags and wreaths as they and the factory workers marched to demand justice for Chanaka.

Soldiers were deployed to monitor the protest while the police stayed out of sight.

“We want the government to take the responsibility for this heinous crime. After the war in the north, the government has started a war in the south and this killing is an example of this,” said Father Sarath Iddamalgoda, a member of the Christian Solidarity Movement.

“This young man [Chanaka] gave his life for thousands of workers in this country and his death gives us a message,” said Saman Rathnapriya, general secretary of the country’s Trade Union Confederation.

http://www.ucanews.com/2011/06/03/activists-protest-factory-worker-killing/

TODAY'S SAINT: SAT. JUNE 4: ST. FRANCIS CARACCIOLO

St. Francis Caracciolo

FOUNDER

Feast: June 4



Information:

Feast Day:June 4
Born:October 13, 1563, Villa Santa Maria, Province of Chieti, Region of Abruzzo, Kingdom of Naplesa
Died:June 4, 1608, Agnone, Province of Isernia, Region of Molise, Kingdom of Italy
Canonized:May 24, 1807, Rome by Pope Pius VII
Major Shrine:Church of Santa Maria di Monteverginella, Naples
Patron of:of the city of Naples, Italy and of Italian cooks

St. Francis Caracciolo as a boy was one of those children whom the world "sets down as unnatural." No doubt we ourselves also had we seen the little Ascanio, by which name he was baptized, eschewing games and "the things of a child," to make constant visits to the Blessed Sacrament and give food and other reliefs to the poor, would have thought it all very "odd," did we not reflect that the "supernatural" does strange things at times and manifests itself in old and young alike, regardless of what people may say or even do! Ascanius, or as we must call him by his name in religion, Francis, Caracciolo, was born at Villa Santa Maria in that quarter of Italy known as the Abruzzi, the very name of which always recalls mental pictures of wild and lonely scenery and picturesque groups of Salvator Rosa-esque brigands! The family of the Saint was noble, being a junior branch of the ancient house. While still a youth, he was attacked by one of the several skin complaints collectively described as "leprosy" in those days, but which in the case of the subject of this memoir was made the means of still further withdrawing him from things of earth and towards those of Heaven. He was cured in consequence, it is said, of a vow to devote his life to the service of God, and with this end in view he went, at the age of about twenty-two, to study for the priesthood at Naples. In the intervals of reading, he busied himself with works of devotion and charity, making long visits to the Blessed Sacrament, and consoling the inmates of hospitals and prisons. He had a special liking for neglected churches, seeking to make up by his attendance and prayers for the absence of worshippers in these uncared-for sanctuaries. After his Ordination in 1587, he joined a pious confraternity, known as the "The White Robes of Justice." This Society, like that of the better-known Misericorde, attended condemned criminals and prepared them to die well. All this time, Francis seems to have had in mind the founding of a new religious Order, and next year the matter came to a head. It happened that the same idea had also occurred to another devout man, Giovanni Agostino Adorno, who unburdened his mind on the subject in a letter addressed to another member of the Caracciolo family, named Fabricius Ascanio. The letter was delivered by a very natural error to our Saint, who saw in the occurrence a clear indication of the divine will. Joining in at once with John Adorno and Fabricius Caracciolo, our Saint and they retired for a while to the desert of Camaldoli, where the holy trio drew up the Rule of what was to be the Minor Clerks Regular. Francis then went to Rome to obtain the approval of the Pope for the new Foundation. Sixtus V was at that time in the midst of his strenuous pontificate, clearing the Papal States of the swarms of brigands which had long made that part of Italy one of the most insecure places in Europe, and in beautifying Rome with those stately public buildings which still reflect the glory of the Sistine rule. The Holy Father with quite unwonted alacrity approved the Congregation on 1st July of the same year (1588).

The new Congregation of the Minor Clerks Regular thus established was one of considerable severity. The Clerks bound themselves to distribute various practices of penance among themselves daily, so that while one fasted, another took the discipline, a third wore the hair-shirt and so on. The rest not so engaged were meanwhile watching in turn before the Blessed Sacrament. In addition to the three usual vows, a fourth was added-not to aspire after dignities (de non ambiendis dignitatibus).

At his solemn profession at Naples, 9th April, 1589, Fr. Caracciolo took the name of Francis, from his great devotion to the holy Founder of the Seraphic Order. Fr. Adorno dying two years later, Fr. Francis, entirely against his own wish, was chosen Superior of the Congregation. He showed himself a model in all that related to the Rule, but quite surpassed all his brethren in the matter of prayer and austerity. He meditated several hours daily on the sufferings of Our Lord, and spent most of the night before the Blessed Sacrament. This he did, among other reasons, to make up as far as he could for the coldness and ingratitude of men, and often, too, the culpable negligence of indifferent ecclesiastics which so frequently caused the churches to be practically abandoned day after day. When kneeling before the altar, the face of Fr. Francis appeared to be lighted up with celestial glory, while he ejaculated from time to time a favourite sentence from the Scripture: "the zeal of Thy house hath eaten me up!" (Ps. lxviii. 10.)

The first house of the Clerks was one at Naples, known as St. Mary Major's, which had been made over to them by Sixtus V, but the expansion of the Congregation soon made it imperative to found others elsewhere. Spain early extended its welcome to the newest arrivals in the monastic field, and St. Francis undertook no fewer than three journeys to that most Catholic country under the special protection first of Philip II and afterwards of his son, Philip III. On one of these voyages, the ship that bore the holy Founder and his fortunes was nearly wrecked, but the vessel was saved by the prayer of our Saint. Of course, there was the opposition of the good to be met and overcome, but the spiritual methods and perseverance of Francis were rewarded by the establishment of three branches-the House of the Holy Ghost at Madrid (20th January, 1599), that of Our Lady of the Annunciation at Valla, closed (9th September, 1601), and St. Joseph at Alcala (1601). This last was opened in the University for the purpose of study and the requirements of the usual academic courses, and many of the aspirants to the Order in Spain spent some years there as part of their preparation for Holy Orders. Before this the Clerks obtained in Rome the Church of St. Leonard afterwards exchanged for that of St. Agnes in the Piazza Navona, the famous Church built on the traditional site of the martyrdom of St. Agnes. It was entirely rebuilt in 1642, at the expense of the Pamfili family, and among the many monuments of artistic or historic interest is the tomb of the Princess Mary Talbot Doria-Pamfili, who died 1857. She was the beautiful daughter of the Sixteenth Earl of Shrewsbury, and one of the Maids of Honour to Queen Victoria at her Coronation in 1838.

In spite of the general knowledge as to the "fourth vow" of the Congregation against accepting or even seeking ecclesiastical honours, many desired to see the Founder exalted to what they considered a wider field of usefulness, and Pope Paul V, who greatly admired the heroic virtues and practical wisdom of Francis, wished to make him a bishop, but desisted at the earnest entreaty of the Saint. Besides his work for the Congregation, Francis unceasingly interested himself in the salvation of souls generally. He was much sought after as a confessor while his exhortations brought to repentance numerous public sinners, and he fortified the wavering and the despondent by personal encouragement and the recommendation of the two great Catholic devotions, those to the Blessed Sacrament and to Our Lady. He had the gift of discerning hearts and of prophecy, and his own approaching death was made known to him one day, when, according to custom, he was praying before the altar of the Church of St. Lauretana. He was at that time in negotiation with the Oratorian Fathers with reference to taking over their house at Agnone in the Abruzzi for the use of his Congregation, and he lost no time in going to that place. Arrived there, he was shortly after seized with fever, and having received all the last rites, he died surrounded by the Oratorian Community of the place on the Vigil of Corpus Christi, 4th June, 1608. His body was removed to the Church of St. Mary Major, Naples, where it remained till it was transferred to the Church of Montivergonella which had been made over to the Clerks Regular, 1893, apparently in exchange for the other seized during the occupation of Naples by the French Revolutionary Army.

The Saint was proclaimed patron of the City of Naples in 1838, but the devotion to him which was once so marked a feature of the spiritual life of the place is said now to be much less in evidence. In addition to the Rule which he drew up in conjunction with his two holy coadjutors, St. Francis Caracciolo also left a devotional treatise on the Passion, this work, apart from the inherent value of the subject, is precious as containing the holy reflections and aspirations of one of the outstanding notabilities of the Church in the last period of the Counter-Reformation—the lover of souls—who did so much to heal by his zeal and piety the wounds which heresy and iniquity had inflicted upon the Mystical Body of the Lord.



source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/F/stfranciscaracciolo.asp#ixzz1OR5pC2Yj

TODAY'S GOSPEL: SAT. JUNE 4: JOHN 16: 23-28

John 16: 23 - 28
23In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father, he will give it to you in my name.24Hitherto you have asked nothing in my name; ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.25"I have said this to you in figures; the hour is coming when I shall no longer speak to you in figures but tell you plainly of the Father.26In that day you will ask in my name; and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you;27for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from the Father.28I came from the Father and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world and going to the Father."

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