VATICAN CITY, 12 JUN 2011 (VIS) - At 9.30 a.m. today, the Feast of Pentecost, the Holy Father presided at Mass in the Vatican Basilica.
(IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)
In his homily the Holy Father said that "the Spirit which created all things, and the Holy Spirit which Christ caused to descend from the Father upon the community of disciples, are one and the same. Creation and redemption are mutually intertwined and constitute a single mystery of love and salvation".
"The Holy Spirit", he went on, "is first and foremost the Spirit of creation; and so Pentecost is the feast of creation. For we Christians the world is the result of an act of love by God, Who made all things. ... Thus God is not the Absolute Other, indescribable and obscure, God reveals Himself, He has a face, God is reason, God is will, God is love, God is beauty".
Benedict XVI explained that "the Holy Spirit is the One Who enables us to recognise ourselves in Christ the Lord, and causes us to pronounce the Church's profession of faith: 'Jesus is Lord'". In this context, he also pointed out that "by reciting the Creed we enter into the mystery of the Pentecost. ... The Creed brings us together from all over the world. Through the Holy Spirit, it ensures we understand one another though speaking different languages. Through faith, hope and love, the new community of the Church of God is formed".
"The Holy Spirit animates the Church", the Pope said. "The Church is not the result of human will, of reflection, of man's abilities or his capacity for organisation. If this were the case she would have passed out of existence a long time ago, just as all human things pass. She is, rather, the Body of Christ animated by the Holy Spirit".
"The Church was catholic from the first moment of her existence. Her universality is not the result of the subsequent inclusion of different communities: from the first instant the Holy Spirit created her as the Church of all peoples. She embraces the entire world, crossing frontiers of race, class and nation, breaking down barriers and uniting mankind in the proclamation of the One and Triune God. From her beginnings, the Church was one, catholic and apostolic. This is her true nature and as such she must be recognised. She is holy, not thanks to any capacity of her members, but because God Himself, with His Spirit, continuously creates, purifies and sanctifies her".
Benedict XVI concluded by quoting from today's Gospel: "'the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord'. ... Today, at Pentecost, this phrase also includes us, because in the faith we can see Him, in the faith He comes among us and shows us His hands and side, and we too can rejoice. Thus we pray: Lord show Yourself. Give us the gift of Your presence that we might have the greatest gift: Your joy!"
VATICAN CITY, 12 JUN 2011 (VIS) - At midday today, following this morning's celebration of the Eucharist in the Vatican Basilica for the Feast of Pentecost, the Pope appeared at the window of his study to pray the Regina Coeli with faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square.
"The Paschal Mystery - the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Christ, and His Ascension to heaven - reaches fulfilment in the powerful effusion of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles, who were gathered with Mary ... and the other disciples. This was the 'Baptism' of the Church", he said.
"The voice of God makes the human language of the Apostles divine, and they become capable of 'polyphonically' proclaiming the one Divine Word. The breath of the Holy Spirit fills the universe, it generates faith, it draws people to truth, it prepares the way for unity", the Pope explained. He then went on to quote some words written by Blessed Antonio Rosmini: "On the day of Pentecost God promulgated ... His law of charity, writing it by means of the Holy Spirit, not upon tablets of stone, but in the hearts of the Apostles and, through the Apostles, communicating it to the whole Church".
The Holy Spirit, "Who is the Lord and the Giver of Life, ... has the power to sanctify, to remove divisions, to dissolve the confusion caused by sin. ... The Spirit distributes divine goodness and supports living beings that they may act in accordance with that goodness. As intelligible Light, it gives meaning to prayer, invigorates the mission of evangelisation, sets aflame the hearts of those who hear the happy message, and inspires Christian art and liturgical music. ... It creates faith within us at the moment of our Baptism and allows us to live as conscious and responsible children of God, in keeping with the image of the Only-begotten Son".
After praying the Regina Coeli, the Pope recalled that the priest and martyr Alois Andritzki, killed by the Nazis in 1943, will be beatified tomorrow in the German city of Dresden. He was a "heroic witness of the faith who joins the ranks of those who gave their lives in Christ's name in the concentration camps. On this day of Pentecost I would like to entrust the cause of peace in the world to their intercession. May the Holy Spirit inspire heroic intentions of peace and support the commitment to see them through to fulfilment, that dialogue may triumph over arms and respect for man's dignity may prevail over self-interest. May the Spirit, the bond of communion, cure hearts warped by selfishness and help the human family to rediscover and protect its fundamental unity".
Benedict XVI also mentioned the fact that 14 June marks World Blood Donor Day, which involves "millions of people who silently contribute to helping their brothers and sisters in difficulties. I send a cordial greeting to all blood donors and invite young people to follow their example".
Finally, the Pope greeted a group of people currently meeting in Pistoia, Italy, for the Catholic Information Forum for the Protection of Creation, organised by the 'Greenaccord' association on the theme: Man's shared space in the creation. "I encourage all journalists working to safeguard the environment", he said.
|IND. CATH. NEWS REPORT:|
CCCB REPORT: Ottawa, June 10, 2011- After having consulted the Holy See, the Synod of Bishops of the Patriarchal Chaldean Church has established the Eparchy of Mar Addai of Toronto of the Chaldeans, for all Chaldean Catholics in Canada. At the same time, with the approval of the Holy Father, the Chaldean Synod of Bishops has appointed as the first Eparchial Bishop of the new Eparchy the Most Reverend Hanna Zora, who until now has been the Archbishop of the Chaldean Eparchy of Ahwaz. The Eparchy of Mar Addai of Toronto is the first Chaldean Eparchy in Canada. The new eparchy has 38,000 Catholics served by four priests.
At the moment of his nomination, Archbishop Zora was pastor of the Good Shepherd Chaldean Parish in North York, Ontario, which until now has been under the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto.
The number of Chaldean Catholics in Canada has greatly increased over recent years, especially because of Iraqi refugees coming to Canada. Many of these have settled in Toronto and Vancouver, as well as Ottawa, with the assistance of local Catholic immigration centres and also often sponsored by local Roman Catholic parishes. The Chaldean Catholic Patriarchate is based in Baghdad. Chaldean Catholics have traditionally been located in Iraq, Iran and Syria.
Some 98 underprivileged children were beaming with pride on Saturday at a graduation ceremony organized by Jakarta archdiocese’s Bureau for Child Welfare Service (BPKA).
The ceremony at the Beautiful Indonesia Miniature Park was for children up to eight years old who received free schooling for two years at schools managed by the bureau.
The schools are situated in four community areas – Marunda Kepu, Marunda Epang, Muara Angke Empang and Muara Angke Enceng.
At the free schools, which were founded in 1971, the children learn how to read, write, sing, paint and play.
“I am really happy I graduated today,” said Puji Nirmala, aged seven.
The girl, who studied at a free school in Muara Angke, North Jakarta, said the BPKA and its staff “paid serious attention to me and my family.”
Kurnia Ramadhani thanked the BPKA for giving him the chance to study at its free school in Marunda Kepu, in North Jakarta.
“It helped me to study and assisted my family,” he said.
According to the boy who wants to be a teacher, the graduation ceremony has motivated him to study more.
Gilang, one of the parents at the ceremony, said the BPKA was a great help to poor families.
“We still need assistance to educate our children to make them smart and succeed,” she added.
BPKA’s chief Herman Yosef Marsudi said the graduation ceremony, which has been held annually since 2008, is always a delight.
“We want to help lessen poverty through education,” he said.
DIOCESE OF CG REPORT: Thousands of people are expected to attend the unveiling and blessing of a mosaic tribute to pioneer Caroline Chisholm in Goulburn on 29 June.
As part of the restoration of the Sts Peter and Paul’s old Cathedral, the 3.3m high artwork has been fitted over the filled-in organ window facing Verner Street in three 800mm-wide panels.
Archbishop Mark Coleridge will celebrate Mass at 10am, followed by the blessing and unveiling at 11.30am.
Designed and created by Ms Nola Diamantopoulos (left), the mosaic symbolises Caroline Chisholm’s life and vocation, through motifs such as a sailing ship, immigrants, her horse and the Australian landscape.
St. John of Sahagun
FEAST : JUNE 12
Hermit, b. 1419, at Sahagún (or San Fagondez) in the Kingdom of Leon, in Spain; d. 11 June, 1479, at Salamanca; feast 12 June. In art he is represented holding a chalice and host surrounded by rays of light. John, the oldest of seven children, was born of pious and respected parents, John Gonzalez de Castrillo and Sancia Martinez. He received his first education from the Benedictines of his native place. According to the custom of the times, his father procured for him the benefice of the neighbouring parish Dornillos, but this caused John many qualms of conscience. He was later introduced to Alfonso de Cartagena, Bishop of Burgos (1435-1456) who took a fancy to the bright, high-spirited boy, had him educated at his own residence, gave him several prebends, ordained him priest in 1445, and made him canon at the cathedral. Out of conscientious respect for the laws of the Church, John resigned all and retained only the chaplaincy of St. Agatha, where he laboured zealously for the salvation of souls.
Finding that a more thorough knowledge of theology would be beneficial, he obtained permission to enter the University of Salamanca, made a four years' course, and merited his degree in divinity. During this time he exercised the sacred ministry at the chapel of the College of St. Bartholomew (parish of St. Sebastian), and held the position for nine years. He was then obliged to undergo an operation for stone, and during his illness vowed that if his life were spared, he would become a religious. On his recovery in 1463, he applied for admission to the Order of Hermits of St. Augustine, at the church of St. Peter, at Salamanca, and on 28 Aug., 1464, he made his profession.
He made such progress in religious perfection that he was soon appointed master of novices, and in 1471 prior of the community. Great was his devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and at Mass he frequently saw the Sacred Host resplendent in glory. He was gifted with special power to penetrate the secrets of conscience, so that it was not easy to deceive him, and sinners were almost forced to make good confessions; he obtained wonderful results in doing away with enmities and feuds. In his sermons he, like another St. John the Baptist, fearlessly preached the word of God and scourged the crimes and vices of the day, though thereby the rich and noble were offended. He soon made many enemies, who even hired assassins, but these, awed by the serenity and angelic sweetness of his countenance, lost courage. Some women of Salamanca, embittered by the saint's strong sermon against extravagance in dress, openly insulted him in the streets and pelted him with stones until stopped by a patrol of guards. His scathing words on impurity produced salutary effects in a certain nobleman who had been living in open concubinage, but the woman swore vengeance, and it was popularly believed that she caused the saint's death by poison (this statement is found only in later biographies). Soon after death his veneration spread in Spain.
The process of beatification began in 1525, and in 1601 he was declared Blessed. New miracles were wrought at his intercession, and on 16 Oct., 1690, Alexander VIII entered his name in the list of canonized saints. Benedict XIII fixed his feast for 12 June. His relics are found in Spain, Belgium, and Peru. His life written by John of Seville towards the end of the fifteenth century with additions in 1605 and 1619, is used by the Bollandists in "Acta SS.", Jun., III, 112.