Tuesday, June 14, 2011







VATICAN CITY, 14 JUN 2011 (VIS) - Yesterday at 7.30 p.m. in the Roman basilica of St. John Lateran Benedict XVI inaugurated an ecclesial congress marking the close of the pastoral year of the diocese of Rome. The congress, which will run from 13 to 15 June, has as its theme: "The joy of engendering the faith in the Church of Rome". (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)

Commenting on the choice of theme, the Pope affirmed that "the faith cannot endure by itself in the world, it is not automatically transmitted to men's hearts but always has to be announced. And the announcement of the faith, in order to be effective, must come from a heart that believes, that hopes, that loves, a heart that adores Christ and believes in the power of the Holy Spirit. ... The response of faith arises when, by God's grace, man discovers that believing means finding true life, the 'full life'".

The Holy Father highlighted the fact that "the Church, each one of us, must bring the world the good news that Jesus is Lord, the One in Whom God's closeness and love for each man and woman became flesh. This announcement must resound anew in regions of ancient Christian tradition". In this context the Pope recalled words he had pronounced at World Youth Day 2005 in Cologne, Germany: "The happiness you seek, the happiness you have the right to enjoy, has a name and a face: Jesus of Nazareth, concealed in the Eucharist.

"If mankind forgets God", he added, "this is also because Jesus is often reduced to the status of a wise man, and His divinity is diminished if not denied outright. This way of thinking makes it impossible to comprehend the radical novelty of Christianity, because if Jesus is not the only Son of the Father, then God did not enter into the history of mankind. The truth is that the incarnation is at the very heart of the Gospel. May we, then, show increasing commitment to renewing evangelisation, which is a task not just for the few but for all the members of the Church".

"Should we too not share the beauty and reason of the faith, and carry the light of God to the men and women of our time with courage, conviction and joy?" Pope Benedict asked. "Many are the people who have not yet met the Lord; they must be given our special pastoral attention. ... Today this is more urgent than ever and requires us to commit ourselves trustingly, upheld by the certainty that the grace of God always works on the heart of man".

The Pope went on to explain that the messengers of the good news of the Gospel are the baptised, especially parents "whose job it is to seek Baptism for their children. ... Children need God from an early age. They have the capacity to perceive His greatness; they know how to appreciate the value of prayer and ritual, and to discern the difference between good and evil. Thus they must be guided in the faith from earliest infancy".

As for subsequent stages of the journey of faith, the Holy Father recalled how "the Christian community has always accompanied the formation of children and young people, helping them not only to understand the truths of faith with the intellect, but also to live the experience of prayer, charity and fraternity. The word of faith risks being muted if it does not find a community that puts it into practice, giving it life and making it attractive", he said.

Benedict XVI also spoke of "adolescents who begin the journey of Christian initiation", whom he encouraged "to follow this path, which leads to discovery of the Gospel not as a utopia but as a way to live life to the full". He also invited them to rediscover the Sacrament of Confirmation, "that the gift of the Holy Spirit may confirm the joy of having been generated as children of God".

"In order for this to be effective and fruitful, it is important that knowledge of Jesus grow and extend beyond the celebration of the Sacraments. This is the task of catechesis. ... Catechesis is ecclesial activity and therefore catechists must teach and bear witness to the faith of the Church, and not some interpretation of their own. This is why the Catechism of the Catholic Church was written".

The Pope concluded by emphasising the need "for education in silence and interior life. I trust that the paths of Christian initiation followed in the parishes of Rome may educate people in prayer, that prayer may permeate our lives and help us discover the Truth that dwells in our heart. Faithfulness to the faith of the Church must be accompanied by a 'catechetical creativity' which takes account of the context, culture and the age of the people for whom it is intended. The heritage of history and art conserved in Rome is another way to bring people to the faith, I invite everyone to emphasise, in their catechesis, this 'way of beauty' which leads to the One Who, according to St. Augustine, is Beauty ever old and ever new".

AC/ VIS 20110614 (870)


VATICAN CITY, 14 JUN 2011 (VIS) - At midday today in the Holy See Press Office, a press conference was held to present the "Ratzinger Prize", established by the "Vatican Foundation: Joseph Ratzinger - Benedict XVI". The Holy Father is due to confer the prize for the first time on 30 June.

At the press conference Cardinal Camillo Ruini, president of the foundation's academic committee, announced the names of the prize winners: Manlio Simonetti, Italian layman and scholar of ancient Christian literature and Patrology; Olegario Gonzalez de Cardedal, Spanish priest and professor of systematic theology, and Maximilian Heim, German Cistercian, abbot of the monastery of Heiligenkreuz in Austria and professor of fundamental and dogmatic theology.

Professor Simonetti, said Cardinal Ruini, "is a leading international authority, perhaps the first in Italy, in the field of the study of ancient Christianity. ... Although he has reached the age of 85, he continues to work actively on texts from the first four centuries of Christianity".

Professor Gonzalez de Cardedal, who is 76, is a former professor of dogmatic theology at the Pontifical University of Salamanca, Spain. From 1969 to 1979 he was a member of the International Theological Commission. "His principal theological works concern God and the Trinity, Christology and the relationship between theology and anthropology, particularly as regards comparison between Christian faith and non-belief", said Cardinal Ruini.

Professor Heim, 50, "entered the 'New Circle' of pupils of Joseph Ratzinger - Benedict XVI ... and is a consultant in the project of publishing Joseph Ratzinger's complete works. ... Apart from being a monk and theologian, he is active in promoting questions relating to faith and theology among a larger public via a series of lectures and the publication of a number of books. Both initiatives have the title 'Auditorium'".

Benedict XVI ordered the creation of the foundation on 1 March 2010, in order to respond to a desire expressed by many scholars over the course of the years. One of the tasks of the academic committee is to establish criteria of excellence for the creation and conferral of prizes to scholars who have distinguished themselves in academic publications and/or research.


CNA REPORT: Pope Benedict XVI received replicas of the six most significant churches of his life to mark the 60th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. The day will be celebrated on June 29, the solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul.

The nine-foot-tall replicas were built by members of the Equestrian Union of Upper Bavaria. They are of the Cathedrals of Munich and Freising, and the churches of Altotting, Birkenstein, Aschau and St. Georg von Traunstein and Bad Tolz.

Pope Benedict XVI was ordained to the priesthood on June 29, 1951, together with his brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, at the Cathedral of Freising.

The miniature replicas were transported to the Vatican by 42 horses from his native homeland of Bavaria, Germany.

Nearly 200 musicians and 50 residents of Bavaria were on hand to present the replicas to the Pope. They left Munich on June 5 after receiving a blessing from Cardinal Reinhard Marx and attended the Regina Coeli at St. Peter’s Square on June 12. SOURCE: CNA (IMAGE SOURCE: GOOGLE)


VATICAN CITY, 14 JUN 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

- Bishop Pascal N'Koue Natitingou, Benin, as metropolitan archbishop of Parakou (area 9,259, population 398,000, Catholics 184,000, priests 48, religious 104), Benin.

- Bishop Hlib Lonchyna M.S.U., apostolic administrator "sede vacante" of the apostolic exarchate for Ukrainian faithful of Byzantine rite resident in Great Britain, as apostolic exarch of the same apostolic exarchate (Catholics 10,000, priests 13, religious 3).


ASIANEWS REPORT: The men were donating clothes, food and shelter to 70 lepers. Twenty Hindu activists stormed the premises and called the police who took the men away without listening to them or the sick. Sajan K George (Global Council of Indian Christians): "Yet another stain on the history of India, the state must guarantee the safety of the Christian minority."

Bangalore (AsiaNews) - Hennur police have arrested three men on false charges of forced conversions in Karnataka, reported by 20 Hindu activists. According to police, the men brought about 70 lepers from Dharmapuri (Tamil Nadu) to Bangalore. The Deputy Commissioner N Narasimhaiah said: "The three Christians offered food, clothing, shelter to the sick, before teaching them certain prayers and other Christian religious rites." For Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), it is "yet another stain on the history of secular India." The GCIC has petitioned the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and the Department for Social Assistance, to demand the release of three men.

"The state must guarantee the safety of the Christian minority, vulnerable to the continuing intimidation and violence justified in the name of religion, of far-right groups," says Sajan George. The Christian community in Karnataka is increasingly being targeted by Hindu radicals since May 2008 when the BJP (Bharatiya Janatha Party, ultra-nationalist Hindu party) came to power. While Christians are systematically taken into custody, interrogated and accused of various crimes by Hindu radicals, their attackers roam about on the loose. "Justice is not pursuing those committing the crimes - reiterates the GCIC president - only innocent Christians suffer humiliation and arrests."

Like every year, Henry Baptist Reuben, a Catholic, had organized a day of service to the lepers in his house, in which he distributes clothes, food and other household items. In the early afternoon, a local Hindu raided his home with 20 other activists, accusing Reuben and his family of forced conversions. The Catholic was not even allowed to explain the situation, before the Hindus called the Hennur police station. Inspector Hanumantharayappa arrived quickly, taking Reuben and two lepers away under section 295-A of the Penal Code, for "injury to religious feelings."

Sajan K George criticizes the work of law enforcement: "The police even ignored the cries of the sick who are present there, who tried in every possible way to explain that it was a regular annual activity in which they received help and there was no attempt to force them to convert. "


Agenzia Fides REPORT - The Diocese of Maiduguri, whose territory covers two and a half states situated in the northeast of Nigeria, for years has experienced series of sectarian crises. His Exc. Mgr. Oliver Dashe Doeme, Bishop of Maiduguri, sent his testimony to Fides about the events that have affected his diocese in recent years.
"Since 2006 our diocese has experienced series of sectarian crisis, which have led to the killings of its members, burning of churches, residential homes and business centres. The popular Boko Haram sect struck in 2009 for the first time. Even on this occasion it was the same story of killing, maiming, burning of churches, houses and business centres. The same group resurfaced in 2010 and 2011, becoming more pronounced and renowned in unleashing terror on people.
The diocese has had her share of this act of terrorism also this year. It started with the post election violence, which left, one of the diocesan secondary schools situated in Potiskumburnt down to ashes in April. On May 27, on the eve of the swearing in of the Head of State, Goodluck Jonathan, one of our Churches, in Damboa, was burnt down. While we were celebrating the Solemnity of Ascension, we were visited by a massive bomb attack which caused serious damage to St. Patrick's Cathedral, where the Bishops' Secretariat is situated. This powerful bomb was placed beside the Cathedral fence, just by the room where one of our priests live. The bomb caused severe damage to the offices of the Secretariat and only God saved the life of the priest from being torn to pieces who was at the time of the explosion in his room. We thank the Lord the priest came out without a scratch. Five days later, on June 7, another bomb, more massive more devastating exploded, it was planted in a car on the road beside the fence on the opposite side. (see Fides 08/06/2011).
Its explosion was devastating. The priests present were thrown to the ground. The roof of the Secretariat was brought down leaving no door or window on the whole compound standing. The damage was great, to the point that offices of the Secretariat and the priest's house need to be reconstructed ". (L.M.)


IND. CATH. NEWS REPORT: Bishop Emeritus Ambrose Griffiths, 82, died peacefully today, 14 June, following his recent serious illness due to acute leukaemia.

Archbishop Patrick Kelly, Archbishop of Liverpool said: “Bishop Ambrose blessed the diocese of Liverpool in the parish of St Mary’s, Leyland, and blessed us again by dying in serenity and peace in our midst. His death will be deeply felt in Leyland and I am certain the loss of this man, truly filled with the spirit of Pentecost, will be felt even more deeply by everyone in the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle and by his Benedictine brothers of Ampleforth.”

Biography - Bishop Emeritus Ambrose Griffiths OSB: Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle 1992 - 2004.

Bishop Ambrose was Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle from 1992 to 2004, when he retired.

Michael Griffiths was born in London on 4 December 1928, to Hilda and Henry Griffiths. He attended a prep School in Brighton and then moved north to attend the Ampleforth Preparatory School at Gilling Castle in North Yorkshire and from there moved to Ampleforth School for his secondary education.

In 1946 he won a place at Balliol College in Oxford where he obtained a First Class BSc Honours Degree in Natural Sciences, majoring in Chemistry. Seven years later he obtained his MA.

On September 24 1950, after completing his studies at Oxford, he joined the Benedictine Community at Ampleforth Abbey and was given the religious name Ambrose (after the saint who was Bishop of Milan in the fourth century).

He was sent to the Benedictine House of Sant’ Anselmo in Rome where he studied Theology and was ordained Priest on July 21st 1957.

He taught Science, RE and woodwork at Ampleforth from 1958 - 1972, and became Head of the Science Department at the School.

From 1963 – 1971 he also taught dogmatic theology to the young monks of the community.

In 1972 he was appointed as Procurator (Bursar) of the Abbey and was responsible for the day to day running, and the financial matters of the Abbey.

In 1976 he was appointed Abbot of the Abbey by the Community and was in charge of Ampleforth for eight years until he was appointed as Parish priest of St Mary’s Parish in Leyland, Lancashire. As parish priest he was involved in all the usual day to day activities and societies of normal parish life.

As Parish Priest of Leyland he also had the title of Abbot of Westminster, a title he was given when he was not re-elected as Abbot of Ampleforth.
Bishop Ambrose Griffiths has died | Bishop Ambrose Griffiths

Bishop Ambrose Griffiths OSB

On 11 January 1992, Pope John Paul II announced that he had appointed the Rt Rev Ambrose Griffiths OSB (Order of St Benedict) as the eleventh Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle to succeed the Rt Rev Bishop Hugh Lindsay who had tendered his resignation as Bishop of the Diocese on the grounds of ill health.

On 20 March 1992, Ambrose Griffiths was Ordained as Bishop by the Archbishop of Liverpool, the Most Reverend Derek Worlock in St Mary’s Cathedal, Newcastle upon Tyne. Ambrose Griffiths was installed as Bishop of the Diocese in front of the priests and people of the Diocese, many Bishops of England and Wales, including Cardinal Basil Hume, the Archbishop of Westminster, the Abbot of Ampleforth prior to Ambrose Griffiths.

Bishop Ambrose tendered his resignation at the age of 75 to Pope John Paul II, a requirement necessary for all bishops. He was succeeded by Bishop Kevin Dunn (d. 2008). Bishop Seamus Cunningham is the current Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle. Bishop Emeritus Ambrose Griffiths, 82, died peacefully on the afternoon of 14 June
2011, following his recent serious illness due to acute leukaemia.

For more information see:



Hunger is not only for a piece of bread but for love. Homelessness is not only not having a home, but also about being rejected and unwanted.Loneliness is a greater burden than hunger. Mother Teresa

Every Wednesday Evening in July and August July 6- August 31, 2011 contact Lucio at

(416) 738-9197

Dear friends,

I watched on, slightly amused, slightly insulted, as a homeless person spitted out a sandwich I had just handed him. He then began to cuss and swear: "What the @#$% is this @#$% you're feeding me?" Well, it was an eggplant sandwich; an Italian delicacy. My new found friend was not impressed.

On the steps of St. Patrick's ChurchAnd so began my involvement with the homeless. Many summers of Street Patrol later, I have since learned a few things -- like sticking to more "traditional" sandwiches. I have also experienced countless rewarding moments with those who were in need of my company, concern, and offer of food.

Street Patrol, too, has grown in the many years it has been running. What started out as a small group of dedicated volunteers walking the streets and handing out food to the homeless, has now become an organized, multi-parish effort committed to giving aid to the street people of our city. Our strength is God's strength, our hearts a reflection of Jesus' love for us.

This web site is designed to offer you as much information on Street Patrol as possible. Above, you will notice links to the following: Frequently Asked Questions; Guidelines; Gallery of Photos; Street Patrol Prayer; and a ten minute video produced by “Salt + Light Television” on Street Patrol.

The aim of this information is to reach Catholic groups/ associations/ movements/ clubs and parish communities, and to share with them the opportunity to join us on Street Patrol.

I personally continue to volunteer my time and effort because I know the real difference this program makes to the lives of the homeless and to the souls of our volunteers.

As chief organizer of this ministry, I am proud and honoured to welcome you to Saint Patrick’s Catholic Street Patrol.

Yours in Christ,

Lucio Abbruzzese
Street Patrol Organizer
(416) 738-9197



Image from the Sydney Morning Herald


Students at St Ignatius College, Riverview, in Sydney have shaved their heads to support a teacher who underwent surgery for breast cancer, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

They called it ''Rough Heads for Rosie''. More than $5000 was raised - in part to pay for help at Mrs Comastri's home.Last week, Mrs Rosanna Comastri, 41, underwent surgery for the cancer that had been diagnosed only a few days earlier. The same day, 20 students shaved their heads - but by Monday almost all 200 boys in year 12 at the school had submitted to clippers.

''I was devastated and terrified,'' said Mrs Comastri, 41, who teaches English and is the assistant year adviser to year 12. ''Cancer is such a frightening word and frightening concept. To know there was this passion at school has just given me strength and a powerful conviction to conquer this terrible, terrible moment in my life.''

A reluctant late participant, but moved by the students, the school's headmaster, Shane Hogan, has had his head shaved.

"I struggled to convince the boys that it wasn't a good idea - that it was winter; 200 boys with crew cuts could be a bit imposing, more like a chain gang than a school. But the wave of emotion - you don't stand in the way of young men and in the end I decided I would support their passion.''

''We've got a lot of rules about length of hair and collar and tie ... Ordinarily, you couldn't have anything shorter than a four-comb or five-comb but more often than not we're trying to convince boys to have a haircut," he said, adding: "This will keep them inside the rules for a couple of months".


St. Methodius I of Constantinople


Feast: June 14


Feast Day:June 14
Born:8th century at Syracuse

Patriarch of Constantinople (842-846), defender of images during the second Iconoclast persecution, b. at Syracuse, towards the end of the eighth century; d. at Constantinople, 14 June, 846. The son of a rich family, he came, as a young man, to Constantinople intending to obtain a place at Court. But a monk persuaded him to change his mind and he entered a monastery. Under the Emperor Leo V (the Armenian, 813-820) the Iconoclast persecution broke out for the second time. The monks were nearly all staunch defenders of the images; Methodius stood by his order and distinguished himself by his opposition to the Government. In 815 the Patriarch Nicephorus I (806-815) was deposed and banished for his resistance to the Iconoclast laws; in his place Theodotus I (815-821) was intruded. In the same year Methodius went to Rome, apparently sent by the deposed patriarch, to report the matter to the pope (Paschal I, 817-824). He stayed in Rome till Leo V was murdered in 820 and succeeded by Michael II (820-829). Hoping for better things from the new emperor, Methodius then went back to Constantinople bearing a letter in which the pope tried to persuade Michael to change the policy of the Government and restore the Patriarch Nicephorus. But Michael only increased the fierceness of the persecution. As soon as Methodius had delivered his letter and exhorted the emperor to act according to it, he was severely scourged (with 70 stripes), taken to the island Antigoni in the Propontis, and there imprisoned in a disused tomb. The tomb must be conceived as a building of a certain size; Methodius lived seven years in it. In 828 Michael II, not long before his death, mitigated the persecution and proclaimed a general amnesty. Profiting by this, Methodius came out of his prison and returned to Constantinople almost worn out by his privations. His spirit was unbroken and he took up the defence of the holy images as zealously as before.

Michael II was succeeded by his son Theophilus (829-842), who caused the last and fiercest persecution of image-worshippers. Methodius again withstood the emperor to his face, was again scourged and imprisoned under the palace. But the same night he escaped, helped by his friends in the city, who hid him in their house and bound up his wounds. For this theGovernment confiscated their property. But seeing that Methodius was not to be overcome by punishment, the emperor tried to convince him by argument. The result of their discussion was that Methodius to some extent persuaded the emperor. At any rate towards the end of the reign the persecution was mitigated. Theophilus died in 842 and at once the whole situation was changed. His wife, Theodora, became regent for her son Michael III (the Drunkard, 842-867). She had always been an image-worshipper in secret; now that she had the power she at once began to restore images, set free the confessors in prison and bring back everything to the conditions of the Second Nicene Council (787). The Patriarch of Constantinople, John VII (832-842), was an Iconoclast set up by the Government. As he persisted in his heresy he was deposed and Methodius was made patriarch in his place (842-846). Methodius then helped the empress-regent in her restoration. He summoned a synod at Constantinople (842) that approved of John VII's deposition and his own succession. It had no new laws to make about images. The decrees of Nicæa II that had received the assent of the pope and the whole Church as those of an Œcumenical Council were put in force again. On 19 Feb., 842, the images were brought in solemn procession back to the churches. This was the first "Feast of Orthodoxy", kept again in memory of that event on the first Sunday of Lent every year throughout the Byzantine Church. Methodius then proceeded to depose Iconoclast bishops throughout his patriarchate, replacing them by image-worshippers. In doing so he seems to have acted severely. An opposition formed itself against him that nearly became an organized schism. The patriarch was accused of rape; but the woman in question admitted on examination that she had been bought by his enemies.

On 13 March, 842, Methodius brought the relics of his predecessor Nlicephorus (who had died in exile) with great honour to Constantinople. They were exposed for a time in the church of the Holy Wisdom, then buried in that of the Apostles. Methodius was succeeded by Ignatius, under whom the great schism of Photius broke out. Methodius is a saint to Catholics and Orthodox. He is named in the Roman Martyrology (14 June), on which day the Byzantine Church keeps his feast together with that of the Prophet Eliseus. He is acclaimed with the other patriarchs, defenders of images, in the service of the feast of Orthodoxy: "To Germanus, Tarasius, Nicephorus and Methodius, true high priests of God and defenders and teachers of Orthodoxy, R. Eternal memory (thrice)." The Uniate Syrians have his feast on the same day. The Orthodox have a curious legend, that his prayers and those of Theodora saved Theophilus out of hell. It is told in the Synaxarion for the feast of Orthodoxy.

St. Methodius is reputed to have written many works. Of these only a few sermons and letters are extant (in Migne, P.G., C, 1272-1325). An account of the martyrdom of Denis the Areopagite by him is in Migne, P.G., IV, 669-682, two sermons on St. Nicholas in N. C. Falconius, "S. Nicolai acta primigenia" (Naples, 1751), 39-74.



Matthew 5: 43 - 48
43"You have heard that it was said, `You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'44But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,45so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.46For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?47And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?48You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

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