Sunday, July 10, 2011



Radio Vaticana report: Pope Benedict XVI appealed for the victims of piracy today, saying he hopes all those taken on the high seas will receive humane and respectful treatment, and praying that the families of those being held remain strong in the faith, and not lose the hope that they will see their loved ones again soon. The Pope’s appeal was just one of the ways in which the Holy Father marked this Sunday’s World Maritime Day, organized by the Apostleship of the Sea each year to draw attention to the spiritual, moral and material challenges facing seafarers and their families. Speaking at the end of the Sunday Angelus with the faithful gathered for the first time this Summer in the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castel Gandolfo, Pope Benedict extended a special greeting to the chaplains and volunteers who devote themselves to the pastoral care of seafarers, fishermen and their families.
Ahead of the Angelus prayer, the Holy Father reflected on this Sunday’s Gospel, in which we hear the parable of the sower – a parable Pope Benedict described as, “autobiographical” – for, he said, “[it] reflects Jesus’ own experience and preaching.” The Pope went on to say, “[Jesus] identifies with the sower who spreads the good seed of the Word of God and sees the various effects it achieves, depending on how it is received. Some barely listen to the Word and do not receive it, whilst others receive it, but lack constancy and lose everything. Some more are overwhelmed by the concerns and seductions of the world, whilst others, like a good field, are receptive and listen; it is here,” he said, “that the Word bears fruit in abundance.”

The Pope also looked forward to Monday’s feast of St Benedict of Nursia, Patron of Europe, saying, “Let us look upon him, as a teacher of how we must listen to the Word of God, with depth and perseverance.”

Following the traditional prayer of Marian devotion, Pope Benedict greeted pilgrims in many languages, including English…

I offer a warm welcome to the English-speaking visitors gathered for this Angelus prayer. Today’s Gospel invites us to hear God’s word, to let it take deep root in our hearts, and to bring forth abundant fruits of holiness for the spread of his Kingdom. During these tranquil days of summer, let us resolve to draw closer to the Lord through regular prayer, participation in the Eucharist and generous acts of charity. Upon you and your families I invoke his gifts of joy and peace!

AMERICA: FACEBOOK REACHES 750 MILLION GLOBALLY- CATHOLIC EVANGELISATION TOOL report: FACEBOOK has become the largest social networking platform in history. Its statistics show that they have 750 million users globally. This network is being used by extensively by Catholics: Cardinals, Bishops,
Priests, Deacons, Brothers, Nuns, Dioceses, and Laity. Famous Catholics including, Fr. Frank Pavone, Fr. Mitch Pacwa, US Confernce of Catholic Bishops, EWTN, Bishop Anthony Fisher, Bishop Julian Porteus, Johnette Benkovic, and many others all use Facebook on a daily basis to connect with their flock and audience. Pope Benedict XVI encourages these forms of communication: "When people exchange information, they are already sharing themselves, their view of the world, their hopes, their ideals. It follows that there exists a Christian way of being present in the digital world: this takes the form of a communication which is honest and open, responsible and respectful of others. To proclaim the Gospel through the new media means not only to insert expressly religious content into different media platforms, but also to witness consistently, in one’s own digital profile and in the way one communicates choices, preferences and judgements that are fully consistent with the Gospel, even when it is not spoken of specifically. "
It has become a multi-purpose tool for evangelization. Facebook is a free multi-use network sharing platform. Here one can connect across countries, religions, and races. Most people use FB to connect with relatives, school colleges, work colleges, religious members and business audiences. Facebook is translated in 70 different languages. One can freely share video, audio, pictures and written material. Many security measures have been employed by Facebook to ensure privacy. The audience of FB is rapidly gaining strides in varied age groups. Older members of the population are using FB at an increasing rate. Pope Benedict's latest Internet exposition also utilized the Facebook market. Religious pages on Facebook have gained millions of fans. The latest Papal Message for World Communications Day(quoted above/below), encourages the use of social media. Benedict XVI states: "The new technologies allow people to meet each other beyond the confines of space and of their own culture, creating in this way an entirely new world of potential friendships."



Annual summer school of the Irish Church Music Association takes place in Maynooth

  • 250 parish choir members, directors, organists and church musicians to attend

The 42nd annual summer school of the Irish Church Music Association opens today at Saint Patrick’s College Maynooth and runs until this Friday 8 July. The 2011 theme is ‘The Mystery of Faith’ and it looks towards the introduction of the new translation of the Roman Missal on the first Sunday of Advent on 27 November this year and the celebration of Ireland hosting the International Eucharistic Congress in June 2012.

The guest director is Ms Órla Barry who returns to the summer school for the fourth time. Órla is founder and director of Cantando, a chamber choir formed to explore the choral repertoire from Renaissance madrigals to contemporary works. Órla was director of the Palestrina Choir at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral in Dublin from 1996 to 2001. She is a graduate of University College Dublin and the University of Cincinnati, Ohio, where she studied conducting. Órla is head of music at St Raphaela’s Secondary School, Kilmacud, Dublin.

The usual range of tutorials will take place at this year’s Irish Church Music Association summer school: parish and contemporary music (Fr Liam Lawton and Chris de Silva), choral direction/conducting (Dominic Finn), cantor training (Sarah Waldron), liturgical composition (Edward Holden), organ (Eoin Tierney, Regina Deacy, Eanna McKenna and David Connolly), special choir (Órla Barry), schools (Monica Brown), chant (Giovanna Feeley), music by Irish composers for the new Missal translation (John O’Keeffe).

The summer school will be opened today by Bishop Brendan Kelly, Bishop of Achonry and member of the Council for Liturgy of the Irish Episcopal Conference. Bishop Kelly also serves as observer for the working group established by the Congregation for Divine Worship to review the translation of the new edition of An Leabhar Aifrinn that is currently being prepared.

Bishop Kelly will launch Sing the Mass, an anthology of music for the new translation of the new edition of the Missal. The anthology contains several new settings of the Mass as well as settings that have been in use but adapted to the new texts. Sing the Mass is also the anthology of Mass settings that will be used at the International Eucharistic Congress next year in Dublin.

Also to be launched is Celebrating the Mass throughout the Year, a resource produced by the National Centre for Liturgy in preparation for the new edition of the Missal.


Notes for Editors

  • Irish Church Music Association was founded in November 1969 as an association of church musicians to respond to the needs and vision of the liturgy as set out in Sacrosanctum concilium, the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council. About 250 people will attend this year’s summer school which is aimed at parish choir members and directors, organists and church musicians from throughout the country.
  • The National Centre for Liturgy is the national secretariat for liturgy of the Irish Episcopal Conference and was established in 1973. The National Centre for Liturgy also conducts a programme of liturgical formation in association with St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. Fr Patrick Jones is the Director and national secretary for liturgy.
  • The new edition of the Roman Missal, the third edition in a new translation, will be published for Ireland by Veritas. It will be in use from the First Sunday of Advent, 27 November 2011, replacing the current Missal which has been used since 16/17 March 1975.
  • Registration on is now possible for the International Eucharistic Congress in Ireland in June 2012
  • The following resources are now available on and

(i) An information leaflet entitled Introducing the New Missal.

(ii) Brief video clips which explain the introduction of the new edition of the Missal, addressing: what is the Roman Missal? Is the Mass changing? Why are we getting a new edition of the new Missal? Is what we have been praying up to now wrong?

Further information:
Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678


ALL AFRICA REPORT: Nairobi — John Cardinal Njue head of the Kenya Episcopal Conference (KEC) on July 3 blessed the site of a proposed new prayer garden at the Consolata Shrine in Westlands, Nairobi.

The ceremony also coincided with the marking of 40 years of the shrine as parish and 20 years as shrine, according to the parish officials.

Cardinal Njue encouraged Catholics to remain firm in faith and strengthen their perseverance against every day challenges, as well as become instruments of consolation.

He urged Christians to pray for the nation for those in leadership can be able to guide and unite the country.

The Cardinal hailed Consolata Missionaries for their spirit of togetherness, love and commitment in their community and to the church.

Once the garden is complete celebrations such as; Holy Eucharist, confessions, Stations of the Cross, the holy Rosary, benediction and the procession of the Blessed Sacrament, will be held here.

According to the official records of the Consolata Shrine since 1953 to June 2011, it has baptized a total of 8,299 people, confirmed 4,817 and united in marriage 1,547 couples.The Consolata shrine was founded in 1953 and dedicated to Our Lady of Consolata. It was consecrated a parish in April 3, 1971 by the Servant of God Maurice Cardinal Otunga.

The parish which is in the Nairobi Central deanery, has a population of 8000 Catholics and two outstations; Highridge and Kileleshwa according to the Kenya Catholic Directory 2006.

One of the major projects in the parish is, Consolata Youth Rehabilitation Programme (COYREP) that supports and caters for the needs of the community in terms of education, health, economic empowerment and sanitation.


UCAN REPORT: Muslims in Madhya Pradesh should try and 'emulate the same standards', reporter, Bhopal
July 8, 2011
Catholic Church News Image of Leader lauds Christian education
Minority community leaders handing over a memorandum to former chief minister Digvijay Singh

Digvijay Singh, the Congress Party leader in Madhya Pradesh, has praised Christians for providing quality education in the state and urged the Muslim community to do the same.

More than 95 percent of Christians are educated and everyone must learn from them, he told guests at a Muslim education society function yesterday in the state capital Bhopal.

The former state chief minister said Muslims, like Christians, must provide quality education so that they can improve their quality of life.

Singh, who held the top government post in the state for over a decade, also pledged his support to the minority community in their endeavors to protect their rights. “I will be with you in your fight,” he told them.

Meanwhile, Father Anand Muttungal, the Catholic Church’s spokesman in Madhya Pradesh, was congratulated by the Muslim gathering for his contributions in protecting the rights of minorities.

Recently, he has been dealing with what the Church says is state interference in the administration of Catholic run educational institutions.

Former chairman of the State Minority Commission and state president of the Muslim Education Society, Ibrahim Qureshi lauded the priest for his “fearless fight to restore the rights of minorities.”

Father Muttungal in his address said Muslims should also focus on providing quality education of a general nature rather than concentrating on religious education.

“Unless minorities unite and fight for their rights they will be ignored, no matter how legitimate their grievances are,” he said.

At the end of the function Digvijay Singh was given a document asking for his help on several rights issues plaguing state minority groups.

He promised to take them up with the federal government.


Image from the Scherger Immigration Detention Centre set on Flickr


Cath news report: A priest who raised concerns over the asylum seekers held at a detention centre in Queensland said the Diocese of Cairns has been told he is no longer welcome to visit the centre, reports the Cairns Post.

Since then, he said the department had informed the Diocese of Cairns he was no longer welcome back at Scherger: "The parish told me that (the department) is not very happy with me, and they no longer want me to go in," Fr Bissett said.Father Lawrie Bissett, the administrator of the Sacred Heart Mission Parish on Thursday Island, was disgusted by the conditions detainees were kept in after he visited Scherger detention centre at Weipa last month. He raised concerns about an inmate's suicide attempt and the lack of support services inside the centre.

"Apparently it's because I mentioned the suicide attempt – that's what they told me."

A Department of Immigration spokeswoman denied Fr Bissett had been banned from visiting the detention centre, and that he remained "free to make requests to visit individual clients, and any such request would be considered in line with our visitor policy".

"If it did not endanger the chance of the parish of Weipa who have come together in love and service and faith to visit Scherger once a week with prayer, song, conversation, camaraderie, food and encouragement, I would like to stand at the gates of Scherger with my placard 'Set the prisoners free, Jesus'," Fr Bissett said.


Sts. Rufina and Secunda


Feast: July 10

Roman martyrs best known for the apocryphal Acts, which recount their martyrdoms. According to the Acta, they were Roman sisters, the daughters of a Roman senator. When their fiances gave up the Christian faith, Rufina and Secunda would not deny Christ. both were soon arrested and beheaded during the persecutions of Emperor Valerian (r. 253-260). They were buried on the Via Aurelia, at the Santa Rufina.



Isaiah 55: 10 - 11
10"For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return not thither but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
Psalms 65:
10 - 14

10Thou waterest its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth.
11Thou crownest the year with thy bounty; the tracks of thy chariot drip with fatness.
12The pastures of the wilderness drip, the hills gird themselves with joy,
13the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy.
Romans 8: 18 - 23
18I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.19For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God;20for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope;21because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God.22We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now;23and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
Matthew 13: 1 - 23
1That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea.2And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat there; and the whole crowd stood on the beach.3And he told them many things in parables, saying: "A sower went out to sow.4And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them.5Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they had not much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil,6but when the sun rose they were scorched; and since they had no root they withered away.7Other seeds fell upon thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.8Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.9He who has ears, let him hear."10Then the disciples came and said to him, "Why do you speak to them in parables?"11And he answered them, "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.12For to him who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.13This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.14With them indeed is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah which says: `You shall indeed hear but never understand, and you shall indeed see but never perceive.15For this people's heart has grown dull, and their ears are heavy of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should perceive with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and turn for me to heal them.'16But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.17Truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.18"Hear then the parable of the sower.19When any one hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in his heart; this is what was sown along the path.20As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;21yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.22As for what was sown among thorns, this is he who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the delight in riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.23As for what was sown on good soil, this is he who hears the word and understands it; he indeed bears fruit, and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty."

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