Thursday, July 21, 2011






VATICAN CITY, 29 OCT 2010 (VIS) - For the occasion of Benedict XVI's apostolic trip to the Spanish capital Madrid to preside at twenty-sixth World Youth Day, statistics have been published concerning the Catholic Church in that country. The information, updated to 31 December 2010, comes from the Central Statistical Office of the Church. The Pope's journey is due to take place from 18 to 21 August.

Spain has a surface area of 505,992 square kilometres and a population of 46,073,000 of whom 42,470,000 (92.2 percent) are Catholic. There are 70 ecclesiastical circumscriptions and 22,890 parishes. Currently there are 126 bishops, 24,778 priests, 54,184 religious, 2,826 lay members of secular institutes and 99,581 catechists. Minor seminarians number 1,258 and major seminarians 1,866.

A total of 1,461,899 students attend 5,535 centres of Catholic education, from kindergartens to universities. Other institutions belonging to the Church or run by priests or religious in Spain include 77 hospitals, 54 clinics, 1 leper colony, 803 homes for the elderly or disabled, 391 orphanages and nurseries, 293 family counselling centres and other pro-life centres, 3,323 centres for education and social rehabilitation, and 632 institutions of other kinds.


ASIA NEWS REPORT: by Mathias Hariyadi
Manado diocese sends dozens of volunteers to hand out basic necessities and masks for people in affected areas, which are still under a state of alert. Christians open their homes to displaced people, most of whom are Muslim.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – The possibility of another eruption by Mount Lukon has not stopped Catholics in North Sulawesi from helping 5,000 displaced people.

Dozens of volunteers from the Diocese of Manado, including seminarians, are involved in the aid operation, handing out basic necessities, blankets and more than 5,000 masks against the thick cloud of ash caused by the 15 July eruption.

Donations sent to Caritas Indonesia are being managed by the Bishops’ Conference aid agency.

Lucky Lorong, a member of the volunteer staff, told AsiaNews that relief was brought to the three hardest-hit areas, where thousands of residents have still not left despite the authorities’ warning.

Following an appeal, Christians in Manado opened their doors to displaced people, mostly Muslims. Displaced children have also been accommodated in local schools so that they would not lose the school year.

Manado is the centre of the Christian community in North Sulawesi Province. More than 70 per cent of the population is either Protestant or Catholic.


Agenzia Fides REPORT – Given the catastrophic situation resulting from the severe drought experienced by the Horn of Africa as well as East Africa and affecting more than 10 million people in Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Kenya, Caritas Africa, through the Caritas Africa Solidarity Fund created to support the victims of drought, has granted 25 thousand euro to support the efforts made by the respective Caritas members in the above mentioned countries, who are already doing their utmost to respond to the emergency situation and bring relief to the victims of the drought. Caritas Africa, in a statement sent to Fides, emphasizes that it is not only reacting to the present emergency, but is also responding to the wish clearly expressed by the Synod Fathers in Proposition 17 of the final message delivered at the end of the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops in November 2009, which states: "it is imperative to develop relations of solidarity between dioceses and within the Episcopal conferences themselves. Thus, it is urgent to establish a solidarity fund between the dioceses across the continent through Caritas network". Caritas Africa appeals to all Caritas members of the Africa region inviting them to organize fund raising campaigns at all levels, so that everyone can contribute to the concretization of the Caritas Africa Solidarity fund. It is desirable to gradually build up the Solidarity Fund so that financial support may be provided in the shortest possible delay without having to wait for new donations, the statement concluded. (PA)



The sign of contradiction
Mary Glowrey

“In the course of my lifetime I have been called by many names – ‘good-for-nothing’, ‘slow coach’ and ‘dreamer’ – all names that are easily understood and perfectly applicable.”

(The Horizon, 1 January 1932)

It is not too difficult to imagine a slight smile on the face of the truly remarkable but characteristically self-effacing Australian Catholic woman as she penned the above words. Her name was Dr Sr Mary Glowrey JMJ of the Dutch missionary order of the Society of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, whose cause for canonisation by the Church was begun in India late last year.

Dr Mary GlowreyThere has been much excitement spreading about her life. She is noted on the University of Melbourne website and in newspapers and newsfeeds in countries as far apart as Vietnam, Canada, Poland and Italy. And with good reason!

Mary Glowrey combines the determination and shining person-to-person charity of Mother Teresa with the organisational genius of great Australian medical innovators such as the
Rev. Dr John Flynn of the Flying Doctor Service and Fred Hollows but in some ways raised to the power of 10.

At school and university she felt “like a fledgling just dropped from the nest”, an ugly duckling whose peers called her a ‘timid mouse’. But her shyness was transformed into contemplative attention. Her self-effacing care made her a ‘first’ in a whole string of outstanding achievements.

Mary was one of the first women in Victoria to achieve a doctorate in medicine in 1919, having previously obtained outstanding results in specialist studies in opthamology, gynaecology and obstetrics. She was also the first general president of the first Catholic women’s organisation in Victoria – the Catholic Women’s Social Guild (now known as the Catholic Women’s League of Victoria and Wagga Wagga) – in October 1916.

Mary GlowreyMany secular feminists might consider her silent decision to walk away from a successful private medical practice, from her leadership of a large women’s activist group, from personal possessions and her chances of any intimate family or maternal relationship to be totally misguided – in effect ‘good-for-nothing’. Yet they would surely admire the scope of her mission to the planet’s neediest sick people. She began her work in India as a sole medical practitioner with one room and one rudimentary medical cabinet. After 36 years, she had founded and led a hospital, nursing service and training centre that cared in one year for 45,728 inpatients, 562,454 outpatients, 6628 domiciliary nursing cases and more.

Her firsts continued. She may have been the first lay Catholic bioethicist (although this term had not been invented in her time) to write and research the social, theological and moral issues of medical procedures as early as 1907, when she penned a booklet against infanticide in the name of Archbishop Thomas Carr of Melbourne. She continued to intervene from India, contributing academic papers resisting the rise of eugenics, euthanasia and coercive population control in the European medical culture throughout the 1930s and ’40s.

She was the world’s first religious sister to be permitted to practise medicine, she established the first ward for incurables in India and she inspired the building of India’s first Catholic medical college. During the famine, violence and disruption of World War II, she founded the first Indian Catholic Health Association in 1943.

As her Indian biographer, Florence Swaminkannu writes, Mary was a pioneer of “tremendous zeal and ‘fight’ as opposed to passivity” and had from her earliest professional years a “forthright” though “unassuming candour and practicality”. Holiness typically unifies paradoxical opposites creating a new and marvelous whole.

How did an intelligent but reticent young woman born into a simple but devoted Western District Irish Catholic family (on 23 June 1887) – at a time when Catholics and women had to struggle – find the way to such an extraordinary life and how did she understand her vocation?

Perhaps the most powerful insights into this come from Mary’s own simple reflections related on the type-written sheets of her incomplete autobiographical sketch, which she entitled: God’s Good for Nothing.

Listening in on her thoughts, we can see how God called her to his love through what Blessed Edith Stein describes as a woman’s holiness (the feminine genius): “a vivid empathy” for both the goodness of all created life and a burning desire to “want to be there for another human being”.

The treasury of her family

In the town of Watchem at the age of six, she became entirely capable of a wide range of self-sufficient tasks – “making jam, soap, candles and simple meals.” Making something out of nothing became a miracle she worked in her later medical work. At the same very early age, she also had a powerful insight that formed the rest of her life: “that if I should always do what was well pleasing in God’s sight” then all things would be clear and even sin would be impossible.

Mary was the third of seven children, and was deeply formed by the everyday prayer life of her family and particularly of her beloved mother and father, Margaret and Edward Glowrey. Regular ‘trimmings’ on the Rosary included a plea for more priests and doctors. In addition, it was understood through the example of her parents that all the baptised were ‘apostles’, years before this was articulated and confirmed by several 20th-century Popes and Vatican II.

Her mother Margaret was a gifted untrained catechist who ‘met’ children and others at their own pace. Mary called this ‘mother’s apostolate’ and it deeply impressed her. Mary’s mother taught her to wait patiently on God’s will – not as if God was some remote and dictatorial tyrant but as a loving Father who called us to live in relationship with Jesus Christ through the very real power of the Holy Spirit. Thus in her remote Australian town, Mary had a true taste of Trinitarian mission. Later her dedication to the Holy Spirit was to play a vital role in her work as a missionary doctor.

The call of the culture of life

In a very moving letter to her family from India, on her father’s death, Mary wrote that the guileless disciple of Jesus, Nathaniel, reminded her of her father Edward Glowrey: “Dada’s goodness was that of that unobtrusive, self-forgetting kind, which is so precious and so rare.”

It was Edward who gave Mary the strongest encouragement in the apostolate of medical studies, particularly supporting her against the common view that medicine was an unfeminine vocation. With Mary’s mother, he opened her mind to offering hospitality and social justice to a group of travelling Indians who would regularly stay on their property and were nursed back to health by the family. “My father’s kindness to this group of Indians was not an isolated instance. He was kind to everybody … His solicitude extended to the spiritual as well as the temporal welfare of those he met,” writes Mary.

Her parents also gave her a sense that what she did with her life – as with every single life – mattered to the world and to God. It is clear from her writing that her experience of her own serious childhood sickness (diphtheria and rheumatic fever), the loss of a baby brother and sister, and her keen vision of the grief caused by this, formed an indelible channel in her vocational reflections.

She realised that grief “was a real physical pain” and that losing a precious baby could leave “a void that could not be filled”. She also realised that her family’s tenderness with the dying was not just a social custom but a mission owed to all people.

It was this ‘vivid empathy’ that drew Mary away from her deeply loved humanities studies, at which she excelled, to medicine. There was a surprisingly ecumenical encouragement in her vocation, from the Presbyterian town doctor to a Protestant who pointed out Catholic medical principles during a controversial procedure which they both opposed.

Dr Mary Glowrey, who would spend herself in the almost impossible task of curing and reverencing the bodies of the newborn, pregnant, plague-ridden and dying people of Guntur, experienced first hand the ‘gnawing disease’ of bone cancer as a final culmination of herself becoming like Christ – a path first shown to her through her family.

Her confidence in saying ‘yes’ to her religious life and heroic mission in India was a joining of smaller dots of light from her early life. This definitive calling, which came after Mary had listened to a Scriptural homily given on Hospital Sunday on 24 October 1915 at St Patrick’s Cathedral, marked the beginning of a health apostolate which would ultimately help countless millions. At the end of her extraordinary life, Mary said ‘yes’ once again and shouldered the Cross of excruciating physical pain and suffering. Mary’s only regret, in her own words: ‘I have not done enough. I could have done more.’

Anna Krohn is a sessional tutor in the Nursing Department at Australian Catholic University, the National Bioethics Convenor for the Catholic Women's League Australia and an academic skills adviser at the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family.

Kairos Catholic Journal Volume 22, Issue 13


Archbishop Chaput appointed to Philadelphia

Archbishop Chaput at the press conference yesterday (CNS photo/Tim Shaffer, Reuters)

Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Justin Rigali as Archbishop of Philadelphia and named Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver as his successor.

Archbishop Chaput will take over the diocese, which covers about 1.5 million Catholics, only months after a scathing grand jury report about the mishandling of abuse allegations.

The appointment was first announced in Washington by Mgr Jean-Francois Lantheaume, charge d’affaires at the apostolic nunciature in Washington, along with another diocese’s pastoral transition.

Archbishop Chaput is scheduled to be installed as Philadelphia’s new archbishop on September 8 at the Cathedral Basilica of Ss Peter and Paul.

Cardinal Rigali is 76, a year past the age at which prelates are required by canon law to submit their resignation to the Vatican.

Philadelphia news organisations had been speculating that Cardinal Rigali’s resignation was related to public criticism of how the archdiocese has handled clergy sex abuse cases, but he had submitted his resignation when he turned 75 on April 19, 2010, as required under canon law.

In the news conference, Cardinal Rigali explained the timeline of his resignation, saying there was “no particular relationship” between the Pope accepting his retirement and turbulent events in the archdiocese, saying it was “very, very providential”.

A native of Los Angeles who was ordained for the Los Angeles Archdiocese in 1961, Cardinal Rigali has headed the Archdiocese of Philadelphia since 2003. He previously served as Archbishop of St Louis after a long career in various Vatican posts, most in diplomatic positions. He was named a cardinal in 2003.

The cardinal’s successor, Archbishop Chaput, is a Capuchin Franciscan who was born in Concordia, Kansas, in 1944. A member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Tribe, he was the first Native American to be named an archbishop when he was appointed to Denver in 1997. He had become the second Native American to be made a bishop when he was named to the Diocese of Rapid City, South Dakota, in 1988.

In the Philadelphia news conference, Archbishop Chaput said he has two Indian names, one from the Potawatomi meaning “he who makes the leaves rustle like the wind” and the other from the Lakota, meaning “good eagle”.

Before becoming a bishop, he held several positions in administration for the Capuchins.

Archbishop Chaput holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from St Fidelis College in Herman, Pennsylvania, a master’s degree in religious education from Capuchin College in Washington, and a master’s in theology from the University of San Francisco. Among his recent writings are two books, Render Unto Caesar, about Catholic participation in the public square, and Living the Catholic Faith: Rediscovering the Basics. He has served on the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, a federal advisory organisation.

Among his recent projects and activities were helping found the Catholic Association of Latino Leaders and serving as the apostolic visitor in 2007 for the Vatican’s review of former Australian Bishop William Morris. The Bishop of Toowoomba was the subject of lengthy efforts to force his resignation after a decade of conflict with the Vatican, largely over some pastoral practices and Bishop Morris’s statements on married priests and women priests.

In his book Render Unto Caesar, the archbishops calls for Catholics to take a “more active, vocal, and morally consistent role” in the political process, arguing that private convictions cannot be separated from public actions. He has been very critical of Catholic politicians, such as presidential candidate John Kerry, who have voted for anti-life laws.

Archbishop Chaput’s appointment to Philadelphia comes as the archdiocese is still reeling from a scathing grand jury report released in February. It accused the Philadelphia Archdiocese of failing to stop priests from sexually abusing children even after a previous report had called attention to problems. It said more than three dozen priests with allegations of sexual abuse were still in positions where they could contact children.

At the grand jury’s recommendation, two priests, a lay man and a former archdiocesan priest were charged with criminal counts related to abuse of juveniles. Another priest was charged with endangering child welfare for his role in assigning the accused priests.

In response, the Philadelphia Archdiocese among other things has hired a former sex crimes prosecutor to review personnel files of the 37 priests named in the grand jury’s report. Cardinal Rigali also placed 21 priests on administrative leave while allegations against them are reviewed.

In his remarks before introducing Archbishop Chaput, the cardinal did not refer directly to the sex abuse situation, but said “if I have offended anyone, I am sorry” and apologised “for any weaknesses on my part”. Later, in response to questions from the press about whether he had any regrets, he said “we’ve learned so much we didn’t know before”, and that “we see now with greater precision” what might have been done differently. He added that the archdiocese is “very, very committed to assistance for victims”.

For his part, Archbishop Chaput said his transition to leading the Philadelphia archdiocese was a little like joining a family and that it would take some time to become familiar and adjust to each other.

“I do not know why the Holy Father sent me here,” he said. “No bishop will try harder to help persons who have been hurt by the sins of the past or work harder to strengthen or encourage our priests and to win the hearts of the people.”

He said he needed to read the grand jury reports and spend a lot of time talking to people, including abuse victims and their families, before he could talk about how to fix the problems of the abuse cases. “It’s not my problem, it’s our problem … give me some time,” he said.


The famous World Youth Day Cross and Icon of Our Lady have arrived in Madrid. The Cross originated in 1984 from the first World Youth Day. It has since then traveled with pilgrims to successive World Youth Day sites. According to the Official WYD website the Cross was entrusted to the youth with these words: "carry it throughout the world as a symbol of Christ's love for humanity, and announce to everyone that only in the death and resurrection of Christ can we find salvation and redemption." Pope John Paul II gave the youth an icon of Our Blessed Mother to accompany the cross. He said: "It will be a sign of Mary's motherly presence close to young people who are called, like the Apostle John, to welcome her into their lives,"
For more information on WYD please see:


St. Lawrence of Brindisi


Feast: July 21

Born at Brindisi in 1559; died at Lisbon on 22 July, 1619. In baptism he received the names of Julius Caesar. Guglielmo de Rossi -- or Guglielmo Russi, according to a contemporary writer -- was his father's name; his mother was Elisabetta Masella. Both were excellent Christians. Of a precocious piety, Lorenzo gave early evidence of a religious vocation. The Conventuals of Brindisi were entrusted with his education. His progress in his studies was very rapid, and, when barely six, he had already given indication of his future success in oratory. Consequently, he was always the one chosen to address, in accordance with the Italian custom, a short sermon to his compatriots on the Infant Jesus during the Christmas festivities. When he was twelve years of age his father died. He then pursued his studies at Venice with the clerics of St. Mark's and under the supervision of one of his uncles. In 1575 he was received into the Order of Capuchins under the name of Brother Lorenzo, and, after his preofession, made his philosophical and theological studies at the University of Padua. Owing to his wonderful memory he mastered not only the principal European languages, but also most of the Semitic tongues. It was said he knew the entire original text of the Bible. Such a knowledge, in the eyes of many, could be accounted for only by supernatural assistance, and, during the process of beatification, the examiners of the saint's writings rendered the following judgment: "Vere inter sanctos Ecclesiae doctores adnumerari potest."

Such unusual talents, added to a rare virtue, fitted Brother Lorenzo for the most diverse missions. When still a deacon he preached the Lenten sermons in Venice, and his success was so great that he was called successively to all the principal cities of the peninsula. Subsequently, thanks to his numerous journeys, he was enabled to evangelize at different periods most of the countries of Europe. The sermons he left fill no less than eight folio volumes. He adopted the method of preaching in favour with the great Franciscan missionaries, or rather with apostolic workers of all times, who, aiming primarily to reach men's hearts and convert them, always adapt their style of discourse to the spiritual needs of their hearers. Brother Lorenzo held successively all the offices of his order. From 1596 to 1602 he had, as general definitor, to fix his residence in Rome. Clement VIII assigned him the task of instructing the Jews; thanks to his knowledge of Hebrew and his powerful reasoning, he brought a great number of them to recognize the truth of the Christian religion. His saintliness, combined with his great kindliness, completed the preparing of the way for the grace of conversion. His success in Rome caused him to be called to several other cities, where he also baptized numerous Jews. At the same time he was commissioned to establish houses of his order in Germany and Austria. Amid the great difficulties created by the heretics he founded the convents of Vienna, Prague, and Graz, the nuclei of three provinces. At the chapter of 1602 he was elected vicar-general. (At that time the Order of Capuchins, which had broken away from the Observants in 1528 and had an independent constitution, gave its first superior the title of vicar-general only. It was not until 1618 that Pope Paul V changed it to that of minister general). The very year of his election the new superior began the visitation of the provinces. Milan, Paris, Marseilles, Spain, received him in turn. As his coming was preceded by a great reputation for holiness, the people flocked to hear him preach and to receive his blessing. His administration characterized by wise firmness and fatherly tenderness, was of great benefit to the order. At the Chapter of 1605 he refused to undertake for a second term the government of his brethren, but until his death he was the best adviser of his successors.

It was on the occasion of the foundation of the convent of Prague (1601) that St. Lorenzo was named chaplain of the Imperial army, then about to march against the Turks. The victory of Lepanto (1571) had only temporarily checked the Moslem invasion, and several battles were still necessary to secure the final triumph of the Christian armies. Mohammed III had, since his accession (1595), conquered a large part of Hungary. The emperor, determined to prevent a further advance, sent Lorenzo of Brindisi as deputy to the German princes to obtain their cooperation. They responded to his appeal, and moreover the Duke of Mercœur, Governor of Brittany, joined the imperial army, of which he received the effective command. The attack on Albe-Royal (now Stulweissenburg) was then contemplated. To pit 18,000 men against 80,000 Turks was a daring undertaking and the generals, hesitating to attempt it, appealed to Lorenzo for advice. Holding himself responsible for victory, he communicated to the entire army in a glowing speech the ardour and confidence with which he was himself animated. As his feebleness prevented him from marching, he mounted on horseback and, crucifix in hand, took the lead of the army, which he drew irresistibly after him. Three other Capuchins were also in the ranks of the army. Although the most exposed to danger, Lorenzo was not wounded, which was universally regarded as due to a miraculous protection. The city was finally taken, and the Turks lost 30,000 men. As however they still exceeded in numbers the Christian army, they formed their lines anew, and a few days later another battle was fought. It always the chaplain who was at the head of the army. "Forward!" he cried, showing them the crucifix, "Victory is ours." The Turks were again defeated, and the honour of this double victory was attributed by the general and the entire army to Lorenzo.

Having resigned his office of vicar-general in 1605, he was sent by the pope to evangelize Germany. He here confirmed the faith of the Catholics, brought back a great number to the practice of virtue, and converted many heretics. In controversies his vast learning always gave him the advantage, and, once he had won the minds of his hearers, his saintliness and numerous miracles completed their conversion. To protect the Faith more efficaciously in their states, the Catholic princes of Germany formed the alliance called the "Catholic League". Emperor Rudolph sent Lorenzo to Philip III of Spain to persuade him to join the League. Having discharged this mission successfully, the saintly ambassador received a double mandate by virtue of which he was to represent the interests of the pope and of Madrid at the court of Maximilian of Bavaria, head of the League. He was thus, much against his wishes, compelled to settle in Munich near Maximilian. Besides being nuncio and ambassador, Lorenzo was also commissary general of his order for the provinces of Tyrol and Bavaria, and spiritual director of the Bavarian army. He was also chosen as arbitrator in the dispute which arose between the princes, and it was in fulfillment of this rtle that, at the request of the emperor, he restored harmony between the Duke of Mantua and a German nobleman. In addition to all these occupations he undertook, with the assistance of several Capuchins, a missionary campaign throughout Germany, and for eight months travelled in Bavaria, Saxony, and the Palatinate.

Amid so many various undertakings Lorenzo found time for the practices of personal sanctification. And it is perhaps the greatest marvel of his life to have combined with duties so manifold anunusually intense inner life. In the practice of the religious virtues St. Lorenzo equals the greatest saints. He had to a high degree the gift of contemplation, and very rarely celebrated Holy Mass without falling into ecstasies. After the Holy Sacrifice, his great devotion was the Rosary and the Office of the Blessed Virgin. As in the case of St. Francis of Assisi, there was something poetical about his piety, which often burst forth into canticles to the Blessed Virgin. It was in Mary's name that he worked his miracles, and his favourite blessing was: "Nos cum prole pia benedicat Virgo Maria." Having withdrawn to the monastery of Caserta in 1618, Lorenzo was hoping to enjoy a few days of seclusion, when he was requested by the leading men of Naples to go to Spain and apprise Philip III of the conduct of Viceroy Ossuna. In spite of many obstacles raised by the latter, the saint sailed from Genoa and carried out his mission successfully. But the fatigues of the journey exhausted his feeble strength. He was unable to travel homeward, and after a few days of great suffering died at Lisbon in the native land of St. Anthony (22 July, 1619), as he had predicted when he set out on his journey. He was buried in the cemetery of the Poor Clares of Villafranca.

The process of beatification, several times interrupted by various circumstances, was concluded in 1783. The canonization took place on 8 December, 1881. With St. Anthony, St. Bonaventure, and Blessed John Duns Scotus, he is a Doctor of the Franciscan Order.

The known writings of St. Lorenzo of Brindisi comprise eight volumes of sermons, two didactic treatises on oratory, a commentary on Genesis, another on Ezechiel, and three volumes of religious polemics. Most of his sermons are written in Italian, the other works being in Latin. The three volumes of controversies have notes in Greek and Hebrew. [Note: In 1959 Pope John XXIII proclaimed St. Lorenzo da Brindisi a Doctor of the Universal Church.]



Luke 9: 1 - 6
1And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases,
2and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal.
3And he said to them, "Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics.
4And whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart.
5And wherever they do not receive you, when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them."
6And they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.
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