Wednesday, July 20, 2011





VATICAN CITY, 20 JUL 2011 (VIS) - The programme of Benedict XVI's apostolic trip toGermany, due to last from 22 to 25 September, was announced today. (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)

The Holy Father will depart from Rome's Ciampino airport at8.15 a.m. on Thursday 22 September, landing at Berlin-Tegel airport at 10.30 a.m. The welcome ceremony and the courtesy meeting with Christian Wulff, president of the Federal Republic of Germany, will both take place at Bellevue Castle, official residence of the president. The Holy Father will then go on to the headquarters of the German Episcopal Conference in Berlin where he will encounter the federal chancellor.

In the afternoon he will visit the federal parliament, then meet representatives of the local Jewish community. At 6.30 p.m. he is due to celebrate Mass in Berlin's Olympic stadium.

At 9 a.m. on Friday 23 September the Holy Father will meet with representatives of the Muslim community at the apostolic nunciature in Berlin, before travelling by plane to the city of Erfurt. There he will visit St. Mary's Cathedral, address representatives of the German Evangelical Church Council and participate in an ecumenical celebration.

That afternoon he will be taken by helicopter to Etzelsbach where at 5.45 p.m. he is due to preside at Marian Vespers at the Wallfahrtskapelle. Following the celebration he will return to Erfurt.

On the morning of Saturday 24 September Benedict XVI will celebrate Mass atErfurt's Domplatz before travelling by plane to the city of Freiburg im Breisgauwhere he will make a visit to the local cathedral. During the afternoon he will go to the local seminary where he will meet first with Helmut Kohl, former chancellor ofGermany, then with representatives from the Orthodox Churches, followed by the seminarians themselves and finally the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZDK).

At 7 p.m. he is scheduled to preside at a prayer vigil with young people at the Fair of Freiburg im Breisgau.

At 10 a.m. on Sunday 25 September he will celebrate Mass and pray the Angelus at the airport of Freiburg im Breisgau.

Following Mass the Holy Father will have lunch with members of the German Episcopal Conference. At 4.20 p.m. he will meet with magistrates of the Federal Constitutional Court, then with a group of Catholics active in the Church and society.

Following the departure ceremony at the airport of Lahr, the papal plane will depart for Rome where it is expected to land at Ciampino airport at 8.45 p.m


About the Mighty MacsShe Dared to Dream. They Dared to Believe.

MIGHTY MACS WEBSITE REPORT: It's 1971. Cathy Rush is a woman ahead of her time ... and she's about to embark on an adventure for the ages. A new era is dawning in the country and in collegiate athletics, where a national champion will be crowned for the first time in women's basketball.

In the lead up to this historical season, major universities are preparing their game plans to win that first title. Meanwhile a tiny all-women's Catholic college in Philadelphia has a more modest goal: find a coach before the season begins. Providentially, Cathy Rush is about to find Immaculata College.

Recently married, Cathy is dealing with the aftermath of a truncated playing career. While cultural norms would have her staying at home, she's willing to do the hard work necessary to help her new team reach their goals—or perhaps she's just trying to achieve her unfulfilled dreams through them.

From the beginning, her challenges are as imposing as the big-school teams Immaculata will face on the court. Cathy learns there is no gymnasium on campus, she receives little support from the school's Mother Superior, and the school is in dire financial straits. To top it off, she may not even have enough players to field a team!

While it appears the Macs don't have a prayer, all hope is not lost. With the help of Sister Sunday—a spunky assistant coach—and the support of a booster club of elderly nuns, Coach Rush creates a new game plan that just might bring the team—and the school—together.

Will this pioneer buck cultural norms and spur her rag-tag team to unexpected heights? Or will her hard-driving ways create a wedge between the coach and everyone around her? One thing's for certain: there's never been anyone like Cathy Rush at Immaculata!

THE MIGHTY MACS is based on the incredible true story of the 1971-72 Immaculata College team that started in obscurity but became the original Cinderella story in women's basketball. This team of pioneers went from barely making that inaugural tournament to the first dynasty in their game. And Cathy Rush, the woman that was ahead of her time, became immortalized when she was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

THE MIGHTY MACS stars Carla Gugino as Cathy Rush; David Boreanaz as her husband, NBA referee Ed Rush; Marley Shelton as Sister Sunday; and Academy Award and Tony Award winner Ellen Burstyn as Mother St. John. The film was written, directed, and produced by Tim Chambers. The film's executive producers are Pat Croce, the former president of the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers, and Vince Curran, a successful businessman and former basketball star at Penn. Curran and Chambers are founders and partners of Quaker Media.

Get ready to cheer on a true Cinderella team when THE MIGHTY MACS opens in theaters on October 21.



By MICHAEL KELLY on Monday, 18 July 2011

Irish government seeks to compel priests to break seal of confession

Enda Kenny, Ireland's prime minister, has said that canon law should not supersede state law (Julien Behal/PA Wire)

CATHOLICHERALD REPORT: The group that represents Ireland’s Catholic priests has said the secrecy of confession must be protected despite government indications that confessions would not be exempt from rules on mandatory reporting of child abuse.

Irish Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald said: “The point is, if there is a law in the land, it has to be followed by everybody. There are no exceptions, there are no exemptions.”

Fr PJ Madden, spokesman for the Association of Catholic Priests, insisted that the sacramental seal of confession is “above and beyond all else” and should not be broken even if a penitent confesses to a crime.

Fr Madden said he would strongly urge and appeal to the penitent – whether a priest or anyone else – to confess a crime to the police and have the civil aspect dealt with, but that he did not approve of the idea of reporting what was said.

“If I’m breaking the law then somebody has to find a way to address that for me … but in my own right as a priest what I understand is the seal of confession is above and beyond all else,” he said.

“The seal of confession is a very sacred seal for lots of different reasons way beyond this one single issue, however serious this one single issue is,” Fr Madden said.

The Irish government said it would introduce legislation that makes it mandatory for priests to reveal details of child abuse, even if they become known in the confessional. The offence is punishable with up to five years in prison.

The announcement came after a judicial commission investigating the Diocese of Cloyne revealed that allegations of abuse were being mishandled and withheld from the police as recently as 2008.

Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said last week that canon law would not be allowed to supersede state law.

Ms Fitzgerald, meanwhile, said the government was not concerned about “the rules governing any body”.

“This is about the law of the land. It’s about child protection. Are we saying … if a child is at risk of child sexual abuse that should not be reported? We cannot say that. The law of the land is clear and unambiguous,” she said.

Bishop John McAreavey of Dromore told the American Catholic News Service that the bishops would await the publication of the legislation before assessing it. However, he said, he felt it was “unreal to suggest that the seal of confession has prevented the reporting of the abuse of children”.

The new legislation is not expected to be published this autumn, and sources close to the Irish bishops’ conference expected that a heavy lobbying campaign would get under way to ensure that a suitable exemption is considered.

David Quinn, director of the think-tank the Iona Institute, called the proposal “unprecedented”.

“This would make us the one and only country in the Western world to have such a law. Even revolutionary France in the days of its worst violence against the Church did not pass a law requiring the breaking of the seal of confession,” Mr Quinn told Catholic News Service.

He said the government “is clearly missing something that every other government can see, which is that, at a minimum, such a law is very unlikely to lead to a single conviction and, at a maximum, will be counter-productive and will make society less safe, rather than more safe.”

“No child abuser will go to a priest in confession knowing the priest is required to inform the police. But cutting off the avenue of confession to a child abuser makes it less likely that he will talk to someone who can persuade him to take the next step,” he added



Sister Julianne Murphy with students
from St Joseph's School in Waroona, Perth
as part of the Travelling Sisters Roadshow
- Australian Disaster Recovery

Over the past four months, Sister Julianne Murphy SJ has driven 15,000 km visiting schools, town centres and disaster-affected areas across Victoria, SA and WA as part of the Sisters of St Joseph's Travelling Roadshow - Australian Disaster Relief Recovery. During this time, she has met 14,613 children, visited more than 57 schools and 21 centres and given 239 presentations.

Now she is bringing the Travelling Roadshow to NSW. After flying in from WA at the weekend, she is having a few days of well-earned rest before picking up her brightly coloured Roadshow Bus which is arriving by train. Then on Thursday, 21 July she will be back behind the wheel and visiting schools and centres on the South Coast before heading inland to Canberra and the ACT.

Nine days later, on Saturday, 30 July Sr Julieanne will arrive in Sydney and spend the next few weeks criss-crossing the city and its schools, raising awareness as well as funds to help victims of Australia's recent natural disasters.

Since December 2010, Australia has reeled under a series of devastating floods, cyclones and bushfires. First Queensland was swept by severe flooding which later spread to northern NSW and south to Victoria. Then came Cyclone Yasi and February's raging bushfires that destroyed homes and livelihoods in WA.

Students from Bunbury College in WA were impacted
to hear of the needs of others
when visited by the Roadshow

"One of the key aims of the Travelling Roadshow is to help children cope with these disasters as well as encourage both adults and kids to roll up their sleeves and help their communities get back on their feet," says Sr Julianne.

Adelaide-born, Sr Julianne who set off on the Sisters Travelling Roadshow in mid March this year, and who is joined on different legs of her journey by fellow Josephites from different regions of each State, says helping children cope in the wake of these disasters is one of her main priorities.

A teacher and school principal for more than two decades in South Australia's Port Pirie Diocese, Sr Julianne understands how children are inclined to bottle up their fears and worries, reluctant to add to their parents' distress over the loss of a home or other disaster.

"Even if children are not directly impacted by these recent disasters, they can still be affected by the images they see on television," she says.

One way Sr Julianne helps children cope and better understand the effect of these disasters on families and other children is by placing a pair of shoes in the classroom during a presentation, and encouraging children to put their feet inside them and image what it is really like "to walk in someone else's shoes."

Travelling Sisters Roadshow tourvan
entering the Nullarbor Plain

"This trip has been a wonderful opportunity to talk to children from all across Australia and their response continues to delight and inspire me," she says and with a warm smile, speaks of the small boy who came up to her after a presentation at his school offering 10 cents from his pocket to "help those kids who don't have anything."

From Sydney, Sr Julianne will head to Bathurst at the end of August and on 9 September will cross into Queensland on the final leg of her seven month journey which will is scheduled to end on 17 October, the first anniversary of the canonisation of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop. However with additional requests from schools pouring in, the roadshow may be extended for another week or two.

In addition to helping children and communities in the wake of the recent disaster, the Travelling Roadshow is raising awareness about the Mary MacKillop Foundation and check on the various projects the Foundation helps to sponsor.

Established in 1995, the Mary MacKillop Foundation continues its namesake's legacy and responds to people in need, offering hope and practical help by supporting small life-changing projects to provide relief from suffering, distress, poverty, misfortune and helplessness.

Travelling Sisters Roadshow travelling to WA from SA

According to Sr Julianne over the past 16 years, the Foundation has supported more than 300 projects which range from giving assistance to Indigenous groups, helping those with disabilities and giving support to isolated rural communities in need.

"In addition the Foundation funds Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tertiary Scholarships with 32 young Indigenous Australians already having graduated from universities under the scheme and a a further 35 currently in the midst of their studies," she says.

Each year, the Foundation invites community-based self-help projects to apply for a 12 month grant of up to $10,000 with 40 such grants awarded each year. "But this year in light of the devastating series of natural disasters Australia has had to cope with, we are awarding 40 extra grants for specific projects that focus on disaster recovery."

Sr Julianne admits the opportunity to see many Foundation-sponsored projects in operation during her long journey has been "wonderful," but perhaps what has left the most indelible impression is the widespread depth of feeling and love for St Mary of the Cross MacKillop.

"Her legacy and inspiration are like ripples in a pond that just seem to keep spreading further and further," she says.

In fact, she believes, only one person she has met on her travels was unaware of Mary MacKillop or the fact she had become Australia's first saint.

"I was being interviewed in a small country town and when the interviewer discovered Mary MacKillop was no longer alive, said in all seriousness: 'how very sad - was it very sudden?'" she recounts and bursts out laughing.


Catholic Church News Image of HK ‘Noah’s Ark’ theme park inspired by Bible story

UCAN REPORT: A life-sized replica of Noah’s Ark, as it is opened after the biblical great flood, now sits at a theme park of the same name in Hong Kong, reports Christian Broadcasting Network.

Its designers hope the scene can convey the Biblical story.

“The reason we chose that moment in the story is because this is the message we want to bring to Hong Kong, to China [and] the world today,” said the Noah’s Ark theme park manager Matthew Pine.

“In our lives we always face floods, we will face trials, we will face difficulties,” he explained. “If we can find a vessel to pass through those storms, those floods in our lives that may even threaten our very lives, that we can pass through, have a new beginning, have a new hope, as it was in Noah’s day.”

The ark sits next to a huge suspension bridge and one of the world’s busiest waterways. It resulted from a unique partnership between the government, a developer and Christian organizations.

Contractors built the ark the way the Bible describes – 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide and 30 cubits high. Outside of the ark, a garden features nearly 70 pairs of life-size replicas of animals, while inside, the ark contains exhibits with rare animals like a nautilus, a toucan and exotic fish.

Screens show animated films that demonstrate how the original ark could have been constructed and how it might have been ventilated. The exhibits also teach that the story of a major flood is nearly universal throughout the world’s ancient cultures.

The Noah’s Ark is operated by several organisations, including Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong, Angela Luk’s Education Foundation Ltd., St. James’ Settlement, the Boys’ Brigade, Hong Kong, and the Media Evangelism Ltd, reports The Christian Post.


Fides Service REPORT - Today, July 20, the first general protest event is scheduled in major cities of Malawi: in Blantyre, Zomba, Lilongwe and Mzuzu. Protesters take to the streets dressed in red, the color chosen by the leaders of the protest.
"Now they have lost their patience and their Malawian proverbial tolerance, able to repeat the old 'Osauka satopa proverb' (The poor never gets tired ... needless to say I am tired, because no one listens to you) or even ' Akapolo sakwiya '(The slave does not get angry). So, nothing remains but to take to the streets", says Fr. Piergiorgio Gamba to Fides, a Monfort missionary who has been living and working in the country for decades.
Fr. Gamba explains the reasons of the social problems that push the Malawians to the streets: "There is no electricity for more than six hours a day. A restrictive measure that will last until December and then resume in January, for a whole year. No fuel diesel and petrol, which can be bought at the black market at double the price, even reaching two euros per litre. Since July 18 the cost of newspapers has increased to 200 kwacha because a tax of 16.5 percent on all publications has been added. .. The price of food increases day by day, as well as transportation gets more and more expensive ".
The missionary also notes that on the eve of the protest "the worst side of the ruling party is emerging, when on the blue car of the government, a handful of CADETS, the squad on duty, holding the panga knife, large plantation knife used to cut sugar cane, showed up in central Victoria Avenue Blantyre. An exhibition that recalls the facts of the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. Never such a mise -en- scene had taken place in Malawi. The squad went on purpose to the areas of the city where the opposition is strongest and they were seen shaping their knives, wielding as a warning for the day which is about to begin ".
"On the same day of the protest, at the same time, President Bingu wa Mutharika will offer a lecture, as he wanted to define it, a university lecture to explain his vision on the country's economic and political situation , why everything goes to hell, but he has control of the situation. To a hungry person, but also to those who for days have queued for a litre of petrol ... the last thing to propose is a lesson", said Father Gamba.
The Episcopal Conference of Malawi and the Malawi Council of Churches (MCC) made a joint appeal for everyone to refrain from violence and the police to protect citizens and avoid actions that could worsen the situation. Christian leaders have finally invited the faithful to pray for the nation


St. Margaret of Antioch


Feast: July 20


Feast Day:July 20
Born:Antioch (in Pisidia)
Patron of:childbirth, pregnant women, dying people, kidney disease, peasants, exiles, falsely accused people; nurses

Virgin and martyr; belonged to Pisidian Antioch in Asia Minor, where her father was a pagan priest. Her mother dying soon after her birth, Margaret was nursed by a pious woman five or six leagues from Antioch. Having embraced Christianity and consecrated her virginity to God, she was disowned by her father and adopted by her nurse.

While she was one day engaged in watching the flocks of her mistress, a lustful Roman prefect named Olybrius caught sight of her, and attracted by her great beauty sought to make her his concubine or wife. When neither cajolery nor threats of punishment could succeed in moving her to yield to his desires, he had her brought before him in public trial atAntioch. Threatened with death unless she renounced the Christian faith, the holy virgin refused to adore the gods of the empire and an attempt was made to burn her, but the flames, we are told in her Acts, left her unhurt. She was then bound hand and foot and thrown into a cauldron of boiling water, but at her prayer her bonds were broken and she stood up uninjured. Finally the prefect ordered her to be beheaded.

The Greek Church honors her under the name Marine on 13 July; the Latin, as Margaret on 20 July. Her Acts place her death in the persecution of Diocletian (A.D. 303-5), but in fact even the century to which she belonged is uncertain. St. Margaret is represented in art sometimes as a shepherdess, or as leading a chained dragon, again carrying a little cross or a girdle in her hand, or standing by a large vessel which recalls the cauldron into which she was plunged. Relics said to belong to the saint are venerated in very many parts of Europe; at Rome, Montefiascone, Brusels, Bruges, Paris, Froidmont, Troyes, and various other places. Curiously enough this virgin has been widely venerated for many centuries as a special patron of women who are pregnant.


TODAY'S GOSPEL: JULY 20: Matthew 13: 1- 9

Matthew 13: 1 - 9
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."

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