“Today, our thoughts also go to September 11 ten years ago. In entrusting the victims of the terrorist attacks on that day and their families to the Lord of Life, I invite the leaders of nations and men of good will to always refuse violence as the solution to problems, to resist the temptation toward hatred and to work in society, inspired by the principles of solidarity, justice and peace”.
On Saturday in a letter to the President of the US bishops’ conference, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, the Holy Father had written about the brutality of the 9/11 attacks that killed almost 3, 000 people and said that nothing can justify terrorism and that what happened is further compounded by the perpetrators’ claim to be acting in the name of God.
His latest appeal resounded across the deep blue of the Adriatic sea, a perfect backdrop to the Sunday liturgy which saw Italy’s biggest shipyard transformed into an open air cathedral. An estimated 100 thousand people drawn from the nations 42 Metropolitan Archdiocese had gathered for the week long congress in Ancona on the theme “The Eucharist for every day life” inspired by the passage from the Gospel of John on Christ’s sermon on the Bread of Life.
In gifting Himself daily in the Eucharist – Pope Benedict said in his homily – God offers us " the path to avoid indifference to the fate of our brothers and sisters, to enter the same logic of love and gift of sacrifice of the Cross". He said : "Those who know how to kneel before the Eucharist, those who receive the body of Christ can not fail to be attentive, in the unfolding of the day, to situations unworthy of man and know firsthand how to bend over the needy, how to break bread with the hungry, how to share water with the thirsty, clothe the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned".
Commenting on the phrase that begins today's Gospel "This is a hard saying," Pope Benedict said that "it is hard because often we confuse freedom with the absence of constraints, in the belief that we can make it alone, without God, seen as a limit to freedom. This is an illusion which soon turns into disappointment, generating fear and anxiety and leading us, paradoxically, to regret the chains of the past: "If only we had died at the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt ..." - said the Jews in the desert (Ex 16.3), as we heard. In fact, only in openness to God, in welcoming His gift, do we become truly free, free from the bondage of sin which disfigures the face of man and able to serve the true good of our brothers".
The Pope continued : "It is hard because man often falls into the illusion of being able to "turn stones into bread." After having put God aside, or having tolerated Him as a private choice that should not interfere with public life, certain ideologies have tried to organize society by the force of power and the economy. History dramatically shows us how the goal of ensuring development, material well-being and peace to all, excluding God and his revelation, resulted in people being given stone instead of bread. Bread, dear brothers and sisters, is the "fruit of human hands", and in this truth lies all the responsibilities entrusted to our hands and our ingenuity; but bread is also, and before that, "fruit of the earth ", which receives the sun and rain from above: it is a gift to be asked for, that takes away all of our pride and makes us cry out with the confidence of the humble:" Father (...), give us this day our daily bread "(Matt. 6:11)".
"Man is incapable of giving life by himself, he can only be understood starting from God: it is our relationship with Him, that gives consistency to our humanity and makes our lives good and right. In the Our Father we ask that His name be hallowed, that His kingdom come, that His will is done. Above all else, we must recover the primacy of God in our world and our lives, because it is this very primacy that allows us to recover the truth of who we are, and it is in knowing and following the will of God that we find our true good. Give time and space to God, so that he is the vital centre of our existence. Where to start, as if from the source, to recover and reassert the primacy of God? From the Eucharist: there God draws so close that He becomes food for us, here He becomes strength in the often difficult journey, here He becomes a friendly presence that transforms".
Pope Benedict concluded : "A Eucharistic spirituality, then, is the real antidote to the individualism and selfishness that often characterize daily life, it leads to the rediscovery of gratuity, of the centrality of relationships, starting from the family, with particular attention to healing the wounds of those that are broken. A Eucharistic spirituality is the soul of a church community that goes beyond divisions and conflicts and promotes the diversity of charisms and ministries by placing them in the service of the unity of the Church, its vitality and its mission. Eucharistic spirituality is a way to restore dignity to man’s everyday life and therefore to his work, in the search to reconcile it with times of celebration and family life and with a commitment to overcome the insecurity and uncertainty of the unemployment problem. A Eucharistic spirituality will also help us to draw close to the different forms of human frailty aware that they do not overshadow the value of the person, but require closeness, welcome and help. A renewed educational vitality can draw force from the Bread of life, attentive to witness the fundamental values of existence, of knowledge, of our spiritual and cultural heritage, its vitality will help us live in the city of mankind with the willingness to spend ourselves for the horizon of the common good to build a more just and fraternal world ".
ARCHDIOCESE OF NEW YORK REPORT: 9/11 Attacks Were Not the Last Word
It was a “LIGHT BLUB MOMENT” for me as your rookie archbishop.
Two years ago, on September 11, 2009, I accepted a gracious invitation from Father Kevin Madigan, pastor of the historic parish of St. Peter’s, on Barclay Street, to offer a memorial Mass on the eighth anniversary of the tragedy.
This Mass, the pastor explained, had become a cherished annual event, very appropriate, I agreed, since the parish is so close to Ground Zero. Father Madigan went on to tell me how the venerable church structure had itself been damaged in the attack, and that it had become a center for rescue operations, care for the wounded, and solace to families and friends during those dark days.
Sure enough, I found the Mass very moving, as I did my visit to the Ground Zero Memorial afterward, where I was able to pray aloud the oration offered by Pope Benedict XVI when he had visited the revered area in 2008.
(By the way, I’ll offer the 12:30 Mass at St. Peter’s again this year, with Cardinal Edward Egan—who was on the frontlines that frightening day—as preacher, this September 11, 2011. You’d be welcome.)
Anyway, a remark made by Father Madigan that first visit remains imprinted in my heart.
“Archbishop Dolan,” the parish priest remarked as we were vesting for Mass, “we New Yorkers don’t just remember the horrors and sorrows of September 11th; we also celebrate September 12th.”
It took me awhile to get the insight of his statement: New Yorkers were shocked, scared, angry, saddened and shaken by the unforgettable death and destruction of 9/11, true; but, New Yorkers were not paralyzed or defeated! They immediately rallied, becoming people of intense faith, prayer, hope, and love, as the rescue, renewal, resilience, rebuilding, and outreach began. And it has not stopped since.
9/11 could have turned us into petrified, paranoid, vicious animals, and our demented attackers would thus have won; or, it could bring out what is most noble in the human soul, such as heroic sacrifice, solidarity in service, non-stop rescue efforts, communities bonding, prayer for those perished and families mourning, healing and renewal.
9/11 did not have the last word; 9/12 did.
Thank you, New York, for that amazing example. Those days I could only admire you from afar. Today, it is my singular honor to claim to be one of you, a grand community that taught the world a lesson of renewal and resilience.
This same lesson is taught in the Bible. Sadness and adversity will come to all of us sometime in life. We all have our mini-9/11s.
When they come, we can react in one of two ways: we can curse God, be frozen into self-pity, curl up in a ball, give up and let the crisis defeat us; or we can rely on God, dig in, rally, count on family and friends, and keep going.
God’s Word strongly encourages option #2.
New Yorkers chose that one, too.
Today, Sept. 8, the Church celebrates the Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She knew both the supreme joy of Bethlehem, and the profound sorrow of Calvary.
Next Wednesday, Sept. 14, the Church will celebrate the Feast of the Triumph of the Holy Cross. On the cross, Jesus turned darkness to light, sin to grace, hate to love, death to light. No wonder a cross of steel, forged in the destruction of the attack, was found in the rubble.
So, this weekend, once again, our eyes will tear up, our throats lump, our lips quiver, our hands will fold in prayer, as we never forget 9/11;
But, once again, we’ll be grateful for heroic sacrifice, communal solidarity, hope and renewal as we celebrate 9/12.
THELOCAL.DE REPORT: German President Christian Wulff commemorated the victims of September 11, 2001 at an ecumenical service in Berlin, the first of a series of events to mark the 10th anniversary of the attacks.He and US Ambassador Philip D. Murphy took part in the memorial service at the American Church to mark the 10th anniversary of the attacks. Other guests included Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich.
Those attending the service held a minute of silence in memory of the 3,000 victims of the attacks by radical Islamic terrorists on New York and Washington.
Wulff will also take part in a memorial event in Munich in the afternoon, which will include a live broadcast from Ground Zero in New York.
A memorial event is also planned to take place at Berlin’s historic Brandenburg Gate, at which a young people from different religious communities will join together for discussion, prayers and music.
A minute of silence is to be held throughout the city at 2:46 p.m. local time, to mark the moment that the first plane hit the World Trade Centre in New York 10 years ago.
Another memorial service is being held at the Berlin Cathedral at 6 p.m.
Sydney Archdiocese REPORT
8 Sep 2011
Stephen Tompsett, the brilliant Sydney-born computer scientist died in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre on 11 September 2001. For his parents, who will commemorate the 10th anniversary of his death and the 3000 others who died that day at the St Mary's Cathedral Interfaith Memorial Service on Sunday at 4pm, their grief over the loss of their beloved son remains as raw and as painful as ever.
"Some days it feels like 10 years, others it feels like yesterday. It is something that is with us all this time and will never leave us," his mother, Rae Tompsett says.
Rae and her husband Jack are now in their 80s and for most of their married life have lived at Merrylands attending mass each Sunday at St Margaret Mary's Catholic Church. Steve, as their son was known, went to St Margaret Mary's Catholic Primary School and grew up with the same strong Catholic faith as his parents.
"Steve was very committed to his faith," Rae says, adding that at the time of his death he was an active member of his parish in New York where he was a lector, Eucharistic Minister, on the Parish Stewardship Committee and a member of the Board of St Joseph's School, where his ten 9-year old daughter,Emily, was a pupil.
For Rae and Jack, as well as their granddaughter and daughter-in-law, their strong faith together with the support of their family, friends and their parish priest, have helped them come to terms with the shock of Steve's death and the terrible events of September 11. But the gaping hole left by his passing remains and the grief at his death is never far away.
"Every time you turn on the telly there seems to be a reminder," Rae says. "But Jack and I are truly blessed to have our faith, and although we still feel Steve's loss every single day, we are also warmed by our memories of all the good things he did, and the wonderful times we shared. He lived a very fruitful and productive life, and for that we have much to thank God for."
At Sunday's service at St Mary's Cathedral,hosted by the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell who will be joined by Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence, Senior Rabbi The Great Synagogue, Sydney and Sheikh Dr Mohammed Anas of Sydney's Zetland Mosque, Rae and Jack will be reunited with other Australian families who lost loved ones in twin towers attack.
"The day will be painful but I know the service will also bring us comfort and be consoling," Rae says.
Among the more than 2500 expected at the Cathedral's memorial service on Sunday will be the Consul General for the United States of America, Mr Niels Marquardt and the former Australian Consul General in New York, Mr Ken Allen AM. For all those present it will be a time of prayer and reflection, remembering all those who died that terrible day in September 2001, and to pray for peace.
And as Jack and Rae prepare to mark the anniversary of their son's death here in Australia, Steve's American-born wife, Dorry will be attending the special dedication ceremony of the newly completed 9/11 Memorial of Remembrance that has been built over the site of the World Trade Centre. With waterfalls, reflecting pools and covering 8 hectares, the memorial carries the names of all those killed.
Stephen's name is listed among those who died in the North Tower when the first of the hijacked commercial jet liners crashed into the building's upper floors. Also listed in this section are the names of the passengers and crew of those who were aboard the hijacked American Airlines Flight 11. But for the first time since her father's death, Jack and Rae's 19-year-old granddaughter, Emily will not be with her mother on the anniversary of her father's death.
Ten days short of her 10th birthday when her father died, Emily is now almost 20 and studying for a degree in maths and science. Unable to attend the dedication ceremony, due to college commitments, Emily will instead mark the anniversary by attending mass. Then next week she will travel to the Tompsett home in Garden City, Long Island to join her mother for the family's annual "evening of remembrance" when relatives and friends join together to pay tribute to her father and to the others who died on that tragic and unforgettable day.
For Emily and Dorry, who visit Rae and Jack in Sydney each year and keep in close touch via email, "the evening of remembrance" has become an important annual tradition. In what has also become an annual tradition is Steve's former colleagues' custom of kicking off their shoes on 11 September and walking around their New York office in socks.
"Steve always kept his office door open and anyone could go in and talk to him," his wife Dorry explains. "He wanted people to feel comfortable with him. He also used to take his shoes off and walk around in his socks."
At 39, Steve was Vice President of Technology for Instinet Corp, an electronics equity broker. Arriving in New York in 1986 on a three week business trip, he had met and fallen in love with Dorry and had never left. His office was in New York's Times Square some distance from the World Trade Centre. But on the morning of 11 September 2001, instead of being in his office in new York's mid town he was at a technology conference at the Windows of the World Restaurant at the top of the World Trade Centre's North Tower. Then at 8.46 am New York time, the airline plunged into the tower several floors below.
Unsure what was going on, Steve emailed his wife Dorry on his palm pilot: "Something's gone wrong. Can you put on the TV, find out what's happened and let me know?" Desperate emails from Dorry followed. But Steve remained calm to the end, his final email saying: "In World Trade Centre, above the problem, staying still under instructions."
But by then the floors beneath him were ablaze and moments later the entire structure imploded and collapsed.
Steve's body was never found.
A short time later, his family established the Stephen K. Tompsett Memorial Fund for Technology in Education to continue his volunteer work which had always exemplified his love of children and his desire to improve education, especially in his fields of expertise such as science, maths and technology.
In the past 10 years, the Fund has not only equipped classrooms with wireless internet access, provided software and hardware support and training for students, provided laptop commuters to schools and granted scholarships to high school seniors, it has provided monetary grants to outstanding college students who have excelled in maths, science and/or technology.
With her own love of science, computers and technology, Emily is very much her father's daughter.
"As she has grown up, she has become more and more like her father. I can see so much of her father in her," says Rae. "She was incredibly close to her father. They did everything together. Now she is following in his footsteps at college and majoring in computers and the sciences."
Each time Emily arrives in Australia with her mother to visit her grandparents, Rae admits she is startled by how much she resembles Steve. "It's the way she holds her head. It's her dry sense of humour, the things she says and the maturity in her eyes."
Rae is extremely proud of Emily's maturity and the way she has dealt with the loss of her father.
"She also has a lot of her mother in her, Dorry's outgoing personality and Dorry's strength. But above all Emily is very much herself," Rae says, recalling how she used to worry that Emily might feel she had to emulate Steve as a way to keep his memory alive. "While we think it is important she remember him, it was equally important she didn't grow up living in his shadow."
Not that Rae has any worries on that score anymore. "she is a fine young woman and we are so very proud of her."
But it is Emily's own words about her father that are perhaps the most telling - and most poignant.
On a Stephen K. Tompsett Guest Book website where friends and family share memories and condolences, she often pens her own message. On 28 October 2008, she wrote: "I enjoy reading everyone's entries and learning even just a little bit more about my dad. I so wish I could have known him half as well as many of the people who have signed this book. People always tell me how like him I am and I wish I could share my likeness with him now. I wish I could talk to him about my life. But then again, don't we all."
She followed this with another message on January 28th 2010. Now 18 years old, she wrote: "Yesterday was your birthday. It was the first one I wasn't with mom. I miss you so much, my friends here are really supportive, especially Andrew. You'd really like him. I'm doing lots of cool things in math and comp sci and I really wish I could talk to you about them. That'd be awesome. But I know you're here with me, looking over my shoulder. I love you and I miss you."
Other Australians who lost their lives on September 11 2001 and who will be remembered on Sunday at St Mary's Cathedral's Interfaith Memorial Service are:
Kevin Dennis, 43, Qld
Alberto Dominguez, 66 NSW
Elisa Ferraina, 27 NSW
Craig Gibson, 37 NSW
Peter Gyulavary, 44 Vic
Yvonne Kennedy, 62 NSW
Andrew Knox, 29 SA
Lesley Thomas, 40 NSW
Leanne Whiteside, 31 Vic
May They Rest in Peace
Pictures from the Stephen K Tompsett Memorial Fund website. To find out more about Steve, his family, his dreams and to donate to the fund established by his wife Dorry to help children and the advancement of technology in education log on tohttp://www.stevetompsettmemorialfund.org/
Cairo (AsiaNews) - Egypt has declared a state of emergency after the attack on the Israeli embassy in Cairo yesterday, at the end of Friday prayers. The battle continued well into the night and tensions have failed to subside in the capital. Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli prime minister, spoke of "serious accident" and “a disaster avoided," thanks to the intervention of the Egyptian special forces who rescued six diplomats from the mission. An official in Jerusalem, on condition of anonymity, revealed that there is already "deep security concerns". The ambassador Yitzhak Levanon has already returned to Israel, while the Egyptian authorities reported that the toll from the clashes is two dead and nearly 500 injured.
Yesterday afternoon, at the end of Friday prayers, the protesters headed towards the Israeli embassy in Cairo to protest against the erection of a security barrier outside the embassy. The tension had been mounting for days: the demonstrators were protesting against the killing - which took place on August 18 last – of five Egyptian border guards by Israeli soldiers. The Israeli army had made a series of raids in response to the triple attack on two buses in Eilat, the Red Sea resort town in southern Israel, and the explosion of some mines as a military convoy was passing . Seven Israeli civilians died in the attacks, while at least 30 were wounded, including some soldiers.
This morning the Israeli government completed the evacuation of the diplomatic mission in Cairo. At least 80 people - including officials and their families - have left the Egyptian capital.
At least 30 people stormed into the embassy, throwing a number of books and documents out of the windows. The urban warfare between demonstrators and police continued today near the Israeli embassy and the university, where automatic gunfire was heard.
Contacted by AsiaNews Fr Rafik Greek, spokesman for the Egyptian Catholic Church, speaks of a "really terrible" situation of "fear and concern." The fear, the priest says, is that the protesters could storm a police headquarters in the area and steal all the weapons. A situation he calls "complicated." He criticizes the decision in recent days to erect a wall around the building that houses the embassy, calling it a "bad idea" because it "created the same feeling of the wall built by Israel in the West Bank." A terrible psychological effect, he adds, for the Egyptian population.
Fr. Rafiq also reveals that groups of people engaged in the assault on the embassy had a Koran in their hand or pocket. An element which could confirm concerns about an Islamic fundamentalist drift in Egypt’s protests. "The military - said the priest - do not want a confrontation with Israel, but Jerusalem should also maintain a more relaxed attitude to avoid tensions" in the region. The danger is that the street riots in Egypt could be a prelude to an Islamic revolution as was the case in nearly 30 years ago with the takeover of the ayatollahs and the assault on the U.S. embassy. "I hope not - the priest concludes - but at the moment we do not know how this will develop".
Meanwhile, the Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharif has summoned a Cabinet emergency meeting, to discuss the situation. The attack occurred two days before the visit of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the first by a senior political leader of Turkey in 15 years. The bilateral meeting had raised concerns in the Israeli government, which fears a possible alliance between the two Arab countries that could contribute to isolation of Israel in the region. Meanwhile, Benjamin Netanyahu thanked U.S. president Barack Obama for support, while setting up a crisis unit. However, so far, the historic peace treaty of 1979, the first signed by the Jewish state with an Arab country, does not appear to be in question. (DS)
A new major seminary run by Amboina diocese in Ambon is to start its first academic year next week.
Seven seminarians are gearing up to study various subjects under the guidance of six priests at the St. Francis Xavier Major Seminary in Poka village, in Maluku province.
Bishop Petrus Canisius Mandagi delivered the promulgation of the major seminary’s establishment and new academic year during a Mass held yesterday in the major seminary’s hall.
The prelate said the major seminary’s promulgation coincided with the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
“Through education and formation, St. Francis Xavier Major Seminary is committed to producing priests that can follow the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who was always obedient, loyal and humble in doing God’s will,” he added.
He hoped the new major seminary will produce priests who are active in pastoral work and strong in contemplation.
The major seminary’s vision is for an educational institution for would-be priests, which will produce servants of God who can reflect on, analyze and communicate the faith and love to the world through pastoral work.
The holy confessor Paphnutius was an Egyptian who, after having spent several years in the desertunder the direction of the great St. Antony, was made bishop in the Upper Thebaid. He was one of thoseconfessors who under the Emperor Maximinus lost the right eye, were hamstrung in one leg, and were afterwards sent to work in the mines. Peace being restored to the Church,Paphnutius returned to his flock, bearing all the rest of his life the glorious marks of his sufferings for the name of his Crucified Master. He was one of the most zealous in defending the Catholic faith against the Arian heresyand for his holiness. As one who had confessed the Faith before persecutors and under torments, he was an outstanding figure of the first General Council of the Church, held at Nicaea in the year 325. Paphnutius, a man who had observed the strictest continence all his life, is said to have distinguished himself at the Council by his opposition to clerical celibacy. Paphnutius said that it was enough to conform to the ancient tradition of the Church, which forbade the clergy marrying after their ordination. To this day it is the law of the Eastern Churches, whether Catholic or dissident, that married men may receive all Holy Ordersbelow the episcopate, and continue to live freely with their wives. St. Paphnutius is sometimes called "the Great" to distinguish him from other saints of the same name; the year of his death is not known. His feast day is September 11.
|Sirach 27: 30|
|30||Anger and wrath, these also are abominations, and the sinful man will possess them.|
1He that takes vengeance will suffer vengeance from the Lord, and he will firmly establish his sins.2Forgive your neighbor the wrong he has done, and then your sins will be pardoned when you pray.3Does a man harbor anger against another, and yet seek for healing from the Lord?4Does he have no mercy toward a man like himself, and yet pray for his own sins?5If he himself, being flesh, maintains wrath, who will make expiation for his sins?6Remember the end of your life, and cease from enmity, remember destruction and death, and be true to the commandments.7Remember the commandments, and do not be angry with your neighbor; remember the covenant of the Most High, and overlook ignorance.8Refrain from strife, and you will lessen sins; for a man given to anger will kindle strife,9and a sinful man will disturb friends and inject enmity among those who are at peace.
|Psalms 103: 1 - 4, 9 - 12|
|1||Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name!|
|2||Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,|
|3||who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,|
|4||who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,|
|9||He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger for ever.|
|10||He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor requite us according to our iniquities.|
|11||For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;|
|12||as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.|
|Romans 14: 7 - 9|
|7||None of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself.|
|8||If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's.|
|9||For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.|
21Then Peter came up and said to him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?"22Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.23"Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants.24When he began the reckoning, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents;25and as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made.26So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, `Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.'27And out of pity for him the lord of that servant released him and forgave him the debt.28But that same servant, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat he said, `Pay what you owe.'29So his fellow servant fell down and besought him, `Have patience with me, and I will pay you.'30He refused and went and put him in prison till he should pay the debt.31When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place.32Then his lord summoned him and said to him, `You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you besought me;33and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?'34And in anger his lord delivered him to the jailers, till he should pay all his debt.35So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart."